Or the building of the new total mass surveillance states in the “democratic” west.
The summer is finally here after, again, being a cold winter and “spring”. Isn’t it “lovely” with this “accelerated warming” that sorry to say is not going on?
I want to wish every one of you a warm, in the name of Global Warming Hysteria, and nice summer. It will also mean that I will write less and more sporadic posts.
But you have 1193 posts and 2661 comments to go through at your leisure.
One theme of this blog has been to expose governments and the political elites attack on freedom and their aspiration and strive for total control of their citizen. The Global Warming Hysteria fits like a hand in a glove this agenda under the pretext of “saving mankind” from a non-existent “threat”,
The increasing and relentless drive of western governments for control of every aspect of their citizen’s life and against freedom of all kinds. And the mainstream medias/old media part in these efforts.
Which make a TOTAL MOCKERY of all the beautiful words in their constitutions and the official declarations by all politicians.
Not to mentions these governments signing of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Council of Europe’s Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the EU: s Charter of Fundamental Rights.
All these governments are in TOTAL BREACH of these signed treaties and their constitutions every second of the day.
And it is getting worse under one pretext after another. The most ingenious and hypocritical is that “they”, the ALL knowing and wise political elite, want “to protect us” from one thing after another.
Well, by this definition a slave is very “protected” and “safe”.
•Slave – a person who is excessively dependent upon or controlled by something
And remember these wise words that not many pay attention to anymore:
“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”
So instead of me writing about the same thing again here are some excerpts and additions on these themes.
And I recommend that you read the rest of this post, ponder about it, and then come back and answer this question:
Are YOU going to behave like a sheep and voluntarily accept and give away your freedom and privacy for nothing? Or are you going to do something about it?
It’s your choice.
Bud don’t come back later and complain if you did nothing.
Journalism/mainstream media (old media)
“I just went through the stats for my blog and as usual, I am blown away by the true international phenomenon this is. In the last month, I had visitors from 148 countries. (Last month it passed 155)
And I don’t say this to be bragging. As I said before I am just blown away by what a true and awesome international phenomena blogging is. Especially when considering that I don’t have the time to actively promote this blog.
And as I said before, that’s why the powers that be fear the “free” internet so much. They have so far no gained the control they want. That’s why they do everything possible to regulate and stop it through various direct and indirect means.
Sadly, a lot of politicians and governments in the “free” world are willingly taking part in that onslaught. In fact, in some cases they are leading it.
What is also very interesting to watch is how the Mainstream Media/Old Media has reacted to the fact that today the blogosphere is doing most of the investigative journalism. Doing the “digging” and exposing uncomfortable facts for politicians, business and “scientists” that the Mainstream Media stopped doing a long time ago.
First, the reaction was to totally ignore the blogosphere. Pretend that it didn’t exist. When that was no longer possible. The reaction was one of attack. “Don’t think you can come here and teach us anything because we know best and always will”. They tried to put themselves on a pedestal “Because we are the REAL journalists”. We know what’s best for the people etc.
And most of the Mainstream Media/Old Media is still sadly there. Their arrogance is so ludicrous and stupefying that it is numbing.
Watching journalist describe ”things” is like watching a man being on a ”High Horse”, in his own “very important bubble” with NO contact with the real world whatsoever. It’s a fascinating spectacle.
I have been saying for a very, very long time that if you want to understand what is going on in the world and in your own country, DON’T watch the news on TV or read the newspapers. It is a total waste of time.
If you do, you understand less after watching/reading than before.
For the last say 40 years, there has been a steady decline in what used to be called “journalism”. Especially investigative journalism. Instead, it has been replaced by journalist and media that are driven by a political agenda. On purpose.
It is about controlling and setting the agenda. Not about reporting the facts. Or presenting the facts so that people understands what is REALLY going on and how that affect them. And hopefully make better choices.
They will ONLY print “news” that fits their agenda. If it does not, it doesn’t exist and never ever happened.
The Mainstream Medias/Old Medias deafening silence on many subjects, and their PC worldview is as far away from journalism that you can come.
Most of the Mainstream Media/Old Media has willingly and gladly become “His Masters Voice”. Even worse, the Mainstream Media/Old Media has willingly taken part in actively censoring and suppressing facts. A very sad fact for the democracy and an utter betrayal of what journalism is supposed to be.
You will find many examples of this betrayal in this blog. So, instead on being the defender and bearer of freedom of speech, the Mainstream Media/Old Media has become the slayer of it. “
“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.“
The sorry state of USA:
“It is a very sad day indeed to see a people voluntarily decide to throw themselves and their country over the cliff.
