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02.11.14

Skynet Watch: Surveillance for Assassination

Posted in Law at 5:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Abuse of technology and removal of technological rights like privacy for political goals

  • Skynet Is Here (And Stealing Your Jobs)

    In a bid to make local communities safer and give local law enforcement agencies more tools to fight crime, California-based Knightscope recently unveiled a line of K5 robots that it believes will “predict and prevent crime with an innovative combination of hardware, software and social engagement.”

  • Mass Surveillance: The Day We Fight Back
  • Snowden plea bargain speculation played down by ex-CIA and NSA chief

    Michael Hayden says he sees little appetite for deal with whistleblower, and portrays US surveillance reforms as limited

  • Reddit, Tumblr and More Protest NSA With “Day We Fight Back”

    On Tuesday, a little more than two years after the “blackout” in opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), Internet freedom activists are officially “planning a day of protest against mass surveillance” aimed at the National Security Agency.

  • NSA Strives to Restore 100% Coverage of Phone Calls as in the Days of George W. Bush

    If you’re concerned about the privacy of your phone calls, take heart: There’s less than a 30% chance the federal government is tracking them…for now.

  • Request to Caitlin Hayden for Full NSA Comments

    Hayden has been quoted in a recently published book, “The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man,” as responding to inquiries from the Guardian newspaper concerning disclosure of classified NSA documents, and quoted as well in a news report today, 10 February 2014, “The NSA’s Secret Role in the U.S. Assassination Program,” by Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald, concerning release of classified information about alleged NSA role in drone strikes. It would be beneficial for the public to have access to Hayden’s full remarks in both these cases rather than snippets favoring the news outlets’ side. I would like to publish Hayden’s full remarks on the public education website, Cryptome.org, of which I am the administrator, which since 1996 has provided information on intelligence agencies.

  • Whistleblower: NSA targets SIM cards for drone strikes, ‘Death by unreliable metadata’

    The “NSA has played an increasingly central role in drone killings over the past five years,” according to a former drone operator for the Joint Special Operations Command’s (JSOC) High Value Targeting task force who has also worked with the NSA. On the condition of anonymity, the whistleblower agreed to talk about the top-secret programs to The Intercept’s reporters Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald. His account was backed up by former U.S. Air Force drone sensor operator Brandon Bryant as well as documents leaked by Edward Snowden.Drone strikes based on NSA geolocation of SIM cards

  • How drone strikes based on NSA surveillance kill innocents

    The first report from Greenwald and Scahill’s new site highlights dangerous role of NSA phone tracking

  • Report alleges NSA role in U.S. drone assassinations
  • New Whistleblower Reveals NSA Picking Drone Targets Based On Bad Data: ‘Death By Unreliable Metadata’

    Late last night, the new publication from Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill launched. It’s called The Intercept, and I imagine that it’s going to be a must-follow for a variety of reasons. Its first major article digs deep into the NSA’s role in killing people with drones (often innocent people) based on questionable metadata. Remember how NSA defenders kept insisting that “it’s just metadata” as if that was no big deal? Well, what about when that metadata is being used to kill people?

  • Why Should AP Withhold Name of Country Where US Might Launch Drone & Kill Another US Citizen?

    Late in the afternoon, the Los Angeles Times went ahead and released the name of the country: Pakistan. That it explains the concern. There definitely are special operations forces from the US operating covertly in the country and the US cannot call too much attention to them without risking blowback.

    A United States citizen, who happens to be an alleged member of al Qaeda, is reportedly planning attacks on Americans who are overseas. The Associated Press reports, based on the comments of four anonymous United States officials, that President Barack Obama’s administration is contemplating how it can legally add this citizen to a “kill list” so he could be killed by a drone.

  • Obama administration mulls drone strike to kill suspected American Al-Qaeda member feared plotting attacks

    An American citizen who is a member of Al-Qaeda is actively planning attacks against Americans overseas, U.S. officials say, and the Obama administration is wrestling with whether to kill him with a drone strike and how to do so legally under its new stricter targeting policy issued last year.

  • US considers drone strike on American al-Qaida suspect abroad

    An American citizen who is a member of al-Qaida is actively planning attacks against Americans overseas, US officials say, and the Obama administration is wrestling with whether to kill him with a drone strike and how to do so legally under its new stricter targeting policy issued last year.

  • Obama administration considering drone killing of US citizen

    A United States citizen accused of being an overseas “Al-Qaeda facilitator” could soon be killed by an American drone, the Associated Press reported on Monday, but first the US government must find a way to legally launch such a strike.

  • Administration Officials Perform Some Very Public Handwringing Over Extrajudicial Drone Killing

    The administration has sort of painted itself into a corner with its new rules on drone strikes. It’s apparently seeking to take out a US citizen who has joined al-Qaeda and is “actively plotting” against the US. Multiple issues have arisen, thanks to Obama’s better-late-than-never drone guidelines, which were issued last year to appease the many countries perturbed by the US government’s increasing reliance on drones to take out suspected terrorists.

  • Obama Officials Weigh Drone Attack on US Suspect
  • Obama administration American terror suspect possibly targeted for drone attack

    The case of an American citizen and suspected member of al-Qaida who is planning attacks on U.S. targets overseas underscores the complexities of President Barack Obama’s new stricter targeting guidelines for the use of deadly drones.

    The CIA drones watching him cannot strike because he’s a U.S. citizen. The Pentagon drones that could are barred from the country where he’s hiding, and the Justice Department has not yet finished building a case against him.

  • Giuliani: Leak of Drone Target Compromises Mission

    U.S. officials who leaked plans for a possible drone strike on a U.S. citizen planning terror attacks don’t take their oaths of office seriously and should worry President Barack Obama, says former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

  • The U.S. May Be Planning to Kill Another U.S. Citizen Abroad

    “U.S. officials” have told Kimberly Dozier of the Associated Press that the Obama administration is wrestling with a decision over whether to kill a U.S. citizen who is a member of al-Qaida and is reportedly actively planning attacks against U.S. citizens abroad.

  • Should Obama administration murder American citizen with drone strike?

    There is a reason we have courts and constitutional protection that one will get a fair trial before being punished for the crime he/she may or may not have done. Killing a suspect without giving fair trail is taking away his/her constitutional rights.

  • Anti-drone activist kidnapped in Pakistan before he was due to testify in Europe

    A prominent Pakistani journalist and anti-drone activist has gone missing after nearly two dozen men stormed his home and abducted him, his lawyer announced on Monday – just days before he was due to testify before European parliamentarians.

