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FTR #776 The Adventures of Eddie the Friendly Spook, Part 15: Updates and Further Analysis

 

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. [1] (The flash dri­ve includes the anti-fas­cist books avail­able on this site.)

Lis­ten: MP3

Side 1 [2]  Side 2 [3]

Note this very impor­tant, over­lap­ping, and detailed post by con­tribut­ing edi­tor “Pter­rafractyl” [4] cov­er­ing some of the issues with regard to encryp­tion and the future of inter­net com­merce and crime.

Intro­duc­tion: This broad­cast con­tin­ues and updates analy­sis of “L’Af­faire Snowden”–a “psy-op” assem­bled for pro­pa­gan­da pur­pos­es and resul­tant polit­i­cal effect.

We note that issues of “pri­va­cy,” “civ­il lib­er­ties” and “free­dom” have NOTHING to do with the sub­stan­tive real­i­ties of what is at play here. This oper­a­tion is being con­duct­ed by ele­ments who not only don’t believe in free­dom but explic­it­ly reject democ­ra­cy and explic­it­ly endorse slav­ery.

The “op” is intend­ed to: desta­bi­lize the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion [5] and U.S. diplo­ma­cy and for­eign pol­i­cy; degrade U.S. high-tech and inter­net busi­ness [6] and (con­se­quent­ly) the U.S. econ­o­my; jus­ti­fy Ger­many’s inclu­sion in the “Five Eyes” agree­ment [7] and jus­ti­fy expan­sion of Ger­man elec­tron­ic sur­veil­lance; desta­bi­lize and weak­en the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency [8] and the GCHQ; eclipse Ger­man eco­nom­ic war­fare [9] against oth­er Euro­pean coun­tries [10] and high­light the Unit­ed States as the “Inter­na­tion­al Pub­lic Ene­my #1.”

In this pro­gram, we note the con­tin­ued exclu­sion [11] of Ger­many from the “Five Eyes” club, Ger­many’s evi­dent envy [12] of those who had high­er secu­ri­ty pri­or­i­ti­za­tion with NSA and more about Ger­many’s ongo­ing efforts [13] to ramp-up its own elec­tron­ic sur­veil­lance capa­bil­i­ties.

Of para­mount sig­nif­i­cance here is Ger­many’s steep accel­er­a­tion of intel­li­gence activ­i­ty direct­ed against the NSA and GCHQ! [14]

A very impor­tant ele­ment of analy­sis con­cerns a pro­pos­al by Angela Merkel [14] to cre­at a Euro­pean com­mu­ni­ca­tions net­work that would be secure from NSA spy­ing. Ger­many is also mov­ing in the direc­tion of estab­lish­ing a “Ger­man cloud” [15] to pro­tect data from poten­tial NSA spy­ing.

Pro­ject­ed loss­es for the U.S. tech busi­ness by 2016 are cal­cu­lat­ed to be from 21 bil­lion to 35 bil­lion dol­lars. Ger­man cloud firms are expe­ri­enc­ing bet­ter than pro­ject­ed results.

We also note that the REAL threat [16] to the pri­va­cy of Amer­i­cans comes from cor­po­rate inter­ests and “apps” and tech­nolo­gies [17] that Amer­i­cans have embraced with enor­mous enthu­si­asm.

Pro­gram High­lights Include:

1a. It looks as though Ger­many has been exclud­ed from the Five-Eyes spy­ing rela­tion­ship. (Ger­many’s desire to be includ­ed in the Five Eyes agree­ment is dis­cussed in FTR #‘s 767 [8] and 769 [6].

“Ger­many Gives Up on No-Spy Deal with US” by Jee­van Vasagar; Finan­cial Times; 2/13/2014. [11] 

The Ger­man gov­ern­ment has giv­en up hope of a bilat­eral no-spy agree­ment with the US [27], accord­ing to a senior aide to chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel.

Phillipp Miss­felder, Berlin’s co-ordi­na­tor for transat­lantic rela­tions, told a press brief­ing on Thurs­day that he did not expect talks would lead to a legal­ly bind­ing agree­ment.

He said: “I am real­is­tic that we can’t expect a no-spy agree­ment that will be bind­ing in inter­na­tional law. The Amer­i­cans are not pre­pared to cur­tail their secu­rity mea­sures.”

Ger­many has been push­ing for a rela­tion­ship sim­i­lar to the “five eyes” agree­ment [28] between the US and four Eng­lish-speak­ing allies, includ­ing the UK. This car­ries an under­stand­ing that they will not spy on each oth­er.

There were reports of a stale­mate in talks between Berlin and Wash­ing­ton last month, but until now the offi­cial line from Ger­many has been that dis­cus­sions are ongo­ing.

...

Mr Miss­felder said: “The Amer­i­cans base their pre­dom­i­nant posi­tion in the world not on eco­nomic or on mil­i­tary grounds, but on moral supe­ri­or­ity. That is under­mined when friends are spied upon. When were Ger­hard Schröder or Angela Merkel a threat to US nation­al secu­rity? Nev­er.”

Mr Miss­felder leav­ened his crit­i­cism with praise for Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma for giv­ing an inter­view to a Ger­man broad­caster fol­low­ing his NSA speech. He added: “We are friends, we remain friends, and Snow­den can’t change that.”

At a joint press con­fer­ence with French pres­i­dent François Hol­lande on Tues­day, Mr Oba­ma said there was no coun­try with which the US has a no-spy agree­ment. He added the US endeav­ours to pro­tect pri­vacy rights as it gath­ers for­eign intel­li­gence.

