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03.02.14

Leftovers: Cybervandalism in China, US/UK, Destabilisation of Ukraine and Militarism

Posted in News Roundup at 4:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: This weekend’s headlines about foreign policy, surveillance, and aggression

China

  • Chinese government still sponsoring cyber-espionage, says FireEye COO

    A year ago, Mandiant, since acquired by FireEye, issued a long report called “APT1″ that accused China’s People’s Liberation Army of launching cyber-espionage attacks against 141 companies in 20 industries through a group known as “PLA Unit 61398″ operating mainly from Shanghai.

Mass surveillance in US/UK

  • A cell phone wrapped in tin foil is just one of the ways Julia Angwin went off the grid in her new book

    Angwin goes to great lengths to do just that. One of the unthinkable things she did to keep her safe?

    Tin foil. Seriously.

    Angwin spent a day with her phone wrapped in it. The good news is the tinfoil disabled it.

    “The bad news is the phone is disabled and people can’t get a hold of you,” she says. “And people look at you like you’re crazy.”

  • Two Washington County delegates withdraw as co-sponsors after learning more about Fourth Amendment Protection Act

    Serafini and fellow Washington County Republican Del. Neil Parrott were reminded of that earlier this month when they signed on as co-sponsors of a measure called the Fourth Amendment Protection Act, which, if enacted, could stop the National Security Agency from operating in the state by, among other things, cutting off utility services to the superspy agency.

  • NSA tight-lipped on webcam spy role as privacy advocates seethe

    The NSA has refused to detail exactly how much access to secret Yahoo webcam surveillance that snapped photos of millions of unwitting video chatters, including those involved in adult activities, as demands from privacy regulators for more transparency in monitoring increase in volume. Allegations earlier this week that a clandestine UK scheme run by GCHQ tapped into millions of Yahoo webcam streams and recorded numerous still images to create a vast virtual “mugshot” book of potential terrorists, with technical assistance from the US’ NSA in setting up the system, has reawakened criticism of the federal agency after moves by President Obama to try to dampen down what have been seen as overly intrusive methods.

  • GCHQ reportedly monitored Yahoo cam chats. Company confirms cam traffic not secure pre-2012

    The Guardian reports that GCHQ, a British analog to the National Security Agency, collected and stored images from Yahoo webcam streams through a program called “Optic Nerve.” According to the report, the agency targeted “millions of internet users not suspected of wrongdoing,” including citizens of both the United States and the United Kingdom, with the program.

  • Peeping Webcam? With NSA Help, British Spy Agency Intercepted Millions of Yahoo Chat Images

    The latest top-secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden reveal the National Security Agency and its British counterpart, the the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) may have peered into the lives of millions of internet users who were not suspected of wrongdoing. The surveillance program codenamed “Optic Nerve” compiled still images of Yahoo webcam chats in bulk and stored them in the GCHQ’s databases with help from the NSA. In one six-month period in 2008 alone, the agency reportedly amassed webcam images from more than 1.8 million Yahoo user accounts worldwide. According to the documents, between 3 and 11 percent of the Yahoo webcam images contained what the GCHQ called “undesirable nudity.” The program was reportedly also used for experiments in “automated facial recognition” as well as to monitor terrorism suspects. We speak with James Ball, one of the reporters who broke the story. He is the special projects editor for Guardian U.S.

  • Senators blast NSA for webcam spying

    Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) slammed the National Security Agency after reports that its surveillance program capture images from users’ webcams.

  • ‘NSA, GCHQ criminals way ahead of the law in Britain and US’

    Tony Gosling: This has got nothing to do with counterterrorism, has it? Because this is just yet another great data troll and there are all sorts of reasons why it is illegal. Apparently this sort of thing has to be sanctioned by the Foreign Secretary or Home Secretary at the highest levels, and in the US it has to be sanctioned through the secret FISA court, but there are very good reasons why the people that have committed this actually should be or are criminals. I’m talking about those who authorized it at government level, in GCHQ and the individual operators that have been collecting this data. I mean all of these things we’ve heard about spyware being put on viruses, put on our computers, our computers being stopped on the way to our homes to have this spyware, this kind of thing put on it, we also have denial of service attacks that is taking out websites of campaign groups and that sort of thing by GCHQ and by the NSA. But this is actually the most creepy so far. Using webcams, it’s like an intruder into your living room and it’s not just happening to people who counter terrorism, there is everybody they are after here.

  • Heritage Gets it Wrong: Claims States Have to Help NSA

    To date, most opposition to Fourth Amendment Protection Act provisions that would ultimately shut off electricity and water to NSA facilities supplied by state entities has come from those claiming it will never work, and others who defend the “national security” mission of the spy agency. Few have actually challenged the legality of state action.

  • Zaleski: This stuff would stun George Orwell

    I’m not one to fall into an Orwellian funk about Big Brother government, but spectacular advances in technology ought to concern anyone who values privacy. Whether it’s the NSA global spying scandal or the likelihood of unmanned drones patrolling the skies over your idyllic middle-class neighborhood, it’s all getting a little scary. Whether it’s an array of police cameras in downtown Fargo, or private sector monitoring/collecting of your buying habits, or recording sound and picture of folks walking through a mall, or the fact that anyone with a cellphone can be tracked and identified – the technologies deployed already are far beyond the frightening screens in George Orwell’s “1984.”

  • Accomplices caught Clapper in a lie

    Recently it was announced that the prestigious George Polk Award for National Security Reporting would be given to the four journalists — Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill, Laura Poitras and Barton Gellman — most active in reporting about the content of the NSA documents leaked by Snowden. The award, named after a CBS News correspondent killed in 1948 while covering the civil war in Greece, is intended to honor journalists who “heightened public awareness with perceptive detection and dogged pursuit of stories that otherwise would not have seen the light of day.”

  • Utah: Land of Secrets

    Everyone from Germany’s Angela Merkel to Utah’s Tea Party wants to know what is going on in the 200,000-square-foot complex of Walmart-esque boxes squatting on the hillside due west of Point of the Mountain. Of course, this being the $1.5 million beating heart of a spy agency, we aren’t meant to know what’s out there—to paraphrase the Roach Motel slogan: Vast amounts of information go in, but none comes out. If it weren’t for Edward Snowden, we wouldn’t know much at all. But the tantalizing bits—including that NSA monitors terrorists’ porn browsing, Internet gamers, and a few employees’ ex-lovers—boggles the imagination.

