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May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Skepticism and critical thinking is not panacea, but can help to understand the world better
|News||Social Sites as intelligence collection tools||Recommended Links||Big Uncle is Watching You||Edward Snowden as Symbol of Resistance to National Security State|
|Big Brother is Watching You||Search engines privacy||Email Privacy||Blocking Facebook||Many faces of Facebook||Facebook as Giant Database about Users|
|Nephophobia: avoiding cloud to reclaim bits of your privacy||What Surveillance Valley knows about you||Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism||Nineteen Eighty-Four||Interception of "in-transit" traffic as violation of human rights||Government security paranoia|
|Cyberstalking||Total control: keywords in your posts that might trigger surveillance||The Real War on Reality||How to collect and analyse your own metadata||Humor||Etc|
"None are more enslaved than those who
falsely believe they are free."
It’s not so disturbing that the aggregation occurs, it’s disturbing
that people don’t seem to understand just how “public” the Internet really is.
at The Last Hope conference, 2008
"One thing I find amusing is the absolute terror of Big Brother,
when we’ve all already gone and said, ‘Cuff me,’ to Little Brother,”
-- John Arquilla, an intelligence expert
at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.
It is important to understand that any networked computer is an insecure computer and it should be treated as such. It’s not so disturbing that that social sites, government, insurance companies, etc collect our data; it’s disturbing that people don’t seem to understand just how “public” the Internet really is and how much their personal information they volunteer. Anybody who answered honestly question about their annual income and other confidential information while registering product (Logitech like to ask this information ;-) or enrolling into some stupid social site like Facebook, is an idiot, plain and simple. And he/'she gets what they deserve. Also if after reading this individual does not suspend his/her Facebook account for at least a month to see whether he/she need it or not, he/she does not care about his privacy one bit. For anybody with IQ above 100 it is clear that Facebook does not serve any useful purpose, other then collecting information about you and reselling it to the higher bidder. That's their business model.
|After revelation of Prism program, an excessive usage of cloud services from a fashionable trend instantly became an indication of a person stupidity.|
The current situation can be described as following:
In other words from the point of view of the completeness of the dossier the government has on you, STASI was an rank amateur. There is no escape form this reality. But you can follow some simple common sense rules to minimize your "footprint", although they do not protect you from "excessive" Internet/communications surveillance:
Minimize. "If you want to be truly secure, I suggest the bromide of a 19th century Boston politician, Martin Lomasney: "Never write if you [can] speak; never speak if you can nod; and never nod if you can wink..." A very tough system to break even with today's advance technology." (quote for discussion at Schneier on Security )
Do not succumb to Internet addition. There are many things in life more pleasurable and even useful than spending hours browsing the Web.
Do not leave your computers up for the night unless they are servers. Switched off computer is pretty safe if "wake-on-LAN" setting in BIOS is disabled. The same is true with smartphones. Putting them into metal box or metal mesh box for the night like some recommend while cuts possibility for them to get a signal from the tower is probably an overkill. For laptops it's really easy to shut them for the night if you associate shut down computer with closing the lid when your laptop is connected to the power source (this is more tricky if you have a dock; then you might need to change it to "not connected to power source" and remove laptop from the dock for the night).
Always disable "wake-on-LAN" setting on your PCs. That's trivial thing but that's important.
Things that should be be discussed by phone, should never be discussed by phone.
Dilute your Internet purchase history. Use single Amazon account for the whole family or share it with a friends (that allow you to cut the price of prime in half but exposé you to risks if you "misunderestimated" your friend or part the ways ;-). It also enforce some discipline on your buying as you know that other people have access to the list of your purchases. In this case it is more difficult to profile single member of household as you need to make some assumption.
Filler browsing and the use of VPN. If you are concerned the your internet browsing can get you in the "unload citizens" category of some sort you might try to use "filler" browsing to dilute the stream of pages you requested and/or use VPN (but you can't use any exotic browser, unless you change the proser identification string, but even this is not enough). Dilution is a trick that is often used in office environment by those who like to play on the edge with enterprise security team (especially if you have nothing to do at night shift). Using single proxy for the whole family also helps to mask your identity (actually router mask all your Web pages requests presenting them as coming from a single Internet address, not from individual (and local) addresses of computers in your household. But if different computers use different browsers (or different version of browsers) pages access can be differentiated by browser type. In any case proxy gives you much finer control and is not that difficult to install and use. Programmable keyboard and some skills in programming in LUA makes injecting "politically correct searches" easy. You can randomize the set of pages too.
Don't succumb to paranoia. Installing spyware on your smartphone is an expensive operation and you generally have much higher changes to get malware from regular criminals than from the government. Especially if you install "free" applications on your smartphone. More often than not, they are not completely free and like is case of using Facebook you trade your privacy for the access to them ;-). Switched off cellphones or computer (with wake-up-LAN disabled) are switched off cell phones, or computer. There is probably not that much value in removing the battery and other "drastic" measures like putting them into Faraday case (BTW plastic bags for electronic parts have metallic coating and might serve serve as a Faraday cage)
If you do not want particular travel to be recorded in tiny details do not use cellphones and pay cash for gas, food, etc. But please understand that when you cross toll bridges your number plate is recorded. And probably not only bridges. So for the government there are many ways to skin the cat, even if the cat is trying to hide.
Regular simple/basic flip phone like Samsung Gusto 3 B311 No Contract Phone (Verizon Wireless) or ZTE Z222 Go Phone (AT&T) is safer than smartphone as there not much memory in each od such phone to allow any hacking (typically 50 MB or less) . This improves your protection, if you are really paranoid at the cost of Internet access from the smarphone. People like myself, who do not really need internet on the phone as they have tablet with G3/G4 for this purpose can also use this approach as such phone usually has chaper plans then smartphones. In any case your call metadata will be recorded anyway. And as Us experience with Iraq insurgetnt had shown, they are probably as revealing as the content of your phone calls.
Never use Gmail/hotmail/yahoo mail for anything of the registrations and spam folder. Get and account at one of ISPs. It will cost you around $5 a month or less. You might also wish to obtain you won domain name. They come with email accounts and web page creation capabilities (might also be useful if you can avoid excessive exhibitionism and limit it to quotes from sources that you like and similar things )
Never store your financial information and other sensitive files on the same computer you browse Internet. Buy additional laptop and use exclusively it for browsing financial sites and creating your tax return (if you do it yourself). That also helps against nasty malware. At least never use the same account -- create and strictly follow the discipline of using different accounts for you regular browsing and for your finances. That's really important.
Periodically change your nicknames if you participate in some "supposedly watched by authorities" forums. Periodically change DHCP address on your provider using ipconfig /release or similar methods. Nicknames that can't be easily found by Internet searches (common words, such as "high speed", "Networker", "not a new Yorker", "Symposium" ) are better than unique one. Look at Guardian forums for inspiration ;-). You can also use VPN to mask your IP but generally your mileage can vary, as the government has tools to void this protection.
Get PGP key and learn to use PGP. This is useful for separating your regular files from your "confidential" files. If something is really confidential never store it on a networked computer. Use paper and non-networked computer for printing it. Some people install DOS for such purpose, but while fun to do, that's probably an overkill, unless are are into retro-computing. Non-networked means does not have any network card, or WiFi; which means old desktop computer). You will not be alone. There was a story published in 2013 by major news agencies (see BBC version ) that Russian government bought some number of electric typewriters for such a switch. See also discussion Soviet Spying on US Selectric Typewriters - Schneier on Security. It might well be that on a governmental level anything secret shouldn't be prepared or communicated on electronic devices.
Switch off you laptp or smartphone if you do not use them and do not want to take any calls. There is no any reason to keep smartphone up when you are travelling in the car. You can use Airplane mode for that too. That suppresses geolocation, but it leaves phone up and thus theoretically still enables voice recording using microphone, although if you smartphone is in the pocket, the quality of such recording will be so dismal that it is virtually useless, unless you want to spend large amount of many on filtering off the noise.
"Always remember that Google Gmail is "free"
because you are not the customer, you are the product."
In Australia any expectations of privacy isn't legally recognized by the Supreme Court once people voluntarily offered data to the third party. A this is a very reasonable policy. 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.
In a very profound way Facebook was never a "social site". It was always anti-social site. Facebook exploits people's own sense of vanity and desire to invade other people's privacy. There is no requirement to plaster your life all over the internet.
|In a very profound way Facebook was never a "social site". It was always anti-social site. Facebook exploits and tries to play on people's own sense of vanity and desire to invade other people's privacy. This Facebook induced US epidemic of exhibitionism is really unhealthy. There is no requirement to plaster your life all over the internet.|
Facebook has been a personal information sucking device since its inception. It is a toxic, faceless suburban wasteland which actually makes people more lonely (Suburbanization of Friendships and Solitude)
April 18, 2012
Facebook may be making us lonely, giving users the information age equivalent of a faceless suburban wasteland, claims the fantastic cover story of The Atlantic. Key excerpts:
We were promised a global village; instead we inhabit the drab cul-de-sacs and endless freeways of a vast suburb of information.
At the forefront of all this unexpectedly lonely interactivity is Facebook.
Facebook makes real relationships harder:
That one little phrase, Your real friends—so quaint, so charmingly mothering—perfectly encapsulates the anxieties that social media have produced: the fears that Facebook is interfering with our real friendships, distancing us from each other, making us lonelier; and that social networking might be spreading the very isolation it seemed designed to conquer.
Our omnipresent new technologies lure us toward increasingly superficial connections at exactly the same moment that they make avoiding the mess of human interaction easy. The beauty of Facebook, the source of its power, is that it enables us to be social while sparing us the embarrassing reality of society—the accidental revelations we make at parties, the awkward pauses, the farting and the spilled drinks and the general gaucherie of face-to-face contact. Instead, we have the lovely smoothness of a seemingly social machine. Everything’s so simple: status updates, pictures, your wall.
Finally, FB fosters a retreat into narcissism:
Self-presentation on Facebook is continuous, intensely mediated, and possessed of a phony nonchalance that eliminates even the potential for spontaneity. (“Look how casually I threw up these three photos from the party at which I took 300 photos!”) Curating the exhibition of the self has become a 24/7 occupation.
Facebook users retreat from “messy” human interaction and spend too much of their time curating fantasy avatars of themselves to actually to out and meet real people:
The relentlessness is what is so new, so potentially transformative. Facebook never takes a break. We never take a break. Human beings have always created elaborate acts of self-presentation. But not all the time, not every morning, before we even pour a cup of coffee.
The always-on effects are profound:
What Facebook has revealed about human nature—and this is not a minor revelation—is that a connection is not the same thing as a bond, and that instant and total connection is no salvation, no ticket to a happier, better world or a more liberated version of humanity. Solitude used to be good for self-reflection and self-reinvention. But now we are left thinking about who we are all the time, without ever really thinking about who we are. Facebook denies us a pleasure whose profundity we had underestimated: the chance to forget about ourselves for a while, the chance to disconnect.
One of the deepest and best researched meditations on FB 2012.
Many sites allow now two factor authentication. If you bank and broker do not have two factor authentication, think about changing them to the one that is similar but has one.
As a minimum use different account and non-privileged account on the same laptop for browsing and for financial transactions.
To avoid pilfering of your financial information by malware it makes sense to use a special laptop for access to financial sites and preparing tax information. It is easy to configure your workplace at home with two laptops: one for browsing and other similar "non-secure" activate and the other for financial activities. You can switch monitors using a good KVM switch. Generally USB switch such as UGREEN USB Switch Selector is enough. You do not need to switch monitors as there is enough space for two or even for monitor (if you use 4 monitor stand) on most desks.
Never use for such operation a laptop or desktop you children have access to. Good used Dell laptop is only $300 and you losses can be measured in tens thousand of dollars.
|"As a totalitarian society, the Soviet Union valued eavesdropping and thus developed
ingenious methods to accomplish it"
NSA document, cited from
Soviet Spying on
US Selectric Typewriters - Schneier on Security
In any case we should be aware that your Internet communications are under total surveillance. And that does not mean that people in hard boots will come and take you. Just realization of that this under surveillance is enough to change people behaviour. See Inverted Totalitarism:
The key ingredient of classical totalitarism is violence toward opponents. Also in all classic totalitarian states such as Nazi Germany and the USSR, the citizenry were kept mobilized to support the state. Sometimes wipe up to the state of frenzy by ideological purity campaigns or purges. Opponents were sent to concentration camps or exiled. Here the idea different: a passive but thoroughly monitored and thoroughly brainwashed populace is the goal that can be achieve with just two of three component of traditional totalitarism (ideology, propaganda and violence). Ideology and propaganda components are enough. That why the name "inverted totalitarism".
The term "liberal fascism" is also used and is a synonym, but it has "politically incorrect" flavor. The term "managed democracy" is also used, but more rarely.
It goes without saying that inverted totalitarism is much better then classic variants as close acquaintance with Gestapo or KGB is harmful for one's health. And that's what opponents of the regime faced. Here they just ignore the opponents and cut oxygen, in indirect way. Voice of opponents of the regime is just drown in the see of official propaganda and they are never invited to TV programs with significant popularity and influence on public opinion. As Orwell aptly noted "ignorance is strength" ;-). Also people who failed "loyalty test" might be simply remove from position where they can make a difference. Without too much noise. Net result is very similar, but for dissidents in case of inverted totalitarism teeth remain in place.
This includes recordings of phone calls, the content of email messages, entries on Facebook and the history of any internet user's access to websites (Web logs). That does not mean that those data are abused, but they are definitely recorded and some of them are stored for several years. In the article Edward Snowden Is Completely Wrong by Michael Hirsh and Sara Sorcher (Jun 15, 2013, NationalJournal.com) the authors warn:
Another problem for the alarmists: No evidence suggests that the worst fears of people like Snowden have ever been realized. In his interview with The Guardian, which broke the story along with The Washington Post, Snowden warned that the NSA’s accumulation of personal data
"increases every year consistently by orders of magnitude to where it’s getting to the point where you don’t have to have done anything wrong. You simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody.”
In a state with no checks and balances, that is a possibility. But even the American Civil Liberties Union, which has called NSA surveillance “a stone’s throw away from an Orwellian state,” admits it knows of no cases where anything even remotely Orwellian has happened. Nor can any opponent of NSA surveillance point to a Kafkaesque Joseph K. who has appeared in an American courtroom on mysterious charges trumped up from government surveillance. Several civil-liberties advocates, asked to cite a single case of abuse of information, all paused for long seconds and could not cite any.
There is also great misunderstanding about how the NSA system works and whether such abuse could even happen in the future. It’s unclear if the government will be capable of accessing and misusing the vast array of personal data it is accumulating, as Snowden predicts. The NSA appears primarily to use computer algorithms to sift through its database for patterns that may be possible clues to terrorist plots. The government says it is not eavesdropping on our phone calls or voyeuristically reading our e-mails. Instead, it tracks the “metadata” of phone calls—whom we call and when, the duration of those conversations—and uses computer algorithms to trawl its databases for phone patterns or e-mail and search keywords that may be clues to terrorist plots. It can also map networks by linking known operatives with potential new suspects. If something stands out as suspicious, agents are still required by law to obtain a court order to look into the data they have in their storehouses. Officials must show “probable cause” and adhere to the principle of “minimization,” by which the government commits to reducing as much as possible the inadvertent vacuuming up of information on citizens instead of foreigners—the real target of the NSA’s PRISM program. The program, according to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, has had success. He told NBC that tracking a suspicious communication from Pakistan to a person in Colorado allowed officials to identify a terrorist cell in New York City that wanted to bomb its subway system in the fall of 2009.
Replace the word "terrorist" by the word "dissident" and you will get truer meaning of the collection and mining of metadata by three letter agencies. Here is an insightful post by Chris On February 16, 2010 ( christopherkois.com):
Today, there was an Ask Slashdot Story called: “Did We Lose the Privacy War?” In the story, the user was trying to do things like use NoScript and block Google Analytics, disabling third party cookies, and encrypting IM “to keep data-miners at bay”.
While I think some of these things are a good idea and individually protect against potential threats that may reside on the Internet, in the grand scheme of things, they do not help to protect your privacy on the Internet. The story and the comments on Slashdot that followed remind me of a great talk that was presented by Steve Rambam at the The Last Hope conference in 2008.
Steve Rambam is the Founder and CEO of Pallorium, Inc. Pallorium is a licensed Investigative Agency with offices and affiliates worldwide. In 2008, at The Last Hope conference, Steve Rambam gave a talk called “Privacy is Dead – Get Over It”. I originally heard this talk in 2008, as a podcast that is distributed on The Last Hope website.
This talk is by far one of the best talks I’ve ever heard on the topic of privacy on the Internet. The talk contains information about how an individual person’s information is retrieved, gathered, and correlated to obtain everything about an individual. Even more of a disturbing trend, the aggregation of social networking sites with other data stored by government and other private entities. It’s not so disturbing that the aggregation occurs, it’s disturbing that people don’t seem to understand just how “public” the Internet really is. The amount of information given away on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc. is absolutely amazing. To top it off, an individual has no recourse against an entity collecting information about them. To quote the talk, “the genie is out of the bottle and you can’t stuff it back in.” The talk aims to spread awareness of data gathering on the Internet and how it is used in the past, present, and future.
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”. It’s not just private investigators that use this information, it’s also corporate entities that profit from your information. Take Amazon.com for example, from the talk:
“think for a second what Amazon knows about you: they know where you live, where you work, they know about your finances, they know what you like to read, what music you like to listen to, they know every interest of yours, every like, every dislike… all of things that make you, you. Essentially, they’ve got a database of everyone in America’s soul.”
Rambam points out that EBay, Paypal, and Skype (which is all one company now) have a very similar database of information. Satellite TV/Cable TV/DVR/Tivo all know what you watch on TV, and Tivo is actually selling elements of your data. Furthermore, you don’t know what they have and there is NOTHING that you can do about it.
From the talk:
“What you need to know is that these are “private” companies. Freedom of information does NOT apply. And you’re screwed 2 ways. You go to Choicepoint and you say ‘What’s in your files about me?’. ‘None of your business. It’s our business records. Tough.’ You go to the government and you say ‘This is my Freedom of Information Act request. I know you pulled a Choicepoint report on me. I want to know what was in that report.’ ‘Sorry, we can’t give it to you. It’s a private business record.’ FOIA is dead, buried. It tried to come back to life. Choicepoint hammered a big stake in it’s heart and now it’s gone…”
So, what does this all mean? This isn’t just about people or entities knowing everything there is to know about you: what you do, what you like, where you go, who you talk to, what you buy, what you are interested in buying, interests that you have, etc., etc., etc… It’s how those entities are using the data that they gather. You don’t have to be paranoid to be interested in this. Companies are profiting from the data that they are collecting on you, and you pay them for it. You are paying for their services, but they are still collecting the information and selling it to someone else. In essence, they are “double-dipping” into the profits from selling consumers a product or a service and then, aggregating the data and selling it to advertisers behind the scenes. The advertisers selling you information know more about you then you could ever imagine.
From the talk:
“If you don’t take anything else from my talk today, here’s what I need you to take away. Google is a private company that you have no control over. You have no right and no ability to influence what they gather about you and what they do with that information. And the truth is, most people when they think of Google, they think of a great utility that solved all the problems of finding things on the Internet a few years ago. … Google is photos, blogs, media … Gmail, how many people here use Gmail? … Do you know that your email is searched by bots? … How many of you know that your email is searched, indexed, and categorized? … How many of you care? None of you!
Now the same people, how many would be running out and hiring a lawyer if somebody was opening the mail at your mailbox, reading it, pasting it back shut, and putting it back in the box? Every single one of you. Much worse, but you don’t get it or you don’t care.”
One last quote from the talk that I feel really sums up all of the data collection, mining, and aggregation that many of the Internet Web Services companies do on a daily basis: This quote comes from the EFF, but is referenced in the talk: “This is analogous to AT&T listening to your phone calls all day in order to figure out what to sell you at dinner.”
Steve Rambam does a great job in conveying the current state of affairs. He states the case as to why much of this information can be used in a good way by law enforcement and private investigators to do their job efficiently, but also how the information obtained can and is being abused. The aim of the talk is to make people aware of what data is gathered, what you can do about it (which is not much), and what those entities that are gathering the information are doing with it.
The talk is just over 3 hours. The video is nice so you can see the slides, but you can always download the audio and listen to it on your portable music player.
In his article What Surveillance Valley knows about you (Crooks and Liars) Yasha Levine noted:
Google is very secretive about the exact nature of its for-profit intel operation and how it uses the petabytes of data it collects on us every single day for financial gain. Fortunately, though, we can get a sense of the kind of info that Google and other Surveillance Valley megacorps compile on us, and the ways in which that intel might be used and abused, by looking at the business practices of the “data broker” industry.
Thanks to a series of Senate hearings, the business of data brokerage is finally being understood by consumers, but the industry got its start back in the 1970s as a direct outgrowth of the failure of telemarketing. In its early days, telemarketing had an abysmal success rate: only 2 percent of people contacted would become customers. In his book, “The Digital Perso,” Daniel J. Solove explains what happened next:
To increase the low response rate, marketers sought to sharpen their targeting techniques, which required more consumer research and an effective way to collect, store, and analyze information about consumers. The advent of the computer database gave marketers this long sought-after ability — and it launched a revolution in targeting technology.
Data brokers rushed in to fill the void. These operations pulled in information from any source they could get their hands on — voter registration, credit card transactions, product warranty information, donations to political campaigns and non-profits, court records — storing it in master databases and then analyzing it in all sorts of ways that could be useful to direct-mailing and telemarketing outfits. It wasn’t long before data brokers realized that this information could be used beyond telemarketing, and quickly evolved into a global for-profit intelligence business that serves every conceivable data and intelligence need.
Today, the industry churns somewhere around $200 billion in revenue annually. There are up to 4,000 data broker companies — some of the biggest are publicly traded — and together, they have detailed information on just about every adult in the western world.
No source of information is sacred: transaction records are bought in bulk from stores, retailers and merchants; magazine subscriptions are recorded; food and restaurant preferences are noted; public records and social networks are scoured and scraped. What kind of prescription drugs did you buy? What kind of books are you interested in? Are you a registered voter? To what non-profits do you donate? What movies do you watch? Political documentaries? Hunting reality TV shows?
That info is combined and kept up to date with address, payroll information, phone numbers, email accounts, social security numbers, vehicle registration and financial history. And all that is sliced, isolated, analyzed and mined for data about you and your habits in a million different ways.
The dossiers are not restricted to generic market segmenting categories like “Young Literati” or “Shotguns and Pickups” or “Kids & Cul-de-Sacs,” but often contain the most private and intimate details about a person’s life, all of it packaged and sold over and over again to anyone willing to pay.
Take MEDbase200, a boutique for-profit intel outfit that specializes in selling health-related consumer data. Well, until last week, the company offered its clients a list of rape victims (or “rape sufferers,” as the company calls them) at the low price of $79.00 per thousand. The company claims to have segmented this data set into hundreds of different categories, including stuff like the ailments they suffer, prescription drugs they take and their ethnicity:
These rape sufferers are family members who have reported, or have been identified as individuals affected by specific illnesses, conditions or ailments relating to rape. Medbase200 is the owner of this list. Select from families affected by over 500 different ailments, and/or who are consumers of over 200 different Rx medications. Lists can be further selected on the basis of lifestyle, ethnicity, geo, gender, and much more. Inquire today for more information.
