Tags: Glenn Greenwald

How British Spies “Seed the Internet with False Info, Control YouTube Pageviews and Manipulate Online Polls”

Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 2.25.47 PMThanks to Edward Snowden, we now have proof about an incredible set of tools used by the British equivalent of the NSA, known as the GCHQ, or Government Communications Headquarters. These tools will essentially confirm every single conspiracy theory you could have ever imagined when it comes to propaganda on the Internet. It allows British intelligence officers to: “manipulate the results of online polls, artificially inflate pageview counts on web sites, ‘amplify’ sanctioned messages on YouTube, and censor video content judged to be ‘extremist.’”

Being the creative folks that they are, GCHQ even came up with code words to describe each “product.” These include, UNDERPASS (for poll manipulation), SILVERLORD (for censorship), GESTATOR (for the manipulation of YouTube views), PREDATORS FACE (for DDOS attacks), the list goes on…

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Crony Congress – Rep. Mike Rogers Has Links to the Benghazi Scandal Yet is in Charge of the Investigation

For those of you who don’t know Congressman Mike Rogers, he is the Representative hailing from Michigan’s Eighth District. He is also one of the biggest blowhard, chicken-hawk defenders of unconstitutional NSA spying in all of Washington D.C.

Back in 2012, he gave his support to internet spy bill CISPA by proclaiming: “Stand for America! Support this bill!” Naturally, this clown would also serve as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Rogers is notorious for being one of the staunchest critics of Glenn Greenwald. For example, earlier this year he made up all sort of lies about Greenwald in an attempt to smear the journalist. In response, Greenwald had the following to say about Rogers back in February:

“First is that he’s not only lying, and he is lying, but he not only is lying but he knows that he’s lying. This what is Mike Rogers is notorious for in Washington is literally making things up and smearing political opponents and journalists he doesn’t like.

I defy Mike Rogers, if he wants to make that accusation, to come forward and present actual evidence that any journalist has stolen, has sold documents or stolen material or engaged in any kind of criminality. He has no evidence, he’s just making things up.”

You’d think a guy like Rogers who aggressively lobs untrue accusations against a journalist trying to inform the American public about government criminality would have a squeaky clean background himself. After all, he was a former FBI agent. You’d think that, but you’d be wrong.

Incredibly, Dick Morris points out that until recently Mike Rogers’ wife was the president and the CEO of the company that was contracted by the State Department to provide intelligence-based and physical security services. While this sort of crony capitalism is seen as “business as usual” in the cesspool that is D.C., the really crazy part of this story is that as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rogers is charged with investigating the adequacy of security at the Benghazi compound prior to the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack.

You can’t find a bigger conflict of interest than that…

Dick Morris writes:

Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, is charged with investigating the adequacy of security at the Benghazi compound prior to the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack.

His wife, Kristi Clemens Rogers was the president and the CEO of the company that was contracted by the State Department to provide that security!

Mrs. Rogers, until recently, served as president and CEO of Aegis LLC, the contractor to the United States Department of State for intelligence-based and physical security services.

Aegis, a British private military company with overseas offices in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Kenya, Nepal and the U.S., won a $10 billion, 5-year contract with the State Department to provide security for U.S. diplomatic posts around the world.

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The Guardian’s Deputy Editor Claims the UK Government Threatened the Paper with Shutdown

Mr Johnson said the whole attitude in the UK was that national security trumped press freedom and that the newspaper should not publish a word…We were threatened that we would be closed down. We were accused of endangering national security and people’s lives. It left us in a very difficult position.

- Paul Johnson, deputy editor of The Guardian

As if you didn’t already recognize the serious threat to press freedom in the UK following authorities holding Glenn Greenwald’s partner David Miranda for eight hours under “terrorism” laws as he transferred through London’s Heathrow airport. It’s not just the traditional press at risk in the UK either, the government is hard at work censoring the internet itself via ridiculous filters.

Now we find out from the Irish Times that:

The Guardian newspaper was threatened with closure by the British government over the Edward Snowden spying affair, the Radiodays Europe conference has been told.

The paper’s deputy editor Paul Johnson said Britain’s intelligence agencies visited them and told them they would be closed if they persisted in printing Snowden’s revelations of mass surveillance involving the National Security Agency (NSA) in the United Statesand the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in the UK. Mr Snowden is now in Russia, where he has temporary asylum. He is wanted by the US authorities on espionage charges.