1b. As dis­cussed n FTR #‘s 767 [8] and 769 [6], Angela Merkel isn’t as “shocked, shocked” as she pre­tends to be over the NSA dis­clo­sures.

“Por­trait of the NSA: No Detail too Small in Quest for Total Sur­veil­lance” by Ewen MacAskill and James Ball; The Guardian/The Observ­er [UK]; 11/2/2013. [12]

. . . . The NSA oper­ates in close co-oper­a­tion with four oth­er Eng­lish-speak­ing coun­tries — the UK, Cana­da, Aus­tralia and New Zealand — shar­ing raw intel­li­gence, fund­ing, tech­ni­cal sys­tems and per­son­nel. Their top lev­el col­lec­tive is known as the ‘5‑Eyes’.

Beyond that, the NSA has oth­er coali­tions, although intel­li­gence-shar­ing is more restrict­ed for the addi­tional part­ners: the 9‑Eyes, which adds Den­mark, France, the Nether­lands and Nor­way; the 14-Eyes, includ­ing Ger­many, Bel­gium, Italy, Spain and Swe­den; and 41-Eyes, adding in oth­ers in the allied coali­tion in Afghanistan.

The exclu­siv­ity of the var­i­ous coali­tions grates with some, such as Ger­many, which is using the present con­tro­versy to seek an upgrade. Ger­many has long protest­ed at its exclu­sion, not just from the elite 5‑Eyes but even from 9‑Eyes. Min­utes from the UK intel­li­gence agency GCHQ note: “The NSA’s rela­tion­ship with the French was not as advanced as GCHQ’s … the Ger­mans were a lit­tle grumpy at not being invit­ed to join the 9‑Eyes group”.

Sig­nif­i­cantly, amid the Ger­man protes­ta­tions of out­rage over US eaves­drop­ping on Merkel and oth­er Ger­mans, Berlin is using the con­tro­versy as lever­age for an upgrade to 5‑Eyes. . . .

1c. As dis­cussed in FTR #765 [7], Ger­many (as well as the EU) is look­ing to ramp up its own cyber-spy­ing capa­bil­i­ties.

“Germany’s Spies Have NSA Envy: Cur­rently Work­ing To Build Their Own Com­pre­hen­sive Snoop­ing Sys­tem” by Glyn MoodyTech Dirt; 6/19/2013. [13]

One unfor­tu­nate knock-on effect of the rev­e­la­tions about the extent of NSA infor­ma­tion gath­er­ing seems to be that the spies in oth­er coun­tries are start­ing to feel under-informed by com­par­i­son. Of course, many of them already knew about what was going on: in addi­tion to the British [29] and theDutch [30]there are now reports that Ger­many was also kept informed at the high­est lev­els (orig­i­nal in Ger­man [31].) That would prob­a­bly explain the rev­e­la­tion by the news mag­a­zine Der Spiegel that Ger­many has been try­ing to beef up its own snoop­ing capa­bil­i­ties for a while [32]:

Last year, [Germany’s for­eign intel­li­gence agency] BND head Ger­hard Schindler told the Con­fi­den­tial Com­mit­tee of the Ger­man par­lia­ment, the Bun­destag, about a secret pro­gram that, in his opin­ion, would make his agency a major inter­na­tional play­er. Schindler said the BND want­ed to invest €100 mil­lion ($133 mil­lion) over the com­ing five years. The mon­ey is to finance up to 100 new jobs in the tech­ni­cal sur­veil­lance depart­ment, along with enhanced com­put­ing capac­i­ties.

Small beer com­pared to the NSA, but it’s a start. Der Spiegel’s arti­cle pro­vides some details on how they do it in Ger­many:

The largest traf­fic con­trol takes place in Frank­furt, in a data pro­cess­ing cen­ter owned by the Asso­ci­a­tion of the Ger­man Inter­net Indus­try. Via this hub, the largest in Europe, e‑mails, phone calls, Skype con­ver­sa­tions and text mes­sages flow from regions that inter­est the BND like Rus­sia and East­ern Europe, along with cri­sis areas like Soma­lia, coun­tries in the Mid­dle East, and states like Pak­istan and Afghanistan.

But the BND still has a long way to go before it attains NSA-like lev­els of snoop­ing:

In con­trast to the NSA, though, the Ger­man intel­li­gence agency has been over­whelmed by this daunt­ing wealth of infor­ma­tion. Last year, it mon­i­tored just under 5 per­cent, rough­ly every 20th phone call, every 20th e‑mail and every 20th Face­book exchange. In the year 2011, the BND used over 16,000 search words to fish in this data stream.

As in the US, the idea is that this tar­gets for­eign­ers:

Ger­man law allows the BND to mon­i­tor any form of com­mu­ni­ca­tion that has a for­eign ele­ment, be it a mobile phone con­ver­sa­tion, a Face­book chat or an exchange via AOL Mes­sen­ger. For the pur­poses of “strate­gic com­mu­ni­ca­tions sur­veil­lance,” the for­eign intel­li­gence agency is allowed to copy and review 20 per­cent of this data traf­fic. There is even a reg­u­la­tion requir­ing Ger­man providers “to main­tain a com­plete copy of the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions.”

Here’s how the BND tries to achieve that:

If e‑mail address­es sur­face that end in “.de” (for Ger­many), they have to be erased. The inter­na­tional dial­ing code for Ger­many, 0049, and IP address­es that were appar­ently giv­en to cus­tomers in Ger­many also pass through the net.