MEDbase promptly took its “rape sufferers” list off line last week after its existence was revealed in a Senate investigation into the activities of the data-broker industry. The company pretended like the list was a huge mistake. A MEDbase rep tried convincing a Wall Street Journal reporter that its rape dossiers were just a “hypothetical list of health conditions/ailments.” The rep promised it was never sold to anyone. Yep, it was a big mistake. We can all rest easy now. Thankfully, MEDbase has hundreds of other similar dossier collections, hawking the most private and sensitive medical information.
For instance, if lists of rape victims aren’t your thing, MEDbase can sell dossiers on people suffering from anorexia, substance abuse, AIDS and HIV, Alzheimer’s Disease, Asperger Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Bedwetting (Enuresis), Binge Eating Disorder, Depression, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Genital Herpes, Genital Warts, Gonorrhea, Homelessness, Infertility, Syphilis… the list goes on and on and on and on.
Normally, such detailed health information would fall under federal law and could not be disclosed or sold without consent. But because these data harvesters rely on indirect sources of information instead of medical records, they’re able to sidestep regulations put in place to protect the privacy of people’s health data.
MEBbase isn’t the only company exploiting these loopholes. By the industry’s own estimates, there are something like 4,000 for-profit intel companies operating in the United States. Many of them sell information that would normally be restricted under federal law. They offer all sorts of targeted dossier collections on every population segments of our society, from the affluent to the extremely vulnerable:
- people with drug addictions
- detailed personal info on police officers and other government employees
- people with bad credit/bankruptcies
- minorities who’ve used payday loan services
- domestic violence shelter locations (normally these addresses would be shielded by law)
- elderly gamblers
If you want to see how this kind of profile data can be used to scam unsuspecting individuals, look no further than a Richard Guthrie, an Iowa retiree who had his life savings siphoned out of his bank account. Their weapon of choice: databases bought from large for-profit data brokers listing retirees who entered sweepstakes and bought lottery tickets.
Here’s a 2007 New York Times story describing the racket:
Mr. Guthrie, who lives in Iowa, had entered a few sweepstakes that caused his name to appear in a database advertised by infoUSA, one of the largest compilers of consumer information. InfoUSA sold his name, and data on scores of other elderly Americans, to known lawbreakers, regulators say.
InfoUSA advertised lists of “Elderly Opportunity Seekers,” 3.3 million older people “looking for ways to make money,” and “Suffering Seniors,” 4.7 million people with cancer or Alzheimer’s disease. “Oldies but Goodies” contained 500,000 gamblers over 55 years old, for 8.5 cents apiece. One list said: “These people are gullible. They want to believe that their luck can change.”
Data brokers argue that cases like Guthrie are an anomaly — a once-in-a-blue-moon tragedy in an industry that takes privacy and legal conduct seriously. But cases of identity thieves and sophistical con-rings obtaining data from for-profit intel businesses abound. Scammers are a lucrative source of revenue. Their money is just as good as anyone else’s. And some of the profile “products” offered by the industry seem tailored specifically to fraud use.
As Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sergeant Yves Leblanc told the New York Times: “Only one kind of customer wants to buy lists of seniors interested in lotteries and sweepstakes: criminals. If someone advertises a list by saying it contains gullible or elderly people, it’s like putting out a sign saying ‘Thieves welcome here.’”
So what is InfoUSA, exactly? What kind of company would create and sell lists customized for use by scammers and cons?
As it turns out, InfoUSA is not some fringe or shady outfit, but a hugely profitable politically connected company. InfoUSA was started by Vin Gupta in the 1970s as a basement operation hawking detailed lists of RV and mobile home dealers. The company quickly expanded into other areas and began providing business intel services to thousands of businesses. By 2000, the company raised more than $30 million in venture capital funding from major Silicon Valley venture capital firms.
By then, InfoUSA boasted of having information on 230 million consumers. A few years later, InfoUSA counted the biggest Valley companies as its clients, including Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL. It got involved not only in raw data and dossiers, but moved into payroll and financial, conducted polling and opinion research, partnered with CNN, vetted employees and provided customized services for law enforcement and all sorts of federal and government agencies: processing government payments, helping states locate tax cheats and even administrating President Bill Clinton “Welfare to Work” program. Which is not surprising, as Vin Gupta is a major and close political supporter of Bill and Hillary Clinton.
In 2008, Gupta was sued by InfoUSA shareholders for inappropriately using corporate funds. Shareholders accused of Gupta of illegally funneling corporate money to fund an extravagant lifestyle and curry political favor. According to the Associated Press, the lawsuit questioned why Gupta used private corporate jets to fly the Clintons on personal and campaign trips, and why Gupta awarded Bill Clinton a $3.3 million consulting gig.
As a result of the scandal, InfoUSA was threatened with delisting from Nasdaq, Gupta was forced out and the company was snapped up for half a billion dollars by CCMP Capital Advisors, a major private equity firm spun off from JP Morgan in 2006. Today, InfoUSA continues to do business under the name Infogroup, and has nearly 4,000 employees working in nine countries.
As big as Infogroup is, there are dozens of other for-profit intelligence businesses that are even bigger: massive multi-national intel conglomerates with revenues in the billions of dollars. Some of them, like Lexis-Nexis and Experian, are well known, but mostly these are outfits that few Americans have heard of, with names like Epsilon, Altegrity and Acxiom.
These for-profit intel behemoths are involved in everything from debt collection to credit reports to consumer tracking to healthcare analysis, and provide all manner of tailored services to government and law enforcement around the world. For instance, Acxiom has done business with most major corporations, and boasts of intel on “500 million active consumers worldwide, with about 1,500 data points per person. That includes a majority of adults in the United States,” according to the New York Times.
This data is analyzed and sliced in increasingly sophisticated and intrusive ways to profile and predict behavior. Merchants are using it customize shopping experience— Target launched a program to figure out if a woman shopper was pregnant and when the baby would be born, “even if she didn’t want us to know.” Life insurance companies are experimenting with predictive consumer intel to estimate life expectancy and determine eligibility for life insurance policies. Meanwhile, health insurance companies are raking over this data in order to deny and challenge the medical claims of their policyholders.
Even more alarming, large employers are turning to for-profit intelligence to mine and monitor the lifestyles and habits of their workers outside the workplace. Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal described how employers have partnered with health insurance companies to monitor workers for “health-adverse” behavior that could lead to higher medical expenses down the line:
Your company already knows whether you have been taking your meds, getting your teeth cleaned and going for regular medical checkups. Now some employers or their insurance companies are tracking what staffers eat, where they shop and how much weight they are putting on — and taking action to keep them in line.
But companies also have started scrutinizing employees’ other behavior more discreetly. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina recently began buying spending data on more than 3 million people in its employer group plans. If someone, say, purchases plus-size clothing, the health plan could flag him for potential obesity — and then call or send mailings offering weight-loss solutions.
…”Everybody is using these databases to sell you stuff,” says Daryl Wansink, director of health economics for the Blue Cross unit. “We happen to be trying to sell you something that can get you healthier.”
“As an employer, I want you on that medication that you need to be on,” says Julie Stone, a HR expert at Towers Watson told the Wall Street Journal.
Companies might try to frame it as a health issue. I mean, what kind of asshole could be ag caring about the wellbeing of their workers? But their ultimate concern has nothing to do with the employee health. It’s all about the brutal bottom line: keeping costs down.
An employer monitoring and controlling your activity outside of work? You don’t have to be union agitator to see the problems with this kind of mindset and where it could lead. Because there are lots of things that some employers might want to know about your personal life, and not only to “keep costs down.” It could be anything: to weed out people based on undesirable habits or discriminate against workers based on sexual orientation, regulation and political beliefs.
It’s not difficult to imagine that a large corporation facing a labor unrest or a unionization drive would be interested in proactively flagging potential troublemakers by pinpointing employees that might be sympathetic to the cause. But the technology and data is already here for wide and easy application: did a worker watch certain political documentaries, donate to environmental non-profits, join an animal rights Facebook group, tweet out support for Occupy Wall Street, subscribe to the Nation or Jacobin, buy Naomi Klein’s “Shock Doctrine”? Or maybe the worker simply rented one of Michael Moore’s films? Run your payroll through one of the massive consumer intel databases and look if there is any matchup. Bound to be plenty of unpleasant surprises for HR!
This has happened in the past, although in a cruder and more limited way. In the 1950s, for instance, some lefty intellectuals had their lefty newspapers and mags delivered to P.O. boxes instead of their home address, worrying that otherwise they’d get tagged as Commie symps. That might have worked in the past. But with the power of private intel companies, today there’s nowhere to hide.
FTC Commissioner Julie Brill has repeatedly voiced concern that unregulated data being amassed by for-profit intel companies would be used to discriminate and deny employment, and to determine consumer access to everything from credit to insurance to housing. “As Big Data algorithms become more accurate and powerful, consumers need to know a lot more about the ways in which their data is used,” she told the Wall Street Journal.
Pam Dixon, executive director of the Privacy World Forum, agrees. Dixon frequently testifies on Capitol Hill to warn about the growing danger to privacy and civil liberties posed by big data and for-profit intelligence. In Congressional testimony back in 2009, Dixon called this growing mountain of data the “modern permanent record” and explained that users of these new intel capabilities will inevitably expand to include not just marketers and law enforcement, but insurance companies, employers, landlords, schools, parents, scammers and stalkers. “The information – like credit reports – will be used to make basic decisions about the ability of individual to travel, participate in the economy, find opportunities, find places to live, purchase goods and services, and make judgments about the importance, worthiness, and interests of individuals.”
For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section
Mar 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Jay , Mar 23 2020 18:34 utc | 14In the case of "Brave New World", the establishment knows how to cure pretty much any conventional disease. Then if you're in approved society you die around age 60 because of everything that's kept you alive and looking like 40.
I just read the book last month for the first time in 30+ years. It does belong on that diagram. And "1984" doesn't either, since it really doesn't deal with anything like infectious diseases--reread that about 2 years ago.
I've not read the other 2 outer books ever, but the movie of "Fahrenheit 451", which I just watched and Bradbury certainly had a hand in writing, has nothing to do with infectious disease.
There might be something in Camus' "The Plague" though. Haven't read that since the 1980s.
There aren't food shortages so not sure about the "Soylent Green" reference, yet at least. "Long's Run" is about killing people off at age 35, which I guess overlaps with "kill 80% of the poor workers", something the likes of Charles Koch certainly supports. So indirectly there could be a "Logan's Run" connection.
Gattica is just about favored people with the right genes, so an update of "Brave New World", without the highly literate "savage" as the main character.
I don't see how "The Matrix" relates, that's more about the material world's completeness being an illusion.
"Clockwork Orange?" A thug suppressed with mind control?
Haven't read "Lord of the Flies", but don't the kids worship a god of the island, and justify the horrors they commit based on that conception of god or a god?
Mar 18, 2020 | caucus99percent.com
Obvious cognitive decline is a stutter.
Massive exit poll discrepancies are normal.
An ex-president installing his right-hand man as his successor is democracy.
Facts are Kremlin talking points.
Journalism is a crime.
War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.
Mar 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Richard , Mar 10 2020 16:40 utc | 150No need to worry about the corona virus - it'll all be okay as long as you buy enough toilet roll...
Nothing speaks more loudly of the dumbed down, idiotic, Fakebook groupthink of the age than the current rush to buy toilet roll as a response to the Coronavirus crisis.
You've seen it on the tele and (un)social media – supermarket shelves denuded of bog roll and fat birds beating seven shades of sh*t out of each other over the last bag of ass wipe.
I mean, what the hell!? Is this how stupid and pathetic we've become? Someone sees a post on Fakebook that says its a good idea to respond to a potentially fatal virus by buying lots of bog roll and within 5 minutes there's a massive rush on the stuff – after all, you gotta buy it, right, COS IT SAYS SO ON FAKEBOOK...
Mar 09, 2020 | www.counterpunch.orgBig Tech has become notorious for its hoarding of its users' personal data, collected with great breadth and down to minute details. Billions have been paid by online platforms to settle legal charges over their invasive and reckless privacy follies. Facebook in particular is associated with this, especially after a series of major scandals involving leaks or hacks of personal data. But Google is inarguably the greediest of these companies in its data collection, to an extent that can surprise even jaded users. This makes sense economically, since the collection of data is a key part of the network effect of online search -- more searches and click data mean algorithms that deliver more accurate searches, attracting more users and searches, in the familiar positive feedback cycle of what economists call "network effects."
From early days, Google held onto all the data it could get its hands on -- who searched for what, what kind of results were likely desired, where searches came from, and so on. A major step in this was the release of Google's email service, Gmail. It caused a large stir itself as users learned the free, high-storage email service served ads on-screen that were targeted to the user by scanning the text of their emails. The scanning was conducted automatically by software algorithms similar to those used to filter out spam from inboxes, but the company was completely unprepared for the backlash, not realizing that their huge scale and power made such moves feel creepier. However the service had a crucial ancillary benefit for the company -- it required a login. With that, Google could cross-reference people's email data with their search history on Google and their YouTube platform (which also required login to post video), along with precise location data from Maps and GPS data from phones running Android -- the beginning of its program to synthesize its data into comprehensive individual profiles.
But the real turning point was the acquisition of the major display ad agency DoubleClick, which brought pivotal changes to the company's "cookies." Cookies are pieces of software planted on your computer or phone by sites as you browse the Web, recording where you've been for the purpose of presenting ads you're likely to be interested in. Cookies are now stupendously widespread -- visiting a typical websites like CNN or dictionary.com can put dozens of them on your PC or phone.
Google's AdSense system had always used these cookies, but the escalation was dramatic, as Wired 's pro-industry reporter Steven Levy wrote covered in his book In the Plex . He reported that the company gained "an omniscient cookie that no other company could match." As a user browses, the cookie:
develops into a rather lengthy log that provides a fully fleshed out profile of the user's interests virtually all of it compiled by stealth. Though savvy and motivated consumers could block or delete the cookies, very few knew about this possibility and even fewer took advantage of it. The information in the DoubleClick cookie was limited, however. It logged visits only to sites that ran DoubleClick's display ads, typically large commercial websites. Many sites on the Internet were smaller ones that didn't use big ad networks Millions of those smaller sites, however, did use an advertising network: Google's AdSense. AdSense had its own cookie, but it was not as snoopy as DoubleClick's. Only when the user actually clicked on an ad would the AdSense cookie log the presence of the user on the site. This 'cookie on click' process was lauded by privacy experts Google now owned an ad network whose business hinged on a cookie that peered over the shoulder of users as it viewed their ads and logged their travels on much of the web. This was no longer a third-party cookie; DoubleClick was Google. Google became the only company with the ability to pull together user data on both the fat head and the long tail of the Internet. The question was, would Google aggregate that data to track the complete activity of Internet users? The answer was yes after FTC regulators approved the DoubleClick purchase, Google quietly made the change that created the most powerful cookie on the Internet. It did away with the AdSense cookie entirely and instead arranged to drop the DoubleClick cookie when someone visited a site with an AdSense ad Now Google would record users' presence when they visited those sites. And it would combine that information with all the other data in the DoubleClick cookie. That single cookie, unique to Google, could track a user to every corner of the Internet.
Amazingly, Google co-founder Sergei Brin dismissed fears about this mega-cookie as "more of the Big Brother type," meaning exaggerated. But even that might be putting a positive gloss on today's data hoarding -- Lawrence Lessig, who has defended the company in areas like its book scanning, noted that in Orwell's book 1984 where Big Brother was introduced, at least the characters "knew where the telescreen was In the Internet, you have no idea who is being watched by whom. In a world where everything is surveilled, how to protect privacy?"
And in 2016, Google went even further by changing its terms of service, asking users to activate new functions that would give them more control over their data, and let Google serve more relevant ads. But what the change did was merge its tracking data with your search history and the personal information in your Gmail/YouTube/Google + accounts, into "super-profiles." And Google wasn't done -- beside using the mega-cookie to record our browsing history, combined with our search logs and Gmail contents, Google "Now Tracks Your Credit Card Purchases and Connects Them to Its Online Profile of You," as a recent MIT Technology Review headline indicates. By contracting with third party data firms that track 70% of all credit and debit card purchases, Google can now offer advertisers further confirmation of which ads are working, not just to the point of clicking but to the point of sale.
With its new TOS, Google does let users view some of the data it holds on them, but it takes "an esoteric process of clicks," as Ken Auletta put it in his book Googled , and again most users are unaware of these issues in the first place, and since we're opted in, most fail to view their data files. Additionally, each Google service has its own privacy terms and settings, and they change without warning, so we have to be constantly vigilant for their changes and subtleties. And Google joins the tech community in its use of "dark patterns," repetitive tactics that wear down users into allowing data access. And finally, even opting-out of customization doesn't end the data collection, just the use of it to target ads to you -- your movements, browsing, searching, emailing and credit card buying are all still compiled. In time Google announced it would soon stop the unpopular scanning of Gmail text to place ads -- the catch was that the company had enough data on users from its super-profiles that it could personalize them without the scanning.
And for all its hoarding, the pile isn't secure -- Google had allowed software developers to design applications like games for Google +, the company's unsuccessful attempt to compete with Facebook in social media. But a glitch in the software allowed developers access to private portions of Google + user profiles over a three-year period before its discovery, including full names, email, gender, pictures, locations, occupation and marital status. An internal memo indicates that as with Facebook's own developer data leaks, there's no way to know if the data was misused in any way. But most important, Google learned of the issue in spring 2018 but refused to announce or disclose it, fearing "reputational damage" to itself.
Whatever this company is, it rhymes with "shmevil."
Rob Larson is a professor of economics at Tacoma Community College and author of Capitalism vs. Freedom: The Toll Road to Serfdom
Mar 07, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
WobblyTelomeres , March 6, 2020 at 3:00 pm
Re Intel security flaw
Interviewed there in the 90s. Hiring manager picked me up at the hotel, took me out to dinner and told me, flat out, that he was NSA. I doubt it has changed much.
(I said, to myself, "f*ck this", flagged the waiter and ordered the most expensive cab on the menu, then another)
Lambert Strether Post author , March 7, 2020 at 3:27 am
> told me, flat out, that he was NSA.
Ha ha! I posted this only this morning:
Uncovering The CIA's Audacious Operation That Gave Them Access To State Secrets (interview) WaPo. "So we end up with ostensibly private company that is secretly owned by two intelligence services." , even though this operation is presented as incredibly successful.
I've helpfully underlined the irony. I should add Surveillance Valley to my reading list, I suppose
Feb 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
TJ , Feb 23 2020 15:50 utc | 10@3 Likklemore
UK minister who approved Trump's request to extradite Assange spoke at secretive US conferences with people calling for him to be "neutralized"
REVEALED: Chief magistrate in Assange case received financial benefits from secretive partner organisations of UK Foreign Office
Likklemore , Feb 23 2020 16:36 utc | 19TJ @ 9
Thank you. Expect some meaty revelations during Extradition proceedings tomorrow 24th. Ecuador was recording ALL visitors conversations with Assange
Assange to Testify on Being Recorded in Embassy in London
Recordings have emerged of private conversations that Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, had while living in the Ecuadorean Embassy. He and a Spanish prosecutor blame the United States.[.]
These recordings should be subpoenaed.
Feb 23, 2020 | www.youtube.com
Jacqueline Grace , 2 months ago
It's not "your tube" anymore.......it's "their tube".
Feb 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Norwegian , Feb 22 2020 19:12 utc | 66Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 22 2020 13:41 utc | 20The "social" is "social media" is in contrast to "professional" or "business" or "commercial" media, i.e. the MSM and other commercial media.
I understand "social media" literally in the Orwellian sense, it is "social" media just like war is peace. The true meaning is "asocial media" which prevents real interaction, and under complete control by big brother, you can become a non-person at any moment.
Feb 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
james , Feb 11 2020 20:13 utc | 13thanks b...no shortage of hypocrisy in all this...
regarding @ 4 mike r which @8 ian2 linked properly to, i enjoyed the last paragraph which i think sums it up well.. here it is..
"I continue to believe that the United States cannot effectively restrict the spread of a technology under Chinese leadership without offering a superior product of its own. The fact that the United States has attempted to suppress Huawei's market leadership in the absence of any American competitor in this field is one of the oddest occurrences in the history of US foreign policy. If the US were to announce something like a Manhattan Project for 5G broadband and solicit the cooperation of its European and Asian allies, it probably would get an enthusiastic response. As matters stand, America's efforts to stop Huawei have become an embarrassment."
Petri Krohn , Feb 11 2020 20:38 utc | 16The reason European customers trust Huawei is because Huawei uses open-source software or at least makes their code available for inspection by customers.Piotr Berman , Feb 11 2020 23:04 utc | 25
Closed-source software cannot provide secrecy or security. This was vividly demonstrated last month when NSA revealed a critical vulnerability in Windows 10 that rendered any cryptographic security worthless.Critical Windows 10 vulnerability used to Rickroll the NSA and Github
Rashid's simulated attack exploits CVE-2020-0601, the critical vulnerability that Microsoft patched on Tuesday after receiving a private tipoff from the NSA. As Ars reported, the flaw can completely break certificate validation for websites, software updates, VPNs, and other security-critical computer uses. It affects Windows 10 systems, including server versions Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2019. Other versions of Windows are unaffected.
The flaw involves the way the new versions of Windows check the validity of certificates that use elliptic-curve cryptography. While the vulnerable Windows versions check three ECC parameters, they fail to verify a fourth, crucial one, which is known as a base point generator and is often represented in algorithms as 'G.' This failure is a result of Microsoft's implementation of ECC rather than any flaw or weakness in the ECC algorithms themselves.
The attacker examines the specific ECC algorithm used to generate the root-certificate public key and proceeds to craft a private key that copies all of the certificate parameters for that algorithm except for the point generator. Because vulnerable Windows versions fail to check that parameter, they accept the private key as valid. With that, the attacker has spoofed a Windows-trusted root certificate that can be used to mint any individual certificate used for authentication of websites, software, and other sensitive properties.
I do not believe this vulnerability was a bug. It is more likely a backdoor intentionally left in the code for NSA to utilize. Whatever the case, NSA must have known about it for years. Why did they reveal it now? Most likely someone else had discovered the back door and may have been about to publish it.
(I commented on these same issues on Sputnik a few weeks ago.)The other possible US objection is that Huawei will only let their customers spy, not third countries.
Posted by: Paul Cockshott | Feb 11 2020 21:57 utc | 24
It reminds me a joke about Emperor Napoleon arriving in a town. The population, the notables and the mayor are greeting him, and the Emperor says "No gun salute, hm?". Mayor replies "Sire, we have twenty reasons. Fist, we have canons", "Enough", replied Napoleon.
Isn't the "other possible US objection" exactly "Enough"? Of course, USA is not a mere "third country", USA is the rule maker of rule based international order.
Feb 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Likklemore , Feb 12 2020 21:54 utc | 72@ james 43
The UK position? In a heart beat, Boris will trade Assange for a US-UK trade deal. The lack of UK journalists' support for Assange is telling. Spineless media critters failed Assange..
The Truth About Julian Assange
UN Special Rapporteur on Torture,- Nils Melzer, speaks in detail about the explosive findings of his investigation into the case of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange
A made-up rape allegation and fabricated evidence in Sweden, pressure from the UK not to drop the case, a biased judge, detention in a maximum security prison, psychological torture – and soon extradition to the U.S., [.]
This interview was conducted by Swiss Journalist Daniel Ryser, Yves Bachmann (Photos) and Charles Hawley (Translation), 31.01.2020.
Let's start at the beginning: What led you to take up the case?
