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 Post subject: Re: WikiLeaks-Light shone on the very dark...transparency...
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 11:58 pm 
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On Monday February 27th, 2012, WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files, over five million e-mails from the Texas headquartered "global intelligence" company Stratfor. The e-mails date between July 2004 and late December 2011. They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal's Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defence Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor's web of informers, pay-off structure, payment laundering techniques and psychological methods.

INSIGHT - military intervention in Syria, post withdrawal status of forces

Released on 2012-03-06 07:00 GMT
Email-ID 1671459
Date 2011-12-07 00:49:18
From bhalla@stratfor.com
To secure@stratfor.com
A few points I wanted to highlight from meetings today --

I spent most of the afternoon at the Pentagon with the USAF strategic
studies group - guys who spend their time trying to understand and explain
to the USAF chief the big picture in areas where they're operating in. It
was just myself and four other guys at the Lieutenant Colonel level,
including one French and one British representative who are liaising with
the US currently out of DC.

They wanted to grill me on the strategic picture on Syria, so after that I
got to grill them on the military picture. There is still a very low level
of understanding of what is actually at stake in Syria, what's the
strategic interest there, the Turkish role, the Iranian role, etc. After a
couple hours of talking, they said without saying that SOF teams
(presumably from US, UK, France, Jordan, Turkey) are already on the ground
focused on recce missions and training opposition forces. One Air Force
intel guy (US) said very carefully that there isn't much of a Free Syrian
Army to train right now anyway, but all the operations being done now are
being done out of 'prudence.' The way it was put to me was, 'look at this
way - the level of information known on Syrian OrBat this month is the
best it's been since 2001.' They have been told to prepare contingencies
and be ready to act within 2-3 months, but they still stress that this is
all being done as contingency planning, not as a move toward escalation.

I kept pressing on the question of what these SOF teams would be working
toward, and whether this would lead to an eventual air camapign to give a
Syrian rebel group cover. They pretty quickly distanced themselves from
that idea, saying that the idea 'hypothetically' is to commit guerrilla
attacks, assassination campaigns, try to break the back of the Alawite
forces, elicit collapse from within. There wouldn't be a need for air
cover, and they wouldn't expect these Syrian rebels to be marching in
columns anyway.

They emphasized how the air campaign in Syria makes Libya look like a
piece of cake. Syrian air defenses are a lot more robust and are much
denser, esp around Damascus and on the borders with Israel, Turkey. THey
are most worried about mobile air defenses, particularly the SA-17s that
they've been getting recently. It's still a doable mission, it's just not
an easy one.

The main base they would use is Cyprus, hands down. Brits and FRench would
fly out of there. They kept stressing how much is stored at Cyprus and how
much recce comes out of there. The group was split on whether Turkey would
be involved, but said Turkey would be pretty critical to the mission to
base stuff out of there. EVen if Turkey had a poltiical problem with
Cyprus, they said there is no way the Brits and the FRench wouldn't use
Cyprus as their main air force base. Air Force Intel guy seems pretty
convinced that the Turks won't participate (he seemed pretty pissed at
them.)

There still seems to be a lot of confusion over what a military
intervention involving an air campaign would be designed to achieve. It
isn't clear cut for them geographically like in Libya, and you can't just
create an NFZ over Homs, Hama region. This would entail a countrywide SEAD
campaign lasting the duration of the war. They dont believe air
intervention would happen unless there was enough media attention on a
massacre, like the Ghadafi move against Benghazi. They think the US would
have a high tolerance for killings as long as it doesn't reach that very
public stage. Theyre also questiioning the skills of the Syrian forces
that are operating the country's air defenses currently and how
signfiicant the Iranian presence is there. Air Force Intel guy is most
obsessed with the challenge of taking out Syria's ballistic missile
capabilities and chem weapons. With Israel rgiht there and the regime
facing an existential crisis, he sees that as a major complication to any
military intervention.

The post 2011 SOFA with Iraq is still being negotiated. These guys were
hoping that during Biden's visit that he would announce a deal with
Maliki, but no such luck. They are gambling ont he idea that the Iraqis
remember the iran-iraq war and that maliki is not going to want to face
the threat of Iranian jets entering Iraqi air space. THey say that most
US fighter jets are already out of Iraq and transferred to Kuwait. They
explained that's the beauty of the air force, the base in Kuwait is just a
hop, skip and jump away from their bases in Europe, ie. very easy to
rapidly build up when they need to. They don't seem concerned about the
US ability to restructure its forces to send a message to Iran. They gave
the example of the USS Enterprise that was supposed to be out of
commission already and got extended another couple years to send to the
gulf. WHen the US withdraws, we'll have at least 2 carriers in the gulf
out of centcom and one carrier in the Med out of EuCom. I asked if the
build-up in Kuwait and the carrier deployments are going to be enough to
send a message to Iran that the US isn't going anywhere. They responded
that Iran will get the message if they read the Centcom Web Site. STarting
Jan. 1 expect them to be publishing all over the place where the US is
building up.

Another concern they have about an operation in Syria is whether Iran
could impede operations out of Balad air force base in Iraq.

The French representative was of hte opinion that Syria won't be a
libya-type situation in that France would be gung-ho about going in. Not
in an election year. The UK rep also emphasized UK reluctance but said
that the renegotiation of the EU treaty undermines the UK role and that UK
would be looking for ways to reassert itself on the continent ( i dont
really think a syria campaign is the way to do that.) UK guy mentioned as
an aside that the air force base commander at Cyprus got switched out from
a maintenance guy to a guy that flew Raptors, ie someone that understands
what it means to start dropping bombs. He joked that it was probably a
coincidence.

Prior to that, I had a meeting with an incoming Kuwaiti diplomat (will be
coded as KU301.) His father was high up in the regime, always by the
CP's/PM's side. The diplo himself still seems to be getting his feet wet
in DC (the new team just arrived less than 2 weeks ago,) but he made
pretty clear that Kuwait was opening the door to allowing US to build up
forces as needed. THey already have a significant presence there, and a
lot of them will be on 90-day rotations. He also said that the SOFA that
the US signs with Baghdad at the last minute will be worded in such a way
that even allowing one trainer in the country can be construed to mean
what the US wants in terms of keeping forces in Iraq. Overall, I didnt get
the impression from him that Kuwait is freaked out about the US leaving.
Everyhting is just getting rearranged. The Kuwaitis used to be much
better at managing their relations with Iran, but ever since that spy ring
story came out a year ago, it's been bad. He doesn't think Iran has
significant covert capabililiteis in the GCC states, though they are
trying. Iranian activity is mostly propaganda focused. He said that while
KSA and Bahrain they can deal with it as needed and black out the media,
Kuwait is a lot more open and thus provides Iran with more oppotunity to
shape perceptions (he used to work in inforamtion unit in Kuwait.) He says
there is a sig number of kuwaitis that listen to Iranian media like Al
Alam especially.

On the Kuwaiti political scene - the government is having a harder time
dealing with a more emboldened opposition, but the opposition is still
extremely divided, esp among the Islamists. The MPs now all have to go
back to their tribes to rally support for the elections to take place in
Feb. Oftentimes an MP in Kuwait city will find out that he has lost
support back home with the tribe, and so a lot of moeny is handed out.The
govt is hoping that witha clean slate they can quiet the opposition down.
A good way of managing the opposition he said is to refer cases to the
courts, where they can linger forever. good way for the govt to buy time.
He doesnt believe the Arab League will take significant action against
Syria - no one is interested in military intervention. they just say it to
threaten it.

https://wikileaks.org/gifiles/docs/16/1 ... rawal.html

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 Post subject: Re: WikiLeaks-Light shone on the very dark...transparency...
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:05 am 
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Western Geopolitics Stimulated Attack in Paris, Says Assange

Buenos Aires, Jan 14 (Prensa Latina) The destabilizing policy of the United States, Britain and France in the Middle East and Africa stimulate attacks as the one in Paris and those that occur every day in Arab countries, said editor Julian Assange.

Iran Beleives that Charlie Hebdo Insults Islam
Charlie Hebdo Prints Three Million Issues
Islamist Group Claims Responsibility for Attack on French Magazine

'I think it was extremely sad what happened to a publication that represents the great French tradition of caricature,' WikiLeaks founder told the newspaper Página 12.

But is necessary to understand that every day a slaughter of this magnitude takes place in Iraq and other Arab countries, warned Assange who is still at the Embassy of Ecuador in London.

In his opinion, what happens is the result of the destabilizing efforts of governments in Washington, London and Paris. 'France in particular has been involved in supplying weapons to violent groups in Syria, Libya and in the recolonization of the African state of Mali', he says.

That spurred the attack, in this case using an easy target as the weekly Charlie Hebdo. 'But the reality is that the French secret service leaves many open questions about what happened', he comments.

They knew -he refers- the activities of the responsible for the slaughter, yet failed to watch them. And he wonders: Why Kouachi brothers, well known for their ties to extremists, were not under surveillance?

Cherif Kouachi was convicted of terrorist offenses and had served 18 months in prison. Both were on lists of terrorists, he reminded.

There are many questions. For example, why the offices of Charlie Hebdo were not better protected, given the harsh criticism of the magazine to Islam? Or, how could known jihadists get semiautomatic weapons in France?

It has been have tried to present the murderers as super villains to hide their own services incompetence.

Assange concludes that terrorists were quite incompetent amateurs who crashed the car, left their identity cards in sight and coordinated their movements with common cell phones.

'A massive Internet surveillance is not needed to avoid this fact: specific surveillance was required', expressed the specialist in digital themes.

In turn, Assange warns of attempts of Washington, London, Paris and its main allies to take advantage of the slaughter to regain lost ground after allegations of Edward Snowden on massive spying.

Regarding those who today use the fact to ask for a massive electronic surveillance, Assange warns that this practice is 'a threat to democracy and security of the population, as it gives too much power to the secret services'.

The reason for the proposal is that using those techniques people who are not known in advance can be found, but the attack in Paris shows that the protagonists were known, and yet the assault was not prevented.

There should be a thorough investigation of how these mistakes were made, Assange believes, 'but my experience is that this will not happen because these services are corrupt and they are like that because they are secret', he added.

http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?opti ... 1&Itemid=1

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 Post subject: Re: WikiLeaks-Light shone on the very dark...transparency...
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 1:49 pm 
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Revelations of N.S.A. Spying Cost U.S. Tech Companies

By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER MARCH 21, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO — Microsoft has lost customers, including the government of Brazil.

IBM is spending more than a billion dollars to build data centers overseas to reassure foreign customers that their information is safe from prying eyes in the United States government.

