01.16.14

CESG (UK Government): GNU/Linux the Most Secure Operating System; New Backdoors Released for Windows

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 7:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Entity associated with British spies says that for real security it is best to use GNU/Linux

YESTERDAY we posted some links about Ubuntu, including important news about CESG endorsing Ubuntu for security. There are not many reports about it, but there are some [1]. This is particularly important because although it’s unlikely that CESG and GCHQ don’t know about Windows being in bed with the NSA, it does in some way acknowledge GNU/Linux as the operating system of choice.

Just days ago it turned out that Microsoft reported serious flaws again [2] and the last batch of patches for Windows XP might be the last [3]. All that Windows XP will do from now on is phone home [4], potentially with very personal details. The latest patches themselves can contain new, specially-crafted (easy-to-exploit) back doors; nobody knows for sure, but it’s likely. Now is a good time for every nation to move to GNU/Linux, especially in the public sector.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. UK Govt report says Ubuntu 12.04 LTS is the most secure OS

    CESG, the Information Security Arm of GCHQ (Govt. of UK), conducted a series of tests in the last few months to review a set of 11 operating systems which currently run on various devices such as desktops, laptops, servers, mobile phones and tablets. The security assessment included the following categories:

  2. Critical Microsoft, Adobe, and Oracle updates: Like dental floss for your PC

    Fed up with productivity-killing patches? Welcome to the club. Now install them.

  3. Microsoft Patches Windows XP for Possibly Last Time
  4. Windows XP Will Still Require Activation After Retirement

    Windows XP will be officially retired on April 8, but even though Microsoft is planning to stop releasing updates and security patches for the operating system, it doesn’t mean that you can use it free of charge.

Patent Troll MPHJ Run by Lawyer Jay Mac Rust, Sending Nastygrams to 16,465 Businesses For Using Scanners

Posted in Courtroom, Patents at 7:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Highlighting the problem with software patents using the story of just one entity that uses them for coercion and extortion

AS we have pointed out before, many patent trolls are run by lawyers, who are sometimes hiding behind a mask of secrecy. The father of patent trolling, Ray Niro, is himself a patent lawyer. According to a good report from Joe Mullin (longtime trolls expert), Jay Mac Rust is the man behind one of today’s most notorious trolls [1], not to be confused with today’s biggest patent troll, which is closely tied to Microsoft. Watch the photo of that smug man dressed up as a cowboy.

Another new article from Joe Mullin [2] focuses on another patent troll, which was stopped only by SCOTUS, the same disappointing entity which ruled on the Bilski case, showing that it’s unwilling to address patent scope issue (Mullin too focuses on trolls, but rarely on patent scope).

It should be remember that the patents themselves are the problem; many patent trolls used them, as Joe Mullin once demonstrated (around 70% of cases use software patents). What the courts need to do is tackle patent scope (all in one fell swoop), not just trolls (one at a time).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Patent stunner: Under attack, nation’s most notorious “troll” sues federal gov’t

    MPHJ Technology Investments quickly became one of the best-known “patent trolls” of all time by sending out thousands of letters to small businesses—16,465 of them, we now know—saying that if the business did not pay a licensing fee of $1,000 or more per worker, it would be sued for patent infringement. MPHJ claimed to have patents that cover any networked “scan-to-email” function.

  2. “Shopping cart” patent rolls to a halt at the Supreme Court

    The company that pushed an “online shopping cart” patent into the courts—and successfully made tens of millions of dollars off it—has finally been stopped.

Energy/Climate Watch: January 2014

Posted in News Roundup at 6:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Stories from across the globe about pollution, weather, environmental issues, and wildlife

Economic Disparity Watch: January 2014

Posted in Finance at 6:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: News about the further degradation of decent working conditions, fair salaries, benefits, and housing

  • Wall Street, Give Your Bonuses To The People You Made Homeless

    “Wall Street is about to give themselves $91.44 Billion – with a B – in holiday bonuses, even as they continue to dodge jail time for their ongoing crime spree!”1

  • Anonymous fights homelessness worldwide

    So said the administrator of @OpSafeWinter, the Twitter account heading up public relations for Anonymous’ most ambitious project for 2013 and 2014. We spoke to the Anonymous member via Twitter direct message for an exclusive interview on the umbrella project dubbed #OpSafeWinter. The goal is to get Anons and “civilians” out into the streets all over the world to save lives by giving the homeless and the critically poor the tools they need to survive at least one more season.

    Because it is an international operation, including operatives on both sides of the Equator, the “winter” of the title continues all year long, switching hemispheres at the equinox. They will, essentially, never run out of winter. As New England faces the wrath of Hercules, Anonymous lines up to fight back with sleeping bags, mittens, and hot meals.

