April 6, 2012
“Thanks USA. We’re so glad you are so cornered about our lives that you want to watch us all the time. You are doing great work.” –KTRN
The United States has successfully launched a multi-million dollar rocket into the sky outside of Los Angeles, but details regarding the cargo of the craft are not being released, as the government refuses to comment fully on the classified mission.
A Delta IV rocket was launched out of the Vandenberg Air Force base in Western California on Tuesday as part of a mission made possible to support the National Reconnaissance Office, one of the United States’ 16 intelligence agencies. The NRO regularly manages spy satellites and related spacecraft for the US government, and although the specifics of the latest mission are staying sealed, this week’s liftoff is expected to further the country’s surveillance capabilities from high above the Earth.
As the exact purpose of the latest launch remains a matter for high-profile officers only, intelligence analysts speaking with the Associated Press speculate that the rocket was fired off to release a spy satellite that will allow the government to see from a set of eyes in the sky that will more successfully be able to see at night and in bad weather using high-tech radar imagining. To the AP, unidentified experts say they believe the high-tech satellite will be able to zoom into countries of interest and provide a point of view for the intelligence community that is not obtainable by America’s otherwise advanced surveillance equipment.
Jim Sponnick, the vice president of the aerospace contractors and Delta IV maker United Launch Alliance, congratulates the NRO this week for the latest launch, which he only explains as being “critical for national security.” So secretive are the government’s exact intentions, however, that the US ordered the ULA to abort their live broadcast of the missile launch only three minutes after the countdown to liftoff reached zero.
March 22, 2012
By Kurt Nimmo
“Another government bureaucrat is caught lying to the people – shocking!” –KTRN
Once again, another government bureaucrat, this time the boss of the all-power National Security Agency, has taken us for idiots.
General Keith Alexander, who insists hackers can take down power grids not hooked up to the internet, recently told Congress the NSA does not have the ability to look at your email.
And there is a bridge in Brooklyn we’d like to sell you.
Here’s what Alexander told Congress:
“NSA does not have the ability to do that (spy on citizen emails) in the United States….We don’t have the technical insights in the United States. In other words, you have to have something to intercept, or some way of doing that either by going to a service provider with a warrant or you have to be collecting in that area. We’re not authorized to do that, nor do we have the equipment in the United States to collect that kind of information.”
I guess Mr. Alexander did not see the report issued by the European Parliament back in 2001 about the NSA’s Echelon. Not only can they intercept and read your email, but also your telephone calls, fax, and other data.
Then there was the AT&T employee Mark Klein. He revealed a few years ago that his company was in cahoots with the NSA and they were vacuuming up enormous amounts of data from the internet.
March 20, 2012
By James Bamford
“Nothing you say will be private anymore.” –KTRN
The spring air in the small, sand-dusted town has a soft haze to it, and clumps of green-gray sagebrush rustle in the breeze. Bluffdale sits in a bowl-shaped valley in the shadow of Utah’s Wasatch Range to the east and the Oquirrh Mountains to the west. It’s the heart of Mormon country, where religious pioneers first arrived more than 160 years ago. They came to escape the rest of the world, to understand the mysterious words sent down from their god as revealed on buried golden plates, and to practice what has become known as “the principle,” marriage to multiple wives.
Today Bluffdale is home to one of the nation’s largest sects of polygamists, the Apostolic United Brethren, with upwards of 9,000 members. The brethren’s complex includes a chapel, a school, a sports field, and an archive. Membership has doubled since 1978—and the number of plural marriages has tripled—so the sect has recently been looking for ways to purchase more land and expand throughout the town.
But new pioneers have quietly begun moving into the area, secretive outsiders who say little and keep to themselves. Like the pious polygamists, they are focused on deciphering cryptic messages that only they have the power to understand. Just off Beef Hollow Road, less than a mile from brethren headquarters, thousands of hard-hatted construction workers in sweat-soaked T-shirts are laying the groundwork for the newcomers’ own temple and archive, a massive complex so large that it necessitated expanding the town’s boundaries. Once built, it will be more than five times the size of the US Capitol.