And tech companies abroad, from Europe to South America, say they are gaining customers that are shunning United States providers, suspicious because of the revelations by Edward J. Snowden that tied these providers to the National Security Agency’s vast surveillance program.

Even as Washington grapples with the diplomatic and political fallout of Mr. Snowden’s leaks, the more urgent issue, companies and analysts say, is economic. Technology executives, including Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, raised the issue when they went to the White House on Friday for a meeting with President Obama.

It is impossible to see now the full economic ramifications of the spying disclosures — in part because most companies are locked in multiyear contracts — but the pieces are beginning to add up as businesses question the trustworthiness of American technology products.

Image

The confirmation hearing last week for the new N.S.A. chief, the video appearance of Mr. Snowden at a technology conference in Texas and the drip of new details about government spying have kept attention focused on an issue that many tech executives hoped would go away.

Despite the tech companies’ assertions that they provide information on their customers only when required under law — and not knowingly through a back door — the perception that they enabled the spying program has lingered.

“It’s clear to every single tech company that this is affecting their bottom line,” said Daniel Castro, a senior analyst at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, who predicted that the United States cloud computing industry could lose $35 billion by 2016.

Forrester Research, a technology research firm, said the losses could be as high as $180 billion, or 25 percent of industry revenue, based on the size of the cloud computing, web hosting and outsourcing markets and the worst case for damages.
Continue reading the main story

The business effect of the disclosures about the N.S.A. is felt most in the daily conversations between tech companies with products to pitch and their wary customers. The topic of surveillance, which rarely came up before, is now “the new normal” in these conversations, as one tech company executive described it.

“We’re hearing from customers, especially global enterprise customers, that they care more than ever about where their content is stored and how it is used and secured,” said John E. Frank, deputy general counsel at Microsoft, which has been publicizing that it allows customers to store their data in Microsoft data centers in certain countries.

At the same time, Mr. Castro said, companies say they believe the federal government is only making a bad situation worse.

“Most of the companies in this space are very frustrated because there hasn’t been any kind of response that’s made it so they can go back to their customers and say, ‘See, this is what’s different now, you can trust us again,’ ” he said.
Continue reading the main story

In some cases, that has meant forgoing potential revenue.

Though it is hard to quantify missed opportunities, American businesses are being left off some requests for proposals from foreign customers that previously would have included them, said James Staten, a cloud computing analyst at Forrester who has read clients’ requests for proposals. There are German companies, Mr. Staten said, “explicitly not inviting certain American companies to join.”

He added, “It’s like, ‘Well, the very best vendor to do this is IBM, and you didn’t invite them.’ ”

The result has been a boon for foreign companies.

Runbox, a Norwegian email service that markets itself as an alternative to American services like Gmail and says it does not comply with foreign court orders seeking personal information, reported a 34 percent annual increase in customers after news of the N.S.A. surveillance.

Brazil and the European Union, which had used American undersea cables for intercontinental communication, last month decided to build their own cables between Brazil and Portugal, and gave the contract to Brazilian and Spanish companies. Brazil also announced plans to abandon Microsoft Outlook for its own email system that uses Brazilian data centers.

Mark J. Barrenechea, chief executive of OpenText, Canada’s largest software company, said an anti-American attitude took root after the passage of the Patriot Act, the counterterrorism law passed after 9/11 that expanded the government’s surveillance powers.

But “the volume of the discussion has risen significantly post-Snowden,” he said. For instance, after the N.S.A. surveillance was revealed, one of OpenText’s clients, a global steel manufacturer based in Britain, demanded that its data not cross United States borders.

“Issues like privacy are more important than finding the cheapest price,” said Matthias Kunisch, a German software executive who spurned United States cloud computing providers for Deutsche Telekom. “Because of Snowden, our customers have the perception that American companies have connections to the N.S.A.”

Security analysts say that ultimately the fallout from Mr. Snowden’s revelations could mimic what happened to Huawei, the Chinese technology and telecommunications company, which was forced to abandon major acquisitions and contracts when American lawmakers claimed that the company’s products contained a backdoor for the People’s Liberation Army of China — even though this claim was never definitively verified.

Silicon Valley companies have complained to government officials that federal actions are hurting American technology businesses. But companies fall silent when it comes to specifics about economic harm, whether to avoid frightening shareholders or because it is too early to produce concrete evidence.

“The companies need to keep the priority on the government to do something about it, but they don’t have the evidence to go to the government and say billions of dollars are not coming to this country,” Mr. Staten said.
Continue reading the main story
Continue reading the main story

Some American companies say the business hit has been minor at most.

John T. Chambers, the chief executive of Cisco Systems, said in an interview that the N.S.A. disclosures had not affected Cisco’s sales “in a major way.” Although deals in Europe and Asia have been slower to close, he said, they are still being completed — an experience echoed by several other computing companies.

Still, the business blowback can be felt in other ways than lost customers.

Security analysts say tech companies have collectively spent millions and possibly billions of dollars adding state-of-the-art encryption features to consumer services, like Google search and Microsoft Outlook, and to the cables that link data centers at Google, Yahoo and other companies.

IBM said in January that it would spend $1.2 billion to build 15 new data centers, including in London, Hong Kong and Sydney, Australia, to lure foreign customers that are sensitive about the location of their data. Salesforce.com announced similar plans this month.

Germany and Brazil, where it was revealed that the N.S.A. spied on government leaders, have been particularly adversarial toward American companies and the government. Lawmakers, including in Germany, are considering legislation that would make it costly or even technically impossible for American tech companies to operate inside their borders.

Yet some government officials say laws like this could have a motive other than protecting privacy. Shutting out American companies “means more business for local companies,” Richard A. Clarke, a former White House counterterrorism adviser, said last month.

Contributing reporting were Quentin Hardy and Nicole Perlroth from San Francisco, David E. Sanger from Washington, Mark Scott from London, Dan Horch from São Paulo, Brazil, and Ian Austen from Ottawa.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/22/busin ... .html?_r=0

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 Post subject: Re: WikiLeaks-Light shone on the very dark...transparency...
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 4:15 pm 
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Microsoft handed the NSA access to encrypted messages

• Secret files show scale of Silicon Valley co-operation on Prism
• Outlook.com encryption unlocked even before official launch
• Skype worked to enable Prism collection of video calls
• Company says it is legally compelled to comply


Image
Skype worked with intelligence agencies last year to allow Prism to collect video and audio conversations. Photograph: Patrick Sinkel/APMicrosoft has collaborated closely with US intelligence services to allow users' communications to be intercepted, including helping the National Security Agency to circumvent the company's own encryption, according to top-secret documents obtained by the Guardian.

The files provided by Edward Snowden illustrate the scale of co-operation between Silicon Valley and the intelligence agencies over the last three years. They also shed new light on the workings of the top-secret Prism program, which was disclosed by the Guardian and the Washington Post last month.

The documents show that:

• Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new Outlook.com portal;

• The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on Outlook.com, including Hotmail;

• The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide;

• Microsoft also worked with the FBI's Data Intercept Unit to "understand" potential issues with a feature in Outlook.com that allows users to create email aliases;

• In July last year, nine months after Microsoft bought Skype, the NSA boasted that a new capability had tripled the amount of Skype video calls being collected through Prism;

• Material collected through Prism is routinely shared with the FBI and CIA, with one NSA document describing the program as a "team sport".

The latest NSA revelations further expose the tensions between Silicon Valley and the Obama administration. All the major tech firms are lobbying the government to allow them to disclose more fully the extent and nature of their co-operation with the NSA to meet their customers' privacy concerns. Privately, tech executives are at pains to distance themselves from claims of collaboration and teamwork given by the NSA documents, and insist the process is driven by legal compulsion.

In a statement, Microsoft said: "When we upgrade or update products we aren't absolved from the need to comply with existing or future lawful demands." The company reiterated its argument that it provides customer data "only in response to government demands and we only ever comply with orders for requests about specific accounts or identifiers".

In June, the Guardian revealed that the NSA claimed to have "direct access" through the Prism program to the systems of many major internet companies, including Microsoft, Skype, Apple, Google, Facebook and Yahoo.

Blanket orders from the secret surveillance court allow these communications to be collected without an individual warrant if the NSA operative has a 51% belief that the target is not a US citizen and is not on US soil at the time. Targeting US citizens does require an individual warrant, but the NSA is able to collect Americans' communications without a warrant if the target is a foreign national located overseas.

Since Prism's existence became public, Microsoft and the other companies listed on the NSA documents as providers have denied all knowledge of the program and insisted that the intelligence agencies do not have back doors into their systems.

Microsoft's latest marketing campaign, launched in April, emphasizes its commitment to privacy with the slogan: "Your privacy is our priority."

Similarly, Skype's privacy policy states: "Skype is committed to respecting your privacy and the confidentiality of your personal data, traffic data and communications content."

But internal NSA newsletters, marked top secret, suggest the co-operation between the intelligence community and the companies is deep and ongoing.

The latest documents come from the NSA's Special Source Operations (SSO) division, described by Snowden as the "crown jewel" of the agency. It is responsible for all programs aimed at US communications systems through corporate partnerships such as Prism.

The files show that the NSA became concerned about the interception of encrypted chats on Microsoft's Outlook.com portal from the moment the company began testing the service in July last year.

Within five months, the documents explain, Microsoft and the FBI had come up with a solution that allowed the NSA to circumvent encryption on Outlook.com chats

A newsletter entry dated 26 December 2012 states: "MS [Microsoft], working with the FBI, developed a surveillance capability to deal" with the issue. "These solutions were successfully tested and went live 12 Dec 2012."

Two months later, in February this year, Microsoft officially launched the Outlook.com portal.

Another newsletter entry stated that NSA already had pre-encryption access to Outlook email. "For Prism collection against Hotmail, Live, and Outlook.com emails will be unaffected because Prism collects this data prior to encryption."

Microsoft's co-operation was not limited to Outlook.com. An entry dated 8 April 2013 describes how the company worked "for many months" with the FBI – which acts as the liaison between the intelligence agencies and Silicon Valley on Prism – to allow Prism access without separate authorization to its cloud storage service SkyDrive.

The document describes how this access "means that analysts will no longer have to make a special request to SSO for this – a process step that many analysts may not have known about".

The NSA explained that "this new capability will result in a much more complete and timely collection response". It continued: "This success is the result of the FBI working for many months with Microsoft to get this tasking and collection solution established."

A separate entry identified another area for collaboration. "The FBI Data Intercept Technology Unit (DITU) team is working with Microsoft to understand an additional feature in Outlook.com which allows users to create email aliases, which may affect our tasking processes."

The NSA has devoted substantial efforts in the last two years to work with Microsoft to ensure increased access to Skype, which has an estimated 663 million global users.