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Here’s What the Richest Man in the World Thinks About Snowden and NSA Surveillance

So Bill Gates recently gave an interview to Rolling Stone magazine. The vast majority of the interview focused on his philanthropic efforts, with a particular focus on poverty and climate change. However, several questions were brought up on illegal NSA surveillance in general, and Edward Snowden in particular.

His answers reveal one of the biggest problems facing America today, which is the fact that the billionaire class as a whole does not question or rock the boat whatsoever. They criticize only when it is convenient or easy to do so, never putting themselves at risk for the sake of civil liberties and the Constitution.

In mosts cases, this is due to the fact that they themselves are the characters pulling the strings of the political class in Washington D.C. So when it comes down to it, their policies ultimately become our policies.

It is also important to note that Microsoft was a particularly eager participant in NSA spying from the very beginning. For example, according to the following PRISM slide provided by Edward Snowden, we see that Gates’ company was the first to become involved. In fact, they were participating a full six months before Yahoo!, while Apple didn’t join until a year after Steve Jobs died.

Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 2.13.17 PM

What a tangled web we have weaved. Now from Rolling Stone:

Question: When people think about the cloud, it’s not only the accessibility of information and their documents that comes to mind, but also their privacy – or lack of it.

Gates: Should there be cameras everywhere in outdoor streets? My personal view is having cameras in inner cities is a very good thing. In the case of London, petty crime has gone down. They catch terrorists because of it. And if something really bad happens, most of the time you can figure out who did it. There’s a general view there that it’s not used to invade privacy in some way. Yet in an American city, in order to take advantage of that in the same way, you have to trust what this information is going to be used for.

Do they really catch terrorists because of it in London? Because in the U.S., the NSA chief already admitted that the entire spy program has stopped essentially zero terrorist attacks. It certainly didn’t stop the Boston bombings. So what are we giving up our privacy for exactly?

Question: Thanks to Edward Snowden, who has leaked tens of thousands of NSA documents, we are. Do you consider him a hero or a traitor?

Gates: I think he broke the law, so I certainly wouldn’t characterize him as a hero. If he wanted to raise the issues and stay in the country and engage in civil disobedience or something of that kind, or if he had been careful in terms of what he had released, then it would fit more of the model of “OK, I’m really trying to improve things.” You won’t find much admiration from me.

Sorry Billy boy, but we have had many whistleblowers in the past who went through the system and they ended up in jail or their lives were ruined. For example, the only person imprisoned for torture in the USA is the guy who exposed the torture program, John Kiriakou.

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The Most Evil and Disturbing NSA Spy Practices To-Date Have Just Been Revealed

In some cases the NSA has masqueraded as a fake Facebook server, using the social media site as a launching pad to infect a target’s computer and exfiltrate files from a hard drive. In others, it has sent out spam emails laced with the malware, which can be tailored to covertly record audio from a computer’s microphone and take snapshots with its webcam. The hacking systems have also enabled the NSA to launch cyberattacks by corrupting and disrupting file downloads or denying access to websites.

The man-in-the-middle tactic can be used, for instance, to covertly change the content of a message as it is being sent between two people, without either knowing that any change has been made by a third party.

- From Glenn Greenwald’s latest article: How the NSA Plans to Infect Millions of Computers with Malware

The latest piece from Greenwald and company on the unconstitutional spy practices of the NSA may represent the most dangerous and disturbing revelations yet. It’s hard for shadiness at the NSA to surprise me these days, but there was only one word that kept repeating over and over in my head as I read this: EVIL.

As a quick aside, Greenwald points out in the quote above how spam emails are used by the NSA to bait you into clicking dangerous links. This is a timely revelation considering I received one such email yesterday from a friend of mine. The email was sent to a wide list of let’s say “liberty-minded people” and webmasters associated with very popular sites. The link seemed shady so I texted him to ask if he had sent it. He hadn’t.

Earlier this week, during a talk at SXSW, Edward Snowden pleaded with people to use encryption. While he admitted if the NSA targeted you individually they could almost certainly “own your computer,” he stated that if people use encryption on a massive scale it makes the NSA’s attempts to monitor everyone at the same time much more difficult.

Apparently, the NSA is well aware of this threat. Which is why we now know that the agency has been dedicating significant amounts of taxpayer dollars toward an attempt to infect millions of computers with malware in an attempt at “industrial-scale exploitation,” which would lead to them “owning the net.”