Rather than Bibles, prophets, and worshippers, this temple will be filled with servers, computer intelligence experts, and armed guards. And instead of listening for words flowing down from heaven, these newcomers will be secretly capturing, storing, and analyzing vast quantities of words and images hurtling through the world’s telecommunications networks. In the little town of Bluffdale, Big Love and Big Brother have become uneasy neighbors.
March 7, 2012
End The Lie
By Madison Ruppert
“It doesn’t make much sense why anyone thinks these spy programs are a good idea. Let’s say there is someone out there who is a jelous boyfriend who wants revenge. It would be pretty easy to use one of the programs in order to get someone in trouble on purpose as a sick joke. This is no joke.” –KTRN
Recently I reported on the concerted effort to bring citizen spying into the digital age with applications on smartphones which can be used to report “suspicious activity” to local homeland security fusion centers.
This has expanded even more thanks to the hard work of individuals like 25-year-old Eman Pahlevani, a student at the University of New Hampshire School of Law.
Pahlevani launched an application last month called CrimePush after several months of development with his brother and a friend.
The application allows users to send in reports in the form of text, pictures or video directly to local law enforcement after police dispatch centers set up their accounts with CrimePush.
After the dispatchers have registered, users of Android-based devices and Apple iPhones within the given area are able to download the application dedicated to that location and start sending in tips, no matter how erroneous.
Interestingly, Pahlevani claims that at least one county in every single state in the United States had expressed interest in using the application in just the first three weeks after launching it.
He said that he has been getting a great deal of support from his professors, saying, “They’ve all given me a lot of feedback of: ‘It’s going to be a game changer for people who want to report crime and get information to police.’”
While this might be true, it’s also going to be a game changer for police officers who are inundated by false reports, misleading information, maliciously submitted reports and so on.
In a question and answer session with the Concord Monitor out of Concord, New Hampshire, Pahlevani revealed that he decided to turn his idea into a mobile application to appeal to young people, or as he put it, “this generation growing up with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. We thought this would be a good way to open up lines of communication between the younger generation and police authorities.”
It’s also a great way to condition people into reporting every little thing to police, especially when the federal government classifies just about everything as an indicator of possible terrorism.
February 20th, 2012
By: Steve Watson
The British government has dusted off previously shelved plans to create huge databases, enabling spy agencies to monitor every phone call, email and text message as well as websites visited by everyone in the country.
The Telegraph reports that under the plans, the government will force every communications network to store the data for one year. The plans also extend to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and gaming sites.
The plans, drawn up by MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, the government’s secret eavesdropping agency, may be officially announced as soon as May, according to details seen by the Telegraph. Those agencies would have real time access to the records kept by companies such as Vodafone and British Telecom.
The records would allow the spy agencies to monitor the “who, when and where” of every phone call, text message and email sent, while also allowing for internet browsing histories to be matched to IP addresses.
Unassumingly titled the Communications Capabilities Development Programme (CCDP), the new scheme is set to be implemented under anti-terrorism laws, with the spy agencies saying it will allow them to more closely monitor suspects ahead of the London 2012 Olympics in July.
Critics and civil liberties advocates are calling for mass opposition to the plans, noting that the scheme is open to abuse not only by spy agencies and communications companies themselves, but also by hackers and online criminals.
Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group, a civil liberties campaign organization, said: “This would be a systematic effort to spy on all of our digital communications.
“No state in history has been able to gather the level of information proposed – it’s a way of collecting everything about who we talk to just in case something turns up.” Killock added.
Gus Hosein, of Privacy International, said: “This will be ripe for hacking. Every hacker, every malicious threat, every foreign government is going to want access to this.
“And if communications providers have a government mandate to start collecting this information they will be incredibly tempted to start monitoring this data themselves so they can compete with Google and Facebook.”
“The internet companies will be told to store who you are friends with and interact with. While this may appear innocuous it requires the active interception of every single communication you make, and this has never been done in a democratic society.” Hosein urged.