  • Why we should give free money to everyone

    That spring, a local charity takes a radical decision. The street veterans are to become the beneficiaries of an innovative social experiment. No more food stamps, food kitchen dinners or sporadic shelter stays for them. The men will get a drastic bailout, financed by taxpayers. They’ll each receive 3,000 pounds, cash, with no strings attached. The men are free to decide what to spend it on; counseling services are completely optional. No requirements, no hard questions. The only question they have to answer is:

  • Ideological austerity: London fire service cuts vs huge bonuses at publicly owned banks

    On Thursday the 8th of January hardened London firefighters wept as their fire stations were shut down. Ten stations were closed down simultaneously in a desperate Tory attempt to save £45 million.

    To put this figure of £45 million into better perspective it is useful to look at the bonuses that were paid out at the taxpayer backed banks RBS and Lloyds.

  • Susan George: austerity means socialising losses and privatising profits – video

    Political scientist and veteran global justice activist Susan George talks about her new book, How to Win the Class War, a satire on the wealthiest 1%. She discusses how austerity policies in Europe mirror the structural adjustment programmes adopted by developing countries in the 1970s and 1980s, and argues that satire and black humour have more chance of engaging people in debates about complex economic issues

  • Music4Freedom’s response to Amazon’s holiday season abuse of temporary workers

    The holiday season true to the dominant paradigm within our global economy where corporate interests and downsizing prevail, relying on cheap labor in order to sustain transnational empires. Labor arrangements of mass production ensuring corporate profit and consumer satisfaction, are navigated upon the bodies of low wage workers. In effect entire systems rely on the creation of over worked, low wage workers. Recent labor abuse and subsequent protests at Amazon Germany capture and illuminate the nature of such egregious transnational markets.

  • Hundreds expected to pack City Hall for Seattle’s biggest inauguration
  • Statement from Socialist Alternative Councilmember Kshama Sawant – Mayor Murray’s $15/Hour Executive Order for City Employees
  • Bitcoin Commodity Exchange

    Turns out you can buy and trade Bitcoin mining capacity as well as Bitcoin. As I’m gradually learning more about the Bitcoin world, I’m finding a rapidly maturing technology space. I just stumbled across a commodity exchange, for example. Akin to an exchange trading gold or oil, this one trades the capacity to mine Bitcoin — processing power measured in GHash/sec.

  • Bitcoin crosses $1,000 on Zynga move

    The value of Bitcoin has topped $1,000 (£610) again after social gaming firm Zynga said it would start accepting the virtual currency as a payment option.

  • Overstock.com CEO attacks Krugman: “Hopefully Bitcoin will destroy central banking”

    Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne discusses Bitcoin and the fears of central planning economist Paul Krugman who claims Bitcoin is evil.

  • Spirit of MLK and Worldwide Wave, Hints of a Global Spring

    Here we are more than 50 years later and this truth remains at the root of many contemporary movements including Occupy, Idle No More, One Billion Rising, Unify, as well as various other environmental and social justice movements. That sense of solidarity with people everywhere, along with the principles of non-violence (thanks to inspiration borrowed from Gandhi) have become a template for much needed social change and evolution. Since ideas are like seeds, that are shared, planted and harvested year after year, Dr. King’s dream has blossomed sweeter and more colorful with each turn of the wheel. His invitation to stand up and take action is possibly even more important now than it was while he was alive. In the spirit of Martin Luther King, a worldwide wave of action is brewing and a Global Spring is on the horizon.

  • Now, most members of Congress are millionaires

    It’s official — Congress is a millionaires’ club. For the first time ever, most members of Congress are worth at least a cool million.

  • Marco Rubio’s “Anti-Poverty” Agenda Would Create Two Americas

    On Tuesday, the 50th anniversary of the launch of President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) gave a widely anticipated speech laying out his vision for breaking poverty’s grip on nearly 50 million Americans.

    [...]

    First, Rubio would replace the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) – which supplements the incomes of the working poor, especially those who have kids — with a “federal wage enhancement.” Rubio said his enhancement would differ from the EITC in that single people would be eligible for the same kind of subsidies families with children enjoy today, and it would be added to workers’ paychecks instead of being paid out in a lump sum at tax time.

  • How Close to Poverty Are You?

    In many of our more prosperous cities, poverty is concentrated away from downtown. In New York, it’s clustered in pockets in northern Manhattan and throughout the outer boroughs — most notably the Bronx and Central Brooklyn. In San Francisco, another famously unequal city, the poor are scattered in pockets south of the city center and across the bay, in nearby Oakland.

  • European Union drives Portugal into Third World
  • Hedge Fund Slams Portuguese Bonds With 64 Page Slideshow

    Traditionally, hedge fund managers that go public with multi-page slideshows bashing this or that asset, usually end up in tears (see Bill Ackman) as long as said asset is not some microcap, illiquid stock. That, however, has not stopped David Salanic of Tortus Capital Management to not only mass distribute a presentation highlighting his latest and greatest short idea but to create a website that implicitly highlights his investment thesis. The site in question is called http://rehabilitatingportugal.com/, and the asset that Salanic is bearish to quite bearish on, are Portuguese bonds.