As Mikko Hypponen, an expert in malware stated:

“The NSA’s surveillance techniques could inadvertently be undermining the security of the Internet.”

Move along serfs, nothing to see here.

From The Intercept:

Top-secret documents reveal that the National Security Agency is dramatically expanding its ability to covertly hack into computers on a mass scale by using automated systems that reduce the level of human oversight in the process.

The classified files – provided previously by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden – contain new details about groundbreaking surveillance technology the agency has developed to infect potentially millions of computers worldwide with malware “implants.” The clandestine initiative enables the NSA to break into targeted computers and to siphon out data from foreign Internet and phone networks.

In some cases the NSA has masqueraded as a fake Facebook server, using the social media site as a launching pad to infect a target’s computer and exfiltrate files from a hard drive. In others, it has sent out spam emails laced with the malware, which can be tailored to covertly record audio from a computer’s microphone and take snapshots with its webcam. The hacking systems have also enabled the NSA to launch cyberattacks by corrupting and disrupting file downloads or denying access to websites.

The implants being deployed were once reserved for a few hundred hard-to-reach targets, whose communications could not be monitored through traditional wiretaps. But the documents analyzed by The Intercept show how the NSA has aggressively accelerated its hacking initiatives in the past decade by computerizing some processes previously handled by humans. The automated system – codenamed TURBINE – is designed to “allow the current implant network to scale to large size (millions of implants) by creating a system that does automated control implants by groups instead of individually.”

Mikko Hypponen, an expert in malware who serves as chief research officer at the Finnish security firm F-Secure, calls the revelations “disturbing.” The NSA’s surveillance techniques, he warns, could inadvertently be undermining the security of the Internet.

It sounds like that is precisely their intent…

The NSA began rapidly escalating its hacking efforts a decade ago. In 2004, according to securet internal records, the agency was managing a small network of only 100 to 150 implants. But over the next six to eight years, as an elite unit called Tailored Access Operations (TAO) recruited new hackers and developed new malware tools, the number of implants soared to tens of thousands.

The agency’s solution was TURBINE. Developed as part of TAO unit, it is described in the leaked documents as an “intelligent command and control capability” that enables “industrial-scale exploitation.”

Earlier reports based on the Snowden files indicate that the NSA has already deployed between 85,000 and 100,000 of its implants against computers and networks across the world, with plans to keep on scaling up those numbers.

The intelligence community’s top-secret “Black Budget” for 2013, obtained by Snowden, lists TURBINE as part of a broader NSA surveillance initiative named “Owning the Net.”

The agency sought $67.6 million in taxpayer funding for its Owning the Net program last year. Some of the money was earmarked for TURBINE, expanding the system to encompass “a wider variety” of networks and “enabling greater automation of computer network exploitation.”

Your tax dollars at works slaves.

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Edward Snowden Speaking Live Now at SXSW – Watch it Here

Edward Snowden will be speaking at 12 EST in Austin, Texas at SXSW.

This is his first live public speaking engagement since he came forward last year as one of the most famous whistleblowers in history.

Since the event is now over, I have replaced the lifestream with a recording of the talk. Enjoy.

 

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NSA Chief is Pushing for Legislation to Stifle the First Amendment

Recently, what came out with the justices in the United Kingdom … they looked at what happened on Miranda and other things, and they said it’s interesting: journalists have no standing when it comes to national security issues. They don’t know how to weigh the fact of what they’re giving out and saying, is it in the nation’s interest to divulge this.

- General Keith Alexander, Director of the NSA

Although General Alexander states the above with regard to the UK justice system, he clearly agrees with the assessment. Read the passage above again and think about how scary that statement is. It becomes clear that one of the reasons abuses at the NSA are so egregious is because of the attitude of the person in charge. Alexander genuinely thinks that intelligence officials know best, and should not be subject to any sort of accountability. You don’t need to be a card-carrying member of the ACLU to see how dangerous this perspective is. To endorse this notion that “journalists have no standing when it comes to national security issues,” is to effectively make illegal one of the most important free speech rights in any democracy. This sort of attitude represents the antithesis of American values.

Not only does General Alexander see things this way, apparently he is lobbying for Congressional legislation that would solidify this authoritarian view within the law itself. For example, the Guardian reported yesterday that:

General Keith Alexander, who has furiously denounced the Snowden revelations, said at a Tuesday cybersecurity panel that unspecified “headway” on what he termed “media leaks” was forthcoming in the next several weeks, possibly to include “media leaks legislation.”