One document boasts that Prism monitoring of Skype video production has roughly tripled since a new capability was added on 14 July 2012. "The audio portions of these sessions have been processed correctly all along, but without the accompanying video. Now, analysts will have the complete 'picture'," it says.

Eight months before being bought by Microsoft, Skype joined the Prism program in February 2011.

According to the NSA documents, work had begun on smoothly integrating Skype into Prism in November 2010, but it was not until 4 February 2011 that the company was served with a directive to comply signed by the attorney general.

The NSA was able to start tasking Skype communications the following day, and collection began on 6 February. "Feedback indicated that a collected Skype call was very clear and the metadata looked complete," the document stated, praising the co-operation between NSA teams and the FBI. "Collaborative teamwork was the key to the successful addition of another provider to the Prism system."

ACLU technology expert Chris Soghoian said the revelations would surprise many Skype users. "In the past, Skype made affirmative promises to users about their inability to perform wiretaps," he said. "It's hard to square Microsoft's secret collaboration with the NSA with its high-profile efforts to compete on privacy with Google."

The information the NSA collects from Prism is routinely shared with both the FBI and CIA. A 3 August 2012 newsletter describes how the NSA has recently expanded sharing with the other two agencies.

The NSA, the entry reveals, has even automated the sharing of aspects of Prism, using software that "enables our partners to see which selectors [search terms] the National Security Agency has tasked to Prism".

The document continues: "The FBI and CIA then can request a copy of Prism collection of any selector…" As a result, the author notes: "these two activities underscore the point that Prism is a team sport!"

In its statement to the Guardian, Microsoft said:

We have clear principles which guide the response across our entire company to government demands for customer information for both law enforcement and national security issues. First, we take our commitments to our customers and to compliance with applicable law very seriously, so we provide customer data only in response to legal processes.

Second, our compliance team examines all demands very closely, and we reject them if we believe they aren't valid. Third, we only ever comply with orders about specific accounts or identifiers, and we would not respond to the kind of blanket orders discussed in the press over the past few weeks, as the volumes documented in our most recent disclosure clearly illustrate.

Finally when we upgrade or update products legal obligations may in some circumstances require that we maintain the ability to provide information in response to a law enforcement or national security request. There are aspects of this debate that we wish we were able to discuss more freely. That's why we've argued for additional transparency that would help everyone understand and debate these important issues.

In a joint statement, Shawn Turner, spokesman for the director of National Intelligence, and Judith Emmel, spokeswoman for the NSA, said:

The articles describe court-ordered surveillance – and a US company's efforts to comply with these legally mandated requirements. The US operates its programs under a strict oversight regime, with careful monitoring by the courts, Congress and the Director of National Intelligence. Not all countries have equivalent oversight requirements to protect civil liberties and privacy.

They added: "In practice, US companies put energy, focus and commitment into consistently protecting the privacy of their customers around the world, while meeting their obligations under the laws of the US and other countries in which they operate."



• This article was amended on 11 July 2013 to reflect information from Microsoft that it did not make any changes to Skype to allow Prism collection on or around July 2012.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/j ... -user-data

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 Post subject: Re: WikiLeaks-Light shone on the very dark...transparency...
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 4:44 pm 
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NSA helped with Windows 7 development

Privacy expert voices 'backdoor' concerns, security researchers dismiss idea


By Gregg Keizer
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Computerworld | Nov 18, 2009 4:09 PM PT

The National Security Agency (NSA) worked with Microsoft on the development of Windows 7, an agency official acknowledged yesterday during testimony before Congress.

"Working in partnership with Microsoft and elements of the Department of Defense, NSA leveraged our unique expertise and operational knowledge of system threats and vulnerabilities to enhance Microsoft's operating system security guide without constraining the user to perform their everyday tasks, whether those tasks are being performed in the public or private sector," Richard Schaeffer, the NSA's information assurance director, told the Senate's Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security yesterday as part of a prepared statement.

"All this was done in coordination with the product release, not months or years later during the product lifecycle," Schaeffer added. "This will improve the adoption of security advice, as it can be implemented during installation and then later managed through the emerging SCAP standards."

Security Content Automation Protocol, or SCAP, is a set of standards for automating chores such as managing vulnerabilities and measuring security compliance. The National Institute of Standards and Technologies (NIST) oversees the SCAP standards.

This is not the first time that the NSA has partnered with Microsoft during Windows development. In 2007, the agency confirmed that it had a hand in Windows Vista as part of an initiative to ensure that the operating system was secure from attack and would work with other government software. Before that, the NSA provided guidance on how best to secure Windows XP and Windows 2000.

According to Marc Rotenberg, the executive director of the Electronics Privacy Information Center (EPIC), the NSA's involvement with operating system development goes back even farther. "This battle goes back to at least the crypto wars of the early '90s," said Rotenberg, who remembered testifying about the agency's role in private sector computer security standards in 1989.

But when the NSA puts hands on Windows, that raises a red flag for Rotenberg, who heads the Washington, D.C.-based public interest research center. "When NSA offers to help the private sector on computer security, the obvious concern is that it will also build in backdoors that enables tracking users and intercepting user communications," Rotenberg said in an e-mail. "And private sector firms are reluctant to oppose these 'suggestions' since the US government is also their biggest customer and opposition to the NSA could mean to loss of sales."

Rotenberg's worries stem from the NSA's reputation as the intelligence agency best known for its eavesdropping of electronic messaging, including cell phone calls and e-mail.

Andrew Storms, the director of security operations at nCircle Security, didn't put much credence in the idea that Microsoft would allow the NSA to build a hidden entrance to Windows 7. "Would it be surprising to most people that there was a backdoor? No, not with the political agenda of prior administrations," said Storms. "My gut, though, tells me that Microsoft, as a business, would not want to do that, at least not in a secretive way."

Roger Thompson, chief research officer at AVG Technologies, agreed. "I can't imagine NSA and Microsoft would do anything deliberate because the repercussions would be enormous if they got caught," he said in an interview via instant messaging.

"Having said that, I think we should understand that there is every likelihood that certain foreign governments are constantly looking for vulnerabilities that they can use for targeted attacks," Thompson continued. "So if they're poking at us, I think it's reasonable to assume that we're doing something similar. But I seriously doubt an official NSA-Microsoft alliance."

The NSA's Schaeffer added that his agency is also working on engaging other major software makers, including Apple, Sun and Red Hat, on security standards for their products.

"More and more, we find that protecting national security systems demands teaming with public and private institutions to raise the information assurance level of products and services more broadly," Schaeffer said.

Microsoft was not immediately available for comment on the NSA's participation in Windows 7's development

http://www.computerworld.com/article/25 ... pment.html


Amazing isn't it? The lies just don't stop. They don't know what truth is and especially how to tell it any more! This article is from 2009, 6 years later when it is blantantly obvious the illegal spying that has taken place through the NSA/Microsoft collaboration they still lie and deny it! The NSA outright lied to Congress they can't be trusted nor can Microsoft.

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 Post subject: Re: WikiLeaks-Light shone on the very dark...transparency...
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:15 am 
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Julian Assange: my life in the embassy


By John Hiscock, Film Writer

9:13AM BST 14 Oct 2013

Julian Assange has talked in detail abut his daily life in the Ecuadorian Embassy with the staff members he says are “like family.”

The WikiLeaks founder and editor-in-chief, talking via Skype, said: “We’ve gone through a lot together and we understand we are all in this together. Some staff have been here nearly 20 years. We have lunch together, celebrate people’s birthdays and other details I don’t want to go into because of the security situation. Of course, the working environment has changed a lot because there are still police surrounding the embassy and it’s a difficult situation for the staff.”

He lives in a small office room converted into living quarters, equipped with a bed, telephone, sun lamp, computer with internet connections, shower, treadmill and a small kitchenette. He declined to say whether he had learned to speak Spanish during his stay: “I found in investigative journalism it is always best, if you have any language skills, not to admit them.”

Assange says he receives frequent visits from celebrity supporters including musician Graham Nash, whom he describes as "an unexpected supporter but a good one. Nash stopped by on Friday and who wrote a song about Bradley Manning. Among other visitors have been Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, actors Peters Sarsgaard, Maggie Gyllenhaal and John Cusack, along with the rapper MIA. “There’s been a wide range,” Assange said. “It’s interesting to go through this experience and see who walks the walk and who just talks the talk.”

To relax, he watches the Australian television series Rake about a brilliant but self-destructive Sydney barrister and he also enjoyed the movie There Will Be Blood. He watches movies such as Argo and Zero Dark Thirty, he said, mainly to see how they affect WikiLeaks.

Looking thin and pale and wearing a blue tracksuit with a WikiLeaks logo, he talked in a wide-ranging 90-minute interview, adding: "Of course it’s difficult to wake up for 500 days and see the same walls but on the other hand I am doing good work and I have no time for anything else so it’s a bit counter-productive to trap me here, because what else can I do but work?” he asked.

“I have my heart and soul in this work. I have a very capable and loyal staff and we have a lot of supporters around the world and people who believe in what we do and want to see if it continues. So although I am trapped in these walls, intellectually I am outside with our people today and that to me is important. While I am imprisoned here there is a developing prison where you are living as well. It would be pretty bad if when I finally get out of here I find it’s actually better here than outside. At least in here there are no sudden raids by police, there is a rule of law and not an arbitrary breakdown as there is in many countries now.”

He did admit concerns for the safety of his family. “I have a family and that situation is difficult,” he said. “My family has had to move and change their name and have been subject to threats from right wing blogs calling for my son, for example, to be killed to get at me. We take security precautions to deal with it and it is dealt with. I’m not scared about it.”

The 42-year-old has been living in the Ecuadorian Embassy in Knightsbridge since June 2012 when he was granted diplomatic asylum. The British government wants to extradite him to Sweden under a European Arrest Warrant for questioning in relation to a sexual assault investigation. Metropolitan police officers have been stationed outside the embassy since Assange entered the building and have been ordered to arrest him if he attempts to leave.

The statue of limitations on the sexual case in Sweden expires in August 2020 but Assange is more concerned about the problems he faces in the US. Assange added: "My focus of attention is on the U.S. case – the continuing grand jury investigation,” he said. “That is what I have received full political asylum in relation to. I assume the Swedish case will disappear of its own accord in due course.”

The Australian-born Assange burst into public consciousness in 2010 with WikiLeaks’ release of the video of the July 12 2007 Apache helicopter attack on Baghdad which showed U.S. military killing Iraqi civilians and journalists.

Since then WikiLeaks has been involved in the publication of material documenting extrajudicial killings in Kenya, the Afghan war diaries, a report on toxic waste dumping on the Ivory Coast, Church of Scientology manuals, Guantanamo Bay detention camp procedures and material involving large banks such as Kaupthing and Julius Baer, among other documents.

