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Links 26/3/2014: Applications

Posted in News Roundup at 3:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Links 26/3/2014: Instructionals

Posted in News Roundup at 3:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


More Links: Human Rights, Intervention, Surveillance, Wikileaks

Posted in News Roundup at 2:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Human Rights


  • From Turkey’s Covert War on Syria to the “Crimea Connection”
  • Interview with Ex-CIA Collaborator: “The CIA’s Plans in Venezuela Are Far Advanced”

    Raúl Capote is a Cuban. But not just any Cuban. In his youth, he was caught up by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). They offered him an infinite amount of money to conspire in Cuba. But then something unexpected for the US happened. Capote, in reality, was working for Cuban national security. From then on, he served as a double agent.

  • The New York Times manufactures ignorance: More half-truths about Ukraine

    Something else must be added instantly. It is no good thinking that the vote was somehow forced by the barrels of Russian rifles. The imagery is familiar, time-tested Cold War stuff with obvious truth in a lot of cases. And scarcely would Putin be above intimidation. But it does not hold up this time, if only because there was no need of intimidation.

    The plain reality is that Putin knew well how the referendum would turn out and played the card with confidence. Washington and the European capitals knew, too, and this is why they were so unseemly and shamelessly hypocritical in their desperation to cover the world’s ears as Crimeans spoke.

    This raises the legality question. There is blur, certainly, but the legal grounding is clear: International law carefully avoids prohibiting unilateral declarations of independence. In any case, to stand on the law, especially Ukraine’s since the coup against President Viktor Yanukovych last month, is a weak case in the face of Crimeans’ expression of their will.

    There was a splendid image published in Wednesday’s New York Times. Take a look. You have a lady in Simferopol, the Crimean capital, on her way to something, probably work. Well-dressed, properly groomed, she navigates the sidewalk indifferently between a soldier and a tank.


  • The CIA Doesn’t Want You to Know How Badly It Botched Torture

    The hotel bar TVs were all flashing clips of Senate intelligence committee chair Dianne Feinstein denouncing the CIA for spying on her staff, when I met an agency operative for drinks last week. He flashed a wan smile, gestured at the TV and volunteered that he’d narrowly escaped being assigned to interrogate Al-Qaida suspects at a secret site years ago.

  • Democrats have Votes to Release CIA Report on Secret Prisons and Interrogation Techniques

    The Senate Intelligence Committee is poised to send a long-awaited report on the CIA’s interrogation practices to President Barack Obama’s desk for his approval — or redaction.

    Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) says she has the votes on the narrowly divided panel to publicly reveal the executive summary and key conclusions of a 6,300-page report on Bush-era interrogation tactics, a move sure to fuel the Senate’s intense dispute with the CIA over how the panel pieced together the study. That vote is likely to happen sometime this week.

  • NSA, CIA, FBI & DIA Sued Over Withholding of Records on Capture & Surveillance of Mandela
  • Obama, the CIA, Congress, and the Constitution

    The President of the United States has one overriding obligation: to uphold the Constitution and to enforce the laws of the land. That is the oath he swears on Inauguration Day. Failure to meet fully that obligation breaks the contract between him and the citizenry from whom he derives his authority and on whose behalf he acts. The consequence is to jeopardize the well-being of the Republic.

  • Local Police in Florida Acting Like They’re the CIA (But They’re Not)

    The City of Sunrise, Florida, tried to take a page from the CIA’s anti-transparency playbook last week when it responded to an ACLU public records request about its use of powerful cell phone location tracking gear by refusing to confirm or deny the existence of any relevant documents. And the state police are trying to get in on the act as well. We have written about the federal government’s abuse of this tactic—called a “Glomar” response—before, but local law enforcement’s adoption of the ploy reaches a new level of absurdity. In this case, the response is not only a violation of Florida law, but is also fatally undermined by records the Sunrise Police Department has already posted online.

  • US President to Decide on Report About CIA Secret Jails

    This topic is the center of a serious debate between the president of the US Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein and the CIA, especially about spionage on the employers of the panel and about if they acceded to non-authorized information.

  • Crimea crisis puts US spying in new spotlight
  • Wyden on CIA, NSA, FISA, electronic surveillance

    Last week, Senator Ron Wyden spoke to an audience of about 700 in downtown Portland on the current state of our national surveilliance and national security system.

    Over the weekend, I finally found the time to listen to it — and man, you should listen to his speech. It is both a high-level overview of everything that’s going on, as well as a specific rundown of Wyden’s concerns about the challenges posed to our civil liberties.
    - See more at: http://www.blueoregon.com/2014/03/wyden-cia-fisa-electronic-surveillance/#sthash.vtncHcUG.dpuf

  • Editorial: Lifting the lid on the scope of snooping

    In a remarkable about-face, the Central Intelligence Agency recently came under attack from one of the Senate’s staunchest defenders of national surveillance in the name of national security. On the Senate floor, Dianne Feinstein dramatically made public her accusation that the CIA spied on her committee’s staff in Congress’ lengthy investigation of U.S. interrogation methods.