    Kareem Khan was taken from his home in Rawalpindi – a city located just nine miles away from Islamabad in Punjab province – by approximately 20 men. Shahzad Akbar, Khan’s lawyer, told AFP that many of the men were wearing police uniforms, though the affiliation of the kidnappers remains unknown.

  • Google Unmasks the Anonymous With Google Authorship

    Google has a goal in mind and it has more to do with visitor identification as it relates to targeted advertising than it has to do with improving the quality, speed, or usefulness of searching or finding. This demands drawing out as many anonymous visitors as possible. This includes members with false names, stage names, brand names, noms de plume, and noms de guerre. Google wants to triangulate real name with as much online behavior as possible. Google’s apps, products, phones, OSes, and services are just elaborate strategies to lure Internet denizens out of the cold and into the system. The greater the number of points of reference connecting that user with online behavior the better. And it’s all for market data. It all comes down to revenue generation: AdWords, ad networks, and back-office partnerships and deals with other ad networks and revenue-generating schemes.

  • Another Successful Cryptoparty

    On Thursday night, as part of Manchester’s week long free software festival, Manchester Open Rights Group were helping to run a CryptoParty.

02.07.14

Save Net Neutrality in Europe Because Net Neutrality’s Death in the US Already Helps ISPs Censor the Internet/Web

Posted in Law at 10:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

RIP Internet?

Vint Cerf
By Вени Марковски

Summary: The crisis of the Internet deepens as another form of censorship is added to a Net already riddled with censorship, surveillance, and prospectively DRM

OVER THE past few months we have stressed the importance of Net Neutrality in Europe [1, 2, 3]. The Web was invented in Europe (in Switzerland by a British scientist), unlike the Internet, which was a military project in the US.

This British scientist now sounds like somewhat of a puppet for Hollywood when he promotes DRM for the likes of Netflix. Many people on the Web are berating this founder of the Web over his outrageous DRM policy [1, 2], but he just doesn’t seem to care. He presses on with calls to re-decentralize the Web [1], pretending that censorship and authority have nothing to do with DRM (in that respect, he is hypocritical at best).

The Web in Europe faces issues other than DRM because there is also censorship (very widespread in the UK right now) and ‘soft’ censorship, which Net Neutrality is intended to tackle. It is reported [2], albeit denied by Verizon [3], that the war on Netflix is waged with tiered Web, and there is expectation of reaction from Netflix [4] although we are not seeing any. In fact, the US government seems to have almost given up on Net Neutrality and the EU Parliament will soon vote on the fate of Net Neutrality in Europe [5]. Given what some European politicians have been saying and doing, we oughtn’t assume that they are not going to follow the US model/precedence (laws in the US tend to spread through Europe to the rest of the world, e.g. patent law and copyright law). We cannot trust Internet service providers which are lobbying the government against our collective interest [6] and US politicians are still divided on the matter of Net Neutrality [7] (one would expect to see bipartisanship here). A site funded by Netscape’s founder says that 2014 is “The Year America Broke The Internet” [8]. One million people call on FCC to “save net neutrality” [9], but the lobbyist who runs the FCC (Wheeler) can hardly be bothered [10] (too weak a statement, seemingly just lip service).

The EU Parliament is still said to be “divided” on the issue of Net Neutrality [11]. Shouldn’t it be a non-controversial issue, where all politicians actually do what’s good for all voters? Apparently not. Companies like Verizon, Comcast and AT&T have the largest army of lobbyists (top ranked for budget), corrupting Congress and authorities outside the United States too. “AT&T Develops Credits System to Limit File-Sharing Bandwidth,” says one very recent headline [12] (already capitalising with caps after the Net Neutrality ruling). Scientists [13,14] and human rights advocates [15] explain the importance of the issue at stake as the Internet moves forward [16]. What seems to be happening here is gradual death of the Internet as we know it. Some traffic gets blocked or throttled, bizarre censorship rules are being imposed in the Web (ISPs conspire and collude), and DRM becomes part of the ‘standard’ (for Hollywood, or the copyright cartel), not to mention deep packet inspection (DPI) among other means of surveillance (by governments and corporations). Some “freedom”, eh? We need an alternative to the Internet, unless we can save what we already have…

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Tim Berners-Lee: We need to re-decentralize the Web

    Twenty-five years after the Web’s inception, its creator has urged the public to reengage with its original design: a decentralized Internet that remains open to all.

  2. Verizon Using Recent Net Neutrality Victory to Wage War Against Netflix

    On January 17, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled, as a matter of first impression, that First Amendment defamation rules apply equally to both the institutional press and individual speakers and writers, such as bloggers.

  3. Verizon denies reports of Netflix throttling following net neutrality’s death

    Have U.S. Internet users’ worst fears just been realized? A new report from iScan Online programmer David Raphael claims to confirm that Verizon, which you might recall helped lead the charge against net neutrality regulations, has begun limiting the bandwidth utilized by certain websites for its FiOS Internet subscribers. In a blog post on Wednesday, Raphael shared a troubling account of issues that his company had been experiencing with service slowdowns. After digging into the problem he finally contacted Verizon customer support, which seemingly confirmed that the ISP is throttling bandwidth used by some cloud service providers including Amazon AWS, which supports huge services including Netflix and countless others. As BGR has learned, however, this is in fact not the case.

  4. Netflix’s Battle For Net Neutrality Could Look Like This

    If the war over net neutrality is going to be fought in the court of public opinion, as Netflix suggested last week, then the company could learn a lot from one of its most pernicious rivals: BitTorrent.

  5. EU Parliament Will Soon Vote on the Fate of Net Neutrality in Europe

    In the coming days, committees of the European Parliament will decide the fate of Net neutrality in Europe. Ahead of European elections, our representatives cannot miss this opportunity to truly defend EU citizens’ rights, protect communications online and thus guarantee freedom of expression and information throughout Europe.

  6. Warning: do not trust your internet service provider

    Imagine going to netflix.com and picking a movie to watch on their instant streaming catalogue. After a few seconds of buffering, the movie starts playing and you sit back to enjoy your fifth viewing of “The Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement.” The video starts stuttering again and a message pops-up: “Would you like to subscribe to the Super-Netflix plan that will allow you to view the thousands of movies in their catalogue in the highest quality possible?”