Hollywood has been intrigued by the saga and at one time there were five major films about Assange in development with only the documentary We Steal Secrets and the feature film The Fifth Estate, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Assange, eventually being produced. Assange has described The Fifth Estate as “opportunistic and hostile….a geriatric snooze fest doomed for failure.”

And as for We Steal Secrets, he said: “The bias is right there in the title because no one claims in the entire documentary that we steal secrets, not even our critics. Fortunately it is not being taken seriously as a historical or intellectual work. Underground, a feature film that was produced in Australia about me as a teenager is extremely positive and similarly, documentaries out of Germany and France have been overwhelmingly positive. It appears that there is an aspect coming out of the United States that reflects the wounded feelings – for want of better words – of the security establishment in the US.”

Assange insists he has no regrets about the actions which led to his present situation. “Small tactical decisions go one way or another but I wouldn’t have done any of the major decisions differently,” he said. "All the major decisions I believe were correct and I cannot see any way I could have done things differently.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... bassy.html

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 Post subject: Re: WikiLeaks-Light shone on the very dark...transparency...
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:15 pm 
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WikiLeaks: not perfect, but more important than ever for free speech


Just before Christmas, WikiLeaks released its latest round of explosive leaks. The organisation may not be perfect, but it’s more important than ever


Antony Loewenstein


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‘We apparently want our heroes to be mild mannered and non-combative.’ Photograph: FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA/EPA

The secret CIA files appeared just before Christmas. One detailed how CIA operatives could maintain cover, using fake IDs, when travelling through foreign airports. Israel’s Ben Gurion airport was said to be one of the hardest to trick.

The other document, from 2009, was an assessment of the CIA’s assassination program. It raised doubts about the effectiveness of the program in reducing terrorism. Likewise with Israel’s killing of Palestinians.

In Afghanistan, the CIA discovered that murdering Taliban leaders could radicalise the militants, allowing even more extreme actors to enter the battlefield. The Obama administration ignored this advice and unleashed “targeted killings” in the country. Unsurprisingly, the insurgency is thriving.

These vital insights into the “war on terror” were released by WikiLeaks and received extensive global coverage.

Since 2010, when WikiLeaks released Collateral Murder, showing American forces killing Iraqi civilians, there have been multiple covert – and public – attempts to silence the organisation. Julian Assange has now been stuck in London’s Ecuadorian embassy for two and a half years fighting an extradition order from Sweden over allegations of sexual misconduct. There is an ongoing US grand jury examining the organisation’s role in publishing war and State Department cables. On Christmas Eve, WikiLeaks revealed that Google had turned over the Gmail account and metadata of a WikiLeaks employee in response to a US federal warrant.

The organisation’s ability to stay afloat – and continue to source and release insightful documents – among all this is remarkable.

There is some good news: Visa and MasterCard are being sued for refusing to allow funds to flow to WikiLeaks, and Assange’s lawyers are confident that the current impasse with Sweden will be resolved (although the irregularities over the case are deeply disturbing).

But the reality remains that the public image of Assange has taken a beating after years of legal fights, the botched Australian WikiLeaks political party and constant smears by journalists and politicians. We apparently want our heroes to be mild mannered and non-combative. We supposedly need them to be polite and not uncover countless, dirty abuses by western forces. We clearly don’t forgive them for not being perfect. Or perhaps we have a limit to how many war crimes we want to hear about with nobody facing justice? That’s hardly WikiLeaks’ fault. The group has made mistakes, and will make many more, but as a supporter since its 2006 inception, I’m struck by its resilience.

WikiLeaks has been warning against the dangers of mass surveillance for years. The 2014 Assange book, When Google Met WikiLeaks, features an insightful essay on the dangers of Google’s desire to lead American interventionist foreign policy. The book gained headlines across the world. In the month of its release, the organisation offered new documents on German company FinFisher selling its spying equipment to repressive regimes.

The emergence of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and his ability to live a relatively free life in Russia is partly thanks to WikiLeaks, which helped him escape Hong Kong and claim asylum in Moscow. Snowden remains free to continue campaigning against the dangers of global surveillance, unlike Chelsea Manning who is now suffering in an American prison for bravely leaking American cables. WikiLeaks’ Sarah Harrison, a British citizen, lives in exile in Germany due to fears of returning home after working to protect Snowden. This is the definition of heroism.

Just because WikiLeaks’ Assange and Harrison no longer appear in the media daily doesn’t mean their contribution isn’t significant. Take the recent report published by Der Spiegel that showed western policy in Afghanistan aimed to kill as many Taliban leaders as possible, regardless of the number of civilians caught in the crossfire. The thinking was summarised by the head of the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) intelligence in Afghanistan, who once said during a briefing: “The only good Talib is a dead Talib.”

This story built on the 2010 WikiLeaks release of Afghan war logs and uncovered yet another level of the “kill everything that moves” mentality that’s been unofficial US military policy since at least Vietnam.

The danger of discounting or ignoring WikiLeaks, at a time when much larger news organisations still can’t compete with the group’s record of releasing classified material, is that we shun a rebellious and adversarial group when it’s needed most. The value of WikiLeaks isn’t just in uncovering new material, though that’s important, it’s that the group’s published material is one of the most important archives of our time. I’ve lost count of the number of journalists and writers who tell me their work wouldn’t have the same insights without the State Department cables. My recent books have been similarly enriched.

States across the world talk of democracy and free speech but increasingly restrict information and its messengers.

“This war on whistleblowers is not ancillary to journalism, but actually it directly affects it,” says Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. “It’s making it much more difficult for the public to get the information they need.”

WikiLeaks remains at the forefront of this struggle.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... ree-speech

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 Post subject: Re: WikiLeaks-Light shone on the very dark...transparency...
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:07 pm 
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Wednesday 25 February 2015 08.12 GMT Last modified on Thursday 26 February 2015 00.07 GMT

Julian Assange appeals to Sweden's supreme court over arrest warrant

Lawyers will press for ruling that limitations on WikiLeaks founder’s freedoms since seeking asylum in Ecuadorian embassy are unreasonable

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Julian Assange is taking his appeal to Sweden’s highest court in a final attempt to persuade a Swedish judge that the arrest warrant against him should be lifted.

His lawyers will ask Sweden’s supreme court on Wednesday to agree that the “severe limitations” on Assange’s freedoms since he claimed asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012 to escape extradition to Sweden are unreasonable and disproportionate to the case.

In August 2010, the WikiLeaks founder and campaigning journalist was accused by two women of rape and sexual molestation, but he has not been charged because the prosecutor insists she is unable to interview him about the allegations.

Prosecutor Marianne Ny has declined invitations by Assange to do so in London, where he has taken refuge in the embassy to avoid a perceived threat of extradition to the US for publishing military secrets. Assange denies all the charges.

In November, Stockholm’s appeal court rejected Assange’s case, saying there was a risk he would evade legal proceedings should the detention order be lifted. The court also ruled that his confinement to the embassy was voluntary.

However, in the ruling, senior appeal court judge Nicklas Wågnert noted the deadlock in the case and criticised the prosecution for failing to move the investigation forward.

“That is a heavy obligation on the prosecutor,” Judge Wågnert told the Guardian after the ruling. “If Assange challenges the detention order again [in the supreme court], I believe the court will consider what measures the prosecutor has taken to move the preliminary investigation forward in between now and the next challenge.”

A spokesperson for the prosecutor said she would “not give details” about the investigation, and Per Samuelson, one of Assange’s Stockholm lawyers, said he had heard nothing about any movement.

Swedish legal opinion at a senior level has swung against the prosecutor’s decision not to travel to London to interview Assange, with Anne Ramberg, head of the Bar Association, calling the current impasse a “circus”.

“It would of course after such a long time be sensible for the prosecutor to determine whether to prosecute,” she said. “The Assange story has become a less than flattering adventure not only for the English courts’ handling of the case, but also for the Swedish prosecutor.”

Stefan Lindskog, the president of the supreme court, told the Guardian he had faced criticism for being “too outspoken” when in 2013 he described the case as “a mess” and called for it to be “solved practically”.

“Two courts have held that there is a probable cause [for prosecution] as regards sexual molestation, but probable cause is a lower standard than beyond reasonable doubt,” Lindskog said in a speech in Adelaide, Australia, in April 2013.

Judge Lindskog said he had left the case behind him and declined to comment further.

In October, the British Foreign Office said it would welcome a request by the Swedish prosecutor to question Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy and would be happy to facilitate such a move.

Claes Borgström, a lawyer for one of the women in the case, told the Guardian he believed the prosecutor had “some material in the investigation that so far nobody knows about except for her”, which might explain her refusal to interview Assange in London. Samuelson said these were “empty words” – “I know there is no hard evidence against Julian Assange.”

After the supreme court later on Wednesday receives the arguments from Assange’s lawyers, it must decide whether to grant their request for the appeal to be heard. While it is not essential for the court to request a response from the prosecutor, it has the powers to do so, said Charlotte Edvardsson, a registrar at the supreme court. It has not yet been decided which judges will decide on the appeal, Edvardsson said. It is likely that the court will find it sufficient to issue a written ruling rather than hold a public hearing.

Samuelson said defence lawyers had widened and deepened their arguments against the arrest warrant. “We have gone into greater detail on judgments and protocols of the European court of human rights, deepening our investigation beyond the boundaries of Swedish law and taken it much more into European law,” he said.

If they lose the case in Sweden, Assange’s lawyers are looking to appeal to the European court, where they say legal thinking on detention “speaks strongly” in their favour. Sweden’s interpretation that Assange is not deprived of his liberty appears to be at odds with ECHR jurisprudence, said Jennifer Robinson, an Australian lawyer for Assange.

In January, Sweden agreed at the United Nations to a request by Ecuador to consider taking “measures to limit the time of pretrial detention or the equivalent situation of deprivation of liberty without charges and for investigation purposes”. Assange says that his asylum in the Ecuadorian
embassy amounts to deprivation of liberty under Article 5 of the European convention on human rights.

Sweden also agreed to a request by Argentina to consider measures to ensure that a guarantee forbidding the rendering of a victim of persecution to their persecutor can be given to “any person under the control of the Swedish authorities while considered a refugee by a third country”. Assange has requested a guarantee from the Swedish state that he would not be extradited to the US should he agree to be questioned in Sweden.

Anders Rönquist, Sweden’s director-general for legal affairs, said he believed that these requests were inspired by the Assange case, and noted that Sweden had until 15 June “to think about it”. However, there was “no general obligation under international law to recognise diplomatic asylum”, he added.