  • How The U.S. Employs Overseas Sweatshops To Produce Government Uniforms

    The following article from the New York Times is extraordinarily important as it perfectly highlights the incredible hypocrisy of the U.S. government when it comes to overseas slave labor and human rights. While the Obama Administration (and the ones that came before it) publicly espouse self-important platitudes about our dedication to humanitarianism, when it comes down to practicing what we preach, our government fails miserably and is directly responsible for immense human suffering.

Covert Action Watch: January 2014

Posted in Action at 6:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: News, opinions and analysis from the past couple of weeks, concentrating on the imperial systems of the West

UK, Ireland, and Falklands

Mexico

  • U.S. Government and Top Mexican Drug Cartel Exposed as Partners
  • ​US govt struck deal with Mexican drug cartel in exchange for info – report

    Between 2000 and 2012, the US government had a deal with Mexican drug cartel Sinaloa that allowed the group to smuggle billion of dollars of drugs in return for information on its rival cartels, according to court documents published by El Universal.

    Written statements made by a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent and a US Department of Justice official in US District Court of Chicago following the 2009 arrest of Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla – son of a Sinaloa leader Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada and the organization’s alleged “logistics coordinator” – indicate that DEA agents met with top Sinaloa officials over 50 times beginning in 2000.

Asia

  • Does God work for the CIA?

    The arrest and imprisonment in North Korea of US citizen Kenneth Bae raises once again the issue of the use of religion and humanitarianism as covert vehicles for furthering US hegemony.

    [...]

    It still remains a mystery just exactly what Kenneth Bae was doing in North Korea.

  • US-Backed Islamic Terrorism: Dividing the Arab World, Weakening Russia and China

    Terrorism came into being as soon as humanity appeared, but the US special services turned it into a threat of global scale. The end of the 1970s can be considered as the starting point. Back then the Central Intelligence Agency launched a training program for «Islamic brigades» to entangle the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic into the war in Afghanistan. In 1998 Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote, «According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahedeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise. Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention». That was the time Osama bin Laden was recruited.

  • The Secret World of American Spies in the Middle East

    This was the life of a few elite American Middle East specialists and spies in the early days of the Cold War: intrigue and a self-possessed sense of adventure in a region emerging from European colonialism and into, they insisted, a more magnanimous American orbit of what historian Hugh Wilford has called “disinterested benevolence.” If only it had happened that way.

  • CIA used taxpayer funds for lap dances at “tittie bars” in Kazakhstan
  • Court Rules That Woman Wrongfully Placed On No Fly List Should Be Taken Off The List… We Think

    We’ve written a few times about the troubling case of Rahinah Ibrahim, a PhD. student at Stanford who was wrongfully placed on the “no fly” list because (it appears) some clueless law enforcement officials mixed up the names of a networking group of professional Muslims in Malaysia who had returned from work or study in the US and Europe (which she was a part of) and a very, very different terrorist organization. While she had received something of an apology for initially not being allowed to fly to Malaysia (and then allowed to fly), it appeared that her name was then placed on the no fly list, preventing her from ever returning. She was later blocked from even flying back to the US for her lawsuit against the government.

  • Despite Growing Military Budget, an Undercurrent of Skepticism

    United States military spending has ballooned since World War II, although Americans have historically been reluctant to go to war. The Times’s Sam Tanenhaus explains why.

Silencing the Press

Conquering the Press

  • Activists Continue To Push Washington Post To Disclose Its CIA Connection
  • Why the Washington Post’s New Ties to the CIA Are So Ominous
  • Why the Washington Post’ New Ties to the CIA Are So Ominous

    A tip-off is that the Washington Post refuses to face up to a conflict of interest involving Jeff Bezos — who’s now the sole owner of the powerful newspaper at the same time he remains Amazon’s CEO and main stakeholder.

    The Post is supposed to expose CIA secrets. But Amazon is under contract to keep them. Amazon has a new $600 million “cloud” computing deal with the CIA.

    The situation is unprecedented. But in an email exchange early this month, Washington Post executive editor Martin Baron told me that the newspaper doesn’t need to routinely inform readers of the CIA-Amazon-Bezos ties when reporting on the CIA. He wrote that such in-story acknowledgment would be “far outside the norm of disclosures about potential conflicts of interest at media organizations.”

    But there isn’t anything normal about the new situation. As I wrote to Baron, “few journalists could have anticipated ownership of the paper by a multibillionaire whose outside company would be so closely tied to the CIA.”

Domestic Backlash

  • One Month After JFK’s Murder, Former President Harry Truman Called For Abolishing The CIA

    One month to the day after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, former President Harry Truman recommended that the U.S. abolish the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

  • The Internet fights back against the NSA with the biggest protest since SOPA
  • A Republic If You Can Keep It

    expansion of presidential powers in the United States.

  • Legislating Tyranny

    Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF – September 2001) approved open-ended permanent wars. They rage out-of-control. They do so at home and abroad.