Of course, as in the US, it doesn’t quite work out like that:

At first glance, it’s not evi­dent where users live whose infor­ma­tion is saved by Yahoo, Google or Apple. And how are the agen­cies sup­posed to spot a Tal­iban com­man­der who has acquired an email address with Ger­man provider GMX? Mean­while, the sta­tus of Face­book chats and con­ver­sa­tions on Skype remains com­pletely unclear.

Giv­en this evi­dent desire to cre­ate its own snoop­ing appa­ra­tus, cou­pled with the fact that Ger­many has doubt­less ben­e­fited from NSA spy­ing, per­haps it’s no sur­prise the Ger­man government’s protests about its cit­i­zens being sub­ject to exten­sive NSA sur­veil­lance [33] have been mut­ed....

2. Angela Merkel has pro­posed an EU-wide com­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tem [14] to guard against NSA and GCHQ spy­ing, while ramp­ing up spy­ing against the U.S. (For more about the pro­found EU and Ger­man hypocrisy vis a vis L’Af­faire Snow­den, see FTR #765 [7].)

“Sur­veil­lance Rev­e­la­tions: Angela Merkel Pro­poses Euro­pean Net­work to Beat NSA and GCHQ Spy­ing” by Tony Pat­ter­son; The Inde­pen­dent [UK]; 2/16/2014. [14]

Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel of Ger­many has announced plans to set up a Euro­pean com­mu­ni­ca­tions net­work as part of a broad counter-espi­onage offen­sive designed to curb mass sur­veil­lance con­ducted by the US Nation­al Secu­rity Agency and its British coun­ter­part, GCHQ. . . .

. . . . Announc­ing the project in her week­ly pod­cast, Ms Merkel said she envis­aged set­ting up a Euro­pean com­mu­ni­ca­tions net­work which would offer pro­tec­tion from NSA sur­veil­lance by side-step­ping the cur­rent arrange­ment where­by emails and oth­er inter­net data auto­mat­i­cally pass through the Unit­ed States.

The NSA’s Ger­man phone and inter­net sur­veil­lance oper­a­tion is report­ed to be one of the biggest in the EU. In co-oper­a­tion with GCHQ it has direct access to under­sea cables car­ry­ing transat­lantic com­mu­ni­ca­tions between Europe and the US.

Ms Merkel said she planned to dis­cuss the project with the French Pres­i­dent, François Hol­lande, when she meets him in Paris on Wednes­day. “Above all we’ll talk about Euro­pean providers that offer secu­rity to our cit­i­zens, so that one shouldn’t have to send emails and oth­er infor­ma­tion across the Atlantic,” she said. “Rather one could build up a com­mu­ni­ca­tions net­work inside Europe.”

French gov­ern­ment offi­cials respond­ed by say­ing Paris intend­ed to “take up” the Ger­man ini­tia­tive.

Ms Merkel’s pro­pos­als appear to be part of a wider Ger­man counter-espi­onage offen­sive, report­ed to be under way in sev­eral of Germany’s intel­li­gence agen­cies, against NSA and GCHQ sur­veil­lance.

Der Spiegel mag­a­zine said on Sun­day that it had obtained infor­ma­tion about plans by Germany’s main domes­tic intel­li­gence agency, the Fed­eral Office for the Pro­tec­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion, for a “mas­sive” increase in counter-espi­onage mea­sures.

The mag­a­zine said there were plans to sub­ject both the Amer­i­can and British Embassies in Berlin to sur­veil­lance. It said the mea­sures would include obtain­ing exact details about intel­li­gence agents who were accred­ited as diplo­mats, and infor­ma­tion about the tech­nol­ogy being used with­in the embassies.

Last year infor­ma­tion pro­vided by the whistle­blower Edward Snow­den revealed that US intel­li­gence agents were able to bug Ms Merkel’s mobile phone from a lis­ten­ing post on the US Embassy roof. Inves­ti­ga­tions by The Inde­pen­dent sub­se­quently revealed that GCHQ ran a sim­i­lar lis­ten­ing post from the roof of the British Embassy in Berlin.

Intel­li­gence experts say it is dif­fi­cult if not impos­si­ble to con­trol spy­ing activ­i­ties con­ducted from for­eign embassies, not least because their diplo­matic sta­tus means they are pro­tected from the domes­tic leg­is­la­tion of the host coun­try.

Der Spiegel said Germany’s mil­i­tary intel­li­gence ser­vice, (MAD) was also con­sid­er­ing step­ping up sur­veil­lance of US and British spy­ing activ­i­ties. It said such a move would mark a sig­nif­i­cant break with pre­vi­ous counter-espi­onage prac­tice which had focused on coun­tries such as Chi­na, North Korea and Rus­sia. . . .

3. The pos­si­ble loss of cloud com­put­ing busi­ness for U.S. tech firms appears to be accel­er­at­ing. Ger­man firms may be hop­ing to attract the busi­ness. As dis­cussed in FTR #769 [6], one of the major goals of this psy-op is degrad­ing U.S. inter­net busi­ness and, through that, dam­ag­ing the U.S. econ­o­my. Note that Rein­hold Achatz holds a rel­e­vant and crit­i­cal exec­u­tive post with ThyssenK­rupp. He pre­vi­ous­ly held a key exec­u­tive post with Siemens [34], which is inex­tri­ca­bly linked with Ger­man intel. The Stuxnet worm was direct­ed at Siemens indus­tri­al con­trol sys­tems.

We also won­der if he might be relat­ed to Wern­er Achatz, Glenn Green­wald’s part­ner of 11 years? [35] We won­der if Wern­er Achatz might have been some kind of con­trol or case offi­cer for Green­wald?

