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Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs

Silicon Valley now can be renamed to Surveillance Valley
Mass surveillance is equal to totalitarism with the classic slogan of Third Reich
"if you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear"

The slide above is courtesy of The Guardian

News National Security State Recommended Links Big Uncle is Watching You Nephophobia: avoiding clouds to reclaim bits of your privacy Privacy is Dead – Get Over It Is Google evil? "Everything in the Cloud" Utopia
Reconciling Human Rights With Total Surveillance Issues of security and trust in "cloud" env Facebook as Giant Database about Users Blocking Facebook Email security MTA Log Analyzers HTTP Servers Log Analyses Cookie Cutting
Potemkin Villages of Computer Security Total control: keywords in your posts that might trigger surveillance Cyberstalking Search engines privacy How to collect and analyze your own Web activity metadata Steganography Anomaly detection Notes on Search Engines and Google
Malware Spearphishing Podesta emails hack Cyberwarfare Data Stealing Trojans Flame Duqu Trojan Google Toolbar
Nation under attack meme Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Search engines privacy Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law Nineteen Eighty-Four Edward Snowden as Symbol of Resistance to National Security State Prism-related humor Etc
Version 1.2, November 20, 2013

Introduction

"As a totalitarian society, the Soviet Union valued eavesdropping and thus developed ingenious methods to accomplish it."

This NSA document

J. Edgar Hoover - Wikipedia

Americans live in Russia, but think they live in Sweden

Chrystia Freeland

You have nothing to fear, if you have nothing to hide

--Joseph Goebbels

I was always suspicious about the success of "cloud" Web mail services starting with Hotmail. There was something fishy here including the purchase of Hotmail by Microsoft. The problem is that if your emails are being stored "in the cloud" each single email is exposed as if it is permanently "in transit".

Moreover the collection of email in your Inbox and, especially, your email address book constitute a more valuable set of information than any single email and tells much more about you that any single intercepted email can.  Now you see why the future won’t be like Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.  Mechanisms were invented that provoke people voluntary spy on themselves.  Pretty ingenious mechanism I would say. The elevates the importance of denial of snooping  ( Hide the Real ) and misrepresentation ("Show the False") practices  to thwart over-intrusive collection capabilities.

This brief examination of the internet reaction on Snowden revelations suggests that we should cultivate the heresies of secrets and silence. May people had been promoting the idea of lean email usage for a while. It's about recognizing both that emails are valuable and that it is a dangerous thing to put sensitive information in it or to overuse it. No email should be send, when phone call suffice. Extending this to "lean data principles" forces you to clarify the data you want to store and think hard about the minimal set of information you need. Do you really need to use email as often as you currently do? Probably not.  If you can accomplish anything without sending email, then do not send email.

Do you need to have your cellphone switched on all the day? Probably not. You should have "off hours" during the day when no cell phone calls are allowed. 

Facebook  ("Facebook "like" button is watching you ) along with Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Yahoo are kings of "passive surveillance".  That means that they are able to keep a pretty detailed, day-to-day dossier on your actions and (in case Google and Android phones) your movements by just analyzing data that are automatically streaming into their databases due to the fact that you have an account.  That's pretty embarrassing to be snooped 24 x7.  And it is plain vanilla stupid to enhance their capabilities by buying products that  can easily be abused like Amazon Echo (which should be put in a box when you do not use it, if you consider this device useful)

Report Amazon hires employees to listen to customers through products

If you have an Amazon Echo product, you aren't the only person privy to your private conversations

Thousands of people across the globe are employed by Amazon.com to listen to Echo recordings, transcribe and annotate them and feed them back to the software so that Alexa can better grasp human speech, according to a report from Bloomberg.

... ... ...

An Amazon spokesperson responded to USA TODAY with a statement that reads, "By default, Echo devices are designed to detect only your chosen wake word (Alexa, Amazon, Computer or Echo). The device detects the wake word by identifying acoustic patterns that match the wake word. No audio is stored or sent to the cloud unless the device detects the wake word (or Alexa is activated by pressing a button).”

Critics of Amazon's Echo products have pointed to potential privacy violations. In 2015, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) asked the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice to conduct a “comprehensive investigation" into Alexa and other home-listening devices, according to Marc Rotenberg, president and executive director of EPIC.

Integration of those activities is NSA domain, but Facebook is pretty nasty in a sense that it tried to get more information about you then you wish to provide.

“I don't want to live in a world where everything I say, everything I do, everyone I talk to, every expression of creativity and love or friendship is recorded.”

~Edward Snowden

While Amazon connection to intelligence agencies is very well known (and only a complete idiot can assume that history of your purchases on Amazon or using any credit card is not goes directly to NSA, Langley, and several other places), the extent of Facebook and Google connections became known only after Snowden revelations.  The fact that your mail is readily assessable to NSA and their contractors via PRISM program was a real bomb.

But from purely technical standpoint PRISM program is only logical and just utilized available technological capabilities for surveillance. The dream of total surveillance was always present in any state apparatus, democratic or totalitarian.  Moreover PRISM is an improvement over dystopia of 1984. After all, Big Brother needed electroshock, sleep deprivation, solitary confinement, drugs and propaganda broadcasts to keep power. Now confessions obtained by force has been replaced by voluntary disclosure due to new technologies available. And crushing of dissent became more sophistically and utilizes much less brute force (look how effectively Occupy Wall Street movement was suppressed).  All you need is the cooperation of several large Internet  companies with intelligence agencies, control of MSM and infiltration. 

Returning to the issue of email. Contrarily to widespread myth, it not exactly necessary to read your email to understand who you are and what views you are holding. Just the set of headers of your email messages (along with the content of your address book) constitute something revealing (and from the point of view of your privacy more dangerous) collection of information. Please take into account that all email you ever wrote are stored somewhere forever (or at least for your lifetime.)  Rephrasing well known quote we can say: "Give me access to your email headers,  and I will say who you are". This technology, which was initially developed during Iraq war proved to be very powerful method of surveillance.

 "Give me access to your email headers, and I will say who you are"

All this talk about NSA or CIA ability to listen to your smartphone microphone or via microphones in your laptop, TV or other  devices looks like grossly exaggerated threat. Those are intrusive and expensive options and those agencies actually they do not need them, except is cases when the "suspect" needs 24 x 7 surveillance.  Other then pursuing "real suspects" this measure clearly is an overkill. Passive surveillance via data provided by big four (Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo) and your smartphone (along with information from your credit card companies) is enough so that you have no secrets from the government ;-).

At any day of the  year government can tell what are your interests, political views and the circle of fiends probably better then your close relatives.  STASI operatives would die to have this capability.  In other words just due to technology progress we are all now living in the "national security state", which as you can guess is governed by intelligence agencies brass. The latter along with financial oligarchy and top CEOs represents  what Orwell called "inner party".  And its existence was clearly revealed during Russiagate color revolution, launched after the election of Trump. With the explicit goal to depose of at least neuter elements of his election program that represent deviation from neocon/neolib policies (the latter goal was quickly achieved; Trump folded in just three months). 

It not accidental that some prominent politicians have their career interlinked or even managed by intelligence agencies (George H. W. Bush,  Vladimir Putin, Theresa MayBarak Obama, Mike Pompeo, Hillary Clinton). There is even term "CIA democrats" which has dual meaning.  With the second one more menacing then the first. To a certain extent, politicians who fight and win or lose election are just figureheads or puppets of the Deep State because since the time of J. Edgar Hoover there is enough dirt of each of them to keep them in check (think about Lolita Express).  And if not, it can be fabricated, as was the case with Steele dossier.

In other words, the emergence of powerful intelligence agencies after WWII (as well as technological progress, especially in the areas of computers and  communications) make transition to the national security state the "natural" path of the Western societies  evolution. Whether we can talk about democracy in such a state is an interesting question, but it is clearly beyond the scope of this  page.

Please note that your purchases history, the collection of just email headers and other information that which can be collected automatically and inexpensively is probably  stored "for the duration of your life."   And that includes all your emails not only those voluntarily stored by you on your "cloud" provider. The latter is the place over which you've absolutely no control (and as such you should have no expectation of privacy) . 

The same is true about your phone calls. The ability to listen to your phone calls in most cases is immaterial. The list of your connections is enough to tell everything about you, sometimes even better then the content of your conversations via phone.  And I doubt that the work of transcribing and analyzing your calls is done without some serious reason, just for completeness. On the current level of technology correct transcribing of a phone call costs serious money and I doubt that NSA if far ahead of Google, Apple and  similar companies in this technological area. For a very limited vocabulary ( specific subject area), huge distributed array or computers the progress probably is more impressive (think about IBM win of IBM Watson Final Jeopardy!, which probably was partially staged by heavy tuning of Big Blue toward the particular game, but still)

The key probably for NSA now is that those guys who suspect that their phones are listened behave more carefully. Actually most of us no longer view smartphone as a device suitable for communicating anything really private. At the same time rumors about phone converted into a listening device against your will looks like paranoia. This is not simple, as you need to wake up your phone to do that and running phone consumes battery life; which allows detection of such activity. also microphone in your jeans is not a good place to conduct the recording which you need to transcribe.  You can access the resulting quality by switching on smartphone recorder and putting the phone into the pocket and reading a couple of pages of some book.  Also if your fully changed phone that was on 100% and was switched off all the time had shown 80% of change when you switch if on, you would instantly understand that something is wrong. Moreover putting a cell phone into a metal box or a metal mesh, or metalized plastic envelope used for computer parts,  completely disables the communication with the tower (recoding still can be conducted if it was initiated before that, but transmission of recoding is possible only after the phone is extracted from the mesh).  Foam lining pretty much disables sound too. Both those materials are cheap and widely available.  Keeping phone is a closed zipped padded container (often used for camera ), lady pouch or waistpack kills microphone sensitivity and is a useful method if you have some concerns. In this case your phone still can get external calls and this does not goes as far as Faraday cage.  But in most cases switching phone off is more then enough. 

The same is true about your usage of internet: as soon as you switch off your home router there is no way to spy on you at home via Internet, no matter how many computers that are connected to your home network. Of course theoretically there is a possibility of using Wi-Fi from hacked router of your neighbor, but that's complex and costly path which is justified only for very valuable targets.

So the main danger is your own Internet activity. But here the situation is a little bit more complex as from now on the life of intelligence agencies is not that easy -- there is no guarantee that after Snowden revelation people do not try to distort their browsing profiles. In other words NSA now does not know whether visiting particular site is a prank (possibly automated to distort your browsing profile) or a real activity. 

Usage of your Amazon account by other members of family distort you profile enough to make making conclusion from it more difficult.  Sharing a single Amazon account for a family blurs your purchasing activity with "noise" as it is difficult automatically distinguish between your activities and activities of individual members of the family. You can see how confused are automatic algorisms from the advertisements that are presented to you.  Actually you can easily "change your gender" for advertising purposes by clicking several wrong "targets" on Amazon and this change is pretty sticky.   In a way, experimenting on Amazon and seeing the advertizing for the particular set of browsing behaviors (for example, pretend that you are interesting in particular type of books, or jewelry, or fragrance )  gives you same level of understanding how your Amazon browsing activity is interpreted by NSA.

In this sense Snowden revelations were a severe hit, almost a knockdown for NSA. Because is very easy to inject fake activity on your browsing profile, less so in your email and purchases profile. The simplest way for Internet is to use any programmable keyboard, or a scripting language with the Expect-like module (Perl, Python, etc).  You can visit arbitrarily website at your will, but you can't just call random people (actually you can, but the result will be disappointing ;-). As it's easy imitate "fake visits to sites"  analyzing web activity in "after-Snowden" world became more involved and complex task. You need to use additional more complex metrics to separate signal from noise.

I can see why Brazil and Germany are now concerned about NSA activities. What I can't understand is why they are not concerned about stupidity of their citizens opening accounts on Gmail or Facebook and putting confidential information on the Webmail systems such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo mail  (all three are mentioned in Prism slide above ;-). Is not this a new mass form of masochism?   Or this is the case when they are more afraid of their own government.

I would like to repeat that fundamental "After Snowden" rule again and again. Do not write email when something can be accomplished via phone call, and do not use phone, if something can be accomplished by personal contact.  Limit your Internet activity -- in most cases this is just a waste of time and electrons anyways. For example if you can purchase something for cash just do it (for example, alcoholic beverages). In no way use Amazon for trivial things that can be purchased locally, which is actually both expensive and counterproductive.  This is just a new  form  of exhibitionism.

If you can purchase something for cash just do it (for example, alcoholic beverages). In no way use Amazon for trivial things that can be purchased locally, which is actually both expensive and counterproductive.  This is just a new form of exhibitionism.

Trust in cloud providers is completely misplaced

As we have all found out, that trust in cloud providers is completely misplaced, as "cloud" services were systematically abused.  So when I read that some high level honcho emails were infiltrated (directly via  broken password, or indirectly or special interface in software) and published  the only reaction is -- Ohh God, yet another  idiot was caught in  this net and now will pay for his  transgressions. 

Accounts in Hotmail or Gmail has their value, but they are most useful as "spam folders." Do not behave like this highly placed idiot Podesta, who later of course regretted about his own stupidity, but it was too late.  Or another highly placed idiot  --  David Petraeus who decided that that internet mail is secure enough to communicate with his mistress.

You can direct all emails from your subscriptions on newspapers, sites and magazines to Gmail or Hotmail, but that's about  it. For any valuable email you need to buy your own domain and account on one of dozens reputable ISPs with ssh access. If you are more or less knowledgeable in computers there is no excuse for you to use services like Gmail (which is a very bad email client in any case; Google proved to be mediocre developer in this  particular case).

If you are knowledgeable about computers, the account you use for private emails should always be the account at one of small ISP on your own domain, and possibly using special DNS server. 

People who still remember what POP3 is, can download email to their laptops, which does not store any emails on the server.  Only the last week of email or even less should be stored on Web accessible storage, because sometimes it is vital to access email from your smartphone. Storing older emails on Internet servers is recommended only, if those emails do not represent any value to you. In this case why to store them at all? 

No "private mail" should not be stored in Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo or similar accounts if you are concerned about consequences of leaking them. The simplest example is what a person has mistress like  General David Petraeus. and if you are unable to get rid of bad habit of using Google or similar "intelligence friendly" outlets, you at least should use dual authentication and systematically delete all emails older then a week.

Links in email as the source of troubles and the possibility of braking into your cloud-based email account

Email is a very old (it predates TCP/IP) and inherently insecure protocol that allow spearphishing -- sending you plausible emails with links with the text that entice you to click on them (for example spoofed Google information about attempt to access your account, say, from Ukraine  and request to change your password immediately). Links generally should be displayed with both name and actual URL (not only as the name as on Webpages), and clicking on them should be blocked automatically in your email client, like this is done in Thunderbird. But Microsoft Outlook pretends  to be "user-friendly".  At your expense.  Also additional NSA money for keeping Windows "less secure" (or adding obviously suicidal from security standpoint features are automatic scanning of USB drives, making them a new generation of floppy disks with theirs boot viruses; I doubt that Microsoft developers were that stupid, it was probably a request from NSA or similar organization ) does not hurt.

In case  Podesta emails hack  the most amazing fact is not only his stupidity of using Google mail for pretty sensitive communications, but that he failed to purchase $15 key for two factor authentication for Gmail.  Also Podesta  made a very common and stupid mistake -- clicking on the link in email, especially a email with the security alerts is really reckless.  It is undesirable even if you can verify that the URL used is not spoofed.

Anyway this is very surprising that such person was Bill Clinton Chief of Staff (1998-2001) -- essentially former Grey Cardinal of the USA with the power comparable with the President (and in certain areas exceeding it).  Such a  person is as close to trained in computer security professional as one can get, taking into account the  sensitively of his position: Podesta at one time has access to highest level of US security clearness and needed to listens to all respective briefing and signing documents that his understands what he was told.  Is not this a sign of degeneration of the USA neoliberal elite?  As a result of this  blunder on October 7, 2016, WikiLeaks started to publish thousands of emails reportedly retrieved from Podesta's private Gmail account, some of which contained controversial material regarding Clinton's positions or campaign strategy.

If publishing of your email box can cause you even slight embarrassment never keep it on Internet even if you use two factor authentication (may be outside the recent week or two). Use an encrypted thumb drive that is inserted in your laptop/desktop strictly for the period of your working with your email archive.

If publishing of your email box can cause you embarrassment or more serious harm the only place to keep this mailbox (may be outside the recent week or two) in encrypted thumb drive that is inserted in your laptop/desktop strictly for the period of your working with your email.

Similarly it is stupid to purchase anything that can compromise you with the credit cards, like was the case in Eliot Spitzer prostitution scandal

The investigation of Spitzer was initiated after North Fork Bank[2] reported the suspicious transactions to the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network as required by the Bank Secrecy Act, which was enhanced by Patriot Act provisions, enacted to combat terrorist activity such as money laundering.[3] Spitzer had at least seven liaisons with prostitutes from the agency over six months, and paid more than $15,000 for their services. Federal agents had him under surveillance twice in 2008.[4][5][6] According to published reports, investigators believe Spitzer paid up to $80,000 for prostitutes over a period of several years – first while he was attorney general, and later as governor. Governor Spitzer, referred to as "Client 9" in an affidavit filed in US Federal Court,[10] arranged to meet at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington on February 13, 2008 with a prostitute named "Kristen". "Kristen" was later identified as 22-year-old Ashley Dupré.[11][12] She intended to travel from New York City for the planned tryst and Spitzer agreed in advance that he "would be paying for everything—train tickets, cab fare from the hotel and back, mini-bar or room service, travel time and hotel".[13] After the meeting on February 13, 2008, Spitzer paid her $4,300 in cash.[14] The payment included $1,100 as a deposit with the agency toward future services.[15]

See also Zipper, a 2015 political thriller film, is a thinly veiled dramatization of the Spitzer scandal.

The newly acquired value of Aesop language

People have nation aversion to invasions to their privacy and  invented  various methods to evade snooping even in "tightly controlled" environments. One of the simplest and proven method is to use Aesop language. 

The Soviet-era writer Lev Loseff noted that the use of Aesopian language remained a favorite technique of writers (including himself) under Soviet censorship.[2] Maliheh Tyrell defines the term in the Soviet context and observes that the use of Aesopian language extended to other national literatures under Soviet rule:

"In short, this form of literature, like Aesop's animal fables, veils itself in allegorical suggestions, hints, and euphemisms so as to elude political censorship. 'Aesopian language' or literature is a technical term used by Sovietologists to define allegorical language used by Russian or nationality [that is: non-Russian] nonconformist publicists to conceal antiregime sentiments. Under Soviet rule, this 'Aesopian' literature intended to confuse the Soviet authorities, yet illuminate the truth for native readers."[3]

According to one critic, "Censorship... had a positive, formative impact upon the Aesopian writers' style by obliging them to sharpen their thoughts."[4]

In a way after Snowden revelations we all now need to learn Aesop language (slang is actually almost in-penetratable to computer analysis; unless they are specifically programmed for the particular one) and be more careful.  Many people now understand why after Snowden revelation Facebook users should be very concerned. Facebook is nothing but an intelligence database about their users. That's their primary business model -- collect and sell the data about you to advertisers, and not only advertisers. 

The users data is what Facebook actually sells

Yahoo, Microsoft and Google are no different.

Strangely enough, even after Snowden revelations the usage of Facebook/Yahoo/Gmail was not affected and the number of active accounts continued to grow. Nothing changes even after several high profile email leaks happened after Snowden revelations. So it looks like in cyberspace a large number of people is more reckless then they behave in a "normal" environment. 

So now it make sense to use context that is understandable only to you and your counterpart in particular electronic communication -- making is less understandable to outsiders. Please always use nicknames instead of real names in the first step. Mapping your organization to some film of novel is another simple step.

While it is stupid to try to guess how NSA pick up "interesting posts" it might make sense do not abuse words in your posts that might trigger surveillance  without necessity. Such as "attack", "epidemic" and like. 

Social sites as promoters of "exhibitionism orgy"

Social sites, especially "Fecebook" skillfully promote what can be called "exhibitionism orgy"  People affected generally get what they deserve, but some teenagers paid with their life for this blunder. Not to say that feeling like each and every your "wall" post is like scrolled on NYC Times square is not very comfortable feeling for anybody except status hungry adolescent girls. 

To say nothing that due to ubiquity of electronic communications all your life is watched anyway, as if East Germany STASI now became a universal world-wide phenomenon. Actually some details now available via electronic communications (your relocation data via your smartphone) were unavailable to STASI. It’s the digital equivalent of tailing a suspect, See Big Uncle is Watching You.

In a current NSA-inspired debate about the moral consequences of digital technologies, it is important to realize the danger of seamless integration of services under Google (especially within Android) as well as other Internet Oligopolies (I doubt that Microsoft with its Windows 10 is much better).  Everyone using an Android smartphone is forced to wear Google's digital straitjacket. This  can be a very bad thing. Why we should tell everything about yourself to Google? That's humiliating.

From this point of view a combination of a "regular phone" (and  and a 7 inch tablet that accepts the same simcard (in rare case when  WiFi is not available; you can also use it as navigator, if necessary) is much more attractive then a smartphone and available at a fraction of the cost: $30 (for example Alcatel Go flip)  + $150 Samsung tablet instead of $300 or more for a decent smartphone).

Android smartphones with GPS essentially invites snooping on you, especially government snooping as the less is the number of types of devices the government need to deal with, the cheaper is such mass collection of information on each citizen.

Smartphones essentially invites snooping on you, especially government snooping as the less type of devices the government need to deal with, the cheaper is such mass collection of information on each citizen

Whether this is done in the name of fighting terrorism, communist agents, or infiltration of Martians does not matter. As long as access to such data is extremely cheap, as is the case with both Android and Apple smartphones,  it will be abused by the government and some activities will be done without any court orders. In other words if technical means of snooping are cheap they will be  abused. It is a duty of concerned citizens who object this practice to make them more expensive and less effective.

If technical means of snooping are cheap they will be  abused. It is a duty of concerned citizens who object this practice to make them more expensive and less effective.

First of all we must fight against this strange "self-exposure" mania under which people have become enslaved to and endangered by the "cloud" sites they use. Again this nothing more nothing less then digital masochism.

First of all we must fight against this strange "self-exposure" mania under which people have become enslaved to and endangered by the "cloud" sites they use. Again this nothing more nothing less then digital masochism. But there is another important aspect of this problem which is different from the problem of unhealthy self-revelation zeal that large part of Facebook users demonstrates on the Net.

This second problem is often discussed under the meme Is Google evil ? and it is connected with inevitable corruption of Internet by large Internet oligopolies such as Google, Yahoo, Facebook, etc. And they become oligopolies because we agree to use them as primary sources, for example Google for search, independently whether it is good for all types of searches or not.  Actually if you compare the quality of retuned results Google is not good for all searches. Bing often beats Google on searches connected with Windows (and even some pure Linux topics) and  duckduckgo.com while not bad in most categories really excels if you search information about Eastern Europe, as well on several political themes (I suspect some searches in Google are censored).

In any case after Snowden revelations it does not make sense to use a single search engine and in no way the default search engine should Google. You need  to spread your searches over several

After Snowden revelations it does not make sense to use a single search engine. You need  to spread your searches over several  with your primary/default search engine being anything but Google. The diversification (including diversification of search engines) is now a duty of concerned Internet users.

 IMHO if you did not put several search providers like say, duckduckgo.com in your browser and don't rotate them periodically, you are making a mistake. First of all you deprive yourself from the possibility to learn strong and weak point of different search engines. The second Google stores all searches, possibly indefinitely despite your ability to delete them from your personal history, so you potentially expose yourself to a larger extent by using a single provider.

And according to PRISM NSA is only one of possibly several agencies that can access your data.  Using three search engines you create the need to merge and correlate for example three sets of your activities (if you separates searches between different engine by topics), which slightly complicates the task. Also at least according to advertizing  duckduckgo.com does not store the history of your searches at all. Also if you use VPN there is no guarantee that those activities represent actions of a single person or a group of persons (especially, if you use a local proxy).  See Alternative Search Engines to Google

“Internet solutionism” exemplified by Google and push to the cloud services is the dangerous romantic utopia of our age. Google-style "cloud uber alles" push is often counter-productive, even dangerous

As Eugeny Morozov argued in The Net Delusion The Dark Side of Internet Freedom Internet solutionism” exemplified by Google, is the dangerous romantic utopia of our age. He regards Google-style "cloud uber alles" push as counter-productive, even dangerous:

...Wouldn’t it be nice if one day, told that Google’s mission is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” we would finally read between the lines and discover its true meaning: “to monetize all of the world’s information and make it universally inaccessible and profitable”? With this act of subversive interpretation, we might eventually hit upon the greatest emancipatory insight of all: Letting Google organize all of the world’s information makes as much sense as letting Halliburton organize all of the world’s oil.

The reason why the digital debate feels so empty and toothless is simple: framed as a debate over “the digital” rather than “the political” and “the economic,” it’s conducted on terms that are already beneficial to technology companies. Unbeknownst to most of us, the seemingly exceptional nature of commodities in question – from “information” to “networks” to “the Internet” – is coded into our language.

 It’s this hidden exceptionalism that allows Silicon Valley to dismiss its critics as Luddites who, by opposing “technology,” “information” or “the Internet”-- they don’t do plurals in Silicon Valley, for the nuance risks overwhelming their brains – must also be opposed to “progress.”

Internet started as a network of decentralized servers, able to withstand a nuclear attack. Now it probably will eventually return to a similar model on a new level as the danger to privacy of cloud providers exceed their usefulness. And from the point of view of enterprise cloud providers are not cheap, even calculating in additional cost of manpower (which is more loyal, if they are local) for administration of such servers. 

In any case now it looks like anybody who is greedy enough to use "free" (as in "The only free cheese is in the mouse trap") Gmail instead of getting webmail account via ISP with your own (let it call vanity, but it's your own :-) domain and the website which is used instead of Facebook is playing with fire. Even if they are nothing to hide, if they use Hotmail of Gmail for anything but spam (aka registrations, newsletters, etc) they are living in a virtual room with multiple hidden camera that record and store information including all their emails and address book forever. Private emails (if it is necessary to send email, often phone is enough)  should probably now be limited to regular SMTP accounts with client like Thunderbird (which actually is tremendously better then Gmail Web mail client with its Google+ perversions).  Of course, you can use pictures with handwriting instead of text , but this is too little too late as for your privacy concerns. In any case on Samsung tablets with  pen (like Tab A, Galaxy Tab S4, etc) this is very convenient  way to communicate, although images in email send to PC are generally a source of danger, as Microsoft Windows executes malicious attachment masquerading as images.

For personal, private information, you need to have your own servers and keep nothing in the "cloud". The network was originally designed to be "peer-to-peer" and the only hold back has been the cost of local infrastructure to do it and the availability of local technical talent to keep those services running. Now cost of hardware is trivial and services are so well known that running them is not a big problem even at home, especially a pre-configured virtual machines with "business" cable ISP account ( $29 per month from Cablevision).

Maybe the huge centralized services like Google and Yahoo have really been temporary anomalies of the adolescence of the Internet and given the breach of trust by governments and by these large corporations the next step will be return on a new level to Internet decentralized roots. Maybe local services can still be no less viable then cloud services. Even email, one of the most popular "in the cloud" services can be split into a small part of pure SMTP delivery (important mails) and bulk mail which can stay on Webmail (but preferably at your private ISP, not those monsters like Google, Yahoo or Microsoft). That does not exclude using "free" emails of this troika for storing spam :-). In short we actually don't have to be on Gmail to send or read email. And again, Google search is not the best search engine for everything. Moreover it is not wise to put all eggs in one basket. Microsoft Bing might be as bad and duckduckgo.com claims that they provide additional privacy and do not store your searches, but spreading your searches makes perfect sense. TCP connection to small ISP is as good as to Google or Yahoo and if you do not trust ISP you can use you home server with cable provider ISP account.

Where I have concern is if the network itself got partitioned along national borders as a result of NSA snooping, large portions of the net can become unreachable. That would be a balkanization we would end up regretting. It would be far better if we take a preemptive action against this abuse and limit the use of our Gmail, hotmail, Yahoo accounts for "non essential" correspondence, if we spread our search activities among multiple search engines and have our web pages, if any on personal ISP account. We need to enforce some level of privacy ourselves and don't behave like lemmings. Years ago there was similar situation with telephones wiretaps, and before laws preventing abuse of this capability were eventually passed people often used public phones for important calls they wanted to keep private.

Legally, if you join Google or Facebook you should have no expectations
 of privacy for any information you share on those sites

In Australia any expectations of privacy isn't legally recognized by the Supreme Court once people voluntarily offered data to the third party. And I think Australians are right. Here is a relevant Slashdot post:

General Counsel of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence Robert S. Litt explained that our expectation of privacy isn't legally recognized by the Supreme Court once we've offered it to a third party.

Thus, sifting through third party data doesn't qualify 'on a constitutional level' as invasive to our personal privacy. This he brought to an interesting point about volunteered personal data, and social media habits. Our willingness to give our information to companies and social networking websites is baffling to the ODNI.

'Why is it that people are willing to expose large quantities of information to private parties but don't want the Government to have the same information?,' he asked."

... ... ...

While Snowden's leaks have provoked Jimmy Carter into labeling this government a sham, and void of a functioning democracy, Litt presented how these wide data collection programs are in fact valued by our government, have legal justification, and all the necessary parameters.

Litt, echoing the president and his boss James Clapper, explained thusly:

"We do not use our foreign intelligence collection capabilities to steal the trade secrets of foreign companies in order to give American companies a competitive advantage. We do not indiscriminately sweep up and store the contents of the communications of Americans, or of the citizenry of any country. We do not use our intelligence collection for the purpose of repressing the citizens of any country because of their political, religious or other beliefs. We collect metadata—information about communications—more broadly than we collect the actual content of communications, because it is less intrusive than collecting content and in fact can provide us information that helps us more narrowly focus our collection of content on appropriate targets. But it simply is not true that the United States Government is listening to everything said by every citizen of any country."

It's great that the U.S. government behaves better than corporations on privacy—too bad it trusts/subcontracts corporations to deal with that privacy—but it's an uncomfortable thing to even be in a position of having to compare the two. This is the point Litt misses, and it's not a fine one.

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

“Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”

Maybe Dante had some serious vision.

The Guardian

Technology development create new types of communications and simultaneously with those new types of communication, new types of government surveillance mechanisms emerge sooner  or later (you can call them "externalities" of new methods of communication). Those externalities, especially low cost of mass surveillance using the fact that owner smartphones are connected to Internet all the time, unfortunately, bring us closer to the Electronic police state (Wikipedia) or National Security State whether we want it or not. The same, but to a lesser extent is true about Microsoft Windows, especially Windows 10.

A crucial element of such the national security state is that blanket data gathering, sorting and correlation are continuous, cover the majority (or all)  citizens. With special attention to foreigners and cross-border communications (which actually is a part of protection of state sovereignty). Those activities are little known, little understood and are seldom exposed.  In this sense Snowden revelations represent a huge  anomaly.

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

It means two things:

Not only the USA government with its Prism program is involved in this activity. British security services are probably even more intrusive. Most governments probably try to do some subset of the above. Two important conclusions we can get are:

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

The same is true about your phone calls metadata, credit card transactions and your activities on major shopping sites such as Amazon, and eBay. But here you can do almost nothing. Still I think our support of "brick" merchants is long overdue. Phones are traditional target of government three letter agencies (WSJ) since the WWII. Smartphones with GPS in addition to land line metadata also provide your current geo location. I do not think you can do much here.

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

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

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

Adding insult to injury: Self-profiling

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

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

Scientella, palo alto

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

Steve Fankuchen, Oakland CA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

jrs says on June 8, 2013

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

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

That means that not only Chinese citizens already operate on the Internet without any real sense of privacy. Even if you live outside the USA the chances are high that you automatically profiled by the USA in addition to your own government. Kind of neoliberalism in overdrive mode: looks like we all are already citizens of a global empire (Let's call it "Empire of Peace"  in best 1984 tradition ;-) with the capital in Washington.

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

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

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

Recent discoveries about Prism program highlight additional possibilities of what Google and Facebook can do with our data

The most constructive approach to NSA is to view it as a large government bureaucracy that expanded their snooping activities due to new technological possibilities to the extent that "quantity turned into quality."  -- the state was converted into national security state.  Expansion of power on intelligence agencies since Truman is the key for understanding the evolution of the USA and other countries. Very soon (in the USA in early 60th with JFK assassination) they became political players. Latest saga of spying on Trump just confirms this by providing fascinating details of false flag operation  attempted in order  to enhance the scope of surveillance such  as DNC email break-in and Steele dossier.

Any large bureaucracy is a political coalition with the primary goal of preserving and enhancing of its own power (and, closely related to power, the level of financing), no matter what are official declarations. And if breaching your privacy helps with this noble goal, they will do it.

Which is what Bush government did after 9/11. The question is how much bureaucratic bloat resulting in classic dynamics of organizational self-aggrandizement and expansionism happened in NSA is open to review. We don't know how much we got in exchange for undermining internet security and the US constitution. But we do know the intelligence establishment happily appropriated billions of dollars, had grown by thousand of employees and got substantial "face lift" and additional power within the executive branch of government. To the extent that sometimes it really looks like a shadow government (with three branches NSA, CIA and FBI). And now they will fight tooth-and nail to protect the fruits of a decade long bureaucratic expansion. It is an Intelligence Church of sorts and like any religious organization they do not need facts to support their doctrine and influence.

Typically there is a high level of infighting and many factions within any large hierarchical organization, typically with cards hold close the west and limited or not awareness about those turf battles of the outsiders. Basically any hierarchical institution corporate, religious, or military will abuse available resources for internal political infighting. And with NSA "big data" push this is either happening or just waiting to happen. This is a danger of any warrantless wiretapping program: it naturally convert itself into a saga of eroding checks and disappearing balances. And this already happened in the past, so in a way it is just act two of the same drama (WhoWhatWhy):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Many of us are not so surprised.

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

Questions that arise

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Infoglut and the limits to spying via data collected about you

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

-Helen Corey WSJ.com

There are limits of this "powerful analytical software" used. First of all Snowden revelations constitute a blow (but not a knockout) for all NSA activities against really serious opponents. Now they are forewarned and that mean forearmed. That simply means that they might start feeding NSA disinformation and that's a tremendous danger for NSA that far outweigh the value of any real information collected.

The main danger for NSA is the deliberate feeding of false information into the collection stream

There is another side of this story. As we mentioned above, even if NSA algorithms are incredibly clever they can't avoid producing large number of false positives taking into account that they are drinking from a fire hose. Especially now when people will try to bury useful signal in noise. And it is not that difficult to replay somebody else Web logs on a periodic basis -- that means that the task of analysis of web logs became not only more complex. It changed. The assumption that that the set of visited sites represents real activity of a particular user is now just a plausible hypothesis. Not  more then that. 

Inefficiency is another problem. After two year investigation into the post 9/11 intelligence agencies, the Washington Post came to conclusion that they were collecting far more information than anyone can comprehend (aka "drowning is a sea of data"):

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

Such volume along creates a classic problem of "signal vs. noise" (infoglut).  And this is insolvable problem, which became only worse with the availability of more information. In this  sense Prism program which deals with already filtered by user information is a great help to NSA (and that  means that Goggle, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo and fiends are very valuable for NSA partners and will remain partners despite all claims of their top honchos).

Unless special care is exercised by collection everything from the "line" NSA is like drinking from  the firehose:  

...Infoglut raises disturbing questions regarding new operations of power and control in a world of algorithms." —Jodi Dean, author of Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies

...Andrejevic argues that people prioritize correlation over comprehension - "what" and facts are more important than "why" and reasons.

As Washington Post noted:

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

In plain English that means that analysts produce reports, lion share of which is never read. The enormity of the database exacerbate the problems. That's why NSA is hunting for email on cloud providers, where they are already filtered from spam, and where processing required is so much less than for the same information intercepted from the wire. Still even with the direct access to user accounts, the volume of data, especially graphic info (pictures), sound and video data, is really huge and that stress the limits of processing capabilities and storage.

Which means that  switch to hieroglyphs in communication theoretically creates serious problems in intercepting the data stream.  Deciphering a meaning of pictograms used is not that easy. Classic captcha methods can be used to make direct conversion to text impossible. This method was actually widely used in letters in the past (when some words were deliberately replaced by hand written pictures. ). For one thing  that approach make it more difficult "keyword-based" searches for relevant information in email as "trigger-words" can be replaced by pictograms.  Add to this that the meaning of pictograms can be individualized and you can see that this is an approach close to stenography.

Presence of noise in the channel also makes signal much more difficult to detect. Now you can be sure that any serious opponent will try to disguise the traffic by all means available. So getting a "clean" stream of data for a given IP is now a pipe dream.

Problems typical for large bureaucracies also place limits of effective large scale data collection

Existence of Snowden saga when a single analyst was able to penetrate the system and extract considerable amount information with impunity suggests that the whole Agency is a mess with a lot of incompetents at the helm. Which is typical for large government agencies and large corporations. Still the level of logs collection and monitoring proved to be surprisingly weak, and those are indirect signs of other rot. It looks like the agency does not even know what reports Snowden get into his hands. Unless this is a very clever insider operation, we need to assume that Edward Snowden stole thousands of documents, abused his sysadmin position in the NSA, and was never caught. The fact that he was able to bypass logs tells that the whole place is a complete  mess. In other words "The shoemaker’s children go barefoot."

the level of logs collection and monitoring proved to be surprisingly weak, and those are indirect signs of other rot. It looks like the agency does not even know what reports Snowden get into his hands.

 Here is one relevant comment from The Guardian

carlitoontour

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

SNOWDEN SUSPECTED OF BYPASSING ELECTRONIC LOGS

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

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

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

On the other hand government agencies were never too good in making huge and complex software projects work. And any large software project is a very difficult undertaking in any case, which require talented and dedicated manager at the helm. In large bureaucracies such people are filtered out long before that get to the necessary position. Mostly sycophants, "yes men", or people who can well mask their real identities,  prosper. 

Even in industry 50% of software projects fail, and anybody who works in the industry knows, that the more complex the project is the higher are chances that it will be mismanaged and its functionality crippled due to architectural defects ("a camel is a horse designed by a committee"). The Conway law also suggest that the structure of software product reflect communication channels in the organization.

With pretty bizarre communication channels in a large hierarchical organization like NSA you can expect huge problems on architectural level. There are also counterexamples to that. Google Earth was initially a project of three letter agencies, which was "donated" to Google.  And this is a very good software product. Still it is given that large projects will be over budget. Possibly several times over. But if money is not a problem such system will eventually be completed ("with enough thrust pigs can fly").

Any large software project is a very difficult undertaking in any case, which require talented and dedicated manager at the helm. In large bureaucracies such people are filtered out long before that get to the necessary position. Mostly sycophants, "yes men", or people who can well mask their real identities,  prosper.

Still there’s no particular reason to think that corruption (major work was probably outsourced) and incompetence (on higher management levels and, especially on architectural level as in "camel is a horse designed by a committee") don't affect the design and functionality of such government project. Now when this activity come under fire some "ad hoc" adjustments might be especially badly thought out and could potentially cripple even the existing functionality. As J. Kirk Wiebe, a NSA insider, noted

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

A few years ago I wrote about the time that our ship (on my watch) was almost cut in half by an auto-piloted tanker at midnight, but never have I divulged the day that the USS Diachenko came within one degree of heeling over during a typhoon in the South China Sea. “Engage emergency ballast,” the Captain roared at yours truly – the one and only chief engineer.

Little did he know that Ensign Gross had slept through his classes at Philadelphia’s damage control school and had no idea what he was talking about. I could hardly find the oil dipstick on my car back in San Diego, let alone conceive of emergency ballast procedures in 50 foot seas.

And so…the ship rolled to starboard, the ship rolled to port, the ship heeled at the extreme to 36 degrees (within 1 degree, as I later read in the ship’s manual, of the ultimate tipping point). One hundred sailors at risk, because of one twenty-three-year-old mechanically challenged officer, and a Captain who should have known better than to trust him.

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

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

That means two things:

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

There is also a question of complexity of analysis:

Possibility of abuses of collected data

Mass collection of data represent dangers outside activities of three letter agencies. Data collected about you by Google, Facebook, etc are also very dangerous. And they are for sell. Errors in algorithms and bugs in data mining programs can bite some people in a different way then branding them as "terrorists". Such people have no way of knowing why all of a sudden, for example, they are paying a more for insurance, why their credit score is so low no matter what they do, etc.

In no way government in the only one who are using the mass of data collected via Google / Facebook / Yahoo / Microsoft / Verizon / Optonline / AT&T / Comcast, etc. It also can lead to certain subtle types of bias if not error. And there are always problems of intentional misuse of data sets having extremely intimate knowledge about you such as your medical history.

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

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

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

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

Email privacy

I do not like when stranger is reading my mail,
overlooking over my shoulder

Famous Russian bard Vladimir Vissotsky,
Also on YouTube

Email security is a large and complex subject. It is a typical "bullet vs. armor" type of topic. In this respect the fact the US government were highly alarmed by Snowden revelations is understandable as this shift the balance from dominance of "bullet" by stimulating the development of various "armor" style methods to enhance email privacy. It also undermines/discredits cloud-based email services, especially large one such as Hotmail, Gmail, and Yahoo mail, which are the most important providers of emails.

You can't hide your correspondents so recreation of network of your email correspondents is a fact of life that you can do nothing about. But you can make searching emails for keywords and snooping of the text of your email considerably more difficult. And those methods not necessary means using PGP (actually from NSA point of view using PGP is warning sign that you has something to hide and that increase interest to your mailbox; and this is a pretty logical assumption).

First of all using traditional POP3 account now makes much more sense (although on most ISPs undelivered mail is available via Web interface). In case of email security those who know Linux/Unix have a distinct advantage. Those OSes provide the ability to have a home server that performs most functions of the cloud services at a very moderate cost (essentially the cost of web connection, or an ISP Web account; sometime you need to convert you cable Internet account to "business" to open ports). Open source software for running Webmail on your own server is readily available and while it has its security holes at least they are not as evident as those in Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo mail. And what is the most important you escape aggregation of your emails on a large provider.

IMHO putting content in attachment, be it gif of a handwritten letter in DOC document, or MP3 file presents serious technical problems for snoopers. First of all any multimedia attachment, such a gif of your handwriting (plus a jpeg of your favorite cat ;-), dramatically increase the necessary storage and thus processing time. Samsung Note 10.1 and Microsoft Surface PRO tablets provide opportunity to add both audio and handwriting files to your letter with minimal effort. If you have those device, use them. Actually this is one of few areas when tablets are really useful. Sending content as a multimedia file makes snooping more difficult for several reasons:

Another important privacy enhancing feature of emails is related to a classic "noise vs. useful signal" problem. In this respect the existence of spam looks like a blessing. In case of mimicry filtering "signal from noise" became a complex problem. That's why NSA prefers accessing mail at final destination as we saw from slides published in Guardian. But using local delivery and Thunderbird or any other mail client make this avenue of snooping easily defeatable. Intercepted on the router, spam can clog arteries of automatic processing really fast. It also might slightly distort your "network of contacts" So if you switch off ISP provided spam filter and filter spam locally on your computer, the problem of "useful sig   le border="2" width="90%" bgcolor="#FFFF00">   " is offloaded to those who try to snoop your mail. And there are ways to ensure that they will filter out wrong emails ;-). Here is a one day sample of spam:

Subject: Hello!
Subject: Gold Watches
Subject: Cufflinks
Subject: Join us and Lose 8-12 lbs. in Only 7-10 Days!
Subject: New private social network for Ukrainian available ladies and foreign men.
Subject: Fresh closed social network for Russian attractive girls and foreigners.
Subject: hoy!
Subject: Daily Market Movers Digest
h=Content-Transfer-Encoding:Content-Type:MIME-Version:Subject:To:Message-ID:From:Date; bh=rabQUxPZjHIp1RwoC7c+cj41NudW37VFkMlmNcq4yig=;
Subject: =?utf-8?Q?=E1=B9=BD=E2=80=8D=C7=8F=E2=80=8D=E1=BE=B6=E2=80=8D=C4=A0=E2=80=8D=E1=B9=99=E2=80=8D=E1=BE=B6?=
Subject: IMPORTANT - WellsFargo
Subject: =?Windows-1251?B?z29j8nBv5e3o5SBj6GPyZez7IO7v62Hy+yDvbyBwZefz6/zy4PLz?=
Subject: New private social network for beautiful Ukrainian women and foreign men.
Subject: Fresh closed social network for Russian sexy women and foreign men.
Subject: Cufflinks
Subject: (SECURE)Electronic Account Statement 0558932870_06112013
Subject: (SECURE)Electronic Account Statement 0690671601_06112013
Subject: Returned mail: see transcript for details
Subject: Bothered with censorship restrictions on Social networks?
Subject: Delivery Status Notification (Failure) - [AKO Content Violation - SPAM]Are
Subject: (SECURE)Electronic Account Statement 0355009837_06112013
Subject: You need Ukrainian with large breasts that Madame ready to correspond to intimate topics?
Subject: =?Windows-1251?B?wfPy/CDjb/Lu4iDqIO/wb+Ll8Org7A==?=
Subject: You need a Russian woman with beautiful eyes is ready to correspond to private theme?
Subject: Mail delivery failed: returning message to sender
Subject: Are you bored with censorship limits at Social networks?
Subject: =?windows-1254?B?U0VSVN1G3UtBTEkgWUFOR0lOIEXQ3VTdTd0gSEVNRU4gQkHeVlVSVU4=?=
Subject: Join us and Lose 8-12 lbs. in Only 7-10 Days!
Subject: Important Activation needed
Subject: Hi!
Subject: WebSayt Sadece 35 Azn
Subject: Join us and Lose 8-12 lbs. in Only 7-10 Days!

Note the line "Subject: Mail delivery failed: returning message to sender". That means that in the spam filter you need to fight with the impersonalization (fake sender) as well. While typically this is easy based on content of "Received:" headers, there are some complex cases, especially with bounced mails and "onetime" identities (when the sender each time assumes a different identity at the same large provider). See also Using “impersonalization” in your email campaigns.

BTW fake erotic spam provides tremendous steganography opportunities. Here is a very simplistic example.

