Fishy stuff going on all around the world re: airplanes. #TheStorm
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One of the many pressing stories that remains to be told from the Snowden archive is how western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction. It’s time to tell a chunk of that story, complete with the relevant documents.
Over the last several weeks, I worked with NBC News to publish a series of articles about “dirty trick” tactics used by GCHQ’s previously secret unit, JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group). These were based on fourclassifiedGCHQdocuments presented to the NSA and the other three partners in the English-speaking “Five Eyes” alliance. Today, we at the Intercept are publishing another new JTRIG document, in full, entitled “The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations.”
By publishing these stories one by one, our NBC reporting highlighted some of the key, discrete revelations: the monitoring of YouTube and Blogger, the targeting of Anonymous with the very same DDoS attacks they accuse “hacktivists” of using, the use of “honey traps” (luring people into compromising situations using sex) and destructive viruses. But, here, I want to focus and elaborate on the overarching point revealed by all of these documents: namely, that these agencies are attempting to control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse, and in doing so, are compromising the integrity of the internet itself.
Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums. Here is one illustrative list of tactics from the latest GCHQ document we’re publishing today:
Other tactics aimed at individuals are listed here, under the revealing title “discredit a target”:
Then there are the tactics used to destroy companies the agency targets:
GCHQ describes the purpose of JTRIG in starkly clear terms: “using online techniques to make something happen in the real or cyber world,” including “information ops (influence or disruption).”
Critically, the “targets” for this deceit and reputation-destruction extend far beyond the customary roster of normal spycraft: hostile nations and their leaders, military agencies, and intelligence services. In fact, the discussion of many of these techniques occurs in the context of using them in lieu of “traditional law enforcement” against people suspected (but not charged or convicted) of ordinary crimes or, more broadly still, “hacktivism”, meaning those who use online protest activity for political ends.
The title page of one of these documents reflects the agency’s own awareness that it is “pushing the boundaries” by using “cyber offensive” techniques against people who have nothing to do with terrorism or national security threats, and indeed, centrally involves law enforcement agents who investigate ordinary crimes:
No matter your views on Anonymous, “hacktivists” or garden-variety criminals, it is not difficult to see how dangerous it is to have secret government agencies being able to target any individuals they want – who have never been charged with, let alone convicted of, any crimes – with these sorts of online, deception-based tactics of reputation destruction and disruption. There is a strong argument to make, as Jay Leiderman demonstrated in the Guardian in the context of the Paypal 14 hacktivist persecution, that the “denial of service” tactics used by hacktivists result in (at most) trivial damage (far less than the cyber-warfare tactics favored by the US and UK) and are far more akin to the type of political protest protected by the First Amendment.
The broader point is that, far beyond hacktivists, these surveillance agencies have vested themselves with the power to deliberately ruin people’s reputations and disrupt their online political activity even though they’ve been charged with no crimes, and even though their actions have no conceivable connection to terrorism or even national security threats. As Anonymous expert Gabriella Coleman of McGill University told me, “targeting Anonymous and hacktivists amounts to targeting citizens for expressing their political beliefs, resulting in the stifling of legitimate dissent.” Pointing to this study she published, Professor Coleman vehemently contested the assertion that “there is anything terrorist/violent in their actions.”
Government plans to monitor and influence internet communications, and covertly infiltrate online communities in order to sow dissension and disseminate false information, have long been the source of speculation. Harvard Law Professor Cass Sunstein, a close Obama adviser and the White House’s former head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, wrote a controversial paper in 2008 proposing that the US government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-”independent” advocates to “cognitively infiltrate” online groups and websites, as well as other activist groups.
Sunstein also proposed sending covert agents into “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups” which spread what he views as false and damaging “conspiracy theories” about the government. Ironically, the very same Sunstein was recently named by Obama to serve as a member of the NSA review panel created by the White House, one that – while disputing key NSA claims – proceeded to propose many cosmetic reforms to the agency’s powers (most of which were ignored by the President who appointed them).