“Edward Snow­den Rev­e­la­tions Prompt Cri­sis of Trust in Ger­many” [McClatchy]; South Chi­na Morn­ing Post; 2/17/2014. [15]

When Ger­many’s fed­er­al crim­i­nal police office needs to share sen­si­tive infor­ma­tion these days, employ­ees type the par­tic­u­lars and get them hand-deliv­ered.

Last year, agents would have trust­ed the secu­ri­ty of e‑mail. But that was before Edward Snow­den and the rev­e­la­tions about the US Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agen­cy’s PRISM elec­tron­ic intel­li­gence-gath­er­ing pro­gramme. After Snow­den, it’s a new dig­i­tal world.
...

...
“We’re now car­ry­ing our infor­ma­tion to our allies on foot,” said Peter Hen­zler, vice- pres­i­dent of the Bun­deskrim­i­nalamt, known as the BKA. He was speak­ing recent­ly at a Ger­man Inte­ri­or Min­istry dis­cus­sion on the coun­try’s dig­i­tal future. The focus of the pan­el was how to counter US sur­veil­lance mea­sures and what it will take for Ger­mans to be safe again on the web. “We’re no longer using the open inter­net,” he said.

The mes­sage is clear: No longer can the US be trust­ed to hon­our the pri­va­cy of Ger­man life and pol­i­cy.

Hen­zler’s con­cerns weren’t iso­lat­ed. The wor­ries appear to reflect the wider Ger­man, and even Euro­pean, frus­tra­tion with the reach of the NSA’s sur­veil­lance pro­gramme.

Hard­ly a week pass­es in Berlin with­out some new rev­e­la­tion about the das­tard­ly depths to which the Amer­i­can spy pro­gramme invad­ed Ger­man pri­va­cy, or at least a new way in which to react to the scan­dal.

Last week, news broke that the Unit­ed States had tapped the mobile phone of Ger­hard Schroed­er when he was Ger­man chan­cel­lor from 1998 to 2005. This came four months after news broke that the same Amer­i­can sur­veil­lance pro­gramme was tap­ping the mobile phone of the cur­rent chan­cel­lor, Angela Merkel.

There are many more exam­ples beyond news sto­ries. Thir­ty-two per cent of Ger­mans told poll­sters that they had either quit or cut their time on Face­book because of spy­ing fears. Ger­man tele­vi­sion ads note the peace of mind and free­dom that comes with e‑mail that does­n’t leave Euro­pean servers. Providers now say that they encrypt all e‑mail.

Such thoughts aren’t lim­it­ed to Ger­many. A US$900 mil­lion French deal with the Unit­ed Arab Emi­rates for two new intel­li­gence satel­lites appears to be in doubt after the buy­ers noticed US com­po­nents in the French satel­lites that they feared could com­pro­mise their data.

Flo­ri­an Glatzn­er, a pol­i­cy offi­cer with the Ger­man Fed­er­al Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Agency, says the office is field­ing many con­sumer ques­tions about how to ensure that com­mu­ni­ca­tions and data are safe from the NSA.

“A lot of the trust in the big inter­net com­pa­nies is gone,” he says. “And most of the big inter­net com­pa­nies were based in the Unit­ed States.”

Thomas Kre­mer, a data pri­va­cy board mem­ber for Deutsche Telekom, the Ger­man phone giant, recent­ly not­ed that: “Regard­less of what one thinks of Edward Snow­den, he cre­at­ed an aware­ness of inter­net secu­ri­ty and we should be grate­ful for that.”

Experts note that there may be no bet­ter place to find the effect of this dis­trust than in the emerg­ing cloud com­put­ing mar­ket. Before Europe met Snow­den, the con­ti­nent was mov­ing fast to an Amer­i­can-dom­i­nat­ed cloud com­put­ing future.

...

The Amer­i­can dream of total cloud dom­i­na­tion might be drift­ing away. There are signs of that: By 2016, US com­pa­nies are expect­ed to lose US$21 bil­lion to US$35 bil­lion in new con­tracts that they’d been expect­ed to col­lect, accord­ing to some esti­mates.

Ger­man cloud com­pa­nies are post­ing bet­ter-than-expect­ed earn­ings. There have been signs that some US tech com­pa­nies might be suf­fer­ing. Net­work equip­ment mak­er Cis­co, for instance, not­ed gov­ern­ment issues when it pre­dict­ed a rev­enue drop for the cur­rent quar­ter.

The new real­i­ty for some crit­ics is that data that pass­es through the Unit­ed States isn’t safe.

“A year ago, a Ger­man cloud was a bad idea,” says Daniel Cas­tro, a senior ana­lyst for the Infor­ma­tion Tech­nol­o­gy & Inno­va­tion Foun­da­tion in Wash­ing­ton. “Ger­man busi­ness did­n’t want a Ger­man prod­uct to help them in a glob­al mar­ket. They want­ed the best prod­uct. Today, even if busi­ness­es still believe a Ger­man cloud is a bad idea, they’re accept­ing it as a nec­es­sary idea.”

There’s even a new ini­tia­tive, “Ger­man Cloud”, backed by a vari­ety of Ger­man tech com­pa­nies. The mot­to is “My com­pa­ny data stays in Ger­many.”

Cas­tro not­ed that this is a bad time for the Amer­i­can brand to lose lus­tre. The mar­ket is grow­ing rapid­ly. Cas­tro wants hard evi­dence that con­firms his ear­li­er pre­dic­tions that the inter­na­tion­al mar­ket share of US cloud providers should fall by 5 per cent this year, and up to 20 per cent by 2016, because of the spy­ing alle­ga­tions.