  7. Democrats Introduce Open Internet Preservation Act To Restore Net Neutrality

    Democrats in the House and Senate today introduced the Open Internet Preservation Act, a bill that would reinstate now-defunct net neutrality rules that were shot down last month.

    Net neutrality, in its most basic form, is the idea that ISPs must treat all Internet data the same. Under its regime, ISPs are not allowed to selectively speed up or slow down information requested by their customers due to their selective gatekeeping of the services impacted. Or, more simply, Comcast can’t decide that a site you want to load, or a video you want to watch, should be slowed, and content that it prefers, accelerated.

    With last month’s striking of the FCC’s net neutrality ruling, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has changed the landscape of the Internet.

  8. 2014: The Year America Broke The Internet

    A recent decision by a US Appeals court ended the regulation of the internet as we know it. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was deemed to have created a framework for ensuring the concept of “net neutrality” out-with the remit for the organisation it created itself. Now, a former FCC chairman has called for a “nuclear option” to reclassify Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as common carriers.

  9. One million people call on FCC to “save net neutrality”

    Resurrect net neutrality rules by declaring ISPs common carriers, petition says.

  10. FCC’s Wheeler Vows to Take Next Steps on Net Neutrality ‘Shortly’

    The pressure is mounting on the Federal Communications Commission to revisit how it will regulate net neutrality in the wake of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals decision that tossed the rules back in the regulator’s lap.

    On Thursday, Free Press and more than 80 other organizations, including ACLU, Common Cause, ColorofChange, Demand Progress, and even the Harry Potter Alliance, delivered a petition to the FCC at the conclusion of the agency’s monthly meeting.

  11. EU Parliament Still Divided on the Issue of Net Neutrality

    The proposal of the European Commission on Net neutrality is currently discussed within the European Parliament. Committees appointed for opinion have already expressed their point of view on this text – except the Civil liberties (LIBE) committee, whose report will be voted on February 12th.

  12. AT&T Develops Credits System to Limit File-Sharing Bandwidth

    A patent application by telecoms giant AT&T details a traffic management system set to add a little more heat to the net neutrality debate. Rather than customers using their Internet connections to freely access any kind of data, the telecoms giant envisions a system in which subscribers engaged in “non-permissible” transfers, such as file-sharing and movie downloading, can be sanctioned or marked for increased billing.

  13. Why you should care about the end of net neutrality

    IS THIS the end of the internet as we know it? On 14 January, the guiding principle of internet freedom, known as net neutrality, was demolished in a US appeals court in Washington DC. Pro-neutrality activists say it is the harbinger of dark times for our connected world. Information will no longer be free, but governed by the whims of big business. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Verizon and AT&T argue that since they built the physical backbone of the net they should be able to charge people to use it.

  14. We – and that includes you – must preserve Net Neutrality

    I have just signed a petition on Net Neutrality; written to the MEP/Rapporteur for the ITRE process; and written to my MEPs. Ten years ago that would have taken me all day. Now it takes under half an hour.

  15. The Internet You Know and Love is in Danger

    Net neutrality – the principle that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must treat all data on the Internet equally – is vital to free speech. But earlier this month, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the FCC’s net neutrality rules, jeopardizing the openness of the Internet that we have come to take for granted.

  16. Nine Things to Expect from HTTP/2

    Making HTTP/2 succeed means that it has to work with the existing Web. So, this effort is about getting the HTTP we know on the wire in a better way, not changing what the protocol means.

    This means HTTP/2 isn’t introducing new methods, changing headers or switching around status codes. In fact, the library that you use for HTTP/1 can be updated to support HTTP/2 without changing any application code.

02.06.14

Privacy Watch: GCHQ Resorts to DDOS Attacks, New Smears Against Snowden, Greenwald to Get Journalism Award

Posted in Law at 5:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Today’s and yesterday’s news items about mass surveillance and abuse

  • Snowden leak: GCHQ DDoSed chatrooms of Anonymous, LulzSec

    British intelligence ran denial-of-service attacks against chatrooms used by Anonymous and LulzSec, according to an investigation by NBC News involving Snowden confidante Glenn Greenwald.

  • Snowden Leak: GCHQ Targeted Anonymous With DoS Attacks
  • Jake Davis: Following Latest GCHQ Revelations, Who are the Real Criminals?

    In recent years we’ve learned that the FBI has no problem with using informants to organise, encourage, and assist computer hacking at a global level, and now it seems GCHQ has been in on the double-standards game too: launching Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against chat servers hosted by Anonymous in 2010/2011 in order to scare off supporters of the movement.

  • Victims Of GCHQ’s Denial Of Service Attacks Start Asking Who Are The Real Criminals?

    Earlier today, we wrote about the latest Snowden docs, in which it was revealed that the UK spy agency, GCHQ, was engaged in DDoS attacks on people participating in Anonymous chats and other events, while also helping to identify certain participants, leading to their eventual arrests and convictions. Basically, it looks like GCHQ was engaged in widespread DDoSing, while at the same time helping to convict some kids for doing their own DDoSing. We’ve already questioned whether or not GCHQ is even supposed to be doing that to UK citizens (they’re supposed to be focused on foreign targets), but some of those convicted are already questioning how it’s right that they were convicted of the same thing that the GCHQ itself was doing to them.

  • New surveillance technology can track everyone in an area for several hours at a time

    As Americans have grown increasingly comfortable with traditional surveillance cameras, a new, far more powerful generation is being quietly deployed that can track every vehicle and person across an area the size of a small city, for several hours at a time. Although these cameras can’t read license plates or see faces, they provide such a wealth of data that police, businesses and even private individuals can use them to help identify people and track their movements.

  • Former NSA chief explains how Snowden gained high-level access
  • Snowden leaks: The man who watches over the NSA

    Whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations have revealed that a huge capability resides within America’s National Security Agency to collect and analyse communications.

  • Wheeler: “Clapper Confirms NSA Engages In Domestic Surveillance,” It’s Not Just “Terrorism”

    After closely following the National Security Agency story for two years (16+ months before anyone ever heard the name, Edward Snowden), I can honestly say that blogger and journalist Marcy Wheeler’s real-time coverage of this incredible chapter in the Orwellian history of our nation’s clandestine underbelly blows the doors off of virtually everyone (as she’s again reminding us, in multiple stories over the past day), in terms of her intensive and incisive analysis of the hard information and public statements that are being released by our government in the wake of the Snowden document leaks this past June.

