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Snowden’s Ride, Part 10: The Beginning of World War III?

Greeks protesting austerity

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash drive that can be obtained here. (The flash drive includes the anti-fascist books avail­able on this site.)

Updated on 8/7/2013.

COMMENT: Before doing summary posts (or, perhaps, broadcasts in lieu of that) we highlight some additional, devastatingly interesting developments in connection with L’Affaire Snowden.

We have done numerous posts since the beginning of this dance macabre, and emphatically encourage users of this website to study them at length and in detail:  Part IPart IIPart IIIPart IVPart VPart VIPart VII, Part VIIIPart IXPart X, Part XI, Part XIIPart XIIIPart XIVPart XV, Part XVI. It is well beyond the scope of this article to sum up the information presented in them. Users of this website are emphatically encouraged to examine them at length and detail.

In this post, we note more interesting developments in EU defense and intelligence posture, justified as an outgrowth of the Snowden “disclosures” (note the quotes.) Perhaps even more significantly, we highlight potential developments vis a vis the future of The Internet which may drastically affect the American economy and world affairs.

Taken together, these developments MIGHT signal the beginning of a Third World War–perhaps economic in nature and/or military. The implications for U.S. internet business and the American economy could not be exaggerated.

We note that this massive, critically important series will be “downloaded” as a series of broadcasts presently.

A number of considerations to be weighed in this post:

  • In our last post, we speculated: “Will the collaboration between NSA and BND be decoupled, “by popular request” and “in keeping with democratic principle,” after the disclosures by Snowden?”
  • That same day, just such a measure was announced! (See text excerpts below.)
  • We note, again, that Germany does EXACTLY the same thing! The Germans are planning on expanding their program!
  • Supposedly justified by Snowden’s disclosures, the EU is developing its own military force, internet surveillance and intelligence service. Will this be used against troubled eurozone austerity victims, or against the U.S. and/or U.K.? We highlighted this in our last post.
  • The damage to U.S. internet business–and the U.S. economy–appears more and more likely as a result of “Snowden’s ride.” (See text excerpts below.)
  • A German minister has floated the idea of banning Google and other U.S. companies from doing business in Europe as a result of the Snowden disclosures. (See text excerpts below.)
  •  Beyond damage to the U.S. economy, the regulation of the internet may gravitate more toward a U.N.–controlled paradigm, much as China and Russia have been endorsing. This adds still greater dimension to Snowden’s decamping first to China and then to Russia. (See text excerpts below.)
  • In past posts, we have speculated that the “psy-op” that Snowden and the Underground Reich structure  that commands him may intend to alienate to younger, more idealistic voters from Barack Obama and the Democratic Party. That remains a key part of our analysis. We also note that the fallout from the psy-op may propel the big money in Silicon Valley toward the Nazified GOP in upcoming elections. In addition, focus on the NSA scandal will detract attention and support from Obama’s attempts at realizing his political agenda.
  • We stress, yet again, that blaming all of this on “NSA spying” is misplaced. This information has, almost in its entirety, been public for years. Indeed, as we stress, yet again, a European Parliament report on this very phenomenon (NSA/Echelon/Menwith Hill) was published shortly before the 9/11 attacks. (See text excerpts below.)
  • We should also emphasize that the Third World War would be waged in true Von Clausewitz style. It will be done through “Other Means.”
  • Economics and politics would be used, on the balance, instead of military means with regard to the United States, as expressed to Dorothy Thompson in 1940. Proxy war, using the Muslim Brotherhood, seems altogether likely. Drones would make an effective force against dissident European nations and peoples, so that German citizens would not have to join combatant ranks. Another effective device would be Tesla/HAARP technology, such as tornado manipulation, already “on the table.” 
  • On the day after this post was published, two developments reinforce our working hypothesis. As reported by The New York Times, threats against U.S. embassies in North Africa (made by Al Qaeda) have increased. U.K. facilities also appear to be threatened. This will ramp up divisions in the United Stats over NSA surveillance, as well as exacerbating tensions between the U.S. and other countries over that same issue. As discussed in so many posts and programs, Al Qaeda is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Underground Reich’s proxy warriors and Germany’s erstwhile allies in World War II. In our last post, we speculated about just such an eventuality! One wonders if these threats were real or simply “chatter” generated to test and overextend the monitoring capabilities of U.S. and U.K. intel. (See text excerpts below.)
  • In that same issue of The New York Times, there was a story about the effect of the GOP-mandated sequester on the U.S. economy–disastrous in a word. Manifesting “Kamikaze economics,” the GOP is forcing German-endorsed austerity on the United States at a time when we cannot afford it, in diametric opposition to fundamental economic theory and practice. This will further damage the U.S. economy and military, realizing Von Clausewitz’s goals for Germany, vis a vis the United States. (See text excerpts below.)
  • In an update, we note that a casualty of Snowden’s Ride may be plans for U.S. cyberdefense. Whether this ends up enabling a future cyberterrorist incident remains to be seen. (See text excerpts below.)
  • Yet another update by the vigilant “Pterrafractyl” informs us that both China and–surprise–Germany and the EU are pushing for developing technology to compete with U.S. technology. This will undoubtedly damage the U.S. economy.

 “Ger­many Nixes Sur­veil­lance Pact with US, Britain” by Frank Jordans; Asso­ci­ated Press; 8/2/2013.

EXCERPT: Ger­many can­celed a Cold War-era sur­veil­lance pact with the United States and Britain on Fri­day in response to rev­e­la­tions by National Secu­rity Agency leaker Edward Snow­den about those coun­tries’ alleged elec­tronic eaves­drop­ping operations.

Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel had raised the issue of alleged National Secu­rity Agency spy­ing with Pres­i­dent Barack Obama when he vis­ited Berlin in June. But with weeks to go before national elec­tions, oppo­si­tion par­ties had demanded clar­ity about the extent to which her gov­ern­ment knew of the intel­li­gence gath­er­ing oper­a­tions directed at Ger­many and Ger­man citizens.

Gov­ern­ment offi­cials have insisted that U.S. and British intel­li­gence were never given per­mis­sion to break Germany’s strict pri­vacy laws. But they con­ceded that an agree­ment dat­ing back to the late 1960s gave the U.S., Britain and France the right to request Ger­man author­i­ties to con­duct sur­veil­lance oper­a­tions within Ger­many to pro­tect their troops sta­tioned there.

“The can­cel­la­tion of the admin­is­tra­tive agree­ments, which we have pushed for in recent weeks, is a nec­es­sary and proper con­se­quence of the recent debate about pro­tect­ing per­sonal pri­vacy,” Germany’s For­eign Min­is­ter Guido West­er­welle said in a statement. . . .

“Why NSA Sur­veil­lance Will Be More Dam­ag­ing Than You Think” by James Fallows; The Atlantic; 7/30/2013.

EXCERPT: This col­umn over the week­end, by the British aca­d­e­mic John Naughton in the Guardian, takes us one more step in assess­ing the dam­age to Amer­i­can inter­ests in the broad­est sense– com­mer­cial, strate­gic, ide­o­log­i­cal — from the panop­ti­con approach to “secu­rity” brought to us by NSA-style mon­i­tor­ing programs.

Naughton’s essay doesn’t tech­ni­cally tell us any­thing new. For instance, see ear­lier reports like this, this, and this. But it does sharpen the focus in a use­ful way. Who­ever wrote the head­line and espe­cially the sub­head did a great job of cap­tur­ing the gist:

Edward Snowden’s not the story. The fate of the inter­net is.

The press has lost the plot over the Snow­den rev­e­la­tions. The fact is that the net is fin­ished as a global net­work and that US firms’ cloud ser­vices can­not be trusted.

In short: because of what the U.S. gov­ern­ment assumed it could do with infor­ma­tion it had the tech­no­log­i­cal abil­ity to inter­cept, Amer­i­can com­pa­nies and Amer­i­can inter­ests are sure to suf­fer in their efforts to shape and ben­e­fit from the Internet’s con­tin­ued growth.

* Amer­i­can com­pa­nies, because no for­eign­ers will believe these firms can guar­an­tee secu­rity from U.S. gov­ern­ment sur­veil­lance;
* Amer­i­can inter­ests, because the United States has gravely com­pro­mised its plau­si­bil­ity as world-wide admin­is­tra­tor of the Internet’s stan­dards and advo­cate for its open, above-politics goals.

Why were U.S. author­i­ties in a posi­tion to get at so much of the world’s dig­i­tal data in the first place? Because so many of the world’s cus­tomers have trusted* U.S.-based firms like Google, Yahoo, Apple, Ama­zon, Face­book, etc with their data; and because so many of the world’s nations have tol­er­ated an info-infrastructure in which an out­sized share of data flows at some point through U.S. sys­tems. Those are the con­di­tions of trust and tol­er­a­tion that likely will change.

The prob­lem for the com­pa­nies, it’s worth empha­siz­ing, is not that they were so unduly eager to coop­er­ate with U.S. gov­ern­ment sur­veil­lance. Many seem to have done what they could to resist. The prob­lem is what the U.S. gov­ern­ment — first under Bush and Cheney, now under Obama and Biden — asked them to do. [This, by the way is wrong. It predates both Bush/Cheney and Obama Biden. I discussed this on air, from open sources, well before either team assumed power. This highlights my statement that; “Journalists are like a flock of birds. When one lands, they all land. When one flies away, they all fly away.”–D.E.] As long as they oper­ate in U.S. ter­ri­tory and under U.S. laws, com­pa­nies like Google or Face­book had no choice but to com­ply. But peo­ple around the world who have a choice about where to store their data, may under­stand­ably choose to avoid leav­ing it with com­pa­nies sub­ject to the way Amer­ica now defines its secu­rity interests.

Here’s Naughton’s ver­sion of the implications:

The first is that the days of the inter­net as a truly global net­work are num­bered. It was always a pos­si­bil­ity that the sys­tem would even­tu­ally be Balka­nised, ie divided into a num­ber of geo­graph­i­cal or jurisdiction-determined sub­nets as soci­eties such as China, Rus­sia, Iran and other Islamic states decided that they needed to con­trol how their cit­i­zens com­mu­ni­cated. Now, Balka­ni­sa­tion is a certainty….

NSA Blowback: German Minister Floats US Company Ban; Der Spiegel; 8/5/2013.

EXCERPT: With the NSA spying scandal continuing to make headlines in Europe, the German Justice Minister, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, has raised the possibility of new, tangible measures to punish corporations that participate in American spying activities. In an interview with Die Welt, the liberal Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger called for the creation of EU-wide rules to regulate the protection of information, and said that, once those rules are in place, “United States companies that don’t abide by these standards should be denied doing business in the European market.”

Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said that a package of EU measures is required in order to fight “the widespread spying of foreign spy services” and that German data protection laws should be a yardstick for the rest of the European Union — German privacy laws are considerably tighter than those of the United States and much of Europe.

German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich also raised corporate accountability in July, when he suggested requiring European firms to report any data they hand over to foreign countries. Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, who is running for reelection in September as part of the pro-business Free Democratic Party, did not further specify which kinds of penalties she would like American companies to face, though it seems unlikely that Europe would completely ban companies like Google, which dominate the online search market, or Facebook from doing business. Both of those companies were implicated in the documents leaked by former intelligence worker Edward Snowden.

It is the latest development in a German election season that has come to be dominated by online privacy issues. Chancellor Angela Merkel has faced widespread criticism from the opposition for her handling of the NSA scandal and Peer Steinbrück, the Chancellor candidate of the opposition SPD party, recently told German television channel ZDF that Merkel should demand written assurances from the Americans they will respect German laws and interests and not engage in industrial espionage . . . .

“U.S. Sur­veil­lance Puts Inter­net Gov­er­nance at Risk” by Michael Geist; Montreal Gazette; 7.30/2013.

EXCERPT: One year ago, many users were engaged in a con­tentious debate over the ques­tion of who should gov­ern the Inter­net. The debate pit­ted the cur­rent model led by a U.S.-based orga­ni­za­tion known as the Inter­net Cor­po­ra­tion for Assigned Names and Num­bers (ICANN, sup­ported by the U.S.) against a government-led, United Nations-style model under which coun­tries such as China and Rus­sia could assert greater con­trol over Inter­net gov­er­nance. The dif­fer­ences between the two approaches were never as stark as some por­trayed since the cur­rent model grants the U.S. con­sid­er­able con­trac­tual power over ICANN, but the fear of greater for­eign gov­ern­ment con­trol over the Inter­net led to strong polit­i­cal oppo­si­tion to UN involvement.

While sup­port­ers of the cur­rent model ulti­mately pre­vailed at a UN con­fer­ence in Dubai last Decem­ber where most West­ern democ­ra­cies, includ­ing Canada, strongly rejected major Inter­net gov­er­nance reforms, the issue was fun­da­men­tally about trust. Given that all gov­ern­ments have become more vocal about Inter­net mat­ters, the debate was never over whether gov­ern­ment would be involved, but rather about who the global Inter­net com­mu­nity trusted to lead on gov­er­nance matters. . . .

. . . . Not only do the sur­veil­lance pro­grams them­selves raise enor­mous pri­vacy and civil lib­er­ties con­cerns, but over­sight and review is con­ducted almost entirely in secret with lit­tle or no abil­ity to guard against mis­use. In fact, U.S. offi­cials have now acknowl­edged pro­vid­ing inac­cu­rate infor­ma­tion on the pro­grams to elected politi­cians, rais­ing fur­ther ques­tions about who is watch­ing the watchers.

The sur­veil­lance pro­grams have emerged as a con­tentious polit­i­cal issue in the U.S., and there are sev­eral rea­sons why the rever­ber­a­tions are likely to extend to the global Inter­net gov­er­nance com­mu­nity.

First, the ele­ment of trust has been severely com­pro­mised. Sup­port­ers of the cur­rent Inter­net gov­er­nance model fre­quently pointed to Inter­net sur­veil­lance and the lack of account­abil­ity within coun­tries such as China and Rus­sia as evi­dence of the dan­ger of a UN-led model. With the pub­lic now aware of the cre­ation of a mas­sive, secret U.S.-backed Inter­net sur­veil­lance pro­gram, the U.S. has ceded the moral high ground on the issue.

