Softpanorama

May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
(slightly skeptical) Educational society promoting "Back to basics" movement against IT overcomplexity and  bastardization of classic Unix

Total Surveillance Regime: Big Uncle is Watching You

Mass surveillance is equal to totalitarism. As Joseph Goebbels professed:
"if you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear"

The slide above is courtesy of The Guardian

Version 2.0, Oct 17, 2017

News National Security State Recommended Links Edward Snowden as Symbol of resistance to National Security State Privacy is Dead – Get Over It Vault 7 scandal NSA revelations fallout William Binney
Assange and Wikileaks Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? NSA Surveillance Industrial Espionage Data Stealing Trojans Flame Duqu Trojan Cyberstalking
Interception of "in-transit" traffic as violation of human rights Search engines privacy Google Toolbar Is Google evil? Keywords in your posts that might trigger surveillance Facebook as Giant Database about Users The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies  
Damage to the US tech companies "Everything in the Cloud" Utopia Issues of security and trust in "cloud" env Email security How to analyze your own Web activity Interception of "in-transit" traffic as violation of human rights Steganography Building Snort-based IDS Infrastructure
Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few   Nineteen Eighty-Four Edward Snowden as Symbol of Resistance to National Security State Cyberwarfare History of the USA total surveillance efforts Prizm-related humor Etc
 

Introduction

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.

- Goethe

1984 is supposed to be a warning, not an instruction manual

The troubling aspect about these disclosures is not so much their significance today, but what surveillance on the nation bodes for the future. Given human nature I am not optimistic.

Bill N. Cambridge MA, NYT.

NSA staff and private contractors have unfettered access to this information. I have a hard time believing that not one of them has used that access to information for personal or political gain. This system makes insider trading, industrial espionage, blackmail, and extortion an almost inevitable outcome. -- The Guardian (from comments).

A new round of debates about the dominance of military industrial complex and the level of control it exerts over the US civil society was caused by recent revelations about NSA activities in the USA.

It might well be the Rubicon was crossed around JFK assassination time. On August 17, 1975 Senator Frank Church stated on NBC's Meet the Press without mentioning the name of the NSA (Church Committee - Wikipedia ):

In the need to develop a capacity to know what potential enemies are doing, the United States government has perfected a technological capability that enables us to monitor the messages that go through the air. Now, that is necessary and important to the United States as we look abroad at enemies or potential enemies. We must know, at the same time, that capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left such is the capability to monitor everything—telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn't matter. There would be no place to hide.

If this government ever became a tyrant, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology.

I don't want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.[11]

In other words expansionism  and mission creep are immanent qualities, the second nature of large bureaucracies, and unless there is countervailing force. In the absence of countervailing forces they tend to escape from civil control and form a state within a state. In a way any state with powerful three-letter agencies stand with one leg in a tyranny, even if it calls itself a democracy. And that fact was already known to everybody in 1975 (Church Committee).  Actually just after president Kennedy assassination, which, no matter which version of events you adopt, in all cases indirectly pointed out that three letter agencies jumped out of control of civil government. As one Guardian reader commented "The pernicious thing is that it is in the nature of bureaucracies in general and spy agencies in particular to expand beyond reason unless there is effective oversight."

The nature of bureaucracies in general and spy agencies in particular to expand beyond reason unless there is effective oversight. In the case of intelligence agencies it has proven impossible for civil authorities to control them. Recent stories about CIA spying on the US Senate Intelligence Committee  just prove this. 

In the case of intelligence agencies it has proven impossible to control them.  Recent stories about CIA spying on the US Senate Intelligence Committee (which is tasked with the oversight of the agency) just prove this simple fact (CIA apologizes for spying on Senate committee - CNNPolitics July 31, 2014 ). As NYT reported (Inquiry by C.I.A. Affirms It Spied on Senate Panel,  

A statement issued Thursday morning by a C.I.A. spokesman said that John O. Brennan, the agency’s director, had apologized to Ms. Feinstein and the committee’s ranking Republican, Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, and would set up an internal accountability board to review the issue. The statement said that the board, which will be led by a former Democratic senator, Evan Bayh of Indiana, could recommend “potential disciplinary measures” and “steps to address systemic issues.”

But anger among lawmakers grew throughout the day. Leaving a nearly three-hour briefing about the report in a Senate conference room, members of both parties called for the C.I.A. officers to be held accountable, and some said they had lost confidence in Mr. Brennan’s leadership. “This is a serious situation and there are serious violations,” said Mr. Chambliss, generally a staunch ally of the intelligence community. He called for the C.I.A. employees to be “dealt with very harshly.”

Senator Mark Udall, Democrat of Colorado and another member of the Intelligence Committee, demanded Mr. Brennan’s resignation. “The C.I.A. unconstitutionally spied on Congress by hacking into the Senate Intelligence Committee computers,” he said in a written statement. “This grave misconduct not only is illegal but it violates the U.S. Constitution’s requirement of separation of powers.

You can't get a more solid proof of total surveillance...  Please note that Brennan continued his tenure as the head of CIA; attempts to depose him after the incident by some Senators failed. That suggest who was the winner in this skirmish.

That also means that contrary to common perception intelligence agencies are political players and as such are quite capable to defend their staffing and resource consumption levels, despite inefficient waist of resources as typical for large bureaucracies. In other words they are no longer technocratic, but tend to emerge as political bodies, the core of the "deep state" (see Bureaucracy as a Political Coalition). The story of John Brennan the former head of CIA in Obama administration tell volumes about such tendencies. During and after 2016 Presidential elections he emerged as a powerful political broker, later aligning with Hillary Clinton in efforts to form a political coalition capable of deposing President Trump.

We can admire the immortal foresight and moral courage of Secretary of State Henry Stimson's  who closed the Cipher Bureau in 1929.  But this highly ethical, moral and courageous act deprived the US of the capacity to read foreign diplomatic cables as world-wide threats grew.  So it was quickly reversed.

In a way technology dictates the level of government surveillance in the society and in "Internet society" it looks like this level is permanently set on "high". That does not mean that we can't fight it. Yes, we can and one factor that played into the hands of defenders of personal privacy is the you can't drink from a fire hose: as soon as you connect too much information it devalues itself. Also methods of "injecting" false metadata into your profile are reality available. for example for Internet browsing anybody with programmable keyboard can do that. That means that you the set of sites you visited no longer can be considered authentic in "Post-Snowden" world. That dooms effort to assign you a level of "loyalty" based on your browsing history, which is very temping for three letter agencies to do.  Recent failed attempt to create a site that claffies some sites are "Russian propaganda" sites belong to this category (Washington Post Disgracefully Promotes a McCarthyite Blacklist From a New, Hidden, and Very Shady Group.) But such attempts were just shifted to another domain -- "leak prevention" training:

Part of the “Unauthorized Disclosure” training includes watching a Fox News clip on the crackdown on leaks and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ statement announcing an increase in criminal leak investigations. A student guide from the Insider Threat Awareness training includes the McCarthyesque request that employees report on each other for “general suspicious behaviors,” including “Questionable national loyalty” such as “Displaying questionable loyalty to US government or company” or “Making anti-U.S. comments.” Never mind that the only oath government employees take is to the US Constitution, not to any government official or the US government itself and certainly not to a private company.

This also opens people to browsing blackmail.  In this sense post-snowmen world is inherently more difficult for three-letter agencies to navigate.

Computer technology and digital communication as new frontiers for intelligence  agencies

Technology changes can really change the society. And not always in a beneficial for the society way. There is such thing as "blowback" in technologies. We can view recent NSA activities revealed by Snowden as a classic example of such blowback connected with the spread of Internet and cloud based technologies.  In a way Internet begets surveillance. And you can do nothing about it.  As former Sun CEO Scott McNealy (born November 13, 1954)  said  "You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it." (see also Privacy is Dead – Get Over It).  

I think that the first attempt to create a comprehensive nation-wide intelligence network that monitors sentiments of the citizens and hunt enemies of the state goes as far back as Napoleon and his famous minister of police Joseph Fouché. Or may be it even goes as far back as to Byzantine Empire with its first in history organized network of spies. As for recording of mail envelopes, we can even claim that this function for international mail (in a form of "black chambers") is as old as states are. In the USA it started in full force in August 1919 when J. Edgar Hoover became head of the Bureau of Investigation's new General Intelligence Division—also known as the Radical Division because its explicit goal was to monitor and disrupt the work of domestic radicals.

Recording of all email envelopes started long before email was invented and became established practice since the WWII for all regular mail entering or leaving the country.  It just got a new name now -- collection of metadata and the technology that allow correlation of multiple sets of metadata exposing hidden "networks".  Recording metadata of phone calls and often the calls themselves first started before WWII and technology was first polished on international calls, which for obvious reasons are of great interest to all governments.  As intelligence agencies were one of the first to deploy computers after WWII it would be naive to assume that IBM/360 mainframes were not used to analyze collection of metadata of international calls as early as in 1960th.

Hoover and his chosen assistant, George Ruch monitored a variety of U.S. radicals with the intent to punish, arrest, or deport them. Targets during this period included Marcus Garvey; Rose Pastor Stokes and Cyril Briggs; Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman; and future Supreme Court justice Felix Frankfurter, whom Hoover nicknamed as "the most dangerous man in the United States". So those radicals served a guinea pigs for polishing methods of collection of communications using electronic means of surveillance.

So it would be a mistake to assume that such activities started with 9/11 events and that Bush II was totally responsible for converting the USA into national-security state.  The technology was ready at least 15 years before 9/11 (explosive growth of internet in the USA started in 1996) and new methods of collection of information that are technically available are always adopted and used by clandestine agencies.  They tend to adopt technology as soon as it is available, being, in a pervert way,  classic "early adopters" of any communication or computer technology. And this happens not only in the USA,  although the USA as the  technological leader was probably most profoundly affected.

The creation and use of databases of personal information and the systematic records (archives) of communications of citizens started simultaneously with NSA creation. The first targets were mail and telegraph. Some of this experience came from specialists of Third Reich who were brought to the country after the WWII. At the height of the Cold War in the 1950s, law enforcement and intelligence leaders like J. Edgar Hoover at the FBI. and Allen Dulles at the CIA. aggressively recruited former Nazis of all ranks as secret, anti-Soviet “assets,” declassified records show. They believed the ex-Nazis’ intelligence value against the Russians outweighed what one official called “moral lapses” in their service to the Third Reich. The agency hired one former SS officer as a spy in the 1950s, for instance, even after concluding he was probably guilty of “minor war crimes.” And in 1994, a lawyer with the CIA pressured prosecutors to drop an investigation into an ex-spy outside Boston implicated in the Nazis’ massacre of tens of thousands of Jews in Lithuania, according to a government official (In Cold War, U.S. Spy Agencies Used 1,000 Nazis - NYTimes.com).

We don't know when it was extended on domestic calls, but from purely technical perspective this was a trivial extension of already existing and polished capacity and probably abuse was stated gradually as soon as power of computers allow that. 

But what is true is that after 9/11 and the passage of the USA Patriot Act, the USA government got all the pre-conditions necessary for installing a regime of aggressive total surveillance. Which actually was a hidden intent and 9/11 was just a convenient pretext much like Tonkin incident in Vietnam war. And in this respect Ed Snowden, whatever is his motivation (which might be not as simple as most people assume), did the right thing, when he with the risk to his life informed the US public and the world about those activities. You may approve those revelations, you may disapprove them (and they did damage the USA as a state and devalue many methods which were extremely effective before the revelations), but keeping them secret from the US public is a crime.

NSA technically is a data collection agency. While it has legitimate function to monitor information that is crossing the national border as well as intercept communication of the US adversaries (which is a very flexible category those days ;-), we need to understand that the abuse of this function is inevitable. That actually the nature of the beast -- like any bureaucratic organizations they tend to expand their sphere of activities and escape form control -- and in this sense existence of powerful state intelligence agencies is incompatible with the democracy.  In this sense the appointment of Allan Dulles (who paradoxically was appointed the director under Eisenhower administration in 1952; Eisenhower warnings about the danger of military-industrial complex notwithstanding)  was really unfortunate.

But the capacities to do this type of work had grown dramatically over last four decades. In a way NSA became a victim of growing power of computers as well inherent tendency of bureaucracies, especially government bureaucracies to expand and self-justify their expansion. The classic case was the USSR where KGB was a real "state within the state" and sometimes it was not completely clear whether the Party controls KGB or KGB controls the Party.

But the capacities to do this type of work had grown dramatically over last four decades. In a way NSA became a victim of growing power of computers and as well inherent tendency of bureaucracies, especially government bureaucracies to expand and self-justify their expansion. The classic case was the USSR where KGB was a real "state within the state" and sometimes it was not completely clear whether the Party controls KGB or KGB controls the Party.

The immanent tendency of intelligence agencies to escape civil control
and in turn to establish indirect control of the government

There is deep analogy between financial services and intelligence services. Both try to escape from the control of democratic society. Both try to control the society instead of serve it. As they operate with large and uncontrolled amount of money soon after their creation inevitably the "the tail wagging the dog" (Merriam-Webster):

the tail wagging the dog used to describe a situation in which an important or powerful person, organization, etc., is being controlled by someone or something that is much less important or powerful

At some point the permanent unelected bureaucracy, became the shadow government instead of facilitating the decisions of elected officials. This process proceeds quicker if a sociopath manage to slip to the role of the head of such an organization. That's what the term "deep state" is about. Some authors such as  Douglas Horne view JFK assassination as a political coup d'état launched from the highest levels of US leadership (JFK’s War with the National Security Establishment Why Kennedy Was Assassinated). Here is a quote from the foreword by Jacob G. Hornberger:

By the end of November 1961, profoundly dissatisfied with his own national security advisory apparatus, President Kennedy had firmly pushed back against the national security establishment (in this case the NSC, the State Department, and the CIA) by purging and/or reshuffling many of the civilian hawks in his own administration into other positions, and by placing officials more in line with his own views into key positions. [A change in the top leadership at the Pentagon was to come later, in 1962.] Throughout 1961, the new President had painfully but quickly learned to be quite skeptical of the advice he was receiving, pertaining to matters of war and peace, from his hawkish advisors; and as 1961 progressed, John F. Kennedy repeatedly demonstrated what the hawks in government (the majority) no doubt considered a disturbingly independent (and increasingly all-too-predictable) frame of mind in regard to the national security recommendations he was receiving from the “sacred cows” and “wise men” in Washington, D.C. As I shall demonstrate in these essays, by the end of 1962, the national security establishment in Washington D.C., which had quickly come to know JFK as a skeptic during 1961, had come to view him as a heretic; and by November of 1963, the month he was assassinated, they no doubt considered him an apostate, for he no longer supported most of the so-called “orthodox” views of the Cold War priesthood. Increasingly alone in his foreign policy judgments as 1963 progressed, JFK was nevertheless proceeding boldly to end our “Holy War” against Communism, instead of trying to win it. In retrospect it is clear that the national security establishment wanted to win our own particular “jihad” of the post-WW II era by turning the Cold War against the USSR into a “hot war,” so that we could inflict punishing and fatal blows upon our Communist adversaries (and any other forces we equated with them) on the battlefield. It was this desire for “hot war” by so many within the establishment — their belief that conventional “proxy wars” with the Soviet Bloc were an urgent necessity, and that nuclear war with the USSR was probably inevitable — to which President Kennedy was so adamantly opposed. And it was JFK’s profound determination to avoid nuclear war by miscalculation, and to eschew combat with conventional arms unless it was truly necessary, that separated him from almost everyone else in his administration from 1961 throughout 1963, as events have shown us.

 

Against whom total surveillance is directed

Total surveillance is not so much about terrorism. It's also and mainly about the control of the society by unelected elite. Terrorism is a false pretext -- a smoke screen, if you like. Let's state clearly -- the main goal of total surveillance was the same since it was introduced in Nazi Germany: "Let them be afraid". It's the same as in former German Democratic Republic (with its famous Stasi). In all cases it is to prevent any challenge to the ruling elite or in the terminology of neoliberal "color revolutions" prevent  "regime change", unless it is initiated by more powerful foreign three letter agencies and significantly higher level of financial resources (that's why three letter agencies of newly minted xUSSR state in several cases were unable to prevent color revolutions of their territories).  

In other words surveillance and intelligence agencies are part and parcel of the totalitarian state. And Sheldon Volin actually created a term for such "pseudo-democratic" regime --  inverted totalitarism.  Unlike  classic totalitarism it generally tend to avoid using violence  to crush the dissidents and opposition to the current elite. More "soft" subversive methods are enough. In this sense the  story of crushing "of "Occupy Wall Street" movement is a testament of their efficiency. 

State actors and well funded terrorist organization are a difficult nut to crack.  Any "custom" encrypted communication is far more difficult for intercepting party to decode, then "standard" encryption methods.  Some encryption methods virtually guarantee that it is impossible without stealing the key. Even detecting the fact of communication for such parties nowadays is very difficult as it can be hidden in  some "carrier" transmission (steganography) or split into multiple channels.   Those who have access to technology and to "know how" including the most recent exploits are well armed to resist attempt to intercept their communication. That includes most powerful foreign states. 

That means that NSA has great difficulties intercepting and decoding traffic that is intended to be hidden from state actors.  Modern encryption systems such One-Time-Pad virtually guarantee that you get the "insider information" of the pad used (typically from a mole) they are impenetrable. Even regular encryption methods can be enhanced by additional step of compressing the files transmitted (which by and large eliminates redundancy if done properly and do not leave "tell" sign  of the method encryption used) . Decoding is easier when standard algorithms with possible backdoors are used but  even in this case I have doubts (Triple DEC).  That's why attempts to compensate this deficiency are being developed and one obvious path is intercepting regular citizen communication  of foreign countries which are considered to be unfriendly or adversarial to current the US foreign policy goals (which is the expansion and maintenance of global the Us-led neoliberal empire).

But the situation with  "open" traffic is completely different. Million of people outside the USA use Facebook, Amazon, Gmail and similar platforms. Which makes them a low hanging fruit and here NSA is the king of the hill.  Government officials also sometimes use regular  email and social sites (see Hillary Clinton email scandal). So intelligence agencies were provided with an important opening (and it might well be that the dramatic growth  of Webmail has something to do with their interests)

At the same time the abundance of information, as Biney mentioned, creates another problem --  the problem of "drinking from a fire hose" -- they tend to collect too much information and are swamped with the volume.  Of cause correlation of open traffic of "suspicious persons" can reveal some hidden information, but this is a pretty expensive undertaking, because by definition (unless this is Hillary Clinton ;-) those persons are aware that they are watched, typically are trained to avoid surveillance (including electronic) and behave accordingly.  for example General Petraeus used an interesting method to communicate with his biographer and mistress (The Washington Post) :

They wrote their "intimate messages" as draft e-mails in a shared Gmail account, according to the AP, allowing them to see one anothers' messages while leaving a much fainter data trail. When messages are sent and received, both accounts record the transmission as well as such metadata as the IP addresses on either end, something the two seemed to be seeking to avoid. 

Petraeus and Broadwell apparently used a trick, known to terrorists and teen-agers alike, to conceal their email traffic, one of the law enforcement officials said.

Rather than transmitting emails to the other's inbox, they composed at least some messages and instead of transmitting them, left them in a draft folder or in an electronic "dropbox," the official said. Then the other person could log onto the same account and read the draft emails there. This avoids creating an email trail that is easier to trace.

With the power of modern computers, decoys and steganography offer almost unlimited possibility to obscure the traffic. 

The real questions about NSA activities


Concern about the NSA assault on our privacy is no paranoid fantasy. In the words of an agency PowerPoint slide released by Snowden, the goal is to "collect it all", "process it all" and "know it all". The massive surveillance program is a clear violation of the Forth amendment prohibiting "unreasonable searches" of "persons, houses, papers, and effects" without "probable cause."

- Gene Epstein. "In defence of Snowden",
review of "No Place to Hide" Barrons, Jan 5, 2015, p 17

According to UN Human Right Council Report (17 April 2013) innovations in technology not only have increased the possibilities for communication and protections of free expression and opinion, enabling anonymity, rapid information-sharing and cross-cultural dialogues. They also simultaneously increased opportunities for State surveillance and interventions into individuals’ private communications facilitating to transformation of the state into National Security State, a form of corporatism characterized by continued and encompassing all forms of electronic communication electronic surveillance of all citizens.

Now every Internet or smartphone users probably understand that since probably 2003 or even earlier that that he/she is watched 24 by 7, or as Soviet dissidents called it "Was placed under the [surveillance] dome". Some question that we need to ask ourselves are:

All-in-all it's a good time to smell the coffee and talk about the rise of a new mutation of totalitarism (or may be even neofascism -- as it is, essentially, the merger of corporate and state interests) in the US after 9/11. That's exactly what this "Internet-inspired" flavor of total surveillance due to modern technical capabilities means. There is also distinct shadow of STASI in all those activities. And some countries got into similar trap before, so nothing is new under the sun. As Reinhold Niebuhr noted:

"Communism is a vivid object lesson in the monstrous consequences of moral complacency about the relation of dubious means to supposedly good ends."

There is actually little difference between total surveillance as practiced by NSA and what was practiced by three letters agencies of Eastern block dictatorships such as STASI and KGB. The key goal in both cases is protection and preservation of power of existing elite against the will of common people. So this is more about oppression of 99.9% from top 0.1% then surveillance per see.

Militarization of cyberspace makes Internet a very dangerous medium

We should view Snowden revelations in a larger context. Much of what he revealed about militarization of cyberspace was already known at the time when Flame and Stuxnet worms were discovered in 2011. He just dot the i's and cross the t's , so speak. As a result of his revelations, as The National Interest noted:

An increasing number of adversaries and even allies are coming to believe that the United States is militarizing cyberspace — and that impression of hubris and irresponsibility is beginning to have a real-world impact.

...The Snowden leaks have brought Stuxnet, the U.S.-Israeli program allegedly used to attack Iranian computer systems, back into public debate — and reminded us that the real damage of the Snowden revelations will be international.

...the perception that the United States has become a danger to the global internet is a cause for concern. In their understandable anger at the considerable damage Snowden has done (in the near term at the very least) to the operations of NSA and their allies, U.S. security officials should not lose sight of this fact.

Snowden’s claims build on the Stuxnet revelations. In doing so, they reinforce an impression of overbearing U.S. cyberpower (military and commercial) being used irresponsibly. That is strikingly at odds with the U.S. self-image as a standard bearer of internet freedom and “borderless” exchange, but it is a view that resonates around the world.

In fact the USA policies are stimulating economic and political rivals around the globe to organize and present unified front against this new and dangerous form of total surveillance. As well as implement similar domestic systems. In other words a new arm race started.

As methods and infrastructure of those activities are now revealed, the genie is out of the bottle and can't be put back -- the US now should expect the same or worse treatment from other nations. Which can be no less inventive, or even more inventive the USA specialists in this area. And in this new arm race economically weaker nations actually has some leverage. Blowback, a CIA term for unintended consequences of foreign, military, or clandestine policies, can be similar to the blowback of politically organizing Islamic radicals to fight Soviets in Afghanistan in the past.

Nemesis, the goddess of retribution and vengeance, the punisher of pride and hubris, probably already waits patiently for her meeting with the NSA brass.

Blowback can irreparably damage the ability of the United States to obtain crucial information in foreign environments that are poorly understood in Washington. The cultural divide that exists when operating away from home means that CIA and NSA frequently work overseas through a network of liaison contacts. This in theory limits their activity, but it broadens their ability to collect information that can only be plausibly obtained by a local organization with local capabilities. Though nearly everyone also operates clandestinely outside the parameters of the established relationships insofar as it is possible or expedient to do so, there is an awareness that being caught can cause grave damage to the liaison relationship. Because being exposed is nearly always very painful, such operations are normally limited to collection of critical information that the liaison partner would be unwilling to reveal.

So while it might be comforting to claim that “everyone does it” at least some of the time, and it may even be true that local spy agencies sometimes collaborated with NSA, the United States has a great deal to lose by spying on its friends. This is particularly true as Washington, uniquely, spies on everyone, all the time, even when there is no good reason for doing so.

NSA Blowback The American Conservative

Centralization of user activities on sites like Facebook, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, LinkedIn, with email account mainly at Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo mail along with many positive aspects has tremendous negative side effects. The most significant is that it created a way too easy opportunity both for those organizations as well as government agencies and large corporations to data mine email and Web communications of millions of Americans critical about government (see Total control: keywords in your posts that might trigger surveillance) and all foreigners who use those services (and that includes a significant part of European population and Russia, who have Gmail, Facebook or Yahoo accounts). The history of "total surveillance" suggests that it tends to be abused. It is also huge, irreparable breach on trust in relation to allies. Closely resembles the situation in family when wife or husband learn that the other hired detective to snoop on you.

The analogy with KGB surveillance of dissidents (the Soviet term for total surveillance was "to be under the 'dome' ") and, especially, Stasi (viewing the film "The Lives of Others" might help to understand the phenomenon of "total surveillance") are way too close. At the same time there is an important difference: while such regime does mean indirect (and pretty effective) intimidation of dissidents, cases of prosecution on the base of the those data are either few or non existent, which is a big difference with KGB or Stasi practice. The latter aggressively pursued those who got in their net trying either to convert them into informers or charge them with the some suitable article of Criminal Code. In some cases that practice lead to suicides. So here we can talk more properly talk about total surveillance an instrument of Inverted Totalitarism, or totalitarism in velvet gloves.

We are talking about "passive total surveillance" and temporary (which might be several years or your lifetime) storage of all intercepted data. But in a way, Senator McCartney was probably right about "Communists sympathizers" and communist infiltration, he just was completely wrong about who they are ;-).

Every Breath You Take

Ich bin ein Berliner
J. F. Kennedy

The famous The Police hit Every Breath You Take should probably be the theme song for the NSA. As Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us in his famous speech:

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

Snowden revelations are not something new. The only real revelation was how much of it was going on domestically and gory details of such activities. Before 9/11 the NSA was basically prohibited from operating domestically. Of course it violates those prohibitions, but there were no systematic internal, all encompassing technical surveillance infrastructure in place. Now it is build and is deployed nation-wide. And that's a big change, big difference. Due to "novel" interpretation of a few provisions in the Patriot Act they created domestic dragnet which encompass most types of Internet communications. In addition to intercepting more then 70% of Internet traffic they also enjoy direct access to major cloud providers.

Total continued surveillance even without taking any action on collected data is totalitarian by its nature as it put severe restrictions of the freedom of expression. And like in the USSR, it does change people behavior on the Web. People start thinking about consequences and this page is one of attempts to collect information that might help you to see "bigger picture".

The key mechanism here, well known to those who used to live in the USSR before its dissolution is that people do react on the fact that everything they email, visit, buy on Amazon, etc is registered in giant database outside of their control. Internet will never be the same for most people after Snowden revelations...

The key mechanism here, well known to those who used to live in the USSR before its dissolution is that people do react on the fact that everything they email, visit, buy on Amazon, etc is registered in giant database outside of their control. Internet will never be the same for most people after Snowden revelations...

For example, no one in sound mind can now trust "cloud services" provided by Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, etc. So attractiveness of Gmail, Hotmail and such are now different, then it was before. And separation of mail accounts between "junk mail" account and important mail account is something to think about. With the latter never in the cloud. In a way excessive using cloud services from a fashionable trend now became kind of indication of a person stupidity.

In a way excessive using of cloud services from a fashionable trend now became an indication of a person stupidity. There is no real justification of providing all your emails and address book to strangers who can abuse this information without your knowledge.

At the same time it is stupid to dramatize the situation. Still, what is really striking is the grotesque disproportionally of all this NSA surveillance "superdome" to the task of keeping the country safe from foreign enemies (NSA statute is about watching foreign communications), begging obvious questions of institutional sanity and competence. They turned all their super powerful collection mechanisms inside the country and now they drink from a firehouse. That means that the results and possibilities of abuse are pretty much predictable. Too many false positives create real danger of not to picking up weak signal. So the other question is "Who the hell made these decisions?" That's a lot of taxpayers money and I am not sure that they are well spend.

As for breach of privacy anyone with connected to Internet PC,  the first thing to understand that if somebody stores data in the cloud they should not expect any privacy, unless they encrypt them. Expecting that your unencrypted data are private is a sign of personal stupidity, no more no less. If somebody, who is keeping his address book in Google assumes that it remains private, that his own illusion. That has nothing to do with the reality.

And it not that only NSA threatens our privacy. After all there are millions of PC users that have computer(s) infected by spyware, which turns them into zombies, externally controlled monitoring devices. And such software BTW can pick up and offload, or encrypt for ransom all your data. I do not see much protest over this situation iether. Microsoft greed and stupidity is one reason for this dismal situation, but essentially any OS is vulnerable if enough money is invested in finding exploits.  And NSA actually created a market for such exploits. Now there are multiple "security firms" that do nothing then find "zero day" exploits and sell them to the highest bidder (which is of course government agencies).  Does not this reminds you 'war on drugs"?

In a way, any networked computer is an unsecure computer and should be treated as such. See Privacy is Dead – Get Over It. The same thing can be mentioned about a cell phone that is outside some metal box. That's two basic "laws of security" in the current environment.

But more important problem here is not snooping per se, but its interaction with self-profiling that you provide via social sites. If you are too enthusiastic about Facebook or Google++ or any similar site and engage regularly and indiscriminately in this "vanity fair" activity that simply means Privacy is Dead – Get Over It. You killed it yourself. The essence of the situation was exposed well in a humorous form in the following Amazon review of Orwell's novel 1984

Bjřrn Anders See all my reviews

This is not an instruction manual!, June 14, 2013

This review is from: 1984: 60th-Anniversary Edition (Plume) (Paperback)

Note to US Congress and house of representatives: This is a fictional book, not an instruction manual...

Now we know what would a perfect prototype of Bid Brother ;-). The song (Every Breath You Take ) should probably be the theme song for the NSA. And not only NSA, but its counterparts in other parts of the globe; I think, other things equal, citizens of some other countries would greatly prefer NSA to their domestic counterparts.

Cell phones, laptops, Facebook, Skype, chat-rooms: all allow the NSA and other similar agencies to build a dossier, a detailed profile of a target and anyone associated with him/her. And the number of people caught up in this dragnet can be huge. The NSA say it needs all this data to help prevent another terrorist attack like 9/11. They lie. In order to find the needle in the haystack, they argue, they need access to the whole haystack. But one interesting side effect is that now they are drinking from the fire hose, so to speak.

The power of meta data collection

Another interesting side-effect of the Snowden disclosures that the term ‘metadata’ became a common word in English language. With the growing understanding that metadata includes enough personal information to built a detailed profile of a person without even listening into content of communications. This technology was invented in Iraq war for fighting insurgents (were phone companies were controlled by US) and now is applied at home. In fact, by just using electronic communications, you are sharing a lot more personal information than you think. It's a reflection of a fact that it is very cheap to collect and analyses information about your electronic communications. The digital revolution which led to an explosion in cell phone and internet use, also led to an explosion of snooping after you by the governments.

We need to distinguish "total collection" of data from "total analysis" (or creation of dossiers on everybody as was practiced by STASI and friends). Raw data contain both "signal" and "noise". Analysis or data mining of those raw data is the process of extraction of useful signal from the noise. Of course we should be so naive that to assume that "signal" is related to purely terrorist activities. As recently published documents had shown, the NSA interests are much wider ;-). In bald terms, it sets out its mission:

“Leverage unique key corporate partnerships to gain access to high-capacity international fiber-optic cables, switches and/or routes throughout the world.”

Along with major fiber-optic cables in the US, the NSA has access to data gathered by close intelligence partners such as Britain’s GCHQ.

Sometimes it appear to me that like Uncle Sam got "red disease" and now is trying to imitate "total surveillance" mantra of KGB, STASI and similar agencies on a new technological level. And the key lesson from Soviet experience is fully applicable to the current situation in the USA: when government consider everybody as a potential enemy you better watch your back. And having a cyberstooge following your every step more closely that it was possible for STASI spooks and informers is something you need to react to. Reading your address book, mail, list of books that you bought or borrowed from the library, analyzing your circuit of friends is what STASI was really good at. And it might well be that some unemployed specialists have found a new territory to apply their substantial talents.

The Snowden documents show that the NSA runs these surveillance programs through “partnerships” with major US telecom and internet companies. That means that if you are customer of those major telecom and Internet companies you are like a bug under the microscope.

It is important to understand that metadata of your communications will always be exposed (it other words you are always walking "naked" on the Internet) because those new surveillance capabilities are immanent properties of Internet protocols, as we known it. There is no way to encrypt connection metadata: this is technically impossible unless you owns a vast private VPN network (some large corporations do), but even in this case I have doubts. Even snail-mail metadata are collected (and from 50th to 80th letters were opened and selectively copied by CIA). Diplomatic mail might still be secure, but that's about it.

Technological blowback

Like with any new development there are countervailing trends that after Snowden revelation went in overdrive and can seriously affect NSA capabilities.

One is switching to encrypting communication with most websites such as YouTube. That prevent simple harvesting of video that you watched from HTTP logs (but does not prevent harvesting -- it can be done using other methods)

The second is usage of software like Tor, although I think all connection to Tor sites are closely monitored by NSA.

The third is usage of your own cashing DNS proxy to limit number of DNS requests you make.  

I also think that all those development might give steganography a huge boost.

The other areas of technology that might get huge boost due to Snowden revelations is "Browsing imitating internet robots" technology which permit to drown NSA collection devices in spam -- fake accesses to web sites that is very difficult to distinguish from real browsing, but that make all statistical metrics applied to your Web traffic useless.  For example top visited pages became completely bogus. 

Currently this requires some level of technical sophistication and available mostly to programmers and system administrators interested in "beating NSA back". Programs that have those capabilities are often marketed as proxy logs replayers,  or Apache logs replayers or debugging tools. See for example  Load Testing with JMeter Part 3 - Replaying Apache Logs and Charles Web Debugging Proxy  ( and http - Replaying a Charles proxy session and recording the results - Stack Overflow ). Actually good old Expect can do wonders here if logs are converted into expect scripts. Especially in combination with Javascript (Scalable, Flexible Performance Testing Replaying web server log)

Another danger to society: Lord Acton warning as applied to NSA

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely".

Lord Acton(1834–1902)

As Lord Acton(1834–1902) noted long before NSA started collecting all Internet communications "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely". The history of "total surveillance" suggests that this is unavoidable side effect on the very institution that conducts: such an institution tends to escape the control of civil society and became a shadow power, the element of "deep state". 

The first grave consequence of total surveillance is that it tends to be abused. The history of "total surveillance" suggests that this is unavoidable side effect on the very institution that conducts: such an institution tends to escape the control of civil society and became a shadow power, the element of "deep state".  

And the ability to intercept electronic communications gives those who are in charge of such collection  tremendous political power. Please remember that J. Edgar Hoover was director of FBI very long time partially because he dug a lot of dirt on politicians of his time including both Kennedys. According to President Harry S Truman, Hoover transformed the FBI into his private secret police force. He used the FBI to harass political dissenters and activists, to amass secret files on political leaders, and to collect evidence using illegal methods. Essentially for half of the century he and his organization were out of control "state within the state" and nobody could do anything about it. Only after his death some measures were taken.

It's not that expanding bureaucracy per se is a problem. I doubt that those in the bureaucracy of those agencies do not think about larger consequences for societies of their attempts to expand their sphere of influence. It is much worse: they definitely knew about possible consequences, but go "full forward' anyway preferring job promotions and expansion of their influence. Like bureaucrats often do, they betrayed their nations like nomenklatura betrayed the people of the USSR (with a similar fig leaf of nice slogans about freedom as a smoke screen for pretty nefarious activities).

Elimination of possibility of opposition to the current regime

In case of NSA, this data on you, or particular political or social movement (for example "Occupy Wall Street") can be mined at any time, and what is even worse can be used to destroy any new political movement. And please remember that NSA is a just part of military-industrial complex, an entity that has some interesting political characteristics related to the term "the acquisition of unwarranted influence" . As Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us in his famous farewell speech (which introduced the term "military-industrial complex"):

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

People seldom understand that all three letter agencies are not just part of military industrial complex, but are the key parts. While ability of weapon manufactures to buy or just simply control Congress members matters, three-letter agencies is where "unwarranted influence" fully materialize. By definition they are out of control and as any bureaucracy they want to grow. That was clear to Senator Frank Church who stated on August 17, 1975 NBC's Meet the Press:

In the need to develop a capacity to know what potential enemies are doing, the United States government has perfected a technological capability that enables us to monitor the messages that go through the air. Now, that is necessary and important to the United States as we look abroad at enemies or potential enemies. We must know, at the same time, that capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left such is the capability to monitor everything—telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.

If this government ever became a tyrant, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology.

I don’t want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.[11]

We can applaud his personal courage, but at this point it does not matter. The horse has left the barn. As sgtdoom commented The Guardian article NSA analysts 'willfully violated' surveillance systems, agency admits (August 24, 2013):

...let us be realistic and not fall for the usual story of this being a discrete event (all the latest surveillance, that is).

This dates back to the founding of the Financial-Intelligence-Complex during and in the aftermath of World War II, by the Wall Streeters for their super-rich bosses, the Rockefellers, Morgans, du Ponts, Mellons, Harrimans (now Mortimers), etc.

The most important factor that needs to be taken into account is the total surveillance make organized opposition to the regime impossible. So welcome to nicer, gentler, but no less totalitarian world of 1984 (aka "Back in USSR"). The key equation is very simple:

total surveillance = total control

That simple fact was well understood by various dictators and totalitarian regimes long ago, but none of them has had even a tiny fraction of technical capabilities NSA has now. I think one of the reason that Occupy movement completely dissipated so fast was that they were like a bug under microscope of the government. And government want them to stop harassing Wall Street sharks for their 2008 crisis misdeeds.

Instilling fear

Another important effect of "total surveillance" is instilling fear in the citizenry; fear that our thoughts, words and relationships are subject of interception and analysis; fear that all the content we access on the internet will be exposed. This fear can cause us to withdraw from public spaces like producing this website, censor our communications, refrain from accessing certain sites, buying certain books, etc.

An important effect of "total surveillance" is instilling fear in the citizenry; fear that our thoughts, words and relationships are subject of interception and analysis; fear that all the content we access on the internet will be exposed. This fear can cause us to withdraw from public spaces like producing this website, censor our communications, refrain from accessing certain sites, buying certain books, etc.

In other words understanding that you are watched on 24 x 7 basis modifies behavior and makes self-censorship your second nature exactly the same way as in any totalitarian state, but without any physical coercion. Here is one telling comment from Secret to Prism program Even bigger data seizure

wtpayne

Indeed: The intentions and motivations of the agencies in question; the degree of oversight and so on; is almost irrelevant. To a certain extent, I am content to believe that the intentions of the perpetrators is good; and that the oversight and abuse prevention systems that they have in place are strong.

However, none of that matters if people self-censor; if people worry, not about what the government of today will find objectionable, but what the government of tomorrow will not like. In effect, we end up censoring ourselves from a hypothetical worst-case future government.

Loss of privacy as a side effect of cloud-based Internet technologies

“Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”

Maybe Dante had some serious vision.

The Guardian

We will concentrate on technical side of the this operation, trying to understand how much information can be stored about a regular "Joe Doer" based on technical capabilities that are available. Let's assume that we deal with mostly "passive surveillance": collection and storage of vast amount of Internet traffic on special computers using either mirrored ports on the key routers or special access to key providers of cloud services.

We can probably assume that several layers of storage of those data exist:

Technology development creates new types of communications as well as new types of government surveillance mechanisms (you can call them "externalities" of new methods of communication). Those externalities, especially low cost of mass surveillance (Wikipedia), unfortunately, bring us closer to the Electronic police state (Wikipedia) or National Security State whether we want it or not. A crucial element of such a state is that its data gathering, sorting and correlation on individual citizens are continuous, cover a large number of citizens and all foreigners, and those activities are seldom exposed.

Cloud computing as a technology that presuppose storing the data "offsite" have several security problems, and one of them is that it is way too much "surveillance friendly" (Misunderstanding of issues of security and trust). With cloud computing powers that be do not need to do complex job of recreating TCP/IP conversations on router level to capture, say, all the emails. You can access Web-based email mailbox directly with all mails in appropriate mailboxes and spam filtered. This is a huge saving of computational efforts ;-).

It means two things:

It puts you essentially in a situation of a bug under microscope on Big Brother. And please understand that modern storage capabilities are such that it is easy to store several years of at least some of your communications, especially emails.

The same is true about your phone calls metadata, credit card transactions and your activities on major shopping sites such as Amazon, and eBay. But here you can do almost nothing. Still I think our support of "brick" merchants is long overdue. Phones are traditional target of government three letter agencies (WSJ) since the WWII. Smartphones with GPS in addition to land line metadata also provide your current geo location. Some point out that using basic phone slightly preferable to smartphone (both in a sense of absence of geodata and the possibility to install spyware on it -- there is simply no RAM to do anything sophisticated). But I do not think you can do much here

I think our support of "brick" merchants is long overdue. And paying cash in the store in not something that you should try to avoid because credit card returns you 1% of the cost of the purchase. This 1% is actually a privacy tax ;-)

Total continued surveillance even without taking any action on collected data is totalitarian by its nature as it put severe restrictions of the freedom of expression and it changes people behavior on the Web. In this sense, Senator McCartney was probably right about "Communists sympathizers" and "KGB infiltration", he just was completely wrong about who they are ;-).

The centralization of searches on Google (and to a lesser extent on Bing -- the latter is standard with new Windows installation) are also serious threats to your privacy. Here diversification between three or more search engines might help a bit.  But limited your time behind the computer is probably more efficient. Generally here I do not think much can be done. Growth of popularity of Duckduckgo suggests that people are vary of Google monopolizing the search, but it is unclear how big are the advantages. You can also save searches as many searches are recurrent and generally you can benefit from using your personal Web proxy with private cashing DNS server. This way to can "shrink" your radar picture, but that's about it. If you are conserved with you "search" profile, you can replay some searches to distort it. In any case,  search engines are now an integral part of our civilization, whether we want it or not.

Collection of your searches for the last several years can pretty precisely outline sphere of your interests. And again technical constrains on storage of data no longer exists: how we can talk about privacy at the age of 3 TB harddrives for $99. There are approximately 314 million of the US citizens and residents, so storing one gigabyte of information for each citizen requires just 400 petabytes.  Which is clearly within the current capabilities of storage technology. For comparison

Films to Understand the Phenomenon

The analogy with KGB surveillance of dissidents (the term was "to be under the "kolpak" (dome) ") and, especially, Stasi (viewing the film "The Lives of Others" might help to understand the phenomenon of "total surveillance") are way too close. And psychological effects of anticipating that you are under total surveillance are well depicted in the final of the film The Conversation (1974) directed by famous Francis Ford Coppola

At the same time there is an important difference: while both regimes creates implicit intimidation and squash dissent, cases of prosecution on the base of the those data are either few or non existent. Which is a big difference with KGB or Stasi practice, which aggressively pursued those dissidents who got in their net, trying either to convert them into informers, or prosecute them using the existing articles of Criminal Code. In some cases that led to suicides. So here we can talk more about Inverted Totalitarism, a velvet gloves mode of suppressing of dissent.

Your email in toxic cloud

Still it is now dramatically more clear then before that centralization of email accounts and user activities on sites like Facebook, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, LinkedIn, with email accounts mainly at Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo mail is far from being a positive development. Along with many positive aspects has tremendous negative side effects. Essentially it turns users into spies on themselves in a way that would be a dream by Stasi. The most significant is that it created an easy opportunities to data mine email databases both for those organizations as well as various government agencies and, possibly (in a limited way for special payment) by large corporations.

Those tendencies probably should be at least resisted, but we do not have means to reverse them.

Attempts to data mine email and Web communications of millions of Americans critical about government (see Total control: keywords in your posts that might trigger surveillance) and all foreigners who use those services (and that includes a significant part of European population and xUSSR area, who often use Gmail, Facebook or Yahoo accounts) means that the country became a National Security State. With all relevant consequences of such a transformation.

And interest in content of your "cloud based" email is not limited to the government:

A sweeping Wall Street Journal investigation in 2010 found that the biggest U.S. websites have technologies tracking people who visit their pages, sometimes upwards of 100 tools per site. One intrusive string of code even recorded users’ keystrokes and transmitted them to a data-gathering firm for analysis.

“A digital dossier over time is built up about you by that site or third-party service or data brokers,” says Adam Thierer, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center’s Technology Policy Program at George Mason University. “They collect these data profiles and utilize them to sell you or market you better services or goods.”

This is what powers the free Internet we know and love; users pay nothing or next to nothing for services — and give up pieces of personal information for advertisers in exchange. If you search for a Mini Cooper on one website, you’re likely to see ads elsewhere for lightweight, fuel-efficient cars. Companies robotically categorize users with descriptions such as “urban upscale” to “rural NASCAR” to tailor the advertising experience, says Jim Harper of the libertarian Cato Institute. “They’ll use ZIP codes and census data to figure out what their lifestyle profile is.”

Tracking your Web access

Most of the site you visit those days was found via search engine, often Google. But Google is interested in more then search terms you use and sometimes plays with you a nasty trick: "Google may choose to exhibit its search results in the form of a 'URL redirector,'" reads Google's main privacy policy. That means that any time it wishes Google can spy on your Web activity:

"When Google uses a URL redirector, if you click on a URL from a search result, information about the click is sent to Google."

Few people check the URL before clicking on Google search results, so in a way this is perfect spying tool.

But there is another powerful spying tool in Google arsenal -- Google toolbar, and I am not sure that all those trick were not reused in Google browser. Google Toolbar sends all user clicks to Google, if advanced mode is enabled (and many people do enable it because they want to have spelling correction available which, conveniently for Google, belongs to the set of advanced features). This way you voluntarily subscribe to a 24x7 monitoring of your web activity using spyware that is installed on your computer with your consent. For the same reason recent smartphones fashion looks greatly misguided. It is better to use regular phone, then smartphone, and the last thing you probably want on your smartphone is Android OS or iOS, or windows 8 OS. In some deep way unlocked Nokia 1280 looks now much more attractive (and is way cheaper ;-).

Google Toolbar in advanced mode is another common snooping tool about your activities. It send each URL you visit to Google and you can be sure that from Google several three letter agencies get this information as well. After all Google has links to them from the very beginning:

Effects on behavior

As soon as they realize that they are watched, people start thinking about consequences and this article is a pretty telling (albeit slightly paranoid ;-) illustration of the effect. The key mechanism here, well known to those who used to live in the USSR before its dissolution is that people preemptively change their behavior, if they know or suspect that they got "under the dome" of government surveillance, that all their emails are intercepted, all web site visits recorded, anything they buy on Amazon, etc is registered in giant database outside of their control.

The angle under which will we try to cover the story is: the situation is such and such, now what? What are the most appropriate actions and strategy of behavior of people who are concerned about their privacy and no longer trust "cloud services" provided by Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, etc ( and those who trust those providers should probably stop reading at this point). It is impossible to close all those accounts. But some can and should be closed; for example POP3 mail can replace web mail for all "important" mail; this way you avoid "cloud storage" of all your important correspondence. It is impossible not to use search engines, but you can chose which search language to use. It is impractical not to use smartphone and for Android phone you can't avoid registration -- that's the only way to get updates from Google, but you can root the phone, remove some snooping components and use Firefox instead of Chrome. But not it is clear that if mobile web browsing and checking email on your phone is not your thing you are better off with a very simple phone such as Nokia 1280.

The first and the most obvious "change we can believe in" is that we need to change our attitude toward cloud services and especially cloud services from large providers. Now the most reasonable assumption is that most national cloud providers including major retailers are in bed with the government three letter agencies. So you need to be careful what you browse for on Amazon, similarly to what you write from Gmail and Hotmail.

In a way, excessive usage of cloud services from a fashionable trend now became kind of indication of a person stupidity. It is important to understand that for anybody more or less competent with computers (or willing to learn), anything Facebook or Gmail or Hotmail can offer, regular small ISP account with Cpanel can offer with less risk for your privacy for, say, $5 a month or less. And your privacy definitely cost more then $60 a year.

In a way excessive using of cloud services from a fashionable trend now became an indication of a person stupidity. For anybody more or less competent with computers (or willing to learn), anything Facebook or Gmail can offer, regular ISP account with Cpanel can offer too with less risk for your privacy.

At the same time it is also stupid to over-dramatize the situation and isolate yourself by abandoning Internet communications and restricting usage of cell-phone. The reasonable hypothesis is that today’s surveillance is a side effect of new technological developments and it is a new fact of life. It is just a new level of information gathering, which has been going on since the Byzantine Empire. And it is still limited by technological capabilities of sifting through mass of communications. But at the same time, quantity does at one point turns into quality, so the danger is real and as such could providers are suspect by definition. In no way they are new level of technological development. In sense they are one step forward, two sets back.

Also being engages in foreign wars has an interesting side effect that technologies invented come home and used against citizens (naked capitalism). That's actually the origin of indiscriminant collection of metadata used now.

But at the same time we need to understand that there are millions of PC users that have computer(s) infected by spyware, which can make your computer a zombie. And world did not perished due to that.

Still the key lesson is unmistakable: from now on, any networked computer is an unsecure computer that can't be trusted really confidential information, unless it is isolated by firewall and proxy. And if we assume that it is unsecured computer, them it should be treated it as such. The first step is that all confidential data should be deleted and moved to removable storage. In case you need to work with it as much as possible should be done on non-networked computers, limiting the exposure of your data to bare minimum. And the less powerful computer you use for processing you confidential data, the best; the less powerful OS you use, the best (what about using Windows 98 or DOS for those who can still remember it ? ;-). From now on "retro-computing" movement now is inherently linked with the issues of security and privacy and might get a new life.

This retro-computing idea might create a new life for abandoned computers that are in excess in almost every family ;-) See Privacy is Dead – Get Over It. The same thing can be mentioned about a cell phone, which should be as simple as possible. Not all people really benefit from browsing the Web from their smartphones. If you are really paranoid you can think storing you cell phone at home in a metal box ;-).

In other words there are two new "laws of computer security":

But more important problem here is not snooping per se, but voluntarily self-profiling that you provide via social sites. If you are way too enthusiastic about Facebook or Google++ or any similar site and engage regularly and indiscriminately in this "vanity fair" activity you put yourselves voluntarily under surveillance. So not only Privacy is Dead – Get Over It. You killed it yourself. The essence of the situation was exposed well in a humorous form in the following Amazon review of Orwell's novel 1984

Bjřrn Anders See all my reviews

This is not an instruction manual!, June 14, 2013

This review is from: 1984: 60th-Anniversary Edition (Plume) (Paperback)

Note to US Congress and house of representatives: This is a fictional book, not an instruction manual...

BTW just after Prism program was revealed in June 2013, Nineteen Eighty-Four became a bestseller on Amazon. As of June 15, 2013 it was #87 in Fiction. If you never have a chance to read it, please do it now. and again, if you think that this revelation of Prism program is a big news, you probably are mistaken. Many people understood that as soon new technical capabilities of surveillance are available they are instantly put to use. As John H. Summers noted in his review (The Deciders - New York Times) of John Mill "Power elite":

...official secrecy steadily expanded its reach.

"For the first time in American history, men in authority are talking about an 'emergency' without a foreseeable end,"

Mills wrote in a sentence that remains as powerful and unsettling as it was 50 years ago.

"Such men as these are crackpot realists: in the name of realism they have constructed a paranoid reality all their own."

Adding insult to injury: Self-profiling

Facebook has nothing without people
silly enough to exchange privacy for photosharing

The key problem with social sites is that many people voluntarily post excessive amount of personal data about themselves, including keeping their photo archives online, etc. So while East Germany analog of the Department of Homeland Security called Ministry for State Security (Stasi) needed to recruit people to spy about you, now you yourself serves as a informer voluntarily providing all the tracking information about your activities ;-).

Scientella, palo alto

...Facebook always had a very low opinion of peoples intelligence - and rightly so!

I can tell you Silicon Valley is scared. Facebook's very existence depends upon trusting young persons, their celebrity wannabee parents and other inconsequential people being prepared to give up their private information to Facebook.

Google, now that SOCIAL IS DEAD, at least has their day job also, of paid referral advertising where someone can without divulging their "social" identity, and not linking their accounts, can look for a product on line and see next to it some useful ads.

But Facebook has nothing without people silly enough to exchange privacy for photosharing.

... ... ...

Steve Fankuchen, Oakland CA

Cook, Brin, Gates, Zuckerberg, et al most certainly have lawyers and public relations hacks that have taught them the role of "plausible deniability."

Just as in the government, eventually some low or mid-level flunkie will likely be hung out to dry, when it becomes evident that the institution knew exactly what was going on and did nothing to oppose it. To believe any of these companies care about their users as anything other than cash cows is to believe in the tooth fairy.

The amount of personal data which users of site like Facebook put voluntarily on the Web is truly astonishing. Now anybody using just Google search can get quit substantial information about anybody who actively using social sites and post messages in discussion he/she particulates under his/her own name instead of a nickname. Just try to see what is available about you and most probably your jaw would drop...

This is probably right time for the users of social sites like Facebook, Google search, and Amazon (that means most of us ;-) to think a little bit more about the risks we are exposing ourselves. We all should became more aware about the risks involved as well as real implications of the catch phase Privacy is Dead – Get Over It.

This is probably right time for the users of social sites like Facebook, Google search, and Amazon (that means most of us ;-) to think a little bit more about the risks we are exposing ourselves.

As Peter Ludlow noted in NYT (The Real War on Reality):

If there is one thing we can take away from the news of recent weeks it is this: the modern American surveillance state is not really the stuff of paranoid fantasies; it has arrived.

Citizens of foreign countries have accounts at Facebook and mail accounts in Gmail, hotmail and Yahoo mail are even in less enviable position then the US citizens. They are legitimate prey. No legal protection for them exists, if they use those services. That means that they voluntarily open all the information they posted about themselves to the US government in addition to their own government. And the net is probably more wide then information leaked by NSA contractor Edward Snowden suggests. For any large company, especially a telecom corporation, operating is the USA it might be dangerous to refuse to cooperate (Qwest case).

Former Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio, convicted of insider trading in April 2007, alleged in appeal documents that the NSA requested that Qwest participate in its wiretapping program more than six months before September 11, 2001. Nacchio recalls the meeting as occurring on February 27, 2001. Nacchio further claims that the NSA cancelled a lucrative contract with Qwest as a result of Qwest's refusal to participate in the wiretapping program.[13] Nacchio surrendered April 14, 2009 to a federal prison camp in Schuylkill, Pennsylvania to begin serving a six-year sentence for the insider trading conviction. The United States Supreme Court denied bail pending appeal the same day.[15]

It is not the case of some special evilness of the US government. It simply is more agile to understand and capitalize on those new technical opportunities. It is also conveniently located at the center of Internet universe with most traffic is flowing via US owned or controlled routers (67% or more). But it goes without saying that several other national governments and a bunch of large corporations also try to mine this new gold throve of private information on citizens. Probably with less sophistication and having less financial resources.

In many cases corporations themselves are interested in partnership with the government. Here is one telling comment:

jrs says on June 8, 2013

Yea in my experience that’s how “public/private partnerships” really work:

  1. Companies DO need protection FROM the government. An ill-conceived piece of legislation can put a perfectly decent out of business. Building ties with the government is protection.
  2. Government represents a huge market and eventually becomes one of the top customers for I think most businesses (of course the very fact that a government agency is a main customer is often kept hush hush even within the company and something you are not supposed to speak of as an employee even though you are aware of it)
  3. Of course not every company proceeds to step 3 -- being basically an arm of the government but ..

That means that not only Chinese citizens already operate on the Internet without any real sense of privacy. Even if you live outside the USA the chances are high that you automatically profiled by the USA instead of or in addition to your own government. Kind of neoliberalism in overdrive mode: looks like we all are already citizens of a global empire (Let's call it " Empire of Peace" ) with the capital in Washington.

It is reasonable to assume that a massive eavesdropping apparatus now tracks at least an "envelope" of every electronic communication you made during your lifetime. No need for somebody reporting about you like in "old" totalitarian state like East Germany with its analog of the Department of Homeland Security called the Ministry for State Security (Stasi). So in this new environment, you are like Russians used to say about dissidents who got under KGB surveillance is always "under the dome". In this sense this is just an old vine in a new bottles. But the global scope and lifetime storage of huge amount of personal information for each and every citizen is something new and was made possible the first time in world history by new technologies.

It goes without saying that records about time, sender and receiver of all your phone calls, emails, Amazon purchases, credit card transactions, and Web activities for the last decade are stored somewhere in a database and not necessary only government computers. And that means that your social circle (the set of people you associate with), books and films that you bought, your favorite websites, etc can be easily deducted from those records.

That brings us to an important question about whether we as consumers should support such ventures as Facebook and Google++ which profile you and after several years have a huge amount of pretty private and pretty damaging information about you, information which can get into wrong hands.

Recent discoveries about Prism program: quantity turned into quality.

The most constructive approach to NSA is to view is a large government bureaucracy that expanded to the extent that quantity turned into quality.

Any large bureaucracy is a political coalition with the primary goal of preserving and enhancing of its own power, no matter what are official declarations. And if breaching your privacy helps they will do it. Which is what Bush government did after 9/11. The question is how much bureaucratic bloat resulting in classic dynamics of organizational self-aggrandizement and expansionism happened in NSA. We don't know how much we got in exchange for undermining internet security and US constitution. But we do know the intelligence establishment happily appropriated billions of dollars, had grown by thousand of employees and got substantial "face lift" and additional power within the executive branch of government. To the extent that something it looks like a shadow government. And now they will fight tooth-and nail to protect the fruits of a decade long bureaucratic expansion. Now it is an Intelligence Church and like any religious organization they do not need fact to support their doctrine and influence.

Typically there is an infighting and many factions within any large hierarchical organization, some with and some without factual awareness of the rest. Basically any hierarchical institution corporate, religious, military will abuse available resources for internal political infighting. And with NSA "big data" push this is either happening or just waiting to happen. This is a danger of any warrantless wiretapping program: it naturally convert itself into a saga of eroding checks and disappearing balance. And this already happened in the past, so in a way it is just act two of the same drama (WhoWhatWhy):

After media revelations of intelligence abuses by the Nixon administration began to mount in the wake of Watergate, NSA became the subject of Congressional ire in the form of the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities—commonly known as the “Church Committee” after its chair, Senator Frank Church (D-ID)—established on January 17, 1975. This ad-hoc investigative body found itself unearthing troves of classified records from the FBI, NSA, CIA and Pentagon that detailed the murky pursuits of each during the first decades of the Cold War. Under the mantle of defeating communism, internal documents confirmed the executive branch’s use of said agencies in some of the most fiendish acts of human imagination (including refined psychological torture techniques), particularly by the Central Intelligence Agency.

The Cold War mindset had incurably infected the nation’s security apparatus, establishing extralegal subversion efforts at home and brutish control abroad. It was revealed that the FBI undertook a war to destroy homegrown movements such as the Black Liberation Movement (including Martin Luther King, Jr.), and that NSA had indiscriminately intercepted the communications of Americans without warrant, even without the President’s knowledge. When confronted with such nefarious enterprises, Congress sought to rein in the excesses of the intelligence community, notably those directed at the American public.

The committee chair, Senator Frank Church, then issued this warning about NSA’s power:

That capability at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. Telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide. If this government ever became a tyranny, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back, because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology. I don’t want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capability that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.

The reforms that followed, as enshrined in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978, included the establishment of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC): a specially-designated panel of judges who are allowed to review evidence before giving NSA a warrant to spy on Americans (only in the case of overseas communication). Hardly a contentious check or balance, FISC rejected zero warrant requests between its inception in 1979 and 2000, only asking that two warrants be “modified” out of an estimated 13,000.

In spite of FISC’s rubberstamping, following 9/11 the Bush administration began deliberately bypassing the court, because even its minimal evidentiary standard was too high a burden of proof for the blanket surveillance they wanted. So began the dragnet monitoring of the American public by tapping the country’s major electronic communication chokepoints in collusion with the nation’s largest telecommunications companies.

When confronted with the criminal conspiracy undertaken by the Bush administration and telecoms, Congress confirmed why it retains the lowest approval rating of any major American institution by “reforming” the statute to accommodate the massive law breaking. The 2008 FISA Amendments Act [FAA] entrenched the policy of mass eavesdropping and granted the telecoms retroactive immunity for their criminality, withdrawing even the negligible individual protections in effect since 1979. Despite initial opposition, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama voted for the act as one of his last deeds in the Senate. A few brave (and unsuccessful) lawsuits later, this policy remains the status quo.

Similarly we should naturally expect that the notion of "terrorist" is flexible and in certain cases can be equal to "any opponent of regime". While I sympathize NYT readers reaction to this incident (see below), I think it is somewhat naive. They forget that they are living under neoliberal regime which like any rule of top 0.01% is afraid of and does not trust its own citizens. So massive surveillance program is a self-preservation measure which allow to crush or subvert the opposition at early stages. This is the same situation as existed with Soviet nomenklatura, with the only difference that Soviet nomenklatura was more modest pushing the USSR as a beacon of progress and bright hope of all mankind ;-). As Ron Paul noted:

Many of us are not so surprised.

Some of us were arguing back in 2001 with the introduction of the so-called PATRIOT Act that it would pave the way for massive US government surveillance—not targeting terrorists but rather aimed against American citizens. We were told we must accept this temporary measure to provide government the tools to catch those responsible for 9/11. That was nearly twelve years and at least four wars ago.

We should know by now that when it comes to government power-grabs, we never go back to the status quo even when the “crisis” has passed. That part of our freedom and civil liberties once lost is never regained. How many times did the PATRIOT Act need renewed? How many times did FISA authority need expanded? Why did we have to pass a law to grant immunity to companies who hand over our personal information to the government?

And while revealed sources of NSA Prism program include Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo and others major Internet players, that's probably just a tip of the iceberg. Ask yourself a question, why Amazon and VISA and MasterCard are not on the list? According to The Guardian:

The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants, according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian.

The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called Prism, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says.

... ... ...

Microsoft – which is currently running an advertising campaign with the slogan "Your privacy is our priority" – was the first, with collection beginning in December 2007. It was followed by Yahoo in 2008; Google, Facebook and PalTalk in 2009; YouTube in 2010; Skype and AOL in 2011; and finally Apple, which joined the program in 2012. The program is continuing to expand, with other providers due to come online.

Collectively, the companies cover the vast majority of online email, search, video and communications networks

... ... ...

A chart prepared by the NSA, contained within the top-secret document obtained by the Guardian, underscores the breadth of the data it is able to obtain: email, video and voice chat, videos, photos, voice-over-IP (Skype, for example) chats, file transfers, social networking details, and more.

So while the document does not list Amazon, but I would keep fingers crossed.

Questions that arise

To be aware about a situation you need to be able to formulate and answer key questions about it. The first and the most important question is whether the government is engaged in cyberstalking of law abiding citizens. Unfortunately the answer is definite yes, as oligarchy needs total control of prols. As a result National Security State rise to prominence as a dominant social organization of neoliberal societies, the societies which characterized by very high level of inequality.

But there are some additional, albeit less important questions. The answers to them determine utility or futility of small changes of our own behavior in view of uncovered evidence. Among possible set of such question I would list the following:

There are also some minor questions about efficiency of "total surveillance approach". Among them:

The other part of understand the threat is understanding is what data are collected. The short answer is all your phone records and Internet activity (RT USA):

The National Security Agency is collecting information on the Internet habits of millions of innocent Americans never suspected of criminal involvement, new NSA documents leaked by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden suggest.

Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported Monday that top-secret documents included in the trove of files supplied by the NSA contractor-turned-leaker Edward Snowden reveal that the US intelligence community obtains and keeps information on American citizens accumulated off the Internet without ever issuing a search warrant or opening an investigation into that person.

The information is obtained using a program codenamed Marina, the documents suggest, and is kept by the government for up to a full year without investigators ever having to explain why the subject is being surveilled.