    The FY 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) targets freedom. It prioritizes militarism and permanent wars. It authorizes over $600 billion for global belligerence, mass killing and destruction.

  • “Our Leaders Do Not Mean Well”

    Blum is the author of the famous book Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventionssince World War II (Common Courage Press). The book enjoyed remarkable success, becoming required reading for students and professions in numerous fields. Professor Noam Chomsky said of the book, “It is far and away the best book on the topic.” The book is astounding, as Blum breaks down the post-war CIA in more than 50 fascinating chapters. Actions everywhere from Albania to Zaire are discussed in the book. I met with William Blum in early December in Washington, DC.

  • Washington Drives the World Toward War — Paul Craig Roberts

    Washington has had the US at war for 12 years: Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, and almost Syria, which could still happen, with Iran waiting in the wings. These wars have been expensive in terms of money, prestige, and deaths and injuries of both US soldiers and the attacked civilian populations. None of these wars appears to have any compelling reason or justifiable explanation. The wars have been important to the profits of the military/security complex. The wars have provided cover for the construction of a Stasi police state in America, and the wars have served Israel’s interest by removing obstacles to Israel’s annexation of the entire West Bank and southern Lebanon.

  • Obama admin to hold firm in pursuit of neutrality amid ‘global rebalancing’
  • The Years of Living Stupidly

    A workable solution to the perpetual foreign policy crisis requires a new economy and civil society institutions that provide a political fund to promote demilitarized politicians, supported by an alternative ethos of diplomacy, foreign aid, and non-militarized soft power. Social movements might explore how universities contribute to the cycle of violence by marginalizing discourses related to disarmament, alternative security and an ecologically-rooted conversion of big oil, auto and defense firms. Otherwise, expect another several years of dismal headlines in newspapers chronicling blow back, terror states, and meaningless violence.

Slow Justice

Mandela

Border Tyranny

Misc.

NSA Surveillance Goes Offline, Potentially Gives Cancer

Posted in Law at 6:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The latest bombshell reveals that the NSA is totally off its rocker and actions taken by Obama solidify Edward Snowden’s status as “whistleblower”

Since people under NSA surveillance are mostly the “undesirables” (in the NSA’s mind) it should be no surprise that it doesn’t mind giving them high doses of cancer-inducing radiation, broadcasting to distant locations, as much as 8 miles away (potentially across the border). Jacob Appelbaum spoke about those devices at the end of last year and the New York Times now reveals [1] that around 100,000 machines (or nodes) are affected by this scheme to spy on people, irrespective of whether they’re reachable through the Internet or not. There is a lot of press coverage about it [2-9] and more details are being given. It’s just another rogue surveillance method among many more [10]. Telephone surveillance is another and the former CIA director now admits that NSA metadata gathering “hasn’t played a significant role in disrupting any attacks” [11]; despite that, Morell, a torture advocate from CIA leadership, wants it to carry on with this programme [12], preferring to pass the ‘metadata’ surveillance to private (for-profit) companies [13] that the CIA historically bribed to do this (as confirmed by much of the corporate media months ago).

Now that Obama is amending the rules [14,15], owing to leaks from Snowden, he is essentially confirming that Snowden is a whistleblower (a court ruling achieved the same thing), and hence he and others deserve clemency [16]. There are also talks about revealing the black budget [17] and criticisms of the FISA courts [18], which are a sham (secret “justice” is no justice). FISA courts are being fed lies by the NSA and since there is no transparency, there is no way to counter the lies. In some cases the NSA secretly brings ‘evidence’ to court in order to bolster a case against victims of Sting Operations (which give the illusion that there are many “terror plots”, where the FBI provides the bomb) [19].

Car manufacturers are said to be part of the problem too [20] (not much press coverage about this serious issue unfortunately) and longtime advocates of privacy are trying to counter the ‘norm’ of mobile phones as surveillance (tracking and eavesdropping) devices; they come out with new phones [21-23] that probably run Linux. Thankfully, there are still people out there who are determined to end state terrorism, i.e. citizens being terrorised by their government (or a foreign government). The saddest thing is, the NSA’s response to the New York Times shows exceptionalism as a key ideology/motto at the NSA; these people assume that non-US citizens have zero rights.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. N.S.A. Devises Radio Pathway Into Computers

    The National Security Agency has implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers around the world that allows the United States to conduct surveillance on those machines and can also create a digital highway for launching cyberattacks.

  2. NSA could ‘spy on offline computers’, says latest leak

    The US National Security Agency (NSA) used secret technology to spy on computers that were not even connected to the internet, it has been reported.

    Citing documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden, the New York Times said 100,000 machines were fitted with small devices that emitted radio waves.