The Open Rights Group has an online anti-CCDP petition, which describes the plan as “pointless,” “expensive,” and “illegal” and urges the public to come together to oppose it.
Back in 2008, the government announced its intention to create a massive central database, gathering details on every text sent, e-mail sent, phone call made and website visited by everyone in the UK.
The programme, known as the “Interception Modernisation Programme”, would have allowed spy chiefs at GCHQ, the centre for Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) activities, to effectively place a “live tap” on every electronic communication in Britain in the name of preventing terrorism.
Following outcry over the announcement, the government suggested that it was scaling down the plans, with then Home Secretary Jacqui Smith stating that there were “absolutely no plans for a single central store” of communications data.
However, as the “climbdown” was celebrated by civil liberties advocates and the plan was “replaced” by new laws requiring ISPs to store details of emails and internet telephony for just 12 months, fresh details emerged indicating the government was implementing a big brother spy system that far outstrips the original public announcement.
The London Times published leaked details of a secret mass internet surveillance project known as “Mastering the Internet” (MTI).
Costing hundreds of millions in public funds, the system continued to be implemented by GCHQ with the aid of American defence giant Lockheed Martin and British IT firm Detica, which has close ties to the intelligence agencies.
A group of over 300 internet service providers and telecommunications firms attempted to fight back over the radical plans, describing the proposals as an unwarranted invasion of people’s privacy.
Currently, any interception of a communication in Britain must be authorised by a warrant signed by the home secretary or a minister of equivalent rank. Only individuals who are the subject of police or security service investigations may be subject to surveillance.
If the GCHQ’s MTI project is completed, black-box probes would be placed at critical traffic junctions with internet service providers and telephone companies, allowing eavesdroppers to instantly monitor the communications of every person in the country without the need for a warrant.
Even if you believe GCHQ’s denial that it has any plans to create a huge monitoring system, the current law under the RIPA (the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act) allows hundreds of government agencies access to the records of every internet provider in the country.
If the plans go ahead, every internet user will be given a unique ID code and all their data will be stored in one place. Government agencies such as the police and security services will have access to the data should they request it with respect to criminal or terrorist investigations.
This is clearly the next step in an incremental program to implement an already exposed full scale big brother spy system designed to completely obliterate privacy, a fundamental right under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
It is also clear that the Anglo-American establishment is in lock step when it comes to monitoring and restricting freedom of communications.
A similar plan is fully in the works in the US, in the guise of The Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act, which passed votes in both the House and the Senate in 2011.
The legislation, currently still up for debate, will force Internet providers to store information on all their customers and share it with the federal government and law enforcement agencies.
Described by privacy experts as a “stalking horse for a massive expansion of federal power”, the bill was significantly beefed at the last minute before passing a House Judiciary committee vote to include the enforced retention of customers’ names, addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers and bank account numbers, as well as IP addresses.
For The Full Story Go To Info Wars
February 16, 2012
By Nicholas West
“State and Federal governments are so afraid of the people that they will do anything to keep track on what we’re doing. How bout instead you leave us alone? Just a thought.” –KTRN
ICE announced in February, 2011 that it would begin using biometric identification as a key component of an information-sharing nexus with 58 California counties meant to identify aliens who are booked for crimes by local police. However, a Freedom of Information Act request by several justice organizations revealed a program involving extensive Homeland Security coordination to expand the Secure Communities biometrics program to include even law-abiding American citizens.
The progression of Secure Communities has been warp speed, as 27 states have implemented its procedures. Minnesota is the latest to add itself in full compliance with the mandatory federal biometric ID program.
However, a pattern of deception by the federal government from the onset, as well as ignoring the growing criticism, is making it clear that rather than being a specific initiative to deport known criminals, Secure Communities is looking more and more like a sweeping move toward a Big Brother total surveillance grid.
Secure Communities is part of the Next Generation Identification program that has been rolled out to supplant the current fingerprint database known as IAFIS. Full biometrics are added to fingerprint information, including: palm scans, voice imprints, iris scans, facial recognition, and other body signatures that form an identity dossier of every individual. Once established, the dossier can be analyzed and communicated in real time between local law enforcement and federal agencies to theoretically deport “illegal and dangerous immigrants.”