  • NSA spying on American people is unacceptable

    Yet America basically has a secret police in the form of the NSA. It is hypocritical to claim that we are the land of the free when we are being constantly watched by the government. America needs to either accept that we are not really free or the NSA need to massively change their practices. We have the Constitution for a reason, to guide our government and to protect America’s citizens.

RSA

Tor/IM

  • Tor is developing its own anonymous instant messanger

    Worried about Facebook’s takeover of Whatsapp? The Tor Project is prepping an anonymous instant messaging client that’s tied to its free, Deep Web-friendly browser.

  • Take back your communication with Tor instant messenger
  • Telegram, an open-source competitor of WhatsApp

    First of all Telegram is free and open-source, and you can grab the source from here. Well known security protocols are open-source and this gives the possibility for communities of cryptographers, hackers and public audience to test their actual security. Using two layers of secure encryption with 256-bit symmetric AES encryption, RSA 2048 encryption and Diffie–Hellman secure key exchange. It’s impossible to brute force a RSA 2048 encryption key with all the computers available on the universe.

Ukraine

  • Ukraine: One ‘Regime Change’ Too Many?

    Russia’s parliament has approved President Putin’s request for the use of force inside neighboring Ukraine, as the latest neocon-approved “regime change” spins out of control and threatens to inflict grave damage on international relations, ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern explains.

  • Russian parliament approves use of military against Ukraine

    Russian senate endorse Putin’s request to use armed forces as Russian forces tighten their grip on Crimea and pro-Russian demonstrations take place in eastern and southern Ukraine.

  • ‘US, EU staged classic regime change in Ukraine’

    The EU and US have carried out a classic coup d’état in Ukraine using ultra-right forces as human material, anti-war activist Brian Becker told RT. And cementing that victory with an IMF aid package would place Ukraine on a Greek path into Europe.

  • On the Meaning of Journalistic Independence

    This morning, I see that some people are quite abuzz about a new Pando article ”revealing” that the foundation of Pierre Omidyar, the publisher of First Look Media which publishes The Intercept, gave several hundred thousand dollars to a Ukraininan “pro-democracy” organization opposed to the ruling regime. This, apparently, is some sort of scandal that must be immediately addressed not only by Omidyar, but also by every journalist who works at First Look. That several whole hours elapsed since the article was published on late Friday afternoon without my commenting is, for some, indicative of disturbing stonewalling.

  • Territorial Integrity

    Putin, of course, is a total hypocrite. There is no doubt that the populations of Dagestan and Chehcnya had a genuine and settled desire to secede from Russia, and they have suffered Putin’s genocidal policies in consequence. Putin is not acting from a belief in self-determination, but from naked Russian nationalism. That is what is so amusing about the deluded left wingers supporting him against the nationalists of Kiev.

  • A Shadow US Foreign Policy

    The National Endowment for Democracy, a central part of Ronald Reagan’s propaganda war against the Soviet Union three decades ago, has evolved into a $100 million U.S. government-financed slush fund that generally supports a neocon agenda often at cross-purposes with the Obama administration’s foreign policy.

    NED is one reason why there is so much confusion about the administration’s policies toward attempted ousters of democratically elected leaders in Ukraine and Venezuela. Some of the non-government organizations (or NGOs) supporting these rebellions trace back to NED and its U.S. government money, even as Secretary of State John Kerry and other senior officials insist the U.S. is not behind these insurrections.

Drones (extrajudicial killings)

  • Pakistan drone strike victim talks to the Bureau

    Khan almost did not make it the UK. Shortly before he was to travel to Europe he was taken from his home in Rawalpindi. He said 15 people including some dressed as police took him and held him for nine days, torturing him during the detention.

  • Violating the ideals he pledged to uphold

    This extrajudicial killing program should make every American queasy. Based on largely secret legal standards and entirely secret evidence, our government has killed thousands of people. At least several hundred were killed far from any battlefield. Four of the dead are Americans. The current case involves an al-Qaeda member known as Abdullah al-Shami, who was born in the United States and is now in Pakistan. Astonishingly, President Obama’s Justice Department has said the courts have no role in deciding whether the killing of U.S. citizens far from any battlefield is lawful.

  • Why no droning on about drones?

    Were you surprised the 2014 New Mexico legislative session dragged to a finish without one word about killing drones?

  • US drone strikes require investigation, ‘public explanation’ – UN report

    A UN counter-terrorism expert has published the second report of his year-long investigation into drone strikes, highlighting 30 strikes where civilians are reported to have been killed.

  • ‘Drones strikes to continue despite EU ban’

    EU legislation banning the use of drones won’t diminish the number of drone attacks, it will just be much more selective in terms of where they can be used, former Pentagon official Michael Maloof told RT.

  • European Parliament Votes To Condemn Member States Complicit In CIA Drone Program
  • JI lauds European Parliament for condemnation of drones

    Jamaat e Islami (JI) chief Munawar Hasan said European Parliament’s condemnation of civilian killings in drone attacks hit Pakistani rulers hard since they badly failed in stopping civilian massacre.

Militarism

  • The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2013
  • U.S. Has No Moral Authority – Ex-Bush Official

    While talking about the regime change program of U.S. foreign Policy he says, The US should encourage such change through the force of its own democratic example, not through force of arms or covert actions to encourage coups d’etat as it is doing today in Venezuela. And, by the way, that US example has been tarnished enormously by such actions as torture and abuse.”

  • Will Obama End the War on Terror?
  • Repeal and Restore

    How President Obama can end the war on terror, once and for all.

  • Did CIA’s Mike Morell Lie About Benghazi For Obama?

    Former CIA acting Director Mike Morell might be recalled for testimony to determine if he misled Congress and doctored the White House response to a terrorist attack to ensure President Obama’s re-election.

    The administration’s tangled web of Benghazi lies might be unraveling some more. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., has told Fox News that Morell, a former deputy director and twice acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency, will likely be recalled to testify.

  • Whistle-Blower Punches a Hole in Memoir From Robert Gates

    This is the Washington merry-go-round, of course, no matter who controls the White House or Congress. According to the reform group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, “70 percent of the 108 three- and four-star generals and admirals who retired between 2009 and 2011 took jobs with defense contractors or consultants. In at least a few cases, these retirees have continued to advise the Department of Defense – all while on the payroll of the defense industry.”

  • Jack Ryan Uses Bible to Exonerate Wall Street, CIA

    If there were an Oscar for Best Hidden Agenda, it would go to Jack Ryan: The Shadow Recruit (dir. Kenneth Branagh). At a time when regulators and citizens try to hold Wall Street accountable for the 2008 recession and the CIA accountable for torture, Jack Ryan turns Wall Street into a victim and the CIA into a model husband. It does so with all the slick im/plausibility of a thriller—and it uses the Bible to boost its case.