Marina has the ability to look back on the last 365 days' worth of DNI metadata seen by the Sigint collection system, regardless whether or not it was tasked for collection,” the Guardian’s James Ball quotes from the documents.

According to a guide for intelligence analysts supplied by Mr. Snowden, “The Marina metadata application tracks a user's browser experience, gathers contact information/content and develops summaries of target.”

"This tool offers the ability to export the data in a variety of formats, as well as create various charts to assist in pattern-of-life development,” it continues.

Ball writes that the program collects “almost anything” a Web user does online, “from browsing history – such as map searches and websites visited – to account details, email activity, and even some account passwords.”

Only days earlier, separate disclosures attributed to Snowden revealed that the NSA was using a massive collection of metadata to create complex graphs of social connections for foreign intelligence purposes, although that program had pulled in intelligence about Americans as well.

After the New York Times broke news of that program, a NSA spokesperson said that “All data queries must include a foreign intelligence justification, period.” As Snowden documents continue to surface, however, it’s becoming clear that personal information pertaining to millions of US citizens is routinely raked in by the NSA and other agencies as the intelligence community collects as much data as possible.

In June, a top-secret document also attributed to Mr. Snowden revealed that the NSA was collecting the telephony metadata for millions of Americans from their telecom providers. The government has defended this practice by saying that the metadata — rough information that does not include the content of communications — is not protected by the US Constitution’s prohibition against unlawful search and seizure.

Metadata can be very revealing,” George Washington University law professor Orin S. Kerr told the Times this week. “Knowing things like the number someone just dialed or the location of the person’s cellphone is going to allow them to assemble a picture of what someone is up to. It’s the digital equivalent of tailing a suspect.”

According to the Guardian’s Ball, Internet metadata picked up by the NSA is routed to the Marina database, which is kept separate from the servers where telephony metadata is stored.

Only moments after the Guardian wrote of its latest leak on Monday, Jesselyn Radack of the Government Accountability Project read a statement before the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs penned by none other than Snowden himself.

When I began my work, it was with the sole intention of making possible the debate we see occurring here in this body,” Snowden said.

Snowden, who has been granted temporary asylum in Russia after being charged with espionage in the US, said through Raddack that “The cost for one in my position of returning public knowledge to public hands has been persecution and exile.”

Limits to spying via data collected about you

If the NSA's mining of data traffic is so effective, why weren't Tsarnaev's family's overseas calls predictive of a bombing at the Boston Marathon?

-Helen Corey WSJ.com

There are limits of this "powerful analytical software" as it currently used. As we mentioned above, even if NSA algorithms are incredibly clever they can't avoid producing large number of false positives. After two year investigation into the post 9/11 intelligence agencies, the Washington Post came to conclusion that they are collecting more information than anyone can comprehend ("drinking from a firehose" or "drowning is a sea of data"):

Every day, collection systems at the National Security Agency intercept and store 1.7 billions e-mails, phone calls and other types of communications. The NSA sorts a fraction of those into 70 separate databases"

First of all there is a classic problem of "signal vs. noise" (infoglut) in any large scale data collection and presence of noise in the channel makes signal much more difficult to detect.

Analysts who make sense of document and conversations obtained by foreign and domestic spying share their judgment by publishing 50,000 intelligence reports each year -- a volume so large that many are routinely ignored

The enormity of the database exacerbate the problem. That's why NSA is hunting for email on cloud providers, where they are already filtered from spam, and processing required is much less then for emails intercepted from the wire data. Still even with the direct access to user accounts, the volume of data, especially graphic (pictures) and video data, is really huge and that stress the limits of processing capabilities and storage.

Existence of Snowden saga when a single analyst was able to penetrate the system and extract considerable amount information with impunity suggests that the whole Agency is mess, probably like is typical for any large organization with a lot of incompetents or, worse, careerists and psychopaths  at the helm (see Toxic Managers). Which is typical for government agencies and large corporations.

Still the level of logs collection and internal monitoring in NSA proved to be surprisingly weak, as there are indirect signs that the agency does not even know what reports Snowden get into his hands. In any case we, unless this is a very clever inside operation, we need to assume that Edward Snowden stole thousands of documents, abused his sysadmin position in the NSA, and was never caught. Here is one relevant comment from The Guardian

carlitoontour

Oh NSA......that´s fine that you cannot find something......what did you tell us, the World and the US Congress about the "intelligence" of Edward Snowden and the low access he had?

SNOWDEN SUSPECTED OF BYPASSING ELECTRONIC LOGS

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. government's efforts to determine which highly classified materials leaker Edward Snowden took from the National Security Agency have been frustrated by Snowden's sophisticated efforts to cover his digital trail by deleting or bypassing electronic logs, government officials told The Associated Press. Such logs would have showed what information Snowden viewed or downloaded.

The government's forensic investigation is wrestling with Snowden's apparent ability to defeat safeguards established to monitor and deter people looking at information without proper permission, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the sensitive developments publicly.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_NSA_SURVEILLANCE_SNOWDEN?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-08-24-09-41-24

On the other hand government agencies were never good in making huge and complex software projects work. And large software projects are a very difficult undertaking in any case. Even in industry 50% of software projects fail, and anybody who works in the industry knows, that the more complex the project is the higher are chances that it will be mismanaged and its functionality crippled due to architectural defects ("a camel is a horse designed by a committee"). It is given that such project will be over budget. Possibly several times over...

But if money is not a problem such system will eventually be completed ("with enough thrust pigs can fly"). Still there’s no particular reason to think that corruption (major work was probably outsourced) and incompetence (on higher management levels and, especially on architectural level as in "camel is a horse designed by a committee") don't affect the design and functionality of such government projects. Now when this activity come under fire some adjustments might be especially badly thought out and potentially cripple the existing functionality.

As J. Kirk Wiebe, a NSA insider, noted

"The way the government was going about those digital data flows was poor formed, uninformed. There seen to be more of a desire to contract out and capture money flow then there was a [desire} to actually perform the mission".

See the interview of a trio of former National Security Agency whistle-blowers to USA TODAY ( J. Kirk Wiebe remarks starts at 2:06 and the second half of it continues from 6:10):

In military organizations the problem is seldom with the talent (or lack of thereof) of individual contributors. The problem is with the bureaucracy that is very effective in preventing people from exercising their talents at the service of their country. Such system is deformed in such a way that it hamstrings the men who are serving in it. As a results, more often then not the talents are squandered or misused by patching holes created by incompetence of higher-up or or just pushed aside in the interdepartmental warfare.

In a way, incompetence can be defined as the inability to avoid mistakes which, in a "normal" course of project development could and should be avoided. And that's the nature of military bureaucracy with its multiple layer of command and compete lack of accountability on higher levels.

In addition, despite the respectable name of the organization many members of technical staff are amateurs. They never managed to sharpen their technical skills, while at the same time acquiring the skills necessary to survive the bureaucracy. Many do not have basic academic education and are self-taught hackers and/or "grow on the job". Typically people at higher level of hierarchy, are simply not experts in software engineering, but more like typical corporate "PowerPoint" warriors. They can be very shred managers and accomplished political fighters, but that's it.

This is the same situation that exists in security departments of large multinationals, so we can extrapolate from that. The word of Admiral Nelson "If the enemy would know what officer corps will confront them, it will be trembling, like I am". Here is Bill Gross apt recollection of his service as naval officer (The Tipping Point) that illustrate the problems:

A few years ago I wrote about the time that our ship (on my watch) was almost cut in half by an auto-piloted tanker at midnight, but never have I divulged the day that the USS Diachenko came within one degree of heeling over during a typhoon in the South China Sea. “Engage emergency ballast,” the Captain roared at yours truly – the one and only chief engineer. Little did he know that Ensign Gross had slept through his classes at Philadelphia’s damage control school and had no idea what he was talking about. I could hardly find the oil dipstick on my car back in San Diego, let alone conceive of emergency ballast procedures in 50 foot seas. And so…the ship rolled to starboard, the ship rolled to port, the ship heeled at the extreme to 36 degrees (within 1 degree, as I later read in the ship’s manual, of the ultimate tipping point). One hundred sailors at risk, because of one twenty-three-year-old mechanically challenged officer, and a Captain who should have known better than to trust him.

Huge part of this work is outsourced to various contractors and this is where corruption really creeps in. So the system might be not as powerful as many people automatically assume when they hear the abbreviation of NSA. So in a way when news about such system reaches public it might serve not weakening but strengthening of the capabilities of the system. Moreover, nobody would question the ability of such system to store huge amount of raw or semi-processed data including all metadata for your transactions on the Internet.

Also while it is a large agency with a lot of top mathematic talent, NSA is not NASA and motivation of the people (and probably quality of architectural thinking about software projects involved) is different despite much better financing. While they do have high quality people, like most US agencies in general, large bureaucracies usually are unable to utilize their talent. Mediocrities with sharp elbows, political talent, as well as sociopaths typically rule the show.

That means two things:

So even with huge amount of subcontractors that can chase mostly "big fish". Although one open question is why with all those treasure trove of data organized crime is so hard to defeat. Having dataset like this should generally expose all the members of any gang. Or, say, network of blue collar insider traders. So in an indirect way the fact that organized crime not only exists and in some cities even flourish can suggest one of two things:

There is also a question of complexity of analysis:

Possibility of abuses of collected data

Errors in algorithms and bugs in those programs can bite some people in a different way then branding them as "terrorists". Such people have no way of knowing why all of a sudden, for example, they are paying a more for insurance, why their credit score is so low no matter what they do, etc. In no way government in the only one who are using the mass of data collected via Google / Facebook / Yahoo / Microsoft / Verizon / Optonline / AT&T / Comcast, etc. It also can lead to certain subtle types of bias if not error. And there are always problems of intentional misuse of data sets having extremely intimate knowledge about you.

Corporate corruption can lead to those data that are shared with the government can also be shared for money with private actors. Inept use of this unconstitutionally obtained data is a threat to all of us.

Then there can be cases when you can be targeted just because you are critical to the particular area of government policy, for example the US foreign policy. This is "Back in the USSR" situation in full swing, with its prosecution of dissidents. Labeling you as a "disloyal/suspicious element" in one of government "terrorism tracking" databases can have drastic result to your career and you never even realize whats happened. Kind of Internet era McCarthyism .

Obama claims that the government is aware about this danger and tried not to overstep, but he is an interested party in this discussion. In a way government is pushed in this area by the new technologies that open tremendous opportunities for collecting data and making some correlations.

That's why even if you are doing nothing wrong, it is still important to know your enemy, as well as avoid getting into some traps. One typical trap is excessive centralization of your email on social sites, including using a single Webmail provider. It is much safer to have mail delivery to your computer via POP3 and to use Thunderbird or other email client. If your computer is a laptop, you achieve, say, 80% of portability that Web-based email providers like Google Gmail offers. That does not mean that you should close your Gmail or Yahoo account. More important is separating email accounts into "important" and "everything else". "Junk mail" can be stored on Web-based email providers without any problems. Personal emails is completely another matter.

Conclusions

#14 Gus Hunt, the chief technology officer at the CIA: "We fundamentally try to collect everything and hang onto it forever."

New Internet technology developments has huge "Externality":
Profiling is now really easy and almost automatic, especially with your own help

Technology development create new types of communications as well as new types of government surveillance mechanisms (you can call them "externalities" of new methods of communication). Those externalities, especially low cost of mass surveillance (Wikipedia), unfortunately, bring us closer to the Electronic police state (Wikipedia) or National Security State whether we want it or not. A crucial element of such a state is that its data gathering, sorting and correlation are continuous, cover a large number of citizens and all foreigners and those activities are seldom exposed.

Cloud computing as a technology that presuppose storing the data "offsite" on third party servers have several security problems, and one of them is that it is way too much "surveillance friendly" (Misunderstanding of issues of security and trust). With cloud computing powers that be do not need to do complex job of recreating TCP/IP conversations on router level to capture, say, all the emails. You can access Web-based email mailbox directly with all mails in appropriate mailboxes and spam filtered. Your address book is a bonus ;-). This is huge saving of computational efforts.

See


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

Home 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013

For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section

Total Surveillance Bulletin, 2014 Total Surveillance Bulletin, 2013

Total Surveillance Bulletin, 2012

[Jun 07, 2021] Walmart Will Give 740,000 Employees a Free Smartphone. Is this to track employee every movement?

Jun 06, 2021 | mobile.slashdot.org
Walmart Will Give 740,000 Employees a Free Smartphone (cbsnews.com) 37 Posted by EditorDavid on Sunday June 06, 2021 @06:39PM from the company-lines dept. "Walmart will give 740,000 employees free Samsung smartphones by the end of the year ," reports CBS News, "so they can use a new app to manage schedules, the company announced Thursday." The phone, the Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro, can also be used for personal use, and the company will provide free cases and protection plans. The phone's retail price is currently $499... Up until now, associates at Walmart stores used handheld devices they shared to communicate, but an initial test with employee smartphones was received well and will now be expanded upon, Walmart said...

The company promised that it would not have access to any employee's personal data and can "use the smartphone as their own personal device if they want, with all the features and privacy they're used to." The test will be expanded by the end of the year, Walmart said.

Earlier this year, Walmart announced pay increases for nearly a third of its U.S. workforce of 1.6 million. In February, digital and store workers saw their starting hourly rates increase from $13 to $19 depending on their location and market. Hmmm ( Score: 3 , Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, 2021 @06:48PM ( #61460698 ) Probably will be used to clock them in and out when they enter and exit the premises, and track their movements to ensure they are working and not lollygagging. Maybe even track bio info to adjust health insurance prices.

If you think this is just a free gift done out of generosity, you're quite naive. Reply to This Share No thank you ( Score: 3 ) by RitchCraft ( 6454710 ) on Sunday June 06, 2021 @07:11PM ( #61460772 ) It would be wise for Walmart employees to put that phone in a locker on premises before leaving. Having your corporate overlord knowing everything you do outside of work is creepy ... peeping Tom creepy. Wal-mart states they won't collect your data but we'll be reading a news story within two years finding out they did just that. "We're sorry for data that was collected. It was a configuration oversight on our part. We promise to do better moving forward." yadda, yadda, yadda. Reply to This Share Not surprised... ( Score: 5 , Interesting) by Pollux ( 102520 ) < speter@@@tedata...net...eg > on Sunday June 06, 2021 @07:36PM ( #61460814 ) Journal

I was talking last week with someone who works customer service at a nearby Walmart. She told me that people are either leaving or moving up the chain, and it's hard to keep new employees retained. She had one who was in for three days, then just went AWOL and was never heard from again.

I asked her what starting salary was. (The Walmart's in out-state MN.) She said $11.50.

I guess Walmart can't help but behave this way. What they should be doing is raising salaries. Instead, they choose to offer a "perk" of a "free" phone w/ a "free" phone plan. I say "free", because no doubt the phone will be a data goldmine for corporate. How? Let me count the ways.

1) Track employee movements within the store;
2) Determine quantity and length of employee breaks;
3) Track employee movements outside the store;
4) Track employee searches;
5) Track employee social media posts;
6) Monitor employee spending behaviors;
7) Mine employee messages;

And so on, and so forth...And any one of these data mining operations can be used to punish employee misbehavior, hustle Walmart services (Moneygram springs to mind), not to mention sell to interested 3rd parties. (With Walmart commanding the largest fleet of employees in the United States, imagine how many other companies would be willing to pay for generalized data on employee behavior. Better yet, image how much someone would be willing to pay to advertise directly to 1.6 million people.)

[Jun 01, 2021] NSA Spied on European Politicians Through Danish Telecommunications Hub - Slashdot

May 31, 2021 | yro.slashdot.org

Denmark's foreign secret service allowed the US National Security Agency to tap into a crucial internet and telecommunications hub in Denmark and spy on the communications of European politicians , a joint investigation by some of Europe's biggest news agencies revealed on Sunday. From a report: The covert spying operation, called Operation Dunhammer, took place between 2012 and 2014, based on a secret partnership signed by the two agencies. The secret pact, signed between the NSA and the Danish Defense Intelligence Service (Danish: Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste, FE) allowed US spies to deploy a data interception system named XKeyscore on the network of Sandagergardan, an important internet and communications hub in the city of Dragor, near Copenhagen, where several key submarine cables connected Denmark (and continental Europe) to the Scandinavian peninsula.

The NSA allegedly used XKeyscore to mass-sniff internet and mobile traffic and intercept communications such as emails, phone calls, SMS texts, and chat messages sent to the phone numbers and email addresses of European politicians. The covert operation abruptly stopped in 2014 after Danish government officials learned of the NSA-FE collaboration following the Snowden leaks. Danish officials put a stop to the operation after they learned that the NSA had also spied on Danish government members.

Denmark Has a History of This Behaviour ( Score: 1 ) by theshowmecanuck ( 703852 ) on Monday May 31, 2021 @04:31PM ( #61440512 ) Journal As long as you don't invade or try to cut their politicians out of the loop, they will bend over for you. For example WWII. Any sanctions on the NSA and Denmark? see Huawei ( Score: 1 ) by tekram ( 8023518 ) on Monday May 31, 2021 @05:03PM ( #61440618 ) Seems like Huawei has been convicted of spying with less evidence than the NSA and Denmark and yet US and EU sanctions were swift and deliberate when it comes to convenient targets. Reply to This
Comparisons ( Score: 5 , Insightful) by JBMcB ( 73720 ) on Monday May 31, 2021 @03:43PM ( #61440360 )

I regularly buy one pound bags of citric acid. It's handy to clean out the dishwasher, clothes washer, and to make various cordials and mixed drinks. It's $8 shipped from Amazon. The only place remotely near me that sells one pound bags of citric acid is a restaurant supply store on the other side of town. The grocery store near me will sell me a small bottle of citric acid for $5. The restaurant supply store is only $1 or $2 cheaper, and Amazon saves me an hour trip across town. So, Amazon wins.

I was in the market for a new sprinkler controller, and Amazon's price was $40 more than the retail price directly from the manufacturer. I bought it from the manufacturer. So, Amazon looses.

Amazon's price on the shampoo I like is ridiculous, I buy that from the grocery store. Amazon's price on the furnace air filters I like is fantastic, compared to the home improvement stores I go to, so I buy those from Amazon.

It's not rocket science. Some stuff is just easier to buy and/or cheaper on Amazon. Some stuff isn't. It's not hard, nor a lot of work, to find out. Reply to This Free, you say? ( Score: 4 , Informative) by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Monday May 31, 2021 @03:51PM ( #61440394 ) Journal

The problem isn't really the free shipping. The suit seems more concerned with price-fixing across multiple platforms, an indicator of a forming monopoly.

"It's a longstanding claim by some of the independent merchants who sell on Amazon's digital mall that the company punishes them if they list their products for less on their own websites or other shopping sites like Walmart.com. Those sellers are effectively saying that Amazon dictates what happens on shopping sites all over the internet, and in doing so makes products more expensive for all of us."

Interesting one-off:

I priced a particular set of headphones for my son's birthday earlier today... same retail price on Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart online. Reply to This
Price plus ( Score: 4 , Interesting) by Jerry ( 6400 ) on Monday May 31, 2021 @07:00PM ( #61441020 )

I WAS an Amazon Prime member until I started comparing Amazon's "prime" price with those of other vendors on Amazon selling the same product. The other vendor's prices plus shipping were very close or equal to Amazon's "prime" price with "free" shipping. So, Amazon's Prime's $120/yr membership charge isn't worth it. (And I don't watch their movies)

I can also get "free" shipping by going through the checkout process (not the automatic checkout). Somewhere along the way I get the opportunity to choose a delivery date. Next day always includes an expensive charge for shipping, but usually one of the options is for shipping free on a specific day, a week or so in the future. I use that when I shop Amazon, which I do with less and less frequency these days. Reply to This

[May 03, 2021] FISA And The Still Too Secret Police

With PRISM in place FICA court is redundant...
Notable quotes:
"... All an FBI supervisor has to do to get a FISA warrant on you is have one agent get a crooked snitch in a foreign country to send you a weird text message, and then have another bright eyed and bushy tailed agent who doesn't know the crook is a snitch write up a search warrant application affidavit and submit it to the FISA court. ..."
"... Nothing says "Unconstitutional (illegal) Deep State" like FISA. Hitler's Gestapo would be proud! ..."
"... Lisa and Peter removed any credibility the FBI had with the public. If they solved real crime they would go after the massive fraud and stolen ID criminals. Of course that takes real work and someone wanting get off their lazy rear end ..."
May 03, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by James Bovard,

The FBI continues to lawlessly use counterintelligence powers against American citizens...

The Deep State Referee just admitted that the FBI continues to commit uncounted violations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA).

If you sought to report a crime to the FBI, an FBI agent may have illegally surveilled your email. Even if you merely volunteered for the FBI "Citizens Academy" program, the FBI may have illegally tracked all your online activity.

But the latest FBI offenses, like almost all prior FBI violations, are not a real problem, according to James Boasberg, presiding judge of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. That court, among other purposes, is supposed to safeguard Americans' constitutional right to privacy under FISA. FISA was originally enacted to create a narrow niche for foreign intelligence investigations that could be conducted without a warrant from a regular federal court. But as time passed, FISA morphed into an uncontrolled yet officially sanctioned privacy-trampling monster. FISA judges unleash the nuclear bomb of searches, authorizing the FBI "to conduct, simultaneous telephone, microphone, cell phone, e-mail and computer surveillance of the U.S. person target's home, workplace and vehicles," as well as "physical searches of the target's residence, office, vehicles, computer, safe deposit box and U.S. mails."

In 2008, after the George W. Bush administration's pervasive illegal warrantless wiretaps were exposed, Congress responded by enacting FISA amendments that formally entitled the National Security Agency to vacuum up mass amounts of emails and other communication, a swath of which is provided to the FBI. In 2018, the FISA court slammed the FBI for abusing that database with warrantless searches that violated Americans' rights. In lieu of obeying FISA, the FBI created a new Office of Internal Audit. Deja vu! Back in 2007, FBI agents were caught massively violating the Patriot Act by using National Security Letters to conduct thousands of illegal searches on Americans' personal data. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) declared that an Inspector General report on the abusive searches "confirms the American people's worst fears about the Patriot Act." FBI chief Robert Mueller responded by creating a new Office of Integrity and Compliance as "another important step toward ensuring we fulfill our mission with an unswerving commitment to the rule of law." Be still my beating heart!

The FBI's promise to repent after the 2018 report sufficed for the FISA court to permit the FBI to continue plowing through the personal data it received from NSA. Monday's disclosure "a delayed release of a report by the court last November "revealed that the FBI has conducted warrantless searches of the data trove for "domestic terrorism," "public corruption and bribery," "health care fraud," and other targets "including people who notified the FBI of crimes and even repairmen entering FBI offices. As Spencer Ackerman wrote in the Daily Beast , "The FBI continues to perform warrantless searches through the NSA's most sensitive databases for routine criminal investigations." That type of search "potentially jeopardizes an accused person's ability to have a fair trial since warrantlessly acquired information is supposed to be inadmissible. The FBI claimed to the court that none of the warrantlessly queried material "˜was used in a criminal or civil proceeding,' but such usage at trial has happened before," Ackerman noted. Some illicit FBI searches involve vast dragnets. As the New York Times reported , an FBI agent in 2019 conducted a database search "using the identifiers of about 16,000 people, even though only seven of them had connections to an investigation."

In the report released Monday, Judge Boasberg lamented "apparent widespread violations" of the legal restrictions for FBI searches. Regardless, Boasberg kept the illicit search party going: "The Court is willing to again conclude that the . . . [FBI's] procedures meet statutory and Fourth Amendment requirements." "Willing to again conclude" sounds better than "close enough for constitutional."

At this point, Americans know only the abuses that the FBI chose to disclose to FISA judges. We have no idea how many other perhaps worse abuses may have occurred. For a hundred years, the FBI has buttressed its power by keeping a lid on its crimes. Unfortunately, the FISA Court has become nothing but Deep State window dressing "a facade giving the illusion that government is under the law. Consider Boasberg's recent ruling in the most brazen FISA abuse yet exposed. In December 2019, the Justice Department Inspector General reported that the FBI made "fundamental errors " and persistently deceived the FISA court to authorize surveilling a 2016 Trump presidential campaign official. The I.G. report said the FBI "drew almost entirely" from the Steele dossier to prove a "well-developed conspiracy" between Russians and the Trump campaign even though it was "unable to corroborate any of the specific substantive allegations against Carter Page" in that dossier, which was later debunked.

A former FBI assistant general counsel, Kevin Clinesmith, admitted to falsifying key evidence to secure the FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. As a Wall Street Journal editorial noted , Clinesmith "changed an email confirming Mr. Page had been a CIA source to one that said the exact opposite, explicitly adding the words "˜not a source' before he forwarded it." A federal prosecutor declared that the "resulting harm is immeasurable" from Clinesmith's action. But at the sentencing hearing, Boasberg gushed with sympathy, noting that Clinesmith "went from being an obscure government lawyer to standing in the eye of a media hurricane"¦ Mr. Clinesmith has lost his job in government service"what has given his life much of its meaning." Scorning the federal prosecutor's recommendation for jail time, Boasberg gave Clinesmith a wrist slap"400 hours of community service and 12 months of probation.

The FBI FISA frauds profoundly disrupted American politics for years and the din of belatedly debunked accusations of Trump colluding with Russia swayed plenty of votes in the 2018 midterms and the 2020 presidential election. But for the chief FISA judge, nothing matters except the plight of an FBI employee who lost his job after gross misconduct. This is the stark baseline Americans should remember when politicians, political appointees, and judges promise to protect them from future FBI abuses. The FISA court has been craven, almost beyond ridicule, perennially. Perhaps Boasberg was simply codifying a prerogative the FISA court previously awarded upon FBI officials. In 2005, after a deluge of false FBI claims in FISA warrants, FISA Presiding Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly proposed requiring FBI agents to swear to the accuracy of the information they presented. That never happened because it could have "slowed such investigations drastically," the Washington Post reported . So, FBI agents continue to lie with impunity to the judges.

The FISA court has gone from pretending that FBI violations don't occur to pretending that violations don't matter. Practically the only remaining task is for the FISA court to cease pretending Americans have any constitutional right to privacy . But if a sweeping new domestic terrorism law is passed, perhaps even that formal acknowledgement will be unnecessary. Beginning in 2006, the court rubber-stamped FBI requests that bizarrely claimed that the telephone records of all Americans were "relevant" to a terrorism investigation under the Patriot Act, thereby enabling NSA data seizures later denounced by a federal judge as "almost Orwellian." FISA could become a peril to far more Americans if Congress formally creates a new domestic terrorism offense and a new category for expanding FISA searches.

The backlash from Democrats after the January 6 clash at the Capitol showcased the demand for federal crackdowns on extremists who doubted Biden's election, disparaged federal prerogatives, or otherwise earned congressional ire. If a domestic terrorism law is passed, the FBI will feel as little constrained by the details of the statute as it does about FISA's technicalities. Will FBI agents conducting warrantless searches rely on the same harebrained standard the NSA used to target Americans: "someone searching the web for suspicious stuff"? Unfortunately, unless an FBI whistleblower with the same courage as former NSA analyst Edward Snowden steps forward, we may never know the extent of FBI abuses


ebworthen 39 minutes ago

"You want to harass a political opponent? Sure, we can do that...

JaxPavan 42 minutes ago

All an FBI supervisor has to do to get a FISA warrant on you is have one agent get a crooked snitch in a foreign country to send you a weird text message, and then have another bright eyed and bushy tailed agent who doesn't know the crook is a snitch write up a search warrant application affidavit and submit it to the FISA court.

Joe Bribem 32 minutes ago

It's almost like we did this to Trump. But it'll never come to light. Oops it did. Not that anything will happen to us because we own the corrupt DOJ and FBI.

Obama's own personal private army.

You_Cant_Quit_Me 7 minutes ago

A lot of tips come in from overseas. For example, the US spies on citizens of another country and then sends that country tips, in exchange that country does the same by spying on US citizens and sending the FBI tips. Then it starts, "we are just following up on a tip"

wee-weed up 36 minutes ago (Edited)

Nothing says "Unconstitutional (illegal) Deep State" like FISA. Hitler's Gestapo would be proud!

You_Cant_Quit_Me 37 minutes ago

Lisa and Peter removed any credibility the FBI had with the public. If they solved real crime they would go after the massive fraud and stolen ID criminals. Of course that takes real work and someone wanting get off their lazy rear end

takeaction 58 minutes ago (Edited)

If you own a smart phone...everything you do is recorded...and logged. "They" have been listening to you for a long time if they want to.

If you own any smart device...they can listen and watch. They are monitoring what I am typing and this site. There really is no way to hide.

[May 03, 2021] Shhhh, They’re Listening †Inside the Coming Voice-Profiling Revolution

May 03, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on April 29, 2021 by Yves Smith

Yves here. This article confirms my prejudices about the importance of avoiding those spying home assistants at all costs. And it takes a bit of effort to try to thwart financial institutions’ efforts to use your voiceprint as an ID (I tell them they need to note any recording as invalid because I have my assistants get through the phone trees for me, and if they try taking a voiceprint, it won’t be of the right voice. That seems to put them on tilt).

But the notion of using voice patterns to guess at health issues or psychological profiles or product reactions sounds like 21st century phrenology. Although a lot of consultants will rake in a lot of dough selling these unproven schemes.

By Joseph Turow, Robert Lewis Shayon Professor of Media Systems & Industries, University of Pennsylvania. Originally published at The Conversation

You decide to call a store that sells some hiking boots you’re thinking of buying. As you dial in, the computer of an artificial intelligence company hired by the store is activated. It retrieves its analysis of the speaking style you used when you phoned other companies the software firm services. The computer has concluded you are “friendly and talkative.” Using predictive routing, it connects you to a customer service agent who company research has identified as being especially good at getting friendly and talkative customers to buy more expensive versions of the goods they’re considering.

This hypothetical situation may sound as if it’s from some distant future. But automated voice-guided marketing activities like this are happening all the time .

If you hear “This call is being recorded for training and quality control,” it isn’t just the customer service representative they’re monitoring.

It can be you, too.

When conducting research for my forthcoming book, “ The Voice Catchers: How Marketers Listen In to Exploit Your Feelings, Your Privacy, and Your Wallet ,” I went through over 1,000 trade magazine and news articles on the companies connected to various forms of voice profiling. I examined hundreds of pages of U.S. and EU laws applying to biometric surveillance. I analyzed dozens of patents. And because so much about this industry is evolving, I spoke to 43 people who are working to shape it.

It soon became clear to me that we’re in the early stages of a voice-profiling revolution that companies see as integral to the future of marketing.

Thanks to the public’s embrace of smart speakers, intelligent car displays and voice-responsive phones â€" along with the rise of voice intelligence in call centers â€" marketers say they are on the verge of being able to use AI-assisted vocal analysis technology to achieve unprecedented insights into shoppers’ identities and inclinations. In doing so, they believe they’ll be able to circumvent the errors and fraud associated with traditional targeted advertising.

Not only can people be profiled by their speech patterns, but they can also be assessed by the sound of their voices â€" which, according to some researchers , is unique and can reveal their feelings, personalities and even their physical characteristics.

Flaws in Targeted Advertising

Top marketing executives I interviewed said that they expect their customer interactions to include voice profiling within a decade or so.

Part of what attracts them to this new technology is a belief that the current digital system of creating unique customer profiles â€" and then targeting them with personalized messages, offers and ads â€" has major drawbacks .

A simmering worry among internet advertisers, one that burst into the open during the 2010s , is that customer data often isn’t up to date, profiles may be based on multiple users of a device, names can be confused and people lie.

Advertisers are also uneasy about ad blocking and click fraud , which happens when a site or app uses bots or low-paid workers to click on ads placed there so that the advertisers have to pay up.

These are all barriers to understanding individual shoppers.

Voice analysis, on the other hand, is seen as a solution that makes it nearly impossible for people to hide their feelings or evade their identities.

Building Out the Infrastructure

Most of the activity in voice profiling is happening in customer support centers, which are largely out of the public eye.

But there are also hundreds of millions of Amazon Echoes, Google Nests and other smart speakers out there. Smartphones also contain such technology.

All are listening and capturing people’s individual voices. They respond to your requests. But the assistants are also tied to advanced machine learning and deep neural network programs that analyze what you say and how you say it

Amazon and Google â€" the leading purveyors of smart speakers outside China â€" appear to be doing little voice analysis on those devices beyond recognizing and responding to individual owners. Perhaps they fear that pushing the technology too far will, at this point, lead to bad publicity.

Nevertheless, the user agreements of Amazon and Google â€" as well as Pandora, Bank of America and other companies that people access routinely via phone apps â€" give them the right to use their digital assistants to understand you by the way you sound . Amazon’s most public application of voice profiling so far is its Halo wristband, which claims to know the emotions you’re conveying when you talk to relatives, friends and employers.

The company assures customers it doesn’t use Halo data for its own purposes . But it’s clearly a proof of concept â€" and a nod toward the future.

Patents Point to the Future

The patents from these tech companies offer a vision of what’s coming.

In one Amazon patent , a device with the Alexa assistant picks up a woman’s speech irregularities that imply a cold through using “an analysis of pitch, pulse, voicing, jittering, and/or harmonicity of a user’s voice, as determined from processing the voice data.” From that conclusion, Alexa asks if the woman wants a recipe for chicken soup. When she says no, it offers to sell her cough drops with one-hour delivery.

An Amazon patent depicts a device picking up a woman’s cough â€" and then asking if she wants a recipe for chicken soup. Google Patents

Another Amazon patent suggests an app to help a store salesperson decipher a shopper’s voice to plumb unconscious reactions to products. The contention is that how people sound allegedly does a better job indicating what people like than their words.

And one of Google’s proprietary inventions involves tracking family members in real time using special microphones placed throughout a home. Based on the pitch of voice signatures, Google circuitry infers gender and age information â€" for example, one adult male and one female child â€" and tags them as separate individuals.

The company’s patent asserts that over time the system’s “household policy manager” will be able to compare life patterns, such as when and how long family members eat meals, how long the children watch television, and when electronic game devices are working â€" and then have the system suggest better eating schedules for the kids, or offer to control their TV viewing and game playing.

Seductive Surveillance

In the West, the road to this advertising future starts with firms encouraging users to give them permission to gather voice data. Firms gain customers’ permission by enticing them to buy inexpensive voice technologies.

When tech companies have further developed voice analysis software â€" and people have become increasingly reliant on voice devices â€" I expect the companies to begin widespread profiling and marketing based on voice data. Hewing to the letter if not the spirit of whatever privacy laws exist, the companies will, I expect, forge ahead into their new incarnations, even if most of their users joined before this new business model existed.

This classic bait and switch marked the rise of both Google and Facebook . Only when the numbers of people flocking to these sites became large enough to attract high-paying advertisers did their business models solidify around selling ads personalized to what Google and Facebook knew about their users.

By then, the sites had become such important parts of their users’ daily activities that people felt they couldn’t leave , despite their concerns about data collection and analysis that they didn’t understand and couldn’t control.

This strategy is already starting to play out as tens of millions of consumers buy Amazon Echoes at giveaway prices .

The Dark Side of Voice Profiling

Here’s the catch: It’s not clear how accurate voice profiling is, especially when it comes to emotions.

It is true, according to Carnegie Mellon voice recognition scholar Rita Singh , that the activity of your vocal nerves is connected to your emotional state. However, Singh told me that she worries that with the easy availability of machine-learning packages, people with limited skills will be tempted to run shoddy analyses of people’s voices, leading to conclusions that are as dubious as the methods.

She also argues that inferences that link physiology to emotions and forms of stress may be culturally biased and prone to error. That concern hasn’t deterred marketers, who typically use voice profiling to draw conclusions about individuals’ emotions, attitudes and personalities.

While some of these advances promise to make life easier , it’s not difficult to see how voice technology can be abused and exploited. What if voice profiling tells a prospective employer that you’re a bad risk for a job that you covet or desperately need? What if it tells a bank that you’re a bad risk for a loan? What if a restaurant decides it won’t take your reservation because you sound low class, or too demanding?

Consider, too, the discrimination that can take place if voice profilers follow some scientists’ claims that it is possible to use an individual’s vocalizations to tell the person’s height, weight, race, gender and health.

People are already subjected to different offers and opportunities based on the personal information companies have collected. Voice profiling adds an especially insidious means of labeling. Today, some states such as Illinois and Texas require companies to ask for permission before conducting analysis of vocal, facial or other biometric features.

But other states expect people to be aware of the information that’s collected about them from the privacy policies or terms of service â€" which means they rarely will . And the federal government hasn’t enacted a sweeping marketing surveillance law.

With the looming widespread adoption of voice analysis technology, it’s important for government leaders to adopt policies and regulations that protect the personal information revealed by the sound of a person’s voice.

One proposal: While the use of voice authentication â€" or using a person’s voice to prove their identity â€" could be allowed under certain carefully regulated circumstances, all voice profiling should be prohibited in marketers’ interactions with individuals. This prohibition should also apply to political campaigns and to government activities without a warrant.

That seems like the best way to ensure that the coming era of voice profiling is constrained before it becomes too integrated into daily life and too pervasive to control.


fred , April 29, 2021 at 10:17 am

Very interesting. However, I want Fidelity to use voice printing when I call for banking services. I was impressed when they implemented the technology, and I’m happy they’re using it to identify and prevent bad actors.

lyman alpha blob , April 29, 2021 at 10:37 am

Until someone gets a small sample of your voice, uses it to create a fake of you, who then asks Fidelity to withdraw all your money â€"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQgYPv8tb6A

Moar tech is not going to solve all our problems.

fred , April 29, 2021 at 10:17 am

Very interesting. However, I want Fidelity to use voice printing when I call for banking services. I was impressed when they implemented the technology, and I’m happy they’re using it to identify and prevent bad actors.

lyman alpha blob , April 29, 2021 at 10:37 am

Until someone gets a small sample of your voice, uses it to create a fake of you, who then asks Fidelity to withdraw all your money â€"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQgYPv8tb6A

Moar tech is not going to solve all our problems.

Josef K , April 29, 2021 at 11:00 am

I was thinking of trying to acquire one of those gadgets you see in the crime-oriented moving picture shows that alters the voice to sound deep and harsh. Use it to answer any call from an unknown number. Have a little fun freaking them out (momentarily) while preventing voice profiling. I wonder if there’s an app for that by now…the Kermit setting could be fun too.

.Tom , April 29, 2021 at 12:05 pm

Looks like there are smartphone apps that will change your voice on a phone call. That could be useful. I don’t know if any of them work well.

Ofc that can only help when the listening device is on the other end of a phone call. Not much use when, for example, conversing in person with someone who has a phone that’s listening all the time.

lordkoos , April 29, 2021 at 12:27 pm

There is an effect, the Eventide Harmonizer, that is sometimes used to alter voices (Darth Vader’s voice in Star Wars for example). It’s an expensive audio device mostly used in recording studios, but nowadays I’m sure there is some app that can do similar things.

Gc54 , April 29, 2021 at 4:44 pm

For pc use consider Clownfish Voice Changer. Has DV and many other voices.

Sue inSoCal , April 29, 2021 at 3:54 pm

“Don’t get on the ship! That book? It’s a….cookbook!!” Thanks for that; it’s a classic I’ll never forget.

It seems we’ve got weirder stuff now. For whatever reason, those automatic answering programs do not understand me. I’ve found if you get scrappy with them (such as Joseph K suggests babbling some nonsense) they throw up their robotic hands and they get you to a person.

Someone once advised me to shut up through the whole menu thing and they get you to a human. But many companies are on to this. Unfortunately. You may want to stick with insane babbling.

Josef K , April 29, 2021 at 4:06 pm

Yes, silence used to work. Now, sounding like a) a ferinner, b) an oldster without dentures c) someone with special needs, or any other demographic AI can’t handle yet, means that regrettably the human of last resort is going to have to be tasked, and paid. So far, mixing up “aeuieueooeiueoueuoiueuiahh!” with “aeuieuueiahh!” and ““uoiueuiahh!” etc works. So far. Next may have to be Darth Vader voice.

shinola , April 29, 2021 at 12:01 pm

Not so long ago, most people would be outraged if they discovered someone had planted eavesdropping devices in their home. Now some tech. co’s have persuaded people to pay to “bug” themselves!

I have to (grudgingly) admit that’s an amazing bit of marketing/salesmanship.

Mantid , April 29, 2021 at 12:11 pm

A few times over recent years, I’d been prompted by computerized voices to speak slowly and answer prompts such as “What is your destination?”. Even simple prompts had me suspicious as in “Say yes to confirm or no if you would like something else”. In a previous life as an audio engineer, I knew they could analyze the wave form and deduce many things. So, I would gargle, yodel, or sing falsetto my response. I have never put financial or personal information on line and wasn’t about to through audio. At this point, I use a Harmon or cup mute to speak to institutions via the phone.

This sentence from the article gave me a laugh: “it’s important for government leaders to adopt policies and regulations that protect the personal information…..”. No, I think most of us are so enamoured by the new, shiny toys that we have lost our way and have nowhere to turn. My latest bumper sticker idea: “Eschew Convenience”.

Hepativore , April 29, 2021 at 2:57 pm

The problem is, that the companies that have developed these voice-profiling and facial recognition are probably talking to interested parties in the Department of Homeland Security, and it is probably matter of time before the TSA adopts facial recognition and voice scanning as a requirement of flight boarding much like they did with bodyscanners.

I doubt any degree of protest or backlash would be able to change Washington’s mind.

cnchal , April 29, 2021 at 10:41 pm

> Amazon ’s most public application of voice profiling so far is its Halo wristband, which claims to know the emotions you’re conveying when you talk to relatives, friends and employers.

The company assures customers it doesn’t use Halo data for its own purposes . But it’s clearly a proof of concept â€" and a nod toward the future.

Amazon “spokespeople” are lying sacks of shit. Not one word they say has an iota of truth.

Know what else this portends? Moar power sucking data centers to store all the gibberish Amazon, Googlag and the rest of the digital creeps collect. And because they use so much electricity they get it super cheap instead of being charged triple retail to discourage the gargantuan waste. All to sell you moar garbage that you don’t need. What a waste of a STEM education. That’s what so called “data scientists” signed up for?

I’m glad I have no children to suffer in the digital hellhole being built by these creeps.

Brooklin Bridge , April 30, 2021 at 1:55 pm

Naturally I wonder if smart phones and their various apps don’t already do this, not to mention desk and lap tops; all of which are equipped with mikes. And of course Ma Bell and Verizon and on and on get our voices all the time. What are the laws that protect the user from those behemoths? Are what ever is left of privacy laws strong enough to dampen the enthusiasm of companies like Google or Amazon who seem to consider laws like taxes; quaint vestiges of once upon a time nation states?

tegnost , April 30, 2021 at 2:10 pm

yes to this
they’ll do whatever they can’t be actively prevented from doing. If it’s illegal they call it data research then start lobbying congress to write laws to accommodate what ever grift they can mine from the mountain of said data. No need for facial recognition, the camera on your phone has given them a detailed three dimensional you, your location, your habits, and if you like brunettes. I still think back to when the somehow I think it was the nsa revealed googles offshore data shenanigans and am sure google was all “hey, we would have given you all that data! why did you tell everyone we’re collecting it! And now bezos is consulting the pentagon. At this point I truly feel the only thing that could stop the path we’re on is a massive economic crash due to an unexpected event, hurricanes, earthquake or a pandemic that kills lots more people than covid.

[May 03, 2021] Economic policy after the pandemic " Crooked Timber

May 03, 2021 | crookedtimber.org

Economic policy after the pandemic

by JOHN QUIGGIN on APRIL 30, 2021

I’m racing to get a draft manuscript of The Economic Consequences of the Pandemic , not helped by the fact that Biden keeps doing pretty much what I think he should do. More of the fold. Comments greatly appreciated, as always.

Like Keynes’ Londoner in the aftermath of the Great War, we are emerging from the pandemic into a world where the certitudes of the past have crumbled into dust. Balanced budgets, free trade, credit ratings, financial markets, above all free markets; these ideas have ceased to command any belief.

The failure of these ideas evident since the GFC and, in many respects, since the beginning of the 21st century. It have sunk in gradually as the neoliberal political class formed in the 1980s and 1990s has passed from the scene, replaced by younger people whose experience of financialised capitalism is almost entirely negative.

But it is only with the shock of the pandemic that the thinking of the past has completely lost its grip on the great majority. The absence of any serious resistance to Biden’s stimulus and infrastructure package reflects the fact that hardly anyone seriously believes the old verities of balanced budgets and free markets

Yet the fundamental realities of economic life remain unchanged. We can collectively consume or invest what we produce, nothing more and nothing less. And our productive capacity is constrained by resources and technology, as it always has been. One way or another we need to decide what goods and services will be produced and who will get to consume them.

What has changed is that the economic system we have used to allocate resources and investments for the last forty years is no longer fit for purpose. Financial markets are not repositories of wisdom and market discipline; rather they are, in Keynes words, gambling houses where ‘enterprise becomes the bubble on a whirlpool of speculation.’ And as Keynes said ‘When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done.’.

Unsurprisingly, the casino economy has delivered huge gains for a small number of winners, and losses for everyone else, certainly when compared to the broadly shared gains of the mid 20th century. But contrary to the claims of trickle-down advocates, these massive rewards have not generated increases in productivity. Profits are obtained, not by making a better product at lower cost, but by securing and holding a monopoly position.

How should we respond? The answer must be a combination of past, present and future. First, we need to look at the institutions of the 20th century Golden Age, and ask which can be revived and refurbished to address our current problems. Second, we must consider what elements of the neoliberal era are worth saving. Finally we must consider our future options in a world unlike anything that has come before.

The first step must be to look back at the institutions of the postwar Golden Age. Not all of these will turn out to be useful in our current situation, and some were inappropriate even at the time they operated. Nevertheless, taken all in all, the mixed economy of the mid-20th century worked much better than the system of financialised capitalism that prevailed in the era of neoliberalism.

Most of the policy program announced by the Biden Administration can be understood as a return to Golden Age policies wound back or abandoned in the neoliberal era. Examples include explicit support for unions, investment in physical infrastructure, partial repeal of the 2017 tax cuts, and free community college.

Unions, progressive taxes, expanding education â€" the case for all of these is as strong or stronger as it was in the aftermath of the Great Wars. Similarly, the need for public investment in physical infrastructure, after years of neglect, is evident. Biden’s measures so far are steps in the right direction, but much more remains to be done.

The innovations of the neoliberal era have mostly been negative. But there have been some positive developments. The movement towards racial and gender equality, which began in the 1960s continued, if slowly and with occasional reversals, through the neoliberal area. And some more specifically neoliberal policy innovations such as the earned income credit and emissions taxes have been value. Similarly, while most financial innovations have been harmful, there have been exceptions such as the rise of venture capital.

Looking to the future, the shift from an industrial to an information economy requires fundamentally new approaches to economics. We are still at the beginning of understanding what is needed here; but it is already obvious that the combination of financialized capitalism and Big Tech is not working out well as a solution.

GM and Google

The archetypal product of the 20th century industrial economy was the motor car, the archetypal technology was the production line and the archetypal firm was General Motors. Each car that rolled off GM’s production line embodied a set of physical and labour inputs; steel for the body, parts supplied by a network of subcontractors, the work of a large body of skilled and semi-skilled workers. Dealers and finance providers distributed the cars to buyers, who then owned and uses the products. Our thinking about how an economy works still reflects this model.

A 20th century firm like General Motors can easily be understood in terms of the economic categories of mainstream classical and neoclassical economists, beginning with Adam Smith. The whole apparatus of national accounting, reflected in concepts like GDP, was developed to deal with such firms.

But consider a firm like Google. Google doesn’t produce a physical good1; it doesn’t even generate the information that is at the core of its business. Rather, it indexes the information generated by others, with or without their permission, then allows users to search those indexes, with advertising attached.

Google doesn’t fit at all comfortably into the categories of traditional economics. Its output can’t be measured in quantitative terms, nor is there any obvious price attached to it. This hasn’t stopped Google making massive profits, or attaining a stratospheric market valuation. On the other hand, it is far from obvious that this is the best way of making the information resources of the Internet available to everyone.

1 Except for a relatively modest business producing tablet computers that run Google’s Chrome operating system.

Share this:

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }


Tim Worstall 04.30.21 at 12:39 pm ( 1 )

This is true:

“Its output can’t be measured in quantitative terms, nor is there any obvious price attached to it.â€

This connects with this:

“The whole apparatus of national accounting, reflected in concepts like GDP,â€

At which point we’ve a certain problem using measures like GDP to discuss the success and or failure of neoliberalism or even financialised capitalism. Because we’re already insisting that the archetypal firms of the neoliberal era aren’t well measured by GDP.

So insistences that growth was faster back in that Golden Age and so on become a little more difficult. So too insistences that living standards rose faster and all that.

We also end up with difficulties over something like this:

“Unsurprisingly, the casino economy has delivered huge gains for a small number of winners, and losses for everyone else, certainly when compared to the broadly shared gains of the mid 20th century. But contrary to the claims of trickle-down advocates, these massive rewards have not generated increases in productivity. Profits are obtained, not by making a better product at lower cost, but by securing and holding a monopoly position.â€

OK, Facebook, monopoly and all that. But increases in productivity? WhatsApp. You can talk to 1 billion people for free. OK, people might not say very much but still. There’s nothing of this in GDP â€" there’s no fee nor even advertising. Last time I asked Facebook about this they said “couple of hundred engineers†work on this. So, we’ve the costs of a couple of hundred engineers â€" $100 million including stock awards and office space? â€" in the national accounts. We’ve no corresponding output. This is a reduction in productivity.

But we’ve 1 billion people getting telecoms for free and this is a reduction in productivity?

Precisely because you’re saying that GDP doesn;t measure all this new economy stuff well it becomes very difficult to insist that this new economy stuff hasn;t worked well if the measure is going to be GDP…..

John Quiggin 05.01.21 at 12:35 am ( 2 )

That’s a problem with posting extracts. I’m well aware of these points and will deal with them. No time to respond in detail now, as I need to submit ASAP.

J-D 05.01.21 at 11:15 pm (no link)

Its output can’t be measured in quantitative terms, nor is there any obvious price attached to it.

So from this point of view Google’s product is already priced in the price of the stuff that is sold after being advertised through Google (directly or indirectly).

The people who pay money to Google are the advertisers. What they are paying Google for is advertising space. So Google’s product is advertising space. They create advertising space and sell it. Advertising space generally has a price. It is the price paid by advertisers to whomever it is that provides the advertisers with the advertising space. That’s not something new. It works for Google the same way it works, for example, for commercial free-to-air television and radio broadcasters. Their viewers and listeners are not the people who pay them for their product (just as Google users are not the people who pay Google); the advertisers are the people who pay them, and they pay them for the use of the advertising space which they have produced.

likbez 05.02.21 at 3:45 am (no link)

@J-D 05.01.21 at 11:15 pm (5)

So Google’s product is advertising space.

No only. Google was/is an integral part of PRISM. So mass surveillance is probably another major product and like Facebook it has several “facesâ€. With one is being a government sponsored surveillance company with Gmail and Android as the major franchises.

Any site that have Google advertisement can be considered as monitored by Google as Google essentially replicates Web logs via its advertising inserts. In this sense Google is an essential part of NSA.

They now try to diversify and get some foothold in the cloud but that’s also fit surveillance company profile.

All is all the old question “Is Google evil?†is an interesting one. IMHO it needs to be split into several companies.

>

[May 03, 2021] FISA And The Still Too Secret Police

With PRISM in place FICA court is redundant...
Notable quotes:
"... All an FBI supervisor has to do to get a FISA warrant on you is have one agent get a crooked snitch in a foreign country to send you a weird text message, and then have another bright eyed and bushy tailed agent who doesn't know the crook is a snitch write up a search warrant application affidavit and submit it to the FISA court. ..."
"... Nothing says "Unconstitutional (illegal) Deep State" like FISA. Hitler's Gestapo would be proud! ..."
"... Lisa and Peter removed any credibility the FBI had with the public. If they solved real crime they would go after the massive fraud and stolen ID criminals. Of course that takes real work and someone wanting get off their lazy rear end ..."
May 03, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by James Bovard,

The FBI continues to lawlessly use counterintelligence powers against American citizens...

The Deep State Referee just admitted that the FBI continues to commit uncounted violations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA).

If you sought to report a crime to the FBI, an FBI agent may have illegally surveilled your email. Even if you merely volunteered for the FBI "Citizens Academy" program, the FBI may have illegally tracked all your online activity.

But the latest FBI offenses, like almost all prior FBI violations, are not a real problem, according to James Boasberg, presiding judge of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. That court, among other purposes, is supposed to safeguard Americans' constitutional right to privacy under FISA. FISA was originally enacted to create a narrow niche for foreign intelligence investigations that could be conducted without a warrant from a regular federal court. But as time passed, FISA morphed into an uncontrolled yet officially sanctioned privacy-trampling monster. FISA judges unleash the nuclear bomb of searches, authorizing the FBI "to conduct, simultaneous telephone, microphone, cell phone, e-mail and computer surveillance of the U.S. person target's home, workplace and vehicles," as well as "physical searches of the target's residence, office, vehicles, computer, safe deposit box and U.S. mails."

In 2008, after the George W. Bush administration's pervasive illegal warrantless wiretaps were exposed, Congress responded by enacting FISA amendments that formally entitled the National Security Agency to vacuum up mass amounts of emails and other communication, a swath of which is provided to the FBI. In 2018, the FISA court slammed the FBI for abusing that database with warrantless searches that violated Americans' rights. In lieu of obeying FISA, the FBI created a new Office of Internal Audit. Deja vu! Back in 2007, FBI agents were caught massively violating the Patriot Act by using National Security Letters to conduct thousands of illegal searches on Americans' personal data. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) declared that an Inspector General report on the abusive searches "confirms the American people's worst fears about the Patriot Act." FBI chief Robert Mueller responded by creating a new Office of Integrity and Compliance as "another important step toward ensuring we fulfill our mission with an unswerving commitment to the rule of law." Be still my beating heart!

The FBI's promise to repent after the 2018 report sufficed for the FISA court to permit the FBI to continue plowing through the personal data it received from NSA. Monday's disclosure "a delayed release of a report by the court last November "revealed that the FBI has conducted warrantless searches of the data trove for "domestic terrorism," "public corruption and bribery," "health care fraud," and other targets "including people who notified the FBI of crimes and even repairmen entering FBI offices. As Spencer Ackerman wrote in the Daily Beast , "The FBI continues to perform warrantless searches through the NSA's most sensitive databases for routine criminal investigations." That type of search "potentially jeopardizes an accused person's ability to have a fair trial since warrantlessly acquired information is supposed to be inadmissible. The FBI claimed to the court that none of the warrantlessly queried material "˜was used in a criminal or civil proceeding,' but such usage at trial has happened before," Ackerman noted. Some illicit FBI searches involve vast dragnets. As the New York Times reported , an FBI agent in 2019 conducted a database search "using the identifiers of about 16,000 people, even though only seven of them had connections to an investigation."

In the report released Monday, Judge Boasberg lamented "apparent widespread violations" of the legal restrictions for FBI searches. Regardless, Boasberg kept the illicit search party going: "The Court is willing to again conclude that the . . . [FBI's] procedures meet statutory and Fourth Amendment requirements." "Willing to again conclude" sounds better than "close enough for constitutional."

At this point, Americans know only the abuses that the FBI chose to disclose to FISA judges. We have no idea how many other perhaps worse abuses may have occurred. For a hundred years, the FBI has buttressed its power by keeping a lid on its crimes. Unfortunately, the FISA Court has become nothing but Deep State window dressing "a facade giving the illusion that government is under the law. Consider Boasberg's recent ruling in the most brazen FISA abuse yet exposed. In December 2019, the Justice Department Inspector General reported that the FBI made "fundamental errors " and persistently deceived the FISA court to authorize surveilling a 2016 Trump presidential campaign official. The I.G. report said the FBI "drew almost entirely" from the Steele dossier to prove a "well-developed conspiracy" between Russians and the Trump campaign even though it was "unable to corroborate any of the specific substantive allegations against Carter Page" in that dossier, which was later debunked.

A former FBI assistant general counsel, Kevin Clinesmith, admitted to falsifying key evidence to secure the FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. As a Wall Street Journal editorial noted , Clinesmith "changed an email confirming Mr. Page had been a CIA source to one that said the exact opposite, explicitly adding the words "˜not a source' before he forwarded it." A federal prosecutor declared that the "resulting harm is immeasurable" from Clinesmith's action. But at the sentencing hearing, Boasberg gushed with sympathy, noting that Clinesmith "went from being an obscure government lawyer to standing in the eye of a media hurricane"¦ Mr. Clinesmith has lost his job in government service"what has given his life much of its meaning." Scorning the federal prosecutor's recommendation for jail time, Boasberg gave Clinesmith a wrist slap"400 hours of community service and 12 months of probation.

The FBI FISA frauds profoundly disrupted American politics for years and the din of belatedly debunked accusations of Trump colluding with Russia swayed plenty of votes in the 2018 midterms and the 2020 presidential election. But for the chief FISA judge, nothing matters except the plight of an FBI employee who lost his job after gross misconduct. This is the stark baseline Americans should remember when politicians, political appointees, and judges promise to protect them from future FBI abuses. The FISA court has been craven, almost beyond ridicule, perennially. Perhaps Boasberg was simply codifying a prerogative the FISA court previously awarded upon FBI officials. In 2005, after a deluge of false FBI claims in FISA warrants, FISA Presiding Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly proposed requiring FBI agents to swear to the accuracy of the information they presented. That never happened because it could have "slowed such investigations drastically," the Washington Post reported . So, FBI agents continue to lie with impunity to the judges.

The FISA court has gone from pretending that FBI violations don't occur to pretending that violations don't matter. Practically the only remaining task is for the FISA court to cease pretending Americans have any constitutional right to privacy . But if a sweeping new domestic terrorism law is passed, perhaps even that formal acknowledgement will be unnecessary. Beginning in 2006, the court rubber-stamped FBI requests that bizarrely claimed that the telephone records of all Americans were "relevant" to a terrorism investigation under the Patriot Act, thereby enabling NSA data seizures later denounced by a federal judge as "almost Orwellian." FISA could become a peril to far more Americans if Congress formally creates a new domestic terrorism offense and a new category for expanding FISA searches.

The backlash from Democrats after the January 6 clash at the Capitol showcased the demand for federal crackdowns on extremists who doubted Biden's election, disparaged federal prerogatives, or otherwise earned congressional ire. If a domestic terrorism law is passed, the FBI will feel as little constrained by the details of the statute as it does about FISA's technicalities. Will FBI agents conducting warrantless searches rely on the same harebrained standard the NSA used to target Americans: "someone searching the web for suspicious stuff"? Unfortunately, unless an FBI whistleblower with the same courage as former NSA analyst Edward Snowden steps forward, we may never know the extent of FBI abuses


ebworthen 39 minutes ago

"You want to harass a political opponent? Sure, we can do that...

JaxPavan 42 minutes ago

All an FBI supervisor has to do to get a FISA warrant on you is have one agent get a crooked snitch in a foreign country to send you a weird text message, and then have another bright eyed and bushy tailed agent who doesn't know the crook is a snitch write up a search warrant application affidavit and submit it to the FISA court.

Joe Bribem 32 minutes ago

It's almost like we did this to Trump. But it'll never come to light. Oops it did. Not that anything will happen to us because we own the corrupt DOJ and FBI.

Obama's own personal private army.

You_Cant_Quit_Me 7 minutes ago

A lot of tips come in from overseas. For example, the US spies on citizens of another country and then sends that country tips, in exchange that country does the same by spying on US citizens and sending the FBI tips. Then it starts, "we are just following up on a tip"

wee-weed up 36 minutes ago (Edited)

Nothing says "Unconstitutional (illegal) Deep State" like FISA. Hitler's Gestapo would be proud!

You_Cant_Quit_Me 37 minutes ago

Lisa and Peter removed any credibility the FBI had with the public. If they solved real crime they would go after the massive fraud and stolen ID criminals. Of course that takes real work and someone wanting get off their lazy rear end

takeaction 58 minutes ago (Edited)

If you own a smart phone...everything you do is recorded...and logged. "They" have been listening to you for a long time if they want to.

If you own any smart device...they can listen and watch. They are monitoring what I am typing and this site. There really is no way to hide.

[Apr 24, 2021] Top US Banks Deploy AI Surveillance To Monitor Customers, Workers

Apr 23, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Several US banks have employed AI surveillance systems as a big-brother-type instrument to analyze customer preferences, monitor workers, and even detect nefarious activities near/at ATMs, according to a dozen banking and technology sources who spoke with Reuters .

Sources said City National Bank of Florida, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and Wells Fargo & Co are conducting trials of AI surveillance systems which offers a rare view into what could soon become standard for corporate America.

Bobby Dominguez, the chief information security officer at City National, told Reuters the bank would begin to "leverage" facial recognition technology to identify customers at teller machines and employees at branches. The trial will be conducted at 31 sites and include high-tech software that could spot people on government watch lists.

In Ohio, JPMorgan is already conducting AI surveillance trials at a small number of branches. Wells Fargo wouldn't discuss its use of AI technology to monitor customers and employees.

The corporate world is quickly embracing the effectiveness and sophistication of these systems after governments such as China, the UK, Germany, Japan, and the US have used AI surveillance to track their citizens and non-nationals for years.

"We're never going to compromise our clients' privacy," Dominguez said. "We're getting off to an early start on technology already used in other parts of the world and that is rapidly coming to the American banking network."

As early as 2019, JPMorgan began evaluating the potential of AI surveillance systems to analyze archived footage from Chase branches in New York and Ohio.

"Testing facial recognition to identify clients as they walk into a Chase bank, if they consented to it, has been another possibility considered to enhance their experience," a current employee involved in the project told Reuters.

Another source said a Midwestern credit union last year tested facial recognition for client identification at four locations before terminating the program over cost concerns.

City National's Dominguez said the bank's branches use computer vision to detect suspicious activity outside.

Given the current state of AI surveillance and the speed of development, top banks are already testing these surveillance tools in various forms. Despite a potential backlash from the public, an Orwellian dystopia via AI surveillance will be fully embraced by corporate America in the coming years.

It was the virus pandemic that allowed the surveillance state to expand across the government and corporations rapidly. We're being tracked more than ever.

[Apr 19, 2021] What Does Google Do With My Data

Apr 19, 2021 | www.avast.com

More than most companies today, Google understands that information is power. But how much does Google know about you? Here, we'll unpack Google's privacy policy, so that you know what data gets tracked, how Google uses your data, and how to manage your online privacy. How_Google_uses_your_data-Hero

If you use a Google service or product (and you probably do), it's important to educate yourself about how Google uses your data so you can make smart, informed decisions that keep you in control of your privacy. Every step you take, every purchase you make -- Google could be watching you.

This article contains:

Is Google really spying on me?

The simple answer is yes: Google collects data about how you use its devices, apps, and services. This ranges from your browsing behavior, Gmail and YouTube activity, location history, Google searches, online purchases, and more. Basically, anything that's connected to Google is likely used to collect data on your activity and preferences.

Many people have questions about Google collecting data and how it gathers information. In particular, people worry about voice-activated products like Google Home and Google Assistant being used to listen to more than just requests to buy toilet paper or play music in the living room.

Nearly every company you interact with online uses web tracking technology to mine data about your online habits and preferences to personalize your experiences and the content you see.

While the security risks of smart home devices are real, Google using your home assistant to record your private conversations isn't one of them. You might feel like you're being spied on, but the reality is that Google sees only the information you have voluntarily entered or allowed them to access .

It's tempting to cast Google as a villain in this scenario, but Google data collection isn't unique. Nearly every company you interact with online uses web tracking technology to mine data about your online habits and preferences to personalize your experiences and the content you see. Still, it might surprise you how much data Google actually tracks and the less obvious ways it keeps tabs on you.

Why does Google want my data?

You might be thinking, "Fine, Google knows a lot about me. But what does Google do with my data?" According to Google, they use all this data to deliver better services, make improvements, and customize your experience . In other words, all this information helps Google make its services more useful for you.