In December 2018, I was asked by his lawyers to intervene. I initially declined. I was overloaded with other petitions and wasn't really familiar with the case. My impression, largely influenced by the media, was also colored by the prejudice that Julian Assange was somehow guilty and that he wanted to manipulate me. In March 2019, his lawyers approached me for a second time because indications were mounting that Assange would soon be expelled from the Ecuadorian Embassy. They sent me a few key documents and a summary of the case and I figured that my professional integrity demanded that I at least take a look at the material.
It quickly became clear to me that something was wrong. That there was a contradiction that made no sense to me with my extensive legal experience: Why would a person be subject to nine years of a preliminary investigation for rape without charges ever having been filed?
Is that unusual?
I have never seen a comparable case. Anyone can trigger a preliminary investigation against anyone else by simply going to the police and accusing the other person of a crime. The Swedish authorities, though, were never interested in testimony from Assange. They intentionally left him in limbo. Just imagine being accused of rape for nine-and-a-half years by an entire state apparatus and by the media without ever being given the chance to defend yourself because no charges had ever been filed.
You say that the Swedish authorities were never interested in testimony from Assange. But the media and government agencies have painted a completely different picture over the years: Julian Assange, they say, fled the Swedish judiciary in order to avoid being held accountable.
That's what I always thought, until I started investigating. The opposite is true. Assange reported to the Swedish authorities on several occasions because he wanted to respond to the accusations. But the authorities stonewalled.[...]
And then, they came for me.
Feb 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
snake , Feb 12 2020 8:56 utc | 48
Thanks for the narrative your article is excellent one more piece of the puzzle. follows.
US, German spies plundered global secrets via Swiss encryption firm:
Report Names names of companies involved.
If the link does not work just url to presstv.com for the article.
One more example of how Mobsters are using the nation state as a platform to conduct their controlled, targeted and authenticated access to, every human in the world. The people are contained within one of the nation state franchises, each a part of the 20 6 nation state system franchises that divides 206 people into separate, but not independent containers under one organized and coordinated roof. The nation state system has prevented the humanity across the globe from becoming democratic. No matter the innocence of the nation state platform, it is the franchised nature of the organization [the nation state system] to which each individual nation state belongs and is a part of, that provides the mobsters with an efficient platform from which to conduct their crimes against humanity and to impose their mind control technologies. .
ralphieboy , Feb 12 2020 11:54 utc | 50Advocates of the Free Market like to pretend that there is a clear distinction between the workings of government and the workings of corporations and individuals. But they are deeply and inexorably interlinked and there can be no study of economics without politics and no study of politics without economics.Some Random Passerby , Feb 12 2020 12:48 utc | 51@43 A Userdiv> The Huawei equipment will have NSA monitors installed before they're installed. They made a point of boasting about that process some 15 years ago. The US companies are using the issue because they're behind Huawei.
It's safe to assume this sort of thing has been going on for a long time. Even before computers made everything that much harder.
The BBC operated a system where a Christmas tree was used as a marker. If you had this on your file, you were going nowhere.
BBC Political Vetting
Posted by: Les , Feb 12 2020 15:25 utc | 55The Huawei equipment will have NSA monitors installed before they're installed. They made a point of boasting about that process some 15 years ago. The US companies are using the issue because they're behind Huawei.elkern , Feb 12 2020 16:32 utc | 57
Posted by: Les | Feb 12 2020 15:25 utc | 55To me, the real question is "why 5G"? No human can talk or type fast enough to need more bandwidth for text or phone.c1ue , Feb 12 2020 17:40 utc | 58
I finally got an answer which makes sense, from a tech-savvy friend: 5G isn't for us (humans), it's for the Internet Of Things (IoT). Which - to me - is an even better argument to avoid 5G. IMO, running control systems through the internet is stupid & dangerous. Spying is a relatively benign problem; and I'm not even really that worried about hacking (who's gonna hack my dishwasher? why?).
To me, the real problems are (1) proliferation of pathways for failure ("cloud"-burst!), (2) stupid interfaces (dials & buttons are better than Apps), and worst (3) increased Corporate control (software licensing fees, forced upgrades, right-to-repair, etc).
So, Huawei, whoever, whatever, I say screw 'em all, screw the IoT, screw 5G. Sell me simple Things with local controls which won't stop working when somebody plugs (or unplugs) something somewhere else.
OTOH, yeah, it's time for another Church Commission - with bigger teeth - to get the CIA back (?) under control. Review Financial Assets as well as covert atrocities. But, uh, good luck with that.@uncle tungsten #22Pft , Feb 12 2020 19:09 utc | 59
The thing to keep in mind with VPN is that it addresses one of 3 security areas (concerning data): Data in Transit. The only thing VPN does is make it difficult for someone to sample your internet traffic bits to see what's in them.
Data at Rest and Data at Work are not affected. For example, if you use a VPN to connect to MoA - no one along the path can see what you're doing, but your browser knows; your computer knows; your internet router knows; MoA knows; MoA's hosting provider knows.
As for F-Secure and its VPN:
- Pluses: they haven't had a breach or serious security flaw that I can recall.
- Minuses: expensive. They keep logs. No Netflix or torrenting. Not a very good worldwide network (water hole issue).On its surface it seems non-sensible to call out someone from doing what you do. However, it serves the purpose of promoting the illusion China and US are on different sides . Its fake wrestling promotion. Working together to spy on you. When caught, they point the finger at the other guy or claim they need to do it to protect you from them.arby , Feb 12 2020 19:15 utc | 60
Don't trust the US? Buy Huawei, and not only are you not protected but you get special attention for buying Huawei in a futile attempt for privacy from US prying eyes (but opening your curtain to give China a peak). Carry on.Pft, you got any evidence to back up your statement that China is having a peak?c1ue , Feb 12 2020 21:06 utc | 62
There is considerable evidence that the US is but I have yet to see any that implicates Huawei or China.I forgot to add: something like 0.6% of Internet traffic, ditto emails, are non-standard encrypted: i.e. VPN or PGP. So using these services primarily just highlights you for the surveillance people as a "person of interest".Esteban , Feb 12 2020 21:14 utc | 63In Switzerland we're experiencing an enourmous outrage regarding the Crypto AG company. Even tough Swiss MSM and Alt-Media revealed the foul play of the company in the past, the public outcry is astonishing. Politicians are now demanding to form a Parliamentary Investigation Commission. This timely set trans-atlantic coordination of WaPo, German ZDF and Swiss National TV SRF is more than odd. Is it really about Huawei and how does Switzerland fit in this circumstance? Could the clever readership of this fantastic site enlighten me?
Feb 14, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
How Surveillance Capitalism Targets the Vulnerable
Google and Facebook are making handsome profits off of the elderly, the lonely, and the depressed. Credit: pressmaster/Shutterstock
February 11, 2020|
1:01 pmGrayson Logue Surrounded by chips, dip, beer, and some delicious chicken chili, I tuned in to the Super Bowl excited to see not only the game but whatever meme-worthy commercials corporate America had dreamed up. Among those was an ad for Google Home, a smart speaker and voice assistant. In it, an elderly gentleman spoke with his Google Home about his deceased wife Loretta, asking the device to remind him of their favorite memories, show him old photos and home videos of their time together, and even play their favorite movie Casablanca.
Yet what struck me was what was absent in the picture -- any other people. Let's imagine a different scene: an elderly gentleman is sitting on his couch showing an old photo album to his granddaughter while his son tees up the VHS of grandma and grandpa during their 20th anniversary, vacationing in Sitka, Alaska. The picture is quite different, though interestingly, it's been used in the past by Google in its commercials.
In their 2017 Super Bowl ad , Google portrayed its home assistant, not as a central character, but as a simple aide among joyful scenes filled with friends and family, dimming the lights as a group of friends prepare for a birthday surprise, playing a recording of whales as a father reads a storybook to his daughter.
No doubt Google was trying to strike that same tone in this year's ad, flashing the text "a little help with the little things" across the screen at the close of the spot. Nonetheless, the ad landed flat, at least at my Super Bowl party. Yet it also reflected something important: the progression of popular thought about the role of tech in our lives.
Once, we believed that putting voice assistants in our homes and pockets offered only more convenience. We justified our time on social networks, believing that seeing a wider range of friends and family through screens and texts, rather than hearing their voices or being with them in person, was actually drawing us closer, connecting us more deeply to our relationships with each other. Now, more and more people are coming to realize that these devices, services, and the culture they've created contributes more to feelings of placelessness, anxiety, and isolation than meaningful connectedness and relationships.
According to data from the Pew Research Center in 2018, 74 percent of Facebook users have taken steps to distance themselves from the platform over the past 12 months, by adjusting their privacy settings, taking a break from the service, or deleting the app on their phone. Young people (ages 18 to 29) are the most likely to take these actions, while those 65 and older are least likely. Since the elderly represent the last generation that smartphones and social media have reached, it follows that they would be the last to take these steps.
Additional Pew data fills in more of the picture. The average older American spends over half of the waking day alone. And between 2005 and 2015, the average time spent on screens for Americans over 60 has increased, while time spent socializing, reading, and other leisure activities has decreased. This timeline overlaps with the shift in internet use among those 65 and older. Twenty years ago, only 14 percent of 65-and-older Americans used the internet, but now 73 percent are internet users and 53 percent own a smartphone. While the elderly might have showed up late to the internet and smartphones, there's no reason to be believe they will be immune to the consequences that young people in particular are now beginning to understand.
And the problems of our digital landscape are even wider than most people imagine.
In reality, this landscape, termed " surveillance capitalism " by Shoshana Zuboff of Harvard Business School, is not limited to just Google or Facebook or any one technology they employ. Rather, surveillance capitalism is a larger system of economic thought and practice that runs on the conscious and deliberate manipulation of the human experience. Zuboff writes :
Surveillance capitalists discovered that the most predictive data come from intervening in human action to coax, tune, herd, and modify behavior in the direction of guaranteed outcomes. This new species of power works remotely, engineering subliminal cues, social comparison dynamics, rewards and punishments, and varieties of enforcers to shape behavior that aligns with its commercial interests.
According to a leaked Facebook document in 2017, the company presented psychological data to advertisers on over 6 million young Australians and New Zealanders. Facebook could tell when these users felt "worthless," "insecure," "stressed," and "anxious" and target ads for "moments when young people need a confidence boost." Facebook denied that the information was actually used for ad targeting, but regardless, it clearly has models and data for when and how to manipulate people's emotional states to make them most likely to take a profitable action without them ever knowing.
While virtually everyone is affected by surveillance capitalism, the consequences become particularly clear when the victims are the elderly, the young, the lonely, and the depressed.
How hard would it be for Google to use the voice recordings it receives from Google Home to induce ad-based behavior modification, something it did for years by scanning email correspondence in Gmail? The corporation is already taking initial steps to monetize its smart assistant. If this were the case, a more accurate ad spot wouldn't end with an elderly man asking for reminders about memories of his late wife. It would end with an AI model analyzing recordings of the man and determining when is the optimal time to place a flight discount ad to his late wife's favorite vacation spot. Perhaps that ad placement time would be targeted to when he was at his lowest emotional state.
We live in a world where it's very possible that Google and Facebook know more about the emotions of our grandparents than we do, and that should deeply disturb us. After all, the negative effects of a ubiquitous cultural problem are typically felt the most by the vulnerable; technology and the elderly are no different. It's time we reflected on the consequences of our pervasive digital culture.
Grayson Logue is a writer living in New York and a contributor to Providence Magazine.
Feb 10, 2020 | angrybearblog.com
run75441 | February 9, 2020 7:00 pmHistory Politics I hang around some pretty intelligent people who have smart friends commenting on their facebook pages. The first part of this post is from a comment on Claude Scales's Facebook page by William R. Everdell. I think it fits with the NYT article Claude referenced. The second part of this is a shorten version of the NYT Opinion article "Why You May Never Learn the Truth About ICE," Matthew Connelly, Professor of History, Columbia.
George Orwell in "'1984', Winston Smith was dropping documents into the 'memory hole' by his desk at the Ministry of Truth – Minitrue'Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'
Feb 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
c1ue , Feb 2 2020 19:02 utc | 19Great article on cell phone spoofing to create a traffic jam on Google maps.
Imagine if you had a Chinese cell phone clickbait farm to do it instead.
Turn on developer options, feed in location, suppress flags and warnings, voila!
No more annoying Waze driving coming through your residential neighborhood.
Feb 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
FSD , Jan 31 2020 19:59 utc | 28Britain has finally made the Orwellian Pivot. Brazil is Bolsonaro-fied, Mexico and Canada are USMCA-ed, Venezuela will be MAGA-cized. The Monroe Doctrine is growing carnivorous incisors. Oceania is born!
Qparticle , Feb 1 2020 17:27 utc | 114No wonder banker boy Macron has been nice to Vlad lately, time to go east...
Posted by: Paco | Feb 1 2020 7:36 utc | 84
Hee hee hee! ;)
Jan 29, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
Without enforced suppression of truth, there would be no way that the U.S. and its allied regimes could continue hiding the lies that were behind their invasions of Iraq in 2003 , and of Syria since 2012 , and their coup against Ukraine in 2014 , and also of their takeovers and attempted takeovers of other countries that had refused to be bullied by the U.S. regime into complying with its obsessive anti-Russian demands -- America's subterranean continuation of the Cold War, even after Russia had quit the Cold War in 1991 .
All of the lies are still being propounded by the U.S. regime and remain fully enforced by suppression of the truth about these matters.
That's being done in all news-media except a few of the non -mainstream ones.
So: this is about an actual Western samizdat - the West's equivalent to the former Soviet Union's systematic, and equally pervasive, truth-suppression, to fool the public into thinking that the Government represents them, no matter how much it does not.
(The chief trick in this regard is to fool them into thinking that since there is more than one political party, one of them will be "good," even though the fact may actually be that each of the parties represents simply a different faction of a psychopathically evil aristocracy. After all: each party lied and supported invading Iraq in 2003, Libya in 2011, and Syria constantly; and no party acknowledges that the 2014 regime-change in Ukraine was a U.S. coup instead of a domestic Ukrainian democratic revolution. On such important matters, they all lie, and in basically the same ways. These lies are bipartisan, even though most of the other political lies are heavily partisan.)
Right now, Julian Assange is rotting to death inside Britain's equivalent to the U.S. regime's Guantanamo Bay prison, which is Belmarsh Prison, in London. As the CIA-edited and written Wikipedia's article on Belmarsh Prison retrospectively admits, "Between 2001 and 2002, Belmarsh Prison was used to detain a number of people indefinitely without charge or trial under the provisions of the Part 4 of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, leading it to be called the 'British version of Guantanamo Bay'." However, only because of the case of Julian Assange is it now publicly known that this characterization of that prison is -- at least for him -- equally true today . And Assange is, indeed, being held there "indefinitely without charge or trial," even after his having previously been held in various other forms of confinement, ever since at least 12 April 2012, when -- being then 'temporarily' under house-arrest in Norfolk England, while awaiting trial on a manufactured rape-charge against him which was reluctantly abandoned by the Government only when the alleged victim refused to testify against him -- Assange broadcast an interview for RT, Russian Television, an interview of the head of Lebanon's Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah.
The U.S.-and-allied regimes' billionaires-owned-and-controlled 'news'-media condemned Assange for this interview, because it enabled whomever still had an open mind, amongst the Western public, to hear from one of those billionares' destruction-targets (Nasrallah), and for Assange's doing this on the TV-news network of the main country that America's billionaires are especially trying to conquer, which is (and since 26 July 1945 has consistently been ) Russia.
The great then-independent investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald headlined about that interview, at Salon on 18 April 2012, "Attacks on RT and Assange reveal much about the critics: Those who pretend to engage in adversarial journalism will invariably hate those who actually do it." How true that was, and unfortunately still is! And Assange himself is the best example of it. Greenwald wrote:
Let's examine the unstated premises at work here. There is apparently a rule that says it's perfectly OK for a journalist to work for a media outlet owned and controlled by a weapons manufacturer (GE/NBC/MSNBC), or by the U.S. and British governments (BBC/Stars & Stripes/Voice of America), or by Rupert Murdoch and Saudi Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal (Wall St. Journal/Fox News), or by a banking corporation with long-standing ties to right-wing governments (Politico), or by for-profit corporations whose profits depend upon staying in the good graces of the U.S. government ( Kaplan/The Washington Post ), or by loyalists to one of the two major political parties (National Review/TPM/countless others), but it's an intrinsic violation of journalistic integrity to work for a media outlet owned by the Russian government. Where did that rule come from?
But from 'temporary' house-arrest there, Assange was allowed asylum by Ecuador's progressive President Rafael Correa on 20 June 2012 , to stay in London's Ecuadoran Embassy, so as not to be seized by the UK regime to be sent to prison and probable death-without-trial in the U.S. To Correa's shock, it turned out that Correa's successor, Vice President Lenin Moreno, was actually a U.S. agent, who promptly forced Assange out of the Embassy, into Belmarsh prison, to die there or else become extradited to die in a U.S. prison, also without trial.
And, for what, then, is Assange being imprisoned, and perhaps murdered? He divulged government secrets that should never even have been secrets! He raised the blanket of lies, which covers over these actually dictatorial clandestine international operations. He exposed these evil imperialistic operations, which are hidden behind (and under) that blanket of imperialists' lies. For this, he is being martyred -- a martyr for democracy, where there is no actual democracy (but only those lies).
Here is an example:
On December 29th, I headlined "Further Proof: U.S., UK, & France Committed War-Crime on 14 April 2018" and reported highlights of the latest Wikileaks document-dumps regarding a U.S.-UK-French operation to cover-up (via their control over the OPCW) their having committed an international war-crime when they had fired 105 missiles against Syria on 14 April 2018, which was done allegedly to punish Syria for having perpetrated a gas-attack in Douma seven days before -- except that there hadn't been any such gas-attack, but the OPCW simply lied and said that there might have been one, and that the Syrian Government might have done it! That's playing the public for suckers.
Back on 3 November 2019, Fox News bannered "Fox News Poll: Bipartisan majorities want some U.S. troops to stay in Syria" and reported that when citing ISIS as America's enemy that must be defeated, 69% of U.S. respondents wanted U.S. troops to stay in Syria. But when did ISIS ever constitute a threat to U.S. national security? And under what international law is any U.S. soldier, who is inside Syria, anything other than an invader there? The answer, to both of these questions, is obviously "never" and "none." But if you are an investor in Lockheed Martin, don't you want Americans to be suckers about both ? And, so, they are . People such as Julian Assange don't want the public anywhere to be lied-to. Anyone who is in the propaganda-business -- serving companies such as Lockheed Martin -- wants the public to be suckers.
This is the way the free market actually works. It works by lying, and in such a country the Government serves the people who have the money, and not the people who don't. The people who don't have the money are supposed to be lied-to. And, so, they are. But this is not democracy.
Democracy, in fact, is impossible if the public are predominantly deceived.
If the public are predominantly deceived, then the people who do the deceiving will be the dictators there. And if a country has dictators, then it's no democracy. In a totally free market, only the people with the most money will have any freedom at all; everyone else will be merely their suckers, who are fooled by the professionals at doing that -- lying.
The super-rich enforce their smears, and their other lies, by hiring people to do this.
When Barack Obama said that "The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation" - so that each other nation is "dispensable" - he was merely exemplifying the view that only the most powerful is indispensable, and that therefore everyone else is dispensable. Of course, this is the way that he, and Donald Trump, both have governed in the U.S. And Americans overwhelmingly endorse this viewpoint . They're fooled by both parties, because both parties serve only their respective billionaires -- and billionaires are above the law; they are the law, in America and its allied regimes. That's the way it is.
This is the American gospel, and it is called "capitalism." Oddly, after Russia switched to capitalism in 1991, the American gospel switched instead to pure global conquest -- über -imperialism -- and the American public didn't even blink. So: nowadays, capitalism has come to mean über-imperialism. That's today's American gospel. Adolf Hitler would be smiling, upon today's Amerika.
And as far as whistleblowers -- such as Julian Assange, and Edward Snowden, and Chelsea Manning, and other champions of honesty and of democracy -- are concerned: Americans agree with the billionaires, who detest and destroy such whistleblowers. Champions of democracy are shunned here, where PR reigns and real journalism is almost non-existent.
Jan 27, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Jen , Jan 26 2020 20:03 utc | 30Latest I have seen online on Julian Assange's incarceration at Belmarsh Prison is that he is no longer in solitary confinement (for most of the day, every day, anyway) and he is currently in a section of the prison with about 40 other inmates.
Significantly the pressure to get him out of solitary confinement came from other prisoners at Belmarsh. Note that Belmarsh Prison is a maximum security prison so those prisoners who petitioned on Assange's behalf included people who committed what we'd consider to be very serious crimes including violence, murder and terrorism.
We certainly do live in "interesting times" when criminals in prison have more compassion and higher ethics than the authorities who put them there.
I'm on a smartphone and haven't yet worked out how to link to the article referring to Assange's move so please try Googling Assange's name and "Belmarsh". Caitlin Johnstone was one source of the news.
Jan 21, 2020 | consortiumnews.com
January 14, 2020 • 7 Comments
WikiLeaks ' publication of "Cablegate" in late 2010 dwarfed previous releases in both size and impact and helped cause what one news outlet called a political meltdown for United States foreign policy.
Today we resume our series The Revelations of WikiLeaks with little more than a month before the extradition hearing for imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange begins. This is the sixth in a series that is looking back on the major works of the publication that has altered the world since its founding in 2006. The series is an effort to counter mainstream media coverage, which is ignoring WikiLeaks' work, and is instead focusing on Julian Assange's personality. It is WikiLeaks' uncovering of governments' crimes and corruption that set the U.S. after Assange, ultimately leading to his arrest on April 11 last year and indictment under the U.S. Espionage Act.
'A Political Meltdown for US Foreign Policy'
By Elizabeth Vos
Special to Consortium News
O f all WikiLeaks' releases, probably the most globally significant have been the more than a quarter of a million U.S. State Department diplomatic cables leaked in 2010, the publication of which helped spark a revolt in Tunisia that spread into the so-called Arab Spring, revealed Saudi intentions towards Iran and exposed spying on the UN secretary general and other diplomats.
The releases were surrounded by a significant controversy (to be covered in a separate installment of this series) alleging that WikiLeaks purposely endangered U.S. informants by deliberately revealing their names. That allegation formed a major part of the U.S. indictment on May 23 of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange under the Espionage Act, though revealing informants' names is not a crime, nor is there evidence that any of them were ever harmed.
WikiLeaks ' publication of "Cablegate," beginning on Nov. 28, 2010, dwarfed previous WikiLeaks releases, in both size and impact. The publication amounted to 251,287 leaked American diplomatic cables that, at the time of publication, Der Spiegel described as"no less than a political meltdown for United States foreign policy."
Cablegate revealed a previously unknown history of diplomatic relations between the United States and the rest of the world, and in doing so, exposed U.S. views of both allies and adversaries. As a result of such revelations, Cablegate's release was widely condemned by the U.S. political class and especially by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The Twitter handle Cable Drum, called it,
" The largest set of confidential documents ever to be released into the public domain. The documents will give people around the world an unprecedented insight into U.S. Government foreign activities. The cables, which date from 1966 up until the end of February 2010, contain confidential communications between 274 embassies in countries throughout the world and the State Department in Washington DC. 15,652 of the cables are classified Secret."
Among the historic documents that were grouped with Cablegate in WikiLeaks ' Public Library of U.S. Diplomacy are 1.7 million that involve Henry Kissinger, national security adviser and secretary of state under President Richard Nixon; and 1.4 million related to the Jimmy Carter administration.