Sec­ond, as the scope of the sur­veil­lance becomes increas­ingly clear, many coun­tries are likely to opt for a balka­nized Inter­net in which they do not trust other coun­tries with the secu­rity or pri­vacy of their net­worked com­mu­ni­ca­tions. This could lead to new laws requir­ing com­pa­nies to store their infor­ma­tion domes­ti­cally to counter sur­veil­lance of the data as it crosses bor­ders or resides on com­puter servers located in the U.S. In fact, some may go fur­ther by resist­ing the inter­op­er­abil­ity of the Inter­net that we now take for granted.

Third, some of those same coun­tries may demand sim­i­lar lev­els of access to per­sonal infor­ma­tion from the Inter­net giants. This could cre­ate a “pri­vacy race to the bot­tom,” where gov­ern­ments around the world cre­ate par­al­lel sur­veil­lance pro­grams, ensur­ing that online pri­vacy and co-operative Inter­net gov­er­nance is a thing of the past. . . .

“World Briefing | Europe: Report On U.S. Spy System” by Suzanne Daley; The New York Times; 9/6/2001.

EXCERPT: [Notice when this was published–9/6/2001.–D.E.] . . . The United States-led spying system known as Echelon can monitor virtually every communication in the world — by e-mail, phone or fax — that bounces off a satellite, the European Parliament was told. But in reporting on a yearlong study of the system that was prompted by concern that American companies were using data from the system to gain a competitive edge, Gerhard Schmid, a German member of the Parliament, said that many European countries had similar abilities . . .

 “Qaeda Messages Prompt U.S. Terror Warning” by Eric Schmitt; The New York Times; 8/2/2013.

EXCERPT: The United States intercepted electronic communications this week among senior operatives of Al Qaeda, in which the terrorists discussed attacks against American interests in the Middle East and North Africa, American officials said Friday.

The intercepts and a subsequent analysis of them by American intelligence agencies prompted the United States to issue an unusual global travel alert to American citizens on Friday, warning of the potential for terrorist attacks by operatives of Al Qaeda and their associates beginning Sunday through the end of August. Intelligence officials said the threat focused on the Qaeda affiliate in Yemen, which has been tied to plots to blow up American-bound cargo and commercial flights.

The bulletin to travelers and expatriates, issued by the State Department, came less than a day after the department announced that it was closing nearly two dozen American diplomatic missions in the Middle East and North Africa, including facilities in Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Britain said Friday that it would close its embassy in Yemen on Monday and Tuesday because of “increased security concerns.” . . . .

“U.S. Cuts Take Increasing Toll on Job Growth” by Jackie Calmes and Catherine Rampbell; The New York Times; 8/2/2013.

EXCERPT: . . . .Corporate and academic economists say that Washington’s fiscal fights have produced budget policies that amount to a self-inflicted drag on the economy’s recovery.

Joseph J. Minarik, director of research at the corporate-supported Committee for Economic Development and a former government economist, said he could not remember in postwar times when fiscal policy was so at odds with the needs of the economy.

“The macroeconomic situation is highly unusual,” he said, adding: “We have to be concerned about our debt getting totally out of hand, so we are concerned about the federal budget. But the concern has got to be tempered by the fact that we have got to get some economic growth going as well.” . . . .

. . . . “The disjunction between textbook economics and the choices being made in Washington is larger than any I’ve seen in my lifetime,” said Justin Wolfers, an economics professor at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. “At a time of mass unemployment, it’s clear, the economics textbooks tell us, that this is not the right time for fiscal retrenchment.” 

Given that rough consensus in an otherwise quarrelsome profession, he added, “To watch it be ignored like this is exasperating, horrifying, disheartening.” . . . .

“N.S.A. Leaks Make Plan for Cyberdefense Unlikely” by David E. Sanger; The New York Times; 8/13/2013.

EXCERPT: Even while rapidly expanding its electronic surveillance around the world, the National Security Agency has lobbied inside the government to deploy the equivalent of a “Star Wars” defense for America’s computer networks, designed to intercept cyberattacks before they could cripple power plants, banks or financial markets.

But administration officials say the plan, championed by Gen. Keith B. Alexander, the director of the National Security Agency and head of the Pentagon’s Cyber Command, has virtually no chance of moving forward given the backlash against the N.S.A. over the recent disclosures about its surveillance programs.

Senior agency officials concede that much of the technology needed to filter malicious software, known as malware, by searching incoming messages for signs of programs designed to steal data, or attack banks or energy firms, is strikingly similar to the technology the N.S.A. already uses for surveillance.

“The plan was always a little vague, at least as Keith described it, but today it may be Snowden’s biggest single victim,” one senior intelligence official said recently, referring to Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor who released documents revealing details of many of the agency’s surveillance programs.

“Whatever trust was there is now gone,” the official added. “I mean, who would believe the N.S.A. when it insists it is blocking Chinese attacks but not using the same technology to read your e-mail?” . . . .

Discussion

28 comments for “Snowden’s Ride, Part 10: The Beginning of World War III?”

  1. The “balkanization” of the internet has been going on for some time. It may not be as obvious if you live within the US but when the internet first started everything was in English and it was indeed a worldwide community. However, for the last 6 or 7 years all the mayor search engines detect your IP and will forcibly take you to, for example: Google.ar (if you live in Argentina), Yahoo.mx (If you live in Mexico), youtube.br (if you live in Brazil) and all the pages will appear in Spanish or Portuguese. This happens EVEN IF you set your preferences to English or US. This, of course, is being done for commercial purposes and it used to drive me up the wall until I found a way to mask my IP. So, storing information domestically is just the last step in this direction.

    What I don’t understand is the FTR 700 program you referenced in Snowden’s Ride, Part 9. As you know, I am new to your web site and it will probably take me years to get up to speed with all the work you’ve done so I apologize if you have clarified this in previous posts but, I see a contradiction in the Underground Reich’s desire to debilitate and balkanize Europe and the US so they can once again consolidate themselves as the new world power based in Germany.

    First of all it would contradict Germany’s public image and the image the Germans have of themselves as you can see in the following article:

    http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21576142-germans-are-losing-patience-being-cast-euro-zones-scapegoats-dont-make-us-führer

    “The Germans are not yet openly angry. That would be out of character in a people who have, since the second world war, been eager to atone for the past and be good European partners. In one recent poll, 34% of Germans even said they empathised with the wrath of the southern Europeans. ”

    “The Germans are not alone in these views. The Dutch, Finns and Slovaks broadly share them. What makes Germany different is that it is big and central. To historians such as Brendan Simms of Cambridge University, author of a new book, “Europe: the Struggle for Supremacy”, this sounds eerily familiar. Europe has long grappled with the “German question”. Sometimes Germany was too weak, sometimes too strong. Or, as Henry Kissinger, a former American secretary of state, put it, referring to Germany just after unification in 1871, it was “too big for Europe, but too small for the world”. Today, Mr Simms argues, “it sits uneasily at the heart of an EU that was conceived largely to constrain German power but which has served instead to increase it, and whose design flaws have unintentionally deprived many other Europeans of sovereignty.”

    The question is whether Germany can use its power by unapologetically leading. Given Germany’s past, its political culture militates against even trying. As Joschka Fischer, a former foreign minister, jokes, “it’s nice to go to a conference of ‘young leaders’, but you don’t want a conference of ‘junge Führer’.” Most Germans worry that others might again come to hate or fear them. Their neighbours are less concerned. As Poland’s foreign minister, Radek Sikorski, put it in a speech in Berlin in 2011, “I fear German power less than I am beginning to fear German inactivity.”

    Another problem would be French and British mistrust and rejection of Germany’s economic supremacy as it states in the following article:

    http://www.smh.com.au/world/carnage-as-europeans-refuse-to-take-their-medicine-20120427-1xqbd.html

    “The French delivered a loud ”non” to Berlin’s euro policies, handing a first-round victory to the socialist Francois Hollande, whose central campaign pledge was to reopen Chancellor Angela Merkel’s eurozone fiscal pact, an international treaty signed by 25 EU leaders. Almost one-in-five French also voted for the europhobic National Front of Marine Le Pen,who wants the single currency scrapped and the French franc restored.”

    And last but not least, even though fascist elements within the US (mainly patriot and militia movements) have indeed been pushing for secession, why would fascist American politicians overturn the Posse Comitatus Act, increase military spending and militarize the police force?

    http://www.examiner.com/article/s1867-would-overturn-posse-comitatus-act
    http://www.businessinsider.com/military-spending-budget-defense-cuts-2011-10?op=1
    http://www.salon.com/2013/07/10/militarized_police_overreach_oh_god_i_thought_they_were_going_to_shoot_me_next”/

    This doesn’t sound like a federal government that would allow secession.

    Maybe I’m mistaken but if the Underground Reich were to come out openly as the Fourth Reich it would probably do so through the US instead of Germany. As you said: “Could the recent Snowden affair and Russia’s open defiance of the US vis-à-vis Syria be the prelude to WWIII?”….

    Posted by Shibusa | August 3, 2013, 12:06 pm
  2. @Shibusa–

    You are indeed new to this website.

    This site contains all the work I have done since 1979, plus a library of anti-fascist books that are fundamental to understanding the lines of argument presented here.

    The Manning text on the Bormann flight capital organization is essential. So are the Reiss text on the Nazis going underground and the Tetens text on the re-instituion of Nazi elements in Germany after the war.

    You questions have been answered already.

    You need to take the time necessary to come to terms with the material.

    Admittedly, the sheer volume of information presented here is daunting.

    On top of that, the analysis is sophisticated, and not for those of superficial or rigid mindset.

    The Reich is an Underground Reich. It proceeds forward using “other means,” as I have stressed time and again.

    You need to read the books and do some key word searches.

    When you come up with the results of those keyword searches, take time to digest the posts and broadcasts that they yield.

    Search for “Von Clausewitz”, “other means”, “Bertelsmann”, “proxy war”, “Serpent’s Walk”, “corporacracy”, “Muslim Brotherhood”, “Friedrich List”, “Dorothy Thompson”, “Nazi connections to 9/11”, “Loftus”, “B as in Bush”, “von Bolschwing”, “von Damm”, “Gipper”, “Underground Reich”.

    You are thinking in old terms. The Underground Reich, on the other hand, anticipated the future.

    Using the EMU, Germany is already doing what they set out to do.

    Many inside, and outside, of Europe are beginning to understand, albeit too late.

    Again, patience and perseverance are an absolute must, if you wish to grasp the lines of inquiry presented here.

    Thanks for your attention to this website.

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | August 3, 2013, 3:08 pm
  3. @Shibusa–

    Another thought: Check out this post;

    http://spitfirelist.com/news/fascism-and-the-dangers-of-economic-concentration/

    It contains the last 7 or eight minutes of a program I did in May of 1980.

    Then listen to the entire broadcast, one hour in length.

    See how that corresponds to what has happened in the more than three decades since it was recorded.

    Then listen to, and read the description for, FTR #186, recorded in December of 1999.

    http://spitfirelist.com/for-the-record/ftr-186-what-does-the-w-in-george-w-bush-stand-for/

    Supplement that with FTR #310. http://spitfirelist.com/for-the-record/ftr-310-bush-league-associates-and-actions-of-the-georges-bush-part-1/

    Then listen to, and read the description for, FTR #356, recorded almost two years later, as well as FTR #464, recorded two years after #356.

    http://spitfirelist.com/for-the-record/ftr-356-mein-jihad-part-4/

    http://spitfirelist.com/for-the-record/ftr-464-i-told-you-so%e2%80%94more-about-the-subversion-of-operation-green-quest/

    Note my observations about BCCI/Bush/FBI director Mueller.

    In addition check out side “A” of FTR #412, recorded in June of 2003. See if the discussion bears any relevance to what has happened since then.

    http://spitfirelist.com/for-the-record/ftr-412-the-engineer-intends-to-wreck-the-train/

    This will give you some perspective on Yours Truly, as well as the material itself.

    Thanks again for paying attention to this website.

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | August 3, 2013, 3:36 pm
  4. test

    Posted by participo | August 3, 2013, 9:22 pm
  5. @Participo–

    Your difficulties posting comments may well have been due to the fact that I was working on the site.

    Others have had similar problems, under the circumstances.

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | August 4, 2013, 2:40 pm
  6. @Dave: Yeah. Well, it happens. No biggie.

    In any case, I’d like to know one thing, and it concerns both Brad Manning & Snowden: Why is it, that Bradley Manning is now about to serve 150+ years in prison, while Snowden, who arguably did far more damage, has been allowed to go free, into the hands of the Russians?

    Manning, useful idiot that he ended up being, at least seemed to genuinely believe that he was doing the world a favor…..but Snowden? I think we both can agree that he was playing us all along, and HE KNEW IT. And yet, the latter man is now roaming the streets of Moscow…..

    Posted by Steven L. | August 4, 2013, 4:30 pm
  7. @Steven L.–

    The difference is that Bradley Manning is a “useful idiot”–a genuinely tragic figure, in the classical sense.

    He is not a hero, however. He downloaded a number of documents onto a flash drive and leaked them without knowing what was on all of them.

    That is very, very reckless and could, conceivably, have gotten millions killed. (Suppose there was info about access to nukes on there, which, for all B.M. knew, might have been the case.)

    He is a young gay guy sorting through identity issues–nothing wrong with that. However there is a time and a place for everything.

    Military intelligence is NOT the place for that!!

    Manning is not a spook on assignment–Snowden is.

    Mannning is not Underground Reich. Snowden is.

    Manning stayed in the U.S.–Snowden took off for points distant as his information was coming to light, courtesy of an overt Nazi fellow traveler (Glenn Greenwald.)

    Snowden is most likely BND and/or some Fifth Column Underground Reich element in U.S. intel.

    He was not “allowed” to go free–he had sensitive info and a support structure to transport him to China, then Russia.