Subject: Do you want a Ukrainian girl with large breasts ready to chat with you on intimate topics?

New closed social network with hot Ukrainian ladies is open. If you want to talk on erotic themes, with sweet women then this is for you!

I dropped my previous girlfriend. Things deteriorates dramatically here and all my plans are now on hold.

So I decided to find a lady friend for regular erotic conversations! And I am now completely satisfied customer.

Give it is try. "http://t.co/FP8AnKQOyV" Free Registration and first three sessions !!!

Does the second paragraph starting with the phrase "I dropped my previous girlfriend..." in the email below contain real information masked in erotic spam, or the message is a regular junk?

Typical spam filter would filter this message out as spam, especially with such a subject line ;-).

You can also play a practical joke imitating spammer activity. Inform a couple of your friends about it and then send similar letter from one of your Gmail account to your friends. Enjoy change in advertisements ;-).

In many cases what you want to send via email, can be done more securely using phone. Avoid unnecessary emails like a plague. And not only because of NSA existence. Snooping into your mailbox is not limited to three-letter agencies.

Facebook Problem

I always wondered why Facebook -- a cluelessly designed site which imitates AOL, the hack written in PHP which provide no, or very little value to users, other then a poorly integrated environment for personal Web page (simple "vanity fair" pages), blog and email. It is definitely oriented on the most clueless or at least less sophisticated users and that's probably why it has such a level of popularity. They boast almost billion customers, although I suspect that half of those customers check their account only once a month or so. Kind of electronic tombstone to people's vanity...

The interface is second rate and just attests a very mediocre level of software engineering. It is difficult to imagine that serious guys are using Facebook. And those who do use it, usually are of no interest to three letter agencies. Due to this ability of the government to mine Facebook might be a less of a problem then people assume, much less of a problem than mining Hotmail or Gmail.

But that does not mean that Facebook does not have value. Just those entities for whom it provides tremendous value are not users ;-) Like WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange stated Facebook, Google, and Yahoo are actually extremely powerful tools for centralized information gathering that can used by advertisers, merchants, government, financial institutions and other powerful/wealthy players.

Such sites are also very valuable tools for advertisers who try to capitalize of the information about your Facebook or Google profile, Gmail messages content, network of fiends and activities. And this is pretty deep pool of information.

"Facebook in particular is the most appalling spying machine that has ever been invented," Assange said in the interview, which was videotaped and published on the site. "Here we have the world's most comprehensive database about people, their relationships, their names, their addresses, their locations and the communications with each other, their relatives, all sitting within the United States, all accessible ..."

That's why Google, who also lives and dies by advertising revenue put so much efforts at Google+. And promotes so heavily +1 button. They sense the opportunity for additional advertising revenue due to more precise targeting and try to replicate Facebook success on a better technological platform (Facebook is a hack written in PHP -- and writing in PHP tells a lot about real technological level of Mark Zuckerberg and friends).

But government is one think, advertisers is another. The magnitude of online information Facebook has available about each of us for targeted marketing is stunning. In Europe, laws give people the right to know what data companies have about them, but that is not the case in the United States. Here is what Wikipedia writes about Facebook data mining efforts:

There have been some concerns expressed regarding the use of Facebook as a means of surveillance and data mining. The Facebook privacy policy once stated,

"We may use information about you that we collect from other sources, including but not limited to newspapers and Internet sources such as blogs, instant messaging services and other users of Facebook, to supplement your profile."[23]

However, the policy was later updated and now states: "We may use information about you that we collect from other Facebook users to supplement your profile (such as when you are tagged in a photo or mentioned in a status update). In such cases we generally give you the ability to remove the content (such as allowing you to remove a photo tag of you) or limit its visibility on your profile."[23] The terminology regarding the use of collecting information from other sources, such as newspapers, blogs, and instant messaging services, has been removed.

The possibility of data mining by private individuals unaffiliated with Facebook has been a concern, as evidenced by the fact that two Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) students were able to download, using an automated script, over 70,000 Facebook profiles from four schools (MIT, NYU, the University of Oklahoma, and Harvard University) as part of a research project on Facebook privacy published on December 14, 2005.[24] Since then, Facebook has bolstered security protection for users, responding: "We’ve built numerous defenses to combat phishing and malware, including complex automated systems that work behind the scenes to detect and flag Facebook accounts that are likely to be compromised (based on anomalous activity like lots of messages sent in a short period of time, or messages with links that are known to be bad)."[25]

A second clause that brought criticism from some users allowed Facebook the right to sell users' data to private companies, stating "We may share your information with third parties, including responsible companies with which we have a relationship." This concern was addressed by spokesman Chris Hughes, who said "Simply put, we have never provided our users' information to third party companies, nor do we intend to."[26] Facebook eventually removed this clause from its privacy policy.[27]

Previously, third party applications had access to almost all user information. Facebook's privacy policy previously stated: "Facebook does not screen or approve Platform Developers and cannot control how such Platform Developers use any personal information."[28] However, that language has since been removed. Regarding use of user data by third party applications, the ‘Pre-Approved Third-Party Websites and Applications’ section of the Facebook privacy policy now states:

In order to provide you with useful social experiences off of Facebook, we occasionally need to provide General Information about you to pre-approved third party websites and applications that use Platform at the time you visit them (if you are still logged in to Facebook). Similarly, when one of your friends visits a pre-approved website or application, it will receive General Information about you so you and your friend can be connected on that website as well (if you also have an account with that website). In these cases we require these websites and applications to go through an approval process, and to enter into separate agreements designed to protect your privacy…You can disable instant personalization on all pre-approved websites and applications using your Applications and Websites privacy setting. You can also block a particular pre-approved website or application by clicking "No Thanks" in the blue bar when you visit that application or website. In addition, if you log out of Facebook before visiting a pre-approved application or website, it will not be able to access your information.

In the United Kingdom, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has encouraged employers to allow their staff to access Facebook and other social-networking sites from work, provided they proceed with caution.[29]

In September 2007, Facebook drew a fresh round of criticism after it began allowing non-members to search for users, with the intent of opening limited "public profiles" up to search engines such as Google in the following months.[30] Facebook's privacy settings, however, allow users to block their profiles from search engines.

Concerns were also raised on the BBC's Watchdog programme in October 2007 when Facebook was shown to be an easy way in which to collect an individual's personal information in order to facilitate identity theft.[31] However, there is barely any personal information presented to non-friends - if users leave the privacy controls on their default settings, the only personal information visible to a non-friend is the user's name, gender, profile picture, networks, and user name.[32]

In addition, a New York Times article in February 2008 pointed out that Facebook does not actually provide a mechanism for users to close their accounts, and thus raised the concern that private user data would remain indefinitely on Facebook's servers.[33] However, Facebook now gives users the options to deactivate or delete their accounts, according to the Facebook Privacy Policy. "When you deactivate an account, no user will be able to see it, but it will not be deleted. We save your profile information (connections, photos, etc.) in case you later decide to reactivate your account." The policy further states: "When you delete an account, it is permanently deleted from Facebook."[23]

A third party site, USocial, was involved in a controversy surrounding the sale of fans and friends. USocial received a cease-and-desist letter from Facebook and has stopped selling friends.[34]

Inability to voluntarily terminate accounts

Facebook had allowed users to deactivate their accounts but not actually remove account content from its servers. A Facebook representative explained to a student from the University of British Columbia that users had to clear their own accounts by manually deleting all of the content including wall posts, friends, and groups. A New York Times article noted the issue, and also raised a concern that emails and other private user data remain indefinitely on Facebook's servers.[35]

Facebook subsequently began allowing users to permanently delete their accounts in 2010. Facebook's Privacy Policy now states: "When you delete an account, it is permanently deleted from Facebook."[23]

... ... ...

Quit Facebook Day

Quit Facebook Day was an online event which took place on May 31, 2010 (coinciding with Memorial Day), in which Facebook users stated that they would quit the social network, due to privacy concerns.[54] It was estimated that 2% of Facebook users coming from the United States would delete their accounts.[55] However, only 33,000 users quit the site.[56]

... ... ...

Tracking cookies

Facebook has been criticized heavily for 'tracking' users, even when logged out of the site. Australian technologist Nik Cubrilovic discovered that when a user logs out of Facebook, the cookies from that login are still kept in the browser, allowing Facebook to track users on websites that include "social widgets" distributed by the social network. Facebook has denied the claims, saying they have 'no interest' in tracking users or their activity. They also promised after the discovery of the cookies that they would remove them, saying they will no longer have them on the site. A group of users in the United States have sued Facebook for breaching privacy laws.[citation needed]

Read more at Facebook as Giant Database about Users

Google search monopoly

Google wants to be a sole intermediary between you and Internet. As Rebecca Solnit pointed out (Google eats the world):

Google, the company with the motto "Don't be evil", is rapidly becoming an empire. Not an empire of territory, as was Rome or the Soviet Union, but an empire controlling our access to data and our data itself. Antitrust lawsuits proliferating around the company demonstrate its quest for monopoly control over information in the information age.

Its search engine has become indispensable for most of us, and as Google critic and media professor Siva Vaidhyanathan puts it in his 2012 book The Googlization of Everything,

"[W]e now allow Google to determine what is important, relevant, and true on the Web and in the world. We trust and believe that Google acts in our best interest. But we have surrendered control over the values, methods, and processes that make sense of our information ecosystem."

And that's just the search engine. About three-quarters of a billion people use Gmail, which conveniently gives Google access to the content of their communications (scanned in such a way that they can target ads at you).

Now with Prism-related revelations, those guys are on the defensive as they sense a threat to their franchise. And the threat is quite real: if Google, Microsoft, Yahoo all work for NSA, why not feed them only a proportionate amount of your searches. And why not feed them with "search spam"?

Now with Prism-related revelations, those guys are on the defensive as they sense a threat to their franchise. And the threat is quite real: if Google, Microsoft, Yahoo all work for NSA, why not feed them only a proportionate amount of your searches. And why not feed them with "search spam"?

One third to Google and one third to Bing with the rest to https://duckduckgo.com/ (Yahoo uses Bing internally). You can rotate days and hope that the level of integration of searches from multiple providers is a weak point of the program ;-). After all while Google is still better on some searches, Bing comes close on typical searches and is superior in searches about Microsoft Windows and similar Microsoft related themes. It is only fair to diversify providers.

Here is one take from Is Google a threat to privacy from Digital Freedoms

Google’s motto may be ‘don’t be evil’ but people are increasingly unconvinced that it is as good as it says it is. The Guardian is currently running a poll asking users ‘Does Google ‘do evil’?’ and currently the Guardian reading public seems to think yes it does. This is partially about Google's attempt to minimize taxes in the UK but there are other concerns that are much more integral to what Google is about. At its core Google is an information business, so accusations that it is a threat to privacy strike at what it does rather than just its profits.

Google recently got a slap on the wrist by Germany for its intrusion of privacy through its street view and received a $189,225 fine. This was followed in April with several European privacy regulators criticizing the company for how it changed its privacy policy in 2012. Google attempted to simplify its privacy policy by having one that would operate across its services rather than the 70 different ones it had. Unfortunately it was not transparent in how it implemented the changes bringing the ire of the European regulators. This was followed by not implementing their suggested changes leading to the regulators considering more fines.

Facebook’s inventory of data and its revenue from advertising are small potatoes compared to Google. Google took in more than 10 times as much, with an estimated $36.5 billion in advertising revenue in 2011, by analyzing what people sent over Gmail and what they searched on the Web, and then using that data to sell ads. Hundreds of other companies (Yahoo, Microsoft, Amazon to name a few) have also staked claims on people’s online data by depositing cookies or other tracking mechanisms on people’s browsers. If you’ve mentioned anxiety in an e-mail, done a Google search for “stress” or started using an online medical diary that lets you monitor your mood, expect ads for medications and services to treat your anxiety.

In other words stereotyping rules in data aggregation. Your application for credit could be declined not on the basis of your own finances or credit history, but on the basis of aggregate data — what other people whose likes and dislikes are similar to yours have done. If guitar players or divorcing couples are more likely to renege on their credit-card bills, then the fact that you’ve looked at guitar ads or sent an e-mail to a divorce lawyer might cause a data aggregator to classify you as less credit-worthy. When an Atlanta man returned from his honeymoon, he found that his credit limit had been lowered to $3,800 from $10,800. The switch was not based on anything he had done but on aggregate data. A letter from the company told him, “Other customers who have used their card at establishments where you recently shopped have a poor repayment history with American Express.”

Even though laws allow people to challenge false information in credit reports, there are no laws that require data aggregators to reveal what they know about you. If I’ve Googled “diabetes” for my mother or “date rape drugs” for a mystery I’m writing, data aggregators assume those searches reflect my own health and proclivities. Because no laws regulate what types of data these aggregators can collect, they make their own rules.

In another post Frank Schaeffer (Google, Microsoft and Facebook Are More of a Threat to Privacy Than the US Government, June 7, 2013) thinks the Google and other companies actually represent a different threat then the government due to viewing themselves as a special privileged caste:

It’s amazing that there are naive people who worry about government intrusion into our privacy when we already gave away our civil rights to the billionaires in Silicon Valley. The NSA is taking note of our calls and emails, but anyone – me included! — who uses the internet and social media has already sold out our privacy rights to the trillion dollar multinational companies now dominating our lives and – literally – buying and selling us.

The NSA isn’t our biggest worry when it comes to who is using our calls, emails and records for purposes we didn’t intend. We are going to pay forever for trusting Google, Facebook. Microsoft, AOL and all the rest. They and the companies that follow them are the real threat to liberty and privacy.

The government may be wrong in how it is trying to protect us but at least it isn’t literally selling us. Google’s and Facebook’s et al highest purpose is to control our lives, what we buy, sell, like and do for money. Broken as our democracy is we citizens at least still have a voice and ultimately decide on who runs Congress. Google and company answer to no one. They see themselves as an elite and superior to everyone else.

In fact they are part of a business culture that sees itself not only above the law but believes it’s run by superior beings. Google even has its own bus line, closed to the public, so its “genius” employees don’t have to be bothered mingling with us regular folk. A top internet exec just ruined the America’s Cup race by making it so exclusive that so far only four groups have been able to sign up for the next race to be held in San Francisco because all but billionaires are now excluded because this internet genius changed the rules to favor his kind of elite.

Google and Facebook have done little-to-nothing to curb human trafficking pleading free speech as the reason their search engines and social networks have become the new slave ships “carrying” child rape victims to their new masters internationally. That’s just who and what these internet profiteers are.

Face it: the big tech companies aren’t run by nice people even if they do make it pleasant for their workers by letting them skateboard in the hallways and offering them free sushi. They aren’t smarter than anyone else, just lucky to be riding a new tech wave. That wave is cresting.

Lots of us lesser mortals are wondering just what we get from people storing all our private data. For a start we have a generation hooked on a mediated reality. They look at the world through a screen.

In other words these profiteers are selling reality back to us, packaged by them into entertainment. And they want to put a computer on every desk to make sure that no child ever develops an attention span long enough so that they might actually read a book or look up from whatever tech device they are holding. These are the billionaires determined to make real life so boring that you won’t be able to concentrate long enough pee without using an app that makes bodily functions more entertaining.

These guys are also the world’s biggest hypocrites. The New York Times published a story about how some of the top executives in Silicon Valley send their own children to a school that does not allow computers. In “A Silicon Valley School That Doesn’t Compute” (October 22, 2011) the Times revealed that the leaders who run the computer business demand a computer-free, hands-on approach to education for their own children.

Usage of home Web Proxy is a must

This new situation makes usage of Web proxy at home a must. Not to protect yourself ( this is still impossible ), but to control what information you release and to whom. See Squid. It provides powerful means to analyze your Web traffic as well as Web site blocking techniques:

In my experience, Squid’s built-in blocking mechanism or access control is the easiest method to use for implementing web site blocking policy. All you need to do is modify the Squid configuration file.

Before you can implement web site blocking policy, you have to make sure that you have already installed Squid and that it works. You can consult the Squid web site to get the latest version of Squid and a guide for installing it.

To deploy the web-site blocking mechanism in Squid, add the following entries to your Squid configuration file (in my system, it’s called squid.conf and it’s located in the /etc/squid directory):

acl bad url_regex "/etc/squid/squid-block.acl"
http_access deny bad

The file /etc/squid/squid-block.acl contains web sites or words you want to block. You can name the file whatever you like. If a site has the URL or word listed in squid-block.acl file, it won’t be accessible to your users. The entries below are found in squid-block.acl file used by my clients:

.oracle.com
.playboy.com.br
sex
...

With the squid-block.acl file in action, internet users cannot access the following sites:

You should beware that by blocking sites containing the word “sex”, you will also block sites such as Middlesex University, Sussex University, etc. To resolve this problem, you can put those sites in a special file called squid-noblock.acl:

^http://www.middlesex.ac.uk
^http://www.sussex.ac.uk 

You must also put the “no-block” rule before the “block” rule in the Squid configuration file:

...
acl special_urls url_regex "/etc/squid/squid-noblock.acl"
http_access allow admin_ips special_urls

acl bad url_regex "/etc/squid/squid-block.acl"
http_access deny bad
...

Sometimes you also need to add a no-block file to allow access to useful sites

After editing the ACL files (squid-block.acl and squid-noblock.acl), you need to restart Squid. If you install the RPM version, usually there is a script in the /etc/rc.d/init.d directory to help you manage Squid:

# /etc/rc.d/init.d/squid reload

To test to see if your Squid blocking mechanism has worked, you can use your browser. Just enter a site whose address is listed on the squid-block.acl file in the URL address.

In the example above, I block .oracle.com, and when I try to access oracle.com, the browser returns an error page.

Limiting your activity on social sites

Vanity fair posting should probably now be severely limited. Self-exposure entails dangers that can became evident only in retrospect. The key problem is that nothing that you post is ever erased. Ever. Limiting your activity in social network to few things that are of real value, or what is necessary for business or professional development, not just vanity fair staff or, God forbid, shady activities is now a must.

And remember that those days information about your searches, books that you bought on Amazon, your friends in Facebook, your connections in LinkedIn, etc are public. If you want to buy a used book without it getting into your database, go to the major city and buy with cash.

Also getting you own email address and simple web site at any hosting site is easy and does not require extraordinary technical sophistication. Prices are starting from $3 per month. Storing your data on Facebook servers might cost you more. See Guide for selecting Web hosting provider with SSH access for some ideas for programmers and system administrators.

Conclusions: Death of Privacy

In a way the situation with cloud sites providing feeds to spy on the users is a version of autoimmune disease: defense systems are attacking other critical systems instead of rogue agents.

As we mentioned before, technological development has their set of externalities. One side effect of internet technologies and, especially, cloud technologies as well as wide proliferation of smartphones is that they greatly simplify "total surveillance." Previously total surveillance was a very expensive proposition, now it became vey cheap. In a way technological genie is out of the bottle. And it is impossible to put him back. Youtube (funny, it's another site targeted by NSA) contains several informative talks about this issue. From the talk:

“This is the current state of affairs. There is no more sense of privacy. Not because it’s been ripped away from you in some Orwellian way, but because you flushed it down the toilet”.

All-in-all on Internet on one hand provides excellent, unique capability of searching information (and search sites are really amplifiers of human intelligence) , but on the other put you like a bug under microscope. Of course, as so many Internet users exists, the time to store all the information about you is probably less then your lifespan, but considerable part of it can be stored for a long time (measured in years, not months, or days) and some part is stored forever. In other words both government and several large companies and first of all Facebook and Google are constantly profiling you. That's why we can talk about death of privacy.

Add to this a real possibility that malware is installed on your PC (and Google Bar and similar applications are as close to spyware as one can get) and situation became really interesting.

Looking at the headlines about the government’s documents on how to use social networking and it’s surprising that anyone thinks this is a big deal. Undercover Feds on Facebook? Gasp! IRS using social networking to piece together a few facts that illustrate you lied about your taxes? Oooh.

Give me a break. Why wouldn’t the Feds use these tools? They’d be idiots if they didn’t. Repeat after me:

Let’s face it; folks are broadcasting everything from the breakfast they eat to their bowel movements to when and where they are on vacation. They use services that track every movement they make (willingly!) on Foursquare and Google Latitude. Why wouldn’t an FBI agent chasing a perp get into some idiot’s network so he can track him everywhere? It’s called efficiency people.

Here are some simple measures that might help, although they can't change the situation:

Again, none of those measures change the situation dramatically, but each of them slightly increase the level of your privacy.


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For details of NSA collection of Internet traffic and major cloud provider data see Big Brother is Watching You

[Nov 14, 2019] Alert! Court Actually Claws Back Post-9-11 Search Creep by Kelley Beaucar Vlahos

Notable quotes:
"... "The border has become a rights-free zone for Americans who have to travel," Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) said in a statement given to Boland at the time. "The founders never could have imagined that the government would be able to sift through your entire digital life, from pictures to emails and even where you've been, just because you decide to take a vacation or travel for work." ..."
Nov 13, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Alert! Court Actually Claws Back Post-9/11 Search Creep

New ruling puts the brakes on practice of seizing travelers' laptops and cell phones. (Shutterstock/By Carolina K. Smith MD)

At last a victory for citizens. For nearly 20 years, the federal government has used and abused the memory of the 9/11 attacks to expand its law enforcement authorities at the nation's airports, even if that has meant broaching one of our most sacrosanct constitutional freedoms: the right against illegal search and seizure, otherwise known as the 4th Amendment.

On Tuesday, a federal court in Boston ruled that the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can no longer detain Americans coming back over the border to search their laptops, cell phones and other electronic devices, without cause. One would think this is a no-brainer, but the number of these incidents has actually escalated to over 33,000 last year -- nearly four times as many as the previous three years, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

The ruling came in a lawsuit, Alasaad v. McAleenan , filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and ACLU of Massachusetts, on behalf of 11 travelers whose smartphones and laptops were searched without individualized suspicion at U.S. ports of entry.

International travelers returning to the United States have reported numerous cases of abusive searches in recent months. While searching through the phone of Zainab Merchant, a plaintiff in the Alasaad case, a border agent knowingly rifled through privileged attorney-client communications. An immigration officer at Boston Logan Airport reportedly searched an incoming Harvard freshman's cell phone and laptop, reprimanded the student for friends' social media postings expressing views critical of the U.S. government, and denied the student entry into the country following the search.

According to EFF, border officers "must now demonstrate individualized suspicion of illegal contraband before they can search a traveler's device."

TAC's Barbara Boland reported on this over the summer . The number of electronic devices accessed in 2018 was six times the number in 2012, suggesting that this is not only a post-9/11 issue, but that somewhere along the line the Trump Administration signaled to these agencies, which are all under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security, that it was gloves-off at the border -- even for American citizens. Lest you think this is just an extension of the president's tough illegal immigration policies, be warned, many of the folks targeted were typical international visitors and U.S. citizens -- think students, journalists, academics, doctors -- and not travelers to this country for the first time. And they were treated like they were coming into the Third World. From Boland:

One person detailed to Amnesty International how she was selected for secondary screening at the border, locked in a cramped, narrow concrete cell, and subjected to an invasive body search. Her requests for a lawyer and medical treatment were denied. The supervisor told her she would be held indefinitely.

When she told him that she is an American citizen, he replied: "The Fourth Amendment doesn't apply here. We can hold you for as long as we want to."

She was released after four hours.

Journalist Seth Harp wrote a similarly disturbing story about what happened when he was singled out for a "secondary screening" at the Austin Airport in Texas. CBP agents pried him for information about what he was writing, his sources, his reporting as a war correspondent, and his discussions with his editors.

"The border has become a rights-free zone for Americans who have to travel," Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) said in a statement given to Boland at the time. "The founders never could have imagined that the government would be able to sift through your entire digital life, from pictures to emails and even where you've been, just because you decide to take a vacation or travel for work."

Let's hope that Tuesday's order fixes that -- though it might take a Supreme Court ruling to put an end to it for good.

[Nov 14, 2019] You know what will be the next big headline with Google and health services? It will be the discovery that Google has secretly purchased access to people's DNA from Ancestry or 23andMe and now they will link your DNA with all those health records. Can't tell me that they are not negotiating for it.

Nov 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The Rev Kev , November 12, 2019 at 9:18 am

I've seen this movie before. After a lot of legal wrangling, Google will admit they they might have bent the rules a bit and will have to pay a few billion in fines which they will proceed to claim back on their next tax form. They will ensure, however, that they do not admit doing something illegal in court and so no executives will go to the slammer to stop this happening again. Google will also promise to delete that data.

Meanwhile, a copy of all these files will have gone to a set of their servers in a country that the US legal system cannot access where it will be analyzed further. Perhaps Google techs will be able to access it in California on a secured line. Non Disclosure Agreements will ensure that nobody talks about this work.

You know what will be the next big headline with Google and health services? It will be the discovery that Google has secretly purchased access to people's DNA from Ancestry or 23andMe and now they will link your DNA with all those health records. Can't tell me that they are not negotiating for it.

petal , November 12, 2019 at 9:42 am

Google is a minority investor in 23andMe. I don't have time to go digging about data sharing/purchasing, though. Maybe someone else can?

The Rev Kev , November 12, 2019 at 9:52 am

Thanks for that petal. Looks like it is going to be 23andMe and not Ancestry. Want a fun fact that I have just discovered? And I quote-

Sergey Brin, president of technology and a co-founder of Google is the husband of 23andMe Co-founder Anne Wojcicki. He previously invested around $10 million of his own money in 23andMe's convertible debt financing, which was converted into Series B preferred stock as part of 23andMe's Series B round.

How about that! Article at-

https://www.genomeweb.com/dxpgx/google-invests-another-26m-23andme

petal , November 12, 2019 at 10:13 am

Oh yes, was aware of that for quite a while now. The companies have been attached at the hip from the beginning. Pillow talk? They are no longer together(Brin and Wojcicki). She was linked with ARod for awhile haha. Interesting group of characters involved.

Krystyn Walentka , November 13, 2019 at 12:24 pm

My one regret was using 23andme, but I have to say it helped me so much it tempers the fact that I know parts of my "unidentifiable" genome is flying around out there somewhere. I think using gmail is more of a risk in reality. There is a lot more regulation risk pertaining to DNA data already on the books. Not saying it would stop them.

I was already degoogled before this Ascension news, but I just told my friends that I will not email them if they have a gmail address. A total boycott of google from me.

Otis B Driftwood , November 12, 2019 at 9:40 am

I work in healthcare IT, and I can certainly attest to the fact that insurance companies are keenly interested in acquiring clinical data. The term of art for this is "chart chasing", and right now it is pretty much a manual process wherein the patient data is gathered by insurance company workers or their subcontractors reaching out to medical facilities for the patient data residing in file cabinets or computers.

It should come as no surprise that healthcare IT companies see a business opportunity in making this work more efficiently for payers – to suck in data at a rate that is orders of magnitude faster than currently possible. And you can be certain they are working on this right now.

What Google may or may be up to with patient data is another issue entirely.

Under HIPAA, a covered entity may acquire access to patient data under a so-called "purpose of use" that include Treatment, Payment or Operations.

The purpose of the HIPAA Privacy Rule was to introduce restrictions on the allowable uses and disclosures of protected health information, stipulating when, with whom, and under what circumstances, health information could be shared. Another important purpose of the HIPAA Privacy Rule was to give patients access to their health data on request. The purpose of the HIPAA Security Rule is mainly to ensure electronic health data is appropriately secured, access to electronic health data is controlled, and an auditable trail of PHI activity is maintained.

Full article here: https://www.hipaajournal.com/purpose-of-hipaa/

If Google is developing software to analyze data on behalf of Ascension, that's one thing. They should not have access to the data itself. It's an important distinction. And I don't trust Google to do the right thing.

As a patient, I would advise anyone who is worried about their data being shared with third parties to contact their doctor and ask them about their policy with respect to release of their data. You may find that the facility is releasing your information as they have an "opt-out" policy. If so, demand that your data not be shared without your explicit consent.

Google tried their hand at healthcare about 10 years ago with their failed Google Health project. They staffed the team with people who had no background in healthcare, but were otherwise the best and the brightest.

See https://www.mobihealthnews.com/11480/10-reasons-why-google-health-failed/

Incidentally, Microsoft's Healthvault project only faired somewhat better. MS shutdown the project this month.

Finally, as someone who has worked in healthcare interoperability I disagree strongly that digitizing health data has been a one-sided disaster. On the contrary, giving clinicians access to health information about patients across different settings of care has in fact improved the quality of care and saved lives. I'm proud of my work in helping make this happen.

I should also note that making de-identified healtchare data available for population-based analytics is also a good thing. It's not always about squeezing more $$$ out of patients.

Carolinian , November 12, 2019 at 9:48 am

Thanks for the post. The Affordable Care Act was an IT mess too. Perhaps Obama should have paid more attention during those meetings with what he called his "propeller heads" instead of playing with his Blackberry. But Al "streamlining government" Gore comes in for some blame too. These days we seem to barely regulate anything (except consumers trying to bring in drugs from overseas).

Some of us used to defend Google around here but that's long gone. Bezos has talked about trying to get involved in health care as well. Perhaps Google felt they had to beat him to the punch.

David Carl Grimes , November 12, 2019 at 10:13 am

Google also bought Fitbit giving them access to our exercise records

[Nov 14, 2019] Google Collecting Medical Data on Millions Without Informing Patients or Doctors

Nov 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on November 12, 2019 by Yves Smith The Wall Street Journal has broken an important story on Google's foray into the medical arena . Without notifying patients or doctors, much the less obtaining their consent, the search giant has obtained the medical records of "tens of millions of people" in 21 states, all patients of Ascension, a St. Louis-based chain of 2600 hospitals.

Moreover, you can see that the effort is aggressive, with the aim of generating patient medical histories, linking individuals to family members, and making staffing and treatment suggestions .as well as identifying opportunities for upcoding and other ways to milk patients.

... ... ...

However, Journal readers (at least as far as I read, and I got pretty far into the hundreds of comments) were without exception very upset about the prospect of Google having access to their medical data. Given that Big Tech is in the crosshairs of more than a few Congresscritters, one can hope that Google and Ascension officials will soon have to 'splain themselves.

A few examples:

stuart jenner

NO. I use Google AdWords They provide the data that they need in order to sell us .

No, I don't trust Google with my information. They will set their systems to disadvantage patients, they will jerk partners around & and they will take away info people rely on in order to raise their prices -- examples galore.

David Kessinger

Who will Google sell this information to? If they can't sell it in some form they wouldn't bother with it. Google at it's core has no ethics beyond how to get money – to heck with who gets hurts.

STEVEN FRANKEL

This is not comforting. Rest assured this most personal information will be accessed by people you do not want anywhere near your personal information at some time. What would it take for Google or any other company or government employee to allow unauthorized people to your information? Probably not very much. And even a subpoena, how tough is that to obtain with the flimsiest of pretexts, especially with government employees not accountable for perjury, even to a FISA court? I would not give my doctor any information if it goes into a computer; I would rather pay cash and have no records other than the ones I would keep on flash drive.

It's not hard to understand some of the motives for an initiative like this. As we've repeatedly posted, relying on the considerable work of the Health Care Renewal blog, electronic health records are a train wreck. They are designed around billing, not around doctor needs. Health Care Renewal has stressed that they if anything have made matters worse for doctors by diverting attention from patients and making it harder to find relevant information to the degree that they undermine care . They have been cited as a contributor to doctor burnout and even the reason some doctors stop practicing . An authoritative body, the ECRI Institute, even listed health care information technology as its number one patient risk in large health care organizations .

They are also often designed by relatively small players, so not only are they kludgy, but they are seldom compatible across health care organizations.

So you can see why there would be demand for a health care information system that is actually about health care. But given that Ascension has explicit upcoding and upselling motives, will that really result, or will this just be a less terrible, more portable version of the current EHRs?

Oh, and if you believe Google, this won't just be about EHRs and helping organizations like
Ascension pull in more revenues (which translates into making health care an even bigger percentage of GDP), but bring techno hocus pocus to medicine. We quoted this section earlier:

Google in this case is using the data in part to design new software, underpinned by advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning, that zeroes in on individual patients to suggest changes to their care.

Notice that this is vaporware: Google hopes to do all of this but it remains to be seen what it can do. And it's not clear that even with data on so many patients that it could develop decent AI for medical purposes. Bias in studies is already a big problem with medical research. One problem is that some populations are very much under-represented. Women are under-treated for heart disease in part because doctors see men as being at more risk, which is reinforced by studied being done mainly on men. Similarly, women have more trouble with hip replacements than men do because the studies were done on men but women are not small men. They load their hips differently.

[Nov 08, 2019] Assange lawyers links to US govt Bill Browder raises questions by Lucy Komisar

Notable quotes:
"... Browder is key in the U.S. demonization of Russia. Assange has exposed U.S. war crimes. For lawyers associated in the British legal system to take both sides on that conflict would appear to be an egregious conflict of interest. But it fits with the U.S.-UK support of the Browder-Magnitsky hoax and their cooperation in the attack on Assange. ..."
"... Bailin is a member of Matrix Chambers, which was founded by the wife of Tony Blair, the former neocon Labor British Prime Minister. He is solidly in the Browder camp. He represented Leonid Nevzlin, a major partner of Browder collaborator Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who according to filings with FARA (the Foreign Agents Registration Act), paid $385,000 for Congress to adopt the Magnitsky Act which has been used by the U.S. as a weapon against the Russian government. ..."
"... In 2017 British legal actions surrounding an inquest into the death of Alexander Perepilichnyy, he represented Browder, who claimed that the Russian, who died of a heart attack, was somehow a victim of Russian President Putin. Perepilichnyy had lost money in investments he was handling for clients and had to get out of town. ..."
"... Needing support, he decamped to London and gave Browder documents relating to his client's questionable bank transfers. He died after a jog, Browder claimed he was poisoned by a rare botanical substance, obviously ordered by Putin, but forensic tests found that untrue. Robertson accused local police of a cover-up. ..."
"... Why did Assange or his advisors choose lawyers associated with the interests of the U.S. government and Browder? Or how could those lawyers be so ignorant about the facts of Browder's massive tax evasion and his Magnitsky story fabrications? ..."
"... What we are seeing now is no different from the Lula case in Brazil or any one of a thousand similar cases in authoritarian regimes. Upset the Deep State and you face selected targeted application of the law and the destruction of your life and future. ..."
"... because of the peculiar quirks of the legal system in Britain that may include a great deal of secrecy about how aspects of it operate, is how Julian Assange came to have such a dubious legal representation with its various connections to Bill Browder and Mikhail Khodorkovsky ..."
"... who is going to foot these barristers' bills? ..."
Nov 08, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Assange lawyers' links to US govt & Bill Browder raises questions The network of lawyers in conflicting roles in Browder, Assange and US government cases raises questions about Julian Assange's defense. Editor

A US government lawyer in the Assange extradition case just wrote a London Times oped promoting the Browder Magnitsky hoax. Ben Brandon is one of five lawyers in a London network whose spokes link to convicted tax fraudster William Browder, the U.S. government, and to both sides of the extradition case against whistleblower publisher Julian Assange.

Here is how the British legal system works. Lawyers are either solicitors who work with clients or barristers who go to court in cases assigned by the solicitors. To share costs, barristers operate in chambers , which provide office space, including conference rooms and dining halls, clerks who receive and assign cases from solicitors, and other support staff. London has 210 chambers. There are not "partners" sharing profits, but members operate fraternally with each other.

Browder is key in the U.S. demonization of Russia. Assange has exposed U.S. war crimes. For lawyers associated in the British legal system to take both sides on that conflict would appear to be an egregious conflict of interest. But it fits with the U.S.-UK support of the Browder-Magnitsky hoax and their cooperation in the attack on Assange.

The law firm and chambers involved in the Browder-Assange stories are Mishcon de Reya, Matrix Chambers and Doughty Street Chambers.

Ben Brandon of Mishcon de Reya and Alex Bailin of Matrix Chambers co-authored an opinion article in The Times of London October 24, 2019 in which they repeated William Browder's fabrications about the death of his accountant Sergei Magnitsky.

The article aimed to promote the Magnitsky Act which builds a political wall against Russia. It is based on the fake claim that Magnitsky, the accountant who handled Browder's tax evasion in Russia, was really a lawyer who exposed a government scam.

Except that is not true, there is no evidence for it, and the lies are documented here . But the Act has prevented the Russians from collecting about $100 million Browder owes in back taxes and illicit stock buys.

Brandon's and Bailin's connections are notable. Law firms, at least in the U.S., tend to stake out their commitments. Lawyers who represent unions do not represent companies fighting unions. It appears to be different in Britain, where legal chambers have members on either side of some cases.

Bailin is a member of Matrix Chambers, which was founded by the wife of Tony Blair, the former neocon Labor British Prime Minister. He is solidly in the Browder camp. He represented Leonid Nevzlin, a major partner of Browder collaborator Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who according to filings with FARA (the Foreign Agents Registration Act), paid $385,000 for Congress to adopt the Magnitsky Act which has been used by the U.S. as a weapon against the Russian government.

Nevzlin's suit was for $50 billion against Russia for money allegedly lost by the nationalization of Yukos Oil. Yukos was obtained by Khodorkovsky in the mid-90s in one of then Russian President Boris Yeltsin's rigged auctions. Khodorkovsky's bank Menatep ran the auction.

He paid $309 million for a controlling 78 percent of the state company. Months later, Yukos traded on the Russian stock exchange at a market capitalization of $6 billion. Not surprising, after Yeltsin departed, the state wanted the stolen assets back.

To add insult to injury, Khodorkovsky laundered profits from Yukos through transfer-pricing and other scams.

Transfer pricing is when you sell products to a shell company at a fake low price, and the shell sells them on the world market at the real price, giving you the rake-off. It cheats tax authorities and minority shareholders. See how Khodorkovsky and Browder did this with Russian company Avisma, which Khodorkovsky also got through a rigged auction.

The Times oped co-author, Brandon of Mishcon de Reya, has a startling connection. The day after an extradition request targeting Julian Assange was signed by the UK home secretary , Brandon representing the U.S. government, formally opened the extradition case.

Now look at another Assange link. Mark Summers , who is representing Julian Assange is, along with Bailin, a member of Matrix Chambers.

But while he is Assange's lawyer, Summers is acting for Assange's persecutor, the U.S. government, in a major extradition case involving executives of Credit Suisse in 2013 making fake loans and getting kickbacks from Mozambique government officials.

Does Assange, or those who care about his interests, know he is part of chambers working for the U.S. government?

And where do you put this factoid? Alex Bailin is representing Andrew Pearse, one of the Credit Suisse bankers that the U.S. government, represented by Summers, is seeking to extradite!

But there's chambers where two members are each supporting both Browder and Assange.

Geoffrey Robertson is founder of Doughty Street Chambers. He is also a longtime Browder / Magnitsky story promoter. He has pitched implementation of a Magnitsky Act in Australia and has served Browder in UK court.

In 2017 British legal actions surrounding an inquest into the death of Alexander Perepilichnyy, he represented Browder, who claimed that the Russian, who died of a heart attack, was somehow a victim of Russian President Putin. Perepilichnyy had lost money in investments he was handling for clients and had to get out of town.

Needing support, he decamped to London and gave Browder documents relating to his client's questionable bank transfers. He died after a jog, Browder claimed he was poisoned by a rare botanical substance, obviously ordered by Putin, but forensic tests found that untrue. Robertson accused local police of a cover-up.

He is a legal advisor to Assange and is regularly interviewed by international media about the case.

Jennifer Robinson of Doughty Street Chambers also has a Browder connection. She is acting for Paul Radu a journalist and official of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) which is being sued by an Azerbaijan MP. OCCRP is a Browder collaborator.

Browder admits in a deposition that OCCRP prepared documents he would give to the U.S. Justice Department to accuse the son of a Russian railway official of getting $1.9 million of $230 million defrauded from the Russian Treasury. The case was settled when the U.S. couldn't prove the charge, and the target declined to spend more millions of dollars in his defense. OCCRP got the first Magnitsky Human Rights award , set up for Browder's partners and acolytes.

Robinson is also the longest-serving member of Assange's legal team. She acted for Assange in the Swedish extradition proceedings and in relation to Ecuador's request to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights Advisory Opinion proceedings on the right to asylum.

Why did Assange or his advisors choose lawyers associated with the interests of the U.S. government and Browder? Or how could those lawyers be so ignorant about the facts of Browder's massive tax evasion and his Magnitsky story fabrications?

It raises questions about how they are handling the Assange defense.

The individuals cited were asked to respond to points made about them, but none did.

Here is my audio interview on this issue on Fault Lines, "The Avisma Scandal + The Link Between Browder & Assange." The Browder-Assange part starts 13:20 minutes in. Filed under: Assange Arrest , latest , Russia , United States Tagged with: Bill Browder , julian assange , Lucy Komisar , russia , Sergei Magnitsky , Wikileaks

can you spare $1.00 a month to support independent media


Adrian @ J'Accuse

The Telegraph reports on a 2015 private dinner in the home of Doughty Street 's Geoffrey Robertson at which the Magnitsky myth and sanctions against Russia are pitched to then-Labour-Party-leader Ed Miliband, and Doughty Street lawyer Amal Clooney and co.:

Revealed: Ed Miliband's dinner with George and Amal Clooney

Today we find aforementioned Browder/Magnitsky touts Alex Bailin, QC (Matrix lawyer and "legal writer for The Guardian, The Times and The Lawyer – co-writer of the bogus FT Magnitsky column with Ben Brandon), and Geoffrey Robertson, QC (Doughty Street's eminence grise), both on the Advisory Board of Amal Clooney's " TrialWatch " (part of the Clooney " Foundation for Justice "): TrialWatch® Advisory Board

universal
The tentacles of the deep state (no longer secret now) are clamping on our life so tightly that one would honestly wish that one of those extraterrestrial rocks would smash into this planet causing total annhilation –just in order to get rid of these psychopathic mongrels ruling over us.

I am not sure, though, fantasy could solve problems!

mark
We have a corrupt and politicised "justice" system used for the purposes of intimidation and political persecution. Some people still believe in fairy stories like the Rule of Law and an independent judiciary.

What we are seeing now is no different from the Lula case in Brazil or any one of a thousand similar cases in authoritarian regimes. Upset the Deep State and you face selected targeted application of the law and the destruction of your life and future.

Jen
Unfortunately what we don't get in Lucy Komisar's article, perhaps because of the peculiar quirks of the legal system in Britain that may include a great deal of secrecy about how aspects of it operate, is how Julian Assange came to have such a dubious legal representation with its various connections to Bill Browder and Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Who recommended Mishcon de Reya and other barristers to Assange and Wikileaks, and who is going to foot these barristers' bills? Are there no other barristers specialising in human rights cases in Britain who can take on Assange's case or was the case awarded to certain chambers in some kind of bidding arrangement or some other competitive arrangement?

BTW it's not unusual for law firms in Britain and Australia to have clients whose interests may be opposed, ie a law firm can represent both a company and a trade union whose members may be employed by that company. What usually happens is that different teams of lawyers work for the two sides and the work of one team is separated from the other team by internal firewalls. The firewalls include physical separations: the teams may even work on different floors so as not to share copiers or other office equipment and lawyers in opposing teams may be discouraged from socialising with each other during lunch and coffee breaks. Sounds bizarre but this does happen.

R Heybroek
With respect, you can't judge British law by US standards. Barristers are briefed by solicitors, not individual clients, and associate primarily in areas of competence, e.g. criminal, corporate or tax law. In their specialization, they generally follow the 'cab rank' principle and accept briefs from prosecution or defence as they arise. It's a strength of the system, not a problem.

Whatever I may think of some of the barristers in Matrix or Doughty, it would be foolish to assume that everyone in a chambers shares the same political views or attitudes. They do not. They argue like cats and dogs, usually with considerable professional respect.

I see nothing dubious about the range of experience of Assange's legal team. If his solicitor thinks a barrister has a conflict of interest, he will withdraw the brief. I'd suggest you direct your enquiries to the instructing solicitor.

RobG
Julian Assange was a dead man walking from the time he was taken (totally illegally) from the Ecuadorian embassy. Just about all the Wikileaks team are now totally corrupted; and as this article points out, most of Assange's legal team are also corrupted. The alleged mental deterioration of Assange, combined with harsh (and totally unnecessary) prison conditions, might account for some of this.
Jen
But surely it's odd that at the same time he is representing Julian Assange against the US government, Mark Summers is also acting for the United States government in another case in which three British-based Credit Suisse bankers are fighting extradition to the US on charges of security fraud and money laundering?
MLS
An important subsidiary question becomes, why aren't any of his high profile champions asking these questions? John Pilger? Craig Murray? They all bang on about stuff like 'torture' but never point out that his lawyers totally fail to address this pretty darn crucial issue. Craig Murray says 'Julian has great lawyers'. Really? If we step back and think for a minute, does it honestly look that way?

They can't even get him out of solitary or into a lower security prison. Shit, they can't even get his mail delivered adequately or uphold his right to get regular legal visitation! And yet no one, not even his parents, are complaining about these failures! And who is running Wikileaks these days? Do we have any way of being sure they aren't just a co-opted shell?

Betrayed planet
To be fair Pilger is one of the few real supporters of Julian along with a handful of musicians. His lone voice is not enough. I saw a clip of Pilger crying after the recent spectacle of a so called hearing. The presiding judge, The Honorary Upyourbottom should have been in the dock for perjury, fraud, lying before a court and crimes against humanity.
LawStudent
I'm a 2nd year law student and I can confirm that questions about the conduct of Assange's defence are legion in my school. MNynpeople talking about the inexplicable lapses. Just s fee usdyes often discussed: Why didn't the defense take up the judge's offer of bail application? To say 'well they would lose' is counter to the basics of jurisprudence.

Why is there no complaint being lodged about his detention in a maximum security facility when he's on remand – not serving a sentence – pending an extradition hearing? Why don't his lawyers lodge an appeal to the ECHR based on the testimony of the UN observers? Why are his lawyers keeping such low media profiles?

It's generally agreed something is very 'off' about this.

L Took
I think his lawyers stated that they were never offered a bail application, even though the judge claimed they had refused one. But I'm not sure; I had heard previous to this event that the lawyers would not ask because if they lost (the appeal?) Assange could be further punished for the loss. Is this accurate?
MaryD
It may be relevant that one of Assange's barristers also represents the corporate psyop Extinction Rebellion!
nottheonly1

Assange lawyers' links to US govt & Bill Browder raises questions. The network of lawyers in conflicting roles in Browder, Assange and US government cases raises questions about Julian Assange's defense.