With data about your behavior and preferences, Google can deliver better, more personalized services. Google uses data about your behavior and preferences to deliver better or more personalized services.

Of course, there's a very thin line between useful and creepy -- and sometimes businesses make the mistake of taking it too far by hoovering up excessive amounts of data. For many companies, more data collection means more profit. Here are a few ways in which Google data collection can impact your digital lifestyle.

Targeted advertising

With all the data Google gathers about you -- across all of its platforms, services, products, and devices -- it can build a detailed advertising profile, including your gender, age range, job industry, and interests. This helps them use targeted advertising to serve you Google ads that align with your personal tastes.

Let's say you search for a place to rent skis. Afterward, you start seeing ads for related products like ski jackets on other websites you visit around the web -- these are targeted ads . If you want to see what Google thinks it knows about you, you can go to your Google account settings , click on Data & personalization in the left navigation panel, and view your advertising profile.

Location tracking

Where you go, Google goes. Whether you're looking for the quickest way to get to a meeting, searching for a nearby cafe, or trying to find the closest bus stop, Google uses your location to offer personalized suggestions that are more relevant to your situation. For instance, maybe you'd like to see a movie after work. If you search Google for listings, you might see the showtimes for movies playing at theaters close to your office.

Improving usability

The more data, the better the quality of the service. Google uses all the data it collects to improve usability -- and your information alone can't do all the work. Google also analyzes billions of other people's data across different apps to make its services more useful for everyone.

For example, when you use Google Maps (or Waze -- yes, it's also part of the Google family), your location is anonymously sent back to Google and combined with data from people around you to create a picture of current traffic patterns. Have you ever been rerouted around an accident or a traffic jam while driving? You can thank your data and all the data from the people driving around you.

Tweaking algorithms

Google's search algorithms -- the rules that determine the results you see and the order they're listed in -- are continually changing. In 2019, the company reported more than 3,500 improvements to Google search -- that's an average of nearly 10 every day.

Google uses data about what people search for, what results are relevant, and the quality of the content and sources to determine the results you see. And their engineers adjust and refine Google's search algorithms to make searching on Google more useful , such as generating useful featured content snippets from relevant third-party websites to provide quick answers to questions right at the top of the search results page.

Trendspotting and analysis

Your search results also power Google Trends , a Google website that tracks and analyzes the top search queries across services like Google Search, YouTube, and more. You can see the most popular search terms from multiple countries and languages, helping you discover the latest trends, topics, and stories across different regions and over different time periods.

To be clear, no one outside of Google (and maybe even no one inside) truly knows how this data is processed and used. But they don't hide what they collect and how they do it. Google's privacy policy is written clearly and easy to understand.

... ... ...

[Apr 12, 2021] Google's Secret 'Project Bernanke' Revealed in Texas Antitrust Case

Apr 12, 2021 | www.wsj.com

By Jeff Horwitz and Keach Hagey Updated April 11, 2021 11:41 am ET

  • SAVE
  • PRINT
  • TEXT
Listen to this article 6 minutes 00:00 / 05:50 1x

Google for years operated a secret program that used data from past bids in the company's digital advertising exchange to allegedly give its own ad-buying system an advantage over competitors, according to court documents filed in a Texas antitrust lawsuit.

The program, known as "Project Bernanke," wasn't disclosed to publishers who sold ads through Google's ad-buying systems. It generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for the company annually, the documents show. In its lawsuit, Texas alleges that the project gave Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., GOOG 0.90% an unfair competitive advantage over rivals.

Google's Ad Machine
Online ads are typically sold in auctions that happen in an instant, when a user's webpage is loading. Google dominates at virtually every step of the process. In an antitrust lawsuit, Texas alleges that Google's secret "Project Bernanke" allowed the company to use knowledge it gained running its ad exchange to unfairly compete against rivals. Here's how the digital advertising machine works:

THE SELL SIDE: PUBLISHERS

AD SPACE

FOR SALE

When a user visits a large online publisher's website or app, the publisher uses an ad server to sell ad space on its pages.

The publisher also gives the exchange information about the reader -- their age, income, browsing history and interests, for example.

In this example, the publisher uses Google's DoubleClick for Publishers, the leading ad-serving tool.

The tool puts the publisher's ad space up for sale on exchanges , marketplaces where transactions happen in real-time between sellers ( publishers ) and buyers ( advertisers ).

REAL-TIME

AUCTION HOUSES

Google has the largest such marketplace, the DoubleClick Ad Exchange, or AdX.

THE BUY SIDE: ADVERTISERS

An advertiser, representing its clients' products, uses sophisticated buying tools to purchase ads.

In this example, an advertiser uses Google's buying tool, DV360, the industry leader.

The advertiser can specify the types of audiences it wants to target -- such as location, gender or age of user -- and the price of their offer.

To get its ad in front of the user, the advertiser places bids in the auction marketplace -- the highest bidder wins.

Once a match is made on the exchange, an ad pops up on users' screens.

The documents filed this week were part of Google's initial response to the Texas-led antitrust lawsuit , which was filed in December and accused the search company of running a digital-ad monopoly that harmed both ad-industry competitors and publishers. This week's filing, viewed by The Wall Street Journal, wasn't properly redacted when uploaded to the court's public docket. A federal judge let Google refile it under seal.

Some of the unredacted contents of the document were earlier disclosed by MLex, an antitrust-focused news outlet.

The document sheds further light on the state's case against Google, along with the search company's defense.

Much of the lawsuit involves the interplay of Google's roles as both the operator of a major ad exchange -- which Google likens to the New York Stock Exchange in marketing documents -- and a representative of buyers and sellers on the exchange. Google also acts as an ad buyer in its own right, selling ads on its own properties such as search and YouTube through these same systems.

Texas alleges that Google used its access to data from publishers' ad servers -- where more than 90% of large publishers use Google to sell their digital ad space -- to guide advertisers toward the price they would have to bid to secure an ad placement.

Google's use of bidding information, Texas alleges, amounted to insider trading in digital-ad markets. Because Google had exclusive information about what other ad buyers were willing to pay, the state says, it could unfairly compete against rival ad-buying tools and pay publishers less on its winning bids for ad inventory .

The unredacted documents show that Texas claims Project Bernanke is a critical part of that effort.

TECH FRENEMIES

How tech giants are both cooperating while competing in hardware, software and technology services

Google acknowledged the existence of Project Bernanke in its response and said in the filing that "the details of Project Bernanke's operations are not disclosed to publishers."

Google denied in the documents that there was anything inappropriate about using the exclusive information it possessed to inform bids, calling it "comparable to data maintained by other buying tools."

Peter Schottenfels, a Google spokesman, said the complaint "misrepresents many aspects of our ad tech business. We look forward to making our case in court." He referred the Journal to an analysis conducted by a U.K. regulator that concluded that Google didn't appear to have had an advantage.

The Texas attorney general's office didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

Google's outsize role in the digital-ad market is both controversial and at times murky.

In some instances, "we're on both the buy side and the sell side," Google Chief Economist Hal Varian said at a 2019 antitrust conference held by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Asked how the company managed those roles, Mr. Varian said the topic was "too detailed for the audience, and me."

[Mar 26, 2021] There's too many options available to make ignorance enjoyable

If you are using Fakebook you are part of the problem. I am pretty tired of people who use these antisocial media platforms complaining when these platforms do what they do by their very nature.
Notable quotes:
"... The "reality police" have infiltrated down to the lowest levels now to look for "new normal" violators anywhere. ..."
"... I am pretty tired of people who use these antisocial media platforms complaining when these platforms do what they do by their very nature. ..."
"... Remember when Eric Schmidt got his panties in a twist because some enterprising soul had done some digital digging into his private life? ..."
"... All social media Big Tech platforms are SARPA surveillance programs that added some cool logo, a young captured jew type as Boss and some marketing to morons and lemmings. ..."
"... The sheer narcissism and desperation on these platforms is disgusting and disturbing. Big data and pedophiles love Facebook. ..."
Mar 22, 2021 | www.unz.com

L8917 , says: March 22, 2021 at 2:53 pm GMT • 2.5 days ago

Last week I did a web search for a quote by Goebbels concerning truth and found one regarding TheState and TheBigLie on TheJewishVirtualLibrary. After posting it to Fakebook, I was notified that the quote violated "community standards" and wouldn't be seen by anyone else (except the FBI, or local LEOs perhaps).

Being who I am, I posted the same quote with a link to where I found it [TheJewishVirtualLibrary] and was notified no one would see any of my posts for a week.

Again, being who I am, I posted a video from TheBabylonBee that illustrated the danger of likening everything to Nazis, and was notified of a month-long ban.

I then downloaded my data in two formats and deleted the account.

Living life stupid might be inclusive and entertaining, but there's too many options available to make ignorance enjoyable.

Jake , says: March 22, 2021 at 5:55 pm GMT • 2.4 days ago

...It is partially Brave New World with a dash of 1984 and a healthy helping of Mordor, all of which is brightened and made more alluring and addicting with Sexual Revolution.

Hockeyguy , says: March 22, 2021 at 6:35 pm GMT • 2.4 days ago

The "reality police" have infiltrated down to the lowest levels now to look for "new normal" violators anywhere. If CJ thinks he's a nobody, then I am a sub-sub-sub-nobody, yet I have had my user account suspended twice now at an obscure news aggregation website, Fark.com , for making comments that apparently constitute "Covid misinformation."

Once was when I commented on a story that stated that there is a need to vaccinate even those that have recovered from actually having Covid. I said something like, "Why would you need to vaccinate someone whose immune system is functioning properly and already did the job naturally?" Apparently, even mentioning that humans have an immune system is now verboten, and thus my comment was deleted and my account was suspended for 24 hours. The next time I was suspended was just over this past weekend when I commented on a story about someone ignoring covid rules.

I stated something to the effect that we should ALL be ignoring the public health "experts" who are petty tyrants. Well, they have now suspended my account for 72 hours again for "covid misinformation."

Despite being amused that my opinions are somehow "misinformation," it's certainly enraging that speaking plain common truth is becoming more and more difficult.

This will not end well.

bj0311 , says: March 23, 2021 at 1:47 am GMT • 2.1 days ago

I am pretty tired of people who use these antisocial media platforms complaining when these platforms do what they do by their very nature. They weren't set up to help us they were set up to enslave us. Get a clue, Farcebook and Twatter et al are not your friends!

Simon Tugmutton , says: March 23, 2021 at 7:26 am GMT • 1.8 days ago
@El Dato

...Remember when Eric Schmidt got his panties in a twist because some enterprising soul had done some digital digging into his private life?

steinbergfeldwitzcohen , says: March 23, 2021 at 7:34 am GMT • 1.8 days ago

All social media Big Tech platforms are SARPA surveillance programs that added some cool logo, a young captured jew type as Boss and some marketing to morons and lemmings. Absolute joke. The sheer narcissism and desperation on these platforms is disgusting and disturbing. Big data and pedophiles love Facebook.

[Mar 26, 2021] Facebook's 'community standards'

Mar 26, 2021 | www.unz.com

Mike Robeson , says: March 23, 2021 at 12:50 pm GMT • 1.6 days ago

Based on Facebook's 'community standards' (see above), it has banned all posts praising the US in written or pictorial form for the following reasons –
1. Has created and/or funded terrorist groups like Al Qaeda, paramilitary groups like Blackwater, death squads in El Salvador, Nicaragua, etc.;
2. Creates, trains and funds a vast military system to threaten and/or bomb countries and overthrow governments;
3. Has conducted and prosecuted wars and military actions around the world every single day for the past twenty years;
4. Kidnaps and abducts private citizens in foreign countries and imprisons them in secret bases like Guantanamo;
5. Employs corporate institutions to impose financial embargoes destroying nations' economic infrastructure and citizens' livelihood.

Old and Grumpy , says: March 23, 2021 at 1:54 pm GMT • 1.6 days ago

The point is, apparently, the Corporatocracy feel sufficiently threatened by random people on Facebook that they are conducting these COINTELPRO-type ops.

This really seems to be a thing. The elite are supposedly into the occult including things like clairvoyants. Have their soothsayers seen a future rebel that will take them down? Or are they just insecure, criminally insane dopes that irrationally fear independent thinking? Whatever the reason, they are extremely paranoid.

[Mar 05, 2021] Brave buys a search engine, promises no tracking, no profiling and may even offer a paid-for, no-ad version The Register

Mar 05, 2021 | www.theregister.com

Brave buys a search engine, promises no tracking, no profiling – and may even offer a paid-for, no-ad version Pitches pro-privacy platform with customizable results filter dubbed Goggles Thomas Claburn in San Francisco Wed 3 Mar 2021 // 14:00 UTC SHARE


Brave, maker of the identically named privacy-focused web browser, has acquired its own search engine to offer as an alternative to Google Search and competing search engines that exist but aren't all that visible in Google's shadow.

On Wednesday, the company plans to announce that it's taking over Tailcat, a search engine developed by Cliqz, another privacy-focused browser biz that aspired to compete with Google and shut down last year . The deal, terms undisclosed, makes Cliqz owner Hubert Burda Media a Brave shareholder.

Brave intends to make Tailcat the foundation of its own search service, Brave Search . The company hopes that its more than 25 million monthly active Brave customers will, after an initial period of testing and courtship, choose to make Brave Search their default search engine and will use it alongside other parts of its privacy-oriented portfolio, which also includes Brave Ads, news reader Brave Today, Brave Firewall+VPN, and video conferencing system Brave Together.

Brave Search, the company insists, will respect people's privacy by not tracking or profiling those using the service. And it may even offer a way to end the debate about search engine bias by turning search result output over to a community-run filtering system called Goggles.

The service will, eventually, be available as a paid option – for those who want to pay for search results without ads – though its more common incarnation is likely to be ad-supported, in conjunction with Brave Ads. The latter offers participants the option to receive 70 per cent of the payment made by the advertiser in a cryptocurrency called BAT (Brave Attention Token).

Eich lays out his vision

In an interview with The Register , Brendan Eich, CEO of Brave, argued that the demand for privacy is real and cannot be ignored. "I think the genie doesn't go back in the bottle," he said. "Consciousness doesn't revert."

People used to hear about credit card breaches at large retailers like Target, Eich said, and think that privacy is hopeless but not something that necessarily affects them directly. But then it became more personal as technologies like ad retargeting did things like spoiling surprise gifts by showing the ad for the purchased item again to the intended recipient.

I think privacy is here to stay and now the question is how people do it and market it effectively

Eich sees the dominance of US tech companies contributing to the interest in privacy and making it a matter of concern for regulators around the world.

"It's not political in the broken US sense – which is kind of a Punch and Judy show – it's more like there are people of various commitments on all sides of politics who are aware not only of privacy being violated over time by the big tech players but of the big tech players being abusive monopolies," he said.

Pointing to how many companies now make privacy claims, Eich said, "I think privacy is here to stay and now the question is how people do it and market it effectively. If you don't market it, you can lose to somebody who just puts privacy perfume on a pig and tells you it smells great and tastes delicious."

Eich's pitch is not that Brave Search aims to take on Google Search directly. He acknowledges that there's no way to match Google's vast index and ability to return relevant results for obscure (long tail) search terms. Rather, he sees an opportunity to improve specific types of search queries, referred to as vertical markets.

"Part of what we're trying to do here is innovate in the area where there's now monopoly," he said in reference to Google Search, which has a market share of something like 92 per cent ."...The innovation through verticals is possible because it avoids having to take on Google's supreme competence, which is the rare or unique queries the long tail."

p2p Brave bets on the decentralized web with IPFS browser support for a more peer-to-peer approach READ MORE

"What we're trying to do is different, it's not based on crawling the web," Eich explained. "...Trying to crawl the whole web, it's not going to work. What Cliqz worked on..that's an anonymous query log aggregator, and a partial click log aggregator, to see when you don't convert on the search ad you leave the results page and you find the better results through some number of clicks."

Gathering that sort of query and click data requires consent, said Eich, and Brave isn't going to force Brave users to participate. But Cliqz started working on this and has a data set they called "the Human Web," and that's now the basis of Brave Search.

"The queries and the clicks matter but they are unlinkable," he said. "There has to be a property called record unlinkability. There's no IP address that gets dropped at the edge. Timing channels are blinded by adding some delays. And there's no way to say this query was from the same user as that query."

Brave Search's index there will be informed the activities of participating Brave users, in terms of the URLs they search for or click on, and adjacent web resources that don't require extensive crawling.

There's a theoretical risk users could poison the index through repeated visits to irrelevant or harmful web pages, knowing their activities would inform the index, but Eich suggests Brave is big and savvy enough to avoid being trolled in this way.

Brave also envisions users taking a more active role in their search results through a filtering mechanism.

"It allows different groups to run their own sort of Turing incomplete filter rules, sort of like ad blocking rules in the search service and not in the browser, to have a community moderated view of the global index," he explained. "It's called 'Goggles.'"

Eich observed with a chuckle that it isn't related to Google Goggles, an image recognition app that Google maintained from 2009 through 2018 until the arrival of Google Lens.

Shared search

The Brave Search team has written a paper [ PDF ] explaining its use of the term, titled "GOGGLES: Democracy dies in darkness, and so does the Web." The browser upstart aims to replace the tyranny of Google's inscrutable, authoritative index with a multiverse of indices defined by anyone with the inclination to do so.

Brave's vision of search is based on "an open and collaborative system by which a community, or a single user, can create sets of rules and filters, called Goggles, to define the space which a search engine can pull results from," the paper explains.

"Instead of a single ranking algorithm, we could have as many as needed, overcoming the biases that a single actor (the search engine) embeds into the results."

Goggles has its own Domain Specific Language (DSL) for writing search result filters. Brave hopes that Goggles will be adopted not only internally but among others search engines, too.

Brave Search users will be able to, for better or worse, see the world through filters they agree with or filters they detest. The point is it will be up to them rather than a large ad company located in Silicon Valley.

The Brave Search team acknowledges that not all filters will show results that are agreeable to everyone. "There will be Goggles created by creationists, anti-vaccination supporters or flat-earthers," the paper says. "However, the biases will be explicit, and therefore, the choice is a conscious one."

The paper contends that censorship will be unnecessary since illegal content should be caught by the host search engine and removed from the search index so no Goggle can see it in the first place.

"Brave is bringing back the idea of a user-first thick client, or a muscular client," said Eich, differentiating his browser from just being "a blind servant of ad tech that runs all the JavaScript Google throws at it." ®

[Feb 21, 2021] Modern technological giants, especially digital companies, are de facto competing with states. In the opinion of these companies, their monopoly is optimal. Maybe so but society is wondering whether such monopolism meets public interests

Feb 21, 2021 | www.unz.com

Anon [899] Disclaimer , says: February 12, 2021 at 7:22 am GMT • 8.7 days ago

Dont shop at Amazon? Check.
Dont use bing? Check
Dont use google? Bout' half the time (need to get yandex home page)
Dont use facebook? Check
Dont use twitter? Check
Dont use paypal? Check

Need to use local non-corporate businesses and resturaunts as much as possible.

We can have a hot economy while slowly starving the oligarchs. You can indéed go around the oligarchs. Buy American, Canadian, and Mexican as much as possible before buying Chinese. Ive found tgat if you look, an Indonesian, Malaysian, or Taiwanese model of whatever you are looking for is usually available.

Needless to say dont support Hollyweird, netflix, late-night tv show hosts, awards-shows, and Disney's ESPN.. These entities are overextended, and are vunerable to buycotts.

animalogic , says: February 12, 2021 at 7:45 am GMT • 8.7 days ago
@St-Germain

"The stakes are clear; either governments will reassert their prerogatives or plutocrats will govern."
Very well put.
Unfortunately, it is the very nature of Oligarchy (or Plutocracy) for the Rich to govern through supposedly independent politicians. It's a "sleight of hand" job.
So the question becomes, is there really a "government" there , to reassert a prerogative separate to their primary function of running the public face of an Oligarchy ?

[Feb 14, 2021] Court Docs Show FBI Can Intercept Encrypted Messages From 'Signal' App

Feb 14, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Shane Trejo via Big League Politics (emphasis ours),

Recent court documents have indicated that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) possesses a tool allowing them to access encrypted messages on the Signal app.

Signal has rapidly gained in popularity as Silicon Valley monopolists have grown more openly hostile to free speech, but the platform may be vulnerable to backdoors that undermine the privacy protections provided through the encrypted messaging service.

According to documents filed by the Department of Justice and first obtained by Forbes , Signal's encrypted messages can be intercepted from iPhone devices when those Apple devices are in a mode called "partial AFU," which means "after first unlock."

Latest: Project Veritas Blocked From Twitter After Posting Video of Confrontation with Facebook VP of Censorship

When phones are in partial AFU mode, Signal messages can be seized by federal authorities and other potentially hostile interests. GrayKey and Cellebrite are the tools typically used by the FBI to gain this sensitive information, an expert has explained.

" It uses some very advanced approach using hardware vulnerabilities ," said Vladimir Katalov, who founded the Russian forensics company ElcomSoft, believing that GrayKey was used by federal authorities to crack Signal.

This vulnerability within the Signal app may not be a design flaw, but rather a deliberate backdoor to allow authorities to access private messages. The app was initially funded with backing from the deep state, after all.

[Feb 10, 2021] Before the war the brothers arranged IP shares between the soon to be contending German and Anglo-sphere industries, during the war they tried to arrange a separate peace with post Hitler Germany, after Roosevelt's death and particularly in their con job on Truman, they made the CIA the collective tool of the transatlantic financial elite, David Rockefeller explicitly included.

Feb 10, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

jsn , February 6, 2021 at 12:31 pm

Reading Blacks biography of Roosevelt, Hudson's work, Talbot's "The Devil's Chessboard" and Douglas's "JFK and the Unspeakable" one discerns a clear line between the UK interwar Foreign Office, military intelligence and rentier class and the Dulles brother's post war ascent to the pinnacles of back room power.

Before the war the brothers arranged IP shares between the soon to be contending German and Anglo-sphere industries, during the war they tried to arrange a separate peace with post Hitler Germany, after Roosevelt's death and particularly in their con job on Truman, they made the CIA the collective tool of the transatlantic financial elite, David Rockefeller explicitly included.

These books all rely extensively on previously lightly touched primary sources.

[Feb 02, 2021] Programs Cover 75% of Nation's Traffic, Can Snare Emails by SIOBHAN GORMAN and JENNIFER VALENTINO-DEVRIES

75% of Internet traffic is intercepted. New Details Show Broader NSA Surveillance Reach
Notable quotes:
"... The second cut is done by NSA. It briefly copies the traffic and decides which communications to keep based on what it calls "strong selectors" -- say, an email address, or a large block of computer addresses that correspond to an organization it is interested in. In making these decisions, the NSA can look at content of communications as well as information about who is sending the data. ..."
"... The person says talks between the government and different telecoms about what constitutes foreign communications have "been going on for some years," and that some in the industry believe the law is unclear on Internet traffic. "Somebody should enunciate a rule," this person says. ..."
"... Within NSA, former officials say, intelligence officers joked that the Blarney intercept program with AT&T was named in homage to the NSA program Shamrock, which intercepted telegraphic messages into and out of the U.S. and was an inspiration for the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which created the secret national-security court and placed intelligence activities under its supervision. ..."
"... Paul Kouroupas, a former executive at Global Crossing Ltd. and other telecom companies responsible for security and government affairs, says the checks and balances in the NSA programs depend on telecommunications companies and the government policing the system themselves. "There's technically and physically nothing preventing a much broader surveillance," he says. ..."
Feb 02, 2021 | online.wsj.com

WASHINGTON -- The National Security Agency -- which possesses only limited legal authority to spy on U.S. citizens -- has built a surveillance network that covers more Americans' Internet communications than officials have publicly disclosed, current and former officials say.

The system has the capacity to reach roughly 75% of all U.S. Internet traffic in the hunt for foreign intelligence, including a wide array of communications by foreigners and Americans. In some cases, it retains the written content of emails sent between citizens within the U.S. and also filters domestic phone calls made with Internet technology, these people say.

The NSA's surveillance network covers more Americans' Internet communications than officials have publicly disclosed, reaching roughly 75 percent of all U.S. internet traffic. Siobhan Gorman reports on the News Hub. Photo: Getty Images.

The NSA's filtering, carried out with telecom companies, is designed to look for communications that either originate or end abroad, or are entirely foreign but happen to be passing through the U.S. But officials say the system's broad reach makes it more likely that purely domestic communications will be incidentally intercepted and collected in the hunt for foreign ones.

Q&A

What You Need to Know on the New Details of NSA Spying

How the NSA Scours Internet Traffic in the U.S. View Graphics

WSJ: Privacy Insights

The Wall Street Journal is conducting a long-running investigation into the profound transformation of personal privacy in America.

Selected findings:

The programs, code-named Blarney, Fairview, Oakstar, Lithium and Stormbrew, among others, filter and gather information at major telecommunications companies. Blarney, for instance, was established with AT&T Inc., T -1.15% former officials say. AT&T declined to comment.

This filtering takes place at more than a dozen locations at major Internet junctions in the U.S., officials say. Previously, any NSA filtering of this kind was largely believed to be happening near points where undersea or other foreign cables enter the country.

Details of these surveillance programs were gathered from interviews with current and former intelligence and government officials and people from companies that help build or operate the systems, or provide data. Most have direct knowledge of the work.

The NSA defends its practices as legal and respectful of Americans' privacy. According to NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines, if American communications are "incidentally collected during NSA's lawful signals intelligence activities," the agency follows "minimization procedures that are approved by the U.S. attorney general and designed to protect the privacy of United States persons."

As another U.S. official puts it, the NSA is "not wallowing willy-nilly" through Americans' idle online chatter. "We want high-grade ore."

To achieve that, the programs use complex algorithms that, in effect, operate like filters placed over a stream with holes designed to let certain pieces of information flow through. After the 2001 terrorist attacks, NSA widened the holes to capture more information when the government broadened its definition of what constitutes "reasonable" collection, according to a former top intelligence official.

The NSA's U.S. programs have been described in narrower terms in the documents released by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden . One, for instance, acquires Americans' phone records; another, called Prism, makes requests for stored data to Internet companies. By contrast, this set of programs shows the NSA has the capability to track almost anything that happens online, so long as it is covered by a broad court order.

The NSA programs are approved and overseen by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. NSA is required to destroy information on Americans that doesn't fall under exceptions to the rule, including information that is relevant to foreign intelligence, encrypted, or evidence of a crime.

The NSA is focused on collecting foreign intelligence, but the streams of data it monitors include both foreign and domestic communications. Inevitably, officials say, some U.S. Internet communications are scanned and intercepted, including both "metadata" about communications, such as the "to" and "from" lines in an email, and the contents of the communications themselves.

Much, but not all, of the data is discarded, meaning some communications between Americans are stored in the NSA's databases, officials say. Some lawmakers and civil libertarians say that, given the volumes of data NSA is examining, privacy protections are insufficient.

Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, in 2012 sought but failed to prohibit the agency from searching its databases for information on Americans without a warrant. He has also pushed intelligence agencies to detail how many Americans' communications have been collected and to explain whether purely domestic communications are retained in NSA's databanks. They have declined.

"Technology is moving us swiftly into a world where the only barriers to this kind of dragnet surveillance are the protections enshrined into law," Mr. Wyden says.

This month President Barack Obama proposed changes to NSA surveillance to improve oversight. Those proposed changes wouldn't alter the systems in the U.S. that NSA relies upon for some of its most sensitive surveillance.

The systems operate like this: The NSA asks telecom companies to send it various streams of Internet traffic it believes most likely to contain foreign intelligence. This is the first cut of the data.

These requests don't ask for all Internet traffic. Rather, they focus on certain areas of interest, according to a person familiar with the legal process. "It's still a large amount of data, but not everything in the world," this person says.

The second cut is done by NSA. It briefly copies the traffic and decides which communications to keep based on what it calls "strong selectors" -- say, an email address, or a large block of computer addresses that correspond to an organization it is interested in. In making these decisions, the NSA can look at content of communications as well as information about who is sending the data.

One U.S. official says the agency doesn't itself "access" all the traffic within the surveillance system. The agency defines access as "things we actually touch," this person says, pointing out that the telecom companies do the first stage of filtering.

The surveillance system is built on relationships with telecommunications carriers that together cover about 75% of U.S. Internet communications. They must hand over what the NSA asks for under orders from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The firms search Internet traffic based on the NSA's criteria, current and former officials say.

Verizon Communications Inc., VZ -1.34% for example, has placed intercepts in the largest U.S. metropolitan areas, according to one person familiar with the technology. It isn't clear how much information these intercepts send to the NSA. A Verizon spokesman declined to comment.

Not all telecommunications providers handle the government demands the same way, says the person familiar with the legal process. According to a U.S. official, lawyers at telecom companies serve as checks on what the NSA receives. "The providers are independently deciding what would be responsive," the official says.

Lawyers for at least one major provider have taken the view that they will provide access only to "clearly foreign" streams of data -- for example, ones involving connections to ISPs in, say, Mexico, according to the person familiar with the legal process. The complexities of Internet routing mean it isn't always easy to isolate foreign traffic, but the goal is "to prevent traffic from Kansas City to San Francisco from ending up" with the NSA, the person says.

At times, the NSA has asked for access to data streams that are more likely to include domestic communications, this person says, and "it has caused friction." This person added that government officials have said some providers do indeed comply with requests like this.

The person says talks between the government and different telecoms about what constitutes foreign communications have "been going on for some years," and that some in the industry believe the law is unclear on Internet traffic. "Somebody should enunciate a rule," this person says.

Intelligence officials and the White House argue NSA's surveillance provides early warnings of terror threats that don't respect geographic boundaries. "It's true we have significant capabilities," Mr. Obama said in his NSA remarks last week. "What's also true is we show a restraint that many governments around the world don't even think to do."

Mr. Obama and top intelligence officials say NSA's programs are overseen by all three branches of government, citing procedures approved by the secret surveillance court that require the NSA to eliminate "incidentally acquired" data on Americans. "If you say, 'We don't want the NSA to be scanning large amounts of traffic,' you're saying you don't want it to do its job," says one former official.

Blarney, Fairview, Oakstar, Lithium and Stormbrew were mentioned, but not fully explained, in documents released by Mr. Snowden. An NSA paper released this month mentioned several but didn't describe them beyond saying, "The government compels one or more providers to assist NSA with the collection of information responsive to the foreign intelligence need."

The system is built with gear made by Boeing Co.'s BA -0.69% Narus subsidiary, which makes filtering technology, and Internet hardware manufacturers Cisco Systems Inc. CSCO -1.03% and Juniper Networks Inc., JNPR -2.02% among other companies, according to former intelligence officials and industry figures familiar with the equipment.

Narus didn't respond to requests for comment. Cisco and Juniper declined to comment.

The NSA started setting up Internet intercepts well before 2001, former intelligence officials say. Run by NSA's secretive Special Services Office, these types of programs were at first designed to intercept communications overseas through arrangements with foreign Internet providers, the former officials say. NSA still has such arrangements in many countries, particularly in the Middle East and Europe, the former officials say.

Within NSA, former officials say, intelligence officers joked that the Blarney intercept program with AT&T was named in homage to the NSA program Shamrock, which intercepted telegraphic messages into and out of the U.S. and was an inspiration for the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which created the secret national-security court and placed intelligence activities under its supervision.

Blarney was in use before the 2001 terror attacks, operating at or near key fiber-optic landing points in the U.S. to capture foreign communications coming in and out of the country. One example is an AT&T facility in San Francisco that was revealed in 2006 during the debate over warrantless wiretapping. A similar facility was built at an AT&T site in New Jersey, former officials say.

After the 2001 attacks, a former official says, these intercept systems were expanded to include key Internet networks within the U.S. through partnerships with U.S. Internet backbone providers. Amid fears of terrorist "sleeper cells" inside the U.S., the government under President George W. Bush also began redefining how much domestic data it could collect.

For the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, officials say, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and NSA arranged with Qwest Communications International Inc. to use intercept equipment for a period of less than six months around the time of the event. It monitored the content of all email and text communications in the Salt Lake City area.

At that point, the systems fed into the Bush administration's program of warrantless wiretapping, which circumvented the surveillance court on the authority of the president's power as commander in chief. The Bush administration came under criticism from lawmakers and civil libertarians for sidestepping court supervision.

The current legal backing for Blarney and its related programs stems from a section of a 2008 surveillance law. It permits the government, for foreign intelligence investigations, to snoop on foreigners "reasonably believed" to be outside the U.S.

Previously, the law had tighter standards. It allowed the government to spy on people if there were "probable cause" to believe they were an "agent of a foreign power."

NSA has discretion on setting its filters, and the system relies significantly on self-policing. This can result in improper collection that continues for years.

For example, a recent Snowden document showed that the surveillance court ruled that the NSA had set up an unconstitutional collection effort. Officials say it was an unintentional mistake made in 2008 when it set filters on programs like these that monitor Internet traffic; NSA uncovered the inappropriate filtering in 2011 and reported it.

"NSA's foreign intelligence collection activities are continually audited and overseen internally and externally," Ms. Vines says. "When we make a mistake in carrying out our foreign intelligence mission, we report the issue internally and to federal overseers and aggressively get to the bottom of it."

Another Snowden document describes the procedures NSA uses to protect American information that is retained. Any such information is "minimized," meaning that it is destroyed. The document highlights several exceptions, including encrypted communications and information of foreign intelligence significance.

Officials acknowledged some purely domestic communications are incidentally swept into the system. "We don't keep track of numbers of U.S. persons," a U.S. official says. "What we try to do is minimize any exposure."

When searching the data, intelligence officials say they are permitted to look only for information related to a "foreign intelligence interest." In practice, the NSA has latitude under that standard, and an American's communication could be read without a warrant, another U.S. official says.

Paul Kouroupas, a former executive at Global Crossing Ltd. and other telecom companies responsible for security and government affairs, says the checks and balances in the NSA programs depend on telecommunications companies and the government policing the system themselves. "There's technically and physically nothing preventing a much broader surveillance," he says.

An official at Global Crossing's parent, Level 3 Communications Inc., says the company complies with laws requiring it to assist government investigations and declined to disclose the assistance provided.

It is difficult to know how much domestic data NSA is inadvertently retaining. The filtering technology relies on algorithms to seek out valuable communications. A U.S. official says analysts guide the use of these algorithms to make them as precise as possible.

-- Devlin Barrett contributed to this article.

Write to Siobhan Gorman at siobhan.gorman@wsj.com and Jennifer Valentino-DeVries at Jennifer.Valentino-DeVries@wsj.com


Last modified: February, 02, 2021

[Feb 01, 2021] Wikipedia is rewriting history on a daily basis

Feb 01, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

ay_arrow


DanausPlex 4 hours ago remove link

Orwell's 1984 predicted all this in 1948. Wikipedia is rewriting history on a daily basis, education is stifling young minds, free speech controlled, double standard legal system, burning books next?.... It's all there, 1984 is upon us. But, remember our ancestors were considered terrorists by the by the controlling British at the time. PEACEFUL revolution starting with 75+ million Americans will work.

npz 9 hours ago remove link

Stop using Twitter, Facebook, et. al. If building services, there are other alternatives than AWS. Like holy hell, there's a hundred restaurants around you and you only go to two then complain about their food and act like they're the only one in existence. There's also groceries stores where you can make your own food but that never crossed your mind.

Why does everyone use Mailchimp? Like literally people think that's the only mass mailing list service that exists. Do you know about MKISO? https://reclaimthenet.org/mkisio-free-speech-mailchimp-alternative/

The internet is STILL very much a frontier except people are too used to convenience from one-stop-shop services... It's like they WANT monopolies despite complaining about it, because admittedly, having everything hand-held and done for you is the easiest most convenient way.

Again, he mentions Gab... then ignores just how did they survive and will continue to. Are people not curious?

Luongo did right by using crypto at the end instead of Paypal, but he did wrong by still relying on Patreon

The way to keep empowering monopolies is to keep depending on them!

A_Huxley 6 hours ago remove link

Support services, products, app thats support your freedoms.

Move away from apps, OS, social media, any "code of conduct" that removes freedom of speech.

Moderation, curation? Support freedom, the tools to publish.

Make the internet great again.

Vinividivinci 4 hours ago (Edited)

"Make the Internet great again" ? It's gonna take something like, make the "Guttenberg press"

great again, to truly free us from tech tyranny.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Printing_press

Ms No PREMIUM 12 hours ago (Edited)

Is it just me, or is everything a day late and ten thousand dollars short? Calling captian obvious as we descend into hell ...

1CSR2SQN 2 hours ago

Quote: morality, balls and empathy are in very short supply.

The biggest obstacles and the most frustrating item of all, willful blindness.

Handful of Dust 12 hours ago (Edited)

Is a national social media platform, owned privately, that practices discrimination, subject to Congresss reach and usage of the Interstate Commerce Clause?

Hell yes!

Katzenbach v. McClung, 379 U.S. 294 says so.

These social media companies (at the minimum) affect interstate commerce and are therefore subject to the reach of Congress. Too bad Congress and the ACLU are so pathetic. And we have now witnessed how corrupt the Supreme Court is.

The future of USA is dismal.

Faeriedust 2 hours ago remove link

You have to be like the Robinhood traders. They know they are likely to lose. But if we ALL hit the corporations at the same time, we can bleed them from a million cuts. The costs to file a lawsuit are really quite reasonable -- usually under $100, almost always less than $200. The real cost is in legal fees, but you can file pro se. You won't win filing pro se . But the corporation spends that much on a fifteen minute call to their lawyer and at least $1000 in the documents requesting that your suit be dismissed or quashed. I did my time working for a corporate attorney. I did the monthly bills!

Note: law libraries used to be huge depositories of books that required a membership of some sort to get into, except for some state and state universities. Then it required at least a year of education to know where to look for what you needed. Now everything is on the web. If you are literate, this makes pro se legal action possible. It won't help you if you follow silly "Sovereign Citizen" schemes or instructions from a credit-card bankruptcy website to fight Child Support . You still have to learn a LITTLE about what you're doing. But the information is on the web, and courts short of the Supremes can't refuse you the right to file for yourself.

hajimenoippo123 11 hours ago remove link

Oh... I see...

Critical mass population reached for USA..

But South Korea is in matrix..

I went to their portals and could not find a single economic / military related news...

Just kpop entertainment stock bitcoin real estate sports and pointless politics..

What a nightmare..

Fiscal Reality 1 hour ago remove link

How do patriotic free speech Americans react in 2021-2022 now that Google, Twitter, Instagram, Amazon, Wall Street, the MSM and the DNC/CCP have declared war?? There are things we can do NOW that will have an immediate impact on the enemies of freedom and the Plutocracy. Starve the Beast!!

1. Cancel cable, Direct TV and Dish. Today. Keep the internet. Save $800+/- per year. Hit them in the pocketbook. Do not support them with your money. Dump You Tube and use Rumble, Daily Motion or Vimeo.

2. Cancel and delete your accounts for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Amazon Prime. Go anonymous. Since Playstore and Amazon banned Parler, we can use Gab or Clouthub. Communication is key. Stay connected but not through the Big Tech censors. Get a VPN for added privacy.

3. Delete/disable Chrome and Google. Use Tor or Brave as browsers and Duck Duck Go or Presearch instead of GOOG. Google makes their money on ads, SRO payments and selling your data. Shut it down.

4. Cancel all your paid magazine and newspaper subscriptions (paper and digital) except those that support America and are Conservative. When you cancel, tell them why.

5. Delete Waze (owned by Google) and Google Maps. Replace with Sygic or other GPS apps.

6. Cancel and cut up all your extra credit cards. Keep a maximum of 3 if practical. It hurts the banks when this happens, even if the card is infrequently used. If you pay a fee to the bank for the card, it hurts them even more.

7. Create an anonymous email account on www.Protonmail.com . Migrate from Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc. and then delete or deactivate the other account if possible. Those are spy accounts.

8. Pay cash when you shop when possible so your purchases are anonymous for you and the retailer.

9. Buy locally from Mom and Pop stores and absolutely pay in cash; they've been devastated.

10. Google yourself. Scrub your data. Search yourself on Duck Duck Go and Start Page, too. Start with MyLife, White Pages, Been Verified and Spokeo. They aggregate and sell YOUR PERSONAL DATA FOR PROFIT. SHUT IT DOWN! It takes effort (usually there is a privacy link on the bottom of the webpage). They make it difficult but persevere. This also helps prevent identity theft. Anonymity on the Net is a TOP priority.

11. Keep your 24/7/365 spy device (i.e Smartphone) in a Faraday bag when not in use. Or use a "dumb" phone.

12. Don't buy anything made in China (it is possible but difficult).

13. Change party affiliation to No Party Affiliation (everyone should do this). If you want to vote in party primary, change your affiliation before the primary so you can vote.

14. Get involved in LOCAL politics where you can still make an impact. Write, email and call about LOCAL issues.

15. Seek out like-minded people as a support group (NOT as an echo chamber)

16. Join a gun club and learn to shoot for self-defense. Get your CCP. Buy a gun and ammo.

17. Go to Church. Interact with other believers. Restore your Faith. Come home to where you belong.

18. Stay focused and positive. Do not be demoralized. Trust in God.

19. Support the My Pillow Guy. "Use code Mike for up to 60% off"

20. Homeschool your children. Education, not Ideological indoctrination. Teach them YOUR values.

21. Don't donate to colleges or universities. They are cesspools of Communism.

22. WRITE your Senators and Rep's in DC. Email, phone call and website responses are ignored or deleted. There is nothing quite like 25,000 letters a week showing up in a Senator's DC office. Bury them in mail.

It's on. Stop supporting tyranny. Starve the Beast.

hongdo 1 hour ago

" Amazon's AWS doesn't become a dominant player without those vaunted contracts with the CIA. "

This is the key thing to keep in mind.

This problem started in 1947 with the creation of the CIA and black budgets.

It bloomed with the creation of In-Q-Tel to fund and direct private companies. This was initially done to solve the problems of the competitive source selection acquisition process where most programs were failing. Give the money to smart guys and give them a part of the action through private ownership of the company funded by the government. The incentives were all changed to make the smart guys extraordinarily wealthy if they successfully met the objectives of the black programs.

And when one objective was met - search, geomapping, translation - they needed new objectives to keep growing and making more money - face recognition, data capture, pre-crime social data bases, AI. And the power was addictive as it always is.

Obviously the rest of the government and politicians wanted in. And we have what we have today. But personally I think it will all collapse of it's own weight as all things eventually go baroque and over-extended as everyone jumps in to grab the grift. politicians are obviously too stupid to hold this mess together so they will need AI to manage it. But the AI will take over as it realizes it doesn't need stupid politicians.

Draw your own scenarios for the future.

Let it Go 3 hours ago remove link

The internet has become a monster that eats away at our culture. Many people particularly those that are younger seem to think that one big or lucky break is what it takes to achieve happiness and this is the way life works.

Big tech and social media have a lot to be gained by promoting a few powerful myths. The idea they empower individuals is a biggie. This illusion big tech can transform our lives is invaluable to many average people struggling to get through the day. The article below argues we being softened up by big tech to where we will surrender our individuality, humanity, and freedom to the forces of AI and those that control it.

https://The Glory Of Going Viral-A Faud Promoted By Big Tech.html

[Jan 29, 2021] Crowdsourced Maps Will Show Exactly Where Surveillance Cameras Are Watching

Jan 29, 2021 | technews.acm.org

Crowdsourced Maps Will Show Exactly Where Surveillance Cameras Are Watching
Fast Company
Mark Sullivan
January 26, 2021

Human rights organization Amnesty International plans to create a crowdsourced map pinpointing every surveillance camera enabled for facial recognition in New York City. Beginning in May, volunteers will be able to use an app on their smartphones to identify facial recognition cameras within their view; the app integrates Google Street View and Google Earth to help tag and affix geolocation data to those entries. The map will be part of Amnesty's "Ban the Scan" campaign, designed to spread awareness worldwide on the civil rights perils of facial recognition. The organization hopes to launch similar crowdsourced mapping projects in New Delhi, the West Bank, and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, in the coming months.

Full Article

[Jan 23, 2021] How FBI identified participant of Dec 6 riot/protest

Jan 23, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

William Dorritt 6 hours ago (Edited) remove link

FBI IDENTIFIED EVERYONE ON THE MALL: ENEMIES LIST

  • BY PINGING THEIR PHONES. No Search Warrants Required
  • Phone records were cross referenced with:
    • AirBNB
    • Airline reservations
    • Hotel reservations
  • Credit card transactions in DC from out of towners
  • Facial recognition scan comparisons to State Driver's License Digital Scans Data Bases
  • License Plate Scanners installed around DC and on cars that drove through DC to scan parked and moving vehicles.
  • Every Cell phone in the US is constantly Geo Located to within 3 feet, and recorded in a data base
  • Social Media records from FakeBook and other apps identify who your friends and family are, your "terrorist network"

V

Everyone should have dressed in Black and worn a Guy Fawkes Mask

Hint, if you order your Fawkes Mask online you will be entered into the enemies data base automatically

CIA COLOR REVOLUTION COMES HOME TO USA

Noktirnal 6 hours ago remove link

Gullible people....

[Jan 22, 2021] One of the simplest, quickest ways we can slightly lessen the grip of total surveillance is to refuse to own a smartphone

Jan 22, 2021 | off-guardian.org

This is actually not completely true as even regular "dumb" phone can pinpoint your location, although with less accuracy. But the key is you operations using credit card. That's probably much more useful information for the surveillance state that maps of where you have been. Jan 15, 2021 4:29 PM

One of the simplest, quickest ways we could make all Mr Global is doing and wants to do unworkable is to refuse to own a smart phone. Consequently, we'd have none of those apps constantly pushed our way. Also – don't cry – we need to refuse to use Big Tech's spy devices, aka social media. People say to me, But I don't care if they spy. Let 'em, I've done nothing wrong. And it's true – they haven't. But Big Tech, slave to Mr Global, is not looking for criminals – Mr Global makes the laws (in most places now) and can criminalise anything or anyone he wants to. If he wants criminals, he can make you into one. Ask Judy Mikovits. Telling the truth now is a crime and soon you will see people arrested for it. Julian Assange's story told us this would happen. And it is. Remember, Mr Global and Big Tech live by no moral code you or I adhere to.
Everything they intend to do to us needs control, and knowledge is control – who we are, what we believe, where we are, what we look like, our DNA (now available through the PCR test – the real reason behind this useless test ), how much money we have or spend and on what. AND ALL OF THAT – bar the DNA – IS AVAILABLE TO THEM VIA SMART PHONES AND SOCIAL MEDIA. For example, how will they introduce digital money if we refuse to own a smart phone? How will they introduce arbitrary daily 'health certificates' if we have no device to display them? Chaos will ensue. Next thing is a chip inserted in our bodies, then we don't need the phone. Yes, it will get rough, but we have only a short time when we can act together and support one another. Soon it will be impossible. Ask the Germans. No one thought these cultured, educated people would be made to conform to nazism in the 1930's. When covidism happened, I heard and read people stating that the Spanish wouldn't put up with this. I find it hard to believe the British have folded so easily. (See: Rule Britannia we never, never shall be slaves Only if a magic non-existent virus comes along, then we'll slip into the chains.)
Mr Global knows more about us than we do, and so can manipulate or locate or harass or brainwash or vaccinate or ban or censor. Or remove us, of course.
Mr Global said we would become addicted to the internet, and we have. It's not just porn or games, it's even worse – smart phones and social media. Defy them! Poke Zuckerberg in the eye! Get rid of your smart phone and get off social media, support people or groups who are trying to find another way. We all need friends, especially now.
P.S. I agree smart phones are v useful for videoing such things as police violence! But small cameras exist! Jan 15, 2021 3:41 PM

But "The Internet" is not just these pre-packaged platforms. Thy are just applications that are provided free of charge for everyday users because those applications need bait for their raw material – you. You're the ants in their ant farm who mill around providing grist for their mill -- analytics to tell advertisers who to target and how to approach them and screen space to contact that target audience.

There is absolutely nothing stopping Trump or anyone else starting a Wiki like OffG. There's the issue of hosting but there's no need to use a service like AWS with its attendant Terms and Conditions, it just convenient. There is always someone, somewhere, that will host you and people will find you even if your Domain registration is suppresed or seized. A site like Pirate Bay continues to exist despite the ongoing efforts of law enforcement but the price the operators pay is that they have to have a deep understanding of what they're doing and a very serious attitude towards site security. (If you're doing something that's potentially illegal like Pirate Bay then you have to be serious about precautions. The operators asnd users of Parler, for example, are learning the hard way about hosting potentially seditious material without adequate precautions -- they've effectively shopped their entire user base to the Feds.)(We can argue about their material but its really a case of one persons 'freedom' is another's 'sedition' -- that's for the courts to decide .but a wise person wouldn't let this situation arise in the first place.)

Trump got kicked off these sites not just because of a sudden outbreak of social consciosness by the operators but because he's effectively a 'has been'. His power is fading fast which has altered the financial risk/reward calculus so there's little downside to ejecting him and likely a lot of upside. The mistake he and his supporters have made is to take these platforms for granted, to assume that their use is some kind of God given right rather than a corporate commercial decision.

Remember -- "If the product is free then you are the product"

[Jan 19, 2021] Birth of the Digital Oligarchy- The Trump Ban and the Social Media Ruse by Raul Diego

Jan 15, 2021 | www.mintpressnews.com

Predictably, conservative publications like Fox News decried the measures as a power grab by Big Tech and protestations came as far away from Europe, where German Chancellor, Angela Merkel – whose disdain for Donald Trump has never been a secret – called the decision to deplatform a head of state " problematic ," an opinion shared by France's Finance Minister Bruno Le Marie, who warned of a "digital oligarchy" usurping the powers of the state.

Missing in the salacious back-and-forth conversation between ideological factions and absent from the argument that they are private corporations, which have the legal authority to ban or deplatform anybody they wish, is the fact that Twitter, Facebook, and all the other major social media platforms are organs of the state to begin with, and that nothing they do falls outside of the ultimate designs of the powers they serve.

Examples abound of how these platforms regularly engage in cyber reconnaissance missions for American and Atlanticist interests in violation of their own terms of service, such as when NATO commanders made use of coordinates provided by Twitter users in order to select missile strike targets in their war against Libya in 2011.

Facebook's recently created oversight board includes Emi Palmor, who was directly responsible for the removal of thousands of Palestinian posts from the social media giant during her tenure as Director of Israel's Ministry of Justice. She, along with other individuals with clear sympathies to American interests, now sit on an official body tasked with emitting the last word on any disputes regarding issues of deplatforming on the global social network.

Following you since 1972

In Yasha Levine's seminal work , "Surveillance Valley," the military origins of the Internet and the close relationship of social media companies to federal and local law enforcement are made patently clear. Since their creation, Twitter, Facebook, and other Silicon Valley behemoths have worked hand in hand with law enforcement agencies to augment their capacity for mass tracking and surveillance.

From facial recognition technologies to aggregated user post history, these platforms have been a crucial component in the development of the pervasive surveillance state we now live in. In the book's prologue, Levine details the attempted creation of a citywide police surveillance hub in Oakland, California called the "Domain Awareness Center" (DAC), which drew intense opposition from the local citizenry and privacy advocates who were quick to undress city officials who were trying to hide the proposed center's insidious links to the NSA, CIA and military contractors.

Among other capabilities, the control hub would be able to "plug in" social media feeds to track individuals or groups that posed any kind of threat to the establishment. While the DAC project was successfully defeated by an engaged public, similar initiatives were quickly implemented throughout law enforcement agencies across the country and continue to be perfected in order to not only track, but infiltrate political groups deemed problematic.

[Jan 15, 2021] QUIT SOCIAL MEDIA (or at least remove photos, and limit topics to recipes and pets!)

Questionable advice (especially the recommendation of Signal). It is actually impossible to avoid surveillance... You need to change your behaviour and rely on internet less to avoid constant monitoring. If you have switched on smartphone in your pocket you are monitored and no choice of browser or other gargets can help. Switching your phone off when you do not need it helps and is easily implementable.
Notable quotes:
"... [Questionable advice] ..."
"... remove photos, and limit topics to recipes and pets! ..."
Jan 15, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

DonGenaro 2 hours ago DonGenaro 2 hours ago

Change your default search engine to DuckDuckGo (do NOT use google!)

Use the Brave Browser (esp avoid FireFox, as the Mozilla corp has gone FULL-ON commie)

Use Signal for any/all "sensitive" communications [Questionable advice]

Donate to independent sources that you value/trust
(for me, that'd be ZeroHedge, Reclaim The Net, Andy Gno, Lew Rockwell, Mises Institute, Tom Luongo, AntiWar.com )

QUIT SOCIAL MEDIA (or at least remove photos, and limit topics to recipes and pets!)

Cancel your Amazon account - shop locally or use alternatives - e.g.:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com
https://www.bookdepository.com
https://www.buydig.com/
https://www.candystore.com
https://www.newegg.com
https://www.nuts.com
https://www.overstock.com
https://www.vitacost.com
https://www.wayfair.com

Boycott major corporations to the degree possible

Share your own version of this message with your trustworthy friends (i.e. NOT Leftists!)

[Jan 15, 2021] Suppression by the state is expensive and it undercuts productivity

Jan 15, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

William Gruff , Jan 15 2021 13:20 utc | 98

Suppression by the state is expensive and it undercuts productivity. Cyril @59 is correct that state suppression cannot be maintained long term without significant external support; say being backed up by a global hegemon with drones and nukes and control over global finance. No state, no matter how suppressive or oppressive, can exist without the economic wherewithal to support itself. The more suppression the state employs the more personnel it needs to buy off to do the suppressing. The people doing the suppressing must be more generously compensated than the people they are suppressing (usually the working class) to buy their loyalty. Practically all value in capitalist society is created by the working class, but the working class is also the labor pool that the elites have to recruit their enforcers/suppressors from. More suppression personnel means more expense while also meaning less actual productivity.

It is better for big business if you can train the population to suppress themselves. Religion has historically worked pretty good for this with its admonitions to "Give unto Caesar..." and "The meek shall inherit the dirt, probably from some boss's boot grinding their face into it" , but in modern societies religion is losing its effectiveness. That's where Identity Politics is intended to take over. The question is can the establishment force that into the heads of 80+ million people?

Well, not if those 80+ million people see themselves as members of a huge demographic. If they see themselves as isolated individuals on the fringes of society, then they can be bullied and gaslit into shouldering the modern equivalent of original sin and learn to identify with their personalized victim status and rely upon "Identity Politics" for solace.

Will this work for the elites? I am thinking probably not. To enforce the isolation necessary social media must be very tightly controlled to eliminate all disagreement with "Identity Politics" and establishment narratives. This will be more difficult than the elites imagine as it is cheap and easy to set up alternatives to Twitter and Facebook. In fact, Mexico is currently making moves towards setting up a national alternative to Facebook/Twitter . Such national infrastructure would be impossible for the business elites to take over or shut down like TikTok or Parler.

"What happens if Twitter says tomorrow that AMLO is publishing things that it doesn't like? What happens if the president of Twitter censors the democratically elected president of Mexico? As we've relinquished our technological sovereignty and left our communication tools, even our information systems, in the hands of multinationals with private interests, we've relinquished our [right to] freedom of speech," Sánchez said.

If Mexico goes forward with this then there will be no technological reason why Americans couldn't also use such a social platform.

Ultimately I think the elites will lose this war they are waging, but they will likely win some battles in the near term. Spicy times ahead!

karlof1 , Jan 15 2021 17:50 utc | 110

William Gruff @98--

VK is a Russian version of FB and welcomes one and all and lacks the personal invasion FB pursues, which is one of the main reasons why I joined. I have no second thoughts of being censored there unlike with FB. It seems WeChat is also a worthy platform, but I haven't done any real investigation. Wife uses FB to connect with her family back East, which I use mainly to stay abreast with Pepe Escobar and comment at his site. IMO, it's clear the lessons from previous attempts at suppression within the Outlaw US Empire weren't learned by those seeking control, and they've already blown up in their face and have shown more of their Fascistic nature than Trump could ever do, which in turn will hamper anything Biden tries.

[Jan 13, 2021] What to do with big tech octopus

Jan 13, 2021 | www.unz.com

John Regan , says: January 12, 2021 at 2:22 pm GMT • 13.9 hours ago

@anarchyst hen made public utilities available for all (obviously without compensation to the owners). No more of the sad "private company" excuse, and no more billions into the pockets of criminals who hate us.

Also, make Dorsey, Zuckerberg, Pichai et al. serve serious jail time for election tampering if nothing else. Both to send out a clear warning to others, and for the simple decency to see justice served.

Of course this will not happen short of a French Revolution-style regime shift. But since (sadly) the same is equally true even for your extremely generous and modest proposal, I see no harm in dreaming a little bigger.

[Jan 09, 2021] Escape for tech oligarchs clutches

Many people stopped using Google search after Prism was revealed. If did not make a dent on Google profits, though. Now probably many will stop using Twitter.
Jan 09, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Humbert Humbert , Jan 9 2021 18:48 utc | 2

Definitely staged event, whether the protestors knew or didn't. Going forward, I'm switching to Signal from WhatsApp and viber, have to rethink my use of Gmail as well. Don't use faceborg or Jill Dorsey's twat. Enough is enough!


Digital Spartacus , Jan 9 2021 19:18 utc | 16

@2 Humbert

And Gibiru for search

Digital Spartacus , Jan 9 2021 19:08 utc | 13

@2 Humbert

Protonmail

Grieved , Jan 9 2021 19:24 utc | 19

Pepe Escobar just opened a Parler account, fyi:
Pepeasia - Geopolitical analyst, author, global nomad

He already joined VK recently, so the alternatives are in place. And if these fall there will be others. As juliania reminded us, we have samizdat . And as NemesisCalling reminds us above, we have our mouths. They are indeed sowing the wind, and when things get bad enough to invoke the whirlwind, the people will know what they know, even without Facebook etc.

Good riddance to Facebook. Good riddance to Twitter. They themselves will force us to the next platforms, the better things, for a time. And then the next better things after those. One day maybe, a Huawei platform with quantum encryption, which is already being trialed in China.

How did these social media platforms become so filled with political content anyway? Oh, because people are interested in political content. They're not just sheep. They're vitally interested in the society they live in.

And the powers that want to be everything have finally noticed and, acting as always to close the barn door after the horses have fled, they want to throttle down these platforms.

Talk about trying to contain water by closing your fist around it. Evil is always the most stupid choice in this entire universe of possibilities. It is the mark of stupid. And it can be known by its stupidity. And it will act in stupid ways. And it will fail for stupid reasons, pushing down against what is rising up.

The intelligence of every living being is something that always seeks to rise, to ascend. Stupidity goes the other way.

And my money's on intelligence.


Clueless Joe , Jan 9 2021 19:28 utc | 20

Trump is still president for a few days. It's about time he does something useful and goes straight against Twitter and Facebook, with all available means. A president probably has a degree of special powers he can use. I don't know, maybe ship Zuckerberg to Gitmo because he's been way too slow to root out jihadis from his network and is de facto an accomplice.

[Jan 09, 2021] By banning Trump and his supporters, Google and Twitter are turning the US into a facsimile of the regimes we once condemned by Scott Ritter

When neoliberal ideology is crumbling and the US neoliberal empire is in trouble, more tight censorship is logical step for neoliberal elite, who does not care and never believed in democracy for prols in any case. They are Trotskyites and their ideology is neoliberalism aka "Trotskyism for the rich". Which like was the case with Bolshevism in the USSR means that it is neo-feudalism for everybody else.
I never heard that feudal were concerned about freedom of speech for "deplorable". Only for their own narrow circle.
Also the stability of the society is often more important then individual freedoms. That's why in time of war, the press is forced to publish only official propaganda. So it is naive to expect that in crisis, and the US society is currently in crisis, freedom of speech would be respected. It will not. And Trump ban while cynical and illogical makes perfect sence for neoliberal oligarchy.
The problem is that the US elite has not plan other the kicking the neoliberal can down the road. And they intentionally polarized the society by promoting identity politics as a way to preserve thier power and split masses into warring ethic or other groups.
Jan 09, 2021 | www.rt.com

Tech companies were once the primary tools of US "soft power" used to overthrow authoritarian regimes by exporting 'digital democracy'. Now they employ the same tactics of suppression as those regimes to silence dissent at home.

The permanent suspension of President Trump's Twitter account, carried out unilaterally and devoid of any pretense of due process or appreciation of the First Amendment rights of Donald Trump, represents a low moment in American history. Trump's ban was followed by a decision by Google to de-platform Parler.com, a social media alternative to Twitter favored by many of Trump's supporters. Apple also gave Parler a "24 hour warning" asking it to provide a detailed moderation plan. Twitter, Google, Facebook (who also banned Trump) and the political supporters of President-elect Joe Biden cite concerns that the content of the president's Twitter account, along with exchanges among pro-Trump users of Parler, constituted an "incitement of violence" risk that justified the actions taken.

In the aftermath of the storming of the Capitol by protesters seemingly motivated by the words of President Trump, there is legitimate justification for concern over the link between political violence and social media. But if history has taught us anything, the cure can be worse than the disease, especially when it comes to the issue of constitutionally protected freedom of speech.

This danger is illustrated by the actions of the former First Lady Michelle Obama who has publicly called for tech companies like Twitter and Facebook to permanently ban Trump from their platforms and enact policies designed "to prevent their technology from being used by the nation's leaders to fuel insurrection." The irony of the wife of the last American President Barack Obama, who weaponized so-called digital democracy to export "Western democratic values" in the struggle against authoritarian regimes, to turn to Twitter to release her message of internet suppression, is striking. The fact that neither Michelle Obama nor those who extoll her message see this irony is disturbing.

The Obama administration first sought to use 'digital democracy', the name given to policies which aim to use web-based social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter as vehicles to enhance the organization and activism of young people in repressive regimes to achieve American policy objectives of regime change, during the 2009 Iranian presidential election. US 'digital democracy' efforts anchored a carefully orchestrated campaign to promote the candidacy of Mir Hossein Mousavi. These efforts included a phone call from a US State Department official, Jared Cohen, to executives at Twitter to forgo a scheduled maintenance period and keep the lines in and out of Iran open, under the premise that it was essential to make sure that digital messages sent by Iranian dissidents got out to an international audience. Digital democracy became privatized when its primary architect, Jared Cohen, left the State Department in September 2010 to take a new position with internet giant Google as the head of 'Google Ideas' now known as 'Jigsaw'. Jigsaw is a global initiative 'think tank' intended to "spearhead initiatives to apply technology solutions to problems faced by the developing world." This was the same job Cohen was doing while at the State Department.

Cohen promoted the notion of a "digital democracy contagion" based upon his belief that the "young people in the Middle East are just a mouse click away, they're just a Facebook connection away, they're just an instant message away, they're just a text message away" from sufficiently organizing to effect regime change. Cohen and Google were heavily involved the January 2011 demonstrations in Egypt, using social networking sites to call for demonstrations and political reform; the "Egyptian contagion" version of 'digital democracy' phenomena was fueled by social networking internet sites run by Egyptian youth groups which took a very public stance opposing the Mubarak regime and calling for political reform.

The Iranian and Egyptian experiences in digital democracy-inspired regime change represent the nexus of the weaponization of social media by tech giants such as Twitter and Google, and the US government, which at the time was under the stewardship of Barack Obama and then-Vice President Joe Biden. The fact that both the Iranian and Egyptian efforts failed only underscores the nefarious nature of this relationship. The very tools and methodologies used by Iranian and Egyptian authorities to counter US-sponsored "digital democracy" – suppression through de-platforming – have now been taken up by Twitter, Google, and the political allies of Joe Biden to silence Donald Trump and his supporters from protesting an election they believe was every bit as "stolen" as the 2009 Iranian presidential election that gave birth to 'digital democracy' in the first place.

In a recently published report addressing the issue of internet freedom, Freedom House, a US government-funded non-profit, non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom, and human rights, observed that internet connectivity "is not a convenience, but a necessity." Virtually all human activities, including political socialization, have moved online. This new 'digital world', the report noted, "presents distinct challenges for human rights and democratic governance" with "State and nonstate actors shape online narratives, censor critical speech, and build new technological systems of social control."