  • John McCain Wants A Special NSA Committee, And Dianne Feinstein Isn’t Too Happy About That

    At least four different Senate committees have jurisdiction over the leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden — and now Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) wants to create one committee to rule them all.

    McCain introduced legislation on Tuesday that would create a special new committee to investigate the NSA. He has been calling for the creation of such a committee since October, and the resolution is his first concrete step toward that goal.

  • Glenn Greenwald denies selling NSA documents
  • Snowden ally Greenwald to get top journalism award for reports on NSA spying

    Glenn Greenwald and three other journalists who were the first to report on whistleblower Edward Snowden’s leaked NSA files will receive a George Polk award for their work. That’s according to a source familiar with the plans to award the prestigious prize later this month.

  • A Smoking Gun: Online DEA Manuals Show How Feds Use NSA Spy Data, Train Local Cops to Construct False Chains of Evidence

    Whoever suggests the Snowden revelations mean nothing to the lives of ordinary black people either isn’t paying close attention, or is working for the police and prison state. The federal DEA, the Justice Department’s federal drug police, have passed tons illegal NSA spying data to local police agencies and cynically coached them to lie about the sources of their evidence. It’s not exaggeration or hype. You can view the manuals online for yourself.

  • Wozniak criticizes cloud dependence in light of NSA

    Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak says he has sympathy for companies at odds with the NSA and its surveillance tactics, but that their own dependence on server farms is part of the problem.

    “I think most companies, just like Apple, start out young and idealistic,” Wozniak said at the Apps World North America convention here. “But now all these companies are going to the cloud. And with the cloud you don’t have any control.”

  • Swiss govt tightens computer security amid NSA spying concerns

    Citing worries about foreign surveillance efforts, the government of Switzerland has ordered tighter control methods on its own computer and phone technology systems in order to prevent Swiss communications from being monitored.

  • Author of the Patriot Act Says NSA Bulk Collection Is Illegal

    Since the revelations about the NSA from Edward Snowden’s leaks last year, Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, who authored the Patriot Act, has come out in opposition to certain NSA surveillance practices, particularly bulk collection of Americans’ telephone metadata.

  • Germany’s Schroeder was number 388 on NSA spying list – report
  • Verizon ‘Dispels NSA Inaccuracies’ With More Inaccuracies

    For a long time Verizon was dead silent regarding their cooperation with the NSA, with the only public comment at one point being to mock Yahoo and Google for demanding greater government transparency. R

  • Internet Firms Release Data on NSA Requests

    A flurry of new reports from major technology companies show that the government collects customer information on tens of thousands of Americans every six months as part of secret national security investigations. And the companies’ top lawyers struck a combative stance, saying the Obama administrative needs to provide more transparency about its data collection.

  • Who Did the NSA’s Illegal Spying Put in Jail?

    Last week, the ACLU joined a constitutional challenge to the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (FAA), the statute that allows the NSA to engage in dragnet surveillance of Americans’ international phone calls and emails. With the Federal Defenders Office, we filed a motion on behalf of Jamshid Muhtorov, the first criminal defendant to receive notice that he had been monitored under this controversial spying law. But Mr. Muhtorov received this notice only after the Department of Justice (DOJ) abandoned its previous policy of concealing FAA surveillance in criminal cases — a policy that violated both the statute itself and defendants’ due process rights.

  • Edward Snowden NSA revelations forge pro-privacy bond among liberal and conservative lawmakers in U.S. states

    Revelations of National Security Agency surveillance programs have prompted state lawmakers around the United States to propose bills to curtail the powers of law enforcement to monitor and track citizens.

  • State lawmakers push back against government surveillance

    Angry over revelations of National Security Agency surveillance and frustrated with what they consider outdated digital privacy laws, state lawmakers around the nation are proposing bills to curtail the powers of law enforcement to monitor and track citizens.

  • Civil liberties: We the people must stop NSA infringements

    “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt was upholding the wisdom of our founding fathers. But we have governed our country by the opposite creed since 9/11.

  • NSA surveillance should not be the new normal
  • Curbs on NSA are necessary

    Based upon the disturbing revelations of the NSA power abuse that continue to come into the light of transparency, it is clear that significant changes and controls need to be made in how the NSA is allowed to conduct business.

  • The first congressman to battle the NSA is dead. No-one noticed, no-one cares.

    Last month, former Congressman Otis Pike died, and no one seemed to notice or care. That’s scary, because Pike led the House’s most intensive and threatening hearings into US intelligence community abuses, far more radical and revealing than the better-known Church Committee’s Senate hearings that took place at the same time. That Pike could die today in total obscurity, during the peak of the Snowden NSA scandal, is, as they say, a “teachable moment” —one probably not lost on today’s already spineless political class.

02.05.14

NSA Watch: More Disturbing Revelations

Posted in Law at 6:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The latest reports which uncover misconduct at NSA and its accomplices around the world

  • Those NSA Transparency Reports From Google Aren’t So Transparent

    Google, Facebook, Microsoft and LinkedIn all made headlines today for releasing “transparency” reports about the number of users for which the U.S. government has requested data.

    We now know that major Internet companies have given up personal information from between 0-15,999 user accounts, but we don’t know what exactly was given up or whether additional data was taken without the companies’ knowledge.

  • NSA Reform

    The revelations, leaks, and laws of the last few years, from warrantless wiretapping and Edward Snowden to laws like SOPA, ACTA, and now the president’s attempt to fast track TPP, have painted a portrait of a superpower increasingly at war with the net. But people like the net, they live more and more of their lives on the net, which makes this conflict politically difficult and confusing.

  • Websites Vary Prices, Deals Based on Users’ Information

    “How can they get away with that?” said Ms. Frizzell, who works in Bergheim, Texas.

    In what appears to be an unintended side effect of Staples’ pricing methods—likely a function of retail competition with its rivals—the Journal’s testing also showed that areas that tended to see the discounted prices had a higher average income than areas that tended to see higher prices.

  • New Zealand Spy Agency Deleted Evidence About Its Illegal Spying On Kim Dotcom

    I have to admit that I’m consistently amazed at just how badly law enforcement in both the US and New Zealand appeared to screw up the raid and the case against Kim Dotcom. I’ve said it a few times before, but it really feels like authorities in both places actually believed the bogus Hollywood hype being spread by the MPAA about how Dotcom was really a James Bondian-villain, and acted accordingly, while ignoring any evidence to the contrary. As you know by now, the New Zealand equivalent of the NSA, the GCSB, illegally spied on Kim Dotcom and other New Zealand residents and citizens — and the New Zealand government then decided to try to hide that. While the police agreed that the spying was illegal, they declined to do anything about it, so Dotcom sued the government himself.