Civil Rights

  • An inconvenient child

    My six-year-old son was suspended as a danger to others. His crime? A disability you could find in any classroom

Greenwald et al.

  • Don’t Mess With Glenn Greenwald

    Clearly, there’s an officially sanctioned, if not supported, backlash underway to cast doubt on the those who are disseminating the information that Eward Snowden and other whistleblowers are exposing to the global public.

    What better way to respond to the evidence of government overreach and criminality in the spying by the NSA and other agencies than to try to change the subject by smearing the people who are funding the reporting on it to us.

    This latest round of the media battle should not be surprising. In fact, it’s all too predictable.

    In the latest round, Lawyer and journalist Glenn Greenwald, the point person/interpreter for the majority of the Snowden disclosures, came under attack by indirection with a high profile smear on Pierre Omidyar, the E-Bay billionaire funding his new venture, First Look Media.

    Leading the charge publicly is one Patrick Ames, who writes for Pando News, a rival news agency funded by another Silicon Valley tech moneyman. He has gone after Greenwald before charging that he is profiting by selling state secrets.

Snowden et al.

  • The Silliest Snowden Theory Yet

    The main thing The Snowden Operation wants us to know is that “this affair has Kremlin fingerprints on it. They may be faint and smudged, but they are there.” Yes, Lucas acknowledges, it’s possible the Russians aren’t involved, “but not likely.” The naive might be fooled into thinking all was exactly what it appeared to be on the surface and Snowden was simply an NSA employee who reached out to journalists on his own. But sophisticated observers like Lucas, with “30 years of looking at Soviet and then Russian intelligence and propaganda operations,” see the truth. Maybe Snowden was recruited by the Russians to leak NSA documents and knew it was them doing the recruiting; maybe he was recruited by them but they fooled him into thinking they were someone more sympathetic; or maybe the Russians somehow “brokered an introduction” between Snowden and others who would encourage and publicize his leaks (i.e., journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras and hacker Jacob Appelbaum) without any of them being aware of the hidden Kremlin hand.

Assange

NSA Policy

  • 2008′s New and Improved EO 12333: Sharing SIGINT

    As part of my ongoing focus on Executive Order 12333, I’ve been reviewing how the Bush Administration changed the EO when, shortly after the passage of the FISA Amendments Act, on July 30, 2008, they rolled out a new version of the order, with little consultation with Congress. Here’s the original version Ronald Reagan issued in 1981, here’s the EO making the changes, here’s how the new and improved version from 2008 reads with the changes.

    While the most significant changes in the EO were — and were billed to be — the elaboration of the increased role for the Director of National Intelligence (who was then revolving door Booz executive Mike McConnell), there are actually several changes that affected NSA.

  • RSA: Bruce Schneier Discusses What Should be Done With the NSA

    Bruce Schneier is a legendary figure in the security community, well-known for his expertise in cryptography and more recently for his insight into the surveillance activities of the National Security Agency (NSA). Schneier currently serves as the CTO of incident response management vendor Co3 Systems.

FBI

  • How a Hacker Intercepted FBI and Secret Service Calls With Google Maps

    Earlier this week, Bryan Seely, a network engineer and one-time Marine, played me recordings of two phone calls (embedded below.) The calls were placed by unwitting citizens to the FBI office in San Francisco and to the Secret Service in Washington, D.C. Neither the callers nor the FBI or Secret Service personnel who answered the phone realized that Seely was secretly recording them. He used Google Maps to do it.

03.01.14

Another Day of High-Level Abuses: Microsoft Kinect a Target of Spooks, Apple-PRISM Allegations, Ukraine Interventions…

Posted in News Roundup at 5:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: News from the past 24 hours about British and US surveillance, assassination, and outside intervention in East Europe

NSA/GCHQ

  • Nothing To Hide: An anti-stealth game in which you are your own watchdog

    Nothing To Hide is an “anti-stealth game,” in which you must carry cameras and spy gear to live in a world of self-surveillance and self-censorship. A world where you’re made to be your own watchdog. Released for The Day We Fight Back, the game is now seeking crowdfunding to complete the open source game—10% of what’s raised will first go to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Demand Progress, and the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

  • Let’s point a satellite at GCHQ and the NSA, and see how they feel

    Psssst! Wanna come in on a private satellite with me? They’re available, and they cost about $2m a year to run, so it would need an awful lot of us to club together via Kickstarter or some such.George Clooney’s got one. He trains it between Sudan and South Sudan, keeping a particular eye on the Hague-wanted president Omar al-Bashir, and uses the footage to draw attention to human rights violations. But in the wake of news that the Optic Nerve programme targeted and retained the webcam images of 1.8m UK internet users not suspected of wrongdoing, I’d like you to consider pointing ours somewhere pointed, such as the NSA or GCHQ. Just their car parks would do.

  • How to foil the NSA and GCHQ with strong encryption

    THE MOST INTERESTING DEVICE shown at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona this week was the secure Blackphone developed by Silent Circle and Geeksphone.

  • This lecture is the one primer you need on NSA surveillance technology
  • Wiliest Ways to Keep the NSA at Bay

    “Whatever the level of cryptography you’re using, the NSA can probably break into your home network, install keyloggers and grab whatever they want — passwords, private PGP keys, screenshots, etc.,” said Cyril Soler, a developer on the RetroShare project. “This is always easier than breaking the encryption.” Their ability to do that is probably facilitated by backdoors.

  • Lavabit’s Ladar Levison on Snowden, Why He Shut Down, and How to Beat the NSA

    Levison was prohibited from discussing any details of the case until last October, when the court unsealed a portion of the documents. The unsealed records reveal that the FBI was demanding access to Lavabit’s Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) keys, which would essentially allow the agency access to all messages on Lavabit’s server. While the FBI was ostensibly targeting only a single user, Levison was unwilling to sacrifice the privacy of his other 400,000+ users.

  • Coviello ducks big questions and sticks to his script

    This year’s RSA Conference began with controversy. Even before Chairman Art Coviello took the stage to deliver his opening keynote, protesters unfurled banners on the Moscone Center reminding the world of RSA’s alleged complicity in enabling the NSA to access data that was believed to be secure.

    However, after an interview with Coviello, we are no closer to any meaningful information as he does a skilful job of obfuscating and avoiding questions regarding the NSA.

Webcams

Microsoft

  • Are the N.S.A. and G.C.H.Q. Trading Webcam Pictures?

    G.C.H.Q. was apparently also interested in tapping into Microsoft’s Kinect.