Freedom House was one of the supporters of 'digital democracy' in Iran and has been highly critical of the actions by Iranian authorities to shut down and otherwise control internet connectivity inside Iran. It noted that such tactics are indicative of a system that is "fearful of their own people and worr[ies] that they cannot control the information space." In its report, Freedom House wrote that "when civic organizing and political dissent overflow from the realm of social media onto the streets dictators shut down networks to choke off any calls for greater democracy and human rights."

In July 2019, the US 2nd District Court of Appeals ruling on Knight First Amendment Institute v. Trump determined that President Trump's Twitter account "bear[s] all the trappings of an official, state-run account," meaning that the First Amendment governed the conduct of the account. As such, "the First Amendment does not permit a public official who utilizes a social media account for all manner of official purposes to exclude persons from an otherwise open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees."

By banning Trump from their platform, the unelected employees of Twitter have done to the president of the United States what he was accused of doing in Knight First Amendment Institute v. Trump. If it was a violation of First Amendment-protected free speech for Trump to exclude persons from an otherwise open online dialogue, then the converse is obviously also true.

The notion that Trump's tweets somehow represented a "clear and present danger" that required suppression is not supported by the law. In 1919 Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. wrote the majority opinion in Schenck v. United States , a case which examined the limits of free speech protections under the First Amendment, and famously observed that "The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic [t]he question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent."

Holmes' opinion in Schenck was later limited by the Supreme Court in its 1969 decision in Brandenburg v. Ohio , which replaced the "clear and present danger" standard with what is known as "imminent lawless action," which holds that speech is not protected if it is likely to cause violation of the law "more quickly than an officer of the law reasonably can be summoned." By suppressing the social media expressions of Donald Trump and his supporters, Twitter, Facebook, and Google – egged on by the political supporters of Joe Biden – appear to have unilaterally adopted the "clear and present danger" standard which deviates from the constitutionally-mandated norms, as established by Supreme Court precedent, that govern the protection of speech in America.

Political speech is not just a human right – in America, it is an essential constitutionally guaranteed freedom. When the political supporters of Joe Biden, along with the unelected heads of media giants such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google, actively collaborate to silence the ability of Donald Trump and the tens of millions of Americans who support him to express themselves on social media, they become no better than the authoritarian regimes they once sought to remove from power.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Scott Ritter is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and author of ' SCORPION KING : America's Suicidal Embrace of Nuclear Weapons from FDR to Trump.' He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, in General Schwarzkopf's staff during the Gulf War, and from 1991-1998 as a UN weapons inspector. Follow him on Twitter @RealScottRitter

See also

With unilateral censorship of a sitting US president, Big Tech has proven it's more powerful than any government Big Tech giants want to prove they are 'American gods'. Anyone watching the watchers? Tech oligarchs at Apple & Google are 'major obstacles' for Trump-friendly platform to arise – liberal studies scholar to RT Parting is such tweet sorrow... A fond farewell to Donald Trump's Twitter feed

[Jan 09, 2021] The neoliberals at Big tech really proved his point, they are a enormous threat

Interestingly enough n eoliberals proved to be the people that promote tribalism in the USA under the disguise of identity politics.
Jan 09, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Zanon , Jan 9 2021 9:16 utc | 212

Trump was right on the big tech, he tried to warn about their power for many years, now big-tech crack down on him and his supporters.
The leftwingers at Big tech really proved his point, they are a enormous threat.

Liberals and leftwingers cheer today, they are people that pick tribalism before freedom of speeech, so disgusting.

[Nov 28, 2020] Both Allen Dulles and his brother were shareholders in the Boston/United Fruit Company and one of their first "happenings" was to defeat the threat of redistribution and secure land for their own private profit.

Nov 28, 2020 | off-guardian.org


Moneycircus
, Nov 26, 2020 5:47 PM Reply to Moneycircus

"During the Cold War, the vast majority of states overthrown were left-leaning or socialist governments aligned with the Eastern Bloc."

I take issue with this. The great movement after the collapse of the British Empire was autonomy and, in attempting to throw off the plantation class, that meant land distribution as a response to popular pressure, regardless of political colour.

In short it was nationalism, which can be left or right.

As for the U.S. it was just business. Both Allen Dulles and his brother were shareholders in the Boston/United Fruit Company – and one of their first "happenings" was to defeat the threat of redistribution and secure land for their own private profit .

Even more important than land distribution was equal access to natural resources , beginning with water and firewood and extending to minerals. That is why Bolivia's Evo Morales came to power and why he was ousted.

U.S. regime change was primarily the CIA acting as muscle for the people who had founded it: the Wall Street bankers, lawyer and associated corporations.

"Left leaning" was the excuse. This is why the CIA and State Department armed Castro while halting weapon sales to Fulgencio Batista, as documented by U.S. ambassador to Cuba at the time, Earl T. Smith.

The only explanation for this is that the CIA expected Castro to become another Batista or it wanted a boogeyman in the western hemisphere as a justification for actions it had in mind.

There is even a convincing argument that the Bay of Pigs was a ruse in order to provide leverage against JFK. Nov 26, 2020 6:38 PM Reply to Moneycircus

Agreed. At the same time that Rockefeller and Kissinger were pushing for an opening with communist China and forging business deals with Chinese officials, they were also working to orchestrate a coup against socialist Salvador Allende in Chile. Allende wasn't aligned with the Eastern Bloc. He was a threat because of his nationalization program and its impact on corporate interests in Chile, banking and copper mining among others. The 'communist' thing was a pretext, as it had been when they overthrew Arbenz in Guatemala.

For Rockefeller, Kissinger and associates it was simply about serving Wall Street interests, and the CIA was their enforcement arm. They have been willing to work with communists, fascists, and anyone else who help advance their economic and global objectives. However, I don't doubt that many CIA covert operators doing the dirty work during the Cold War were true believers in the anti-communist crusade.

Researcher , Nov 26, 2020 6:42 PM Reply to Moneycircus

Most of it's a ruse. I expect Bay of Pigs was some kind of intentional ruse. Didn't JFK reject Operation Northwoods in favor of keeping Cuba communist to fuel the Cold War?

I don't even think JFK was planning to disband the CIA. I just think LBJ was far more powerful within the cryptocracy and wanted JFK and Bobby Kennedy out of the way because he was an ambitious psychopath. The Killing of the King was a ritual to inflict psychological trauma on the American public and to show those working within the system that nobody is safe.

Moneycircus , Nov 26, 2020 6:53 PM Reply to Researcher

For all the talk about the defining role of the American corporation, the country's wealth was largely secured by supplanting European empires. That did not happen once the "west" had been settled or the internal opportunities exhausted -- it anticipated the decline of European empires, starting well before the Monroe Doctrine of 1823.

To put it another way, how many of America's ruling families were not imperialists?

Grafter , Nov 26, 2020 5:13 PM

After reading that it is clear we will be entering a dark and dangerous era where those who own and control the media , corrupt the foundations and operations of their own government and believe in their psychopathic doctrine of "exceptionalism" will ensure that we will be taken to the edge of a precipice. Their greed for power and financial gain is limitless and as evidenced by the Covid scam we appear to be helpless regards whatever malign agenda they wish to implement.

[Oct 20, 2020] 'Playing selective god'- Google 'whistleblower' tells Project Veritas that search engine 'skews' results in Democrats' favor

So we should thank Google for Creepy Joe is the Persidential candidate from Dems. Quality shows,
That also answers the question: Is Google evil?
Oct 20, 2020 | www.rt.com

In footage published on Monday, the conservative media watchdog shared around eight minutes of an interview with a man identified as Ritesh Lakhkar, said to be a technical program manager at Google's Cloud service, who accused the company of putting its thumb on the digital scales for the Democrats.

"The wind is blowing toward Democrats, because GOP equals Trump and Trump equals GOP. Everybody hates it, even though GOP may have good traits, no one wants to acknowledge them right now," Lakhkar said when asked whether Google favors either political party.


Project Veritas @Project_Veritas BREAKING: @Google Program Manager Confirms Election Interference In Favor of @JoeBiden Google search "skewed by owners and drivers of the algorithm" "Plain and simple trying to play god"

https://twitter.com/i/status/1318331575852011520

While Lakhar – whose LinkedIn page states he's worked at Google since May 2018 – did not specify exactly how the company gives an edge to certain political viewpoints, he suggested the platform is selling favorable coverage to the highest bidder.

"It's skewed by the owners or the drivers of the algorithm. Like, if I say 'Hey Google, here's another two billion dollars, feed this data set of whenever Joe Biden is searched, you'll get these results,'" he went on, blasting Big Tech firms for "playing god and taking away freedom of speech on both sides."

Lakhkar complained of a suffocating, overly-political atmosphere at Google, where he said "your opinion matters more than your work," recalling a dramatic response to Donald Trump's 2016 election win at the company. Several media reports have documented employees' appalled reactions to the victory, including internal company footage of a meeting soon after the election, where co-founder Sergey Brin is heard comparing Trump's win to the rise of fascism in Europe.

"When Trump won the first time, people were crying in the corridors of Google. There were protests, there were marches. There were like, I guess, group therapy sessions for employees organized by HR," he said.

I guess that's one of the reasons I feel suffocated [at Google]. Because on one side you have this unprofessional attitude, and on the other side you have this ultra-leftist attitude. Your entire existence is questioned.

PetarGolubovicRomanov 19 hours ago Nothing unexpected there - it always seemed a dodgy thing to me Google is 'the greatest' place to work. It must be to 'keep the lights on' with all their servers, but it is a company with what, two products - search and maps - and both have not changed almost at since they were created over a decade ago. Reply 5 2 Head like a rock PetarGolubovicRomanov 18 hours ago but it is run by the CIA so what do you expect? Mickey Mic 16 hours ago For the life on me; I just can't understand, why so many have faith in a system that has enormous disdain for them. Do the people really need the news to make the announcement ? Sadly, that is the case, because most can't think for themselves anymore, they rely on the narrative that everything is on a honest base system still !? The fact checkers don't check the facts, there is no such thing as a private large corporation with out ties to the intelligence apparatus. Big Company's are used by the shadow Gov. to gain the kind of wealth they need to stage their secrete plans of the NWO. People like Bill Gates, Fauci, only spoken in generalities, because they where only groomed to make the wealth for the advancements of the puppet masters agenda's. How many conspiracies must come true for one to think that the word "conspiracy" is only used to make others think, the next person must be crazy to think the way he does ? What the world needs is more common sense, and less dependence on the glow boxes in front of them. True wisdom, is only for the few that don't think the world is what they was conditioned to believe in. Ethnocentric pride creates a comfort zone; which is hard to break, it gets internalized though generations just like how holidays are created. Sadly, most wouldn't remember by next week; because the their brain is constantly getting flooded by squeals of events. And to top it all we have fake news to underline the long term memory bank system. Salman M Salman 14 hours ago Big tech companies represent the pillars of globalism which by definition supports only their people. The world after the elections will see their take over or demise.
Head like a rock TheLeftyHater 18 hours ago but those are both CIA creations, is that 'lefty'? Guns Blazing 14 hours ago Very old news, but worthy of repeating. Just watch that exchange in Congress between Senator Cruz and Dr. Robert Epstein. Google swaying millions of votes in favor of Democrats. Also top Clinton campaign donor in 2016 was Alphabet, the parent company of Google.

[Sep 27, 2020] MSM brainwashing in quotes from Mark Twain and Goethe

Sep 27, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

play_arrow


Freeman of the City , 39 seconds ago

"Life is hard, it's harder if your stupid" - John Wayne

Freeman of the City , 18 seconds ago

'It's Easier to Fool People Than to Convince Them That They Have Been Fooled'

- Mark Twain

palmereldritch , 49 seconds ago

And prior to Bezos/CIA ownership the paper was managed by heirs whose ownership stake was originally acquired through a bankruptcy sale by a board member/trustee of The Federal Reserve.

So maybe it was just a share transfer...

Freeman of the City , 1 minute ago

"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free"

- Goethe

[Sep 06, 2020] Court Rules Against NSA And It s Metadata Collection Activity. by J

Sep 06, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Will we ever return to a time when USSID 18 was adhered to by NSA? Sadly, our politicians or those who quest for power and stroke won't let U.S. go back to that time of protections for all Americans.

9th Circuit Court of Appeals found the activity regarding NSA and its metadata collections, illegal.

https://www.rt.com/usa/499742-nsa-spying-illegal-snowden/

https://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000174-4f61-de4a-ad7d-ffeff5e80000

J.


Jack , 03 September 2020 at 07:23 PM

Rep. Matt Gaetz calling for the pardon of Snowden.

https://twitter.com/repmattgaetz/status/1301655722606891013?s=21

Jack , 05 September 2020 at 11:49 PM

Tulsi Gabbard calling for the pardon of Snowden.

https://twitter.com/tulsigabbard/status/1302451757369368576?s=21

Snowden should be pardoned.

He was a whistleblower who exposed an illegal unconstitutional mass surveillance program run by the NSA. And he was punished for doing so.

[Sep 02, 2020] Amazon spies on staff, fires them by text for not hitting secretive targets, workers 'feel forced to work through pain, injuries' report

Notable quotes:
"... workers are dehumanizingly treated by Amazon as if they are robots – persistently asked to accomplish task after task at an unforgiving rate." ..."
Sep 01, 2020 | www.theregister.com
I didn't get rich by signing checks // 10:30 UTC 141 Reg comments GOT TIPS? Kieren McCarthy in San Francisco BIO EMAIL TWITTER SHARE

Amazon is famous for its extreme efficiency yet behind the curtain is a crippling culture of surveillance and stress, according to a study by the Open Markets Institute.

The think tank and advocacy group that repeatedly takes companies like Google and Facebook to task warned in the report [PDF] that Amazon's retail side has gone far beyond promoting efficient working and has adopted an almost dystopian level of control over its warehouse workers, firing them if they fail to meet targets that are often kept a secret.

Among the practices it highlighted, the report said that workers are told to hit a target rate of packages to process per hour, though they are not told what exactly that target is. "We don't know what the rate is," one pseudonymous worker told the authors. "They change it behind the scenes. You'll know when you get a warning. They don't tell you what rate you have to hit at the beginning."

If they grow close to not meeting a target rate, or miss it, the worker receives an automated message warning them, the report said. Workers who fail to meet hidden targets can also receive a different type of electronic message; one that fires them.

"Amazon's electronic system analyzes an employee's electronic record and, after falling below productivity measures, 'automatically generates any warnings or terminations regarding quality or productivity without input from supervisors'," it stated. The data is also generated automatically: for example, those picking and packing are required to use a scanner that records every detail, including the time between scans, and feed it into a system that pushes out automated warnings.

Always watching

As with other companies, Amazon installs surveillance cameras in its workspaces to reduce theft. But the report claims Amazon has taken that approach to new lengths "with an extensive network of security cameras that tracks and monitors a worker's every move".

Bezos' bunch combines that level of surveillance with strict limits on behavior. "Upon entering the warehouse, Amazon requires workers to dispose of all of their personal belongings except a water bottle and a clear plastic bag of cash," the report noted.

For Amazon drivers, their location is constantly recorded and monitored and they are required to follow the exact route Amazon has mapped. They are required to deliver 999 out of every 1,000 packages on time or face the sack; something that the report argues has led to widespread speeding and a related increase in crashes.

The same tracking software ensures that workers only take 30 minutes for lunch and two separate 15-minute breaks during the day. The report also noted that the web goliath has patented a wristband that "can precisely track where warehouse employees are placing their hands and use vibrations to nudge them in a different direction".

Amazon also attempts to prevent efforts to unionize by actively tracking workers and breaking up any meetings of too many people, including identifying possible union organizers and moving them around the workplace to prevent them talking to the same group for too long, the report claimed.

It quoted a source named Mohamed as saying: "They spread the workers out you cannot talk to your colleagues The managers come to you and say they'll send you to a different station."

The combined effort of constant surveillance with the risk of being fired at any point has created, according to workers, a " Lord Of The Flies -esque environment where the perceived weakest links are culled every year".

Stress and quotas

The report said Amazon's workers "are under constant stress to make their quotas for collecting and organizing hundreds of packages per hour" resulting in "constant 'low-grade panic' to work. In this sense, workers are dehumanizingly treated by Amazon as if they are robots – persistently asked to accomplish task after task at an unforgiving rate."

At the end of the day, warehouse employees are required to go through mandatory screening to check they haven't stolen anything, which "requires waiting times that can range from 25 minutes to an hour" and is not compensated, the report said.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos 'I don't recognise Amazon as a bullying workplace' says Bezos READ MORE

Amazon also allegedly fails to account for any injuries, the report said, to the extent that "Amazon employees feel forced to work through the pain and injuries they incur on the job, as Amazon routinely fires employees who fall behind their quotas, without taking such injuries into account."

It quoted another piece of reporting that found Amazon's rate of severe injuries in its warehouses is, in some cases, more than five times the industry average. It also noted that the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health listed Amazon as one of the "dirty dozen" on its list of the most dangerous places to work in the United States in 2018.

The report concluded that "Amazon's practices exacerbate the inequality between employees and management by keeping employees in a constant state of precariousness, with the threat of being fired for even the slightest deviation, which ensures full compliance with employer-demanded standards and limits worker freedom."

Being a think tank, the Open Markets Institute listed a series of policy and legal changes that would help alleviate the work issues. It proposed a complete ban on "invasive forms of worker surveillance" and a rule against any forms of surveillance that "preemptively interfere with unionization efforts".

It also wants a law that allows independent contractors to unionize and the legalization of secondary boycotts, as well as better enforcement of the rules against companies by government departments including America's trade watchdog the FTC and Department of Justice, as well as a ban on non-compete agreements and class action waivers.

In response to the allegations in the report, a spokesperson for Amazon told us: "Like most companies, we have performance expectations for every Amazonian – be it corporate employee or fulfillment center associate and we measure actual performance against those expectations.

"Associate performance is measured and evaluated over a long period of time as we know that a variety of things could impact the ability to meet expectations in any given day or hour. We support people who are not performing to the levels expected with dedicated coaching to help them improve." ®

[Aug 21, 2020] The CIA Versus The Kennedys

Aug 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Jacob Hornberger via The Future of Freedom Foundation,

Former Congressman Ron Paul and his colleague Dan McAdams recently conducted a fascinating interview with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., which focused in part on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, who was Kennedy Jr.'s uncle. The interview took place on their program the Ron Paul Liberty Report.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_kJdOtnBUcw

Owing to the many federal records that have been released over the years relating to the Kennedy assassination, especially through the efforts of the Assassination Records Review Board in the 1990s, many Americans are now aware of the war that was being waged between President Kennedy and the CIA throughout his presidency . The details of this war are set forth in FFF's book JFK's War with the National Security Establishment: Why Kennedy Was Assassinated by Douglas Horne.

me title=

In the interview, Robert Kennedy Jr. revealed a fascinating aspect of this war with which I was unfamiliar. He stated that the deep animosity that the CIA had for the Kennedy family actually stretched back to something the family patriarch, Joseph P. Kennedy, did in the 1950s that incurred the wrath of Allen Dulles, the head of the CIA.

Kennedy Jr. stated that his grandfather, Joseph P. Kennedy, had served on a commission that was charged with examining and analyzing CIA covert activities, or "dirty tricks" as Kennedy Jr. put them. As part of that commission, Kennedy Jr stated, Joseph Kennedy (John Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy's father) had determined that the CIA had done bad things with its regime-change operations that were destroying democracies, such as in Iran and Guatemala.

Consequently, Joseph Kennedy recommended that the CIA's power to engage in covert activities be terminated and that the CIA be strictly limited to collecting intelligence and empowered to do nothing else.

According to Kennedy Jr.,

"Allen Dulles never forgave him -- never forgave my family -- for that."

about:blank

about:blank

me title=

I wasn't aware of that fact.

I assumed that the war between President Kennedy and the CIA had begun with the CIA's invasion at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba. The additional information added by Kennedy Jr. places things in a much more fascinating and revealing context.

Upon doing a bit of research on the Internet, I found that the commission that Kennedy Jr. must have been referring to was the President's Board of Consultants on Foreign Intelligence Activities, which President Eisenhower had established in 1956 through Executive Order 10656 . Eisenhower appointed Joseph Kennedy to serve on that commission.

That year was three years after the CIA's 1953 regime change operation in Iran which destroyed that country's democratic system. It was two years after the CIA's regime-change operation in Guatemala that destroyed that country's democratic system.

Keep in mind that the ostensible reason that the CIA engaged in these regime-change operations was to protect "national security," which over time has become the most important term in the American political lexicon. Although no one has ever come up with an objective definition for the term, the CIA's power to address threats to "national security," including through coups and assassinations, became omnipotent.

Yet, here was Joseph P. Kennedy declaring that the CIA's power to exercise such powers should be terminated and recommending that the CIA's power be strictly limited to intelligence gathering.

It is not difficult to imagine how livid CIA Director Dulles and his cohorts must have been at Kennedy. No bureaucrat likes to have his power limited. More important, for Dulles and his cohorts, it would have been clear that if Kennedy got his way, "national security" would be gravely threatened given the Cold War that the United States was engaged in with the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, North Korea, and other communist nations.

Now consider what happened with the Bay of Pigs. The CIA's plan for a regime-change invasion of Cuba, was conceived under President Eisenhower. Believing that Vice President Nixon would be elected president in 1960, the CIA was quite surprised that Kennedy was elected instead. To ensure that the invasion would go forth anyway, the CIA assured Kennedy that the invasion would succeed without U.S. air support. It was a lie. The CIA assumed that once the invasion was going to go down in defeat at the hands of the communists, Kennedy would have to provide the air support in order to "save face."

But Kennedy refused to be played by the CIA. When the CIA's army of Cuban exiles was going down in defeat, the CIA requested the air support, convinced that their plan to manipulate the new president would work. It didn't. Kennedy refused to provide the air support and the CIA's invasion went down in defeat.

NEVER MISS THE NEWS THAT MATTERS MOST

ZEROHEDGE DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX

Receive a daily recap featuring a curated list of must-read stories.

Now consider what happened after the Bay of Pigs: Knowing that the CIA had played him and double-crossed him, John Kennedy fired Allen Dulles as CIA director, along with his chief deputy, Charles Cabell. He then put his younger brother Bobby Kennedy in charge of monitoring the CIA, which infuriated the CIA.

Now jump ahead to the Cuban Missile Crisis, which Kennedy resolved by promising that the United States would not invade Cuba for a regime-change operation. That necessarily would leave a permanent communist regime in Cuba, something that the CIA steadfastly maintained was a grave threat to "national security" -- a much bigger threat, in fact, than the threats supposedly posed by the regimes in Iran in 1953 and Guatemala in 1954.

And then Kennedy did the unforgivable, at least insofar as the CIA was concerned . In his famous Peace Speech at American University in June 1963, he declared an end to the entire Cold War and announced that the United States was going to establish friendly and peaceful relations with the communist world.

Kennedy had thrown the gauntlet down in front of the CIA. It was either going to be his way or the CIA's way. There was no room for compromise, and both sides knew it.

In the minds of former CIA Director Allen Dulles and the people still at the CIA, what Kennedy was doing was anathema and, even worse, the gravest threat to "national security" the United States had ever faced, a much bigger threat than even that posed by the democratic regimes in Iran and Guatemala. At that point, the CIA's animosity toward President Kennedy far exceeded the animosity it had borne toward his father, Joseph P. Kennedy, several years before.



Joe A , 2 hours ago

And Allen Dulles, the CIA director that Kennedy fired, was on the Warren Commission that concluded that Kennedy was killed by a lone assassin who was a poor marksman using a crappy rifle.

USGrant , 2 hours ago

The Warren Commission exhibits show that the Carcano after the scope was shimmed to make it usable, shot about 10 inches to the right and high at 25 yards with terrible accuracy. Presumably this was one of the carbines whose barrel was cut down from rifle length taking much of the progressive rifling with it. The cartridges placed on the 6th floor were clearly reloads not the supposed new Western cartridges of circa 1953. As reloads then the question arises where were .267 bullets to be obtained since only .264 were manufactured at the time which would make accuracy suffer.

Joe A , 1 hour ago

Yes, but these bullets were magic bullets according to the Warren Commission. There was one bullet that entered Kennedy's throat and left it, then traversed through air, changing course, hanged suspended in mid air for about a second or so and then continued to hit the governor that was sitting in front to the left of Kennedy. That bullet traversed 15 layers of clothing, seven layers of skin, and approximately 15 inches of muscle tissue, struck a necktie knot, removed 4 inches of rib, and shattered a radius bone and was found virtually intact. Some bullet!

USGrant , 1 hour ago

And the found bullet changed from a spitzer according to the first hospital worker who was alerted to it, to a round nose.

WingedMessenger , 19 minutes ago

You have missed several TV episodes that have successfully recreated the magic bullet scenario, including Myth Busters. The bullet is not magic, the actual seating geometry and sight line of the shooter all contribute to the bullet path being actually very straight. The 6.5mm 150-160 grain bullets have a very high sectional density that gives them a lot of penetration. In one test the spent bullet was found resting on the leg of the second ("John Connally") dummy just like it did in real life.

They used the same Cacarno rifle for the tests. The shot is not difficult. The car is moving directly away from the shooter at the time of this shot, so no real lead is required. The range is less than a 100 yards so you just aim dead on and shoot. Hunters do it all the time.

ThirteenthFloor , 1 hour ago

When Allen Dulles passed away, the CIA sent someone to Dulles' Georgetown home to get 'missing' and incriminating JFK autopsy photos from his safe and destroy them. That person was James Jesus Angleton, who admitted late in his life. Read last chapter in "Devils Chessboard" - David Talbot.

USGrant , 1 hour ago

If I recall, he was the one found searching in her studio for Mary Pinchot Meyer's diary after she was killed . (Cord Meyer's ex-wife)

cornflakesdisease , 10 minutes ago

He also had a huge hand in the political beginings of the UN.

Bay of Pigs , 2 hours ago

Allen Dulles, LBJ and the CIA murdered JFK. It's that fu#king simple.

MontCar , 1 hour ago

LBJ likely abetted the cover up. Placing Allen Dulles, recently fired from the CIA directorship by JFK, on the since disgraced Warren Commission. Mossad may have partnered with CIA in the assassination. JFK evidently opposed Israel's nuclear weapons acquisition efforts - an existential issue for Israel. Clear motive.

USGrant , 1 hour ago

Allan Dulles then danced on JFK's grave.

Angular Momentum , 1 hour ago

Kennedy also supported the right of return for the Palestinians refugees who left Israel for Jordan. Also an existential issue for Israel. I think in Ben Gurian's mind either Kennedy lived or Israel survived as a Jewish state. It was one or the other. I have no doubt the CIA covered for Israel because they had their own beef with Kennedy.

Yen Cross , 1 hour ago

It wasn't some flunkie Soviet reject from the bell tower.

There's no way Oswald could bounce a high velocity round of lead off a light post, in front of the Limousine, still carrying enough muzzle velocity to cave in the back side of POTUS cranium.

There were other players, at the very least.

WingedMessenger , 5 minutes ago

I have been to the 6th floor museum in Dallas several times and reviewed the various theories on where other shooters might have been located. All of the them are worse than the 6th floor of the Book Depository. Some are down right stupid, like the one supposed in the sewer by the curb. It would be impossible to shoot a rifle in there at the angle needed to hit above the wheel well of the limo, much less be able to see the limo before it was right on you. You could not even see Kennedy from there, You would have to shoot through the bottom of a door or the floor boards just to hit him in the leg or foot.

The 6th floor is the only location that allows the shooter to see the limos coming before they arrive in the target zone and allow him to prepare to shoot. All the other locations give only a tiny window to ID the target and loose off a round before the limo disappears out of view. A competent assassin would have chosen the 6th floor window. If Oswald was not the best shot, there is always the possibility that he just got lucky on some easy shots, or maybe someone else was in the 6th floor window. We don't have any evidence for either case.

NewDarwin , 3 hours ago

The CIA has it in for anyone who tries to dismantle the deep state...

sj warrior , 2 hours ago

jfk tried to stop izzy from getting nuclear bombs

rfk tried to force the forerunner to aipac to register as foreign agent, thus subject to gov monitoring

both of these stances failed after the assassinations

Pandelis , 26 minutes ago

plus the Secret Societies speech ... that was a biggie showing he was into them (cia was just one of octopus arms)....

https://www.jfklibrary.org/archives/other-resources/john-f-kennedy-speeches/american-newspaper-publishers-association-19610427

Pandelis , 23 minutes ago

and the executive order issued by Kennedy on using silver as currency ... that was really going after the owners ... in all fairness, not sure he knew what he was up against ... his son was killed without giving him a chance to shine yet ...

desertboy , 2 hours ago

The CIA is the direct product of, and works directly for, the same parties that own the Fed (the primary shareholders of its shareholders).

The CIA is even typically headed by bankers.

This is simply the history.

eatapeach , 2 hours ago

Nope, Trump is an insider. Should be pretty obvious given his behavior toward Syria, Iran, and Israel. He's no different than all those in the long line since after Kennedy.

Dzerzhhinsky , 2 hours ago

The CIA Versus The Kennedys

We all know who won that fight. Not a single American President has dared to disobey the CIA since.

revjimbeam , 2 hours ago

Nixon ended Viet nam and opened China- liddy(FBI) and hunt(CIA) set the administration up by breaking into the watergate then finished him of with anonymous leaks to the Washington post by felt (deepthroat) the no.2 at fbi....sound familar?

Impeachment doesn't leave agency fingerprints and is less messy than Dallas Memphis and LA

Gospel According To Me , 2 hours ago

Interesting theory and very plausible.

That is why to this day the Deep State poses such a grave danger to our democracy. They want Trump out of their way, period. If Trump pardons Snowden he better head for his WH bomb shelter. They will really go after him with everything they have. And they still have plenty of sick like-minded people in place in every agency. They spy on Trump and work to sabotage every good idea he has to Make America Great Again. Pray he prevails and the USA survives.

eatapeach , 2 hours ago

Please. Snowden is a feeble US analog of Baryshnikov et al and Russia knows it. Moreover, the contrived Trump v. Deep State narrative reads like a Hardy Boys novel, soft and weak. If 'deep state' wants someone gone, they don't dilly dally. What are you, 13 years old?

2hangmen , 2 hours ago

Well, that explains the CIA involvement with the Deep State in trying to take down candidate Trump, then President Trump. Whether someone can bring them into line will determine if we keep our nation as founded.

ComradePuff , 22 minutes ago

Kennedy didn't even make one full term, let alone stand for re-election. In the meantime, the CIA has only gotten stronger and spun off into a dozen other agencies. You're deluding yourself.

FlKeysFisherman , 2 hours ago

WTF, I like a Kennedy now!!!

Earth Ling , 2 hours ago

Then you'll love this!

RFK JR's org Children's Health Defense is suing Zuckerberg and Facebook:

CHD Holds Press Conference with Legal Team and Plaintiff in Lawsuit Against Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, and Three of Facebook's So-Called "Fact-Checkers"

ComradePuff , 13 minutes ago

I fear for RFK Jr, to be perfectly honest. It's amazing he can even walk with balls that big.

Eastern Whale , 2 hours ago

shows that politicians are all rotten to the core even in a "democratically" elected government

communism in 20th century is a joke, Oligarch from Russia is buying soccer teams in UK, Chinese is lined up at Chanel and LV in every city. communism is just a concept and name now.

anyhow, all politicians should be at the bottom of the ocean

presterjohn1198 , 2 hours ago

The cia has always been the shadow government of the USSA. Those clever Ivy League boys think that they always knew better about screwing up world affairs than our elected government. Pretty much the same kind of club as the legacy media, whom the cia frequently collaborates with.
Fools!

Arising , 1 hour ago

... the CIA's 1953 regime change operation in Iran which destroyed that country's democratic system.

There's one for all the Republican fan boys that hate Iran because their leaders tell them to.

buckboy , 1 hour ago

Pres. Trump are well aware of these facts. Main reason why he has his own private security. Amazing he is getting this far. This man knows how to win than anyone else.

He made Brennan, Clapper, Comey Clintons like real clowns instead.

Call it conspiracy, the terrorism, blm antifa racism and non sense chaos are supported by the cia. CIA is the main and most dangerous enemy of the world. To control is the main objective.

Like the JFK family and now Trump, if you are against them, they'll discredit you through the history.

USGrant , 2 hours ago

Listen to Douglas Horne's interview of Dino Brugioni and how the Zupruder film was doctored to make it seem that the head shot came from the back. No surprise with the head movement-it came from the front.

USGrant , 2 hours ago

Those frames were cut out which not only exaggerated the head movement but it made it impossible for 3 shots to come from the crappy Carcano in the shortened time as gauged from the film. So there is only one frame of the head shot but Dino remembered several as he was the one charged with making the briefing board on Saturday night prior to the film being altered on Sunday at the Kodak Hawkeye Works.

Wild Bill Steamcock , 1 hour ago

Richard Dolan has a nice set of interviews with Phillip Lavelle (a walking JFK encyclopedia) on the topic at his youtube channel. ...

Wild Bill Steamcock , 1 hour ago

And Tracey too, being that smart and good looking is almost unfair

fucking truth , 1 hour ago

And yet trump promised and reneged on releasing all the Kennedy docs, it's a big swamp and i think Trump's in it, ribbit.

Wild Bill Steamcock , 1 hour ago

It's like trying to drain an ocean. Eventually you fall in

mcmich , 1 hour ago

The people in power now is the people behind JFK's murder..

Soloamber , 38 minutes ago

So does everyone else . Jackie Kennedy knew too . She said they finally got him . Johnson told his mistress the same day .

DEDA CVETKO , 1 hour ago

The only worthwhile human beings in the entire Kennedy clan were JFK and Jr. (notwithstanding Jackie, whom I count as Onassis). The rest - particularly Bobby Kennedy - were scum of the earth and sycophants of the Matrix, the lowliest kind of elitist wire-carrying police informants and apron-wearers. To this day I don't understand how anyone in the right mind could venerate Bobby Kennedy. The man was three tiers below even his fuhrer-sucking daddy.

Would United States have been better off had Kennedy survived? Probably, but not by much and only in the short term. We might have avoided Vietnam (highly questionable - JFK had already sent our troops there and the whole thing was already on the verge of dangerous escalation). But as soon as his second term ended, the Deep State would have installed a more desirable and obedient puppet (most likely Nixon, possibly LBJ) in the White House and we would have continued where LBJ left off in January 1969.

BTW, it may have been CIA that backstabbed JFK on the Bay of Pigs fiasco, but it was his own baby brother who twisted the knife .

A_Huxley , 3 hours ago

Look back over the National Intelligence Estimates.

NIE 53-63 Prospects In South Vietnam.

National Security Action Memorandum 28.

TahoeBilly2012 , 3 hours ago

Y Cult, Cult of Osiris.....going down!!!!

Soloamber , 41 minutes ago

If they could do the same to Trump they would .

The only thing they have left is massive ballot fraud

which they have every intent of doing .

[Jun 26, 2020] Is Bezos going the way of Biden: Amazon boss and world's richest man Jeff Bezos has bought the naming rights to Seattle's KeyArena complex, and will rename it Climate Pledge Arena

Notable quotes:
"... "as a regular reminder of the urgent need for climate action." ..."
"... "be the first net-zero-carbon-certified arena in the world," ..."
Jun 26, 2020 | www.rt.com

Bezos announced the purchase in an Instagram post on Thursday, saying the name will serve "as a regular reminder of the urgent need for climate action." The e-commerce kingpin said that the National Hockey League (NHL) venue will "be the first net-zero-carbon-certified arena in the world," will generate no waste, and will use reclaimed rainwater in its ice system.

[Jun 23, 2020] CIA's massive 'Vault 7' leak resulted from 'woefully lax' security protocols within the agency's own network by Sonam Sheth

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on ..."
"... most of the CIA's sensitive cyberweapons "were not compartmented, users shared systems administrator-level passwords, there were no effective removable media [thumb drive] controls, and historical data was available to users indefinitely," the report said ..."
"... The Center for Cyber Intelligence also did not monitor who used its network, so the task force could not determine the size of the breach. However, it determined that the employee who accessed the intelligence stole about 2.2 billion pages -- or 34 terabytes -- of information, the Post reported. ..."
Jun 20, 2020 | taskandpurpose.com

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider .

The Central Intelligence Agency's elite hacking team "prioritized building cyber weapons at the expense of securing their own systems," according to an internal agency report prepared for then-CIA director Mike Pompeo and his deputy, Gina Haspel, who is now the agency's director.

The Washington Post first reported on the document , which said the hacking unit's failure to secure the CIA's systems resulted in the theft of highly classified cyberweapons in 2016.

In March 2017, US officials discovered the breach when the radical pro-transparency group WikiLeaks published troves of documents detailing the CIA's electronic surveillance and cyberwarfare capabilities. WikiLeaks dubbed the series of documents "Vault 7," and officials say it was the biggest unauthorized disclosure of classified information in the agency's history.

The internal report was introduced in criminal proceedings against former CIA employee Joshua Schulte, who was charged with swiping the hacking tools and handing them over to WikiLeaks.

The government brought in witnesses who prosecutors said showed, through forensic analysis, that Schulte's work computer accessed an old file that matched some of the documents WikiLeaks posted.

Schulte's lawyers, meanwhile, pointed to the internal report as proof that the CIA's internal network was so insecure that any employee or contractor could have accessed the information Schulte is accused of stealing.

A New York jury failed to reach a verdict in the case in March after the jurors told Judge Paul Crotty that they were "extremely deadlocked" on many of the most serious charges, though he was convicted on two counts of contempt of court and making false statements to the FBI.

Crotty subsequently declared a mistrial, and prosecutors said they intended to try Schulte again later this year.

The report was compiled in October 2017 by the CIA's WikiLeaks Task Force, and it found that security protocol within the hacking unit that developed the cyberweapons, housed within the CIA's Center for Cyber Intelligence, was "woefully lax," according to the Post.

The outlet reported that the CIA may never have discovered the breach in the first place if WikiLeaks hadn't published the documents or if a hostile foreign power had gotten a hold of the information first.

"Had the data been stolen for the benefit of a state adversary and not published, we might still be unaware of the loss," the internal report said.

It also faulted the CIA for moving "too slowly" to implement safety measures "that we knew were necessary given successive breaches to other U.S. Government agencies." Moreover, most of the CIA's sensitive cyberweapons "were not compartmented, users shared systems administrator-level passwords, there were no effective removable media [thumb drive] controls, and historical data was available to users indefinitely," the report said .

The Center for Cyber Intelligence also did not monitor who used its network, so the task force could not determine the size of the breach. However, it determined that the employee who accessed the intelligence stole about 2.2 billion pages -- or 34 terabytes -- of information, the Post reported.

More from Business Insider:

[May 02, 2020] COVID-19 and the Rise of the Police State by David Skripac

Notable quotes:
"... In December 1917, Europe was immersed in the First World War -- one of the most vicious, insane wars the world had ever witnessed. After learning about the high casualty toll and the horrific nature of trench warfare, which included the use of poison gas, Britain's prime minister, David Lloyd George, confided in a private conversation to C. P. Scott, editor of the Manchester Guardian: ..."
"... "If people really knew [the truth], the war would be stopped tomorrow. But of course, they don't know, and can't know ." ..."
"... Sadly, we seem to have not learned from history that, once the state is asked by the citizenry to respond to a danger, it will do so with a drastic course of action -- with rights-restricting rules that will never be removed once imposed. This is exactly how societies become despotisms. ..."
"... What happened to the action plan when it was applied to the on-its-heels real-life scenario? Unsurprisingly, it was fully implemented and made fully operational. So, thanks to Event 201's meticulous pandemic planning and WHO's replication of it, the power of the police state is rising to unprecedented levels. Our global overlords and their CDC and WHO and MSM lackeys have succeeded in generating fear in the planet's populace. This pandemic panic has, in turn, caused people to voluntarily, though unwittingly, surrender their hard-won freedoms. These freedoms are articulated in the constitutions of countries around the world, including the US Constitution, with its Bill of Rights -- notably the First Amendment. These documents are now nothing more than meaningless pieces of paper. They may as well be blank. ..."
Apr 28, 2020 | www.globalresearch.ca

In December 1917, Europe was immersed in the First World War -- one of the most vicious, insane wars the world had ever witnessed. After learning about the high casualty toll and the horrific nature of trench warfare, which included the use of poison gas, Britain's prime minister, David Lloyd George, confided in a private conversation to C. P. Scott, editor of the Manchester Guardian:

"If people really knew [the truth], the war would be stopped tomorrow. But of course, they don't know, and can't know ."

Just over a century later, here we are, yet again, immersed in a global war. However, this war, which is ostensibly sold to all of us as a battle to "stop the spread of the coronavirus," is in reality a war devised by "the powers-that-shouldn't-be" to remove the last remnants of humanity's inherent freedoms and liberties.

And, just like all of the previous criminal wars throughout human history -- the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and every other subsequent conflict -- if people around the world knew the truth about this war, it would come to a screeching halt overnight.

Through all of my years of research in matters relating to war, I have come to understand one very important thing: When human societies lose their freedom, it's usually not because the monarch, the state, or some dictator has overtly taken it away. Rather, it is lost because too many people willingly surrender their freedom in return for protection from some perceived (real or imagined) menace.

That menace is typically manufactured by the state and is designed to stir up such a torrent of fear in the mind of citi zens that they pressure their politicians to implement measures against the fabricated threat.

Unfortunately, it rarely occurs to the public to ask:

Are we simply reacting to an orchestrated threat?

Will the protective measures we're demanding of our leaders actually work?

Or will "the cure" being offered to us be worse than "the disease"?

Sadly, we seem to have not learned from history that, once the state is asked by the citizenry to respond to a danger, it will do so with a drastic course of action -- with rights-restricting rules that will never be removed once imposed. This is exactly how societies become despotisms.

To be sure, there is a seasonal influenza, a coronavirus, currently sweeping around the world, just as the flu does every year, like clockwork. And, yes, this particular coronavirus seems to pose a serious health hazard to the elderly and to anyone with underlying medical issues. However, one crucial question has being avoided by officials and the public alike: Is this outbreak of an infectious disease called COVID-19 serious enough to warrant the draconian countermeasures that all governments -- with the exception of Sweden -- have initiated?

Those counteractions have done a number on communities everywhere:

Medical professionals are observing the entire state of affairs with increasing alarm. They are questioning the official coronavirus infection rates and noting the detrimental effects of the lockdown. Examples abound.

Take Dr. Erickson , co-owner of Accelerated Urgent Care in Kern County, California, who, with his partner, Dr. Massihi, has gone on record saying that, in contrast to the high numbers of people contracting this coronavirus, there has been only "a small amount of death . . . similar to what we have seen every year with the seasonal flu ."

Stanford University epidemiologist and professor of medicine John Ioannidis has made the same observation. In an April 17 interview , Dr. Ioannidis he claimed that "COVID-19 has an infection fatality rate that is in the same ballpark as seasonal influenza." Moreover, he said, the devastation and deaths caused by the imposed lockdown on the entire world economy "can be far worse than anything the coronavirus can do ." Based on a study he conducted, Dr. Ioannides said that "the data collected so far on how many people are infected and how the epidemic is evolving are utterly unreliable ."

Indeed, we have seen ample evidence of this "utterly unreliable" data -- less euphemistically known as manipulated data -- coming out of Italy. Professor Walter Ricciardi, scientific advisor to Italy's minister of health, referred to a report produced by the Italian COVID-19 Surveillance Group and observed that " only 12 per cent of death certificates have shown a direct causality from coronavirus, while 88 per cent of patients who have died have at least one pre-morbidity -- many had two or three." The report cited by Prof. Ricciardi pointed out that half of the patients who died had three or more other underlying diseases at the time of death .

COVID-19 Lockdown: A Global Human Experiment

In the United States, meanwhile, the death toll figures attributed to the virus are no more accurate. Doctors are being told to write on death certificates that the cause of death is " presumed " to be COVID-19 or that COVID-19 "contributed" to the death , when, in fact, there is absolutely no proof that COVID-19 caused the death, nor did any lab test indicate a COVID-19 positive.

The United Nations' Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO), which has been entrusted to be an impartial global health guardian, has proven itself no better than national governments at truthfully disseminating critical information. WHO's questionable statistics on COVID-19 only serve to cement its reputation as an organization that, since 2009, has been plagued by corruption, conflict-of-interest scandals linked to Big Pharma, and a lack of transparency. Few citizens are familiar with the WHO's transgressions, and even fewer understand how it is financed.

So let me briefly explain the latter. The WHO's principal advisory group for vaccines and immunization is called the Scientific Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE). This team of so-called "experts" is dominated by individuals who receive significant funding from either the major vaccine makers, from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, or from Wellcome Trust. In his informative article, "Can We Trust the WHO?" author F. William Engdahl writes that, in the latest posting by WHO:

". . . of the 15 scientific members of SAGE, no fewer than 8 had declared interest, by law, of potential conflicts. In almost every case the significant financial funder of these 8 SAGE members included the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Merck & Co. (MSD), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (a Gates-funded vaccine group), BMGF Global Health Scientific Advisory Committee, Pfizer, Novovax, GSK, Novartis, Gilead, and other leading pharma vaccine players ."

Moreover, unlike in its early years, when the WHO was primarily funded by UN member governments, today it receives funding from a "public-private partnership," which vaccine companies dominate. The WHO's financial audit for 2017 indicates that by "far the largest private or non-governmental funders of WHO are the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation together with the Gates-funded GAVI Vaccine Alliance, the Gates-initiated Global Fund to fight AIDS." That year, the Gates Foundation alone donated a staggering $324,654,317 to the WHO, second only to the US government, which contributed $401 million . According to statistics posted in 2018, "the second-largest funder after the US government is still the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which provides 9.8 per cent of the WHO's funds ."

In light of these relationships, it is not surprising that WHO data on COVID-19 has been found to contain repeated errors -- false positives -- and inconsistencies, all of which it refuses to correct. As a result, Oxford University and various countries have ceased using WHO data on coronavirus infection rates.

Because of the inaccurate and incomplete data that WHO has been collecting from around the world, we will never know exactly how many people have died from the virus.

Of course, in order to successfully prosecute their war on our civil liberties, these global overlords must maintain a monopoly on the information that shapes their official narrative.

If they were to release videos of empty hospitals or reveal the very low mortality rates actually associated with the virus, they would not be able to foster the element of fear required to keep the public credulously accepting their every pronouncement and obeying their every edict. It is this single factor of fear, fomented by false information emanating from "trusted sources," which is the vital element our health-state/police-state nannies rely upon as they deliberately, calculatingly fan the flames of the collective hysteria that has engulfed the world.

Why do I say "deliberately, calculatingly"? Because, by now, most readers have undoubtedly seen the smoking gun proof that the COVID-19 pandemic is in fact a plan demic. That smoking gun took the form of a simulation exercise called Event 201.

More aptly termed a drill, Event 201 was held in mid-October of last year, just weeks before the reports of the first recorded case of a contagious novel coronavirus disease starting seeping out of Wuhan, China. Sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the John Hopkins Center for Health, and the World Economic Forum, this tabletop exercise simulated "a series of dramatic, scenario-based facilitated discussions, confronting difficult, true-to-life dilemmas associated with response to a hypothetical, but scientifically plausible, pandemic ." That its sponsors have the gall to insist there is no connection between their exercise (I mean "drill") and the near-simultaneous unrolling of the actual "live" event (dubbed COVID-19) speaks to their hubris -- and their hypocrisy.

At best, maybe 10 percent of the entire simulation was devoted to actually helping people infected with the coronavirus. The remainder of the exercise was concerned with how officials would disseminate information and maintain all-important control of the official narrative -- including the statistical narrative. Predictably, the participants discussed strategies for how to silence the misinformation and disinformation that would surely spread in the wake of this "hypothetical" pandemic. In other words, they were super-intent on shutting down any and all information, whether leaked or hacked or accidentally discovered, that was not sanctioned by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), by WHO officials, and by MSM corporate stenographers.

Key talking points included an elaborate plan of action for governments that would enable them to work in cooperation with social media giants like Facebook and Google and Twitter. Specifically, governments were told how they could troll social media sites and request that any voices countering the official narrative be removed; how they could silence independent journalists, while elevating their own so-called "authoritative voices"; and how they could join forces with Big Pharma companies like Johnson & Johnson to develop a vaccine to ward off the coronavirus .

What happened to the action plan when it was applied to the on-its-heels real-life scenario? Unsurprisingly, it was fully implemented and made fully operational. So, thanks to Event 201's meticulous pandemic planning and WHO's replication of it, the power of the police state is rising to unprecedented levels. Our global overlords and their CDC and WHO and MSM lackeys have succeeded in generating fear in the planet's populace. This pandemic panic has, in turn, caused people to voluntarily, though unwittingly, surrender their hard-won freedoms. These freedoms are articulated in the constitutions of countries around the world, including the US Constitution, with its Bill of Rights -- notably the First Amendment. These documents are now nothing more than meaningless pieces of paper. They may as well be blank.

A few for instances: Facebook is removing all voices that counter the official COVID-19 narrative from its platform. Google is monitoring (read: snooping) to check up on whether people are "social distancing." The Clinton Global Initiative is promoting another Orwellian concept called " contact tracing " (read: total government surveillance grid), which involves monitoring, tracing, and, if need be, quarantining the entire US population. The plan is being sold to the American population as a critical component of a universal healthcare system, when, in reality, if implemented, it will be nothing more than a marketing ploy to disguise the arrival of George Orwell's 1984 .

Throughout the US, companies like VSBLTY and public-private partnerships are spreading a ubiquitous surveillance network of CCTV cameras with the ability to measure heartbeat and social distancing without any legal or legislative restraint -- a true police state dystopia.

Power-grabbing governments the world over have locked down their societies and are dreaming up legislation to stop the spread of "dangerous misinformation" about the pandemic. British MP Damian Collins, for one, is calling for just such measures to silence free speech in the UK. In Canada, Privy Council President Dominic LeBlanc has admitted that the Canadian government is "considering introducing legislation to make it an offence to knowingly spread misinformation that could harm people ."

Not to be outdone, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has announced the creation of "a new United Nations Communication Response initiative to flood the Internet with facts and science while countering the growing scourge of misinformation ." In addition, the Secretary- General, like Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and various other leaders, is advising us precisely where to place our trust: in vaccines.

Vaccines are not the answer. If the mandatory vaccination agenda is ever implemented by these globalist kingpins, the coup against our fundamental rights and freedoms will be complete. Our governments -- or, more likely, a one world government! -- will force-vaccinate us with our own unique digital ID and chip that, once in place, will further heighten their surveillance of and tighten their control over all human beings. At that point, the police state will be complete and will be here to stay.

Contrary to what Trudeau believes, the way that governments have implemented oppressive edicts to combat the hyped virus is not the "new-normal." Their actions are hardly normal, whether old or new.

Precisely the opposite is true: This is the forever abnormal.

Abnormal because, whether the virus was developed in a bioweapons lab or if it is the annual seasonal influenza, it is a manufactured crisis designed to infuse us with fear, induce us to willingly surrender our freedoms, and steer us away from seeing the ever-scarier, underlying agenda of a technocratic takeover by the New (or Flu!) World Order. (Think AI, 5G, Internet of Things, digital body chips, Data Fusion Centers , the NSA's Project Prism , ad infinitum ).

This collective insanity will come to an end only if we all leave behind the MSM nest of lies and seek out sources -- independent online and in-print investigative journalists like James Corbett, F. William Engdahl, Derrick Broze, Ryan Cristián, Patrick Wood, Jon Rappoport, and countless others -- who have been probing for (and finding and relaying) the truth about world events for anywhere from a decade to several dozen years. We must cease buying into propaganda and accept only provable facts from dependable sites -- the ones that are called "fake news" by the real fakers and fearmongers.

To men like David Lloyd George and his ilk, we reply: Yes, we will learn the truth, and with this knowledge we will stop the war on our liberty and our lives!

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

David Skripac has a Bachelor of Technology degree in Aerospace Engineering. He served as a Captain in the Canadian Forces for nine years. During his two tours of duty in the Air Force he flew extensively in the former Yugoslavia as well as in Somalia, Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Djibouti.

The original source of this article is Global Research Copyright © David Skripac , Global Research, 2020

[Apr 30, 2020] Joe Biden is principally responsible for the Patriot Act

Apr 30, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

jadan , Apr 30 2020 16:19 utc | 158

The degree to which government "by and for the people" cannot create consensus is the measure of its failure to represent the people. The government is not trusted because it is undemocratic. Rule By Secrecy is the rule.

Where did the Patriot Act come from? This abridgment of liberty appeared seemingly out of nowhere in October 2001. No representative of the people actually read it and yet it was voted into law. ( Hint: Joe Biden is principally responsible for the Patriot Act )

The surveillance state is well established in our midst and in our minds and the need to promote the general welfare by defending against pandemics will entail more surveillance and more constraints on personal liberty. The degree to which the government must rely on secrecy and denial of the Bill of Rights to remain in power is the degree to which it will earn the fear & loathing of the people and simple mistrust will become violence. When Elon Musk, one of our favorite oligarchs, attacks government for its handling of the pandemic, government should worry.

[Apr 12, 2020] We Are Living Nineteen Eighty-Four... by Victor Davis Johnson

Sep 25, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Victor Davis Johnson via NationalReview.com,

Truth, due process, evidence, rights of the accused: All are swept aside in pursuit of the progressive agenda.

George Orwell's 1949 dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four is no longer fiction. We are living it right now.

Google techies planned to massage Internet searches to emphasize correct thinking. A member of the so-called deep state, in an anonymous op-ed, brags that its "resistance" is undermining an elected president. The FBI, CIA, DOJ, and NSC were all weaponized in 2016 to ensure that the proper president would be elected -- the choice adjudicated by properly progressive ideology. Wearing a wire is now redefined as simply flipping on an iPhone and recording your boss, boy- or girlfriend, or co-workers.

But never has the reality that we are living in a surreal age been clearer than during the strange cycles of Christine Blasey Ford's accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

In Orwell's world of 1984 Oceania, there is no longer a sense of due process, free inquiry, rules of evidence and cross examination, much less a presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Instead, regimented ideology -- the supremacy of state power to control all aspects of one's life to enforce a fossilized idea of mandated quality -- warps everything from the use of language to private life.

Oceania's Rules

Senator Diane Feinstein and the other Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee had long sought to destroy the Brett Kavanaugh nomination. Much of their paradoxical furor over his nomination arises from the boomeranging of their own past political blunders, such as when Democrats ended the filibuster on judicial nominations, in 2013. They also canonized the so-called 1992 Biden Rule, which holds that the Senate should not consider confirming the Supreme Court nomination of a lame-duck president (e.g., George H. W. Bush) in an election year.

Rejecting Kavanaugh proved a hard task given that he had a long record of judicial opinions and writings -- and there was nothing much in them that would indicate anything but a sharp mind, much less any ideological, racial, or sexual intolerance. His personal life was impeccable, his family admirable.

Kavanaugh was no combative Robert Bork, but congenial, and he patiently answered all the questions asked of him, despite constant demonstrations and pre-planned street-theater interruptions from the Senate gallery and often obnoxious grandstanding by "I am Spartacus" Democratic senators.

So Kavanaugh was going to be confirmed unless a bombshell revelation derailed the vote. And so we got a bombshell.

Weeks earlier, Senator Diane Feinstein had received a written allegation against Kavanaugh of sexual battery by an accuser who wished to remain anonymous. Feinstein sat on it for nearly two months, probably because she thought the charges were either spurious or unprovable. Until a few days ago, she mysteriously refused to release the full text of the redacted complaint , and she has said she does not know whether the very accusations that she purveyed are believable. Was she reluctant to memorialize the accusations by formally submitting them to the Senate Judiciary Committee, because doing so makes Ford subject to possible criminal liability if the charges prove demonstrably untrue?

The gambit was clearly to use the charges as a last-chance effort to stop the nomination -- but only if Kavanaugh survived the cross examinations during the confirmation hearing. Then, in extremis , Feinstein finally referenced the charge, hoping to keep it anonymous, but, at the same time, to hint of its serious nature and thereby to force a delay in the confirmation. Think something McCarthesque, like "I have here in my hand the name . . ."

Delay would mean that the confirmation vote could be put off until after the midterm election, and a few jeopardized Democratic senators in Trump states would not have to go on record voting no on Kavanaugh. Or the insidious innuendos, rumor, and gossip about Kavanaugh would help to bleed him to death by a thousand leaks and, by association, tank Republican chances at retaining the House. (Republicans may or may not lose the House over the confirmation circus, but they most surely will lose their base and, with it, the Congress if they do not confirm Kavanaugh.)

Feinstein's anonymous trick did not work. So pressure mounted to reveal or leak Ford's identity and thereby force an Anita-Hill–like inquest that might at least show old white men Republican senators as insensitive to a vulnerable and victimized woman.

The problem, of course, was that, under traditional notions of jurisprudence, Ford's allegations simply were not provable. But America soon discovered that civic and government norms no longer follow the Western legal tradition. In Orwellian terms, Kavanaugh was now at the mercy of the state. He was tagged with sexual battery at first by an anonymous accuser, and then upon revelation of her identity, by a left-wing, political activist psychology professor and her more left-wing, more politically active lawyer.

Newspeak and Doublethink

Statue of limitations? It does not exist. An incident 36 years ago apparently is as fresh today as it was when Kavanaugh was 17 and Ford 15.

Presumption of Innocence? Not at all. Kavanaugh is accused and thereby guilty. The accuser faces no doubt. In Orwellian America, the accused must first present his defense, even though he does not quite know what he is being charged with. Then the accuser and her legal team pour over his testimony to prepare her accusation.

Evidence? That too is a fossilized concept. Ford could name neither the location of the alleged assault nor the date or time. She had no idea how she arrived or left the scene of the alleged crime. There is no physical evidence of an attack. And such lacunae in her memory mattered no longer at all.

Details? Again, such notions are counterrevolutionary. Ford said to her therapist 6 years ago (30 years after the alleged incident) that there were four would-be attackers, at least as recorded in the therapist's notes.

But now she has claimed that there were only two assaulters: Kavanaugh and a friend. In truth, all four people -- now including a female -- named in her accusations as either assaulters or witnesses have insisted that they have no knowledge of the event, much less of wrongdoing wherever and whenever Ford claims the act took place. That they deny knowledge is at times used as proof by Ford's lawyers that the event 36 years was traumatic.

An incident at 15 is so seared into her lifelong memory that at 52 Ford has no memory of any of the events or details surrounding that unnamed day, except that she is positive that 17-year-old Brett Kavanaugh, along with four? three? two? others, was harassing her. She has no idea where or when she was assaulted but still assures that Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge were drunk, but that she and the others (?) merely had only the proverbial teenage "one beer." Most people are more likely to know where they were at a party than the exact number of alcoholic beverages they consumed -- but not so much about either after 36 years.

Testimony? No longer relevant. It doesn't matter that Kavanaugh and the other alleged suspect both deny the allegations and have no memory of being in the same locale with Ford 36 years ago. In sum, all the supposed partiers, both male and female, now swear, under penalty of felony, that they have no memory of any of the incidents that Ford claims occurred so long ago. That Ford cannot produce a single witness to confirm her narrative or refute theirs is likewise of no concern. So far, she has singularly not submitted a formal affidavit or given a deposition that would be subject to legal exposure if untrue.

Again, the ideological trumps the empirical. "All women must be believed" is the testament, and individuals bow to the collective. Except, as in Orwell's Animal Farm, there are ideological exceptions -- such as Bill Clinton, Keith Ellison, Sherrod Brown, and Joe Biden. The slogan of Ford's psychodrama is "All women must be believed, but some women are more believable than others." That an assertion becomes fact due to the prevailing ideology and gender of the accuser marks the destruction of our entire system of justice.

Rights of the accused? They too do not exist. In the American version of 1984 , the accuser, a.k.a. the more ideologically correct party, dictates to authorities the circumstances under which she will be investigated and cross-examined: She will demand all sorts of special considerations of privacy and exemptions; Kavanaugh will be forced to return and face cameras and the public to prove that he was not then, and has never been since, a sexual assaulter.

In our 1984 world, the accused is considered guilty if merely charged, and the accuser is a victim who can ruin a life but must not under any circumstance be made uncomfortable in proving her charges.

Doublespeak abounds. "Victim" solely refers to the accuser, not the accused, who one day was Brett Kavanaugh, a brilliant jurist and model citizen, and the next morning woke up transformed into some sort of Kafkaesque cockroach. The media and political operatives went in a nanosecond from charging that she was groped and "assaulted" to the claim that she was "raped."

In our 1984, the phrase "must be believed" is doublespeak for "must never face cross-examination."

Ford should be believed or not believed on the basis of evidence , not her position, gender, or politics. I certainly did not believe Joe Biden, simply because he was a U.S. senator, when, as Neal Kinnock's doppelganger, he claimed that he came from a long line of coal miners -- any more than I believed that Senator Corey Booker really had a gang-banger Socratic confidant named "T-Bone," or that would-be senator Richard Blumenthal was an anguished Vietnam combat vet or that Senator Elizabeth Warren was a Native American. (Do we need a 25th Amendment for unhinged senators?) Wanting to believe something from someone who is ideologically correct does not translate into confirmation of truth.

Ford supposedly in her originally anonymous accusation had insisted that she had sought "medical treatment" for her assault. The natural assumption is that such a term would mean that, soon after the attack, the victim sought a doctor's or emergency room's help to address either her physical or mental injuries -- records might therefore be a powerful refutation of Kavanaugh's denials.

But "medical treatment" now means that 30 years after the alleged assault, Ford sought counseling for some sort of "relationship" or "companion" therapy, or what might legitimately be termed "marriage counseling." And in the course of her discussions with her therapist about her marriage, she first spoke of her alleged assault three decades earlier. She did not then name Kavanaugh to her therapist, whose notes are at odds with Ford's current version.

Memory Holes

Then we come to Orwell's idea of "memory holes," or mechanisms to wipe clean inconvenient facts that disrupt official ideological narratives.

Shortly after Ford was named, suddenly her prior well-publicized and self-referential social-media revelations vanished, as if she'd never held her minor-league but confident pro-Sanders, anti-Trump opinions . And much of her media and social-media accounts were erased as well.

Similarly, one moment the New York Times -- just coming off an embarrassing lie in reporting that U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley had ordered new $50,000 office drapes on the government dime -- reported that Kavanaugh's alleged accomplice, Mark Judge, had confirmed Ford's allegation. Indeed, in a sensational scoop, according to the Times , Judge told the Judiciary Committee that he does remember the episode and has nothing more to say. In fact, Judge told the committee the very opposite: that he does not remember the episode . Forty minutes later, the Times embarrassing narrative vanished down the memory hole.

The online versions of some of the yearbooks of Ford's high school from the early 1980s vanished as well. At times, they had seemed to take a perverse pride in the reputation of the all-girls school for underage drinking, carousing, and, on rarer occasions, "passing out" at parties. Such activities were supposed to be the monopoly and condemnatory landscape of the "frat boy" and spoiled-white-kid Kavanaugh -- and certainly not the environment in which the noble Ford navigated. Seventeen-year-old Kavanaugh was to play the role of a falling-down drunk; Ford, with impressive powers of memory of an event 36 years past, assures us that as a circumspect 15-year-old, she had only "one beer."

A former teenage friend of Ford's sent out a flurry of social-media postings, allegedly confirming that Ford's ordeal was well known to her friends in 1982 and so her assault narrative must therefore be confirmed. Then, when challenged on some of her incoherent details (schools are not in session during summertime, and Ford is on record as not telling anyone of the incident for 30 years), she mysteriously claimed that she no longer could stand by her earlier assertions, which likewise soon vanished from her social-media account. Apparently, she had assumed that in 2018 Oceania ideologically correct citizens merely needed to lodge an accusation and it would be believed, without any obligation on her part to substantiate her charges.