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/f ... st-warrant

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 Post subject: Re: WikiLeaks-Light shone on the very dark...transparency...
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:28 pm 
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Feds versus the hacker underground: army of informers turned by fear

Hackers once ridiculed the FBI and secret service by playing Spot the Fed. Now agents covet the 'I am the Fed' T-shirt

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The Defcon 2007 hacker conference at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, seen through the Black Hat logo of computer security hackers. Photograph: Jae C Hong/AP

When Jeff Moss, popularly known as the Dark Tangent, started holding underground hacker conferences in Las Vegas he knew he had a problem. All previous gatherings had been strictly invitation-only to ensure privacy. Moss wanted his convention to be open to all hackers, and that would inevitably draw the unwelcome attendance of undercover FBI agents. "I knew law enforcement would show up whether I wanted it or not, so I decided to put them on notice."

Moss initiated a game at his events called Spot the Fed. If a delegate detected someone they thought was a cop they could stand up and denounce them. If correct, they would win a T-shirt printed with the logo: "I spotted the Fed."

The game became an instant sensation. "People were really excited about it," Moss says. That was in the 1990s. Since then Moss's annual conference, Defcon, has turned into one of the largest hacker meetings in the world and those early examples of outed Feds trying to pass undetected among the Defcon crowd have also grown into an entire industry, a specialism of modern policing, with highly trained and computer literate FBI and secret service agents running an army of informants who now pervade the hacker community.

Master Splyntr

A window into how the Feds do business has been opened in a book by Kevin Poulsen of Wired. He had a former life as a database cracker under the handle Dark Dante and was sentenced to 51 months in jail, partly on the testimony of a couple of his co-hackers who, as he puts it, had the heat put on them and "dropped a dime".

In Kingpin, Poulsen tells the stories of several audacious FBI and US secret service operations using undercover agents and hacker informants. [The secret service, established in 1865 to target currency counterfeiters, now protects VIPs and investigate crime].

Poulsen profiles the FBI agent Keith Mularski who targeted networks of criminal hackers, or carders as they are known, who specialise in credit card and identity theft. Mularski went undercover, using the hacker handle Master Splyntr, which he borrowed from the TV cartoon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The FBI agent took over the management of the DarkMarket crime forum frequented by more than 2,000 carders where they would buy and sell personal data for use in credit card fraud. For three years, unbeknown to the hackers who were congregating there, DarkMarket was turned into a sophisticated FBI sting operation.

Working with an undercover officer from the Serious Organised Crime Agency in London, Mularski's ploy led to 56 arrests across four countries, and brought down some of the biggest names in the world of ID-theft. The catch included DarkMarket's founder, a Sri Lankan-born Briton called Renukanth Subramaniam, aka JiLsi, who was sentenced to five years in prison in the UK last year.

Kingpin also recounts the stories of criminal hackers who were strongarmed by the FBI into becoming informants. David Thomas, a fraudster using the handle El Mariachi, was forced to co-operate after he was caught arranging an illegal $30,000 scam. FBI agents created an intelligence-gathering mission around him. The bureau set him up with a computer, a flat from which to operate, expenses and regular payments of $1,000 a month, in return for which he provided the agency with information on the hackers who passed through his crime forum, the Grifters.

Then there was Operation Anglerphish, an information gathering mission based around another prominent carder, Brett Johnson, aka Gollumfun. He turned informant in 2005 after he was accused of using forged Bank of America cheques. The secret service arranged for him to be released on bail, then set him up with a computer in their South Carolina field office from which he entered into dialogue with scores of illegal hackers on the forum Carders Market. Poulsen records that every message that crossed Johnson's computer was recorded and displayed on a plasma screen on the secret service's office wall.

Cumbajohnny

The informant to end all informants was Albert Gonzalez, Cumbajohnny as he was known in cyberspace, who was involved in hacking for many years and attended the Las Vegas Defcon in 2001. He was jailed after he was caught stealing from a cash machine in New York, which gave the secret service the leverage they needed to force him to work for them.

They had Gonzalez sprung from jail, and under the codename Operation Firewall helped him establish a closed network or VPN (virtual private network) for carders in which cyber criminals could trade stolen credit card details. It acted like a giant honey trap. A team of 15 agents monitored and recorded the activities of scores of top carders as they communicated with each other through the network.

For his pains, Gonzalez was paid a secret service salary of $75,000 a year.

Operations Anglerphish and Firewall were among the most audacious but disastrous attempts by the FBI to infiltrate and disrupt hackers. In the case of Anglerphish, Johnson managed to outwit the secret service and steal some $130,000 in illegal tax refunds while working as their informant.

Gonzalez's triple crossing was even more jaw-dropping. He managed to pull off what is believed to be the biggest fraud in cyber history while working on behalf of the secret service. He cracked into credit and debit card databases and stole millions of identities, while simultaneously pulling his federal salary. He was sentenced in March last year to two concurrent 20-year prison terms.

But Poulsen believes the FBI and secret service have had victories, smashing several hacker forums and destroying the sense of invulnerability their members had previously enjoyed.

"The carders' sense of invulnerability is shattered, their commerce is tariffed by paranoia and mistrust, the veil of secrecy that once protected hackers and corporations alike has mostly evaporated," he writes.

The FBI will not comment on its methods, nor on how successful it has been in crawling under the skin of the hacker community. Its spokeswoman said agents follow guidelines on the use of informants set by the attorney general, and each case is different.

Kevin Mitnick

Kevin Mitnick, dubbed the world's most wanted hacker when he spent three years on the run from the FBI for cracking into banks and telecoms companies, has studied all the big hacker criminal cases over the past 20 years. In almost all cases, he says, hackers have been turned into informants out of the desire to save their own skins faced with long prison sentences.

"I'd say that 99.9% of informants are doing it because they want to reduce their own criminal sentences. In nearly every case, hackers get scared because they fear the government will throw the book at them."

Mitnick knows what he is talking about. In a forthcoming memoir, Ghost in the Wires, he tells how his long-term hacking partner, Lewis de Payne, co-operated with the authorities . "We were close hacking partners for 20 years, so it was disappointing, though not exactly surprising. He had lots of bravado – he wasn't scared, he wouldn't cave – but the moment the Feds came after him, he collapsed."

Mitnick refused to play ball with the FBI by informing, and for that stubbornness was rewarded with a five-year prison sentence from which he emerged in 2000. "I refused to co-operate as it was against my moral fibre to reduce my sentence and hand it to somebody else. So I sat in prison much longer than I otherwise would."

In most cases, the tool used by the FBI and secret service to turn naturally anti-authoritarian hackers into agents of the state is quite simple: fear. A hacker is picked up and charged with various crimes. Just as they are starting to contemplate spending the rest of their youth behind bars, they are given a glimmer of hope. Co-operate with us, the Feds say, by "proffering" information against others, and we will grant you limited immunity so that nothing you say can be used against you. If the information proves useful, we will lop years off your sentence.

It is the same time-worn technique applied to drug dealers or mobsters or any other community that stands outside the law – get the little guy to turn on the big guy. But it has been especially effective when applied to hackers who lack the collective resistance to police pressure afforded by a mafia family or organised drug gang. "Hackers like to talk tough behind the keyboard, but as soon as the handcuffs are slapped on them and they face federal indictment, everything changes," says Mitnick.

The system for turning hackers into informants is morally corrupt, in Mitnick's view, because it involves a material inducement. "The snitch is getting paid in terms of less time in jail in exchange for their testimony. I have a problem with that, it's no different to paying someone $10,000 for their testimony, it's still payment even if it is in reduced sentence not money."

Jennifer Granick, an expert on cyber law who has represented several prominent hackers in cases involving informants, says such plea bargaining can distort the legal process. "The reduction in sentence is typically in proportion to how useful the information is that's given. That's a perverse incentive to lie, as the bigger the story you give the more it will be in your benefit."

As for Spot the Fed, the game is still being played at Defcon conventions in Las Vegas. Moss says it's not quite the soaraway hit it used to be. On the one hand, federal agents have become much more adept at blending in with the crowd. In the old days they would wear the wrong shoes or use the wrong vocabulary, and could be detected a mile away. Today, they've got the hacker look down to an art.

On the other hand, Moss says, FBI agents are often all too happy to be publicly identified. "These days it's got to the point where undercover agents will out themselves, just to get the T-shirt that says 'I am the Fed'."

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2 ... -informers

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 Post subject: Re: WikiLeaks-Light shone on the very dark...transparency...
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:16 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: WikiLeaks-Light shone on the very dark...transparency...
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 Post subject: Re: WikiLeaks-Light shone on the very dark...transparency...
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 Post subject: Re: WikiLeaks-Light shone on the very dark...transparency...
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:18 pm 
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March 4, 2015 | By Nadia Kayyali
EFF Joins Civil Society and Computer Security Experts to Call for Rejection of Flawed Cybersecurity Legislation

EFF has joined 26 civil society organizations and 22 computer security experts in a letter that calls on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to reject the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (CISA).

CISA, currently only available in draft form, is yet another iteration of the infamous Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), first introduced in 2011. These pieces of legislation have all been introduced under the auspices of increased computer and network security. But instead of providing increased funding for security research, providing funding for security training for federal government employees, or any of the other ways computer and network security could be made better, they have focused on information sharing, without addressing the privacy and civil liberties implications that entails.

CISA is no different. It would grant companies more power to obtain “cyber threat indicators" and to disclose that data to the government without a warrant—hence its reputation as a “cyber-surveillance” bill. In fact, as the letter points out, CISA “requires real time dissemination to military and intelligence agencies, including the NSA.” In other words, cyberthreats shared with any agency would be automatically shared with the NSA.

Under CISA, all of this would happen without real privacy protections for Internet users. As the letter emphasizes:

CISA does not effectively require private entities to strip out information that identifies a specific person prior to sharing cyber threat indicators with the government, a fundamental and important privacy protection.

But CISA allows the shared information to be used for purposes that have nothing to do with cybersecurity, including “a wide range of crimes involving any level of physical force, including those that involve no threat of death or significant bodily harm,” compounding the potential negative privacy impact.

CISA would also authorize companies to launch countermeasures against potentially innocent users—without requiring that companies are responsible for any harm they cause to innocent users:

countermeasures must be “operated on” one’s own information systems, but may have off-networks effects – including harmful effects to external systems – so long as the countermeasures do not “intentionally” destroy other entities’ systems. . . CISA permits companies to recklessly deploy countermeasures that damage networks belonging to innocent bystanders, such as a hospital or emergency responders that attackers use as proxies to hide behind, so long as the deploying company does not intend that the countermeasure result in harm.

To compound this provision, like its previous iterations, CISA contains overbroad immunity from lawsuits for corporations that share information or deploy countermeasures—effectively ensuring that they have little incentive to minimize these activities.