Assange lawyers' links to US govt & Bill Browder raises only one question: What the?

I know it's not comedy, because people get seriously hurt and killed as a result of the transformation of a more or less democratic government into a well organized criminal organization. Who better to run the courts, than the mob? Mob 'Law' enforcement included. So, organized crime owns everything. The big club. The biggest profits are made with stuff that was bought to blow up something. Or somebody. One could ask: 'With links like these, who needs enemies?' Anybody interfering into, or compromising the Mob execution of the owners' plan, will be taken care of. Laws are written to owners' demands and are quickly as needed in show trials.

The eloquence in describing what is happening right now – and in all other show trials – is comforting.

As it is more like 'a gang of lawyers in revolving door roles in organized crime by Browder and US regime et al versus Julian Assange, providing Defense for Julian Assange in his case against the same people and the same regime.

I forgot where, but I have heard of such things before.

The World will have to understand that, without the immediate release of Julian Assange, no more rule of law exists on Earth. And to whomever has not connected the Assange affair with 'pre-emptive incarceration', might for a little longer enjoy playing outdoor chess on the deck of a sinking cruise ship.

Oh, and yes, the qualifier "six ways to/from Sunday" should also be mentioned as an exemplary business practice by the Mob regime. Actually, the Mob merged with the regime, with the regime belonging to the owners' club.

Northern
Good to see another article on this, seen several people raising concerns about these associations in independent media over the last few months, though it's no doubt one of those things that will never be 'officially' addressed. Many people with more knowledge than I have questioned the wisdom of certain decisions his legal team have made (or not, as the case may be) in recent proceedings. Craig Murray's account of Julian's recent court appearance reads like something you'd expect from a country with 'the people's democratic republic' in the name.

On a tangentially related note, anybody reading this who has the impetus to write to Julian in support;

The 'writetoJulian' website which appears at to the top of Google's search results for those who google how to go about such a thing, is either accidentally or deliberately (one can probably guess which) mis-advising its readers of the requirements. The website advises several times NOT to include Julian's prisoner number on any correspondence sent to him, but I know from direct knowledge of communicating with the incarcerated that without the prisoner number your correspondence will be destroyed and neither you nor the receiver will be notified. I hate to think how many well meaning messages of support for Julian have been 'legally' destroyed without him seeing them as a result of this.

Northern
Ah, in a limited sliver of good news; The aforementioned website seem to have cottoned on to their mistake after several people bringing it to their attention. They now advise you should include his number on all correspondence.

Mr Julian Assange
Prisoner #: A9379AY
HMP Belmarsh
Western Way
London SE28 0EB
UK

Betrayed planet
I have long suspected that Julian is not getting proper legal council. That his lawyers have not yet been able to get a proper hearing whilst he is left to rot in a maximum security prison is suspect in the extreme. The obvious Nazi style behaviour of the unlawful and fascist U.K. government and its lick spittle judiciary are apparent to all with absolutely no fight back from the excuse of a media nor indeed 99.9 percent of its compliant increasingly dumbed down and wilfully ignorant population.

What is obvious now to anyone with half an eye open is that the U.K. is now a rogue state where law and justice are meaningless, where bribery and corruption are common place. That Julian Assange is slowly dying in front of the whole world, will die without some kind of major intervention is a stain on every single aware English resident. Mind you with a population seemingly set to vote back in the same filthy vermin that have turned the country into the complete shithole it has become, it's hardly surprising.
Does anybody know if Gareth Pierce is still involved in his case?

nottheonly1
For quite some time now, an odd possibility offers itself – theoretically. Julian Assange is not the messenger. He is the message.

As a messenger, he is somewhat ineffective. He has not been able to convince people that the need for an uprising against lawlessness exists. That any form of government cannot work when the judiciary is corrupt and that there is no justice in a society ruled over by a regime.

As a message however, he is in the eyes of masses of people. Probably a majority of humans on Earth know who Julian Assange is. How many know who he is, where he came from and what it was exactly he did, before he published videos showing how well the 'Support our Troops' deserve was used up in the way it was intended, can only be a guess. Or a dedicated team of statisticians to hold polls in every country.

So, the published material, that was also leaked by a whistle blower, was proof of how deserving those soldiers were of our support – showing them killing innocent human beings and 'our Troops' having the greatest times of their lives doing it.

The message is simply: Look, if we can do this to Assange, what do you think we will do to you from Monday to Sunday – if you get any ideas?

No matter where you are. No matter who you are.

The only antidote to this insanity is the Truth and it be given its day(s) in court. 'Justice Mondays'.

Petra Liverani
I wonder if Alexander Perepilichnyy's death happened any which way – if indeed he was even a real person – there's only two photos of him as far as I can tell and the feeling of reality about his is not strong – as the Japan Times says, "What we know of Perepilichnyy is slight." Could he have just conveniently been invented and disappeared somehow? The story of him spending his last night with his 22 year-old mistress (the good old 22) in Paris, complaining about his dinner, vomiting and then having his wife the next day in London prepare his favourite food, sorrel soup, for lunch then going out jogging somehow doesn't ring true and we see a typical anomaly of faked stories, different versions:

The Guardian: "was found outside his Surrey home"
The Atlantic: "He collapsed on Granville Road, within 100 meters of the house he was renting"
Japan Times: "Then, 50 meters from his home, he staggered into the road and died."
Wikipedia: "[he] was found dead on the road by a neighbour" with a reference to a BBC story makes no mention of neighbour
BBC story: "[he] has been found dead near his home in Weybridge. had collapsed on a road early on the evening"

Collapsed on a road? Wouldn't you give the name of the road in a suburban area?

Rhys Jaggar
Same story in UK sports reporting corrupt industries raking in cash for unprincipled wordsmithery
DiggerUK
The defence team around Julian seems to be unfathomable at many levels. My main concern has been over the unproved allegations of chemical torture made during his incarceration in Bellmarsh Prison. Why has his defence team not asked for an independent medical assessment? Why have concerns not been raised with prison visitors who are allowed to investigate independently? https://www.imb.org.uk/independent-monitoring-boards/

Craig Murray who saw Julian on his last court appearance wrote of his condition . https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/10/assange-in-court/ is it as a result of drugs used during interrogations, or is it down to mental trauma after what he has been through. Either way, his defense team and close friends need to up their game.

This article is not the first time that concerns have been raised in a worrying manner about the defence team around Julian _

Rhys Jaggar
It is a standard Uk tactic to have someone try to beat you up then publicly say what a friend of yours they are. Happened to me four times: I called the lot of them out on it, something which gets them on their faux high horses very quickly
Harry Stotle
Amazing isn't it, the way the legal system goes into hyperdrive pursuing those who expose war crimes while nonchantly turning a blind eye to those who commit them (no matter how high the body count). Harder to find a more glaring example of the way hypocrisy defines the elite's relationship with things like morality, fairness or decency, not least because no western politician has ever been held to account for the havoc they have unleashed (in any court prosecuting war crimes).

Ellen DeGeneres hi-fiving with George Bush. British MPs pretending a courageous whistle blower is not being tortured to death just a few miles from parliament.

The one MP who did stand up for Assange has just been kicked out of Labour by the NEC. They should at least have the courage to make public the names of those who voted for Chris Williamson's expulsion. https://labour.org.uk/about/how-we-work/national-executive-committee/whos-on-the-nec/

Needless to say the MSM has fully sided with the criminals: first denigrating Julian Assange, then mocking his plight – this gave way to lies, and now silence.

The importance of Craig Murray's analysis of the way the law has been used to destroy a journalist cannot be overtstated.
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/10/assange-in-court/

Put simply can anyone expect justice in Britain if their actions conflict with the ethos of the gangsters who control Britain's economic, media and military interests?

Rhys Jaggar
We are actually approaching apartheid South Africa in that regard, namely contempt for legal due process. Not quite had the Met coppers beating Assange over the head like SA cops did to Steve Biko, but we are slowly getting there

[Oct 27, 2019] Edward Snowden And Turnkey Tyranny

Oct 27, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

My intent here is not to summarize Snowden's entire interview. I want to focus on some points he made that I found especially revealing, pertinent, and insightful.

Without further ado, here are 12 points I took from this interview:

1. People who reach the highest levels of government do so by being risk-averse. Their goal is never to screw-up in a major way. This mentality breeds cautiousness, mediocrity, and buck-passing. (I saw the same in my 20 years in the U.S. military.)

2. The American people are no longer partners of government. We are subjects. Our rights are routinely violated even as we become accustomed (or largely oblivious) to a form of turnkey tyranny.

3. Intelligence agencies in the U.S. used 9/11 to enlarge their power. They argued that 9/11 happened because there were "too many restrictions" on them. This led to the PATRIOT Act and unconstitutional global mass surveillance, disguised as the price of being kept "safe" from terrorism. Simultaneously, America's 17 intelligence agencies wanted most of all not to be blamed for 9/11. They wanted to ensure the buck stopped nowhere. This was a goal they achieved.

4. Every persuasive lie has a kernel of truth. Terrorism does exist - that's the kernel of truth. Illegal mass surveillance, facilitated by nearly unlimited government power, in the cause of "keeping us safe" is the persuasive lie.

5. The government uses classification ("Top Secret" and so on) primarily to hide things from the American people, who have no "need to know" in the view of government officials. Secrecy becomes a cloak for illegality. Government becomes unaccountable; the people don't know, therefore we are powerless to rein in government excesses or to prosecute for abuses of power.

6. Fear is the mind-killer (my expression here, quoting Frank Herbert's Dune ). Snowden spoke much about the use of fear by the government, using expressions like "they'll be blood on your hands" and "think of the children." Fear is the way to cloud people's minds. As Snowden put it, you lose the ability to act because you are afraid.

7. What is true patriotism? For Snowden, it's about a constant effort to do good for the people. It's not loyalty to government. Loyalty, Snowden notes, is only good in the service of something good.

8. National security and public safety are not synonymous. In fact, in the name of national security, our rights are being violated. We are "sweeping up the broken glass of our lost rights" in today's world of global mass surveillance, Snowden noted.

9. We live naked before power. Companies like Facebook and Google, together with the U.S. government, know everything about us; we know little about them. It's supposed to be the reverse (at least in a democracy).

10. "The system is built on lies." James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, lies under oath before Congress. And there are no consequences. He goes unpunished.

11. We own less and less of our own data. Data increasingly belongs to corporations and the government. It's become a commodity. Which means we are the commodity. We are being exploited and manipulated, we are being sold, and it's all legal, because the powerful make the policies and the laws, and they are unaccountable to the people.

12. Don't wait for a hero to save you. What matters is heroic decisions. You are never more than one decision away from making the world a better place.

In 2013, Edward Snowden made a heroic decision to reveal illegal mass surveillance by the U.S. government, among other governmental crimes. He has made the world a better place, but as he himself knows, the fight has only just begun against turnkey tyranny.


ohm , 14 minutes ago link

Governments using fear for control is nothing new.

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H. L. Mencken

Ruler , 2 minutes ago link

People under stress spend money. Mostly on low cost frivolous things that have no return.

That's why doom **** and yellow journalism exist.

Gobble D. Goop , 14 minutes ago link

Sorry folks. In time you will see that Snowden was, is, and always will be CIA (black hat). The whistle blowing was a CIA attempt to shut down the NSA (white hat) leaving no one to watch over the black hats whilst they conduct thier drug running and regime changing, and MK ultra operations. Ask Kennedy. Oh wait CIA and daddy Bush blew his head off.

Youri Carma , 47 minutes ago link

Joe Rogan Experience – Edward Snowden
Oct 23, 2019 PowerfulJRE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efs3QRr8LWw

Wild Bill Steamcock , 56 minutes ago link

Snowden, in my opinion, is a limited hangout. Not necessarily aware of it, he could just be a convenient dupe.

If there's this much surveillance, how in the Hell did he exfiltrate that much data AND be able to leave the country? Why did it take so long to track him down and revoke his passport? It makes no sense. Why didn't he go to Wikileaks, who has a proven and reliable track record but instead went to MSM?

I think he is probably genuine in his beliefs, but still see him as a limited hangout.

He has made the world a better place

How? Uncle Scam still has all it's capabilities. That big *** data center in Utah. Nothing's changed except we were told about it- again. Remember Drake, Wiebe and Binney spilled the beans in 2004.

Wild Bill Steamcock , 51 minutes ago link

And even then it wasn't new or surprising. ECHELON and the five eyes was talked about in the '70s

Wild Bill Steamcock , 49 minutes ago link

And how does a guy go from CIA janitor to effectively an NSA systems admin? Seriously, not to **** on janitors, but how in the actual **** does that happen?

freedogger , 36 minutes ago link

All your questions are answered in his book. Wkileaks wasn't an option because they release en masse without any vetting. He didn't want people to die from release of some of the docs he had.

AlexanderHistoryX , 24 minutes ago link

They are just now getting to the point where they have the tech to effectively sort and search through all that data. Plus. He tapped it from the source.

The real shame is how little resulted from the exposure. Nothing changed, no one was held to account, and we the people did nothing. We are a nation of contented slaves, for now.

Sam Spayed , 1 hour ago link

"Intelligence agencies in the U.S. used 9/11 to enlarge their power. "

And their power was supposed to be limited to foreign actors. The skinny, jug-eared, gay guy and his acolytes thought up sinister illegal ways to extend that power to private US citizens and the gay guy's political enemies.

One-Hung-Lo , 1 hour ago link

Most of these problems were predicted centuries ago when the founders feared a standing army that could be turned against the people. Now we have standing armies, and civilian paramilitaries in every county and big city, local cops, city cops, state police. We have ATF, FBI, CIA, NSA, IRS, and dozens of other armed alphabet soup agencies.

With We THE People are gonna regain our country again and many people will die again, and with luck all the traitors will hang by the neck until dead.

The elites who think it is their birthright to lord over us need to be reminded that they serve us. All the communist democrats are in need of reminders and quick drop at the end of a rope.

ToSoft4Truth , 56 minutes ago link

You mention a lot of people. Some of them must be sitting across from us at Thanksgiving dinner.

Scipio Africanuz , 1 hour ago link

It's heartening to know Snowden is a martial alumni..

And speaking of tyranny, we came across a gem, a most enlightening gem thus..

"If you take me down, I'll come after you with everything I've got It will become my life's mission."

"These are the words of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to newspaper publisher Arnon Mozes in a recording that has become central evidence in a corruption case against Netanyahu, as revealed Saturday by Channel 13 journalist Raviv Drucker.."

So why have we brought this to your attention?

So you may understand that Liberty is not for the lily livered. If Jefferson and Co had been squeamish, Americans would still be serfs..

If MLK had been squeamish, negros would not be free today, to be in position to advocate for rights..

And if Cesar Chavez had adopted cowardice, then Latinos would have no mojo to advocate..

And if Hugo Chavez had not given his life to Venezuela, it's doubtful that Maduro would have had a leg to stand on..

And yet, Lula is imprisoned..just like Nelson Mandela, for the best years of his life..

My friends, mortality eventually ends, that's a certainty..what you do with yours, is consequential, for good or ill..

When the depraved hurl threats, it means they're afraid, and in that event, increase the artillery barrage of truth..cheers...

Edited:

Here's the link to the quote..

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-netanyahu-recordings-revealed-i-ll-come-after-you-with-everything-i-ve-got-1.8029010

abgary1 , 1 hour ago link

The digital world has become disturbingly invasive and the source of the data the governments uses against us.

Abstain.

Get off of social media, limit net time, encrypt communications, leave our mobile devices at home and use cash.

Anything that leaves a digital footprint is being tracked.

The loss of our privacy is the loss of our freedom.

To return democracy to the people we need to do the following:

-Term limits of 8 years at any one level of government for the politicians, diplomats, bureaucrats and senior civil servants. If our legislators know they will spend the majority of their working lives in the private sector they will not pass laws that solely benefit the public sector.

-Recall legislation to hold our legislators accountable.

-Balance budget laws that require referendums to amend or repeal.

-Zero tax increase laws that require referendums to amend or repeal.

We need to return democracy to the people and we do that by demanding change at the grassroots levels.

elitist99percenter , 1 hour ago link

These days , The Shang Dynasty's moral decay quickly comes to mind, as outlined in The Art of War : lies, deceit and diffusion were the norm; unaccountable leaders immersed themselves in debauchery, orgies and lavish self-profiting (today's Epsteinism in full-swing); brutally-enforced high taxes & wage thefts levied on citizens; government's increased violence against state residents, particularly those brave enough to resist widespread tyranny; escalated harmful interference in the country's agricultural operations; and knee-jerked, violent responses with heavy-handed, inhuman punishments (like SWAT teams blowing away innocents -- women & children -- over minor, inconsequential infractions), especially violation of peoples' guaranteed civil liberties, as well as their sovereign dignities and property rights, under the guise of ridiculously concocted "boogeymen" nonsense.

Hmm, sounds familiar.

Lumberjack , 1 hour ago link

During the Rogan interview, Snowden said that all the corrupt creatures live in the suburbs within a 200 mile radius of DC. Just sayin...

Wolfbay , 37 minutes ago link

It's also interesting that this area has more millionaires per capita than anywhere else in America. It's not a high tech area, no manufacturing, and no big agriculture. Sucking the tit of our taxes.

Arising , 1 hour ago link

Snowden must be a ZHer.

All his points are pretty basic stuff for me and a large portion of the people here.

I learned very early in life, and I teach my kids today that Govt, Banks and Media are not, have never and will never be your friends.

If you understand this at an early age everything else becomes much less cloudy in life.

[Oct 26, 2019] Joe Rogan Experience #1368 - Edward Snowden - YouTube

A very disappointing interview. I person that has no doubts about 9/11 doers not reserve our respect. He also might be a fake defector much like Oswald was. As simple as that. Snowden version of history is deeply wrong. He actually talk as a second rate journalist, not as a security specialist. If he thinks that bashing Russia and Putin will save him from being framed as a Russian agent, he is an idiot. It he things that 9/11 official story holds and can't be questioned he is iether a naive idiot or a Deep State stooge.
And repeating banalities about security risks in modern society do not bring you too far iether. That a very short summary of this two and a half hour narcissistic monolog, which for some reason is called interview.
In his interview Snowden mainly repeat things that became banalities and that you can learn for any other book on total surveillance.
What if this was yet another false flag operation? It looks like he was just certified Microsoft engineer, he was not Unix guy.
He views 9/11 disqualify his from providing the explanation of how the USA was converted into national security state.
His view of Putin are probably result of indoctrination in CIA and NSA, but that also means that he is not a deep thinker. Also it is strange after spending in the country several years and did not lean more about Russia and did not even try to learn the language.
BTW while his escape from the USA and attempt to provide materials did managed to focus attention of the public on total severance regime, almost nothing of Snowden materials were published. Almost everything died in the hand of selected journalists... Guardian published small fragments of one PRISM document. That's it. He is no Manning.
Snowden puts too much efforts in trying to justify his actions and at the end that became annoying and suspicious in its own right.
Notable quotes:
"... "patriotism isn't about the loyalty to government. Patriotism isn't a loyalty to anything. Patriotism is constant effort to do good for the people of your country" ..."
"... "I'd be working on umm economic takeover of Guatemala for example" Lol CIA's bread and butter ..."
"... While I'm not saying Snowden is wrong, it's important to realize that this is "his side of the story." ..."
"... Honestly don't know how so many can be shocked by these claims. Did you really think that your government sweetheart is trying to protect you? They collectively have an agenda to keep people asleep. ..."
"... Snowden is a D.S. Cutout. Period. Disinfo Personified. He didn't get out of Hong Kong W/O HELP ..."
"... Is anybody else kinda thrown off by how condescending and patronizing Snowden is towards Joe? ..."
"... I can't believe NSA and CIA hired someone that talks that much... ..."
"... So every politician I disagree with is a dictator or fascist. Seems someone hasn't learned much ..."
"... It was the Russian government that took him in, the alternative would be rotting in a dark off shore CIA prison. I would not bite the hand that saved me. Snowden is a good guy but i think he needs to learn gratitude. ..."
"... If this video is trending, this mean Snowden is a puppet to the NWO. NO WAY THEY WILL ALLOW A VIDEO LIKE THIS TO EVER TREND IN YOUTUBE OR ANY WHERE. ..."
"... there were numerous people warned not to fly/go to wtc on 911. Willie Brown, Salmon Rushdie, Israeli citizens, apparently the French knew as well... But Snowden says they didn't know ..."
"... With all do respect to snowden , 9 11 was an inside job The whole event was controlled. Controlled demolition , controlled airlines to launch them in to the towers. All orchestrated by elements of the CIA , FBI , and NSA ..."
Oct 25, 2019 | www.youtube.com

PDX LockPicker , 2 hours ago

"patriotism isn't about the loyalty to government. Patriotism isn't a loyalty to anything. Patriotism is constant effort to do good for the people of your country"

Forrest LeMay , 2 hours ago (edited)

"People talk about the deep state like it's a conspiracy theory of lizard people, it's not, its something much simpler, the deep state is the career government." - Edward Snowden

Free Ryder , 3 hours ago

"I'd be working on umm economic takeover of Guatemala for example" Lol CIA's bread and butter

Fuzzy Gaming , 2 hours ago

1:57:00 Snowden talks about how the Intelligence agencies can stonewall you and sabotage your presidency... Exactly what President Trump has been saying for years.

Khonh lo , 2 hours ago div class=

What I really got out of this episode is realization that companies and the government can now track where I have been on a particular date at a particular time forever. Its crazy what a time we live in.

Imagine kids born in 2006 or so until they expire. They government or companies can pull up data of their entire life timeline at any point in their lives. Example where were they on 2/15/2010 at 2:15 PM.

Someone born in 1965 can only recall memories of their pass experiences that only they know or the people around can remember whereas now days and beyond, they can pull that information out depending on how specific the query you want to obtain. This is not including all the other data such as relationship they have had, where they had lived, where they had eaten, what they had buy, etc...

postedhere9 , 1 hour ago

Pelosi's involvement in the impeachment sounds oddly familiar to her involvement in this scandal... hmm

Rasikh Ali , 3 hours ago

Mainstream media is only focusing on the alien comment. Scum of the earth.. smh 🤦🏽‍♂️

Mar Z , 1 hour ago

38:00 . CIA and FBI competing for clout . I'm sorry I know this is serious but just imagined them as annoying social media acc trying to get the most likes. But seriously, thanks Joe, you let your guest talk and it was so incredibly insightful!!

Christopher Mulvey , 1 hour ago

When this Edward Snowden thing first happened, the first thing I thought was wow this is a very very smart man but not smart enough to realize how stupid people are and how powerful mainstream media is when it comes to the general public's perception.

The general public doesn't realize that the mainstream news has nowhere near 5million views in 3 days but if it's not talked about on main stream news for a week or if the president does not acknowledge something then it does not exist. That's the truth.

M Somogyi , 2 hours ago

Snowden tries to advertise his book the whole time Rogan asks him a simple question.. Okay, I get it you go into details in the book... Just answer the question. "Oh yeah, let me give you a fast version....". 1 hr later - He still hasn't answered.

Joe Rogan is one patient ass man. Thanks for having such interesting and awesome content on your podcast! :)

Flash Harry , 4 hours ago

"> My obsevation is that if I was in charge of keeping our "They Live" clandestine alien government's secret, then I wouldn't allow that information wrote down on paper in a room with a computer even in it , let alone have it in a computer document.

Not many people should even be aware of the information and When they are they stick to analogue pens and paper other than when they are reverse engineering anything, When specialist use hardware/software it is in TOTAL contained environment .

And that dudes is how ya keeps a secret . Oh and the moon he is wrong with that and you can use the same reasoning, what did they do for example with all of the film tape recordings of all the footage of Apollo landing. Yes they taped over it, all of it. If you have ever seen moon landing footage it's a recording of a recording to hide multitudes of oversights. x

Wowbagger , 3 hours ago (edited)

09:45 Sounds more like escalating the surveillance of the general population was the main goal from the start. A slow subversion made palatable by a perceived threat.

JC Stuart , 1 day ago

"when we become fearful we become vulnerable, to anyone who promises to make things better, even if they will actively make things worse."

Tim Leniston , 2 hours ago

We need to stand up to this somehow. Just think of the chilling effect on anyone who might want to do a public service but fears exposure of some detail in their private life or their explorations or communications which could be used to silence or embarrass them. Bastards!

HyperActive7 , 3 hours ago

I can barely keep my eyes open with Snowden. You'd think to yourself, how come such a sleepy personality individual be so dangerous to the government elite?

Well, the proof is in what he's saying and it is the truth that 9/11 was a mass conspiracy aimed to change America and ruin The Will of The American people. I was his age when all this crap went down and I believed all of it like he and many of my generation did because we didn't have the Alex Jones of the world waking us up to this sick reality which is our government is treasonous against its own people.

Stacy Starnes , 3 hours ago

I guess that what Schumer meant when he said that the intelligence community has a million and one ways to get you. "Drain the swamp".

Benjamin Wright , 1 day ago

"The FBI has joined the chat"

GoogleSearch TheEsseneGospelOfPeace.#JesusGang , 1 day ago

Joe: Google searching "free proxy servers" before this interview

Reegan O'Hara , 4 hours ago

He was given the same speech training as Obama. Same cadence, same pauses, same use of "uhh", "right" and "Look...". The repeating of certain words quickly before finishing the main point is particularly noticeable, i.e. "th- the.." "th- that", "whe- when..."

Destinyxos , 4 hours ago

I feel like lack of communication is so the reason for a lot occupational struggles as well as in the government structures. It makes me sad to see that sharing and informing is just so hard for some people. And that negative energy rubs of on everyone else and I feel like it's a huge spiraling butterfly affect.

But I'm glad to see someone talking about the issues with our society so intensely and so carefully and so factually and I honestly love it. I feel included because of this video and for that, I am great full!

m1force , 1 hour ago

While I'm not saying Snowden is wrong, it's important to realize that this is "his side of the story." This is why fair trials are important.. He complains about the D.C. circuit and perhaps for good reason; I say fine, bring him to the 8th circuit and let's put all the cards on the table.

chilakil , 1 hour ago

I completely believe after following Rogan for a couple of Months that joe is complete controlled opposition

FatalFinality , 1 day ago

Well, this is definitely one of those mornings when being unemployed is convenient.

Tom Hol , 2 hours ago

Honestly don't know how so many can be shocked by these claims. Did you really think that your government sweetheart is trying to protect you? They collectively have an agenda to keep people asleep.

To keep them in their routines so that they don't ask questions. Also throw them a bone every now and then so that they feel as if they are getting rewarded while we extort them, spy on them and use them and then throw them away.

Raul Montes , 4 hours ago

This was longest plug for a book ever...

ck black , 33 minutes ago

Snowden is a D.S. Cutout. Period. Disinfo Personified. He didn't get out of Hong Kong W/O HELP This is pure Agregis B.S.

Mar Z , 35 minutes ago

"The public is not partnered with government. The public does not hold the leash to government. We are subject to them. Subordinate to government" " National security does not equal to public safety. National security is the safety of the state"

Guillermo Baltazar , 3 hours ago

44:20 he kinda dis Obama

Nicco Sanchez , 1 hour ago

Is anybody else kinda thrown off by how condescending and patronizing Snowden is towards Joe? He seems to be throwing low key shade/jabs about his preconceived notions about Joe based off his avatar.

I mean he could have spoken on his initial impression as a little anecdotal segway into how this interview came to fruition, but he seems arrogant to me. Like he feels the average layman is beneath him or of lessor intellectualism. Great interview nonetheless, but I just think Snowden comes off a little uppity (for lack of a better term)😒

Erma4ella Eu , 5 minutes ago

It wasn't Joe Rogan's podcast. It was a Snowden's podcast

Jakob , 1 day ago

Snowden made a "FBI has joined the chat" meme hahahaah

Carlo Anardu , 1 day ago

I can't believe NSA and CIA hired someone that talks that much...

Scott what , 2 hours ago

So every politician I disagree with is a dictator or fascist. Seems someone hasn't learned much

John B , 4 hours ago

It was the Russian government that took him in, the alternative would be rotting in a dark off shore CIA prison. I would not bite the hand that saved me. Snowden is a good guy but i think he needs to learn gratitude.

Scarack Truther , 4 hours ago

If this video is trending, this mean Snowden is a puppet to the NWO. NO WAY THEY WILL ALLOW A VIDEO LIKE THIS TO EVER TREND IN YOUTUBE OR ANY WHERE.

Szimba Zsununnu , 5 hours ago

Ed, you made one mistake: Americans are not "afraid"! US citizens did NOT vote for DT out of fear. They voted out of CONCERN. The average American? Goes to McD's once a month (they're lovin' it), buys their daughter an ice cream at Dairy Queen (or equivalent ice cream place in town), anticipates when is the most convenient day to schedule an oil change, etc. "Fear", "scared", "fearmonger"?

These are nonsensical words the other side likes to spew. Americans are c-o-n-c-e-r-n-e-d about their country. The British (and I speak on behalf of all Americans, British, and so forth - thank you, thank you) opted out of the EU because of CONCERN for their future. Not fear. You're a smart guy Ed, and this interview is very telling, (and we the people think you're gonna get your ass assassinated for speaking so freely like this), and although I only had the patience to sit through the first hour, this is a good video, and a memorable interview.

But just understand -- aside from North Koreans and maybe a Syrian here and there, citizens are not afraid. We are instead courageous. We CARE about the now. We care about the future. We support those that care as well. We're concerned, kiddo. Not fearful. Boris, Donald, Orban, that green-faced Putin opponent Alexei Navalny guy, Nigel, Milo, Geert, PJW, Brigitte Bardot, August Sabbe, Romas Kalanta, Joan of Arc (and countless others) - at risk of their safety / public standing / status quo / whatever - CARE.

Those are the leaders (ASS KICKERS) that we support and vote for. We are members of the human race. We are not afraid.

Grasshopper , 4 hours ago

#1 if people didn't realize this was going on before 2013, then I don't know where your brain was. #2 this guy may correct, but he's an opportunist.

He's spent a lot of time putting this story together. How can he say there are no bodies laying around when Obama was sending up drones that fired missles at cell phones? I worked in the telecom industry starting in the 90s... I was tracking calls on 9/11. I knew who was calling who, and the FBI didn't ask permission to see where the calls were going or coming from.

Z.A.C. , 1 day ago (edited)

He's had John McAfee, Rhonda Patrick, Mike Tyson, Graham Hancock, Neil Degrasse Tyson, Lance Armstrong, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Jay Leno, Anthony Bourdain, David Goggins, Ron White, Jordan Peterson, Everlast, Immortal Technique, Bernie Sanders, Ben Shapiro, George St.Pierre, Elon Musk, Alex Jones, and now Edward Snowden. Just to name a few.

Reuben Handel , 4 hours ago (edited)

But there were numerous people warned not to fly/go to wtc on 911. Willie Brown, Salmon Rushdie, Israeli citizens, apparently the French knew as well... But Snowden says they didn't know

Trey Wilson , 1 minute ago div cl

"Give me one good reason the government would have committed 9/11." - steel beams don't melt jet fuel, also watch this podcast and you'll wish you still lived in the matrix

Invincible Osprey , 4 hours ago

Ed Snowden is creepily still playing his role for the same people behind 9/11 and other False Flags...

J. Copache , 34 minutes ago (edited)

Right now, Chile, my home country, is going through a very difficult and delicate process of civil unrest that has been met with relentless repression at the hands of a government that works in favor of private interests and has been confirmed to commit several and systematic human rights violations, including torture, murder, rape, state terrorism, and the list goes on. Listening to this podcast right now really puts in perspective the extent to wich a State can manipulate, hide and forge information in order to limit civil rights with the excuse of protecting the people.

We NEED guys like Snowden to come forth and show governments around the world that any measures taken to protect order and national interests should always be second to the well-being, civil and human rights of the people that constitute the very foundation of what a country is.

People from the US are lucky to have true patriots like Snowden, willing to go against the rotten systems so deeply ingrained in their institutional complexes in order to uphold the ideals that gave birth to their country in the first place. We need help, and we need clarity. If y'all can, please get informed and divulge what you learn about our situation right now. Get people talking and get people acting.

No government that - literally- fires against its people should be left unchecked. Information is a tool, the greatest one we've got in this day and age, and we the people are more capable than ever of using it in our advantage.

Alek Kelly , 22 minutes ago

At 14:15 , he says he went to journalists with the information and gave them conditions on how that information could be published. Was this a trust or legal based transaction? If it was trust, would Snowden still be as confident in doing it that way in today's media climate?

Joseph Edward , 5 hours ago (edited)

34:50 . Our founding fathers are turning in their graves.

Brian Houck , 6 hours ago

So James Clapper just straight-up lied to Congress under oath and there were no repercussions, yet they did their best to hunt down Ed Snowden and treat him like a dirty dog? What is wrong with this picture? Besides everything, I mean.

Joseph Edward , 6 hours ago

Around 30:00 Snowden said that the highest members of our government have the lowest loyalty. (The ones at the top are the ones selling us out.)

therealjoelsalazar , 6 hours ago

The scary thing is, is that while Snowden is telling us what happened in the past, the government is actively abusing powers while looking for new ways to violate our rights. We need to really look at ourselves as citizens and make sure the people we vote for are actually serving the public no matter what party or tak they're on.

words wpns , 7 hours ago

With all do respect to snowden , 9 11 was an inside job The whole event was controlled. Controlled demolition , controlled airlines to launch them in to the towers. All orchestrated by elements of the CIA , FBI , and NSA

[Oct 24, 2019] Empire Interventionism Versus Republic Noninterventionism by Jacob Hornberger

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... All that changed with the conversion of the federal government to a national-security state and with the adoption of a pro-empire, pro-intervention foreign policy. When that happened, the U.S. government assumed the duty to fix the wrongs of the world. ..."
"... That's when U.S. officials began thinking in terms of empire and using empire-speak. Foreign regimes became "allies," "partners," and "friends." Others became "opponents," "rivals," or "enemies." Events thousands of miles away became threats to "national security." ..."
"... The results of U.S. imperialism and interventionism have always been perverse, not only for foreigners but also for Americans. That's how Americans have ended up with out-of-control federal spending and debt that have left much of the middle class high and dry, unable to support themselves in their senior years, unable to save a nest egg for financial emergencies, and living paycheck to paycheck. Empire and interventionism do not come cheap. ..."
"... There is but one solution to all this chaos and mayhem -- the dismantling, not the reform, of the Pentagon, the military-industrial complex, the vast empire of foreign and domestic military bases, and the NSA, along with an immediate end to all foreign interventionism. A free, peaceful, prosperous, and harmonious society necessarily entails the restoration of a limited-government republic and a non-interventionist foreign policy to our land. ..."
Oct 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Jacob Hornberger via The Future of Freedom Foundation,

The chaos arising from U.S. interventionism in Syria provides an excellent opportunity to explore the interventionist mind.

Consider the terminology being employed by interventionists: President Trump's actions in Syria have left a "power vacuum," one that Russia and Iran are now filling. The United States will no longer have "influence" in the region. "Allies" will no longer be able to trust the U.S. to come to their assistance. Trump's actions have threatened "national security." It is now possible that ISIS will reformulate and threaten to take over lands and even regimes in the Middle East.

This verbiage is classic empire-speak. It is the language of the interventionist and the imperialist.

Amidst all the interventionist chaos in the Middle East, it is important to keep in mind one critically important fact: None of it will mean a violent takeover of the U.S. government or an invasion and conquest of the United States. The federal government will go on. American life will go on. There will be no army of Muslims, terrorists, Syrians, ISISians, Russians, Chinese, drug dealers, or illegal immigrants coming to get us and take over the reins of the IRS.

Why is that an important point? Because it shows that no matter what happens in Syria or the rest of the Middle East, life will continue here in the United States. Even if Russia gets to continue controlling Syria, that's not going to result in a conquest of the United States. The same holds true if ISIS, say, takes over Iraq. Or if Turkey ends up killing lots of Kurds. Or if Syria ends up protecting the Kurds. Or if Iran continues to be controlled by a theocratic state. Or if the Russians retake control over Ukraine.

It was no different than when North Vietnam ended up winning the Vietnamese civil war. The dominoes did not fall onto the United States and make America Red. It also makes no difference if Egypt continues to be controlled by a brutal military dictatorship. Or that Cuba, North Korea, and China are controlled by communist regimes. Or that Russia is controlled by an authoritarian regime. Or that Myanmar (Burma) is controlled by a totalitarian military regime. America and the federal government will continue standing.

America was founded as a limited government republic, one that did not send its military forces around the world to slay monsters. That's not to say that bad things didn't happen around the world. Bad things have always happened around the world. Dictatorships. Famines. Wars. Civil wars. Revolutions. Empires. Torture. Extra-judicial executions. Tyranny. Oppression. The policy of the United States was that it would not go abroad to fix or clear up those types of things.

All that changed with the conversion of the federal government to a national-security state and with the adoption of a pro-empire, pro-intervention foreign policy. When that happened, the U.S. government assumed the duty to fix the wrongs of the world.

That's when U.S. officials began thinking in terms of empire and using empire-speak. Foreign regimes became "allies," "partners," and "friends." Others became "opponents," "rivals," or "enemies." Events thousands of miles away became threats to "national security."

That's when U.S. forces began invading and occupying other countries, waging wars of aggression against them, intervening in foreign wars, revolutions, and civil wars, initiating coups, destroying democratic regimes, establishing an empire of domestic and foreign military bases, and bombing, shooting, killing, assassinating, spying on, maiming, torturing, kidnapping, injuring, and destroying people in countries all over the world.

The results of U.S. imperialism and interventionism have always been perverse, not only for foreigners but also for Americans. That's how Americans have ended up with out-of-control federal spending and debt that have left much of the middle class high and dry, unable to support themselves in their senior years, unable to save a nest egg for financial emergencies, and living paycheck to paycheck. Empire and interventionism do not come cheap.

The shift toward empire and interventionism has brought about the destruction of American liberty and privacy here at home. That's what the assassinations, secret surveillance, torture, and indefinite detentions of American citizens are all about -- to supposedly protect us from the dangers produced by U.S. imperialism and interventionism abroad. One might call it waging perpetual war for freedom and peace, both here and abroad.

There is but one solution to all this chaos and mayhem -- the dismantling, not the reform, of the Pentagon, the military-industrial complex, the vast empire of foreign and domestic military bases, and the NSA, along with an immediate end to all foreign interventionism. A free, peaceful, prosperous, and harmonious society necessarily entails the restoration of a limited-government republic and a non-interventionist foreign policy to our land.

[Oct 24, 2019] Snowden behaviour toward Russia is highly suspecious: The Russian government has saved his bacon and has given him refuge with great freedoms he would not have in the USA -- or Airstrip One ... or, HK, or any South American backyard colony. And yet he makes no attempt to thank them and even virtually panders to the American anti-Russian meme

Is/was he a plant like Oswald in the past?
Notable quotes:
"... The main take away for me came towards the end where Snowden outlines the special legal conditions and laws that the US government enforces to control presentation of evidence in these cases. These same 'servant' thugs who are stepping into the now 3rd-world UK court system and pulling the strings on Australia's Assange. The same crew that Snowden worked with and blew the whistle on (apparently). ..."
"... Snowden makes great bravado about being willing to go back to the USA and face the music -- if only he could say in court why he did it (something the legal Act prohibits apparently). In this, and a few other matters of history, I find him less than genuine. Is/was he a plant? .... I'm still out with the jury on that. ..."
Oct 24, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

imo , Oct 24 2019 2:42 utc | 43

@8 Trailer Trash

Indeed Orwell's "1984" referred to the UK as "Airstrip One" and this Brexit fiasco surely proves that Outside Influences not only run the Judiciary when necessary, but also plant poison on doorknobs when it suits them.

The ever servile Australian government to the empire du jour does nothing to honor their passport pledge. We would have to assume it qualifies as Orwell's "Airstrip Two"

In contrast to Assange's predicament (and Manning I assume), the main point of this post is to mention the recent Joe Rogan interview of Edward Snowden (touting his book) -- http://podcasts.joerogan.net/podcasts/edward-snowden

Nearly three hours of mostly Snowden rambling on. I stayed with it to the end. A few items of interest but mostly just noise. I found him initially somewhat suspicious -- by the end I was more neutral. However, what a display of American arrogance and ingratitude. The Russian government has saved his bacon and has given him refuge with great freedoms he would not have in the USA -- or Airstrip One ... or, HK, or any South American backyard colony. And yet he makes no attempt to thank them and even virtually panders to the American anti-Russian meme. He has even dabbled in Russian opposition politics via local newspaper comments. What an ungrateful guest! (Or still an agent @ work?) I would entirely understand the Russians putting him on a plane back to the USA tomorrow. Ungrateful little character, imo. And says a lot about the way Americans treat the external world from inside their little fishbowl. Simply a doormat for convenience.

The main take away for me came towards the end where Snowden outlines the special legal conditions and laws that the US government enforces to control presentation of evidence in these cases. These same 'servant' thugs who are stepping into the now 3rd-world UK court system and pulling the strings on Australia's Assange. The same crew that Snowden worked with and blew the whistle on (apparently).

Snowden makes great bravado about being willing to go back to the USA and face the music -- if only he could say in court why he did it (something the legal Act prohibits apparently). In this, and a few other matters of history, I find him less than genuine. Is/was he a plant? .... I'm still out with the jury on that.

[Oct 24, 2019] NSA fundamentally try to collect everything and hang on to it forever

Notable quotes:
"... "The value of any piece of information is only known when you can connect it with something else that arrives at a future point in time," Hunt said. "Since you can't connect dots you don't have, it drives us into a mode of, we fundamentally try to collect everything and hang on to it forever." ..."
"... "Technology in this world is moving faster than government or law can keep up," he said. "It's moving faster I would argue than you can keep up: You should be asking the question of what are your rights and who owns your data." ..."
"... In its vast Utah Data Center constructed earlier this decade, the National Security Agency has the capacity to store virtually unlimited amounts of digital data it hoovers up daily. This is what Gus Hunt was talking about. The biggest problem is how to make that data useful for the government's purposes -- that is, how to find the needle in the haystack of data. ..."
"... " Your entire life is in storage somewhere -- and the government will be able to search it at will, quickly." ..."
"... 'Somewhere' has an address. Add in the data stored by FB/Amazon/Google, and a nearly complete picture of you as an individual, your thoughts, fears, hopes, etc is online and can be quantified. https://www.theatlantic.com... ..."
"... I sincerely hope that the NSA, looking at my life, will find itself sufficiently entertained that it will put up with my boring comments. I would hate to be responsible for someone its bowels to be put to sleep at an inopportune moment and have a serious national crisis occur as a result ..."
"... The hubris is that tech is all powerful, because we have experienced a rapid growth in the ability to produce and access information, but it is not bringing wisdom or any beer governance. ..."
Oct 24, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

In his new memoir, Permanent Record , Edward Snowden writes about a speech that Gus Hunt, the CIA's chief technology officer, gave in 2013. Only the Huffington Post covered it (though you can watch it online). From HuffPo's report:

Speaking before a crowd of tech geeks at GigaOM's Structure:Data conference in New York City, CTO Ira "Gus" Hunt said that the world is increasingly awash in information from text messages, tweets, and videos -- and that the agency wants all of it.

"The value of any piece of information is only known when you can connect it with something else that arrives at a future point in time," Hunt said. "Since you can't connect dots you don't have, it drives us into a mode of, we fundamentally try to collect everything and hang on to it forever."

Hunt's comments come two days after Federal Computer Week reported that the CIA has committed to a massive, $600 million, 10-year deal with Amazon for cloud computing services. The agency has not commented on that report, but Hunt's speech, which included multiple references to cloud computing, indicates that it does indeed have interest in storage and analysis capabilities on a massive scale.

More:

"It is really very nearly within our grasp to be able to compute on all human generated information," Hunt said. After that mark is reached, Hunt said, the agency would also like to be able to save and analyze all of the digital breadcrumbs people don't even know they are creating.

"You're already a walking sensor platform," he said, nothing that mobiles, smartphones and iPads come with cameras, accelerometers, light detectors and geolocation capabilities.

"You are aware of the fact that somebody can know where you are at all times, because you carry a mobile device, even if that mobile device is turned off," he said. "You know this, I hope? Yes? Well, you should."

Hunt also spoke of mobile apps that will be able to control pacemakers -- even involuntarily -- and joked about a "dystopian" future where self-driving cars force people to go to the grocery store to pick up milk for their spouses.

Hunt's speech barely touched on privacy concerns. But he did acknowledge that they exist.

"Technology in this world is moving faster than government or law can keep up," he said. "It's moving faster I would argue than you can keep up: You should be asking the question of what are your rights and who owns your data."

Note well: "It is really very nearly within our grasp to be able to compute on all human generated information."

Here is a link to Gus Hunt's speech on YouTube.

In its vast Utah Data Center constructed earlier this decade, the National Security Agency has the capacity to store virtually unlimited amounts of digital data it hoovers up daily. This is what Gus Hunt was talking about. The biggest problem is how to make that data useful for the government's purposes -- that is, how to find the needle in the haystack of data.


Adamant 3 hours ago

" Your entire life is in storage somewhere -- and the government will be able to search it at will, quickly."

'Somewhere' has an address. Add in the data stored by FB/Amazon/Google, and a nearly complete picture of you as an individual, your thoughts, fears, hopes, etc is online and can be quantified. https://www.theatlantic.com...

Charles Cosimano 3 hours ago
I sincerely hope that the NSA, looking at my life, will find itself sufficiently entertained that it will put up with my boring comments. I would hate to be responsible for someone its bowels to be put to sleep at an inopportune moment and have a serious national crisis occur as a result
John 2 hours ago
Or, optionally, you refuse to participate by maintaining a minimal online presence or communicating in person. Also, this sure is all snazzy, but it's happening in a nation which is facing serious material and structural issues.

The hubris is that tech is all powerful, because we have experienced a rapid growth in the ability to produce and access information, but it is not bringing wisdom or any beer governance. The material systems which underlie the technical ones, such as infrastructure, food production, and so on, can't be "quantized" in a supercomputer. If anything, reliance on tech really moves us closer to real collapse.