  3. Revealed: NSA has hacked into 100,000 computers around the world some of which are NOT CONNECTED to the internet
  4. NSA can eavesdrop on your PC even if it is not on internet
  5. NSA ‘Using Radio Waves To Snoop On Computers’
  6. Modern spying 101: How NSA bugs Chinese PCs with tiny USB radios – NYT
  7. NYT: NSA embeds radio transmitters to access offline computers from miles away
  8. NSA Hacked Offline Computers With Tiny USB Radios, Claims New York Times
  9. NSA could be snooping on you even when you’re offline

    But the NSA denies using the technology within the US. “NSA’s activities are focused and specifically deployed against — and only against — valid foreign intelligence targets in response to intelligence requirements,” said Vanee Vines, an agency spokeswoman, in a statement.

  10. 7 Chilling Ways the NSA Can Spy On You
  11. Former CIA director: NSA metadata gathering “hasn’t played a significant role in disrupting any attacks”
  12. Ex-CIA boss: telecoms should store metadata, not NSA

    Telephone “metadata” controversially scooped up by a US intelligence agency should not be destroyed but stored by private telecom giants, a former CIA chief said Tuesday days before President Barack Obama announces new reforms.

  13. No takers for NSA data storage

    Telephone companies are quietly balking at the idea of changing how they collect and store Americans’ phone records to help the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs.

    They’re worried about their exposure to lawsuits and the price if the U.S. government asks them to hold information about customers for longer than they already do.

  14. Obama To Back New NSA Restraints, But He’s Leaving The Details To Congress

    President Barack Obama is expected to endorse changes to the way the government collects millions of Americans’ phone records for possible future surveillance, but he’ll leave many of the specific adjustments for Congress to sort out, according to three U.S. officials familiar with the White House intelligence review.

  15. NSA review panel casts doubt on bulk data collection claims

    The members of president Barack Obama’s surveillance review panel on Tuesday rejected some of the central contentions offered by the National Security Agency for its bulk collection of phone records, including the program’s potential usefulness in preventing the 9/11 attacks.

  16. Edward Snowden isn’t the only truth teller who deserves clemency

    Last week, both the New York Times and the Guardian released editorials supporting clemency for NSA leaker Edward Snowden. Considering the important nature of Snowden’s revelations, clemency is definitely in order – and it’s about time that major outlets recognize that.

  17. Congress Spending Bill Demands Details About NSA Spying
  18. FISA Court Judges Say They Don’t Want Any Changes To How The Rubber Stamp Court Is Run

    Oh, those poor, poor FISA Court (FISC) judges. The court, which has a habit of approving every single request to spy on Americans (though, sometimes asking for minor modifications) has already complained about how unfair it is that everyone thinks they’re just a rubber stamp. And, to be fair, some of the documents that have been revealed have shown that there are a few times that the FISA Court has become quite angry about how the NSA and DOJ have basically lied. And, it’s even ordered certain programs be (temporarily) stopped or changed. But, in the long run, it’s still pretty much allowed the NSA to keep on keeping on. And, the FISC judges have admitted that they’re not particularly able to do real oversight, since they’re entirely reliant on what the NSA tells them. There’s also the fact that all of the FISC judges are appointed by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, leading to a very specific political leaning in all of them.

  19. First appeal in US based on NSA snooping

    Mohamed Osman Mohamud was convicted last year of trying to use a weapon of mass destruction at a Christmas tree lighting in Oregon in 2010. The former student was ensnared, his attorneys say, in an FBI sting. It later emerged police used information collected by the NSA in its massive cybersnooping operation.

    Mohamud was not informed of the snooping, they added.

    “The record reflects that government actors failed to adequately communicate discoverable material to local prosecutors,” argued his lawyers Stephen Sady, Steven Wax and Lisa Hay in an appeal filed in Portland, Oregon.

  20. Car manufacturers store driving habits, location data for unknown amount of time – report
  21. Secure Blackphone handset promises to thwart NSA snooping

    Geeksphone has teamed up with Silent Circle to launch the first “privacy focused” smartphone…

  22. Renowned cryptographer believes his ‘Blackphone’ can stop the NSA
  23. Meet the super secure smartphone which promises ultimate privacy from NSA

COINTELPRO Never Really Ended, It Just Changed Identity

Posted in Law at 5:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The enemy of the state appears to be clever, politically-aware people who are eager to pursue justice, based on what we are learning about surveillance

CIVIL disobedience is necessary as means of challenging abuse of power. Sometimes people may also have to break the law in order to expose violations of the law (at a much higher level, with crimes of high severity). Now that we remember Martin Luther King (born January 15th, 1929) we should recall that the FBI recorded him and then played a recording back to him, urging him to commit suicide. Surveillance was used for blackmail as part of what we now know as COINTELPRO.

How do we know about COINTELPRO? Well, some professors and others chose to investigate what the FBI had been doing at the time. We now know this because they came forward [1,2,3,4,5,6], revealing that anti-war (or pro-peace) activism was treated as some kind of crime by the FBI. Now that the NYPD mimics the FBI [7] (CIA agents were reported to be embedded in NYPD) and the CIA uses FBI staff [8] we should all be concerned. Moreover, we can see how in New York City (i.e. NYPD) protest against corruption by banks is now treated like terrorism and activists are put under surveillance [9-11] on behalf of banks. This is beyond unjust; it’s tyrannical. The domestic population is treated like an enemy if it wants justice.