  • Xbox 360′s Kinect Evaluated as Surveillance Tool by British Intelligence Agency

    The Kinect for Xbox 360 was once considered for its potential use as a mass surveillance tool by the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), according to documents published by The Guardian.

    The GCHQ is the British equivalent to the United States’ NSA.

    The information comes from documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. They document a program entitled “Optic Nerve” that collected images of users through their webcams, including users of Yahoo chats between 2008 and 2010.

Messaging

  • Tor developing anonymous instant messenger

    The instant messenger is still in the early planning stages, but Tor’s developers seem to be preparing to turn it around quickly. The messenger will be built on Instantbird, an existing open-source messenger, and development will largely involve adding in Off-the-Record Messaging encryption, making it send its messages over Tor, and stripping it of some automated logging and reporting features. Tor hopes to have its first step of work on the messaging app completed by the end of March, but it doesn’t draw a timeline for the project out from there.

  • Tor is building an anonymous instant messenger

    Tor, the team behind the world’s leading online anonymity service, is developing a new anonymous instant messenger client, according to documents produced at the Tor 2014 Winter Developers Meeting in Reykjavík, Iceland.

    The Tor Instant Messaging Bundle (TIMB) is set to work with the open-source InstantBird messenger client in experimental builds released to the public by March 31, 2014. The developers aim to build in encrypted off-the-record chatting and then bundle the client with the general Tor Launcher in the following months.

  • Goosestep Foot Forward

    Sutton displays precisely the mind-set of the security state, that led GCHQ to intercept the webcam chats of 1.4 million completely random British people, in the hope of finding Islamic terrorists. (They didn’t find any terrorists, but they did look at over 100,000 people masturbating). Sutton states that Begg must be a terrorist because ”a convicted Groupe Islamique Armé (GIA) supporter identified as ‘D’ ” had used Begg’s bookshop. And he calls me “conspiratorial”! The poor man must see terrorists everywhere. The fact that Moazzam Begg is now detained again, had been detained for years, has had everything belonging to him searched microscopically, and nothing has ever been found to justify a criminal charge of any kind, means nothing to witchfinder Sutton. That anti-Muslim bigot is plainly convinced of Moazzam Begg’s guilt, though as he has not been charged, of what is unsure.

Simon Phipps on Spying

  • Hope in Federations

    Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp gains them almost half a billion users worth of telephone data

  • Facebook’s Global Telco Dream

    Maybe there’s more to the Facebook acquisition of WhatsApp than just the centralised consolidation of users and user information that Simon denounced in his previous InfoWorld article . Perhaps this particular addition to their portfolio is Facebook’s move towards becoming the first truly global telco!

  • Surveillance Impact Not Just Personal

    Knowing we could be watched, as Jeremy Bentham observed, changes our behaviour; specifically, it chills our creativity. This in turn affects innovation and hence the economy. More directly, businesses (like RSA) are harmed by the disclosure of their for-profit collusion.

ORG

  • ICO Survey on the Code of Practice on Anonymisation

    Asking for comments and feedback on the code is a positive move, but the survey is not balanced to capture a variety of opinions. For example it asks whether the code explains the benefits of anonymisation, but not whether it explains the risks. And it doesn’t.

Apple

[First, watch AOL promoting the fiction that iMessage is secure. It’s not alone.]

Alexander

  • Limit surveillance to ‘terrorist communication,’ says outgoing NSA boss

    General Keith Alexander, the soon-to-be departed chief of the NSA, admitted Thursday in front of a congressional committee that the massive intelligence agency may be open to extracting less, or more targeted metadata from communication companies.

    Classified documents leaked last summer by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the intelligence agency currently compels at least three major telephone providers – Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T – to turn over call information on millions of Americans. Among that information, known as metadata, is the duration of the call, the time the call was made, who the phone call was to, and where it originated.

Ukraine and Intervention

  • Vicky Nuland Gets Her New Government in Ukraine

    “Yats is the guy,” said Obama’s potty-mouthed Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, in a recorded and widely disseminated discussion with the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine earlier this year. She was referring to Arseni Yatsenyuk, the former foreign and economics minister who was confirmed as the interim Prime Minister of Ukraine today.

  • Ukraine was a Playbook CIA Coup d’état

    The very first act of the western-backed insurrectionists which represent a small percentage of the population and have managed to overthrow the government was to attempt rob Russian speakers in Ukraine of their language.

  • Armed Men Seize Control of Airports in Crimea, Ukraine

    Yanukovych is now in Russia and is expected to hold a news conference today. Meanwhile, the United States is rejecting claims that the change in power in Ukraine constitutes a coup. On Thursday, White House spokesperson Jay Carney said Yanukovych had “abdicated his responsibilities” and “undermined his legitimacy” by fleeing Kiev. Carney outlined U.S. plans to work with the new government.

  • Former pilot for Air America talks about work in Laos during Vietnam War

    But the secretive agency is no newcomer to American combat zones. In Vietnam, a war without battle lines, it played a behind-the-scenes role in advancing American interests.

  • What Does a Soviet Submarine Have to Do With U.S. Government Secrecy?

    Soon, intrepid journalists get wind of the operation and file Freedom of Information Act requests for more information. A CIA lawyer — operating under the cover name Walt Logan — thinks up a novel way to keep the mission secret without telling an all-out lie: refuse to confirm or deny whether records about the Glomar Explorer’s mission exist. One journalist sues over this confusing non-response, and a battle over government secrecy follows in court.

    [...]

    There are limited circumstances in which a Glomar response may be necessary to protect veritable government secrets, but as I’ve written before in The New York Times (with Jameel Jaffer) and in the NYU Law Review, it has been deployed far beyond acceptable bounds. Perhaps most disturbing is the way the government uses Glomar to facilitate selective and misleading disclosures. Government officials often “leak” information to the press that paints controversial programs in a positive light on the condition that the press withholds their names. But when asked to officially release records under FOIA, those officials clam up and hide behind the Glomar response. The result is an absurd double standard, and our democracy suffers for it.

Civil Rights

Drones

  • The Clear and Convincing Standard and Citizen Drone Strikes
  • I Was Beaten, Tortured: Pakistani Anti-Drone Activist Karim Khan on Being Abducted by Masked Men

    Pakistani anti-drone activist Karim Khan was abducted February 5, just before he was due to travel to Europe to speak out about U.S. drone strikes. He joins us to describe how he was held for nine days. During that time he says he was repeatedly tortured and beaten. In 2009, a U.S. drone killed Khan’s brother and son. He joins us from London, where he traveled to to meet with British lawmakers to raise concerns about the U.S. drone program. “They attacked our mosques, they attacked our schools, they attacked our schoolchildren, they attacked our teachers,” Khan says. “So everything is completely destroyed by these drone strikes.” We also speak with Khan’s lawyer, Shahzad Akbar. “This is what the human face of the victim is, and it is important that the American people are told about who these people are,” Akbar says. “They are being targeted in the name of national security, [but] what we see on the ground is that it is not really serving the national security interests of anyone.”