You can read the full text of the letter and see the signatories here. The SSCI is expected to mark up CISA soon. And while we’re hopeful that it will be defeated, CISA’s past iterations have faced several veto threats from President Obama, a petition with over 800,000 signatures, and a widespread online campaign dubbed "Stop Cyber Spying Week." That means we need your voice to defeat this version, too. Take action today: tell your Senator to oppose reintroduction of a bill that invades the privacy and civil liberties of everyday Internet users while failing to truly make the Internet safer.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/03/e ... ersecurity

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 Post subject: Re: WikiLeaks-Light shone on the very dark...transparency...
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:18 pm 
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The “Snowden is Ready to Come Home!” Story: a Case Study in Typical Media Deceit

Most sentient people rationally accept that the U.S. media routinely disseminates misleading stories and outright falsehoods in the most authoritative tones. But it’s nonetheless valuable to examine particularly egregious case studies to see how that works. In that spirit, let’s take yesterday’s numerous, breathless reports trumpeting the “BREAKING” news that “Edward Snowden now wants to come home!” and is “now negotiating the terms of his return!”

Ever since Snowden revealed himself to the public 20 months ago, he has repeatedly said the same exact thing when asked about his returning to the U.S.: I would love to come home, and would do so if I could get a fair trial, but right now, I can’t.

His primary rationale for this argument has long been that under the Espionage Act, the 1917 statute under which he has been charged, he would be barred by U.S. courts from even raising his key defense: that the information he revealed to journalists should never have been concealed in the first place and he was thus justified in disclosing it to journalists. In other words, when U.S. political and media figures say Snowden should “man up,” come home and argue to a court that he did nothing wrong, they are deceiving the public, since they have made certain that whistleblowers charged with “espionage” are legally barred from even raising that defense.

Snowden has also pointed out that legal protections for whistleblowers are explicitly inapplicable to those, like him, who are employed by private contractors (rendering President Obama’s argument about why Snowden should “come home” entirely false). One month after Snowden was revealed, Daniel Ellsberg wrote an Op-Ed in the Washington Post arguing that Snowden did the right thing in leaving the U.S. because he would not be treated fairly, and argued Snowden should not return until he is guaranteed a fully fair trial.

Snowden has said all of this over and over. In June 2013, when I asked him during the online Guardian chat why he left the U.S. for Hong Kong, he said: “the US Government, just as they did with other whistleblowers, immediately and predictably destroyed any possibility of a fair trial at home . . . That’s not justice, and it would be foolish to volunteer yourself to it if you can do more good outside of prison than in it.” In January 2014, AP reported about a new online chat Snowden gave: “Snowden said returning would be the best resolution. But Snowden said he can’t return because he wouldn’t be allowed to argue at trial that he acted in the public interest when he revealed the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance programs.” In that chat, he said: “Returning to the US, I think, is the best resolution for the government, the public, and myself.”

In his May 2014 interview with NBC News’ Brian Williams, Snowden said: “I don’t think there’s ever been any question that I’d like to go home.” That led to headlines like this one from CBS News — on May 29, 2014, more than nine months ago:

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For many months, it has also been repeatedly reported there have been negotiations between the DOJ and Snowden’s lawyers for the terms of his return, though those negotiations have gone nowhere. In April 2014, the New York Times reported that Snowden “retained a well ­known Washington defense lawyer last summer in hopes of reaching a plea deal with federal prosecutors that would allow him to return to the United States and spare him significant prison time.” In June 2014, Bill Gertz reported that “Federal prosecutors recently held discussions with representatives of renegade National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden on a possible deal involving his return to the United States.”

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Yesterday, in Moscow, Snowden’s Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena held a press conference to promote his new book, was asked about Snowden’s case, and said exactly what has been known for almost two years: “He has a desire to go back, and we are doing everything possible to make that happen.” Kucherena added that lawyers in various countries have been working on Snowden’s behalf to negotiate terms for a fair trial.

Various media outlets then took these redundant, anodyne comments and distorted them into some brand new BREAKING!! event — as though Snowden suddenly decided for the first time he wants to Come Home — and then proceeded to extract from this fake narrative a series of utterly misleading, false and propagandistic claims about Snowden, Russia and the NSA. The first instance I saw of this was yesterday morning, from Politico’s digital editorial director Blake Hounshell, looking as always to generate Politico clicks by hyping empty garbage:

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That was retweeted by dozens of journalists and others, treating it like some sort of new confession on Snowden’s part that he’s suddenly “ready to return” home. Over and over, print and television media outlets then spent the rest of the day screeching that Snowden has now decided he wants to come home!!! “Snowden Seeks to Return Home,” proclaimed the headline of the New York Times, while the article strongly suggested this was a new desire created by life in Moscow: Snowden “would like to return to the U.S. after nearly two years of exile in Russia.” The NSA-allied website Lawfare cited the article to claim: “Edward Snowden wants to come home.” ABC pronounced: “NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Wants to Return Home.” Reuters: “Fugitive ex-NSA contractor Snowden seeks to come home: lawyer.” And on and on and on.

Countless cable shows similarly treated this like some sort of breaking, revealing news about Snowden’s life in Russia and his desperation to return to the Land of the Free — all based on things that happened over and over during the last 20 months. The most hilariously inane was this CNN discussion of “BREAKING NOW” news hosted by Wolf Blitzer, involving his know-nothing panelists: CNN “counter-terrorism analyst” (i.e., former CIA counter-terrorism official) Phillip Mudd, the Washington Post’s David Ignatius, and Newt Gingrich, all of whom put on their Serious Expert Faces to spout utter idiocy. Let’s look at some of what they said:

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Mudd: “I don’t understand why someone who is one of the most remarkable leakers we’ve ever seen gets to flee overseas, and then talk to the Department of Justice about what he wants for his trial. Come home, son, and spend your 30 years in jail. He’s cooked.”

CNN’s “expert” is apparently unaware that the DOJ very frequently — almost always, in fact — negotiates with people charged with very serious felonies over plea agreements. He’s also apparently unaware of this thing called “asylum,” which the U.S. routinely grants to people charged by other countries with crimes on the ground that they’d be persecuted with imprisonment if they returned home.

Also, with this prevailing mentality being spewed by former government officials and current news network “experts” — “come home, son, and spend your 30 years in jail. He’s cooked” — does anyone have difficulty seeing why Snowden believes he would not get a fair trial?

Ignatius: “It must be very difficult to be Edward Snowden, living in the Moscow of Vladimir Putin, at a time when Putin’s opposition is being murdered in the streets, so I can’t help but think that Snowden wants out, and the fact that he’s willing to negotiate, which he said before he wouldn’t do, is interesting.”

It’s hard to overstate how false and misleading this is. Snowden had never said he wouldn’t negotiate for his return; as I’ve demonstrated, he’s been negotiating this through his lawyers informally for a long time, and his position has always been the same: he’d like to return home if he could be assured a fair trial. David Ignatitus just made all of this up, all based on this fake news item that Snowden has had some sort of sudden change of heart.

Then there’s the bit about living in the Russia “of Vladimir Putin.” For more than 60 years, U.S. elites have been eager to tell Americans that anyone living in Russia is inherently miserable. That’s particularly true of Western dissidents: the apocryphal stories of British defector Kim Philby being destroyed by a dark, lonely, miserable existence that culminated in his drinking himself to death are often invoked to suggest that a similar fate awaits Snowden (who doesn’t drink, who lives with his longtime girlfriend, who is regarded as a hero by millions and millions of people around the world, who receives awards and prestigious appointments, and who is incredibly gratified and fulfilled both by what he did and his current life).

That’s all Ignatius is up to with these claims, all based on the obvious media-created fiction that Snowden has suddenly realized how desperate he is to leave Russia. Again, this entire conversation — like the whole media blitz yesterday about this story — is all based on utter fiction.

This “everyone-in-Russia-is-miserable” line has been a staple of U.S propaganda since the end of World War II, and remarkably, nothing has changed. Indeed, the climate created by our New Cold Warriors is, in some respects, even more desperate than the “he’s-a-Soviet-shill” tactics pioneered in the 1950s (yesterday, BuzzFeed investigated a journalist for the Thought Crime of writing articles which BuzzFeed’s blogger Miriam Elder deemed to be “pro-Russia,” and thus smeared him with evidence-free innuendo as a likely paid Kremlin agent). Yes, many political rights are severely abridged in Russia, but there are over 140 million people living in Russia and some of them are fulfilled human beings living fulfilled human lives (BREAKING!) while there is substantial human misery in the U.S. as well.

Snowden did not choose to live in Russia. He was forced to remain there when trying to leave because the U.S. government revoked his passport and bullied the Cubans out of offering him safe passage on his way to Latin America. But whether jingoists like David Ignatius can comprehend this or not, Snowden (as most people would) actually considers living in Moscow with his girlfriend and freely participating in the vital global debate he provoked to be preferable to withering in a cage inside the repressive U.S. penal state.

Blitzer: “What do you think, Mr. Speaker? He could spend the rest of his life in Moscow — it might be chilly there in the winter — but it’s better, presumably, than jail?”

I can’t overstate how many times I’ve heard people say that Snowden must be miserable in Moscow because of how cold it gets in the winter. Leave aside the bizarre view that climate is the greatest factor in determining how happy and fulfilled someone’s life is, and further leave aside the notion that all 140 million Russians must have a horrible life because it’s cold during the winter. There are other places — such as Canada, North Dakota, Sweden, Boston — that are also extremely cold; do people believe that residents there are, as a result of the weather, inherently doomed to horrible lives?

Gingrich: “I think if we can find a way to get him home, get the rest of the documents that he has not leaked . . . it’s worth doing, but I think he’d have to serve jail time, and it’d probably be fairly lengthy. I don’t think the country would tolerate this level of betrayal, not having some very significant jail time —

Blitzer: “You say lengthy. What do you think?

Gingrich: “I’m not an expert in this, but I’d say more than 10 years.”

Where to start? First, Gingrich’s belief that it’s possible to “get the rest of the documents that he has not leaked” is simply adorable. Second, Gingrich is a fascinating choice for CNN to have pontificate on proper punishments given that he is the first House Speaker to ever be punished for ethics violations, for which he was fined $300,000. Third, David Petraeus was just allowed to plead guilty for leaking extremely sensitive secrets — not out of a whistleblowing desire to inform the public but simply to satisfy his mistress — and will almost certainly spend no time in jail; Gingrich, Blitzer, Ignatius and friends would never dare suggest that the General should go to prison (just as DC’s stern law-and-order advocates who demand Snowden’s imprisonment would never dare suggest the same for James Clapper for having lied to Congress).