A year ago we discovered that Aaron Swartz too had been put under secret surveillance as though he was some kind of terrorist. He was then crushed and bullied by the system, to the point where even his parents’ house was in jeopardy (collective punishment), and then he committed suicide. The FBI could not make Martin Luther King commit suicide, but eventually he was assassinated anyway.

People now remember Aaron Swartz and even march in his memory [12-23] (see some new revelations of cover-up in the news). This case showed how far the system of surveillance still goes and who it really targets. It’s not about terrorism, it’s about control. The corporations use surveillance to impose their will on everyone and hound dissidents.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Burglars who embarrassed FBI in unsolved document heist come forward (+video)
  2. Activists Who Took FBI Files in 1971 Praise Edward Snowden, Defend How He Blew the Whistle

    The shrill brigade of critics opposed to National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden have repeatedly emphasized their belief that if he truly thought he was engaged in civil disobedience he should have remained in the United States and allowed himself to be jailed and prosecuted like Daniel Ellsberg or even Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But now, this argument should be even more difficult for critics to make.

  3. Burglars Who Took on F.B.I. Abandon Shadows
  4. Remembering an earlier time when a theft unmasked government surveillance
  5. Peace Activists Admit to Role in FBI Burglary That Exposed COINTELPRO

    One of the great mysteries of the Vietnam War era has been solved. In 1971, a group of peace activists broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, and lifted files that helped reveal the FBI’s elaborate program of illegally spying on political groups. The documents, given to journalists at the time, provided the first hints of a secret counter intelligence program, or COINTELPRO, the FBI’s secret program to infiltrate, monitor and disrupt social movements. The burglars called themselves the Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI. They were never caught. But decades later, a number of them are coming forward for the first time. The idea for the burglary came from William Davidon, a physics professor and leader of civil disobedience against the Vietnam War. Davidon died last year. Also involved were a social worker named Bob Williamson and John and Bonnie Raines, a married couple with children. Convinced the FBI was infiltrating peace groups, they hatched a plan to stage the break-in on the night of a major championship boxing match. Another of the burglars, Keith Forsyth, described his motivation in a video produced by Retro Report.

  6. Stealing J. Edgar Hoover’s Secrets

    On March 8, 1971, a group of eight Vietnam War protestors broke into a Federal Bureau of Investigation field office in Media, Pennsylvania and stole hundreds of government documents that shocked a nation.

    The stolen memos, reports and internal correspondence provided the first tangible evidence that J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI was systematically targeting and harassing hundreds of American citizens then known collectively as “the New Left.”

  7. NYPD Decides To Ape FBI’s Tactics And Cite The ‘Mosaic Theory’ As The Reason It Won’t Disclose Budget Data
  8. Intelligence: American Spies Told To Clean Up And Get Persecuted

    The CIA has another intelligence collecting scandal to deal with. This time it was the November 2013 revelation that a former FBI agent (Robert Levinson) who disappeared while visiting Iran in 2007 was actually working for the CIA. Well, sort of. It seems Levinson was being paid by some CIA analysts to seek out some specific information while visiting Iran. The analysts were not using Levinson as a professional spy but as a professional observer.

  9. How a major bank and the U.S. government joined forces to spy on Anonymous
  10. Bank of America employs 20 full-time social media spies, watches anarchists and occupy protesters

    Bank of America works with fusion centers, the FBI, state and local police, and campus security to monitor public protest in the United States, newly disclosed documents confirm.

  11. Open Letter To OWS: You Were Right All Along

    The first thing I’d like to do as I conclude this open letter to the Occupy Movement is to congratulate every single person who consider themselves part of it. Contrary to the false narrative the corporate state has been trying to propagate so desperately, the Occupy Movement was enormously effective and successful if one takes into consideration the massive amount of resources the corporate state invested in suppressing it.

  12. Join us as we walk across the state of New Hampshire to bring awareness to the central issue that binds us all.

    As the first step in rebelling against a broken system and a dysfunctional Congress, the NHRebellion invites you to continue Granny D and Aaron’s work by walking down through New Hampshire. On January 11, 2014—15 years after Granny D began her walk, and beginning on the day Aaron died—we will walk the state from the top to the bottom, recruiting as many citizens in New

  13. One-Year Later: In Remembrance of Aaron Swartz

    Although our hearts remain heavy, on the one-year anniversary of his death we are reflecting as an organization and as individuals on how we can honor Aaron’s legacy by redoubling our commitment to the struggle for a more just and equitable world.

  14. Noam Chomsky: MIT Shares Blame For Aaron Swartz Tragedy

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology bears some of the blame for the tragedy of Internet activist Aaron Swartz’s suicide, according to author and activist Noam Chomsky, who has spent his academic career at the university.