Concerns have been raised by privacy rights advocates and Constitutionalists alike. The biometric dossier is compiled on anyone caught within its web; it then becomes the property of law enforcement agencies even if your biometrics (and DNA) are picked up as latent imprints at a crime scene. This makes everyday movements part of a tracking grid that can be cross-referenced beyond the court of law, potentially leading to false suspicions, interrogations, and arrests.
ICE is already under investigation for misrepresenting its intentions; and the wider role of the FBI, and its push to make mandatory what could have been voluntary, only furthers the suspicion that forcing states to obey federal mandate has intentions that far surpass documenting and deporting illegal and dangerous individuals.
According to Bridget Kessler of the Cardozo Law School Immigration Justice Clinic, one of the organizations that applied through FOIA to review documents outlining the FBI’s role in the implementation of Secure Communities:
February 13, 2012
By Nicholas West
It’s bad enough that drones have been welcomed by Congress into American skies, as well as already being used around the planet to conduct surveillance and bomb select countries from remote locations.
The latest proposed addition to the drone spy program is even creepier: disposable computers with software programs funded by DARPA to be dropped as self-destructing “bombs.”
Now, not only will drones surveil and hack from above, but they will drop a payload to interface with hidden computers on the ground, completely integrating a full-spectrum data transmission and control grid.
The name of the project, as well as its announcement at a hacker convention called ShmooCon, had this non-techie convinced that it had to be satire or a hoax, but the project has also been noted by Forbes and Wired, which only serves to illustrate how far off into our dystopian technocratic police state we have wandered. It seems that we are being acclimated to how funny and cool our futuristic spy toys have become. This fun has culminated in the planned dropping of F-BOMBS (Falling or Ballistically-launched Object that Makes Backdoors) to combat “Bad Men With Guns.”
The F-BOMB introduces the idea of disposable surveillance as a guard against forensic evaluation and the ability to track the source of the drop. Creator, Brendan O’Connor, has received DARPA funding to implement a software package into his nearly non-traceable surveillance hardware as cheaply as possible with easy-to-obtain components.
February 13, 2012
By J.D. Heyes
“What ever happened to the land of the free?” –KTRN
It’s the most benign thing in the world. In fact, it’s a concept whose time has come and it will only help protect us and keep us safe. Naturally, there’s nothing to worry about because there won’t be any abuse of the technology. After all, spy drones are already being used around the U.S.; what’s the problem with adding tens of thousands more?
In case you didn’t know it – and you probably didn’t – Congress, with little fanfare, passed an FAA reauthorization bill last week President Obama is expected to sign into law that will make it much easier for the government to put scores of unmanned spy drones into American skies.
Not only that the legislation authorizes the Federal Aviation Administration to develop regulations for the testing and licensing of commercial drones by 2015. If the law takes full effect, it is believed as many as 30,000 drones could be hovering over the U.S. by 2020.
The drones, which are widely used in Afghanistan to spot and target suspected insurgents and Taliban operatives in that country as well as neighboring Pakistan, have been used by American government agencies like U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, for a few years, in an observation/surveillance capacity. DoH has also used drones in disaster relief operations, and advocates say they can be successfully employed to fight fires and locate missing hikers.
Say Good-bye to Privacy
Privacy advocates, however, are sounding the alarm good and loud.
“There are serious policy questions on the horizon about privacy and surveillance, by both government agencies and commercial entities,” Steven Aftergood, head of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, told the Washington Times.
Jennifer Lynch, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a watchdog group, added that her organization is particularly “concerned about the implications for surveillance by government agencies.”