The news could be even worse for Amer­i­can com­pa­nies. The recent Inte­ri­or Min­istry pan­el showed just how fear­ful Ger­many has become. Rein­hold Achatz, head of tech­nol­o­gy and inno­va­tion at the Ger­man steel giant ThyssenK­rupp, not­ed that “who­ev­er can read data is also like­ly to be able to change data.”

“For exam­ple, they could switch off a pow­er sta­tion,” he said. “So from my point of view, it would­n’t be sur­pris­ing if some­one came up with the idea of switch­ing off Ger­many. I’m seri­ous about that.”
...

. .. . Chris­t­ian Stoeck­er, edi­tor of Spiegel Online, the web ver­sion of Ger­many’s most pres­ti­gious news mag­a­zine, not­ed: “Before Snow­den, I did not know that the NSA inter­cepts hard­ware shipped to Euro­pean telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pa­nies by US man­u­fac­tur­ers and swaps the BIOS to make the equip­ment usable for NSA pur­pos­es.” BIOS is the basic oper­at­ing sys­tem that starts up a per­son­al com­put­er.

“The NSA prac­ti­cal­ly turned the inter­net into a weapons sys­tem,” Stoeck­er says. “If we want to change things, we have to enter into dis­ar­ma­ment talks.”

4. ThyssenK­rupp was seek­ing insur­ance against a cyber­at­tack, this stem­ming from the devel­op­ment of the Stuxnet worm [36], which tar­gets Siemens indus­tri­al con­trol sys­tems. Note ThyssenK­rupp exec­u­tive Rein­hold Achatz’s remarks in he sto­ry excerpt­ed above. Achatz pre­vi­ous­ly appears to have worked for Siemens.

Note that the Thyssen indus­tri­al empire is at the epi­cen­ter of the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work.

“ThyssenK­rupp Seeks Insur­ance Against Cyber Crime: Report” [AFP]; Google News; 8/16/2012. [21]

Ger­man indus­tri­al giant ThyssenK­rupp is seek­ing to insure itself against pos­si­ble attacks from com­put­er worms that could sab­o­tage pro­duc­tion, the Finan­cial Times Deutsch­land report­ed Thurs­day.

Insur­ers are, how­ev­er, reluc­tant to offer such poli­cies and only France’s AXA has agreed to cov­er up to 30 per­cent of ThyssenK­rup­p’s risks, the news­pa­per said.

Nei­ther ThyssenK­rupp nor AXA were will­ing to com­ment, FT Deutsch­land added.

Fears of cyber attacks or indus­tri­al espi­onage from com­put­er virus­es or mal­ware have been grow­ing since the dis­cov­ery of the Stuxnet worm which Israel and the Unit­ed States are believed to have devel­oped to attack and dis­able Iran’s nuclear facil­i­ties.

5. Adam Lan­za was suf­fi­cient­ly skilled with com­putes to hack through two fire­walls into a U.S. gov­ern­ment web­site at the age of 12. It seems rea­son­able to con­clude that his com­put­er skills grew with time.

Suppose–for the sake of argument–that he had decid­ed to use them to com­mit may­hem, say by bring­ing down a nuclear pow­er plant or some­thing along those lines?

“The Day the FBI Knocked on Adam Lanza’s Door” by Matthew Lysi­ak; Newsweek; 1/19/2014. [18]

In 2004, offi­cials from the Fed­eral Bureau of Inves­ti­ga­tion knocked on the door at 36 Yoganan­da Street, in New­town, Con­necti­cut, want­ing infor­ma­tion on a 12-year-old boy named Adam Lan­za, accord­ing to his moth­er.

Adam had used his com­puter to hack through two lev­els of secu­rity on a gov­ern­ment web­site, the offi­cials told Nan­cy, and they want­ed answers.

Nan­cy Lan­za knew exact­ly how to han­dle this sit­u­a­tion, how to keep her son out of trou­ble. “He’s a com­puter whiz,” she told the fed­eral agents, assur­ing them he was just a very bright, if some­what trou­bled boy. “Adam was just test­ing him­self,” she added. . . .

6. As dis­cussed in FTR #774 [16], pri­vate tech­nol­o­gy com­pa­nies and the fea­tures and ser­vices they offer are a far greater threat to cit­i­zens’ civ­il lib­er­ties than the NSA. The “Crowd­pi­lot” app may well offer strangers access to users’ phone calls.

“‘Crowd­pi­lot’ App Lets Strangers Lis­ten to Your Phone Calls” by Giuseppe Macri; The Dai­ly Caller; 2/20/2014. [37]

The NSA isn’t the only ones capa­ble of tap­ping phone calls any­more thanks to a new smart­phone app called ‘Crowd­pi­lot,’ which could poten­tial­ly let any­one lis­ten in on your calls with­out your knowl­edge.

“Crowd­pi­lot lets you crowd­source your social inter­ac­tions by bring­ing a group of your friends or strangers along to lis­ten in and assist you in any sit­u­a­tion,” the app’s descrip­tion states. “When­ev­er you need help, turn on Crowd­pi­lot to stream your con­ver­sa­tion to the web where the anony­mous crowd – option­al­ly sup­port­ed by a team of your Face­book friends – will tune in, fol­low along and assist you. Or become a crowd­pi­lot your­self, and watch and direct oth­ers!”