Der Spiegel reported that the majority were "composed by ambassadors, consuls or their staff. Most contain assessments of the political situation in the individual countries, interview protocols and background information about personnel decisions and events. In many cases, they also provide political and personal profiles of individual politicians and leaders."
Cablegate rounded out WikiLeaks' output in 2010, which had seen the explosive publication of previous leaks also from Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning including " Collateral Murder ," the " Afghan War Diaries " and " Iraq War Logs ," the subject of earlier installments in this series. As in the case of the two prior releases, WikiLeaks published Cablegate in partnerships with establishment media outlets.
The "Cablegate" archive was later integrated with the WikiLeaks Public Library of U.S. Diplomacy , which contains over 10 million documents.
Global U.S. Empire Revealed
The impact of "Cablegate" is impossible to fully encapsulate, and should be the subject of historical study for decades to come. In September 2015 Verso published " The WikiLeaks Files: The World According to U.S. Empire ," with a foreword by Assange. It is a compendium of chapters written by various regional experts and historians giving a broader and more in-depth geopolitical analysis of U.S. foreign policy as revealed by the cables.
"The internal communications of the US Department of State are the logistical by-product of its activities: their publication is the vivisection of a living empire, showing what substance flowed from which state organ and when. Only by approaching this corpus holistically – over and above the documentation of each individual abuse, each localized atrocity – does the true human cost of empire heave into view," Assange wrote in the foreword.
' WikiLeaks Revolt' in Tunisia
The release of "Cablegate" provided the spark that many argue heralded the Arab Spring, earning the late-November publication the moniker of the " WikiLeaks Winter ."
Eventually, many would also credit WikiLeaks' publication of the diplomatic cables with initiating a chain-reaction that spread from the Middle East ( specifically from Egypt) to the global Occupy Wall Street movement by late 2011.
The first of the Arab uprisings was Tunisia's 28-day so-called Jasmine Revolution, stretching from Dec. 17, 2010, to Jan. 14, 2011, described as the "first WikiLeaks revolution."
Cables published by WikiLeaks revealed the extent of the Tunisian ruling family's corruption, and were widely accessible in Tunisia thanks to the advent of social media platforms like Twitter. Then-President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali had been in power for over two decades at the time of the cables' publication.
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One State Department cable, labeled Secret , said:
"President Ben Ali's extended family is often cited as the nexus of Tunisian corruption. Often referred to as a quasi-mafia, an oblique mention of 'the Family' is enough to indicate which family you mean. Seemingly half of the Tunisian business community can claim a Ben Ali connection through marriage, and many of these relations are reported to have made the most of their lineage."
A June 2008 cable said: "Whether it's cash, services, land, property, or yes, even your yacht, President [Zine el Abidine] Ben Ali's family is rumored to covet it and reportedly gets what it wants."
Symbolic middle finger gesture representing the Tunisian Revolution and its influences in the Arab world. From left to right, fingers are painted as flags of Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Sudan and Algeria. (Khalid from Doha, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)
The cables revealed that Ben Ali's extended family controlled nearly the entire Tunisian economy, from banking to media to property development, while 30 percent of Tunisians were unemployed. They showed that state-owned property was expropriated to be passed on to private ownership by family members.
"Lax oversight makes the banking sector an excellent target of opportunity, with multiple stories of 'First Family' schemes," one cable read. ""With real estate development booming and land prices on the rise, owning property or land in the right location can either be a windfall or a one-way ticket to expropriation," said another.
The revolt was facilitated once the U.S. abandoned Ali. Counterpunch reported that: "The U.S. campaign of unwavering public support for President Ali led to a widespread belief among the Tunisian people that it would be very difficult to dislodge the autocratic regime from power. This view was shattered when leaked cables exposed the U.S. government's private assessment: that the U.S. would not support the regime in the event of a popular uprising."
The internet and large social media platforms played a crucial role in the spread of public awareness of the cables and their content amongst the Tunisian public. "Thousands of home-made videos of police repression and popular resistance have been posted on the web. The Tunisian people have used Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites to organize and direct the mobilizations against the regime," the World Socialist Website wrote.
Foreign Policy magazine reported:
"WikiLeaks acted as a catalyst: both a trigger and a tool for political outcry. Which is probably the best compliment one could give the whistle-blower site." The magazine added: "The people of Tunisia shouldn't have had to wait for Wikileaks to learn that the U.S. saw their country just as they did. It's time that the gulf between what American diplomats know and what they say got smaller."
The Guardian published an account in January 2011 by a young Tunisian, Sami Ben Hassine, who wrote: "The internet is blocked, and censored pages are referred to as pages "not found" – as if they had never existed. And then, WikiLeaks reveals what everyone was whispering. And then, a young man [Mohamed Bouazizi] immolates himself. And then, 20 Tunisians are killed in one day. And for the first time, we see the opportunity to rebel, to take revenge on the 'royal' family who has taken everything, to overturn the established order that has accompanied our youth."
Protester in Tunis, Jan. 14, 2011, holding sign. Translation from French: "Ben Ali out." (Skotch 79, CC0, Wikimedia Commons)
On the first day of Chelsea Manning's pretrial in December 2011, Daniel Ellsberg told Democracy Now:
"The combination of the WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning exposures in Tunis and the exemplification of that by Mohamed Bouazizi led to the protests, the nonviolent protests, that drove Ben Ali out of power, our ally there who we supported up 'til that moment, and in turn sparked the uprising in Egypt, in Tahrir Square occupation, which immediately stimulated the Occupy Wall Street and the other occupations in the Middle East and elsewhere. I hope [Manning and Assange] will have the effect in liberating us from the lawlessness that we have seen and the corruption -- the corruption -- that we have seen in this country in the last 10 years and more, which has been no less than that of Tunis and Egypt."
Clinton Told US Diplomats to Spy at UN
The cables' revelation that the U.S. State Department under then-Secretary-of-State Clinton had demanded officials act as spies on officials at the United Nations -- including the Secretary General -- was particularly embarrassing for the United States.
El Pais summarized the bombshell: "The State Department sent officials of 38 embassies and diplomatic missions a detailed account of the personal and other information they must obtain about the United Nations, including its secretary general, and especially about officials and representatives linked to Sudan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iran and North Korea.
El Pais continued: "Several dispatches, signed 'Clinton' and probably made by the office of Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, contain precise instructions about the myriad of inquiries to be developed in conflict zones, in the world of deserters and asylum seekers, in the engine room of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or about the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China to know their plans regarding the nuclear threat in Tehran."
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton & UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in 2012. (Foreign and Commonwealth Office/Flickr)
CNN described the information diplomats were ordered to gather: "In the July 2009 document, Clinton directs her envoys at the United Nations and embassies around the world to collect information ranging from basic biographical data on foreign diplomats to their frequent flyer and credit card numbers and even 'biometric information on ranking North Korean diplomats.' Typical biometric information can include fingerprints, signatures and iris recognition data."
Der Spiegel reported that Clinton justified the espionage orders by emphasizing that "a large share of the information that the US intelligence agencies works with comes from the reports put together by State Department staff around the world."
Der Spiegel added: "The US State Department also wanted to obtain information on the plans and intentions of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his secretariat relating to issues like Iran, according to the detailed wish list in the directive. The instructions were sent to 30 US embassies around the world, including the one in Berlin."
Philip J. Crowley as assistant secretary of state for public affairs in 2010. (State Department)
The State Department responded to the revelations, with then- State-Department-spokesman P.J. Crowley reportedly disputing that American diplomats had assumed a new role overseas.
"Our diplomats are just that, diplomats," he said. "They represent our country around the world and engage openly and transparently with representatives of foreign governments and civil society. Through this process, they collect information that shapes our policies and actions. This is what diplomats, from our country and other countries, have done for hundreds of years."
In December 2010, just after the cables' publication, Assange told Time : "She should resign if it can be shown that she was responsible for ordering U.S. diplomatic figures to engage in espionage in the United Nations, in violation of the international covenants to which the U.S. has signed up."
Saudis & Iran
A diplomatic cable dated April 20, 2008, made clear Saudi Arabia's pressure on the United States to take action against its enemy Iran, including not ruling out military action against Teheran:
"[Then Saudi ambassador to the US Abbdel] Al-Jubeir recalled the King's frequent exhortations to the US to attack Iran and so put an end to its nuclear weapons program. 'He told you to cut off the head of the snake,' he recalled to the Charge', adding that working with the US to roll back Iranian influence in Iraq is a strategic priority for the King and his government. 11. (S) The Foreign Minister, on the other hand, called instead for much more severe US and international sanctions on Iran, including a travel ban and further restrictions on bank lending. Prince Muqrin echoed these views, emphasizing that some sanctions could be implemented without UN approval. The Foreign Minister also stated that the use of military pressure against Iran should not be ruled out."
Dyncorp & the 'Dancing Boys' of Afghanistan
The cables indicate that Afghan authorities asked the United States government to quash U.S. reporting on a scandal stemming from the actions of Dyncorp employees in Afghanistan in 2009.
Employees of Dyncorp, a paramilitary group with an infamous track-record of alleged involvement in sex trafficking and other human rights abuses in multiple countries, were revealed by Cablegate to have been involved with illegal drug use and hiring the services of a "bacha bazi," or underage dancing boy.
A 2009 cable published by WikiLeaks described an event where Dyncorp had purchased the service of a "bacha bazi." The writer of the cable does not specify what happened during the event, describing it only as "purchasing a service from a child," and he tries to convince a journalist not to cover the story in order to not "risk lives."
Although Dyncorp was no stranger to controversy by the time of the cables' publication, the revelation of the mercenary force's continued involvement in bacha bazi provoked further questions as to why the company continued to receive tax-payer funded contracts from the United States.
Sexual abuse allegations were not the only issue haunting Dyncorp. The State Department admitted in 2017 that it "could not account for" more than $1 billion paid to the company, as reported by Foreign Policy .
The New York Times later reported that U.S. soldiers had been told to turn a blind eye to the abuse of minors by those in positions of power: "Soldiers and Marines have been increasingly troubled that instead of weeding out pedophiles, the American military was arming them in some cases and placing them as the commanders of villages -- and doing little when they began abusing children."
Australia Lied About Troop Withdrawal
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of Australia, left, with U.S. President Barack Obama, in the Oval Office, Nov. 30, 2009, to discuss a range of issues including Afghanistan and climate change. (White House/Pete Souza)
The Green Left related that the cables exposed Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's double talk about withdrawing troops. "Despite government spin about withdrawing all 'combat forces,' the cables said some of these forces could be deployed in combat roles. One cable said, "[d]espite the withdrawal of combat forces, Rudd agreed to allow Australian forces embedded or seconded to units of other countries including the U.S. to deploy to Iraq in combat and combat support roles with those units."
US Meddling in Latin America
Cables revealed that U.S. ambassadors to Ecuador had opposed the presidential candidacy of Raphael Correa despite their pretense of neutrality, as observed by The Green Left Weekly .
Additional cables revealed the Vatican attempted to increase its influence in Latin America with the aid of the U.S. Further cables illustrated the history of Pope Francis while he was a cardinal in Argentina, with the U.S. appearing to have a positive outlook on the future pontiff.
Illegal Dealings Between US & Sweden
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange wrote in his affidavit :
"Through the diplomatic cables I also learned of secret, informal arrangements between Sweden and the United States. The cables revealed that Swedish intelligence services have a pattern of lawless conduct where US interests are concerned. The US diplomatic cables revealed that the Swedish Justice Department had deliberately hidden particular intelligence information exchanges with the United States from the Parliament of Sweden because the exchanges were likely unlawful."
On Nov. 30, 2010, the State Department declared it would remove the diplomatic cables from its secure network in order to prevent additional leaks. Antiwar.com added: "The cables had previously been accessible through SIPRNet, an ostensibly secure network which is accessible by millions of officials and soldiers. It is presumably through this network that the cables were obtained and leaked to WikiLeaks ."
The Guardian described SIPRNet as a "worldwide US military internet system, kept separate from the ordinary civilian internet and run by the Defence Department in Washington."
On Nov. 29, 2010, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said of the "Cablegate" release:
"This disclosure is not just an attack on America's foreign policy; it is an attack on the international community, the alliances and partnerships, the conventions and negotiations that safeguard global security and advance economic prosperity."
The next day, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee called for Chelsea Manning's execution, according to Politico .
Some political figures did express support for Assange, including U.K. Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn, who wrote via Twitter days after Cablegate was published: "USA and others don't like any scrutiny via wikileaks and they are leaning on everybody to pillory Assange. What happened to free speech?"
Other notable revelations from the diplomatic cables included multiple instances of U.S. meddling in Latin America, the demand by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that diplomatic staff act as spies , the documentation of misconduct by U.S. paramilitary forces, the fallout of the 2008 financial crisis in Iceland, the deployment of U.S. nuclear weapons in Germany and other European countries, that the Vatican attempted to increase its influence in Latin America with the aid of the U.S. , that U.S. diplomats had essentially spied on German Chancellor Angele Merkel, and much more.
Der Spiegel reported on Hillary Clinton's demand that U.S. diplomats act as spies:
"As justification for the espionage orders, Clinton emphasized that a large share of the information that the U.S. intelligence agencies works with comes from the reports put together by State Department staff around the world. The information to be collected included personal credit card information, frequent flyer customer numbers, as well as e-mail and telephone accounts. In many cases the State Department also requested 'biometric information,' 'passwords' and 'personal encryption keys.' "
Der Spiegel added: "The U.S. State Department also wanted to obtain information on the plans and intentions of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his secretariat relating to issues like Iran, according to the detailed wish list in the directive. The instructions were sent to 30 U.S. embassies around the world, including the one in Berlin."
Elizabeth Vos is a freelance reporter and co-host of CN Live.
CORRECTION: CableDrum is an independent Twitter feed and is not associated with WikiLeaks as was incorrectly reported here.
jmg , January 15, 2020 at 09:53
A truly great series, thank you.
The Revelations of WikiLeaks -- Consortium News Series
1. The Video that Put Assange in US Crosshairs -- April 23, 2019
2. The Leak That 'Exposed the True Afghan War' -- May 9, 2019
3. The Most Extensive Classified Leak in History -- May 16, 2019
4. The Haunting Case of a Belgian Child Killer and How WikiLeaks Helped Crack It -- July 11, 2019
5. Busting the Myth WikiLeaks Never Published Damaging Material on Russia -- September 23, 2019
6. US Diplomatic Cables Spark 'Arab Spring,' Expose Spying at UN & Elsewhere -- January 14, 2020
For an updated list with links to the articles, a Google search is:
"The Revelations of WikiLeaks" site:consortiumnews.com For an updated list with links to the articles, a Google search is:
"The Revelations of WikiLeaks" site:consortiumnews.com
– – –
Consortium News wrote:
> Today we resume our series The Revelations of WikiLeaks with little more than a month before the extradition hearing for imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange begins.
Yes and, shockingly, Julian has been allowed only 2 hours with his lawyers in the last month, crucial to prepare the extradition hearings. See:
Summary from Assange hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court this morning -- Tareq Haddad -- Thread Reader -- Jan 13th 2020
Jan 21, 2020 | www.zerohedge.comAuthored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,
An app called Clearview allows the user to snap a photo of anyone. Once that's done, the person who took your picture will have access to all of your information. Privacy is now all but obsolete.
People will not, for much longer, be able to walk down the street minding their own business anonymously. According to a report by The New York Times, it won't be long before anyone at any time knows exactly who you are while you're in public.
What if a stranger could snap your picture on the sidewalk then use an app to quickly discover your name, address and other details? A startup called Clearview AI has made that possible. Perhaps the worst news is that the police state is already using this technology in some parts of the "land of the free." The app is currently being used by hundreds of law enforcement agencies in the United States, including the deep state FBI, says a Saturday report in The New York Times.
Our Orwellian future has arrived. We are to be tracked, monitored, spied on, and have no privacy whatsoever at any time. And now, other strangers will have access to your private information is you dare to show your face in public.
According to the Times, this human rights violating app works by comparing a photo snapped to a database of more than 3 billion pictures that Clearview says it's scraped off Facebook, Venmo, YouTube and other sites. It then serves up matches, along with links to the sites where those database photos originally appeared. A name might easily be unearthed, and from there, other info could be dug up online.
The size of the Clearview database dwarfs others in use by law enforcement. The FBI's own database, which taps passport and driver's license photos, is one of the largest, with over 641 million images of US citizens.
The Clearview app isn't currently available to the public, but the Times says police officers and Clearview investors think it will be in the future. – CNET
Even though law enforcement says they've used the app's technology to solve horrible crimes, human rights advocates warn that the privacy violations are going to be immense. Privacy advocates are warning that the app could return false matches to police and that it could also be used by stalkers and other creeps. They've also warned that facial recognition technologies , in general, could be used to conduct mass surveillance.
Most facial recognition technology is already used for Orwellian and tyrannical purposes by the powers that shouldn't be. It should come as no surprise that this will also be used by the ruling class to eliminate basic human rights.
Jan 19, 2020 | consortiumnews.com
Fran Macadam , January 14, 2020 at 07:28
You've been zucked.
Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Sasha , Jan 18 2020 19:44 utc | 167What if the real "rebellion" consist on the intertwinning of the Executive, Military and Corporate factions to all feed on profit while at the same time better control population and above all dissidents through the control of and proffitering from big data?
MILITARY-DIGITAL COMPLEX: Why Amazon is going to become the next US MIC giant....And perhaps the ultimate goal is not just more government contracts, but influence over regulations that could affect Amazon. Today, some of its biggest threats aren't competitors, but lawmakers and politicians arguing for antitrust moves against tech giants. (Or, perhaps, a president arguing it should pay more taxes.) And Bezos clearly understands that operating in Washington requires access to, and influence on, whoever is in the White House; in 2015 he hired Obama's former press secretary, Jay Carney, as a senior executive, and earlier this year AWS enlisted Jeff Miller, a Trump fund-raiser, to lobby on its behalf.
....Steve Aftergood, who runs the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, has tracked intelligence spending and privacy issues for decades. I asked him if he has any concerns about Amazon's rapid expansion into national security. "We seem to be racing toward a new configuration of government and industry without having fully thought through all of the implications. And some of those implications may not be entirely foreseeable," he wrote in an email. "But any time you establish a new concentration of power and influence, you also need to create some countervailing structure that will have the authority and the ability to perform effective oversight. Up to now, that oversight structure doesn't seem to [be] getting the attention it deserves."
Jan 08, 2020 | www.militarytimes.com
Before his death in 2015, renowned British author and neurologist Oliver Sacks penned an essay lamenting society's limitless plunge into the personality-depriving depths of smart phones and social media.
"Everything is public now, potentially: one's thoughts, one's photos, one's movements, one's purchases," he wrote in the essay published posthumously in The New Yorker. "There is no privacy and apparently little desire for it in a world devoted to non-stop use of social media. Every minute, every second, has to be spent with one's device clutched in one's hand."
Sacks' smart phone-induced melancholia, however, had yet to extend to the arena of national security.
But here we are.
Like the general population, today's troops entranced by the glowing hypnosis of iPhone and Android screens grow increasingly unaware of the security breach potential at their fingertips. Lurking enemies capable of crippling cybersecurity attacks seek to prey on the complacent, and junior personnel have shown little in the way of resistance -- opting instead to prioritize online popularity at the expense of information sharing and operational security.
A concerned Gen. Robert Neller, the now-retired former Marine Commandant, addressed this trend at a 2016 Center for Strategic and International Studies conference discussion in which he urged Marines to put down their inanimate soulmates and turn their focus to the mission.
"We're going to go to the field for 30 days; everybody leave your phone in the car and tell your significant other or your mom, your aunt, your uncle, that you're not going to get 75 texts each day and answer them," he said.
"You're living out of your pack, you're going to stop at night, you're going to dig a hole, you're going to camouflage, you're going to turn off all your stuff, and you're going to sit there. And you've got to be careful to not make any noise, and you're going to try to have absolutely no signature. Because if you can be seen, you will be attacked."
Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com
BluebellWood -> Supermassive , 29 Nov 2018 12:41Yep - education is the key.
I remember at school we read Orwell's essay Politics and the English Language in an English class and then we were set a writing task as a follow-up, reporting on the same story using the same facts, from completely opposing points of view, using euphemism and mind-numbing cliches. Teach children to do this themselves and they can see how language can be skewed and facts distorted and misrepresented without technically lying.
How many children in schools are taught such critical thinking these days, I wonder? It might be taught in Media Studies, I suppose - but gosh, don't the right really hate that particular subject! Critical thinking is anathema to them.
Oct 25, 2019 | www.youtube.com
PDX LockPicker , 2 hours agoForrest LeMay , 2 hours ago (edited)
"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"Free Ryder , 3 hours ago
"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 SnowdenFuzzy Gaming , 2 hours ago
"I'd be working on umm economic takeover of Guatemala for example" Lol CIA's bread and butterKhonh lo , 2 hours ago div class=
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.postedhere9 , 1 hour ago
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...Rasikh Ali , 3 hours ago
Pelosi's involvement in the impeachment sounds oddly familiar to her involvement in this scandal... hmmMar Z , 1 hour ago
Mainstream media is only focusing on the alien comment. Scum of the earth.. smh 🤦🏽♂️Christopher Mulvey , 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!!M Somogyi , 2 hours 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.Flash Harry , 4 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! :)Wowbagger , 3 hours ago (edited)
"> 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. xJC Stuart , 1 day ago
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.Tim Leniston , 2 hours ago
"when we become fearful we become vulnerable, to anyone who promises to make things better, even if they will actively make things worse."HyperActive7 , 3 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!Stacy Starnes , 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.Benjamin Wright , 1 day 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".GoogleSearch TheEsseneGospelOfPeace.#JesusGang , 1 day ago
"The FBI has joined the chat"Reegan O'Hara , 4 hours ago
Joe: Google searching "free proxy servers" before this interviewDestinyxos , 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..."m1force , 1 hour 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!chilakil , 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.FatalFinality , 1 day ago
I completely believe after following Rogan for a couple of Months that joe is complete controlled oppositionTom Hol , 2 hours ago
Well, this is definitely one of those mornings when being unemployed is convenient.Raul Montes , 4 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.ck black , 33 minutes ago
This was longest plug for a book ever...Mar Z , 35 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.Guillermo Baltazar , 3 hours 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"Nicco Sanchez , 1 hour ago
44:20 he kinda dis ObamaErma4ella Eu , 5 minutes 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)😒Jakob , 1 day ago
It wasn't Joe Rogan's podcast. It was a Snowden's podcastCarlo Anardu , 1 day ago
Snowden made a "FBI has joined the chat" meme hahahaahScott what , 2 hours ago
I can't believe NSA and CIA hired someone that talks that much...John B , 4 hours ago
So every politician I disagree with is a dictator or fascist. Seems someone hasn't learned muchScarack Truther , 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.Szimba Zsununnu , 5 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.Grasshopper , 4 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.Z.A.C. , 1 day ago (edited)
#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.Reuben Handel , 4 hours 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.Trey Wilson , 1 minute ago div cl
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 knowInvincible Osprey , 4 hours ago
"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 matrixJ. Copache , 34 minutes ago (edited)
Ed Snowden is creepily still playing his role for the same people behind 9/11 and other False Flags...Alek Kelly , 22 minutes ago
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.Joseph Edward , 5 hours ago (edited)
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?Brian Houck , 6 hours ago
34:50 . Our founding fathers are turning in their graves.Joseph Edward , 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.therealjoelsalazar , 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.)words wpns , 7 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.