But these GCHQ documents are the first to prove that a major western government is using some of the most controversial techniques to disseminate deception online and harm the reputations of targets. Under the tactics they use, the state is deliberately spreading lies on the internet about whichever individuals it targets, including the use of what GCHQ itself calls “false flag operations” and emails to people’s families and friends. Who would possibly trust a government to exercise these powers at all, let alone do so in secret, with virtually no oversight, and outside of any cognizable legal framework?
Then there is the use of psychology and other social sciences to not only understand, but shape and control, how online activism and discourse unfolds. Today’s newly published document touts the work of GCHQ’s “Human Science Operations Cell,” devoted to “online human intelligence” and “strategic influence and disruption”:
Under the title “Online Covert Action”, the document details a variety of means to engage in “influence and info ops” as well as “disruption and computer net attack,” while dissecting how human beings can be manipulated using “leaders,” “trust,” “obedience” and “compliance”:
The documents lay out theories of how humans interact with one another, particularly online, and then attempt to identify ways to influence the outcomes – or “game” it:
We submitted numerous questions to GCHQ, including: (1) Does GCHQ in fact engage in “false flag operations” where material is posted to the Internet and falsely attributed to someone else?; (2) Does GCHQ engage in efforts to influence or manipulate political discourse online?; and (3) Does GCHQ’s mandate include targeting common criminals (such as boiler room operators), or only foreign threats?
As usual, they ignored those questions and opted instead to send their vague and nonresponsive boilerplate: “It is a longstanding policy that we do not comment on intelligence matters. Furthermore, all of GCHQ’s work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework which ensures that our activities are authorised, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight, including from the Secretary of State, the Interception and Intelligence Services Commissioners and the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee. All our operational processes rigorously support this position.”
These agencies’ refusal to “comment on intelligence matters” – meaning: talk at all about anything and everything they do – is precisely why whistleblowing is so urgent, the journalism that supports it so clearly in the public interest, and the increasingly unhinged attacks by these agencies so easy to understand. Claims that government agencies are infiltrating online communities and engaging in “false flag operations” to discredit targets are often dismissed as conspiracy theories, but these documents leave no doubt they are doing precisely that.
Whatever else is true, no government should be able to engage in these tactics: what justification is there for having government agencies target people – who have been charged with no crime – for reputation-destruction, infiltrate online political communities, and develop techniques for manipulating online discourse? But to allow those actions with no public knowledge or accountability is particularly unjustifiable.
Documents referenced in this article:
In the first hour, UFO researcher and experiencer Darryl Anka discussed two UFO sightings that he says led to his channeling of the extraterrestrial entity known as ‘’Bashar.” Investigative reporter Linda Moulton Howe of Earthfiles discussed the release of JFK records. She described the background of the CIA head Allen Dulles, who was fired by Kennedy in November of 1961. She said that Dulles was also the head of the secretive MJ-12 group, which reportedly had control of all UFO information, including public disinformation as well as back-engineering of captured alien technology.
Coast To Coast AM – November 21, 2017 UFOs & JFK with Linda Moulton Howe
While we’ve carefully documented the dynamics in play behind Trump’s decision to end the CIA’s covert Syria program, as well as the corresponding fury this immediately unleashed among the usual hawkish DC policy wonks, new information on what specifically impacted the president’s thinking has emerged.
Thomas Joscelyn, a Middle East analyst for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, explains in the August edition of The Weekly Standard:
Earlier this year, President Donald Trump was shown a disturbing video of Syrian rebels beheading a child near the city of Aleppo. It had caused a minor stir in the press as the fighters belonged to the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement, a group that had been supported by the CIA as part of its rebel aid program.
The footage is haunting. Five bearded men smirk as they surround a boy in the back of a pickup truck. One of them holds the boy’s head with a tight grip on his hair while another mockingly slaps his face. Then, one of them uses a knife to saw the child’s head off and holds it up in the air like a trophy. It is a scene reminiscent of the Islamic State’s snuff videos, except this wasn’t the work of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s men. The murderers were supposed to be the good guys: our allies.