    He also had a doomsday scenario in place–IF something happened to him, the pillars of the temple would be collapsed around him.

    Read the posts I’ve put up at length and in detail.

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | August 4, 2013, 4:47 pm
  8. @Shibusa: Back in 2010, when Merkel was first pushing the hard austerity policy prescriptions, I shared your surprise because, as the article you cite points out, that Germany would risk a developing a reputation for dictating to its neighbors. But that doesn’t change the fact that the policies coming out of Berlin have been nuts ever since the financial crisis hit. It didn’t make sense given the boldness of the cries for austerity back then. But it’s less shocking now, when you look at just what has been gained in the last three years: it’s basically been a variant on the Reagan Revolution for Europe: The ordoliberal far-right economic philosophy – with its unhealthy fixation on debt and supply-side ordoliberal economic theories – is now enshrined as permanent policies for all member nations. The Fiscal Compact caps debt and there are going to be new economic policy oversight bodies that are going to enforce and “coordinate” economic policy. When you take all that into account, the price paid in terms of national image doesn’t seem so high. After all, the price is merely the opinion of today’s populace. That’s potentially just a temporary thing. But the fundamental changes to how the EU/eurozone governs itself that are being discussed could end up being in place for decades to come. There’s a lot at stake.

    Also note that the official public stance that Germany’s political establishment has taken is that of depicting the Southern European populaces as being ‘lazy spendthrifts are trying to steal all our hard-earned money’. This is a reflection of the tensions you cite because the German public really does need to think that Germany is being victimized and sucked dry in order to rationalize the economic devastation being caused by the austerity. It’s the same rhetoric across EU in the nations pushing for austerity policy and it’s very analogous to the way the GOP focuses in the US public’s attention on “illegal aliens” and people on public assistants as being the source of all economic and social ills. Similarly, we see nearly the entire German economic establishment pushing ordoliberal nonsense argument to make the case that Germany simply has no choice but to demand austerity policies. They’re bullshit arguments, in terms of the underlying economics, but they’re emotionally appealing bullshit arguments and great for mimicking populist sentiments.

    In terms of strategic objectives, getting the European populace to accept ordoliberal dogma as some sort of metaphysical truth would be a HUGE prize. Once a populace start take its money TOO seriously, with the kind of religious fervor that you find amongst the various strains of far-right economic thought, that populace is going to be at the mercy of the ruling oligarchs that actually run the economy. It’s an elegantly brutal way to take control over people’s lives under a decentralized coalition of the corporate entities that run the economy and dominate the government. And it’s been ordoliberal nonsense enshrined in the kind of intellectual dishonesty one expects from a Grover Norquist or David Koch that is making it happen. Don’t forget that the overarching goals of the ordoliberal economists are closely shared with their international neo-liberal counterparts of the Austrian School/Koch/Norquist variety.

    Just take a moment, and think about the fact that the following article was published a couple of weeks ago, without any guffawing but in an entirely self-serious manner. It’s about an idea about has to find a long-term solution to Europe’s ongoing financial woes getting floated in policy-making circles by Oliver Garnier, the chief economist at Societe Generale, one of biggest, most leveraged banks in Europe and a major recipient of the 2008 AIG bailout. The underlying problem is that no one can come up with a viable long-term debt reduction solution for the ailing eurozone economies since the austerity-alone solution has been such a disaster. Mr Garnier’s idea? Set up a “European Treuhand (Trust) Agency”, modeled after the state-privatization Treuhandanstalt agencies used after German reunification to privatize East German assets. The new agency would be capitalized by German savers and be used to “invest in” the state assets of the ailing eurozone economies. THAT’s the big solution getting peddled at this point in the crisis. And it’s supposed to be an improvement over the ol’ “let’s privatize state assets at firesale prices”-model that kept getting pushed even after it fails. So instead of outright privatizations, we’ll get some sort of weird public-private partnership arrangement where German savers are now directly owning the state-assets of their neighbors. Somehow no one sees any long-term problems with this approach. This is where we are:

    Euro Zone Still Looking for a Handle on Crisis
    By PAUL TAYLOR | REUTERS
    Published: July 22, 2013

    PARIS — What if German savers were to help rescue Greece, Portugal or Spain by investing in their state assets and companies rather than bailing them out with taxpayer-backed loans? That novel idea for recycling Berlin’s huge current account surplus, avoiding fire-sale privatizations in the weakest euro zone states and fueling growth in southern Europe comes from the French economist Olivier Garnier.

    Mr. Garnier, the chief economist of Société Générale, argues that creating an agency in charge of purchasing, restructuring and privatizing state-owned assets could, over time, solve several of Europe’s deep economic problems.

    Such a “European Treuhand (Trust) Agency” would offer a “debt-for-equity conversion” that could repair the public finances of the euro zone’s bailed-out states, reduce North-South current account imbalances in the 17-nation currency area and generate investment in Europe’s periphery.

    Mr. Garnier argues that the idea would offer German savers a better return than parking their surplus cash in domestic bank deposits earning zero nominal interest, and would be politically more palatable for Germans than risky taxpayer loans to governments that might never be able to repay the debt.

    The fact that such long-shot proposals are doing the rounds four years into the bloc’s debt crisis highlights how few of the underlying problems that caused it have been resolved.

    This idea may be timely as Chancellor Angela Merkel tries to soften Berlin’s image as Europe’s stern austerity enforcer and show a gentler side with initiatives to help fight youth unemployment in crisis-stricken euro zone countries. But to bitter Greeks or Spaniards, it might look more like an exercise in German colonization than a helping hand. While Dutch, Austrian or Finnish savers might join, the “European” agency would inevitably be dominated by German money.

    When the top-selling German daily newspaper Bild ran a headline at the start of the debt crisis in 2010 screaming “Sell your islands, you bankrupt Greeks! — and the Acropolis, too,” it caused fury, rekindling resentments smoldering since World War II.

    Quoting Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble’s comment that “we want to show that we are not just the world’s best savers,” Mr. Garnier says: “He should have added that the Germans have to show they can be wiser investors, making a more efficient use of their savings and of their related taxpayers’ guarantees.”

    His idea has a German precedent. After the fall of the Berlin Wall and German unification in 1990, a trustee agency known as the “Treuhandanstalt” was set up to restructure, wind up or sell off East German state enterprises. Some top talents of West German business were recruited to help shake out and spin off eastern companies.

    But this example points to some of the obstacles to Mr. Garnier’s proposal. The Treuhandanstalt was criticized for laying off nearly 2.5 million workers of the 4 million it had inherited and for closing businesses that critics said were profitable. It contributed to East-West resentment over the social and financial costs of unification, and its first president was assassinated by (West German) Marxists.

    Privatizing state-owned companies and property are a key part of the bailout programs prescribed by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund for the euro zone’s debt-laden governments. Yet Greece’s consistent failure to meet its privatization revenue goals highlights just how hard it is to attract serious investors to countries mired in deep recession, and to sell even profitable businesses for a fair price.

    Elsewhere in the region, so-called vulture funds of private equity investors are looking to pick up stakes in blue-chip Spanish companies at knock-down prices after bailed-out banks were forced to divest.

    With Mr. Garnier’s model, a long-term investment vehicle funded by both private sector savings and the German government, or with a state guarantee, would buy up the assets, taking them off their governments’ books, then restructure and run them until they could be sold off profitably.

    The German economists Daniel Gros and Thomas Mayer suggested last year that Germany should create a sovereign wealth fund, like those of Norway, Singapore and Saudi Arabia, to invest excess savings. Such a fund would be a safer and more efficient way to place German savings than in unremunerated deposits, they argued, and would have the side benefit of lowering the euro’s exchange rate, which would benefit struggling south European economies.

    Mr. Garnier would put that money to work inside the euro zone. He notes that Germany’s state-owned development bank, KfW, is already dipping a toe in these waters by providing loans through its Spanish counterpart to credit-starved small and medium-size businesses.

    Mr. Garnier’s proposal raises three other issues: Would the agency be able to run the assets more efficiently than current owners? How would the risk to German savers’ capital be mitigated? And how could the assets be valued at prices acceptable to all?

    His answer to each question is that the status quo is worse: The assets are moldering while governments desperately need the money. Germans face risks from the bailed-out countries as taxpayers, so why not get some return on their savings? And the assets could be priced in a way that allowed for some upside for south European states if they fetch more on the market.

    “I see all the hurdles, but it would be ill-advised to rely only on fiscal transfers to share risks among euro zone economies,” Mr. Garnier said in an interview. “A European fiscal union raises even bigger obstacles than this — abandoning budget sovereignty — and writing off official debt would be fraught with legal and political obstacles.”

    Notice Mr. Garnier’s final argument comes down to ‘yeah, there are serious problems with this plan, but just look at the status quo and the prospect of the abandonment of budget sovereignty with the proposed European fiscal union.’ That’s how bad the options are right now because bad options are the only options available due to Bundesbank-derived economic BS. Now Mr. Garnier’s idea is the kind of idea that ends up in publications like the Financial Times as a real, serious proposal to sell one nation to another as part of a long-term debt-solution. Nation-state usury is now apparently the solution to ‘mal-integration’.

    July 29, 2013 9:12 am
    The Financial Times
    Markets Insight: Cross-border equity ownership is key to eurozone risk-sharing

    By Olivier Garnier
    The eurozone has been suffering ‘mal-integration’

    According to the new “Brussels consensus”, the only viable solution to lower the risk of balance of payments crises within the eurozone is by moving closer to fiscal union. There is little doubt that cross-country risk-sharing is required in a monetary union. But it would be ill-advised to rely on mutualisation mechanisms through fiscal transfers only, as opposed to market-based mechanisms.

    In large federations such as the US or Germany, the federal budget is neither the sole nor even the main channel of risk-sharing among states. Indeed, studies show the largest absorber against state-specific shocks is cross-ownership of equity capital, far ahead of the federal tax-transfer system.

    Advocating increased reliance on market-based risk-sharing mechanisms could appear counterproductive since cross-border private financial flows have exacerbated the boom and bust in periphery economies. However, the eurozone has been suffering from “mal-integration”: flows from the core to the periphery largely took the form of debt, as opposed to direct and equity investment. Meanwhile, equity capital has been flowing “uphill”: over the past 12 years, Germany has been a net importer of equity capital from the rest of the eurozone.

    As a complement to banking union, it is thus key to promote a genuine and complete financial integration by enhancing cross-border capital ownership of banks and corporates. In theory, this process should take place spontaneously through market mechanisms. In peripheral economies, the fall in share prices and labour costs should create attractive investment opportunities for core country companies and investors. In practice, however, this process is hindered by many obstacles both in the periphery and in the core. Therefore, more centralised solutions combining private and public funds are necessary, at least as catalysts in the initial stage of this process.

    First, the European official sector could help in restructuring the foreign liabilities of peripheral countries by a sort of debt-to-equity conversion. So far, financial assistance to member states has been provided through loans, thus adding to their debt burden. As a result, a substantial share of the periphery government debt is now held by governments and international organisations. Exchanging debt for equity would be an alternative to official sector involvement, providing immediate and substantial relief to periphery states while being more acceptable by core states than “voluntary” debt haircuts.

    This could be done by establishing an agency in charge of buying, restructuring and privatising state-owned assets. Stronger expertise, political independence and a longer time span (10-15 years, thus preventing “fire sales” and giving time to restructure assets), would make this agency more effective than existing national privatisation schemes, which have so far achieved disappointing results.

    Since one of the fundamental problems with the privatization schemes has been the lack of interested buyers and the extremely low bids, notice that for Mr. Garnier’s scheme to work the new European investment agency is going to have to pay substantially more for state assets than what countries like Greece have been able to fetch in the markets. So somehow nations will have to “sweeten the deal” enough to garner those higher prices. Or the scheme could unfold, but at much lower prices than Mr. Garnier is predicting, thus not solving the underlying debt problem.

    Also note that it appears that Mr. Garnier is imaging that this agency will invest in, and take control of, state assets, and then spend the next 10-15 years “restructuring” those assets with the long-term plan of eventual full privatization. So, basically, we’re looking at a scheme where German public funds get invested in a giant account that forms public-private partnerships with the state-assets of ailing economies, then makes the investments over the next 10-15 years required to turn them into profitable enterprises, and then sells them off to private investors. In other words, this is the privatization DREAM for Europes oligarchs: Instead of outright privaization, where investors buy the state-assets, warts and all, and pay the costs of new investments and restructuring, the European is going to pay the price instead and only eventually sell off the assets after all the expensive investments have been made. By putting the Germany public’s saving directly at risk, it guarantees a hyper-austerity attitude will be taken during any restructuring because now the Germans can be told “these are your companies and assets that you have at risk and therefore [insert pro-austerity argument]”. And once the companies have been “restructured”, they get sold off, hopefully for a profit. At best, the German public might make an ok return on its investments under this scheme, but the eventual owners of the privatized assets could end up making WAY more in the long run by dodging the initial “restructuring costs”. Pretty sweet.

    Continuing…


    Second, a greater share of the structural German external surplus should be recycled through direct and equity investment in the rest of the eurozone. By lending its excess savings to the other eurozone members, Germany has been able to accumulate record-high current account surpluses without facing the risk of exchange rate appreciation and currency losses on foreign asset holdings.

    But the debt crisis has been a brutal reminder that credit risk replaces exchange rate risk within a monetary union. As a result, German private capital outflows have reversed, while deposits at the Bundesbank have surged. In other words, German excess savings are now primarily intermediated by the eurosystem.

    A more ambitious idea would be to create a German long-term investment vehicle funded by both private and government savings (or benefiting from a government guarantee), and designed to take equity stakes in periphery economies. The involvement of government money would be key to entice risk-averse German savers.

    Such asset property transfers would face major political obstacles, especially in the periphery. But bear in mind that hurdles to fiscal union would be much higher.