  • Has NSA Wiretapping Violated Attorney-Client Privilege?

    A document leaked by Edward Snowden, along with interviews with lawyers representing terrorism suspects, reveal a disturbing loophole in this once-sacred legal principle.

  • Perfecting the Art of Sensible Nonsense

    As a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1996, Amit Sahai was fascinated by the strange notion of a “zero-knowledge” proof, a type of mathematical protocol for convincing someone that something is true without revealing any details of why it is true. As Sahai mulled over this counterintuitive concept, it led him to consider an even more daring notion: What if it were possible to mask the inner workings not just of a proof, but of a computer program, so that people could use the program without being able to figure out how it worked?

  • Strong Man Snowden Rings the Bell in Geekland

    “I think Mr. Snowden did a great service to humankind,” said Gonzalo Velasco C. “He confirmed something many ‘crazy geeks’ have been saying for years. The countries that have denied him political asylum are to be remembered as cowards.” Nobel prizes are “not only about the real merit — we have seen former war-makers get a peace price! But I doubt he is going to get this one.”

  • NSA ‘spied on former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’

    Mr Schroeder said he was unsurprised by the latest US spying revelation

  • NSA ‘tapped Gerhard Schröder’s phone too’

    Schröder, the Social Democrat chancellor who served from 1998 to 2005, appears on a list of names of people and institutions put under surveillance by the US National Security Agency (NSA) from 2002, at the start of his second mandate as German head of state.

  • NSA tapped German ex-chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s phone – report

    German media say Angela Merkel’s predecessor was put under surveillance after opposition to military action in Iraq in 2002

  • Anti-NSA Crusader Outraises Susan Collins in Fourth Quarter of 2013

    Shenna Bellows outraised Collins in the last quarter of 2013, raking in $331,454, compared with the $314,921 raised by Collins during the same period, according to filings made with the Federal Election Commission. The margin is slight, but it’s noteworthy in part for Bellows’s vocal stance against the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, which she derides as unconstitutional.

  • NSA website can’t encrypt its covert mission to convert kids

    Lots of children play games and use toys related to adult careers: cops and robbers, spaceman, Operation, among many others. Playing in this manner teaches children about different jobs and inspires them to want to become doctors, cops or actors.

  • Belgian Prosecutor Looking Into Reports That NSA/GCHQ Hacked Well-Known Belgian Cryptographer

    Of course, looking into it doesn’t mean very much at this point. There had been serious concerns about how the NSA and GCHQ used the attacks on Belgacom to then bug systems at the EU Parliament in Brussels. Whether or not they’ll do something in response to “just” hacking a cryptographer remains to be seen — but it should remind basically everyone in the world that the NSA/GCHQ don’t seem to have any hesitation about hacking just about anyone.

  • Arizona first US state to attempt legal resistance to NSA surveillance

    Arizona’s state senate panel approved a bill withdrawing state support for intelligence agencies’ collection of metadata and banning the use of warrantless data in courts. The panel becomes the first legislative body in US to try and thwart NSA spying.

    The bill will now have to be approved by majority of the Senate Rules committee before it can move on to the full senate. It prohibits Arizona public employees and departments from helping intelligence agencies collect records of phone-calls and emails, as well as metadata (information on where and when the phone calls were made).

  • Yahoo leads NSA-FBI account content data demands

    Fresh disclosures about national security requests indicate that Yahoo was ordered to hand over content from more accounts than other tech firms during the first six months of 2013.

  • Dept of Justice official admits NSA ‘probably’ spying on members of Congress

    The US National Security Agency likely collects intelligence on congressional lawmakers and members of their staff, a Justice Department official admitted at a committee hearing on Tuesday.

  • House committee urges US government to get behind NSA reform bill

    Judiciary committee warns Obama administration to back USA Freedom Act or risk losing its counter-terrorism powers

  • Senior Congressman calls Greenwald a “thief” who sold NSA documents

    Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) has been very unhappy about the leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden from the very beginning. Now the head of the powerful House Intelligence Committee has become one of several personalities at the heart of the NSA leak scandal to lash out at one of the journalists publishing stories about the documents.

  • Ex-NSA Chief Details Snowden’s Hiring at Agency, Booz Allen

02.03.14

Privacy/NSA Watch: Corporate Spying, Snowden Smears, German Anger, and More Lawsuits

Posted in Law at 4:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: This weekend’s (and Monday’s) news about the NSA and other privacy violators

Aggression Watch: Torture and Assassination of ‘Suspects’

Posted in Law at 4:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: News about aggressive approaches to domination

Torture Report

  • DOJ: Feinstein’s Committee Controls CIA Torture Report; Has Final Say Over Public Release

    The Senate Intelligence Committee voted to approve the 6,000-page report, which the panel’s Democratic chairwoman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, said, “uncovers startling details about the CIA detention and interrogation program,” on December 13, 2012. The panel provided copies of the document to the White House, Department of State, CIA and Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) for their review and comment.

  • Release the Senate torture report

    Last night, John Rizzo told an audience at Fordham Law School that he supports the public release of a Senate report on CIA interrogation and detention after 9/11. Rizzo, acting CIA general counsel 2001-2002 and 2004-2009, and one of the Bush Administration legal officials who approved many of the torture techniques used in interrogations of terror suspects, said adamantly, “I would like to see it released.”

  • Senate Intelligence Committee Clashes With CIA Over Interrogations Report

    The 6,300-page Senate report on CIA “enhanced interrogations” remains officially classified, but that hasn’t stopped CIA officials from repeatedly and loudly condemning the report publicly, insisting it is filled with unspecified errors.

Outsourcing Torture

  • CIA front exposed by UK Ambassador, interview with Craig Murray

    At the beginning of the US war on terror, and even to this day, the US literally kidnapped “suspects” and took them to countries where the could torture and even kill suspects. This practice of kidnapping and usually flying suspects around the world and then torturing or killing them in countries with poor human rights records or brutal regimes happened so much that the practice soon became known to all and the name for it “extraordinary rendition” became a household word.

  • Poland And Lithuania Haunted By Their Involvement In Hosting CIA Torture Prisons – OpEd

    In the long search for accountability for the torturers of the Bush administration, which has largely been shut down by President Obama, lawyers and human rights activists have either had to try shaming the US through the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, or have had to focus on other countries, particularly those that hosted secret CIA torture prisons, or had explicit involvement in extraordinary rendition.