Crowd­pi­lot lets any user bring a third par­ty into a con­ver­sa­tion with­out alert­ing the per­son on the oth­er end of the line – the mod­ern day equiv­a­lent of pick­ing up a land­line while some­one else is already on a call.

7. John Young, an orig­i­nal Wik­iLeaks founder, on why he broke with the group: [19]

Again, what judi­cial or governmental/civic author­i­ty has sanc­tioned Wik­iLeaks’ activ­i­ties?

“Wik­ileaks’ Estranged Co-Founder Becomes a Crit­ic (Q&A)” by Declan McCul­lagh; C/Net; 7/20/2010. [19]

“. . . they’re act­ing like a cult. They’re act­ing like a reli­gion. They’re act­ing like a gov­ern­ment. They’re act­ing like a bunch of spies. They’re hid­ing their iden­tity. They don’t account for the mon­ey. They promise all sorts of good things. They sel­dom let you know what they’re real­ly up to. . . There was sus­pi­cion from day one that this was entrap­ment run by some­one unknown to suck a num­ber of peo­ple into a trap. So we actu­ally don’t know. But it’s cer­tainly a stan­dard coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence tech­nique. . . .” 

8. Note John Young’s obser­va­tion about Wik­iLeaks that “They’re act­ing like a bunch of spies.” Wik­iLeaks’ Jacob Apple­baum car­ries around a hol­lowed-out nick­el with a copy of Tor inside.

“The Amer­i­can Wik­ileaks Hack­er” by Nathaniel Rich; Rolling Stone; 12/01/2010. [20]

. . . . He is often dri­ven to extreme mea­sures to get copies of Tor through cus­toms in for­eign coun­tries. “I stud­ied what drug smug­glers do,” he says. “I want­ed to beat them at their own game.” He shows me a nick­el. Then he slams it on the floor of his apart­ment. It pops open. Inside there is a tiny eight– giga­byte microSD mem­ory card. It holds a copy of Tor. . . .

9a. Note that Cit­i­zen Greenwald–no friend of Israel–has made a point of schmooz­ing with the right-wing regime of Ben­jamin Netanyahu, whose Likud Par­ty is the heir to the fas­cist ele­ment of the Zion­ist move­ment. This comes as John Ker­ry and Oba­ma’s State Depart­ment are attempt­ing to bro­ker a peace agree­ment with the Pales­tini­ans. The prospects have been dimmed, in part, by flack from the Israeli right-wing allied with Likud/Netanyahu.

Why is he schmooz­ing with the fas­cist-linked Israeli right wing at such a sen­si­tive time? He is pur­port­ing to “help” Israel by dis­clos­ing NSA and GCHQ spy­ing on Israel, some­thing that has been on the pub­lic record for some time. We don’t believe that is the real rea­son.

We sus­pect that Green­wald and the inter­ests through which he fronts are work­ing to frus­trate Oba­ma’s efforts in the Mid­dle East­ern diplo­mat­ic are­na.

“Snow­den Has more U.S.-Israel Secrets to Expose: Green­wald”; Reuters.com; 1/6/2014. [23]

For­mer U.S. spy agency con­trac­tor Edward Snow­den has more secrets to reveal that relate to Israel [38], the jour­nal­ist who first brought his leaks to the world’s atten­tion said on Mon­day.

Among alle­ga­tions aired by Snow­den last year were that the U.S. Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency and its British coun­ter­part GCHQ had in 2009 tar­get­ed an email address list­ed as belong­ing to then-Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Ehud Olmert and mon­i­tored emails of senior defense offi­cials.

Israel [38] played down the dis­clo­sures. But Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu said he had ordered the mat­ter exam­ined and that “there are things that must not be done” between allies. . . . .

9b. As we not­ed above, Green­wald is no friend of Israel. Why is he schmooz­ing with the fas­cist-linked Israeli right wing at such a sen­si­tive time? Again, he is pur­port­ing to “help” Israel by dis­clos­ing NSA and GCHQ spy­ing on Israel, some­thing that has been on the pub­lic record for some time. We don’t believe that is the real rea­son.

“Glenn Green­wald’s Anti-Semi­tism Exposed” by Adam Lev­ick; The Alge­mein­er; 7/11/2013. [22]

The fol­low­ing are quotes from Glenn Green­wald [39], ‘Com­ment is Free’ cor­re­spon­dent for the Guardian. (Green­wald joined the Guardian [40]in 2012 after sev­er­al years of blog­ging at Salon.com [41] and a per­son­al blog titled ‘Unclaimed Ter­ri­to­ry [42]‘.)