    This is the new “hot” idea getting bandied about in the latest phase of the eurozone crisis. And the “fiscal untion” Mr. Garnier warns is worse than his proposal just might be worse because it would almost certainly involve some sort of “economy czar” that will have sweeping powers over national governments. And those powers will be used to enforce an ordoliberal, anti-populist vision. Part of the reason there’s been such unwavering support of austerity policies by Europe’s leadership is that there’s a general consensus amongst Europe’s elite (and the global elite generally) that harsh austerity measures tied to economic performance is the only acceptable model going forward. That’s the consensus. Both the Grover Norquist/David Koch-style of economics AND the Jens Weidmann/Bundesbank-style of economic fit very well in that kind of economic paradigm because they both have the properties of fetishizing low-inflation and market-place supremacy for determining life outcomes (it’s just less exreme under ordoliberalism). It’s horrendously stupid unless you want to ensure madness. But it’s a great mindset for turning the economy into a giant debtor’s prison. And Europe’s elites are really determined to implement some sort of economic death trap where unelected officials get vast powers to “coordinate policy” in a way that enforces a far-right-lite (one-hopes) policy-framework:

    Paris, Berlin look to shake up euro zone leadership

    ri May 31, 2013 10:03am EDT

    * France, Germany open debate over Eurogroup president

    * Paris and Berlin favour a permanent appointment to post

    * Proposal calls into question job of current chairman

    * Dutch Eurogroup head has unsettled markets over Cyprus

    By Luke Baker

    BRUSSELS, May 31 (Reuters) – France and Germany have thrown their weight behind creating a permanent president for economic policy in the euro zone, a role that would mark a fundamental overhaul of how the currency bloc is managed.

    Their backing calls into question the performance of Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who was appointed chairman of the Eurogroup of finance ministers of the 17-nation currency area in January, to serve initially for 2-1/2 years.

    Dijsselbloem, who succeeded Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, has unsettled financial markets since taking office, especially with comments about Cyprus and how bank depositors could finance future bailouts.

    Those views, while supported by some at the European Central Bank and the European Commission, have irked other officials in Paris, Berlin and Brussels.

    At a meeting in Paris on Thursday, President Francois Hollande and Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed to propose to fellow leaders appointing a permanent Eurogroup head, which France has long favoured.

    “A full-time president of the Eurogroup with reinforced powers, including the possibility of delegating power to other euro zone ministers,” their joint “contribution” to next month’s EU summit said under the heading “Reinforcing euro zone governance and legitimacy”.

    Merkel’s spokesman said the aim was to create a position with a much more dedicated focus on euro zone issues.

    It should not be a euro zone finance minister but a president whose job would be to coordinate work intensively,” said Steffen Seibert. “It will be a very demanding job.”

    The Franco-German document said the proposal should be implemented within two years. It also said euro zone leaders should hold more frequent summits than the two annual sessions they already have and be able to instruct specialist ministers of the euro zone to work more closely on issues such as employment, social affairs, research and industry.

    Both moves could widen the gap between a euro zone core and other member states of the European Union that are not in the single currency, and put national governments rather than the European Commission in the driver’s seat.

    There isn’t much more information publicly available so far about what these new Eurogroup Presidential powers will entail, but it looks like that vision vaguely discussed by Merkel and Hollande that “would mark a fundamental overhaul of how the currency bloc is managed” has sort of already been adopted by the larger eurozone policy-making community:

    EU Insider
    EU – between the Centrifugal and Centripetal Forces
    Published on 30 July 2013 16:07, Adelina Marini, Zagreb, Twitter: @AdelinaMarini
    Last change on: 30 July 2013 16:07

    The past European political season can be remembered with the isolation of the European Commission and in particular its president – Jose Manuel Barroso, who is serving a second term after the will of the principle of the least resistance. In the past year, the former prime minister of Portugal demonstrated excessive energy and high ambitions not only for the deepening of the EU integration, with the eurozone at the epicentre, but to hold the reins of that integration in his hands. A zeal that was poured with cold water by the Franco-German political centre and also by the Dutch-British loosening actions. President Barroso hoped that the June summit in Brussels will duplicate the ambition and vision of the last year’s European Council in June when the leaders of the member states decided to begin the construction of the banking union and also to be presented with ideas for the deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), which is the eurozone.

    In terms of economic policies at the euro area level, Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande directly respond to the European Commission’s questions, saying that in order to have strong coordination of the economic policies it is first needed to develop a set of indicators that will be able to make a commonly accepted diagnosis of the eurozone and of all the members that share the common currency. These indicators should be able to identify the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of the economy at large, but also of the markets of goods, labour and services. Merkollande agree with the Commission that the areas of common coordination should be the labour markets; unemployment and social inclusion; but also pension policies; product markets; common taxation; efficiency of the public sector; education systems.

    Regarding the contractual agreements, Hollande and Merkel are firm that the concept of these agreements needs to be defined more specifically first, taking into account the specific situation in every member state. But leading in this will be the member states, not the Commission. France and Germany are not against the creation of a new system for “limited and conditional financial assistance” for the euro area, but any new enhancement of the eurozone should be left for after the European elections next year when the European institutions will have new presidents. Among the other ideas the two countries offer for consideration are more frequent eurozone summits; appointment of a permanent Eurogroup chief; building of separate structures within the European Parliament, especially for the eurozone to ensure “adequate democratic control and legitimacy” of the decision-making process.

    Notice how Merkel and Hollande (someone who is supposedly sort of opposed to the permanent austerity-regime) first talk about the need to coordinate policies across a broad array of areas: labour markets; unemployment and social inclusion; but also pension policies; product markets; common taxation; efficiency of the public sector; education systems. And then there’s vague discussion about agreement over the need for a permanent Eurogroup president and building separate structures within the eurozone to ensure “adequate democratic control and legitimacy” of the decision-making process. That’s a pretty strong indication that the vague plans Merkel and Hollande are talking about for the expansion of powers of the Eurogroup president to are probably going to further threaten “adequate democratic control and legitimacy” of the decision-making process. This is where we are, and it’s only been a few years since these over-the-topic power-play antics have begun.

    Continuing…

    Tomorrow begins in October

    The outcome of the June 27-28 summit shows that the Franco-German vision has definitely prevailed, but the timeline for the bolder reforms is left for after the elections in Germany in the end of Septemberd. In their conclusions, the leaders have written down that they will hold close consultations and the issue will again be reviewed in October when will the set of indicators be discussed and the areas the ex ante coordination will cover. And in December will be taken the final decision about how and where to go. In the meantime, the social dimension fo the EMU will be enhanced for which the Commission is expected to present concrete proposals this autumn.

    There will be plenty of ongoing attempts to implement some form of far-right nuttiness in the US but it will take a Tea Party-ish form. In Europe, where the US far-right’s brand of economic Libertarianism isn’t nearly as palatable, it’s going to be Bundesbank-brand nuttiness. But it’s no longer long a question of whether or not we can feasibly see fascist-natured leadership coming from Berlin and Frankfurt over the future of Europe. It’s what we’ve been seeing for several years now. Fascist/far-right leadership emanates from tons of governments around the world all the time. And that includes plenty of other nations inside and outside the EU. The austerity/union-busting/”structural reform” phenomena is transnational. The EU/eurozone leadership entered The Twighlight Zone soon after the financial crisis and The Twighlight Zone is not exited easily. And they were led by the ordoliberalist ideals so at this point it’s just a matter of trying to understand how it is that Germany’s dominant economic position is being used to create a strange far-right tomorrow for Europe. Psy-op-ing the German populace with far-right economic dogma that mandates austerity as the only viable solution has been one of the tools used by Merkel & Friends from the beginning. It’s the similar to the far-right dogma peddled by the GOP in the US and elsewhere.

    Sorry for the long rant! Got carried away there.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 4, 2013, 11:20 pm
  9. Thank you so much for all the tips and pointers. I will check them out. I know at a visceral and intuitive level (not to mention the personal experience I had with some of the people and institutions you’ve mentioned) that everything you say is true. Understanding it at an intellectual level is not that easy. As you said, I need time to process all the info. I listen to 4 or 5 of your programs every day but the material is so vast I didn’t know where to start.

    You’re absolutely right when you said one needs an open mind to understand all of this. Before I came across your web site I was convinced the problem was Israel and Zionism until I listened to one of your shows where you said the US was openly supporting Israel while secretly sustaining a true allegiance with Saudi Arabia. It was like a bucket of cold water had fallen on my head and all of a sudden many things made sense. It should have been obvious since 911 considering all the hijackers were from Saudi Arabia but that just goes to show how the media can make anyone think a dog is a cat when one can clearly see it is not!

    “The Muslim Brotherhood” was precisely the keyword search which led me to your web site. After the Boston marathon bombing Glenn Beck created a HUGE media sensation by saying he would reveal something within the next few days that would “bring down the US government”. (God! He’s such a drama queen!)…. Well, his big revelation was the connection between the Obama administration and the “Muslim Brotherhood”. And of course, his disclosure didn’t bring down the US government (Surprise! Surprise!) but it did make me curious about this organization of which I knew nothing about. Have you noticed increased traffic to your web site since the Boston Marathon bombing? If you have, this could very well be the reason. In his effort to “shock the nation” Beck may have inadvertently sent many people your way.

    Bless your heart and thank you for so selflessly sharing your work with everyone. If I can ever be of service please do not hesitate to contact me.

    Posted by Shibusa | August 5, 2013, 8:24 am
  10. And once again the American public gets a friendly reminder that declaring a “War on Drugs” against their fellow citizens wasn’t just a callous example of collective cruelty, it was also a really stupid self-inflicted injury to the fabric of the civil society:

    Forbles
    More Surveillance Abuse Exposed! Special DEA Unit Is Spying On Americans And Covering It Up
    Rick Ungar, Contributor

    8/05/2013 @ 11:21AM

    As Americans sort through their feelings regarding the disclosure of the massive collection of metadata by the National Security Administration, we are now learning of what may be a far more insidious violation of our constitutional rights at the hands of a government agency.

    Reuters is reporting that a secret U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration branch has been collecting information from “intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records” and disseminating the data to authorities across the nation to “help them launch criminal investigations of Americans.”

    In this case, the Americans who are being subjected to these investigations are suspected drug dealers.

    The unit of the DEA that is conducting the surveillance is known as the Special Operations Division (“SOD”) and is made up of a partnership of numerous government agencies including the NSA, CIA, FBI, IRS and the Department of Homeland Security.

    While there are suggestions that elements of the program may be legal, there is obvious concern on the part of those running the program—a concern that has not prevented them from going ahead with the collecting and using of covertly gathered data—that the surveillance effort may not be entirely kosher. We know this to be true because, according to documents reviewed by Reuters, DEA agents are specifically instructed never to reveal nor discuss the existence and utilization of SOD provided data and to further “omit the SOD’s involvement from investigative reports, affidavits, discussions with prosecutors and courtroom testimony. Agents are instructed to then use ‘normal investigative techniques to recreate the information provided by SOD.’”

    The last line of the directive is particularly disturbing.

    By instructing agents to use “normal investigative techniques to recreate the information provided by SOD”, law enforcement is being instructed to flat out lie when disclosing how they came across the tips or other information provided by SOD leading to an arrest. These agents are directed to give substance to the lie by fabricating a false source or method utilized to gain information leading to an arrest.

    In law enforcement parlance, it is called “parallel construction.”

    Accordingly to a former federal agent, the SOD ‘tip’ system works as follows:

    “You’d be told only, ‘Be at a certain truck stop at a certain time and look for a certain vehicle.’ And so we’d alert the state police to find an excuse to stop that vehicle, and then have a drug dog search it.”

    When the SOD tip leads to an arrest, the agents then pretend that the drug bust was the surprise result of pulling the vehicle over as a routine traffic stop.

    So secretive is the program, SOD requires that agents lie to the judges, prosecuting attorneys and defense attorneys involved in a trial of a defendant busted as a result of SOD surveillance—a complete and clear violation of every American’s right to due process, even when that American is a low-life drug dealer.

    Every criminal defendant is entitled to the legitimate data and facts surrounding their arrest so that their counsel can examine the propriety of the arrest and attack procedures that may be improper and illegal under the law in defense of their client. When sensitive, classified data is involved in such a case (data possibly collected in surveillance of a foreign national that reveals incriminating evidence involving an American), it is the prerogative of the judge to decide what should and should not be admitted into evidence.

    As for the prosecutors, not everyone is enamored with the idea of such deceit, even if it produces convictions. Reports Reuters:

    One current federal prosecutor learned how agents were using SOD tips after a drug agent misled him, the prosecutor told Reuters. In a Florida drug case he was handling, the prosecutor said, a DEA agent told him the investigation of a U.S. citizen began with a tip from an informant. When the prosecutor pressed for more information, he said, a DEA supervisor intervened and revealed that the tip had actually come through the SOD and from an NSA intercept.

    “I was pissed,” the prosecutor said. “Lying about where the information came from is a bad start if you’re trying to comply with the law because it can lead to all kinds of problems with discovery and candor to the court.” The prosecutor never filed charges in the case because he lost confidence in the investigation, he said.

    Now, before you get carried away with this being some further proof of the Obama Justice Department’s (the DOJ oversees the activities of the DEA) desire to infringe upon the privacy rights of Americans, you should know that the program has been active since 1994. Thus, while one could legitimately criticize the Obama Administration for continuing the program, laying it all at the feet of the current administration would simply be wrong.

    The disclosure of the SOD program is upsetting a great many legal and constitutional experts throughout the nation. Speaking to Reuters, Harvard Law Professor, Nancy Gertner—who also spent seventeen years on the bench as a federal judge—said,

    “I have never heard of anything like this at all. It is one thing to create special rules for national security. Ordinary crime is entirely different. It sounds like they are phonying up investigations.”

    Other constitutional and legal experts point out that the program is more disturbing than the recent NSA disclosures involving the collection of phone metadata as the NSA effort is geared towards catching terrorists while the DEA program is targeting common criminals who, as Americans, are entitled to their constitutional protections no matter what their alleged crimes.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 5, 2013, 12:21 pm
  11. @Dave: Well, yeah.