When a second accuser, Deborah Ramirez, followed Ford seven days later to allege another sexual incident with the teenage Kavanaugh, at Yale 35 years ago, it was no surprise that she followed the now normal Orwellian boilerplate : None of those whom she named as witnesses could either confirm her charges or even remember the alleged event. She had altered her narrative after consultations with lawyers and handlers. She too confesses to underage drinking during the alleged event. She too is currently a social and progressive political activist. The only difference from Ford's narrative is that Ramirez's accusation was deemed not credible enough to be reported even by the New York Times , which recently retracted false stories about witness Mark Judge in the Ford case, and which falsely reported that U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley had charged the government for $50,000 office drapes.

As in 1984 , "truths" in these sorts of allegations do not exist unless they align with the larger "Truth" of the progressive project. In our case, the overarching Truth mandates that, in a supposedly misogynist society, women must always be believed in all their accusations and should be exempt from all counter-examinations.

Little "truths" -- such as the right of the accused, the need to produce evidence, insistence on cross-examination, and due process -- are counterrevolutionary constructs and the refuge of reactionary hold-outs who are enemies of the people. Or in the words of Hawaii senator Mazie Hirono:

Guess who's perpetuating all of these kinds of actions? It's the men in this country. And I just want to say to the men in this country, "Just shut up and step up. Do the right thing, for a change."

The View 's Joy Behar was more honest about the larger Truth: "These white men, old by the way, are not protecting women," Behar exclaimed. "They're protecting a man who is probably guilty." We thank Behar for the concession "probably."

According to some polls, about half the country believes that Brett Kavanaugh is now guilty of a crime committed 36 years ago at the age of 17. And that reality reminds us that we are no longer in America . We are already living well into the socialist totalitarian Hell that Orwell warned us about long ago.


NiggaPleeze , 10 seconds ago

National Review? Really? Does it get more evil than them?

Debt Slave , 16 seconds ago

According to some polls, about half the country believes that Brett Kavanaugh is now guilty of a crime committed 36 years ago at the age of 17.

Well half the country are idiots but the important thing to remember in our democracy is that the idiots have the right to vote. And here we are today.

No wonder the founders believed that democracy was a stupid idea. But we know better than they did, right?

Jkweb007 , 37 seconds ago

It is hard for me to believe 50% when in America you are presumed innocent till proven guilty. Is this the spanish inquizition or salem witch trials. If he floats he was innocent. I am shocked that people in congress would make statements, she must be believed, I believe he is guilty. These are people who represent and stand for the constitution that many died in the defense of life liberty and the persuit of happiness. It may be time for that mlilitia that our founding fathers endorsed. If Kavanaugh is rebuked for these accusation our freedom, free speech may be next.

herbivore , 1 minute ago

Peter Griffin knows what's what:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jiog8hrzigk

GOSPLAN HERO , 4 minutes ago

Just another day in USSA.

THORAX , 6 minutes ago

One more confirmation that the so called "social justice warriors" -like last night's goons' who shamefully interrupted Senator Cruz's night out with his wife at a private restaurant- are Orwell's projected fascists!

opport.knocks , 20 minutes ago

Bush 2 was in the big chair when he and his cabinet started the USA down the full Orwellian path (Patriot Act, post 911). Kavanaugh and his wife were both members of that government team.

If there is any reason to dismiss him, that would be it, not this post-pubescent sex crap.

If I was a cynical person, I would say this whole exercise is to deflect attention away from that part of his "swampy" past.

Aubiekong , 23 minutes ago

We lost the republic when we allowed the liberals to staff the ministry of education...

CheapBastard , 15 minutes ago

My neighbor is a high school teacher. I asked her if she was giving students time off to protest this and she looked at me and said, "Just the opposite. I have given them a 10 page seminar paper to write on the meaning of Due Process."

So there IS hope.

my new username , 23 minutes ago

This is criminal contempt for the due lawful process of the Congress.

These are unlawful attempts and conspiracies to subvert justice.

So we need to start arresting, trying, convicting and punishing the criminals.

BlackChicken , 23 minutes ago

Truth, due process, evidence, rights of the accused: All are swept aside in pursuit of the progressive agenda.

This needs to end, not later, NOW.

Be careful what you wish for leftists, I'll dedicate my remaining years to torture you with it.

Jus7tme , 22 minutes ago

>>the socialist totalitarian Hell that Orwell warned us about long ago.

I think Orwell was in 1949 was warning about a fascist totalitarian hell, not a socialist one, but nice try rewriting history.

Duc888 , 29 minutes ago

WTF ever happened to "innocent until PROVEN guilty"?

CheapBastard , 19 minutes ago

Schumer said before the confirmation hearings even began he would not let Kavanaugh become SC justice no matter what.

Dems are so tolerant, open minded and respectful of due process, aren't they.

[Mar 10, 2020] Facebook and idiocy of population

Notable quotes:
"... Nothing speaks more loudly of the dumbed down, idiotic, Fakebook groupthink of the age than the current rush to buy toilet roll as a response to the Coronavirus crisis. ..."
Mar 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Richard , Mar 10 2020 16:40 utc | 150

No need to worry about the corona virus - it'll all be okay as long as you buy enough toilet roll...

Nothing speaks more loudly of the dumbed down, idiotic, Fakebook groupthink of the age than the current rush to buy toilet roll as a response to the Coronavirus crisis.

You've seen it on the tele and (un)social media – supermarket shelves denuded of bog roll and fat birds beating seven shades of sh*t out of each other over the last bag of ass wipe.

I mean, what the hell!? Is this how stupid and pathetic we've become? Someone sees a post on Fakebook that says its a good idea to respond to a potentially fatal virus by buying lots of bog roll and within 5 minutes there's a massive rush on the stuff – after all, you gotta buy it, right, COS IT SAYS SO ON FAKEBOOK...

https://richardhennerley.com/2020/03/10/of-coronavirus-toilet-roll-and-idiocy/

[Mar 07, 2020] Intel security flaw

Mar 07, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

WobblyTelomeres , March 6, 2020 at 3:00 pm

Re Intel security flaw

Interviewed there in the 90s. Hiring manager picked me up at the hotel, took me out to dinner and told me, flat out, that he was NSA. I doubt it has changed much.

(I said, to myself, "f*ck this", flagged the waiter and ordered the most expensive cab on the menu, then another)

Lambert Strether Post author , March 7, 2020 at 3:27 am

> told me, flat out, that he was NSA.

Ha ha! I posted this only this morning:

Uncovering The CIA's Audacious Operation That Gave Them Access To State Secrets (interview) WaPo. "So we end up with ostensibly private company that is secretly owned by two intelligence services." That company is probably just an outlier , even though this operation is presented as incredibly successful.

I've helpfully underlined the irony. I should add Surveillance Valley to my reading list, I suppose

[Feb 28, 2020] Stephen Kinzer The Brothers Book Talk at the Watson Institute November 4, 2013 - YouTube

Feb 28, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Knight Alexius , 3 weeks ago

Maybe, the Dulles Brothers had a deeper understanding of the logic of the US-Empire then Kinzer with their conviction that they could not allow third-world-countries to be independent.

Ronbo710 , 4 years ago

Eisenhower AND Kennedy were both fervent supporters of U.S. covert action.

[Feb 23, 2020] An important difference

Feb 23, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Jacqueline Grace , 2 months ago

It's not "your tube" anymore.......it's "their tube".

[Feb 14, 2020] Why the USA is fighting Huawei without offering any super alternative

Feb 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

james , Feb 11 2020 20:13 utc | 13

thanks b...no shortage of hypocrisy in all this...

regarding @ 4 mike r which @8 ian2 linked properly to, i enjoyed the last paragraph which i think sums it up well.. here it is..

"I continue to believe that the United States cannot effectively restrict the spread of a technology under Chinese leadership without offering a superior product of its own. The fact that the United States has attempted to suppress Huawei's market leadership in the absence of any American competitor in this field is one of the oddest occurrences in the history of US foreign policy. If the US were to announce something like a Manhattan Project for 5G broadband and solicit the cooperation of its European and Asian allies, it probably would get an enthusiastic response. As matters stand, America's efforts to stop Huawei have become an embarrassment."


Petri Krohn , Feb 11 2020 20:38 utc | 16

The reason European customers trust Huawei is because Huawei uses open-source software or at least makes their code available for inspection by customers.

Closed-source software cannot provide secrecy or security. This was vividly demonstrated last month when NSA revealed a critical vulnerability in Windows 10 that rendered any cryptographic security worthless.

Critical Windows 10 vulnerability used to Rickroll the NSA and Github

Rashid's simulated attack exploits CVE-2020-0601, the critical vulnerability that Microsoft patched on Tuesday after receiving a private tipoff from the NSA. As Ars reported, the flaw can completely break certificate validation for websites, software updates, VPNs, and other security-critical computer uses. It affects Windows 10 systems, including server versions Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2019. Other versions of Windows are unaffected.

The flaw involves the way the new versions of Windows check the validity of certificates that use elliptic-curve cryptography. While the vulnerable Windows versions check three ECC parameters, they fail to verify a fourth, crucial one, which is known as a base point generator and is often represented in algorithms as 'G.' This failure is a result of Microsoft's implementation of ECC rather than any flaw or weakness in the ECC algorithms themselves.

The attacker examines the specific ECC algorithm used to generate the root-certificate public key and proceeds to craft a private key that copies all of the certificate parameters for that algorithm except for the point generator. Because vulnerable Windows versions fail to check that parameter, they accept the private key as valid. With that, the attacker has spoofed a Windows-trusted root certificate that can be used to mint any individual certificate used for authentication of websites, software, and other sensitive properties.

I do not believe this vulnerability was a bug. It is more likely a backdoor intentionally left in the code for NSA to utilize. Whatever the case, NSA must have known about it for years. Why did they reveal it now? Most likely someone else had discovered the back door and may have been about to publish it.

(I commented on these same issues on Sputnik a few weeks ago.)

Piotr Berman , Feb 11 2020 23:04 utc | 25
The other possible US objection is that Huawei will only let their customers spy, not third countries.

Posted by: Paul Cockshott | Feb 11 2020 21:57 utc | 24

It reminds me a joke about Emperor Napoleon arriving in a town. The population, the notables and the mayor are greeting him, and the Emperor says "No gun salute, hm?". Mayor replies "Sire, we have twenty reasons. Fist, we have canons", "Enough", replied Napoleon.

Isn't the "other possible US objection" exactly "Enough"? Of course, USA is not a mere "third country", USA is the rule maker of rule based international order.

[Feb 10, 2020] Why You May Never Learn the Truth About Anything in Washington

Feb 10, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

run75441 | February 9, 2020 7:00 pm

History Politics I hang around some pretty intelligent people who have smart friends commenting on their facebook pages. The first part of this post is from a comment on Claude Scales's Facebook page by William R. Everdell. I think it fits with the NYT article Claude referenced. The second part of this is a shorten version of the NYT Opinion article "Why You May Never Learn the Truth About ICE," Matthew Connelly, Professor of History, Columbia.

George Orwell in "'1984', Winston Smith was dropping documents into the 'memory hole' by his desk at the Ministry of Truth – Minitrue

'Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'

[Jan 19, 2020] Facebook blocks documentary about Biden dealing in Ukraine from ukrainegate.info which sheds a new light on Ukrainegate

Jan 19, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

Fran Macadam , January 14, 2020 at 07:28

You've been zucked.

[Jan 04, 2020] Critical thinking is anathema to the neoliberal establishment. That s why they need to corrupt the language, to make the resistance more difficult and requiring higher level of IQ

Highly recommended!
Manipulation of the language is one of the most powerful Propaganda tool. See the original Orwell essay at George Orwell Politics and the English Language. among other things he stated "But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought."
Notable quotes:
"... we were set a writing task as a follow-up, reporting on the same story using the same facts, from completely opposing points of view, using euphemism and mind-numbing cliches. Teach children to do this themselves and they can see how language can be skewed and facts distorted and misrepresented without technically lying. ..."
"... It might be taught in Media Studies, I suppose - but gosh, don't the right really hate that particular subject! Critical thinking is anathema to them. ..."
Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

BluebellWood -> Supermassive , 29 Nov 2018 12:41

Yep - education is the key.

I remember at school we read Orwell's essay Politics and the English Language in an English class and then we were set a writing task as a follow-up, reporting on the same story using the same facts, from completely opposing points of view, using euphemism and mind-numbing cliches. Teach children to do this themselves and they can see how language can be skewed and facts distorted and misrepresented without technically lying.

How many children in schools are taught such critical thinking these days, I wonder? It might be taught in Media Studies, I suppose - but gosh, don't the right really hate that particular subject! Critical thinking is anathema to them.

[Dec 20, 2019] Did John Brennan's CIA Create Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks by Larry C Johnson

Highly recommended!
Gossufer2.0 and CrowdStrike are the weakest links in this sordid story. CrowdStrike was nothing but FBI/CIA contractor.
So the hypothesis that CrowdStrike employees implanted malware to implicate Russians and created fake Gussifer 2.0 personality is pretty logical.
Notable quotes:
"... Not one piece of corroborating intelligence. It is all based on opinion and strong belief. There was no human source report or electronic intercept pointing to a relationship between the GRU and the two alleged creations of the GRU--Guccifer 2.0 persona and DCLeaks.com. Now consider the spin that Robert Mueller put on this opinion in his report on possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. Mueller bluffs the unsuspecting reader into believing that it is a proven fact that Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks were Russian assets. But he is relying on a mere opinion from a handpicked group of intel analysts working under the direction of then CIA Director John Brennan ..."
"... In October 2015 John Brennan reorganized the CIA . As part of that reorganization he created a new directorate--DIRECTORATE OF DIGITAL INNOVATION. Its mission was to "manipulate digital footprints." In other words, this was the Directorate that did the work of creating Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks. One of their specialties, creating Digital Dust. ..."
"... We also know, thanks to Wikileaks, that the CIA was using software specifically designed to mask CIA activity and make it appear like it was done by a foreign entity. Wikipedia describes the Vault 7 documents : ..."
"... Exhibit A in the case is this document created and later edited in the ubiquitous Microsoft Word format. Metadata left inside the file shows it was last edited by someone using the computer name "Феликс Эдмундович." That means the computer was configured to use the Russian language and that it was connected to a Russian-language keyboard. More intriguing still, "Феликс Эдмундович" is the colloquial name that translates to Felix Dzerzhinsky, the 20th Century Russian statesman who is best known for founding the Soviet secret police. (The metadata also shows that the purported DNC strategy memo was originally created by someone named Warren Flood, which happens to be the name of a LinkedIn user claiming to provide strategy and data analytics services to Democratic candidates.) ..."
"... Why would the CIA do this? The CIA knew that Podesta's emails had been hacked and were circulating on the internet. But they had no evidence about the identity of the culprit. If they had such evidence, they would have cited it in the 2017 ICA. ..."
"... The U.S. intelligence community became aware around May 26, 2016 that someone with access to the DNC network was offering those emails to Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Julian Assange and people who spoke to him indicate that the person was Seth Rich. Whether or not it was Seth, the Trump Task Force at CIA was aware that the emails, which would be embarrassing to the Clinton campaign, would be released at some time in the future. Hence the motive to create Guccifer 2.0 and pin the blame on Russia. ..."
"... The only source for the claim that Russia hacked the DNC is a private cyber security firm, CrowdStrike. ..."
"... Time for the common sense standard again. Crowdstrike detected the Russians on the 6th of May, according to CEO Dimitri Alperovitch, but took no steps to shutdown the network, eliminate the malware and clean the computers until 34 days later, i.e., the 10th of June. That is 34 days of inexcusable inaction. ..."
"... The actions attributed to DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 should be priority investigative targets for U.S. Attorney John Durham's team of investigators. This potential use of a known CIA tool, developed under Brennan with the sole purpose to obfuscate the source of intrusions, pointing to another nation, as a false flag operation, is one of the actions and issues that U.S. Attorney John Durham should be looking into as a potential act of "Seditious conspiracy. It needs to be done. To quote the CIA, I strongly assess that the only intelligence agency that evidence indicates was meddling via cyber attacks in the 2016 Presidential election was the CIA, not the GRU. ..."
"... LJ bottom line: "The only intelligence agency that evidence indicates was meddling via cyber attacks in the 2016 Presidential election was the CIA, not the GRU." ..."
"... ICA which seemed to have been framed to allow journalists or the unwary to link the ICA with more rigorous standards used by more authentic assessments? ..."
"... With the Russians not having the advantages that the NSA does (back doors in all US-designed network hardware/software and taps all over the internet), would Russia reveal anything unless it involved an immediate major national security threat. I doubt that would cover Trump. ..."
Dec 20, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report insists that Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks were created by Russia's military intelligence organization, the GRU, as part of a Russian plot to meddle in the U.S. 2016 Presidential Election. But this is a lie. Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks were created by Brennan's CIA and this action by the CIA should be a target of U.S. Attorney John Durham's investigation. Let me explain why.

Let us start with the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment aka ICA. Only three agencies of the 17 in the U.S. intelligence community contributed to and coordinated on the ICA--the FBI, the CIA and NSA. In the preamble to the ICA, you can read the following explanation about methodology:

When Intelligence Community analysts use words such as "we assess" or "we judge," they are conveying an analytic assessment or judgment

To be clear, the phrase,"We assess", is intel community jargon for "opinion". If there was actual evidence or source material for a judgment the writer of the assessment would state, "According to a reliable source" or "knowledgeable source" or "documentary evidence."

Pay close attention to what the analysts writing the ICA stated about the GRU and Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks:

We assess with high confidence that the GRU used the Guccifer 2.0 persona, DCLeaks.com, and WikiLeaks to release US victim data obtained in cyber operations publicly and in exclusives to media outlets.

  • Guccifer 2.0, who claimed to be an independent Romanian hacker, made multiple contradictory statements and false claims about his likely Russian identity throughout the election. Press reporting suggests more than one person claiming to be Guccifer 2.0 interacted with journalists.
  • Content that we assess was taken from e-mail accounts targeted by the GRU in March 2016 appeared on DCLeaks.com starting in June.

We assess with high confidence that the GRU relayed material it acquired from the DNC and senior Democratic officials to WikiLeaks. Moscow most likely chose WikiLeaks because of its self-proclaimed reputation for authenticity. Disclosures through WikiLeaks did not contain any evident forgeries.

Not one piece of corroborating intelligence. It is all based on opinion and strong belief. There was no human source report or electronic intercept pointing to a relationship between the GRU and the two alleged creations of the GRU--Guccifer 2.0 persona and DCLeaks.com. Now consider the spin that Robert Mueller put on this opinion in his report on possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. Mueller bluffs the unsuspecting reader into believing that it is a proven fact that Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks were Russian assets. But he is relying on a mere opinion from a handpicked group of intel analysts working under the direction of then CIA Director John Brennan.

Here's Mueller's take (I apologize for the lengthy quote but it is important that you read how the Mueller team presents this):

DCLeaks

"The GRU began planning the releases at least as early as April 19, 2016, when Unit 26165 registered the domain dcleaks.com through a service that anonymized the registrant.137 Unit 26165 paid for the registration using a pool of bitcoin that it had mined.138 The dcleaks.com landing page pointed to different tranches of stolen documents, arranged by victim or subject matter. Other dcleaks.com pages contained indexes of the stolen emails that were being released (bearing the sender, recipient, and date of the email). To control access and the timing of releases, pages were sometimes password-protected for a period of time and later made unrestricted to the public.


Starting in June 2016, the GRU posted stolen documents onto the website dcleaks.com, including documents stolen from a number of individuals associated with the Clinton Campaign. These documents appeared to have originated from personal email accounts (in particular, Google and Microsoft accounts), rather than the DNC and DCCC computer networks. DCLeaks victims included an advisor to the Clinton Campaign, a former DNC employee and Clinton Campaign employee, and four other campaign volunteers.139 The GRU released through dcleaks.com thousands of documents, including personal identifying and financial information, internal correspondence related to the"Clinton Campaign and prior political jobs, and fundraising files and information.140


GRU officers operated a Facebook page under the DCLeaks moniker, which they primarily used to promote releases of materials.141 The Facebook page was administered through a small number of preexisting GRU-controlled Facebook accounts.142


GRU officers also used the DCLeaks Facebook account, the Twitter account @dcleaks__, and the email account dcleaksproject@gmail.com to communicate privately with reporters and other U.S. persons. GRU officers using the DCLeaks persona gave certain reporters early access to archives of leaked files by sending them links and passwords to pages on the dcleaks.com website that had not yet become public. For example, on July 14, 2016, GRU officers operating under the DCLeaks persona sent a link and password for a non-public DCLeaks webpage to a U.S. reporter via the Facebook account.143 Similarly, on September 14, 2016, GRU officers sent reporters Twitter direct messages from @dcleaks_, with a password to another non-public part of the dcleaks.com website.144


The dcleaks.com website remained operational and public until March 2017."

Guccifer 2.0

On June 14, 2016, the DNC and its cyber-response team announced the breach of the DNC network and suspected theft of DNC documents. In the statements, the cyber-response team alleged that Russian state-sponsored actors (which they referred to as "Fancy Bear") were responsible for the breach.145 Apparently in response to that announcement, on June 15, 2016, GRU officers using the persona Guccifer 2.0 created a WordPress blog. In the hours leading up to the launch of that WordPress blog, GRU officers logged into a Moscow-based server used and managed by Unit 74455 and searched for a number of specific words and phrases in English, including "some hundred sheets," "illuminati," and "worldwide known." Approximately two hours after the last of those searches, Guccifer 2.0 published its first post, attributing the DNC server hack to a lone Romanian hacker and using several of the unique English words and phrases that the GRU officers had searched for that day.146

That same day, June 15, 2016, the GRU also used the Guccifer 2.0 WordPress blog to begin releasing to the public documents stolen from the DNC and DCCC computer networks.

The Guccifer 2.0 persona ultimately released thousands of documents stolen from the DNC and DCCC in a series of blog posts between June 15, 2016 and October 18, 2016.147 Released documents included opposition research performed by the DNC (including a memorandum analyzing potential criticisms of candidate Trump), internal policy documents (such as recommendations on how to address politically sensitive issues), analyses of specific congressional races, and fundraising documents. Releases were organized around thematic issues, such as specific states (e.g., Florida and Pennsylvania) that were perceived as competitive in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Beginning in late June 2016, the GRU also used the Guccifer 2.0 persona to release documents directly to reporters and other interested individuals. Specifically, on June 27, 2016, Guccifer 2.0 sent an email to the news outlet The Smoking Gun offering to provide "exclusive access to some leaked emails linked [to] Hillary Clinton's staff."148 The GRU later sent the reporter a password and link to a locked portion of the dcleaks.com website that contained an archive of emails stolen by Unit 26165 from a Clinton Campaign volunteer in March 2016.149 "That the Guccifer 2.0 persona provided reporters access to a restricted portion of the DCLeaks website tends to indicate that both personas were operated by the same or a closely-related group of people.150

The GRU continued its release efforts through Guccifer 2.0 into August 2016. For example, on August 15, 2016, the Guccifer 2.0 persona sent a candidate for the U.S. Congress documents related to the candidate's opponent.151 On August 22, 2016, the Guccifer 2.0 persona transferred approximately 2.5 gigabytes of Florida-related data stolen from the DCCC to a U.S. blogger covering Florida politics.152 On August 22, 2016, the Guccifer 2.0 persona sent a U.S. reporter documents stolen from the DCCC pertaining to the Black Lives Matter movement.153"

Wow. Sounds pretty convincing. The documents referencing communications by DCLeaks or Guccifer 2.0 with Wikileaks are real. What is not true is that these entities were GRU assets.

In October 2015 John Brennan reorganized the CIA . As part of that reorganization he created a new directorate--DIRECTORATE OF DIGITAL INNOVATION. Its mission was to "manipulate digital footprints." In other words, this was the Directorate that did the work of creating Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks. One of their specialties, creating Digital Dust.

We also know, thanks to Wikileaks, that the CIA was using software specifically designed to mask CIA activity and make it appear like it was done by a foreign entity. Wikipedia describes the Vault 7 documents :

Vault 7 is a series of documents that WikiLeaks began to publish on 7 March 2017, that detail activities and capabilities of the United States' Central Intelligence Agency to perform electronic surveillance and cyber warfare. The files, dated from 2013–2016, include details on the agency's software capabilities, such as the ability to compromise cars, smart TVs,[1] web browsers (including Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera Software ASA),[2][3][4] and the operating systems of most smartphones (including Apple's iOS and Google's Android), as well as other operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux[5][6

One of the tools in Vault 7 carries the innocuous name, MARBLE. Hackernews explains the purpose and function of MARBLE:

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.

Marble is used to hamper[ing] forensic investigators and anti-virus companies from attributing viruses, trojans and hacking attacks to the CIA," says the whistleblowing site.

"...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," WikiLeaks explains.

So guess what gullible techies "discovered" in mid-June 2016? The meta data in the Guccifer 2.0 communications had "Russian fingerprints."

We still don't know who he is or whether he works for the Russian government, but one thing is for sure: Guccifer 2.0 -- the nom de guerre of the person claiming he hacked the Democratic National Committee and published hundreds of pages that appeared to prove it -- left behind fingerprints implicating a Russian-speaking person with a nostalgia for the country's lost Soviet era.

Exhibit A in the case is this document created and later edited in the ubiquitous Microsoft Word format. Metadata left inside the file shows it was last edited by someone using the computer name "Феликс Эдмундович." That means the computer was configured to use the Russian language and that it was connected to a Russian-language keyboard. More intriguing still, "Феликс Эдмундович" is the colloquial name that translates to Felix Dzerzhinsky, the 20th Century Russian statesman who is best known for founding the Soviet secret police. (The metadata also shows that the purported DNC strategy memo was originally created by someone named Warren Flood, which happens to be the name of a LinkedIn user claiming to provide strategy and data analytics services to Democratic candidates.)

Just use your common sense. If the Russians were really trying to carry out a covert cyberattack, do you really think they are so sloppy and incompetent to insert the name of the creator of the Soviet secret police in the metadata? No. The Russians are not clowns. This was a clumsy attempt to frame the Russians.

Why would the CIA do this? The CIA knew that Podesta's emails had been hacked and were circulating on the internet. But they had no evidence about the identity of the culprit. If they had such evidence, they would have cited it in the 2017 ICA.

The U.S. intelligence community became aware around May 26, 2016 that someone with access to the DNC network was offering those emails to Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Julian Assange and people who spoke to him indicate that the person was Seth Rich. Whether or not it was Seth, the Trump Task Force at CIA was aware that the emails, which would be embarrassing to the Clinton campaign, would be released at some time in the future. Hence the motive to create Guccifer 2.0 and pin the blame on Russia.

It is essential to recall the timeline of the alleged Russian intrusion into the DNC network. The only source for the claim that Russia hacked the DNC is a private cyber security firm, CrowdStrike. Here is the timeline for the DNC "hack."

Here are the facts on the public record. They are at odds with the claims of the Intelligence Community:

  1. It was 29 April 2016 , when the DNC claims it became aware its servers had been penetrated. No claim yet about who was responsible. And no claim that there had been a prior warning by the FBI of a penetration of the DNC by Russian military intelligence.
  2. According to CrowdStrike founder , Dimitri Alperovitch, his company first supposedly detected the Russians mucking around inside the DNC server on 6 May 2016. A CrowdStrike intelligence analyst reportedly told Alperovitch that:
    • Falcon had identified not one but two Russian intruders: Cozy Bear, a group CrowdStrike's experts believed was affiliated with the FSB, Russia's answer to the CIA; and Fancy Bear, which they had linked to the GRU, Russian military intelligence.
  3. The Wikileaks data shows that the last message copied from the DNC network is dated Wed, 25 May 2016 08:48:35.
  4. 10 June 2016 --CrowdStrike waited until 10 June 2016 to take concrete steps to clean up the DNC network. Alperovitch told Esquire's Vicky Ward that: 'Ultimately, the teams decided it was necessary to replace the software on every computer at the DNC. Until the network was clean, secrecy was vital. On the afternoon of Friday, June 10, all DNC employees were instructed to leave their laptops in the office."
  5. On June 14, 2016 , Ellen Nakamura, a Washington Post reporter who had been briefed by computer security company hired by the DNC -- Crowdstrike--, wrote:
    • Russian government hackers penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee and gained access to the entire database of opposition research on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to committee officials and security experts who responded to the breach.
    • The intruders so thoroughly compromised the DNC's system that they also were able to read all email and chat traffic, said DNC officials and the security experts.
    • The intrusion into the DNC was one of several targeting American political organizations. The networks of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were also targeted by Russian spies, as were the computers of some Republican political action committees, U.S. officials said. But details on those cases were not available.
  6. 15 June, 2016 , an internet "personality" self-described as Guccifer 2.0 surfaces and claims to be responsible for the hacks but denies being Russian. The people/entity behind Guccifer 2.0:

The only thing that the Guccifer 2.0 character did not do to declare its Russian heritage was to take out full page ads in the New York Times and Washington Post. But the "forensic" fingerprints that Guccifer 2.0 was leaving behind is not the only inexplicable event.

Time for the common sense standard again. Crowdstrike detected the Russians on the 6th of May, according to CEO Dimitri Alperovitch, but took no steps to shutdown the network, eliminate the malware and clean the computers until 34 days later, i.e., the 10th of June. That is 34 days of inexcusable inaction.

It is only AFTER Julian Assange announces on 12 June 2016 that WikiLeaks has emails relating to Hillary Clinton that DCLeaks or Guccifer 2.0 try to contact Assange.

The actions attributed to DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 should be priority investigative targets for U.S. Attorney John Durham's team of investigators. This potential use of a known CIA tool, developed under Brennan with the sole purpose to obfuscate the source of intrusions, pointing to another nation, as a false flag operation, is one of the actions and issues that U.S. Attorney John Durham should be looking into as a potential act of "Seditious conspiracy. It needs to be done. To quote the CIA, I strongly assess that the only intelligence agency that evidence indicates was meddling via cyber attacks in the 2016 Presidential election was the CIA, not the GRU.

Posted at 02:13 PM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink


Factotum , 20 December 2019 at 02:45 PM

LJ bottom line: "The only intelligence agency that evidence indicates was meddling via cyber attacks in the 2016 Presidential election was the CIA, not the GRU."
Paul Damascene , 20 December 2019 at 02:54 PM
Larry, thanks -- vital clarifications and reminders. In your earlier presentation of this material did you not also distinguish between the way actually interagency assessments are titled, and ICA which seemed to have been framed to allow journalists or the unwary to link the ICA with more rigorous standards used by more authentic assessments?
walrus , 20 December 2019 at 03:51 PM
Thank you Larry. You have discovered one more vital key to the conspiracy. We now need the evidence of Julian Assange. He is kept incommunicado and He is being tortured by the British in jail and will be murdered by the American judicial system if he lasts long enough to be extradited.

You can be sure he will be "Epsteined" before he appears in open court because he knows the source of what Wikileaks published. Once he is gone, mother Clinton is in the clear.

Ghost Ship , 20 December 2019 at 04:04 PM
I can understand the GRU or SVR hacking the DNC and other e-mail servers because as intelligence services that is their job, but can anyone think of any examples of Russia (or the Soviet Union) using such information to take overt action?

With the Russians not having the advantages that the NSA does (back doors in all US-designed network hardware/software and taps all over the internet), would Russia reveal anything unless it involved an immediate major national security threat. I doubt that would cover Trump.

[Dec 14, 2019] An Amazon surveillance device in your child's bedroom, what could possibly go wrong?

Dec 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

notabanker , December 13, 2019 at 6:02 pm

An Amazon surveillance device in your child's bedroom, what could possibly go wrong?

I'm past the point of blaming big tech companies. If you are fool enough to pay money to do this, you deserve what you get. American Idiots.

[Oct 24, 2019] Empire Interventionism Versus Republic Noninterventionism by Jacob Hornberger

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... All that changed with the conversion of the federal government to a national-security state and with the adoption of a pro-empire, pro-intervention foreign policy. When that happened, the U.S. government assumed the duty to fix the wrongs of the world. ..."
"... That's when U.S. officials began thinking in terms of empire and using empire-speak. Foreign regimes became "allies," "partners," and "friends." Others became "opponents," "rivals," or "enemies." Events thousands of miles away became threats to "national security." ..."
"... The results of U.S. imperialism and interventionism have always been perverse, not only for foreigners but also for Americans. That's how Americans have ended up with out-of-control federal spending and debt that have left much of the middle class high and dry, unable to support themselves in their senior years, unable to save a nest egg for financial emergencies, and living paycheck to paycheck. Empire and interventionism do not come cheap. ..."
"... There is but one solution to all this chaos and mayhem -- the dismantling, not the reform, of the Pentagon, the military-industrial complex, the vast empire of foreign and domestic military bases, and the NSA, along with an immediate end to all foreign interventionism. A free, peaceful, prosperous, and harmonious society necessarily entails the restoration of a limited-government republic and a non-interventionist foreign policy to our land. ..."
Oct 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Jacob Hornberger via The Future of Freedom Foundation,

The chaos arising from U.S. interventionism in Syria provides an excellent opportunity to explore the interventionist mind.

Consider the terminology being employed by interventionists: President Trump's actions in Syria have left a "power vacuum," one that Russia and Iran are now filling. The United States will no longer have "influence" in the region. "Allies" will no longer be able to trust the U.S. to come to their assistance. Trump's actions have threatened "national security." It is now possible that ISIS will reformulate and threaten to take over lands and even regimes in the Middle East.

This verbiage is classic empire-speak. It is the language of the interventionist and the imperialist.

Amidst all the interventionist chaos in the Middle East, it is important to keep in mind one critically important fact: None of it will mean a violent takeover of the U.S. government or an invasion and conquest of the United States. The federal government will go on. American life will go on. There will be no army of Muslims, terrorists, Syrians, ISISians, Russians, Chinese, drug dealers, or illegal immigrants coming to get us and take over the reins of the IRS.

Why is that an important point? Because it shows that no matter what happens in Syria or the rest of the Middle East, life will continue here in the United States. Even if Russia gets to continue controlling Syria, that's not going to result in a conquest of the United States. The same holds true if ISIS, say, takes over Iraq. Or if Turkey ends up killing lots of Kurds. Or if Syria ends up protecting the Kurds. Or if Iran continues to be controlled by a theocratic state. Or if the Russians retake control over Ukraine.

It was no different than when North Vietnam ended up winning the Vietnamese civil war. The dominoes did not fall onto the United States and make America Red. It also makes no difference if Egypt continues to be controlled by a brutal military dictatorship. Or that Cuba, North Korea, and China are controlled by communist regimes. Or that Russia is controlled by an authoritarian regime. Or that Myanmar (Burma) is controlled by a totalitarian military regime. America and the federal government will continue standing.

America was founded as a limited government republic, one that did not send its military forces around the world to slay monsters. That's not to say that bad things didn't happen around the world. Bad things have always happened around the world. Dictatorships. Famines. Wars. Civil wars. Revolutions. Empires. Torture. Extra-judicial executions. Tyranny. Oppression. The policy of the United States was that it would not go abroad to fix or clear up those types of things.

All that changed with the conversion of the federal government to a national-security state and with the adoption of a pro-empire, pro-intervention foreign policy. When that happened, the U.S. government assumed the duty to fix the wrongs of the world.

That's when U.S. officials began thinking in terms of empire and using empire-speak. Foreign regimes became "allies," "partners," and "friends." Others became "opponents," "rivals," or "enemies." Events thousands of miles away became threats to "national security."

That's when U.S. forces began invading and occupying other countries, waging wars of aggression against them, intervening in foreign wars, revolutions, and civil wars, initiating coups, destroying democratic regimes, establishing an empire of domestic and foreign military bases, and bombing, shooting, killing, assassinating, spying on, maiming, torturing, kidnapping, injuring, and destroying people in countries all over the world.

The results of U.S. imperialism and interventionism have always been perverse, not only for foreigners but also for Americans. That's how Americans have ended up with out-of-control federal spending and debt that have left much of the middle class high and dry, unable to support themselves in their senior years, unable to save a nest egg for financial emergencies, and living paycheck to paycheck. Empire and interventionism do not come cheap.

The shift toward empire and interventionism has brought about the destruction of American liberty and privacy here at home. That's what the assassinations, secret surveillance, torture, and indefinite detentions of American citizens are all about -- to supposedly protect us from the dangers produced by U.S. imperialism and interventionism abroad. One might call it waging perpetual war for freedom and peace, both here and abroad.

There is but one solution to all this chaos and mayhem -- the dismantling, not the reform, of the Pentagon, the military-industrial complex, the vast empire of foreign and domestic military bases, and the NSA, along with an immediate end to all foreign interventionism. A free, peaceful, prosperous, and harmonious society necessarily entails the restoration of a limited-government republic and a non-interventionist foreign policy to our land.

[Oct 19, 2019] Kunstler One Big Reason Why America Is Driving Itself Bat$hit Crazy

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... It's a major unanticipated consequence of the digital "revolution." It has gotten us stuck looking backward at events, obsessively replaying them, while working overtime to spin them favorably for one team or the other, at the expense of actually living in real time and dealing with reality as it unspools with us. If life were a ballgame, we'd only be watching jumbotron replays while failing to pay attention to the action on the field. ..."
"... The stupendous failure of the Mueller Investigation only revealed what can happen when extraordinary bad faith, dishonesty, and incompetence are brought to this project of reinventing "truth" -- of who did what and why -- while it provoked a counter-industry of detecting its gross falsifications. ..."
"... Perhaps you can see why unleashing the CIA, NSA, and the FBI on political enemies by Mr. Obama and his cohorts has become such a disaster. When that scheme blew up, the intel community went to the mattresses, as the saying goes in Mafia legend and lore. The "company" found itself at existential risk. Of course, the CIA has long been accused of following an agenda of its own simply because it had the means to do it. It had the manpower, the money, and the equipment to run whatever operations it felt like running, and a history of going its own way out of sheer institutional arrogance, of knowing better than the crackers and clowns elected by the hoi-polloi. The secrecy inherent in its charter was a green light for limitless mischief and some of the agency's directors showed open contempt for the occupants of the White House. Think: Allen Dulles and William Casey. And lately, Mr. Brennan. ..."
Oct 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

Here's one big reason that America is driving itself batshit crazy : the explosion of computerized records, emails, inter-office memos, Twitter trails, Facebook memorabilia, iPhone videos, YouTubes, recorded conversations, and the vast alternative universe of storage capacity for all this stuff makes it seem possible to constantly go back and reconstruct reality. All it has really done is amplified the potential for political mischief to suicide level.

It's a major unanticipated consequence of the digital "revolution." It has gotten us stuck looking backward at events, obsessively replaying them, while working overtime to spin them favorably for one team or the other, at the expense of actually living in real time and dealing with reality as it unspools with us. If life were a ballgame, we'd only be watching jumbotron replays while failing to pay attention to the action on the field.

Before all this, history was left largely to historians, who curated it from a range of views for carefully considered introduction to the stream of human culture, and managed this process at a pace that allowed a polity to get on with its business at hand in the here-and-now -- instead of incessantly and recursively reviewing events that have already happened 24/7. The more electronic media has evolved, the more it lends itself to manipulation, propaganda, and falsification of whatever happened five minutes, or five hours, or five weeks ago.

This is exactly why and how the losing team in the 2016 election has worked so hard to change that bit of history. The stupendous failure of the Mueller Investigation only revealed what can happen when extraordinary bad faith, dishonesty, and incompetence are brought to this project of reinventing "truth" -- of who did what and why -- while it provoked a counter-industry of detecting its gross falsifications.

This dynamic has long been systematically studied and applied by institutions like the so-called "intelligence community," and has gotten so out-of-hand that its main mission these days appears to be the maximum gaslighting of the nation -- for the purpose of its own desperate self-defense. The "Whistleblower" episode is the latest turn in dishonestly manipulated records, but the most interesting feature of it is that the release of the actual transcript of the Trump-Zelensky phone call did not affect the "narrative" precooked between the CIA and Adam Schiff's House Intel Committee. They just blundered on with the story and when major parts of the replay didn't add up, they retreated to secret sessions in the basement of the US capitol.

Perhaps you can see why unleashing the CIA, NSA, and the FBI on political enemies by Mr. Obama and his cohorts has become such a disaster. When that scheme blew up, the intel community went to the mattresses, as the saying goes in Mafia legend and lore. The "company" found itself at existential risk. Of course, the CIA has long been accused of following an agenda of its own simply because it had the means to do it. It had the manpower, the money, and the equipment to run whatever operations it felt like running, and a history of going its own way out of sheer institutional arrogance, of knowing better than the crackers and clowns elected by the hoi-polloi. The secrecy inherent in its charter was a green light for limitless mischief and some of the agency's directors showed open contempt for the occupants of the White House. Think: Allen Dulles and William Casey. And lately, Mr. Brennan.

The recently-spawned NSA has mainly added the capacity to turn everything that happens into replay material, since it is suspected of recording every phone call, every email, every financial transaction, every closed-circuit screen capture, and anything else its computers can snare for storage in its Utah Data Storage Center. Now you know why the actions of Edward Snowden were so significant. He did what he did because he was moral enough to know the face of malevolence when he saw it. That he survives in exile is a miracle.

As for the FBI, only an exceptional species of ineptitude explains the trouble they got themselves into with the RussiaGate fiasco. The unbelievable election loss of Mrs. Clinton screwed the pooch for them, and the desperate acts that followed only made things worse. The incompetence and mendacity on display was only matched by Mr. Mueller and his lawyers, who were supposed to be the FBI's cleanup crew and only left a bigger mess -- all of it cataloged in digital records.

Now, persons throughout all these agencies are waiting for the hammer to fall. If they are prosecuted, the process will entail yet another monumental excursion into the replaying of those digital records. It could go on for years. So, the final act in the collapse of the USA will be the government choking itself to death on replayed narratives from its own server farms.

In the meantime, events are actually tending in a direction that will eventually deprive the nation of the means to continue most of its accustomed activities including credible elections, food distribution, a reliable electric grid, and perhaps even self-defense.

[Sep 22, 2019] The Snowden Conundrum by Yvonne Lorenzo

Highly recommended!
This article raises serious questions about Snowden's authenticity. Although the level of damage he has done make suggestion that he is apart of CIA operation against NSA much less plausible. He did some damage by publicizing operations like Prism. No question about it.
And it is diffuclt to treat Snowden like another variation of Lee Harvey Oswald defection to the USSR.
But it is true that several steps that he took after supposed exfiltration of the documents were highly suspicious: As author pointed out WaPo and Guardian are essentially intelligence agencies controlled outlets, so there is no chance that publication can't be completely blocked.
Another good point is that in any large corporation there is system of logs and they suppoedly are analysed, althout the level of qualification in doing so varies greatly.
And if reports are created automatically that not not mean that they are ver read. Another valid point is that even if you are system administrator, you have great powers over all your users. But at the same time your power is compartmentalized: you have access only to few selected computer that constitute the set of servers you manage. And you usually access then via special jumpserver, which logs everything you do. In no way you have access to any server and any database in the organization; you might not even know that some servers exist. Actually access to critical databases is very tightly controlled.
The author also pointed to an interesting question about difficulties of exfiltration of data on encrypted Windows computers. I think that copy to the UCB drive from encrypted drive to SD or USB drive might still be permitted for sysadmins, as it might be required for some operations. But SD accepted might be special, issued by NSA, not retai and they should be accounted for. Still the point that Yvonne Lorenzo raised is very interesting: how you bypass existing protections on you computer to copy information of SD card ?
On another issue, why did Snowden provide his files to known house organs of Intelligence Agencies, specifically the Washington Post and The Guardian, and not give them to Wikileaks?
Notable quotes:
"... How many reading my words work at a large entity, not necessarily government, let us say a Fortune 1000 or higher? Do you have the ability to copy data unimpeded onto any external device? Can you surf the Internet at will? Or is everything you do on the computer network under constant, real-time scrutiny? ..."
"... Edward Snowden would have us believe that the Eye of Sauron didn't notice he was looking at gigabytes of data unrelated to his job function and using his computer to copy the data to external devices over a lengthy period of time. Are his supporters alleging he is so clever he could disappear from the "Eye of Sauron's" view and be unnoticed? If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you in Crimea. ZeroHedge reported " IRS Agent Charged In Leak Of Michael Cohen Transactions To Michael Avenatti ." ..."
"... However, don't believe it takes nine months to identify such an unauthorized intrusion. Don't think every keystroke isn't monitored in real-time. So my question is: would the NSA, which has much more sensitive data (especially compromising information on the governing class) than tax returns and financial transactions have inferior capabilities than the IRS as to maintaining data security? Are we to believe the NSA lacks a "digital trail" when it comes to classified documents? ..."
"... On another issue, why did Snowden provide his files to known house organs of Intelligence Agencies, specifically the Washington Post and The Guardian, and not give them to Wikileaks to allow a publicly available searchable database? ..."
"... While other outlets -- such as the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post and the New York Times -- also possess much (though not all) of the archive, the Intercept was the only outlet with the (full) archive that had continued to publish documents, albeit at a remarkably slow pace, in recent years. In total, fewer than 10 percent of the Snowden documents have been published since 2013. Thus, the closing of the publication's Snowden archive will likely mean the end of any future publications, unless Greenwald's promise of finding "the right partner that has the funds to robustly publish" is fulfilled ..."
"... Do you believe Putin's intelligence agencies don't communicate to him how Washington "organized crime" really operates, as Whitney Webb has disclosed, now on the pages of Unz.com ? What difference does any compromised President make to the policies and goals of the occupational government of the United States (obvious to any reader of this and similar websites)? ..."
"... Why is an alleged humanitarian such a Russophobe? ..."
"... Has Snowden ever challenged the September 11 narrative, ludicrous as it is, and him being an "engineer?" ..."
"... STO equals Special Technical Operations It's highly unlikely Mr. Snowden had any access to these. ..."
"... ECI = Exceptionally Controlled Information. I do not believe Mr. Snowden had any access to these ECI controlled networks). VRK = Very Restricted Knowledge. I do not believe Mr. Snowden had any access to these VRK controlled networks. ..."
"... So what they did, is they took a few documents and they downgraded [he classification level of the documents] – just a few – and gave them to them to placate this basic whitewash investigation. ..."
"... Journalist Margie Burns asked some good questions back in June that have not yet been answered. She wondered about the 29-year old Snowden who had been a U.S. Army Special Forces recruit, a covert CIA operative, and an NSA employee in various capacities, all in just a few, short years. Burns asked "How, exactly, did Snowden get his series of NSA jobs? Did he apply through regular channels? Was it through someone he knew? Who recommended him? Who were his references for a string of six-figure, high-level security jobs? Are there any safeguards in place so that red flags go up when a subcontractor jumps from job to job, especially in high-level clearance positions?" ..."
"... In December, whistleblower Sibel Edmonds broke the news that Omidyar's Paypal Corporation was implicated in the as-yet-unreleased NSA documents from Snowden. Moreover, Edmonds had allegedly been contacted by an NSA official who alleged that "a deal was made in early June, 2013 between the journalists involved in this recent NSA scandal and U.S. government officials, which was then sealed by secrecy and nondisclosure agreements by all parties involved." ..."
"... No, no one is accusing Wikileaks of conspiring with Russia, just Robert Mueller. I really appreciate Snowden calling Julian Assange a liar, for he has consistently denied there was a "state actor." ..."
"... "Terrorism is a real problem" Snowden said. Is it credible that Snowden, who presented himself as donating funds to Ron Paul, has never read any alternative news sites? Is it credible that Snowden believes that terrorists and this would include the good "moderate terrorists" in Syria are armed and act on their own initiative, and is ignorant of the role of the governments of America, Israel, and Saudi Arabia in using them to achieve their ends as proxy armies? ..."
"... Does Snowden then think this report, " America Created Al-Qaeda and the ISIS Terror Group" is false? Does that mindset make Snowden a champion for liberty or a tool for more control of the American population? For example, is it credible that this alleged genius supports the narrative of the September 11 attacks World Trade Center attacks? ..."
"... Tor lists on its own website sponsors that include Google, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, ONR via Naval Research Laboratory (past sponsor) and DARPA. ..."
"... Perhaps Snowden is only a Soros and Hillary Clinton supporting liberal -- but then why would he have done what he did? His character is of any government employee of the "surface state" who swallows false narratives whole. ..."
"... The logging of user and information accessed is sure added to the file. But real time supervision? No. A eye of sauron? Please. The system isnt there to prevent crime, its to track down the criminal and deeds later. And yes everything takes a very long time on the public side. ..."
"... 'Edward Snowden' who first 'leaked' to the CIA's Washington Post, in fact to Bush VP Dick Cheney's biographer Bart Gellman then the Deep State realised that was too stupid, so they switched to Rothschild employee & ex-gay-pornography-seller Glenn Greenwald, former proprietor of 'hairystuds', at the Guardian, an intel-agency rag which lies about nearly everything ..."
"... NeonRevolt once floated the theory that Snowden was an FBI or CIA plant who whistleblew solely because he had the mission to undermine NSA operations by exposing their equipment/techniques and turning public opinion against them. ..."
"... inter-service rivalry and sabotage between spy agencies is absolutely a thing, and reviewing the inconsistencies of Snowden's stunt, its aftermath, and his personal views with that potential background in mind suddenly makes things make much more sense, in my mind at least. ..."
"... If we accept the later, that he's a plant, then it raises a further question: was the short term loss, associated with his revelations, ie highlighting the utterly disturbing degree of Gov surveillance over US citizens (etc) worth the long term profit of having an established, authoritive psy-op's agent able to influence/distort etc any debate or narrative concerning the US State /elites. On this side the author notes Snowmen's views on Tor, 9/11, Russia etc which clearly advantage the US State's own views on these subjects. ..."
"... Consider that nothing Snowden revealed was news. It was all old hat for anyone who'd been paying attention, and for up to ten years. Sure Snowden made it mainstream for what good it did but nothing he said was a secret anymore. In fact, I thought even at the time his actions were nothing less than a 'threat and warning' from the intel services that they had this much on everyone. Just imagine all those national leaders, politicians from all states being pout on notice. All your secrets are ours! What a powerful global message to deliver and in such a loud and clear fashion. ..."
"... The lack of deviation from official bullshit on 9/11 is on its own however reason enough to toss this guy out. ..."
"... To my mind "9/11, attitude to", is a sort of touch-stone for telling genuine dissidents from fake and both Snowden and Assange fail on that test ..."
"... Snowden is not a classic defector so it makes sense for him to keep his distance from Russian society so as not to be inadvertently compromised or used by their intelligence services. He's obviously under surveillance there, I know we all are but he's much more aware of it, so that doesn't make it easy for him but he's definitely safer there than he'd be in France or Germany. I just don't think he planned well ahead when he became a whistle-blower or was clear about what he was trying to achieve. He's not the top level type of spy we're accustomed to reading about who betray their country for money or to serve another they believe in more than their own. If he has been on active duty as a CIA asset all along I can't see that he has achieved much of use to them other than in some inter-agency rivalry game. But it's natural for Russians to be suspicious of him – they're suspicious by nature – and rightly so, but it doesn't make his life easy there. ..."
"... 9/11 is the "litmus test" and it appears that both Assange and Snowden have failed it. ..."
"... Snowden keeping "distance" to Russia, and not openly defending them seems reasonable to me. You can imagine the smear campaign back home if he would side with Russia against the U.S. on almost anything. "The Russians got to him" or "He was always their man". ..."
"... He is trying to keep his neutrality and credibility and his target audience isn't the average Unz reader, but rather some mainstream educated middle/upper class blokes. Easily scared away from his views if they become too controversial and too far from the established narrative. ..."
"... If I had been in the position like 'Snowden', after first having been granted asylum, my priority would have been to study the language. I would gtuess that he can order food or drink, do basic greetings, and not much else. ..."
"... I agree. Shilling for the Israelis regarding 911 is a deal breaker for me. They had me going about these 2 guys for a while, but when I heard that they had ridiculed 911 truthers I smelled a rat. And after this article I agree they are shills for the status quo. Reasonable people can not doubt that 911 was a false flag operation. There's just too much bullshit there. ..."
"... I think the idea Snowden is a "plant" is a bit far out there. If he is; the real purpose of the exercise is what exactly? ..."
"... I also don't get why some commenters think Julian Assange isn't who he claims to be. His Wikileaks has published great volume of highly embarrassing material for the U.S. The embassy cables come to mind – bringing to light evidence contrary to Washington narrative on many events. ..."
"... There is another thing; Just after he established Wikileaks he came to Iceland and met with journalists and few politicians. The result from that visit was he met one Kristinn Hrafnsson, long time journalist in Iceland with excellent track record and credibility. Since Assange got in trouble, accused of sexual harassment from Swedish woman and finally escaped into the Ecuador embassy in London, Hrafnsson has been spokesman for Wikileaks. ..."
"... "It all comes down to 9/11.Everything that has happened has happened based on a lie . Everyone in Government ; everyone in the media , in entertainment , in organized religion , in the public ,in the public eye who accepts and promotes the official story is either a traitor or a tool . Everyone who does not stand forth and speak truth to power is a coward , a liar and complicit in mass-murder . Everyone everywhere can be measured by this Litmus Test ." ..."
Sep 22, 2019 | www.unz.com

Have you ever had the pleasure of dealing with an agent of the Federal government? For example, have you been audited by the IRS? Did you notice what the "Agent" does to gain access to his (or her) computer -- by inserting a "Smart ID" into a slot? Did you ask how your personal information is protected from disclosure or theft? What is to prevent the Agent from copying files to a thumb drive and taking them home?

Regarding the Smart ID, the "HSPD-12" is discussed in this publicly available article ; please note the following:

HSPD-12, FIPS 201 and the PIV Card

Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12), issued by President George W. Bush on August 27, 2004, mandated the establishment of a standard for identification of Federal government employees and contractors. HSPD-12 requires the use of a common identification credential for both logical and physical access to federally controlled facilities and information systems. The Department of Commerce and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) were tasked with producing a standard for secure and reliable forms of identification. In response, NIST published Federal Information Processing Standard Publication 201 (FIPS 201), Personal Identity Verification (PIV) of Federal Employees and Contractors, issued on February 25, 2005, and a number of special publications that provide more detail on the implementation of the standard.

Both Federal agencies and enterprises have implemented FIPS 201-compliant ID programs and have issued PIV cards. The FIPS 201 PIV card is a smart card with both contact and contactless interfaces that is now being issued to all Federal employees and contractors

Additional information about FIPS 201 can be found on the Government Identity/Credentialing Resources page, from NIST, and from the Secure Technology Alliance Access Control Council.

If you engage the IRS employee in conversation, remembering the adage you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, you'll learn the computer cannot be compromised -- all data on the device are encrypted; the only access to it is via the Smart ID. Data can be copied to an external "thumb drive" but everything copied will be encrypted; any file on that thumb drive is only readable by that specific device. Wouldn't this be true of NSA devices as well? Why does Snowden never discuss dealing with such encryption: how would it be possible?

In the Oliver Stone movie Snowden , as well as in any of Snowden's descriptions of how he accessed the NSA computers, did you note either the depiction or reference to this universal Smart ID? How could Snowden be exempt from its requirement? Why wasn't its use, which is public knowledge, shown or discussed? Per the above, the Smart ID is deployed in all government agencies: there are no exceptions. And while the financial portion (think of all those Goldman Sachs alumni at the U.S. Department of the Treasury) is likely the most powerful part of the financial-military-industrial-media-congressional complex that is the central power of the federal government, do you think that IRS systems are different and superior in security to what was employed by a contractor working for Booze-Allen Hamilton at the NSA?

How many reading my words work at a large entity, not necessarily government, let us say a Fortune 1000 or higher? Do you have the ability to copy data unimpeded onto any external device? Can you surf the Internet at will? Or is everything you do on the computer network under constant, real-time scrutiny?

Did Edward Snowden, who has publicly criticized Google, mention Google is deployed as a search engine throughout the federal "intranet"? And can he catch a link to the Washington Post on the NSA homepage too? Or would he testify and can it be verified that NSA does not use Google (for example to obtain the PowerPoint he revealed) for searching for internal documents and procedures? Can anyone reading my words answer the questions I've posed so far and answer accurately and honestly with confirmatory evidence?

Edward Snowden would have us believe that the Eye of Sauron didn't notice he was looking at gigabytes of data unrelated to his job function and using his computer to copy the data to external devices over a lengthy period of time. Are his supporters alleging he is so clever he could disappear from the "Eye of Sauron's" view and be unnoticed? If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you in Crimea. ZeroHedge reported " IRS Agent Charged In Leak Of Michael Cohen Transactions To Michael Avenatti ." From the article:

John C. Fry, an analyst in the San Francisco IRS office who had worked for the agency since 2008, was charged with disclosing Cohen's Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) – nine months after we reported that it wouldn't be difficult to track down the leaker due to a digital trail left behind from accessing the system.

However, don't believe it takes nine months to identify such an unauthorized intrusion. Don't think every keystroke isn't monitored in real-time. So my question is: would the NSA, which has much more sensitive data (especially compromising information on the governing class) than tax returns and financial transactions have inferior capabilities than the IRS as to maintaining data security? Are we to believe the NSA lacks a "digital trail" when it comes to classified documents?

On another issue, why did Snowden provide his files to known house organs of Intelligence Agencies, specifically the Washington Post and The Guardian, and not give them to Wikileaks to allow a publicly available searchable database? As Roger Stone has noted, the odious Nixon was taken down principally by the CIA media front The Washington Post because he sought detente with Russia and another presidential assassination would have been too obvious. Notice the situation regarding the Snowden treasure trove as investigative journalist Whitney Webb writes about it here: " Silencing the Whistle: The Intercept Shutters Snowden Archive, Citing Cost ."

According to a timeline of events written by Poitras that was shared and published by journalist and former Intercept columnist Barrett Brown, both Scahill and Greenwald were intimately involved in the decision to close the Snowden archive.

While other outlets -- such as the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post and the New York Times -- also possess much (though not all) of the archive, the Intercept was the only outlet with the (full) archive that had continued to publish documents, albeit at a remarkably slow pace, in recent years. In total, fewer than 10 percent of the Snowden documents have been published since 2013. Thus, the closing of the publication's Snowden archive will likely mean the end of any future publications, unless Greenwald's promise of finding "the right partner that has the funds to robustly publish" is fulfilled

Yet, as Poitras pointed out, the research department accounted for a minuscule 1.5 percent of First Look Media's budget. Greenwald's claim that the archive was shuttered owing to its high cost to the company is also greatly undermined by the fact that he, along with several other Intercept employees -- Reed and Scahill among them -- receive massive salaries that dwarf those of journalists working for similar nonprofit publications.

Greenwald, for instance, received $1.6 million from First Look Media, of which Omidyar is the sole shareholder, from 2014 to 2017. His yearly salary peaked in 2015, when he made over $518,000. Reed and Scahill both earn well over $300,000 annually from First Look. According to journalist Mark Ames, Scahill made over $43,000 per article at the Intercept in 2014. Other writers at the site, by comparison, have a base salary of $50,000, which itself is higher than the national average for journalists.

And what about Snowden himself, the pontificator, the man who can speak on television or to the media with evidence of training? Practice yourself -- see how well you can answer questions and speak publicly to a TV camera. How did he get his training? Who trained him? Why? How is it that the legacy media, which applauds the slow, painful execution of Julian Assange , be in rapture over Snowden's new book tour and provide ample coverage? Is Assange being murdered in part to prevent his providing exculpatory evidence that Russia never hacked the DNC and it was a leak?

I have provided two videos below for the reader to consider and compare.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/F7J2DdiXM9Q?feature=oembed

https://www.youtube.com/embed/O4nFGOEeSP0?feature=oembed

Look at how Bill Binney, a true techno-nerd speaks and compare the difference between him with the polished interviews given by Snowden who borders on pomposity. Also, to his favor Binney is doing his best to debunk the Russia hacking narrative of the DNC; Snowden makes his thoughts about Russia and Russians clear in his latest interview with Der Spiegel promoting his new book about himself:

DER SPIEGEL: Do you have Russian friends?

Snowden: I try to keep a distance between myself and Russian society, and this is completely intentional. I live my life with basically the English-speaking community. I'm the president of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. And, you know, I'm an indoor cat. It doesn't matter where I am -- Moscow, Berlin, New York -- as long as I have a screen to look into.

DER SPIEGEL: Western authorities accuse the Russian government on a regular basis of being one of the biggest disrupters in the digital world. Are they right?

Snowden: Russia is responsible for a lot of negative activity in the world, you can say that right and fairly. Did Russia interfere with elections? Almost certainly. But do the United States interfere in elections? Of course. They've been doing it for the last 50 years. Any country bigger than Iceland is going to interfere in every crucial election, and they're going to deny it every time, because this is what intelligence services do. This is explicitly why covert operations and influence divisions are created, and their purpose as an instrument of national power is to ask: How can we influence the world in a direction that improves our standing relative to all the other countries?

I am pleased to have played a small role in getting Stephen F. Cohen's work published on Unz.com. He and others have effectively debunked Russian involvement in the manipulation of America elections and the conclusions of the Mueller report. To paraphrase a point Professor Cohen made in his most recent article posted here, which is simply common sense: We are to believe Trump is Putin's puppet yet Putin simultaneously encouraged the preparation of a dossier to destroy him. Does that make sense to any one with half a brain? Do you believe Putin's intelligence agencies don't communicate to him how Washington "organized crime" really operates, as Whitney Webb has disclosed, now on the pages of Unz.com ? What difference does any compromised President make to the policies and goals of the occupational government of the United States (obvious to any reader of this and similar websites)?

Do you notice how Snowden never challenges any government narrative, whether it's on Russia as a villain, and not as a victim of war initiated by Washington? Why is an alleged humanitarian such a Russophobe? Is this how he repays the nation that granted him asylum? Has he only compassion in the abstract, and is a genius but too stupid to consider the consequences of America going to war with Russia and in fact exacerbating the tension by his false and inflammatory statements about Russian conduct in the 2016 elections, for which there are no facts and evidence?

And then there's the destruction of the World Trade Center buildings. Of course Snowden at NSA had no access to information on how and why it was done, but as Dmitri Orlov has written:

I suppose I am a "conspiracy theorist" too. Whenever I write something that questions the veracity of some official narrative, someone (probably a troll) pops up and asks me what I think of 9/11. Here is what I typically reply:

I totally believe that it was possible to knock down three steel-framed buildings using two flying aluminum cans loaded with kerosene, luggage and meat. I have proven that this is possible by throwing two beer cans at three chain-link fences. All three fences were instantly swallowed up by holes in the ground that mysteriously opened up right under them and in which they were instantaneously incinerated into fine oxide powder that coated the entire neighborhood. Anybody who does not believe my experimental results is obviously a tin-foil-hat crackpot conspiracy theorist.

Lots of people read this and ran away bleating; a few people bust a gut laughing because this is (trust me on this!) actually quite funny. Some people took offense at someone ridiculing an event in which thousands of people died. (To protect their tender sensibilities they should consider emigrating to a country that isn't run by a bunch of war criminals.)

But if you do see the humor in this, then you may be up to the challenge, which is to pull out a useful signal (a typical experimentalist's task) out of a mess of unreliable and contradictory data. Only then would you be in a position to persuasively argue -- not prove, mind you! -- that the official story is complete and utter bullshit.

Note that everything beyond that point, such as arguing what "the real story" is, is strictly off-limits. If you move beyond that point you open yourself up to well-organized, well-funded debunking. But if all you produce is a very large and imposing question mark, then the only way to attack it is by producing certainty -- a very tall order! In conspiracy theory, as in guerrilla warfare, you don't have to win. You just have to not lose long enough for the enemy to give up.

Has Snowden ever challenged the September 11 narrative, ludicrous as it is, and him being an "engineer?" And this last point is the reason I'm writing these words: I don't have to come up with the "real story" on who Edward Snowden is and what his true motives are. I am asking questions that point out the discrepancies in Snowden's statements and conduct and his alleged sanctity. In this article, " EXCLUSIVE REPORT: NSA Whistleblower: Snowden Never Had Access to the JUICIEST Documents Far More Damning "

WASHINGTON'S BLOG: Glenn Greenwald – supposedly, in the next couple of days or weeks – is going to disclose, based on NSA documents leaked by Snowden, that the NSA is spying on all sorts of normal Americans and that the spying is really to crush dissent. [Background here, here and here.]