  • How The CIA Made Dupes Of Polish Intelligence

    The Washington Post story was both scary and a bit comical: Polish intelligence received $15 million from the CIA to operate secret prisons — or “black sites” — and the money was supposedly delivered in two cardboard boxes. Hmmm.

  • CIA prison in Poland? No comment, says White House

    A top security adviser to President Obama has said that the allegations of a CIA prison in Poland are a “matter for the Polish government and Polish justice”. – See more at: http://www.thenews.pl/1/10/Artykul/160420,CIA-prison-in-Poland-No-comment-says-White-House#sthash.BFlKwUXd.dpuf

Brennan

Assassination

  • January 2014 Update: US covert actions in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia
  • Drones or UAVs? The search for a more positive name

    At the moment only the US, the UK and Israel are using armed drones – but many others are building them – because they bring new capabilities.

    Take, as an example, this story I heard on a trip to Pakistan last year.

    An Arab militant used to sleep in the same room as his wife and children in one of Pakistan’s tribal areas.

  • First month without a US drone strike in Pakistan for over two years

    There were no reported drone strikes in Pakistan in January. This is the first calendar month without a drone strike in more than two years.

  • Over 300 US drone strikes in Pakistan since 2006 – leaked official data

    Top-secret documentation collected by Pakistani field officers gives detailed information on 330 US drone strikes that have occurred in Pakistan since 2006. The CIA-run program is estimated to have killed 2,371 people.

    From solitary individuals riding on horseback to mountain hideouts crammed with people, the CIA drone program has had no shortage of targets in the Islamic Republic, according to newly released information obtained by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ).

  • Total Drone Deaths in Pakistan Top 2,000

    More than 2,200 people have been killed by U.S. drones operating in Pakistan since 2006, according to a report obtained by the U.K.-based group The Bureau for Investigative Journalism.

  • Manipulating the Data on CIA Drone Strikes against Civilians: Leaked Pakistani Document contradicts US Accounts

    A secret Pakistani government document contradicts several of the US’s rare public statements on the CIA’s drone strikes in Pakistan.

    The document outlines over 300 drone strikes dating between 2006 and September 2013. It is compiled by local officials using a network of on-the-ground agents and informants reporting to the FATA Secretariat, the tribal administration.

  • Ed Kinane Tells Judge Why He Protests Drone Killing

    We will not resist or evade arrest and if prosecuted, we will use the judicial process to continue our anti-drone campaign. Where possible we will put the Pentagon’s and CIA’s use of hunter/killer drones itself on trial.

  • Drone Protesters on Trial Across U.S.
  • Bader: Drone strikes cause more problems than they solve

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, more commonly known as drones, have been in use for years but have recently become a topic of controversy because of their increased use by the Obama administration. The U.S. military uses drones to do surveillance in hostile areas and to conduct missile strikes on military targets. Drones are praised for being precise in their strikes, which arguably reduces civilian casualties. Additionally, since no one is in the drones, they keep soldiers out of the line of fire.

01.31.14

NSA Watch: New Faces, Same Policy, Obama Defends Clapper

Posted in Law at 5:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Today’s news about privacy and the NSA in particular

  • Support the Making of the Animated Movie “Reclaim Our Privacy!”

    La Quadrature du Net launches a crowd-funding campaign to support the making of the upcoming animation movie about privacy, mass surveillance, and the urgency to rethink our relationship with technology. Help us finance this project!

  • Ukrainian police use cellphones to track protesters, court order shows

    Demonstrators protesting Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych suspected their cellphone location data was being tracked since at least last week, when people in the vicinity of a clash between riot police and protesters received a chilling text message. It read: “Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance.”

  • Kerry meets Merkel amid anger at NSA eavesdropping
  • Kerry seeks to calm German anger at NSA reports

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that relations with Germany have gone through a “rough patch” recently because of revelations about NSA spying, but insisted that the two countries can put the episode behind them.

  • Jairam Ramesh among leaders angered by NSA surveillance

    Leaders from several countries, including Union Minister Jairam Ramesh, have reacted angrily to revelations that the US spied on their governments at the 2009 Copenhagen climate summit, according to a media report.

  • DW’s Webtalk on the NSA and Syria

    Leaders from several countries, including Union Minister Jairam Ramesh, have reacted angrily to revelations that the US spied on their governments at the 2009 Copenhagen climate summit, according to a media report.

  • Germany says US not co-operating enough on NSA scandal

    German interior minister Thomas de Maiziere at the Munich Security Conference Friday said the US is not doing enough to restore trust after the NSA scandal: “The information we are being provided with is not satisfactory and the political damage [of the NSA's work] is greater than the security benefit.”

  • Kerry admits ‘rough period’ in US-German ties over NSA

    US Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged Friday that relations with Germany had gone through a “rough period” of late over NSA snooping but that shared security priorities would keep the countries close.

  • Why the NSA gets higher marks for privacy than business

    Those of you following the steady stream of news stories on the National Security Agency’s insatiable appetite for information already know that the spy agency has figured out how to snatch data from mobile apps. Since 2007, The NSA and its partner Britain’s Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) have siphoned from apps address books, buddy lists, phone logs and geographic data.

  • NSA pursues quantum technology

    NSA also wishes to develop the technology so that it is capable of breaking modern Internet security.

  • Deutsche Telekom: NSA/GCHQ revelations an opportunity

    German operator group Deutsche Telekom has hailed last year’s revelations that the US spy agency NSA and the UK’s GCHQ had been monitoring ordinary citizens’ browsing and messaging habits as an “opportunity” for operators to provide data privacy and data security services.

  • Why NSA Snooping is About a Lot More Than Just Our Privacy

    Alessandro Acquisti in his TED talk tells us why privacy matters in a world in which it is vanishing. “Privacy is not about having something negative to hide,” he says.

    Indeed, the privacy of all Americans is a matter of principle, enshrined in the Constitution. It used to be we had control of what we wanted people to know about us, good and bad. But not anymore.

    As troubling as this assault on privacy is, the Edward Snowden revelations about the National Security Agency’s surveillance show that something even more dangerous is afoot. And it’s about what the NSA can do with this information they are collecting on us.

  • Snowden revelations of NSA spying on Copenhagen climate talks spark anger

    Documents leaked by Edward Snowden show NSA kept US negotiators abreast of their rivals’ positions at 2009 summitfree

  • NSA’s spying on climate talks spark anger

    Developing countries have reacted angrily to revelations that the United States spied on other governments at the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009.