Most important, if you were Snowden, and you constantly heard U.S. political and media elites consigning you to prison for a decade or longer before your trial started, would you remotely believe assurances that you’d get a fair trial? What rational person would ever willingly submit themselves to a penal state that imprisons more of its citizens than any other in the world, run by people with this mentality?

And when you examine case studies like this of what U.S. media is not just capable of doing but eager to do — concoct a completely false narrative based on fictitious events and then proceed to spend a full day drawing all sorts of self-serving and propagandistic lessons from it — why would anyone regard what comes spewing forth from them with anything other than extreme suspicion and contempt?

Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015 ... ia-deceit/

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 Post subject: Re: WikiLeaks-Light shone on the very dark...transparency...
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:03 pm 
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Oh wow! What an long article! You must be super intelligent, to be able to read them so fast, and your digestive system must be as rapid as that of a "superhero". But to be honest I bet you are stupid as a rock, and didn't even read that article, you just wanted a big posts to make you look superior! I bet that MC Hammer video was a little too much eh? Am I too hot to handle? I have not seen a word from you, for a couple of minutes... and I know, we are going at a fast pace. Not so fast that it can be bragged about, but faster than you are used to right?

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 Post subject: Re: WikiLeaks-Light shone on the very dark...transparency...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 1:14 am 
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NSA/CIA Trolls Destroy Heroes to Profit Villains: Snowden/Wikileaks Evidence Protection Racket for Death Industry



Snowden/Wikileaks Evidence Hacktivist Protection Racket for Controlling Opposition to Deadly Global Enterprise.

This landmark video production contributes to public health, safety, and education by explaining how and why such hacktivist trolls--commercial criminals effecting widespread social discord--are administered by intelligence agencies to secure “crisis capitalism,” terrorism, and contrived wars through media manipulations and cultural divisions.

This unprecedented film exposes the psychological operations, “hypnotronic warfare,” and induced public “trance states,” profiting the largest corporations in every nation and industry, including energy, medicine, and banking, through which the global cartel’s deadly agendas are secured.

Indeed, assassinating the journalists by contrived "accident" or "suicide" at this point, as has been known to happen multiple times under similar circumstances to other members of the "free press," would further undermine the Western intelligence agencies’ stature as a criminal enterprise.

In 36 riveting minutes, "The HOROKANE" expose the covert actions of their professionally-trained attackers--graduates of the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Unit (JTRIG)--the counterpart to the U.S. National Security Agency in England. Their published records prove the precise policies, attack strategies, and perverse propaganda practices, generated in the Human Science Operations Cell (HSOC) of "Central Intelligence," used by the hacktivist trolls to destroy the reputations of heroes to benefit villains, conflict with civilized society.

Racketeering in organized crime has become institutionalized by these covert agencies and their psychologically compromised agents, to profit concealed commercial interests and agency-protected competitors. This is not fair play in commerce. It is an imposition of crisis capitalism suppressing and damaging everything good and righteous, including peace, on earth.

Dr. Horowitz--a Harvard Univ. trained expert in public health and behavioral science, notes the risks to society from HSOC's abuses of human psychology, behavior modification, and cultural engineering to generate war and disease economies.

"It takes gross denial and ignorance, what most people call 'stupidity,' professionals call psychopathology, and clergy call "demonic possession,' to work for agencies as agents of this madness. This is not heroic service to any country. This is treason against every nation and civilization as a whole.

In fact, the entire population is endangered, unless we "shift paradigms" and demand protections of human rights and law enforcement in area of social psychology and mind control, more urgently needed today, than previously, because of the availability of the Internet, to counter consumer fraud and commercial crime aided-and-abetted by negligent legislators, complicit regulators, and media officials.

"Another reason they chose the wrong targets," Dr. Horowitz said, "is because 'offing' us would martyr, publicize, and further legitimize what the multinational corporations have labored for a century to suppress--the simple, low cost, no risk, solutions to this modern madness institutionalizing warfare and disease care. These life-saving remedies are modeled by nature in solutions central to my life's purpose and film's mission--to promote natural healing and the importance of the 528 material--including the 528Revolution.com website heralding medicinal music making.”

“It is my hope that our film is a ‘game changer,'” Kane said, “because the greedy, arrogant, psychopathic paradigm of generating mental illness and social distress to profit drug and war commerce is convincingly evidenced in this video for the first time for the world to watch. It takes viewers from Dr. Horowitz’s personal tragedy into the global dilemma that challenges human freedom in every nation. We vet the “wizards” behind the curtain of so-called 'intelligence' and 'counter-intelligence,' exposing them for being traitorous victims of their own deadly dementia.”

The journalists who produced and contributed to this film agree that whatever sacrifices they make are worthwhile. They are committed to developing widespread public awareness of how the intelligence agencies actually operate criminally and commercially abusing human rights, freedoms, psychology, behavioral science, fear-based messaging, deception, illusion, diversion, social division, the Internet, Hollywood, and other media, to influence populations for money and power.

Read the full story behind this film at: waronwethepeople.com/nsa-cia-hacktivist-trolls-destroy-heroes-profit-villians/

https://vimeo.com/90492102

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 Post subject: Re: WikiLeaks-Light shone on the very dark...transparency...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 1:15 am 
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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appeals to Sweden's Supreme Court

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Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London in August. Photo: Reuters
Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London in August. Photo: Reuters

Stockholm: Lawyers for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange have filed an appeal to Sweden's Supreme Court seeking to quash the 2010 warrant for his arrest on accusations of rape and molestation.

Mr Assange's lawyer Per Samuelsson said he lodged the appeal with Sweden's top court on Wednesday afternoon to end the stand-off.

The Australian remains holed up in Ecuador's embassy in London to avoid arrest and extradition, while Swedish prosecutors refuse requests he be questioned there.

"We have to end this - the situation is completely stalled, and that's the point we raised in our appeal," Mr Samuelsson said in criticising what he called the "total passivity" of prosecutors who he said "have done nothing in four years".

With the law requiring judges to decide if they are legally competent to accept the appeal, Mr Samuelsson said "the Supreme Court now has the ball".

The arrest warrant was issued in 2010 by Swedish prosecutors investigating a case based on one woman accusing Assange of rape and another alleging sexual molestation.

Mr Assange, 43, refused to return to Sweden to refute the charges he adamantly denies on fears Stockholm would extradite him to the US to be tried for his role in WikiLeaks' publication of huge stores of classified diplomatic, military and intelligence documents.

In 2012, he sought refuge in Ecuador's British embassy to avoid arrest and likely forced extradition to Sweden.

He has proposed to testify in the Swedish inquiry from inside that mission, but prosecutors insist Mr Assange must return to Stockholm to be interviewed.

A lower Swedish court rejected the warrant appeal in November. The court, however, criticised prosecutors for failing "to examine alternative avenues" in the investigation.

"The prosecutor has literally not done anything since the autumn of 2010. This violates not only Swedish law, but also European law," Mr Samuelsson told the online edition of Stockholm daily Dagens Nyheter.

Mr Samuelsson said Mr Assange wanted to clear his name and end the impasse.

"We are asking the court to give us access to the phone text messages that the two plaintiffs exchanged, and which [prosecutors] possess," he said, adding he was certain contents of the messages would prove Mr Assange's innocence.

Sweden's Supreme Court only considers cases where it is important to establish a judgment - or precedent - that may provide guidance for lower courts.

Mr Samuelsson says Mr Assange's embassy exile costs €11,000 ($16,000) each day. Moreover, he argues that in making it impossible for Mr Assange to leave the mission without near certain arrest, the Swedish warrant has effectively denied Mr Assange his civic rights before he's even been tried.

http://www.smh.com.au/world/wikileaks-f ... 3p1u3.html

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 Post subject: Re: WikiLeaks-Light shone on the very dark...transparency...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 1:16 am 
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Julian Assange still remains holed up in Ecuador’s embassy in London. The WikiLeaks founder told RTS the US government would never let him off the hook for publishing top secret US military documents leaked in 2010.

Nobody in Europe is sheltered from US surveillance programs, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told Swiss broadcaster Radio Television Suisse (RTS) in an exclusive interview.

He has been residing in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since the summer of 2012 when he was granted a political asylum by the South American country,


Image
A police officer walks past the Ecuador embassy following a shift change in London February 6, 2015
© REUTERS/ Suzanne Plunkett


“Phones and hard drives worldwide are now under surveillance. This makes the world a very vulnerable place and poses a threat to everyone,” Assange said, adding that he will keep working to make sure people have access to censored data, because this information is essential in order to have a better understanding of the world we live in.

The WikiLeaks founder also spoke about his pain of being separated from his family. “It’s something that’s so hard for me, but even harder for my kids… but if you believe in something, you have to pay the price,” Assange told RTS.

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Wikileaks Whistleblower Manning Joins the Guardian As Opinion Writer

Assange is currently wanted by the United States after publishing secret US military and diplomatic documents leaked by Chelsea Manning in 2010. Assange said he no longer believes in a positive outcome of his case saying that the United States would not let him off the hook for what he did.

“It’s possible that I’m condemned to death,” Assange told during the interview.

http://sputniknews.com/europe/20150302/1018960752.html

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 Post subject: Re: WikiLeaks-Light shone on the very dark...transparency...
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Canada ‘shameful’ for denying asylum to alleged Anonymous hacker Matt DeHart: WikiLeaks founder

While Matt DeHart appeared briefly inside a Buffalo courtroom after his deportation from Canada where he had sought political asylum, outside, a prominent international whistleblower support group hailed him for his courage.

Mr. DeHart, 30, was turned over to U.S. authorities by Canada Border Services Agency on Sunday and on Monday he was named the third beneficiary of the Courage Foundation, an international organization.

Mr. DeHart joins two previous beneficiaries, both well-known newsmakers: Edward Snowden, the former U.S. National Security Agency analyst who leaked documents revealing large-scale global surveillance, and Jeremy Hammond, serving 10 years in a U.S. prison after hacked email from security think-tank Stratfor was published through WikiLeaks, the whistle-blowing organization.

“Canada’s actions are shameful. It may as well not have a border,” said WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in a statement. (WikiLeaks started the Courage Foundation and its acting director, Sarah Harrison, is also a WikiLeaks editor.)

“The abuse of the law in DeHart’s case is obvious, shocking and wrong,” said Mr. Assange.

In a tweet, WikiLeaks referred to Mr. DeHart as an “alleged WikiLeaks middleman.”

Mr. Assange remains in exile in Ecuador’s London embassy where he took refuge against extradition to Sweden where he is wanted for questioning on sex-crime allegations.

Serious questions about Mr. DeHart’s treatment and prosecution were revealed in a long investigation by the National Post in May.

