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COMMENT: In our continuing analysis of the adventures of Eddie the Friendly Spook (Snowden) we revisit an aspect of our complex analysis that concerns economic warfare against the United States.
(Our series on this is long, complex and multi-layered: Part I , Part II , Part III , Part IV , Part V , Part VI , Part VII , Part VIII , Part IX , Part X , Part XI , Part XII , Part XIII , Part XIV , Part XV , Part XVI , Part XVII , Part XVIII , Part XIX , Part XX . It is impossible to do justice to this analysis within the scope of this post. Please digest the rest of the material, in order to come to terms with what we are presenting.)
A recent editorial in The San Jose Mercury News (Tues. September 10, 2013, p. A9) opined: “Revelations that the National Security Agency has cracked the encryption technology that was supposed to protect Internet users’ privacy is a nightmare for Silicon Valley. . .”
The concerns expressed by the Mercury News and echoed by Silicon Valley CEO’s at a recent high tech conference go to the thrust of the main part of what we feel is the primary goal of this multi-layered psy-op: to do to the Silicon Valley and the U.S. electronic business what the German and Japanese automobile industry’s capture of much of the U.S. market did to the city of Detroit.
In this regard, a number of things come to mind:
- Leaking journalist Glenn Greenwald stated  that Snowden’s goal in leaking this information was to alert people that the software they were using was being accessed by NSA without their knowledge–a consideration that is almost certain to damage U.S. internet companies. (See text excerpts below.)
- Fear around the world about the NSA spying coverage is believed to be damaging  U.S. internet companies. (See text excerpt below.)
- A recent story in the German periodical Die Zeit  claimed that the German government warned against using Windows 8 (and also Chromebook, a Google product) because the TPM chip had been equipped with a “back door” to permit the NSA to clandestinely access information. Although the German government denied that they had actually said that, it appears that damage may have already been done , perhaps deliberately. (See text excerpts below.)
- As it happens, the leading maker of TPM chips  is a German firm, Infineon, suggesting the distinct possibility that BND may be doing what the Die Zeit article accuses the NSA of doing. Note that BND has been doing exactly what the NSA has been doing for many, many years. (See text excerpts below.)
- In an update 99/26/2013), we learn that Infineon is a spinoff of Siemens AG , one of the German core corporations, a key element of the Bormann capital network and inextricably linked with the BND! (See text excerpts below.)
- An unnamed European chip maker has been placing kill switches  in microprocessors, permitting the sabotage of high-tech weapons systems. Might that have been Infineon Technologies?
- In numerous posts, we have discussed the fact that the GOP  has been infiltrated by the Underground Reich to such an extent  that it is little more than a Nazi/fascist front  at this point. Note that the GOP is de-funding scientific and technological development to such an extent that it fundamentally threatens the American high-tech economy , the Silicon Valley in particular. (See text excerpts below.) Of particular interest in this regard is the fact that the leading budget cutters are the Paulistinian “libertarian” elements  of the GOP. The possibility that this may be a deliberate act on the part of an Underground Fifth Column is one to be seriously considered.
EXCERPT: . . . .A: Snowden has enough information to cause more damage to the US government in a minute alone than anyone else has ever had in the history of the United States. But that’s not his goal. [His] objective is to expose software that people around the world use without knowing what they are exposing themselves without consciously agreeing to surrender their rights to privacy. [He] has a huge number of documents that would be very harmful to the US government if they were made public. . . .
EXCERPT: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg lashed out at the U.S. government Wednesday, saying that authorities have hurt Silicon Valley companies by doing a poor job of explaining the online spying efforts of U.S. intelligence agencies.
“Frankly I think the government blew it,” Zuckerberg complained during an onstage interview at the tech industry conference known as Disrupt, a weeklong event where Yahoo (YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer and other prominent tech executives also spoke out publicly and expressed frustration in person, for the first time, since a series of news leaks revealed the government’s controversial surveillance programs.
“It’s our government’s job to protect all of us and also protect our freedoms and protect the economy, and companies,” Zuckerberg told interviewer Michael Arrington, “and I think they did a bad job of balancing those things.”
He went on to say: “They blew it on communicating the balance of what they were going for.”
Facebook and other Internet companies have been under intense pressure in recent months after a series of news reports that suggest U.S. intelligence agencies have gained access to the online activities and communications involving users of Facebook and other popular services. Some of those reports have suggested that unnamed companies have cooperated with the U.S. efforts, although the details are unclear.