Trump pressed his most senior intelligence advisers, asking the basic question of how the CIA could have a relationship with a group that beheads a child and then uploads the video to the internet. He wasn’t satisfied with any of the responses:
Trump wanted to know why the United States had backed Zenki if its members are extremists. The issue was discussed at length with senior intelligence officials, and no good answers were forthcoming, according to people familiar with the conversations. After learning more worrisome details about the CIA’s ghost war in Syria—including that U.S.-backed rebels had often fought alongside extremists, among them al Qaeda’s arm in the country—the president decided to end the program altogether.
At the time the beheading video surfaced (July 2016), many in the American public naturally wanted answers, but the story never really picked up much momentum in the media. As Joscelyn describes, it caused nothing more than “a minor stir in the press.” The State Department seemed merely satisfied that the group responsible, Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki, claimed to have arrested the men that committed the gruesome crime, though nothing more was known. Absurdly, a US government spokesperson expressed hope that the child-beheading group would “comply with obligations under the law of armed conflict.”
The only press agencies that publicly and consistently challenged the State Department at the time were RT News and the Associated Press, yet even these attempts didn’t get picked up beyond the confines of the State Department’s daily briefing. When the AP’s Matt Lee initially questioned spokesman Mark Toner as to whether Zenki would continue to receive any level of US assistance, Toner casually replied “it would give us pause” – which left Lee taken aback.
Meanwhile, it wasn’t just the US government which had aided Zenki, but as fighting in Aleppo raged it became a favored group among both the mainstream media and prominent think tank pundits. One of the UK’s major broadcasters (Channel 4) even went so far as to attempt to delete and hide its prior online content which sought to normalize the beheaders as “moderate” and heroic once news of the video got out.
Among think tankers, Zenki’s most prominent public supporter, frequently presenting the terror group as actually representative of Syria’s “secular” and supposedly democracy-promoting armed opposition (even after the beheading video emerged), was Charles Lister. Lister was finally confronted not by mainstream media, but by AlterNet’s Max Blumenthal at a DC event held by the (largely Gulf funded) Atlantic Council.
Only by the time of this January 2017 public forum, and after being persistently questioned, did Lister awkwardly back off his previous enthusiastic promotion of Zenki:
We can imagine that Trump saw other things beyond the shocking Zenki beheading video which made him fully realize the utter criminality of the CIA program (Thomas Joscelyn further emphasizes that Trump came to understand the full scope of CIA cooperation with al-Qaeda in Syria).
The only question that remains is who in the CIA or Obama-era State Department should be prosecuted first?
Note: Synthetic humans, is there evidence this technology is real? Good question. From my unique room with a view, this is outstanding sleuthing on behalf of AC, eye opening indeed. I first heard of synthetic humans from a Project Camelot whistleblower back in 2010-11’ish. It appears Hollywood and Washington DC have been utilizing this technology extensively for some time now. Very interesting clips showing a pattern of fainting at presidential political rally’s and the reaction from the podium is virtually identical with almost every incident.
I’ve fainted a couple of times at the sight of blood and it looked nothing like that, it was always a ‘somewhat’ smooth, quick collapse to the ground. Nothing jerky, no stumbling and the ability to grasp objects slipped out of my hands. Afterward it took at least a few minutes to come back to full consciousness and functionality. Injoy!
Wendy Williams only JOINED “FAINT CLUB” (she didn’t START it). I’ve compiled over 200 examples of PEOPLE FAINTING for REAL, and this is Part 1 Of at least a 2-part series on this bizarre subject…. It gets weird, though. It’s okay if you don’t feel compelled to look too deeply into this one, as it is the darkest part of what has been done to the most influential people throughout time by the evil faction I like to call the “Quantum Infiltration.”
CHECK OUT MY FRIEND MANDELA EFFECT COMEDY’s YouTube channel!! Link: https://www.youtube.com/user/influent… Also check out my friend youlittlerocket’s video on Dr. Peter Beter: https://youtu.be/nc0m5UMPwtU
Thank you for watchin’, and ❤️ MUCH LOVE TO YOU! ❤️ As always, feel Free to LIKE, COMMENT, SUBSCRIBE & SHARE! Want more AC? Become a Patreon Supporter toady & get EXCLUSIVE ACCESS to BONUS FOOTAGE, VIP LIVE CASTS & MORE! http://patreon.com/affectedcollective
The House of Saud is in crisis as MBS consolidates his hold on the kingdom and prepares to transform Saudi Arabia in his image. But what is behind the purge, and how does it relate to the future of the world monetary system. Join James for a classic Corbett Report debriefing on the Saudi purge and the rise of the petroyuan.