[Oct 23, 2019] Google's Auto-Delete Tools Are Practically Worthless For Privacy

Oct 23, 2019 | yro.slashdot.org

By default, Google collects a vast amount of data on users' behavior, including a lifelong record of web searches, locations, and YouTube views.

But amid a privacy backlash and ongoing regulatory threats, the company has started to hype its recently released privacy tools, like the ability to automatically delete some of the data it collects about you -- data that helps power its $116 billion ad business. [...]

In reality, these auto-delete tools accomplish little for users, even as they generate positive PR for Google. Experts say that by the time three months rolls around, Google has already extracted nearly all the potential value from users' data, and from an advertising standpoint, data becomes practically worthless when it's more than a few months old . "Anything up to one month is extremely valuable," says David Dweck, the head of paid search at digital ad firm WPromote.

"Anything beyond one month, we probably weren't going to target you anyway." Dweck says that in the digital ad industry, recent activity is essential.

If you start searching on Google for real estate or looking up housing values, for instance, Google might lump you into a "prospective home buyers" category for advertisers. That information becomes instantly valuable to realtors, appraisers, and lenders for ad targeting, and it could remain valuable for a while as other companies, such as painters or appliance brands, try to follow up on your home buying.

Still, it's unusual for advertisers to target users based on their activity from months earlier, Dweck says.

[Oct 22, 2019] Researchers Tricked Google Home and Alexa Into Eavesdropping and Password Phishing

Oct 22, 2019 | yro.slashdot.org

(arstechnica.com) 34 Ars Technica reports: The threat isn't just theoretical. Whitehat hackers at Germany's Security Research Labs developed eight apps -- four Alexa "skills" and four Google Home "actions" -- that all passed Amazon or Google security-vetting processes. The skills or actions posed as simple apps for checking horoscopes, with the exception of one, which masqueraded as a random-number generator. Behind the scenes, these "smart spies," as the researchers call them, surreptitiously eavesdropped on users and phished for their passwords ...

The apps gave the impression they were no longer running when they, in fact, silently waited for the next phase of the attack .... The apps quietly logged all conversations within earshot of the device and sent a copy to a developer-designated server. The phishing apps follow a slightly different path by responding with an error message that claims the skill or action isn't available in that user's country. They then go silent to give the impression the app is no longer running. After about a minute, the apps use a voice that mimics the ones used by Alexa and Google home to falsely claim a device update is available and prompts the user for a password for it to be installed....

In response, both companies removed the apps and said they are changing their approval processes to prevent skills and actions from having similar capabilities in the future.

[Oct 22, 2019] Smart TVs Are Data-Collecting Machines, New Study Shows

Oct 22, 2019 | yro.slashdot.org

(theverge.com) 41 BeauHD on Friday October 11, 2019 @07:20PM from the can't-act-like-I'm-surprised dept. A new study from Princeton University shows internet-connected TVs, which allow people to stream Netflix and Hulu, are loaded with data-hungry trackers . "If you use a device such as Roku and Amazon Fire TV, there are numerous companies that can build up a fairly comprehensive picture of what you're watching," Arvind Narayanan, associate professor of computer science at Princeton, wrote in an email to The Verge. "There's very little oversight or awareness of their practices, including where that data is being sold." From the report: To understand how much surveillance is taking place on smart TVs, Narayanan and his co-author Hooman Mohajeri Moghaddam built a bot that automatically installed thousands of channels on their Roku and Amazon Fire TVs. It then mimicked human behavior by browsing and watching videos. As soon as it ran into an ad, it would track what data was being collected behind the scenes. Some of the information, like device type, city, and state, is hardly unique to one user. But other data, like the device serial number, Wi-Fi network, and advertising ID, could be used to pinpoint an individual. "This gives them a more complete picture of who you are," said Moghaddam. He noted that some channels even sent unencrypted email addresses and video titles to the trackers.

In total, the study found trackers on 69 percent of Roku channels and 89 percent of Amazon Fire channels. "Some of these are well known, such as Google, while many others are relatively obscure companies that most of us have never heard of," Narayanan said. Google's ad service DoubleClick was found on 97 percent of Roku channels. "Like other publishers, smart TV app developers can use Google's ad services to show ads against their content, and we've helped design industry guidelines for this that enable a privacy-safe experience for users," a Google spokesperson said in a statement emailed to The Verge. "Depending on the user's preferences, the developer may share data with Google that's similar to data used for ads in mobile apps or on the web." "Better privacy controls would certainly help, but they are ultimately band-aids," Narayanan said. "The business model of targeted advertising on TVs is incompatible with privacy, and we need to confront that reality. To maximize revenue, platforms based on ad targeting will likely turn to data mining and algorithmic personalization/persuasion to keep people glued to the screen as long as possible."

Another study from Northeastern University and the Imperial College of London found that other smart-home devices are also collecting reams of data that is being sent to third parties like advertisers and major tech companies.

[Oct 19, 2019] Kunstler One Big Reason Why America Is Driving Itself Bat$hit Crazy

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... It's a major unanticipated consequence of the digital "revolution." It has gotten us stuck looking backward at events, obsessively replaying them, while working overtime to spin them favorably for one team or the other, at the expense of actually living in real time and dealing with reality as it unspools with us. If life were a ballgame, we'd only be watching jumbotron replays while failing to pay attention to the action on the field. ..."
"... The stupendous failure of the Mueller Investigation only revealed what can happen when extraordinary bad faith, dishonesty, and incompetence are brought to this project of reinventing "truth" -- of who did what and why -- while it provoked a counter-industry of detecting its gross falsifications. ..."
"... Perhaps you can see why unleashing the CIA, NSA, and the FBI on political enemies by Mr. Obama and his cohorts has become such a disaster. When that scheme blew up, the intel community went to the mattresses, as the saying goes in Mafia legend and lore. The "company" found itself at existential risk. Of course, the CIA has long been accused of following an agenda of its own simply because it had the means to do it. It had the manpower, the money, and the equipment to run whatever operations it felt like running, and a history of going its own way out of sheer institutional arrogance, of knowing better than the crackers and clowns elected by the hoi-polloi. The secrecy inherent in its charter was a green light for limitless mischief and some of the agency's directors showed open contempt for the occupants of the White House. Think: Allen Dulles and William Casey. And lately, Mr. Brennan. ..."
Oct 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

Here's one big reason that America is driving itself batshit crazy : the explosion of computerized records, emails, inter-office memos, Twitter trails, Facebook memorabilia, iPhone videos, YouTubes, recorded conversations, and the vast alternative universe of storage capacity for all this stuff makes it seem possible to constantly go back and reconstruct reality. All it has really done is amplified the potential for political mischief to suicide level.

It's a major unanticipated consequence of the digital "revolution." It has gotten us stuck looking backward at events, obsessively replaying them, while working overtime to spin them favorably for one team or the other, at the expense of actually living in real time and dealing with reality as it unspools with us. If life were a ballgame, we'd only be watching jumbotron replays while failing to pay attention to the action on the field.

Before all this, history was left largely to historians, who curated it from a range of views for carefully considered introduction to the stream of human culture, and managed this process at a pace that allowed a polity to get on with its business at hand in the here-and-now -- instead of incessantly and recursively reviewing events that have already happened 24/7. The more electronic media has evolved, the more it lends itself to manipulation, propaganda, and falsification of whatever happened five minutes, or five hours, or five weeks ago.

This is exactly why and how the losing team in the 2016 election has worked so hard to change that bit of history. The stupendous failure of the Mueller Investigation only revealed what can happen when extraordinary bad faith, dishonesty, and incompetence are brought to this project of reinventing "truth" -- of who did what and why -- while it provoked a counter-industry of detecting its gross falsifications.

This dynamic has long been systematically studied and applied by institutions like the so-called "intelligence community," and has gotten so out-of-hand that its main mission these days appears to be the maximum gaslighting of the nation -- for the purpose of its own desperate self-defense. The "Whistleblower" episode is the latest turn in dishonestly manipulated records, but the most interesting feature of it is that the release of the actual transcript of the Trump-Zelensky phone call did not affect the "narrative" precooked between the CIA and Adam Schiff's House Intel Committee. They just blundered on with the story and when major parts of the replay didn't add up, they retreated to secret sessions in the basement of the US capitol.

Perhaps you can see why unleashing the CIA, NSA, and the FBI on political enemies by Mr. Obama and his cohorts has become such a disaster. When that scheme blew up, the intel community went to the mattresses, as the saying goes in Mafia legend and lore. The "company" found itself at existential risk. Of course, the CIA has long been accused of following an agenda of its own simply because it had the means to do it. It had the manpower, the money, and the equipment to run whatever operations it felt like running, and a history of going its own way out of sheer institutional arrogance, of knowing better than the crackers and clowns elected by the hoi-polloi. The secrecy inherent in its charter was a green light for limitless mischief and some of the agency's directors showed open contempt for the occupants of the White House. Think: Allen Dulles and William Casey. And lately, Mr. Brennan.

The recently-spawned NSA has mainly added the capacity to turn everything that happens into replay material, since it is suspected of recording every phone call, every email, every financial transaction, every closed-circuit screen capture, and anything else its computers can snare for storage in its Utah Data Storage Center. Now you know why the actions of Edward Snowden were so significant. He did what he did because he was moral enough to know the face of malevolence when he saw it. That he survives in exile is a miracle.

As for the FBI, only an exceptional species of ineptitude explains the trouble they got themselves into with the RussiaGate fiasco. The unbelievable election loss of Mrs. Clinton screwed the pooch for them, and the desperate acts that followed only made things worse. The incompetence and mendacity on display was only matched by Mr. Mueller and his lawyers, who were supposed to be the FBI's cleanup crew and only left a bigger mess -- all of it cataloged in digital records.

Now, persons throughout all these agencies are waiting for the hammer to fall. If they are prosecuted, the process will entail yet another monumental excursion into the replaying of those digital records. It could go on for years. So, the final act in the collapse of the USA will be the government choking itself to death on replayed narratives from its own server farms.

In the meantime, events are actually tending in a direction that will eventually deprive the nation of the means to continue most of its accustomed activities including credible elections, food distribution, a reliable electric grid, and perhaps even self-defense.

[Oct 09, 2019] George Orwell assumes that if such societies as he describes in Nineteen Eighty-Four come into being there will be several super states. These super states will naturally be in opposition to each other or (a novel point) will pretend to be much more in opposition than in fact they are

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... This is the direction in which the world is going at the present time, and the trend lies deep in the political, social and economic foundations of the contemporary world situation. ..."
"... Specifically the danger lies in the structure imposed on Socialist and on Liberal capitalist communities by the necessity to prepare for total war with the U.S.S.R. and the new weapons, of which of course the atomic bomb is the most powerful and the most publicized. But danger lies also in the acceptance of a totalitarian outlook by intellectuals of all colours. ..."
"... Two of the principal super states will obviously be the Anglo-American world and Eurasia. If these two great blocks line up as mortal enemies it is obvious that the Anglo-Americans will not take the name of their opponents and will not dramatize themselves on the scene of history as Communists. Thus they will have to find a new name for themselves. The name suggested in Nineteen Eighty-Four is of course Ingsoc, but in practice a wide range of choices is open. In the U.S.A. the phrase "Americanism" or "hundred per cent Americanism" is suitable and the qualifying adjective is as totalitarian as anyone could wish. ..."
"... Pretty much explains the SDP and NuLabourInc and his name sake Blair and our political landscape of the last 50 years, don't you think? ..."
"... Also pay attention to the 'parody phrase. ' ..."
Oct 09, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Dungroanin -> MikeE Oct 9, 2019 12:46 AM

That is my down tick.

Because i feel that some agenda is at play. I'm not going to accuse you of trolling, or even a bit of gas lighting, but it seems like a slide into classic red scaring and recasting of Eric Blair

By way of explaining my emotion and since you mention Warburg, here is an example of Orwellian post humous attribution. He never said "imagine a boot stamping on a human face, forever."

'from a post-publication press release directed by publisher Fredric Warburg toward readers who "had misinterpreted [Orwell's] aim, taking the novel as a criticism of the current British Labour Party, or of contemporary socialism in general." The quotation from the press release was "soon given the status of a last statement or deathbed appeal, given that Orwell was hospitalized at the time and dead six months later."

You can read more at georgeorwellnovels.com, which provides a great deal of context on this press release, which runs, in full, as follows:

It has been suggested by some of the reviewers of Nineteen Eighty-Four that it is the author's view that this, or something like this, is what will happen inside the next forty years in the Western world. This is not correct. I think that, allowing for the book being after all a parody, something like Nineteen Eighty-Four could happen. This is the direction in which the world is going at the present time, and the trend lies deep in the political, social and economic foundations of the contemporary world situation.

Specifically the danger lies in the structure imposed on Socialist and on Liberal capitalist communities by the necessity to prepare for total war with the U.S.S.R. and the new weapons, of which of course the atomic bomb is the most powerful and the most publicized. But danger lies also in the acceptance of a totalitarian outlook by intellectuals of all colours.

The moral to be drawn from this dangerous nightmare situation is a simple one: Don't let it happen. It depends on you.

George Orwell assumes that if such societies as he describes in Nineteen Eighty-Four come into being there will be several super states. This is fully dealt with in the relevant chapters of Nineteen Eighty-Four. It is also discussed from a different angle by James Burnham in The Managerial Revolution. These super states will naturally be in opposition to each other or (a novel point) will pretend to be much more in opposition than in fact they are.

Two of the principal super states will obviously be the Anglo-American world and Eurasia. If these two great blocks line up as mortal enemies it is obvious that the Anglo-Americans will not take the name of their opponents and will not dramatize themselves on the scene of history as Communists. Thus they will have to find a new name for themselves. The name suggested in Nineteen Eighty-Four is of course Ingsoc, but in practice a wide range of choices is open. In the U.S.A. the phrase "Americanism" or "hundred per cent Americanism" is suitable and the qualifying adjective is as totalitarian as anyone could wish.

If there is a failure of nerve and the Labour party breaks down in its attempt to deal with the hard problems with which it will be faced, tougher types than the present Labour leaders will inevitably take over, drawn probably from the ranks of the Left, but not sharing the Liberal aspirations of those now in power. Members of the present British government, from Mr. Attlee and Sir Stafford Cripps down to Aneurin Bevan will never willingly sell the pass to the enemy, and in general the older men, nurtured in a Liberal tradition, are safe, but the younger generation is suspect and the seeds of totalitarian thought are probably widespread among them. It is invidious to mention names, but everyone could without difficulty think for himself of prominent English and American personalities whom the cap would fit.'
http://www.openculture.com/2014/11/george-orwells-final-warning.html

-- -- -- -

Pretty much explains the SDP and NuLabourInc and his name sake Blair and our political landscape of the last 50 years, don't you think?

Also pay attention to the 'parody phrase. '
'
As i wrote earlier, perhaps Blair of Eton ultimately saw how clearly hist talents had been misused by the 'totalitarians' before he died.

I understand that some of his works are still censored and others never published. As are his state employment in propaganda on which he probably based his 'parody' on.

[Sep 28, 2019] Orwell vs Jack London

The Iron Heel is a dystopian[1] novel by American writer Jack London, first published in 1908.[2] Generally considered to be "the earliest of the modern dystopian" fiction,[3] it chronicles the rise of an oligarchic tyranny in the United States.
In The Iron Heel, Jack London's socialist views are explicitly on display. A forerunner of soft science fiction novels and stories of the 1960s and '70s, the book stresses future changes in society and politics while paying much less attention to technological changes.
The novel is based on the fictional "Everhard Manuscript" written by Avis Everhard... The Manuscript itself covers the years 1912 through 1932 in which the Oligarchy (or "Iron Heel") arose in the United States. In Asia, Japan conquered East Asia and created its own empire, India gained independence, and Europe became socialist. Canada, Mexico, and Cuba formed their own Oligarchies and were aligned with the U.S. (London remains silent as to the fates of South America, Africa, and the Middle East.)
In North America, the Oligarchy maintains power for three centuries until the Revolution succeeds and ushers in the Brotherhood of Man. During the years of the novel, the First Revolt is described and preparations for the Second Revolt are discussed. From the perspective of Everhard, the imminent Second Revolt is sure to succeed but from Meredith's frame story , the reader knows that Ernest Everhard's hopes would go unfulfilled until centuries after his death.
The Oligarchy is the largest monopoly of trusts (or robber barons ) who manage to squeeze out the middle class by bankrupting most small to mid-sized business as well as reducing all farmers to effective serfdom . This Oligarchy maintains power through a "labor caste " and the Mercenaries . Laborers in essential industries like steel and rail are elevated and given decent wages, housing, and education. Indeed, the tragic turn in the novel (and Jack London's core warning to his contemporaries) is the treachery of these favored unions which break with the other unions and side with the Oligarchy. Further, a second, military caste is formed: the Mercenaries. The Mercenaries are officially the army of the US but are in fact in the employ of the Oligarchs.
Jack London ambitiously predicted a breakdown of the US republic starting a few years past 1908, but various events have caused his predicted future to diverge from actual history. Most crucially, though London placed quite accurately the time when international tensions will reach their peak (1913 in "The Iron Heel", 1914 in actual history ), he (like many others at the time) predicted that when this moment came, labor solidarity would prevent a war that would include the US, Germany and other nations.
The Iron Heel is cited by George Orwell 's biographer Michael Shelden as having influenced Orwell's most famous novel Nineteen Eighty-Four . [4] Orwell himself described London as having made "a very remarkable prophecy of the rise of Fascism ", in the book and believed that London's understanding of the primitive had made him a better prophet "than many better-informed and more logical thinkers." [5] ( The Iron Heel - Wikipedia )
Sep 28, 2019 | www.unz.com

As writer or thinker, Jack London can't touch George Orwell, but he's nearly the Brit's equal when it comes to describing society's bottom. To both, being a writer is as much a physical as an intellectual endeavor. Wading into everything, they braved all discomforts and dangers. This attitude has become very rare, and not just among writers. Trapped in intensely mediated lives, we all think we know more as we experience less and less.

At age 14, London worked in a salmon cannery. At 16, he was an oyster pirate. At 17, he was a sailor on a sealing schooner that reached Japan. At 18, London crossed the country as a hobo and, near Buffalo, was jailed for 30 days for vagrancy. At 21, he prospected for gold in the Klondike. London was also a newsboy, longshoreman, roustabout, window washer, jute mill grunt, carpet cleaner and electrician, so he had many incidents, mishaps and ordeals to draw from, and countless characters to portray.

London's The Road chronicles his hobo and prison misadventure. Condemned to hard labor, the teenager nearly starved, "While we got plenty of water, we did not get enough of the bread. A ration of bread was about the size of one's two fists, and three rations a day were given to each prisoner. There was one good thing, I must say, about the water -- it was hot. In the morning it was called 'coffee,' at noon it was dignified as 'soup,' and at night it masqueraded as 'tea.' But it was the same old water all the time."

London quickly worked his way up the clink's hierarchy, to become one of 13 enforcers for the guards. This experience alone should have taught him that in all situations, not just dire ones, each man will prioritize his own interest and survival, and that there's no solidarity among the "downtrodden" or whatever. Orwell's Animal Farm is a parable about this. Since man is an egoist, power lust lurks everywhere.

During the Russo-Japanese War a decade later, London would approvingly quote a letter from Japanese socialists to their Russian comrades, but this pacific gesture was nothing compared to the nationalistic fervor engulfing both countries. Like racism, nationalism is but self love. Though clearly madness if overblown, it's unextinguishable.

Jailed, London the future socialist stood by as his gang disciplined a naïf, "I remember a handsome young mulatto of about twenty who got the insane idea into his head that he should stand for his rights. And he did have the right of it, too; but that didn't help him any. He lived on the topmost gallery. Eight hall-men took the conceit out of him in just about a minute and a half -- for that was the length of time required to travel along his gallery to the end and down five flights of steel stairs. He travelled the whole distance on every portion of his anatomy except his feet, and the eight hall-men were not idle. The mulatto struck the pavement where I was standing watching it all. He regained his feet and stood upright for a moment. In that moment he threw his arms wide apart and omitted an awful scream of terror and pain and heartbreak. At the same instant, as in a transformation scene, the shreds of his stout prison clothes fell from him, leaving him wholly naked and streaming blood from every portion of the surface of his body. Then he collapsed in a heap, unconscious. He had learned his lesson, and every convict within those walls who heard him scream had learned a lesson. So had I learned mine. It is not a nice thing to see a man's heart broken in a minute and a half."

Jailed, you immediately recover your racial consciousness, but London apparently missed this. In any case, a lesser writer or man wouldn't confess to such complicity with power. Elsewhere, London admits to much hustling and lying, and even claims these practices made him a writer, "I have often thought that to this training of my tramp days is due much of my success as a story-writer. In order to get the food whereby I lived, I was compelled to tell tales that rang true [ ] Also, I quite believe it was my tramp-apprenticeship that made a realist out of me. Realism constitutes the only goods one can exchange at the kitchen door for grub."

Informed by hard-earned, bitter experience, London's accounts resonate and convince, even when outlandish, for they are essentially true about the human condition.

London on a fellow prisoner, "He was a huge, illiterate brute, an ex-Chesapeake-Bay-oyster-pirate, an 'ex-con' who had done five years in Sing Sing, and a general all-around stupidly carnivorous beast. He used to trap sparrows that flew into our hall through the open bars. When he made a capture, he hurried away with it into his cell, where I have seen him crunching bones and spitting out feathers as he bolted it raw."

Though London often uses "beast" or "beastly" to describe how humans are treated, this fellow appears to be congenitally bestial, with his all-around stupidity. As for the other prisoners, "Our hall was a common stews, filled with the ruck and the filth, the scum and dregs, of society -- hereditary inefficients, degenerates, wrecks, lunatics, addled intelligences, epileptics, monsters, weaklings, in short, a very nightmare of humanity." Though many are wrecked, others are born deficient, addled or weak, but in our retarded days, morons must be smart in other ways, and raging monsters are merely oppressed into mayhem or murder.

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But of course, society does oppress, then and now. Remember that an 18-year-old London was sentenced to 30 days of hard labor for merely being in a strange city without a hotel reservation. Another inmate was doing 60 for eating from a trash can, "He had strayed out to the circus ground, and, being hungry, had made his way to the barrel that contained the refuse from the table of the circus people. 'And it was good bread,' he often assured me; 'and the meat was out of sight.' A policeman had seen him and arrested him, and there he was." Well, at least Americans are no longer locked up for dumpster diving, so there's progress for you, but then many must still feed from the garbage, with that number rapidly rising.

Though London was a worldwide celebrity at his death in 1916, his fame faded so fast that Orwell could comment in 1944, "Jack London is one of those border-line writers whose works might be forgotten altogether unless somebody takes the trouble to revive them."

London's most enduring book may turn out to be The People of the Abyss, his 1903 investigation into the abjectly impoverished of London's East End.

Dressed accordingly, London joined its homeless to see how they survived. With a 58-year-old carter and a 65-year-old carpenter, London wandered the cold streets, "From the slimy, spittle-drenched, sidewalk, they were picking up bits of orange peel, apple skin, and grape stems, and, they were eating them. The pits of greengage plums they cracked between their teeth for the kernels inside. They picked up stray bits of bread the size of peas, apple cores so black and dirty one would not take them to be apple cores, and these things these two men took into their mouths, and chewed them, and swallowed them; and this, between six and seven o'clock in the evening of August 20, year of our Lord 1902, in the heart of the greatest, wealthiest, and most powerful empire the world has ever seen."

Having mingled with many homeless in cities across America, I can attest that the food situation is not as bad in that unraveling empire, but the squalor is just as appalling, if not worse. A Wall Street Journal headline, "California's Biggest Cities Confront a 'Defecation Crisis'." There's no need to import public shitting from shitholes, since there's already plenty of it, homegrown and well-fertilized with smirkingly cynical policies.

Trump, "We can't let Los Angeles, San Francisco and numerous other cities destroy themselves by allowing what's happening," but he's only talking about the unsightliness of it all, not its root cause, which is a deliberately wrecked economy that, over decades, has fabulously enriched his and our masters. This, too, is a controlled demolition.

Ensconced in some leafy suburb, you might be missing this beastly, raving, zonked out and shitty transformation. Jack London, though, never recoiled from society's diarrhea. My favorite passage of The People of the Abyss is his account of bathing, so to speak, in a workhouse:

We stripped our clothes, wrapping them up in our coats and buckling our belts about them, and deposited them in a heaped rack and on the floor -- a beautiful scheme for the spread of vermin. Then, two by two, we entered the bathroom. There were two ordinary tubs, and this I know: the two men preceding had washed in that water, we washed in the same water, and it was not changed for the two men that followed us. This I know; but I am also certain that the twenty-two of us washed in the same water.

I did no more than make a show of splashing some of this dubious liquid at myself, while I hastily brushed it off with a towel wet from the bodies of other men. My equanimity was not restored by seeing the back of one poor wretch a mass of blood from attacks of vermin and retaliatory scratching.

If other men had to endure that, why shouldn't London, especially since he was trying to understand these wretches?

Many moons, suns and saturns ago, I taught a writing course at UPenn, and for one assignment, I asked students to take the subway to a strange stop, get off, walk around and observe, but don't do it in the dark, I did warn them. Frightened, one girl couldn't get off, so simply wrote about her very first ride. At least she got a taste of an entirely alien world beyond campus. Considering that her parents had to cough up over 60 grands annually to consign her to the Ivy League, they'd probably want to murder me for subjecting their precious to such needless anxieties.

Cocooned, Americans are oblivious to their own destruction. Screwed, they're fixated by Pornhub.

London insisted a worldwide class revolution was the answer. A century and several gory nightmares later, there are those who still cling to this faith, but only in the West. In the East, even the most ignorant know the survival of his identity and dignity is conterminous with his nation's. Orwell understood this well. It is the biggest crime to wreck anyone's heritage in a flash.

In each society, you can begin to right the ship by prosecuting the biggest criminals, with existing laws, but first, you must have the clarity and courage to identify them.

In the US, at least, this shouldn't be too complicated, for their crimes are mostly out in the open, and their enforcers appear nightly in your living room, not unlike 1984. As you watch, they cheerfully lie, silence witnesses, mass murder, squander your last cent and dismantle, brick by brick, the house your forefathers built and died defending. Even if all they saw was its basement, it was still their everything.

Linh Dinh's latest book is Postcards from the End of America . He maintains a regularly updated photo blog .


AmRusDebate , says: September 26, 2019 at 3:33 pm GMT

Lexicologically, Jack London far surpasses Orwell. He mixes erudite and argot. Stylistically London far surpassed anything Orwell ever came up with. Orwell is a man of unum librum.

Nor would I say Orwell was a better thinker than London. 1984 is partly inspired by the Iron Heel, an image coined by London in a namesake book.

Reducing London to being a mere "socialist" is moronic.

Bardon Kaldian , says: September 26, 2019 at 5:21 pm GMT
London is one of those authors whom aesthetes despise, but who- against all odds- stubbornly refuse to go away. When he wrote about "serious" topics, London was a failure (Burning Daylight, Martin Eden, ); on the other hand, when he wrote about animals, primitives, mentally impaired, (white) underclass & quasi-fascist-Darwinian fantasies (most stories & short novels) -he was an unavoidable writer, one that will be read long after most canonized authors are just a footnote.

By the way, he was extremely popular even in Czarist Russia, something along the lines of American vitalism & energy.

Top Hat , says: September 27, 2019 at 12:24 am GMT
Jack London's "The Iron Heel" is another of his fictional stories about the working classes and in the book he attacks capitalism and promotes socialism while presenting the story of the US turned into an oligarchy in 1913 (the book was written in 1907). What's interesting about "The Iron Heel" is that by 1900 it must have been quite obvious as to how the world's more powerful nations were planning on parceling up the world, and London makes reference to this in his novel about the future military campaigns that will take place in the book's dystopian future, and his fiction was not far wrong from what actually transpired in WW1 and WW2.

After Jack London gained fame he did not work alone, he hired aspiring writers to "fill-in" his fiction, much like famous painters painting large commissions would hire subordinates to "fill-in" their canvas after the outline was drawn. The plot and subplots would come from London, but his underlings would write the stories. At this point in time I can't remember the names but as I recall a few famous authors got their start working for Jack London.

London was also cursed with the writer's nemesis, he was an alcoholic, and his autobiographical novel "John Barleycorn" treats the "demon drink" as one of the world's great ills. The book being published in 1913, it is noteworthy that the eighteenth amendment banning alcohol was passed by congress a few years later in 1919, so it could be that London was at least a minor fulcrum in giving a push to the moral crusade against alcohol being sold in the US.

Much of Jack London's work is classic like his short story fiction placed in Alaska, "To Start a Fire" about a man exposed to the elements and slowly freezing to death, or his fictional tales about being a constable sailing a schooner chasing pirates off the coast of California. Also unique and thrilling is the short story "A Piece of Steak" about an aging boxer hoping to win one last fight. These were tough and gritty stories about men at their extremity, and not tales for children.

London wrote a good tale and he understood human nature, and perhaps that's what motivated him to become an alcoholic socialist.

durd , says: September 27, 2019 at 1:26 am GMT
@Bardon Kaldian I enjoyed much of London's works. Although I read many of his books when young,and I don't remember them too much, they helped inspire me to head north in the very backyard of Burning Daylight, a best seller in it's day. His portrayal of characters of the North seem quite believable and his description of the land and it's peculiar traits are also accurate. The short story 'All Gold Canyon' is spot on for how a prospector prospects.

I read the Jack London Reader (for sale in Chicken, ak) a few years ago and enjoyed it immensely as I did the Sea Wolf.

Martin Eden is a depressing read. I have only read Animal Farm so I really can't compare. Depends how much one 'likes' to get disgruntled.

Nancy Pelosi's Latina Maid , says: September 27, 2019 at 8:05 am GMT

Cocooned, Americans are oblivious to their own destruction. Screwed, they're fixated by Pornhub.

Funny, all I ever read on the Internet these days are articles about America's destruction. This article's another one. Yet according to some pouty guy on the other side of the planet, we're oblivious.

And Pornhub is #32 according to Alexa. That's really high, but 31 websites precede it. I've never visited Pornhub, and I'd bet neither have 9 out of 10 Americans. Eliminate kids under 10, adults over 80, most women, and all those without Internet access, and you're left with a core of certain primetime lusty guys who are comfortable with pornography. Couldn't be more than 10%.

It'd be wonderful if we could have a single calendar day, say October 21, when everyone declares a moratorium on blithely shitting on America. Or is this part of the Jewish strategy to keep us divided and unhappy?

swamped , says: September 27, 2019 at 9:16 am GMT
"London was also a newsboy, longshoreman, roustabout, window washer, jute mill grunt, carpet cleaner and electrician" and – not least – SPORTSWRITER!John Griffith Chaney packed a lot of experience into his short forty year span on this wretched earth but his stint on the Oakland Herald & later sports writing – especially about surfing – are some of his best & consistent with his own fiery enjoyment of active outdoor sports. Perhaps best summed up in his aphorism:"I would rather be ashes than dust." London was not known for being a soccer fan but nonetheless, he would probably still be pleased to know that there is in his hometown today a very large & thriving Jack London Youth Soccer League. Anybody's guess how long it will be before the Woke Folk in town try to shut it down for being named after a 'white supremacist'.
Eric Arthur Blair had a similarly short stay in this world – only seven more years than London – but didn't much share his enthusiasm for the sporting life. Orwell was quite candid in his rejection of the world's favorite past time, explaining in an essay: "I loathed the game, and since I could see no pleasure or usefulness in it, it was very difficult for me to show courage at it. Football, it seemed to me, is not really played for the pleasure of kicking a ball about, but is a species of fighting." Orwell was even more pointed in a London Tribune op-ed during his early newspaper days, commenting on a recent series of matches between a Russian & English clubs, " the games cult did not start till the later part of the last century. Dr Arnold, generally regarded as the founder of the modern public school, looked on games as simply a waste of time. Then, chiefly in England and the United States, games were built up into a heavily-financed activity, capable of attracting vast crowds and rousing savage passions, and the infection spread from country to country. It is the most violently combative sports, football and boxing, that have spread the widest. There cannot be much doubt that the whole thing is bound up with the rise of nationalism -- that is, with the lunatic modern habit of identifying oneself with large power units and seeing everything in terms of competitive prestige."

"Orwell understood this well. It is the biggest crime to wreck anyone's heritage in a flash."
Or beat their national team. Go Golden Dragons!

TKK , says: September 27, 2019 at 11:19 am GMT
When I read about a woman dying from a rooster attack, or people falling to their death to take selfies, or the growing number of hikers who venture out into semi- wilderness with their cell phones but not adequate water, I always think of London's "To Build a Fire."

If London observed man's diminished capacity to measure and survive nature in his era, what would he make of any airport or street today? Like the parasite creature in "Alien", phones are stuck to every face encountered. Most people are not "present" in any sense when in the public sphere now, let alone taking note of the world around them.

6dust6 , says: September 27, 2019 at 11:52 am GMT
Great essay. I made it a point to visit Jack London's ranch on a California visit. The ranch was a huge unfulfilled project with the sad burnt out ruins of his dream house reminding us of his grand plans. The condition of his grown-over untended grave startled me. I find it interesting that many men of that time viewed socialism as a panacea; however, the intellect, ambition and energy of a man like Jack London would never have survived the ideology he espoused.
follyofwar , says: September 27, 2019 at 2:46 pm GMT
@Paul Did you see the "Trotsky" miniseries on Netflix? It was in Russian with English subtitles, but I enjoyed reading them all and found it riveting. It appeared to be historically accurate to someone like me who knows little of Russian history. Trotsky (born Lev Bronstein) was a Ukrainian Jew who cared little for how many Russians he killed. I guess Ukies hated Russians even back then.
follyofwar , says: September 27, 2019 at 3:01 pm GMT
@6dust6 Who knows, if London had lived longer he might have been a fascist supporter of Mussolini (as was Ezra Pound) and Hitler.
Emslander , says: September 27, 2019 at 3:03 pm GMT

In each society, you can begin to right the ship by prosecuting the biggest criminals, with existing laws, but first, you must have the clarity and courage to identify them.

This is why I don't get your disgust at President Trump. He has the will and the position to do just as you recommend and he would do it if the ruling class weren't trying to cut him off at the knees 24-7. Trump is the people's first successful attempt to drive the destroyers from the forum. I fear for coming generations if he doesn't.

Bardon Kaldian , says: September 27, 2019 at 3:17 pm GMT
@simple_pseudonymic_handle Nathaniel Hawthorne
Herman Melville
Walt Whitman
Mark Twain
Stephen Crane
T.S. Eliot
Henry James
Tennessee Williams
Saul Bellow
John Updike
pyrrhus , says: September 27, 2019 at 3:29 pm GMT
Jack London also wrote the classic short story 'To Build a Fire', and the novel 'The Call of the Wild', both set in Alaska ..He was a talented writer.
Zagonostra , says: September 27, 2019 at 4:13 pm GMT
I wish the author would have done an analysis of London's "Iron Heel." I just read it for the first time, and what he was writing about 100 years ago on the dominance of the "oligarchs", i.e., the "iron heel" rings as true today as it did back then.

Curious also how he died so suddenly. There is a YouTube video of him at his ranch looking as healthy as can be only a couple of days before he mysteriously died.

Jeff Stryker , says: September 27, 2019 at 4:25 pm GMT
@Anonymous Snanonymous Sir, you have made a remarkably prescient point.

USA today is like Britain in the late Victorian age. A Superpower of vast divides.

In those days, a serial killer called Jack the Ripper stalked the streets.

There is no difference. The class system has been replaced by rich Wall Street sharks and tech billionaires but the plutocracy is a plutocracy.

Gin has given way to Opoids.

But it is strangely similar.

Linh Dinh , says: Website September 27, 2019 at 9:23 pm GMT
@AaronB An empire exploits and abuses all natives, including those of its host nation. Just think of how they must send these natives to foreign lands, not just to kill, but die. It's better to be a house slave than a field one, however, so many far flung subjects of the empire will try to sneak into the house. It's also safer there, generally. Except for rare instances, as in 9/11, the empire won't blow up natives inside its borders.

[Sep 26, 2019] Big Tech 'Nudges' Our Behavior for Its Own Greed: Here's a 4-Step Social Media Self-Defense Class by Justin Podur

The surveillance capitalists -- nice term
Sep 25, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
September 25, 2019 by Yves Smith Yves here. I suspect many readers already employ some of the recommendations for how to keep tech from taking too much mindshare.

By Justin Podur, a Toronto-based writer and a writing fellow at Globetrotter , a project of the Independent Media Institute. You can find him on his website at podur.org and on Twitter @justinpodur . He teaches at York University in the Faculty of Environmental Studies. He is the author of the novel Siegebreakers . Produced by Globetrotter , a project of the Independent Media Institute

Human nature -- how we exist, how we live our lives -- is at risk. That's the premise of Shoshana Zuboff's book The Age of Surveillance Capitalism .

Zuboff believes the tech giants have created a new form of capitalism. The surveillance capitalist "wants your bloodstream and your bed, your breakfast conversation, your commute, your run, your refrigerator, your parking space, your living room."

In the old propaganda system, media audiences were not the consumers but the products, sold to the real consumers, the advertisers. In surveillance capitalism, you are neither the consumer nor the product, simply raw material. The tech giants don't need your consumption, or even your attention: they make their money by selling products that predict your behavior based on the trails of data that you throw off as you go about your daily business online (and, increasingly -- with ubiquitous surveillance devices in the environment -- offline as well).

And once your behavior can be predicted, it can be changed. You are being hacked, Zuboff says, as the surveillance capitalists "nudge, tune, herd, manipulate, and modify behavior in specific directions by executing actions as subtle as inserting a specific phrase into your Facebook news feed, timing the appearance of a BUY button on your phone, or shutting down your car engine when an insurance payment is late."

Each new nudge-able behavior becomes a free asset for the taking, as opportunities are found to make money by controlling you. For example, insurance companies offer discounted premiums if you install a surveillance device in your car to monitor your good driving behavior. Once it's in there, in Zuboff's words, "the insurance company can set specific parameters for driving behavior. These can include anything from fastening the seat belt to rate of speed, idling times, braking and cornering, aggressive acceleration, harsh braking, excessive hours on the road, driving out of state, and entering a restricted area." Amazon's employees, called "athletes," wear monitored devices to push them to higher levels of productivity. We fear being replaced by robots: surveillance capitalists make us into the robots.

The stakes are as high as the level of control is microscopic. A new form of power, which Zuboff calls "instrumentarian," has arisen. Instrumentarian power would have you cede your privacy, your behavior, your free will, all to the profit imperatives of the tech giants. To maintain your individuality, Zuboff suggests, you are forced to "hide in your own life," trying to use encryption and privacy technology to get around the surveillance. But the story of WhatsApp suggests that they can find you if you try to use technology to hide: intended as an encrypted and secure platform for people to chat with one another in privacy, WhatsApp is now one of Facebook's flagship products. It's also the platform on which lynchings are organized in India and on which the fascist Jair Bolsonaro's election was coordinated in Brazil.

As you consciously try to minimize surveillance capitalism's control on your individual mind and life, a philosophical framework would come in handy. Computer scientist Cal Newport has set out such a framework in his book Digital Minimalism . Newport argues that social media tools delivered through smartphones can add value to a person's life, but not if used as directed. He asks readers to think carefully about exactly what value they are getting from engagement with these tools, and how we can get that value without the huge costs in time, energy, and emotion that we are currently paying. You can probably get the full value of Facebook from 20-40 minutes per week, he writes. All the other hours per day that you are spending are a voluntary gift of your attention and eyeballs to Facebook, which has figured out how to turn that attention into profit.

How to Defend Yourself Against Big Tech Manipulation

In the face of the old propaganda system, Noam Chomsky advocated a course of "intellectual self-defense." In the face of the new, supercharged, surveillance capitalist version, I'm advocating a course of "social self-defense." With help from Zuboff and Newport, here are four steps you can take to defend yourself against social media manipulation.

1. Join the Attention Resistance. If you are using social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and hoping to retain your autonomy, Newport writes, "it's crucial to understand that this is not a casual decision. You're instead waging a David and Goliath battle against institutions that are both impossibly rich and intent on using this wealth to stop you from winning." You will have to become a member of what Newport calls the attention resistance, "who combine high-tech tools with disciplined operating procedures to conduct surgical strikes on popular attention economy services -- dropping in to extract value, and then slipping away before the attention traps set by these companies can spring shut." Long live the resistance!

2. Minimize the Role of Devices in Your Life. Newport's tactical advice in this section is sound, and I won't rehash it all, but here are a few key points: remove social media from your phone and access it on a computer; "dumb down" your smartphone; try embracing "slow" media; turn watching Netflix into a social, not an individual activity.

3. Get Into Real Life. One way to "hide in your own life," as Zuboff suggests, is to embrace Newport's suggestions to take up "high-quality" leisure activities to crowd out the "low-quality" leisure that swiping and clicking on your phone represents. Don't use your phone until you've lost the dexterity to use your hands, like the medical students who now lack the dexterity to stitch patients . Do things that involve your hands. Go for walks; embrace conversation, which is a "high-bandwidth" activity and the only real way to maintain friendships (and yes, phone and video calling do count as conversations, though in-person is better).

4. Fight for a Better Digital World. Using your new practice interacting with real human beings in real life, join groups who are trying to get surveillance capitalism under control. The struggle to assert collective rights to privacy, to communication and information, will have to take a collective form. Perhaps it will be a struggle for regulation, to break up the tech monopolies and assert legal and democratic controls. Perhaps the communications infrastructure of societies shouldn't be in private hands at all, but should be nationalized (there was a time when economists believed that certain infrastructures were "natural monopolies" that should be government-owned and run).

Newport emphasizes social and civic activity in crowding out mindless phone use, and warns not to be turned off by normal group dynamics: "It's easy to get caught up in the annoyances or difficulties inherent in any gathering of individuals struggling to work toward a common goal. These obstacles provide a convenient excuse to avoid leaving the comfort of family and close friends, but it's worth pushing past these concerns." I know that I'm not the only activist who has gotten caught up in the "inherent annoyances and difficulties" of offline activism (i.e., endless meetings, dysfunctional group dynamics). And in those dark moments when we think of isolation as an alternative, our phones are there to offer us the lowest forms of socializing and the lowest simulations of activism, clicking "like" (which Newport advises us to never do) and retweeting, or "desperately checking for retweets of a clever quip." Don't do that stuff -- instead, join a real group and interact with people in real life.

There was a time decades ago when I was frustrated as an activist with groups who spent a lot of time talking and not enough time doing things (action being defined then mainly as street protests, or sometimes occupying things). I'm old enough to remember the criticism of "preaching to the choir," back when there was apparently a metaphorical equivalent of a choir who would sing together every week. These days, getting together and talking about politics in person, even just with like-minded people, would already be subversive. Let's talk. Because to work, the new tools of social self-defense must still be complemented by the old intellectual self-defense methods: talking and thinking with others, wide and critical reading, and taking conscious social action according to your principles.


The Rev Kev , September 25, 2019 at 7:28 am

One or two suggestions. Take a look at your mobile and start deleting all those apps that you do not use. Not so much for getting space back on your mobile but you can never be sure just what those apps are doing on your mobile or who they are reporting their findings too. If you don't need them, why are they there? Did they come pre-installed?
Another one. If you can get away with not using any of Google's offerings, perhaps it might be an idea to consider using a Huawei mobile. They are cheaper and appear to be as good as most mobiles but there is a point to consider. Will a Huawei mobile spy on you the same way that an Apple or an Android will? Absolutely! But they will not be in much of a position to monetize you as much as the later two companies will.

Carolinian , September 25, 2019 at 12:59 pm

If you are concerned about privacy you shouldn't be using smartphone at all or at least not one hooked to the web. They do make handy GPS navigators, cameras, music players.

Tom Pfotzer , September 25, 2019 at 8:49 am

Today's smart phone operating system (e.g. Android) is a crucial, strategic interface to today's human being. It's the point at which many of us connect to society at large.

It's like there's a toll-both outside your front door, and in order to enter and operate in society, you must first pay the toll every day, each and every time you participate.

I often wonder what it would take to write, via open-source project, a smart-phone operating system that would have a decent user interface, make and take phone calls, and have a few other basic functions, like web browser support, contacts management, calculator, so forth.

Canonical – the company that supports the Ubuntu derivative of Linux – tried this a while back. They wrote all the software, and then abandoned the project. They gave up because not enough people wanted to use it.

We may be approaching the time to re-visit that decision.

Would you want your phone to be running code that works for you, and defends your interests?

Arizona Slim , September 25, 2019 at 9:18 am

I sure would, Tom! Let's do this thing.

Who else is in?

ejf , September 25, 2019 at 11:03 am

Count me as well. The problem is walking the software into a phone, the hardware. The project would inevitably wind up with lots of DIY projects. With something like this, I'd have to run Ubuntu on my windows laptop, then install it into my project . A pain but doable.

James , September 25, 2019 at 11:57 am

I thought Android was open source except for the google apps and the google store – which both technically are not part of the OS. You could build a new "distribution", which is a whole lot easier than writing a whole new OS from scratch, but it is the apps that do most of the information gathering.

Anon , September 25, 2019 at 9:08 pm

An Android phone has Google software embedded into the OS. Some Google apps can be deleted, but others can only be "disabled". And then there are the "system background services" that cannot be turned off and send info to Google intermittently.

I use a Motorola Play (smartphone) with every possible app turned off. The phone is either off or in "airplane mode". I only carry it on my person if I think I'll absolutely need it; otherwise it's stays at home or in the car. Most of my communication is text (SMS) or email.

The reason to use a laptop more than your phone is the availability of more robust defense apps to keep one's activity in the "dark". (Excepting, of course, the NSA.)

lordkoos , September 25, 2019 at 12:13 pm

Since installing Linux Mint (variation of Ubuntu) on my laptop I'm all in for a Linux smart phone. People are still working on the project and I think at some point it could happen. I use an iphone and have almost everything turned off or deleted, but I do use some apps, such as podcasts, a guitar tuner, maps, etc. I never use the phone for social media.

People who are using Windows 10 really should check out Linux Mint, it's super easy to set up a dual boot on a Windows machine, or just try it live from a USB stick to see how you like it. I found the transition to Linux fairly easy, and I'm very happy with it.