02.28.14

Privacy and Human Rights Watch: Peeping Crown, Extradition, EU Resistance to Drones, and More

Posted in News Roundup at 5:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The latest (past 24 hours) stories about eroding human rights (exploiting transitions to digital), especially privacy rights

GCHQ

UK

Reform/Legal

Local Action

Algorithms

Alexander

‘Metadata’

Amazon/CIA

  • Amazon’s Cloud Keeps Growing Despite Fears of NSA Spying

    When former government contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA was conducting digital surveillance on a massive scale, many feared for the future of cloud computing. The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation estimated that Snowden’s revelations could cost U.S. cloud companies $22 billion to $35 billion in foreign business over the next three years, and countless pundits predicted that American businesses would flee the cloud as well. People would prefer to run software and store data on their own computers, the argument went, rather than host their operations atop outside services potentially compromised by the NSA.

Civil Rights

  • Under Obama, rule of law slowly eroding

    If President Barack Obama gets his way, five American citizens will have become victims of announced “targeted assassinations” by the military and CIA. Coupled with disturbing statements by United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, it is evident that the principle of the rule of law has lost force in the past few decades, especially after 9/11.

    [...]

    It was enshrined in the American, British and French Revolutions as sacred, and is an essential precept of liberalism.

  • Massive Impediments Standing in the Way of Solving America’s Greatest Problems

    *Eliminate the National Surveillance Agency, the NSA; completely stop the enormous spying on the American people. Take the other 12 U.S. intelligence agencies and combine their functions into one. We have the CIA and the FBI and Homeland Security to monitor imminent or longer term dangers to this country.

  • The Five Commandments of Barack Obama: How “Thou Shalt Not” Became “Thou Shalt”
  • Tomgram: Karen Greenberg, Obama’s Commandments

    Think of us as having two presidents. One, a fellow named Barack Obama, cuts a distinctly Clark Kent-ish figure. In presiding over domestic policy, he is regularly thwarted in his desires by the Republicans in Congress and couldn’t until recently get his most basic choices for government positions or the judiciary through the Senate. For the most minimal look of effectiveness, he has to rely on relatively small gestures by executive order. In the recent history of the American presidency, he is a remarkably powerless figure presiding over what everyone who is a media anyone claims is a riven, paralyzed, even broken government structure, one in which the Republicans are intent on ensuring that a Democratic president can do nothing until they take the White House (which is almost guaranteed to be never). What this president wants, almost by definition, he can’t have. He is, as Guardian columnist Gary Younge wrote recently, a man who’s lost the plot line to his own story and has been relegated to the position of onlooker-in-chief.

  • Politics, not law, has become the master of British justice

    There is one law for their terrorists and another for ours. “Theirs” kill a soldier in Woolwich and get slammed up for life. They get a verbal lynching from the red-tops, with Rot in Jail headlines and screams the rope would be too good for them, the filth and scum. “Our” terrorists get royal pardons and “letters of assurance”, even if, as may be the case, they slaughter four soldiers and eight horses in cold blood in Hyde Park. That is how it must seem to many people.

  • US biggest violator of non-Americans’ human rights: China report

    The Untied States is the world’s biggest violator of human rights of non-American persons and has been strongly condemned for conducting surveillance and prisoner torture around the globe, a report on US human rights said Friday.

    The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2013 was released by the Information Office of China’s State Council, or the Cabinet, in response to the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013 issued by the US State Department on Thursday.

  • Chinese Cabinet report questions US human rights record

    China has hit back at the US over the human rights debate alleging the “world judge of human rights” has serious question marks hanging over its own record.

    [...]

    Washington has long “made arbitrary attacks and irresponsible remarks” on the human rights situation in almost 200 countries and regions again in its just-released reports, the Chinese report says.

    “However, the US carefully concealed and avoided mentioning its own human rights problems,” it adds.

    Chinese ally Russia has also repeatedly said the United States has no right to claim a mantle of moral leadership. Moscow has criticized Washington sharply over human rights, pointing to secret CIA jails abroad and treatment of inmates at the Guantanamo Bay facility in Cuba and elsewhere.

Drones

  • U.S. Militant, Hidden, Spurs Drone Debate

    Mr. Shami, a militant who American officials say is living in the barren mountains of northwestern Pakistan, is at the center of a debate inside the government over whether President Obama should once again take the extraordinary step of authorizing the killing of an American citizen overseas.

  • Landslide vote in European Union condemning U.S. drone use

    European Union Members of Parliament condemned the use of drones in targeted killings in a vote of 534 to 49. The vote proposing a ban referred to the drone strikes as “unlawful.”

  • Pakistan Party Ends Blockade Of NATO Route

    Activists of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf, led by cricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan, had blocked the route from the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar for the past three months in a protest over U.S. drone strikes.

  • MEPs concerned about EU drone programme

    Increased European research on unmanned aircraft is making the European Parliament nervous.

Military

Open Hardware and Shareable Design News

Posted in News Roundup at 3:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Recent news about hardware that can be modified and it permissive in that regard

SkyNet

  • Chris Anderson’s Expanding Drone Empire

    At the former Wired editor’s start-up, 3D Robotics, open-source robots take to the skies

  • Out in the Open: Automate Your Home With Your Own Personal SkyNet

    In the meantime, he’s hard at work on a new project called SkyNet Firmware, which will run on the open source Arduino circuit boards, devices you can use to build all sorts of computerized gadgets. “The idea is that you can load SkyNet Firmware on any Arduino compatible device or board,” he says. “The Arduino connects to SkyNet and just waits for commands.” This would let you attach almost anything to SkyNet.

3D Printers

  • MakerBot’s Creative Revolution Runs on Linux

    At the forefront of the 3D printing boom for consumers is MakerBot, whose Linux-based Replicator printers sell for between $1,300 and $3,000 and are small enough to sit on your desktop. Their MakerWare design software runs on any platform and the Thingiverse online community allows more than 13,000 users to download or upload designs in an open source, collaborative model for do-it-yourself manufacturing, according to a sponsored post in The Atlantic.