SHOW NOTES AND MP3: https://www.corbettreport.com/?p=25008
Note: Aside from agenda based problem-reaction-solution memes, from my observations False Flag events serve two main purposes…they’re enormous energy harvesting events, the time people invest into ‘sleuthing like Sherlock’ is incredible. They also harvest emotions like anger, fear, frustration and a feeling of powerlessness. Additionally, they’re a diversion – there’s always something else more important happening in left field ‘they’ don’t want us to see.
In addition to Melissa and Aarons feedback, the coup in Saudi Arabia and the Uranium One scandal are huge…
Please help support us on Patreon, read our goals here: https://www.patreon.com/truthstreammedia Truthstream Can Be Found Here: Website: http://TruthstreamMedia.com Minds: @InformedDissent (Join here! https://tinyurl.com/y8voad27 … we’re going to dump Facebook soon.) FB: http://Facebook.com/TruthstreamMedia Twitter: @TruthstreamNews DONATE: http://bit.ly/2aTBeeF Amazon Affiliate Link (help support TSM with every Amazon purchase, no cost to you!): http://amzn.to/2aTARRx Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bbxcWX ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.
Note: There appears to be a lot of movement and shifting behind the Wizards Curtain, lets hope these Tweets are from a credible source – time will tell.
Fyi…The title isn’t mine, it’s the video producer. If the Tweets are true, this is definitely one of the most important posts yet….
The FBI has finally released the documents that it seized from Nikola Tesla in 1943. The FBI’s actions regarding seizing Tesla’s intellectual property after his death have long been a source of resentment, especially for those interested in his legacy and scientific contributions. It is true that the FBI seized his personal belongings, but it’s not well known that these items were shipped to Belgrade in 1952 under mounting pressure from Tesla’s nephew, Sava Kosanović. In total, Tesla’s belongings fit into 80 trunks that were shipped to Belgrade at that time. Those items are now found in The Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade and it houses the largest collection of Tesla’s personal belongings. Part of the outrage concerning the FBI seizing Tesla’s property upon his death was the fact that Tesla was a US citizen. So the fact that the Office of Alien Property was the division that carried out this order makes this seizure one that many viewed with suspicion. Also, it was perfect fodder for conspiracy theorists. What’s not clear, though, is whether the FBI handed over absolutely everything to Tesla’s nephew. Well, it looks like you can now wade through all the documents yourself now to find the missing puzzle pieces. https://steemit.com/nikola-tesla/@ste…
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Note: This is one of the strangest health story’s to surface in quite some time. Was this guy being mind controlled, or is he simply a psychopath? This is a twisted affair which is still shrouded in mystery.
That said, there’s nothing to fear. “IF” – big if – the Black Plague spreads, or if you need to travel to Africa simply stock up on Thieves Oil. It was used by thieves during the Black Plague to avoid contracting the disease while they robbed the dead and dying. When questioned by a judge about how they avoided catching the plague, testimony revealed they wore scarves doused with Thieves Oil over their nose and mouth, which apparently prevented transmission and boosted immune function. Strange times indeed, be safe…blessings!
(C)2017 http://www.POTRBLOG.com Is Virulent Black Death Outbreak Tied To Admitted Gay Fetish-Murder Triangle Plague Researcher? The highly unusual outbreak of airborne Pneumonic Plague in Madagascar may be manmade and of higher threat to humanity than might otherwise be expected. In an August tweet the PORTBLOG team warned about the potential for an outbreak of Pneumonic Plague tied to the arrest one of the world’s top Pneumonic Plague researcher’s as the mastermind behind a truly bizarre gay fetish murder triangle. Fast forward two months, and a highly unusual Pneumonic Plague outbreak is underway in Madagascar, and it has been declared at risk of spreading internationally via air travel.