Analysts say those reports could hurt the companies financially, especially overseas, if if consumers and business customers believe their sensitive information isn’t safe from government prying. . . . .
“After Edward Snowden’s Revelations, Why Trust US Cloud Providers?: The NSA’s Activities Are a Massive Blow for US Computer Businesses” by John Naughton [The Observer]; The Guardian; 9/14/2013. 
“It’s an ill bird,” runs the adage, “that fouls its own nest.” Cue the US National Security Agency (NSA), which, we now know, has been busily doing this for quite a while. As the Edward Snowden revelations tumbled out, the scale of the fouling slowly began to dawn on us.
Outside of the United States, for example, people suddenly began to have doubts about the wisdom of entrusting their confidential data to cloud services operated by American companies on American soil. As Neelie Kroes, European Commission vice president responsible for digital affairs, put it in a speech on 4 July : “If businesses or governments think they might be spied on, they will have less reason to trust the cloud and it will be cloud providers who ultimately miss out. Why would you pay someone else to hold your commercial or other secrets, if you suspect or know they are being shared against your wishes? Front or back door – it doesn’t matter – any smart person doesn’t want the information shared at all. Customers will act rationally and providers will miss out on a great opportunity.“
Which providers? Why, the big US internet companies that have hitherto dominated the market for cloud services – a market set to double in size to $200bn  (£126bn) over the next three years. So the first own goal scored by the NSA was to undermine an industry that many people had regarded as the next big thing in corporate computing .
EXCERPT: Claims that there is a backdoor in Windows 8 giving access to all versions of the operating system to US intelligence have been gently rebuffed by Microsoft.
A reporter in Zeit had suggested the backdoor stemmed from the Trusted Platform Module, or TPM chip, which seeks to improve security by powering the Secure Boot process that checks for and ignores malicious low-level code when a machine starts up. It does this through cryptographic keys that ensure code cannot be tampered with on loading and that the code is legitimate.
The Zeit writer had suggested the TPM could give the manufacturer of a device control over it.
He said that in light of the leaks from Edward Snowden, it would not be a surprise if TPM 2.0, the version used by Windows 8, was actually a backdoor the National Security Agency (NSA) could easily exploit. As the chips powering TPM are manufactured in China, the Chinese could easily access Windows 8 machines too, the report alleged.
The reporter attained documents from the German government that led him to reach his supposition. But the German government has not said there is a backdoor in the OS.
The Office for Information Security (BSI) later clarified the government’s position, and did say the use of TPM 2.0 and Windows 8 (TPM is used in other non-Windows machines, including Chromebooks, making the claims even more questionable) meant the user had to deal with “a loss of control over the operating system and the hardware used”. This could lead to greater risk for the federal government and critical infrastructure, it said.
But the body said it had not warned the general public nor government bodies against using Windows 8.
It said “the newly established mechanisms can also be used for sabotage by third parties”, but appeared only to be talking generally about vulnerability exploitation. There was no suggestion of a purposeful backdoor, as Zeit had hypothesised, even if the BIS does have problems with TPM.
Microsoft has responded to the kerfuffle first by denying it has ever provided such access to users’ data and by talking up the security benefits of TPM 2.0. It suggested government departments would be wise to use the security protections it provides by default. But for those governments who want to gain back control of their machines, they can go with OEMs who make Windows PCs without TPM. . . .
EXCERPT: With major industrial giants like Siemens, Germany is no small fry. As of 2012, it was the fourth-largest economy in the world. The German government’s recent announcement [that Windows 8 is unsafe due a backdoor called the Trusted Platform Module], is a dangerous omen for Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) .
AN ALTERNATIVE EXISTS
The growth of open-source computing is causing major headaches for Microsoft, and this situation is no different. Linux is open source, and generally has fewer security vulnerabilities than Windows. Government and corporate IT departments are starting to realize that they can make their operations more secure and cut costs by switching from Windows to Linux. Using open-source alternatives to Microsoft Office is yet another way to lower costs. The City of Munich recently moved 14,000 desktop PCs to Linux and plans to save $13 million by using LibreOffice.