The result, the US government is legally bound to spend more money on mandatory entitlements and interest than it can raise in tax revenue. It will not make any difference how high the federal, state or local government raise taxes, or even if they cut everything.
Another effect of Obama economics is that the poor are getting poorer, especially the black. Under Obama the poorest Americans has suffered the single largest drop in income ever.
And the Black Americans in the same lowest income quintile have suffered almost double as the average American in the same quintile under Obama:
The drop is - 11.58% in one year(2010) and is at the lowest level ever.
That’s what I call “change”! But I would not call it “hope”.
And the number of people classified as poor are getting larger and larger.
Then on top of that, we have the equally disastrous foreign policy. Where the Obama administration systematically have thrown their former allies (Eastern Europe, Britain, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia etc) under the bus, and helped parties like the Muslim Brotherhood that hate everything that USA and the western world stands for, to power.
See my 19 posts on Syria etc as some examples of that disastrous foreign policy:
Here is links to all my posts
I could go on with many more examples but I think I will stop here.
But as the old saying goes (Joseph de Maistre in a letter from St Petersburg August 1811): a country has the politicians/government that they deserve. So enjoy!
In addition, this quote from a reader’s commentary in The Prager Zeitung in March 2010 (translated from Czech) sums it up quite well really:
“Multitude of Fools
The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president.
The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool.
It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.“
The even worse sorry state of USA – The mass surveillance of the American people:
And its get worse, on top of the above the “recent” discoveries of the TOTAL MASS SURVELIANCE IN REAL TIMR OF ALL THE AMERICAN PEOPLE (and their electronic communication).
And of course ALL TRAFFIC passing through American servers. This is 60-80% of ALL the internet traffic (depending of which type of traffic).
And that the big internet companies/software companies besides collecting and selling ALL the user information to other companies is ALSO in REAL TIME colleting and “sharing” ALL this data with US government agencies.
And these agencies store this information, your whole electronic and internet life, FOREVER. To be used at their whim in 10 or 20 or 40 years from now, if the powers that be thinks that you are a “threat” or in some way “interfering” with their agenda.
And this TOTAL MASS SURVELIANCE isn’t of course limited to the US. A lot of that is going on in EU countries too. And others.
For example, there is a very, very tight cooperation and sharing that goes way back (1946) between USA, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zeeland. And the Swedish FRA takes part in this cooperation. The “famous” ECHELON was an offspring of this cooperation.
This is way I started to put this sign after each blog post when the Swedish FRA started collecting data from ALL internet traffic passing Swedish borders on January 1st 2009.
And the absurd thing is that this TOTAL MASS SURVELIANCE WILL NOT ACCOMPLISH what is said to be the pretext for it – catching terrorists.
I wrote about this in 2008 (see my post https://uddebatt.wordpress.com/2008/07/06/cia-och-bruce-schneier-%e2%80%93-varfor-fra-lagen-inte-kommer-att-fungera/), where I among other things quoted CIA itself (their book ”Psychology of Intelligence Analysis”), and Bruce Schneier on data mining and false positives; why it would never work.
But of course it is excellent for controlling your own people and intimidating them.
Especially now when these agencies store this information, your whole electronic and internet life, FOREVER. To be used at their whim in 10 or 20 or 40 years from now, if the powers that be thinks that you are a “threat” or in some way “interfering” with their agenda.
And that’s why they are putting so much money and personal into these efforts, and trying so desperately to conceal this TOTAL MASS SURVELIANCE state from their own citizens.
Some revealing pieces from Washington Post’s report “A hidden world, growing beyond control”
(The whole report here: http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/)
“The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.
These are some of the findings of a two-year investigation by The Washington Post that discovered what amounts to an alternative geography of the United States, a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in thorough oversight. After nine years of unprecedented spending and growth, the result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine.
The investigation’s other findings include:
* Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States.
* An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances.
* In Washington and the surrounding area, 33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since September 2001. Together they occupy the equivalent of almost three Pentagons or 22 U.S. Capitol buildings – about 17 million square feet of space.
* Many security and intelligence agencies do the same work, creating redundancy and waste. For example, 51 federal organizations and military commands, operating in 15 U.S. cities, track the flow of money to and from terrorist networks.
* Analysts who make sense of documents and conversations obtained by foreign and domestic spying share their judgment by publishing 50,000 intelligence reports each year – a volume so large that many are routinely ignored.
These are not academic issues; lack of focus, not lack of resources, was at the heart of the Fort Hood shooting that left 13 dead, as well as the Christmas Day bomb attempt thwarted not by the thousands of analysts employed to find lone terrorists but by an alert airline passenger who saw smoke coming from his seatmate.”
They are also issues that greatly concern some of the people in charge of the nation’s security.