  15. Why We’re Marching Across New Hampshire to Honor Aaron Swartz
  16. Lawrence Lessig Walking Across New Hampshire In Memory Of Aaron Swartz
  17. Aaron’s Walk: The New Hampshire Rebellion

    A system of corruption, not particular crimes. Our focus is not Rod Blagojevich; it is the system of campaign funding in which fundraising is key, and the funders represent the tiniest fraction of the 1%. That system, we believe, corrupts this democracy. (We, and 71% of Americans according to a recent poll.) And until that system changes, no sensible reform on the right or the left is possible. Politicians may continue to play this fundraising game. We believe that New Hampshire can change it.

  18. Prosecutors used this cybercrime law against Aaron Swartz. Now a senator wants to strengthen it.

    A high-ranking Democratic senator is trying to beef up the law that let prosecutors go after Internet activist Aaron Swartz.

    Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Wednesday introduced the Personal Data Privacy and Security Act, making it the fifth time since 2005 that the chairman of the powerful judiciary committee has brought the bill forward. The bill’s key aim is to standardize the disclosure rules governing businesses that have been hacked.

  19. Eric Holder Criticized On Anniversary Of Aaron Swartz Death
  20. Lawmakers to Holder: ‘Inconsistencies’ in Reports of Swartz Prosecution ‘Require Serious Responses’
  21. Why They Mattered: Aaron Swartz

    In January we lost Aaron Swartz, 26, to suicide. Or better, as the breadth of his work was wide and its depth, profound: In January we all lost Aaron Swartz to suicide.

  22. Losing Aaron

    After his son was arrested for downloading files at MIT, Bob Swartz did everything in his power to save him. He couldn’t. Now he wants the institute to own up to its part in Aaron’s death.

  23. A suicide’s fractured narrative: The death of computer programming whiz Aaron Swartz

    Suicides, by their nature, are difficult stories to tell. Unless the deceased leaves a note explaining everything, there is only a story with a terrible question mark at the end. Reporters have a natural tendency to focus on one event that must have prompted the decision to end it all. Depression is seldom so tidy.

Police Watch: January 2014

Posted in Action at 5:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Police abuses reported in the UK, as well as the US, with more interesting stories from Australia, Germany, and Argentina

  • “I witnessed and reported animal abuse… and now was being charged with a crime myself.”

    Taylor Radig worked undercover at a cattle company and documented horrific abuses of dairy calves. She turned her footage over to the Weld County Sheriff’s Office, and police said they were charging three of the farm workers with animal cruelty.

    But when Radig walked into the sheriff’s office to provide a formal statement a few months ago, the police turned around and told her that she, the whistleblower, was also being charged with animal cruelty for her investigation.

  • Is he your best friend? Or an undercover cop?

    Mark Kennedy undercop cop spyThe story of Mark Kennedy, the undercover cop who targeted social activists throughout Europe, was shocking to activists and the general public alike — among them Kennedy’s former friend Jason Kirkpatrick. Now, Kirkpatrick is creating a documentary about Kennedy’s spy ops. He’ll be in New York City and San Francisco this month to preview clips from Spied Upon.

  • Oakwood prison: G4S ‘must shape up or ship out’

    Labour calls on justice secretary to give private firm six months to improve situation at prison facing series of disturbances

  • At last, a law to stop almost anyone from doing almost anything

    Protesters, buskers, preachers, the young: all could end up with ‘ipnas’. Of course, if you’re rich, you have nothing to fear

  • Mark Duggan inquest: Furious protesters drown out police statement
  • Trigger happy Britain? How police shootings compare
  • One piece still missing from puzzle of fatal theater shooting: Why?
  • The corruption of Britain: UK’s key institutions infiltrated by criminals

    In 2003 Operation Tiberius found that men suspected of being Britain’s most notorious criminals had compromised multiple agencies, including HM Revenue & Customs, the Crown Prosecution Service, the City of London Police and the Prison Service, as well as pillars of the criminal justice system including juries and the legal profession.

  • Revealed: How gangs used the Freemasons to corrupt police

    Secret networks of Freemasons have been used by organised crime gangs to corrupt the criminal justice system, according to a bombshell Metropolitan Police report leaked to The Independent.

  • Revelations About Massive UK Police Corruption Shows Why We Cannot — And Must Not — Trust The Spies

    As Mike reported recently, the NSA has presented no credible evidence that its bulk metadata collection is stopping terrorist attacks, or keeping people safe. Instead, the argument in support of the secret activities of the NSA and its friends abroad has become essentially: “Trust us, we really have your best interests at heart.” But that raises the question: Can we really do that? New revelations from The Independent newspaper about massive and thorough-going corruption of the UK police and judiciary a decade ago show that we can’t…

  • Deadly Argentina looting spreads as police go on strike

    At least five people have been killed as looting spreads through Argentina.