    In any case, I guess it wouldn’t hurt to re-read some of this stuff, especially thanks to recent developments.

    Posted by Steven L. | August 5, 2013, 3:19 pm
  12. @Shibusa–

    My comment is NOT an indictment or attack.

    The fact that you had been so thoroughly and easily mislead about Jews/Israel/Zionism is as good an indication as any about The Underground Reich’s success in its efforts.

    Jews and Israel are completely irrelevant to any substantive discussion of world affairs.

    (Analysis of Israel/Arab conflict generally ignores the important considerations–the tripartite clan control used by the Ottoman Empire and then the British Empire to maintain control in that part of the world–Nashashibis and Hamshemites subsumed to the Husseini clan. It also ignores other key considerations such as the Treaty of Sam Remo of 1920 and the Mizrahi–the Jews ethnically cleansed from Arab countries following Israel’s founding and the 1948 war of independence. More than twice the number of Jews were ethnically cleansed from Arab lands [over a roughly 30-year period] as “Palestinians” were ethnically cleansed in Israel. The land deeded to the Mizrahi was more than FIVE times the territory of modern Israel. Many of those Jews settled in Israel and they are the foundation of the electoral base of the Israeli right wing and very, very right wing they are.)

    The Jews are 0.2% of the world’s population with 0.0% of the world’s oil.

    Despite manifesting a largely medieval culture, the Arabs, who DO control the world’s oil supply and have been aligned with the Reich in both its above-ground and Underground phases, have manipulated world opinion very successfully.

    As discussed in the Dorothy Thompson article and excerpt I have referenced so often, economic control automatically leads to political control.

    Note, also, my emphasis on “Serpent’s Walk,” a manifesto and far more than the “novel” it purports to be.

    Published by the National Alliance–one of Glenn Greenwald’s Nazi clients–it refers to controlling the opinion-forming media.

    The reason I discuss the Bormann capital network so often is derivative of the fact that it is–as one banker called it–“the greatest concentration of money power under a single control in all of world history”–(see FTR #152).

    In FTR #99, the Bormann network is discussed in the context of the tides of 20th century capital flow.

    An important analysis, that.

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | August 5, 2013, 4:43 pm
  13. It’s interesting that the comments coming from officials on all sides are that the cancellation of treaty was completely irrelevant because the treaty hadn’t invoked in years. It raises the obvious question “Ok, so if it’s irrelevant, is that because there are newer treaties in place that also ensure the same level of extensive intelligence-sharing?” And if there ARE other treaties or policies still in place, doesn’t that mean Merkel just blatantly tried to deceive the German electorate into thinking some meaningful change took place just months before the election? It’s a curious political move:

    Germany terminates Cold War spy pact
    August 4, 2013

    BERLIN (AP)–Germany canceled a Cold War-era surveillance pact with the United States and Britain on Friday in response to revelations by U.S. National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden about those countries’ alleged electronic eavesdropping operations.

    The move appeared largely symbolic, designed to show that the German government was taking action to stop unwarranted surveillance directed against its citizens without actually jeopardizing relations with Washington and London. With weeks to go before national elections, opposition parties had seized on Snowden’s claim that Germany was complicit in the NSA’s intelligence-gathering operations.

    Government officials have insisted that U.S. and British intelligence were never given permission to break Germany’s strict privacy laws. But they conceded last month that an agreement dating back to the late 1960s gave the United States, Britain and France the right to request German authorities to conduct surveillance operations within Germany to protect their troops stationed there.

    “The cancellation of the administrative agreements, which we have pushed for in recent weeks, is a necessary and proper consequence of the recent debate about protecting personal privacy,” German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in a statement.

    British Foreign Office brushed off the significance of the German move. “It’s a loose end from a previous era which is right to tie up,” the Foreign Office said in a statement, noting that the agreement had not been used since 1990.

    A spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, Ruth Bennett, confirmed that the agreement had been canceled but declined to comment further on the issue.

    A German official, speaking on condition of anonymity, also said the cancellation would have little practical consequences. He said the agreement had not been invoked since the end of the Cold War and would have no impact on current intelligence cooperation between Germany and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss the issue.

    Germany is currently in talks with France to cancel its part of the agreement as well.

    You have to wonder if France’s government is like “WTF? Us too?” or if this was all expected.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 5, 2013, 6:46 pm
  14. @Dave: Well said concerning Israel. About now the Snowden Affair covered in this series of posts, I agree with everything that has been said so far but I have one interrogation remaining. What about inter-agency competition/rivalry/jealousy in all this? We know that since 9/11 the NSA and the Department of Homeland Security have been taking more and more space and pieces of the action in the intelligence matters of the country. Is that conceivable that some people in the older agencies feel that somehow they are the losers in that context? That they have lost, in their estimation, “the edge”, have been put aside, downgraded, etc? It is just a thought but maybe there is something there.

    Keep going.

    Posted by Claude | August 7, 2013, 7:11 am
  15. Via zerohedge:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2013-08-07/nsa-pricked-%E2%80%9Ccloud%E2%80%9D-bubble-us-tech-companies

    NSA Pricked The “Cloud” Bubble For US Tech Companies

    (Excerpts)

    Wolf Richter http://www.testosteronepit.com http://www.amazon.com/author/wolfrichter

    The cloud is a growth industry. And a religion in Silicon Valley: you’re better off with all your data and software stored in a data center somewhere on the planet. It’s at the core of Big Data. It’s a beacon of growth that revenue-challenged tech giants like Oracle and IBM wave in the faces of antsy investors.
    ***
    What we thought had been encrypted and secured on US servers, protected by trustworthy American corporations, has been made accessible, as we now know from the Snowden leaks, not only to companies that are willing to pay for it, but also to the NSA, other members of the Intelligence Community, government agencies in the US, state and local law enforcement agencies, as well as allied foreign governments. Made possible by formerly secret provisions in the Patriot Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
    ***
    But there is a price to pay. Tens of billions of dollars, it turns out. The reactions by foreign companies and governments to these revelations have “an immediate and lasting impact” on the US cloud computing industry, determined the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation.
    ***
    In a survey conducted after the Snowden leaks, 10% of the foreign companies using cloud computing services said they’d already cancelled a project with a US cloud provider and 56% said they’d be less likely to use US-based providers. Conversely, among US stakeholders in the cloud sector, 36% said that the NSA leaks would make it more difficult doing business outside the US. The report estimated that if US cloud companies lose between 10% and 20% of their foreign business over three years, it will cost them between $21.5 billion to $35 billion.

    But the report cautions it could get much more expensive “if foreign governments enact protectionist trade barriers that effectively cut out US providers.” In Europe, momentum in that direction is growing.

    German Federal Data Protection commissioners threatened with new bureaucratic hurdles. Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich announced that “whoever fears their communication is being intercepted in any way should use services that don’t go through American servers.” And Justice Minister Jörg-Uwe Hahn called for an outright boycott of US companies.

    ———
    More at link

    Posted by Swamp | August 7, 2013, 10:25 am
  16. Glenn Greenwald recently confirmed that that he was given 15-20,000 classified documuents by Snowden and what he’s released so far is a tiny portion of what he’s planning on releasing. He also claims that WikiLeaks probably doesn’t have the full set of documents but that only he and Laura Poitras have them (presumably this doesn’t include the mystery individuals with the encrypted documents). Outside experts have also been hired to help interpret the documents. In another week or so, according to Greenwald, there should be another major revelation about US spying in Latin America:

    Glenn Greenwald: Snowden Gave Me 15-20,000 Classified Documents

    Reuters | Posted: 08/06/2013 8:45 pm EDT

    * Journalist says he speaks to Snowden almost daily

    * Former NSA contractor happy with debate on internet privacy

    By Anthony Boadle

    BRASILIA, Aug 6 (Reuters) – Glenn Greenwald, the American journalist who published documents leaked by fugitive former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, plans to make new revelations “within the next 10 days or so” on secret U.S. surveillance of the Internet.

    “The articles we have published so far are a very small part of the revelations that ought to be published,” Greenwald on Tuesday told a Brazilian congressional hearing that is investigating the U.S. internet surveillance in Brazil.

    “There will certainly be many more revelations on spying by the U.S. government and how they are invading the communications of Brasil and Latin America,” he said in Portuguese.

    The Rio de Janeiro-based columnist for Britain’s Guardian newspaper said he has recruited the help of experts to understand some of the 15,000 to 20,000 classified documents from the National Security Agency that Snowden passed him, some of which are “very long and complex and take time to read.”

    Greenwald told Reuters he does not believe the pro-transparency website WikiLeaks had obtained a package of documents from Snowden, and that only he and filmmaker Laura Poitras have complete archives of the leaked material.

    Greenwald said Snowden, who was in hiding in Hong Kong before flying to Russia in late June, was happy to leave a Moscow airport after being granted temporary asylum, and pleased that he had stirred up a worldwide debate on internet privacy and secret U.S. surveillance programs used to monitor emails.

    “I speak with him a lot since he left the airport, almost every day. We use very strong encryption to communicate,” Greenwald told the Brazilian legislators. “He is very well.”

    Last month, in an article co-authored by Greenwald, the Brazilian newspaper O Globo reported that the NSA spied on Latin American countries with programs that can monitor billions of emails and phone calls for suspicious activity. Latin American countries fumed at what they considered a violation of their sovereignty and demanded explanations and an apology.

    COMMERCIAL SECRETS

    In Brazil, the largest U.S. trading partner in South America, angry senators questioned President Dilma Rousseff’s planned state visit to Washington in October and a billion-dollar purchase of U.S.-made fighter jets Brazil is considering.

    Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee peppered Greenwald with questions on Tuesday, such as whether the NSA was capable of spying on Brazil’s commercial secrets, including the discovery of promising offshore oil reserves, and the communications of the country’s president and armed forces.

    Greenwald had no details on specific targets and said the documents did not name telecommunications and internet companies in the United States and Brazil that might have collaborated with the NSA’s collection of internet users’ data.

    Meanwhile, Washington is working through diplomatic channels to persuade governments to stop complaining about the surveillance programs, he said.

    “The Brazilian government is showing much more anger in public than it is showing in private discussions with the U.S. government,” Greenwald told reporters. “All governments are doing this, even in Europe.”

    In a speech at the United Nations on Tuesday, Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota called the interception of telecommunications and acts of espionage in Latin America “a serious issue, with a profound impact on the international order.” But he did not mention the United States by name.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 8, 2013, 8:07 pm
  17. The GOP is being predictably ‘helpful‘ with the task of defusing growing tensions in US international relations:

    The Hill
    GOP senators want Obama to take further steps against Russia

    By Jeremy Herb – 08/08/13 01:45 PM ET

    President Obama should expand sanctions against Russian human rights violators, Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Thursday.

    The two senators issued a joint statement that said they “obviously agree” with Obama’s decision to cancel a planned meeting next month with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

    But the two said Obama should go much farther.

    They called on the president to finish the last phase of a European missile defense shield that’s been scrapped and push for a new round of NATO expansion to include Georgia.

    “Now we must move beyond symbolic acts and take the steps necessary to establish a more realistic approach to our relations with Russia,” McCain and Graham said. “That means demonstrating to the Russian government that there will be consequences for its continued actions that undermine American national interests.”

    Obama earned praise from Republicans and Democrats alike on Wednesday for skipping the summit, as hawks from both parties have been incensed with Putin for supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad, as well as the Snowden affair.

    But Thursday’s statement from McCain and Graham highlights the fact that the bipartisan support is likely to be short-lived unless there is a change in the U.S.-Russia relationship, whether it’s policy changes from Moscow or further U.S. actions against the Kremlin.

    Obama has an uneven relationship with Graham and McCain on foreign policy. They have been his biggest detractors on issues like Syria, but he dispatched the pair to Egypt this week to speak with members of the military, the interim government and Muslim Brotherhood.

    However, McCain said Monday in Egypt that the overthrow of President Mohammad Morsi was a coup — a designation the Obama administration has resisted.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 8, 2013, 8:58 pm
  18. It looks like the grand plan by the NSA to improve security is to announce a 90% reduction in the number of System Administrators. They’ll be replaced with more computers?

    Business Insider
    NSA to cut system administrators by 90 percent to limit data access
    By Jonathan Allen

    Filed Aug 9th, 2013

    The National Security Agency, hit by disclosures of classified data by former contractor Edward Snowden, said Thursday it intends to eliminate about 90 percent of its system administrators to reduce the number of people with access to secret information.

    Keith Alexander, the director of the NSA, the U.S. spy agency charged with monitoring foreign electronic communications, told a cybersecurity conference in New York City that automating much of the work would improve security.

    “What we’re in the process of doing – not fast enough – is reducing our system administrators by about 90 percent,” he said.

    The remarks came as the agency is facing scrutiny after Snowden, who had been one of about 1,000 system administrators who help run the agency’s networks, leaked classified details about surveillance programs to the press.

    Before the change, “what we’ve done is we’ve put people in the loop of transferring data, securing networks and doing things that machines are probably better at doing,” Alexander said.

    Using technology to automate much of the work now done by employees and contractors would make the NSA’s networks “more defensible and more secure,” as well as faster, he said at the conference, in which he did not mention Snowden by name.

    These efforts pre-date Snowden’s leaks, the agency has said, but have since been accelerated.

    It’s looks like Skynet Jr. or one of its siblings is going to be responsible for an increasing number of decisions in how this sensitive data is interpreted and handled. This also means Skynet Jr’s is going to get ‘aquainted‘ with humanity via tasks like parsing Chatroulette sessions for signs of terrorism. And now you know the rest of the story…

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 12, 2013, 7:17 pm
  19. Taking a page from Russia’s recent rumblings about US electronics, it looks like China might be moving away from US IT technology:

    China to probe IBM, Oracle, EMC for security concerns – paper

    SHANGHAI | Fri Aug 16, 2013 7:49am EDT

    (Reuters) – China’s Ministry of Public Security and a cabinet-level research centre are preparing to investigate IBM Corp, Oracle Corp and EMC Corp over security issues, the official Shanghai Securities News said on Friday.