  • “Any­one who has argued that a desire to pro­tect Israeli inter­ests plays too large of a role in our for­eign pol­i­cy has been sub­ject­ed to some of the most vicious and relent­less smears. Ask Juan Cole about that, or John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt. Those tac­tics have, as intend­ed, pre­vent­ed a sub­stan­tive debate on this ques­tion, as most peo­ple have feared even approach­ing the top­ic.” - July 16, 2006 Unclaimed Ter­ri­to­ry [43]
  • Large and extreme­ly influ­en­tial Jew­ish donor groups are the ones agi­tat­ing for a US war against Iran, and that is the case because those groups are devot­ed to pro­mot­ing Israel’s inter­ests.” — Feb. 3, 2007, Unclaimed Ter­ri­to­ry [44]
  • “The dom­i­nant nar­ra­tive among neo­cons and the media is that, deep down in his heart, [Oba­ma] may be insuf­fi­cient­ly devot­ed to Israel to be pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States. Has there ever been anoth­er coun­try to which Amer­i­can politi­cians were required to pledge their uncrit­i­cal, absolute loy­al­ty the way they are, now, with Israel?” -May 13, 2008 Salon [45]
  • If you don’t…pledge your loy­al­ty to our poli­cies toward Israel and to Israel, what will hap­pen to you is what just hap­pened to Charles Free­man. You’ll be demo­nized and have your career end­ed.” — Jan. 8, 2009, inter­view on Hugh Hewitt  Show [46]
  • “Those [Amer­i­can Jews] who favor the attack on Gaza are cer­tain­ly guilty…of such over­whelm­ing emo­tion­al and cul­tur­al attach­ment to Israel and Israelis that they long ago ceased view­ing this con­flict with any rem­nant of objec­tiv­i­ty.” — Jan. 4, 2009 Salon [47]
  • “So absolute has the Israel-cen­tric stran­gle­hold on Amer­i­can pol­i­cy been that the U.S. Gov­ern­ment has made it ille­gal to broad­cast Hezbol­lah tele­vi­sion sta­tions and has even devot­ed its resources to crim­i­nal­ly pros­e­cut­ing and impris­on­ing satel­lite providers mere­ly for includ­ing Hezbollah’s Al Man­ar chan­nel in their cable pack­age.  Not even our Constitution’s First Amend­ment has been a match for the end­less exploita­tion of Amer­i­can pol­i­cy, law and resources to tar­get and pun­ish Israel’s ene­mies.” – March 9, 2009, Salon [48]
  • The real goal [of the Israel lob­by], as always, was to ensure that there is no debate over America’s inde­scrib­ably self-destruc­tive, blind sup­port for Israeli actions. [Charles] Freeman’s crit­ics may have scored a short-term vic­to­ry in that regard, but the more obvi­ous it becomes what is real­ly dri­ving these scan­dals, the more dif­fi­cult it will be to main­tain this suf­fo­cat­ing con­trol over Amer­i­can debates and Amer­i­can pol­i­cy.” – March 11, 2009 Salon [49]
  • “The point is that the pow­er the [Israel lob­by] exer­cis­es [is] harm­ful in the extreme. They use it to squelch debate, destroy the careers and rep­u­ta­tions of those who devi­ate from their ortho­dox­ies, and com­pel both polit­i­cal par­ties to main­tain strict adher­ence to an agen­da that is held by a minor­i­ty of Amer­i­cans; that is prin­ci­pal­ly con­cerned with the inter­ests of a for­eign coun­try; and that results in seri­ous cost and harm to the Unit­ed States. In doing so, they insure not only that our poli­cies towards Israel remain firm­ly in place no mat­ter the out­come of our elec­tions, but also that those poli­cies remain beyond the realm of what can be ques­tioned or debat­ed by those who want to have a polit­i­cal future.” – March 11, 2009 Salon
  • “[Charles] Free­man is being dragged through the mud by the stan­dard cast of accusato­ry Israel-cen­tric neo­cons (Mar­ty Peretz, Jon Chait, Jef­frey Gold­berg, Com­men­tary, The Week­ly Stan­dard’s Michael Gold­farb, etc. etc., etc.).” – March 9, 2009 Salon [48]
  • “Mean­while, one of the many Israel-Firsters in the U.S. Con­gress — Rep. Antho­ny Wein­er, last seen lam­bast­ing Pres­i­dent Oba­ma [50] for dar­ing to pub­licly men­tion a dif­fer­ence between the U.S. and Israel — today not only defend­ed Israel’s attack. – June 1, 2010 Salon [51]
  • This is a tru­ly dis­gust­ing spectacle…commentators — all of whom are writ­ing well with­in the range of main­stream opin­ion on Israel — are being pub­licly smeared ear­ly in their careers as anti-Semi­tes as part of a coor­di­nat­ed, ongo­ing cam­paign planned by Josh Block and car­ried out by numer­ous jour­nal­ists with large media plat­forms, and aid­ed and abet­ted by Jew­ish groups trad­ing on their cred­i­bil­i­ty to sup­press debate. – Jan 19, 2012 Salon [52]

10a. Next, the dis­cus­sion focus­es on a 1998 con­gress of the AN, the Ital­ian Fas­cist Par­ty that is the direct lin­eal descen­dant of and heir to Mussolini’s black­shirts. Present at that meet­ing were GOP Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Bob Young, rep­re­sent­ing the Repub­li­can Par­ty, and Udi Cohen, rep­re­sent­ing the Likud Par­ty of Ben­jamin Netanyahu. (This excerpt is tak­en from FTR #94 [24], record­ed on 5/5/1998.)

10b. The recent meet­ing of an Israeli cab­i­net min­is­ter with a promi­nent Swedish fas­cist is the lat­est exam­ple of a long-stand­ing fea­ture of the behav­ior of that country’s polit­i­cal right wing.

In addi­tion to the fas­cist move­ment [53] that has exist­ed with­in the Zion­ist move­ment and what we’ve termed “Bor­mann Jews, [54]” Israelis and Zion­ists from the right side of the polit­i­cal spec­trum have main­tained con­tact and inter­ac­tion with ele­ments of the fas­cist inter­na­tion­al. In par­tic­u­lar, mem­bers of the Likud and oth­er Israeli far-right par­ties have con­ducted polit­i­cal inter­face [24] with Euro­pean Nazis and fas­cists.

Note that Ayoob Kara also met with the head of the Aus­trian Free­dom Par­ty [55], the neo-fas­cist par­ty for­merly head­ed up by Jurg Haider.