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
Aug 30, 2019 | www.unz.com
Totalitarian ideologies live by lies and contradiction. For example, the slave-state of North Korea , ruled by a hereditary dictatorship, proclaims itself a Democratic People's Republic when it is neither democratic, popular, nor a republic.
In Nineteen Eighty-Four , Orwell wrote of how "the names of the four Ministries by which [the oppressed population is] governed exhibit a sort of impudence in their deliberate reversal of the facts. The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation.
These contradictions are not accidental, nor do they result from ordinary hypocrisy; they are deliberate exercises in doublethink ."
Defending the death-machine
You could, then, call GCHQ and the NSA part of the Ministry of Morality. While breaking laws against surveillance and trying to destroy freedom of expression and enquiry, they pretend that they're caring, ethical organizations who defend the oppressed and want to build a better world. In fact, of course, GCHQ and the NSA are defending the death-machine of the military-industrial complex , which has been wrecking nations and slaughtering civilians in the Middle East (and elsewhere ) for decades.
They're also defending the traitorous Western governments that first import millions of Third-Worlders , then use the resultant crime, terrorism and racial conflict to justify mass surveillance and harsh laws against free speech .
OzzyBonHalen , says: August 29, 2019 at 6:54 am GMTQuote: Orwell didn't foresee the celebration of homosexuality by totalitarians, but he did explain it.Reg Cæsar , says: August 29, 2019 at 7:49 am GMT
If you read Anthony Burgess' The Wanting Seed he writes about the roles of gays in dystopia. He also talks about race, two things that Orwell and Huxley didn't. The Wanting Seed is just as important in the world of dystopia as Brave New World or 1984.Walter , says: August 29, 2019 at 9:40 am GMT
one way George Orwell got the future completely wrong
That assumes he was writing about the future. He was mocking the Soviet "justice" system in the recent past. The man was a satirist, after all. How did Stalin's men treat sexual deviation?
... ... ...NSA needs to revisit their grammar studies. They may benefit from attention to the correct use of commas.MarkU , says: August 29, 2019 at 2:03 pm GMT
"At NSA, talented individuals of all backgrounds, contribute to something bigger than themselves: national security. #PrideMonth."
The globo-sodomy is one thing, but the torture of grammar! Ye gods!A few points.Liza , says: August 29, 2019 at 3:50 pm GMT
1) The iniquities of the members of one skyfairy cult are not evidence for the virtues of another such organisation and never will be.
2) It seems likely to me that homosexuality is a feature of overpopulation and may be a natural population control mechanism. Experiments have shown that rats kept in overcrowded conditions exhibit homosexual tendencies and also become more violent towards other rats. I doubt that it is purely a coincidence that homosexuality first became notable round about the time that humans started living in cities.
Other species have means of controlling their populations, rabbits for example can reabsorb their embryos if the population count is too high, seals can freeze the development of their foetuses etc.
I see no rational purpose in demonising homosexuals and I am certainly not going to let the purveyors of ancient superstitious claptrap do my thinking for me. Cue howls of outrage from both skyfairy cultists and from queers (if they are happy to use the word I don't see why I shouldn't)
3) It seems to me that the Zionist bankers have essentially bankrupted the western world in an attempt to bring the rest of the world under their control, they have failed. They are now attempting to mobilise any and all sections of the population that identify as minorities as allies against the majorities in those countries, importing as many more as they can get away with. What sense does it make to reinforce their narrative that it is heterosexual whites v everyone else? because that is exactly what some people are doing. The Zionists are making their following as broad as possible while attempting to narrow ours, why play into their hands? Opposition to immigration for example does not have to be presented as a racial issue, many people here in the UK were opposed to mass immigration from eastern Europe on purely economic grounds, Poles and Lithuanians are not a different race and hardly even a different culture. Do you really think that Blacks and Latinos that have been in the US for generations are uniformly delighted about a new influx of cheap labour? Do you really believe that Muslims are the natural allies of Jews or of homosexuals? If you actually put some thought into the struggle rather than relying on superstitious claptrap and bigotry you might be able to start pushing back.@Bardon KaldianAstonished , says: August 29, 2019 at 4:00 pm GMT
So, Western civilization is going to collapse because of a few fairies & fag hags?
Yes, it looks as if it will collapse. Not because the fairies and fag hags are all-powerful, but because we have had it so good & easy for so long that we've gotten weaker than any determined, focused fairy or hag.@MarkU I agree.gwynedd1 , says: August 29, 2019 at 5:36 pm GMT
Leftism in general, which I characterize as a mass adoption of a "mental map" (the gross oversimplification of infinite reality people use to navigate their lives) highly estranged from underlying reality, is Nature's "suicide switch" for an organism that has grossly overgrown its ecological niche.
Today people believe palpably unreal things, in incredibly large numbers, with incredibly deep fervor. The poster-child is the belief in the efficacy of magical incantations (statute legislation) to change Actual Reality. If "we" want to end racism (however we define it in the Newspeak Dictionary) then we just pass a law and "pow!" it's gone. (When that doesn't work, we pass another law, and another and another and another, always expecting a different result.)
Ditto the banking (and monetary) system. Money used to be basically a "receipt" for actually having something IN HAND to take to the market and engage in trade. This was the essence of Say's Law, "in order to consume (buy something) you must first produce."
Some clever Machiavellians figured out that if you could "complexify" and obscure the monetary system enough, you could obtain the legal right to create from thin air the ability to enter that market and buy something, which stripped to its essence is the crime of fraud.
Banking has been an open fraud for a very long time, certainly since the era of naked fiat money was introduced in the 1960's. But as long as everyone went along with the gag, and especially once Credit Bubble Funny Money started fueling a debt orgy and rationalizing an asset price mania, everyone thought "we could all get rich."
Today we have vast claims on real wealth (real wealth is productive land, productive plant & equipment and capital you can hold in your hands, so to speak.) But we have uncountable claims on each unit of real capital. The Machiavellians think that they will end up holding title to it all, when the day comes to actually make an honest accounting. I suspect that they lack the political power to pull that off, but only time will tell.
When this long, insane boom is reconciled, a lot of productive capital will turn out to be nothing but vaporware and rusting steel. Entire industries arose to cater to credit-bubble-demand, and when the bubble eventually ceases to inflate, demand in (and the capital applied to) those industries will collapse. How many hospitals do you need when no one has the money to pay for their services, and the tax base has burned to the ground?
Nature's suicide switch.Simple formula. Liberalism was the defense of the individual against the group.Ris_Eruwaedhiel , says: August 29, 2019 at 10:25 pm GMT
All one needs to do is a simple substitution. Minorities , environment , animals etc are a means by witch one can make individuals into the institutionalized oppressor. Even better is the so called intersectional mini oppressions which make nearly all victims which in turns makes all guilty. State intervention must increase .Guilty people , as all religions of the world understand, are easily dominated and controlled.
The power the individual is destroyed by its own momentum.@Digital Samizdat The Bolsheviks first pushed "free love" – easy divorce, abortion and homosexuality. There even was serious discussion about whether or not to abolish marriage. They reversed themselves and by the time WWII broke out, the official culture of the Soviet Union was more socially conservative than that of the US. Even in the 1980s, the Commies were tough on gays, lesbians and druggies.
Dec 26, 2019 | twitter.com
"Real protections will come only if federal laws are passed to limit what companies can do with the data they collect. Until then, no matter what settings we choose, we're all at risk."
3 Steps to Protect Your Phone - The New York Times
https://www. nytimes.com/interactive/20 19/12/19/opinion/location-tracking-privacy-tips.html
Dec 26, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Colleges Track Hundreds Of Thousands Of Students Using Their Phones by Tyler Durden Wed, 12/25/2019 - 20:15 0 SHARES
"Graduates will be well prepared to embrace 24/7 government tracking and social credit systems ."
An app created to track the attendance of 'less academically inclined' college athletes is under fire, after over 40 schools have begun using the technology to monitor students campus-wide , according to the Washington Post .Syracuse professor Jeff Rubin says his lectures have never been so full
Developed by former college basketball coach Rick Carter (who is currently under a restraining order by DePaul University for allegedly threatening the athletic director and head basketball coach), the Chicago-based SpotterEDU app uses Bluetooth beacons to ping a student's smartphone once they enter a lecture hall. About the size of a deck of cards, they are installed in covert locations on walls and ceilings.
School officials give SpotterEDU the students' full schedules , and the system can email a professor or adviser automatically if a student skips class or walks in more than two minutes late . The app records a full timeline of the students' presence so advisers can see whether they left early or stepped out for a break. - Washington Post
Syracuse University IT instructor Jeff Rubin uses the app to encourage his students to attend lectures - awarding "attendance points" to those who show up. Rubin is also notified when students skip classes.
"They want those points," said Rubin. " They know I'm watching and acting on it. So, behaviorally, they change. "
According to Rubin, his 340-student lecture has never been so full at around 90% attendance.
Double Secret Dystopia
Understandably, not everyone is thrilled with the intrusive new technology , which many argue breaches students' privacy rights on a massive scale.
" We're adults. Do we really need to be tracked? " said sophomore Robby Pfeifer, a student at Commonwealth University in Richmond, which recently began using the campus' WiFi network to track students. "Why is this necessary? How does this benefit us? And is it just going to keep progressing until we're micromanaged every second of the day? "
School and company officials, on the other hand, argue that monitoring students is a powerful motivator and will encourage students to adopt habits geared towards success.
"If they know more about where students are going, they argue, they can intervene before problems arise," according to the Post .
That said, some schools have taken things further - assigning "risk scores" to students based on factors such as whether they are going to the library enough .
The dream of some administrators is a university where every student is a model student, adhering to disciplined patterns of behavior that are intimately quantified, surveilled and analyzed .
But some educators say this move toward heightened educational vigilance threatens to undermine students' independence and prevents them from pursuing interests beyond the classroom because they feel they might be watched.
" These administrators have made a justification for surveilling a student population because it serves their interests , in terms of the scholarships that come out of their budget, the reputation of their programs, the statistics for the school," said Kyle M. L. Jones, an Indiana University assistant professor who researches student privacy.
" What's to say that the institution doesn't change their eye of surveillance and start focusing on minority populations, or anyone else? " he added. Students "should have all the rights, responsibilities and privileges that an adult has. So why do we treat them so differently?" - Washington Post
"It embodies a very cynical view of education -- that it's something we need to enforce on students, almost against their will," said UCSD digital scholarship librarian Erin Rose Glass. "We're reinforcing this sense of powerlessness when we could be asking harder questions, like: Why are we creating institutions where students don't want to show up? "
Hilariously, creators of the dystopian surveillance app have tried to make things 'more fun,' by 'gamifying students' schedules with colorful Bitmoji or digital multiday streaks.'
That said, " the real value may be for school officials, who Carter said can split students into groups, such as "students of color" or "out-of-state students," for further review ."
When asked why an official would want to segregate out data on students of color, Carter said many colleges already do so, looking for patterns in academic retention and performance , adding that it "can provide important data for retention. Even the first few months of recorded data on class attendance and performance can help predict how likely a group of students is to" stay enrolled.
Students' attendance and tardiness are scored into a point system that some professors use for grading, Carter said, and schools can use the data to "take action" against truant students, such as grabbing back scholarship funds. - Washington Post
Meanwhile, another app from Austin-based start-up Degree Analytics uses WiFi check-ins to track around 200,000 students across 19 state universities, private colleges and other schools , according to the Post.
Founded in 2017 by data scientist Aaron Benz, the company claims that every student can graduate with "a proper environment and perhaps a few nudges along the way."
According to Benz, his system can solve "a real lack of understanding about the student experience" by using campus WiFi data to measure and analyze 98% of students.
But the company also claims to see much more than just attendance. By logging the time a student spends in different parts of the campus, Benz said, his team has found a way to identify signs of personal anguish: A student avoiding the cafeteria might suffer from food insecurity or an eating disorder; a student skipping class might be grievously depressed. The data isn't conclusive, Benz said, but it can "shine a light on where people can investigate, so students don't slip through the cracks."
To help find these students, he said, his team designed algorithms to look for patterns in a student's "behavioral state" and automatically flag when their habits change. He calls it scaffolding -- a temporary support used to build up a student, removed when they can stand on their own.
At a Silicon Valley summit in April, Benz outlined a recent real-life case: that of Student ID 106033, a depressed and "extremely isolated" student he called Sasha whom the system had flagged as "highly at-risk" because she only left her dorm to eat. "At every school, there are lots of Sashas," he said. "And the bigger you are, the more Sashas that you have." - Washington Post
Read the rest of the report here .
Dec 21, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Around half of Americans surveyed this year said they are planning to buy their holiday gifts from Amazon and three quarters said they compare prices with Amazon before buying elsewhere. Approximately half of all the money spent online by Americans is estimated to have gone to Amazon products and services over the past few years. The company sells more toys, books, clothing, and electronics than any other business and its Amazon Prime service has more than half of all American households under its umbrella. There is evidence to suggest that Amazon intentionally delays shipping times for those who don't have Prime. And once customers do sign up, they rarely shop online elsewhere, leaving third parties a stark choice: close up shop or sell according to Amazon's rules and fees.
Of course, there's no law saying holiday shoppers are required to patronize Amazon. Nonetheless, most Americans continue to log on and load up on holiday gifts just like they did last year. This year's "Cyber Monday" saw the biggest sales in Amazon's history, as the company announced that it had shipped out "hundreds of millions" of products. These kinds of massive sales figures are the new normal for Amazon, as its predatory pricing scheme starts paying sky-high dividends. By holding Prime Day in the summer, Amazon also forces the Christmas and holiday shopping cycle to begin half a year early .
Of the more than 350 million products sold on Amazon, only around 12 million are sold directly by them ; many others are sold by third parties. Amazon is not primarily interested in being the biggest player in the market; rather, it wants to become the market . With increasing numbers of people searching for items to buy on Amazon directly rather than through a search engine, the site has moved closer to just that kind of dominance.
Transforming from a small internet start-up in the mid-1990s that ran on almost no profit for two decades into the booming behemoth it has become today, the Seattle-based giant is a true blue American success story. In fact, it's such a success story that there are serious concerns that it has become economically exploitative. Amazon artfully dodges corporate taxes and keeps expanding its reach into every nook and cranny of our lives (hello there, Alexa). By selling at a loss and then raising prices -- cushioned by the enormous profits from its Amazon Web Services (AWS) -- Amazon forces other companies to ride or die.
Although Amazon is not a legally defined monopoly according to the Department of Justice's cautious parameters, it falls right in line with any other historical monopoly, in that it stifles competition and significantly shapes the contours of its own market. In other words, it is a monopoly . President Trump appears to agree, having referred previously to the company's "huge antitrust problem," although ironically Amazon has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of Trump's corporate tax cuts. As the company begins gobbling up more of the market, traditional antitrust precedent may need to be expanded in order to take it on and protect consumers and workers. It may also be necessary to crack down on the profusion of counterfeit products and scams that use Amazon to hawk their wares.
There's a credible argument to be made that Amazon is also a monopsony, referring to an economic scenario in which one market-dominating buyer can artificially set prices to sellers because it is also their primary customer. This phenomenon can be seen in situations like Amazon's heavy influence on courier companies like FedEx, which might well be sleeping with the fishes without Bezos' business coming their way (and in fact, they could be history in any case, since their business is being supplanted by Amazon's private fleet of aircraft and bevy of drones and trucks). As the job provider par excellence, Amazon also creates various neo-feudalist fiefdoms in communities where it provides the vast majority of jobs, allowing it to push employee wages to the bottom of the barrel. Meanwhile the company has hundreds of employees working in artificial intelligence as it continues to phase in more advanced automation technology and expand its drone delivery services.
There are dozens of companies Amazon could well crush in just the near future, including auto parts stores, pharmacies, bookstores, food delivery services, courier services like UPS and FedEx, office supply stores, fabric stores, and various online platforms for gaming and streaming.
As figures on the left like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have pointed out, Amazon is getting away with way too much. Sanders wants Amazon to pay its fair share of taxes, while Warren wants to break them up. There has been significant criticism of Amazon on the right as well, by commentators like Fox News host Tucker Carlson , who has slammed the company for leeching off of the American economic system to the detriment of workers and communities.
None of this is subtle: Amazon hurts workers and small business. It hurts workers by creating a one-stop employment environment that leaves employees taking the scraps from Jeff Bezos' table. Amazon contract workers have sued the company, alleging it paid them less than minimum wage , while allegations of harsh worker conditions are rampant. Amazon workers might not be living in cardboard boxes (no guarantee) but they're certainly packing them with your orders for a depressingly low amount of compensation under major pressure. Amazon frequently uses "seasonal" contract labor and "permatemps," who are hired temporarily despite working full-time, so as to avoid paying benefits or giving raises.
Amazon pays low wages -- often below industry standards -- and had already indirectly caused the loss of 149,000 American retail jobs as of 2016, as well as 22,000 businesses. Same-day delivery has pushed Amazon's contract workers into such desperation that there have been numerous fatal crashes and pile-ups. Other drivers have had to urinate in their own vans in order to deliver packages on time.
Amazon's control also cuts into the experiences that surround holiday gift giving and browsing. Gift-buying is supposed to be fun , part of a day out with the family or a nice stroll downtown. Now it's become a stressful exercise in trying to click on all the right items while typing in a credit card number hunched in front of a glaring screen. Amazon is constantly gathering data on its consumers and using it to target them. It's been criticized for "surge pricing" where it raises prices algorithmically.
Limiting Amazon via antitrust law hasn't been tried yet, but there is no reason to think that lobbyists will have their way forever, particularly when a credible argument exists that Amazon has in fact provably and specifically broken antitrust law by disguising predatory pricing through revenue declaration loopholes.
It's time for legislators to act both to prevent Amazon from further excesses and to set a precedent. This Christmas, after eating a delicious turkey from Whole Foods (oops), we can hope that Casa Amazon also receives a special, glittering gift under the tree: antitrust action. Merry Christmas, Mr. Bezos.
Paul Brian is a freelance journalist. He has reported for the BBC, Reuters, and Foreign Policy , and contributed to The Week, The Federalist, and others. You can follow him on Twitter @paulrbrian or visit his website www.paulrbrian.com .
This article was supported by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The contents of this publication are solely the responsibility of the authors.
Dec 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Millions of Americans are walking around with phones that have, unknowingly, created one of the most disturbing and unintentional "surveillance states" to ever exist. An explosive new opinion piece in the NY Times aims to demonstrate that detailed smartphone tracking is far more ubiquitous than many think , despite the ongoing claims by companies that people's data is "anonymous".
Paul Ohm, a law professor and privacy researcher at the Georgetown University Law Center, said that describing location data as anonymous is "a completely false claim that has been debunked in multiple studies."
He added: "Really precise, longitudinal geolocation information is absolutely impossible to anonymize. D.N.A. is probably the only thing that's harder to anonymize than precise geolocation information."
The op-ed looked at trying to identify people in positions of power. It identified and tracked "scores" of notable people, like military officials with security clearances, as they drove home at night. They also tracked law enforcement officials and high powered lawyers. Though they didn't name any of the people, they followed them on private jets, vacations and taking their kids to school.
Despite some of the data pointing to "scandal and crime", the purpose of tracking them was to document the risk of under-regulated surveillance.
One person identified was Mary Millben, a singer based in Virginia who has performed for three Presidents. When told her phone was putting her "on the map" for everyone to see, she said: "To know that you have a list of places I have been, and my phone is connected to that, that's scary. What's the business of a company benefiting off of knowing where I am? That seems a little dangerous to me."
She couldn't name the app that shared her location, despite saying she was "careful" about which apps she allowed to share her location.
"That makes me uncomfortable. I'm sure that makes every other person uncomfortable, to know that companies can have free rein to take your data, locations, whatever else they're using. It is disturbing," she continued.
On inauguration weekend, the authors were able to track "elite attendees at presidential ceremonies, religious observers at church services, supporters assembling across the National Mall", as well as protesters. They even spotted a senior official at the DOD walking through the Women's March, along with his wife.
Yet companies that take your location data collect "orders of magnitude" more that what the Times opinion writers had access to.
There are dozens of companies out there that profit from this data. Many use "technical and nuanced language that may be confusing to average smartphone users." Many company names would likely be unfamiliar to most Americans.
These companies downplay the risks of collecting such revealing data at scale. Brian Czarny, chief marketing officer at Factual, one such company, said: "No, it doesn't really keep us up at night. Factual does not resell detailed data like the information [The Times] reviewed. We don't feel like anybody should be doing that because it's a risk to the whole business."
But without federal privacy laws, the industry has largely been self-regulated. Several groups have offered ethical guidelines and groups like the Mobile Marketing Association are drafting pledges to improve this self-regulation.
But states are starting to respond. For instance, the California Consumer Protection Act takes effect next year and allows residents to ask companies to delete their data or prevent its sale. But legally, the law could leave the industry free to do whatever it wants.
Calli Schroeder, a lawyer for the privacy and data protection company VeraSafe said: "If a private company is legally collecting location data, they're free to spread it or share it however they want."
Companies are required to disclose "very little" about data collection, but rather are only required to describe their practices in their privacy policies.
Location data, gathered by latitude and longitude, coupled with time spent in an area, feed a lucrative secondary business of analyzing, licensing and transferring that information to third parties. Here's what that data looks like:
The data provides intelligence for big businesses, as well:
The Weather Channel app's parent company, for example, analyzed users' location data for hedge funds, according to a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles this year that was triggered by Times reporting. And Foursquare received much attention in 2016 after using its data trove to predict that after an E. coli crisis, Chipotle's sales would drop by 30 percent in the coming months. Its same-store sales ultimately fell 29.7 percent.
Companies like Verizon and AT&T have been selling the data for years. Last year, Vice found that data being sold was being used by bounty hunters to find specific cell phones in real time. Telecom companies pledged, after the scandal, to stop selling the data. But there is still no law that prevents it.
Additionally, the piece notes "everything can be hacked". That means that any server that houses this data is susceptible to having it wind up in the wrong hands.Broili/NYT
For most Americans, the distribution of this information could result in embarrassment or inconvenience. But for people like survivors of abuse, it could come with substantially more risks.
And the ability to identify individuals was stunning:
In one case, we observed a change in the regular movements of a Microsoft engineer. He made a visit one Tuesday afternoon to the main Seattle campus of a Microsoft competitor, Amazon. The following month, he started a new job at Amazon. It took minutes to identify him as Ben Broili, a manager now for Amazon Prime Air, a drone delivery service.
Broili commented: "I can't say I'm surprised. But knowing that you all can get ahold of it and comb through and place me to see where I work and live -- that's weird."
He continued: "It's an awful lot of data. And I really still don't understand how it's being used. I'd have to see how the other companies were weaponizing or monetizing it to make that call."
You can read the full long form op-ed here .
Dec 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
psychohistorian , Dec 19 2019 22:10 utc | 25@ Posted by: WJ | Dec 19 2019 21:42 utc | 21 with the reporting about YouTube deleting videos that support b's postings
I am not surprised. YouTube recently changed its policy on retention of videos and I expect it covers their ass for responding to "Winston Smith" types of requests from late empire trying to rewrite history.