  • Openknit: a Reprap-inspired open source knitting machine
  • The force of gravity still applies for 3D printers

    So far, in short, I can describe 3D printing as: Building an object, by depositing layers, and creating every layer by drawing it with melted plastic. The key to understanding 3D printing, and thus learning how to do it better, is to think about the objects as a stack of layers. Then, consider how the layers will look like as they are being stacked.

Charles Babcock’s Series of Articles

  • Open-Source Cloud Hardware Grows Up Fast
  • Open Hardware Is Like Linux: True Or False?

    References to Linux come up naturally because it is one of the most successful, sustained, and adopted open-source software projects. New releases of the Linux kernel now appear every 70 days. Each contains up to 10,000 updates and patches, a rate of change that equals 7.14 an hour. Linux’s fame rests not on the fact that it’s frequently modified. Rather, it’s frequently modified and also respected as having a long-term future in the enterprise datacenter. The way things are shaping up, it also very likely has a permanent place in cloud architectures.

  • Open-Source Hardware: Prepare For Disruption

    Facebook, Fidelity, Goldman Sachs, and other leading IT users think the open-source movement is ready to shake up the hardware industry the way Linux did in software.

Misc.

02.27.14

Links 27/2/2014: Games

Posted in News Roundup at 11:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Links 27/2/2014: Applications

Posted in News Roundup at 11:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Links 27/2/2014: Instructionals

Posted in News Roundup at 11:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Erosion of Rights: Latest Headlines

Posted in News Roundup at 7:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Surveillance, assassination, coups, and human rights abuses (some of the very latest bits of news on these subjects)

Privacy

  • Heidi Boghosian on Mass Surveillance

    Mike Lofgren’s exceptional essay, “Anatomy of the Deep State,” delivers the roadmap that bewildered Americans need to navigate the past year’s glut of news about mass surveillance. The term “Deep State” aptly conveys how the private security industry has melded with government. It is soldered by plutocracy, perpetual war, reduction of industrial capacity, US exceptionalism and political malfunction. Lofgren is a credible and welcome interpreter of how these factors combine to exert control over us.

  • There’s Really Bad Stuff Buried in Those ‘Terms and Conditions’ You’re Expected Not to Read and Just Click Yes on

    Last month, I had a chance to talk with John McAfee, the founder of the popular McAfee computer security programs.

    We talked about how people usually don’t read the terms and conditions of the smartphone applications that they download onto their phones.

    But McAfee did read the terms and conditions of the Bank of America smartphone application, and what he saw was pretty shocking.

  • German telecom firm to roll out text, voice encryption app

    Deutsche Telekom plans to launch an app for smartphones that encrypts voice and text messages. The move is the latest step taken by the firm to address users’ privacy concerns following NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden’s, mass surveillance revelations.

    The cloud-based app will encrypt each voice or text exchange between two devices using a unique code, Reuters cites Deutsche Telekom as saying in a statement.

PRISM

  • How Will WhatsApp Coexist With a Company Whose Business It Hates?
  • Current distribution of WhatsApp alternatives

    WhatsApp was already bad before Facebook acquired it. But at least now people woke up and are considering alternatives. Yes, this move could have come earlier, but I do welcome the new opportunity: its the first time wide spread encryption actually has a chance in the consumer market. So for most of the people out there the question is more “which alternative should I use” instead of “should I use one”. Right now I do not have the faintest idea what alternative will make the break through – but you could say I am well prepare.

Snowden

  • FISA, the NSA, and America’s Secret Court System
  • Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the US Courts

    Many commentators following the NSA scandals have been eagerly awaiting the recommendations of the US government task force on the matter, and the proposed reforms to be implemented by President Obama to bring the spy agency under control. If you’re interested in this kind of thing, you can watch the president’s recent speech and nod your head approvingly when he talks about the “tradition of limited government” in the United States, and the constitutional limits his government is at pains to respect. Oh, and just for good measure, while you’re listening to this magnificent oration being replayed to you on YouTube, the NSA will be recording your internet browser history, or possibly even hacking your computer.[1] If you decide to click on the “like” or “dislike” buttons at the bottom of the video, that little nugget of political information can be added to their “metadata” archives, along with the rest of your internet activities. In fact, in the 42 minutes it will take you to watch the president’s speech, the NSA will have hoovered up around 40 million records of internet browsing from around the world.[2] Perhaps yours will be among them.

  • George Brandis refuses to back up claim that Snowden put lives at risk

    Attorney general says he is aware of particular cases on the basis of intelligence briefings but will not reveal the information

  • The Rise of the Ethical Hacktivist

    The main problem with hacktivism “remains with the legislators and officials who fail to see things in analog-equivalent terms,” said Piratpartiet’s Rick Falkvinge. “If getting documents to a reporter was OK in the pre-Internet age as part of our checks and balances on power, then it has to be OK in the digital age, too.” Yet “many powerholders freak out at the slightest occurrence of pentesting.”

  • Snowden 2.0: Is There a New Active Duty NSA Whistleblower?

    Perhaps one of the most striking and revelatory aspects about the latest NSA surveillance news story, this one published Sunday by The Bild am Sonntag newspaper in Germany, was that it was not based on leaked documents from the now famous NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    What the paper reported, based on information provided by a “high-ranking NSA employee in Germany,” was that the U.S. spy agency—after being outed for spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel—responded to an order to refrain from spying directly on Merkel’s phone by intensifying its monitoring of other high-level officals her government.

  • ​Post-WikiLeaks, Manning, Snowden world brighter for freedom fighters
  • NSA Inspector General Speaks on Snowden for First Time, Says He Was ‘Manic in His Thievery’

    During a day-long conference at the Georgetown University Law Center, Dr. George Ellard, the inspector general for the National Security Agency, spoke for the first time about the disclosures made by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

NSA

  • NSA Wants to Keep Phone Records Longer Because of Privacy Lawsuits
  • Justice Dept: We Need to Keep NSA Call Data ‘Indefinitely’

    When the NSA sweeps up your telephone data, including who you call, when you call them, and for how long, they don’t keep that data forever. The deal with the secret FISA courts gives them five years to hold on to your data, then they’re supposed to delete it.

  • Obama Requests NSA Phone Records Not Be Deleted

    Obama’s first change to the NSA phone records is to keep more of them – as evidence against the NSA

  • Q&A: Schneier on trust, NSA spying and the end of US internet hegemony

    Are you worried that you are personally under surveillance?

    Yes, 100 per cent: I’m a target. If the FBI tried to get a warrant on my computer based on the fact that I have worked with Snowden documents then the odds they would get it are 100 per cent. And I do take pains. But look at that NSA Tailored Access Operations catalogue from 2008. The fact that I’m running an air-gapped computer is irrelevant – if the NSA wanted in, they would get in.