European Union austerity is making governments look for cost savings wherever possible. Microsoft is already feeling the pain in its bottom line. In 2013, operating income for the Windows division fell to $9.5 billion from $12.3 billion in 2011, and falling PC sales paint a grim future. . . .
EXCERPT: The unintended by-product of Edward Snowden’s NSA document dump is a bull market in paranoid conspiracy theories.
The latest example is the breathless report out of Germany that Microsoft and the NSA have conspired to give American spies access to every copy of Windows 8, enforced by a mysterious chip called the Trusted Platform Module, or TPM. “It’s a backdoor!” scream the conspiracy theorists.
Apparently, Microsoft is so powerful that it is able to influence even its most bitter enemies.
. . . .The point is, a TPM is a platform-neutral device. It provides a secure way to encrypt data so that it can’t be accessed by anyone except you, and it protects your device from being tampered with. Both of those features are highly desirable these days.
But who knows what’s going on in that chip? I mean, they say it’s just a secure place to store encrypted keys, but who knows what else it can do? Obviously the American government or maybe the Chinese have intimidated the chip’s manufacturer, right?
Uh, maybe not. The most popular maker of TPM technology is Infineon Technologies AG , which is based in … Neubiberg, Germany. Perhaps those intrepid German journalists could, you know, hop on a train and head down to Infineon to see for themselves.
EXCERPT: Infineon Technologies AG is a German semiconductor manufacturer founded on 1 April 1999, when the semiconductor operations of the parent company Siemens AG were spun off to form a separate legal entity. As of 30 September 2010, Infineon has 25,149 employees worldwide. In fiscal year 2010, the company achieved sales of €3.295 billion. . . .
Are chip makers building electronic trapdoors in key military hardware? The Pentagon is making its biggest effort yet to find out . . . .
. . . . According to a U.S. defense contractor who spoke on condition of anonymity, a ”European chip maker” recently built into its microprocessors a kill switch that could be accessed remotely. French defense contractors have used the chips in military equipment, the contractor told IEEE Spectrum. If in the future the equipment fell into hostile hands, ”the French wanted a way to disable that circuit,” he said. Spectrum could not confirm this account independently, but spirited discussion about it among researchers and another defense contractor last summer at a military research conference reveals a lot about the fever dreams plaguing the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). . . .
EXCERPT: When Congress returns from its summer recess in early September, it will have exactly nine legislative days to agree on a budget or the government will shut down. House Republicans are seeking far greater cuts in non-defense spending than Senate Democrats, and some members of the GOP are threatening to hold up any budget agreement until the Obama administration abandons the Affordable Care Act. It’s going to be a slog, with all sorts of unseemly compromises. But let me suggest an area where Democrats should allow exactly zero more dollars to be excised from the federal budget: government research for science and technology. We’ve already seen a 13 percent drop in this area over the last two years, and it’s hard to overstate just how damaging to the country’s future further reductions would be.
Many people still cling to the idea that government is, without exception, a drag upon the private economy. Conservatives “know that when it comes to economic progress,” Arthur Brooks, the president of the American Enterprise Institute, wrote last year in National Review, “the best government philosophy is one that starts every day with the question, ‘What can we do today to get out of Americans’ way?’ ” They imagine the United States as a land of plucky inventor-entrepreneurs (“We built it!” they cry) who work out of garages and depend solely on their wits. The problem is that this vision of American inventiveness is pure myth.
Steve Jobs, who has nearly been beatified in his role as independent businessman, excelled at designing products based on government-funded inventions. Some of Apple’s most vaunted achievements—the mouse, a graphical user interface, the touch-screen, even Siri—were all developed in part with federal finances. Or take Google. Its search engine came out of a $4.5 million digital-libraries research grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). You can also look at the pharmaceutical industry. According to a Congressional Budget Office study, 16 of the 21 “most influential drugs” introduced between 1965 and 1992 depended on federally funded research.
The list goes on. Federal money helped support the invention of lasers, transistors, semiconductors, microwave ovens, communication satellites, cellular technology, and the Internet. Now, the feds are prime backers of the Human Genome Project (which could transform medicine) and nanotechnology (which could transform manufacturing). Subtract these kinds of innovations from America’s future, and you have an economy dependent on tourism, the tottering superstructure of big finance, and the export of raw materials and farm products. More to the point, you have a weaker country—not just in comparison with its competitors, but also in its ability to provide its citizens with richer, longer, more imaginative lives. . . .