Dec 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
In case of Page it was much worse the Glenn Greenwald claims. The most probably scenario that he was directed to join Trump compain and then to contact Russian government so that this false flag operatin can be used for establishing surveillance. Why they need to establish surveillance on CIA/FBI informant? Because he called people they really wanted to survail.IG Report On FBI Spying Exposes Scandal Of Historic Magnitude For US Media Glenn Greenwald
IG Report On FBI Spying Exposes "Scandal Of Historic Magnitude" For US Mediaby Tyler Durden Sat, 12/14/2019 - 13:30 0 SHARES
Authored by Glenn Greenwald via The Intercept,
Just as was true when the Mueller investigation closed without a single American being charged with criminally conspiring with Russia over the 2016 election, Wednesday's issuance of the long-waited report from the Department of Justice's Inspector General reveals that years of major claims and narratives from the U.S. media were utter frauds .
Before evaluating the media component of this scandal, the FBI's gross abuse of its power – its serial deceit – is so grave and manifest that it requires little effort to demonstrate it. In sum, the IG Report documents multiple instances in which the FBI – in order to convince a FISA court to allow it spy on former Trump campaign operative Carter Page during the 2016 election – manipulated documents, concealed crucial exonerating evidence, and touted what it knew were unreliable if not outright false claims.
If you don't consider FBI lying, concealment of evidence, and manipulation of documents in order to spy on a U.S. citizen in the middle of a presidential campaign to be a major scandal, what is? But none of this is aberrational: the FBI still has its headquarters in a building named after J. Edgar Hoover – who constantly blackmailed elected officials with dossiers and tried to blackmail Martin Luther King into killing himself – because that's what these security state agencies are. They are out-of-control, virtually unlimited police state factions that lie, abuse their spying and law enforcement powers, and subvert democracy and civic and political freedoms as a matter of course.
In this case, no rational person should allow standard partisan bickering to distort or hide this severe FBI corruption. The IG Report leaves no doubt about it. It's brimming with proof of FBI subterfuge and deceit, all in service of persuading a FISA court of something that was not true: that U.S. citizen and former Trump campaign official Carter Page was an agent of the Russian government and therefore needed to have his communications surveilled.
Just a few excerpts from the report should suffice to end any debate for rational persons about how damning it is. The focus of the first part of the IG Report was on the warrants obtained by the DOJ, at the behest of the FBI, to spy on Carter Page on the grounds that there was probable cause to believe he was an agent of the Russian government. That Page was a Kremlin agent was a widely disseminated media claim – typically asserted as fact even though it had no evidence. As a result of this media narrative, the Mueller investigation examined these widespread accusations yet concluded that "the investigation did not establish that Page coordinated with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election."
The IG Report went much further, documenting a multitude of lies and misrepresentations by the FBI to deceive the FISA court into believing that probable cause existed to believe Page was a Kremlin agent. The first FISA warrant to spy on Page was obtained during the 2016 election, after Page had left the Trump campaign but weeks before the election was to be held.
About the warrant application submitted regarding Page, the IG Report, in its own words, "found that FBI personnel fell far short of the requirement in FBI policy that they ensure that all factual statements in a FISA application are 'scrupulously accurate.'" Specifically, "we identified multiple instances in which factual assertions relied upon in the first FISA application were inaccurate, incomplete, or unsupported by appropriate documentation, based upon information the FBI had in its possession at the time the application was filed."
It's vital to reiterate this because of its gravity: we identified multiple instances in which factual assertions relied upon in the first FISA application were inaccurate, incomplete, or unsupported by appropriate documentation, based upon information the FBI had in its possession at the time the application was filed.
The specifics cited by the IG Report are even more damning. Specifically, "based upon the information known to the FBI in October 2016, the first application contained  seven significant inaccuracies and omissions." Among those "significant inaccuracies and omissions": the FBI concealed that Page had been working with the CIA in connection with his dealings with Russia and had notified CIA case managers of at least some of those contacts after he was "approved as an 'operational contact'" with Russia; the FBI lied about both the timing and substance of Page's relationship with the CIA; vastly overstated the value and corroboration of Steele's prior work for the U.S. Government to make him appear more credible than he was; and concealed from the court serious reasons to doubt the reliability of Steele's key source.
... ... ..
Among the most significant new acts of deceit was that the FBI "omitted the fact that Steele's Primary Subsource, who the FBI found credible, had made statements in January 2017 raising significant questions about the reliability of allegations included in the FISA applications, including, for example, that he/she did not recall any discussion with Person 1 concerning Wikileaks and there was 'nothing bad' about the communications between the Kremlin and the Trump team, and that he/she did not report to Steele in July 2016 that Page had met with Sechin."
In other words, Steele's own key source told the FBI that Steele was lying about what the source said: an obviously critical fact that the FBI simply concealed from the FISA court because it knew how devastating that would be to being able to continue to spy on Page. As the Report put it, "among the most serious of the 10 additional errors we found in the renewal applications was the FBI's failure to advise [DOJ] or the court of the inconsistences, described in detail in Chapter Six, between Steele and his Primary Sub-source on the reporting relied upon in the FISA applications."
The IG Report also found that the FBI hid key information from the court about Steele's motives: for instance, it "omitted information obtained from [Bruce] Ohr about Steele and his election reporting, including that (1) Steele's reporting was going to Clinton's presidential campaign and others, (2) [Fusion GPS's Glenn] Simpson was paying Steele to discuss his reporting with the media, and (3) Steele was "desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being the U.S. President."
If it does not bother you to learn that the FBI repeatedly and deliberately deceived the FISA court into granting it permission to spy on a U.S. citizen in the middle of a presidential campaign, then it is virtually certain that you are either someone with no principles, someone who cares only about partisan advantage and nothing about basic civil liberties and the rule of law, or both. There is simply no way for anyone of good faith to read this IG Report and reach any conclusion other than that this is yet another instance of the FBI abusing its power in severe ways to subvert and undermine U.S. democracy. If you don't care about that, what do you care about?
* * * * *
But the revelations of the IG Report are not merely a massive FBI scandal. They are also a massive media scandal, because they reveal that so much of what the U.S. media has authoritatively claimed about all of these matters for more than two years is completely false.
Ever since Trump's inauguration, a handful of commentators and journalists – I'm included among them – have been sounding the alarm about the highly dangerous trend of news outlets not merely repeating the mistake of the Iraq War by blindly relying on the claims of security state agents but, far worse, now employing them in their newsrooms to shape the news. As Politico's media writer Jack Shafer wrote in 2018, in an article entitled "The Spies Who Came Into the TV Studio" :
In the old days, America's top spies would complete their tenures at the CIA or one of the other Washington puzzle palaces and segue to more ordinary pursuits. Some wrote their memoirs . One ran for president . Another died a few months after surrendering his post. But today's national-security establishment retiree has a different game plan. After so many years of brawling in the shadows, he yearns for a second, lucrative career in the public eye. He takes a crash course in speaking in soundbites, refreshes his wardrobe and signs a TV news contract. Then, several times a week, waits for a network limousine to shuttle him to the broadcast news studios where, after a light dusting of foundation and a spritz of hairspray, he takes a supporting role in the anchors' nighttime shows. . . .
[T]he downside of outsourcing national security coverage to the TV spies is obvious. They aren't in the business of breaking news or uncovering secrets. Their first loyalty -- and this is no slam -- is to the agency from which they hail. Imagine a TV network covering the auto industry through the eyes of dozens of paid former auto executives and you begin to appreciate the current peculiarities.
In a perfect television world, the networks would retire the retired spooks from their payrolls and reallocate those sums to the hiring of independent reporters to cover the national security beat. Let the TV spies become unpaid anonymous sources because when you get down to it, TV spies don't want to make news -- they just want to talk about it.
It's long been the case that CIA, FBI and NSA operatives tried to infiltrate and shape domestic news, but they at least had the decency to do it clandestinely. In 2008, the New York Times' David Barstow won the Pulitzer Prize for exposing a secret Pentagon program in which retired Generals and other security state agents would get hired as commentators and analysts and then – unbeknownst to their networks – coordinate their messaging to ensure that domestic news was being shaped by the propaganda of the military and intelligence communities.
But now it's all out in the open. It's virtually impossible to turn on MSNBC or CNN without being bombarded with former Generals, CIA operatives, FBI agents and NSA officials who now work for those networks as commentators and, increasingly, as reporters.
Congrats to my friend @joshscampbell , CNN's newest national Correspondent. His passion for going where the news is and covering important stories will continue to benefit viewers. pic.twitter.com/j49k0KOzNj-- Sam Vinograd (@sam_vinograd) November 19, 2019
The past three years of "Russiagate" reporting – for which U.S. journalists have lavished themselves with Pulitzers and other prizes despite a multitude of embarrassing and dangerous errors about the Grave Russian Threat – has relied almost exclusively on anonymous, uncorroborated claims from Deep State operatives (and yes, that's a term that fully applies to the U.S.). The few exceptions are when these networks feature former high-level security state operatives on camera to spread their false propaganda, as in this enduringly humiliating instance:
John Brennan has a lot to answer for -- going before the American public for months, cloaked with CIA authority and openly suggesting he's got secret info, and repeatedly turning in performances like this. pic.twitter.com/EziCxy9FVQ-- Terry Moran (@TerryMoran) March 25, 2019
All of this has meant that U.S. discourse on these national security questions is shaped almost entirely by the very agencies that are trained to lie: the CIA, the NSA, the Pentagon, the FBI. And their lying has been highly effective.
For years, we were told by the nation's leading national security reporters something that was blatantly false: that the FBI's warrants to spy on Carter Page were not based on the Steele Dossier. GOP Congressman Devin Nunes was widely vilified and mocked by the super-smart DC national security reporters for issuing a report claiming that this was the case. The Nunes memo in essence claimed what the IG Report has corroborated: that embedded within the FBI's efforts to obtain FISA court authorization to spy on Carter Page was a series of misrepresentations, falsehoods and concealment of key evidence:
As the Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi – one of the few left/liberal journalists with the courage and integrity to dissent from the DNC/MSNBC script on these issues – put it in a detailed article :
"Democrats are not going to want to hear this, since conventional wisdom says former House Intelligence chief Devin Nunes is a conspiratorial evildoer, but the Horowitz report ratifies the major claims of the infamous ' Nunes memo .'"
That the Page warrant was based on the Steele Dossier was something that the media servants of the FBI and CIA rushed to deny. Did they have any evidence for those denials? That would be hard to believe, given that the FISA warrant applications are highly classified. It seems far more likely that – as usual – they were just repeating what the FBI and CIA (and the pathologically dishonest Rep. Adam Schiff) told them to say, like the good and loyal puppets that they are. But either way, what they kept telling the public – in highly definitive tones – was completely false, as we now know from the IG Report:
Yes. I am telling you the dossier was not used as the basis for a FISA warrant on Carter Page.-- Shane Harris (@shaneharris) January 12, 2018
New: Two Democratic members of House Intel tell me McCabe did not say dossier was basis of FISA warrant, disputing central claim of #NunesMemo-- Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) February 2, 2018
Over and over, the IG Report makes clear that, contrary to these denials, the Steele Dossier was indeed crucial to the Page eavesdropping warrant. "We determined that the Crossfire Hurricane team's receipt of Steele's election reporting on September 19, 2016 played a central and essential role in the FBI's and Department's decision to seek the FISA order," the IG Report explained. A central and essential role .
Just compare the pompous denials from so many U.S. national security reporters at the nation's leading news outlets – that the Page warrant was not based on the Steele Dossier – to the actual truth that we now know :
"in support of the fourth element in the FISA application-Carter Page's alleged coordination with the Russian government on 2016 U.S. presidential election activities, the application relied entirely on the following information from Steele Reports 80, 94, 95, and 102″ (emphasis added).
Indeed, it was the Steele Dossier that led FBI leadership, including Director James Comey and Deputy Diretor Andrew McCabe, to approve the warrant application in the first place despite concerns raised by other agents that the information was unreliable. Explains the IG Report:
FBI leadership supported relying on Steele's reporting to seek a FISA order on Page after being advised of, and giving consideration to, concerns expressed by Stuart Evans, then NSD's Deputy Assistant Attorney General with oversight responsibility over QI, that Steele may have been hired by someone associated with presidential candidate Clinton or the DNC, and that the foreign intelligence to be collected through the FISA order would probably not be worth the 'risk' of being criticized later for collecting communications of someone (Carter Page) who was "politically sensitive."
The narrative manufactured by the security state agencies and laundered by their reliable media servants about these critical matters was a sham, a fraud, a lie. Yet again, U.S. discourse was subsumed by propaganda because the U.S. media and key parts of the security state have decided that subverting the Trump presidency is of such a high priority – that their political judgment outweighs the results of the election – that everything, including outright lying even to courts let alone the public, is justified because the ends are so noble.
As Taibbi put it:
"No matter what people think the political meaning of the Horowitz report might be, reporters who read it will know: Anybody who touched this nonsense in print should be embarrassed."
No matter how dangerous you believe the Trump presidency to be, this is a grave threat to the pillars of U.S. democracy, a free press, an informed citizenry and the rule of law.* * * * *
Underlying all of this is another major lie spun over the last three years by the newly-minted media stars and liberal icons from the security state agencies. Ever since the Snowden reporting – indeed, prior to that, when the New York Times' Eric Lichtblau and Jim Risen (now with the Intercept) revealed in 2005 that the Bush-era NSA was illegally spying on U.S. citizens without the warrants required by law – it was widely understood that the FISA process was a rubber-stamping joke, an illusory safeguard that, in reality, offered no real limits on the ability of the U.S. Government to spy on its own citizens. Back in 2013 at the Guardian, I wrote a long article , based on Snowden documents, revealing what an empty sham this process was.
But over the last three years, the strategy of Democrats and liberals – particularly their cable outlets and news sites – has been to venerate and elevate security state agents as the noble truth-tellers of U.S. democracy. Once-reviled-by-liberal sites such as Lawfare – composed of little more than pro-NSA and pro-FBI apparatchiks – gained mainstream visibility for the first time on the strength of a whole new group of liberals who decided that the salvation of U.S. democracy lies not with the political process but with the dark arts of the NSA, the FBI and the CIA.
Sites like Lawfare – led by Comey-friend Benjamin Wittes and ex-NSA lawyer Susan Hennessey – became Twitter and cable news stars and used their platform to resuscitate what had been a long-discredited lie: namely, that the FISA process is highly rigorous and that the potential for abuse is very low. Liberals, eager to believe that the security state agencies opposed to Trump should be trusted despite their decades of violent lawlessness and systemic lying, came to believe in the sanctity of the NSA and the FISA process.
The IG Report obliterates that carefully cultivated delusion. It lays bare what a sham the whole FISA process is, how easy it is for the NSA and the FBI to obtain from the FISA court whatever authorization it wants to spy on any Americans they want regardless of how flimsy is the justification. The ACLU and other civil libertarians had spent years finally getting people to realize this truth, but it was wiped out by the Trump-era veneration of these security state agencies.
In an excellent article on the fallout from the IG Report , the New York Times' Charlie Savage, long one of the leading journalistic experts on these debates, makes clear how devastating these revelations are to this concocted narrative designed to lead Americans to trust the FBI and NSA's eavesdropping authorities :
At more than 400 pages, the study amounted to the most searching look ever at the government's secretive system for carrying out national-security surveillance on American soil. And what the report showed was not pretty.
The Justice Department's independent inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, and his team uncovered a staggeringly dysfunctional and error-ridden process in how the F.B.I. went about obtaining and renewing court permission under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, to wiretap Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser.
"The litany of problems with the Carter Page surveillance applications demonstrates how the secrecy shrouding the government's one-sided FISA approval process breeds abuse," said Hina Shamsi, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union's National Security Project. "The concerns the inspector general identifies apply to intrusive investigations of others, including especially Muslims, and far better safeguards against abuse are necessary."
His exposé left some former officials who generally defend government surveillance practices aghast.
"These errors are bad," said David Kris, an expert in FISA who oversaw the Justice Department's National Security Division in the Obama administration. "If the broader audit of FISA applications reveals a systematic pattern of errors of this sort that plagued this one, then I would expect very serious consequences and reforms" .
Civil libertarians for years have called the surveillance court a rubber stamp because it only rarely rejects wiretap applications. Out of 1,080 requests by the government in 2018, for example, government records showed that the court fully denied only one.
Defenders of the system have argued that the low rejection rate stems in part from how well the Justice Department self-polices and avoids presenting the court with requests that fall short of the legal standard. They have also stressed that officials obey a heightened duty to be candid and provide any mitigating evidence that might undercut their request. . . .
But the inspector general found major errors, material omissions and unsupported statements about Mr. Page in the materials that went to the court. F.B.I. agents cherry-picked the evidence, telling the Justice Department information that made Mr. Page look suspicious and omitting material that cut the other way, and the department passed that misleading portrait onto the court.
This system of unlimited domestic spying was built by both parties, which only rouse themselves to object when the power lies in the other side's hands. Just last year, the vast majority of the GOP caucus joined with a minority of Democrats led by Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff to hand President Trump all-new domestic spying powers while blocking crucial reforms and safeguards to prevent abuse. The spying machinery that Edward Snowden risked his life and liberty to expose always has been, and still is, a bipartisan creation.
Perhaps these revelations will finally lead to a realization about how rogue, and dangerous, these police state agencies have become, and how urgently needed is serious reform. But if nothing else, it must serve as a tonic to the three years of unrelenting media propaganda that has deceived and misled millions of Americans into believing things that are simply untrue.
None of these journalists have acknowledged an iota of error in the wake of this report because they know that lying is not just permitted but encouraged as long as it pleases and vindicates the political beliefs of their audiences . Until that stops, credibility and faith in journalism will never be restored, and – despite how toxic it is to have a media that has no claim on credibility – that despised status will be fully deserved.
... ... ...
Great Deceivah2 , 6 minutes ago linkXena fobe , 7 minutes ago link
((((Glenn Greenwald))) via The Intercept,
The former (((Guardian))) "journalist" *** libtard Joo who lives in Brazil with his boyfriend, is going to tell us the truth about the (((FBI))) and the (((Deep State)))????
The (((Intercept))) has already ratted out at least one whistleblower to the Deep State, so be careful on who do you believe in..
https://www.mintpressnews.com/bad-track-record-gets-worse-new-whistleblower-outed-intercept/239822/Soloamber , 10 minutes ago link
MSM news never was trustworthy. At least not in my lifetime.Darracq , 53 minutes ago link
Don't wait for an apology from a cult . Simply shut them off .
How many businesses can get away with routinely lying to their customers .
For those die hard cult members you can say anything . Hello CNN , MSNBC , ABC .
Even FOX causes a gag reflex at times . Way too much preachy " info news " .
The format doesn't allow of these stations balanced or complete discussion .
I am sick of these people cutting off panelists . Anyone going on those shows better be able to say what they want in about
20 seconds .CashMcCall , 1 hour ago link
The most important point of the FISA abuse for surveillance authorization of 4 US citizens was for the purpose of collateral surveillance of all of their contacts with the Trump campaign, transition and White HouseReality_checkers , 1 hour ago link
This story ain't got any legs at all...Asoka_The_Great , 56 minutes ago link
It's not a story, it's an insane rant by emotional cripple Glenn Greenwald.devnickle , 48 minutes ago link
Don't be fooled. Glenn Greenwald is one of those US Dark State/Mi6 operative, masquerade as a "journalist".
He here to fool the potential whistleblowers to come to him, so they will be disappeared into the CIA dungeons.Asoka_The_Great , 32 minutes ago link
So telling the truth makes you a tool?
I feel sorry for you.vienna_proxy , 1 hour ago link
He just trying to gain some credibility, not telling the Truth.Fluff The Cat , 1 hour ago link
investigate the 17 intel agencies that unanimously said Russia 'meddled' in the 2016 election. if they lied for political gain, then they are traitors for trying to start a war with Russia that endangers all AmericansCogitoMan , 1 hour ago link
I honestly don't care either way. The entire system is corrupt and overrun with Zionists from top to bottom, including of course the MSM. All this theater of a witch hunt against Trump is for show; in reality they're all on the same page, playing the American public for fools. That's why nothing significant ever changes no matter who gets into office. Always more wars for faux-Israel and the MIC, staged coups and proxy wars abroad, more regulatory capture, the national debt skyrocketing into oblivion, no border security, special privileges for a (((chosen few))) which violate Constitutional law, massive bailouts at taxpayers' expense, and on it goes.
I did not waste my time reading it all. Just skimmed few paragraphs to confirm that all of this was known to everybody long time ago.
To me the basic question is why Trump is a such *****. He should fire long time ago 3/4 of CIA, FBI, Justice Department and many other three letter government employers. He has full right as a president to do this. If he doesn't do that they eventually will destroy him.
Instead he is pussying around those grave issues and nobody gets punished for high crimes they committed. He is just tweeting crap that bear no consequences to anybody.
This is the best chance he's got to drain the swamp. But I am pretty sure swamp will stink for a long time after he is gone. In short, he is sissy unable to do the job he promised to do to the people who voted for him.
Dec 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
notabanker , December 13, 2019 at 6:02 pm
An Amazon surveillance device in your child's bedroom, what could possibly go wrong?
I'm past the point of blaming big tech companies. If you are fool enough to pay money to do this, you deserve what you get. American Idiots.
Dec 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
It is tempting to see this as a function of political correctness. Americans, and others around the world, who have found themselves on the "wrong side of history" (as determined by the cultural elite in an endless cycle of epistemological door closing) have long been shut out of conversations, their views deemed beyond the pale of acceptable discourse in enlightened modern societies. Google, Facebook, Twitter -- are these corporations, and their uber-woke CEOs, just cranking the PC up to eleven and imposing their schoolmarmish proclivities on the billions of people who want to scrawl messages on their electronic chalkboards?
Not so, says reformed leftist -- and current PC target -- Michael Rectenwald. The truth of Stanford and Harvard alumni's death grip on global discourse is much more complicated than just PC run amok. It is not that the Silicon Valley giants are agents of mass surveillance and censorship (although mass surveillance and censorship are precisely the business they're in). It's that the very system they have designed is, structurally, the same as the systems of oppression that blanketed and smothered free expression in so much of the world during the previous century.
In his latest book, Google Archipelago , Rectenwald outlines how this system works, why leftism is synonymous with oppression, and how the Google Archipelago's regime of "simulated reality" "must be countered, not only with real knowledge, but with a metaphysics of truth."
Google Archipelago is divided into eight chapters and is rooted in both Rectenwald's encyclopedic knowledge of the history of science and corporate control of culture, as well as in his own experiences. Before retiring, Rectenwald had been a professor at New York University, where he was thoroughly entrenched in the PC episteme that squelches real thought at universities across North America and beyond. Gradually, Rectenwald began to realize that PC was not a philosophy, but the enemy of open inquiry. For this reason, and because Rectenwald is an expert in the so-called digital humanities and the long history of scientific (and pseudo-scientific) thinking that feeds into it, Google Archipelago is not just a dry monograph about a social issue. By turns memoir, Kafkaesque dream sequence, trenchant rebuke of leftist censorship, and intellectual history of woke corporate political correctness, Google Archipelago is a welcoming window into a mind working happily in overdrive.
There is much in Google Archipelago addressing the lie that Google, Facebook, and Twitter are neutral platforms for free-ranging debate. This is not so much, because, statistically and empirically, it is irrefutable that Silicon Valley is hostile to non-Beltway-leftist opinions, but because, much more damningly, their woke-capital corporate structures are themselves iterations of massification, propaganda, and deep social control. For Rectenwald, the "Google archipelago" is not PC version 2.0; it is Marxism, version 1,000 (and raised by several orders of magnitude to boot).