”There has been so much growth since 9/11 that getting your arms around that – not just for the CIA, for the secretary of defense – is a challenge,” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said in an interview with The Post last week.
In the Department of Defense, where more than two-thirds of the intelligence programs reside, only a handful of senior officials – called Super Users – have the ability to even know about all the department’s activities. But as two of the Super Users indicated in interviews, there is simply no way they can keep up with the nation’s most sensitive work.
”I’m not going to live long enough to be briefed on everything” was how one Super User put it. The other recounted that for his initial briefing, he was escorted into a tiny, dark room, seated at a small table and told he couldn’t take notes. Program after program began flashing on a screen, he said, until he yelled ”Stop!” in frustration.
”I wasn’t remembering any of it,” he said.
Underscoring the seriousness of these issues are the conclusions of retired Army Lt. Gen. John R. Vines, who was asked last year to review the method for tracking the Defense Department’s most sensitive programs. Vines, who once commanded 145,000 troops in Iraq and is familiar with complex problems, was stunned by what he discovered.
”I’m not aware of any agency with the authority, responsibility or a process in place to coordinate all these interagency and commercial activities,” he said in an interview. ”The complexity of this system defies description.”
The result, he added, is that it’s impossible to tell whether the country is safer because of all this spending and all these activities. ”Because it lacks a synchronizing process, it inevitably results in message dissonance, reduced effectiveness and waste,” Vines said. ”We consequently can’t effectively assess whether it is making us more safe.”
“But in the end, analysis requires human judgment, and half the analysts are relatively inexperienced, having been hired in the past several years, said a senior ODNI official. Contract analysts are often straight out of college and trained at corporate headquarters.
When hired, a typical analyst knows very little about the priority countries – Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan – and is not fluent in their languages. Still, the number of intelligence reports they produce on these key countries is overwhelming, say current and former intelligence officials who try to cull them every day. The ODNI doesn’t know exactly how many reports are issued each year, but in the process of trying to find out, the chief of analysis discovered 60 classified analytic Web sites still in operation that were supposed to have been closed down for lack of usefulness. ”Like a zombie, it keeps on living” is how one official describes the sites.
The problem with many intelligence reports, say officers who read them, is that they simply re-slice the same facts already in circulation. ”It’s the soccer ball syndrome. Something happens, and they want to rush to cover it,” said Richard H. Immerman, who was the ODNI’s assistant deputy director of national intelligence for analytic integrity and standards until early 2009. ”I saw tremendous overlap.”
Even the analysts at the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), which is supposed to be where the most sensitive, most difficult-to-obtain nuggets of information are fused together, get low marks from intelligence officials for not producing reports that are original, or at least better than the reports already written by the CIA, FBI, National Security Agency or Defense Intelligence Agency.
When Maj. Gen. John M. Custer was the director of intelligence at U.S. Central Command, he grew angry at how little helpful information came out of the NCTC. In 2007, he visited its director at the time, retired Vice Adm. John Scott Redd, to tell him so. ”I told him that after 41/2 years, this organization had never produced one shred of information that helped me prosecute three wars!” he said loudly, leaning over the table during an interview.
Two years later, Custer, now head of the Army’s intelligence school at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., still gets red-faced recalling that day, which reminds him of his frustration with Washington’s bureaucracy. ”Who has the mission of reducing redundancy and ensuring everybody doesn’t gravitate to the lowest-hanging fruit?” he said. ”Who orchestrates what is produced so that everybody doesn’t produce the same thing?
He’s hardly the only one irritated. In a secure office in Washington, a senior intelligence officer was dealing with his own frustration. Seated at his computer, he began scrolling through some of the classified information he is expected to read every day: CIA World Intelligence Review, WIRe-CIA, Spot Intelligence Report, Daily Intelligence Summary, Weekly Intelligence Forecast, Weekly Warning Forecast, IC Terrorist Threat Assessments, NCTC Terrorism Dispatch, NCTC Spotlight . . .
It’s too much, he complained. The inbox on his desk was full, too. He threw up his arms, picked up a thick, glossy intelligence report and waved it around, yelling.
”Jesus! Why does it take so long to produce?”
”Why does it have to be so bulky?”
”Why isn’t it online?”
The overload of hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and annual reports is actually counterproductive, say people who receive them. Some policymakers and senior officials don’t dare delve into the backup clogging their computers. They rely instead on personal briefers, and those briefers usually rely on their own agency’s analysis, re-creating the very problem identified as a main cause of the failure to thwart the attacks: a lack of information-sharing.”
“Because so much is classified, illustrations of what goes on every day in Top Secret America can be hard to ferret out. But every so often, examples emerge. A recent one shows the post-9/11 system at its best and its worst.