  • Obama to Nominate Navy Admiral as NSA Director
  • Navy cybersecurity chief to lead NSA
  • Obama to name Navy Vice-Adm Michael Rogers to lead NSA
  • Vice-admiral Michael Rogers to take command of embattled NSA

    Vice-admiral Michael Rogers, the commander of the US navy’s tenth fleet and its Fleet Cyber Command, will take over from NSA Director Keith Alexander, who reluctantly became a global figure in the wake of the Snowden revelations.

  • Obama Says James Clapper ‘Should Have Been More Careful’ In How He Lied To Congress

    any of us are still quite disappointed that James Clapper has kept his job as Director of National Intelligence after flat out lying to Congress over whether or not the NSA spied on Americans. There have been increasing calls from within Congress to have Clapper investigated and possibly prosecuted for the felony of lying to Congress, but there appears to be no movement there at all. Not only does the Obama administration seem to want to protect one of their own, but it’s also made it clear that something like that would make it look like Ed Snowden “won” and they can’t allow that sort of thing.

  • Obama Stands by Intelligence Chief
  • French Surveillance Programs Eerily Echo The NSA’s, Right Down To Codifying Unconstitutional Collections

    As the NSA leaks have expanded to detail spying activities in other countries, those governments affected have had a variety of reactions. In some cases, legitimately questionable tactics were exposed (potential economic espionage in Brazil, tapping German chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone) and the responses were genuinely outraged. In other cases, the outrage was temporary and somewhat muted, suggesting these countries were allowing the NSA to take the heat for their own questionable surveillance programs aimed at their citizens.

  • After NSA Backdoors, Security Experts Leave RSA for a Conference They Can Trust

    We thought we won the Crypto Wars, the fight to make strong encryption accessible to all, in the 1990s.1 We were wrong. Last month, Reuters broke news about a deal struck between the popular computer security firm RSA and the National Security Agency. RSA reportedly accepted $10 million from NSA to make Dual_EC_DRBG—an intentionally weakened random number generator—the default in its widely used BSAFE encryption toolkit.

  • Terror suspect challenges NSA surveillance programme

    In the motion filed in federal court in Denver on Wednesday with help from the American Civil Liberties Union, Jamshid Muhtorov also requested that prosecutors disclose more about how surveillance law was used in his case. Muhtorov denies the terror charges he faces.

  • NSA: no terrorists caught, yet entangled in everything

    There is so much missing or purposefully obfuscated in the debate about NSA/Five Eyes spying, US Government illegality, CIA collusion with al-Qaeda, Guantanamo, 9/11, torture, drones, Afghanistan, Iraq and everything that millions of people have been outraged about for over a decade, but the most striking is that almost no one is proposing closing these organizations down and few are talking about prosecuting those responsible.

  • NSA: new privacy officer helps boost agency’s reputation

    The NSA has finally found an officer for its civil liberties and privacy office. A new member of the NSA team will have to provide expert advice as well as develop measures for strengthening the NSA’s privacy protection. The appointed officer seems to be a good choice for the NSA whose reputation has been tarnished, but at the same time this raises some experts’ doubts.

  • Canadian spies scooped up airport Wi-Fi in NSA trial: Reports

    Documents from Edward Snowden reveal that Canada’s foreign signals intelligence agency picked up metadata on airport travellers from free Wi-Fi available at a major Canadian airport.

  • CSEC Snowden docs: MPs grill defence minister on spying revelation
  • Canadian Gov’t Responds To Spying Revelations By Saying It’s All A Lie And Calling Glenn Greenwald A ‘Porn Spy’
  • UK public has shrugged off NSA leaks, says David Cameron

    Prime Minister David Cameron said Thursday he believes the British public has largely shrugged off the espionage disclosures of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, telling lawmakers that people seem to be satisfied that U.K. spies are doing their jobs.

  • Chris Erway: NSA surveillance threatens Rhode Island

    When the National Security Agency’s surveillance program PRISM was disclosed in early June, the immediate question wasn’t if the program would harm the U.S. tech industry but how badly. Six months and many more disclosures later, it’s clear NSA surveillance is an economic millstone that threatens to drag down the U.S. tech industry.

  • NSA Knows: Secret digital back doors

    Two decades ago, the National Security Agency (NSA) sought legislation requiring a “back door” in all public encryption technologies, enabling the agency to monitor electronic communications even when the parties sought to shield them from prying eyes. That push failed. The NSA then embarked on an effort to accomplish essentially the same goal in secret.

  • If CIA, MI6, NSA and GCHQ disappeared we would be safer – David Shayler

    The US relationship with the Saudis appears to be changing and even though several decades ago Saudi agreed to sell the US oil at $10 a barrel in perpetuity, the love affair appears to be over. According to former MI5 officer and whistleblower David Shayler there may be plans to change the official story of 9/11 and the US start pointing the finger at Saudi Arabia. Mr. Shayler believes the way to stop all of the illegality being committed by agencies such as CIA, NSA, MI6 and GCHQ is to simply stop funding them.

01.29.14

Head of GCHQ Eliminated, But the Hydra Remains Alive and Harms Lives

Posted in Law at 2:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The Open Rights Group and others are challenging the gross practice of surveillance (pre-requisite of censorship, espionage, torture, and assassination) for political ends

Britain’s Open Rights Group (ORG) may soon provide evidence against the GCHQ, whose head is said to have just been metaphorically chopped off (breaking news). For the uninitiated, GCHQ plays a role in assassination by drones — a highly-controversial practice which the NSA is a major player in (with the CIA doing the execution). This breeds a lot of hatred/contempt towards the US and Britain all around the world. Charges were recently pressed by British victims or their relatives, but the UK government tends to dismiss those (cover-up). A government that’s “just” by virtue of being a government and a police force that’s “lawful” by virtue of upholding subjective laws are both symptoms of tyranny. GCHQ also plays a role in selecting people to be tortured, even in the UK (although in secrecy, with secret courts, as that helps hide something that’s inherently illegal).

We live in an awkward world right now. It seems acceptable for the government to attack Web sites/computers of activists, whereas if activists attack sites of wealthy people who harm society they go to prison for a very long time [2].