For example, in the first and second chapters of Google Archipelago , Rectenwald lays out how the various elements of woke-capitalist ideological repression work together in actual practice. Rectenwald's chief example is the Gillette ad campaign of January 2019, in which a company whose products (razor blades and shaving cream) are purchased, of course, was said to insult the very essence of its customers by belittling manhood as "toxic." Why would a razor blade company go out of its way to alienate the people who buy the majority of razorblades? The answer is surprising. Rectenwald tells us Gillette was not simply responding to a renewed PC craze by running the "toxic masculinity" ad. Gillette, from the beginning, has been a pioneer in designing systems to mold public opinion and shape individuals into easily pliable socialist masses. King Camp Gillette, the founder of what is now the Gillette company, hated competition and sought to make, as he put it, a "world corporation." Through this corporation, the ignorant plebs around the globe could be impelled to do what their social and intellectual superiors -- the leaders of the "world corporation" -- thought was in their best interest. This "singular monopoly," as Rectenwald puts it, would control the material and mental makeup of the entire world. Quoting King Camp Gillette's biographer, Rectenwald adds, "It was almost as if Karl Marx had paused between The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital to develop a dissolving toothbrush or collapsible comb."
Rectenwald outlines a direct line of descent from this earlier corporate socialism of razor blades and "collapsible comb[s]" to the "authoritarian leftism" of the present digital age, authoritarian leftism being "the operational ethos of the Google Archipelago." The Google Archipelago's "wokeforce" practices what Rectenwald calls "avant-garde identity politics extremism," the organizing principle for deciding which parts of society are in revolt against PC and need to be excised from the archipelago of allowed opinion. The internet did create the "information superhighway," as was endlessly exclaimed by politicians and nascent digitalistas during the late 1990s. But it also amplified the structures of woke corporate control that had been in place since the beginning of globalized leftism, Marxian "capitalist" finance, and elite-led collectivism -- precisely the kind of inversion of free enterprise and perversion of the free market practiced by King Camp Gillette and his socialist comrades a hundred and more years before. The Google Archipelago is not a product of the personal computer, but of another kind of political correctness, the PC that is the manifestation of the same old human urge to control others and bring the world under the sway of one's will.
Dec 10, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
clarky90 , , December 9, 2019 at 7:06 pm
The MSM is reporting the "impeachment" as if it was a serious (approved by expert academics) endeavor. However, the veil is lifting. The revealed face of the ruling class is Neo-Orwellian.
"Nadler's committee will likely vote to impeach Trump. In a report defining what it considers impeachable offenses, the committee states that even if Trump did not actually break any laws in his supposed "quid pro quo" dealings with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, he can still be impeached for his unstated motives.
"The question is not whether the president's conduct could have resulted from permissible motives. It is whether the president's real reasons, the ones in his mind at the time, were legitimate, " it stated."
Certainly they are working on mind wave tech, to scan us for "unstated motives" as we live our day to day lives?
Dec 02, 2019 | crookedtimber.org
The theory behind this is one of strength reinforcing strength – the strengths of ubiquitous data gathering and analysis reinforcing the strengths of authoritarian repression to create an unstoppable juggernaut of nearly perfectly efficient oppression. Yet there is another story to be told – of weakness reinforcing weakness. Authoritarian states were always particularly prone to the deficiencies identified in James Scott's Seeing Like a State – the desire to make citizens and their doings legible to the state, by standardizing and categorizing them, and reorganizing collective life in simplified ways, for example by remaking cities so that they were not organic structures that emerged from the doings of their citizens, but instead grand chessboards with ordered squares and boulevards, reducing all complexities to a square of planed wood . The grand state bureaucracies that were built to carry out these operations were responsible for multitudes of horrors, but also for the crumbling of the Stalinist state into a Brezhnevian desuetude, where everyone pretended to be carrying on as normal because everyone else was carrying on too. The deficiencies of state action, and its need to reduce the world into something simpler that it could comprehend and act upon created a kind of feedback loop, in which imperfections of vision and action repeatedly reinforced each other.
So what might a similar analysis say about the marriage of authoritarianism and machine learning? Something like the following, I think. There are two notable problems with machine learning. One – that while it can do many extraordinary things, it is not nearly as universally effective as the mythology suggests. The other is that it can serve as a magnifier for already existing biases in the data. The patterns that it identifies may be the product of the problematic data that goes in, which is (to the extent that it is accurate) often the product of biased social processes. When this data is then used to make decisions that may plausibly reinforce those processes (by singling e.g. particular groups that are regarded as problematic out for particular police attention, leading them to be more liable to be arrested and so on), the bias may feed upon itself.
This is a substantial problem in democratic societies, but it is a problem where there are at least some counteracting tendencies. The great advantage of democracy is its openness to contrary opinions and divergent perspectives . This opens up democracy to a specific set of destabilizing attacks but it also means that there are countervailing tendencies to self-reinforcing biases. When there are groups that are victimized by such biases, they may mobilize against it (although they will find it harder to mobilize against algorithms than overt discrimination). When there are obvious inefficiencies or social, political or economic problems that result from biases, then there will be ways for people to point out these inefficiencies or problems.
These correction tendencies will be weaker in authoritarian societies; in extreme versions of authoritarianism, they may barely even exist. Groups that are discriminated against will have no obvious recourse. Major mistakes may go uncorrected: they may be nearly invisible to a state whose data is polluted both by the means employed to observe and classify it, and the policies implemented on the basis of this data. A plausible feedback loop would see bias leading to error leading to further bias, and no ready ways to correct it. This of course, will be likely to be reinforced by the ordinary politics of authoritarianism, and the typical reluctance to correct leaders, even when their policies are leading to disaster. The flawed ideology of the leader (We must all study Comrade Xi thought to discover the truth!) and of the algorithm (machine learning is magic!) may reinforce each other in highly unfortunate ways.
In short, there is a very plausible set of mechanisms under which machine learning and related techniques may turn out to be a disaster for authoritarianism, reinforcing its weaknesses rather than its strengths, by increasing its tendency to bad decision making, and reducing further the possibility of negative feedback that could help correct against errors. This disaster would unfold in two ways. The first will involve enormous human costs: self-reinforcing bias will likely increase discrimination against out-groups, of the sort that we are seeing against the Uighur today. The second will involve more ordinary self-ramifying errors, that may lead to widespread planning disasters, which will differ from those described in Scott's account of High Modernism in that they are not as immediately visible, but that may also be more pernicious, and more damaging to the political health and viability of the regime for just that reason.
So in short, this conjecture would suggest that the conjunction of AI and authoritarianism (has someone coined the term 'aithoritarianism' yet? I'd really prefer not to take the blame), will have more or less the opposite effects of what people expect. It will not be Singapore writ large, and perhaps more brutal. Instead, it will be both more radically monstrous and more radically unstable.
Like all monotheoretic accounts, you should treat this post with some skepticism – political reality is always more complex and muddier than any abstraction. There are surely other effects (another, particularly interesting one for big countries such as China, is to relax the assumption that the state is a monolith, and to think about the intersection between machine learning and warring bureaucratic factions within the center, and between the center and periphery).Yet I think that it is plausible that it at least maps one significant set of causal relationships, that may push (in combination with, or against, other structural forces) towards very different outcomes than the conventional wisdom imagines. Comments, elaborations, qualifications and disagreements welcome.
Ben 11.25.19 at 6:32 pm (no link)This seems to equivocate between two meanings of bias. Bias might mean a flaw that leads to empirically incorrect judgements and so to bad decisions, and it's true that that type of bias could destabilize an authoritarian state. But what we usually worry about with machine learning is that the system will find very real, but deeply unjust, patterns in the data, and reinforce those pattern. If there's a particular ethnic group that really does produce a disproportionate number of dissidents, and an algorithm leads to even-more-excessive repression of that group -- I'm not sure why an authoritarian state would see a stability threat in that tendency.faustusnotes 11.26.19 at 1:00 am (no link)
More generally, I think AI gets far too much of the billing in authoritarian apocalypse forecasts. Cheap, ubiquitous cameras, microphones, and location trackers are the real issue. If the state can track everyone's movements and conversations, then it can build a better Stasi even with crude, simple ai.I'd just like to point out (re: the tweet in the original post) that the "Uighur face-matching AI" idea is bullshit invented by scaremongers, with no basis in fact and traceable to a shoddy reddit thread. The Chinese government is not using facial recognition to identify Uighur, and the facial recognition fears about the Chinese government are vastly overstated.Nathanael 11.26.19 at 6:10 am (no link)
Australia's border control facial recognition software is far more advanced than China's, as is the UK's, and facial recognition is actually pretty common in democracies. See e.g. the iPhone.
The main areas in which China uses facial recognition are in verifying ID for some high cost functions (like buying high speed rail tickets), and it's quite easy to avoid these functions by joining a queue and paying a human. The real intrusiveness of the Chinese security state is in its constant bag searches and very human-centric abuses of power in everyday life in connection with "security". Whether you get stopped and searched depends a lot on very arbitrary and error prone judgments by bored security staff at railway stations, in public squares, and on buses, not some evil intrusive state technology.
Conversely, the UK is a world leader in installing and using CCTV cameras, and has been for a long time. Furthermore, these CCTV cameras are a huge boon to law-abiding citizens, since they act as both excellent forms of crime prevention (I have had this experience myself) and for finding serious criminals. The people responsible for the death of those 39 Vietnamese labourers in the ice truck were caught because of CCTV; so was the guy who murdered that woman on the street in Melbourne a few years ago.
Finally to address another point that's already been raised (sadly): China no longer harvests organs, and the 2019 report that says it does is a sham. The social credit system is also largely a myth, and nobody from China even seems to know wtf it is.
If you're going to talk about how state's work, and the relative merits of autocratic vs. democratic states and their interaction with technology, it's a really good idea to get the basic facts right first.I'll add that John Quiggin's point that Xi has already lost control of the provinces is correct -- but it DOES threaten his position as dictator. Once the provincial governors know they can act with impunity, it is absolutely standard for the next step to be getting rid of that annoying guy who is pretending to be dictator. It may take a few years but Xi now has dozens of powerful insiders who know that he's a weakling. They'll bide their time but when he crosses too many of them they'll take him out. And if China doesn't shut down coal, he's going to look like a weakling internationally too, in a couple of years. This will create a new group of ambitious insiders with a different reason to take him out.Hidari 11.26.19 at 9:08 am (no link)
Xi broke the "technocratic consensus" which was present after Deng, of central committee members who strove for competence and fact-based decision-making. That was a surprisingly effective type of junta government which led to lots of thinkpieces about whether authoritarian China would beat the democratic west. But it succumbed to the succession problem, like all authoritarian systems; Xi made himself Premier-for-life and the country is now exhibiting all the usual failures of authoritarian countries.@11 Yes it's strange that allegations of Chinese use of facial recognition software is gaining so much traction at a time when the Trump regime is deliberately ratcheting up tensions with China to pursue nakedly imperial goals, when the objective facts of Israeli use of similar software, which the Israelis boast about ( https://www.nbcnews.com/news/all/why-did-microsoft-fund-israeli-firm-surveils-west-bank-palestinians-n1072116 ) doesn't cause so much interest, at a time when the Trump regime has simple decreed that the Israeli invasion/colonisation of Palestine is 'legal under international law'.
One of life's little mysteries I guess.
If we must talk about China could we at least bring it back to areas where we are responsible and where, therefore, we can do something about it?
Nov 27, 2019 | crookedtimber.org
Publishing here my afterword for "2030, A New Vision for Europe", the manifesto for European Data Protection Supervisor, Giovanni Buttarelli, who died this summer. The manifesto was developed by Christian D'Cunha, who works in the EDPS office, based on his many conversations with Giovanni.
"A cage went in search of a bird"
Franz Kafka certainly knew how to write a story. The eight-word aphorism he jotted down in a notebook a century ago reveals so much about our world today. Surveillance goes in search of subjects. Use-cases go in search of profit. Walled gardens go in search of tame customers. Data-extractive monopolies go in search of whole countries, of democracy itself, to envelop and re-shape, to cage and control. The cage of surveillance technology stalks the world, looking for birds to trap and monetise. And it cannot stop itself. The surveillance cage is the original autonomous vehicle, driven by financial algorithms it doesn't control. So when we describe our data-driven world as 'Kafka-esque', we are speaking a deeper truth than we even guess.
Giovanni knew this. He knew that data is power and that the radical concentration of power in a tiny number of companies is not a technocratic concern for specialists but an existential issue for our species. Giovanni's manifesto, Privacy 2030: A Vision for Europe, goes far beyond data protection. It connects the dots to show how data-maximisation exploits power asymmetries to drive global inequality. It spells out how relentless data-processing actually drives climate change. Giovanni's manifesto calls for us to connect the dots in how we respond, to start from the understanding that sociopathic data-extraction and mindless computation are the acts of a machine that needs to be radically reprogrammed.
... ... ...In October 2018, the Vatican's Papal Nuncio to the European Union wrote to Giovanni to support the work of the 40th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners. He said technology is a precious resource when it's working for everyone, but that technology alone cannot set the direction of human progress. You don't have to be a Catholic to insist that we ditch cute, reductionist mind-games like the 'trolley problem' to decide who wins and who loses, and insist that technology ethics are instead grounded in respect for people. And you shouldn't have to sound radical to insist that tech business models must serve and be accountable to us, not the other way around.
The manifesto and its Ten-Point Plan for Sustainable Privacy show there is another digital path forward. Not the oppressive brittleness of China's state sovereignty model, and not the colonialist extraction of Silicon Valley. There is a European Union version of the Internet that starts with the society we as citizens want to live in, and then figures out how to get there. It recognises that just as we don't live our lives to serve corporate interests, nor must we sacrifice our private and public spaces to serve the state. Because in any future we actively want to live in, autonomy is for humans, not machines.
The European vision of our digital future will take the work of many of our lifetimes to achieve. That eight-word story doesn't have an ending we can yet see. The surveillance cage cannot help but try to trap birds. That's its programming. That's just what it does. But the cage isn't the technology; the cage is our flawed and narrow assumptions about what technology can do.
notGoodenough 11.19.19 at 11:02 am (no link)Gareth Wilson @ 1
With respect, nowhere in the post has it been implied that iris scanners are required for refugee camps, so you would appear to be disagreeing with a position that hasn´t been proposed.
I won´t speak for the OP, but I think it is not a particularly controversial idea that technology can facilitate things (for good or ill), and so it would seem not unreasonable that there should be at least some consideration of potential ethical and social ramifications during the process of implementation.
For example, most people using modern technology generate information about themselves (the websites they visit, who they follow on the twitters, who is facebook friends, etc.). What should be that person´s right to privacy and control over their information? I don´t think it requires the most active imagination to think of ways this could be exploited (and indeed, one might be able to find examples even now), and leaving these things unregulated does rather open that possibility.
While people may disagree whether or not it is problematic for companies to undertake commodification our electronic information (and to what extent, if any, this should be regulated), I would hope you agree that the conversation is worth having?
Nov 26, 2019 | www.unz.com
Comments below are from Was Robert Oppenheimer a Soviet Agent, by John Wear - The Unz Review
JOHN CHUCKMAN , says: Website November 25, 2019 at 8:59 am GMTThe motives for so many Western spies serving the Soviet Union – and in the 1940s and 1950s the Soviets had the best "humint" on earth – were rather idealistic. This was largely true for the Cambridge Circle in Britain. They were concerned that America was going to "lord it over" the Russians and everyone else.SolontoCroesus , says: November 25, 2019 at 12:10 pm GMT
America was feared by many intellectuals, both in the United States and Britain of the 1940s and 1950s, and their fears were not unwarranted.
Big, brawny America – its power establishment – very much was inclined towards dominating the world after WWII. The whole tone of the American press and speeches of major political figures in the period was actually quite frightening. Any highly intelligent, sensitive type would be concerned by it.
You certainly did not have to be a communist to feel that way, but being one assisted with access to important Soviet contacts. They sought you out.
America wanted a monopoly on nuclear weapons, so that it would be in an unassailable position as it built its imperial apparatus after WWII, the time effectively it "took over" as world imperial power with so many potential competitors flattened.
It made little secret of its desire to keep such a monopoly, so brilliant people like Oppenheimer would be well aware of something they might well regard as ominous.
Later, the Pentagon actually planned things like an all-out first strike on the Soviets – it did that more once as well as doing so later for China – so there were indeed plenty of dark intentions in Washington.
A hugely important general like MacArthur was unblinkingly ready in 1950 to use atomic weapons in the Korean War to destroy North Korea's connections with China.
I read several major biographies of Oppenheimer, and there is little to nothing concerning Soviet intelligence work. When I came across the Sudoplatov book with its straightforward declaration of Oppenheimer's assistance, it was difficult to know how to weigh the claim.
Spies and ex-spies often put disinformation into their books. Sometimes officials even insist they do so.
Judging by what is suggested here, if Oppenheimer did help, it was in subtle ways like letting Klaus Fuchs, a fellow scientist and a rather distinguished one (but a Soviet spy), look at certain papers. But the scientific community always has some considerable tendency to share information, a tendency having nothing to do with spying.
In general, it should be understood, that Oppenheimer, despite all his brilliance, was a rather disturbed man all his life. Quite early on, as just one example, he attempted to poison someone he did not like. Only pure luck prevented the man's eating a lethally-laced apple. There were other disturbing behaviors too.
He was subject to severe emotional breakdowns.another anon , says: November 25, 2019 at 12:20 pm GMT
"the[y] . . . saw themselves as a new breed of superstatesmen whose mandate transcended national boundaries"
Later they believed that equality of superpower status for the Soviet Union would contribute to world peace.
How dumb were these "scientists". Everyone knows that once Soviet Union fell, peace and freedom and democracy are flowering all over the world and United States are not waging any wars anymore.
Nov 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
The Origins Of Thought Police... And Why They Should Scare Us by Tyler Durden Thu, 11/21/2019 - 20:25 0 SHARES
Authored by Jon Miltimore via The Foundation for Economic Education,
There are a lot of unpleasant things in George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984 . Spying screens. Torture and propaganda. Victory Gin and Victory Coffee always sounded particularly dreadful. And there is Winston Smith's varicose ulcer, apparently a symbol of his humanity (or something), which always seems to be "throbbing." Gross.
None of this sounds very enjoyable, but it's not the worst thing in 1984 . To me, the most terrifying part was that you couldn't keep Big Brother out of your head.
Unlike other 20th-century totalitarians, the authoritarians in 1984 aren't that interested in controlling behavior or speech. They do, of course, but it's only as a means to an end. Their real goal is to control the gray matter between the ears.
"When finally you surrender to us, it must be of your own free will," O'Brien (the bad guy) tells the protagonist Winston Smith near the end of the book.
We do not destroy the heretic because he resists us: so long as he resists us we never destroy him. We convert him, we capture his inner mind, we reshape him.
Big Brother's tool for doing this is the Thought Police, aka the ThinkPol, who are assigned to root out and punish unapproved thoughts. We see how this works when Winston's neighbor Parsons, an obnoxious Party sycophant, is reported to the Thought Police by his own child, who heard him commit a thought crime while talking in his sleep.Who Are These Thought Police?
"It was my little daughter," Parsons tells Winston when asked who it was who denounced him.
"She listened at the keyhole. Heard what I was saying, and nipped off to the patrols the very next day. Pretty smart for a nipper of seven, eh?"
We don't know a lot about the Thought Police, and some of what we think we know may actually not be true since some of what Winston learns comes from the Inner Party, and they lie.
What we know is this: The Thought Police are secret police of Oceania -- the fictional land of 1984 that probably consists of the UK, the Americas, and parts of Africa -- who use surveillance and informants to monitor the thoughts of citizens. The Thought Police also use psychological warfare and false-flag operations to entrap free thinkers or nonconformists.
Those who stray from Party orthodoxy are punished but not killed. The Thought Police don't want to kill nonconformists so much as break them. This happens in Room 101 of the Ministry of Love, where prisoners are re-educated through degradation and torture. (Funny sidebar: the name Room 101 apparently was inspired by a conference room at the BBC in which Orwell was forced to endure tediously long meetings.)The Origins of the Thought Police
Orwell didn't create the Thought Police out of thin air. They were inspired to at least some degree by his experiences in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), a complicated and confusing affair. What you really need to know is that there were no good guys, and it ended with left-leaning anarchists and Republicans in Spain crushed by their Communist overlords, which helped the fascists win.
Orwell, an idealistic 33-year-old socialist when the conflict started, supported the anarchists and loyalists fighting for the left-leaning Second Spanish Republic, which received most of its support from the Soviet Union and Josef Stalin. (That might sound bad, but keep in mind that the Nazis were on the other side.) Orwell described the atmosphere in Barcelona in December 1936 when everything seemed to be going well for his side.
The anarchists were still in virtual control of Catalonia and the revolution was still in full swing ... It was the first time that I had ever been in a town where the working class was in the saddle,
he wrote in Homage to Catalonia.
[E]very wall was scrawled with the hammer and sickle ... every shop and café had an inscription saying that it had been collectivized.
That all changed pretty fast. Stalin, a rather paranoid fellow, was bent on making Republican Spain loyal to him . Factions and leaders perceived as loyal to his exiled Communist rival, Leon Trotsky , were liquidated. Loyal Communists found themselves denounced as fascists. Nonconformists and "uncontrollables" were disappeared.
Orwell never forgot the purges or the steady stream of lies and propaganda churned out from Communist papers during the conflict. (To be fair, their Nationalist opponents also used propaganda and lies .) Stalin's NKVD was not exactly like the Thought Police -- the NKVD showed less patience with its victims -- but they certainly helped inspire Orwell's secret police.
The Thought Police were not all propaganda and torture, though. They also stem from Orwell's ideas on truth. During his time in Spain, he saw how power could corrupt truth, and he shared these reflections in his work George Orwell: My Country Right or Left, 1940-1943 .
...I saw newspaper reports which did not bear any relation to the facts, not even the relationship which is implied in an ordinary lie. I saw great battles reported where there had been no fighting, and complete silence where hundreds of men had been killed. I saw troops who had fought bravely denounced as cowards and traitors, and others who had never seen a shot fired hailed as the heroes of imaginary victories; and I saw newspapers in London retailing these lies and eager intellectuals building emotional superstructures over events that had never happened.
In short, Orwell's brush with totalitarianism left him worried that "the very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world."
This scared him. A lot. He actually wrote, "This kind of thing is frightening to me."
Finally, the Thought Police were also inspired by the human struggle for self-honesty and the pressure to conform. "The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe," Rudyard Kipling once observed.
The struggle to remain true to one's self was also felt by Orwell, who wrote about "the smelly little orthodoxies" that contend for the human soul. Orwell prided himself with a "power of facing unpleasant facts" -- something of a rarity in humans -- even though it often hurt him in British society.
In a sense, 1984 is largely a book about the human capacity to maintain a grip on the truth in the face of propaganda and power.
It might be tempting to dismiss Orwell's book as a figment of dystopian literature. Unfortunately, that's not as easy as it sounds. Modern history shows he was onto something.
When the Berlin Wall came down in November 1989, it was revealed that the Stasi, East Germany's secret police, had a full-time staff of 91,000.
When the Berlin Wall came down in November 1989, it was revealed that the Stasi , East Germany's secret police, had a full-time staff of 91,000. That sounds like a lot, and it is, but what's frightening is that the organization had almost double that in informants, including children. And it wasn't just children reporting on parents; sometimes it was the other way around.
Nor did the use of state spies to prosecute thoughtcrimes end with the fall of the Soviet Union. Believe it or not, it's still happening today. The New York Times recently ran a report featuring one Peng Wei, a 21-year-old Chinese chemistry major. He is one of the thousands of "student information officers" China uses to root out professors who show signs of disloyalty to President Xi Jinping or the Communist Party.The New Thought Police?
