Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

Today's Food for Thought

” . . . . Laying the Foundation of A Fascist Hindutva State . . . .”

We have discussed the RSS's role as the architect of the murder of Gandhi in FTR #'s 988 and 989. A recent development in India underscored the continuity between the Hindutva fascist RSS's primary role in engineering the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and the dominance of Narendra Modi's BJP in that nation. " . . . . On Thursday, Pragya Singh Thakur, a parliamentary candidate from India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, said in response to a question from a reporter that Godse 'was, is and will remain a patriot.' . . . " Modi's regime is following a predictable direction: " . . . . [The RSS's] founders corresponded with Adolf Hitler and met with Benito Mussolini in 1929 to model their party along fascist lines. A member of the group assassinated Mahatma Gandhi in 1948. . . . Modi has . . . shifted his rhetoric from fighting corruption to generating hate. . . Under Modi, India hit its highest rate of unemployment in 45 years. . . . A massive student and farmers movement grew, and Modi’s government retaliated. Students and professors were falsely arrested, the press was muzzled, and members of the opposition were charged with corruption. One journalist, two writers, and a dissenting judge were killed. . . . . The lawyer representing the family of an 8-year-old Muslim girl, who was allegedly raped by the caretaker of a Hindu temple, was forced to withdraw after repeated threats and intimidation by BJP leaders. The father of a 17-year-old Dalit girl who says a BJP leader raped her was arrested on false charges and died mysteriously in a police station. . . . the simple truth: Modi is laying the foundation of a fascist Hindutva state, one which was first envisioned by the founders of the RSS. . . . For democratically minded Indians, the stakes couldn’t be higher. On one side is the legacy of Gandhi and on the other is literally the legacy of those who assassinated Gandhi. . . ." Read more »

News & Supplemental

For The Record

Surveillance Valley, Part 4: Tor Up (Foxes Guarding the Online Privacy Henhouse, Part 1)

FTR #1078

MP3: FTR #1078.

Latest Program Recorded is: FTR #1079 Surveillance Valley, Part 5: Double Agents (Foxes Guarding the Online Privacy Henhouse, Part 2.)

Mr. Emory has how finished and published AFA #39: “The World Will be Plunged into an Abyss . . . .”   Mr. Emory VERY much hopes listeners and readers will closely examine, record and disseminate this information. It may well be what the Nazi future will look like, up to a point.

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Continuing this series, we begin a dive into the meat of the vitally important book from which the program takes its title.  Yasha Levine’s summation of the inextricable nature and symbiosis between the Internet, the tech firms and the so-called “privacy community” include:

  1. The Internet is a weapon, developed for counter-insurgency purposes.
  2. Big Tech firms network with the very intelligence services they publicly decry.
  3. Big Tech firms that data mine their customers on a nearly unimaginable scale do so as a direct, operational extension of the very surveillance function upon which  the Internet is predicated.
  4. The technologies touted by the so-called “Privacy Activists” such as Edward Snowden and Jacob Applebaum were developed by the very intelligence services they are supposed to deflect.
  5. The technologies touted by the so-called “Privacy Activists” such as Edward Snowden and Jacob Applebaum–such as the Tor Internet function and the Signal mobile phone app– are readily accessible to the very intelligence services they are supposed to deflect.
  6. The organizations that promote the alleged virtues of Snowden, Applebaum, Tor, Signal et al are linked to the very intelligence services they would have us believe they oppose.
  7. Big Tech firms embrace “Internet Freedom” as a distraction from their own willful and all-embracing data mining and their ongoing conscious collaboration with the very intelligence services they publicly decry.

After detailing the history of the development of the Internet by the national security establishment, Levine presents the story of the development of the Tor network.