    The report follows revelations by former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden of widespread surveillance, including a program known as PRISM, by the National Security Agency and his assertion that the agency hacked into critical network infrastructure at universities in China and in Hong Kong.

    Documents leaked by Snowden revealed that the NSA has had access to vast amounts of Internet data such as emails, chat rooms and video from large companies, including Facebook and Google, under a government program known as Prism.

    “At present, thanks to their technological superiority, many of our core information technology systems are basically dominated by foreign hardware and software firms, but the Prism scandal implies security problems,” the newspaper quoted an anonymous source as saying.

    China’s Ministry of Public Security declined to comment on the reported probe, and the State Council’s Development Research Centre, one of the groups reportedly involved, told Reuters they were not carrying out such an investigation.

    A spokesperson for the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), which oversees China’s IT industry, said it could not confirm anything because of the matter’s sensitivity. Another MIIT official told Reuters they were unaware of the reported probe.

    IBM said in an emailed statement to Reuters that the company was unable to comment. Oracle and EMC were not immediately available for comment.

    China, repeatedly accused by the United States of hacking, was given considerable ammunition by Snowden’s allegations, which Beijing has used to point the finger at Washington for hypocrisy.

    Chinese regulators and the police have begun a series of investigations in recent weeks into how foreign and domestic companies do business in the world’s second-biggest economy.

    Ditto Europe:

    Bloomberg
    Merkel Urges European Internet Push to Blunt U.S. Surveillance
    By Arne Delfs & Tony Czuczka – Jul 19, 2013 7:06 AM CT

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Europe should promote home-grown Internet companies to avoid U.S. surveillance as she sought to keep the spying affair out of her re-election campaign.

    Merkel, at a 90-minute news conference in Berlin today before she goes on summer vacation, said she is pressing U.S. officials for information on the scale of the National Security Agency’s spying on global communications in Germany. That includes the Prism program, which mines data from technology companies.

    “In view of this debate, we have to look at what we’re able to do in Europe,” Merkel said. Just as European companies build Airbus planes to compete with Boeing Co., “we have to ask ourselves which technical abilities we want to have in Europe in the Internet. Otherwise, we become dependent. A continent like Europe should have this ambition.”

    Germany’s opposition, trailing in polls before the Sept. 22 federal election, is criticizing Merkel as slow to investigate the surveillance allegations by ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden. While a poll for ARD television today said 69 percent of Germans aren’t satisfied with her government’s efforts to obtain information from President Barack Obama’s administration, 70 percent said her response has little or no effect on how they will vote as Merkel seeks a third term.

    Merkel expressed understanding today for U.S. security needs after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, saying Obama’s statement that privacy must be weighed against security “is right.” Yet that doesn’t justify turning Germany into a “surveillance state,” she said.
    ‘Not My Job’

    Queried repeatedly by reporters about the U.S. response to German concerns, Merkel said that she is waiting for answers and letting her cabinet ministers take the lead. “It’s not my job to get into the details of Prism,” she said. While she has a “100 percent interest” in disclosure, “to some degree this is out of my hands.”

    German lawmakers across party lines are calling for Europe to build up rivals to companies such as Google Inc. (GOOG) and Facebook Inc. (FB) “Europe has to do something against the Americans’ market power,” Wolfgang Bosbach, a member of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union who heads parliament’s Interior Affairs Committee, said yesterday in an interview. “I refuse to accept U.S. dominance of the industry,” opposition Social Democratic lawmaker Dieter Wiefelspuetz said.

    Government aid probably won’t ease European fears, Dieter Kempf, the head of the Bitkom industry group in Germany, said in an e-mailed statement. It’s hard to imagine that “projects financed with taxpayer money can even remotely keep up with U.S. companies that have invested billions in technology development over the years,” he said.

    One would think that Silicon Valley would be a wee bit more concerned about the global plummet in trust in US business. But, if you think about it, there’s no reason today’s Silicon Valley firms can’t simply move out of Silicon Valley and then participate in what could be a global boom in investment in new IT security technologies:

    Forbes
    IT Security Industry To Expand Tenfold
    Richard Stiennon, Contributor
    8/14/2013 @ 11:38AM

    Governments around the world have commandeered the Internet, as Bruce Schneier so succinctly points out in The Atlantic. How is that going to impact the IT security industry? This $60 billion industry researches, develops, and sells firewalls, anti-malware, authentication, encryption, and 80 other categories of products. With each advance in the threat level represented by hackers, cyber criminals, and cyber spies there has been a new batch of vendors which come on the scene to counter threats that bypass previous technologies and spending has increased.

    Spending on IT security is poised to grow tenfold in ten years. Every organization from the largest oil and gas refiner, to the smallest bank has underspent on security. Classic risk management methodologies call for trade-offs in security. Unlikely events, Black Swans, are not accounted for. This protect-against-the-known philosophy is what led to most defense contractors and even the Department of Defense being completely vulnerable to sophisticated targeted attacks from foreign spy agencies. The recent rapid growth of technology vendors to ward off cyber attacks is a blip compared to what is coming.

    Even the most sophisticated Chinese cyber spies do not appear to be well funded. They use shelf ware and their teams work regular hours. The NSA on the other hand is shockingly replete with funds. The US Intelligence Community budget of $70 billion is twice the size of the Australian military budget. The NSA has donated $160 million to its sister agency, GCHQ, in the UK for intelligence gathering. The investment in creating Total Information Awareness over the last decade has stunned the industry.

    There will be a response to this threat against all communications. That response will be hundreds of new IT security vendors cropping up all over the world. Thanks to a dramatic increase in distrust of US companies this boom in technology will not be centered on Silicon Valley. Just as the draconian anti-encryption measures of the ‘90s drove development offshore, major cloud providers will have to push their engineering and research into countries that are more open and considerate of privacy and transparency.

    As engineers do, great minds around the world are today figuring out the technology to route around surveillance. The market is there. Funding will be readily available. It will be the ultimate irony if a tech giant like Huawei becomes a trusted provider of infrastructure because there is less chance that its executives are secretly working with the NSA.

    It would indeed be an ultimate iron if Huawei becomes a globally trusted provider of IT infrastructure for handling sensitive data. It also seems kind of unlikely, but who knows.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 16, 2013, 11:31 am
  20. Presumably there must be something on Mr. Miranda’s laptop that someone REALLY REALLY REALLY wants to get their hands on, because it’s really hard to see how detaining Glenn Greenwald’s partner for nine hours as part of an “anti-terrorism” inquiry was deemed to be a good idea. When Greenwald says “I don’t understand why they don’t realise that all it’s going to accomplish is the exact opposite effect,” he’s probably right. Acting like some weird police-state towards Greenwald’s partner is kind of exactly the opposite of what one would have thought the UK would want to be doing right now:

    BBC
    Snowden case: Brazil ‘concerned’ after UK detention
    18 August 2013 Last updated at 21:50 ET

    Brazil says the detention under British terror laws of one of its citizens at London’s Heathrow airport caused “grave concern” and was “unjustified”.

    David Miranda, the partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald who published documents leaked by Edward Snowden, was held at Heathrow for nine hours on his way to Rio de Janeiro.

    He reportedly had his mobile phone, laptop, DVDs and other items seized.

    Mr Miranda was later released by British authorities.

    Mr Greenwald called his partner’s detention an “intimidation” and a “profound attack on press freedoms”.

    Under the Terrorism Act 2000, UK police can hold someone at an airport for up to nine hours – but the power must be used appropriately and proportionately and is subject to independent scrutiny.

    Amnesty International says the incident shows the law can be abused for what it described as “petty and vindictive reasons”.

    ‘Serious threat’

    “At 08:05 on Sunday 18 August 2013 a 28-year-old man was detained at Heathrow Airport under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000. He was not arrested. He was subsequently released at 17:00,” said a statement issued by the Metropolitan Police.

    Mr Greenwald said the British authorities’ actions in holding Mr Miranda amounted to “intimidation and bullying”.

    “They never asked him about a single question at all about terrorism or anything relating to a terrorist organisation,” he told the BBC World Service’s Newsday programme.

    “They spent the entire day asking about the reporting I was doing and other Guardian journalists were doing on the NSA stories.

    “The principle point, since they kept him for the full nine hours, is to try and send a message of intimation and bullying.

    “I don’t understand why they don’t realise that all it’s going to accomplish is the exact opposite effect – I’m going to report more aggressively and with a more emboldened mind,” Mr Greenwald told the BBC.

    The Brazilian government issued an official statement soon after the release of Mr Miranda.

    The foreign ministry document says there was no justification for detaining an “individual against whom there are no charges that can legitimate the use of that [anti-terror] legislation”.

    It also says Brazil expects incidents “such as the one that happened to the Brazilian citizen today” not to be repeated.

    Mr Miranda was flying back from the German capital, Berlin, to Rio de Janeiro, where he lives with Mr Greenwald, when he was detained in transit through Heathrow.

    In Germany, he had met US film-maker Laura Poitras, who has also been working on the Snowden files with Mr Greenwald and The Guardian. according to the newspaper.

    Following his detention at Heathrow, Brazilian government officials and Guardian lawyers were called to the airport, The Guardian says.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 18, 2013, 7:52 pm
  21. @Pterrafractyl–

    Actually, the Miranda incident doesn’t surprise me, for all its superficial clumsiness.

    Miranda was transferring documentation from Poitras to Greenwald. That’s why they confiscated his electronic equipment.

    Why is Poitras in Germany?

    There are plenty of other places for her to be.

    Same place as Peter Sunde–founder of Pirate Bay and joined at the hip with far-right, Nazi-linked spook network WikiLeaks.

    Sunde began PB while working for Siemens, itself inextricably linked with BND at one level and the Bormann network/Underground Reich at another.

    The more time passes, the more this is looking like a BND penetration and psy-op, using the powerful “deep fifth column” in U.S. and probably U.K.

    Also: I counsel you pay some serious attention to Gruppenfuhrer Greenwald.

    http://spitfirelist.com/news/snowdens-ride-part-6-why-did-glenn-greenwald-represent-neo-nazis-pro-buono/

    http://spitfirelist.com/news/snowdens-ride-part-7-citizen-greenwald-the-national-alliance-and-the-underground-reich/

    This scumbag is the EXACT OPPOSITE of what he is made out to be.

    I have noted G-wald’s 11-year relationship with Austrian-born lawyer Achatz.

    He was vacationing in Brazil to get over his broken heart–or so we’re told–when he met Miranda, with whom it was love at first sight.

    I wonder if Achatz MIGHT have been a case officer of sorts for G-wald.

    They were partners and practiced law together. Maybe that was all there was to it–practicing law together by day and buttering each other’s buns by night.

    Perhaps there was more to it, however.

    I do have a suggestion for Poitras, Greenwald and Miranda. Why don’t they move to Russia, that way they can be closer to their icon/guru Snowden.

    Russia is a world renowned bastion of civil liberties, freedom of expression and internet freedom, in particular. (I don’t pass judgement here–like Egypt, Russia is facing a destabilization program, using Islamist combatants of the Underground Reich directed by the Underground Reich/GOP faction of U.S. intel. Nonetheless, I wouldn’t want to live there.)

    And they just LOVE gay people in Russia! Hey what’s not to like Laura, Glenn and David?! Off to Moscow with you!

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | August 19, 2013, 12:34 pm
  22. @Dave: You have to wonder if this is part of what prompted the UK’s Heathrow freakout: Wikileaks published a ~400GB encrypted “insurance file” Saturday morning, similar to Snowden’s “dead man’s swich”. No one knows what’s in the file. Just that there’s 400GB of something in it:

    The Daily Dot
    Is WikiLeaks bluffing, or did it really just post all its secrets to Facebook?
    By Aja Romano on August 17, 2013

    Someone remind WikiLeaks that the U.S does not respond well to blackmail.

    We’d think this was some kind of interactive Internet mystery if we didn’t know better, but in fact WikiLeaks has released about 400 gigabytes’ worth of mysterious data in a series of encrypted torrent files called “insurance.” And no one can open it.

    With nothing better to go on, the Internet has decided that “insurance” may be code for “back off” to the U.S. government—coming just before the sentencing of WikiLeaks cause célèbre Bradley Manning.

    File encryption means that the data is hidden and no one can see what’s in the shared files without a key to unlock them—which, of course, hasn’t been publicly released.

    The size of one of the files is 349 gigabytes, which means that there’s either A) enough textual data inside to power a nationwide security crisis for the next 300 years or so, or B) a few very incriminating pieces of video footage.

    But the most popular theories between the comments of Facebook, Reddit, and Hacker News, are that the data contains information about the identities of U.S. secret agents currently serving around the world.

    WikiLeaks has always anonymized the names of any agents associated with the data in its leaks in order to protect their identities. But with a filename like “Insurance,” a few people are betting that the website is preparing for a fight with any governments who want to keep its info out of the hands of the public.

    Another popular theory is that the files contain the entirety of a dump that came from the latest WikiLeaks hero, Edward Snowden.

    “[C]ould it be that Snowden did a database dump of their entire mainframe, like Manning essentially did?” speculated a user called swiddie on Reddit. “The file could contain the personal information on everyone, aka stasi files, the NSA ever spied on.”

    That file, if it existed, could be far bigger than 400 gigs.

    The files, which were seeded as torrents publicly, went up around 1:30am Eastern, roughly 12 hours or so after a sentencing judge called the actions of former U.S. soldier Bradley Manning in leaking classified data to WikiLeaks “wanton and reckless.”

    As long as the files are released without the keys that unlock them, it’s impossible for anyone, even the government, to get inside.

    But if WikiLeaks releases the keys to the public—and all the governments of the world at once—then it’s possible that the war on unauthorized access to government secrets could get a lot more dangerous.