Something called Kali Linux is available to run on Android phones but it appears to mostly be used for forensics and security testing, I don't know much about it.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Nexus-5-PWNIE-EXPRESS-PWN-PHONE-16GB-KALI-LINUX-MR-ROBOT/183806337760?hash=item2acbb622e0:g:fHUAAOSwgStbEX3Y

Robert Valiant , September 25, 2019 at 12:25 pm

Kali Linux is mostly used for hacking. "Penetration Testing" can be a euphemism for hacking. ;)

Did you know that Mozilla (FIrefox) once made a phone operating system? They couldn't make it happen, which was too bad. I had a Firefox OS phone; it sucked.

Good luck to Purism and enjoy your life in Linux Land – I've been there for 26 years!

Kurtismayfield , September 25, 2019 at 12:14 pm

It's not just the phone.

It's every hotspot/wifi device/cell tower

It's every POS.

It's most cars. (Since plate readers are everywhere).

Basically if I wanted a trackless system, I wouldn't use a credit card, a car, public transport, or a cell phone. I can't walk in a public place without being under video surveillance either. It's going to be impossible to roll back the clock on our entrenched surveillance system. You have to get people to ask the question:

What has all of this extra surveillance done for public safety?

The answer is next to nothing. Ask someone for direct examples of it. I can't think of one

Partyless Poster , September 25, 2019 at 10:47 am

How about not using social media? It still amazes me how many anti-corporate anti-establishment types will meet on a Facebook page.
Its like protesting against Starbucks by meeting up at a Starbucks.
It wasn't that long ago that people got by just fine with no social media, the fact that so many feel they cant live without it is pretty depressing.
You don't fight the beast by feeding it.

Mel , September 25, 2019 at 1:22 pm

It's tough. There's a Transition Town initiative starting up in the village, and they so far handle all their contacts through Facebook. Facebook seems to decline to talk to me unless I join. So I'll have to scramble to keep in touch face-to-face. (And they're findable on the events page at the library web site. So there is some good in them.)

Arizona Slim , September 25, 2019 at 4:25 pm

And I strongly recommend Rob Hopkins' Transition Handbook.

Tim , September 25, 2019 at 1:19 pm

We need a Consumer Protection Agency warning (much like the Surgeon General's warning on Tabacco products) placed in/on all advertisement that makes use of big data research to take advantage of people's innate weaknesses to get them to buy something.

It could read something like this:
CONSUMER PROTECTION AGENCY'S WARNING: This Advertisement was developed using "big data" and possibly even your own personal data to strongly persuade you to purchase something you may not otherwise desire to purchase.

It couldn't be that hard to regulate and implement.

xkeyscored , September 25, 2019 at 3:13 pm

It couldn't be that hard to regulate and implement? Who are you kidding? Every electoral candidate forced to issue a disclaimer before opening their mouth, every company and corporation admitting you may not need or want their products?
If they ever agreed to anything like your suggestion, it would become something like
We use the most advanced and cutting edge technology to ensure your needs are fulfilled.
which they would of course argue means exactly the same, just without the subversive anti-capitalist connotations.

sierra7 , September 25, 2019 at 3:31 pm

How about having businesses (anybody else also) pay you for using your personal data profiles??????
Seems we have the system backwards and the advertisers/businesses/politicians love it!
They profit and we are like automatons!!

shinola , September 25, 2019 at 1:20 pm

How about (horror of horrors!) not using that spying device called a "smart" phone? I don't carry one and I will not unless/until I'm absolutely forced to. Nor do I have a twitter, FB or any other social media account. I guess I should feel somehow left out – but I don't.

I find it rather amazing how so many people have been brainwashed into thinking they must be "connected" at all times. If you volunteer to be spied on, don't complain about being spied on.

xkeyscored , September 25, 2019 at 3:28 pm

You haven't been left out. Facebook probably has a hefty file on you anyway.
" This is how Facebook collects data on you even if you don't have an account " – Vox. Well worth a skim.
I've never tried getting in touch with FB to see or delete whatever they have on me, another non-user. Does anyone have any experience of this?

shinola , September 25, 2019 at 4:27 pm

I assume that there is some info. on me "out there" since most of my relatives do have FB accounts. I also assume I'm being tracked by someone/something just about anywhere I go on the 'net. I just don't voluntarily give it up & (hopefully) maintain a minimal "footprint".

(I seem to remember that Vox article – may have been linked here in NC)

DonCoyote , September 25, 2019 at 5:12 pm

I believe it was linked earlier.

Other things that can be done (to minimize): turn off the GPS on your smart phone, and prevent sharing that information with as many apps as possible (phone will still collect, from towers and what not) but preventing the sharing and logging helps. Also, use duckduckgo search engine (not google), which does not log and monetize your searches.

jfleni , September 25, 2019 at 5:39 pm

RE:
Big Tech 'Nudges' Our Behavior for Its Own Greed: Here's a 4-Step Social Media Self-Defense Class.

Avoid "Butt-Book" like the idiotic scam that it is; anybody can access "mailing lists with many hundreds or thousands of interesting and important topics; sign up and you can be heard over and over again; you will never need the permission of some "butt-book" moron to speak your piece.!!

[Sep 24, 2019] George Orwell fought in the Spanish Civil War during the 1930s and discovered that the true facts in Spain were radically different from what he had been led to believe by the British media of his day

Sep 24, 2019 | www.unz.com

Originally from: American Pravda Understanding World War II, by Ron Unz - The Unz Review

World War II ended nearly three generations ago, and few of its adult survivors still walk the earth. From one perspective the true facts of that conflict and whether or not they actually contradict our traditional beliefs might appear rather irrelevant. Tearing down the statues of some long-dead historical figures and replacing them with the statues of others hardly seems of much practical value.

But if we gradually conclude that the story that all of us have been told during our entire lifetimes is substantially false and perhaps largely inverted, the implications for our understanding of the world are enormous. Most of the surprising material presented here is hardly hidden or kept under lock-and-key. Nearly all the books are easily available at Amazon or even freely readable on the Internet, many of the authors have received critical and scholarly acclaim, and in some cases their works have sold in the millions.

Yet this important material has been almost entirely ignored or dismissed by the popular media that shapes the common beliefs of our society. So we must necessarily begin to wonder what other massive falsehoods may have been similarly promoted by that media, perhaps involving incidents of the recent past or even the present day. And those latter events do have enormous practical significance. As I pointed out several years ago in my original American Pravda article :

Aside from the evidence of our own senses, almost everything we know about the past or the news of today comes from bits of ink on paper or colored pixels on a screen, and fortunately over the last decade or two the growth of the Internet has vastly widened the range of information available to us in that latter category. Even if the overwhelming majority of the unorthodox claims provided by such non-traditional web-based sources is incorrect, at least there now exists the possibility of extracting vital nuggets of truth from vast mountains of falsehood.

We must also recognize that many of the fundamental ideas that dominate our present-day world were founded upon a particular understanding of that wartime history, and if there seems good reason to believe that narrative is substantially false, perhaps we should begin questioning the framework of beliefs erected upon it.

ORDER IT NOW

George Orwell fought in the Spanish Civil War during the 1930s and discovered that the true facts in Spain were radically different from what he had been led to believe by the British media of his day. In 1948 these past experiences together with the rapidly congealing "official history" of the Second World War may have been uppermost in his mind when he published his classic novel 1984, which famously declared that "Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past."


historicus , says: September 23, 2019 at 4:22 am GMT

Great article, thank you. The WWII legend is sacrosanct because it is the founding myth of the empire that replaced our republic, just as the Founders predicted would be the result of choosing sides in foreign conflicts. Is seems credible to think that FDR enabled Churchill's blood lust because encouraging the seriously weakened British empire to finish committing suicide by engaging in another ground war in Europe would clear the way for the US to finally replace the hated mother country as the world's great power- just as another faction of the Founders dreamed. The motto on our National Seal "Novus Ordo Seclorum" is quoted from Virgil's Eclogues, where it is the prophecy of the Cumaean Sybil that Rome was destined to rule the world.

Historian Murray Rothbard best described the impact of the war in this obituary he wrote for fellow popular historian Harry Elmer Barnes, "Our entry into World War II was the crucial act in foisting a permanent militarization upon the economy and society, in bringing to the country a permanent garrison state, an overweening military-industrial complex, a permanent system of conscription. It was the crucial act in expanding the United States from a republic into an Empire, and in spreading that Empire throughout the world, replacing the sagging British Empire in the process. It was the crucial act in creating a Mixed Economy run by Big Government, a system of State-Monopoly-Capitalism run by the central government in collaboration with Big Business and Big Unionism. It was the crucial act in elevating Presidential power, particularly in foreign affairs, to the role of single most despotic person in the history of the world. And, finally, World War II is the last war-myth left, the myth that the Old Left clings to in pure desperation: the myth that here, at least, was a good war, here was a war in which America was in the right. World War II is the war thrown into our faces by the war-making Establishment, as it tries, in each war that we face, to wrap itself in the mantle of good and righteous World War II."

Carlton Meyer , says: Website September 23, 2019 at 4:25 am GMT
For those who lack the time to read these books, or even this great essay, here is a 13-minute video summary. For those shocked by this information, return and read this entire essay, then the books if you still fail to understand that history has been distorted.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/lXHxiKDTHfU?feature=oembed

Carlton Meyer , says: Website September 23, 2019 at 5:02 am GMT
Mr Unz began with:

"Although Saddam Hussein clearly had no connection to the attacks, his status as a possible regional rival to Israel had established him as their top target, and they soon began beating the drums for war, with America finally launching its disastrous invasion in February 2003."

I agree that replacing a progressive Arab leader with an Anglo-American puppet government was an important factor, but the return of Iraqi oil fields to Anglo-American control was the main objective. Exxon-Mobil, Shell, Total, and British Petroleum are now the biggest producers of Iraqi oil.:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/z1Z5qUTFqew?feature=oembed

Franz , says: September 23, 2019 at 6:53 am GMT
Thank You to Mr. Unz for mentioning the long-forgotten hero of the America First Committee, John T. Flynn.

His biography, by Michele Stenehjem Gerber, is called An American First: John T. Flynn and the America First Committee and has not yet been banned on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/American-first-Flynn-America-Committee/dp/0870003399

Nonetheless I read it years ago, and it confirmed my suspicion that Lillian Gish, pioneering film actress, was on a blacklist of some sort, and indeed she was. And this was years before her name was removed from a college building here in Ohio. It is short, not hard to read, less a full biography of Flynn than an interesting look at that filthy period in US history when non-interventionists were slimed as "isolationists" and had their reputations ruined. Or at least dinged quite a bit.

From an Amazon review:

This book inspires the broadening of the America First discussion, making references to Lillian Gish, who proved she was blacklisted , Charlie Chaplin, whose The Great Dictator was itself attacked as propaganda, and the charges of anti-Semitism from some names not already researched, like Brooklyn Dodgers' president Larry MacPhail, S. H. Hauk, Laura Ingalls, and Wilhelm Kunze of the German-American Bund (but still no Walt Disney

mark green , says: September 23, 2019 at 7:13 am GMT
Riveting. Eye-opening. Brilliantly formulated. Ron Unz has tossed another reality grenade into the matrix of fabricated historiography.

On behalf of the millions of mangled, murdered and maligned victims who receive no pity and who have no voice- Thank you, Ron Unz.

Winter Watch , says: Website September 23, 2019 at 7:53 am GMT
William Langer's 'Newest History,' the OSS and the Frankfurt School (aka New School)

https://www.winterwatch.net/2019/09/william-langers-newest-history-the-oss-and-the-frankfurt-school-aka-new-school/

Germanicus , says: September 23, 2019 at 7:53 am GMT
An issue so often overlooked, yet it is known in precisely the media and politics circus. It is the masonic hand in the two wars.
Tom Welsh , says: September 23, 2019 at 9:04 am GMT
I went to Cambridge University in 1966 to study history. Two things I recall very distinctly: the powerful impression Taylor's books made on me; and the very subtle but unmistakable deprecation my tutors and lecturers applied to him and his work.

Taylor was certainly very talented, they said, but prone to "bees in his bonnet"; over-enthusiastic; sometimes unreliable.

Looking back, I can see how very effective this treatment was. As a rebellious and iconoclastic 18-year-old, if I had been told that Taylor was wicked and wrong and I must ignore his books, I would have hurried to study them deeply. But since I was cleverly informed that he was just mildly eccentric and prone to unjustified speculation, I neglected him in order to concentrate on the many other writers we had to read.

Mr McKenna , says: September 23, 2019 at 9:05 am GMT

Most of the surprising material presented here is hardly hidden or kept under lock-and-key. Nearly all the books are easily available at Amazon or even freely readable on the Internet, many of the authors have received critical and scholarly acclaim, and in some cases their works have sold in the millions. Yet this important material has been almost entirely ignored or dismissed by the popular media that shapes the common beliefs of our society. So we must necessarily begin to wonder what other massive falsehoods may have been similarly promoted by that media, perhaps involving incidents of the recent past or even the present day. And those latter events do have enormous practical significance.

Coincidentally enough, today the Guardian has published its own lengthy, soul-searching essay entitled, "Why can't we agree on what's true any more?"

Being the Guardian, of course, their prescription is that people should make a more sincere effort to support the Reporters of Truth, such as the Guardian. In their retrograde Left vs Right world, it's still up to the 'goodthinkers' to preserve our liberties from the Boris Johnsons and Donald Trumps of the world. Never in a million years would they entertain the possibility that Johnsons and Trumps come about because the Establishment–most certainly including its MSM lackeys–is corrupt to its core.

As the Washington Post has it, "Democracy Dies in Darkness" -- neglecting to add, "We supply the Darkness."

Nick Kollerstrom , says: September 23, 2019 at 9:20 am GMT
Wonderful stuff, Mr Unz.
For a short, easy to read account of this topic, see my How Britain Initiated both world wars .
http://www.amazon.com/Britain-Initiated-both-World-Wars/dp/1530993180
Flint Clint , says: September 23, 2019 at 10:32 am GMT
Simply magnificent. Simply infuriating.

It's bone chilling to read this.

It must be an enormous burden for Mr Unz to possess this knowledge.

It feels demoralising to simply be the recipient of it – knowing full well the price of telling the truth, even now, even today.

onebornfree , says: Website September 23, 2019 at 12:50 pm GMT
So now, instead of now [erroneously] believing, as we were all , er, "taught", that the allies were the good guys of WW2, and that the Japs and Germans were the bad guys, we are now supposed to believe the exact opposite, right, Mr Unz ? Jap and German governments now"good"- WW2 allies governments now "bad"?

Reality fact: before, during and after WW2 and all the way up to this present moment in time, the US, Soviet, French , Polish, Brit [etc. etc. ad infinitum] governments lied; the German government lied, the Jap government lied. They ALL lied [and lie]!

Reality fact: It [lying] is what all governments everywhere all do – , all of the time!

Reality fact: It's what they _must_ do to maintain power over their slave populations [ see the Bernays quote below].

Regarding the fundamental nature of all governments, past, present, or future – this "just" in :

"Because they are all ultimately funded via both direct and indirect theft [taxes], and counterfeiting [via central bank monopolies], all governments are essentially, at their very cores, 100% corrupt criminal scams which cannot be "reformed","improved", nor "limited" in scope, simply because of their innate criminal nature." onebornfree

" The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of." Edward Bernays
http://www.voltairenet.org/IMG/pdf/Bernays_Propaganda_in_english_.pdf

"The receptivity of the masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan." ~ Adolf Hitler

"My first rule- I don't believe anything the government tells me- nothing!- ZERO!" George Carlin

Regards, onebornfree

George F. Held , says: September 23, 2019 at 1:24 pm GMT
To get the low-down on the two world wars, read Gerd Schultze-Rhonhof's 1939 – The War That Had Many Fathers: The Long Run-Up to the Second World War which I translated.
https://www.amazon.com/1939-War-That-Many-Fathers/dp/144668623X
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11448682-1939 -- the-war-that-had-many-fathers
Johnny Walker Read , says: September 23, 2019 at 1:24 pm GMT
@Tom67 Thank God we American's were pillars morality. LOL

Hitler proudly told his comrades just how closely he followed the progress of the American eugenics movement. "I have studied with great interest," he told a fellow Nazi, "the laws of several American states concerning prevention of reproduction by people whose progeny would, in all probability, be of no value or be injurious to the racial stock."

Hitler even wrote a fan letter to American eugenic leader Madison Grant calling his race-based eugenics book, The Passing of the Great Race his "bible."

https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/1796

[Sep 23, 2019] Snowden: "I would like to return to the US"

Sep 23, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star September 16, 2019 at 1:32 pm

Snowden on CBS this morning worth watching .

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/edward-snowden-wants-to-come-home-but-says-u-s-wont-give-him-a-fair-trial/

Like Like

Jen September 16, 2019 at 5:57 pm
Taco Bell, please open an outlet in Moscow or near where Ed Snowden lives to keep him happy and stop him from getting homesick!

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Moscow Exile September 16, 2019 at 10:57 pm
Snowden: "I would like to return to the US"
Mark Chapman September 16, 2019 at 11:06 pm
I don't see how he could have handled it better. He was polite and well-spoken, never flustered or defensive, and the talking heads tumbled over one another in their eagerness to be properly judgmental, to talk over him and recite their own talking points, and ended up looking like buffoons. He will be a tough nut to crack, and so far the American regime has done nothing to convince ordinary people that he is a cowardly traitor. Putting him on television only makes him look more heroic.

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Moscow Exile September 17, 2019 at 1:29 am
Typical Yankee judgementalism:

Snowdon: "Russia has, shall we say, a problematic human rights record -- at a minimum "

Never had no negro slavery, though, did it, Edward?

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Moscow Exile September 17, 2019 at 1:31 am
"That's if we're being generous" ???

Who?

The USA????

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Moscow Exile September 17, 2019 at 1:43 am
And a US "talking" head, in reply to Snowdon's belief that he would not get a fair trial in the USA (a US human rights issue, is that not, Mr.Snowdon?) says that criminals and alleged criminals do not customarily get to determine the terms of their trial: they broke the law and they face the consequences "

Guilty before proven innocent?

Presumption of innocence: an international human right under the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 11.

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Mark Chapman September 17, 2019 at 6:59 am
An excellent point I wish he had immediately made.

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Mark Chapman September 17, 2019 at 7:06 am
Nor, to the best of my recollection, did it have an Abu Ghraib. The United States actually has a pretty shitty human-rights record if you consider it from the viewpoint of how it treas others than Americans, and – going further back – only white Americans. The west always tries to factor in the Holodomor, too, how Russia deliberately starved the Ukrainians to death, as an example of their horrible human rights record.

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yalensis September 17, 2019 at 1:10 pm
I cringed at that one too. But I forgive Edward, because I think he was trying to make a tactical debating point, namely:

I am not a Russia stooge, I have my criticisms of the Russian regime yada yada, and I agree with you talking heads that their human rights record is not well received in the West. And yet they scored a human-rights trifecta when they let me in, when not one single "democracy" would defend me or give me asylum.

In other words, he would concede, for argumentation purposes, that Russia is bad, only to stick it to them that Russia did well by him and scored propaganda points against the West. It's a particular debating tactic, whose Latin name I cannot recall.

Unfortunately, Edward never got to finish his point, because those bitches cut him off before he could even get to the punchline.

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Northern Star September 17, 2019 at 3:18 pm
Ahhh I see you will need more intense beatings at the cultural reeducation camp in consideration of your continued use of the 'negro' word.

However one should ignore Gayle she's a black moron, one of the TV progeny of the uber fat whale 'O'.

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Moscow Exile September 19, 2019 at 8:20 pm
Is it "wrong" to say "negro" now?

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[Sep 22, 2019] Snowden says he married his girlfriend Lindsay Mills in Russia -- Guardian

US authorities usually do not allow such staff for people why really want to hurt. They couple easily put his girlfriend on "nofly" list, if they wanted.
Sep 22, 2019 | tass.com

In the interview, timed to coincide with the release of his book titled Permanent Record, Snowden said he and Mills, who later moved to him in Russia, married two years ago at a private ceremony ... ... ... One of world's most beautiful countries

According to Snowden, people in the West often have no information about the beauty of Russian nature and hospitality of Russians.

"I've been to St. Petersburg, I've been to Sochi. I love travelling and I still do, even though I can't cross borders now," he said.

"One of the things that is lost in all the problematic politics of the Russian government is the fact this is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. The people are friendly. The people are warm," he continued. "And when I came here I did not understand any of this. I was terrified of this place because, of course, they were the great fortress of the enemy, which is the way a CIA agent looks at Russia."

According to Snowden, "What people don't realize about Russia is that basically you can get all the same things you can get in the United States." "The only thing they don't have in Russia is Taco Bell," he added.

He said it was never his plan to reside in Russia, but, "with time, with open eyes you can see that our presumptions of a place are almost always different from the reality."

Noble cause

According to Snowden, his book was intended not only to inform reader of his life in the US and Russia, but also to draw attention to serious challenges the modern society is now facing.

"We have moved into a time where people care much more deeply about feelings than they do about facts. And this is a dangerous moment for democracy, because people believe that once we have achieved and established a free and open society it will remain that way, it will always be there. But the reality is: things can backslide very quickly," Snowden said when asked how dangerous, in his opinion, Trump's rise to power was.

The whistleblower believes that people should be informed of infringements on their freedom and of acute problems, such as climate change or advanced mass surveillance technologies used by various governments.

"We need people to recognize these problems, to understand these problems and then to be willing to give something up to change that problem," he said. "But it's not enough to believe in something. You have to be ready to stand for something if you want it to change. And so that is what I hope this book will help people come to decide for themselves: are you ready to this change."

Snowden's case

In June 2013, Snowden leaked classified information to journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, which revealed global surveillance programs run by US and British intelligence agencies. He explained the move by saying that he wanted to tell the world the truth because he believed such large-scale surveillance on innocent citizens was unacceptable and the public needed to know about it.

The Guardian and The Washington Post published the first documents concerning the US intelligence agencies' spying on Internet users on June 6, 2013. According to the documents, major phone companies, including Verizon, AT&T and Sprint Nextel, handed records of their customers' phone conversations over to the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who also had direct access to the servers of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Skype, YouTube, Paltalk, AOL and Apple. In addition, Snowden's revelations showed that a secret program named PRISM was aimed at collecting audio and video recordings, photos, emails and information about users' connections to various websites.

After leaking classified information, Snowden flew to Hong Kong and then to Moscow, arriving in Russia on June 23, 2013. He applied for political asylum to more than 20 countries while staying in the transit zone at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport. On July 16, he applied for a temporary asylum in Russia, accepting Moscow's condition to refrain from activities aimed against the US.

The NSA and the Pentagon claim that Snowden stole about 1.7 mln classified documents concerning the activities of US intelligence services and US military operations. He is charged with theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person. He is facing up to ten years in prison on each charge.

[Sep 22, 2019] The Snowden Conundrum by Yvonne Lorenzo

Highly recommended!
This article raises serious questions about Snowden's authenticity. Although the level of damage he has done make suggestion that he is apart of CIA operation against NSA much less plausible. He did some damage by publicizing operations like Prism. No question about it.
And it is diffuclt to treat Snowden like another variation of Lee Harvey Oswald defection to the USSR.
But it is true that several steps that he took after supposed exfiltration of the documents were highly suspicious: As author pointed out WaPo and Guardian are essentially intelligence agencies controlled outlets, so there is no chance that publication can't be completely blocked.
Another good point is that in any large corporation there is system of logs and they suppoedly are analysed, althout the level of qualification in doing so varies greatly.
And if reports are created automatically that not not mean that they are ver read. Another valid point is that even if you are system administrator, you have great powers over all your users. But at the same time your power is compartmentalized: you have access only to few selected computer that constitute the set of servers you manage. And you usually access then via special jumpserver, which logs everything you do. In no way you have access to any server and any database in the organization; you might not even know that some servers exist. Actually access to critical databases is very tightly controlled.
The author also pointed to an interesting question about difficulties of exfiltration of data on encrypted Windows computers. I think that copy to the UCB drive from encrypted drive to SD or USB drive might still be permitted for sysadmins, as it might be required for some operations. But SD accepted might be special, issued by NSA, not retai and they should be accounted for. Still the point that Yvonne Lorenzo raised is very interesting: how you bypass existing protections on you computer to copy information of SD card ?
On another issue, why did Snowden provide his files to known house organs of Intelligence Agencies, specifically the Washington Post and The Guardian, and not give them to Wikileaks?
Notable quotes:
"... How many reading my words work at a large entity, not necessarily government, let us say a Fortune 1000 or higher? Do you have the ability to copy data unimpeded onto any external device? Can you surf the Internet at will? Or is everything you do on the computer network under constant, real-time scrutiny? ..."
"... Edward Snowden would have us believe that the Eye of Sauron didn't notice he was looking at gigabytes of data unrelated to his job function and using his computer to copy the data to external devices over a lengthy period of time. Are his supporters alleging he is so clever he could disappear from the "Eye of Sauron's" view and be unnoticed? If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you in Crimea. ZeroHedge reported " IRS Agent Charged In Leak Of Michael Cohen Transactions To Michael Avenatti ." ..."
"... However, don't believe it takes nine months to identify such an unauthorized intrusion. Don't think every keystroke isn't monitored in real-time. So my question is: would the NSA, which has much more sensitive data (especially compromising information on the governing class) than tax returns and financial transactions have inferior capabilities than the IRS as to maintaining data security? Are we to believe the NSA lacks a "digital trail" when it comes to classified documents? ..."
"... On another issue, why did Snowden provide his files to known house organs of Intelligence Agencies, specifically the Washington Post and The Guardian, and not give them to Wikileaks to allow a publicly available searchable database? ..."
"... While other outlets -- such as the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post and the New York Times -- also possess much (though not all) of the archive, the Intercept was the only outlet with the (full) archive that had continued to publish documents, albeit at a remarkably slow pace, in recent years. In total, fewer than 10 percent of the Snowden documents have been published since 2013. Thus, the closing of the publication's Snowden archive will likely mean the end of any future publications, unless Greenwald's promise of finding "the right partner that has the funds to robustly publish" is fulfilled ..."
"... Do you believe Putin's intelligence agencies don't communicate to him how Washington "organized crime" really operates, as Whitney Webb has disclosed, now on the pages of Unz.com ? What difference does any compromised President make to the policies and goals of the occupational government of the United States (obvious to any reader of this and similar websites)? ..."
"... Why is an alleged humanitarian such a Russophobe? ..."
"... Has Snowden ever challenged the September 11 narrative, ludicrous as it is, and him being an "engineer?" ..."
"... STO equals Special Technical Operations It's highly unlikely Mr. Snowden had any access to these. ..."
"... ECI = Exceptionally Controlled Information. I do not believe Mr. Snowden had any access to these ECI controlled networks). VRK = Very Restricted Knowledge. I do not believe Mr. Snowden had any access to these VRK controlled networks. ..."
"... So what they did, is they took a few documents and they downgraded [he classification level of the documents] – just a few – and gave them to them to placate this basic whitewash investigation. ..."
"... Journalist Margie Burns asked some good questions back in June that have not yet been answered. She wondered about the 29-year old Snowden who had been a U.S. Army Special Forces recruit, a covert CIA operative, and an NSA employee in various capacities, all in just a few, short years. Burns asked "How, exactly, did Snowden get his series of NSA jobs? Did he apply through regular channels? Was it through someone he knew? Who recommended him? Who were his references for a string of six-figure, high-level security jobs? Are there any safeguards in place so that red flags go up when a subcontractor jumps from job to job, especially in high-level clearance positions?" ..."
"... In December, whistleblower Sibel Edmonds broke the news that Omidyar's Paypal Corporation was implicated in the as-yet-unreleased NSA documents from Snowden. Moreover, Edmonds had allegedly been contacted by an NSA official who alleged that "a deal was made in early June, 2013 between the journalists involved in this recent NSA scandal and U.S. government officials, which was then sealed by secrecy and nondisclosure agreements by all parties involved." ..."
"... No, no one is accusing Wikileaks of conspiring with Russia, just Robert Mueller. I really appreciate Snowden calling Julian Assange a liar, for he has consistently denied there was a "state actor." ..."
"... "Terrorism is a real problem" Snowden said. Is it credible that Snowden, who presented himself as donating funds to Ron Paul, has never read any alternative news sites? Is it credible that Snowden believes that terrorists and this would include the good "moderate terrorists" in Syria are armed and act on their own initiative, and is ignorant of the role of the governments of America, Israel, and Saudi Arabia in using them to achieve their ends as proxy armies? ..."
"... Does Snowden then think this report, " America Created Al-Qaeda and the ISIS Terror Group" is false? Does that mindset make Snowden a champion for liberty or a tool for more control of the American population? For example, is it credible that this alleged genius supports the narrative of the September 11 attacks World Trade Center attacks? ..."
"... Tor lists on its own website sponsors that include Google, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, ONR via Naval Research Laboratory (past sponsor) and DARPA. ..."
"... Perhaps Snowden is only a Soros and Hillary Clinton supporting liberal -- but then why would he have done what he did? His character is of any government employee of the "surface state" who swallows false narratives whole. ..."
"... The logging of user and information accessed is sure added to the file. But real time supervision? No. A eye of sauron? Please. The system isnt there to prevent crime, its to track down the criminal and deeds later. And yes everything takes a very long time on the public side. ..."
"... 'Edward Snowden' who first 'leaked' to the CIA's Washington Post, in fact to Bush VP Dick Cheney's biographer Bart Gellman then the Deep State realised that was too stupid, so they switched to Rothschild employee & ex-gay-pornography-seller Glenn Greenwald, former proprietor of 'hairystuds', at the Guardian, an intel-agency rag which lies about nearly everything ..."
"... NeonRevolt once floated the theory that Snowden was an FBI or CIA plant who whistleblew solely because he had the mission to undermine NSA operations by exposing their equipment/techniques and turning public opinion against them. ..."
"... inter-service rivalry and sabotage between spy agencies is absolutely a thing, and reviewing the inconsistencies of Snowden's stunt, its aftermath, and his personal views with that potential background in mind suddenly makes things make much more sense, in my mind at least. ..."
"... If we accept the later, that he's a plant, then it raises a further question: was the short term loss, associated with his revelations, ie highlighting the utterly disturbing degree of Gov surveillance over US citizens (etc) worth the long term profit of having an established, authoritive psy-op's agent able to influence/distort etc any debate or narrative concerning the US State /elites. On this side the author notes Snowmen's views on Tor, 9/11, Russia etc which clearly advantage the US State's own views on these subjects. ..."
"... Consider that nothing Snowden revealed was news. It was all old hat for anyone who'd been paying attention, and for up to ten years. Sure Snowden made it mainstream for what good it did but nothing he said was a secret anymore. In fact, I thought even at the time his actions were nothing less than a 'threat and warning' from the intel services that they had this much on everyone. Just imagine all those national leaders, politicians from all states being pout on notice. All your secrets are ours! What a powerful global message to deliver and in such a loud and clear fashion. ..."
"... The lack of deviation from official bullshit on 9/11 is on its own however reason enough to toss this guy out. ..."
"... To my mind "9/11, attitude to", is a sort of touch-stone for telling genuine dissidents from fake and both Snowden and Assange fail on that test ..."
"... Snowden is not a classic defector so it makes sense for him to keep his distance from Russian society so as not to be inadvertently compromised or used by their intelligence services. He's obviously under surveillance there, I know we all are but he's much more aware of it, so that doesn't make it easy for him but he's definitely safer there than he'd be in France or Germany. I just don't think he planned well ahead when he became a whistle-blower or was clear about what he was trying to achieve. He's not the top level type of spy we're accustomed to reading about who betray their country for money or to serve another they believe in more than their own. If he has been on active duty as a CIA asset all along I can't see that he has achieved much of use to them other than in some inter-agency rivalry game. But it's natural for Russians to be suspicious of him – they're suspicious by nature – and rightly so, but it doesn't make his life easy there. ..."
"... 9/11 is the "litmus test" and it appears that both Assange and Snowden have failed it. ..."
"... Snowden keeping "distance" to Russia, and not openly defending them seems reasonable to me. You can imagine the smear campaign back home if he would side with Russia against the U.S. on almost anything. "The Russians got to him" or "He was always their man". ..."
"... He is trying to keep his neutrality and credibility and his target audience isn't the average Unz reader, but rather some mainstream educated middle/upper class blokes. Easily scared away from his views if they become too controversial and too far from the established narrative. ..."
"... If I had been in the position like 'Snowden', after first having been granted asylum, my priority would have been to study the language. I would gtuess that he can order food or drink, do basic greetings, and not much else. ..."
"... I agree. Shilling for the Israelis regarding 911 is a deal breaker for me. They had me going about these 2 guys for a while, but when I heard that they had ridiculed 911 truthers I smelled a rat. And after this article I agree they are shills for the status quo. Reasonable people can not doubt that 911 was a false flag operation. There's just too much bullshit there. ..."
"... I think the idea Snowden is a "plant" is a bit far out there. If he is; the real purpose of the exercise is what exactly? ..."
"... I also don't get why some commenters think Julian Assange isn't who he claims to be. His Wikileaks has published great volume of highly embarrassing material for the U.S. The embassy cables come to mind – bringing to light evidence contrary to Washington narrative on many events. ..."
"... There is another thing; Just after he established Wikileaks he came to Iceland and met with journalists and few politicians. The result from that visit was he met one Kristinn Hrafnsson, long time journalist in Iceland with excellent track record and credibility. Since Assange got in trouble, accused of sexual harassment from Swedish woman and finally escaped into the Ecuador embassy in London, Hrafnsson has been spokesman for Wikileaks. ..."
"... "It all comes down to 9/11.Everything that has happened has happened based on a lie . Everyone in Government ; everyone in the media , in entertainment , in organized religion , in the public ,in the public eye who accepts and promotes the official story is either a traitor or a tool . Everyone who does not stand forth and speak truth to power is a coward , a liar and complicit in mass-murder . Everyone everywhere can be measured by this Litmus Test ." ..."
Sep 22, 2019 | www.unz.com

Have you ever had the pleasure of dealing with an agent of the Federal government? For example, have you been audited by the IRS? Did you notice what the "Agent" does to gain access to his (or her) computer -- by inserting a "Smart ID" into a slot? Did you ask how your personal information is protected from disclosure or theft? What is to prevent the Agent from copying files to a thumb drive and taking them home?

Regarding the Smart ID, the "HSPD-12" is discussed in this publicly available article ; please note the following:

HSPD-12, FIPS 201 and the PIV Card

Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12), issued by President George W. Bush on August 27, 2004, mandated the establishment of a standard for identification of Federal government employees and contractors. HSPD-12 requires the use of a common identification credential for both logical and physical access to federally controlled facilities and information systems. The Department of Commerce and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) were tasked with producing a standard for secure and reliable forms of identification. In response, NIST published Federal Information Processing Standard Publication 201 (FIPS 201), Personal Identity Verification (PIV) of Federal Employees and Contractors, issued on February 25, 2005, and a number of special publications that provide more detail on the implementation of the standard.

Both Federal agencies and enterprises have implemented FIPS 201-compliant ID programs and have issued PIV cards. The FIPS 201 PIV card is a smart card with both contact and contactless interfaces that is now being issued to all Federal employees and contractors

Additional information about FIPS 201 can be found on the Government Identity/Credentialing Resources page, from NIST, and from the Secure Technology Alliance Access Control Council.

If you engage the IRS employee in conversation, remembering the adage you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, you'll learn the computer cannot be compromised -- all data on the device are encrypted; the only access to it is via the Smart ID. Data can be copied to an external "thumb drive" but everything copied will be encrypted; any file on that thumb drive is only readable by that specific device. Wouldn't this be true of NSA devices as well? Why does Snowden never discuss dealing with such encryption: how would it be possible?

In the Oliver Stone movie Snowden , as well as in any of Snowden's descriptions of how he accessed the NSA computers, did you note either the depiction or reference to this universal Smart ID? How could Snowden be exempt from its requirement? Why wasn't its use, which is public knowledge, shown or discussed? Per the above, the Smart ID is deployed in all government agencies: there are no exceptions. And while the financial portion (think of all those Goldman Sachs alumni at the U.S. Department of the Treasury) is likely the most powerful part of the financial-military-industrial-media-congressional complex that is the central power of the federal government, do you think that IRS systems are different and superior in security to what was employed by a contractor working for Booze-Allen Hamilton at the NSA?

How many reading my words work at a large entity, not necessarily government, let us say a Fortune 1000 or higher? Do you have the ability to copy data unimpeded onto any external device? Can you surf the Internet at will? Or is everything you do on the computer network under constant, real-time scrutiny?

Did Edward Snowden, who has publicly criticized Google, mention Google is deployed as a search engine throughout the federal "intranet"? And can he catch a link to the Washington Post on the NSA homepage too? Or would he testify and can it be verified that NSA does not use Google (for example to obtain the PowerPoint he revealed) for searching for internal documents and procedures? Can anyone reading my words answer the questions I've posed so far and answer accurately and honestly with confirmatory evidence?

Edward Snowden would have us believe that the Eye of Sauron didn't notice he was looking at gigabytes of data unrelated to his job function and using his computer to copy the data to external devices over a lengthy period of time. Are his supporters alleging he is so clever he could disappear from the "Eye of Sauron's" view and be unnoticed? If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you in Crimea. ZeroHedge reported " IRS Agent Charged In Leak Of Michael Cohen Transactions To Michael Avenatti ." From the article:

John C. Fry, an analyst in the San Francisco IRS office who had worked for the agency since 2008, was charged with disclosing Cohen's Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) – nine months after we reported that it wouldn't be difficult to track down the leaker due to a digital trail left behind from accessing the system.

However, don't believe it takes nine months to identify such an unauthorized intrusion. Don't think every keystroke isn't monitored in real-time. So my question is: would the NSA, which has much more sensitive data (especially compromising information on the governing class) than tax returns and financial transactions have inferior capabilities than the IRS as to maintaining data security? Are we to believe the NSA lacks a "digital trail" when it comes to classified documents?

On another issue, why did Snowden provide his files to known house organs of Intelligence Agencies, specifically the Washington Post and The Guardian, and not give them to Wikileaks to allow a publicly available searchable database? As Roger Stone has noted, the odious Nixon was taken down principally by the CIA media front The Washington Post because he sought detente with Russia and another presidential assassination would have been too obvious. Notice the situation regarding the Snowden treasure trove as investigative journalist Whitney Webb writes about it here: " Silencing the Whistle: The Intercept Shutters Snowden Archive, Citing Cost ."

According to a timeline of events written by Poitras that was shared and published by journalist and former Intercept columnist Barrett Brown, both Scahill and Greenwald were intimately involved in the decision to close the Snowden archive.

While other outlets -- such as the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post and the New York Times -- also possess much (though not all) of the archive, the Intercept was the only outlet with the (full) archive that had continued to publish documents, albeit at a remarkably slow pace, in recent years. In total, fewer than 10 percent of the Snowden documents have been published since 2013. Thus, the closing of the publication's Snowden archive will likely mean the end of any future publications, unless Greenwald's promise of finding "the right partner that has the funds to robustly publish" is fulfilled

Yet, as Poitras pointed out, the research department accounted for a minuscule 1.5 percent of First Look Media's budget. Greenwald's claim that the archive was shuttered owing to its high cost to the company is also greatly undermined by the fact that he, along with several other Intercept employees -- Reed and Scahill among them -- receive massive salaries that dwarf those of journalists working for similar nonprofit publications.

Greenwald, for instance, received $1.6 million from First Look Media, of which Omidyar is the sole shareholder, from 2014 to 2017. His yearly salary peaked in 2015, when he made over $518,000. Reed and Scahill both earn well over $300,000 annually from First Look. According to journalist Mark Ames, Scahill made over $43,000 per article at the Intercept in 2014. Other writers at the site, by comparison, have a base salary of $50,000, which itself is higher than the national average for journalists.

And what about Snowden himself, the pontificator, the man who can speak on television or to the media with evidence of training? Practice yourself -- see how well you can answer questions and speak publicly to a TV camera. How did he get his training? Who trained him? Why? How is it that the legacy media, which applauds the slow, painful execution of Julian Assange , be in rapture over Snowden's new book tour and provide ample coverage? Is Assange being murdered in part to prevent his providing exculpatory evidence that Russia never hacked the DNC and it was a leak?

I have provided two videos below for the reader to consider and compare.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/F7J2DdiXM9Q?feature=oembed

https://www.youtube.com/embed/O4nFGOEeSP0?feature=oembed

Look at how Bill Binney, a true techno-nerd speaks and compare the difference between him with the polished interviews given by Snowden who borders on pomposity. Also, to his favor Binney is doing his best to debunk the Russia hacking narrative of the DNC; Snowden makes his thoughts about Russia and Russians clear in his latest interview with Der Spiegel promoting his new book about himself:

DER SPIEGEL: Do you have Russian friends?

Snowden: I try to keep a distance between myself and Russian society, and this is completely intentional. I live my life with basically the English-speaking community. I'm the president of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. And, you know, I'm an indoor cat. It doesn't matter where I am -- Moscow, Berlin, New York -- as long as I have a screen to look into.

DER SPIEGEL: Western authorities accuse the Russian government on a regular basis of being one of the biggest disrupters in the digital world. Are they right?

Snowden: Russia is responsible for a lot of negative activity in the world, you can say that right and fairly. Did Russia interfere with elections? Almost certainly. But do the United States interfere in elections? Of course. They've been doing it for the last 50 years. Any country bigger than Iceland is going to interfere in every crucial election, and they're going to deny it every time, because this is what intelligence services do. This is explicitly why covert operations and influence divisions are created, and their purpose as an instrument of national power is to ask: How can we influence the world in a direction that improves our standing relative to all the other countries?

I am pleased to have played a small role in getting Stephen F. Cohen's work published on Unz.com. He and others have effectively debunked Russian involvement in the manipulation of America elections and the conclusions of the Mueller report. To paraphrase a point Professor Cohen made in his most recent article posted here, which is simply common sense: We are to believe Trump is Putin's puppet yet Putin simultaneously encouraged the preparation of a dossier to destroy him. Does that make sense to any one with half a brain? Do you believe Putin's intelligence agencies don't communicate to him how Washington "organized crime" really operates, as Whitney Webb has disclosed, now on the pages of Unz.com ? What difference does any compromised President make to the policies and goals of the occupational government of the United States (obvious to any reader of this and similar websites)?

Do you notice how Snowden never challenges any government narrative, whether it's on Russia as a villain, and not as a victim of war initiated by Washington? Why is an alleged humanitarian such a Russophobe? Is this how he repays the nation that granted him asylum? Has he only compassion in the abstract, and is a genius but too stupid to consider the consequences of America going to war with Russia and in fact exacerbating the tension by his false and inflammatory statements about Russian conduct in the 2016 elections, for which there are no facts and evidence?

And then there's the destruction of the World Trade Center buildings. Of course Snowden at NSA had no access to information on how and why it was done, but as Dmitri Orlov has written:

I suppose I am a "conspiracy theorist" too. Whenever I write something that questions the veracity of some official narrative, someone (probably a troll) pops up and asks me what I think of 9/11. Here is what I typically reply:

I totally believe that it was possible to knock down three steel-framed buildings using two flying aluminum cans loaded with kerosene, luggage and meat. I have proven that this is possible by throwing two beer cans at three chain-link fences. All three fences were instantly swallowed up by holes in the ground that mysteriously opened up right under them and in which they were instantaneously incinerated into fine oxide powder that coated the entire neighborhood. Anybody who does not believe my experimental results is obviously a tin-foil-hat crackpot conspiracy theorist.

Lots of people read this and ran away bleating; a few people bust a gut laughing because this is (trust me on this!) actually quite funny. Some people took offense at someone ridiculing an event in which thousands of people died. (To protect their tender sensibilities they should consider emigrating to a country that isn't run by a bunch of war criminals.)

But if you do see the humor in this, then you may be up to the challenge, which is to pull out a useful signal (a typical experimentalist's task) out of a mess of unreliable and contradictory data. Only then would you be in a position to persuasively argue -- not prove, mind you! -- that the official story is complete and utter bullshit.

Note that everything beyond that point, such as arguing what "the real story" is, is strictly off-limits. If you move beyond that point you open yourself up to well-organized, well-funded debunking. But if all you produce is a very large and imposing question mark, then the only way to attack it is by producing certainty -- a very tall order! In conspiracy theory, as in guerrilla warfare, you don't have to win. You just have to not lose long enough for the enemy to give up.

Has Snowden ever challenged the September 11 narrative, ludicrous as it is, and him being an "engineer?" And this last point is the reason I'm writing these words: I don't have to come up with the "real story" on who Edward Snowden is and what his true motives are. I am asking questions that point out the discrepancies in Snowden's statements and conduct and his alleged sanctity. In this article, " EXCLUSIVE REPORT: NSA Whistleblower: Snowden Never Had Access to the JUICIEST Documents Far More Damning "

WASHINGTON'S BLOG: Glenn Greenwald – supposedly, in the next couple of days or weeks – is going to disclose, based on NSA documents leaked by Snowden, that the NSA is spying on all sorts of normal Americans and that the spying is really to crush dissent. [Background here, here and here.]

Does Snowden even have documents which contain the information which you've seen?

RUSSELL TICE: The answer is no.

WASHINGTON'S BLOG: So you saw handwritten notes. And what Snowden was seeing were electronic files ?

RUSSELL TICE: Think of it this way. Remember I told you about the NSA doing everything they could to make sure that the information from 40 years ago – from spying on Frank Church and Lord knows how many other Congressman that they were spying on – was hidden?

Now do you think they're going to put that information into PowerPoint slides that are easy to explain to everybody what they're doing?

They would not even put their own NSA designators on the reports [so that no one would know that] it came from the NSA. They made the reports look like they were Humint (human intelligence) reports. They did it to hide the fact that they were NSA and they were doing the collection. That's 40 years ago. [The NSA and other agencies are still doing "parallel construction", "laundering" information to hide the fact that the information is actually from mass NSA surveillance.]

Now, what NSA is doing right now is that they're taking the information and they're putting it in a much higher security level. It's called "ECI" – Exceptionally Controlled Information – and it's called the black program which I was a specialist in, by the way.