Here is what we know about the guy who might be behind this unusual outbreak:
(1) He admitted he recently traveled to Madagascar
(2) He was appointed to lead Pneumonic Plague research at the Pasteur Institute in Paris
(3) French Authorities strangely killed his security clearance to handle BioWeapons
(4) He returned to the USA and apparently masterminded a Fetish Murder Ritual with a stranger to murder multiple people, including himself and his coconspirator.
(5) His apparent profile fits the type of person who would engage in a Bioterror murder.
(6) He researched and engineered virulent forms of airborne Plague bacteria in his lab
(7) The time frame is right for him to have seeded Pneumonic Plague in Madagascar (8) A highly unusually airborne outbreak of Pneumonic Plague has occurred in Madagascar
(9) Since his arrest Wyndham Lathem admitted that: ‘he’s not the person people thought he was’. None of this proves that Wyndham Lathem is behind the outbreak, but it is coincidence enough that prudent persons might make preparations for a Global outbreak much like the World Bank just did yesterday (10/24).
Source info at http://pissinontheroses.blogspot.com/…
Former Assistant HUD Secretary and Wall Street Investment Banker, Catherine Austin Fitts of the Solari Report, has recently provided compelling evidence that $21 trillion US Dollars was created out of thin air and then stolen by the DOD/Pentagon. That’s $65,000 for every American! Do you believe her? Where do you think the money was spent? 1) https://solari.com/blog/dod-and-hud-m… 2) https://missingmoney.solari.com/ Jason Burack of Wall St for Main St forget to mention during his X22 Report Spotlight Interview on Wednesday that $6.5 Trillion US Dollars was unaccounted for according to a Reuters report last year in August 2016 http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08…. Jason’s X22 Report Spotlight Interview released yesterday: https://youtu.be/DhfoPUoDOGs But, that $6.5 trillion number is tiny (but still massive overall) compared to the new number Catherine Austin Fitts claims was created out of thin air and then stolen. Catherine Austin Fitts speaks to Alex Jones on Infowars about the $21 trillion https://youtu.be/nhwVMlDVJII Please visit the Wall St for Main St website here: http://www.wallstformainst.com/
UFO Seekers received unending questions about Tom DeLonge’s supposed UFO Investigation Company, To the Stars Academy. George Knapp announced that that Tom DeLonge’s brand new company was completed dedicated to researching and investigating UFOs which sent the UFO community into an uproar. We decided to source the George Knapp story, yet could not find any evidence whatsoever to back up Knapp’s announcement made on TV. We also received questions about investing in To The Stars Academy, so we dig into the SEC Filings and financials. What we find, is crazy!
To The Stars Academy SEC FILING: https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/da…
CORPORATION WIKI: https://www.corporationwiki.com/Calif…
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In a rush this week, we have Ole Dammegard back to break down the latest tragedy, the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting. Of course, because of Ole’s continued work dissecting false flags and terror events, he is one of the first to recognize elements at play that seem to follow the same template – a template that suggests these are highly planned and coordinated events, rather than the work of random, unmotivated, lone attackers. Our deepest sympathies to anyone who has experienced pain and loss due to such an event. To me, digging deeper into things that seem suspicious and inconsistent with media reports, is the best and most honorable thing we can do, short of going back in time. I know if I died in one of these situations, the last thing I’d want is for it to be a false flag situation that isn’t properly investigated. That said, what you’re getting here is a conversation about elements that don’t seem to add up, or contain strange symbolism/foreshadowing. We also discuss the major alternative theories and motivations. This is largely a synthesis of what we’re seeing so far, all alleged, and not everything can be fully vetted at this time. All we can do is examine it, and try our best to seek the truth. This isn’t fear porn. This isn’t capitalizing on a tragedy. Ole’s website: https://www.lightonconspiracies.com/
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‘Surveillance is the business model of the internet,’ Berkman and Belfer fellow says
In the internet era, consumers seem increasingly resigned to giving up fundamental aspects of their privacy for convenience in using their phones and computers, and have grudgingly accepted that being monitored by corporations and even governments is just a fact of modern life.