February 3, 2012
New York Magazine
By Joe Coscarelli
“Doesn’t the US have freedom of religion? Apparently not.” –KTRN
Details of the NYPD’s widespread surveillance of local Muslim communities after 9/11 are now widely known thanks to an ongoing Associated Press investigation of the secretive programs, and the material just keeps mounting. The latest info comes from a confidential NYPD intelligence report, which can be viewed here, entitled, “US-Iran Conflict: The Threat to New York City.” Recommendations include, “Expand and focus intelligence collections at Shi’a mosques,” but as noted by NBC New York, none of the dozen mosques listed in New York and nearby states “has been linked to terrorism, either in the document or publicly by federal agencies.”
The NYPD is prohibited under its own guidelines and city law from basing its investigations on religion. Under FBI guidelines, which the NYPD says it follows, many of the recommendations in the police document would be prohibited.
The report, drawn largely from information available in newspapers or sites like Wikipedia, was prepared for Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. It was written at a time of great tension between the U.S. and Iran. That tension over Iran’s nuclear ambition has increased again recently.
September 13, 2011
By: Becky Akers
It’s an incredibly shocking story, the sort that would once have horrified every American regardless of his politics, one that completely eviscerates the Constitution and renders everything this country supposedly represents moot. And yet few have paid any attention while even fewer are outraged. In fact, most who’ve heard about it cheer Our Rulers as heroes.
“With CIA help, NYPD moves covertly in Muslim areas,” reads the headline on the Associated Press’ story from a fortnight ago. Turns out that the two agencies have collaborated for the last nine years to spy on New Yorkers.
That’s right: the CIA with its medical experiments on unwitting subjects, its torture, its vicious skullduggery in other people’s countries, its assassinations, and its utter contempt for all law, foreign, domestic or heavenly, has been teaching its tricks to the NYPD – not that the latter needed any coaching when it comes to shredding freedom. So if you’re tempted to pitch rather than pay that parking ticket, you’d better think twice unless you want a dunk in the Hudson. Waterboarding: it isn’t just for terrists anymore.
The “partnership” between these bureaucracies is extensive and chilling. The CIA has trained at least one cop at “the Farm, the agency’s spy school in Virginia“; other personnel float back and forth. One “respected veteran who had served as a CIA official inside the United Nations … interviewed police officers for newly defined intelligence jobs [with the NYPD]. He guided and mentored officers, schooling them in the art of gathering information. He also directed their efforts…”
Cops concentrate most of those “efforts” in Muslim neighborhoods – for now. But how long until the CIA-NYPD Borg adds other religions and ethnicities in this city of immigrants to its list? How long before connoisseurs of drugs the State disapproves, pedophiles (except, of course, those the Transportation Security Administration harbors at the airports) and political dissidents become “security threats” worthy of the Borg’s “efforts” – if they haven’t already?
Whether they are or not, or when they do, we’re unlikely to know: “Neither the city council, which finances the department, nor the federal government, which has given NYPD more than $1.6 billion since 9/11, is told exactly what’s going on. … ‘One of the hallmarks of the [NYPD’s] intelligence division over the last 10 years is that, not only has it gotten extremely aggressive and sophisticated, but it’s operating completely on its own,’ said [Christopher] Dunn, the [New York Civil Liberties Union] lawyer. ‘There are no checks. There is no oversight.’” Dunn also denounced the Borg as “a rogue domestic surveillance operation.”
You aren’t safe from the Borg just because you don’t live in the five boroughs. “Officials” insist that “any potential threat to New York City is the NYPD’s business, regardless of where it occurs,” and they act on that “policy”: “The NYPD has gotten some of its officers deputized as federal marshals, allowing them to work out of state. … [The] undercover squad … operates in places such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, officials said.” And of course, it’s possible the CIA colludes with other departments in other cities, too.
In New York, the Borg’s lone, unsupervised cowboys patronize Islamic bookstores and internet cafes while eying and chatting up the clientele; ditto for worship at mosques; and, as if that weren’t enough unconstitutional wickedness, they cultivate snitches, too. I wonder how long New Yorkers will remain apathetic once the Borg begins sidling up to congregants in churches and synagogues. Tragically, Americans no longer understand this probability. Instead, they applaud the lie that Our Rulers spy only on Moslems solely to protect us.