I specialized in black world – DOD and IC (Intelligence Community) – programs, operations and missions in "VRKs", "ECIs", and "SAPs", "STOs". SAP equals Special Access Program. It's highly unlikely Mr. Snowden had any access to these. STO equals Special Technical Operations It's highly unlikely Mr. Snowden had any access to these.

Now in that world – the ECI/VRK world – everything in that system is classified at a higher level and it has its own computer systems that house it. It's totally separate than the system which Mr. Snowden was privy to, which was called the "JWICS": Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System. The JWICS system is what everybody at NSA has access to. Mr Snowden had Sys Admin [systems administrator] authority for the JWICS.

And you still have to have TS/SCI clearance [i.e. Top Secret/ Sensitive Compartmented Information – also known as "code word" – clearance] to get on the JWICS. But the ECI/VRK systems are much higher [levels of special compartmentalized clearance] than the JWICS. And you have to be in the black world to get that [clearance].

ECI = Exceptionally Controlled Information. I do not believe Mr. Snowden had any access to these ECI controlled networks). VRK = Very Restricted Knowledge. I do not believe Mr. Snowden had any access to these VRK controlled networks.

These programs typically have, at the least, a requirement of 100 year or until death, 'till the person first being "read in" [i.e. sworn to secrecy as part of access to the higher classification program] can talk about them. [As an interesting sidenote, the Washington Times reported in 2006 that – when Tice offered to testify to Congress about this illegal spying – he was informed by the NSA that the Senate and House intelligence committees were not cleared to hear such information.]

It's very compartmentalized and – even with stuff that they had – you might have something at NSA, that there's literally 40 people at NSA that know that it's going on in the entire agency.

When the stuff came out in the New York Times [the first big spying story, which broke in 2005] – and I was a source of information for the New York Times – that's when President Bush made up that nonsense about the "terrorist surveillance program." By the way, that never existed. That was made up.

There was no such thing beforehand. It was made up to try to placate the American people.

The NSA IG (Inspector General) – who was not cleared for this – all of a sudden is told he has to do an investigation on this; something he has no information or knowledge of.

So what they did, is they took a few documents and they downgraded [he classification level of the documents] – just a few – and gave them to them to placate this basic whitewash investigation.

Snowden's Failure To Understand the Most Important Documents

RUSSELL TICE: Now, if Mr. Snowden were to find the crossover, it would be those documents that were downgraded to the NSA's IG.

The stuff that I saw looked like a bunch of alphanumeric gobbledygook. Unless you have an analyst to know what to look for – and believe me, I think that what Snowden's done is great – he's not an intelligence analyst. So he would see something like that, and he wouldn't know what he's looking at.

But that would be "the jewels". And the key is, you wouldn't know it's the jewels unless you were a diamond miner and you knew what to look for. Because otherwise, there's a big lump of rock and you don't know there's a diamond in there.

I worked special programs. And the way I found out is that I was working on a special operation, and I needed information from NSA from another unit. And when I went to that unit and I said "I need this information", and I dealt with [satellite spy operations], and I did that in the black world. I was a special operations officer. I would literally go do special missions that were in the black world where I would travel overseas and do spooky stuff.

Did we really need Snowden to have told us that the Internet, federally controlled, does not allow anyone a modicum of privacy and the government after implementing the Patriot Act considers ordinary Americans the enemy?

In " Inconsistencies and Unanswered Questions: The Risks of Trusting the Snowden Story " Kevin Ryan wrote:

Journalist Margie Burns asked some good questions back in June that have not yet been answered. She wondered about the 29-year old Snowden who had been a U.S. Army Special Forces recruit, a covert CIA operative, and an NSA employee in various capacities, all in just a few, short years. Burns asked "How, exactly, did Snowden get his series of NSA jobs? Did he apply through regular channels? Was it through someone he knew? Who recommended him? Who were his references for a string of six-figure, high-level security jobs? Are there any safeguards in place so that red flags go up when a subcontractor jumps from job to job, especially in high-level clearance positions?"

Five months later, journalists Mark Ames and Yasha Levine investigated some of the businesses in which Greenwald's benefactor Omidyar had invested. They found that the actual practices of those businesses were considerably less humanitarian than the outward appearance of Omidyar's ventures often portray. The result was that Omidyar took down references to at least one of those businesses from his website.

In December, whistleblower Sibel Edmonds broke the news that Omidyar's Paypal Corporation was implicated in the as-yet-unreleased NSA documents from Snowden. Moreover, Edmonds had allegedly been contacted by an NSA official who alleged that "a deal was made in early June, 2013 between the journalists involved in this recent NSA scandal and U.S. government officials, which was then sealed by secrecy and nondisclosure agreements by all parties involved."

It would appear that Snowden's whistleblowing has been co-opted by private corporate interests. Are those involved with privatization of the stolen documents also colluding with government agencies to frame and direct national discussions on domestic spying and other serious matters?

The possibilities are endless, it seems. Presenting documents at a measured rate could be a way to acclimate citizens to painful realities without stirring the public into a panic or a unified response that might actually threaten the status quo. And considering that the number of documents has somehow grown from only thousands to nearly two million, it seems possible that those in control could release practically anything, thereby controlling national dialogue on many topics.

Please read the final paragraph above twice and think about the points raised about acclimating citizens and controlling national dialog. Is Snowden as much of a "Pied Piper" as QAnon? How did Snowden describe the nature of the CIA and NSA in this earlier interview with Der Spiegel ?

DER SPIEGEL: But those people see you as their biggest enemy today.

Snowden: My personal battle was not to burn down the NSA or the CIA. I even think they actually do have a useful role in society when they limit themselves to the truly important threats that we face and when they use their least intrusive means.

**

Snowden: It wasn't that difficult. Everybody is currently pointing at the Russians.

DER SPIEGEL: Rightfully?

Snowden: I don't know. They probably did hack the systems of Hillary Clinton's Democratic Party, but we should have proof of that. In the case of the hacking attack on Sony, the FBI presented evidence that North Korea was behind it. In this case they didn't, although I am convinced that they do have evidence. The question is why?

DER SPIEGEL: Mike Pompeo, the new head of the CIA, has accused WikiLeaks, whose lawyers helped you, of being a mouthpiece for the Russians. Is that not harmful to your image as well?

Snowden: First, we should be fair about what the accusations are. I don't believe the U.S. government or anybody in the intelligence community is directly accusing Julian Assange or WikiLeaks of working directly for the Russian government. The allegations I understand are that they were used as a tool basically to wash documents that had been stolen by the Russian government. And, of course, that's a concern. I don't see that as directly affecting me because I'm not WikiLeaks and there is no question about the provenance of the documents that I dealt with.

DER SPIEGEL: Currently, there's another American guy out there who is accused of being too close to Putin.

Snowden: Oh (laughs).

DER SPIEGEL: Your president. Is he your president?

Snowden: The idea that half of American voters thought that Donald Trump was the best among us, is something that I struggle with. And I think we will all be struggling with it for decades to come.

DER SPIEGEL: But isn't there reason to fear terrorism?

Snowden: Sure there is. Terrorism is a real problem. But when we look at how many lives it has claimed in basically any country that is outside of war zones like Iraq or Afghanistan, it is so much less than, say, car accidents or heart attacks. Even if Sept. 11 were to happen every single year in the U.S., terrorism would be a much lower threat than so many other things.

No, no one is accusing Wikileaks of conspiring with Russia, just Robert Mueller. I really appreciate Snowden calling Julian Assange a liar, for he has consistently denied there was a "state actor."

"Terrorism is a real problem" Snowden said. Is it credible that Snowden, who presented himself as donating funds to Ron Paul, has never read any alternative news sites? Is it credible that Snowden believes that terrorists and this would include the good "moderate terrorists" in Syria are armed and act on their own initiative, and is ignorant of the role of the governments of America, Israel, and Saudi Arabia in using them to achieve their ends as proxy armies?

Does Snowden then think this report, " America Created Al-Qaeda and the ISIS Terror Group" is false? Does that mindset make Snowden a champion for liberty or a tool for more control of the American population? For example, is it credible that this alleged genius supports the narrative of the September 11 attacks World Trade Center attacks? Whom do you trust, the contributors to these very pages or Edward Snowden?

Snowden has promoted the use of the Tor Browser. ZeroHedge posted this article, " Tor Project 'Almost 100% Funded By The US Government': FOIA" which noted:

The Tor Project – a private nonprofit known as the "NSA-proof" gateway to the "dark web," turns out to be almost "100% funded by the US government" according to documents obtained by investigative journalist and author Yasha Levine.

In a recent blog post, Levine details how he was able to obtain roughly 2,500 pages of correspondence via FOIA requests while performing research for a book. The documents include strategy, contract, budgets and status updates between the Tor project and its primary source of funding; a CIA spinoff known as the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which "oversees America's foreign broadcasting operations like Radio Free Asia and Radio Free Europe."

By following the money, I discovered that Tor was not a grassroots. I was able to show that despite its indie radical cred and claims to help its users protect themselves from government surveillance online, Tor was almost 100% funded by three U.S. National Security agencies: the Navy, the State Department and the BBG. Following the money revealed that Tor was not a grassroots outfit, but a military contractor with its own government contractor number. In other words: it was a privatized extension of the very same government that it claimed to be fighting.

The documents conclusively showed that Tor is not independent at all. The organization did not have free reign to do whatever it wanted, but was kept on a very short leash and bound by contracts with strict contractual obligations. It was also required to file detailed monthly status reports that gave the U.S. government a clear picture of what Tor employees were developing, where they went and who they saw. -Yasha Levine

The FOIA documents also suggest that Tor's ability to shield users from government spying may be nothing more than hot air. While no evidence of a "backdoor" exists, the documents obtained by Levine reveal that Tor has "no qualms with privately tipping off the federal government to security vulnerabilities before alerting the public, a move that would give the feds an opportunity to exploit the security weakness long before informing Tor users."

Interestingly, Edward Snowden is a big fan of Tor – even throwing a "cryptoparty" while he was still an NSA contractor where he set up a Tor exit node to show off how cool they are.

In a 2015 interview with The Intercept's (Wikileaks hating) Micah Lee, Snowden said:

LEE: What do you think about Tor? Do you think that everyone should be familiar with it, or do you think that it's only a use-it-if-you-need-it thing?

SNOWDEN: I think Tor is the most important privacy-enhancing technology project being used today.

"Tor Browser is a great way to selectively use Tor to look something up and not leave a trace that you did it. It can also help bypass censorship when you're on a network where certain sites are blocked. If you want to get more involved, you can volunteer to run your own Tor node, as I do, and support the diversity of the Tor network."

Tor lists on its own website sponsors that include Google, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, ONR via Naval Research Laboratory (past sponsor) and DARPA.

When Julian Assange was taken from the Ecuadoran embassy, he was carrying a copy of Gore Vidal: History of the National Security State & Vidal on America. As an older article on Vidal in The Guardian noted, " Gore Vidal claims 'Bush junta' complicit in 9/11 ."

Isn't it odd by doing what he did with Vidal's book Assange makes the point the legitimacy of Washington must be challenged, but Snowden never does, other than offering suggestions for tinkering at the margins, perhaps advising we use DuckDuckGo instead of Google to give us the illusion of privacy? Did Snowden, for someone who is in front of a computer screen for most of the day, make public the facts obtained by Whitney Webb in her piece " How the CIA, Mossad and 'the Epstein Network' Are Exploiting Mass Shootings to Create an Orwellian Nightmare " posted on Unz.com which goes in depth into the Orwellian hell we are facing, for as Webb concludes:

With companies like Carbyne -- with its ties to both the Trump administration and to Israeli intelligence -- and the Mossad-linked Gabriel also marketing themselves as "technological" solutions to mass shootings while also doubling as covert tools for mass data collection and extraction, the end result is a massive surveillance system so complete and so dystopian that even George Orwell himself could not have predicted it.

Following another catastrophic mass shooting or crisis event, aggressive efforts will likely follow to foist these "solutions" on a frightened American public by the very network connected, not only to Jeffrey Epstein, but to a litany of crimes and a frightening history of plans to crush internal dissent and would-be dissenters in the United States.

There is the concept of willful blindness that I think applies to much of what Snowden has done, if not something altogether more nefarious -- distorations, misrepresenations, and outright lies, in addition to hubris. What is the point I'm making? Perhaps Snowden is only a Soros and Hillary Clinton supporting liberal -- but then why would he have done what he did? His character is of any government employee of the "surface state" who swallows false narratives whole.

I only wish the reader fairly and intelligently consider the questions I have raised. For I am encouraging you to think very carefully before you trust the statements, purpose, motives, and truthfulness of the secular saint, Edward Snowden.

Yvonne Lorenzo makes her home in New England in a house full to bursting with books, including works on classical Greece. Her interests include gardening, mythology, ancient history, The Electric Universe, and classical music, especially the compositions of Handel, Mozart, Bach, Haydn, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, and the Bel Canto repertoire. She is the author of the novels the Son of Thunder and The Cloak of Freya and has contributed to LewRockwell.com and TheSaker.IS.


Nicolás Palacios Navarro , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 4:27 am GMT

Edward Snowden is a typical American fachidiot who, despite their protestations is a striver and bootlick for the Empire. I genuinely believe that he is puzzled as to why it has turned against him. He deserves his destiny of forever languishing in political purgatory.

Several years later, practically nobody remembers him here in the US, and possible elsewhere (save for when it is convenient for the media). Julian Assange was a far more daring, more insightful figure.

(As an aside, I am curious about the author's liking of bel canto . Lot of birdbrain music to my ears; I prefer Wagner, Strauss, Schreker, and Berg. Also, the older I get, the more I realize that Schoenberg was by far the greater genius than Mahler.)

ikki , says: September 20, 2019 at 4:56 am GMT
The logging of user and information accessed is sure added to the file. But real time supervision? No. A eye of sauron? Please. The system isnt there to prevent crime, its to track down the criminal and deeds later. And yes everything takes a very long time on the public side.

You know, 16:00 hours the mouse just drops dead from the hand. Public servants don't give a damn if a job is made fast or efficient, only that procedure if followed and that it is eventually done. Unless priorities are reassigned, stuff left halfway undone in disarray is no problem when reassigned.

Just as keeping secret private archives of more or less job related data is all standard procedure. That is keep a load of data in your personal folders and move those into whatever form desired. Security is not very tight. Only in the sense that eventually every person with hours and access point etc data can be recovered if so ordered to.

So stealing data out of that system shouldn't be terribly hard. Just email it to a private email. Or store on something else and transport out. For one Hillary was doing the same thing for ages. In that case though "what difference does it make"

Jonathan Revusky , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 5:26 am GMT
Why does the author distrust the Snowden story while taking the Assange saga at face value?
Horst G , says: September 20, 2019 at 6:41 am GMT
There was an interview with Edward in the German magazine Der Spiegel this month, Nr. 18. In it, we get the tale, he copied material on SD cards, and smugeled them in his mouth, or inside a "magic cube" out of the base on Hawaii, passing "guards". A cube, the occult symbol, how blatant, just mocking the profane.

On the technical side, I got a story from a German BMW factory. A bunch of guys on nightshift plugged a USB Harddisk into a PC to watch a movie. Minutes later they received a call from the IT, it had been recognized remotely. What a charade. It has the taste of Jewish tales, smuggling stuff, tricking guards of an evil system.

Tusk , says: September 20, 2019 at 6:49 am GMT
Great article, thanks Ron for publishing.
der einzige , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 7:00 am GMT
I recommend these articles from Jon Rappaport, unfortunately, wordpress deleted his blog.

and this

Russia gov report Snowden Greenwald are CIA frauds https://www.radios.cz/en/articles/russia-gov-report-snowden-greenwald-are-cia-frauds/

Brabantian , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:00 am GMT
Nice to have a piece helping point to the truth, that Glenn Greenwald & Edward Snowden are CIA frauds, as every major government knows

'Edward Snowden' who first 'leaked' to the CIA's Washington Post, in fact to Bush VP Dick Cheney's biographer Bart Gellman then the Deep State realised that was too stupid, so they switched to Rothschild employee & ex-gay-pornography-seller Glenn Greenwald, former proprietor of 'hairystuds', at the Guardian, an intel-agency rag which lies about nearly everything

Vladmir Putin himself hinting out loud he knows Snowden is fake, and 'Snowden asylum' is a game of back-door favours between Russia & the USA, few in the West pick up on it http://www.veteranstoday.com/2016/09/21/russia-govt-report-snowden-greenwald-are-cia-frauds/

Despite the Snowden-Assange mutual sniping in their media-star rivalry, Julian Assange is also a CIA-Mossad asset, as Bibi Netanyahu himself has boasted to Israeli media, regarding aggressively pro-Zionist, anti-Palestinian Julian, equally anti-9-11-truth along with Eddie Snowden

As loyal CIA assets, neither Assange and Snowden dare to mention USA Virginia fed judge bribery files that have blocked other extraditions, tho these files would make their own extraditions impossible, if these CIA fakers really cared about their own 'defence'

Zbigniew Brzezinski on 29 Nov 2010, on the US public television PBS News Hour, also admitted Assange was intel, his Wikileaks 'selected'

People trusting Assange are dead, Peter W Smith, Seth Rich; others jailed

Very darkly, it is unknown how many dissidents Snowden and also Julian Assange helped silence or even kill, both of them a 'rat trap' for trusting whistle-blowers
https://www.henrymakow.com/2018/11/assange-snowden-rat-traps.html

You will notice that Assange & Snowden both got famous via CIA – MI6 media, NY Times, UK Guardian, who are never interested in real dissidents

Assange shared lawyer with Rothschilds, Rothschild sister-in-law posted Assange bail, Assange has ties to George Soros too

Early on, Assange helped Rothschilds destroy rival bank Julius Baer that is 'progressive Wiki-leaking' for you

Assange had a weird childhood with Aussie mind-control cult 'the Family'

Things like 'Assange living at Ecuador Embassy' – 'now in Belmarsh prison' – easily faked, Assange moved in & out for photos by MI5 MI6, police under national security orders 'Snowden' is not necessarily in Russia either

Assange & Snowden de-legitimise real dissidents, because people say, 'Wikileaks – NY Times – UK Guardian would cover it if it was true'

Tree Watcher , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:10 am GMT
NeonRevolt once floated the theory that Snowden was an FBI or CIA plant who whistleblew solely because he had the mission to undermine NSA operations by exposing their equipment/techniques and turning public opinion against them.

I completely understand if people are leery of the theorycrafting of a Q tracker, but I do believe that this suggestion is plausible. Setting aside attempts at placing it in context of a Deep State war, inter-service rivalry and sabotage between spy agencies is absolutely a thing, and reviewing the inconsistencies of Snowden's stunt, its aftermath, and his personal views with that potential background in mind suddenly makes things make much more sense, in my mind at least.

animalogic , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:10 am GMT
Interesting, thought-provoking article. It asks us to balance up competing interests & advantages.

On the one hand we can assume Snowden is "real" or not. That is, he's a genuine whistle blower, or he's a government psy-op's plant.

If we accept the later, that he's a plant, then it raises a further question: was the short term loss, associated with his revelations, ie highlighting the utterly disturbing degree of Gov surveillance over US citizens (etc) worth the long term profit of having an established, authoritive psy-op's agent able to influence/distort etc any debate or narrative concerning the US State /elites. On this side the author notes Snowmen's views on Tor, 9/11, Russia etc which clearly advantage the US State's own views on these subjects.

I don't know the answer -- except that this article raises serious questions, suspicions , about Snowden's authenticity.

Franz , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:15 am GMT
Never for a moment considered Snowden any sort of secular saint.

Snowden for the most part only confirmed the downward trajectory of the formerly at least interesting filmmaker, Oliver Stone. If JFK was worth a laugh (and evidently did get a few people thinking about the phoniness of Dallas '63 for the first time), Snowden was total chloroform on screen. Sad to see Ollie hit such lows.

This bit is interesting:

When Julian Assange was taken from the Ecuadoran embassy, he was carrying a copy of Gore Vidal: History of the National Security State & Vidal on America. As an older article on Vidal in The Guardian noted, "Gore Vidal claims 'Bush junta' complicit in 9/11."

As batty as Vidal may have been, it is a fact he was the first American with any sort of national recognition to speak out against the National Security State, starting in the Eisenhower years. His fury was partly stoked by their meddling in Central America, but he stayed at it. Even gave it a mention in a movie he had a gag role in, Bob Roberts , 1992.

His favorite line (variously rendered) was "Harry Truman signed the United States of America into oblivion in February, 1949" which was when the NSA papers were drawn up, giving us the security state, the CIA and the whole shebang. Anytime before, any US citizen could demand accounting of any government project, no matter what. Afterward, the rule by secrecy applied.

Vidal had been a WWII veteran and deplored all that came about after. Credit is due for that.

wayfarer , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:30 am GMT

Even if you're not doing anything wrong, you are being watched and recorded. The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your emails or your wife's phone calls, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your emails, passwords, phone records, credit cards. – Edward Snowden

https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/edward-snowden-quotes

https://www.youtube.com/embed/e9yK1QndJSM?feature=oembed

Nik , says: September 20, 2019 at 9:05 am GMT
Both Assuange and Snowden are agent patsys
Oscar Peterson , says: September 20, 2019 at 9:14 am GMT
Who is this dizzy chick?

Snowden, exiled and isolated in Russia, is some sort of USG crypto-agent or something?

I suppose that if you're going to look for outside-the-box commentary and analysis, you're going to get some of this sort of nonsense. I guess you can't expect to hit a home run every time.

Oscar Peterson , says: September 20, 2019 at 9:20 am GMT
@Nicolás Palacios Navarro

"Edward Snowden is a typical American fachidiot who, despite their protestations is a striver and bootlick for the Empire. I genuinely believe that he is puzzled as to why it has turned against him. He deserves his destiny of forever languishing in political purgatory."

And yet this "striver and bootlick for the Empire" is exiled in Russia. So some guy sacrifices an enjoyable and secure life to go live in Russia and all you can say is that "he deserves his destiny?"

"Several years later, practically nobody remembers him here in the US"

And this is a reflection on him or on the rest of us?

anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 9:42 am GMT
@Oscar Peterson She starts off with a falsehood:

> Edward Snowden would have us believe that the Eye of Sauron didn't notice

He states exactly the opposite. I quit reading her garbage after that.

AmRusDebate , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 10:18 am GMT
Comfortable living in Moscow, vs. Belmarsh, makes all the difference in the world.

You might be right about Snowden, you might not be, but were Assange living in a Russian city, far out of reach of NeoconiaDC, Bill Blaney would show him greater respect believe me.

anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 10:21 am GMT
@Horst G Boy howdy, a Rubik's Cube is now magical, profane, occult, and eerily symbolic, because it's cubical! And geometry class is a satanic false flag op of oppressive propaganda taught by crypto-Jews! Who else could be interested in IRRATIONAL numbers like π? PYTHAGORAS WAS A MOSSAD AGENT!
Nicolás Palacios Navarro , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 10:57 am GMT
@Oscar Peterson

And yet this "striver and bootlick for the Empire" is exiled in Russia. So some guy sacrifices an enjoyable and secure life to go live in Russia and all you can say is that "he deserves his destiny?"

His "sacrifice" was inadvertent and involuntary. The fact that he seems not to appreciate the sanctuary offered to him by Russia -- has he not repeatedly expressed the desire to go elsewhere? -- says a lot. From everything I have read about him, it would appear that he regards his exile not as something to be borne with dignity, but as something to pout over as does a child who unexpectedly did not get his way.

Julian Assange, on the other hand, sacrificed much more and did so willingly and courageously. He had no illusions about the consequences that he would face for his beliefs and actions.

And this is a reflection on him or on the rest of us?

Both. Nobody remembers anything here in the US anyway, least of all people and events which do not flatter the national mythos. In the case of this would-be patriot -- the scion of a family that grew fat at the government teat, and who himself has made a tidy profit from his exile -- his unofficial damnatio memoriæ is deserved.

anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:07 am GMT
@Franz > veteran Credit is due for that.

Maybe you ought to give Snowden some credit for his military service too. Fair is fair.

Snowden enlisted in the United States Army Reserve on May 7, 2004, and became a Special Forces candidate through its 18X enlistment option.[39] He did not complete the training.[12] After breaking both legs in a training accident,[40] he was discharged on September 28, 2004.[41]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Snowden#Career

9/11 Inside job , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:11 am GMT
@Brabantian Is Seth Rich dead ? OpDeepState.com : "The 'murder' of Seth Rich – Everything we thought we knew is wrong !" by Lisa Phillips . "The MOSSAD infiltrated Clinton's campaign with a Sayanim contractor – Seth Rich – this OP took Hillary right out of the race ."
anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:19 am GMT
Tor is a great tool, if you know how to use it correctly. The US gov't know people don't know how to use it correctly, and sets up exit nodes to spy on idiots, like this:

In 2007 Egerstad set up just five Tor exit nodes and used them to intercept thousands of private emails, instant messages and email account credentials.

Amongst his unwitting victims were the Australia, Japanese, Iranian, India and Russia embassies, .

Dan Egerstad proved then that exit nodes were a fine place to spy on people and his research convinced him in 2007, long before Snowden, that governments were funding expensive, high bandwidth exit nodes for exactly that purpose.

Tor is a fine security project and an excellent component in a strategy of defence in depth but it isn't (sadly) a cloak of invisibility.

Exit nodes, just like fake Wi-Fi hotspots, are an easy and tempting way for attackers to silently insert themselves into a network.

By running an exit node they can sit there as an invisible man-in-the-middle on a system that people choose when they want extra privacy and security.

Can you trust Tor's exit nodes?
https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2015/06/25/can-you-trust-tors-exit-nodes/

So just assume the US gov't is your exit node, thank them silently for paying for you to use it free, and keep your info encrypted.

Svevlad , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:30 am GMT
Both him and Assange are spooks
Rabbitnexus , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:50 am GMT
Well, this is refreshing. I agree wholeheartedly about Snowden and have the same reservations. My feelings about Assange, however, aren't much different. Julian has not challenged the 9/11 narrative either to be fair. I am inclined to see them both as limited hangouts. Snowden's 'revelations' were all old news to anyone who'd been paying attention for 10 years before his appearance. Even other whistleblowers, none of whom got any media coverage, had spoken of much of it previously. I see them both as pied pipers and nothing more. I think Russian intelligence services are perfectly well aware of what Snowden is and have kept him at arms length themselves. Not much they could do but play along but nothing suggests they ever saw him as any sort of 'coup'

Anyone who still plays along with the 9/11 bullshit narrative isn't worth a damn anyway.

Rabbitnexus , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:58 am GMT
@animalogic Consider that nothing Snowden revealed was news. It was all old hat for anyone who'd been paying attention, and for up to ten years. Sure Snowden made it mainstream for what good it did but nothing he said was a secret anymore. In fact, I thought even at the time his actions were nothing less than a 'threat and warning' from the intel services that they had this much on everyone. Just imagine all those national leaders, politicians from all states being pout on notice. All your secrets are ours! What a powerful global message to deliver and in such a loud and clear fashion.

The lack of deviation from official bullshit on 9/11 is on its own however reason enough to toss this guy out. Snowden NEVER impressed me for a moment and honestly, nor has Assange. I believe they're both working for the other side still. By the way, Julian Assange has actually denigrated 9/11 truthers a number of times.

Horst G , says: September 20, 2019 at 12:08 pm GMT
@anon It's in the magazine, page 82, quote "Zauberwürfel". Presented by me, for you to get the picture. Maybe you haven't seen enough cubes around, to get that humor. In real life, copying material on devices will be followed by arrest, no interview, no journey to some exile. This whole tale is not funny, it's evil on many levels. Your sarcasm is disturbing.
Realist , says: September 20, 2019 at 12:09 pm GMT
@Nicolás Palacios Navarro

Several years later, practically nobody remembers him here in the US, and possible elsewhere (save for when it is convenient for the media). Julian Assange was a far more daring, more insightful figure.

I disagree, there are plenty of people who remember him. The problem is they don't care, most Americans would rather watch America's Got Talent or Dancing With The Stars than do something about our corrupt political system.

Johnny Walker Read , says: September 20, 2019 at 12:16 pm GMT
Assange and Snowden are both shill's..

https://aanirfan.blogspot.com/search?q=assange

Johnny Walker Read , says: September 20, 2019 at 12:20 pm GMT
@Johnny Walker Read And

2013 Edward Snowden 'leaked stolen documents' (1) 'Leaked' to Dick Cheney friend at CIA WashPost, Rothschild employee Greenwald (2) Anti-9-11-truth (3) Nothing really new beyond more than 5+ previous NSA whistleblowers (4) Has CIA lawyers, worked with Brzezinski son, promoted by Brzezinski daughter, fake CV history (5) Known as fake to all major gov intel agencies

https://aanirfan.blogspot.com/search?q=snowden

Johnny Walker Read , says: September 20, 2019 at 12:31 pm GMT
@Johnny Walker Read This is absolutely dynamite material, it blows to smithereens any notion that Edward Snowden is anything other than a fraud, a CIA disinfo op.

So now we can place him alongside Julian Assange and Wikileaks in the rogue's gallery of professional liars. This report also exposes several other media outlets as being under CIA control, something we have known for some time

https://www.veteranstoday.com/2016/09/21/russia-govt-report-snowden-greenwald-are-cia-frauds/

foolisholdman , says: September 20, 2019 at 1:04 pm GMT
@animalogic

I don't know the answer -- except that this article raises serious questions, suspicions , about Snowden's authenticity.

To my mind "9/11, attitude to", is a sort of touch-stone for telling genuine dissidents from fake and both Snowden and Assange fail on that test. I don't have a reference for it, but I saw it in correspondence on this site. There was a video of a lecture given by Assange, where someone asked him about 9/11. He looked extremely embarrassed and then replied that he thought that it was "not very important" (Sic!) and changed the subject.

I am less sure of this but I think I saw something similar in an interview with Snowden. Perhaps someone else can remind me of exact references?

Amon , says: September 20, 2019 at 1:23 pm GMT
This is the same government whose leaders secure their laptops with the secret code "pas$word" and require the producers of computers to give them full access via day one exploits along with tailor fitted programs that are easier to hack.

That Snowden got away with what he did is not that shocking.

Justvisiting , says: September 20, 2019 at 1:23 pm GMT
These days Snowden has become a generic term for whistleblowing on the Deep State tech spying, like xerox for copying. I suppose someone here wants to remind us that this was _really_ the first copier, patented in 1879:

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

The truth or falsity of the original "myth" becames moot at some point.

The Deep State is spying. They do have hardware and software and monkey in the middle hacks. They do trade intelligence with other spy agencies, domestic and foreign. They lie about it through the Mockingbird media.

_That_ is what is important.

Snowden's bona fides are "inside baseball", and minor league baseball at that.

.gov IT security is a joke–millions of pages of regulations, proclamations, millions of hours of management meetings, goals, powerpoint slides–ultimately easily outmatched by any determined hackers (whether in mom's basement or an intelligence agency's basement).

Multiple Fronts , says: September 20, 2019 at 1:32 pm GMT
CIA Edward Snowden? ...
Antiwar7 , says: September 20, 2019 at 1:34 pm GMT
If he was a sys admin, that probably meant he had the rights to install, remove, enable, and disable the various safety guards and security checks discussed in this article.
sally , says: September 20, 2019 at 1:48 pm GMT
@Jonathan Revusky Yvonne Lorenzo paper suggest suspect issues exist to support Snowden's story but finds Assange's saga to be based in epic, consistent, continued resistance to the organized forces at work in governments and high profile international corporations and agencies to keep secret things which expose officials as criminals.

<=the difference is consistency, scope and finger points. Assange has been consistent.. always seeking to make available as much as he could, always with as much clarity as possible; making the point where he could, that much of what he exposed seems to be in the domain of organized crime. Assange often exposes high profile persons and tags them with evidence to connect them to prior and current organized crime or obviously corrupt activities. Assange shows these persons or governments or agencies are involved in secret diplomatic activities, the secrecy of which seem always to be protected by judicial and legal processes

The Assange story paints a picture that suggest globally organized crime has come into possession and now manages and controls many well armed domestic governments and that selected agencies of government have been enabling selected private enterprises. Assange exposes intelligence services of many different nations to be a bank, corporation, and agency inter connects that coordinate infrastructure destruction, invasion, regime change, and war, and that these events are often followed by opportunistic privatization.

Snowden merely says a few things are wrong and should be corrected. in time the government will fix its own mistakes. I do not know if Snowden is a Trojan, but nothing Assange has done suggest he is and governments have treated Assange as anything but one of them. My opinion.

der einzige , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 2:04 pm GMT
@foolisholdman I think you meant that

https://www.youtube.com/embed/zG23AyiIObk?feature=oembed

Oscar Peterson , says: September 20, 2019 at 2:35 pm GMT
@Nicolás Palacios Navarro I agree that Assange has suffered much more than Snowden, but why hold that against the latter?

Snowden took a risk to publicize what he thought was important information indicating a dangerous trend in US policy. He wasn't willing to offer himself up as a lamb to the slaughter, so it's true that his sacrifice is not perhaps the ultimate one. He seems to have thought he could remain in Hong Kong but didn't realize that China was never going to compromise relations with the US to protect him. Putin wouldn't have either except that the US was so imperious in demanding his return that Putin really couldn't save face and give him up, and no doubt he was rankled by US hypocrisy, knowing that had Snowden been a Russian, the US would never have considered sending him back.

But Snowden DID take action which is more than most of us do. I find your complete lack of empathy kind of weird, to be honest. Even if Assange is the more virtuous or if one disagrees with Snowden's actions, he has paid a price for principle.

What does his family background have to do with anything?

I'm not inclined to sneer at him, and I don't see how you get to "he deserves what he gets."

Commentator Mike , says: September 20, 2019 at 2:44 pm GMT
@Brabantian Brabantian,

So Pamela Anderson lied about visiting Assange in the embassy? If they're faking it, wherever he is he isn't in the public eye walking down the street or sitting in a Starbucks, so he's leading a prison life anyway behind closed doors somewhere. I suppose a dedicated agent would do something like that for Queen and country or whatever, but I doubt he's the type. I gather veterans today are trying to cast Assange as a Mossad agent but then they're the Journal of the Clandestine Community, whatever that is.

Snowden is not a classic defector so it makes sense for him to keep his distance from Russian society so as not to be inadvertently compromised or used by their intelligence services. He's obviously under surveillance there, I know we all are but he's much more aware of it, so that doesn't make it easy for him but he's definitely safer there than he'd be in France or Germany. I just don't think he planned well ahead when he became a whistle-blower or was clear about what he was trying to achieve. He's not the top level type of spy we're accustomed to reading about who betray their country for money or to serve another they believe in more than their own. If he has been on active duty as a CIA asset all along I can't see that he has achieved much of use to them other than in some inter-agency rivalry game. But it's natural for Russians to be suspicious of him – they're suspicious by nature – and rightly so, but it doesn't make his life easy there.

Justvisiting , says: September 20, 2019 at 2:46 pm GMT
@der einzige Thanks for posting–Assange looked dazed and confused by the question itself.

It could be "rogue agents". A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 2:48 pm GMT
@Anonymous Snanonymous > Snowden, unlike Assange, largely suffered from pussy deprivation

You're projecting your own lack of success with females. Meanwhile, Snowden's squeeze Lindsay Mills lives with him in Moscow.

Snowden's lawyer Anatoly Kucherena confirmed the lovebirds' reunion and said they've been taking in Russian theaters and cultural sights together. "Love is love," he told AFP. "She lives with him when she comes here. Moral support is very important for Edward."
https://nypost.com/2014/10/11/snowdens-girlfriend-lives-with-him-in-moscow-documentary-reveals/

There's no way an envious gamma like you could tap this:

Anonymous [893] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 2:51 pm GMT
Good stuff. Snowden was outed by Gordon Duff years ago. Although I'll have to come back to finish this article, it generally appears to agree with Duff's analysis that none of it adds up. If I may paraphrase Edward Bernays, To read the Washington Post and Guardian or watch TV news is to see America and Western Civilization through the eyes of its enemy.

The owners of the media own the public forum in America and through it the formation of men's attitudes and the outcome of elections. The left vs right, CNN vs Fox News, MAGA vs socialism and other contrived theater serves the interests of the media owners and no other.

TheJester , says: September 20, 2019 at 3:02 pm GMT
@Jonathan Revusky Try this:

Assange tried to destroy the "system", which would have furthered the conditions for completing the ongoing, global Cultural Marxist Revolution Mao Zedong on steroids.

Snowden, on the other hand, wanted something much less extreme. He wanted to fix and save the "system" by exposing its excesses in order to bring it back within a quasi-legal, democratic framework.

In response, the "system" was satisfied to teach Snowden a lesson. They were willing to slap Snowden's hand by exiling him to Western Russia, which is better than rotting in a Siberian labor camp or "max" prison in the United States.

Assange, on the other hand, is a reincarnated, digital version of Che Guevara. They want his scalp, recognizing that Assange (like Che Guevara) will brook no compromise in his revolutionary agitation.

Anonymous Snanonymous , says: September 20, 2019 at 3:22 pm GMT
@anon Thank you for the update I remain celibate out of consideration for those who are truly hard up.
Sparkon , says: September 20, 2019 at 3:29 pm GMT
Good article. Snowden and Assange are agents of disinformation

"I'm constantly annoyed that people are distracted by false conspiracies such as 9/11, when all around we provide evidence of real conspiracies, for war or mass financial fraud."

-- Julian Assange

http://911blogger.com/news/2010-07-22/wikileaks-founder-julian-assange-annoyed-911-truth

Assange's damming statement about 9/11 at the Belfast Telegraph is now behind a sign-up gatepost, which was not there in the fairly recent past.

9/11 Inside job , says: September 20, 2019 at 4:36 pm GMT
9/11 is the "litmus test" and it appears that both Assange and Snowden have failed it.
anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 5:06 pm GMT
@9/11 Inside job Well, the Real Litmus Test ™ is eternal security vs. conditional salvation. Don't fail, or everything else you've ever said must be summarily dismissed. Answer well, friendo .

Splitting (also called black-and-white thinking or all-or-nothing thinking) is the failure in a person's thinking to bring together the dichotomy of both positive and negative qualities of the self and others into a cohesive, realistic whole. It is a common defense mechanism.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Splitting_(psychology)

Nicolás Palacios Navarro , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 6:09 pm GMT
@Realist

The problem is they don't care, most Americans would rather watch America's Got Talent or Dancing With The Stars than do something about our corrupt political system.

Also very true.

Outrage Beyond , says: September 20, 2019 at 6:43 pm GMT
It appears the author of this piece has not read Snowden's book, Permanent Record . If she had, she would not have asked questions which are answered, in detail, in Snowden's book. Here are some of the most obvious points.

1. "Why does Snowden never discuss dealing with such encryption: how would it be possible?"

Answer: In his book, Snowden describes the layers of encryption that he used when copying the files from NSA. He also describes the extraordinary level of access he had as a systems engineer. Further, he mentions his surprise at finding that the NSA did not practice widespread encryption, in contrast to his experience at CIA, where the hard drives were not only encrypted, but removed from the computers and placed in a safe each night.

2. "In the Oliver Stone movie Snowden, as well as in any of Snowden's descriptions of how he accessed the NSA computers, did you note either the depiction or reference to this universal Smart ID? How could Snowden be exempt from its requirement?"

Answer: Movies omit details. In his book, Snowden describes working in the one-person Information Sharing department. As part of that work, he brought an older, "obsolete" system to his office under the cover story of "compatibility testing" and used this older system to copy the data.

3. "Did Edward Snowden, who has publicly criticized Google, mention Google is deployed as a search engine throughout the federal "intranet"?"

Answer: Yes, as a matter of fact, in his book, Snowden does mention that Google provides a custom internal version of their search engine to the intelligence community.

4. "Edward Snowden would have us believe that the Eye of Sauron didn't notice he was looking at gigabytes of data unrelated to his job function and using his computer to copy the data to external devices over a lengthy period of time."

Answer: In his book, Snowden describes how he created a "readboard" that collected the documents as part of his work in the Information Sharing department. He also describes how another systems administrator did notice, and how he addressed this attention by providing access to his "readboard" to the other administrator, and explained its purpose and value to users. In other words, the "gigabytes of data" he was looking at were directly related to his job function.

5. "On another issue, why did Snowden provide his files to known house organs of Intelligence Agencies, specifically the Washington Post and The Guardian, and not give them to Wikileaks to allow a publicly available searchable database?"

Answer: Snowden also discusses this topic in his book. According to Snowden, he did not want to simply release the information, he wanted the media to remove anything that might cause harm.

6. "And what about Snowden himself, the pontificator, the man who can speak on television or to the media with evidence of training? Practice yourself -- see how well you can answer questions and speak publicly to a TV camera. How did he get his training? Who trained him? Why?"

Answer: After 6 years of media attention, it seems reasonable he would gain some expertise in dealing with the media.

My purpose in providing the answers above is not to defend or attack Snowden. Rather, these examples just show that the author of this piece is a sloppy amateur who did not do her homework. I suspect the author is also woefully ignorant of computer technology. Anyone curious about these topics should read Permanent Record and decide for themselves.

PetrOldSack , says: September 20, 2019 at 6:49 pm GMT
@sally

My opinion.

Your opinion stands. Snowden has de facto been compromised. Being in Russia, and not in control of his environment. Whether he was from the start, could be. The Tor browser bull- *** t speaks against him all the way. His conventional career start, and youth also. He is more Macron then a Galloway.

Assange was in for the long term, had thorough knowledge of affairs digital, his youth, his physical courage(there must be a point where selling out was a possibility) were exemplary all along the (long) and still ongoing slug.

Even his ego, fronting Wikileaks seems to be proportionate as compared to the conventional Jerks &, as Pompeo, Hillary, Trump, Obama. If one sees how many personnel is dedicated to steer elections and governance public opinion, he certainly looks like a lonely giant on the civil disobedience, organizational, knowledgeable, energy spent and resilience side. A true example of what White, and Western European descend stands for. Enlightenment, in system, style, and function. Relevancy, long term goals, dare, does not come better then that.

PetrOldSack , says: September 20, 2019 at 6:53 pm GMT
@Justvisiting Very to the point. True over the whole stretch digital communication is in existence.
Mark Hunter , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 6:59 pm GMT
@Oscar Peterson I don't have "Agree/Disagree/Etc" privileges so I say here that I agree with you.

Some of the pompous ingrates trashing Snowden for the flimsiest of reasons still seem to have a high opinion of Thomas Drake, William Binney, or Kirk Wiebe. They might read this: Three NSA Veterans Speak Out on Whistleblower

peterAUS , says: September 20, 2019 at 7:06 pm GMT
@ikki Pretty much.

The author, interestingly enough, isn't I.T. professional, but, has very definite opinions about IT security. Dumb.

Just email it to a private email.

Well, firewall logs could reveal your connection to some email server outside ..

Or store on something else and transport out.

Yep. Hehe the girl doesn't actually get how that "encryption" thing works. OSI layers etc.

And, what people really don't get: all security is as good as an average person using it. As hehe you pointed out:

Hillary was doing the same thing for ages.

Insider doesn't need to tackle technology. All he/she needs is to tackle is a dumb employee. Anyway .

I could make my home systems quite secure, even against Five Eyes. That would create another set of even worse problems, but let's leave it out for now.
The problem is my wife and her browsing/computer use habits. Hehe makes sense?

peterAUS , says: September 20, 2019 at 7:09 pm GMT
@Outrage Beyond A very good comment.

Especially

.a systems engineer .. the one-person Information Sharing department . .providing access to his "readboard" to the other administrator .

anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 7:26 pm GMT
@Realist Snowden did "do something about our corrupt political system," not that anybody here cares.

And God Bless America.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/8kssysjyPl0?feature=oembed

niceland , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:46 pm GMT
Snowden keeping "distance" to Russia, and not openly defending them seems reasonable to me. You can imagine the smear campaign back home if he would side with Russia against the U.S. on almost anything. "The Russians got to him" or "He was always their man".

He is trying to keep his neutrality and credibility and his target audience isn't the average Unz reader, but rather some mainstream educated middle/upper class blokes. Easily scared away from his views if they become too controversial and too far from the established narrative.

Last but not least, he is playing very dangerous game, probably without much security from his host country. This probably limits what he can do, TPTB could probably get to him if they wanted it badly enough.

anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:49 pm GMT
@Horst G Everybody with the slight familiarity about the story knows of Snowden's use of the Ernő Rubik's Cube to hide the SD card.

> In real life, copying material on devices will be followed by arrest, no interview, no journey to some exile.

Snowden proved you wrong, by the skin of his teeth.

> Your sarcasm is disturbing.

Yeah? How do you think folks feel about your black cape and a fiberglass helmet?

Republic , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:54 pm GMT
@anon Wasn't Ross William Ulbricht compromised by using Tor ?
anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 9:12 pm GMT
@PetrOldSack > The Tor browser bull- *** t speaks against him all the way

No, your stupid bull- *** t lack of understanding about Tor speaks against you all the way. It's not encryption, like you probably think it is. It's simply a way to use another IP address without having to drive to the nearest Starbucks to use their wifi. You treat Tor just like any "free" wifi, assuming that your data is being sniffed and collected. If you're going to message, use Signal (or Telegram.) Always force HTTPS. Use encryption. All Tor does is obfuscate your IP location, which is exactly what Snowden states, "All Tor does is obfuscate your IP location .

"[Tor] allows you to disassociate your physical location ."

EDWARD SNOWDEN EXPLAINS HOW TO RECLAIM YOUR PRIVACY
https://theintercept.com/2015/11/12/edward-snowden-explains-how-to-reclaim-your-privacy/

And now Brave Browser has it built in! So easy. Try it. Just don't do anything on Tor that you wouldn't do with a Starbuck's free wifi in Foggy Bottom.

anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 9:29 pm GMT
@Republic How he got taken down is here , and it started with the name-fag using his Real Name while e-begging for help to run illegal websites, and ended up with a half-dozen FBI agents tailing him at his arrest. Even then, Tor made it harder for the FBI to track him, just not impossible.

Tor only does one thing, obfuscate your physical location. That's it. It's not magic. It's a virtual way to sit at the Starbucks cafe and use their free wifi. Just assume the exit node is owned by the Feds, looking for criminal morons who don't understand it and think it's "secure" or "encrypted." It's not. Use encryption too.