    Hundreds have been injured as people took advantage of a police strike to rob shops and homes.

    Police have refused to go on patrol until their demands for a salary rise are met.

  • Unbelievably lenient sentence for cop who fingered suspects’ anuses
  • Legal challenge questions reliability of police dogs (last year but relevant)
  • Police seize possessions of rough sleepers in crackdown on homelessness

    Police in north London have seized blankets, sleeping bags and food donations from rough sleepers in a crackdown on homelessness.

    A local paper reported that the belongings, mostly donated by sympathetic members of the community, were snatched by police from a group of homeless people as they sheltered in an abandoned public baths for the night.

    The nine people, including a man in his sixties, were seeking cover from a cold night in Redbridge and were left stunned when their worldly possessions disappeared into the back of a police car.

    One of the men targeted in the action, Adam Jaskowiak, pleaded with officers to be allowed to keep his possessions for warmth. The 34-year-old said: “They [the police officers] were just taking the sleeping bags and chucking out everything. I asked to keep it, and the food, but they said ‘No’.

  • Jury Finds Two Officers Charged In Beating Death Of Homeless Man Not Guilty

    The incident, which began with Officer Ramos putting on gloves and announcing to Thomas that his “fists” were getting ready to “fuck him up,” and ended with Thomas in an irreversible coma, was caught on surveillance tape and synched to Ramos’ body mic recording. The tortured screams and gasps of the 135-lb. Thomas were unable to convince the jury find one of the cops guilty of lesser charges (Officer Cicinelli — charged with involuntary manslaughter and use of excessive force). Even Cicinelli’s own words — “I ran out of options and just started bashing the hell out of [Thomas'] face [with the butt end of his taser]” — failed to persuade the jury that the force used was excessive.

  • Fullerton police officers not guilty in homeless man’s death, prosecutors won’t try 3rd cop
  • Police: Cops who pulled Cushingberry over wanted to arrest him

    Police officials are refuting City Council President Pro Tem George Cushingberry’s claim that officers pulled him over Tuesday because he was black, pointing out that one of the officers involved was African-American.

  • He Stood Up Against the Steubenville ‘Rape Crew’, Now Let’s Stand Up For Him

    Lostutter believes that the FBI investigation and raid of his house been motivated by local officials in Steubenville. “They want to make an example of me.” Now, he is facing 10 years in prison for his “crime” of exposing the Steubenville rapists.

  • Teen Reported to Police After Finding Security Hole in Website

    A teenager in Australia who thought he was doing a good deed by reporting a security vulnerability in a government website was reported to the police.

  • Kid who found PTV website flaw deserves a medal
  • Cops kill mentally ill teen after parents call police to help him

    A Boiling Springs Lakes, North Carolina family is looking for answers after local police shot and killed their mentally ill teenage son while responding to a call for help.

    The family contends that Keith Vidal, 18, was “killed in cold blood” after police were requested to help calm the teenager down during a schizophrenic episode.

  • UVa Student Arrested and Jailed For Water Mistaken for Beer Plans Civil Lawsuit Against State

    Stemming from an incident in June where plainclothes Alcoholic Beverages Control (ABC) agents attempted to apprehend her, Elizabeth Daly is now planning on pursuing legal action for a wrongful arrest and a night spent in jail.

  • Using Mirrors To Show Police What They Have Become

    At noon on Dec. 30, protesters in central Kyiv held mirrors in front of police for 30 minutes to commemorate the night of Nov. 30 when riot police used excessive force to breakup a peaceful rally on Independence Square consisting mostly of university students.

  • Police impose martial law, locking section of Hamburg into “danger zone”

    Police obtained legal permission to impose a curfew by conservative politicians a while ago, and they use it to retaliate against people who defend Rote Flora from being evicted in the name of capitalist gentrification policies. Cops claimed that they were attacked at their police station “Davidswache” on December 20th and on December 28th, in separate clashes from the demonstration on December 21st, but a lawyer in Hamburg says there was no second attack at the police station Davidswache on the 28th. He has demanded the videos of the incident from the surveillance cameras.

  • Dozens of police injured as eviction protest turns violent in Hamburg (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

    Zeit Online has reported, citing a non-government organization, that about 500 protesters being injured, 20 of them seriously. However, this information cannot be independently verified.

    The cultural center’s squatting history dates back to 1989, when the Schanzenviertel area’s Rote Flora center was first occupied. Since then, its reputation as the central point for leftist rallying has been further cemented.

    But the public anger itself had also to do with the wider issue of migrant and refugee rights, including those of the squatters at a run-down apartment block in Hamburg’s Reeperbahn area – also the city’s red-light district, which contains the so-called Esso Houses. The buildings, also often home to Germany’s Lampedusa refugees, were evacuated last weekend because of their poor condition.

    After the initial chaos at the Rote Flora had subsided, the crowds migrated toward the Reeperbahn, where they were chased around the streets by the police.

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