In fact, internet users in the United States have fewer privacy protections than those in other countries. In April, Congress voted to allow internet service providers to collect and sell their customers’ browsing data. By contrast, the European Union hit Google this summer with a $2.7 billion antitrust fine.
To assess the internet landscape, the Gazette interviewed cybersecurity expert Bruce Schneier, a fellow with the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society and the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School. Schneier talked about government and corporate surveillance, and about what concerned users can do to protect their privacy.
GAZETTE: After whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations concerning the National Security Agency’s (NSA) mass surveillance operation in 2013, how much has the government landscape in this field changed?
SCHNEIER: Snowden’s revelations made people aware of what was happening, but little changed as a result. The USA Freedom Act resulted in some minor changes in one particular government data-collection program. The NSA’s data collection hasn’t changed; the laws limiting what the NSA can do haven’t changed; the technology that permits them to do it hasn’t changed. It’s pretty much the same.
GAZETTE: Should consumers be alarmed by this?
SCHNEIER: People should be alarmed, both as consumers and as citizens. But today, what we care about is very dependent on what is in the news at the moment, and right now surveillance is not in the news. It was not an issue in the 2016 election, and by and large isn’t something that legislators are willing to make a stand on. Snowden told his story, Congress passed a new law in response, and people moved on.
GAZETTE: What about corporate surveillance? How pervasive is it?
SCHNEIER: Surveillance is the business model of the internet. Everyone is under constant surveillance by many companies, ranging from social networks like Facebook to cellphone providers. This data is collected, compiled, analyzed, and used to try to sell us stuff. Personalized advertising is how these companies make money, and is why so much of the internet is free to users. We’re the product, not the customer.
GAZETTE: Should they be stopped?
SCHNEIER: That’s a philosophical question. Personally, I think that in many cases the answer is yes. It’s a question of how much manipulation we allow in our society. Right now, the answer is basically anything goes. It wasn’t always this way. In the 1970s, Congress passed a law to make a particular form of subliminal advertising illegal because it was believed to be morally wrong. That advertising technique is child’s play compared to the kind of personalized manipulation that companies do today. The legal question is whether this kind of cyber-manipulation is an unfair and deceptive business practice, and, if so, can the Federal Trade Commission step in and prohibit a lot of these practices.
GAZETTE: Why doesn’t the commission do that? Why is this intrusion happening, and nobody does anything about it?
SCHNEIER: We’re living in a world of low government effectiveness, and there the prevailing neo-liberal idea is that companies should be free to do what they want. Our system is optimized for companies that do everything that is legal to maximize profits, with little nod to morality. Shoshana Zuboff, professor at the Harvard Business School, invented the term “surveillance capitalism” to describe what’s happening. It’s very profitable, and it feeds off the natural property of computers to produce data about what they are doing. For example, cellphones need to know where everyone is so they can deliver phone calls. As a result, they are ubiquitous surveillance devices beyond the wildest dreams of Cold War East Germany.
GAZETTE: But Google and Facebook face more restrictions in Europe than in the United States. Why is that?
SCHNEIER: Europe has more stringent privacy regulations than the United States. In general, Americans tend to mistrust government and trust corporations. Europeans tend to trust government and mistrust corporations. The result is that there are more controls over government surveillance in the U.S. than in Europe. On the other hand, Europe constrains its corporations to a much greater degree than the U.S. does. U.S. law has a hands-off way of treating internet companies. Computerized systems, for example, are exempt from many normal product-liability laws. This was originally done out of the fear of stifling innovation.
“Google knows quite a lot about all of us. No one ever lies to a search engine. I used to say that Google knows more about me than my wife does, but that doesn’t go far enough. Google knows me even better, because Google has perfect memory in a way that people don’t.”
—Bruce Schneier,cybersecurity expert
GAZETTE: It seems that U.S. customers are resigned to the idea of giving up their privacy in exchange for using Google and Facebook for free. What’s your view on this?