Gg , says: September 20, 2019 at 10:09 pm GMT
Stuff like this just confirms Qanon. He said years ago Snowden was a CIA plant in the NSA to reveal this information about their mass surveillance on purpose. Why ? Maybe it relates to what Michael Hoffman describes as revelation of the method – a process of revealing the crimes being committed against us by "they" so it breeds apathy and despair in the population when nothing comes from
The revelation of the crimes
The Company , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:06 pm GMT
The Russian authorities are capable of asking the same perceptive questions – – and yet they continue to be gracious hosts.
Sean , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:10 pm GMT
An allegedly very high iq high school from a family with drop out Snowden's tried to join special forces and failed jump school, he failed a polygraph, got accepted to the CIA though not as a field agent despite his lack of a degree, and was bounced from the CIA and then got a job with Dell as an outside contractor on the basis of his still intact security clearance, the contractors were not compartmentalised in the way government employees were.

Then he went to work for defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, at an NSA facility in Hawaii. In subsequent interview with journalists, Snowden lied about his doing undercover work for the CIA, salary and seniority at Booz Allen, being able to spy on the the emails and phone calls of President Obama. Oh, and suffering broken bones in special forces jump school, he just had shin splints It is very clear how he got access, and why most of the people who gave him it did not own up.

https://nypost.com/2013/11/08/snowden-duped-coworkers-to-get-passwords/ Snowden duped co-workers to get passwords A handful of agency employees who gave their login details to Snowden were identified, questioned and removed from their assignments, said a source close to several U.S. government investigations into the damage caused by the leaks.

Snowden may have persuaded between 20 and 25 fellow workers at the NSA regional operations center in Hawaii to give him their logins and passwords by telling them they were needed for him to do his job as a computer systems administrator, a second source said.

Are we to believe the NSA lacks a "digital trail" when it comes to classified documents?

It's only difficult to believe if you think NASA (like the CIA and FBI once were) are only guarded in relation to external rather than internal security breaches

[A] frightening history of plans to crush internal dissent and would-be dissenters in the United States.

Why would they bother? Those dissenters cannot change anything, while they are whiling away their free time on the internet. Such activity cannot change anything at all, and so it is to be encouraged from the point of view of any establishment as open dissent on the net wards off the allegation of totalitarian state. Talk is cheap.

Johnny Walker Read , says: September 21, 2019 at 2:19 am GMT
Learn to recognize government dis-info. http://mileswmathis.com/glenn.pdf
ShermanFan , says: September 21, 2019 at 2:28 am GMT
I'm not going to comment on the person or their agenda, rather the process-broadly.

Can you copy encrypted files without knowledge and smuggle them out? Short answer: Yes, with a second device and some standard hardware stuff. They can see the second device if it is plugged in, but they have to look for it. There is no need to try and copy from the source, copy the output to a second machine that can interpret.

Franz , says: September 21, 2019 at 6:25 am GMT
@anon

ought to give Snowden some credit for his military service too.

Hell, I'd give the guy credit for his quick sprinting at the NSA. But we haven't established if he was a wiz kid or a plant.

Vidal went into the US Army after Pearl Harbor, at age 17. Even though he'd been his high school representative for the America First Committee, trying to keep the US out of the war. Due to hypothermia working on army transport ships in the Aleutians, he was initially misdiagnosed as arthritic and, not being caught in time, ended up first with a titanium leg replacement years later, then in a wheelchair.

I remain sort of impressed when a young man opposes a fight, then for patriotic reasons, serves anyway (and pays a steep price).

I'm sure we'll get the full story on Snowden sooner or later.

anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 21, 2019 at 12:58 pm GMT
@Saggy A stupid girl who is completely unfamiliar with the Snowden history. For example, she asks this, "why did Snowden provide his files to The Guardian?"

Because he needed immediate press coverage. He didn't have weeks or even days, he had at most a few hours. His story had to be in the press the next morning. Both Greenwald and the Guardian reporter were with him at the hotel, worried that Snowden might even be assassinated if caught by US forces, and worked to get immediate press coverage of his plight to save his life. Plus, he was in constant contact with Wikileaks'Julian Assange, which she conveniently ignores to promote her lie-based conspiritard theory.

Without his story getting into the press within a few hours, and without Wikileaks' Julian Assange helping Snowden, he'd be in prison now, at best, possibly dead.

I say, give the guy a fair trial. He has asked for a fair trial. But the US Gov't has refused to allow his motive to be considered in the trial. Amazing, isn't it? Since when is motive to not be considered in a criminal trial?

For Snowden, a fair trial means allowing the jury to consider his motivations rather than simply deciding the case on whether a law was broken.

"They want the jury strictly to consider whether these actions were lawful or unlawful, not whether they were right or wrong," Snowden said. "And I'm sorry, but that defeats the purpose of a jury trial."

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2019/09/17/edward-snowden-releases-book-russia-wants-fair-trial-us/2349586001/

Che Guava , says: September 21, 2019 at 3:26 pm GMT
Tor may still be a good tool, it certainly was, I had great fun using it to troll and set off edit wars on English Wikipedia for a year or two mid-last decade. One of those edit wars lasted for about three days. I just watched after starting it (but I meant what I said in the comment that set it off, but not always in the trolling(^-^)v).

In any case, the English-language WP has been madly tracking Tor exit nodes and banning them since about early '07.

Fun while it lasted.

As for the wrong way to use it, that basically means making a connection to any other site, without Tor, while using Tor. I slipped up on that once or twice when slightly drunk.

I don't even know if using Tor is even legal in Japan now. I do love, however, how Wikipedia is aggressively supressing it.

Some politicians in ruling party were moving to make it illegal a couple of years ago, our polity is so nonsensical that I have to checck Japanese wiki to see the result.

Any fule knows that Tor original is a U.S.N. programme,

Yvonne Lorenzo , says: September 21, 2019 at 6:42 pm GMT
@der einzige

I recommend these articles from Jon Rappaport, unfortunately, wordpress deleted his blog.

Rappaport started my thinking and I bookmarked his pages long ago and to my horror found the site was taken down. I wonder why? Glad for this archive. Thank you.

Yvonne Lorenzo , says: September 21, 2019 at 6:57 pm GMT
@Outrage Beyond

It appears the author of this piece has not read Snowden's book, Permanent Record. If she had, she would not have asked questions which are answered, in detail, in Snowden's book. Here are some of the most obvious points.

1. "Why does Snowden never discuss dealing with such encryption: how would it be possible?"

Answer: In his book, Snowden describes the layers of encryption that he used when copying the files from NSA. He also describes the extraordinary level of access he had as a systems engineer. Further, he mentions his surprise at finding that the NSA did not practice widespread encryption, in contrast to his experience at CIA, where the hard drives were not only encrypted, but removed from the computers and placed in a safe each night.

2. "In the Oliver Stone movie Snowden, as well as in any of Snowden's descriptions of how he accessed the NSA computers, did you note either the depiction or reference to this universal Smart ID? How could Snowden be exempt from its requirement?"

Answer: Movies omit details. In his book, Snowden describes working in the one-person Information Sharing department. As part of that work, he brought an older, "obsolete" system to his office under the cover story of "compatibility testing" and used this older system to copy the data.

No, I haven't read the book–yet.

As part of a forensic analysis, which none of you were observant enough to understand, the subject is interviewed without knowledge of the questions in advance. His answers would be evaluated based on facts, for which a forensic IT team with no connections to government contractors would be part of and gain access to NSA systems. Thus, testimony is considered but it must be verified. Rand Paul might be one to open an investigation into the inadequacy of NSA security but government investigating itself is suspect. No such investigation will ever take place.

Note there has been no calls, that I am aware of, for any GAO study of NSA vulnerabilities.

Second, the critics miss the point: providing files to CIA-Five Eye fronts like Guardian and CIA Washington Post is suspect. As per what I wrote, no one now has access to this data.

I suspect Snowden leaked legitimate information to con the Russians to be on their soil and conduct malfeasance. Prior to Putin providing S-300s to Syria, Israel had better relations with Russia. I suspect Q is also coordinated by Intel agency friendly to Likud. Note his mention of John Perry Barlow before his death. He warned of Snowden being sent deliberately to Russia and hence my concern for CIA doing something stupid.

As to his comments on not supporting Russia, no support is necessary. If he were a decent human being he could simply have stated, "Election interference notwithstanding the U.S. should pursue non-aggressive posture against Russia. There was no 'Second Pearl Harbor.' The risk of nuclear war is great and I agree with President Trump to reduce tensions, although I disagree with his politics."

Instead, see his Tweets supporting the Pussy Hats and "We came, we saw, he died" Hillary Clinton.

In the event, Snowden is irrelevant. The end of Empire is imminent.

Read Martyanov's post on the recent threats America made to Russia here.

https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2019/09/why-would-you-ask.html

I have compassion for Snowden. His end will likely be as Skripals was: disappearance by Western IC which he supports and blame placed on Russia.

We are free to disagree with one another. I trust nothing a supporter of Empire says.

As to September 11 I wasn't aware of Assange's remarks. This is the touchstone as others have said. Snowden enlisted because of September 11 false flag. Yeah, right, he is an idiot savant.

Even Ed Asner who no longer wins Emmy awards and is blackballed had the courage to do this video. Trust Snowden? I think not.

Y. Lorenzo (this site will not allow me to post under my name)

p.s. Ron uses Gmail. The nearest military base is a long, long way from my location. A helicopter outfitted with surveillance bubbles overflew after I submitted this piece.. Coincidence, right?

I will fight for the truth. I receive no compensation for my work and expect none. I support the cause of peace and not Empire. Thanks for the intelligent supportive comments. Ad hominem attacks mean nothing. Thanks to Ron for posting though he disagrees.

Che Guava , says: September 21, 2019 at 7:17 pm GMT
...re. 'Smowden"when he was constantly whining about Russia, getting hhs pole-dancing gf to join him there must have been a major effort, but he has no gratitude for it.

Really strange. At the time, I thought that Putin's comment 'he is a strange young man' had to do only with questions of loyalty and betrayal, of course, it was lilekely deeper and more suspicious than that. If I had been in the position like 'Snowden', after first having been granted asylum, my priority would have been to study the language. I would gtuess that he can order food or drink, do basic greetings, and not much else.

Sean , says: September 21, 2019 at 7:22 pm GMT
@Republic Snowden's wife is a former pole dancer, those are for good for something, but its not marrying. Everything about him suggests immaturity, from his toying with the idea of being a model to his trying to go from frail civilian with a youth spent 24/7 gaming to passing jumps school. He stole vastly more than he could ever have read, much of it having no bearing on privacy so he has no idea what he might have compromised. Quoth he:

There is a secrecy agreement, but there is also an oath of service. An oath of service is to support and defend, not an agency, not even the president, it is to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies – direct quote – foreign and domestic. And this begs the question, what happens when our obligations come into conflict.

If you have meaningful values (ie those that do not charge to suit your personal aggrandisement) you resign, I but instead of doing that he deliberately got another job contracting with the NSA all the better to steal data.

peterAUS , says: September 21, 2019 at 7:56 pm GMT
@Yvonne Lorenzo

.In the event, Snowden is irrelevant. The end of Empire is imminent. Read Martyanov's post on the recent threats America made to Russia here .

That was fast, even for this pub.

Ad hominem attacks mean nothing.

You mean being positive about you UNABLE to visualize a byte from a "keypress" moving all the way to the LAN cable with each timer "click"? You know, buffers, busses, microcode/firmware, interrupts, stack/heap, closed source, encryption/decryption layer of the OSI stack etc. That's for technology. As for people, unaware of an average idiot user in any environment using IT, Governments in particular, and the role and power of sysadmins in such environments? But confident to write articles what can and can not be done re IT security? Yeah .

AB_Anonymous , says: September 21, 2019 at 8:05 pm GMT
@anon Not sure about Pythagoras, but there are (very unfortunately) people who might have fun from combining "Rubik's Cube and highly classified information". And not necessarily in reality.
Yvonne Lorenzo , says: September 21, 2019 at 8:08 pm GMT
@peterAUS

You mean being positive about you UNABLE to visualize a byte from a "keypress" moving all the way to the LAN cable with each timer "click"? You know, buffers, busses, microcode/firmware, interrupts, stack/heap, closed source, encryption/decryption layer of the OSI stack etc. That's for technology.

Butthurt you are, yes? Tell me how he defeats this, be specific. https://www.symantec.com/products/endpoint-encryption

White paper here. https://www.symantec.com/content/dam/symantec/docs/white-papers/keeping-your-private-data-secure-en.pdf

Y. Lorenzo

And I don't care; fine, he was a clever op, he hacked the NSA, whoo-hoo. My other comments still stand. Go wave your flag, you're done.

Sean , says: September 21, 2019 at 8:22 pm GMT
@Yvonne Lorenzo

Rand Paul might be one to open an investigation into the inadequacy of NSA security but government investigating itself is suspect. No such investigation will ever take place.

Yes, Rand Paul who while cutting his lawn provoked his own retired doctor neighbor in a gated community into a maddened vicious rib dislocating attack that cost Paul part of his lung What a brilliant choice to annoy the government.

His end will likely be as Skripals was: disappearance by Western IC which he supports and blame placed on Russia

Skirpal is in America. The British got Skirpal out of Russia, but Russia could have killed him any time because he was homesick and meeting people from the Russian Embassy. In my opinion the Russians were trying to kill Skirpal's daughter along with him. They knew she was coming and timed the nerve agent attack so as to 'accidentally' kill her along with the traitor. The knowledge that you will go after their families is the ultimate deterrent. Unless you are a narcissistic dick like Snowden, who hardly mentions anything his family did for him except getting a second phone line so he could play some stupid internet game. Snowden actually says in his book that the internet raised him. It did not get him a job in the CIA despite him having no degree, that was his mom's NSA and her father's Pentagon connections. Aldrich Ames's father worked for the CIA .

Art , says: September 21, 2019 at 9:12 pm GMT
Edward Snowden is a great man – a great American. (Will a Dem president pardon him?) I recently viewed a video on how a poor immigrant family hid Snowden before he secured a flight out of Hong Kong. (He is working to get them out of Hong Kong, to Canada.) I am curious as to how he got the flight out to Russia?????
Yvonne Lorenzo , says: September 21, 2019 at 9:14 pm GMT
This will be my final comment. My issue is one regarding Snowden's character and integrity, especially as the collapsing Empire under FUBAR Trump is waging war on the world. Come on, none of the CIA trolls here have read The Saker with Orlov on the fate of the mass murdering Empire?

http://www.unz.com/tsaker/placing-the-usa-on-a-collapse-continuum-with-dmitry-orlov/

At this point it is important to explain what exactly a "final collapse" looks like. Some people are under the very mistaken assumption that a collapsed society or country looks like a Mad Max world. This is not so. The Ukraine has been a failed state for several years already, but it still exists on the map. People live there, work, most people still have electricity (albeit not 24/7), a government exists, and, at least officially, law and order is maintained. This kind of collapsed society can go on for years, maybe decades, but it is in a state of collapse nonetheless, as it has reached all the 5 Stages of Collapse as defined by Dmitry Orlov in his seminal book "The Five Stages of Collapse: Survivors' Toolkit" where he mentions the following 5 stages of collapse:

Stage 1: Financial collapse. Faith in "business as usual" is lost.
Stage 2: Commercial collapse. Faith that "the market shall provide" is lost.
Stage 3: Political collapse. Faith that "the government will take care of you" is lost.
Stage 4: Social collapse. Faith that "your people will take care of you" is lost.
Stage 5: Cultural collapse. Faith in "the goodness of humanity" is lost.

Sound familiar? Read it and weep. Your pensions are toast.

Or read Chris Hedges America The Farewell Tour.

Snowden's character is proven by his interview with Brian Roberts.

Now, although only 14% of U.S. TLAMs got past Syrian air defenses, hear him was rhapsodic on the "beautiful missiles."

And Snowden is happy to talk to this creep? And asks Rothschild-Kravis puppet Macron to ex-filtrate him to France?

https://www.voltairenet.org/article204303.html

It was in this milieu that he met Henry and Marie-Josée Kravis, in their residence on Park Avenue in New York [1]. The Kravis couple, unfailing supporters of the US Republican Party, are among the great world fortunes who play politics out of sight of the Press. Their company, KKR, like Blackstone and the Carlyle Group, is one of the world's major investment funds.

" Emmanuel's curiosity for the 'can-do attitude' was fascinating – the capacity to tell yourself that you can do anything you set your mind to. He had a thirst for knowledge and a desire to understand how things work, but without imitating or copying anyone. In this, he remained entirely French ", declares Marie-Josée Drouin (Mrs. Kravis) today [2].

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201909141076804460-go-west-edward-snowden-hopes-frances-emmanuel-macron-will-approve-his-asylum-application/

Snowden's revelations about his aspirations for asylum outside of Russia come just days ahead of the upcoming release of his new memoir which is expected to hit the shelves on US Constitution Day.

Famous American whistleblower and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the man responsible for exposing a number of global surveillance programs run by the US agency, has recently revealed that he would like to obtain asylum in France.

Call it female intuition, Snowden creeps me out.

Those who want to bow before his altar, be my guest. You have free will.

peterAUS , says: September 21, 2019 at 11:21 pm GMT
@Yvonne Lorenzo

Butthurt

whoo-hoo..

Go wave your flag

.CIA trolls here

Read it and weep. Your pensions are toast.

From an author here?!

Whoah ..

My God, Unz .. really ? Coming to this?

Hahaha oh man.

peterAUS , says: September 21, 2019 at 11:48 pm GMT
Just realized, isn't this creature the only female author here? A female creature is writing, as an author, on alt-whatever site, about things she has never been professionally involved in. With certain hahaha style.

Hahaha ..oh my.

So, what have we got:
1. Unz finally collapsed under "diversity" pressure?
2. There is, sort of a hidden, message here.

I really hope it's the second.

Sean , says: September 22, 2019 at 12:35 am GMT peterAUS , says: September 22, 2019 at 2:31 am GMT
@Sean True true .mea culpa. Female stuff, that is, in general.

Style, though, is unique for the creature here.

Butthurt

whoo-hoo..

Go wave your flag

.CIA trolls here

Read it and weep. Your pensions are toast .

.creep .creeps me out

I mean hahaha .when reading those things it's, almost, as written by a certain type of commentators here. Almost as one of them, actually. Same "footprint". Especially the first two.

I mean, having that from an author here is, really, a new low for sure.

This is the first time I've seen something like that, and my attitude was mild in this thread compared to some in other threads. I mean, I was quite hard on some authors here, and never, so far that. "Butthurt" ."whoo-hoo"

I've quite offended a couple of authors here and they never replied with any rude word. And ..my God "whoo-hoo". Haha crazy.

New "quality" seeping here, apparently. Hehe getting with times, I guess. And program.
Understandable.

peterAUS , says: September 22, 2019 at 2:54 am GMT
@peterAUS O.K. I could be wrong.

I've been on this site for quite some time. Read, on average, 20 % of articles and similar number of comments in those articles.

I can't, really, recollect ONE case when an AUTHOR, here, in a comments exchange with a commentator, used the words "butthurt" and "whoo-hoo". Not once from the, say, authors from the West. Born and raised there, that is. Cultural thing, I guess.

Anyone could prove me senile/wrong? Please.

2stateshmustate , says: September 22, 2019 at 3:27 am GMT
@foolisholdman I agree. Shilling for the Israelis regarding 911 is a deal breaker for me. They had me going about these 2 guys for a while, but when I heard that they had ridiculed 911 truthers I smelled a rat. And after this article I agree they are shills for the status quo. Reasonable people can not doubt that 911 was a false flag operation. There's just too much bullshit there.
Commentator Mike , says: September 22, 2019 at 3:43 am GMT
@peterAUS

isn't this creature the only female author here?

Ilana Mercer is a woman who writes on UR.

niceland , says: September 22, 2019 at 4:55 am GMT
I think the idea Snowden is a "plant" is a bit far out there. If he is; the real purpose of the exercise is what exactly?

I also don't get why some commenters think Julian Assange isn't who he claims to be. His Wikileaks has published great volume of highly embarrassing material for the U.S. The embassy cables come to mind – bringing to light evidence contrary to Washington narrative on many events.

There is another thing; Just after he established Wikileaks he came to Iceland and met with journalists and few politicians. The result from that visit was he met one Kristinn Hrafnsson, long time journalist in Iceland with excellent track record and credibility. Since Assange got in trouble, accused of sexual harassment from Swedish woman and finally escaped into the Ecuador embassy in London, Hrafnsson has been spokesman for Wikileaks.

Since I am familiar with Hrafnsson work for decades, I would be very surprised if he worked with Assagne all this time, and even took over his job, so to speak, as head of Wikileaks if Assagne wasn't genuine. Hrafnsson has struck me as smart guy and honest and it's extremely unlikely he would continue if something didn't smell right at Wikileaks. I also want to point out Wikileaks has been working with, what I consider the few remaining NEWS outlets in Europe. (Including The Guardian before it was bought few years ago and became worthless).

To Assagne credit he booted Icelandic polititian, one Birgitta Jónsdóttir; who tried to visit him in U.K. prison – and wanted nothing to do with her. She has been trying to make international name for herself as fighter for human rights and peacemaker and against corruption and so forth. Unfortunately she is a bag full of hot air and thinks SHE is the center of the universe. It's all about her and therefore she is of no use for any cause. Julian was right to send her packing.

I can't imagine what the CIA or NSA or other tentacles of the Empire would gain by running Wikileaks. It makes absolutely no sense to me.

niceland , says: September 22, 2019 at 5:07 am GMT
@niceland Here you can view interview by Chris Hedges with Hrafnsson on RT. You decide if this guy is genuine or not. It seems he has basically been running Wikileaks for past several years. https://www.rt.com/shows/on-contact/461987-kristinn-hrafnsson-extradition-wikileaks/
Digital Samizdat , says: September 22, 2019 at 6:43 am GMT
@der einzige Wow. Thank you for posting that. Doesn't look too good for Assange.
anon [310] Disclaimer , says: September 22, 2019 at 8:52 am GMT
@Yvonne Lorenzo > Call it female intuition, Snowden creeps me out.

Can't refute that! #BelieveWomen

anon [310] Disclaimer , says: September 22, 2019 at 9:56 am GMT
@Yvonne Lorenzo > A helicopter outfitted with surveillance bubbles overflew after I submitted this piece.. Coincidence, right?

No coincidence, they're distributing corn sharks in a contract with ADM. Stay indoors and cover your head with tin foil.

9/11 Inside job , says: September 22, 2019 at 10:19 am GMT
@2stateshmustate "9/11 is the Litmus Test " By Smoking – Mirrors.Com :

"It all comes down to 9/11.Everything that has happened has happened based on a lie . Everyone in Government ; everyone in the media , in entertainment , in organized religion , in the public ,in the public eye who accepts and promotes the official story is either a traitor or a tool . Everyone who does not stand forth and speak truth to power is a coward , a liar and complicit in mass-murder . Everyone everywhere can be measured by this Litmus Test ."

[Sep 21, 2019] Edward Snowden On The NSA, His Book 'Permanent Record' And Life In Russia NPR

Sep 21, 2019 | www.npr.org

In 2013, Edward Snowden was an IT systems expert working under contract for the National Security Agency when he traveled to Hong Kong to provide three journalists with thousands of top-secret documents about U.S. intelligence agencies' surveillance of American citizens.

To Snowden, the classified information he shared with the journalists exposed privacy abuses by government intelligence agencies. He saw himself as a whistleblower. But the U.S. government considered him a traitor in violation of the Espionage Act .

After meeting with the journalists, Snowden intended to leave Hong Kong and travel -- via Russia -- to Ecuador, where he would seek asylum. But when his plane landed at Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport, things didn't go according to plan.

"What I wasn't expecting was that the United States government itself ... would cancel my passport," he says.

Snowden was directed to a room where Russian intelligence agents offered to assist him -- in return for access to any secrets he harbored. Snowden says he refused.

"I didn't cooperate with the Russian intelligence services -- I haven't and I won't," he says. "I destroyed my access to the archive. ... I had no material with me before I left Hong Kong, because I knew I was going to have to go through this complex multi-jurisdictional route."

Snowden spent 40 days in the Moscow airport, trying to negotiate asylum in various countries. After being denied asylum by 27 nations, he settled in Russia, where he remains today.

"People look at me now and they think I'm this crazy guy, I'm this extremist or whatever. Some people have a misconception that [I] set out to burn down the NSA," he says. "But that's not what this was about. In many ways, 2013 wasn't about surveillance at all. What it was about was a violation of the Constitution."

Snowden's 2013 revelations led to changes in the laws and standards governing American intelligence agencies and the practices of U.S. technology companies, which now encrypt much of their Web traffic for security. He reflects on his life and his experience in the intelligence community in the memoir Permanent Record.

On Sept. 17, the U.S. Justice Department filed suit to recover all proceeds from the book, alleging that Snowden violated nondisclosure agreements by not letting the government review the manuscript before publication; Snowden's attorney, Ben Wizner, said in a statement that the book contains no government secrets that have not been previously published by respected news organizations, and that the government's prepublication review system is under court challenge.

[Sep 21, 2019] How Edward Snowdenhe secures his personal cellphone

If you are paranoid enough, and want to follow Snowden steps (he actually has valid reason to be afraid that each his step is monitored by all available tech means, including using his sell phone) you do not need to open the phone and disconnect the mike. You can just put a drop of epoxy into microphone phone. That disables microphone as no air will get to the membrane.
Notable quotes:
"... I try not to use one as much as possible, and when I do use one, I use a cellphone that I have myself modified. [I've] performed a kind of surgery on it. I open it up with special tools and I use a soldering iron to remove the microphone and I disconnect the camera so that the phone can't simply listen to me when it's sitting there. It physically has no microphone in it. And when I need to make a call I just connect an external microphone through the headphone jack. And this way the phone works for you rather than you working for the phone. ..."
Sep 21, 2019 | www.npr.org

On how he secures his personal cellphone

I try not to use one as much as possible, and when I do use one, I use a cellphone that I have myself modified. [I've] performed a kind of surgery on it. I open it up with special tools and I use a soldering iron to remove the microphone and I disconnect the camera so that the phone can't simply listen to me when it's sitting there. It physically has no microphone in it. And when I need to make a call I just connect an external microphone through the headphone jack. And this way the phone works for you rather than you working for the phone.

We need to be regulating the collection of data, because our phones, our devices, our laptops -- even just driving down the street with all of these systems that surround us today -- is producing records about our lives. It's the modern pollution.

You need to be careful about the software you put on your phone, you need to be careful about the connections it's making, because today most people have got a thousand apps on their phones; it's sitting there on your desk right now or in your hand and the screen can be off but it's connecting hundreds or thousands of times a second. ...

And this is this core problem of the data issue that we're dealing with today. We're passing laws that are trying to regulate the use of data. We're trying to regulate the protection of data, but all of these things presume that the data has already been collected. ...

We need to be regulating the collection of data, because our phones, our devices, our laptops -- even just driving down the street with all of these systems that surround us today -- is producing records about our lives. It's the modern pollution.

[Sep 18, 2019] US wants to seize all money Edward Snowden makes from new book - Reuters

Notable quotes:
"... The United States is seeking all proceeds earned by Snowden for the book, the Justice Department said. The lawsuit also names the "corporate entities" behind the book's publication as nominal defendants. ..."
"... Ben Wizner, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union who represents Snowden, said the lawsuit was without merit. "This book contains no government secrets that have not been previously published by respected news organizations," he said in a statement, adding that Snowden would have submitted it for review if he thought the government would review it in good faith. ..."
Sep 18, 2019 | uk.reuters.com

The United States filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked secret documents about U.S. telephone and internet surveillance in 2013, saying his new book violates non-disclosure agreements.

The Justice Department said Snowden published his memoir, "Permanent Record," without submitting it to intelligence agencies for review, adding that speeches given by Snowden also violated nondisclosure agreements. In 2013, Snowden wrote "Everything You Know about the Constitution is Wrong."

The United States is seeking all proceeds earned by Snowden for the book, the Justice Department said. The lawsuit also names the "corporate entities" behind the book's publication as nominal defendants.

Ben Wizner, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union who represents Snowden, said the lawsuit was without merit. "This book contains no government secrets that have not been previously published by respected news organizations," he said in a statement, adding that Snowden would have submitted it for review if he thought the government would review it in good faith.

Representatives for the book's publisher, Macmillan Publishers, and its unit Henry Holt & Co, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Snowden has lived in Russia since he revealed details of U.S. intelligence agencies' secret surveillance programs.

Though he is viewed by some as a hero, U.S. authorities want him to stand in a criminal trial over his disclosures of classified information.

Speaking by video link at an event in Berlin to promote the book, Snowden said that while he had signed a non-disclosure agreement to maintain secrecy, he had also sworn an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution.

"You've told the government you're not going to talk to journalists. You've told them you're not going to write a book," Snowden said. "At the same time you have an oath to defend the Constitution. And the secret that you are asked to protect is that the government is violating that Constitution and the rights of people around the world."

Reporting by Makini Brice; Additional reporting by Mark Hosenball in Washington and Paul Carrell in Berlin; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Lisa Shumaker Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

[Sep 15, 2019] Snowden Spills Infamous Whistleblower Opines On Spycraft, AI, And Being Suicided

When the ideology collapses like neoliberalism collapsed in 2008 defections and leaks from the intelligence agencies became more prominent and higher level. Just before the USSR collapsed there were several high level officers of KGB that changed sides including at least one general of KGB.
We can probably view Snowden and Manning as signs of similar process which started in the USA after the collapse of neoliberalism. They suggest that loyalty to the USA in CIA or NSA is on low level not became of some external factors, but due to lack of conviction in the sanity of the current social system in the USA (aka neoliberal society). So "protest defections" will probably continues unabated.
Of course, dealing with intelligence agencies is tricky as Snowden revelation might just be a limited revenge of CIA to NSA. But in any case it is undisputable that while few Snowden files were published the mere fact of exfiltration of so much highly sensitive information did some damage to military industrial complex. That makes is less pausible that he operates as CIA mole, which several commenters below suggest.
At the same time in this interview Snowden sounds like a naive and disoriented person: " I try to keep a distance between myself and Russian society, and this is completely intentional. I live my life with basically the English-speaking community." English speaking community in Russia probably has highest in the world percentage of intelligence officers of Western countries including CIA officers.
Another somewhat suspicious fact is that very few files that Snowden files were released. So the whole story now looks like "Too much ado about nothing." Unlike Wikileaks that published Manning materials.
Notable quotes:
"... He describes the 18 years since the September 11 attacks as "a litany of American destruction by way of American self-destruction, with the promulgation of secret policies, secret laws, secret courts and secret wars". ..."
"... Snowden also said: " The greatest danger still lies ahead, with the refinement of artificial intelligence capabilities, such as facial and pattern recognition. ..."
"... " An AI-equipped surveillance camera would be not a mere recording device, but could be made into something closer to an automated police officer ." - The Guardian ..."
"... You have to remember, in the beginning I didn't even know mass surveillance was a thing because I worked for the CIA, which is a human intelligence organization. But when I was sent back to NSA headquarters and my very last position to directly work with a tool of mass surveillance, there was a guy who was supposed to be teaching me . And sometimes he would spin around in his chair, showing me nudes of whatever target's wife he's looking at. And he's like: "Bonus!" ..."
"... The most important part of the Rubik's cube was actually not as a concealment device, but a distraction device. I had to get things out of that building many times. I really gave Rubik's cubes to everyone in my office as gifts and guards saw me coming and going with this Rubik's cube all the time. So I was the Rubik's cube guy . ..."
"... When you're doing this for the first time, you're just going down the hallway and trying not to shake. And then, as you do it more times, you realize that it works. You realize that a metal detector won't detect an SD card because it has less metal in it than the brackets on your jeans. ..."
"... I try to keep a distance between myself and Russian society, and this is completely intentional. I live my life with basically the English-speaking community . I'm the president of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. And, you know, I'm an indoor cat. It doesn't matter where I am -- Moscow, Berlin, New York -- as long as I have a screen to look into. ..."
"... 16 June 2013 The revelations expand to include the UK, with news that GCHQ intercepted foreign politicians' communications during the 2009 G20 summit in London, and that the British spy agency has also tapped the fibre-optic cables carrying much of the internet's traffic. ..."
"... 3 July 2013 While en route from Moscow, Bolivia's president, Evo Morales, is forced to land in Vienna after European countries refuse his plane airspace, suspecting that Snowden was on board. It is held and searched for 12 hours. ..."
"... December 2016 Oliver Stone releases the movie Snowden featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Melissa Leo, Tom Wilkinson, Zachary Quinto and a cameo by former Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger. ..."
"... When he originally contacted Glenn Greenwald, I was suspicious. I said then, nothing will come of this, and nothing did, because WE NEVER GOT TO SEE all the files he had and what was on them. ..."
"... Read in Reuters that he's requested asylum in France. ..."
"... It will be common knowledge soon that it was the NSA (Admiral Rogers) that first detected the coup against Trump and the illegal surveillance. Remember friends, the FISA warrants were a cover for the illegal spying the Obama administration was ALREADY doing on Trump, Cruz, and others. ..."
"... I try to keep a distance between myself and Russian society, and this is completely intentional. I live my life with basically the English-speaking community. ..."
"... What an ungrateful twat. Russia saved his bacon and yet he wants to know nothing of the country and its people and maybe begin to understand WHY they would offer to help him...even if he doesnt like the Russain government, he CHOOSES to know nothing of the Russian people. What a loser! ..."
"... Maybe he doesn't know how to speak Russian, seeing as how getting stuck in Russia was not exactly his original plan. He just happened to be in a Russian airport when the USA happened to revoke his passport, making it impossible for him to leave. ..."
"... There is also the other angle, that perhaps he might be working as a CIA agent even now, and that his predicament is actually all entirely pre-meditated by the USA. Russia might take his getting friendly with the locals as being a bit impolite if he is doing spy work for the USA while living in Russia. ..."
"... He doesnt need to be "palsy-walsy" with Russians, he has NO knowledge of the country he lives in and its people and doesn't want to. That is ungrateful to the nth degree. ..."
"... If Russia wanted to they could shut down his ability to give video-conferences etc. They don't, they continue to show him a hospitality that he seems willing to spit on! ..."
"... Serious damage? I fear Snowden and Assange wasted their lives upon the American people. Was Snowden wrong morally? He fought the totalitarian giant and for this the people sit back in their arm chairs and moralize whether it was right or wrong. We don't deserve to be "free.". ..."
"... Why and how has Greenwald been able to "sit on" countless info files but never released them? If that is true then why haven't US authorities gone after him as well? Way too many strange aspects to Snowden's cover story and how he's allowed by the Russian's to make public statements about their local political landscape. ..."
"... It's not just that. Greenwald lives full time in Brazil for a very good reason--Brazil has no extradition treaty with the US. He's relatively safe there, although his boyfriend was stupid enough to go to London briefly and nearly got the Assange treatment... ..."
"... What I hate is that Snowden gave all those documents to Greenwald who said he was going to publish them and once he went to the Intercept under Omadyar...nothing but silence on those files. To my mind he betrayed Snowden. ..."
"... Book tour, Docudrama and T-Shirt? ..."
"... That part of the narrative does seem a bit odd, doesn't it? She's allowed to come and go as she pleases in the USA, yet is married to this guy wanted by the US authorities? Hmm. Nothing suspicious about that. ..."
"... Can anybody name something that Snowfen revealed that wasn't common knowledge? ..."
Sep 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Meeting with both The Guardian and Spiegel Online in Moscow as part of its promotion, the infamous whistleblower spent nearly five hours with the two media outlets - offering a taste of what's in the book, details on his background, and his thoughts on artificial intelligence, facial recognition, and other intelligence gathering tools coming to a dystopia near you.

While The Guardian interview is 'okay,' scroll down for the far more interesting Spiegel interview, where Snowden goes way deeper into his cloak-and-dagger life, including thoughts on getting suicided.

First, The Guardian :

Snowden describes in detail for the first time his background, and what led him to leak details of the secret programms being run by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the UK's secret communication headquarters, GCHQ .

He describes the 18 years since the September 11 attacks as "a litany of American destruction by way of American self-destruction, with the promulgation of secret policies, secret laws, secret courts and secret wars".

Snowden also said: " The greatest danger still lies ahead, with the refinement of artificial intelligence capabilities, such as facial and pattern recognition.

" An AI-equipped surveillance camera would be not a mere recording device, but could be made into something closer to an automated police officer ." - The Guardian

https://www.youtube.com/embed/EezWIxcinnw

Other notables from the Guardian interview:

The Der Spiegel interview, meanwhile, is way more interesting ... For example:

" If I Happen to Fall out of a Window, You Can Be Sure I Was Pushed. "

Meeting Edward Snwoden is pretty much exactly how children imagine the grand game of espionage is played.

But then, on Monday, there he was, standing in our room on the first floor of the Hotel Metropol, as pale and boyish-looking as the was when the world first saw him in June 2013 . For the last six years, he has been living in Russian exile. The U.S. has considered him to be an enemy of the state, right up there with Julian Assange, ever since he revealed, with the help of journalists, the full scope of the surveillance system operated by the National Security Agency (NSA).

For quite some time, though, he remained silent about how he smuggled the secrets out of the country and what his personal motivations were. - Spiegel Online

Select excerpts via Der Spiegel (emphasis ours):

***

DER SPIEGEL: Mr. Snowden, you always said: "I am not the story." But now you've written 432 pages about yourself. Why?

Edward Snowden: Because I think it's more important than ever to explain systems of mass surveillance and mass manipulation to the public. And I can't explain how these systems came to be without explaining my role in helping to build them.

DER SPIEGEL: Wasn't it just as important four or even six years ago?

Snowden: Four years ago, Barack Obama was president. Four years ago, Boris Johnson wasn't around and the AfD ( Germany's right-wing populist party Alternative for Germany ) was still kind of a joke. But now in 2019, no one is laughing. When you look around the world, when you look at the rising factionalization of society, when you see this new wave of authoritarianism sweeping over many countries: Everywhere political classes and commercial classes are realizing they can use technology to influence the world on a new scale that was not previously available. We are seeing our systems coming under attack.

DER SPIEGEL: What systems?

Snowden: The political system, the legal system, the social system. And we have the proclivity to think that if we get rid of the people we don't like, the problem is solved. We go: "Oh, it's Donald Trump. Oh, it's Boris Johnson. Oh, it's the Russians" But Donald Trump is not the problem. Donald Trump is the product of the problem.

***

DER SPIEGEL: While writing, did you discover any truths about yourself that you didn't like?

Snowden: The most unflattering thing is to realize just how naïve and credulous I was and how that could make me into a tool of systems that would use my skills for an act of global harm . The class of which I am a part of, the global technological community, was for the longest time apolitical. We have this history of thinking: "We're going to make the world better."

***

DER SPIEGEL: Was that your motivation when you entered the world of espionage?

Snowden: Entering the world of espionage sounds so grand. I just saw an enormous landscape of opportunities because the government in its post-9/11 spending blitz was desperate to hire anybody who had high-level technical skills and a clearance. And I happened to have both. It was weird to be just a kid and be brought into CIA headquarters, put in charge of the entire Washington metropolitan area's network .

DER SPIEGEL: Was it not also fascinating to be able to invade pretty much everybody's life via state-sponsored hacking?

Snowden: You have to remember, in the beginning I didn't even know mass surveillance was a thing because I worked for the CIA, which is a human intelligence organization. But when I was sent back to NSA headquarters and my very last position to directly work with a tool of mass surveillance, there was a guy who was supposed to be teaching me . And sometimes he would spin around in his chair, showing me nudes of whatever target's wife he's looking at. And he's like: "Bonus!"

***

DER SPIEGEL: You became seriously ill and fell into depression. Have you ever had suicidal thoughts?

Snowden: No! This is important for the record. I am not now, nor have I ever been suicidal. I have a philosophical objection to the idea of suicide, and if I happen to fall out of a window, you can be sure I was pushed.

***

DER SPIEGEL: You write that you sometimes smuggled SD memory cards inside a Rubik's cube .

Snowden: The most important part of the Rubik's cube was actually not as a concealment device, but a distraction device. I had to get things out of that building many times. I really gave Rubik's cubes to everyone in my office as gifts and guards saw me coming and going with this Rubik's cube all the time. So I was the Rubik's cube guy . And when I came out of the tunnel with my contraband and saw one of the bored guards, I sometimes tossed the cube to him. He's like, "Oh, man, I had one of these things when I was a kid, but you know, I could never solve it. So I just pulled the stickers off." That was exactly what I had done -- but for different reasons.

DER SPIEGEL: You even put the SD cards into your mouth.

Snowden: When you're doing this for the first time, you're just going down the hallway and trying not to shake. And then, as you do it more times, you realize that it works. You realize that a metal detector won't detect an SD card because it has less metal in it than the brackets on your jeans.

***

DER SPIEGEL: You describe your arrival in Moscow as a walk in the park. You say you refused to cooperate with the Russian intelligence agency FSB and they let you go. That sounds implausible to us.

Snowden: I think what explains the fact that the Russian government didn't hang me upside down my ankles and beat me with a shock prod until secrets came out was because everyone in the world was paying attention to it. And they didn't know what to do. They just didn't know how to handle it. I think their answer was: "Let's wait and see."

DER SPIEGEL: Do you have Russian friends?

Snowden: I try to keep a distance between myself and Russian society, and this is completely intentional. I live my life with basically the English-speaking community . I'm the president of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. And, you know, I'm an indoor cat. It doesn't matter where I am -- Moscow, Berlin, New York -- as long as I have a screen to look into.

***

Read the rest of Der Spiegel' s interview with Edward Snowden here .

Meanwhile, The Guardian provides an interesting 'Snowden Timeline':

Snowden's timeline

mrjinx007 , 18 minutes ago link

I'm an indoor cat. It doesn't matter where I am -- Moscow, Berlin, New York -- as long as I have a screen to look into.

Snowed-in.

headless blogger , 27 minutes ago link

There's really no way to know that for sure if this guy is legit. If he is part of an operation, let's hope it's for something good. When he originally contacted Glenn Greenwald, I was suspicious. I said then, nothing will come of this, and nothing did, because WE NEVER GOT TO SEE all the files he had and what was on them.

Just what this man is up to we will likely never know. These kinds of operations can take years to set up.

My guess is Snowden is the Decoy, the distraction. There is likely someone else or something else that all of this camouflages.

Decoherence , 35 minutes ago link

He met his pole dancer on hot or not and allowed her to shape his views on politics. That sounds like desperation or pretty bad judgment.

Equinox7 , 36 minutes ago link

Things go both ways in a surveillance environment. Snowden will be exposed in time as a CIA operative. The NSA has everything including Hillary's private emails. Obama and many in his regime were also using private email servers, and the NSA has them all.

Snowden was trying to destroy the NSA, when they are what was needed to take down the CIA, FBI, and the Deep State. I don't like the NSA being in existence, but this will help in prosecuting the criminals.

NiggaPleeze , 12 minutes ago link

So what is the NSA waiting for? The statute of limitations to expire? LOL. Snowden wasn't trying to do anything except educate people on what their government is doing. You obviously hate truth and knowledge. You work for the NSA?

BennyBoo , 37 minutes ago link

I don't believe a damned thing about anything published about any of the alphabet agencies - good, bad, neutral, doesn't matter it's all clown show bs.

VooDoo6Actual , 37 minutes ago link

Any other critical thinkers notice the CIA activated their asset again finally ? A predictable programmed book really ? Just imagine what kind of juicy already known statecraft he will reveal. Lol. America loves their confabulated mythical pseudo-hero's & cucked political demigods full of bovine scat don't they.

The UberMensch hero who somehow miraculously survived the 'enkryptonite' where other HVT can't. Amazing. Need to hurl makes me gag reflex & gut retch.

VooDoo6Actual , 26 minutes ago link

"Trump is the Anti-Mass Surveillance" ... LMAO -

TRUMP REQUESTS PERMANENT REAUTHORIZATION OF NSA MASS SURVEILLANCE https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/08/16/alarm-trump-requests-permanent-reauthorization-nsa-mass-spying-program-exposed

vasilievich , 58 minutes ago link

Read in Reuters that he's requested asylum in France.

JBLight , 1 hour ago link

Snowden is still CIA and his mission was to throw the NSA under the bus.

It will be common knowledge soon that it was the NSA (Admiral Rogers) that first detected the coup against Trump and the illegal surveillance. Remember friends, the FISA warrants were a cover for the illegal spying the Obama administration was ALREADY doing on Trump, Cruz, and others.

Gonzogal , 1 hour ago link

I try to keep a distance between myself and Russian society, and this is completely intentional. I live my life with basically the English-speaking community.

What an ungrateful twat. Russia saved his bacon and yet he wants to know nothing of the country and its people and maybe begin to understand WHY they would offer to help him...even if he doesnt like the Russain government, he CHOOSES to know nothing of the Russian people. What a loser!

Pure Speculation , 24 minutes ago link

Just how is he to know who is undercover security services and who is just plain good and interesting?

Maybe he doesn't know how to speak Russian, seeing as how getting stuck in Russia was not exactly his original plan. He just happened to be in a Russian airport when the USA happened to revoke his passport, making it impossible for him to leave.

There is also the other angle, that perhaps he might be working as a CIA agent even now, and that his predicament is actually all entirely pre-meditated by the USA. Russia might take his getting friendly with the locals as being a bit impolite if he is doing spy work for the USA while living in Russia.

Gonzogal , 1 hour ago link

He doesnt need to be "palsy-walsy" with Russians, he has NO knowledge of the country he lives in and its people and doesn't want to. That is ungrateful to the nth degree.

If Russia wanted to they could shut down his ability to give video-conferences etc. They don't, they continue to show him a hospitality that he seems willing to spit on!

vasilievich , 56 minutes ago link

No, really, I met people there who were deep and friendly and sensitive. Lots critical of what's not right with their own society, and yet not traitors to their country.

Gonzogal , 49 minutes ago link

I agree with you vasilievich....I am looking forward to visiting Russia next spring in time for the V-Day and the Immortal Regiment, then spend a month visiting Russian and hopefully getting to interact with Russians "on the street".