    The reason they are not is because they know that if it ever got out that they attacked US journalists, the shit-storm would be ginormous. I do think the NSA tries to follow the law, and the Attorney General has said [the US government] is not going to prosecute the journalists.

  • NSA spying revelations just the tip of the iceberg

    Tom Engelhardt has a lengthy article in TomDispatch that explores the depth of the US national security state. He argues that people are deluded to think that whistle-blowers such as Edward Snowden, Chelsea (Bradley) Manning, and Julian Assange revealed the depth of spying in the US.

  • Arizona Anti-NSA Legislative Panel Vote Monday – Arizonans Calls Needed

    We just received notice that SB1156, the Arizona 4th Amendment Protection Act will have a rules committee hearing and vote on MONDAY at 1pm.

  • How to stop the NSA collection of your data: Turn the water off

    The NSA has taken snooping to a new level with the news that the Orwellian big brother of the U.S. Government wants to create a “national license-plate recognition database.”

    The Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) stressed that the database “could only be accessed in conjunction with ongoing criminal investigations or to locate wanted individuals.”

  • Lawsuit: Attempted Entrapment of Activists by Military Officer & Further Evidence of Domestic Spying

    A lawsuit challenging domestic military spying against citizens engaged in antiwar activism and acts of civil disobedience obtained a public record that further confirms the United States Army was involved in targeting “leftists” or “anarchists” as domestic terrorists in 2007.

    Also, according to a “Democracy Now!” interview, one of the activists was pressured by the military officer, who infiltrated groups in the state of Washington, to become more interested in guns and to even publish an article in a magazine that was written from the perspective of hijackers behind the 9/11 attacks.

  • Schneier: NSA snooping tactics will be copied by criminals in 3 to 5 years

    If you thought NSA snooping was bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet: online criminals have also been watching and should soon be able to copy the agency’s invasive surveillance tactics, according to security guru Bruce Schneier.

  • Poll: What’s The NSA Scandal Done To Your Attitudes?

    Now surveillance by governments has been exposed, has the NSA scandal affected your trust for leading Internet brands?

  • Former White House Cybersecurity Chief Criticizes NSA

    Richard Clarke, the first cybersecurity czar at the White House, said Tuesday that “terrible” internal cybersecurity at the National Security Agency was responsible for allowing former NSA contractor Edward Snowden to download about 1.5 million classified documents.

  • Richard Clarke: Potential for American ‘police state’ created by NSA
  • IE zero-day exploit being used in widespread attacks

    The number of attacks exploiting a yet-to-be-patched vulnerability in Internet Explorer has increased dramatically over the past few days, indicating the exploit is no longer used just in targeted attacks against particular groups of people.

    The vulnerability affects Internet Explorer 9 and 10 and was publicly revealed on Feb. 13 by researchers from security firm FireEye who found an exploit for the flaw being served from the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) website. Security researchers from security firm Websense later reported that the same vulnerability was being exploited from the compromised website of French aerospace association GIFAS (Groupement des Industries Francaises Aeronautiques et Spatiales).

  • Apple security flaw could be a backdoor for the NSA

    Was the National Security Agency exploiting two just-discovered security flaws to hack into the iPhones and Apple computers of certain targets? Some skeptics are saying there is cause to be concerned about recent coincidences regarding the NSA and Apple.

  • Obama assessing four alternatives to NSA phone data collection: WSJ

    The Obama administration has been presented with four wide-ranging options on how to reform the National Security Agency’s (NSA) phone data collection program — including doing away it altogether — according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. Citing officials close to the matter, the Journal reports that intelligence officials presented the options ahead of the March 28th deadline that President Barack Obama set forth in a speech about NSA reform earlier this year.

  • N.Y. man’s prosecution in terrorism case relied partly on surveillance done without a warrant

    Jaffer, who argued the Supreme Court case on behalf of the plaintiffs, said that questions remain about how the Justice Department arrived at its initial policy. “They don’t actually explain how they could have concluded that it was lawful to conceal the role that the FISA Amendments Act played in criminal investigations,” he said. “They haven’t explained their prior policy or how they arrived at it.’’

  • NSA surveillance: A new door to court challenges?

    The government is notifying some defendants accused of terrorism that it used more National Security Agency surveillance than it disclosed during their court proceedings.

  • RSA chairman defends company’s links with the NSA

    Art Coviello says security company’s relationship is strictly above board as he calls for the breakup of the NSA into separate organisations

  • Utah can still tax NSA, but probably won’t

    After long debate over whether to give the NSA Data Center a $6 million tax break on its electric bill, the Senate passed a bill Tuesday that keeps the authority to tax the center intact, but makes it unlikely the state will ever actually levy the tax.

  • Amazon-CIA Cloud Contract Is A Recipe For Big Brother Hell, Warn Privacy Activists

    The slogan “Amazon and you’re done” may have just taken on a whole new meaning — at least for enemies of the state.

    Privacy advocates and media watchdogs are challenging a contract between Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, calling it a potentially “ominous” convergence of mass surveillance and perpetual war.

  • Three reasons everything (the toilet) needn’t be connected to the internet
  • Former CIA tech chief is on the prowl for big data & wearables startups (exclusive)
  • New assaults on American law — more shocking revelations about NSA spying

    In the months since Edward Snowden revealed the nature and extent of the spying that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been perpetrating upon Americans and foreigners, some of the NSA’s most troublesome behavior has not been a part of the public debate.

    This behavior constitutes the government’s assaults on the American legal system. Those assaults have been conducted thus far on two fronts, one of which is aimed at lawyers who represent foreign entities here in America, and the other is aimed at lawyers who represent criminal defendants against whom evidence has been obtained unlawfully and presented in court untruthfully.

GCHQ

Assassination by Drones

  • US drone war must be ‘brought into the light’ – video

    Kareem Khan’s brother and son were killed in a Pakistan drone strike in 2009. Now he is in the UK to meet MPs and tells Channel 4 News “most drone strikes are killing innocent people”.

  • European complicity in US drone strikes must be stopped, MEPs to warn

    A draft resolution sponsored by the Green group of MEPs and enjoying cross-party support will be debated today (26 February) and voted on tomorrow between 12 and 2pm. The resolution condemns the extrajudicial killings resulting from drone strikes, notes an increase in strikes in recent years in places like Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, and demands full transparency from those Member States that possess drones technology (including the UK).