  • U.S. ignores human rights abroad

    Among the reporter-columnists whose bylines I never miss, Pulitzer Prize winner Charlie Savage of The New York Times is at the top of the list. He is penetratingly factual and stays on stories that are often surprising.

    At the bottom of page 12 of the March 14 Times — in what should have been on the front page, garnering Savage another Pulitzer — was this: “U.S., Rebuffing U.N., Maintains Stance That Rights Treaty Does Not Apply Abroad.”

    This treaty, signed by our Senate in 1992, is the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which, Savage notes, “bans arbitrary killings, torture, unfair trials and imprisonments without judicial review” (The New York Times, March 14).

    This treaty jumped into the news, thanks to Savage, because, as he states in his opening paragraph: “The Obama administration declared … that a global Bill of Rights-style treaty imposes no human rights obligations on American military and intelligence forces when they operate abroad.”



  • Admit It, You Don’t Care About Digital Privacy

    When former NSA analyst Edward Snowden revealed the U.S. government’s near-limitless ability to hoard and monitor private communications, it created shockwaves of indignation and forever changed the way we all conduct our digital business.

  • Mass Surveillance: French Spooks and Telcos Hand in Hand

    Since May 2013, consecutive revelations have increasingly exposed the extent and severity of the extralegal surveillance activities conducted by French authorities. It is time for the French government to break its deafening silence on this issue and allow for an open and democratic debate on the extent of its surveillance practices. This is all the more important following the “Loi de programmation militaire” and these recent revelations regarding the cooperation of network operator Orange with French intelligence services. France must make it a priority to revise its current legislation in order to respect international law on privacy.

  • Chris Hedges at Oxford University: Is Edward Snowden a Hero?

    An Oxford debate in late February posed the question: Is Edward Snowden a hero? In an impassioned defense of a patriotism that courageously stands against the abuse of state power, Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges said yes, and by a vote of the those present, won the contest.

  • Glenn Greenwald: Obama’s NSA Proposals Are A Vindication Of Our Reporting

    Glenn Greenwald wrote on Tuesday that President Obama’s new proposals to overhaul the NSA’s bulk collection of phone data are a vindication of Edward Snowden and the journalists who have been reporting on the revelations contained in the documents he provided.

Digitised Oppression: Censorship, Surveillance, Cracking, Drones, and More

Posted in News Roundup at 11:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Jimmy Carter


Phone Surveillance




  • Los Angeles Cops Argue All Cars in LA Are Under Investigation
  • Who or what can stop the NSA?

    Snowden’s latest revelations show that the National Security Agency has the capacity to store 100 percent of a given nation’s phone calls and store them for a month. Is there no other way of preventing terrorist attacks?

  • This Man Is Suing The NSA, FBI And DIA For Answers In Decades-Old Mandela Mystery

    A Ph.D. candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is suing three government agencies to get answers about America’s role in Nelson Mandela’s infamous 1962 arrest.

    In a lawsuit filed Tuesday morning, Ryan Shapiro targets the National Security Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Defense Intelligence Agency for their failure to comply with Freedom of Information Act requests he has filed (read the full complaint below).

  • Why NSA spying is breaking UK law

    The show is over. The fat lady has finally sung. The fat lady, in this case, is a former White House lawyer, Rajesh De, now the senior legal counsel for the US National Security Agency (NSA).

    Last week, De told a statutory body of the US government, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), that the so-called Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (Fisa) corporations – a collection of US companies that were made subject to secret court orders to spy on their customers outside the US – had indeed done just that.

  • Local Law Enforcement Act Like CIA, Abuse Public Records Laws to Conceal ‘Stingray’ Surveillance

    More and more local law enforcement agencies in the United States are manipulating or abusing public records request laws in order to conceal whether they are using “Stingray” surveillance technology to collect data for law enforcement activities, even going so far as to pretend that records do not even exist.

    A “Stingray” surveillance device is, according to the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a device “that can triangulate the source of a cellular signal by acting like a fake cellphone tower and measuring the signal strength of an identified device from several locations.” Such technology has been in use in some form by the FBI since 1995.

    The American Civil Liberties Union considers the technology to be the “electronic equivalent of dragnet ‘general searches’ prohibited by the Fourth Amendment.” It maintains that “no statutes or regulations” currently exist to address “under what circumstances ‘Stingrays’ can be used.” There is very little case law to properly limit law enforcement use.

  • The NSA is burning down the web, but what if we rebuilt a spy-proof internet?

    What will life be like after the internet? Thanks to the mass surveillance undertaken by the National Security Agency and the general creepiness of companies like Google and Facebook, I’ve found myself considering this question. I mean, nothing lasts forever, right?