The general, who is due to retire in the next several weeks, said that the furore over Snowden’s surveillance revelations – which he referred to only as “media leaks” – was complicating his ability to get congressional support for a bill that would permit the NSA and the military Cyber Command he also helms to secretly communicate with private entities like banks about online data intrusions and attacks. 

So apparently he has several pieces of authoritarian legislation on his plate at the moment. He laments Snowden is making the implementation of his fascist tendencies more difficult. Just another reason to celebrate Snowden.

“We’ve got to handle media leaks first,” Alexander said.

“I think we are going to make headway over the next few weeks on media leaks. I am an optimist. I think if we make the right steps on the media leaks legislation, then cyber legislation will be a lot easier,” Alexander said.

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War on Encryption: Highlighting Two Crucial Articles on the Latest NSA Revelations

While most of the media, including the alternative media, has been focused primarily on our psychopathic leaders’ attempt to drag us into a Syrian civil war alongside al-Qaeda, some really crucial new information has been released about the NSA from the Snowden documents.

Specifically, we now know the lengths to which the NSA has fought to make encryption useless. Disturbingly, there was a debate about all of this in the 1990′s. Back then the NSA, with the help of the Clinton administration, attempted to install a backdoor into all encryption called a “Clipper Chip.” This was shot down, but the NSA went ahead and did it covertly anyway. This is the type of total unconstitutional slime we are dealing with.

The most absurd part of the recent revelations is the realization that the NSA isn’t actually cracking most of the encryption due to smarts or math, but rather by coercing major technology companies to allow them unfettered access. Part of this coercion unsurprisingly revolves around generous monetary payoffs to “grease the surveillance wheels” courtesy of a hefty Black Budget.

The first highlighted article is from yesterday’s New York Times. The information is so devastating to the already battered reputation of the criminal NSA that according to the paper:

Intelligence officials asked The Times and ProPublica not to publish this article, saying it might prompt foreign targets to switch to new forms of encryption or communications that would be harder to collect or read. The news organizations removed some specific facts but decided to publish the article because of the value of a public debate about government actions that weaken the most powerful privacy tools.

Some key excepts below:

Many users assume — or have been assured by Internet companies — that their data is safe from prying eyes, including those of the government, and the N.S.A. wants to keep it that way. The agency treats its recent successes in deciphering protected information as among its most closely guarded secrets, restricted to those cleared for a highly classified program code-named Bullrun, according to the documents, provided by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor.

Beginning in 2000, as encryption tools were gradually blanketing the Web, the N.S.A. invested billions of dollars in a clandestine campaign to preserve its ability to eavesdrop. Having lost a public battle in the 1990s to insert its own “back door” in all encryption, it set out to accomplish the same goal by stealth.

The N.S.A. hacked into target computers to snare messages before they were encrypted. In some cases, companies say they were coerced by the government into handing over their master encryption keys or building in a back door. And the agency used its influence as the world’s most experienced code maker to covertly introduce weaknesses into the encryption standards followed by hardware and software developers around the world.

Paul Kocher, a leading cryptographer who helped design the SSL protocol, recalled how the N.S.A. lost the heated national debate in the 1990s about inserting into all encryption a government back door called the Clipper Chip.

“And they went and did it anyway, without telling anyone,” Mr. Kocher said. He said he understood the agency’s mission but was concerned about the danger of allowing it unbridled access to private information.

Intelligence officials asked The Times and ProPublica not to publish this article, saying it might prompt foreign targets to switch to new forms of encryption or communications that would be harder to collect or read. The news organizations removed some specific facts but decided to publish the article because of the value of a public debate about government actions that weaken the most powerful privacy tools.

The full extent of the N.S.A.’s decoding capabilities is known only to a limited group of top analysts from the so-called Five Eyes: the N.S.A. and its counterparts in Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Only they are cleared for the Bullrun program, the successor to one called Manassas — both names of an American Civil War battle. A parallel GCHQ counterencryption program is called Edgehill, named for the first battle of the English Civil War of the 17th century.

Think about the fact that they named these programs after Civil War battles. What does that tell us about how they view “the people” in relation to government?

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It’s Acts of Journalism that Matter Not People Called “Journalists”

It is the job of the Fourth Estate to act as a check and a restraint on the others, to illumine the dark corners of Ministries, to debunk the bureaucrat, to throw often unwelcome light on the measures and motives of our rulers. ‘News’, as Hearst once remarked, ‘is something which somebody wants suppressed: all the rest is advertising’. That job is an essential one and it is bound to be unpopular; indeed, in a democracy, it may be argued that the more unpopular the newspapers are with the politicians the better they are performing their most vital task.