One of the differences with Russia and the "West" is that Putins hours long live "conversations" with Russians and the way he gets his government to follow up up problems, which he himself follows up on to insure actions are taken, ensure that people have that freedom to be critical of their own society. Such an opposite to what happens to critics in the "west"

vasilievich , 1 hour ago link

Yes, that's inexplicable, at least to me. I lived there and liked Russians very much.

richsob , 1 hour ago link

My take on Snowden is he's basically a decent guy who did some serious damage. Was he wrong legally? Hell yes! Was he wrong morally? Possibly. Would I put the guy in prison if I could? Yeah for about 30 days because the bottom line of what he did was to expose **** that needed to be exposed.

It's complicated but occasionally a guy like this is needed to stir the pot.

NAV , 1 hour ago link

Serious damage? I fear Snowden and Assange wasted their lives upon the American people. Was Snowden wrong morally? He fought the totalitarian giant and for this the people sit back in their arm chairs and moralize whether it was right or wrong. We don't deserve to be "free.".

ISEEIT , 1 hour ago link

I personally consider Snowden to be a limited hangout operative.

Bingo Hammer , 1 hour ago link

There is still more and something very fishy about Snowden.....if he really did so much so called "damage" to the US why do US authorities never mention him? Why do they never pressure Russia to send him back?

Why and how has Greenwald been able to "sit on" countless info files but never released them? If that is true then why haven't US authorities gone after him as well? Way too many strange aspects to Snowden's cover story and how he's allowed by the Russian's to make public statements about their local political landscape.

puckles , 55 minutes ago link

It's not just that. Greenwald lives full time in Brazil for a very good reason--Brazil has no extradition treaty with the US. He's relatively safe there, although his boyfriend was stupid enough to go to London briefly and nearly got the Assange treatment...

Gonzogal , 1 hour ago link

What I hate is that Snowden gave all those documents to Greenwald who said he was going to publish them and once he went to the Intercept under Omadyar...nothing but silence on those files. To my mind he betrayed Snowden.

smacker , 1 hour ago link

I think Greenwald lives in Rio, Brazil and is partnered to a Brazilian guy, so Brazil would not extradite him.

5fingerdiscount , 2 hours ago link

Book tour, Docudrama and T-Shirt?

Jazzman , 2 hours ago link

The quality of low rank NSA employees is rapidly deteriorating since 2013... ^^

Pure Speculation , 2 hours ago link

That part of the narrative does seem a bit odd, doesn't it? She's allowed to come and go as she pleases in the USA, yet is married to this guy wanted by the US authorities? Hmm. Nothing suspicious about that.

cakesquid , 28 minutes ago link

strong suit you must mean..

How does what I wrote translate into an integrity issue?

Been married twice, fully faithful. But at his age particularly, would not recommend it to a guy who is in an unstable situation anyway. (not to mention the girl originally rejected him when the going got rough).

Live a little, enjoy your youth, and enjoy the infamy!

Bob_Sacamano , 2 hours ago link

Can anybody name something that Snowfen revealed that wasn't common knowledge?

[Sep 14, 2019] 48 States to Investigate Google Anti-Trust or Politicking

the important side effect of dominance in advertizing is a huge surveillance mechanism of Big Brother type that come with it. Google essentially is able to see what particular individual is viewing, unless special steps like blocking Google advertizing server IPs, modifying the page of the fly or disabling Javascript are taken. It does not need access to web server logs, his own advertizing servers produce logs that are equitant if not better.
Sep 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Fifty Attorney Generals from 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico announced on Monday that they are launching an anti-trust investigation into Google. This investigation would be in addition the one that the Justice Department's already conducting. Here's what Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who's leading the case, had to say when he made the announcement on Monday.

KEN PAXTON: This is a company that dominates all aspects of advertising on the internet and searching on the internet as they dominate the buyer side, the seller side, the auction side and even the video side with YouTube. And right now, we're looking at advertising, but the facts will lead to where the facts lead. And even as we speak, been up here about a minute, there'll be 3.8 million searches and a lot of advertising dollars just made in every minute that one of these people speaks.

GREG WILPERT: Other major tech companies that have come into the crosshairs of various state and federal government agencies for anti-trust investigations are Facebook, Apple and Amazon. According to a New York Times analysis, Google is facing five major investigations, Facebook eleven, and Apple and Amazon are each facing three. Each area of anti-competitive behavior is different, depending on the market that each one of these companies dominates.

Joining me now to discuss the wave of anti-trust investigations against Google and other tech companies is Bill Black. He is a white-collar criminologist, former financial regulator, and Associate Professor of Economics and Law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He's also the author of the book The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One . Thanks for joining us again, Bill.

BILL BLACK: Thank you.

GREG WILPERT: So it's interesting that a Republican State Attorney General is taking the lead on this, Ken Paxton. And that California isn't even a part of the case, along with Alabama. What's going on here? What's your analysis?

BILL BLACK: Okay, so the reason the state AGs are getting involved in general in lots of different things, and going all the way back to the runup to the great financial crisis, is that the United States Department of Justice has basically abandoned cracking down significantly on elite white-collar crimes in general and anti-trust in particular. Now, there's an exception -- cartels. They actually are moderately vigorous until the Trump administration, but in lots of other areas, not so. And so the states felt that the only way that you could have any effective action was to have the states take the lead. But the states lack the capacity to take the lead.

They just don't have -- All the 50 states plus Puerto Rico and DC together do not have the resources in anti-trust, for example, that the federal government has just in its anti-trust division. And that's not even mentioning the FBI, which does the real investigations, and which the states have no real counterpart to. And so the only way the states could even try to be effective was to link together. And they did this in the runup to the great financial crisis sufficiently, effectively, that the federal government actually sought to block the states from bringing this action, claiming that it was preempted, so this is continuing that practice.

They weren't able to get California and they weren't able to get Alabama. So they weren't able to get Alabama on the usual conservative grounds of "why should we sue anybody, the powerful?" But they weren't able to get California of course in part because the state AG is a Democrat, and his leading source of contributions, or among his three leading sources of contributions is Google. And this is one of the real problems with state AGs. They're statewide races, you have to get elected, and they're expensive races, so you're always seeking political contributions and such. That, of course, is something that the US Attorney General doesn't have to do and allows him or her to be more independent.

Then the next question is the states have to face the question always in these kinds of cases that the federal government doesn't face. And that's "who's going to be in charge?" It's obviously that the US Attorney General, unless he has to recuse himself, is in charge at the federal level. But the state level, it's a matter of negotiation. For reasons that pass all understanding, they put Paxton, one of the absolute most notorious state Attorney Generals in the United States, in charge. Paxton is trying to raise political contributions on the basis of this investigation. He sent out an email seeking funds, and I quote "we will continue to fight for your rights and to protect you from monopolistic practices by liberal elites in DC or in Silicon Valley." Now here's a hint, Attorney Generals are not supposed to go after liberals or conservatives or moderates.

That is completely antithetical to the idea of justice, but Paxton is not functioning like an independent, honest person. He's someone who is intensely politically ambitious, who hates anybody who he perceives as even moderate -- much less, liberal or progressive and such -- and he wants to use this investigation as a weapon to go after his political opponents. And on top of that, get paid off, to get a fine that he can use to tout as a success, and to use that resources to do the same type of thing in going after other folks. So again, I have no idea why the state AGs who are Democrats were willing to allow Paxton to take the lead role because it's going to discredit the entire investigation.

GREG WILPERT: I think that's really interesting to see this kind of battle going on, essentially within the elite circles of the United States. It's really breaking out into the open in this case, if that's the real motivation behind -- Well, he said it himself. His real motivation is to go after the liberal elites, which he sees Google and Facebook as being a part of. But I want to turn to the actual issue of anti-trust and monopolies. Now, clearly Google dominates the search market. There's no doubt about that. It's practically the only search engine anyone uses. However, in advertising, Google is not actually a monopoly, at least if one looks at its market share by revenues, where it has a 38% share of digital advertising revenues and Facebook has 22%. Now, give us an idea as to why Google's dominance in search and advertising should actually perhaps be a concern. Is that concern real? And also, if advertisers can simply go elsewhere if they feel that Google isn't treating them fairly, why should their practices in this area be of concern?

BILL BLACK: Okay, so one of the things I teach is anti-trust and such. Monopoly is not the same thing as monopoly power. When we use the word "monopoly," we typically mean one entity that controls nearly everything. There are cases, but they're rare in life where there is actually a monopoly. Long before you have exclusive control over a market, however, you have some degree of market power. How much is incredibly complex and depends on the inner play. But one of the things is, say, use your numbers, we have somewhere around 30 to 40% of control here. We've got a competitor who has 20 and another competitor who has 20. Well then that makes it pretty easy for the three of us to collude. And we can collude implicitly, right? Just don't rock the boat. Anybody that really tries to undercut on fees, then we rush in and we match that and maybe we even cut a little more to show them how vigorous we're going to be. So economists have long been concerned anytime a company gets even close to the degree of market domination that you talked about, so it's not silly in the least that they're worried about it.

Now here's the kicker: people may remember Bork and the phrase "to be Borked." Well one of the reasons he was not approved by the Senate to be a Supreme Court Justice is that he was leading the right-wing movement to say that essentially we should get rid of anti-trust. In the specific context of Silicon Valley and any high tech entity in which numbers matter, penetration matters, the argument from the Right is that there are "network effects." In other words, when I use my email, it's much more valuable if I can talk to everybody than if I can just talk to the 10,000 people who have to be subscribers, in the old days, of some particular email service. And those kind of network effects are fairly common within tech, typically because of this desire to communicate and to search, in this case, much more broadly. So that leads to something close to what, in the old days in economics we would refer to as a "natural monopoly." A natural monopoly just means that there are so many economies of scale, that whoever gets big actually gets cheaper, and they have a competitive advantage over any rivals in those circumstances.

But we want the efficiency of that network and the conservatives are unwilling to do a hybrid, saying, "Okay, we'll have a network that covers everybody, but we'll treat it like a common carrier, and we'll make sure that the private entity doesn't become the multi-billionaire because of the profit from these things." So the conservatives want us just to walk away and let some people become extraordinarily rich and then use their market power, if they choose, to say "I actually don't want those people spreading their views, so I'm going to make life difficult for them." So there's also a political rationale, political science rationale, freedom rationale for saying "you shouldn't let a private company that is not subject at least to the duties of treating everyone fairly have this kind of monopoly power position."

GREG WILPERT: I want to dig a little bit deeper exactly on that issue actually. In the past, major anti-trust cases simply broke up the monopoly; such as, happened with Standard Oil in 1911 and AT&T in 1982. But is that even an option in cases for Facebook and Google? You're speaking about the network effects and they're obviously quite strong in the case of Facebook and Google. That is, do we really want a dozen different search engines or a dozen different baby Facebooks? In other words, wouldn't turning over the company to its users or to some other -- What would a possible alternative look like instead of breaking it up, or is that the only solution?

BILL BLACK: I don't think it is the only solution, but it's been the only solution that the Right has been willing to contemplate and to oppose as well, by the way. Again, their position is "we should just allow this network to be created and allow private parties to gain supernormal profits." In economic jargon, that just means a hell of a lot of money. This is why these people are multi-multi-billionaires, is they control something that has immense monopoly power, and therefore is able to charge more than they should, and that's inefficient. So the efficiency condition should be, "Yes, you create the network, but you don't allow a particular party to become immensely rich from it. You run it instead as essentially a regulated public utility." That says, "No, you can just get a normal return out of all of this. But yes, we'll allow a fully efficient network to be created,"

When you treat it like a public utility, then it has traditionally at law, doctrines of fairness and such that you can't discriminate against the use, that you can't use it as a weapon against your enemies and such, so you have to take all customers on the same terms whether they're big customers or little customers and such. Of course, that harks back to an earlier dispute and one of the first things that the Trump administration sought to eliminate, was any duty on the part of these private monopolies to treat people fairly. So it's quite interesting that the Trump administration is now investigating that which it previously blessed. And of course, the Trump administration has announced that it's going to use the anti-trust laws as a weapon against their political enemies -- the car companies, for daring to agree with California to produce fewer greenhouse gases.

GREG WILPERT: Yeah. I just want to return to the issue of this particular case now with Ken Paxton and Google because obviously, or not obviously, but presumably, he would probably favor a decision that would actually weaken the power of Google and Facebook by breaking it up, which I would think the Democratic state Attorney Generals that are behind this case probably wouldn't necessarily favor. So how are they ever going to come to a resolution in this case, or is this just going to be tied up in the courts forever?

BILL BLACK: So this issue actually cuts across all kinds of ideological dimensions. You have the Texas AG, arguably the most conservative state AG in the country, someone who doesn't care about anti-trust at all, suddenly becoming the great enforcer of antitrust because it's his political opponents. You've got Democrats who often think that monopoly power has gone too far going, "Okay, I'll do a deal with the devil -- Paxton -- on this."

But now, and I mean just like today, the Koch Brothers Foundation has gotten involved. And it's sending out this major effort to get the population to turn against their state AGs because of this very investigation and the Facebook investigation as well. The Koch brothers fear that if this precedence gets created, of actually reinvigorating the anti-trust laws, they could be in the sights of particular Attorney Generals as well. I don't want to say that only conservative or Republican AGs use these laws against their political opponents because there have been a series of scandals involving Democrats as well and it's not so much political there. It's fundraisers. Whoever raises money for them, they help out. You draw the money largely from plaintiff's lawyers and the plaintiff lawyers would really, really, really love it if the state AGs would bring an action against the very folks that they too are suing. That would help their litigation a great deal. So, there are a series of scandals involving Democrats and Republicans in these Attorney General-type suits.

[Sep 13, 2019] Antiwar.com wins legal case against FBI

Notable quotes:
"... The Inteligence elite mistake their power over people -- and the unspeakable sums of money that are flooded into their agencies -- for success. As you might imagine, that has spelled disaster where ever in the world that they operate. God help the society where they gain the upper hand. Like in the United States, for example. Their minds are broken beyond repair because reality actively lies to them. ..."
Sep 13, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/court-fbi-must-destroy-...

Court: FBI Must Destroy Memos Calling Antiwar.com a Threat
Ruling comes after a eight-year battle over secret surveillance of the popular website after 9/11.
By KELLEY BEAUCAR VLAHOS • September 12, 2019

In a major victory for Antiwar.com, free speech and journalism, a federal appeals court has ruled that the FBI must expunge surveillance memos that agents had drafted about the website's co-founders Eric Garris and Justin Raimondo in the early years following the 9/11 attacks.

"It's been a long fight and I'm glad we had an outcome that could might affect future FBI behavior," said Garris, who runs Antiwar.com, based in the San Francisco Bay area. "I just wish Justin was still here to know that this has happened."

Raimondo, 67, passed away in June from a long bout with cancer. He and Garris had sued the FBI in 2013 demanding it turn over all the memos and records it was keeping on the two men and the website, which has been promoting anti-interventionist news and views from a libertarian-conservative perspective since 1995

They won their case, and in 2017 the FBI agreed to turn over all the memos and settle their legal fees, $299,000, but the final expungement of two key memos involving intelligence gathered on the men and Antiwar.com, had yet to be expunged from the agency's record...

It all began when an observant reader brought a heavily redacted 2004 memo to Antiwar.com's attention in 2011. It was part of a batch of documents the reader had obtained through FOIA requests. It was clear from the documents' contents that the FBI had been collecting information and records on Raimondo and Garris for some time. At one point the FBI agent writing the April 30, 2004 memo on Antiwar.com recommended further monitoring of the website in the form of opening a "preliminary investigation to determine if [redaction] are engaging in, or have engaged in, activities which constitute a threat to national security."

Why? Because the website was questioning U.S. war policy ...

Agents noted that Antiwar.com had, or linked to, published counter-terrorism watch lists (already in the public domain). The FBI noted at least two of Raimondo's columns and wondered openly, "who are (Antiwar.com's) contributors and what are the funds utilized for?" This, after acknowledging there was no evidence of any crime being plotted or committed.

Other things noted in the documents::

-- Garris had passed along a threat he received on Sept. 12, 2001 from a Antiwar.com reader obviously disgruntled with the website's coverage of 9/11. The subject line read, "YOUR SITE IS GOING DOWN," and proceeded with this missive: "Be warned assholes, ill be posting your site address to all the hack boards tonight your site is history."

Concerned, Garris forwarded the email to the FBI field office in San Francisco. Garris heard nothing, but by January 2002, it turned up again, completely twisted around, in a secret FBI memo entitled, "A THREAT BY GARRIS TO HACK FBI WEBSITE."

It turns out this "threat" went on to justify, at least in part, the FBI's ongoing interest in monitoring the website.

-- The FBI took interest in Raimondo's writing about a 2001 FBI investigation of five Israeli nationals who were witnessed smiling and celebrating and taking pictures of the burning Twin Towers from a rooftop perch across the river from Manhattan in Union City, New Jersey, on 9/11. After witnesses called the police, the individuals, who all worked for a local moving company, were taken into custody and grilled by FBI and CIA for two months after it was deemed their work visas had expired. They were eventually deported without charge.

Raimondo, in writing about the case in 2002, linked to an American-generated terror watchlist (which had been published elsewhere on the Internet) that went out to Italian financial institutions and included the name of the man who owned the New Jersey moving company in question.

-- The FBI noted Antiwar.com was cited in an article, the name of the author redacted, about U.S aid to Israel.

-- They also noted that Raimondo had appeared on MSNBC to talk about his opposition to the Iraq War.

-- It also cited an article that listed Antiwar.com as a reference was handed out in 2002 at a "peaceful protest" at a British air base in the U.K.

-- The FBI was watching a member of a domestic neo-Nazi group who had "discussed a website, Antiwar.com" while encouraging fellow members at a conference to "educate themselves" about the Middle East conflict.

-- The agency said a special agent's review of hard drives seized during an investigation of an unnamed subject, revealed that the subject had visited Antiwar.com between July 25, 2002 and June 15, 2003, "among many other websites."

The FBI acknowledged it searched the Web, as well as Lexis-Nexis, the Universal Index (FBI central records), the agency's Electronic Case File, Department of Motor Vehicles and Dunn & Bradsheet (credit reports) for information on Antiwar.com and for "one or more individuals" working for the website.

Looking back, it's hard to fathom how such tiny (Constitutionally protected) crumbs led the FBI to the conclusion that Garris and Raimondo, two dedicated activists (Raimondo was also a prolific author) with decades of time in California's political trenches, might be a "threat to national security," but there you are...

The case decided on Wednesday revolved around two remaining memos that the FBI had so far refused to expunge. One involved the call Garris made to the FBI in 2002. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in Northern California found that the government did not have a compelling law enforcement reason to keep them.

"Maintenance of a record that describes only First Amendment activity and does not implicate national security is not pertinent to the FBI's authorized activities," the court concluded...

Garris said he was relieved and elated that the court was able to end this ugly chapter for the website...

>dervish
This is an example of why the innocent have nothing to fear from "all surveillance, all the time" is patently untrue.

Not to mention that casual erasures of any part of the Bill of Rights by government are frickin' scary, as are casual acceptance and rationalization of same by ordinary Americans (and/or those seeming like ordinary Americans).

In his memoir, True Compass , Ted Kennedy said that LBJ told him that LBJ considered the FBI culpable in the assassination of JFK, in that the FBI had had its eye on Oswald and considered him dangerous, but never warned the Secret Service.

Many years later, we have failures by the FBI and CIA to coordinate and act upon intel involved in 911. They did nothing about reports from citizens of the suspicious activities of the Saudi assassins while the assassins were in the US, such as taking flying lessons, but saying they didn't need to learn how to land. Moreover, the FBI and CIA had months of Arab conversations awaiting translation because of a shortage of translators cause by the FBI's and CIA's unwillingess to use Arab translators.

Then we have two warnings, not from ordinary citizens, but from the Russian government, that the Tsarnaevs were a threat. Now, that alone sure sounds to me like probable cause for surveillance. However, the FBI interviewed them and supposedly was unable to justify doing anything else.

So, we have culpability in a Presidential assassination AND two terrorist attacks. And that certainly can't be all before and after 1960. For instance, speaking of JFK, there was the Bay of Pigs fiasco. On the bright side, that taught JFK to squint at the CIA and the military, which, in turn, may have avoided nuclear disaster over the Cuban missile "crisis." (When we place missiles somewhere, it's defense on our part and a deterrent; when another nation, especially Russia, does the same, it's casus belli , unless some brilliant politicians can scale it "all the way down" to a "crisis" or a "national emergency." Our hypocrisy sickens.

BTW, according to the memoir, JFK was questioning our Vietnam involvement and Bobby Kennedy had flat out become convinced that bombing should stop immediately and peace negotiations should begin. He volunteered to negotiate the peace himself, but LBJ refused. So, that's another thing Bobby and Jack had in common. (Interestingly to me, by Ted's own account, he was the last of the three Kennedy brothers to lose support for the Vietnam War!)

jim p on Thu, 09/12/2019 - 7:20pm

Doubtless there are other agencies with files and stalking
Pluto's Republic on Thu, 09/12/2019 - 8:34pm
Thanks for reporting on this, Linda

The socially destructive solutions designed by the Intelligence Communities since the mid-20th century are paying off in one way:

There is now a copious amount of research and data, that once harnessed and put to work, will clearly demonstrate without doubt how tragic and destructive their outcomes have been. They have accomplished precisely the opposite of the goal they were reaching for. For example, apply their social engineering to reduce the number of terrorists in a region, and in less than a decade the region will be overrun with terrorists.

Use their strategic genius to stop the flow of drugs from hot-spots of the world, and in another decade, much of the world will be saturated with illegal drugs.

Humanity throughout the world are the losers, and they pay dearly for the blindness of Nazi-mentored techniques and strategies that are embraced by intelligence agencies and military intelligence. In the long term, they are bringers of chaos.

The nazis always lose. Ever since we brought them to America after World War II to teach us their techniques -- the US has lost every war it attempted. The effects of this influence has turned America into a prison complex.

The Inteligence elite mistake their power over people -- and the unspeakable sums of money that are flooded into their agencies -- for success. As you might imagine, that has spelled disaster where ever in the world that they operate. God help the society where they gain the upper hand. Like in the United States, for example. Their minds are broken beyond repair because reality actively lies to them.

If you ask them to send a rocket to the moon, they'll wait until the full moon is directly overhead, then fire the rocket. They are void of subtlety. The failure will be classified and forgotten.

We need Taoist leaders if we want to solve real world problems.

[Sep 13, 2019] Before 9/11 it would have been illegal for CIA to be operating within the U.S.

Sep 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

Durruti says: September 12, 2019 at 12:05 am GMT 200 Words @Tony Ryals

Before 9/11 it would have been illegal for CIA to be operating within the U.S.

Yes, the Central Intelligence Agency -CIA, was prohibited by Law to operate within the USA, This Law/limitation of the power of a Spy Agency, was designed to limit Government intrusion into the lives of American Citizens. [Bitter laughter in this space]

1. Imagine how much more illegal it must be for a Spy Agency of any Foreign Government to operate within the territorial limits of the United States.

2. Does the Zionist Spy Agency, MOSSAD , come to mind? Indeed.

3. In 2019, we Americans suffer the daily intrusion into our private affairs of as many as 16 Secret Agencies, in addition to the most powerful Spy Agency MOSSAD , (which certainly controls the CIA, NSA, FBI, many local Police Departments, and the other Secret Agencies- those of the Armed forces, etc.).

*Good political news goes in this space [ ]. The dismissal of one Yahoo – by a Yahoo – to be replaced by another Yahoo – does not count.

Restore our American Republic!

Justvisiting , says: September 12, 2019 at 6:24 am GMT

@Durruti The many whistleblowers (Snowden etal) have explained that international intelligence agencies have circumvented local government restrictions on domestic surveillance by trading data.

So, England can legally spy on Americans. America can legally spy on English folks.

Swap data.

Voila!

(Mossad can spy on everybody and trade with everybody–fun, fun, fun.)

[Sep 12, 2019] Israel Accused Of plating StingRays swvices near White House

Sep 12, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Though it's easy to imagine the outpouring of fury and wall to wall media coverage -- complete with urgent Congressional hearings -- should such allegations center on any other foreign country caught spying on the White House (let's say Russia for example), the bombshell Politico report has barely made a dent in the mainstream media or big cable networks' coverage.

This is partly because the administration's own reaction has been muted, as the report notes that "the Trump administration took no action to punish or even privately scold the Israeli government" after being informed by US intelligence that Israel likely planted the devices.

Politico's sources in most instances held top intelligence and national security posts, who describe the following of the recovered spy devices :

The miniature surveillance devices, colloquially known as "StingRays," mimic regular cell towers to fool cell phones into giving them their locations and identity information . Formally called international mobile subscriber identity-catchers or IMSI-catchers, they also can capture the contents of calls and data use .

The devices were likely intended to spy on President Donald Trump, one of the former officials said, as well as his top aides and closest associates -- though it's not clear whether the Israeli efforts were successful.

From the moment the report was unveiled early Thursday, Israel's stance has been to vehemently deny, and to even suggest the accusations are tinged with "anti-Semitism".


Pure Speculation , 7 minutes ago link

The statement from the prime minister's office added, "There is a longstanding commitment, and a directive from the Israeli government not to engage in any intelligence operations in the U.S. This directive is strictly enforced without exception."

Uh huh... Sure. So how do you explain Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell then?

Vuke , 19 minutes ago link

Come on readers. Next they'll be saying Israel controls all levels of government through political donations. Possible from the $2 Billion a year they get? Anybody know how much total Israeli contributions go to the Pres, Congress etc?

africoman , 21 minutes ago link

How sweet & bitter this revelation come on the anniversary of 911 & perps are free solidifying their grips over America etc

it would be ironically surprising if the MSM took it for repointing to Americans on such a day or we

How could you deprogram Americans especially trumptards when others such as Ilhan Omar tried to hint them who did 911?

i commemorate the anniversary of 911 cos it happened on the eve of my new year and at least 3 of my people died in that fateful event

i wish isisrahell annexed their strong holds DC and leave Palestinians alone

attah-boy-Luther , 32 minutes ago link

... ... ...

http://themillenniumreport.com/2019/09/9-11-truth-exploding-worldwide-perps-desperate-to-distract-populace-and-disarm-patriots/#more-84351

Mustafa Kemal , 33 minutes ago link

I was hoping to see a comment from Einstein, but cant find him. Wonder where he is. I guess we will just have to lower our standards and look to ZD1 for the real scoop.

[Sep 11, 2019] Video Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 The Bamboozle Has Captured Us

Highly recommended!
David Warner Mathisen definitely know what he is talking about due to his long military career... Free fall speed is documented and is an embarrassment to the official story, because free fall is impossible for a naturally collapsing building.
Now we need to dig into the role of Larry Silverstein in the Building 7 collapse.
Notable quotes:
"... Below is a video showing several film sequences taken from different locations and documenting multiple angles of World Trade Center Building 7 collapsing at freefall speed eighteen years ago on September 11, 2001. ..."
"... The four words "Building Seven Freefall Speed" provide all the evidence needed to conclude that the so-called "official narrative" promoted by the mainstream media for the past eighteen years is a lie, as is the fraudulent 9/11 Commission Report of 2004. ..."
"... Earlier this month, a team of engineers at the University of Alaska published their draft findings from a five-year investigation into the collapse of Building 7 ..."
"... This damning report by a team of university engineers has received no attention from the mainstream media outlets which continue to promote the bankrupt "official" narrative of the events of September 11, 2001. ..."
"... its rate of collapse can be measured and found to be indistinguishable from freefall speed, as physics teacher David Chandler explains in an interview here (and as he eventually forced NIST to admit), beginning at around 0:43:00 in the interview. ..."
"... the collapse of the 47-story steel-beam building World Trade Center 7 into its own footprint at freefall speed is all the evidence needed to reveal extensive and deliberate premeditated criminal activity by powerful forces that had the ability to prepare pre-positioned demolition charges in that building ..."
"... Indeed, the evidence is overwhelming, to the point that no one can any longer be excused for accepting the official story. Certainly during the first few days and weeks after the attacks, or even during the first few years, men and women could be excused for accepting the official story (particularly given the level to which the mainstream media controls opinion in the united states). ..."
"... Additionally, I would also recommend the interviews which are archived at the website of Visibility 9-11 , which includes valuable interviews with Kevin Ryan but also numerous important interviews with former military officers who explain that the failure of the military to scramble fighters to intercept the hijacked airplanes, and the failure of air defense weapons to stop a jet from hitting the Pentagon (if indeed a jet did hit the Pentagon), are also completely inexplicable to anyone who knows anything at all about military operations, unless the official story is completely false and something else was going on that day. ..."
"... In addition to these interviews and the Dig Within blog of Kevin Ryan, I would also strongly recommend everybody read the article by Dr. Gary G. Kohls entitled " Why Do Good People Become Silent About the Documented Facts that Disprove the Official 9/11 Narrative? " which was published on Global Research a few days ago, on September 6, 2019. ..."
"... on some level, we already know we have been bamboozled, even if our conscious mind refuses to accept what we already know. ..."
"... Previous posts have compared this tendency of the egoic mind to the blissfully ignorant character of Michael Scott in the television series The Office (US version): see here for example, and also here . ..."
"... The imposition of a vast surveillance mechanism upon the people of this country (and of other countries) based on the fraudulent pretext of "preventing terrorism" (and the lying narrative that has been perpetuated with the full complicity of the mainstream media for the past eighteen years) is in complete violation of the human rights which are enumerated in the Bill of Rights and which declare: ..."
"... David Warner Mathisen graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point and became an Infantry officer in the 82nd Airborne Division and the 4th Infantry Division. He is a graduate of the US Army's Ranger School and the 82nd Airborne Division's Jumpmaster Course, among many other awards and decorations. He was later selected to become an instructor in the Department of English Literature and Philosophy at West Point and has a Masters degree from Texas A&M University. ..."
Sep 11, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca

Below is a video showing several film sequences taken from different locations and documenting multiple angles of World Trade Center Building 7 collapsing at freefall speed eighteen years ago on September 11, 2001.

The four words "Building Seven Freefall Speed" provide all the evidence needed to conclude that the so-called "official narrative" promoted by the mainstream media for the past eighteen years is a lie, as is the fraudulent 9/11 Commission Report of 2004.

  1. Building.
  2. Seven.
  3. Freefall.
  4. Speed.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Mamvq7LWqRU

Earlier this month, a team of engineers at the University of Alaska published their draft findings from a five-year investigation into the collapse of Building 7, which was not hit by any airplane on September 11, 2001, and concluded that fires could not possibly have caused the collapse of that 47-story steel-frame building -- rather, the collapse seen could have only been caused by the near-simultaneous failure of every support column (43 in number).

This damning report by a team of university engineers has received no attention from the mainstream media outlets which continue to promote the bankrupt "official" narrative of the events of September 11, 2001.

Various individuals at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) tried to argue that the collapse of Building 7 was slower than freefall speed, but its rate of collapse can be measured and found to be indistinguishable from freefall speed, as physics teacher David Chandler explains in an interview here (and as he eventually forced NIST to admit), beginning at around 0:43:00 in the interview.

Although the collapse of the 47-story steel-beam building World Trade Center 7 into its own footprint at freefall speed is all the evidence needed to reveal extensive and deliberate premeditated criminal activity by powerful forces that had the ability to prepare pre-positioned demolition charges in that building prior to the flight of the aircraft into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center (Buildings One and Two), as well as the power to cover up the evidence of this criminal activity and to deflect questioning by government agencies and suppress the story in the mainstream news, the collapse of Building 7 is by no means the only evidence which points to the same conclusion.

Indeed, the evidence is overwhelming, to the point that no one can any longer be excused for accepting the official story. Certainly during the first few days and weeks after the attacks, or even during the first few years, men and women could be excused for accepting the official story (particularly given the level to which the mainstream media controls opinion in the united states).

However, eighteen years later there is simply no excuse anymore -- except for the fact that the ramifications of the admission that the official story is a flagrant fraud and a lie are so distressing that many people cannot actually bring themselves to consciously admit what they in fact already know subconsciously.

For additional evidence, I strongly recommend the work of the indefatigable Kevin Robert Ryan , whose blog at Dig Within should be required reading for every man and woman in the united states -- as well as those in the rest of the world, since the ramifications of the murders of innocent men, women and children on September 11, 2001 have led to the murders of literally millions of other innocent men, women and children around the world since that day, and the consequences of the failure to absorb the truth of what actually took place, and the consequences of the failure to address the lies that are built upon the fraudulent explanation of what took place on September 11, continue to negatively impact men and women everywhere on our planet.

Additionally, I would also recommend the interviews which are archived at the website of Visibility 9-11 , which includes valuable interviews with Kevin Ryan but also numerous important interviews with former military officers who explain that the failure of the military to scramble fighters to intercept the hijacked airplanes, and the failure of air defense weapons to stop a jet from hitting the Pentagon (if indeed a jet did hit the Pentagon), are also completely inexplicable to anyone who knows anything at all about military operations, unless the official story is completely false and something else was going on that day.

I would also strongly recommend listening very carefully to the series of five interviews with Kevin Ryan on Guns and Butter with Bonnie Faulkner, which can be found in the Guns and Butter podcast archive here . These interviews, from 2013, are numbered 287, 288, 289, 290, and 291 in the archive.

Selected Articles: 9/11: Do You Still Believe that Al Qaeda Masterminded the Attacks?

I would in fact recommend listening to nearly every interview in that archive of Bonnie Faulkner's show, even though I do not of course agree with every single guest nor with every single view expressed in every single interview. Indeed, if you carefully read Kevin Ryan's blog which was linked above, you will find a blog post by Kevin Ryan dated June 24, 2018 in which he explicitly names James Fetzer along with Judy Woods as likely disinformation agents working to discredit and divert the efforts of 9/11 researchers. James Fetzer appears on Guns and Butter several times in the archived interview page linked above.

In addition to these interviews and the Dig Within blog of Kevin Ryan, I would also strongly recommend everybody read the article by Dr. Gary G. Kohls entitled " Why Do Good People Become Silent About the Documented Facts that Disprove the Official 9/11 Narrative? " which was published on Global Research a few days ago, on September 6, 2019.

That article contains a number of stunning quotations about the ongoing failure to address the now-obvious lies we are being told about the attacks of September 11. One of these quotations, by astronomer Carl Sagan (1934 – 1996), is particularly noteworthy -- even though I certainly do not agree with everything Carl Sagan ever said or wrote. Regarding our propensity to refuse to acknowledge what we already know deep down to be true, Carl Sagan said:

One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We're no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It's simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we've been taken.

This quotation is from Sagan's 1995 text, The Demon-Haunted World (with which I have points of disagreement, but which is extremely valuable for that quotation alone, and which I might suggest turning around on some of the points that Sagan was arguing as well, as a cautionary warning to those who have accepted too wholeheartedly some of Sagan's teachings and opinions).

This quotation shows that on some level, we already know we have been bamboozled, even if our conscious mind refuses to accept what we already know. This internal division is actually addressed in the world's ancient myths, which consistently illustrate that our egoic mind often refuses to acknowledge the higher wisdom we have available to us through the reality of our authentic self, sometimes called our Higher Self. Previous posts have compared this tendency of the egoic mind to the blissfully ignorant character of Michael Scott in the television series The Office (US version): see here for example, and also here .

The important author Peter Kingsley has noted that in ancient myth, the role of the prophet was to bring awareness and acknowledgement of that which the egoic mind refuses to see -- which is consistent with the observation that it is through our authentic self (which already knows) that we have access to the realm of the gods. In the Iliad, for example, Dr. Kingsley notes that Apollo sends disaster upon the Achaean forces until the prophet Calchas reveals the source of the god's anger: Agamemnon's refusal to free the young woman Chryseis, whom Agamemnon has seized in the course of the fighting during the Trojan War, and who is the daughter of a priest of Apollo. Until Agamemnon atones for this insult to the god, Apollo will continue to visit destruction upon those following Agamemnon.

Until we acknowledge and correct what our Higher Self already knows to be the problem, we ourselves will be out of step with the divine realm.

If we look the other way at the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children on September 11, 2001, and deliberately refuse to see the truth that we already know deep down in our subconscious, then we will face the displeasure of the Invisible Realm. Just as we are shown in the ancient myths, the truth must be acknowledged and admitted, and then the wrong that has been done must be corrected.

In the case of the mass murder perpetrated on September 11, eighteen years ago, that admission requires us to face the fact that the "terrorists" who were blamed for that attack were not the actual terrorists that we need to be focusing on.

Please note that I am very careful not to say that "the government" is the source of the problem: I would argue that the government is the lawful expression of the will of the people and that the government, rightly understood, is exactly what these criminal perpetrators actually fear the most, if the people ever become aware of what is going on. The government, which is established by the Constitution, forbids the perpetration of murder upon innocent men, women and children in order to initiate wars of aggression against countries that never invaded or attacked us (under the false pretense that they did so). Those who do so are actually opposed to our government under the Constitution and can be dealt with within the framework of the law as established by the Constitution, which establishes a very clear penalty for treason.

When the people acknowledge and admit the complete bankruptcy of the lie we have been told about the attacks of September 11, the correction of that lie will involve demanding the immediate repeal and dismantling of the so-called "USA PATRIOT Act" which was enacted in the weeks immediately following September 11, 2001 and which clearly violates the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Additionally, the correction of that lie will involve demanding the immediate cessation of the military operations which were initiated based upon the fraudulent narrative of the attacks of that day, and which have led to invasion and overthrow of the nations that were falsely blamed as being the perpetrators of those attacks and the seizure of their natural resources.

The imposition of a vast surveillance mechanism upon the people of this country (and of other countries) based on the fraudulent pretext of "preventing terrorism" (and the lying narrative that has been perpetuated with the full complicity of the mainstream media for the past eighteen years) is in complete violation of the human rights which are enumerated in the Bill of Rights and which declare:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

That human right has been grievously trampled upon under the false description of what actually took place during the September 11 attacks. Numerous technology companies have been allowed and even encouraged (and paid, with public moneys) to create technologies which flagrantly and shamelessly violate "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects" and which track their every move and even enable secret eavesdropping upon their conversation and the secret capture of video within their homes and private settings, without any probable cause whatsoever.

When we admit and acknowledge that we have been lied to about the events of September 11, which has been falsely used as a supposed justification for the violation of these human rights (with complete disregard for the supreme law of the land as established in the Constitution), then we will also demand the immediate cessation of any such intrusion upon the right of the people to "be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects" -- including the cessation of any business models which involve spying on men and women.

Companies which cannot find a business model that does not violate the Bill of Rights should lose their corporate charter and the privilege of limited liability, which are extended to them by the people (through the government of the people, by the people and for the people) only upon the condition that their behavior as corporations do not violate the inherent rights of men and women as acknowledged in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

It is well beyond the time when we must acknowledge and admit that we have been lied to about the events of September 11, 2001 -- and that we continue to be lied to about the events of that awful day. September 11, 2001 is in fact only one such event in a long history which stretches back prior to 2001, to other events which should have awakened the people to the presence of a very powerful and very dangerous criminal cabal acting in direct contravention to the Constitution long before we ever got to 2001 -- but the events of September 11 are so blatant, so violent, and so full of evidence which contradicts the fraudulent narrative that they actually cannot be believed by anyone who spends even the slightest amount of time looking at that evidence.

Indeed, we already know deep down that we have been bamboozled by the lie of the so-called "official narrative" of September 11.

But until we admit to ourselves and acknowledge to others that we've ignored the truth that we already know, then the bamboozle still has us .

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

David Warner Mathisen graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point and became an Infantry officer in the 82nd Airborne Division and the 4th Infantry Division. He is a graduate of the US Army's Ranger School and the 82nd Airborne Division's Jumpmaster Course, among many other awards and decorations. He was later selected to become an instructor in the Department of English Literature and Philosophy at West Point and has a Masters degree from Texas A&M University.

The original source of this article is Global Research Copyright © David W. Mathisen , Global Research, 2019 Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

David Warner Mathisen graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point and became an Infantry officer in the 82nd Airborne Division and the 4th Infantry Division. He is a graduate of the US Army's Ranger School and the 82nd Airborne Division's Jumpmaster Course, among many other awards and decorations. He was later selected to become an instructor in the Department of English Literature and Philosophy at West Point and has a Masters degree from Texas A&M University.

[Sep 07, 2019] Think of the internet as a tollway with booths at either end and monitoring along the way

Sep 07, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

anonymous , August 17, 2018 at 9:25 am

Think of the internet as a tollway with booths at either end and monitoring along the way. When you control a booth, for example, you can see which cars pass by.

I have seen that process in action and am in favor of privacy tools (VPN, control of Java scripts, ad/malware blockers, etc) to preserve some semblance of anonymity. Even with those in place, there are still ways for actors to observe. Be guided accordingly.

Epistrophy , August 17, 2018 at 10:29 am

Very difficult to provide choke points – but I am sure they are working on it. Because almost everything depends upon instantaeous network connectivity, such as power systems, logistics systems, communication systems, transport systems, defence systems and banking systems, among others, any interference is going to have side effects that could be quite serious.

In addition, systems are becoming more and more distributed, with no central control point – blockchain being a recent example.

For example, I stopped using youtube.com years ago. Mostly I use bitchute to watch some things directly, view videos through a search engine like DuckDuckGo or view videos embedded in websites like NC.

Bitchute uses bittorrent to transmit videos – meaning that the viewers of the videos also provide the bandwidth to each other – a peer to peer transmission method – so there is almost no bandwidth cost to Bitchute and no central point of control. The more users or 'nodes', the better the system works.

Youtube, on the other hand, can control or 'choke' content, but it has huge central server bandwidth costs.

As I see it, YouTube is going to morph into a proprietary Netflix-type of service in just a few years. Garage-produced indie content and alternative media startups will probably move to a different platform.

[Sep 07, 2019] 9-11 The Road To America's Orwellian Hell by James Bovard

Those measures are nothing special. They are typical for any war or any coup d'état to install totalitarian regime in the country. Fritened people are easily manipulated. . The only question against whom the war was launched and what was real origin of 9/11. Here 1984 instantly comes to mind.
Sep 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by James Bovard via The Future of Freedom Foundation,

Next week will be the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Politicians and bureaucrats wasted no time after that carnage to unleash the Surveillance State on average Americans, treating every person like a terrorist suspect. Since the government failed to protect the public, Americans somehow forfeited their constitutional right to privacy. Despite heroic efforts by former NSA staffer Edward Snowden and a host of activists and freedom fighters, the government continues ravaging American privacy.

Two of the largest leaps towards "1984" began in 2002. Though neither the Justice Department's Operation TIPS nor the Pentagon's Total Information Awareness program was brought to completion, parcels and precedents from each program have profoundly influenced subsequent federal policies.

In July 2002, the Justice Department unveiled plans for Operation TIPS -- the Terrorism Information and Prevention System. According to the Justice Department website, TIPS would be "a nationwide program giving millions of American truckers, letter carriers, train conductors, ship captains, utility employees, and others a formal way to report suspicious terrorist activity." TIPSters would be people who, "in the daily course of their work, are in a unique position to serve as extra eyes and ears for law enforcement." The feds aimed to recruit people in jobs that "make them uniquely well positioned to understand the ordinary course of business in the area they serve, and to identify things that are out of the ordinary." Homeland Security director Tom Ridge said that observers in certain occupations "might pick up a break in the certain rhythm or pattern of a community." The feds planned to enlist as many as 10 million people to watch other people's "rhythms."

The Justice Department provided no definition of "suspicious behavior" to guide vigilantes. As the public began to focus on the program's sweep, opposition surfaced; even the U.S. Postal Service briefly balked at participating in the program. Director Ridge insisted that TIPS "is not a government intrusion." He declared, "The last thing we want is Americans spying on Americans. That's just not what the president is all about, and not what the TIPS program is all about." Apparently, as long as the Bush administration did not announce plans to compel people to testify about the peccadilloes of their neighbors and customers, TIPS was a certified freedom-friendly program.

When Attorney General John Ashcroft was cross-examined by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on TIPS at a Judiciary Committee hearing on July 25, he insisted that "the TIPS program is something requested by industry to allow them to talk about anomalies that they encounter." But, when George W. Bush first announced the program, he portrayed it as an administration initiative. Did thousands of Teamsters Union members petition 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue over "anomalies"? Senator Leahy asked whether reports to the TIPS hotline would become part of a federal database with millions of unsubstantiated allegations against American citizens. Ashcroft told Leahy, "I have recommended that there would be none, and I've been given assurance that the TIPS program would not maintain a database." But Ashcroft could not reveal which federal official had given him the assurance.

The ACLU's Laura Murphy observed, "This is a program where people's activities, statements, posters in their windows or on their walls, nationality, and religious practices will be reported by untrained individuals without any relationship to criminal activity." San Diego law professor Marjorie Cohn observed, "Operation TIPS will encourage neighbors to snitch on neighbors and won't distinguish between real and fabricated tips. Anyone with a grudge or vendetta against another can provide false information to the government, which will then enter the national database."

On August 9, the Justice Department announced it was fine-tuning TIPS, abandoning any "plan to ask thousands of mail carriers, utility workers, and others with access to private homes to report suspected terrorist activity," the Washington Post reported. People who had enlisted to be TIPSters received an email notice from Uncle Sam that "only those who work in the trucking, maritime, shipping, and mass transit industries will be eligible to participate in this information referral service." But the Justice Department continued refusing to disclose to the Senate Judiciary Committee who would have access to the TIPS reports.

After the proposal created a fierce backlash across the political board, Congress passed an amendment blocking its creation. House Majority Leader Richard Armey (R-Tex.) attached an amendment to homeland security legislation that declared, "Any and all activities of the federal government to implement the proposed component program of the Citizen Corps known as Operation TIPS are hereby prohibited." But the Bush administration and later the Obama administration pursued the same information roundup with federally funded fusion centers that encouraged people to file "suspicious activity reports" for a wide array of innocuous behavior -- reports that are dumped into secret federal databases that can vex innocent citizens in perpetuity.

Operation TIPS illustrated how the momentum of intrusion spurred government to propose programs that it never would have attempted before 9/11. If Bush had proposed in August 2001 to recruit 10 million Americans to report any of their neighbors they suspected of acting unusual or being potential troublemakers, the public might have concluded the president had gone