Does Snowden even have documents which contain the information which you've seen?

RUSSELL TICE: The answer is no.

WASHINGTON'S BLOG: So you saw handwritten notes. And what Snowden was seeing were electronic files ?

RUSSELL TICE: Think of it this way. Remember I told you about the NSA doing everything they could to make sure that the information from 40 years ago – from spying on Frank Church and Lord knows how many other Congressman that they were spying on – was hidden?

Now do you think they're going to put that information into PowerPoint slides that are easy to explain to everybody what they're doing?

They would not even put their own NSA designators on the reports [so that no one would know that] it came from the NSA. They made the reports look like they were Humint (human intelligence) reports. They did it to hide the fact that they were NSA and they were doing the collection. That's 40 years ago. [The NSA and other agencies are still doing "parallel construction", "laundering" information to hide the fact that the information is actually from mass NSA surveillance.]

Now, what NSA is doing right now is that they're taking the information and they're putting it in a much higher security level. It's called "ECI" – Exceptionally Controlled Information – and it's called the black program which I was a specialist in, by the way.

I specialized in black world – DOD and IC (Intelligence Community) – programs, operations and missions in "VRKs", "ECIs", and "SAPs", "STOs". SAP equals Special Access Program. It's highly unlikely Mr. Snowden had any access to these. STO equals Special Technical Operations It's highly unlikely Mr. Snowden had any access to these.

Now in that world – the ECI/VRK world – everything in that system is classified at a higher level and it has its own computer systems that house it. It's totally separate than the system which Mr. Snowden was privy to, which was called the "JWICS": Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System. The JWICS system is what everybody at NSA has access to. Mr Snowden had Sys Admin [systems administrator] authority for the JWICS.

And you still have to have TS/SCI clearance [i.e. Top Secret/ Sensitive Compartmented Information – also known as "code word" – clearance] to get on the JWICS. But the ECI/VRK systems are much higher [levels of special compartmentalized clearance] than the JWICS. And you have to be in the black world to get that [clearance].

ECI = Exceptionally Controlled Information. I do not believe Mr. Snowden had any access to these ECI controlled networks). VRK = Very Restricted Knowledge. I do not believe Mr. Snowden had any access to these VRK controlled networks.

These programs typically have, at the least, a requirement of 100 year or until death, 'till the person first being "read in" [i.e. sworn to secrecy as part of access to the higher classification program] can talk about them. [As an interesting sidenote, the Washington Times reported in 2006 that – when Tice offered to testify to Congress about this illegal spying – he was informed by the NSA that the Senate and House intelligence committees were not cleared to hear such information.]

It's very compartmentalized and – even with stuff that they had – you might have something at NSA, that there's literally 40 people at NSA that know that it's going on in the entire agency.

When the stuff came out in the New York Times [the first big spying story, which broke in 2005] – and I was a source of information for the New York Times – that's when President Bush made up that nonsense about the "terrorist surveillance program." By the way, that never existed. That was made up.

There was no such thing beforehand. It was made up to try to placate the American people.

The NSA IG (Inspector General) – who was not cleared for this – all of a sudden is told he has to do an investigation on this; something he has no information or knowledge of.

So what they did, is they took a few documents and they downgraded [he classification level of the documents] – just a few – and gave them to them to placate this basic whitewash investigation.

Snowden's Failure To Understand the Most Important Documents

RUSSELL TICE: Now, if Mr. Snowden were to find the crossover, it would be those documents that were downgraded to the NSA's IG.

The stuff that I saw looked like a bunch of alphanumeric gobbledygook. Unless you have an analyst to know what to look for – and believe me, I think that what Snowden's done is great – he's not an intelligence analyst. So he would see something like that, and he wouldn't know what he's looking at.

But that would be "the jewels". And the key is, you wouldn't know it's the jewels unless you were a diamond miner and you knew what to look for. Because otherwise, there's a big lump of rock and you don't know there's a diamond in there.

I worked special programs. And the way I found out is that I was working on a special operation, and I needed information from NSA from another unit. And when I went to that unit and I said "I need this information", and I dealt with [satellite spy operations], and I did that in the black world. I was a special operations officer. I would literally go do special missions that were in the black world where I would travel overseas and do spooky stuff.

Did we really need Snowden to have told us that the Internet, federally controlled, does not allow anyone a modicum of privacy and the government after implementing the Patriot Act considers ordinary Americans the enemy?

In " Inconsistencies and Unanswered Questions: The Risks of Trusting the Snowden Story " Kevin Ryan wrote:

Journalist Margie Burns asked some good questions back in June that have not yet been answered. She wondered about the 29-year old Snowden who had been a U.S. Army Special Forces recruit, a covert CIA operative, and an NSA employee in various capacities, all in just a few, short years. Burns asked "How, exactly, did Snowden get his series of NSA jobs? Did he apply through regular channels? Was it through someone he knew? Who recommended him? Who were his references for a string of six-figure, high-level security jobs? Are there any safeguards in place so that red flags go up when a subcontractor jumps from job to job, especially in high-level clearance positions?"

Five months later, journalists Mark Ames and Yasha Levine investigated some of the businesses in which Greenwald's benefactor Omidyar had invested. They found that the actual practices of those businesses were considerably less humanitarian than the outward appearance of Omidyar's ventures often portray. The result was that Omidyar took down references to at least one of those businesses from his website.

In December, whistleblower Sibel Edmonds broke the news that Omidyar's Paypal Corporation was implicated in the as-yet-unreleased NSA documents from Snowden. Moreover, Edmonds had allegedly been contacted by an NSA official who alleged that "a deal was made in early June, 2013 between the journalists involved in this recent NSA scandal and U.S. government officials, which was then sealed by secrecy and nondisclosure agreements by all parties involved."

It would appear that Snowden's whistleblowing has been co-opted by private corporate interests. Are those involved with privatization of the stolen documents also colluding with government agencies to frame and direct national discussions on domestic spying and other serious matters?

The possibilities are endless, it seems. Presenting documents at a measured rate could be a way to acclimate citizens to painful realities without stirring the public into a panic or a unified response that might actually threaten the status quo. And considering that the number of documents has somehow grown from only thousands to nearly two million, it seems possible that those in control could release practically anything, thereby controlling national dialogue on many topics.

Please read the final paragraph above twice and think about the points raised about acclimating citizens and controlling national dialog. Is Snowden as much of a "Pied Piper" as QAnon? How did Snowden describe the nature of the CIA and NSA in this earlier interview with Der Spiegel ?

DER SPIEGEL: But those people see you as their biggest enemy today.

Snowden: My personal battle was not to burn down the NSA or the CIA. I even think they actually do have a useful role in society when they limit themselves to the truly important threats that we face and when they use their least intrusive means.

**

Snowden: It wasn't that difficult. Everybody is currently pointing at the Russians.

DER SPIEGEL: Rightfully?

Snowden: I don't know. They probably did hack the systems of Hillary Clinton's Democratic Party, but we should have proof of that. In the case of the hacking attack on Sony, the FBI presented evidence that North Korea was behind it. In this case they didn't, although I am convinced that they do have evidence. The question is why?

DER SPIEGEL: Mike Pompeo, the new head of the CIA, has accused WikiLeaks, whose lawyers helped you, of being a mouthpiece for the Russians. Is that not harmful to your image as well?

Snowden: First, we should be fair about what the accusations are. I don't believe the U.S. government or anybody in the intelligence community is directly accusing Julian Assange or WikiLeaks of working directly for the Russian government. The allegations I understand are that they were used as a tool basically to wash documents that had been stolen by the Russian government. And, of course, that's a concern. I don't see that as directly affecting me because I'm not WikiLeaks and there is no question about the provenance of the documents that I dealt with.

DER SPIEGEL: Currently, there's another American guy out there who is accused of being too close to Putin.

Snowden: Oh (laughs).

DER SPIEGEL: Your president. Is he your president?

Snowden: The idea that half of American voters thought that Donald Trump was the best among us, is something that I struggle with. And I think we will all be struggling with it for decades to come.

DER SPIEGEL: But isn't there reason to fear terrorism?

Snowden: Sure there is. Terrorism is a real problem. But when we look at how many lives it has claimed in basically any country that is outside of war zones like Iraq or Afghanistan, it is so much less than, say, car accidents or heart attacks. Even if Sept. 11 were to happen every single year in the U.S., terrorism would be a much lower threat than so many other things.

No, no one is accusing Wikileaks of conspiring with Russia, just Robert Mueller. I really appreciate Snowden calling Julian Assange a liar, for he has consistently denied there was a "state actor."

"Terrorism is a real problem" Snowden said. Is it credible that Snowden, who presented himself as donating funds to Ron Paul, has never read any alternative news sites? Is it credible that Snowden believes that terrorists and this would include the good "moderate terrorists" in Syria are armed and act on their own initiative, and is ignorant of the role of the governments of America, Israel, and Saudi Arabia in using them to achieve their ends as proxy armies?

Does Snowden then think this report, " America Created Al-Qaeda and the ISIS Terror Group" is false? Does that mindset make Snowden a champion for liberty or a tool for more control of the American population? For example, is it credible that this alleged genius supports the narrative of the September 11 attacks World Trade Center attacks? Whom do you trust, the contributors to these very pages or Edward Snowden?

Snowden has promoted the use of the Tor Browser. ZeroHedge posted this article, " Tor Project 'Almost 100% Funded By The US Government': FOIA" which noted:

The Tor Project – a private nonprofit known as the "NSA-proof" gateway to the "dark web," turns out to be almost "100% funded by the US government" according to documents obtained by investigative journalist and author Yasha Levine.

In a recent blog post, Levine details how he was able to obtain roughly 2,500 pages of correspondence via FOIA requests while performing research for a book. The documents include strategy, contract, budgets and status updates between the Tor project and its primary source of funding; a CIA spinoff known as the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which "oversees America's foreign broadcasting operations like Radio Free Asia and Radio Free Europe."

By following the money, I discovered that Tor was not a grassroots. I was able to show that despite its indie radical cred and claims to help its users protect themselves from government surveillance online, Tor was almost 100% funded by three U.S. National Security agencies: the Navy, the State Department and the BBG. Following the money revealed that Tor was not a grassroots outfit, but a military contractor with its own government contractor number. In other words: it was a privatized extension of the very same government that it claimed to be fighting.

The documents conclusively showed that Tor is not independent at all. The organization did not have free reign to do whatever it wanted, but was kept on a very short leash and bound by contracts with strict contractual obligations. It was also required to file detailed monthly status reports that gave the U.S. government a clear picture of what Tor employees were developing, where they went and who they saw. -Yasha Levine

The FOIA documents also suggest that Tor's ability to shield users from government spying may be nothing more than hot air. While no evidence of a "backdoor" exists, the documents obtained by Levine reveal that Tor has "no qualms with privately tipping off the federal government to security vulnerabilities before alerting the public, a move that would give the feds an opportunity to exploit the security weakness long before informing Tor users."

Interestingly, Edward Snowden is a big fan of Tor – even throwing a "cryptoparty" while he was still an NSA contractor where he set up a Tor exit node to show off how cool they are.

In a 2015 interview with The Intercept's (Wikileaks hating) Micah Lee, Snowden said:

LEE: What do you think about Tor? Do you think that everyone should be familiar with it, or do you think that it's only a use-it-if-you-need-it thing?

SNOWDEN: I think Tor is the most important privacy-enhancing technology project being used today.

"Tor Browser is a great way to selectively use Tor to look something up and not leave a trace that you did it. It can also help bypass censorship when you're on a network where certain sites are blocked. If you want to get more involved, you can volunteer to run your own Tor node, as I do, and support the diversity of the Tor network."

Tor lists on its own website sponsors that include Google, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, ONR via Naval Research Laboratory (past sponsor) and DARPA.

When Julian Assange was taken from the Ecuadoran embassy, he was carrying a copy of Gore Vidal: History of the National Security State & Vidal on America. As an older article on Vidal in The Guardian noted, " Gore Vidal claims 'Bush junta' complicit in 9/11 ."

Isn't it odd by doing what he did with Vidal's book Assange makes the point the legitimacy of Washington must be challenged, but Snowden never does, other than offering suggestions for tinkering at the margins, perhaps advising we use DuckDuckGo instead of Google to give us the illusion of privacy? Did Snowden, for someone who is in front of a computer screen for most of the day, make public the facts obtained by Whitney Webb in her piece " How the CIA, Mossad and 'the Epstein Network' Are Exploiting Mass Shootings to Create an Orwellian Nightmare " posted on Unz.com which goes in depth into the Orwellian hell we are facing, for as Webb concludes:

With companies like Carbyne -- with its ties to both the Trump administration and to Israeli intelligence -- and the Mossad-linked Gabriel also marketing themselves as "technological" solutions to mass shootings while also doubling as covert tools for mass data collection and extraction, the end result is a massive surveillance system so complete and so dystopian that even George Orwell himself could not have predicted it.

Following another catastrophic mass shooting or crisis event, aggressive efforts will likely follow to foist these "solutions" on a frightened American public by the very network connected, not only to Jeffrey Epstein, but to a litany of crimes and a frightening history of plans to crush internal dissent and would-be dissenters in the United States.

There is the concept of willful blindness that I think applies to much of what Snowden has done, if not something altogether more nefarious -- distorations, misrepresenations, and outright lies, in addition to hubris. What is the point I'm making? Perhaps Snowden is only a Soros and Hillary Clinton supporting liberal -- but then why would he have done what he did? His character is of any government employee of the "surface state" who swallows false narratives whole.

I only wish the reader fairly and intelligently consider the questions I have raised. For I am encouraging you to think very carefully before you trust the statements, purpose, motives, and truthfulness of the secular saint, Edward Snowden.

Yvonne Lorenzo makes her home in New England in a house full to bursting with books, including works on classical Greece. Her interests include gardening, mythology, ancient history, The Electric Universe, and classical music, especially the compositions of Handel, Mozart, Bach, Haydn, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, and the Bel Canto repertoire. She is the author of the novels the Son of Thunder and The Cloak of Freya and has contributed to LewRockwell.com and TheSaker.IS.


Nicolás Palacios Navarro , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 4:27 am GMT

Edward Snowden is a typical American fachidiot who, despite their protestations is a striver and bootlick for the Empire. I genuinely believe that he is puzzled as to why it has turned against him. He deserves his destiny of forever languishing in political purgatory.

Several years later, practically nobody remembers him here in the US, and possible elsewhere (save for when it is convenient for the media). Julian Assange was a far more daring, more insightful figure.

(As an aside, I am curious about the author's liking of bel canto . Lot of birdbrain music to my ears; I prefer Wagner, Strauss, Schreker, and Berg. Also, the older I get, the more I realize that Schoenberg was by far the greater genius than Mahler.)

ikki , says: September 20, 2019 at 4:56 am GMT
The logging of user and information accessed is sure added to the file. But real time supervision? No. A eye of sauron? Please. The system isnt there to prevent crime, its to track down the criminal and deeds later. And yes everything takes a very long time on the public side.

You know, 16:00 hours the mouse just drops dead from the hand. Public servants don't give a damn if a job is made fast or efficient, only that procedure if followed and that it is eventually done. Unless priorities are reassigned, stuff left halfway undone in disarray is no problem when reassigned.

Just as keeping secret private archives of more or less job related data is all standard procedure. That is keep a load of data in your personal folders and move those into whatever form desired. Security is not very tight. Only in the sense that eventually every person with hours and access point etc data can be recovered if so ordered to.

So stealing data out of that system shouldn't be terribly hard. Just email it to a private email. Or store on something else and transport out. For one Hillary was doing the same thing for ages. In that case though "what difference does it make"

Jonathan Revusky , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 5:26 am GMT
Why does the author distrust the Snowden story while taking the Assange saga at face value?
Horst G , says: September 20, 2019 at 6:41 am GMT
There was an interview with Edward in the German magazine Der Spiegel this month, Nr. 18. In it, we get the tale, he copied material on SD cards, and smugeled them in his mouth, or inside a "magic cube" out of the base on Hawaii, passing "guards". A cube, the occult symbol, how blatant, just mocking the profane.

On the technical side, I got a story from a German BMW factory. A bunch of guys on nightshift plugged a USB Harddisk into a PC to watch a movie. Minutes later they received a call from the IT, it had been recognized remotely. What a charade. It has the taste of Jewish tales, smuggling stuff, tricking guards of an evil system.

Tusk , says: September 20, 2019 at 6:49 am GMT
Great article, thanks Ron for publishing.
der einzige , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 7:00 am GMT
I recommend these articles from Jon Rappaport, unfortunately, wordpress deleted his blog.

and this

Russia gov report Snowden Greenwald are CIA frauds https://www.radios.cz/en/articles/russia-gov-report-snowden-greenwald-are-cia-frauds/

Brabantian , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:00 am GMT
Nice to have a piece helping point to the truth, that Glenn Greenwald & Edward Snowden are CIA frauds, as every major government knows

'Edward Snowden' who first 'leaked' to the CIA's Washington Post, in fact to Bush VP Dick Cheney's biographer Bart Gellman then the Deep State realised that was too stupid, so they switched to Rothschild employee & ex-gay-pornography-seller Glenn Greenwald, former proprietor of 'hairystuds', at the Guardian, an intel-agency rag which lies about nearly everything

Vladmir Putin himself hinting out loud he knows Snowden is fake, and 'Snowden asylum' is a game of back-door favours between Russia & the USA, few in the West pick up on it http://www.veteranstoday.com/2016/09/21/russia-govt-report-snowden-greenwald-are-cia-frauds/

Despite the Snowden-Assange mutual sniping in their media-star rivalry, Julian Assange is also a CIA-Mossad asset, as Bibi Netanyahu himself has boasted to Israeli media, regarding aggressively pro-Zionist, anti-Palestinian Julian, equally anti-9-11-truth along with Eddie Snowden

As loyal CIA assets, neither Assange and Snowden dare to mention USA Virginia fed judge bribery files that have blocked other extraditions, tho these files would make their own extraditions impossible, if these CIA fakers really cared about their own 'defence'

Zbigniew Brzezinski on 29 Nov 2010, on the US public television PBS News Hour, also admitted Assange was intel, his Wikileaks 'selected'

People trusting Assange are dead, Peter W Smith, Seth Rich; others jailed

Very darkly, it is unknown how many dissidents Snowden and also Julian Assange helped silence or even kill, both of them a 'rat trap' for trusting whistle-blowers
https://www.henrymakow.com/2018/11/assange-snowden-rat-traps.html

You will notice that Assange & Snowden both got famous via CIA – MI6 media, NY Times, UK Guardian, who are never interested in real dissidents

Assange shared lawyer with Rothschilds, Rothschild sister-in-law posted Assange bail, Assange has ties to George Soros too

Early on, Assange helped Rothschilds destroy rival bank Julius Baer that is 'progressive Wiki-leaking' for you

Assange had a weird childhood with Aussie mind-control cult 'the Family'

Things like 'Assange living at Ecuador Embassy' – 'now in Belmarsh prison' – easily faked, Assange moved in & out for photos by MI5 MI6, police under national security orders 'Snowden' is not necessarily in Russia either

Assange & Snowden de-legitimise real dissidents, because people say, 'Wikileaks – NY Times – UK Guardian would cover it if it was true'

Tree Watcher , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:10 am GMT
NeonRevolt once floated the theory that Snowden was an FBI or CIA plant who whistleblew solely because he had the mission to undermine NSA operations by exposing their equipment/techniques and turning public opinion against them.

I completely understand if people are leery of the theorycrafting of a Q tracker, but I do believe that this suggestion is plausible. Setting aside attempts at placing it in context of a Deep State war, inter-service rivalry and sabotage between spy agencies is absolutely a thing, and reviewing the inconsistencies of Snowden's stunt, its aftermath, and his personal views with that potential background in mind suddenly makes things make much more sense, in my mind at least.

animalogic , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:10 am GMT
Interesting, thought-provoking article. It asks us to balance up competing interests & advantages.

On the one hand we can assume Snowden is "real" or not. That is, he's a genuine whistle blower, or he's a government psy-op's plant.

If we accept the later, that he's a plant, then it raises a further question: was the short term loss, associated with his revelations, ie highlighting the utterly disturbing degree of Gov surveillance over US citizens (etc) worth the long term profit of having an established, authoritive psy-op's agent able to influence/distort etc any debate or narrative concerning the US State /elites. On this side the author notes Snowmen's views on Tor, 9/11, Russia etc which clearly advantage the US State's own views on these subjects.

I don't know the answer -- except that this article raises serious questions, suspicions , about Snowden's authenticity.

Franz , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:15 am GMT
Never for a moment considered Snowden any sort of secular saint.

Snowden for the most part only confirmed the downward trajectory of the formerly at least interesting filmmaker, Oliver Stone. If JFK was worth a laugh (and evidently did get a few people thinking about the phoniness of Dallas '63 for the first time), Snowden was total chloroform on screen. Sad to see Ollie hit such lows.

This bit is interesting:

When Julian Assange was taken from the Ecuadoran embassy, he was carrying a copy of Gore Vidal: History of the National Security State & Vidal on America. As an older article on Vidal in The Guardian noted, "Gore Vidal claims 'Bush junta' complicit in 9/11."

As batty as Vidal may have been, it is a fact he was the first American with any sort of national recognition to speak out against the National Security State, starting in the Eisenhower years. His fury was partly stoked by their meddling in Central America, but he stayed at it. Even gave it a mention in a movie he had a gag role in, Bob Roberts , 1992.

His favorite line (variously rendered) was "Harry Truman signed the United States of America into oblivion in February, 1949" which was when the NSA papers were drawn up, giving us the security state, the CIA and the whole shebang. Anytime before, any US citizen could demand accounting of any government project, no matter what. Afterward, the rule by secrecy applied.

Vidal had been a WWII veteran and deplored all that came about after. Credit is due for that.

wayfarer , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:30 am GMT

Even if you're not doing anything wrong, you are being watched and recorded. The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your emails or your wife's phone calls, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your emails, passwords, phone records, credit cards. – Edward Snowden

https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/edward-snowden-quotes

https://www.youtube.com/embed/e9yK1QndJSM?feature=oembed

Nik , says: September 20, 2019 at 9:05 am GMT
Both Assuange and Snowden are agent patsys
Oscar Peterson , says: September 20, 2019 at 9:14 am GMT
Who is this dizzy chick?

Snowden, exiled and isolated in Russia, is some sort of USG crypto-agent or something?

I suppose that if you're going to look for outside-the-box commentary and analysis, you're going to get some of this sort of nonsense. I guess you can't expect to hit a home run every time.

Oscar Peterson , says: September 20, 2019 at 9:20 am GMT
@Nicolás Palacios Navarro

"Edward Snowden is a typical American fachidiot who, despite their protestations is a striver and bootlick for the Empire. I genuinely believe that he is puzzled as to why it has turned against him. He deserves his destiny of forever languishing in political purgatory."

And yet this "striver and bootlick for the Empire" is exiled in Russia. So some guy sacrifices an enjoyable and secure life to go live in Russia and all you can say is that "he deserves his destiny?"

"Several years later, practically nobody remembers him here in the US"

And this is a reflection on him or on the rest of us?

anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 9:42 am GMT
@Oscar Peterson She starts off with a falsehood:

> Edward Snowden would have us believe that the Eye of Sauron didn't notice

He states exactly the opposite. I quit reading her garbage after that.

AmRusDebate , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 10:18 am GMT
Comfortable living in Moscow, vs. Belmarsh, makes all the difference in the world.

You might be right about Snowden, you might not be, but were Assange living in a Russian city, far out of reach of NeoconiaDC, Bill Blaney would show him greater respect believe me.

anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 10:21 am GMT
@Horst G Boy howdy, a Rubik's Cube is now magical, profane, occult, and eerily symbolic, because it's cubical! And geometry class is a satanic false flag op of oppressive propaganda taught by crypto-Jews! Who else could be interested in IRRATIONAL numbers like π? PYTHAGORAS WAS A MOSSAD AGENT!
Nicolás Palacios Navarro , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 10:57 am GMT
@Oscar Peterson

And yet this "striver and bootlick for the Empire" is exiled in Russia. So some guy sacrifices an enjoyable and secure life to go live in Russia and all you can say is that "he deserves his destiny?"

His "sacrifice" was inadvertent and involuntary. The fact that he seems not to appreciate the sanctuary offered to him by Russia -- has he not repeatedly expressed the desire to go elsewhere? -- says a lot. From everything I have read about him, it would appear that he regards his exile not as something to be borne with dignity, but as something to pout over as does a child who unexpectedly did not get his way.

Julian Assange, on the other hand, sacrificed much more and did so willingly and courageously. He had no illusions about the consequences that he would face for his beliefs and actions.

And this is a reflection on him or on the rest of us?

Both. Nobody remembers anything here in the US anyway, least of all people and events which do not flatter the national mythos. In the case of this would-be patriot -- the scion of a family that grew fat at the government teat, and who himself has made a tidy profit from his exile -- his unofficial damnatio memoriæ is deserved.

anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:07 am GMT
@Franz > veteran Credit is due for that.

Maybe you ought to give Snowden some credit for his military service too. Fair is fair.

Snowden enlisted in the United States Army Reserve on May 7, 2004, and became a Special Forces candidate through its 18X enlistment option.[39] He did not complete the training.[12] After breaking both legs in a training accident,[40] he was discharged on September 28, 2004.[41]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Snowden#Career

9/11 Inside job , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:11 am GMT
@Brabantian Is Seth Rich dead ? OpDeepState.com : "The 'murder' of Seth Rich – Everything we thought we knew is wrong !" by Lisa Phillips . "The MOSSAD infiltrated Clinton's campaign with a Sayanim contractor – Seth Rich – this OP took Hillary right out of the race ."
anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:19 am GMT
Tor is a great tool, if you know how to use it correctly. The US gov't know people don't know how to use it correctly, and sets up exit nodes to spy on idiots, like this:

In 2007 Egerstad set up just five Tor exit nodes and used them to intercept thousands of private emails, instant messages and email account credentials.

Amongst his unwitting victims were the Australia, Japanese, Iranian, India and Russia embassies, .

Dan Egerstad proved then that exit nodes were a fine place to spy on people and his research convinced him in 2007, long before Snowden, that governments were funding expensive, high bandwidth exit nodes for exactly that purpose.

Tor is a fine security project and an excellent component in a strategy of defence in depth but it isn't (sadly) a cloak of invisibility.

Exit nodes, just like fake Wi-Fi hotspots, are an easy and tempting way for attackers to silently insert themselves into a network.

By running an exit node they can sit there as an invisible man-in-the-middle on a system that people choose when they want extra privacy and security.

Can you trust Tor's exit nodes?
https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2015/06/25/can-you-trust-tors-exit-nodes/

So just assume the US gov't is your exit node, thank them silently for paying for you to use it free, and keep your info encrypted.

Svevlad , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:30 am GMT
Both him and Assange are spooks
Rabbitnexus , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:50 am GMT
Well, this is refreshing. I agree wholeheartedly about Snowden and have the same reservations. My feelings about Assange, however, aren't much different. Julian has not challenged the 9/11 narrative either to be fair. I am inclined to see them both as limited hangouts. Snowden's 'revelations' were all old news to anyone who'd been paying attention for 10 years before his appearance. Even other whistleblowers, none of whom got any media coverage, had spoken of much of it previously. I see them both as pied pipers and nothing more. I think Russian intelligence services are perfectly well aware of what Snowden is and have kept him at arms length themselves. Not much they could do but play along but nothing suggests they ever saw him as any sort of 'coup'

Anyone who still plays along with the 9/11 bullshit narrative isn't worth a damn anyway.

Rabbitnexus , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:58 am GMT
@animalogic Consider that nothing Snowden revealed was news. It was all old hat for anyone who'd been paying attention, and for up to ten years. Sure Snowden made it mainstream for what good it did but nothing he said was a secret anymore. In fact, I thought even at the time his actions were nothing less than a 'threat and warning' from the intel services that they had this much on everyone. Just imagine all those national leaders, politicians from all states being pout on notice. All your secrets are ours! What a powerful global message to deliver and in such a loud and clear fashion.

The lack of deviation from official bullshit on 9/11 is on its own however reason enough to toss this guy out. Snowden NEVER impressed me for a moment and honestly, nor has Assange. I believe they're both working for the other side still. By the way, Julian Assange has actually denigrated 9/11 truthers a number of times.

Horst G , says: September 20, 2019 at 12:08 pm GMT
@anon It's in the magazine, page 82, quote "Zauberwürfel". Presented by me, for you to get the picture. Maybe you haven't seen enough cubes around, to get that humor. In real life, copying material on devices will be followed by arrest, no interview, no journey to some exile. This whole tale is not funny, it's evil on many levels. Your sarcasm is disturbing.
Realist , says: September 20, 2019 at 12:09 pm GMT
@Nicolás Palacios Navarro

Several years later, practically nobody remembers him here in the US, and possible elsewhere (save for when it is convenient for the media). Julian Assange was a far more daring, more insightful figure.

I disagree, there are plenty of people who remember him. The problem is they don't care, most Americans would rather watch America's Got Talent or Dancing With The Stars than do something about our corrupt political system.

Johnny Walker Read , says: September 20, 2019 at 12:16 pm GMT
Assange and Snowden are both shill's..

https://aanirfan.blogspot.com/search?q=assange

Johnny Walker Read , says: September 20, 2019 at 12:20 pm GMT
@Johnny Walker Read And

2013 Edward Snowden 'leaked stolen documents' (1) 'Leaked' to Dick Cheney friend at CIA WashPost, Rothschild employee Greenwald (2) Anti-9-11-truth (3) Nothing really new beyond more than 5+ previous NSA whistleblowers (4) Has CIA lawyers, worked with Brzezinski son, promoted by Brzezinski daughter, fake CV history (5) Known as fake to all major gov intel agencies

https://aanirfan.blogspot.com/search?q=snowden

Johnny Walker Read , says: September 20, 2019 at 12:31 pm GMT
@Johnny Walker Read This is absolutely dynamite material, it blows to smithereens any notion that Edward Snowden is anything other than a fraud, a CIA disinfo op.

So now we can place him alongside Julian Assange and Wikileaks in the rogue's gallery of professional liars. This report also exposes several other media outlets as being under CIA control, something we have known for some time

https://www.veteranstoday.com/2016/09/21/russia-govt-report-snowden-greenwald-are-cia-frauds/

foolisholdman , says: September 20, 2019 at 1:04 pm GMT
@animalogic

I don't know the answer -- except that this article raises serious questions, suspicions , about Snowden's authenticity.

To my mind "9/11, attitude to", is a sort of touch-stone for telling genuine dissidents from fake and both Snowden and Assange fail on that test. I don't have a reference for it, but I saw it in correspondence on this site. There was a video of a lecture given by Assange, where someone asked him about 9/11. He looked extremely embarrassed and then replied that he thought that it was "not very important" (Sic!) and changed the subject.

I am less sure of this but I think I saw something similar in an interview with Snowden. Perhaps someone else can remind me of exact references?

Amon , says: September 20, 2019 at 1:23 pm GMT
This is the same government whose leaders secure their laptops with the secret code "pas$word" and require the producers of computers to give them full access via day one exploits along with tailor fitted programs that are easier to hack.

That Snowden got away with what he did is not that shocking.

Justvisiting , says: September 20, 2019 at 1:23 pm GMT
These days Snowden has become a generic term for whistleblowing on the Deep State tech spying, like xerox for copying. I suppose someone here wants to remind us that this was _really_ the first copier, patented in 1879:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gestetner

The truth or falsity of the original "myth" becames moot at some point.

The Deep State is spying. They do have hardware and software and monkey in the middle hacks. They do trade intelligence with other spy agencies, domestic and foreign. They lie about it through the Mockingbird media.

_That_ is what is important.

Snowden's bona fides are "inside baseball", and minor league baseball at that.

.gov IT security is a joke–millions of pages of regulations, proclamations, millions of hours of management meetings, goals, powerpoint slides–ultimately easily outmatched by any determined hackers (whether in mom's basement or an intelligence agency's basement).

Multiple Fronts , says: September 20, 2019 at 1:32 pm GMT
CIA Edward Snowden? ...
Antiwar7 , says: September 20, 2019 at 1:34 pm GMT
If he was a sys admin, that probably meant he had the rights to install, remove, enable, and disable the various safety guards and security checks discussed in this article.
sally , says: September 20, 2019 at 1:48 pm GMT
@Jonathan Revusky Yvonne Lorenzo paper suggest suspect issues exist to support Snowden's story but finds Assange's saga to be based in epic, consistent, continued resistance to the organized forces at work in governments and high profile international corporations and agencies to keep secret things which expose officials as criminals.

<=the difference is consistency, scope and finger points. Assange has been consistent.. always seeking to make available as much as he could, always with as much clarity as possible; making the point where he could, that much of what he exposed seems to be in the domain of organized crime. Assange often exposes high profile persons and tags them with evidence to connect them to prior and current organized crime or obviously corrupt activities. Assange shows these persons or governments or agencies are involved in secret diplomatic activities, the secrecy of which seem always to be protected by judicial and legal processes

The Assange story paints a picture that suggest globally organized crime has come into possession and now manages and controls many well armed domestic governments and that selected agencies of government have been enabling selected private enterprises. Assange exposes intelligence services of many different nations to be a bank, corporation, and agency inter connects that coordinate infrastructure destruction, invasion, regime change, and war, and that these events are often followed by opportunistic privatization.

Snowden merely says a few things are wrong and should be corrected. in time the government will fix its own mistakes. I do not know if Snowden is a Trojan, but nothing Assange has done suggest he is and governments have treated Assange as anything but one of them. My opinion.

der einzige , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 2:04 pm GMT
@foolisholdman I think you meant that

https://www.youtube.com/embed/zG23AyiIObk?feature=oembed

Oscar Peterson , says: September 20, 2019 at 2:35 pm GMT
@Nicolás Palacios Navarro I agree that Assange has suffered much more than Snowden, but why hold that against the latter?

Snowden took a risk to publicize what he thought was important information indicating a dangerous trend in US policy. He wasn't willing to offer himself up as a lamb to the slaughter, so it's true that his sacrifice is not perhaps the ultimate one. He seems to have thought he could remain in Hong Kong but didn't realize that China was never going to compromise relations with the US to protect him. Putin wouldn't have either except that the US was so imperious in demanding his return that Putin really couldn't save face and give him up, and no doubt he was rankled by US hypocrisy, knowing that had Snowden been a Russian, the US would never have considered sending him back.

But Snowden DID take action which is more than most of us do. I find your complete lack of empathy kind of weird, to be honest. Even if Assange is the more virtuous or if one disagrees with Snowden's actions, he has paid a price for principle.

What does his family background have to do with anything?

I'm not inclined to sneer at him, and I don't see how you get to "he deserves what he gets."

Commentator Mike , says: September 20, 2019 at 2:44 pm GMT
@Brabantian Brabantian,

So Pamela Anderson lied about visiting Assange in the embassy? If they're faking it, wherever he is he isn't in the public eye walking down the street or sitting in a Starbucks, so he's leading a prison life anyway behind closed doors somewhere. I suppose a dedicated agent would do something like that for Queen and country or whatever, but I doubt he's the type. I gather veterans today are trying to cast Assange as a Mossad agent but then they're the Journal of the Clandestine Community, whatever that is.

Snowden is not a classic defector so it makes sense for him to keep his distance from Russian society so as not to be inadvertently compromised or used by their intelligence services. He's obviously under surveillance there, I know we all are but he's much more aware of it, so that doesn't make it easy for him but he's definitely safer there than he'd be in France or Germany. I just don't think he planned well ahead when he became a whistle-blower or was clear about what he was trying to achieve. He's not the top level type of spy we're accustomed to reading about who betray their country for money or to serve another they believe in more than their own. If he has been on active duty as a CIA asset all along I can't see that he has achieved much of use to them other than in some inter-agency rivalry game. But it's natural for Russians to be suspicious of him – they're suspicious by nature – and rightly so, but it doesn't make his life easy there.

Justvisiting , says: September 20, 2019 at 2:46 pm GMT
@der einzige Thanks for posting–Assange looked dazed and confused by the question itself.

It could be "rogue agents". A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 2:48 pm GMT
@Anonymous Snanonymous > Snowden, unlike Assange, largely suffered from pussy deprivation

You're projecting your own lack of success with females. Meanwhile, Snowden's squeeze Lindsay Mills lives with him in Moscow.

Snowden's lawyer Anatoly Kucherena confirmed the lovebirds' reunion and said they've been taking in Russian theaters and cultural sights together. "Love is love," he told AFP. "She lives with him when she comes here. Moral support is very important for Edward."
https://nypost.com/2014/10/11/snowdens-girlfriend-lives-with-him-in-moscow-documentary-reveals/

There's no way an envious gamma like you could tap this:

Anonymous [893] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 2:51 pm GMT
Good stuff. Snowden was outed by Gordon Duff years ago. Although I'll have to come back to finish this article, it generally appears to agree with Duff's analysis that none of it adds up. If I may paraphrase Edward Bernays, To read the Washington Post and Guardian or watch TV news is to see America and Western Civilization through the eyes of its enemy.

The owners of the media own the public forum in America and through it the formation of men's attitudes and the outcome of elections. The left vs right, CNN vs Fox News, MAGA vs socialism and other contrived theater serves the interests of the media owners and no other.

TheJester , says: September 20, 2019 at 3:02 pm GMT
@Jonathan Revusky Try this:

Assange tried to destroy the "system", which would have furthered the conditions for completing the ongoing, global Cultural Marxist Revolution Mao Zedong on steroids.

Snowden, on the other hand, wanted something much less extreme. He wanted to fix and save the "system" by exposing its excesses in order to bring it back within a quasi-legal, democratic framework.

In response, the "system" was satisfied to teach Snowden a lesson. They were willing to slap Snowden's hand by exiling him to Western Russia, which is better than rotting in a Siberian labor camp or "max" prison in the United States.

Assange, on the other hand, is a reincarnated, digital version of Che Guevara. They want his scalp, recognizing that Assange (like Che Guevara) will brook no compromise in his revolutionary agitation.

Anonymous Snanonymous , says: September 20, 2019 at 3:22 pm GMT
@anon Thank you for the update I remain celibate out of consideration for those who are truly hard up.
Sparkon , says: September 20, 2019 at 3:29 pm GMT
Good article. Snowden and Assange are agents of disinformation

"I'm constantly annoyed that people are distracted by false conspiracies such as 9/11, when all around we provide evidence of real conspiracies, for war or mass financial fraud."

-- Julian Assange

http://911blogger.com/news/2010-07-22/wikileaks-founder-julian-assange-annoyed-911-truth

Assange's damming statement about 9/11 at the Belfast Telegraph is now behind a sign-up gatepost, which was not there in the fairly recent past.

9/11 Inside job , says: September 20, 2019 at 4:36 pm GMT
9/11 is the "litmus test" and it appears that both Assange and Snowden have failed it.
anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 5:06 pm GMT
@9/11 Inside job Well, the Real Litmus Test ™ is eternal security vs. conditional salvation. Don't fail, or everything else you've ever said must be summarily dismissed. Answer well, friendo .

Splitting (also called black-and-white thinking or all-or-nothing thinking) is the failure in a person's thinking to bring together the dichotomy of both positive and negative qualities of the self and others into a cohesive, realistic whole. It is a common defense mechanism.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Splitting_(psychology)

Nicolás Palacios Navarro , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 6:09 pm GMT
@Realist

The problem is they don't care, most Americans would rather watch America's Got Talent or Dancing With The Stars than do something about our corrupt political system.

Also very true.

Outrage Beyond , says: September 20, 2019 at 6:43 pm GMT
It appears the author of this piece has not read Snowden's book, Permanent Record . If she had, she would not have asked questions which are answered, in detail, in Snowden's book. Here are some of the most obvious points.

1. "Why does Snowden never discuss dealing with such encryption: how would it be possible?"

Answer: In his book, Snowden describes the layers of encryption that he used when copying the files from NSA. He also describes the extraordinary level of access he had as a systems engineer. Further, he mentions his surprise at finding that the NSA did not practice widespread encryption, in contrast to his experience at CIA, where the hard drives were not only encrypted, but removed from the computers and placed in a safe each night.

2. "In the Oliver Stone movie Snowden, as well as in any of Snowden's descriptions of how he accessed the NSA computers, did you note either the depiction or reference to this universal Smart ID? How could Snowden be exempt from its requirement?"

Answer: Movies omit details. In his book, Snowden describes working in the one-person Information Sharing department. As part of that work, he brought an older, "obsolete" system to his office under the cover story of "compatibility testing" and used this older system to copy the data.

3. "Did Edward Snowden, who has publicly criticized Google, mention Google is deployed as a search engine throughout the federal "intranet"?"

Answer: Yes, as a matter of fact, in his book, Snowden does mention that Google provides a custom internal version of their search engine to the intelligence community.

4. "Edward Snowden would have us believe that the Eye of Sauron didn't notice he was looking at gigabytes of data unrelated to his job function and using his computer to copy the data to external devices over a lengthy period of time."

Answer: In his book, Snowden describes how he created a "readboard" that collected the documents as part of his work in the Information Sharing department. He also describes how another systems administrator did notice, and how he addressed this attention by providing access to his "readboard" to the other administrator, and explained its purpose and value to users. In other words, the "gigabytes of data" he was looking at were directly related to his job function.

5. "On another issue, why did Snowden provide his files to known house organs of Intelligence Agencies, specifically the Washington Post and The Guardian, and not give them to Wikileaks to allow a publicly available searchable database?"

Answer: Snowden also discusses this topic in his book. According to Snowden, he did not want to simply release the information, he wanted the media to remove anything that might cause harm.

6. "And what about Snowden himself, the pontificator, the man who can speak on television or to the media with evidence of training? Practice yourself -- see how well you can answer questions and speak publicly to a TV camera. How did he get his training? Who trained him? Why?"

Answer: After 6 years of media attention, it seems reasonable he would gain some expertise in dealing with the media.

My purpose in providing the answers above is not to defend or attack Snowden. Rather, these examples just show that the author of this piece is a sloppy amateur who did not do her homework. I suspect the author is also woefully ignorant of computer technology. Anyone curious about these topics should read Permanent Record and decide for themselves.

PetrOldSack , says: September 20, 2019 at 6:49 pm GMT
@sally

My opinion.

Your opinion stands. Snowden has de facto been compromised. Being in Russia, and not in control of his environment. Whether he was from the start, could be. The Tor browser bull- *** t speaks against him all the way. His conventional career start, and youth also. He is more Macron then a Galloway.

Assange was in for the long term, had thorough knowledge of affairs digital, his youth, his physical courage(there must be a point where selling out was a possibility) were exemplary all along the (long) and still ongoing slug.

Even his ego, fronting Wikileaks seems to be proportionate as compared to the conventional Jerks &, as Pompeo, Hillary, Trump, Obama. If one sees how many personnel is dedicated to steer elections and governance public opinion, he certainly looks like a lonely giant on the civil disobedience, organizational, knowledgeable, energy spent and resilience side. A true example of what White, and Western European descend stands for. Enlightenment, in system, style, and function. Relevancy, long term goals, dare, does not come better then that.

PetrOldSack , says: September 20, 2019 at 6:53 pm GMT
@Justvisiting Very to the point. True over the whole stretch digital communication is in existence.
Mark Hunter , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 6:59 pm GMT
@Oscar Peterson I don't have "Agree/Disagree/Etc" privileges so I say here that I agree with you.

Some of the pompous ingrates trashing Snowden for the flimsiest of reasons still seem to have a high opinion of Thomas Drake, William Binney, or Kirk Wiebe. They might read this: Three NSA Veterans Speak Out on Whistleblower

peterAUS , says: September 20, 2019 at 7:06 pm GMT
@ikki Pretty much.

The author, interestingly enough, isn't I.T. professional, but, has very definite opinions about IT security. Dumb.

Just email it to a private email.

Well, firewall logs could reveal your connection to some email server outside ..

Or store on something else and transport out.

Yep. Hehe the girl doesn't actually get how that "encryption" thing works. OSI layers etc.

And, what people really don't get: all security is as good as an average person using it. As hehe you pointed out:

Hillary was doing the same thing for ages.

Insider doesn't need to tackle technology. All he/she needs is to tackle is a dumb employee. Anyway .

I could make my home systems quite secure, even against Five Eyes. That would create another set of even worse problems, but let's leave it out for now.
The problem is my wife and her browsing/computer use habits. Hehe makes sense?

peterAUS , says: September 20, 2019 at 7:09 pm GMT
@Outrage Beyond A very good comment.

Especially

.a systems engineer .. the one-person Information Sharing department . .providing access to his "readboard" to the other administrator .

anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 7:26 pm GMT
@Realist Snowden did "do something about our corrupt political system," not that anybody here cares.

And God Bless America.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/8kssysjyPl0?feature=oembed

niceland , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:46 pm GMT
Snowden keeping "distance" to Russia, and not openly defending them seems reasonable to me. You can imagine the smear campaign back home if he would side with Russia against the U.S. on almost anything. "The Russians got to him" or "He was always their man".

He is trying to keep his neutrality and credibility and his target audience isn't the average Unz reader, but rather some mainstream educated middle/upper class blokes. Easily scared away from his views if they become too controversial and too far from the established narrative.

Last but not least, he is playing very dangerous game, probably without much security from his host country. This probably limits what he can do, TPTB could probably get to him if they wanted it badly enough.

anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:49 pm GMT
@Horst G Everybody with the slight familiarity about the story knows of Snowden's use of the Ernő Rubik's Cube to hide the SD card.

> In real life, copying material on devices will be followed by arrest, no interview, no journey to some exile.

Snowden proved you wrong, by the skin of his teeth.

> Your sarcasm is disturbing.

Yeah? How do you think folks feel about your black cape and a fiberglass helmet?

Republic , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:54 pm GMT
@anon Wasn't Ross William Ulbricht compromised by using Tor ?
anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 9:12 pm GMT
@PetrOldSack > The Tor browser bull- *** t speaks against him all the way

No, your stupid bull- *** t lack of understanding about Tor speaks against you all the way. It's not encryption, like you probably think it is. It's simply a way to use another IP address without having to drive to the nearest Starbucks to use their wifi. You treat Tor just like any "free" wifi, assuming that your data is being sniffed and collected. If you're going to message, use Signal (or Telegram.) Always force HTTPS. Use encryption. All Tor does is obfuscate your IP location, which is exactly what Snowden states, "All Tor does is obfuscate your IP location .

"[Tor] allows you to disassociate your physical location ."

EDWARD SNOWDEN EXPLAINS HOW TO RECLAIM YOUR PRIVACY
https://theintercept.com/2015/11/12/edward-snowden-explains-how-to-reclaim-your-privacy/

And now Brave Browser has it built in! So easy. Try it. Just don't do anything on Tor that you wouldn't do with a Starbuck's free wifi in Foggy Bottom.

anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 9:29 pm GMT
@Republic How he got taken down is here , and it started with the name-fag using his Real Name while e-begging for help to run illegal websites, and ended up with a half-dozen FBI agents tailing him at his arrest. Even then, Tor made it harder for the FBI to track him, just not impossible.

Tor only does one thing, obfuscate your physical location. That's it. It's not magic. It's a virtual way to sit at the Starbucks cafe and use their free wifi. Just assume the exit node is owned by the Feds, looking for criminal morons who don't understand it and think it's "secure" or "encrypted." It's not. Use encryption too.

Gg , says: September 20, 2019 at 10:09 pm GMT
Stuff like this just confirms Qanon. He said years ago Snowden was a CIA plant in the NSA to reveal this information about their mass surveillance on purpose. Why ? Maybe it relates to what Michael Hoffman describes as revelation of the method – a process of revealing the crimes being committed against us by "they" so it breeds apathy and despair in the population when nothing comes from
The revelation of the crimes
The Company , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:06 pm GMT
The Russian authorities are capable of asking the same perceptive questions – – and yet they continue to be gracious hosts.
Sean , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:10 pm GMT
An allegedly very high iq high school from a family with drop out Snowden's tried to join special forces and failed jump school, he failed a polygraph, got accepted to the CIA though not as a field agent despite his lack of a degree, and was bounced from the CIA and then got a job with Dell as an outside contractor on the basis of his still intact security clearance, the contractors were not compartmentalised in the way government employees were.

Then he went to work for defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, at an NSA facility in Hawaii. In subsequent interview with journalists, Snowden lied about his doing undercover work for the CIA, salary and seniority at Booz Allen, being able to spy on the the emails and phone calls of President Obama. Oh, and suffering broken bones in special forces jump school, he just had shin splints It is very clear how he got access, and why most of the people who gave him it did not own up.

https://nypost.com/2013/11/08/snowden-duped-coworkers-to-get-passwords/ Snowden duped co-workers to get passwords A handful of agency employees who gave their login details to Snowden were identified, questioned and removed from their assignments, said a source close to several U.S. government investigations into the damage caused by the leaks.

Snowden may have persuaded between 20 and 25 fellow workers at the NSA regional operations center in Hawaii to give him their logins and passwords by telling them they were needed for him to do his job as a computer systems administrator, a second source said.

Are we to believe the NSA lacks a "digital trail" when it comes to classified documents?

It's only difficult to believe if you think NASA (like the CIA and FBI once were) are only guarded in relation to external rather than internal security breaches

[A] frightening history of plans to crush internal dissent and would-be dissenters in the United States.

Why would they bother? Those dissenters cannot change anything, while they are whiling away their free time on the internet. Such activity cannot change anything at all, and so it is to be encouraged from the point of view of any establishment as open dissent on the net wards off the allegation of totalitarian state. Talk is cheap.

Johnny Walker Read , says: September 21, 2019 at 2:19 am GMT
Learn to recognize government dis-info. http://mileswmathis.com/glenn.pdf
ShermanFan , says: September 21, 2019 at 2:28 am GMT
I'm not going to comment on the person or their agenda, rather the process-broadly.

Can you copy encrypted files without knowledge and smuggle them out? Short answer: Yes, with a second device and some standard hardware stuff. They can see the second device if it is plugged in, but they have to look for it. There is no need to try and copy from the source, copy the output to a second machine that can interpret.

Franz , says: September 21, 2019 at 6:25 am GMT
@anon

ought to give Snowden some credit for his military service too.

Hell, I'd give the guy credit for his quick sprinting at the NSA. But we haven't established if he was a wiz kid or a plant.

Vidal went into the US Army after Pearl Harbor, at age 17. Even though he'd been his high school representative for the America First Committee, trying to keep the US out of the war. Due to hypothermia working on army transport ships in the Aleutians, he was initially misdiagnosed as arthritic and, not being caught in time, ended up first with a titanium leg replacement years later, then in a wheelchair.

I remain sort of impressed when a young man opposes a fight, then for patriotic reasons, serves anyway (and pays a steep price).

I'm sure we'll get the full story on Snowden sooner or later.

anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 21, 2019 at 12:58 pm GMT
@Saggy A stupid girl who is completely unfamiliar with the Snowden history. For example, she asks this, "why did Snowden provide his files to The Guardian?"

Because he needed immediate press coverage. He didn't have weeks or even days, he had at most a few hours. His story had to be in the press the next morning. Both Greenwald and the Guardian reporter were with him at the hotel, worried that Snowden might even be assassinated if caught by US forces, and worked to get immediate press coverage of his plight to save his life. Plus, he was in constant contact with Wikileaks'Julian Assange, which she conveniently ignores to promote her lie-based conspiritard theory.

Without his story getting into the press within a few hours, and without Wikileaks' Julian Assange helping Snowden, he'd be in prison now, at best, possibly dead.

I say, give the guy a fair trial. He has asked for a fair trial. But the US Gov't has refused to allow his motive to be considered in the trial. Amazing, isn't it? Since when is motive to not be considered in a criminal trial?

For Snowden, a fair trial means allowing the jury to consider his motivations rather than simply deciding the case on whether a law was broken.

"They want the jury strictly to consider whether these actions were lawful or unlawful, not whether they were right or wrong," Snowden said. "And I'm sorry, but that defeats the purpose of a jury trial."

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2019/09/17/edward-snowden-releases-book-russia-wants-fair-trial-us/2349586001/

Che Guava , says: September 21, 2019 at 3:26 pm GMT
Tor may still be a good tool, it certainly was, I had great fun using it to troll and set off edit wars on English Wikipedia for a year or two mid-last decade. One of those edit wars lasted for about three days. I just watched after starting it (but I meant what I said in the comment that set it off, but not always in the trolling(^-^)v).

In any case, the English-language WP has been madly tracking Tor exit nodes and banning them since about early '07.

Fun while it lasted.

As for the wrong way to use it, that basically means making a connection to any other site, without Tor, while using Tor. I slipped up on that once or twice when slightly drunk.

I don't even know if using Tor is even legal in Japan now. I do love, however, how Wikipedia is aggressively supressing it.

Some politicians in ruling party were moving to make it illegal a couple of years ago, our polity is so nonsensical that I have to checck Japanese wiki to see the result.

Any fule knows that Tor original is a U.S.N. programme,

Yvonne Lorenzo , says: September 21, 2019 at 6:42 pm GMT
@der einzige

I recommend these articles from Jon Rappaport, unfortunately, wordpress deleted his blog.

Rappaport started my thinking and I bookmarked his pages long ago and to my horror found the site was taken down. I wonder why? Glad for this archive. Thank you.

Yvonne Lorenzo , says: September 21, 2019 at 6:57 pm GMT
@Outrage Beyond

It appears the author of this piece has not read Snowden's book, Permanent Record. If she had, she would not have asked questions which are answered, in detail, in Snowden's book. Here are some of the most obvious points.

1. "Why does Snowden never discuss dealing with such encryption: how would it be possible?"

Answer: In his book, Snowden describes the layers of encryption that he used when copying the files from NSA. He also describes the extraordinary level of access he had as a systems engineer. Further, he mentions his surprise at finding that the NSA did not practice widespread encryption, in contrast to his experience at CIA, where the hard drives were not only encrypted, but removed from the computers and placed in a safe each night.

2. "In the Oliver Stone movie Snowden, as well as in any of Snowden's descriptions of how he accessed the NSA computers, did you note either the depiction or reference to this universal Smart ID? How could Snowden be exempt from its requirement?"

Answer: Movies omit details. In his book, Snowden describes working in the one-person Information Sharing department. As part of that work, he brought an older, "obsolete" system to his office under the cover story of "compatibility testing" and used this older system to copy the data.

No, I haven't read the book–yet.

As part of a forensic analysis, which none of you were observant enough to understand, the subject is interviewed without knowledge of the questions in advance. His answers would be evaluated based on facts, for which a forensic IT team with no connections to government contractors would be part of and gain access to NSA systems. Thus, testimony is considered but it must be verified. Rand Paul might be one to open an investigation into the inadequacy of NSA security but government investigating itself is suspect. No such investigation will ever take place.

Note there has been no calls, that I am aware of, for any GAO study of NSA vulnerabilities.

Second, the critics miss the point: providing files to CIA-Five Eye fronts like Guardian and CIA Washington Post is suspect. As per what I wrote, no one now has access to this data.

I suspect Snowden leaked legitimate information to con the Russians to be on their soil and conduct malfeasance. Prior to Putin providing S-300s to Syria, Israel had better relations with Russia. I suspect Q is also coordinated by Intel agency friendly to Likud. Note his mention of John Perry Barlow before his death. He warned of Snowden being sent deliberately to Russia and hence my concern for CIA doing something stupid.

As to his comments on not supporting Russia, no support is necessary. If he were a decent human being he could simply have stated, "Election interference notwithstanding the U.S. should pursue non-aggressive posture against Russia. There was no 'Second Pearl Harbor.' The risk of nuclear war is great and I agree with President Trump to reduce tensions, although I disagree with his politics."

Instead, see his Tweets supporting the Pussy Hats and "We came, we saw, he died" Hillary Clinton.

In the event, Snowden is irrelevant. The end of Empire is imminent.

Read Martyanov's post on the recent threats America made to Russia here.

https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2019/09/why-would-you-ask.html

I have compassion for Snowden. His end will likely be as Skripals was: disappearance by Western IC which he supports and blame placed on Russia.

We are free to disagree with one another. I trust nothing a supporter of Empire says.

As to September 11 I wasn't aware of Assange's remarks. This is the touchstone as others have said. Snowden enlisted because of September 11 false flag. Yeah, right, he is an idiot savant.

Even Ed Asner who no longer wins Emmy awards and is blackballed had the courage to do this video. Trust Snowden? I think not.

Y. Lorenzo (this site will not allow me to post under my name)

p.s. Ron uses Gmail. The nearest military base is a long, long way from my location. A helicopter outfitted with surveillance bubbles overflew after I submitted this piece.. Coincidence, right?

I will fight for the truth. I receive no compensation for my work and expect none. I support the cause of peace and not Empire. Thanks for the intelligent supportive comments. Ad hominem attacks mean nothing. Thanks to Ron for posting though he disagrees.

Che Guava , says: September 21, 2019 at 7:17 pm GMT
...re. 'Smowden"when he was constantly whining about Russia, getting hhs pole-dancing gf to join him there must have been a major effort, but he has no gratitude for it.

Really strange. At the time, I thought that Putin's comment 'he is a strange young man' had to do only with questions of loyalty and betrayal, of course, it was lilekely deeper and more suspicious than that. If I had been in the position like 'Snowden', after first having been granted asylum, my priority would have been to study the language. I would gtuess that he can order food or drink, do basic greetings, and not much else.

Sean , says: September 21, 2019 at 7:22 pm GMT
@Republic Snowden's wife is a former pole dancer, those are for good for something, but its not marrying. Everything about him suggests immaturity, from his toying with the idea of being a model to his trying to go from frail civilian with a youth spent 24/7 gaming to passing jumps school. He stole vastly more than he could ever have read, much of it having no bearing on privacy so he has no idea what he might have compromised. Quoth he:

There is a secrecy agreement, but there is also an oath of service. An oath of service is to support and defend, not an agency, not even the president, it is to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies – direct quote – foreign and domestic. And this begs the question, what happens when our obligations come into conflict.

If you have meaningful values (ie those that do not charge to suit your personal aggrandisement) you resign, I but instead of doing that he deliberately got another job contracting with the NSA all the better to steal data.

peterAUS , says: September 21, 2019 at 7:56 pm GMT
@Yvonne Lorenzo

.In the event, Snowden is irrelevant. The end of Empire is imminent. Read Martyanov's post on the recent threats America made to Russia here .

That was fast, even for this pub.

Ad hominem attacks mean nothing.

You mean being positive about you UNABLE to visualize a byte from a "keypress" moving all the way to the LAN cable with each timer "click"? You know, buffers, busses, microcode/firmware, interrupts, stack/heap, closed source, encryption/decryption layer of the OSI stack etc. That's for technology. As for people, unaware of an average idiot user in any environment using IT, Governments in particular, and the role and power of sysadmins in such environments? But confident to write articles what can and can not be done re IT security? Yeah .

AB_Anonymous , says: September 21, 2019 at 8:05 pm GMT
@anon Not sure about Pythagoras, but there are (very unfortunately) people who might have fun from combining "Rubik's Cube and highly classified information". And not necessarily in reality.
Yvonne Lorenzo , says: September 21, 2019 at 8:08 pm GMT
@peterAUS

You mean being positive about you UNABLE to visualize a byte from a "keypress" moving all the way to the LAN cable with each timer "click"? You know, buffers, busses, microcode/firmware, interrupts, stack/heap, closed source, encryption/decryption layer of the OSI stack etc. That's for technology.

Butthurt you are, yes? Tell me how he defeats this, be specific. https://www.symantec.com/products/endpoint-encryption

White paper here. https://www.symantec.com/content/dam/symantec/docs/white-papers/keeping-your-private-data-secure-en.pdf

Y. Lorenzo

And I don't care; fine, he was a clever op, he hacked the NSA, whoo-hoo. My other comments still stand. Go wave your flag, you're done.

Sean , says: September 21, 2019 at 8:22 pm GMT
@Yvonne Lorenzo

Rand Paul might be one to open an investigation into the inadequacy of NSA security but government investigating itself is suspect. No such investigation will ever take place.

Yes, Rand Paul who while cutting his lawn provoked his own retired doctor neighbor in a gated community into a maddened vicious rib dislocating attack that cost Paul part of his lung What a brilliant choice to annoy the government.

His end will likely be as Skripals was: disappearance by Western IC which he supports and blame placed on Russia

Skirpal is in America. The British got Skirpal out of Russia, but Russia could have killed him any time because he was homesick and meeting people from the Russian Embassy. In my opinion the Russians were trying to kill Skirpal's daughter along with him. They knew she was coming and timed the nerve agent attack so as to 'accidentally' kill her along with the traitor. The knowledge that you will go after their families is the ultimate deterrent. Unless you are a narcissistic dick like Snowden, who hardly mentions anything his family did for him except getting a second phone line so he could play some stupid internet game. Snowden actually says in his book that the internet raised him. It did not get him a job in the CIA despite him having no degree, that was his mom's NSA and her father's Pentagon connections. Aldrich Ames's father worked for the CIA .

Art , says: September 21, 2019 at 9:12 pm GMT
Edward Snowden is a great man – a great American. (Will a Dem president pardon him?) I recently viewed a video on how a poor immigrant family hid Snowden before he secured a flight out of Hong Kong. (He is working to get them out of Hong Kong, to Canada.) I am curious as to how he got the flight out to Russia?????
Yvonne Lorenzo , says: September 21, 2019 at 9:14 pm GMT
This will be my final comment. My issue is one regarding Snowden's character and integrity, especially as the collapsing Empire under FUBAR Trump is waging war on the world. Come on, none of the CIA trolls here have read The Saker with Orlov on the fate of the mass murdering Empire?

http://www.unz.com/tsaker/placing-the-usa-on-a-collapse-continuum-with-dmitry-orlov/

At this point it is important to explain what exactly a "final collapse" looks like. Some people are under the very mistaken assumption that a collapsed society or country looks like a Mad Max world. This is not so. The Ukraine has been a failed state for several years already, but it still exists on the map. People live there, work, most people still have electricity (albeit not 24/7), a government exists, and, at least officially, law and order is maintained. This kind of collapsed society can go on for years, maybe decades, but it is in a state of collapse nonetheless, as it has reached all the 5 Stages of Collapse as defined by Dmitry Orlov in his seminal book "The Five Stages of Collapse: Survivors' Toolkit" where he mentions the following 5 stages of collapse:

Stage 1: Financial collapse. Faith in "business as usual" is lost.
Stage 2: Commercial collapse. Faith that "the market shall provide" is lost.
Stage 3: Political collapse. Faith that "the government will take care of you" is lost.
Stage 4: Social collapse. Faith that "your people will take care of you" is lost.
Stage 5: Cultural collapse. Faith in "the goodness of humanity" is lost.

Sound familiar? Read it and weep. Your pensions are toast.

Or read Chris Hedges America The Farewell Tour.

Snowden's character is proven by his interview with Brian Roberts.

Now, although only 14% of U.S. TLAMs got past Syrian air defenses, hear him was rhapsodic on the "beautiful missiles."

And Snowden is happy to talk to this creep? And asks Rothschild-Kravis puppet Macron to ex-filtrate him to France?

https://www.voltairenet.org/article204303.html

It was in this milieu that he met Henry and Marie-Josée Kravis, in their residence on Park Avenue in New York [1]. The Kravis couple, unfailing supporters of the US Republican Party, are among the great world fortunes who play politics out of sight of the Press. Their company, KKR, like Blackstone and the Carlyle Group, is one of the world's major investment funds.

" Emmanuel's curiosity for the 'can-do attitude' was fascinating – the capacity to tell yourself that you can do anything you set your mind to. He had a thirst for knowledge and a desire to understand how things work, but without imitating or copying anyone. In this, he remained entirely French ", declares Marie-Josée Drouin (Mrs. Kravis) today [2].