Fortunately, the State’s legendary incompetence often thwarts its lust for control; the Borg offers yet another proof of that. “It is no secret to the Muslim immigrants of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, that spies live among them,” the New York Times reported in 2006, when the Borg was four years old. “Almost anyone can rattle off what they regard as the telltale signs of police informers: They like to talk politics. They have plenty of free time. They live in the neighborhood, but have no local relatives. ‘They think we don’t know, but we know who they are,’ said Linda Sarsour, 26, a community activist.”
The Times ran this story a few days after one of the spies sent 24-year-old Shahawar Matin Siraj, a.k.a., the “Subway Bomber,” to prison for 30 years. Indeed, without the informant, Siraj probably would never have suffered arrest, much less conviction: “he was not linked to a terror group like al Qaeda nor did he have any explosives. The case hung on the undercover work of [Osama] Eldawoody, a naturalized Egyptian who spent nearly two years posing as a like-minded radical Islamist.”
He might as well have been named Elder Goody: he was more than twice as old as Siraj, and he presented himself to the younger man as a Moslem mentor. He flattered Siraj, whom an uncle described as “not too bright…. He’s not dangerous, he just talks,” and showered him with attention, then suggested blowing up the subway station at Herald Square, one of the system’s major terminals; after all, US soldiers were raping Moslem girls back home: didn’t Siraj want to avenge their innocence?
After months of such cajoling, Eldawoody’s prey finally succumbed. His wire caught Siraj’s agreement on tape.
And so a young man with no criminal record, no association to terrorists other than Eldawoody (who “worked” for some of the world’s most ruthless, the NYPD), and no weapons or other means of fulfilling his mentor’s plot languishes in America’s gulag. Not surprisingly, “some Muslim leaders remain convinced that [Siraj] was entrapped.”
Eldawoody and his entrapment aren’t an aberration. They are as common as dirt when it comes to American “terrorists” – so common we might ask whether there would even be any American terrorists were it not for the government’s ginning them up.
Indeed, the same week the AP exposed the NYPD-CIA Borg, the left’s flagship publication, Mother Jones, released research it had compiled over the last year with the equally leftist Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California-Berkeley. The duo “examined prosecutions of 508 defendants in terrorism-related cases, as defined by the Department of Justice.” Their conclusion? “The FBI has built a massive network of spies to prevent another domestic attack. But are they busting terrorist plots – or leading them?”
It seems that virtually all homegrown terrorists’ schemes originate not with Moslems who hate our freedom but with an FBI that does. “Remember the Washington Metro bombing plot?” MoJo asks. “The New York subway plot? The guys who planned to blow up the Sears Tower? The teenager seeking to bomb a Portland Christmas tree lighting? Each of those plots, and dozens more across the nation, was led by an FBI asset.”
You may be reluctant to accept the word of two notoriously leftie outfits. Fine. Here’s the FBI and the U.S. Department of Injustice crowing about their subornation of a half-witted and harmless dupe: “At trial, the government proved that Siraj [and one of his equally pitiable friends] plotted to plant explosive devices at the Herald Square subway station… The evidence included hours of secretly recorded conversations between Siraj and Osama Eldawoody, … a paid informant for the New York City Police Department’s Intelligence Division … [The U.S. Attorney on the case] praised the outstanding work of the New York City Police Department, and thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York Joint Terrorist Task Force for their assistance.”
Or, as Siraj’s lawyer put it, ” … the New York City Police Department creat[ed] a crime so they can solve the crime and claim a victory in the war on terror.”
And so we have the Borg spying on American citizens to catch the FBI’s terrists. Have these bozos never heard of inter-agency memos? Why doesn’t the FBI save the Constitution and our money with a simple email to the Borg: “Comrades, we are concocting a terrorist who will target the 9/11 Commemoration at Ground Zero, the Superbowl, Amtrak, what-have-you. Contact us for further details as to exact time and place, the tapes of our entrapping him over the last 22 months, and other evidence you will need at trial.”
Or perhaps the Feds with their Terrorist Factory are simply fulfilling Obummer’s pledge to create jobs.