In Europe, as it turns out [3], torture by the CIA is indeed happening and the US Department of ‘Justice’ is actively trying to hide illegalities relating to this [4]. How can these governments expect people to obey the law when these governments themselves grossly violate the law? John Kiriakou, the man who blew the whistle on illegal torture by the CIA, is still in prison, whereas those who promote and engage in illegal torture are free [5]. People who support Kiriakou’s positions are now being characterised as “dangerous” [6]. Amazing! This is freedom of speech?

Speaking of dangerous, as “Obama’s drone war hits its fifth year” [7] we now see that the CIA wants to continue to occupy a country just so that it can continue to assassinate people in a neighbouring country [8-11], especially using drones. This is aggressive imperialism, not even colonialism. Fortunately, however, reformed people (some of whom left high positions in the US Army) protest against drone strikes [12] because the strategy is counter-productive [13] and it leads to serious ethical issues [14] (automating an assassination). After the latest assassination by drone [15] the Russian propaganda press asks: “Can other countries bomb USA like it bombs Somalia and many others?”

Of course not, but it’s called American exceptionalism and we in Britain should play no role in it. GCHQ should distance itself from the NSA (which ironically funded GCHQ at the expense of US taxpayers through black budget). We need to restore Britain’s reputation as valuing human life and human rights. Anything else would be counter-productive because the UK has become somewhat of a laughing stock in Russian media (Britain has historically bashed the Soviet system, claiming oppression and poor record on human rights).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Open Rights Group and impact litigation

    I’m writing this blog today ORG has an unprecedented opportunity to make a difference to the world’s digital future — a chance to argue before the European Court of Human Rights in coalition with Big Brother Watch and English PEN, in a crucial case over GCHQ’s lawless program of indiscriminate, total Internet surveillance.

  2. Wisconsin man sentenced for participating in Anonymous DDoS

    A man from Wisconsin was sentenced for participating in a DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attack by hacker group Anonymous on a Kansas company.

    Eric J. Rosol, 38, is said to have admitted that on Feb. 28, 2011, he took part in a denial of service attack for about a minute on a Web page of Koch Industries — Kochind.com, using software called a Low Orbit Ion Cannon Code, which was loaded on his computer.

  3. On CIA Prisons, Poland Sold Out for ‘Pathetically Little’ (Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland)

    Roman Imielski defends the implied consent of Polish authorities on CIA prisons. Well, I understand: the war on terrorism, the support of an ally, and joint operations in Iraq. Also: patriotism, national security, and the defense of democratic freedoms. But why did our U.S. ally sucker punch us on this occasion?

  4. DOJ challenges journalist’s claim to CIA interrogation report

    The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has moved to dismiss a case arising from investigative journalist Jason Leopold efforts to obtain documents from a congressional oversight report of the US Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) detention and interrogation program.

    At the heart of the case is a report by the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) into the CIA’s former detention and interrogation program.

  5. Bureau of Prisons Considers CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou’s ‘Letters from Loretto’ on Firedoglake to Be Dangerous
  6. CIA whistleblower Kiriakou’s letters from prison on Firedoglake blog “dangerous,” says Bureau of Prisons

    Kevin Gosztola at Firedoglake: “The Bureau of Prisons, with a little assistance from the Central Intelligence Agency, have been engaging in a ham-handed attempt to stop former CIA officer John Kiriakou from sending letters from prison, according to a recent letter from prison.”

  7. Obama’s drone war hits its fifth year
  8. Our quagmire in Afghanistan

    All through the movie I kept asking myself, “Why?” What are these men fighting for? Once, I knew the answer. After Sept 11, 2001, I wanted to wipe out al-Qaida and kill its Afghan hosts, the Taliban. Even before the terrorist attack, reports of the Taliban’s treatment of women — stonings, public executions in the soccer stadium, etc. — and the beheadings of men convinced me they simply had it coming: Send in the Marines.

    But American fighting units have been there since 2001. The initial mission was completed long ago: the destruction of al-Qaida in Afghanistan. The Taliban and their allies remain, but unlike al-Qaida, they are indigenous and, seemingly, undeterred. They apparently have an unlimited supply of suicide bombers (who are these people?), and they continue to inflict mayhem on Afghans and foreigners alike. Earlier this month, the Taliban struck a Kabul restaurant with a Western clientele and killed at least 21 people. The attack by gunmen was preceded by a suicide bombing.

  9. Afghan exit seen as peril to CIA’s drone mission
  10. US exit from Afghanistan concerns CIA

    American intelligence agencies are concerned about Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s decision to not sign a controversial security deal with the United States, Press TV reported referring to a report.

  11. Peace activist raises awareness of drones

    A peace activist and retired Navy commander told a Salem group Sunday that America’s secretive combat drone program is illegally killing innocent people, mentally torturing survivors and is negatively changing the way people live.

    Leah Bolger, of Corvallis, gave her speech at the monthly Salem Fellowship of Reconciliation meeting. She visited an area of Pakistan she said experiences frequent drone strikes and spoke with victims and survivors.

  12. Drone strikes have crashed weddings, schools, funerals and rescuers. When will it end?

    Nabila’s drawings are like any other nine-year-old’s. A house rests besides a winding path, a winding path on which wander two stick figures. Tall trees, rising against the back drop of majestic hills. Clouds sprinkled over a clear sky.

    Nabila’s drawings are like any other nine-year-old’s. With one disturbing exception.

  13. Should a robot decide when to kill?

    By the time the sun rose on Friday, December 19th, the Homestead Miami race track had been taken over by robots. Some hung from racks, their humanoid feet dangling above the ground as roboticists wheeled them out of garages. One robot resembled a gorilla, while another looked like a spider; yet another could have been mistaken for a designer coffee table. Teams of engineers from MIT, Google, Lockheed Martin, and other institutions and companies replaced parts, ran last-minute tests, and ate junk food. Spare heads and arms were everywhere.

  14. US missile strike kills senior al-Shabaab leader in Somalia

    Official spokesman for the Somali federal government Ridwan Haji Abdiwali said Somali National Security Minister Abdikarim Hussein Guled confirmed the death of senior al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Mohamed Amey, who is believed to be the same al-Shabaab commander named in local news reports as Ahmed Abdulkadir Abdullahi, also known as “Iskudhuq”.

  15. Can other countries bomb USA like it bombs Somalia and many others?

    The missile attack of U.S. drones on Somalia that came out of the blue over the weekend showed that U.S. ” doctrine of exceptionalism” allows to violate international law, bomb foreign territories and kill suspects without trial. Accordingly, other countries have a right to bomb the U.S., haven’t they?

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