SCHNEIER: The survey data is mixed. Consumers are concerned about their privacy and don’t like companies knowing their intimate secrets. But they feel powerless and are often resigned to the privacy invasions because they don’t have any real choice. People need to own credit cards, carry cellphones, and have email addresses and social media accounts. That’s what it takes to be a fully functioning human being in the early 21st century. This is why we need the government to step in.
GAZETTE: You’re one of the most well-known cybersecurity experts in the world. What do you do to protect your privacy online?
SCHNEIER: I don’t have any secret techniques. I do the same things everyone else does, and I make the same tradeoffs that everybody else does. I bank online. I shop online. I carry a cellphone, and it’s always turned on. I use credit cards and have airline frequent flier accounts. Perhaps the weirdest thing about my internet behavior is that I’m not on any social media platforms. That might make me a freak, but honestly it’s good for my productivity. In general, security experts aren’t paranoid; we just have a better understanding of the trade-offs we’re doing. Like everybody else, we regularly give up privacy for convenience. We just do it knowingly and consciously.
GAZETTE: What else do you do to protect your privacy online? Do you use encryption for your email?
SCHNEIER: I have come to the conclusion that email is fundamentally insecurable. If I want to have a secure online conversation, I use an encrypted chat application like Signal. By and large, email security is out of our control. For example, I don’t use Gmail because I don’t want Google having all my email. But last time I checked, Google has half of my email because you all use Gmail.
GAZETTE: What does Google know about you?
SCHNEIER: Google’s not saying because they know it would freak people out. But think about it, Google knows quite a lot about all of us. No one ever lies to a search engine. I used to say that Google knows more about me than my wife does, but that doesn’t go far enough. Google knows me even better, because Google has perfect memory in a way that people don’t.
GAZETTE: Is Google the “Big Brother?”
SCHNEIER: “Big Brother” in the Orwellian sense meant big government. That’s not Google, and that’s not even the NSA. What we have is many “Little Brothers”: Google, Facebook, Verizon, etc. They have enormous amounts of data on everybody, and they want to monetize it. They don’t want to respect your privacy.
GAZETTE: In your book “Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World,” you recommend a few strategies for people to protect their privacy online. Which one is the most effective?
SCHNEIER: Unfortunately, we live in a world where most of our data is out of our control. It’s in the cloud, stored by companies that may not have our best interests at heart. So, while there are technical strategies people can employ to protect their privacy, they’re mostly around the edges. The best recommendation I have for people is to get involved in the political process. The best thing we can do as consumers and citizens is to make this a political issue. Force our legislators to change the rules.
Opting out doesn’t work. It’s nonsense to tell people not to carry a credit card or not to have an email address. And “buyer beware” is putting too much onus on the individual. People don’t test their food for pathogens or their airlines for safety. The government does it. But the government has failed in protecting consumers from internet companies and social media giants. But this will come around. The only effective way to control big corporations is through big government. My hope is that technologists also get involved in the political process — in government, in think-tanks, universities, and so on. That’s where the real change will happen. I tend to be short-term pessimistic and long-term optimistic. I don’t think this will do society in. This is not the first time we’ve seen technological changes that threaten to undermine society, and it won’t be the last.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Welcome to New World Next Week — the video series from Corbett Report and Media Monarchy that covers some of the most important developments in open source intelligence news. In this week’s episode:
Story #1: Tweeters Blocked By Trump Sue, Claiming @RealDonaldTrump Is Public Forum
PDF: 25 Page Lawsuit By The Knight First Amendment Institute
Blocking Someone On Twitter Is Not A First Amendment Violation
Meet The People Who Battle To Be The Top Reply To A Trump Tweet
Replying To Trump Tweet A Strange Internet Experience You Should Try
First Reply To Trump Tweet Is Prime Media Space
Story #2: US Government on Verge of Reading Minds
PDF: “Predicting the Brain Activation Pattern Associated With the Propositional Content of a Sentence: Modeling Neural Representations of Events and States”
Top Silicon Valley Exec Developing Telepathic Mind Control Technology
Former Google[X] Exec Building High-Tech Hat To Make Telepathy Possible In 8 Years
DARPA Gives $65M to Brain Implant Program for Super Soldier Project
The Brain Chip Cometh
Story #3: Norway’s “Voluntary” Tax Plan Brings In Just $1,325
Max Igan – Surviving the Matrix – Episode 297 – American Voice Radio, June 16th, 2017 – http://thecrowhouse.com
Support The Crowhouse: https://www.patreon.com/maxigan?ty=h
Liz Crokin Interview
Wi-Fi routers typically sit in dusty corners of homes and offices, quietly transmitting internet accessibility to computers, tablets and phones in its immediate vicinity. However, these unpretentious devices are a goldmine for hackers – and were specifically targeted by the US Central Intelligence Agency, the latest Wikileaks release has revealed.