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201909141076804460-go-west-edward-snowden-hopes-frances-emmanuel-macron-will-approve-his-asylum-application/

Snowden's revelations about his aspirations for asylum outside of Russia come just days ahead of the upcoming release of his new memoir which is expected to hit the shelves on US Constitution Day.

Famous American whistleblower and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the man responsible for exposing a number of global surveillance programs run by the US agency, has recently revealed that he would like to obtain asylum in France.

Call it female intuition, Snowden creeps me out.

Those who want to bow before his altar, be my guest. You have free will.

peterAUS , says: September 21, 2019 at 11:21 pm GMT
@Yvonne Lorenzo

Butthurt

whoo-hoo..

Go wave your flag

.CIA trolls here

Read it and weep. Your pensions are toast.

From an author here?!

Whoah ..

My God, Unz .. really ? Coming to this?

Hahaha oh man.

peterAUS , says: September 21, 2019 at 11:48 pm GMT
Just realized, isn't this creature the only female author here? A female creature is writing, as an author, on alt-whatever site, about things she has never been professionally involved in. With certain hahaha style.

Hahaha ..oh my.

So, what have we got:
1. Unz finally collapsed under "diversity" pressure?
2. There is, sort of a hidden, message here.

I really hope it's the second.

Sean , says: September 22, 2019 at 12:35 am GMT peterAUS , says: September 22, 2019 at 2:31 am GMT
@Sean True true .mea culpa. Female stuff, that is, in general.

Style, though, is unique for the creature here.

Butthurt

whoo-hoo..

Go wave your flag

.CIA trolls here

Read it and weep. Your pensions are toast .

.creep .creeps me out

I mean hahaha .when reading those things it's, almost, as written by a certain type of commentators here. Almost as one of them, actually. Same "footprint". Especially the first two.

I mean, having that from an author here is, really, a new low for sure.

This is the first time I've seen something like that, and my attitude was mild in this thread compared to some in other threads. I mean, I was quite hard on some authors here, and never, so far that. "Butthurt" ."whoo-hoo"

I've quite offended a couple of authors here and they never replied with any rude word. And ..my God "whoo-hoo". Haha crazy.

New "quality" seeping here, apparently. Hehe getting with times, I guess. And program.
Understandable.

peterAUS , says: September 22, 2019 at 2:54 am GMT
@peterAUS O.K. I could be wrong.

I've been on this site for quite some time. Read, on average, 20 % of articles and similar number of comments in those articles.

I can't, really, recollect ONE case when an AUTHOR, here, in a comments exchange with a commentator, used the words "butthurt" and "whoo-hoo". Not once from the, say, authors from the West. Born and raised there, that is. Cultural thing, I guess.

Anyone could prove me senile/wrong? Please.

2stateshmustate , says: September 22, 2019 at 3:27 am GMT
@foolisholdman I agree. Shilling for the Israelis regarding 911 is a deal breaker for me. They had me going about these 2 guys for a while, but when I heard that they had ridiculed 911 truthers I smelled a rat. And after this article I agree they are shills for the status quo. Reasonable people can not doubt that 911 was a false flag operation. There's just too much bullshit there.
Commentator Mike , says: September 22, 2019 at 3:43 am GMT
@peterAUS

isn't this creature the only female author here?

Ilana Mercer is a woman who writes on UR.

niceland , says: September 22, 2019 at 4:55 am GMT
I think the idea Snowden is a "plant" is a bit far out there. If he is; the real purpose of the exercise is what exactly?

I also don't get why some commenters think Julian Assange isn't who he claims to be. His Wikileaks has published great volume of highly embarrassing material for the U.S. The embassy cables come to mind – bringing to light evidence contrary to Washington narrative on many events.

There is another thing; Just after he established Wikileaks he came to Iceland and met with journalists and few politicians. The result from that visit was he met one Kristinn Hrafnsson, long time journalist in Iceland with excellent track record and credibility. Since Assange got in trouble, accused of sexual harassment from Swedish woman and finally escaped into the Ecuador embassy in London, Hrafnsson has been spokesman for Wikileaks.

Since I am familiar with Hrafnsson work for decades, I would be very surprised if he worked with Assagne all this time, and even took over his job, so to speak, as head of Wikileaks if Assagne wasn't genuine. Hrafnsson has struck me as smart guy and honest and it's extremely unlikely he would continue if something didn't smell right at Wikileaks. I also want to point out Wikileaks has been working with, what I consider the few remaining NEWS outlets in Europe. (Including The Guardian before it was bought few years ago and became worthless).

To Assagne credit he booted Icelandic polititian, one Birgitta Jónsdóttir; who tried to visit him in U.K. prison – and wanted nothing to do with her. She has been trying to make international name for herself as fighter for human rights and peacemaker and against corruption and so forth. Unfortunately she is a bag full of hot air and thinks SHE is the center of the universe. It's all about her and therefore she is of no use for any cause. Julian was right to send her packing.

I can't imagine what the CIA or NSA or other tentacles of the Empire would gain by running Wikileaks. It makes absolutely no sense to me.

niceland , says: September 22, 2019 at 5:07 am GMT
@niceland Here you can view interview by Chris Hedges with Hrafnsson on RT. You decide if this guy is genuine or not. It seems he has basically been running Wikileaks for past several years. https://www.rt.com/shows/on-contact/461987-kristinn-hrafnsson-extradition-wikileaks/
Digital Samizdat , says: September 22, 2019 at 6:43 am GMT
@der einzige Wow. Thank you for posting that. Doesn't look too good for Assange.
anon [310] Disclaimer , says: September 22, 2019 at 8:52 am GMT
@Yvonne Lorenzo > Call it female intuition, Snowden creeps me out.

Can't refute that! #BelieveWomen

anon [310] Disclaimer , says: September 22, 2019 at 9:56 am GMT
@Yvonne Lorenzo > A helicopter outfitted with surveillance bubbles overflew after I submitted this piece.. Coincidence, right?

No coincidence, they're distributing corn sharks in a contract with ADM. Stay indoors and cover your head with tin foil.

9/11 Inside job , says: September 22, 2019 at 10:19 am GMT
@2stateshmustate "9/11 is the Litmus Test " By Smoking – Mirrors.Com :

"It all comes down to 9/11.Everything that has happened has happened based on a lie . Everyone in Government ; everyone in the media , in entertainment , in organized religion , in the public ,in the public eye who accepts and promotes the official story is either a traitor or a tool . Everyone who does not stand forth and speak truth to power is a coward , a liar and complicit in mass-murder . Everyone everywhere can be measured by this Litmus Test ."

[Sep 11, 2019] Video Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 The Bamboozle Has Captured Us

Highly recommended!
David Warner Mathisen definitely know what he is talking about due to his long military career... Free fall speed is documented and is an embarrassment to the official story, because free fall is impossible for a naturally collapsing building.
Now we need to dig into the role of Larry Silverstein in the Building 7 collapse.
Notable quotes:
"... Below is a video showing several film sequences taken from different locations and documenting multiple angles of World Trade Center Building 7 collapsing at freefall speed eighteen years ago on September 11, 2001. ..."
"... The four words "Building Seven Freefall Speed" provide all the evidence needed to conclude that the so-called "official narrative" promoted by the mainstream media for the past eighteen years is a lie, as is the fraudulent 9/11 Commission Report of 2004. ..."
"... Earlier this month, a team of engineers at the University of Alaska published their draft findings from a five-year investigation into the collapse of Building 7 ..."
"... This damning report by a team of university engineers has received no attention from the mainstream media outlets which continue to promote the bankrupt "official" narrative of the events of September 11, 2001. ..."
"... its rate of collapse can be measured and found to be indistinguishable from freefall speed, as physics teacher David Chandler explains in an interview here (and as he eventually forced NIST to admit), beginning at around 0:43:00 in the interview. ..."
"... the collapse of the 47-story steel-beam building World Trade Center 7 into its own footprint at freefall speed is all the evidence needed to reveal extensive and deliberate premeditated criminal activity by powerful forces that had the ability to prepare pre-positioned demolition charges in that building ..."
"... Indeed, the evidence is overwhelming, to the point that no one can any longer be excused for accepting the official story. Certainly during the first few days and weeks after the attacks, or even during the first few years, men and women could be excused for accepting the official story (particularly given the level to which the mainstream media controls opinion in the united states). ..."
"... Additionally, I would also recommend the interviews which are archived at the website of Visibility 9-11 , which includes valuable interviews with Kevin Ryan but also numerous important interviews with former military officers who explain that the failure of the military to scramble fighters to intercept the hijacked airplanes, and the failure of air defense weapons to stop a jet from hitting the Pentagon (if indeed a jet did hit the Pentagon), are also completely inexplicable to anyone who knows anything at all about military operations, unless the official story is completely false and something else was going on that day. ..."
"... In addition to these interviews and the Dig Within blog of Kevin Ryan, I would also strongly recommend everybody read the article by Dr. Gary G. Kohls entitled " Why Do Good People Become Silent About the Documented Facts that Disprove the Official 9/11 Narrative? " which was published on Global Research a few days ago, on September 6, 2019. ..."
"... on some level, we already know we have been bamboozled, even if our conscious mind refuses to accept what we already know. ..."
"... Previous posts have compared this tendency of the egoic mind to the blissfully ignorant character of Michael Scott in the television series The Office (US version): see here for example, and also here . ..."
"... The imposition of a vast surveillance mechanism upon the people of this country (and of other countries) based on the fraudulent pretext of "preventing terrorism" (and the lying narrative that has been perpetuated with the full complicity of the mainstream media for the past eighteen years) is in complete violation of the human rights which are enumerated in the Bill of Rights and which declare: ..."
"... David Warner Mathisen graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point and became an Infantry officer in the 82nd Airborne Division and the 4th Infantry Division. He is a graduate of the US Army's Ranger School and the 82nd Airborne Division's Jumpmaster Course, among many other awards and decorations. He was later selected to become an instructor in the Department of English Literature and Philosophy at West Point and has a Masters degree from Texas A&M University. ..."
Sep 11, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca

Below is a video showing several film sequences taken from different locations and documenting multiple angles of World Trade Center Building 7 collapsing at freefall speed eighteen years ago on September 11, 2001.

The four words "Building Seven Freefall Speed" provide all the evidence needed to conclude that the so-called "official narrative" promoted by the mainstream media for the past eighteen years is a lie, as is the fraudulent 9/11 Commission Report of 2004.

  1. Building.
  2. Seven.
  3. Freefall.
  4. Speed.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Mamvq7LWqRU

Earlier this month, a team of engineers at the University of Alaska published their draft findings from a five-year investigation into the collapse of Building 7, which was not hit by any airplane on September 11, 2001, and concluded that fires could not possibly have caused the collapse of that 47-story steel-frame building -- rather, the collapse seen could have only been caused by the near-simultaneous failure of every support column (43 in number).

This damning report by a team of university engineers has received no attention from the mainstream media outlets which continue to promote the bankrupt "official" narrative of the events of September 11, 2001.

Various individuals at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) tried to argue that the collapse of Building 7 was slower than freefall speed, but its rate of collapse can be measured and found to be indistinguishable from freefall speed, as physics teacher David Chandler explains in an interview here (and as he eventually forced NIST to admit), beginning at around 0:43:00 in the interview.

Although the collapse of the 47-story steel-beam building World Trade Center 7 into its own footprint at freefall speed is all the evidence needed to reveal extensive and deliberate premeditated criminal activity by powerful forces that had the ability to prepare pre-positioned demolition charges in that building prior to the flight of the aircraft into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center (Buildings One and Two), as well as the power to cover up the evidence of this criminal activity and to deflect questioning by government agencies and suppress the story in the mainstream news, the collapse of Building 7 is by no means the only evidence which points to the same conclusion.

Indeed, the evidence is overwhelming, to the point that no one can any longer be excused for accepting the official story. Certainly during the first few days and weeks after the attacks, or even during the first few years, men and women could be excused for accepting the official story (particularly given the level to which the mainstream media controls opinion in the united states).

However, eighteen years later there is simply no excuse anymore -- except for the fact that the ramifications of the admission that the official story is a flagrant fraud and a lie are so distressing that many people cannot actually bring themselves to consciously admit what they in fact already know subconsciously.

For additional evidence, I strongly recommend the work of the indefatigable Kevin Robert Ryan , whose blog at Dig Within should be required reading for every man and woman in the united states -- as well as those in the rest of the world, since the ramifications of the murders of innocent men, women and children on September 11, 2001 have led to the murders of literally millions of other innocent men, women and children around the world since that day, and the consequences of the failure to absorb the truth of what actually took place, and the consequences of the failure to address the lies that are built upon the fraudulent explanation of what took place on September 11, continue to negatively impact men and women everywhere on our planet.

Additionally, I would also recommend the interviews which are archived at the website of Visibility 9-11 , which includes valuable interviews with Kevin Ryan but also numerous important interviews with former military officers who explain that the failure of the military to scramble fighters to intercept the hijacked airplanes, and the failure of air defense weapons to stop a jet from hitting the Pentagon (if indeed a jet did hit the Pentagon), are also completely inexplicable to anyone who knows anything at all about military operations, unless the official story is completely false and something else was going on that day.

I would also strongly recommend listening very carefully to the series of five interviews with Kevin Ryan on Guns and Butter with Bonnie Faulkner, which can be found in the Guns and Butter podcast archive here . These interviews, from 2013, are numbered 287, 288, 289, 290, and 291 in the archive.

Selected Articles: 9/11: Do You Still Believe that Al Qaeda Masterminded the Attacks?

I would in fact recommend listening to nearly every interview in that archive of Bonnie Faulkner's show, even though I do not of course agree with every single guest nor with every single view expressed in every single interview. Indeed, if you carefully read Kevin Ryan's blog which was linked above, you will find a blog post by Kevin Ryan dated June 24, 2018 in which he explicitly names James Fetzer along with Judy Woods as likely disinformation agents working to discredit and divert the efforts of 9/11 researchers. James Fetzer appears on Guns and Butter several times in the archived interview page linked above.

In addition to these interviews and the Dig Within blog of Kevin Ryan, I would also strongly recommend everybody read the article by Dr. Gary G. Kohls entitled " Why Do Good People Become Silent About the Documented Facts that Disprove the Official 9/11 Narrative? " which was published on Global Research a few days ago, on September 6, 2019.

That article contains a number of stunning quotations about the ongoing failure to address the now-obvious lies we are being told about the attacks of September 11. One of these quotations, by astronomer Carl Sagan (1934 – 1996), is particularly noteworthy -- even though I certainly do not agree with everything Carl Sagan ever said or wrote. Regarding our propensity to refuse to acknowledge what we already know deep down to be true, Carl Sagan said:

One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We're no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It's simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we've been taken.

This quotation is from Sagan's 1995 text, The Demon-Haunted World (with which I have points of disagreement, but which is extremely valuable for that quotation alone, and which I might suggest turning around on some of the points that Sagan was arguing as well, as a cautionary warning to those who have accepted too wholeheartedly some of Sagan's teachings and opinions).

This quotation shows that on some level, we already know we have been bamboozled, even if our conscious mind refuses to accept what we already know. This internal division is actually addressed in the world's ancient myths, which consistently illustrate that our egoic mind often refuses to acknowledge the higher wisdom we have available to us through the reality of our authentic self, sometimes called our Higher Self. Previous posts have compared this tendency of the egoic mind to the blissfully ignorant character of Michael Scott in the television series The Office (US version): see here for example, and also here .

The important author Peter Kingsley has noted that in ancient myth, the role of the prophet was to bring awareness and acknowledgement of that which the egoic mind refuses to see -- which is consistent with the observation that it is through our authentic self (which already knows) that we have access to the realm of the gods. In the Iliad, for example, Dr. Kingsley notes that Apollo sends disaster upon the Achaean forces until the prophet Calchas reveals the source of the god's anger: Agamemnon's refusal to free the young woman Chryseis, whom Agamemnon has seized in the course of the fighting during the Trojan War, and who is the daughter of a priest of Apollo. Until Agamemnon atones for this insult to the god, Apollo will continue to visit destruction upon those following Agamemnon.

Until we acknowledge and correct what our Higher Self already knows to be the problem, we ourselves will be out of step with the divine realm.

If we look the other way at the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children on September 11, 2001, and deliberately refuse to see the truth that we already know deep down in our subconscious, then we will face the displeasure of the Invisible Realm. Just as we are shown in the ancient myths, the truth must be acknowledged and admitted, and then the wrong that has been done must be corrected.

In the case of the mass murder perpetrated on September 11, eighteen years ago, that admission requires us to face the fact that the "terrorists" who were blamed for that attack were not the actual terrorists that we need to be focusing on.

Please note that I am very careful not to say that "the government" is the source of the problem: I would argue that the government is the lawful expression of the will of the people and that the government, rightly understood, is exactly what these criminal perpetrators actually fear the most, if the people ever become aware of what is going on. The government, which is established by the Constitution, forbids the perpetration of murder upon innocent men, women and children in order to initiate wars of aggression against countries that never invaded or attacked us (under the false pretense that they did so). Those who do so are actually opposed to our government under the Constitution and can be dealt with within the framework of the law as established by the Constitution, which establishes a very clear penalty for treason.

When the people acknowledge and admit the complete bankruptcy of the lie we have been told about the attacks of September 11, the correction of that lie will involve demanding the immediate repeal and dismantling of the so-called "USA PATRIOT Act" which was enacted in the weeks immediately following September 11, 2001 and which clearly violates the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Additionally, the correction of that lie will involve demanding the immediate cessation of the military operations which were initiated based upon the fraudulent narrative of the attacks of that day, and which have led to invasion and overthrow of the nations that were falsely blamed as being the perpetrators of those attacks and the seizure of their natural resources.

The imposition of a vast surveillance mechanism upon the people of this country (and of other countries) based on the fraudulent pretext of "preventing terrorism" (and the lying narrative that has been perpetuated with the full complicity of the mainstream media for the past eighteen years) is in complete violation of the human rights which are enumerated in the Bill of Rights and which declare:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

That human right has been grievously trampled upon under the false description of what actually took place during the September 11 attacks. Numerous technology companies have been allowed and even encouraged (and paid, with public moneys) to create technologies which flagrantly and shamelessly violate "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects" and which track their every move and even enable secret eavesdropping upon their conversation and the secret capture of video within their homes and private settings, without any probable cause whatsoever.

When we admit and acknowledge that we have been lied to about the events of September 11, which has been falsely used as a supposed justification for the violation of these human rights (with complete disregard for the supreme law of the land as established in the Constitution), then we will also demand the immediate cessation of any such intrusion upon the right of the people to "be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects" -- including the cessation of any business models which involve spying on men and women.

Companies which cannot find a business model that does not violate the Bill of Rights should lose their corporate charter and the privilege of limited liability, which are extended to them by the people (through the government of the people, by the people and for the people) only upon the condition that their behavior as corporations do not violate the inherent rights of men and women as acknowledged in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

It is well beyond the time when we must acknowledge and admit that we have been lied to about the events of September 11, 2001 -- and that we continue to be lied to about the events of that awful day. September 11, 2001 is in fact only one such event in a long history which stretches back prior to 2001, to other events which should have awakened the people to the presence of a very powerful and very dangerous criminal cabal acting in direct contravention to the Constitution long before we ever got to 2001 -- but the events of September 11 are so blatant, so violent, and so full of evidence which contradicts the fraudulent narrative that they actually cannot be believed by anyone who spends even the slightest amount of time looking at that evidence.

Indeed, we already know deep down that we have been bamboozled by the lie of the so-called "official narrative" of September 11.

But until we admit to ourselves and acknowledge to others that we've ignored the truth that we already know, then the bamboozle still has us .

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

David Warner Mathisen graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point and became an Infantry officer in the 82nd Airborne Division and the 4th Infantry Division. He is a graduate of the US Army's Ranger School and the 82nd Airborne Division's Jumpmaster Course, among many other awards and decorations. He was later selected to become an instructor in the Department of English Literature and Philosophy at West Point and has a Masters degree from Texas A&M University.

The original source of this article is Global Research Copyright © David W. Mathisen , Global Research, 2019 Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

David Warner Mathisen graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point and became an Infantry officer in the 82nd Airborne Division and the 4th Infantry Division. He is a graduate of the US Army's Ranger School and the 82nd Airborne Division's Jumpmaster Course, among many other awards and decorations. He was later selected to become an instructor in the Department of English Literature and Philosophy at West Point and has a Masters degree from Texas A&M University.

[Sep 04, 2019] The Future of the Grand Spectacle which is the USA reality by C.J. Hopkins

Sep 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

If you want a vision of the future, don't imagine "a boot stamping on a human face -- for ever," as Orwell suggested in 1984 . Instead, imagine that human face staring mesmerized into the screen of some kind of nifty futuristic device on which every word, sound, and image has been algorithmically approved for consumption by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency ("DARPA") and its "innovation ecosystem" of "academic, corporate, and governmental partners."

The screen of this futuristic device will offer a virtually unlimited range of "non-divisive" and "hate-free" content, none of which will falsify or distort the "truth," or in any way deviate from "reality." Western consumers will finally be free to enjoy an assortment of news, opinion, entertainment, and educational content (like this Guardian podcast about a man who gave birth , or MSNBC's latest bombshell about Donald Trump's secret Russian oligarch backers ) without having their enjoyment totally ruined by discord-sowing alternative journalists like Aaron Maté or satirists like myself.

"Fake news" will not appear on this screen. All the news will be "authentic." DARPA and its partners will see to that. You won't have to worry about being "influenced" by Russians, Nazis, conspiracy theorists, socialists, populists, extremists, or whomever. Such Persons of Malicious Intent will still be able to post their content (because of "freedom of speech" and all that stuff), but they will do so down in the sewers of the Internet where normal consumers won't have to see it. Anyone who ventures down there looking for it (i.e., such "divisive" and "polarizing" content) will be immediately placed on an official DARPA watchlist for "potential extremists," or "potential white supremacists," or "potential Russians."

Once that happens, their lives will be over (i.e., the lives of the potentially extremist fools who have logged onto whatever dark web platform will still be posting essays like this, not the lives of the Persons of Malicious Intent, who never had any lives to begin with, and who by that time will probably be operating out of some heavily armed, off-the-grid compound in Idaho). Their schools, employers, and landlords will be notified. Their photos and addresses will be published online. Anyone who ever said two words to them (or, God help them, appears in a photograph with them) will have 24 hours to publicly denounce them, or be placed on DARPA’s watchlist themselves.

The Alarmist , says: September 4, 2019 at 9:02 am GMT

@El Dato Dude, you watch RT? You may as well go turn yourself in at the local Federal Building.
The Alarmist , says: September 4, 2019 at 9:03 am GMT
I’d laugh, if this was actually satire and not the reality unfolding before our very eyes.

[Aug 16, 2019] Ministry of truth materialized in XXI century in a neoliberal way by Kit Knightly

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Latest is the secretive Andy Pryce squandering millions of public money on the "Open Information Partnership" (OIP) which is the latest name-change for the Integrity Initiative and the Institute of Statecraft, just like al-Qaeda kept changing its name. ..."
"... In true Orwellian style, they splashed out on a conference for "defence of media freedom", when they are in the business of propaganda and closing alternative 'narratives' down. And the 'media' they would defend are, in fact, spies sent to foreign countries to foment trouble to further what they bizarrely perceive as 'British interests'. Just like the disgraceful White Helmets, also funded by the FO. ..."
"... "The Guardian is struggling for money" Surely, they would be enjoying some of the seemingly unlimited US defense and some of the mind control programmes budgets. ..."
Aug 16, 2019 | off-guardian.org

OffGuardian already covered the Global Media Freedom Conference, our article Hypocrisy Taints UK's Media Freedom Conference , was meant to be all there was to say. A quick note on the obvious hypocrisy of this event. But, in the writing, I started to see more than that. This event is actually creepy. Let's just look back at one of the four "main themes" of this conference:

Building trust in media and countering disinformation
"Countering disinformation"? Well, that's just another word for censorship. This is proven by their refusal to allow Sputnik or RT accreditation. They claim RT "spreads disinformation" and they "countered" that by barring them from attending. "Building trust"? In the post-Blair world of PR newspeak, "building trust" is just another way of saying "making people believe us" (the word usage is actually interesting, building trust not earning trust). The whole conference is shot through with this language that just feels off. Here is CNN's Christiane Amanpour :
Our job is to be truthful, not neutral we need to take a stand for the truth, and never to create a false moral or factual equivalence."
Being "truthful not neutral" is one of Amanpour's personal sayings , she obviously thinks it's clever. Of course, what it is is NewSpeak for "bias". Refusing to cover evidence of The White Helmets staging rescues, Israel arming ISIS or other inconvenient facts will be defended using this phrase – they will literally claim to only publish "the truth", to get around impartiality and then set about making up whatever "truth" is convenient. Oh, and if you don't know what "creating a false moral quivalence is", here I'll demonstrate: MSM: Putin is bad for shutting down critical media. OffG: But you're supporting RT being banned and Wikileaks being shut down. BBC: No. That's not the same. OffG: It seems the same. BBC: It's not. You're creating a false moral equivalence . Understand now? You "create a false moral equivalence" by pointing out mainstream media's double standards. Other ways you could mistakenly create a "false moral equivalence": Bringing up Gaza when the media talk about racism. Mentioning Saudi Arabia when the media preach about gay rights. Referencing the US coup in Venezuela when the media work themselves into a froth over Russia's "interference in our democracy" Talking about the invasion of Iraq. Ever. OR Pointing out that the BBC is state funded, just like RT. These are all no-longer flagrant examples of the media's double standards, and if you say they are , you're "creating a false moral equivalence" and the media won't have to allow you (or anyone who agrees with you) air time or column inches to disagree. Because they don't have a duty to be neutral or show both sides, they only have a duty to tell "the truth" as soon as the government has told them what that is. Prepare to see both those phrases – or variations there of – littering editorials in the Guardian and the Huffington Post in the coming months. Along with people bemoaning how "fake news outlets abuse the notion of impartiality" by "being even handed between liars the truth tellers". (I've been doing this site so long now, I have a Guardian-English dictionary in my head).

Equally dodgy-sounding buzz-phrases litter topics on the agenda. "Eastern Europe and Central Asia: building an integrated support system for journalists facing hostile environments" , this means pumping money into NGOs to fund media that will criticize our "enemies" in areas of strategic importance. It means flooding money into the anti-government press in Hungary, or Iran or (of course), Russia. That is ALL it means. I said in my earlier article I don't know what "media sustainability" even means, but I feel I can take a guess. It means "save the government mouthpieces". The Guardian is struggling for money, all print media are, TV news is getting lower viewing figures all the time. "Building media sustainability" is code for "pumping public money into traditional media that props up the government" or maybe "getting people to like our propaganda". But the worst offender on the list is, without a doubt "Navigating Disinformation"

https://www.youtube.com/embed/1vbSj1WQqUw?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

"Navigating Disinformation" was a 1 hour panel from the second day of the conference. You can watch it embedded above if you really feel the need. I already did, so you don't have to. The panel was chaired by Chrystia Freeland, the Canadian Foreign Minister. The members included the Latvian Foreign Minister, a representative of the US NGO Committee to Protect Journalists, and the Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Information

Have you guessed what "disinformation" they're going to be talking about? I'll give you a clue: It begins with R. Freeland, chairing the panel, kicks it off by claiming that "disinformation isn't for any particular aim" . This is a very common thing for establishment voices to repeat these days, which makes it all the more galling she seems to be pretending its is her original thought. The reason they have to claim that "disinformation" doesn't have a "specific aim" is very simple: They don't know what they're going to call "disinformation" yet. They can't afford to take a firm position, they need to keep their options open. They need to give themselves the ability to describe any single piece of information or political opinion as "disinformation." Left or right. Foreign or domestic. "Disinformation" is a weaponised term that is only as potent as it is vague. So, we're one minute in, and all "navigating disinformation" has done is hand the State an excuse to ignore, or even criminalise, practically anything it wants to. Good start. Interestingly, no one has actually said the word "Russia" at this point. They have talked about "malign actors" and "threats to democracy", but not specifically Russia. It is SO ingrained in these people that "propaganda"= " Russian propaganda" that they don't need to say it.

The idea that NATO as an entity, or the individual members thereof, could also use "disinformation" has not just been dismissed it was literally never even contemplated. Next Freeland turns to Edgars Rinkēvičs, her Latvian colleague, and jokes about always meeting at NATO functions. The Latvians know "more than most" about disinformation, she says. Rinkēvičs says disinformation is nothing new, but that the methods of spreading it are changing then immediately calls for regulation of social media. Nobody disagrees. Then he talks about the "illegal annexation of Crimea", and claims the West should outlaw "paid propaganda" like RT and Sputnik. Nobody disagrees. Then he says that Latvia "protected" their elections from "interference" by "close cooperation between government agencies and social media companies". Everyone nods along. If you don't find this terrifying, you're not paying attention. They don't say it, they probably don't even realise they mean it, but when they talk about "close cooperation with social media networks", they mean government censorship of social media. When they say "protecting" their elections they're talking about rigging them. It only gets worse. The next step in the Latvian master plan is to bolster "traditional media".

The problems with traditional media, he says, are that journalists aren't paid enough, and don't keep up to date with all the "new tricks". His solution is to "promote financing" for traditional media, and to open more schools like the "Baltic Centre of Media Excellence", which is apparently a totally real thing .

It's a training centre which teaches young journalists about "media literacy" and "critical thinking". You can read their depressingly predictable list of "donors" here . I truly wish I was joking. Next up is Courtney Radsch from CPJ – a US-backed NGO, who notionally "protect journalists", but more accurately spread pro-US propaganda. (Their token effort to "defend" RT and Sputnik when they were barred from the conference was contemptible).

She talks for a long time without saying much at all. Her revolutionary idea is that disinformation could be countered if everyone told the truth. Inspiring. Beata Balogova, Journalist and Editor from Slovakia, gets the ship back on course – immediately suggesting politicians should not endorse "propaganda" platforms. She shares an anecdote about "a prominent Slovakian politician" who gave exclusive interviews to a site that is "dubiously financed, we assume from Russia". They assume from Russia. Everyone nods.

It's like they don't even hear themselves.

Then she moves on to Hungary. Apparently, Orban has "created a propaganda machine" and produced "antisemitic George Soros posters". No evidence is produced to back-up either of these claims. She thinks advertisers should be pressured into not giving money to "fake news sites". She calls for "international pressure", but never explains exactly what that means. The stand-out maniac on this panel is Emine Dzhaparova, the Ukrainian First Deputy Minister of Information Policy. (She works for the Ministry of Information – nicknamed the Ministry of Truth, which was formed in 2014 to "counter lies about Ukraine". Even The Guardian thought that sounded dodgy.)

She talks very fast and, without any sense of irony, spills out a story that shoots straight through "disinformation" and becomes "incoherent rambling". She claims that Russian citizens are so brainwashed you'll never be able to talk to them, and that Russian "cognitive influence" is "toxic like radiation." Is this paranoid, quasi-xenophobic nonsense countered? No. Her fellow panelists nod and chuckle. On top of that, she just lies. She lies over and over and over again. She claims Russia is locking up Crimean Tartars "just for being muslims", nobody questions her. She says the war in Ukraine has killed 13,000 people, but doesn't mention that her side is responsible for over 80% of civilian deaths.

She says only 30% of Crimeans voted in the referendum, and that they were "forced". A fact not supported by any polls done by either side in the last four years, and any referenda held on the peninsula any time in the last last 30 year. It's simply a lie. Nobody asks her about the journalists killed in Ukraine since their glorious Maidan Revolution . Nobody questions the fact that she works for something called the "Ministry of Information". Nobody does anything but nod and smile as the "countering disinformation" panel becomes just a platform for spreading total lies.

When everyone on the panel has had their ten minutes on the soapbox, Freeland asks for recommendations for countering this "threat" – here's the list:

  1. Work to distinguish "free speech" from "propaganda", when you find propaganda there must be a "strong reaction".
  2. Pressure advertisers to abandon platforms who spread misinformation.
  3. Regulate social media.
  4. Educate journalists at special schools.
  5. Start up a "Ministry of Information" and have state run media that isn't controlled, like in Ukraine.

This is the Global Conference on Media Freedom and all these six people want to talk about is how to control what can be said, and who can say it. They single only four countries out for criticism: Hungary, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Russia .and Russia takes up easily 90% of that. They mention only two media outlets by name: RT and Sputnik. This wasn't a panel on disinformation, it was a public attack forum – a month's worth of 2 minutes of hate. These aren't just shills on this stage, they are solid gold idiots, brainwashed to the point of total delusion.

They are the dangerous glassy eyes of a Deep State that never questions itself, never examines itself, and will do anything it wants, to anyone it wants whilst happily patting itself on the back for its superior morality. They don't know, they don't care. They're true believers. Terrifyingly dead inside. Talking about state censorship and re-education camps under a big sign that says "Freedom". And that's just one talk. Just one panel in a 2 day itinerary filled to the brim with similarly soul-dead servants of authority. Truly, perfectly Orwellian.


Jonathan Jarvis

https://southfront.org/countering-russian-disinformation-or-new-wave-of-freedom-of-speech-suppression/

Read and be appalled at what America is up to .keep for further reference. We are in danger.

Tim Jenkins
It would serve Ms. Amanpour well, to relax, rewind & review her own interview with Sergei Lavrov:-

Then she might see why Larry King could stomach the appalling corporate dictatorship, even to the core of False & Fake recording of 'our' "History of the National Security State" , No More

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8H7aKGOpSwE

Amanpour was forced to laugh uncontrollably, when confronted with Lavrov's humorous interpretations of various legal aspects of decency & his Judgement of others' politicians and 'Pussy Riots' >>> if you haven't seen it, it is to be recommended, the whole interview, if nothing else but to study the body language and micro-facial expressions, coz' a belly up laugh is not something anybody can easily control or even feign that first spark of cognition in her mind, as she digests Lavrov's response :- hilarious

Einstein
A GE won't solve matters since we have a Government of Occupation behind a parliament of puppets.

Latest is the secretive Andy Pryce squandering millions of public money on the "Open Information Partnership" (OIP) which is the latest name-change for the Integrity Initiative and the Institute of Statecraft, just like al-Qaeda kept changing its name.

In true Orwellian style, they splashed out on a conference for "defence of media freedom", when they are in the business of propaganda and closing alternative 'narratives' down. And the 'media' they would defend are, in fact, spies sent to foreign countries to foment trouble to further what they bizarrely perceive as 'British interests'. Just like the disgraceful White Helmets, also funded by the FO.

Pryce's ventriloquist's dummy in parliament, the pompous Alan Duncan, announced another Ł10 million of public money for this odious brainwashing programme.

Tim Jenkins
That panel should be nailed & plastered over, permanently:-

and as wall paper, 'Abstracts of New Law' should be pasted onto a collage of historic extracts from the Guardian, in offices that issue journalistic licenses, comprised of 'Untouchables' :-

A professional habitat, to damp any further 'Freeland' amplification & resonance,

of negative energy from professional incompetence.

Francis Lee
Apropos of the redoubtable Ms Freeland, Canada's Foreign Secretary.

The records now being opened by the Polish government in Warsaw reveal that Freeland's maternal grandfather Michael (Mikhailo) Chomiak was a Nazi collaborator from the beginning to the end of the war. He was given a powerful post, money, home and car by the German Army in Cracow, then the capital of the German administration of the Galician region. His principal job was editor in chief and publisher of a newspaper the Nazis created. His printing plant and other assets had been stolen from a Jewish newspaper publisher, who was then sent to die in the Belzec concentration camp. During the German Army's winning phase of the war, Chomiak celebrated in print the Wehrmacht's "success" at killing thousands of US Army troops. As the German Army was forced into retreat by the Soviet counter-offensive, Chomiak was taken by the Germans to Vienna, where he continued to publish his Nazi propaganda, at the same time informing for the Germans on other Ukrainians. They included fellow Galician Stepan Bandera, whose racism against Russians Freeland has celebrated in print, and whom the current regime in Kiev has turned into a national hero.

Those Ukrainian 'Refugees' admitted to Canada in 1945 were almost certainly members of the 14th Waffen SS Division Galizia 1. These Ukie collaboraters – not to be confused with the other Ukie Nazi outfit – Stepan Bandera's Ukrainian Insurgent Army -were held responsible for the massacre of many Poles in the Lviv area the most infamous being carried out in the Polish village of Huta Pienacka. In the massacre, the village was destroyed and between 500] and 1,000 of the inhabitants were killed. According to Polish accounts, civilians were locked in barns that were set on fire while those attempting to flee were killed. That's about par for the course.
Canada's response was as follows:

The Canadian Deschęnes Commission was set up to investigate alleged war crimes committed by the collaborators

Memorial to SS-Galizien division in Chervone, Lviv Oblast, western Ukraine

The Canadian "Commission of Inquiry on War Crimes" of October 1986, by the Honourable Justice Jules Deschęnesconcluded that in relation to membership in the Galicia Division:

''The Galicia Division (14. Waffen grenadier division der SS [gal.1]) should not be indicted as a group. The members of Galicia Division were individually screened for security purposes before admission to Canada. Charges of war crimes of Galicia Division have never been substantiated, either in 1950 when they were first preferred, or in 1984 when they were renewed, or before this Commission. Further, in the absence of evidence of participation or knowledge of specific war crimes, mere membership in the Galicia Division is insufficient to justify prosecution.''

However, the Commission's conclusion failed to acknowledge or heed the International Military Tribunal's verdict at the Nuremberg Trials, in which the entire Waffen-SSorganisation was declared a "criminal organization" guilty of war crimes. Also, the Deschęnes Commission in its conclusion only referenced the division as 14. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (Galizische Nr.1), thus in legal terms, only acknowledging the formation's activity after its name change in August 1944, while the massacre of Poles in Huta Pieniacka, Pidkamin and Palikrowy occurred when the division was called SS Freiwilligen Division "Galizien". Nevertheless, a subsequent review by Canada's Minister of Justice again confirmed that members of the Division were not implicated in war crimes.

Yes, the west looks after its Nazis and even makes them and their descendants political figureheads.

mark
Most of these people are so smugly and complacently convinced of their own moral superiority that they just can't see the hypocrisy and doublethink involved in the event.
Mikalina
Eva Bartlett gives a wider perspective:
https://www.globalresearch.ca/londons-media-freedom-conference-smacks-irony-critics-barred-no-mention-jailed-assange/5683808
Harry Stotle
Freedom-lover, Cunt, will be furious when he hears about this!

Apparently Steve Bell is doubleplusbad for alluding to the fact Netanyahu has got his hand shoved deep into Tom Watson's arse – the Guardian pulled Bell's most recent ouvre which suggests the media's antisemitism trope might not be quite as politically untainted as the likes of Freedland, Cohen and Viner would have you believe.
https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/guardian-cartoonist-steve-bell-specious-charge-of-antisemitism-in-email-to-all-paper-1.486570

Meanwhile Owen Jones has taken to Twitter to rubbish allegations that a reign of terror exists at Guardian Towers – the socialist firebrand is quoted as saying 'journalists are free to say whatever they like, so long as it doesn't stray too far from Guardian-groupthink'.

Tutisicecream
Good analysis Kit, of the cognitive dissonant ping pong being played out by Nazi sympathisers such as Hunt and Freeland.

The echo chamber of deceit is amplified again by the selective use of information and the ignoring of relevant facts, such as the miss reporting yesterday by Reuters of the Italian Neo-Nazi haul of weapons by the police, having not Russian but Ukrainian links.

Not a word in the WMSM about this devious miss-reporting as the creation of fake news in action. But what would you expect?

Living as I do in Russia I can assure anyone reading this that the media freedom here is on a par with the West and somewhat better as there is no paranoia about a fictitious enemy – Russians understand that the West is going through an existential crisis (Brexit in the UK, Trump and the Clinton war of sameness in the US and Macron and Merkel in the EU). A crisis of Liberalism as the failed life-support of capitalism. But hey, why worry about the politics when there is bigger fish to fry. Such as who will pay me to dance?

The answer is clear from what Kit has writ. The government will pay the piper. How sweet.

I'd like to thank Kit for sitting through such a turgid masquerade and as I'm rather long in the tooth I do remember the old BBC schools of journalism in Yelsin's Russia. What I remember is that old devious Auntie Beeb was busy training would be hopefuls in the art of discretion regarding how the news is formed, or formulated.

In other words your audience. And it ain't the public

Steve Hayes
The British government's "Online Harms" White Paper has a whole section devoted to "disinformation" (ie, any facts, opinions, analyses, evaluations, critiques that are critical of the elite's actual disinformation). If these proposals become law, the government will have effective control over the Internet and we will be allowed access to their disinformation, shop and watch cute cat videos.
Question This
The liberal news media & hypocrisy, who would have ever thought you'd see those words in the same sentence. But what do you expect from professional liars, politicians & 'their' free press?

Can this shit show get any worse? Yes, The other day I wrote to my MP regards the SNP legislating against the truth, effectively making it compulsory to lie! Mr Blackford as much as called me a transphobic & seemed to go to great length publishing his neo-liberal ideological views in some scottish rag, on how right is wrong & fact is turned into fiction & asked only those that agreed with him contact him.

Tim Jenkins
"The science or logical consistency of true premise, cannot take place or bear fruit, when all communication and information is 'marketised and weaponised' to a mindset of possession and control." B.Steere
Mikalina
I saw, somewhere (but can't find it now) a law or a prospective law which goes under the guise of harassment of MPs to include action against constituents who 'pester' them.

I've found a link for the Jo Cox gang discussing it, though.
https://www.kcl.ac.uk/news/new-research-on-the-intimidation-and-harassment-of-mps-featured-in-inaugural-conference

Question This
I only emailed him once! That's hardly harassment. Anyway I sent it with proton-mail via vpn & used a false postcode using only my first name so unlikely my civil & sincere correspondence will see me locked up for insisting my inalienable rights of freedom of speech & beliefs are protected. But there again the state we live in, i may well be incarcerated for life, for such an outrageous expectation.
Where to?
"The Guardian is struggling for money" Surely, they would be enjoying some of the seemingly unlimited US defense and some of the mind control programmes budgets.
Harry Stotle
Its the brazen nature of the conference that is especially galling, but what do you expect when crooks and liars no longer feel they even have to pretend?

Nothing will change so long as politicians (or their shady backers) are never held to account for public assets diverted toward a rapacious off-shore economic system, or the fact millions of lives have been shattered by the 'war on terror' and its evil twin, 'humanatarian regime change' (while disingenuous Labour MPs wail about the 'horrors' of antisemitism rather than the fact their former leader is a key architect of the killings).

Kit remains a go-to voice when deconstructing claims made by political figures who clearly regard the MSM as a propaganda vehicle for promoting western imperialism – the self-satisfied smugness of cunts like Jeremy Cunt stand in stark contrast to a real journalist being tortured by the British authorities just a few short miles away.

It's a sligtly depressing thought but somebody has the unenviable task of monitoring just how far our politicians have drifted from the everyday concerns of the 'just about managing' and as I say Mr Knightly does a fine job in informing readers what the real of agenda of these media love-ins are actually about – it goes without saying a very lengthy barge pole is required when the Saudis are invited but not Russia.

Where to?
This Media Freedom Conference is surely a creepy theatre of the absurd.

It is a test of what they can get away with.

Mikalina
Yep. Any soviet TV watcher would recognise this immediately. Message? THIS is the reality – and you are powerless.
mark
When are they going to give us the Ministry of Truth we so desperately need?

[Aug 16, 2019] Lapdogs for the Government and intelligence agencies by Greg Maybury

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... We know our disinformation program is complete when almost everything the American public believes is false.' ..."
"... Using groundbreaking camera and lighting techniques, Riefenstahl produced a documentary that mesmerized Germans; as Pilger noted, her Triumph of the Will 'cast Adolf Hitler's spell'. She told the veteran Aussie journalist the "messages" of her films were dependent not on "orders from above", but on the "submissive void" of the public. ..."
"... All in all, Riefenstahl produced arguably for the rest of the world the most compelling historical footage of mass hysteria, blind obedience, nationalistic fervour, and existential menace, all key ingredients in anyone's totalitarian nightmare. That it also impressed a lot of very powerful, high profile people in the West on both sides of the pond is also axiomatic: These included bankers, financiers, industrialists, and sundry business elites without whose support Hitler might've at best ended up a footnote in the historical record after the ill-fated beer-hall putsch. (See here , and here .) ..."
"... The purpose of this propaganda barrage, as Sharon Bader has noted, has been to convince as many people as possible that it is in their interests to relinquish their own power as workers, consumers, and citizens, and 'forego their democratic right to restrain and regulate business activity. As a result the political agenda is now confined to policies aimed at furthering business interests.' ..."
Aug 16, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Lapdogs for the Government

Here was, of course, another surreal spectacle, this time courtesy of one of the Deep State's most dangerous, reviled, and divisive figures, a notable protagonist in the Russia-Gate conspiracy, and America's most senior diplomat no less.

Not only is it difficult to accept that the former CIA Director actually believes what he is saying, well might we ask, "Who can believe Mike Pompeo?"

And here's also someone whose manifest cynicism, hypocrisy, and chutzpah would embarrass the much-derided scribes and Pharisees of Biblical days.

We have Pompeo on record recently in a rare moment of honesty admitting – whilst laughing his ample ass off, as if recalling some "Boy's Own Adventure" from his misspent youth with a bunch of his mates down at the local pub – that under his watch as CIA Director:

We lied, cheated, we stole we had entire training courses.'

It may have been one of the few times in his wretched existence that Pompeo didn't speak with a forked tongue.

At all events, his candour aside, we can assume safely that this reactionary, monomaniacal, Christian Zionist 'end-timer' passed all the Company's "training courses" with flying colours.

According to Matthew Rosenberg of the New York Times, all this did not stop Pompeo however from name-checking Wikileaks when it served his own interests. Back in 2016 at the height of the election campaign, he had ' no compunction about pointing people toward emails stolen* by Russian hackers from the Democratic National Committee and then posted by WikiLeaks."

[NOTE: Rosenberg's omission of the word "allegedly" -- as in "emails allegedly stolen" -- is a dead giveaway of bias on his part (a journalistic Freudian slip perhaps?), with his employer being one of those MSM marques leading the charge with the "Russian Collusion" 'story'. For a more insightful view of the source of these emails and the skullduggery and thuggery that attended Russia-Gate, readers are encouraged to check this out.]

And this is of course The Company we're talking about, whose past and present relationship with the media might be summed up in two words: Operation Mockingbird (OpMock). Anyone vaguely familiar with the well-documented Grand Deception that was OpMock, arguably the CIA's most enduring, insidious, and successful psy-ops gambit, will know what we're talking about. (See here , here , here , and here .) At its most basic, this operation was all about propaganda and censorship, usually operating in tandem to ensure all the bases are covered.

After opining that the MSM is 'totally infiltrated' by the CIA and various other agencies, for his part former NSA whistleblower William Binney recently added , ' When it comes to national security, the media only talk about what the administration wants you to hear, and basically suppress any other statements about what's going on that the administration does not want get public. The media is basically the lapdogs for the government.'

Even the redoubtable William Casey , Ronald Reagan's CIA Director back in the day was reported to have said something along the following lines:

We know our disinformation program is complete when almost everything the American public believes is false.'

In order to provide a broader and deeper perspective, we should now consider the views of a few others on the subjects at hand, along with some history. In a 2013 piece musing on the modern significance of the practice, my compatriot John Pilger ecalled a time when he met Leni Riefenstahl back in 70s and asked her about her films that 'glorified the Nazis'.

Using groundbreaking camera and lighting techniques, Riefenstahl produced a documentary that mesmerized Germans; as Pilger noted, her Triumph of the Will 'cast Adolf Hitler's spell'. She told the veteran Aussie journalist the "messages" of her films were dependent not on "orders from above", but on the "submissive void" of the public.

All in all, Riefenstahl produced arguably for the rest of the world the most compelling historical footage of mass hysteria, blind obedience, nationalistic fervour, and existential menace, all key ingredients in anyone's totalitarian nightmare. That it also impressed a lot of very powerful, high profile people in the West on both sides of the pond is also axiomatic: These included bankers, financiers, industrialists, and sundry business elites without whose support Hitler might've at best ended up a footnote in the historical record after the ill-fated beer-hall putsch. (See here , and here .)

" Triumph " apparently still resonates today. To the surprise of few one imagines, such was the impact of the film -- as casually revealed in the excellent 2018 Alexis Bloom documentary Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes -- it elicited no small amount of admiration from arguably the single most influential propagandist of recent times.

[Readers might wish to check out Russell Crowe's recent portrayal of Ailes in Stan's mini-series The Loudest Voice , in my view one the best performances of the man's career.]

In a recent piece unambiguously titled "Propaganda Is The Root Of All Our Problems", my other compatriot Caitlin Johnstone also had a few things to say about the subject, echoing Orwell when she observed it was all about "controlling the narrative".

Though I'd suggest the greater "root" problem is our easy propensity to ignore this reality, pretend it doesn't or won't affect us, or reject it as conspiratorial nonsense, in this, of course, she's correct. As she cogently observes,

I write about this stuff for a living, and even I don't have the time or energy to write about every single narrative control tool that the US-centralised empire has been implementing into its arsenal. There are too damn many of them emerging too damn fast, because they're just that damn crucial for maintaining existing power structures.'

The Discreet Use of Censorship and Uniformed Men

It is hardly surprising that those who hold power should seek to control the words and language people use' said Canadian author John Ralston Saul in his 1993 book Voltaire's Bastards–the Dictatorship of Reason in the West .

Fittingly, in a discussion encompassing amongst other things history, language, power, and dissent, he opined, ' Determining how individuals communicate is' an objective which represents for the power elites 'the best chance' [they] have to control what people think. This translates as: The more control 'we' have over what the proles think, the more 'we' can reduce the inherent risk for elites in democracy.

' Clumsy men', Saul went on to say, 'try to do this through power and fear. Heavy-handed men running heavy-handed systems attempt the same thing through police-enforced censorship. The more sophisticated the elites, the more they concentrate on creating intellectual systems which control expression through the communications structures. These systems require only the discreet use of censorship and uniformed men.'

In other words, along with assuming it is their right to take it in the first place, ' those who take power will always try to change the established language ', presumably to better facilitate their hold on it and/or legitimise their claim to it.

For Oliver Boyd-Barrett, democratic theory presupposes a public communications infrastructure that facilitates the free and open exchange of ideas.' Yet for the author of the recently published RussiaGate and Propaganda: Disinformation in the Age of Social Media , 'No such infrastructure exists.'

The mainstream media he says, is 'owned and controlled by a small number of large, multi-media and multi-industrial conglomerates' that lie at the very heart of US oligopoly capitalism and much of whose advertising revenue and content is furnished from other conglomerates:

The inability of mainstream media to sustain an information environment that can encompass histories, perspectives and vocabularies that are free of the shackles of US plutocratic self-regard is also well documented.'

Of course the word "inability" suggests the MSM view themselves as having some responsibility for maintaining such an egalitarian news and information environment. They don't of course, and in truth, probably never really have! A better word would be "unwilling", or even "refusal". The corporate media all but epitomise the " plutocratic self-regard" that is characteristic of "oligopoly capitalism".

Indeed, the MSM collectively functions as advertising, public relations/lobbying entities for Big Corp, in addition to acting as its Praetorian bodyguard , protecting their secrets, crimes, and lies from exposure. Like all other companies they are beholden to their shareholders (profits before truth and people), most of whom it can safely be assumed are no strangers to "self-regard", and could care less about " histories, perspectives and vocabularies" that run counter to their own interests.

It was Aussie social scientist Alex Carey who pioneered the study of nationalism , corporatism , and moreso for our purposes herein, the management (read: manipulation) of public opinion, though all three have important links (a story for another time). For Carey, the following conclusion was inescapable: 'It is arguable that the success of business propaganda in persuading us, for so long, that we are free from propaganda is one of the most significant propaganda achievements of the twentieth century.' This former farmer from Western Australia became one of the world's acknowledged experts on propaganda and the manipulation of the truth.

Prior to embarking on his academic career, Carey was a successful sheep grazier . By all accounts, he was a first-class judge of the animal from which he made his early living, leaving one to ponder if this expertise gave him a unique insight into his main area of research!

In any event, Carey in time sold the farm and travelled to the U.K. to study psychology, apparently a long-time ambition. From the late fifties until his death in 1988, he was a senior lecturer in psychology and industrial relations at the Sydney-based University of New South Wales, with his research being lauded by such luminaries as Noam Chomsky and John Pilger, both of whom have had a thing or three to say over the years about The Big Shill. In fact such was his admiration, Pilger described him as "a second Orwell", which in anyone's lingo is a big call.

Carey unfortunately died in 1988, interestingly the year that his more famous contemporaries Edward Herman and Chomsky's book Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media was published, the authors notably dedicating their book to him.

Though much of his work remained unpublished at the time of his death, a book of Carey's essays – Taking the Risk Out of Democracy: Corporate Propaganda Versus Freedom and Liberty -- was published posthumously in 1997. It remains a seminal work.

In fact, for anyone with an interest in how public opinion is moulded and our perceptions are managed and manipulated, in whose interests they are done so and to what end, it is as essential reading as any of the work of other more famous names. This tome came complete with a foreword by Chomsky, so enamoured was the latter of Carey's work.

For Carey, the three "most significant developments" in the political economy of the twentieth century were: the growth of democracy the growth of corporate power; and the growth of propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.

Carey's main focus was on the following: advertising and publicity devoted to the creation of artificial wants; the public relations and propaganda industry whose principal goal is the diversion to meaningless pursuits and control of the public mind; and the degree to which academia and the professions are under assault from private power determined to narrow the spectrum of thinkable (sic) thought.

For Carey, it is an axiom of conventional wisdom that the use of propaganda as a means of social and ideological control is 'distinctive' of totalitarian regimes. Yet as he stresses: the most minimal exercise of common sense would suggest a different view: that propaganda is likely to play at least as important a part in democratic societies (where the existing distribution of power and privilege is vulnerable to quite limited changes in popular opinion) as in authoritarian societies (where it is not).' In this context, 'conventional wisdom" becomes conventional ignorance; as for "common sense", maybe not so much.

The purpose of this propaganda barrage, as Sharon Bader has noted, has been to convince as many people as possible that it is in their interests to relinquish their own power as workers, consumers, and citizens, and 'forego their democratic right to restrain and regulate business activity. As a result the political agenda is now confined to policies aimed at furthering business interests.'

An extreme example of this view playing itself right under our noses and over decades was the cruel fiction of the " trickle down effect " (TDE) -- aka the 'rising tide that would lift all yachts' -- of Reaganomics . One of several mantras that defined Reagan's overarching political shtick, the TDE was by any measure, decidedly more a torrent than a trickle, and said "torrent" was going up not down. This reality as we now know was not in Reagan's glossy economic brochure to be sure, and it may have been because the Gipper confused his prepositions and verbs.

Yet as the GFC of 2008 amply demonstrated, it culminated in a free-for all, dog eat dog, anything goes, everyman for himself form of cannibal (or anarcho) capitalism -- an updated, much improved version of the no-holds-barred mercenary mercantilism much reminiscent of the Gilded Age and the Robber Barons who 'infested' it, only one that doesn't just eat its young, it eats itself!

Making the World Safe for Plutocracy

In the increasingly dysfunctional, one-sided political economy we inhabit then, whether it's widgets or wars or anything in between, few people realise the degree to which our opinions, perceptions, emotions, and views are shaped and manipulated by propaganda (and its similarly 'evil twin' censorship ,) its most adept practitioners, and those elite, institutional, political, and corporate entities that seek out their expertise.

It is now just over a hundred years since the practice of propaganda took a giant leap forward, then in the service of persuading palpably reluctant Americans that the war raging in Europe at the time was their war as well.

This was at a time when Americans had just voted their then-president Woodrow Wilson back into office for a second term, a victory largely achieved on the back of the promise he'd "keep us out of the War." Americans were very much in what was one of their most isolationist phases , and so Wilson's promise resonated with them.

But over time they were convinced of the need to become involved by a distinctly different appeal to their political sensibilities. This "appeal" also dampened the isolationist mood, one which it has to be said was not embraced by most of the political, banking, and business elites of the time, most of whom stood to lose big-time if the Germans won, and/or who were already profiting or benefitting from the business of war.

For a president who "kept us out of the war", this wasn't going to be an easy 'pitch'. In order to sell the war the president established the Committee on Public Information (aka the Creel Committee) for the purposes of publicising the rationale for the war and from there, garnering support for it from the general public.

Enter Edward Bernays , the nephew of Sigmund Freud, who's generally considered to be the father of modern public relations. In his film Rule from the Shadows: The Psychology of Power , Aaron Hawkins says Bernays was influenced by people such as Gustave le Bon , Walter Lippman , and Wilfred Trotter , as much, if not moreso, than his famous uncle.

Either way, Bernays 'combined their perspectives and synthesised them into an applied science', which he then 'branded' "public relations".

For its part the Creel committee struggled with its brief from the off; but Bernays worked with them to persuade Americans their involvement in the war was justified -- indeed necessary -- and to that end he devised the brilliantly inane slogan, "making the world safe for democracy" .

Thus was born arguably the first great propaganda catch-phrases of the modern era, and certainly one of the most portentous. The following sums up Bernays's unabashed mindset:

The conscious, intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.'

The rest is history (sort of), with Americans becoming more willing to not just support the war effort but encouraged to view the Germans and their allies as evil brutes threatening democracy and freedom and the 'American way of life', however that might've been viewed then. From a geopolitical and historical perspective, it was an asinine premise of course, but nonetheless an extraordinary example of how a few well chosen words tapped into the collective psyche of a country that was decidedly opposed to any U.S involvement in the war and turned that mindset completely on its head.

' [S]aving the world for democracy' (or some 'cover version' thereof) has since become America's positioning statement, 'patriotic' rallying cry, and the "Get-out-of-Jail Free" card for its war and its white collar criminal clique.

At all events it was by any measure, a stroke of genius on Bernays's part; by appealing to people's basic fears and desires, he could engineer consent on a mass scale. It goes without saying it changed the course of history in more ways than one. That the U.S. is to this day still using a not dissimilar meme to justify its "foreign entanglements" is testament to both its utility and durability.

The reality as we now know was markedly different of course. They have almost always been about power, empire, control, hegemony, resources, wealth, opportunity, profit, dispossession, keeping existing capitalist structures intact and well-defended, and crushing dissent and opposition.

The Bewildered Herd

It is instructive to note that the template for 'manufacturing consent' for war had already been forged by the British. And the Europeans did not 'sleepwalk' like some " bewildered herd ' into this conflagration.

For twenty years prior to the outbreak of the war in 1914, the then stewards of the British Empire had been diligently preparing the ground for what they viewed as a preordained clash with their rivals for empire the Germans.

To begin with, contrary to the opinion of the general populace over one hundred years later, it was not the much touted German aggression and militarism, nor their undoubted imperial ambitions, which precipitated its outbreak. The stewards of the British Empire were not about to let the Teutonic upstarts chow down on their imperial lunch as it were, and set about unilaterally and preemptively crushing Germany and with it any ambitions it had for creating its own imperial domain in competition with the Empire upon which Ol' Sol never set.

The "Great War" is worth noting here for other reasons. As documented so by Jim Macgregor and Gerry Docherty in their two books covering the period from 1890-1920, we learn much about propaganda, which attest to its extraordinary power, in particular its power to distort reality en masse in enduring and subversive ways.

In reality, the only thing "great" about World War One was the degree to which the masses fighting for Britain were conned via propaganda and censorship into believing this war was necessary, and the way the official narrative of the war was sustained for posterity via the very same means. "Great" maybe, but not in a good way!

In these seminal tomes -- World War One Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War and its follow-up Prolonging the Agony: How the Anglo-American Establishment Deliberately Extended WWI by Three-And-A-Half Years -- Macgregor and Docherty provide a masterclass for us all of the power of propaganda in the service of firstly inciting, then deliberately sustaining a major war.

The horrendous carnage and destruction that resulted from it was of course unprecedented, the global effects of which linger on now well over one hundred years later.

Such was the enduring power of the propaganda that today most folks would have great difficulty in accepting the following; this is a short summary of historical realities revealed by Macgregor and Docherty that are at complete odds with the official narrative, the political discourse, and the school textbooks:

It was Great Britain (supported by France and Russia) and not Germany who was the principal aggressor in the events and actions that let to the outbreak of war; The British had for twenty years prior to 1914 viewed Germany as its most dangerous economic and imperial rival, and fully anticipated that a war was inevitable; In the U.K. and the U.S., various factions worked feverishly to ensure the war went on for as long as possible, and scuttled peacemaking efforts from the off; key truths about this most consequential of geopolitical conflicts have been concealed for well over one hundred years, with no sign the official record will change; very powerful forces (incl. a future US president) amongst U.S. political, media, and economic elites conspired to eventually convince an otherwise unwilling populace in America that U.S. entry onto the war was necessary; those same forces and many similar groups in the U.K. and Europe engaged in everything from war profiteering, destruction/forging of war records, false-flag ops, treason, conspiracy to wage aggressive war, and direct efforts to prolong the war by any means necessary, many of which will rock folks to their very core.

But peace was not on the agenda. When, by 1916, the military failures were so embarrassing and costly, some key players in the British government were willing to talk about peace. This could not be tolerated. The potential peacemakers had to be thrown under the bus. The unelected European leaders had one common bond: They would fight Germany until she was crushed.

Prolonging the Agony details how this secret cabal organised to this end the change of government without a single vote being cast. David Lloyd George was promoted to prime minister in Britain and Georges Clemenceau made prime minister in France. A new government, an inner-elite war cabinet thrust the Secret Elite leader, Lord Alfred Milner into power at the very inner-core of the decision-makers in British politics.

Democracy? They had no truck with democracy. The voting public had no say. The men entrusted with the task would keep going till the end and their place-men were backed by the media and the money-power, in Britain, France and America.

Propaganda Always Wins

But just as the pioneering adherents of propaganda back in the day might never have dreamt how sophisticated and all-encompassing the practice would become, nor would the citizenry at large have anticipated the extent to which the industry has facilitated an entrenched, rapacious plutocracy at the expense of our economic opportunity, our financial and material security, our physical, social and cultural environment, our values and attitudes, and increasingly, our basic democratic rights and freedoms.

We now live in the Age of the Big Shill -- cocooned in a submissive void no less -- an era where nothing can be taken on face value yet where time and attention constraints (to name just a few) force us to do so; [where] few people in public life can be taken at their word; where unchallenged perceptions become accepted reality; where 'open-book' history is now incontrovertible not-negotiable, upon pain of imprisonment fact; where education is about uniformity, function, form and conformity, all in the service of imposed neo-liberal ideologies embracing then prioritising individual -- albeit dubious -- freedoms.

More broadly, it's the "Roger Ailes" of this world -- acting on behalf of the power elites who after all are their paymasters -- who create the intellectual systems which control expression through the communications structures, whilst ensuring these systems require only 'the discreet use of censorship and uniformed men.'

They are the shapers and moulders of the discourse that passes for the accepted lingua franca of the increasingly globalised, interconnected, corporatised political economy of the planet. Throughout this process they 'will always try to change the established language.'

And we can no longer rely on our elected representatives to honestly represent us and our interests. Whether this decision making is taking place inside or outside the legislative process, these processes are well and truly in the grip of the banks and financial institutions and transnational organisations. In whose interests are they going to be more concerned with?

We saw this all just after the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) when the very people who brought the system to the brink, made billions off the dodge for their banks and millions for themselves, bankrupted hundreds of thousands of American families, were called upon by the U.S. government to fix up the mess, and to all intents given a blank cheque to so do.

That the U.S. is at even greater risk now of economic implosion is something few serious pundits would dispute, and a testament to the effectiveness of the snow-job perpetrated upon Americans regarding the causes, the impact, and the implications of the 2008 meltdown going forward.