Last fall, after eight years of growth and hirings, the enterprise was at full throttle when word emerged that something was seriously amiss inside Yemen. In response, President Obama signed an order sending dozens of secret commandos to that country to target and kill the leaders of an al-Qaeda affiliate.
In Yemen, the commandos set up a joint operations center packed with hard drives, forensic kits and communications gear. They exchanged thousands of intercepts, agent reports, photographic evidence and real-time video surveillance with dozens of top-secret organizations in the United States.
That was the system as it was intended. But when the information reached the National Counterterrorism Center in Washington for analysis, it arrived buried within the 5,000 pieces of general terrorist-related data that are reviewed each day. Analysts had to switch from database to database, from hard drive to hard drive, from screen to screen, just to locate what might be interesting to study further.
As military operations in Yemen intensified and the chatter about a possible terrorist strike increased, the intelligence agencies ramped up their effort. The flood of information into the NCTC became a torrent.
Somewhere in that deluge was even more vital data. Partial names of someone in Yemen. A reference to a Nigerian radical who had gone to Yemen. A report of a father in Nigeria worried about a son who had become interested in radical teachings and had disappeared inside Yemen.
These were all clues to what would happen when a Nigerian named Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab left Yemen and eventually boarded a plane in Amsterdam bound for Detroit. But nobody put them together because, as officials would testify later, the system had gotten so big that the lines of responsibility had become hopelessly blurred.
”There are so many people involved here,” NCTC Director Leiter told Congress.
”Everyone had the dots to connect,” DNI Blair explained to the lawmakers. ”But I hadn’t made it clear exactly who had primary responsibility.”
And so Abdulmutallab was able to step aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253. As it descended toward Detroit, he allegedly tried to ignite explosives hidden in his underwear. It wasn’t the very expensive, very large 9/11 enterprise that prevented disaster. It was a passenger who saw what he was doing and tackled him. ”We didn’t follow up and prioritize the stream of intelligence,” White House counterterrorism adviser John O. Brennan explained afterward. ”Because no one intelligence entity, or team or task force was assigned responsibility for doing that follow-up investigation.”
Blair acknowledged the problem. His solution: Create yet another team to run down every important lead. But he also told Congress he needed more money and more analysts to prevent another mistake.
More is often the solution proposed by the leaders of the 9/11 enterprise. After the Christmas Day bombing attempt, Leiter also pleaded for more – more analysts to join the 300 or so he already had.”
So you have nearly 900.000 people (nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C.), who hold top-secret security clearances. And they have access to ALL this data from the mass surveillance.
And at least half of the analyst analyzing this data is fresh out of school, no experience with the countries and the cultures they are analyzing. And of course they don’t speak the language.
And they ALL WANT MORE MONEY AND PERSONAL AND RESOURCES!
Reassuring isn’t it?
If you just read the text above (and below) and didn’t know where this was happening, you would automatically assume this was happening in some brutal totalitarian police state say like North Korea or China.
But it is not, it is happening here in the “democratic” west EVRY SECOND OF YOUR LIFE! FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!
And it is stored FOREVER!
You can read about just ONE of these data centers here:
The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say) http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/all/1
“Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.”
“Inside, the facility will consist of four 25,000-square-foot halls filled with servers, complete with raised floor space for cables and storage. In addition, there will be more than 900,000 square feet for technical support and administration. The entire site will be self-sustaining, with fuel tanks large enough to power the backup generators for three days in an emergency, water storage with the capability of pumping 1.7 million gallons of liquid per day, as well as a sewage system and massive air-conditioning system to keep all those servers cool. Electricity will come from the center’s own substation built by Rocky Mountain Power to satisfy the 65-megawatt power demand. Such a mammoth amount of energy comes with a mammoth price tag—about $40 million a year, according to one estimate.”
“In 2011 more than 2 billion of the world’s 6.9 billion people were connected to the Internet. By 2015, market research firm IDC estimates, there will be 2.7 billion users. Thus, the NSA’s need for a 1-million-square-foot data storehouse. Should the agency ever fill the Utah center with a yottabyte of information, it would be equal to about 500 quintillion (500,000,000,000,000,000,000) pages of text.”
“The eavesdropping on Americans doesn’t stop at the telecom switches. To capture satellite communications in and out of the US, the agency also monitors AT&T’s powerful earth stations, satellite receivers in locations that include Roaring Creek and Salt Creek. Tucked away on a back road in rural Catawissa, Pennsylvania, Roaring Creek’s three 105-foot dishes handle much of the country’s communications to and from Europe and the Middle East. And on an isolated stretch of land in remote Arbuckle, California, three similar dishes at the company’s Salt Creek station service the Pacific Rim and Asia.