    Or a lot more interesting.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 19, 2013, 12:56 pm
  23. There’s an interesting admission in Greenwald’s response to the UK detainment: Greenwald says Britain will be “sorry” for the act, stating “I will be far more aggressive in my reporting from now. I am going to publish many more documents. I am going to publish things on England too. I have many documents on England’s spy system. I think they will be sorry for what they did“. So Greenwald was holding back, for whatever reason, info on the UK’s spying that he now deems newsworthy after his partner’s arrest. Are there other countries that Greenwald has lots of “in case you piss me off”-info on that we have yet to learn about?

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 19, 2013, 1:32 pm
  24. In the latest Snowden leak, we’re learning that the NSA was spying on the presidents of Brazil and Mexico, leading to the expected outrage from both governments. Brazil is also calling for international regulations on cyber espionage:

    US-Brazil tensions rise after new NSA spy report

    By BRADLEY BROOKS and MARCO SIBAJA
    The Associated Press

    RIO DE JANEIRO — The Brazilian government condemned a U.S. spy program that reportedly targeted the nation’s leader, labeled it an “unacceptable invasion” of sovereignty and called Monday for international regulations to protect citizens and governments alike from cyber espionage.

    In a sign that fallout over the spy program is spreading, the newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported that President Dilma Rousseff is considering canceling her October trip to the U.S., where she has been scheduled to be honored with a state dinner. Folha cited unidentified Rousseff aides. The president’s office declined to comment.

    The Foreign Ministry called in U.S. Ambassador Thomas Shannon and told him Brazil expects the White House to provide a prompt written explanation over the espionage allegations.

    The action came after a report aired Sunday night on Globo TV citing 2012 documents from NSA leaker Edward Snowden that indicated the U.S. intercepted Rousseff’s emails and telephone calls, along with those of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, whose communications were being monitored even before he was elected as president in July 2012.

    Mexico’s government said it had expressed its concerns to the U.S. ambassador and directly to the U.S. administration.

    Brazilian Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo said, “We’re going to talk with our partners, including developed and developing nations, to evaluate how they protect themselves and to see what joint measures could be taken in the face of this grave situation.”

    He added that “there has to be international regulations that prohibit citizens and governments alike from being exposed to interceptions, violations of privacy and cyberattacks.”

    Justice Minister Eduardo Cardozo said at a joint news conference with Figueiredo that “from our point of view, this represents an unacceptable violation of Brazilian sovereignty.”

    “This type of practice is incompatible with the confidence necessary for a strategic partnership between two nations,” Cardozo said.

    Earlier, Sen. Ricardo Ferraco, head of the Brazilian Senate’s foreign relations committee, said lawmakers already had decided to formally investigate the U.S. program’s focus on Brazil because of earlier revelations that the country was a top target of the NSA spying in the region. He said the probe would likely start this week.

    “I feel a mixture of amazement and indignation. It seems like there are no limits. When the phone of the president of the republic is monitored, it’s hard to imagine what else might be happening,” Ferraco told reporters in Brasilia. “It’s unacceptable that in a country like ours, where there is absolutely no climate of terrorism, that there is this type of spying.”

    During the Sunday night TV program, U.S. journalist Glenn Greenwald, who lives in Rio de Janeiro and first broke the story about the NSA program in Britain’s Guardian newspaper after receiving tens of thousands of documents from Snowden, told the news program “Fantastico” that a document dated June 2012 shows that Pena Nieto’s emails were being read. The document’s date is the month before Pena Nieto was elected.

    The document indicated who Pena Nieto would like to name to some government posts, among other information.

    It’s not clear if the spying continues.

    As for Brazil’s leader, the NSA document “doesn’t include any of Dilma’s specific intercepted messages, the way it does for Nieto,” Greenwald told The Associated Press in an email. “But it is clear in several ways that her communications were intercepted, including the use of DNI Presenter, which is a program used by NSA to open and read emails and online chats.”

    So we seem to be heading towards a fascinating possibility that there will be calls for international regulations on spying. It could actually be a wonderful turn of events if such a debate unfolds because part of what’s made the global response to the Snowden Affair such a missed opportunity is the general attitude in the reports and commentary that only the NSA and GSHQ are the only one’s doing the spying. If we were, instead, discussing the global phenomena of mass surveillance by virtually every government that can afford to do it coupled with ubiquitous corporate spying that takes place by corporations all over the globe, well now THAT would be really a useful global discussion. Because even if the NSA and the rest of the “Five Eyes” disappeared tomorrow it’s hard to see how there still wouldn’t be mass spying still taking place all over. So could we actually see countries like France, for instance, voluntarily call for aggressive international enforcement of anti-corporate espionage rules? And will China agree to never ever spy in the UN again with some expected international penalty if they get caught?

    And what about domestic mass spying? Can we can governments around the world to agree to international sanctions if they’re ever found to be engaging in widespread surveillance? Because while NSA spying certainly isn’t helpful for the people of Russia, China, Brazil, the EU, or anywhere else, it’s still domestic spying by one’s own government that puts individuals in the greatest danger. For example, as we also learned today, the US Drug Enforcement Agency and other law enforcement agencies have been paying AT&T for access to a secret phone-record database for use in criminal prosecutions since 2007. And the database contains records going back to 1987. This is in addition to theother secret mass-surveillance database established in 1994 for use by US law enforcement. Could we see a call for every UN member to end domestic spying by all their law enforcement agencies too? Because that would be pretty neat.

    And then there are some really interesting questions that could arise from this kind of discourse: For instance, let’s say…
    1. There exists a horribly pointless and destructive global set of laws that should have never existed in the first place and only fuels police-state trends but somehow became the status quo largely though the efforts of a hypothetical Country A.
    2. And let’s say this horrible set of laws inevitably leads the emergence of power organized criminal syndicates across the globe including in Country A’s neighbor, Country B.
    3. And let’s say Country A has also been spying on Country B’s president.
    4. And let’s say Country B’s president turns out to be deeply tied to those same organized criminal forces that probably never would have existed if it wasn’t for Country A’s insistence on the international adoption of the aforementioned horrible laws.

    What should Country A do after finding out that Country B’s president is friends with organized criminals in this, uh, hypothetical situation?

    Another interesting question that might arise: If the new envisioned global rules are going to involve things like expectations that governments that are officially allies shouldn’t ever spy on each other, what does the global community do about the fact that virtually every government, society, and major institution is generally run by people that are utterly untrustworthy? Because a “no spying” pact has a major trust factor involved. That’s one of the big open questions that has yet to be answered although it’s been an open question since the dawn of civilization so it probably shouldn’t be surprising.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 2, 2013, 6:57 pm
  25. @Pterrafractyl–

    This one is genuinely funny. An international treaty/agreement/regulatory document or body to “regulate” cyberespionage?! Or any other kind of espionage?

    Really? How funny. Does anyone really think that any major intelligence service would abide by such a thing?

    Another hilarious element to L’Affaire Snowden concerns the shocking, shocking “revelation” that NSA spied on EU, the U.N. and other individuals and institutions that EVERY MAJOR INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ON EARTH SPIED ON, as a matter of course.

    A substantive point of contemplation concerns the obsession of journalists and politicos with NSA.

    Since Germany, France and other NATO countries do the same thing, WHY do you suppose they aren’t focal points of criticism?

    That’s one of the indications that BND/Underground Reich is probably the executive authority here.

    You would think that someone genuinely concerned about such things would be equally concerned with German abuses, as well.

    Yet Laura Poitras, Peter Sunde (founder of Pirate Bay and a big supporter of WikiLeaks)live in Germany.

    Another point: Snowden leaked 58,000 pages of documents on NSA, et al.

    Do you think he actually read those 58,000 pages?

    That’s the equivalent of 100 books of 580 pages each.

    I seriously doubt it.

    Note the story I mentioned in a response to GK, which I will include in an upcoming post.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/timstanley/100233498/david-miranda-accused-of-carrying-secrets-that-threatened-spies-lives-this-look-bad-for-glenn/

    If what Oliver Robbins is saying is true, then what’s going on here is something fundamentally different.

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | September 2, 2013, 7:56 pm
  26. Heh, just in time for Obama’s trip to Sweden Julian Assange made a request to Sweden to investigate new allegations of US spying on Wikileaks going back to 2009. It includes a previously reported theft of three laptops at an airport in September 2010 while Assange was traveling from Stockholm to Berlin. Assange’s 186 page includes claims that “an intelligence source” told him that an Australian intelligence organization responded to a Swedish Security Service request for information about himself in August 2010. Assange is said to be planning on making similar requests for investiations into US spying in Germany and Australia:

    The Age
    Julian Assange seeks investigation into FBI, US intelligence activity
    September 3, 2013
    Philip Dorling

    WikiLeaks publisher and Senate candiqdate Julian Assange has lodged a formal complaint asking Swedish police to open a criminal investigation into alleged illegal United States intelligence activity in Europe directed against WikiLeaks and himself.

    Mr Assange also says that “through an intelligence source” he became aware that an Australian intelligence organisation responded to a Swedish Security Service request for information about himself in August 2010.

    In a signed affidavit Mr Assange presents evidence in relation to US military intelligence investigations into WikiLeaks and himself as far back as 2009 and US Federal Bureau of Investigation searches as recently as 2012-13.

    The 186-page document lodged by Mr Assange’s lawyers with Swedish police on Sunday reviews evidence of US intelligence and criminal investigations targeting WikiLeaks, including details disclosed in the trial of US Army private Bradley Manning (now known as Chelsea Manning) who last month was sentenced to 35 years’ imprisonment for leaking hundreds of thousands of secret US military and diplomatic reports.

    The affidavit also highlights previously unreported events including physical surveillance of Mr Assange by US military intelligence at a conference in Berlin in December 2009 and the suspected illegal seizure on September 27, 2010 of the WikiLeaks publisher’s suitcase while he was flying from Stockholm to Berlin in September 2010.

    Mr Assange alleges the lost luggage carried three laptops containing WikiLeaks information, data and communications between WikiLeaks and the organisation’s lawyers. Mr Assange believes his suitcase may have been “seized unlawfully, as part of an intelligence operation with the purpose of gathering information about me, WikiLeaks, and/or our upcoming publications and in an attempt to unllawfully establish the identity of WikiLeaks’ sources”.

    Mr Assange refers to reports that the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation assisted the US FBI espionage probe directed against himself. He further alleges that an Australian intelligence organisation provided information to the Swedish Security Service – SAPO – in August 2010. Mr Assange does not identify the agency, but it is understood he is referring to ASIO.

    It is a matter of public record that the US government began a criminal investigation focused on WikiLeaks and Mr Assange in 2010. Australian diplomatic cables released to Fairfax Media under freedom of information laws revealed that senior US Justice Department officials described the investigation as being “unprecedented in scale and nature”.

    Mr Assange has been identified by US prosecutors as an alleged co-conspirator, guiding and directing Private Manning’s disclosure of classified information. The US Justice Department recently confirmed that its investigation of WikiLeaks is active and ongoing.

    Mr Assange’s complaint has been lodged by his lawyers with Swedish police to seek an “effective remedy” to alleged illegal activities directed against himself and WikiLeaks.

    “I am informed by my legal advisers that this formal document may trigger an investigation and that independent judicial bodies may seek explanations of the responsible authorities as a result,” Mr Assange says. “I file this affidavit in the knowledge that there will likely be pressures for this matter not to be investigated, but in the knowledge that the law requires an investigation. I request that Swedish judicial authorities act swiftly to question and arrest if necessary those who are likely to have information about or bear criminal responsibility for the actions taken against WikiLeaks and my person as detailed in this affidavit.”

    Mr Assange notes that US President Barack Obama is scheduled to travel to Sweden on Monday and that his delegation in likely to include senior officials from the White House and the State Department which have been directly involved in the US response to WikiLeaks’ publications.

    “Members of the delegation may have information relevant to an investigation of this matter,” Mr Assange suggests.

    It is understood that Mr Assange intends to lodge a similar request for a criminal investigation in Germany, and that a related complaint may also be lodged in Australia.

    While it wouldn’t be surprising if the US was somehow involved it’s worth pointing out that the content of those laptops would have been of interest to just about anyone. It’s also a reminder of a wave of laptop thefts from government employeees back in 2007-2010-ish. Do an news search for “stolen laptop” from those years, and you’ll see article after article kind of like this one:

    Cyber attacks continue to grow
    Hacking, viruses breach government, industry, university firewalls

    msnbc.com news services
    updated 5/29/2009 12:41:36 PM ET

    Cyber espionage, attacks, breaches, viruses — they are all among the concerns President Barack Obama cited Friday when he announced he will create a new White House office of cyber security, with that cyber czar reporting to the National Security Council as well as to the National Economic Council.

    The nation’s vulnerability to cyber attacks has long been a concern. The Center for Strategic and International Studies said in a December report that the U.S. Defense Department alone has said its computers are probed hundreds of thousands of times each day.

    These publicly known cases of hacks, thefts and viruses at government, military, utilities and educational sites are just some examples:

    Law enforcement computers were struck by a mystery computer virus last week, forcing the FBI and the U.S. Marshals to shut down part of their networks as a precaution. The U.S. Marshals said it disconnected from the Justice Department’s computers as a protective measure after being hit by the virus; an FBI official said only that that agency was experiencing similar issues and was working on the problem. “We too are evaluating a network issue on our external, unclassified network that’s affecting several government agencies,” said FBI spokesman Mike Kortan, who did not elaborate or identify the other agencies.

    Spies have hacked into the electric grid of the United States, a former government official said last month, and they left behind computer programs that would let them disrupt service. The intrusions were discovered after electric companies gave the government permission to audit their systems, said the ex-official. In April, officials in the U.S., Britain and Germany accused Chinese hackers backed by China’s military of intruding into their government and defense computer networks. China has denied the accusation.

    America’s air traffic control systems are vulnerable to cyber attacks, and support systems have been breached in recent months to allow hackers access to personnel records and network servers, according to an audit released this month by the Department of Transportation’s inspector general. The audit concluded that although most of the attacks disrupted only support systems, they could spread to the operational systems that control communications, surveillance and flight information used to separate aircraft. The report noted several recent cyber attacks, including a February incident, in which hackers gained access to personal information on about 48,000 current and former FAA employees, and an attack in 2008 when hackers took control of some FAA network servers.