  • Yahoo UK Moves To Dublin To Escape Surveillance; UK Asks It To Stay… For The Spies

    Yahoo discovered, as many tech companies did last year, that they had been opted-in to broad surveillance programs operated by the NSA and GCHQ. While these companies had always responded to official requests coming through official channels (the sort of thing detailed in their transparency reports), they were unaware that these agencies were also pulling data and communications right off the internet backbone and tech company servers.

  • Illicit activities of Royal Dutch Shell snared in NSA surveillance programs?

    Reaching back into the relatively recent past, the US Dept. of Defense also confirmed that Shell was or had been under investigation for allegedly conspiring to violate US espionage laws by targeting classified technologies.



  • CIA horrors
  • CIA Moved Tons of Cocaine Under Mayan Jaguar Court Documents Reveal

    The National Transportation and Safety Board, NTSB, is still conducting continuing research into a jet crash in Mexico in the autumn of 2007. The jet was carrying 3.7 tons of powdered coke and is just one of several cases that point to deep corruption within the American bureaucracy.

    The jet, a Gulfstream II, that crashed was one aircraft that was affiliated with an ongoing US covert operation called Mayan Jaguar. Recently released court records reveal that the jet was just one of tens of aircraft sold to Latin American cartel organizations. Narco News reported recently that several of the jets sold through Mayan Jaguar have been used to move cocaine into Europe, via Africa. The aircraft were being observed and traced by US law enforcement and intelligent agencies that were responsible for Mayan Jaguar.

  • John Pilger: CIA role in Australia’s forgotten coup

    Washington’s role in the fascist putsch against an elected government in Ukraine will surprise only those who watch the news and ignore the historical record. Since 1945, dozens of governments, many of them democracies, have met a similar fate, usually with bloodshed.

    Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries on earth with fewer people than Wales, yet under the reformist Sandinistas in the 1980s it was regarded in Washington as a “strategic threat”. The logic was simple; if the weakest slipped the leash, setting an example, who else would try their luck?

    The great game of dominance offers no immunity for even the most loyal US “ally”. This is demonstrated by perhaps the least known of Washington’s coups — in Australia. The story of this forgotten coup is a salutary lesson for those governments that believe a “Ukraine” or a “Chile” could never happen to them.

  • The serious costs of weak CIA oversight

    This meant developing policy outside of FISA and keeping most of Congress in the dark.

  • Constitutional Conflict Escalates between US Senate and CIA

    In twin letters sent Wednesday to the Justice Department and the Central Intelligence Agency, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid renewed charges of unconstitutional CIA spying on the Senate, first made in a speech March 11 by the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein.

  • Marcus: CIA making enemies of friends

    Watching Dianne Feinstein tear into the Central Intelligence Agency on the Senate floor the other day brought to mind a 1970s-era television commercial about a margarine supposedly indistinguishable from butter.

    “Chiffon’s so delicious, it fooled even you, Mother Nature,” says the narrator.

    “Oh, it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature,” she replies, her voice becoming steely as she raises her arms to summon thunder and lightning.

  • History of CIA torture after 9/11 must be confronted or risks being repeated

    Nearly a decade after the CIA ended its clandestine programme of kidnaps and torture in the wake of September 11, there has still not been a full reckoning of what happened.

PR Strategy


Links 24/3/2014: Games

Posted in News Roundup at 12:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Links 24/3/2014: Applications

Posted in News Roundup at 12:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Links 24/3/2014: Instructionals

Posted in News Roundup at 12:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


More Drones Debate, Espionage Against China

Posted in News Roundup at 12:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz



Civil Rights

  • Freedom After 30 Years on Death Row

    Ford was quickly convicted. At the sentencing phase of his trial, the lack of competent defense counsel again played a factor. The best mitigation witnesses who might have testified for him lived out of state—but Ford’s lawyers were unsure about the process for subpoenaing them to testify in Louisiana. It took that all-white jury less than three hours to recommend a sentence of death for the man they believed murdered Isadore Rozeman.


    Just before Glenn Ford walked out of prison late Tuesday afternoon, the state of Louisiana—which had wrongfully charged, convicted, and incarcerated him for 30 years—gave him a $20 dollar debit card for his troubles. (As recently as 2011, the state gave only $10 to inmates leaving prison.) When you combine the debit card with the balance in Ford’s prison account, the total he received upon his departure from Angola was $20.04. He left, too, with some photographs and with his medicine, all in two small boxes. He left behind his headphones.


  • Venezuela: This is a revolt of the rich, not a ‘terror campaign’

    Images forge reality, granting a power to television and video and even still photographs that can burrow deep into people’s consciousness without them even knowing it.

    I thought that I, too, was immune to the repetitious portrayals of Venezuela as a failed state in the throes of a popular rebellion. But I wasn’t prepared for what I saw in Caracas this month: how little of daily life appeared to be affected by the right-wing protests, the normality that prevailed in the vast majority of the city.


Espionage Against China


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