Binney left the NSA in late 2001, shortly after the agency launched its warrantless-wiretapping program. “They violated the Constitution setting it up,” he says bluntly. “But they didn’t care. They were going to do it anyway, and they were going to crucify anyone who stood in the way. When they started violating the Constitution, I couldn’t stay.” Binney says Stellar Wind was far larger than has been publicly disclosed and included not just eavesdropping on domestic phone calls but the inspection of domestic email. At the outset the program recorded 320 million calls a day, he says, which represented about 73 to 80 percent of the total volume of the agency’s worldwide intercepts. The haul only grew from there. According to Binney—who has maintained close contact with agency employees until a few years ago—the taps in the secret rooms dotting the country are actually powered by highly sophisticated software programs that conduct “deep packet inspection,” examining Internet traffic as it passes through the 10-gigabit-per-second cables at the speed of light.”
The other side of this surveillance state, the ability to use all this equipment, data and personal for cyber-attacks and cyber war efforts.
“In 2003, Alexander, a favorite of defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, was named the Army’s deputy chief of staff for intelligence, the service’s most senior intelligence position. Among the units under his command were the military intelligence teams involved in the human rights abuses at Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib prison. Two years later, Rumsfeld appointed Alexander—now a three-star general—director of the NSA, where he oversaw the illegal, warrantless wiretapping program while deceiving members of the House Intelligence Committee. In a publicly released letter to Alexander shortly after The New York Times exposed the program, US representative Rush Holt, a member of the committee, angrily took him to task for not being forthcoming about the wiretapping: “Your responses make a mockery of congressional oversight.”
Alexander also proved to be militant about secrecy. In 2005 a senior agency employee named Thomas Drake allegedly gave information to The Baltimore Sun showing that a publicly discussed program known as Trailblazer was millions of dollars over budget, behind schedule, possibly illegal, and a serious threat to privacy. In response, federal prosecutors charged Drake with 10 felony counts, including retaining classified documents and making false statements. He faced up to 35 years in prison—despite the fact that all of the information Drake was alleged to have leaked was not only unclassified and already in the public domain but in fact had been placed there by NSA and Pentagon officials themselves. (As a longtime chronicler of the NSA, I served as a consultant for Drake’s defense team. The investigation went on for four years, after which Drake received no jail time or fine. The judge, Richard D. Bennett, excoriated the prosecutor and NSA officials for dragging their feet. “I find that unconscionable. Unconscionable,” he said during a hearing in 2011. “That’s four years of hell that a citizen goes through. It was not proper. It doesn’t pass the smell test.”)”
“In May, work began on a $3.2 billion facility housed at Fort Meade in Maryland. Known as Site M, the 227-acre complex includes its own 150-megawatt power substation, 14 administrative buildings, 10 parking garages, and chiller and boiler plants. The server building will have 90,000 square feet of raised floor—handy for supercomputers—yet hold only 50 people. Meanwhile, the 531,000-square-foot operations center will house more than 1,300 people. In all, the buildings will have a footprint of 1.8 million square feet. Even more ambitious plans, known as Phase II and III, are on the drawing board. Stretching over the next 16 years, they would quadruple the footprint to 5.8 million square feet, enough for nearly 60 buildings and 40 parking garages, costing $5.2 billion and accommodating 11,000 more cyberwarriors.”
“What’s good for Alexander is good for the fortunes of the cyber-industrial complex, a burgeoning sector made up of many of the same defense contractors who grew rich supplying the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. With those conflicts now mostly in the rearview mirror, they are looking to Alexander as a kind of savior. After all, the US spends about $30 billion annually on cybersecurity goods and services.
In the past few years, the contractors have embarked on their own cyber building binge parallel to the construction boom at Fort Meade: General Dynamics opened a 28,000-square-foot facility near the NSA; SAIC cut the ribbon on its new seven-story Cyber Innovation Center; the giant CSC unveiled its Virtual Cyber Security Center. And at consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, where former NSA director Mike McConnell was hired to lead the cyber effort, the company announced a “cyber-solutions network” that linked together nine cyber-focused facilities. Not to be outdone, Boeing built a new Cyber Engagement Center. Leaving nothing to chance, it also hired retired Army major general Barbara Fast, an old friend of Alexander’s, to run the operation. (She has since moved on.)”
“One of the most secretive of these contractors is Endgame Systems, a startup backed by VCs including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Paladin Capital Group. Established in Atlanta in 2008, Endgame is transparently antitransparent. “We’ve been very careful not to have a public face on our company,” former vice president John M. Farrell wrote to a business associate in an email that appeared in a WikiLeaks dump. “We don’t ever want to see our name in a press release,” added founder Christopher Rouland. True to form, the company declined Wired’s interview requests.