The release is the latest instalment of Wikileaks’ “Vault7” series, which the group has been drip-feeding to the public since March. Previous trickles have revealed CIA attempts to hack office computers, televisions and phones, among many other shock exposures.
This time, the documents contain detailed information on the CIA’s router hacking “toolkit” — and how the Agency sought to leverage common vulnerabilities in routers sold by companies such as D-Link and Linksys. The techniques range from hacking network passwords to rewriting device firmware to remotely monitor traffic flowing across a target’s network.
While few may have stopped to consider a router’s attractiveness to a hacker, in truth the devices are an obviously attractive entry point — routers typically aren’t equipped with interfaces beyond on/off and reset buttons, and have no means of alerting users they have been compromised.
A router could be hacked for years, with a user’s every online action tracked and recorded, without anyone being any the wiser.
The CIA’s router-hacking approach begins with a tool — “Claymore” — which scans a network to identify devices and then launches two exploiters — “Tomato” and “Surfside” — the former is noted to target vulnerabilities in at least two routers sold by D-Link and Linksys, and steals those devices’ administrative passwords. Moreover, the documents state at least two other routers sold by Linksys could be targeted with “Tomato” after a mere few weeks of development.
“Surfside” is left largely unexplained, though the documents hint it may abuse a protocol called Universal Plug and Play. Oft dubbed UPNP, and embedded in around 7,000 different devices — including routers, printers, media players and smart TVs — tech security experts have long-warned it poses a potential risk.
As the documents date back to early 2016, it’s unclear whether D-Link or Linksys have identified and/or rectified these vulnerabilities — however, routers are difficult to manually update, and given their ubiquity, providers are reluctant to dispatch professional staff to do so, instead obliging consumers to do so themselves. Any vulnerability in a router can be left to smolder for years before correction, if at all — and the aforementioned lack of a “warning” system alerting users to threats, ala antivirus software, means users may never discover if their device is vulnerable.
Another means of access mentioned in the papers is the failure of users to change default admin passwords — often, individuals are simply unaware there is an admin password, and it can be amended. This likewise offers unbridled access to the contents of an individual’s router — after access, a hacker or CIA agent could then install custom firmware (the CIA’s is called Flytrap) on the router monitor a target’s browsing, strip SSL encryption from webpages visited, and even inject other exploits into their traffic, designed to offer access directly to the target’s PC or phone. Yet another piece of software, CherryTree, serves as a command-and-control system, allowing operators to monitor and update infected network devices from a browser-based interface called CherryWeb.
Nonetheless, while acknowledging the exposures are “alarming,” Matthew Hickey, Founder of Hacker House, isn’t shocked the CIA would target routers.
“The information security community has been warning about this risk since 2005, if not before. Still, while technically adept users likely won’t be impacted by the technique, it does potentially mean the CIA can access millions of web histories — and there’s the prospect of it easily being misused and abused in surveillance operations. The only Godsend is the CIA wouldn’t be able to do this remotely or in bulk — they need to be in the nearby vicinity of a router network to access it, from a car or van or similar,” Mr. Hickey told Sputnik.
Ultimately, given the evident insecurities ingrained in average Wi-Fi routers, it’s perhaps unsurprising the world’s most well-financed spying group has exploited them — and maybe still does. Wikileaks’ latest revelations serve as a palpable reminder to net users to update their routers regularly, and change their default admin passwords. Otherwise, potentially no private, internet-equipped home is safe from US surveillance.