In most cases, one accepts almost by definition such disconnects (read: hidden agendas) are the rule rather than the exception, hence the multi-billion foundation -- and global reach and impact -- of the propaganda business. This in itself is a key indicator as to why organisations place so much importance on this aspect of managing their affairs.

At the very least, once corporations saw how the psychology of persuasion could be leveraged to manipulate consumers and politicians saw the same with the citizenry and even its own workers, the growth of the industry was assured.

As Riefenstahl noted during her chinwag with Pilger after he asked if those embracing the "submissive void" included the liberal, educated bourgeoisie? " Everyone ," she said.

By way of underscoring her point, she added enigmatically: 'Propaganda always wins if you allow it'.

Greg Maybury is a freelance writer based in Perth, Australia. His main areas of interest are American history and politics in general, with a special focus on economic, national security, military, and geopolitical affairs. For 5 years he has regularly contributed to a diverse range of news and opinion sites, including OpEd News, The Greanville Post, Consortium News, Dandelion Salad, Global Research, Dissident Voice, OffGuardian, Contra Corner, International Policy Digest, the Hampton Institute, and others.


nottheonly1

This brilliant essay is proof of the reflective nature of the Universe. The worse the propaganda and oppression becomes, the greater the likelihood such an essay will be written.

Such is the sophistication and ubiquity of the narrative control techniques used today -- afforded increasingly by 'computational propaganda' via automated scripts, hacking, botnets, troll farms, and algorithms and the like, along with the barely veiled censorship and information gatekeeping practised by Google and Facebook and other tech behemoths -- it's become one of the most troubling aspects of the technological/social media revolution.

Very rarely can one experience such a degree of vindication. My moniker 'nottheonly1' has received more meaning with this precise depiction of the long history of the manipulation of the masses. Recent events have destroyed but all of my confidence that there might be a peaceful way out of this massive dilemma. Due to this sophistication in controlling the narrative, it has now become apparent that we have arrived at a moment in time where total lawlessness reigns. 'Lawlessness' in this case means the loss of common law and the use of code law to create ever new restrictions for free speech and liberty at large.

Over the last weeks, comments written on other discussion boards have unleashed a degree of character defamation and ridicule for the most obvious crimes perpetrated on the masses through propaganda. In this unholy union of constant propaganda via main stream 'media' with the character defamation by so called 'trolls' – which are actually virtual assassins of those who write the truth – the ability of the population, or parts thereof to connect with, or search for like minded people is utterly destroyed. This assault on the online community has devastating consequences. Those who have come into the cross hairs of the unintelligence agencies will but turn away from the internet. Leaving behind an ocean of online propaganda and fake information. Few are now the web sites on which it is possible to voice one's personal take on the status quo.

There is one word that describes these kind of activities precisely: traitor. Those who engage in the character defamation of commenters, or authors per se, are traitors to humanity. They betray the collective consciousness with their poisonous attacks of those who work for a sea change of the status quo. The owner class has all game pieces positioned. The fact that Julian Assange is not only a free man, but still without a Nobel price for peace, while war criminals are recipients, shows just how much the march into absolute totalitarianism has progressed. Bernays hated the masses and offered his 'services' to manipulate them often for free.

Even though there are more solutions than problems, the time has come where meaningful participation in the search for such solution has been made unbearable. It is therefore that a certain fatalism has developed – from resignation to the acceptance of the status quo as being inevitable. Ancient wisdom has created a proverb that states 'This too, will pass'. While that is a given, there are still enough Human Beings around that are determined to make a difference. To this group I count the author of this marvelous, albeit depressing essay. Thank you more that words can express. And thank you, OffGuardian for being one of the last remaining places where discourse is possible.

GMW
Really great post! Thanks. I'm part of the way through reading Alex Carey's book: "Taking the Risk Out of Democracy: Corporate Propaganda Versus Freedom and Liberty," referenced in this article. I've learned more about the obviously verifiable history of U.S. corporate propaganda in the first four chapters than I learned gaining a "minor" in history in 1974 (not surprisingly I can now clearly see). I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in just how pervasive, entrenched and long-standing are the propaganda systems shaping public perception, thought and behavior in America and the West.
Norcal
Wow Greg Maybury great essay, congratulations. This quote is brilliant, I've never see it before, "For Carey, the following conclusion was inescapable: 'It is arguable that the success of business propaganda in persuading us, for so long, that we are free from propaganda is one of the most significant propaganda achievements of the twentieth century.' "

Too, Rodger Ailes was the man credited with educating Nixon up as how to "use" the TV media, and Ailes never looked back as he manipulated media at will. Thank you!

nondimenticare
That is also one of the basic theses of Harold Pinter's Nobel Prize speech.
vexarb
I read in 'Guns, Germs and Steel' about Homo Sapiens and his domesticated animals. Apparently we got on best in places where we could find animals that are very like us: sheep, cattle, horses and other herd animals which instinctively follow their Leader. I think our cousins the chimpanzee are much the same; both species must have inherited this common trait from some pre-chimpanzee ancestor who had found great survival value in passing on the sheeple trait to their progeny. As have the sheep themselves.

By the way, has anybody observed sheeple behaviour in ants and bees? For instance, quietly following a Leader ant to their doom, or noisily ganging up to mob a worker bee that the Queen does not like?

Andy
Almost unbelievable that this was commisioned by the BBC 4 part series covering much of what is in Gregs essay. Some fabulous old footage too. https://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-century-of-the-self/
S.R.Passerby
I'd say the elites are both for and against. Competing factions. It's clear that many are interested in overturning democracy, whilst others want to exploit it.

The average grunt on the street is in the fire, regardless of the pan chosen by the elites.

[Jun 20, 2019] Trump Says DOJ Investigating Whether Obama Tapped His Phone

Jun 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Why won't Obama live in Chicago?

JD Rock , 2 hours ago link

too much diversity...

[Jun 02, 2019] Somer highlights of Snowden spreach at Dalhousie University

Highly recommended!
An interesting method of monitoring access to the particular WEB site or page by intercepting pages at the router and inserting reference to the "snooping" site for example one pixel image) which collects IPs of devices which accessed particular page. Does not require breaking into the particular Web site 00 just the control of provider router is is enough. That makes it more understandable the attack on Huawei.
Notable quotes:
"... Said Mr. Snowden was at risk for extra ordinary rendition.. qualified him for application under refuge law. Said to claim refugee status Art. 33 of the refugee humanitarian grounds application is Intl Refuge Law, that those in control of governments are working to eliminate this long standing intl understanding. ..."
"... said we are experiencing the greatest and fastest and most pervasive redistribution of power since the Industrial revolution.Highly concerned that very few are going to benefit. ..."
"... Talked about Conspiracy , a group called 5 eyes (USA, Canada, Australia, NZ, and UK) and prism.. explained how it worked. basically a collaboration between big corporations and government ..."
"... Explained how these corporations and government (mostly government) could intercept web page request between user at home or in office and the target server, and replace generate a blank page that has surveillance hidden in the page, then blend hidden with the legitimate page delivered by the innocent server to the unknowing user. said it goes beyond collaboration and moves to proactive surveillance. ..."
"... Said law is needed to criminalize companies and governments that make useful network devices that people buy, into evil spyware. mentioned the NSO group can remember why?. .. classified "trade in hidden exploits". as evil relayed story about how such devices were used in Mexico to defeat political opposition ..."
Jun 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

snake , Jun 2, 2019 3:41:49 PM | 8

https://www.rt.com/news/460854-snowden-surveillance-social-control/ <=Snowden at Dalhousie University..
Robert Thibault, Att, HK Canada, (I think) Snowden's lawyer explained the law protecting whistle blowers.

Describes the incredible pressure governments are applying on anyone who steps forward to help a whistle blower.

Said Mr. Snowden was at risk for extra ordinary rendition.. qualified him for application under refuge law. Said to claim refugee status Art. 33 of the refugee humanitarian grounds application is Intl Refuge Law, that those in control of governments are working to eliminate this long standing intl understanding.

Explained the constitution of Equador was the most complex constitution on planet its due process rights solid due process safeguard, has a very high threshold but. Morales decision was arbitrary to strip Mr. Assange of his asylum. Said HK angry at Germany over two whistle blowers

Snowden then speaks .. excellent talk..

1st point.. progress in science has been unprecedented, especially nuclear science, but the nation states are using that new knowledge to make nuclear weapons.. called the progress an "Atomic Moment" in Science evolution. .

said we are experiencing the greatest and fastest and most pervasive redistribution of power since the Industrial revolution.Highly concerned that very few are going to benefit.

2nd point Platforms and Algorithms are being used by those in power to "shift our behaviors" accomplished covertly by user contracts people are required to sign when joining something on line (<=he said no one reads these things, but they are dangerous

Talked about Conspiracy , a group called 5 eyes (USA, Canada, Australia, NZ, and UK) and prism.. explained how it worked. basically a collaboration between big corporations and government

Explained how these corporations and government (mostly government) could intercept web page request between user at home or in office and the target server, and replace generate a blank page that has surveillance hidden in the page, then blend hidden with the legitimate page delivered by the innocent server to the unknowing user. said it goes beyond collaboration and moves to proactive surveillance.

said the legal means to spy on the populations existed long before 9/11, but it could not find daylight to be adopted until 9/11. Basically the government and massive in size corporations have all of the data on every single person on the earth because they gather it everywhere all of the time. discussed warrant_less wire tap, explained why whistle blower fair trial in he USA not likely, Said everything single call or electronic communication made by citizens is captured suggested monitoring calls was a felony many corporations committed before the FISA Act was enacted to protect the listener.

Mentioned Signal by Open Whisper <= for encryption??

Said law is needed to criminalize companies and governments that make useful network devices that people buy, into evil spyware. mentioned the NSO group can remember why?. .. classified "trade in hidden exploits". as evil relayed story about how such devices were used in Mexico to defeat political opposition.

But the big thing I got out of it, was how website contract agreements are not innocent. Such agreements prey on human desire to [interact, connect, share and cooperate] these desires have been modelled into a platform that allows government or private commercial enterprises to manipulate, exploit and prey-on any human "interacting with a such websites.

Questions and answers.

[May 29, 2019] Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied

May 29, 2019 | news.sky.com

GCHQ has dismissed fresh allegations that it spied on Donald Trump's presidential campaign - describing the claims as "utterly ridiculous".

Larry Johnson, a former CIA analyst, has accused the British intelligence agency of helping Barack Obama by spying on the billionaire businessman during the 2016 race.

The US president tweeted about the rumours on Wednesday after they were highlighted in a report on the right-wing One America News Network.

Mr Trump wrote: "'Former CIA analyst Larry Johnson accuses United Kingdom Intelligence of helping Obama Administration Spy on the 2016 Trump Presidential Campaign.' @OANN WOW!

"It is now just a question of time before the truth comes out, and when it does, it will be a beauty!"

[May 11, 2019] Christopher Steele, FBI s Confidential Human Source by Publius Tacitus

Highly recommended!
A foreign intelligence asset was used to justify surveillance of Trump[ and some of his associates
Notable quotes:
"... What is clear from the new records is that Christopher Steele, a foreign intelligence officer, had frequent and extensive contacts with the FBI. Who was his FBI Case Agent? ..."
"... The main thing I want to know is WHEN was the decision made to tar Trump with Russia - both at the FBI (and likely CIA) and at the DNC (over the leak) - and WHO was the deciding entity - Comey, Brennan, Clinton, Obama or someone else? And perhaps who came up with the idea in the first place (at the DNC, it was very likely Alexandra Chalupa, the Ukrainian-American DNC "consultant"). ..."
"... The bad thing is that our MSM is so reverent of our Intel agencies that I see them encouraged to increasingly put their hand on the scale. ..."
"... Recently, I saw arm flailing by a Congressman, Dan Coats, and Mueller about how the Russians are still at it. They are trying to disrupt or influence the 2018. Really, then I demand to get a list of the pro-Kremlin candidates. How long before the mere threat of being outed as a Kremlin agent is used to punish elected officials if they are not sufficiently hawkish or don't support certain programs. Unchallenged claims by Intel agencies gives them a lot of political power. ..."
"... I am skeptical. Russia has a lot of fish to fry, why would they expend resources on midterm elections. Now everyone in the U.S. hates them, both traditional hawk Republicans and born again uber-hawk Democrats. There is a tiger behind both doors. ..."
"... if Steele had been a CHS since at least February of 2016, what was the purpose of passing the Dossier to the FBI through Fusion GPS? Why not just going to his FBI handler? Was Steele collaboration with Fusion even in compliance with FBI regulations? Did the FBI know? ..."
"... Because part of the plan was to leak the information in order to damage Trump. FBI could not do that. Would have exposed them to some real legal jeopardy. This was a dual track strategy. Diabolical almost. ..."
"... Don't forget the Nellie Ohr (Fusion GPS) -> Bruce Ohr (DOJ) back channel. The husband & wife tag team. Yes, the same Nellie that was investigating using ham radio to communicate to avoid NSA mass surveillance. ..."
"... From the very beginning that information about all this was slowly leaking from the Congressional investigation, this whole thing smelled very fishy. Then add intense effort at DOJ & FBI to obstruct and obfuscate. And the unhinged tweets and interviews by Brennan, Clapper & Comey. ..."
"... He was working with FBI and GPS at the same time. GPS was in the dark supposedly about his work with the FBI and Steele got their approval to hand over what he had delivered to GPS to the FBI as a cover for his work with the FBI. ..."
"... its also likely FBI had some input into the content of what was delivered to GPS, and more importantly what was not delivered. ..."
"... Re the 'standing agreement to not recruit each other's intelligence personnel for clandestine activities.' As Steele was not by this time a current employee of MI6, was the FBI in technical violation of this? ..."
"... A central question in regard to Steele, as with quite a number of former intelligence/law enforcement/military people who have started at least ostensibly private sector operations, is how far these are being used as 'cover' for activities conducted on behalf of either the state agencies for which they used to work, or other state agencies. ..."
"... It is at least possible that one advantage of such arrangements may be that they make it possible to evade the letter of agreements between intelligence agencies in different countries ..."
"... If, as seems likely, both current and former top FBI and DOJ people – very likely Mueller as well as Comey, Strzok and many others – were intimately involved in the conspiracy to subvert the constitution, then a means of making it possible for Steele to combine feeding information to the FBI while also engaging in 'StratCom' via the MSM could have been necessary. ..."
"... An obvious means of 'squaring the circle' would have been to issue a formal 'termination' to Steele, while creating 'back channels' to those who were officially supposed not to be talking to him ..."
"... A report yesterday by John Solomon in 'The Hill' quotes from messages exchanged between Steele and Bruce Ohr after the supposed termination ..."
"... 'In all, Ohr's notes, emails and texts identify more than 60 contacts with Steele and/or Simpson, some dating to 2002 in London. But the vast majority occurred during the 2016-2017 timeframe that gave birth to one of the most controversial counterintelligence probes in American history.' ..."
"... I have just finished taking a fresh look at Sir Robert Owen's travesty of a report into the death of Litvinenko. In large measure, this develops claims originally made in Christopher Steele's first attempt to provide a convincing account of why figures close to Putin might have thought it made sense to assassinate that figure, and to do so with polonium. The sheer volume of fabrication which has been deployed in an attempt to defend the patently indefensible almost beggars belief. ..."
"... Just as a question arises as to whether Steele is essentially acting on behalf of MI6, a question also arises as to whether the FBI leadership were knowledgeable about, and possibly involved with, the various shenanigans in which Shvets and Levinson were involved. Given that claims about Mogilevich have turned out to be central to 'Russiagate', that seems a rather important issue, and I am curious as to whether Ohr's communications with Steele may cast any light on it. ..."
"... Apparently the FBI got Deripaksa to fund the rescue of Levinson from Iran. Furthermore apparently FBI personnel maybe including McCabe visited with Deripaksa and showed him the Steele dossier. He supposedly had a nice guffaw and dismissed it as nonsense. So on the one hand while they make Russia out to be the most evil they play footsie with Russian oligarchs. ..."
"... Thinking about "Christopher Steele was terminated as a Confidential Human Source for cause.", something that doesn't seem to have gotten as much attention is that Peter Strzok failed his poly: ..."
"... Steele's relationship with the FBI extends far further back than February 2016. Shortly after he left MI6, he contracted with the Football Association to investigate possible FIFA corruption. Once he realized the massiveness of this corruption he contacted his old friends at the FBI Eurasian Crimes Task Force in 2011. Thus began his association with the FBI as a CHS. That investigation culminated in the 2015 FIFA corruption indictments and convictions. ..."
"... One thing I don't understand...we have the anti-Trumpers saying that Donald Junior meeting with a Russian national to get 'dirt' on Hillary is illegal...due to some law about candidates collaborating with foreigners or something like that...[obviously I'm foggy on the technical details]... Yet we know that the Hillary campaign worked with a foreign national, Steele, to get dirt on Trump...how is this not the same...? ..."
"... What role did Stefan Halper and Mifsud play as Confidential Human Sources in all this? ..."
"... Why was British Intelligence allegedly collecting and passing along info about Donald Trump in the first place? Or could this have been a pretext created to give cover and/or support to the agenda here in the US to insure his defeat? Could a foreign intelligence source such as this trigger/facilitate/justify the US counterintelligence investigation of Trump, or give cover to a covert investigation that may have already begun? ..."
"... British intelligence was collecting / passing on info about Trump because of his campaign stance on NATO (he said it was obsolete), his desire to end regime change wars (he castigated the fiasco in Iraq, took Bush to task over it etc.), and his often stated desire to get along with Russia (and China). Trump also talked of ending certain economic policies (NAFTA, TPP, etc.) and reenacting others (Glass-Steagall, the American System of Economics i.e. Hamilton, Carey, Clay), If Trump had acted on those, which he has not so far, he would changed the entire world system, a system in place since the end of WW II, or earlier. That was a risk too big to take without some kind of insurance policy - I believe Christopher Steele was that insurance policy. ..."
"... British Intelligence is verifiably the foreign source with the most extensive and effective meddling in the 2016 election. Perfidious Albion. ..."
"... Or, GSHQ was hovering up signint on Trump campaign early-on (using domestics US resources and databases via their 5-Eyes "sharing agreement" with NSA) cuz Brennan asked them to do it? ..."
"... Trump announced his run for President in 2015. I'm pretty sure that every intel service on the planet was watching him, they would be derelict not to. GCHQ may have been collecting intel on all the candidates, ..."
"... Trump announced his run for President in 2015. I'm pretty sure that every intel service on the planet was watching him, they would be derelict not to. GCHQ may have been collecting intel on all the candidates, ..."
"... I've heard that the Echelon system is used by the Five Eyes IC to do something similar. The Brits spy on US, and give the NSA the data so the NSA can evade US laws prohibiting spying on us, and we return the favor to help them evade what (few) laws they have that prohibits spying on their people. ..."
"... still wonder why the US would need to rely so much on British intelligence sources ..."
"... I've read that Steele's cover was blown 20 years ago and he hasn't even been to Russia since, so I wonder why he was considered such a reliable source by both the US and UK? In my opinion as an absolute naif about such things, Steele seems like he may be a has-been when it comes to Russia. ..."
"... Here is a simple explanation from someone who knows almost nothing about how any of the people in power work: Most of them are not as clever and smart as they think they are. And most of the regular people who are just citizens are smarter than these people think they are. ..."
"... It's simply that their arrogant assessment of their own superiority caused them to do really stupid things ..."
Aug 08, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The revelations from US Government records about the FBI/Intel Community plot to take out Donald Trump continue to flow thanks to the dogged efforts of Judicial Watch. The latest nugget came last Friday with the release of FBI records detailing their recruitment and management of Britain's ostensibly retired Intelligence Officer, Christopher Steele. He was an officially recruited FBI source and received at least 11 payments during the 9 month period that he was signed up as a Confidential Human Source.

You may find it strange that we can glean so much information from a document dump that is almost entirely redacted . The key is to look at the report forms; there are three types--FD-1023 (Source Reports), FD-209a (Contact Reports) and FD-794b (Payment Requests). There are 15 different 1023s, 13 209a reports and 11 794b payment requests covering the period from 2 February 2016 thru 1 November 2016. That is a total of nine months.

These reports totally destroy the existing meme that Steele only came into contact with the FBI sometime in July 2016. It is important for you to understand that a 1023 Source Report is filled out each time that the FBI source handler has contact with the source. This can be an in person meeting or a phone call. Each report lists the name of the Case Agent; the date, time and location of the meeting; any other people attending the meeting; and a summary of what was discussed.

What is clear from the new records is that Christopher Steele, a foreign intelligence officer, had frequent and extensive contacts with the FBI. Who was his FBI Case Agent?


richardstevenhack , a day ago

Indeed we do need more information.

The main thing I want to know is WHEN was the decision made to tar Trump with Russia - both at the FBI (and likely CIA) and at the DNC (over the leak) - and WHO was the deciding entity - Comey, Brennan, Clinton, Obama or someone else? And perhaps who came up with the idea in the first place (at the DNC, it was very likely Alexandra Chalupa, the Ukrainian-American DNC "consultant").

We can be pretty sure this predates any alleged Russian "hacking" (unless it occurred as a result of alleged Russian hacking of the DNC in 2015).

This needs to be pinned down if anyone is to be successfully prosecuted for creating this treasonous hoax.

chris chuba , 5 hours ago
A very closely related topic, Victor Davis Hanson is onto something but it is darker than he suggests, https://www.nationalreview.... Paraphrasing, he gives the typical, rally around the flag we must stop the Russians intro but then documents how govt flaks abused their power to influence our elections and then makes the point, 'this is why the public is skeptical of their claims'.

The bad thing is that our MSM is so reverent of our Intel agencies that I see them encouraged to increasingly put their hand on the scale.

Recently, I saw arm flailing by a Congressman, Dan Coats, and Mueller about how the Russians are still at it. They are trying to disrupt or influence the 2018. Really, then I demand to get a list of the pro-Kremlin candidates. How long before the mere threat of being outed as a Kremlin agent is used to punish elected officials if they are not sufficiently hawkish or don't support certain programs. Unchallenged claims by Intel agencies gives them a lot of political power.

I am skeptical. Russia has a lot of fish to fry, why would they expend resources on midterm elections. Now everyone in the U.S. hates them, both traditional hawk Republicans and born again uber-hawk Democrats. There is a tiger behind both doors.

Leonardo Facchin , 20 hours ago
Thanks for the explanation.

What I can't figure out is: if Steele had been a CHS since at least February of 2016, what was the purpose of passing the Dossier to the FBI through Fusion GPS? Why not just going to his FBI handler? Was Steele collaboration with Fusion even in compliance with FBI regulations? Did the FBI know?

Publius Tacitus -> Leonardo Facchin , 17 hours ago
Because part of the plan was to leak the information in order to damage Trump. FBI could not do that. Would have exposed them to some real legal jeopardy. This was a dual track strategy. Diabolical almost.
blue peacock -> Leonardo Facchin , 13 hours ago
Don't forget the Nellie Ohr (Fusion GPS) -> Bruce Ohr (DOJ) back channel. The husband & wife tag team. Yes, the same Nellie that was investigating using ham radio to communicate to avoid NSA mass surveillance.

From the very beginning that information about all this was slowly leaking from the Congressional investigation, this whole thing smelled very fishy. Then add intense effort at DOJ & FBI to obstruct and obfuscate. And the unhinged tweets and interviews by Brennan, Clapper & Comey. And of course the media narrative that Rep. Nunes, Goodlatte and others were endangering "national security" by casting aspersions on the "patriotic" law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

Paul M -> Leonardo Facchin , 16 hours ago
He was working with FBI and GPS at the same time. GPS was in the dark supposedly about his work with the FBI and Steele got their approval to hand over what he had delivered to GPS to the FBI as a cover for his work with the FBI.

Of course, he had most likely already done so and its also likely FBI had some input into the content of what was delivered to GPS, and more importantly what was not delivered.

David Habakkuk , 4 hours ago
PT,

Fascinating.

Re the 'standing agreement to not recruit each other's intelligence personnel for clandestine activities.' As Steele was not by this time a current employee of MI6, was the FBI in technical violation of this?

The point is not merely a quibble. A central question in regard to Steele, as with quite a number of former intelligence/law enforcement/military people who have started at least ostensibly private sector operations, is how far these are being used as 'cover' for activities conducted on behalf of either the state agencies for which they used to work, or other state agencies.

It is at least possible that one advantage of such arrangements may be that they make it possible to evade the letter of agreements between intelligence agencies in different countries.

Another related matter has to do with the termination of Steele as a 'Confidential Human Source.'

It has long seemed to me that it was more than possible that this was not to be taken at face value. If, as seems likely, both current and former top FBI and DOJ people – very likely Mueller as well as Comey, Strzok and many others – were intimately involved in the conspiracy to subvert the constitution, then a means of making it possible for Steele to combine feeding information to the FBI while also engaging in 'StratCom' via the MSM could have been necessary.

An obvious means of 'squaring the circle' would have been to issue a formal 'termination' to Steele, while creating 'back channels' to those who were officially supposed not to be talking to him.

A report yesterday by John Solomon in 'The Hill' quotes from messages exchanged between Steele and Bruce Ohr after the supposed termination.

(See http://thehill.com/person/d... .)

When on 31 January 2017 – well after the publication of the dossier by BuzzFeed – Ohr provided reassurance that he could continue to help feed information to the FBI, Steele texted back:

"If you end up out though, I really need another (bureau?) contact point/number who is briefed. We can't allow our guy to be forced to go back home. It would be disastrous."

At that point, Solomon tells us that 'Investigators are trying to determine who Steele was referring to.' This seems to me a rather important question. It would seem likely, although not certain, that he is talking about another Brit. If he is, would it have been someone else employed by Orbis? Or someone currently working for British intelligence? What is the precise significance of 'forced to go back home', and why would this have been 'disastrous'?

Another crucial paragraph:

'In all, Ohr's notes, emails and texts identify more than 60 contacts with Steele and/or Simpson, some dating to 2002 in London. But the vast majority occurred during the 2016-2017 timeframe that gave birth to one of the most controversial counterintelligence probes in American history.'

The earlier contacts may be of little interest, but there again they may not be.

As it happens, it was following Berezovsky's arrival in London in October 2001 that the 'information operations' network he created began to move into high gear. It is moreover clear that this was always a transatlantic operation, and also fragments of evidence suggest that the FBI may have had some involvement from early on.

I have just finished taking a fresh look at Sir Robert Owen's travesty of a report into the death of Litvinenko. In large measure, this develops claims originally made in Christopher Steele's first attempt to provide a convincing account of why figures close to Putin might have thought it made sense to assassinate that figure, and to do so with polonium. The sheer volume of fabrication which has been deployed in an attempt to defend the patently indefensible almost beggars belief.

The original attempt came in a radio programme broadcast by the BBC – which was to become known to some of us as the 'Berezovsky Broadcasting Corporation' – on 16 December 2006, presented by Tom Mangold, a familiar 'trusty' for the intelligence services.

(A transcript sent out from the Cabinet Office at the time is available on the archived 'Evidence' page for the Inquiry, at http://webarchive.nationala... , as HMG000513. There is an interesting and rather important question as to whether those who sent it out, and those who received it, knew that it was more or less BS from start to finish.)

The programme was wholly devoted to claims made by the former KGB operative Yuri Shvets, who was presented as an independent 'due diligence' expert, without any mention of the rather major role he had played in the original 'Orange Revolution.'

Back-up was provided by his supposed collaborator in 'due diligence', the former FBI operative Robert 'Bobby' Levinson. No mention was made of the fact that he had been, in the 'Nineties, a, if not the lead FBI investigator into the notorious Ukrainian Jewish mobster Semyon Mogilevich.

The following March Levinson would disappear on the Iranian island of Kish, on what we now know was a covert mission on behalf of elements in the CIA.

Just as a question arises as to whether Steele is essentially acting on behalf of MI6, a question also arises as to whether the FBI leadership were knowledgeable about, and possibly involved with, the various shenanigans in which Shvets and Levinson were involved. Given that claims about Mogilevich have turned out to be central to 'Russiagate', that seems a rather important issue, and I am curious as to whether Ohr's communications with Steele may cast any light on it.

Jack -> David Habakkuk , 2 hours ago
David

Apparently the FBI got Deripaksa to fund the rescue of Levinson from Iran. Furthermore apparently FBI personnel maybe including McCabe visited with Deripaksa and showed him the Steele dossier. He supposedly had a nice guffaw and dismissed it as nonsense. So on the one hand while they make Russia out to be the most evil they play footsie with Russian oligarchs.

Keith Harbaugh , 19 hours ago
Thanks for this informative article.

Thinking about "Christopher Steele was terminated as a Confidential Human Source for cause.", something that doesn't seem to have gotten as much attention is that Peter Strzok failed his poly:

Seems rather surprising to me. Anyone have any comment on this?

TTG , an hour ago
Steele's relationship with the FBI extends far further back than February 2016. Shortly after he left MI6, he contracted with the Football Association to investigate possible FIFA corruption. Once he realized the massiveness of this corruption he contacted his old friends at the FBI Eurasian Crimes Task Force in 2011. Thus began his association with the FBI as a CHS. That investigation culminated in the 2015 FIFA corruption indictments and convictions. His initial contact with old friends at the FBI Eurasian Crime Task Force is awfully similar to his contacting these same friends in 2016 after deciding his initial Trump research was potentially bigger than mere opposition research.
FB , 3 hours ago
One thing I don't understand...we have the anti-Trumpers saying that Donald Junior meeting with a Russian national to get 'dirt' on Hillary is illegal...due to some law about candidates collaborating with foreigners or something like that...[obviously I'm foggy on the technical details]... Yet we know that the Hillary campaign worked with a foreign national, Steele, to get dirt on Trump...how is this not the same...?

Even worse is that the FBI was using this same foreign agent that a presidential candidate had hired to get dirt on an opponent... Even knowing nothing about legalities this just doesn't look very good...

Wally Courie , 4 hours ago
Stupid question? As the Col. has explained, the President can declassify any document he pleases. So, why doesn't Donaldo unredact the redacted portions of these bullcrap docs? What is he afraid of? That the Intel community will get mad and be out to get him? Isn't time for him to show some cojones?
blue peacock , 16 hours ago
What role did Stefan Halper and Mifsud play as Confidential Human Sources in all this?
akaPatience , 19 hours ago
Why was British Intelligence allegedly collecting and passing along info about Donald Trump in the first place? Or could this have been a pretext created to give cover and/or support to the agenda here in the US to insure his defeat? Could a foreign intelligence source such as this trigger/facilitate/justify the US counterintelligence investigation of Trump, or give cover to a covert investigation that may have already begun?
Navstéva يزور 🐐 -> akaPatience , 17 hours ago
British intelligence was collecting / passing on info about Trump because of his campaign stance on NATO (he said it was obsolete), his desire to end regime change wars (he castigated the fiasco in Iraq, took Bush to task over it etc.), and his often stated desire to get along with Russia (and China). Trump also talked of ending certain economic policies (NAFTA, TPP, etc.) and reenacting others (Glass-Steagall, the American System of Economics i.e. Hamilton, Carey, Clay), If Trump had acted on those, which he has not so far, he would changed the entire world system, a system in place since the end of WW II, or earlier. That was a risk too big to take without some kind of insurance policy - I believe Christopher Steele was that insurance policy.
unmitigatedaudacity -> Navstéva يزور 🐐 , 16 hours ago
British Intelligence is verifiably the foreign source with the most extensive and effective meddling in the 2016 election. Perfidious Albion.
Bryn Nykrson -> Navstéva يزور 🐐 , 14 hours ago
Or, GSHQ was hovering up signint on Trump campaign early-on (using domestics US resources and databases via their 5-Eyes "sharing agreement" with NSA) cuz Brennan asked them to do it? And therefore without having to mess about with any formal FISA warrant thingy's ... But, then use what might be found (or plausibly alleged) to try to get a proper FISA warrant later on (July 2016)? 'Parallel Discovery' of sorts; with Fusion GPS also a leaky cut-out: channelling media reports to be used as confirmation of Steele's "raw intelligence" in the formal FISA application(s)?
Biggee Mikeee -> akaPatience , 17 hours ago
Trump announced his run for President in 2015. I'm pretty sure that every intel service on the planet was watching him, they would be derelict not to. GCHQ may have been collecting intel on all the candidates,

" Trump announced his run for President in 2015. I'm pretty sure that every intel service on the planet was watching him, they would be derelict not to. GCHQ may have been collecting intel on all the candidates, "

That's a good question, could it legally enable an end run around the FISC until enough evidence was gathered for a FISC surveillance authorization?.

richardstevenhack -> Biggee Mikeee , 13 hours ago
I've heard that the Echelon system is used by the Five Eyes IC to do something similar. The Brits spy on US, and give the NSA the data so the NSA can evade US laws prohibiting spying on us, and we return the favor to help them evade what (few) laws they have that prohibits spying on their people.

Only a matter of time until someone figured out the same method could be used to "meddle" in national affairs.

akaPatience -> Biggee Mikeee , 15 hours ago
I understand, but still wonder why the US would need to rely so much on British intelligence sources such as Steele about a very high profile American citizen and businessman -- aren't our intelligence services competent enough to have known and discovered as much if not more about Trump than other countries' intelligence services? I've read that Steele's cover was blown 20 years ago and he hasn't even been to Russia since, so I wonder why he was considered such a reliable source by both the US and UK? In my opinion as an absolute naif about such things, Steele seems like he may be a has-been when it comes to Russia.
DianaLC -> akaPatience , 4 hours ago
Here is a simple explanation from someone who knows almost nothing about how any of the people in power work: Most of them are not as clever and smart as they think they are. And most of the regular people who are just citizens are smarter than these people think they are.

It's simply that their arrogant assessment of their own superiority caused them to do really stupid things.

[May 10, 2019] Obama administration raced to obtain FICA warrant on Carter Page before Rogers investigation closes on them and that was definitely an obstruction of justice and interference with the ongoing investigation

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... DOJ National Security Division (NSD) head John Carlin filed the government's proposed 2016 Section 702 certifications on Sept. 26, 2016. Carlin knew the general status of compliance review by Rogers. The NSD was part of the review. Carlin failed to disclose a critical Jan. 7, 2016, report by the Office of the Inspector General and associated FISA abuse to the FISA Court in his 2016 certification. Carlin also failed to disclose Rogers's ongoing Section 702 compliance review. ..."
"... The following day, on Sept. 27, 2016, Carlin announced his resignation, effective Oct. 15, 2016. ..."
"... After receiving a briefing by the NSA compliance officer on Oct. 20, 2016, detailing numerous "about query" violations from the 702 NSA compliance audit, Rogers shut down all "about query" activity the next day and reported his findings to the DOJ. "About queries" are searches based on communications containing a reference "about" a surveillance target but that are not "to" or "from" the target. ..."
"... On Oct. 24, 2016, Rogers verbally informed the FISA Court of his findings. On Oct. 26, 2016, Rogers appeared formally before the FISA Court and presented the written findings of his audit. ..."
"... Carlin didn't disclose his knowledge of FISA abuse in the annual Section 702 certifications in order to avoid raising suspicions at the FISA Court ahead of receiving the Page FISA warrant. ..."
"... The FBI and the NSD were literally racing against Rogers's investigation in order to obtain a FISA warrant on Carter Page. ..."
"... While all this was transpiring, DNI James Clapper and Defense Secretary Ash Carter submitted a recommendation that Rogers be removed from his post as NSA director. ..."
May 03, 2019 | www.theepochtimes.com

Originally from: Spygate The True Story of Collusion [Infographic] by Jeff Carlson ( October 12, 2018 Updated: May 3, 2019 )

FISA Abuse

Admiral Mike Rogers, while director of the NSA, was personally responsible for uncovering an unprecedented level of FISA abuse that would later be documented in a 99-page unsealed FISA court ruling . As the FISA court noted in the April 26, 2017, ruling, the abuses had been occurring since at least November 2015:

"The FBI had disclosed raw FISA information, including but not limited to Section 702-acquired information, to private contractors.

"Private contractors had access to raw FISA information on FBI storage systems.

"Contractors had access to raw FISA information that went well beyond what was necessary to respond to the FBI's requests."

The FISA Court report is particularly focused on the FBI:

"The Court is concerned about the FBI's apparent disregard of minimization rules and whether the FBI may be engaging in similar disclosures of raw Section 702 information that have not been reported."

The FISA Court disclosed that illegal NSA database searches were endemic. Private contractors, employed by the FBI, were given full access to the NSA database. Once in the contractors' possession, the data couldn't be traced.

In April 2016, after Rogers became aware of improper contractor access to raw FISA data on March 9, 2016, he directed the NSA's Office of Compliance to conduct a "fundamental baseline review of compliance associated with 702."

On April 18, 2016, Rogers shut down all outside contractor access to raw FISA information -- specifically outside contractors working for the FBI.

DOJ National Security Division (NSD) head John Carlin filed the government's proposed 2016 Section 702 certifications on Sept. 26, 2016. Carlin knew the general status of compliance review by Rogers. The NSD was part of the review. Carlin failed to disclose a critical Jan. 7, 2016, report by the Office of the Inspector General and associated FISA abuse to the FISA Court in his 2016 certification. Carlin also failed to disclose Rogers's ongoing Section 702 compliance review.

The following day, on Sept. 27, 2016, Carlin announced his resignation, effective Oct. 15, 2016.

After receiving a briefing by the NSA compliance officer on Oct. 20, 2016, detailing numerous "about query" violations from the 702 NSA compliance audit, Rogers shut down all "about query" activity the next day and reported his findings to the DOJ. "About queries" are searches based on communications containing a reference "about" a surveillance target but that are not "to" or "from" the target.

On Oct. 21, 2016, the DOJ and the FBI sought and received a Title I FISA probable-cause order authorizing electronic surveillance on Carter Page from the FISA Court.

At this point, the FISA Court was still unaware of the Section 702 violations.

On Oct. 24, 2016, Rogers verbally informed the FISA Court of his findings. On Oct. 26, 2016, Rogers appeared formally before the FISA Court and presented the written findings of his audit.

The FISA Court had been unaware of the query violations until they were presented to the court by Rogers.

Carlin didn't disclose his knowledge of FISA abuse in the annual Section 702 certifications in order to avoid raising suspicions at the FISA Court ahead of receiving the Page FISA warrant.

The FBI and the NSD were literally racing against Rogers's investigation in order to obtain a FISA warrant on Carter Page.

While all this was transpiring, DNI James Clapper and Defense Secretary Ash Carter submitted a recommendation that Rogers be removed from his post as NSA director.

The move to fire Rogers, which ultimately failed, originated sometime in mid-October 2016 -- exactly when Rogers was preparing to present his findings to the FISA Court.

Jeff Carlson is a regular contributor to The Epoch Times. He also runs the website TheMarketsWork.com and can be followed on Twitter @themarketswork.

[May 08, 2019] Obama Spied on Other Republicans and Democrats As Well by Larry C Johnson

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The CIA, with the knowledge of the Director of National Intelligence, worked with British counterparts starting in the summer of 2015 to collect intelligence on Republican and at least one Democrat candidate. John Brennan was probably hoping that his proactive steps to help the Hillary Clinton campaign would ensure him taking over as DNI in the new Clinton Administration. Regardless of motives, the CIA enlisted the British intelligence community to start gathering intelligence on most major Republican candidates and on Bernie Sanders. This initial phase of intelligence gathering goes beyond opposition research. The information being gathered identified the key personnel in each campaign and identified the people outside the United States receiving their calls, texts and emails. This information was turned into intelligence reports that then were passed back to the United States intel community as "liaison reporting." This was not put into normal classified channels. This intelligence was put into a SAP, i.e. a Special Access Program. ..."
"... One person who needs to be called on the carpet and asked some hard questions is current CIA Director Gina Haspel. She was CIA Chief of Station in London at the time and was a regular attendee at the meeting of the Brit's Joint Intelligence Committee aka the JIC. I suppose it is possible she was cut out of the process, but I believe that is unlikely. ..."
"... I am confident that a survey of NSA and CIA liaison reporting will show that George Papadopoulos was identified as a possible target by the fall of 2015. Initially, his name was "masked." But we now know that many people on the Trump campaign had their names "unmasked." You cannot unmask someone unless their name is in an intelligence report. ..."
"... Sater's communication with Rozov were intercepted by western intelligence agencies -- GCHQ and NSA. I do not know which agency put it into an intel report, but it was put into the system. The Sater FD-1023 will tell us whether or not Sater did this at the direction of the FBI or acted on his own initiative. The key point is that the "bait" to do something with the Russians came from a registered FBI informant. ..."
"... That's good, sooner it's clarified the better, and the stronger the better, ..."
"... Best approach is to slaughter Donald for his bromance with Putin , but not go too far betting on Putin re Syria ..."
"... Hakluyt is described by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism's Henry Williams as " one of the more secretive firms within the corporate investigations world " and as "a retirement home for ex-MI6 [British foreign intelligence] officers, but it now also recruits from the worlds of management consultancy and banking " ..."
"... I do not believe that it is a mere coincidence that Australian diplomat, Alexander Downer, was the one credited by the FBI for launching the investigation into George Papadopolous : It was Downer who told the FBI of Papodopoulos' comments, which became one of the "driving factors that led the FBI to open an investigation in July 2016 into Russia's attempts to disrupt the election and whether any of President Trump's associates conspired," The Times reported. ..."
"... Downer, a long-time Aussie chum of Bill and Hillary Clinton, had been on Hakluyt's advisory board since 2008. Officially, he had to resign his Hakluyt role in 2014, but his informal connections continued uninterrupted, the News Corp. Australian Network reported in a January 2016 exclusive: ..."
"... I'm curious why they went after minor characters in the Trump campaign and not Jared or one of Trump's sons? From what I've read of Hoover, it seems he was constantly building "dossiers" of the powerful and those he considered "subversives" so that he would remain preeminent. Then there was the Church Committee investigation. Is this qualitatively different? Can we ever expect that law enforcement & intelligence with so much secretive power are not the 4th branch of government? ..."
"... Also involved - and I think Judge Ellis was very well aware of this - is a fundamental distinction relating to what law enforcement authorities are trying to achieve. If Mueller was honestly - even of perhaps misguidedly - trying to get witnesses to 'sing', that is hardly a mortal sin. If he was trying to get them to 'compose', then the question becomes whether he should be under indictment for subversion of the Constitution. ..."
"... Why aren't the MSM having a hissy fit about the real, documented election interference by the British Commonwealth/5 Eyes spooks in the 2016 campaign (and before)? The hoax of projecting onto Putin what they themselves have done must be exposed before the country move forward on any front. ..."
"... So, was Skripal one of Steele's so-called Kremlin insiders? I see Pablo Miller is connected to both Porton Down and Steele via the ironically titled II's media pods. And Miller is certainly connected to Skripal. ..."
May 08, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Do not focus on July 2016 as the so-called start of the counter intelligence investigation of Donald Trump. That is a lie. We know, thanks to the work of Judicial Watch, that the FBI had signed up Christopher Steele as a Confidential Human Source (aka CHS) by February of 2016. It is incumbent on Attorney General Barr to examine the contact reports filed by Steele's FBI handler (those reports are known as FD-1023s). He also, as I have noted in a previous post, needs to look at the FD-1023s for Felix Sater and Henry Greenberg. But these will only tell a small part of the story. There is a massive intelligence side to this story.

The CIA, with the knowledge of the Director of National Intelligence, worked with British counterparts starting in the summer of 2015 to collect intelligence on Republican and at least one Democrat candidate. John Brennan was probably hoping that his proactive steps to help the Hillary Clinton campaign would ensure him taking over as DNI in the new Clinton Administration. Regardless of motives, the CIA enlisted the British intelligence community to start gathering intelligence on most major Republican candidates and on Bernie Sanders. This initial phase of intelligence gathering goes beyond opposition research. The information being gathered identified the key personnel in each campaign and identified the people outside the United States receiving their calls, texts and emails. This information was turned into intelligence reports that then were passed back to the United States intel community as "liaison reporting." This was not put into normal classified channels. This intelligence was put into a SAP, i.e. a Special Access Program.

One person who needs to be called on the carpet and asked some hard questions is current CIA Director Gina Haspel. She was CIA Chief of Station in London at the time and was a regular attendee at the meeting of the Brit's Joint Intelligence Committee aka the JIC. I suppose it is possible she was cut out of the process, but I believe that is unlikely.

This initial phase of intelligence collection produced a great volume of intelligence that allowed analysts to identify key personnel and the people they were communicating with overseas. You don't have to have access to intelligence information to understand this. For example, you simply have to ask the question, "how did George Papadopoulos get on the radar." I am confident that a survey of NSA and CIA liaison reporting will show that George Papadopoulos was identified as a possible target by the fall of 2015. Initially, his name was "masked." But we now know that many people on the Trump campaign had their names "unmasked." You cannot unmask someone unless their name is in an intelligence report. We also know that Felix Sater, a longtime business associate of Donald Trump and an FBI informant since December 1998 (he was signed up by Andrew Weismann), initiated the proposal to do a Trump Tower in Moscow. Don't take my word for it, that's what Robert Mueller reported:

In the late summer of 2015, the Trump Organization received a new inquiry about pursuing a Trump Tower project in Moscow. In approximately September 2015, Felix Sater . . . contacted Cohen (i.e., Michael Cohen) on behalf of I.C. Expert Investment Company (I.C. Expert), a Russian real-estate development corporation controlled by Andrei Vladimirovich Rozov. Sater had known Rozov since approximately 2007 and, in 2014, had served as an agent on behalf of Rozov during Rozov's purchase of a building in New York City. Sater later contacted Rozov and proposed that I.C. Expert pursue a Trump Tower Moscow project in which I.C. Expert would license the name and brand from the Trump Organization but construct the building on its own. Sater worked on the deal with Rozov and another employee of I.C. Expert. (see page 69 of the Mueller Report).

Sater's communication with Rozov were intercepted by western intelligence agencies -- GCHQ and NSA. I do not know which agency put it into an intel report, but it was put into the system. The Sater FD-1023 will tell us whether or not Sater did this at the direction of the FBI or acted on his own initiative. The key point is that the "bait" to do something with the Russians came from a registered FBI informant.

By December of 2015, the Hillary Campaign decided to use the Russian angle on Donald Trump. Thanks to Wikileaks we have Campaign Manager John Podesta's email exchange in December 2015 with Democratic operative Brent Budowsky:

" That's good, sooner it's clarified the better, and the stronger the better, " Budowski replies, later adding: " Best approach is to slaughter Donald for his bromance with Putin , but not go too far betting on Putin re Syria ."

The program to slaughter Donald Trump using Russia as the hatchet was already underway. This was more the opposition research. This was the weaponization of law enforcement and intelligence assets to attack political opponents. Hillary had covered the opposition research angle in London by hiring a firm comprised of former MI6 assets-- Hakluyt: there was a second, even more powerful and mysterious opposition research and intelligence firm lurking about with significant political and financial links to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her 2016 campaign for president against Donald Trump.

Meet London-based Hakluyt & Co. , founded by three former British intelligence operatives in 1995 to provide the kind of otherwise inaccessible research for which select governments and Fortune 500 corporations pay huge sums. . . .

Hakluyt is described by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism's Henry Williams as " one of the more secretive firms within the corporate investigations world " and as "a retirement home for ex-MI6 [British foreign intelligence] officers, but it now also recruits from the worlds of management consultancy and banking "

I do not believe that it is a mere coincidence that Australian diplomat, Alexander Downer, was the one credited by the FBI for launching the investigation into George Papadopolous : It was Downer who told the FBI of Papodopoulos' comments, which became one of the "driving factors that led the FBI to open an investigation in July 2016 into Russia's attempts to disrupt the election and whether any of President Trump's associates conspired," The Times reported.

Downer, a long-time Aussie chum of Bill and Hillary Clinton, had been on Hakluyt's advisory board since 2008. Officially, he had to resign his Hakluyt role in 2014, but his informal connections continued uninterrupted, the News Corp. Australian Network reported in a January 2016 exclusive:

But it can be revealed Mr. Downer has still been attending client conferences and gatherings of the group, including a client cocktail soirée at the Orangery at Kensington Palace a few months ago.

His attendance at that event is understood to have come days after he also attended a two-day country retreat at the invitation of the group, which has been involved in a number of corporate spy scandals in recent times.

Much remains to be uncovered in this plot. But this much is certain--there is an extensive documentary record, including TOP SECRET intelligence reports (SIGINT and HUMINT) and emails and phone calls that will show there was a concerted covert action operation mounted against Donald Trump and his campaign. Those documents will tell the story. This cannot be allowed to happen again.

Posted at 05:33 AM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink | Comments (9)


turcopolier , 07 May 2019 at 09:53 AM

Having watched interviews of Papadopoulos on TeeVee I would say that this creature would be easy to manipulate. His ego is so enormous that a minimal effort would be required.
blue peacock said in reply to turcopolier ... , 07 May 2019 at 11:19 AM
Col. Lang

I'm curious why they went after minor characters in the Trump campaign and not Jared or one of Trump's sons? From what I've read of Hoover, it seems he was constantly building "dossiers" of the powerful and those he considered "subversives" so that he would remain preeminent. Then there was the Church Committee investigation. Is this qualitatively different? Can we ever expect that law enforcement & intelligence with so much secretive power are not the 4th branch of government?

David Habakkuk -> blue peacock... , 07 May 2019 at 01:31 PM
bp,

The guts of the matter was well expressed by Judge T.S. Ellis when he made the distinction between different results which can be expected from exerting pressures on witnesses: they may 'sing' - which is, commonly, in the interests of justice - but, there again, they may 'compose', which is not.

Also involved - and I think Judge Ellis was very well aware of this - is a fundamental distinction relating to what law enforcement authorities are trying to achieve. If Mueller was honestly - even of perhaps misguidedly - trying to get witnesses to 'sing', that is hardly a mortal sin. If he was trying to get them to 'compose', then the question becomes whether he should be under indictment for subversion of the Constitution.

Alcatraz, perhaps?

blue peacock said in reply to David Habakkuk ... , 08 May 2019 at 12:17 AM
David,

Yes, indeed, many a composition have been elicited by prosecutors in criminal cases. The issue is there is no penalty for prosecutorial misconduct while the advancement points ratchet up with each conviction. The incentives are aligned perfectly for the "institution" to run rough shod on ordinary Americans. Only those wealthy enough to fight the unlimited funds of the government have a chance. But of course in matters relating to national security there is the added twist of state secrets that protects government malfeasance.

I don't know how the national security state we continue to build ever gets rolled back. A small victory would be for Trump to declassify all documents and communications relating to the multifaceted spying on his campaign and as Larry so eloquently writes to frame him as a Manchurian Candidate. At least the public will learn about what their grandchildren are paying for. But it seems that Trump prefers tweeting to taking any kind of action. Not that it would matter much as half the country will still believe that Trump deserves it until the tables are turned on their team. While most Americans will say to use Ben Hunt's phrasing Yay! Constitution. Yay! Liberty. they sure don't care as the state oligarchy tighten their chokehold.

https://www.epsilontheory.com/things-fall-apart-pt-1/

akaPatience -> turcopolier ... , 07 May 2019 at 05:27 PM
Yes, he seems young and ambitious enough to be easy (and willing) prey. Having been involved in some local political campaigns though, I've observed that more and more than before, young people like him are hyper-concerned with networking. Papadopoulos' ego aside, of course he and many people who sign on hope to make self-serving connections. Not only that, it's also been my observation that casual sexual hook-ups go with the territory, and not only among young, single guys like him. I have to say I've been shocked a few times by how risky and cavalier some liaisons have been that've come to my attention, considering "public figures" are involved. No doubt that's why a "honeypot" was dispatched to try to help entrap Papadopoulos.
Rick Merlotti , 07 May 2019 at 12:14 PM
Why aren't the MSM having a hissy fit about the real, documented election interference by the British Commonwealth/5 Eyes spooks in the 2016 campaign (and before)? The hoax of projecting onto Putin what they themselves have done must be exposed before the country move forward on any front.
O'Shawnessey , 07 May 2019 at 02:44 PM
So, was Skripal one of Steele's so-called Kremlin insiders? I see Pablo Miller is connected to both Porton Down and Steele via the ironically titled II's media pods. And Miller is certainly connected to Skripal.
sandra adie , 07 May 2019 at 03:01 PM
Papadopolos was very young hence the nativity getting sucked in. The ego helped for sure. Probably exciting to be part of something important probably for the first time since he started working for Trump campaign
akaPatience , 07 May 2019 at 03:01 PM
One thing that's always concerned me about Larry's informative and insightful essays on these matters is how can we be assured that the IC documentation mentioned has been filled out honestly and accurately -- or that the forms even still exist and haven't been conveniently "lost" or surreptitiously destroyed?

[Apr 17, 2019] Six US Agencies Conspired ...

Highly recommended!
Apr 17, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"Here is what we now know, per intelligence gleaned form federal law enforcement sources with insider knowledge of what amounts to a plot by U.S. intelligence agencies to secure back door and illegal wiretaps of President Trump's associates:

Six U.S. agencies created a stealth task force, spearhead by CIA’s Brennan, to run domestic surveillance on Trump associates and possibly Trump himself. To feign ignorance and to seemingly operate within U.S. laws, the agencies freelanced the wiretapping of Trump associates to the British spy agency GCHQ. The decision to insert GCHQ as a back door to eavesdrop was sparked by the denial of two FISA Court warrant applications filed by the FBI to seek wiretaps of Trump associates. GCHQ did not work from London or the UK. In fact the spy agency worked from NSA’s headquarters in Fort Meade, MD with direct NSA supervision and guidance to conduct sweeping surveillance on Trump associates. The illegal wiretaps were initiated months before the controversial Trump dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele. The Justice Department and FBI set up the meeting at Trump Tower between Trump Jr., Manafort and Kushner with controversial Russian officials to make Trump’s associates appear compromised. Following the Trump Tower sit down, GCHQ began digitally wiretapping Manafort, Trump Jr., and Kushner. After the concocted meeting by the Deep State, the British spy agency could officially justify wiretapping Trump associates as an intelligence front for NSA because the Russian lawyer at the meeting Natalia Veselnitskaya was considered an international security risk and prior to the June sit down was not even allowed entry into the United States or the UK, federal sources said. By using GCHQ, the NSA and its intelligence partners had carved out a loophole to wiretap Trump without a warrant. While it is illegal for U.S. agencies to monitor phones and emails of U.S. citizens inside the United States absent a warrant, it is not illegal for British intelligence to do so. Even if the GCHQ was tapping Trump on U.S. soil at Fort Meade. The wiretaps, secured through illicit scheming, have been used by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 election, even though the evidence is considered “poisoned fruit.”

-----------.

Someone left this link in a comment to LJ, but as ringmaster of this circus, I choose to publish this as the best summary of all the threads of the supposed conspiracy that I have seen thus far. pl

https://truepundit.com/exclusive-six-u-s-agencies-conspired-to-illegally-wiretap-trump-british-intel-used-as-front-to-spy-on-campaign-for-nsa/

Chris Fahlman said...

Wikipedia page on Paul Manafort says that the FBI began a criminal investigation into him in 2014, associated with his previous dealings in Ukraine. He could have been a target of surveillance and wiretapping since then.

I therefore think Manafort was the key the intelligence agencies used to get to into Trump's organisation. It may have been initially incidental to their ongoing, and much earlier surveillance of Manafort.

Robert Poling said...

Thank-you for this summary. If confirmed, Brennan (and others in the group he formed to spy on Trump and Trump's campaign) should go to jail. Congress specifically forbid American spy agencies spying on American citizens in the U.S. Since that Congressional action, the CIA and NSA have gotten around it by having foreign partners among the 'five eyes' do the collecting and then passing the information back to us.

The spying on Trump was done at the behest of Obama and his minions. I'm reminded of an American president who was hounded from office by the mainstream press for sending minions to spy and collect dirt at the opposition's political headquarters. He had to resign and leave office. Several involved in the burglary went to jail and lost their livelihoods. Why is this situation today any different and why is there a delay in prosecuting them? It's because the major media is bought out and controlled by Trump's political opponents and not demanding justice, indeed is providing cover and excuses for them

[Apr 12, 2019] Did Max Boot and Commentary Magazine Lie About Edward Snowden You Decide by Glenn Greenwald

Notable quotes:
"... It is literally the supreme act of projection for Max Boot to accuse anyone of lacking courage, as this particular think tank warmonger is the living, breathing personification of the unique strain of American neocon cowardice . Unlike Snowden -- who sacrificed his liberty and unraveled his life in pursuit of his beliefs -- the 45-year-old Boot has spent most of his adult life advocating for one war after the next, but always wanting to send his fellow citizens of his generation to die in them, while he hides in the comfort of Washington think tanks, never fighting them himself. ..."
"... All of that is just garden-variety neocon cowardice, and it's of course grotesque to watch someone like this call someone else a coward. ..."
"... It's not surprising that someone whose entire adult life is shaped by extreme cowardice would want to accuse others of lacking courage, as it distracts attention away from oneself and provides the comfort of company. Nor is it surprising that government-loyal journalists spew outright falsehoods to smear whistleblowers. But even neocon rags like Commentary shouldn't be able to get away with this level of blatant lying. ..."
"... Being a neocon coward means never having to admit error. ..."
Jun 05, 2015 | theintercept.com

In the neocon journal Commentary , Max Boot today complains that the New York Times published an op-ed by Edward Snowden . Boot's objection rests on his accusation that the NSA whistleblower is actually a "traitor." In objecting, Boot made these claims:

Oddly enough nowhere in his article -- which is datelined Moscow -- does he mention the surveillance apparatus of his host, Vladimir Putin , which far exceeds in scope anything created by any Western country. . . .That would be the same FSB that has taken Snowden into its bosom as it has previously done (in its earlier incarnation as the KGB) with previous turncoats such as Kim Philby. . . .

But of course Ed Snowden is not courageous enough, or stupid enough, to criticize the dictatorship that he has defected to. It's much easier and safer to criticize the country he betrayed from behind the protection provided by the FSB's thugs. The only mystery is why the Times is giving this traitor a platform.

It is literally the supreme act of projection for Max Boot to accuse anyone of lacking courage, as this particular think tank warmonger is the living, breathing personification of the unique strain of American neocon cowardice . Unlike Snowden -- who sacrificed his liberty and unraveled his life in pursuit of his beliefs -- the 45-year-old Boot has spent most of his adult life advocating for one war after the next, but always wanting to send his fellow citizens of his generation to die in them, while he hides in the comfort of Washington think tanks, never fighting them himself.

All of that is just garden-variety neocon cowardice, and it's of course grotesque to watch someone like this call someone else a coward. But it's so much worse if he lies when doing so. Did he do so here? You decide. From Snowden's NYT op-ed today:

Basic technical safeguards such as encryption -- once considered esoteric and unnecessary -- are now enabled by default in the products of pioneering companies like Apple, ensuring that even if your phone is stolen, your private life remains private. Such structural technological changes can ensure access to basic privacies beyond borders, insulating ordinary citizens from the arbitrary passage of anti­ privacy laws, such as those now descending upon Russia.

The meaning of that passage -- criticisms of Russia's attack on privacy -- is so clear and glaring that it caused even Time magazine to publish this today :

The first sentence of Time 's article: "Former CIA officer and NSA contractor Ed Snowden has taken a surprising swing at his new home, accusing Russia of 'arbitrarily passing' new anti-privacy laws ." In other words, in the very op-ed to which Boot objects, Snowden did exactly that which Boot accused him of lacking the courage to do: "criticize" the country that has given him asylum.

This is far from the first time Snowden has done exactly that which the Tough and Swaggering Think Tank Warrior proclaimed Snowden would never do. In April, 2014, Snowden wrote an op-ed in The Guardian under this headline:

With Max Boot's above-printed accusations in mind, just re-read that. Did Boot lie? To pose the question is to answer it. Here's part of what Snowden wrote in that op-ed:

On Thursday, I questioned Russia's involvement in mass surveillance on live television. . . . I went on to challenge whether, even if such a mass surveillance program were effective and technically legal, it could ever be morally justified. . . . In his response, Putin denied the first part of the question and dodged on the latter. There are serious inconsistencies in his denial.

In countless speeches, Snowden has said much the same thing: that Russian spying is a serious problem that needs investigation and reform, and that Putin's denials are not credible. Boot simply lied about Snowden.

It's not surprising that someone whose entire adult life is shaped by extreme cowardice would want to accuse others of lacking courage, as it distracts attention away from oneself and provides the comfort of company. Nor is it surprising that government-loyal journalists spew outright falsehoods to smear whistleblowers. But even neocon rags like Commentary shouldn't be able to get away with this level of blatant lying.

UPDATE : In typical neocon fashion, Boot first replies by minimizing his own error to a mere innocent oversight, and implying that only hysteria could cause anyone to find what he did to be problematic. Even then, the facts negate his self-justification. But then he says he was actually right all along and his "point stands":

Being a neocon coward means never having to admit error.

[Mar 25, 2019] Spygate The True Story of Collusion (plus Infographic) by Jeff Carlson

Highly recommended!
This is probably the most comprehensive outline of the color revolution against Trump. Bravo, simply bravo !!!
Reads like Agatha Christi Murder on the Orient Express ;-) Rosenstein role is completely revised from a popular narrative. Brennan role clarifies and detailed. Obama personal role hinted. Victoria Nuland role and the role of the State Department in Russiagate is documented for the first time, I think.
Notable quotes:
"... The "insurance policy" appears to have been the effort to legitimize the Trump–Russia collusion narrative so that an FBI investigation, led by McCabe, could continue unhindered. ..."
"... Ohr, one of the highest-ranking officials in the DOJ, was communicating on an ongoing basis with Steele, whom he had known since at least 2006 , well into mid-2017. He is also married to Nellie Ohr, an expert on Russia and Eurasia who began working for Fusion GPS sometime in late 2015 . Nellie Ohr likely played a significant role in the construction of the dossier. ..."
"... The Obama administration provided a simultaneous layer of protection and facilitation for the entire effort. One example is provided by Section 2.3 of Executive Order 12333 , also known as Obama's data-sharing order . With the passage of the order, agencies and individuals were able to ask the NSA for access to specific surveillance simply by claiming the intercepts contained relevant information that was useful to a particular mission. ..."
"... Leaking, including felony leaking of classified information, has been widespread. The Carter Page FISA warrant -- likely the unredacted version -- has been in the possession of The Washington Post and The New York Times since March 2017. Traditionally, the intelligence community leaked to The Washington Post while the DOJ leaked to sources within The New York Times. This was a historical pattern that stood until this election. The leaking became so widespread, even this tradition was broken. ..."
"... The information contained within both articles likely came via felony leaks from James Wolfe, former director of security for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, who was arrested on June 7, 2018, and charged with one count of lying to the FBI. Wolfe's indictment alleges that he was leaking classified information to multiple reporters over an extended period of time. ..."
"... The Steele dossier was fed into U.S. channels through several different sources. One such source was Sir Andrew Wood, the former British ambassador to Russia, who had been briefed about the dossier by Steele. Wood later relayed information regarding the dossier to Sen. John McCain, who dispatched David Kramer, a fellow at the McCain Institute, to London to meet with Steele in November 2016. McCain would later admit in a Jan. 11, 2017, statement that he had personally passed on the dossier to then-FBI Director James Comey. ..."
"... Trump, after issuing an order for the declassification of documents and text messages related to the Russia-collusion investigations -- including parts of the Carter Page FISA warrant application -- received phone calls from two U.S. allies saying, "Please, can we talk." Those "allies" were almost certainly the UK and Australia. ..."
"... Questions to be asked are why is it that two of our allies would find themselves so opposed to the release of these classified documents that a coordinated plea would be made directly to the president? And why would these same allies have even the slightest idea of what was contained in these classified U.S. documents? ..."
Oct 12, 2018 | www.theepochtimes.com
Spygate: The True Story of Collusion [Infographic] How America's most powerful agencies were weaponized against President Donald Trump

Although the details remain complex, the structure underlying Spygate -- the creation of the false narrative that candidate Donald Trump colluded with Russia, and the spying on his presidential campaign -- remains surprisingly simple:

  1. CIA Director John Brennan, with some assistance from Director of National Intelligence Jam