  • Op-Ed: Report shows Yemen drone strike likely broke guidelines

    Human Rights Watch issued a 28-page report investigating the attack in December 2013 on a wedding procession in Yemen. The attack killed at least 12 men and wounded at least 15 others including the bride.

  • Obama Drones On: The Slaughter of Pakistani Civilians

    President Obama should be justly haunted by the slaughter of innocents, especially the ones he has personally condemned to death on untested evidence. But it’s hard to imagine him actually being haunted by any of his lethal failures, perhaps least of all by innocents condemned by the mere turning down of his imperial thumb in these or any other circumstances. The Nobel Peace Prize winner hardly sounds haunted when he’s quoted saying, “Turns out I’m really good at killing people. Didn’t know that was gonna be a strong suit of mine.”

  • Drone strikes on foreign soil are difficult to justify

    On Feb. 10, mass media were embroiled with an intense debate. The debate was about the United States government’s possible drone strike on a U.S. citizen who lives abroad. The target is not just an ordinary U.S. citizen, but a terrorist affiliated with al-Qaeda who happens to hold a U.S. citizenship due to his original place of birth.

    My question is: Why would the government even discuss conducting such an extreme measure? Why wouldn’t they just send some UDT/NAVY SEAL teams to capture him and bring him to American soil for judicial proceedings? Under what authority and right can the government of the United States attempt to kill an American citizen by bombing without a trial or judicial review, ignoring fundamental human rights, not to mention the Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments? What happened to “due process” and “right in judicial proceedings?” There are so many questions to be answered, and I would like to narrate several points mentioned from a CNN debate, and past statements of government officials.

  • Forecasts of terrorist apocalypse? Never mind
  • LETTER: Thoughts about proposed cuts to defense

    On my way to work one morning this week, I was listening to Fox News on Sirius. Bill Hemmer was interviewing Ralph Peters, a retired lieutenant colonel. The two were complaining the Defense Department was proposing cuts to our troop levels. Currently, they said, our army has 520K members, but now defense is proposing cutting it “about a 100K down to 440K-450K.” They then stated how Turkey will have a bigger army than us.

    I knew this was untrue. When I got to work and looked up the numbers, I found that Turkey has 450K active duty and 378K reserves. We have 1.4 million active and 850K reserves. The report was beyond misleading as it was comparing just our Army to Turkey’s full force. I could say we have a smaller force than Cambodia if I only counted our Coast Guard. This wasn’t misleading, it was outright deceitful.

    We also spend more than the next 10 countries combined in our military. And sorry, but I don’t think one Turkish soldier is equal to an American soldier. We have the best jets, tanks, ships, carriers, soldiers, seamen, airmen, and let’s not forget the Marines.

    [...]

    On a different note, but one rarely discussed: Do we think the Iraq War, Afghanistan War, Gitmo and drones make us more safe or are terrorist organizations using these as propaganda to recruit more terrorists?

Torture

  • Moazzam Begg a Political Prisoner Again

    What the British state did to me for opposing their torture programme was bad enough, but nothing to what Moazzam suffered. Yet he is much less embittered than I am.

  • Lisa Hajjar talks about torture in Guantanamo Bay

    Lisa Hajjar, a sociologist from University of California, Santa Barbara, presented a lecture Feb. 24 discussing her research about the military commission trial at Guantanamo Bay for the men responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

    “Let’s Go to Guantanamo! An On-the-Ground Perspective on the 9/11 Trial” was an in-detail discussion of 9/11 accountability, the issue of secret prisons and CIA torture.

Benghazi

  • Karl Rove: House Panel Must Press for Benghazi Answers

    In an op-ed piece in the online Wall Street Journal on Wednesday night, Rove, once President George W. Bush’s deputy chief of staff, said it would be too difficult for Congress to get National Security Adviser Susan Rice to testify under oath — and he blasted her expressed lack of regret Sunday for having said at the time that the siege was a result of protests against an offensive video denigrating Islam.

  • Rove: The Endless Benghazi Coverup

Ukraine

  • Is the Rebellion in Ukraine Really Aimed at Creating a National Socialist State?

    The award-winning journalist Max Blumenthal is exactly right to suggest, as he does in his recent AlterNet piece, that the U.S. has ties to Nazi and fascist protesters in Ukraine. The CIA agrees with him, and so did George Bush Sr. The only difference in their appraisal is the use of the term Neo-Nazi , rather than Nazi. It is just too hard for anyone to fathom that large communities of World War II Nazis not only survived, but have thrived and been protected all these years in Lviv (a city and provincial district in western Ukraine), the USA, and Canada.

  • Neocons and the Ukraine Coup

    American neocons helped destabilize Ukraine and engineer the overthrow of its elected government, a “regime change” on Russia’s western border. But the coup – and the neo-Nazi militias at the forefront – also reveal divisions within the Obama administration, reports Robert Parry.

  • Ukraine and the “Politics of Anti-Semitism”: The West Upholds Neo-Nazi Repression of Ukraine’s Jewish Community

    The US and the EU are supporting the formation of a coalition government integrated by Neo-Nazis which are directly involved in the repression of the Ukrainian Jewish community.

  • Ukrainian Neo-Nazis Declare that Power Comes Out of the Barrels of their Guns

    The Washington-paid schemers are now reaping their just reward as they sit in craven silence while neo-nazi Muzychko wielding an Ak-47 challenges government officials to their face: “I dare you take my gun!”

FBI/Police

  • NSA reform advocates oppose White House proposal to hand data to FBI

    Jim Sensenbrenner among those concerned by proposals on the table and says stance to end bulk surveillance is ‘unwavering’

  • Everyone is after personal data, not just the NSA
  • Forget the NSA, the LAPD Spies on Millions of Innocent Folks

    Edward Snowden ripped the blinds off the surveillance state last summer with his leak of top-secret National Security Agency documents, forcing a national conversation about spying in the post-9/11 era. However, there’s still no concrete proof that America’s elite intelligence units are analyzing most Americans’ computer and telephone activity — even though they can.

    Los Angeles and Southern California police, by contrast, are expanding their use of surveillance technology such as intelligent video analytics, digital biometric identification and military-pedigree software for analyzing and predicting crime. Information on the identity and movements of millions of Southern California residents is being collected and tracked.

Civil Rights

  • Does Life Mean Life? – The Fight over Whole Life Tariffs

    As has been widely reported (BBC, Daily Mail, Guardian, Telegraph) the Court of Appeal has approved the use of “whole life tariffs” for murderers, seemingly contradicting the European Court of Human Rights. But as the reporting seems to miss some of subtleties of the judgment it is worth a closer look.

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