Mr. DeHart is a former American serviceman in the Air National Guard, where he trained in the secretive drone program. While in the military he was also involved in Anonymous, the global hacktivist group.

He fled to Canada ahead of a criminal trial on child pornography charges that he insists were laid as leverage to further a probe into Anonymous and his operation of a secret Internet server used to leak a classified U.S. government document, likely destined to WikiLeaks.
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While in custody in the United States, he alleges he was tortured and interrogated.

His bid for political asylum as a refugee was denied in Canada.

After Mr. DeHart’s forced removal from Canada, he made a brief appearance in Buffalo court, where he was ordered transferred to Tennessee, the jurisdiction where his criminal charges were laid, said his New York-based lawyer Tor Ekeland. Mr. Ekeland was able to participate in the appearance over a telephone speaker.

“Matt said he was being treated OK,” Mr. Ekeland said.

Ms. Harrison said the treatment of Mr. DeHart is unjust and his case is an important one.

Image
AP Photo/John Stillwell, Pool/Files

“It raises important legal questions, including the behaviour of the Canadian asylum system in relation to the United States, the status of ‘data couriers’ to WikiLeaks and other publications, the status of Anonymous ‘members,’ the limits of state power during espionage investigations, the abuse of medical procedures, the use of deportation instead of extradition, the exploitation of the mentally vulnerable by investigators and the use of unrelated charges of a taboo nature during a national security investigation,” Ms. Harrison said.

“The FBI has ruined Matt’s life to cover up what he knew and to punish his support of WikiLeaks and Anonymous.”

Jesselyn Radack, a prominent U.S. national security and human rights attorney who represents Mr. Snowden, slammed the decision of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board to deny Mr. DeHart asylum.

“While the U.S. government has yet to file an indictment under the Espionage Act in this case, it is obvious that the flimsy child pornography charges are a pretext to punish DeHart and force him to return to the U.S.,” she said.

“The Obama administration has aggressively used the Espionage Act as its weapon of choice to punish national security whistleblowers, in any case that even remotely involved disclosure of allegedly-classified information.”

The Courage Foundation supports people “who risk life or liberty to make significant contributions to the historical record,” the organization said in a statement.

It may take several weeks for Mr. DeHart to be transferred from prison to prison on his way to Tennessee.

National Post


http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/03/02 ... s-founder/

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 Post subject: Re: WikiLeaks-Light shone on the very dark...transparency...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 1:17 am 
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US government still hunting WikiLeaks as Obama targets whistleblowers

The Department of Justice and the FBI are pursuing a ‘multi-subject long-term’ investigation of the open-information website, court documents reveal

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The WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange responded to the revelation by saying: ‘My God, I know I am an Australian,
but that doesn’t mean that WikiLeaks deserves a kangaroo court.’ Photograph: John Stillwell/AFP/Getty




The US government is conducting an active, long-term criminal investigation into WikiLeaks, a federal judge has confirmed in court documents.

Five years after Julian Assange and his team began publishing the massive dump of US state secrets leaked by an army intelligence analyst, two wings of the Department of Justice and the FBI remain engaged in a criminal investigation of the open-information website that is of a “long-term duration”, “multi-subject” in nature and that “remains in the investigative state”.

Google waited six months to tell WikiLeaks it passed employee data to FBI

The disclosure was made in the course of a ruling from the US district court for the District of Columbia, the jurisdiction of which covers federal agencies, and underlines the Obama administration’s dogged pursuit of WikiLeaks and its unprecedentedly aggressive legal campaign against official whistleblowers.

Judge Barbara Rothstein records that she had considered evidence from both the Justice Department’s criminal and national security divisions, as well as from the FBI – and that the government included seven declarations, three of them delivered to her in secret. At the end of her deliberations, the judge reached the conclusion that “this court is persuaded that there is an ongoing criminal investigation”.

Rothstein added that federal agencies had told the court that their inquiry into WikiLeaks was “separate and distinct” from the prosecution of the army soldier who leaked the vast database of secrets, Chelsea Manning. She was convicted under the Espionage Act and sentenced in August 2013 to 35 years in military custody.

WikiLeaks’s lawyer, Michael Ratner, said the disclosure was significant because, coming from such a high court, it left no doubt about the US government’s intentions.

“We are talking about a serious, multi-subject long-term investigation of WikiLeaks and its people,” Ratner said. “This confirms in spades that the US authorities are coming after WikiLeaks and want to close it down.”

The court ruling arrived in response to a freedom of information request from the Electronic Privacy Information Center (Epic). About a year after the Manning leaks, Epic requested from the DoJ and FBI all records regarding any individuals who had been targeted for surveillance “for support for or interest in WikiLeaks”.

In her ruling, the judge ordered the national security division of the DoJ to redouble its search of its files for documents that might fit the freedom of information request. But she sided with the federal agencies in granting them an exemption to the rules, so that they did not have to hand over any material to Epic – on grounds that doing so might interfere with their law enforcement activities.

The FBI and criminal division argued before the court that the release of their files “would allow targets of the investigation to evade law enforcement”. Rothstein agreed that “the government’s declarations, especially when viewed in light of the appropriate deference to the executive on issues of national security, may satisfy this burden.”

Assange, the WikiLeaks editor-in-chief who is currently living in the embassy of Ecuador in London after being granted asylum there, poured scorn on the judge’s reference to “appropriate deference to the executive”.

“My God, I know I am an Australian, but that doesn’t mean that WikiLeaks deserves a kangaroo court,” Assange told the Guardian.

Some aspects of the FBI’s investigation into WikiLeaks have already become public. In January 2011 it was revealed that the US government had ordered Twitter to hand over private messages from a then WikiLeaks volunteer, the Icelandic member of parliament Birgitta Jónsdóttir.

Earlier this year, it emerged that a similar demand for information had been imposed on Google relating to three WikiLeaks staffers, including the British citizen Sarah Harrison.

The Obama administration has launched eight prosecutions under the 1917 Espionage Act – more than under all previous US presidencies combined. John Kiriakou, a former CIA officer, was released from federal prison last month after almost two years behind bars for disclosing the identity of another covert operative; in January, Jeffrey Sterling was convicted under the act of leaking information to a New York Times journalist relating to a secret CIA operation in Iran.

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/m ... tleblowers

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Last edited by Shayalana on Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: WikiLeaks-Light shone on the very dark...transparency...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 7:43 am 
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Fantastic! You've recovered from the "K.O", glad to see you back for a new round of "sparring".

And so what do you come up with?
well, an article about trolls, a pure 100% quote without your personal wisdom or POV attached to it (surprise surprise)! And the classic blanks, four ones this time... one less than your "personal best" -five. How come? Are you ever going to try a new record of six blanks in a row? or will that remind you of the six heart virtues -that you so often quote but never practice? I bet you'll be stuck at five blanks, and wont exceed that number until you start genuinely practicing the HVs !

You can of course edit those blanks like you have done and quote more trollticles - I mean articles, which are super loved by... no one -but you, because you think you can hide my posts with them, and make me look like a fool... yeah, but no. It is you who come forth as the fool! Until the day, you become the humble fool, instead of the insolent fool that you are now.

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 Post subject: Re: WikiLeaks-Light shone on the very dark...transparency...
PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:56 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: WikiLeaks-Light shone on the very dark...transparency...
PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:57 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: WikiLeaks-Light shone on the very dark...transparency...
PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:57 pm 
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Google hands data to US Government in WikiLeaks espionage case
Monday January 26, 08:00 AEST

Today, WikiLeaks' lawyers have written to Google and the US Department of Justice concerning a serious violation of the privacy and journalistic rights of WikiLeaks' staff. Investigations editor Sarah Harrison, Section Editor Joseph Farrell and senior journalist and spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson have received notice that Google had handed over all their emails and metadata to the United States government on the back of alleged 'conspiracy' and 'espionage' warrants carrying up to 45 years in prison.

Importantly, the warrants reveal for the first time a clear list of the alleged offences the US government is trying to apply in its attempts to build a prosecution against Julian Assange and other WikiLeaks staff. The offences add up to a total of 45 years of imprisonment.

The US government is claiming universal jurisdiction to apply the Espionage Act, general Conspiracy statute and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to journalists and publishers – a horrifying precedent for press freedoms around the world. Once an offence is alleged in relation to a journalist or their source, the whole media organisation, by the nature of its work flow, can be targeted as alleged 'conspiracy'. Julian Assange, WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief said: 'WikiLeaks has out endured everything the Obama administration has thrown at us and we will out endure these latest "offences" too.'

Read the full press release.

http://wikileaks.org/google-warrant/

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Last edited by Shayalana on Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: WikiLeaks-Light shone on the very dark...transparency...
PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:58 pm 
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WikiLeaks spokesman told Sputnik Monday that the whistleblower organization was looking into all legal possibilities, including the option of taking Google to court.

MOSCOW, January 26 (Sputnik), Svetlana Alexandrova – WikiLeaks is looking into taking legal action, including bringing Google to court, after learning that the Internet giant waited nearly three years to notify them that it had handed over personal data of WikiLeaks staff members to US authorities, a WikiLeaks spokesman told Sputnik news agency Monday.

"We are looking into all legal possibilities and the option of taking them to court is obviously on the table," WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson told Sputnik. "It is quite possible that we will but it hasn't been decided yet," he added.

STATEMENT: Google hands data to US government in #WikiLeaks espionage case http://t.co/aeqVlRucsB pic.twitter.com/MIxGiOu9si
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) 25 января 2015

In a letter to Google's executive chairman published Monday, WikiLeaks called on the Internet giant to provide answers a month after learning that Google had been handing over personal data of its staff members to US authorities without notifying the organization nearly three years ago.

"What Google did was illegal," Hrafnsson stressed, adding that it was illegal to share the personal information of WikiLeaks staff members without informing them and giving them an opportunity to contest the move.

According to the letter sent by Center for Constitutional Rights lawyer Michael Ratner, three WikiLeaks journalists and editors – Sarah Harrison, Kristinn Hrafnsson and Joseph Farrell – were targeted by the US government over allegations of conspiracy and espionage, offences that carry nearly 45-year prison terms.

Ratner: 'Dec 23, 3 WikiLeaks journalists were notified by Google that they provided US Gov w/ email content, deleted emails, metadata, etc.'
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) 26 января 2015

"While it is too late for our clients to have the notice they should have had, they are still entitled to a list of Google's disclosures to the government and an explanation why Google waited more than two and a half years to provide any notice," the letter continues.

According to the organization's website, the Justice Department may have issued search warrants and court orders for the records of the WikiLeaks associates "as early as February 2."

http://sputniknews.com/world/20150126/1017368363.html

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MaSU0ABrnY


Last edited by Shayalana on Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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