- Brian R. Roberts from a October 29, 1955 article in the London periodical “Time & Tide”

Who is a journalist is a question we need to ask ourselves. Is any blogger out there saying anything—do they deserve First Amendment protection? These are the issues of our times.

- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham

I am extraordinarily bothered by the manner in which the oligarch gatekeepers in the mainstream media and elsewhere are attempting to discredit Glenn Greenwald by saying he is “not a journalist.” While the powers that be are extremely unenlightened and unwise by their nature, they are masters at the art of deception and maintaining their positions of power and status. Thus, whenever they are dealt a crushing blow, they will regroup and fight back in subtle, manipulative and clever ways.  It appears their primary strategy in fighting back against truth-tellers, whistleblowers and journalists in the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations is by attempting to control the definition of the term “journalist.”  This way they can then proclaim who is a “real journalist” and who isn’t.  Of course, those crowned “real journalists” by the government and mainstream media will be well known statist lapdogs who would never publish anything embarrassing to their masters in power. Those who are not crowned “journalists” by the state will be hunted down to the ends of the earth like Julian Assange and Wikileaks.  We must nip this meme in the bud before it starts to spread and gain acceptance, because not only is it a total fraud, but it also represents a serious threat to the First Amendment.

When fascist Senator Lindsey Graham stated the quote at the top it sparked a well deserved firestorm.  Of all the commentary on it, I found the most powerful to be the following written by Mike Masnick at Techdirt.  He wrote:

As we’ve pointed out, there’s a simple way to solve that problem: just make the shield law cover acts of journalism rather than target journalists. Many people may not be journalists by profession, but still, at times, perform journalism. And it’s not that difficult to figure out which is which. Otherwise, you’re carving out a special class of people in an arena in which people doing the exact same thing would face different rules. 

And the problems of trying to carve out “journalists” instead of acts of “journalism” become pretty clear, pretty quickly. The last time the shield law concept was being debated, Senators Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein tried to add a carve out that made it clear that Wikileaks should not be protected by the law. And that should scare people. Because when the government can magically decide that this kind of journalism is protected, while that kind of journalism which embarrasses the government is not protected, then you no longer have freedom of the press. At all.

Those two paragraphs right there describe perfectly the manner in which we must protect freedom of speech and the press in these United States.  We must see the power structure’s propaganda early on and counter it with truth.  There is absolutely no need to define who is a “journalist” and who isn’t.  What must be protected and defended at all costs are “acts of journalism” not a class of people defined as “journalists.” If we merely do the latter, then we are falling onto a very slippery slope toward creating certain privileges for people that fall into a certain category rather than defending the act itself, which of course is the most important thing to protect.

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Rep. Peter King: This Hypocrite has a History of Supporting Terrorism

You know who this guy is?

CrazyKing

That’s Rep. Peter King, the wild-eyed Congressmen with fascist tendencies from New York’s 2nd District.  Peter King is one of the first characters you will see on television whenever someone has a firecracker in their underwear, ready to fear-monger the population into giving up more of their civil liberties in exchange for the perceived safety of a surveillance state.  He’s also the guy who just the other day called for legal action against journalist Glenn Greenwald for his role in publishing hero whistleblower Edward Snowden’s information.  Mr. King doesn’t stop there though.  He seems to believe his own party isn’t acting authoritarian enough.  He stated:

“Too many Republicans are becoming Michael Moores,” King bristled in reference to the liberal filmmaker.

Seriously man, are you off your meds?  The best part of this whole saga; however, is Peter King’s prior history of supporting terrorism.  Here’s what he had to say in 1982:

“We must pledge ourselves to support those brave men and women who this very moment are carrying forth the struggle against British imperialism in the streets of Belfast and Derry,” Mr. King told a pro-I.R.A. rally on Long Island, where he was serving as Nassau County comptroller, in 1982. Three years later he declared, “If civilians are killed in an attack on a military installation, it is certainly regrettable, but I will not morally blame the I.R.A. for it.”

That sure sounds a lot like the justification of Al Qaeda terrorists for their actions doesn’t it?  To the 2nd District of New York I implore you.  Please, please get rid of this psycho.

More on this story from Reason here.

In Liberty,
Mike

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