Perhaps for good reason: According to news reports, Endgame is developing ways to break into Internet-connected devices through chinks in their antivirus armor. Like safecrackers listening to the click of tumblers through a stethoscope, the “vulnerability researchers” use an extensive array of digital tools to search for hidden weaknesses in commonly used programs and systems, such as Windows and Internet Explorer. And since no one else has ever discovered these unseen cracks, the manufacturers have never developed patches for them.
Thus, in the parlance of the trade, these vulnerabilities are known as “zero-day exploits,” because it has been zero days since they have been uncovered and fixed. They are the Achilles’ heel of the security business, says a former senior intelligence official involved with cyberwarfare. Those seeking to break into networks and computers are willing to pay millions of dollars to obtain them.
According to Defense News’ C4ISR Journal and Bloomberg Businessweek, Endgame also offers its intelligence clients—agencies like Cyber Command, the NSA, the CIA, and British intelligence—a unique map showing them exactly where their targets are located. Dubbed Bonesaw, the map displays the geolocation and digital address of basically every device connected to the Internet around the world, providing what’s called network situational awareness.
The client locates a region on the password-protected web-based map, then picks a country and city— say, Beijing, China. Next the client types in the name of the target organization, such as the Ministry of Public Security’s No. 3 Research Institute, which is responsible for computer security—or simply enters its address, 6 Zhengyi Road. The map will then display what software is running on the computers inside the facility, what types of malware some may contain, and a menu of custom-designed exploits that can be used to secretly gain entry. It can also pinpoint those devices infected with malware, such as the Conficker worm, as well as networks turned into botnets and zombies— the equivalent of a back door left open.
Bonesaw also contains targeting data on US allies, and it is soon to be upgraded with a new version codenamed Velocity, according to C4ISR Journal. It will allow Endgame’s clients to observe in real time as hardware and software connected to the Internet around the world is added, removed, or changed. But such access doesn’t come cheap. One leaked report indicated that annual subscriptions could run as high as $2.5 million for 25 zero-day exploits.
The buying and using of such a subscription by nation-states could be seen as an act of war. “If you are engaged in reconnaissance on an adversary’s systems, you are laying the electronic battlefield and preparing to use it,” wrote Mike Jacobs, a former NSA director for information assurance, in a McAfee report on cyberwarfare. “In my opinion, these activities constitute acts of war, or at least a prelude to future acts of war.” The question is, who else is on the secretive company’s client list? Because there is as of yet no oversight or regulation of the cyberweapons trade, companies in the cyber-industrial complex are free to sell to whomever they wish. “It should be illegal,” says the former senior intelligence official involved in cyberwarfare. “I knew about Endgame when I was in intelligence. The intelligence community didn’t like it, but they’re the largest consumer of that business.”
Thus, in their willingness to pay top dollar for more and better zero-day exploits, the spy agencies are helping drive a lucrative, dangerous, and unregulated cyber arms race, one that has developed its own gray and black markets. The companies trading in this arena can sell their wares to the highest bidder—be they frontmen for criminal hacking groups or terrorist organizations or countries that bankroll terrorists, such as Iran. Ironically, having helped create the market in zero-day exploits and then having launched the world into the era of cyberwar, Alexander now says the possibility of zero-day exploits falling into the wrong hands is his “greatest worry.”
Doesn’t that make you feel very safe?
And this is ONLY the US side of things. You have the same picture with more or less the same problems in Europe and the rest of these western countries.
Just one example here from UK – the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/jun/21/gchq-cables-secret-world-communications-nsa
“Britain’s spy agency GCHQ has secretly gained access to the network of cables which carry the world’s phone calls and internet traffic and has started to process vast streams of sensitive personal information which it is sharing with its American partner, the National Security Agency (NSA).
The sheer scale of the agency’s ambition is reflected in the titles of its two principal components: Mastering the Internet and Global Telecoms Exploitation, aimed at scooping up as much online and telephone traffic as possible. This is all being carried out without any form of public acknowledgement or debate.
One key innovation has been GCHQ’s ability to tap into and store huge volumes of data drawn from fibre-optic cables for up to 30 days so that it can be sifted and analysed. That operation, codenamed Tempora, has been running for some 18 months.”
“Each of the cables carries data at a rate of 10 gigabits per second, so the tapped cables had the capacity, in theory, to deliver more than 21 petabytes a day – equivalent to sending all the information in all the books in the British Library 192 times every 24 hours.