    The National Archives this month reported it is missing a computer hard drive containing massive amounts of sensitive data from the Clinton administration, including Social Security numbers, addresses, and Secret Service and White House operating procedures, congressional officials said. The drive, from the Archives facility in College Park, Md., was lost between October 2008 and March 2009 and contained 1 terabyte of data — enough material to fill millions of books. One of former Vice President Al Gore’s three daughters is among those whose Social Security numbers were on the drive, but it was not clear which one. Other information includes logs of events, social gatherings and political records.

    A six-month hacking effort at the University of California, Berkeley resulted in 97,000 Social Security numbers being stolen, said Shelton Waggener, UC Berkeley’s associate vice chancellor for information technology, said this month. Hackers infiltrated restricted computer databases from October 2008 to April 9, putting at risk health and other personal information on 160,000 students, alumni and others. In addition to Social Security numbers, data included birth dates, health insurance information and some medical records dating back to 1999.

    USAJobs.gov, the official job site of the federal government, was hacked, along with career site Monster.com in January. “It appears that Monster.com’s database and USAJobs.gov’s database were compromised and contact and account information was stolen,” said Sophos, a security software firm. “Data stolen included users’ login names, passwords, email addresses, names, phone numbers and some demographic data.” The sites’ millions of users were advised to immediately change their passwords.

    In March, 2008, Harvard University said a computer hacker gained entry to its server and that about 10,000 of the previous year’s graduate students and applicants may have had their personal information compromised, with 6,600 having their Social Security numbers exposed. The school said it would provide the applicants with free identity theft recovery services and help them with credit monitoring and fraud alerts.

    As many as 1,500 Defense Department computers were taken offline in June 2007, because of a cyber attack, Pentagon officials said. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the Pentagon sees hundreds of attacks a day, and this one had no adverse impact on department operations. He said the Pentagon shut the computers down when a penetration of the system was detected.

    At the University of Missouri, a computer hacker accessed the Social Security numbers of more than 22,000 current or former students in May 2007, the second such attack that year, officials said. The hacker obtained the information through a Web page used to make queries about the status of trouble reports to the university’s computer help desk, which is based in Columbia. The information had been compiled for a report, but the data had not been removed from the computer system.

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s computer system was breached in June 2006, when a hacker broke in over a weekend and may have obtained names, Social Security numbers and photos of 26,000 Washington-area employees and contractors, the department said. The information was used for staff or contractor badges in Washington, D.C. and the surrounding area, spokeswoman Terri Teuber said. Those who might have been affected were notified by e-mail and were being sent letters.

    The Veteran’s Administration lost track of a laptop in May 2006 that held personal data about 26.5 million American veterans. The story of the missing files hit just as U.S. news was peppered with other tales of missing or stolen computers that year containing 100 million pieces of data, including Social Security and credit card numbers. The VA said the laptop, recovered a month later, had been taken home by a subcontractor, and that no data was taken from the computer. Earlier this year, the VA agreed to pay up to $20 million in class-action lawsuit to veterans whose data was on the laptop.

    In 2004, an FBI computer consultant gained access to the secret passwords of Director Robert Mueller and others using free software found on the Internet. The consultant, Joseph Thomas Colon, was sentenced in 2006 to six months of home detention after a federal judge said Colon was not trying to harm national security or use the information for financial gain. In his guilty plea, Colon acknowledged that he made his way into the deepest reaches of the FBI’s internal computer network on four occasions in 2004.

    There’s the standard espionage/identity-theft motives for stealing laptops and hacking into government and institutional system. But another interesting potential motive for stealing large datasets of personal data linked to things like email addresses, telephone numbers, social security numbers, etc, is for connecting the dots in the large metadata set that are now collected as a routine legal and commercial activity. So you have to wonder just how many entities all over the world have legal access to large volumes of anonymized metadata and how much of that data could be deanonymized using the kind of data that might be on one of those many stolen government laptops or just legally purchased. Google and Microsoft are teaming up to sue the US government for permission to publicly disclose more information about the rules they have to abide by in sharing information with governments. So it would be nice if this lawsuit could shed more light on the extent of non-NSA entities that also have access to large volumes of metadata:

    DW
    Intelligence
    Europe vs NSA: Know thyself, know thy neighbor
    Date 03.09.2013
    Author Michael Knigge
    Editor Rob Mudge

    For Europeans, Edward Snowden’s revelations about mass surveillance conducted by the US and the UK beg an obvious question: Do other European countries engage in similar activities? The answer is telling.

    Thanks to the disclosures of National Security Agency (NSA) leaker Edward Snowden, European citizens now know more about how they are being monitored by American and British intelligence agencies than by their own European services.

    That, in a nutshell, is the ironic outcome of the Snowden revelations from a European perspective.

    “There is just so much we don’t know,” is how Janneke Slöetjes of Dutch digital rights group Bits of Freedom sums up the sentiment among European data privacy advocates about surveillance efforts by European intelligence services.

    Compared to what we have recently learnt about US and UK services, European intelligence agencies still operate in total darkness, says Eric King, head of research at London-based Privacy International. “And I think that that in itself is a significant problem.”

    To be sure, European governments, in response to the Snowden disclosures, were quick to condemn the NSA’s behavior and to assure citizens that they will address the matter with the Obama administration. But that was only lip service, says Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder of the French privacy group La Quadrature du Net:

    “In the wake of the PRISM revelations we would expect from all governments here in the EU not only to ask the US for an apology for this behavior, but also to actively engage in protecting us against such behavior. What we see is the opposite.

    Lack of response

    No one in the EU had pushed for any real consequences for the NSA’s behavior, for instance revoking the transatlantic safe harbor agreement which stipulates that the data of European citizens is appropriately protected by the US, notes Zimmermann.

    But even on their home turf, when European intelligence services themselves were directly implicated by the Snowden revelations – like the British GCHQ or Germany’s BND – European governments remained tight-lipped.

    In Germany, following disclosures that the BND shares huge amounts of data with the NSA, Berlin assured the public that the information transfer did not include data of Germans citizens. In an attempt to put an end to the matter for good, the German government then floated the idea of a bilateral no-spy agreement.

    And in the UK – a self-described major player in global surveillance – the behavior of the GCHQ caused hardly a stir. “In Britain there has not been a public debate about this,” says King. “There have not been any promises to fix this issue. Indeed our main oversight mechanism, the Intelligence and Security Committee, put out a report just two weeks after the revelations about PRISM and basically gave it a clean bill of health. They said it was completely lawful and there were no concerns at all.”

    Lack of debate

    Given this combination of governmental reticence and public disinterest, it is no surprise that the next obvious question in light of the Snowden affair – what is being collected by European intelligence agencies and how is this done – has, so far, not been addressed.

    The closest thing to finding out what kind of information Europe’s national spy services are collecting on citizens was probably triggered in France by a piece in the daily Le Monde. According to the un-sourced article published in early July, French external intelligence service DGSE runs its own mass data surveillance operation. According to the paper, DGSE collects “all e-mails, SMSs, telephone calls, Facebook and Twitter posts” and stores the metadata in a massive three-floor underground bunker at the DGSE’s headquarters in Paris.

    And in Germany, Der Spiegel reported that the BND plans to invest 100 million euros ($132 million) over the next five years to beef up its own Internet surveillance capabilities.

    But in both cases the disclosures failed to spark a broader debate about the methods, capabilities and goals of the respective national intelligence services.

    And yet a vigorous debate about surveillance is desperately needed, argues Slöetjes of Bits of Freedom. “One of the most troubling issues here is, even though our government condemned what the NSA did initially, that behind the scenes the Dutch government is working on a proposal to allow a wholesale tap of the Internet.” That, notes Slöetjes, would mirror the British approach detailed by Snowden. The measure could be introduced in the Dutch parliament this fall.

    Shared interests

    “European intelligence services have the exact same interests as the Americans do,” says Slöetjes. “They want to know as much as they can. And your privacy is going to take a backseat.”

    French digital rights advocate Zimmermann agrees and notes that this is not a new phenomenon. European surveillance measures increased in line with US efforts following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he says. That trend has continued: “It is quite obvious that governments all across Europe are also engaged in mass surveillance.”

    Still, there are two key differences. The first is that funding for European intelligence pales in comparison to their US counterparts. And the second, and more important distinction, is that all major Internet and many major telecommunications companies are based in the US and therefore fall under the jurisdiction of US intelligence agencies.

    The point made at the end of the article – that there still exists a large difference in the intelligence capabilities of US and its European counterparts because the major internet companies and telecoms are all based in the US – is a valid point. But that’s only true for now because it’s looking like one of the biggest consequences likely to result from the Snowden Affair is the development of a much larger EU IT industry and that means a lot more people around the world are going to have to be concerned about which EU spy agencies are going to have access to that data. The push to overhaul the EU’s data privacy laws is expected to be completed next year and there’s no shortage of happy-talk about all the great new protections that could be put in place. But as we saw above, there’s also no shortage of EU intelligence services that would love to get their digital hands on all that data. Folks concerned about the future of data privacy need to keep an eye on the debate over those new rules. Good luck with that!

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 5, 2013, 9:06 pm
  27. The governments of France and Mexico are once again pissed off about spying:

    The Daily Dot
    New Snowden leak: The U.S. spied on French citizens

    By Patrick Howell O’Neill on October 21, 2013

    New leaks from whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal that the National Security Agency made 70.3 million recordings of French citizens’ telephone calls in a period of just 30 days. From Dec. 10, 2012, to Jan. 8, 2013, as reported in the French newspaper Le Monde, NSA was able to automatically record French phone calls and SMS messages based on each target’s keywords, communications history, and metadata.

    All this info is listed under an NSA espionage program called US-985D. It names techniques used to intercept French communications as “DRTBOX” and “WHITEBOX.” Technical details on the programs are sparse, but the results speak for themselves: DRTBOX collected 62.5 million pieces of data and WHITEBOX recorded “7.8 million elements.”

    Targets include people associated with terrorism and “people targeted simply because they belong to the worlds of business, politics or French state administration.”

    French Interior Minister Manuel Valls called the revelations “shocking” and demanded “precise explanations by US authorities in the coming hours.”

    On Monday morning, France summoned the U.S. ambassador to answer questions about the report just as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry landed in Paris to hold meetings about Syria.

    The new leaks, published today by Glenn Greenwald and Jacques Follorou at Le Monde, are accompanied by a set of slides that illustrate the NSA’s surveillance capabilities. Graphs show an average of 3 million intercepts per day with peaks of 7 million on Dec. 24, 2012, and Jan. 7, 2013.

    Privacy researcher Christopher Soghoian and Le Monde’s Damien Leloup hypothesized that the phone calls intercepted by the NSA were likely international rather than domestic.

    This news comes right on the heels of revelations that the NSA hacked into the emails of Mexican presidents Felipe Calderon and Enrique Peña Nieto for several years to provide “deep insight into policymaking and the political system” of Mexico.

    News of NSA spying around the globe has made waves from Brazil to the Netherlands. In Germany, American and German intelligence collaborated to spy on German citizens.

    “This sort of practice between partners that invades privacy is totally unacceptable,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said, “and we have to make sure, very quickly, that this no longer happens.”

    One of the interesting memes that appears to have formed in the global response to the NSA spying is that domestic spying by non-NSA governments appears to by pretty ok based on the subdued global response to all of the news about non-NSA/GSHQ domestic spying. But since “we have to make sure, very quickly, that this no longer happens”, it seems rather important that governments start a global dialogue on what, exactly, government s are going to be allowed to do in the future? After all, if “this sort of practice between partners that invades privacy is totally unacceptable”, then this kind of calls for a massive GLOBAL reduction in all spy agencies everywhere since spying between governments is rampant. Especially with more and more global free trade agreements on the horizon…everyone is a trade partner with everyone else now and any spying between trade partners is now a possible act of industrial espionage. So, according to these new rules, the US is probably allowed to spy on North Korea, maybe Iran, and…anywhere else?

    But the question of just how much spying activity is allowable in the future we’re all going to create in global partnership with each other really needs to become part of the global conversation. Because if the trend in growing global spying capacities continues, but the targets for that spying keep shrinking down to just domestic audiences, there’s going to be a lot more domestic spying in the future due, in part, to an incredible capacity to spy and nothing but domestic targets. So if international spying by governments is no longer going to be part of the world order (except on North Korea…that country will be everyone’s spying freebie), we had better alert governments about this development pretty soon so they can start dismantling the growing global Intelligence Industrial Complex right away.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 21, 2013, 11:56 am
  28. Here’s a preview of what’s coming up from Greenwald & Friends: separate reports on NSA spying for every Latin American nation:

    Agence France-PresseOctober 22, 2013 06:18
    All Latin American countries spied on by US

    Glenn Greenwald, the former Guardian reporter who broke many of the recent stories about secret US surveillance programs, claimed Monday that all Latin American countries had been spied on by Washington.

    Speaking to a press association, he said he would report about each case in the region and warned that more spying within the United States would also be revealed.

    Greenwald’s comments came as France and Mexico angrily demanded swift explanations Monday about fresh leaks by former US security contractor Edward Snowden.

    Multiple Latin American meetings were monitored, Greenwald said, including those of the Organization of American States (OAS), as well as talks on free trade treaties, although he did not go into more details.

    According to Greenwald, disclosures released Monday by the French newspaper Le Monde, which created controversy between Paris and Washington, had been in the hands of the French daily for some time.

    The allegations, the latest from leaks by Snowden, marred a visit to Paris by US Secretary of State John Kerry, where he discussed moves to try to end the war in Syria.

    The reporter, who resigned last week from British daily The Guardian, told the assembly that documents being leaked by Snowden are kept in different parts of the world.

    Greenwald also stated that “the majority of stories that are significant remain to be reported” so, at the current pace, we’ll maybe see the bulk of the “significant” stories for the NSA treasure trove exhausted some time around the middle of 2014? Maybe?

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 23, 2013, 9:31 am

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