Key points of analysis and discussion:

  1. Tor’s Silicon Valley backing: ” . . . . Privacy groups funded by companies like Google and Facebook, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Fight for the Future, were some of Tor’s biggest and most dedicated backers. Google had directly bankrolled its development, paying out generous grants to college students who worked at Tor during their summer vacations. Why would an Internet company whose entire business rested on tracking people online promote and help develop a powerful privacy tool? Something didn’t add up. . . .”
  2. Not surprisingly, Tor does not shield users from orgiastic data mining by Silicon Valley tech giants: ” . . . . Tor works only if people are dedicated to maintaining a strict anonymous Internet routine: using only dummy email addresses and bogus accounts, carrying out all financial transactions in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and never mentioning their real name in emails or messages. For the vast majority of people on the Internet—those who use Gmail, interact with Facebook friends, and shop on Amazon—you reveal your identity. These companies know who you are. They know your name, your shipping address, your credit card information. They continue to scan your emails, map your social networks, and compile dossiers. Tor or not, once you enter your account name and password, Tor’s anonymity technology becomes useless. . . .”
  3. Silicon Valley’s support for Tor is something of a “false bromide”: ” . . . . After all, Snowden’s leaked documents revealed that anything Internet companies had, the NSA had as well. I was puzzled, but at least I understood why Tor had backing from Silicon Valley: it offered a false sense of privacy, while not posing a threat to the industry’s underlying surveillance model. . . .
  4. Tor is, in fact, financed by elements of the very same intelligence community and national security establishment that supposedly frustrated/”locked out” by Tor! ” . . . . But as I analyzed the organization’s financial documents, I found that the opposite was true. Tor had come out of a joint US Navy—DARPA military project in the early 2000s and continued to rely on a series of federal contracts after it was spun off into a private nonprofit. This funding came from the Pentagon, the State Department, and at least one organization that derived from the CIA. These contracts added up to several million dollars a year and, most years,  accounted for more than 90 percent of Tor’s operating budget. Tor was a federal military contractor. It even had its own federal contracting number. . . This included Tor’s founder, Roger Dingledine, who spent a summer working at the NSA and who had brought Tor to life under a series of DARPA and Navy contracts. . . .”

Widely regarded as a champion of Internet freedom and privacy, the Electronic Frontier Foundation helped finance Tor and championed its use.

Key elements of discussion and analysis of the EFF/Tor alliance include:

  1. EFF’s early financing of Tor: ” . . . . . . . . In 2004, [Roger] Dingledine struck out on his own, spinning the military onion routing project into a non-profit corporation called the Tor Project and, while still funded by DARPA and the Navy, began scratching around for private funding. He got help from an unexpected ally: the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which gave Tor almost a quarter million dollars to keep it going while Dingledine looked for other private sponsors. The EFF even hosted Tor’s website. . . .”
  2. The EFF’s effusive praise for the fundamentally compromised Tor Project: ” . . . . ‘The Tor Project is a perfect fit for EFF, because one of our primary goals is to protect the privacy and anonymity of Internet users. Tor can help people exercise their First Amendment right to free, anonymous speech online.’ EFF’s technology manager Chris Palmer explained in a 2004 press release, which curiously failed to mention that Tor was developed primarily for military intelligence use and was still actively funded by the Pentagon. . . .”
  3. The EFF’s history of working with elements of the national security establishment: ” . . . . In 1994, EFF worked with the FBI to pass the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, which required all telecommunications companies to build their equipment so that it could be wiretapped by the FBI. In 1999, EFF worked to support NATO’s bombing campaign in Kosovo with something called the ‘Kosovo Privacy Support,’ which aimed to keep the region’s Internet access open during military action. Selling a Pentagon intelligence project as a grassroots privacy tool—it didn’t seem all that wild. . . .”
  4.  In FTR #854, we noted that EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow was far more than a Grateful Dead lyricist/hippie icon: ” . . . . Indeed, in 2002, a few years before it funded Tor, EFF cofounder [John] Perry Barlow casually admitted that he had been consulting for intelligence agencies for a decade. It seemed that the worlds of soldiers, spies, and privacy weren’t as far apart as they appeared. . . .”
  5. EFF’s gravitas in the online privacy community lent Tor great credibility: ” . . . . EFF’s support for Tor was a big deal. The organization commanded respect in Silicon Valley and was widely seen as the ACLU of the Internet Age. The fact that it backed Tor meant that no hard questions would be asked about the anonymity tool’s military origins as it transitioned to the civilian world. And that’s exactly what happened. . . .”