And the scale of the programme is constantly increasing as more cables are tapped and GCHQ data storage facilities in the UK and abroad are expanded with the aim of processing terabits (thousands of gigabits) of data at a time.
For the 2 billion users of the world wide web, Tempora represents a window on to their everyday lives, sucking up every form of communication from the fibre-optic cables that ring the world.”
The NSA has meanwhile opened a second window, in the form of the Prism operation, revealed earlier this month by the Guardian, from which it secured access to the internal systems of global companies that service the internet.
The GCHQ mass tapping operation has been built up over five years by attaching intercept probes to transatlantic fibre-optic cables where they land on British shores carrying data to western Europe from telephone exchanges and internet servers in north America.
This was done under secret agreements with commercial companies, described in one document as ”intercept partners”.
Sum total: you have an enormous amount of people involved in this TOTAL MASS SURVELIANCE. ALL with access to OUR whole electronic and internet life.
George Orwell’s famous book 1984 is like a mild kindergarten heaven compared to what IS REALLY GOING ON in western “democracies”.
And last, never forget that nearly ALL the equipment and software used by brutal dictators all over the world to bring death and misery to their people, was sold by US and European companies. Why? Because they are “the best” at it.
Sounds very “reassuring” don’t it?
These companies installed, trained their personal and maintained this equipment helping these brutal dictators accomplish their goals.
“In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt
”We must plan for freedom, and not only for security, if for no other reason than only freedom can make security more secure.”
The even more sorry state of “journalism” in USA:
“And this is nothing new. We have seen so many different examples of this betrayal of journalist in their role as journalist. In this blog, I have given many examples when it comes to the Global Warming Hysteria.
Where the “journalists” and the mainstream media ACTIVELY choose to become propagandists and his master’s voice. Even worse, they ACTIVELY became attack dogs and tried to suppress and oppress EVERY dissenting voice and protest.
This is the ultimate betrayal of ALL what journalism is supposed to be. And the role they are supposed to play in a “free society”. Goebbels, and Ilya Ehrenburg (his soviet counterpart), would be REALLY PROUD of these men and women!”
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
The sorry state of the Euro, EU and our “dear” politicians:
“Or this is why the Euro is doomed. And after that EU – Yes we have NO Money.
On Saturday November 17, police officers from all over Spain marched through Madrid, protesting austerity measures and cuts. They even apologized to the public for arresting the wrong people. One of the slogans was:
”Citizens! Forgive us for not arresting those truly responsible for this crisis: bankers and politicians.”
The whole economic and political crisis in EU and USA summarized in one simple sentence.
It complements what I wrote in my post EU a stupid empire on purpose:
“This is one of the best and succinct descriptions of EU I have seen:
“The European Union is like a hospital where all the doctors are mad. It doesn’t matter what is wrong, the treatment is always the same – more integration – and it is always wrong. The best thing to do is never to enter it.
Once you are in, the best thing to do is to leave. If you can’t get out, you will probably die.”
I disagree with one thing this author says: “EU is the Stupid Empire”. EU is a POLITICAL project. The Euro is part of that political project.
A lot of EU’s decisions make no economic sense whatsoever. In that regard, Peter Hitchens observation that “EU is the Stupid Empire” is completely right. Not to mention the enormous cost to the common people of all these political motivated but economically disastrous decisions.
The economic side was always a way to “sell it to the people”. Step by step. So that the political agenda could be slowly, but steadily implemented. Until it was too late. The political elites new ALL along that had the EU project been presented to the people for what it really is, people in ALL countries would have rejected it.
BUT EU was on purpose designed this way. So that the people could not stop this political project.
Never forget that ALL the political elites, irrespective of party or ideology, in the EU countries were behind this. With very few exceptions.”
The EU bureaucrats and the political elites always fall back, when they have nothing else to say in defence of the EU, that this is a “peace project”. Well this “peace project” has now created social havoc, riots, and put country against country, and groups of countries against group of countries.
Tearing apart the EU at it’s seems. And ALL of this because they, the political elites, literally AT ALL COST want to preserve the POLITICAL project euro. Which is the cornerstone of the federal super state of Europe.
As I have said before, this has nothing to do with economics; it’s ALL about politics,
And that is why so many people still don’t understand what is going on. Because from an economical point these policies are total madness. Ruining and lowering the living standard of most people. And the political elites know this. But the political project is MORE important.
Then there is Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Cyprus, France….
Just start adding up the GIGANTIC NUMBERS and be utterly horrified!
This is the situation that politicians and the banks have put the common people of Europe in.
They are literally ruining us all. And WE have to pay the price of their folly and speculations.
One more slogan from the protests – They are the same.”
”Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.”