“Deputy Min­is­ter Meets neo-Nazi Mil­lion­aire” by Eldad Beck; ynet­news.com; 7/4/2011. [25]

 Deputy Min­is­ter Ayoob Kara met with Swedish-Ger­man mil­lion­aire Patrik Brinkmann who has ties with Ger­man neo-Nazi groups in Berlin over the week­end, Yedio­th Ahronoth report­ed.

Brinkmann, who is try­ing to estab­lish a far-right anti-Islam­ic par­ty in Ger­many claims he is not an anti-Semi­te, how­ever his pre­vi­ous close con­tacts with the Ger­man neo-Nazi par­ty (NPD) and his past mem­ber­ship in anoth­er neo-Nazi par­ty raise ques­tions regard­ing his ide­ol­o­gy.

Brinkmann, 44, made his for­tune in the Swedish real estate busi­ness in the 1980s before becom­ing mixed in tax prob­lems in his home coun­try. As legal bat­tles were going on he used the major­ity of his finances for the estab­lish­ment of two research foun­da­tions which became close­ly affil­i­ated with far-right and neo-Nazi ele­ments in Ger­many. . . .

. . . Sev­eral months ago, Kara met with Aus­trian Free­dom Par­ty leader Heinz-Chris­t­ian Stra­che who was once active in neo-Nazi groups.  . . .

10c. Anoth­er right-wing Israeli polit­i­cal con­tin­gent has reached out to Euro­pean fas­cists. Com­muning with Russ­ian fas­cists, the “Nation­al Uni­ty” bloc has impressed the leader of the Nation­al Demo­c­ra­tic Alliance, who feels the two groups have much in com­mon.

Fol­low­ing on the heels of an Iraeli deputy minister’s schmooz­ing [56] with a promi­nent Swedish neo-fas­cist financier [25], Aryeh Eldad’s hob­nob­bing with Ilya Lazarenko per­pet­u­ates [24] a dis­turb­ing pat­tern of Zionist/fascist inter­face [53] dat­ing back to the pre-World War II peri­od.

“The Unholy Alliance: How Israeli Wingnuts Befriend­ed Russ­ian Hitlerophiles” by Sergey Romanov; Lit­tle Green Foot­balls; 7/14/2011. [26]

Russ­ian nation­al­ists met in Israel with a right-wing Zion­ists.

One of the lead­ers of Russia’s Nation­al Demo­c­ra­tic Alliance, who vis­ited Israel togeth­er with his col­leagues at the invi­ta­tion of reli­gious-right-wing Zion­ists, came to the con­clu­sion that the two polit­i­cal forces have a lot in com­mon ...

Since last week, in Israel there is a group of mod­er­ate [eth­nic] Russ­ian nation­al­ists from Rus­sia, arrived here at the invi­ta­tion of the reli­gious-right bloc “Ihud ha-Leu­mi” (“Nation­al Uni­ty”). The lead­ers of an inter­re­gional pub­lic asso­ci­a­tion of the Nation­al Demo­c­ra­tic Alliance (estab­lished in March 2010) made sev­eral trips to the Holy Land, vis­ited the Knes­set, and the memo­r­ial com­plex “Yad Vashem”. Fol­low­ing the vis­it, co-chair­man of the move­ment Ilya Lazarenko came to the con­clu­sion that the Russ­ian nation­al­ists and right-wing Zion­ists have much in com­mon. “We are very much in com­mon, and first of all — rejec­tion of vio­lent Islamism, which is a threat to civ­i­liza­tion — he said to the por­tal IzRus. — We also have some ide­o­log­i­cal over­lap asso­ci­ated with the objec­tives of nation-build­ing and its oper­a­tion.” . . . .

11.We con­clude by not­ing Mitt Romney’s alliance with Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu, him­self an heir to the fas­cist ele­ment with­in the Zion­ist move­ment. Rom­ney also was allied with Snow­den’s Pres­i­den­tial can­di­date of choice Ron Paul [57].

“A Friend­ship Nur­tured in 1976 Res­onates in 2012″ by Michael Bar­baro; The New York Times; [58] 4/8/2012. [58]

. . . . That shared expe­ri­ence decades ago led to a warm friend­ship, lit­tle known to out­siders, that is now rich with polit­i­cal intrigue. Mr. Netanyahu, the prime min­is­ter of Israel, is mak­ing the case for mil­i­tary action against Iran as Mr. Rom­ney, the like­ly Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee, is attack­ing the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion for not sup­port­ing Mr. Netanyahu more robust­ly.

The rela­tion­ship between Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Rom­ney — nur­tured over meals in Boston, New York and Jerusalem, strength­ened by a net­work of mutu­al friends and height­ened by their con­ser­v­a­tive ide­olo­gies — has result­ed in an unusu­ally frank exchange of advice and insights on top­ics like pol­i­tics, eco­nom­ics and the Mid­dle East.

When Mr. Rom­ney was the gov­er­nor of Mass­a­chu­setts, Mr. Netanyahu offered him first­hand point­ers on how to shrink the size of gov­ern­ment. When Mr. Netanyahu want­ed to encour­age pen­sion funds to divest from busi­nesses tied to Iran, Mr. Rom­ney coun­seled him on which Amer­i­can offi­cials to meet with. And when Mr. Rom­ney first ran for pres­i­dent, Mr. Netanyahu pre­sciently asked him whether he thought Newt Gin­grich would ever jump into the race.

Only a few weeks ago, on Super Tues­day, Mr. Netanyahu deliv­ered a per­sonal brief­ing by tele­phone to Mr. Rom­ney about the sit­u­a­tion in Iran. . . .