In FTR #’s 891 and 895, we noted the primary position of the Broadcasting Board of Governors in the development of the so-called “privacy” networks. The BBG is a CIA offshoot: . . . .  The BBG might have had a bland sounding name and professed a noble mission to inform the world and spread democracy. In truth, the organization was an outgrowth of the Central Intelligence Agency. . . . The bulk of the BBG is no longer funded from the CIA’s black budget, but the agency’s original cold War goal and purpose—subversion and psychological operations directed against countries deemed hostile to US interests—remain the same. The only thing that did change about the BBG is that today, more of its broadcasts are taking place online . . . .”

After documenting Radio Free Europe’s growth from the Nazi/Vichy run Radio France during World War II and RCA’s David Sarnoff’s involvement with the Transradio Consortium (which communicated vital intelligence to the Axis during the war), the program highlights the involvement of Gehlen operatives in the operations of Radio Free Europe, the seminal CIA broadcasting outlets.

The BBG (read “CIA”) became a major backer of the Tor Project: ” . . . . . . . . It was Wednesday morning, February 8, 2006, when Roger Dingledine got the email he had been badly waiting for. The Broadcasting Board of Governors had finally agreed to back the Tor Project. . . . Within a year, the agency increased Tor’s contract to a quarter million dollars, and then bumped it up again to almost a million just a few years later. The relationship also led to major contracts with other federal agencies, boosting Tor’s meager operating budget to several million dollars a year. . . .”

Yasha Levine sums up the essence of the Tor Project: ” . . . . The Tor Project was not a radical indie organization fighting The Man. For all intents and purposes, it was The Man. Or, at least, The Man’s right hand. . . . internal correspondence reveals Tor’s close collaboration with the BBG and multiple other wings of the US government, in particular those that dealt with foreign policy and soft-power projection. Messages describe meetings, trainings, and conferences with the NSA, CIA, FBI and State Department. . . . The funding record tells the story even more precisely. . . . Tor was subsisting almost exclusively on government contracts. By 2008, that included  contracts with DARPA, the Navy, the BBG, and the State Department as well as Stanford Research Institute’s Cyber-Threat Analytics program. . . .” 

Next, we begin chronicling the career of Jacob Appelbaum. A devotee of Ayn Rand, he became one of Tor’s most important employees and promoters. . . . . Within months of getting the job, he assumed the role of official Tor Project spokesman and began promoting Tor as a powerful weapon against government oppression. . . . Over the next several years, Dingledine’s reports back to the BBG [read “CIA”–D.E.] were filled with descriptions of Appelbaum’s successful outreach. . . .”

Introducing a topic to be more fully explored in our next program, we note Appelbaum’s pivotal role in the WikiLeaks operation and his role in the adoption of Tor by WikiLeaks: ” . . . . Appelbaum decided to attach himself to the WikiLeaks cause. He spent a few weeks with Assange and the original WikiLeaks crew in Iceland as they prepared their first major release and helped secure the site’s anonymous submissions system using Tor’s hidden service feature, which hid the physical location of WikiLeaks servers and in theory made them much less susceptible to surveillance and attack. From then on, the WikiLeaks site proudly advertised Tor: ‘secure, anonymous, distributed network for maximum security.’ . . . . Appelbaum did his best to be Assange’s right-hand man. He served as the organization’s official American representative and bailed the founder of WikiLeaks out of tough spots when the heat from US authorities got too hot. Appelbaum became so intertwined with WikiLeaks that apparently some staffers talked about him leading the organization if something were to happen to Assange. . . . Assange gave Appelbaum and Tor wide credit for helping WikiLeaks. ‘Jake has been a tireless promoter behind the scenes of our cause,’ he told a reporter. ‘Tor’s importance to WikiLeaks cannot be underestimated.’ With those words, Appelbaum and the Tor Project became central heroes in the WikiLeaks saga, right behind Assange. . . .”

 

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Latest ‘For The Record’ Posts

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