The First Amendment of the US Constitution, fortunately, largely protects Americans from the creepy authoritarian systems found in 1984 , East Germany, and China; but the rise of "cancel culture" shows the pressure to conform to all sorts of orthodoxies (smelly or not) remains strong.
The new Thought Police may be less sinister than the ThinkPol in 1984 , but the next generation will have to decide if seeking conformity of thought or language through public shaming is healthy or suffocating. FEE's Dan Sanchez recently observed that many people today feel like they're "walking on eggshells" and live in fear of making a verbal mistake that could draw condemnation.
That's a lot of pressure, especially for people still learning the acceptable boundaries of a new moral code that is constantly evolving. Most people, if the pressure is sufficient, will eventually say "2+2=5" just to escape punishment. That's exactly what Winston Smith does at the end of 1984 , after all. Yet Orwell also leaves readers with a glimmer of hope.
"Being in a minority, even a minority of one, did not make you mad," Orwell wrote.
"There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad."
In other words, the world may be mad, but that doesn't mean you have to be.
Cardinal Fang , 40 minutes ago linksbin , 1 hour ago link
Frank Zappa asked this very question decades ago...
Who Are The Brain Police?
https://youtu.be/DuABc9ZNtrAHRH of Aquitaine 2.0 , 1 hour ago link
Was raised reading
- Orwell has many good books.
- Burmese days
- Down and out in Paris and London
Nice that an author referenced Orwell but if you do not understand the original works then the authors reference is meaningless.New_Meat , 2 hours ago link
" When the Berlin Wall came down in November 1989, it was revealed that the Stasi, East Germany's secret police, had a full-time staff of 91,000.
When the Berlin Wall came down in November 1989, it was revealed that the Stasi , East Germany's secret police, had a full-time staff of 91,000. That sounds like a lot, and it is, but what's frightening is that the organization had almost double that in informants, including children. And it wasn't just children reporting on parents; sometimes it was the other way around."
Confidential informants should be illegal.
How many people are employed by the various Federal intelligence agencies, of which there are 17 the last time I heard. Hundreds of thousands of Federal employees, protected by strong government employee unions.
When this shitshow goes live, it will only take a small team to shut off the water that is necessary to keep the NSA servers cool in Utah.Thom Paine , 2 hours ago link
"Unlike other 20th-century totalitarians, ..."
I offer DPRK and in many ways PRC as counter-examples.
Movies like the Matrix actually helped people to question everything. What is real and not. Who is the enemy, and can we be sure. And when Conspiracy theories become fact, people learn. The problem is in later generations who get indoctrinated at school and college to not think, not question. Rational examination is forbidden.
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 | 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-
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.
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 | 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:
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.
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.
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 | 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'AccuseThe 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.:universal
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 BoardThe 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.mark
I am not sure, though, fantasy could solve problems!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.Jen
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.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?R Heybroek
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.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.RobG
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.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.JenBut 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?MLSAn 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?Betrayed planet
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?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.LawStudentI'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.L Took
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.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?MaryDIt may be relevant that one of Assange's barristers also represents the corporate psyop Extinction Rebellion!nottheonly1Northern
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.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.Northern
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.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.Betrayed planet
Mr Julian Assange
Prisoner #: A9379AY
London SE28 0EB
UKI 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.nottheonly1
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?For quite some time now, an odd possibility offers itself – theoretically. Julian Assange is not the messenger. He is the message.Petra Liverani
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'.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:Rhys Jaggar
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?Same story in UK sports reporting corrupt industries raking in cash for unprincipled wordsmitheryDiggerUKThe 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/Rhys Jaggar
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 _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 quicklyHarry StotleAmazing 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).Rhys Jaggar
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.
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?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 | 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 linkRuler , 2 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. MenckenGobble D. Goop , 14 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.Youri Carma , 47 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.Wild Bill Steamcock , 56 minutes ago link
Joe Rogan Experience – Edward Snowden
Oct 23, 2019 PowerfulJRE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efs3QRr8LWwWild Bill Steamcock , 51 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 , 49 minutes ago link
And even then it wasn't new or surprising. ECHELON and the five eyes was talked about in the '70sfreedogger , 36 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?AlexanderHistoryX , 24 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.Sam Spayed , 1 hour 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.One-Hung-Lo , 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.ToSoft4Truth , 56 minutes 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.Scipio Africanuz , 1 hour ago link
You mention a lot of people. Some of them must be sitting across from us at Thanksgiving dinner.abgary1 , 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...
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-1.8029010elitist99percenter , 1 hour ago link
The digital world has become disturbingly invasive and the source of the data the governments uses against us.
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.Lumberjack , 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.Wolfbay , 37 minutes 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...Arising , 1 hour 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.
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 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 | 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 | 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.
"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 agoCharles Cosimano • 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...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 resultJohn • 2 hours agoOr, 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | off-guardian.org
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.'
-- -- -- -
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 | 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.ORDER IT NOW
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 GMTLexicologically, 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.Bardon Kaldian , says: September 26, 2019 at 5:21 pm GMT
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.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.Top Hat , says: September 27, 2019 at 12:24 am GMT
By the way, he was extremely popular even in Czarist Russia, something along the lines of American vitalism & energy.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.durd , says: September 27, 2019 at 1:26 am GMT
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.@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.Nancy Pelosi's Latina Maid , says: September 27, 2019 at 8:05 am GMT
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.swamped , says: September 27, 2019 at 9:16 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?"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'.TKK , says: September 27, 2019 at 11:19 am GMT
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!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."6dust6 , says: September 27, 2019 at 11:52 am GMT
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.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 GMTBardon Kaldian , says: September 27, 2019 at 3:17 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.@simple_pseudonymic_handle Nathaniel Hawthornepyrrhus , says: September 27, 2019 at 3:29 pm GMT
John UpdikeJack 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 GMTI 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.Jeff Stryker , says: September 27, 2019 at 4:25 pm GMT
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.@Anonymous Snanonymous Sir, you have made a remarkably prescient point.Linh Dinh , says: Website September 27, 2019 at 9:23 pm GMT
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.@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 25, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.comSeptember 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.
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
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 | 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 GMTGreat 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.Carlton Meyer , says: Website September 23, 2019 at 4:25 am GMT
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."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.Carlton Meyer , says: Website September 23, 2019 at 5:02 am GMT
https://www.youtube.com/embed/lXHxiKDTHfU?feature=oembedMr Unz began with:Franz , says: September 23, 2019 at 6:53 am GMT
"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=oembedThank You to Mr. Unz for mentioning the long-forgotten hero of the America First Committee, John T. Flynn.mark green , says: September 23, 2019 at 7:13 am GMT
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:
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 DisneyRiveting. Eye-opening. Brilliantly formulated. Ron Unz has tossed another reality grenade into the matrix of fabricated historiography.Winter Watch , says: Website September 23, 2019 at 7:53 am GMT
On behalf of the millions of mangled, murdered and maligned victims who receive no pity and who have no voice- Thank you, Ron Unz.William Langer's 'Newest History,' the OSS and the Frankfurt School (aka New School)Germanicus , says: September 23, 2019 at 7:53 am GMT
https://www.winterwatch.net/2019/09/william-langers-newest-history-the-oss-and-the-frankfurt-school-aka-new-school/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 GMTI 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.Mr McKenna , says: September 23, 2019 at 9:05 am GMT
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.Nick Kollerstrom , says: September 23, 2019 at 9:20 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."Wonderful stuff, Mr Unz.Flint Clint , says: September 23, 2019 at 10:32 am GMT
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/1530993180Simply magnificent. Simply infuriating.onebornfree , says: Website September 23, 2019 at 12:50 pm GMT
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.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"?George F. Held , says: September 23, 2019 at 1:24 pm GMT
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
"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, onebornfreeTo 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.Johnny Walker Read , says: September 23, 2019 at 1:24 pm GMT
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11448682-1939 -- the-war-that-had-many-fathers@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."
Sep 23, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
Northern Star September 16, 2019 at 1:32 pmSnowden on CBS this morning worth watching .Jen September 16, 2019 at 5:57 pm
Like LikeTaco Bell, please open an outlet in Moscow or near where Ed Snowden lives to keep him happy and stop him from getting homesick!Moscow Exile September 16, 2019 at 10:57 pm
Like LikeSnowden: "I would like to return to the US"Mark Chapman September 16, 2019 at 11:06 pmI 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.Moscow Exile September 17, 2019 at 1:29 am
Like LikeTypical Yankee judgementalism:Moscow Exile September 17, 2019 at 1:31 am
Snowdon: "Russia has, shall we say, a problematic human rights record -- at a minimum "
Never had no negro slavery, though, did it, Edward?
Like Like"That's if we're being generous" ???Moscow Exile September 17, 2019 at 1:43 am
Like LikeAnd 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 "Mark Chapman September 17, 2019 at 6:59 am
Guilty before proven innocent?
Presumption of innocence: an international human right under the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 11.
Like LikeAn excellent point I wish he had immediately made.Mark Chapman September 17, 2019 at 7:06 am
Like LikeNor, 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.yalensis September 17, 2019 at 1:10 pm
Like LikeI cringed at that one too. But I forgive Edward, because I think he was trying to make a tactical debating point, namely:Northern Star September 17, 2019 at 3:18 pm
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.
Like LikeAhhh I see you will need more intense beatings at the cultural reeducation camp in consideration of your continued use of the 'negro' word.Moscow Exile September 19, 2019 at 8:20 pm
However one should ignore Gayle she's a black moron, one of the TV progeny of the uber fat whale 'O'.
Like LikeIs it "wrong" to say "negro" now?
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 | 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.
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 GMTEdward 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.ikki , says: September 20, 2019 at 4:56 am GMT
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.)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.Jonathan Revusky , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 5:26 am GMT
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"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 GMTThere 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.Tusk , says: September 20, 2019 at 6:49 am GMT
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.Great article, thanks Ron for publishing.der einzige , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 7:00 am GMTI recommend these articles from Jon Rappaport, unfortunately, wordpress deleted his blog.Brabantian , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:00 am GMT
- Matrix: Who is Edward Snowden? https://www.radios.cz/en/articles/matrix-who-is-edward-snowden/
- Snowden and the final purpose of the Surveillance State https://www.radios.cz/en/articles/snowden-and-the-final-purpose-of-the-surveillance-state/
- Operation Snowjob https://www.radios.cz/en/articles/operation-snowjob/
Russia gov report Snowden Greenwald are CIA frauds https://www.radios.cz/en/articles/russia-gov-report-snowden-greenwald-are-cia-frauds/Nice to have a piece helping point to the truth, that Glenn Greenwald & Edward Snowden are CIA frauds, as every major government knowsTree Watcher , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:10 am GMT
'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
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'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.animalogic , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:10 am GMT
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.Interesting, thought-provoking article. It asks us to balance up competing interests & advantages.Franz , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:15 am GMT
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.Never for a moment considered Snowden any sort of secular saint.wayfarer , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:30 am GMT
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.Nik , says: September 20, 2019 at 9:05 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.youtube.com/embed/e9yK1QndJSM?feature=oembedBoth Assuange and Snowden are agent patsysOscar Peterson , says: September 20, 2019 at 9:14 am GMTWho is this dizzy chick?Oscar Peterson , says: September 20, 2019 at 9:20 am GMT
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.@Nicolás Palacios Navarroanon  Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 9:42 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."
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?@Oscar Peterson She starts off with a falsehood:AmRusDebate , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 10:18 am GMT
> 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.Comfortable living in Moscow, vs. Belmarsh, makes all the difference in the world.anon  Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 10:21 am GMT
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.@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 Petersonanon  Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:07 am GMT
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.@Franz > veteran Credit is due for that.9/11 Inside job , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:11 am GMT
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. He did not complete the training. After breaking both legs in a training accident, he was discharged on September 28, 2004.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Snowden#Career@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  Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:19 am GMTTor 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:Svevlad , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:30 am GMT
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?
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.Both him and Assange are spooksRabbitnexus , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:50 am GMTWell, 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'Rabbitnexus , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:58 am GMT
Anyone who still plays along with the 9/11 bullshit narrative isn't worth a damn anyway.@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.Horst G , says: September 20, 2019 at 12:08 pm GMT
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.@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 NavarroJohnny Walker Read , says: September 20, 2019 at 12:16 pm GMT
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.Assange and Snowden are both shill's..Johnny Walker Read , says: September 20, 2019 at 12:20 pm GMT
https://aanirfan.blogspot.com/search?q=assange@Johnny Walker Read AndJohnny Walker Read , says: September 20, 2019 at 12:31 pm GMT
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 This is absolutely dynamite material, it blows to smithereens any notion that Edward Snowden is anything other than a fraud, a CIA disinfo op.foolisholdman , says: September 20, 2019 at 1:04 pm GMT
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/@animalogicAmon , says: September 20, 2019 at 1:23 pm GMT
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?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.Justvisiting , says: September 20, 2019 at 1:23 pm GMT
That Snowden got away with what he did is not that shocking.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:Multiple Fronts , says: September 20, 2019 at 1:32 pm GMT
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).CIA Edward Snowden? ...Antiwar7 , says: September 20, 2019 at 1:34 pm GMTIf 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.der einzige , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 2:04 pm GMT
<=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.@foolisholdman I think you meant thatOscar Peterson , says: September 20, 2019 at 2:35 pm GMT
https://www.youtube.com/embed/zG23AyiIObk?feature=oembed@Nicolás Palacios Navarro I agree that Assange has suffered much more than Snowden, but why hold that against the latter?Commentator Mike , says: September 20, 2019 at 2:44 pm GMT
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."@Brabantian Brabantian,Justvisiting , says: September 20, 2019 at 2:46 pm GMT
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.@der einzige Thanks for posting–Assange looked dazed and confused by the question itself.anon  Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 2:48 pm GMT
It could be "rogue agents". A mind is a terrible thing to waste.@Anonymous Snanonymous > Snowden, unlike Assange, largely suffered from pussy deprivationAnonymous  Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 2:51 pm GMT
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."
There's no way an envious gamma like you could tap this: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.TheJester , says: September 20, 2019 at 3:02 pm GMT
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.@Jonathan Revusky Try this:Anonymous Snanonymous , says: September 20, 2019 at 3:22 pm GMT
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.@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 GMTGood article. Snowden and Assange are agents of disinformation9/11 Inside job , says: September 20, 2019 at 4:36 pm GMT
"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
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 is the "litmus test" and it appears that both Assange and Snowden have failed it.anon  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 .Nicolás Palacios Navarro , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 6:09 pm GMT
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)@RealistOutrage Beyond , says: September 20, 2019 at 6:43 pm GMT
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.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.PetrOldSack , says: September 20, 2019 at 6:49 pm GMT
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.@sallyPetrOldSack , says: September 20, 2019 at 6:53 pm GMT
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.@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.peterAUS , says: September 20, 2019 at 7:06 pm GMT
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@ikki Pretty much.peterAUS , says: September 20, 2019 at 7:09 pm GMT
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?@Outrage Beyond A very good comment.anon  Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 7:26 pm GMT
.a systems engineer .. the one-person Information Sharing department . .providing access to his "readboard" to the other administrator .@Realist Snowden did "do something about our corrupt political system," not that anybody here cares.niceland , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:46 pm GMT
And God Bless America.
https://www.youtube.com/embed/8kssysjyPl0?feature=oembedSnowden 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".anon  Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:49 pm GMT
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.@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.Republic , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:54 pm GMT
> 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?@anon Wasn't Ross William Ulbricht compromised by using Tor ?anon  Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 9:12 pm GMT@PetrOldSack > The Tor browser bull- *** t speaks against him all the wayanon  Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 9:29 pm GMT
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
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.@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.Gg , says: September 20, 2019 at 10:09 pm GMT
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.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 fromThe Company , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:06 pm GMT
The revelation of the crimesThe 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 GMTAn 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.Johnny Walker Read , says: September 21, 2019 at 2:19 am GMT
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.Learn to recognize government dis-info. http://mileswmathis.com/glenn.pdfShermanFan , says: September 21, 2019 at 2:28 am GMTI'm not going to comment on the person or their agenda, rather the process-broadly.Franz , says: September 21, 2019 at 6:25 am GMT
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.@anonanon  Disclaimer , says: September 21, 2019 at 12:58 pm GMT
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.@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?"Che Guava , says: September 21, 2019 at 3:26 pm GMT
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/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).Yvonne Lorenzo , says: September 21, 2019 at 6:42 pm GMT
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,@der einzigeYvonne Lorenzo , says: September 21, 2019 at 6:57 pm GMT
I recommend these articles from Jon Rappaport, unfortunately, wordpress deleted his blog.
- Matrix: Who is Edward Snowden? https://www.radios.cz/en/articles/matrix-who-is-edward-snowden/
- Snowden and the final purpose of the Surveillance State https://www.radios.cz/en/articles/snowden-and-the-final-purpose-of-the-surveillance-state/
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.@Outrage BeyondChe Guava , says: September 21, 2019 at 7:17 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.
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.
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....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.Sean , says: September 21, 2019 at 7:22 pm GMT
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.@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:peterAUS , says: September 21, 2019 at 7:56 pm GMT
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.@Yvonne LorenzoAB_Anonymous , says: September 21, 2019 at 8:05 pm GMT
.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 .@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@peterAUSSean , says: September 21, 2019 at 8:22 pm GMT
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
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.@Yvonne LorenzoArt , says: September 21, 2019 at 9:12 pm GMT
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 .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 GMTThis 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?peterAUS , says: September 21, 2019 at 11:21 pm GMT
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?
It was in this milieu that he met Henry and Marie-Josée Kravis, in their residence on Park Avenue in New York . 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 .
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.@Yvonne LorenzopeterAUS , says: September 21, 2019 at 11:48 pm GMT
Go wave your flag
.CIA trolls here
Read it and weep. Your pensions are toast.
From an author here?!
My God, Unz .. really ? Coming to this?
Hahaha oh man.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.Sean , says: September 22, 2019 at 12:35 am GMT peterAUS , says: September 22, 2019 at 2:31 am GMT
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 True true .mea culpa. Female stuff, that is, in general.peterAUS , says: September 22, 2019 at 2:54 am GMT
Style, though, is unique for the creature here.
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 O.K. I could be wrong.2stateshmustate , says: September 22, 2019 at 3:27 am GMT
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.@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@peterAUSniceland , says: September 22, 2019 at 4:55 am GMT
isn't this creature the only female author here?
Ilana Mercer is a woman who writes on UR.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?niceland , says: September 22, 2019 at 5:07 am GMT
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 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  Disclaimer , says: September 22, 2019 at 8:52 am GMT@Yvonne Lorenzo > Call it female intuition, Snowden creeps me out.anon  Disclaimer , says: September 22, 2019 at 9:56 am GMT
Can't refute that! #BelieveWomen@Yvonne Lorenzo > A helicopter outfitted with surveillance bubbles overflew after I submitted this piece.. Coincidence, right?9/11 Inside job , says: September 22, 2019 at 10:19 am GMT
No coincidence, they're distributing corn sharks in a contract with ADM. Stay indoors and cover your head with tin foil.@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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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
Other notables from the Guardian interview:
- Snowden secretly married his partner, Lindsay Mills, two years ago in a Russian courthouse. They met when he was 22 (14 years ago) on the internet site "Hot or Not," where he rated her a 10 out of 10 and she rated him a (generous) eight.
- He freely moves around Moscow, riding the metro, visiting art galleries or the ballet, and meeting with friends in cafes and restaurants.
- The 36-year-old lives in a two-bedroom flat on the outskirts of Moscow, and derives most of his income (until now) from speaking fees - mainly to students, civil rights activists and others abroad via video chat.
- Snowden is an "indoor cat by choice," who is "happiest sitting at his computer late into the night, communicating with campaigners and supporters."
- At a training school for spies, Snowden was nicknamed "the Count" after the Sesame Street character.
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
- 21 June 1983 Edward Joseph Snowden is born in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, US.
- 2006-2013 Initially at the CIA, and then as a contractor for first Dell and then Booz Allen Hamilton, Snowden spends years working in cybersecurity on projects for the US National Security Agency (NSA).
- 20 May 2013 Edward Snowden arrives in Hong Kong, where a few days later he meets with Guardian journalists, and shares with them a cache of top secret documents he has been downloading and storing for some time.
- 5 June 2013 The Guardian begins reporting the Snowden leaks, with revelations about the NSA storing the phone records of millions of Americans, and the agency's claim its Prism programme had "direct access" to data held by Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants.
- 7 June 2013 The US president, Barack Obama, is forced to defend the programmes, insisting that they are adequately overseen by the courts and Congress.
- 9 June 2013 Snowden goes public as the source of the leaks in a video interview.
- 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.
- 21 June 2013 The US files espionage charges against Snowden and requests Hong Kong detain him for extradition.
- 23 June 2013 Snowden leaves Hong Kong for Moscow. Hong Kong claims that the US got Snowden's middle name wrong in documents submitted requesting his arrest meaning they were powerless to prevent his departure.
- 1 July 2013 Russia reveals that Snowden has applied for asylum. He also expresses an interest in claiming asylum in several South American nations. Eventually Ecuador, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Venezuela offer permanent asylum.
- 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.
- 1 August 2013 After living in an airport for a month, Snowden is granted asylum in Russia.
- 21 August 2013 The Guardian reveals that the UK government ordered it to destroy the computer equipment used for the Snowden documents.
- December 2013 Snowden is a runner-up to Pope Francis as Time's Person of the Year, and gives Channel 4's "Alternative Christmas Message".
- May 2015 The NSA stops the bulk collection of US phone calling records that had been revealed by Snowden.
- 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.
- January 2017 Snowden's leave to remain in Russia is extended for three more years.
- June 2018 Snowden says he has no regrets about his revelations, saying: "The government and corporate sector preyed on our ignorance. But now we know. People are aware now. People are still powerless to stop it but we are trying."
- March 2019 Vanessa Rodel, who sheltered Snowden in Hong Kong, is granted asylum in Canada.
- September 2019 Snowden remains living in an undisclosed location in Moscow as he prepares to publish his memoirs.
mrjinx007 , 18 minutes ago linkheadless blogger , 27 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.Decoherence , 35 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.Equinox7 , 36 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.NiggaPleeze , 12 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.BennyBoo , 37 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?VooDoo6Actual , 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 , 26 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.vasilievich , 58 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-exposedJBLight , 1 hour ago link
Read in Reuters that he's requested asylum in France.Gonzogal , 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.Pure Speculation , 24 minutes 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!Gonzogal , 1 hour 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.vasilievich , 56 minutes 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!Gonzogal , 49 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.vasilievich , 1 hour 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"richsob , 1 hour ago link
Yes, that's inexplicable, at least to me. I lived there and liked Russians very much.NAV , 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.ISEEIT , 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.".Bingo Hammer , 1 hour ago link
I personally consider Snowden to be a limited hangout operative.puckles , 55 minutes 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.Gonzogal , 1 hour 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...smacker , 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.5fingerdiscount , 2 hours ago link
I think Greenwald lives in Rio, Brazil and is partnered to a Brazilian guy, so Brazil would not extradite him.Jazzman , 2 hours ago link
Book tour, Docudrama and T-Shirt?Pure Speculation , 2 hours ago link
The quality of low rank NSA employees is rapidly deteriorating since 2013... ^^cakesquid , 28 minutes 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.Bob_Sacamano , 2 hours 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!
Can anybody name something that Snowfen revealed that wasn't common knowledge?
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 | caucus99percent.com
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