More on the sorry state of the Euro, EU and our “dear” politicians:
“EU, the politicians and the bankers have shown by their action, and inaction, that they effectively have canceled the social contract with their own citizen.
That unspoken implicit contract between citizens and their rulers that is the backbone of a democratic society.
If you try very, very hard, it is still very difficult to underestimate the seriousness of what happened. This is a game changer. Most people, politicians and “journalist” has still not understood the seriousness and graveness of what happened on a local, national and international level There is so much that was broken ON PURPOSE, including the rule of Law. And the very foundation of the modern financial and banking system.
Which these measures where supposed to protect.
Now anything and everything can and might be done. Whatever boundaries that existed have been breached. There is no Law, no fences and no limits. Pandora’s Box has been opened.
To put it in perspective, this quote from January 18 2008 from Jean-Claude Trichet, the president of the European Central Bank (2003 to 2011):
“For a small, open economy like Cyprus, Euro adoption provides protection from international financial turmoil.”
No comment whatsoever is need. Read it again and ponder the arrogance and irony of it.
And this quote from Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Junker. He was also the president of the Eurogroup council of euro-zone finance ministers from 2005 to 2013. In that position, he bears primary responsibility for communicating the euro-zone’s financial and economic posture:
“So why the lie?
I was told to say there was no meeting,” said Mr. Schuller (the spokesman for Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker), reached by telephone Monday. “We had certain necessities to consider.”
Evening in Europe is midday in the United States. “We had Wall Street open at that point in time,” Mr. Schuller said. The euro was falling on the Spiegel report, which had overhyped the meeting. “There was a very good reason to deny that the meeting was taking place.” It was, he said, “self-preservation.”
Asked whether such deliberate misinformation would undermine the market’s confidence in future euro-zone pronouncements, Mr. Schuller, lamenting that the market had practically no confidence in pronouncements already, said “not at all.”
“The Web site EUobserver has video of Mr. Juncker, at a conference on economic governance in April, expounding on the practice and reasons for lying in financial and economic communications.
On the tape, Mr. Juncker says he has “had to lie” and, speaking about touchy economic topics, “When it becomes serious, you have to lie.”
And Jérôme Cahuzac, the Socialist budget minister in France, who had been tasked with battling tax fraud. Who just had to resign because he had an ”undisclosed” Swiss bank account. Minister in charge of battling tax fraud… resigns for having a secret Swiss account. Let that sink in for a bit.
French minister tasked with battling tax fraud accused of having Swiss bank account
And IMF chief Christine Lagarde (part of the Troika) she have held various ministerial posts in the French government, she was among things Minister of Economic Affairs, Finances and Industry
“French police raid IMF chief Christine Lagarde’s flat in Bernard Tapie probe
French authorities have searched the Paris flat of IMF chief Christine Lagarde as part of an investigation into her handling of a 2008 compensation payment to a businessman supporter of ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy, her lawyer said.
Police are investigating claims that Lagarde, when French Finance Minister under Nicolas Sarkozy, acted illegally in approving the €285m arbitration payout to Bernard Tapie.”
French police raid IMF chief Christine Lagarde’s flat in Bernard Tapie probe
Both prime examples of the political class wouldn’t you say?
Also, remember that the Cyprus banks went trough the ECB new and “stringent” “stress test” 18 months ago with flying colors.
NO PROBLEM THERE!
These people REALLY know what they are doing don’t you agree?
There you have the setting. Remember, these people decide your fate and can take your money if they want as has been shown in Cyprus.
So let’s start with some of the points and facts:
1. Let’s start by saying that this “crisis” was known at least two years before it “happened”. And EVERYONE that should, know about it. And they DID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about it.
On the contrary – they even managed to worsen it. Not small feet for our dear politicians and bankers.
The “troika” didn’t want to do anything until after the Italian election. Which didn’t go the way the EU bureaucrats wanted. In addition, since the Cyprus communist president from AKEL didn’t want to do anything to be the one that started “tightening of the belt”, the Troika decided to wait after the Cyprus election on February 17 and 24 this year.
Now the Troikas “man” Nicos Anastasiades was in power. And now the negotiations started.
In the meantime, what was originally a €6 billion bailout in the summer of 2012 was 8 months later a €18 billion bailout. Thanks to EU and IMF doing nothing.
Doing nothing, a favorite political “pastime”, has serious consequences, cost REAL money and effects REAL people in the REAL world.”
”It is incredible how as soon as a people becomes subject, it promptly falls into such complete forgetfulness of its freedom that it can hardly be roused to the point of regaining it, obeying so easily and so willingly that one is led to say … that this people has not so much lost its liberty as won its enslavement.”
Etienne de la Boetie’s The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude.
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