Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.
The tag 'Jacob Appelbaum' is associated with 19 posts.

FTR #1081 Surveillance Valley, Part 7: Yasha Levine Gets the Jim Garrison/Gary Webb Treatment

We empha­size the treat­ment afford­ed Yasha Levine. As might be expect­ed, Levine received the Jim Garrison/Gary Webb treat­ment. The ret­ri­bu­tion direct­ed at Yasha Levine epit­o­mizes why Mr. Emory refers to the so-called pro­gres­sive sec­tor as “so-called.”

” . . . . The threats and attacks had begun some­time overnight while I slept. By morn­ing, they had reached a vicious and mur­der­ous pitch. There were calls for my death—by fire, by suf­fo­ca­tion, by hav­ing my throat slit by razor blades. Peo­ple I had nev­er met called me a rapist, and alleged that I took delight in beat­ing women and forc­ing peo­ple to have sex with me. I was accused of homo­pho­bia. Anony­mous peo­ple filed bogus claims with my edi­tor. Alle­ga­tions that I was a CIA agent poured in, as did claims that I worked with British intel­li­gence. The fact that I had been born in the Sovi­et Union did­n’t do me any favors; nat­u­ral­ly, I was accused of being an FSB spy and of work­ing for Rus­si­a’s suc­ces­sor to the KGB. I was informed that my name was added to a dark net assas­si­na­tion list—a site where peo­ple could place anony­mous bids for my mur­der. The roam­ing eye of the Inter­net hate machine had sud­den­ly fixed on me. . . .”

In addi­tion to online bul­ly­ing, slan­der and veiled and direct threats, the so-called “pri­va­cy activists” joined in pil­lo­ry­ing Yasha Levine: ” . . . . Mic­ah Lee, the for­mer EFF tech­nol­o­gist who helped Edward Snow­den com­mu­ni­cate secure­ly with jour­nal­ists and who now works at The Inter­cept, attacked me as a con­spir­a­cy the­o­rist and accused me and my col­leagues at Pan­do of being sex­ist bul­lies, he claimed that my report­ing was moti­vat­ed not by a desire to get at the truth but by a mali­cious impulse to harass a female Tor devel­op­er. Although Lee con­ced­ed that my infor­ma­tion about Tor’s gov­ern­ment fund­ing was cor­rect, he counter intu­itive­ly argued that it did­n’t mat­ter. . . .

” . . . . Jour­nal­ists, experts, and tech­nol­o­gists from groups like the ACLU, the EFF, Free­dom of the Press Foun­da­tion and The Inter­cept and employ­ees of the Tor Project joined in to attack my report­ing. Unlike Lee, most did not attempt to engage my report­ing but employed a range of famil­iar PR smear tactics—tactics you usu­al­ly see used by cor­po­rate flacks, not prin­ci­pled pri­va­cy activists. They took to social media, telling any­one who showed inter­est in my arti­cles that they should ignore them instead. Then, when that did­n’t work, they tried to dis­cred­it my report­ing with ridicule, mis­di­rec­tion, and crude insults. . . .

” . . . . A respect­ed ACLU pri­va­cy expert, who now works as a con­gres­sion­al staffer, called me “a con­spir­a­cy the­o­rist  who sees black heli­copters every­where” and com­pared my report­ing about Tor to the Pro­to­cols of the Elders of Zion. As some­one who escaped state-spon­sored anti-Semi­tism in the Sovi­et Union, I found the com­par­i­son extreme­ly offen­sive, espe­cial­ly com­ing from the ACLU. The Pro­to­cols were an anti-Semit­ic forgery dis­sem­i­nat­ed by the Russ­ian Tsar’s secret police that unleashed waves of dead­ly pogroms against Jews across the Russ­ian Empire in the ear­ly twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry. Tor employ­ees put forth a tor­rent of child­ish insults, call­ing me a ‘dumb Stal­in­ist state-felch­er’ and a ‘fuck­tard’s fuck­tard.’ They accused me of being fund­ed by spies to under­mine faith in cryp­tog­ra­phy. One of them claimed that I was a rapist, and hurled homo­pho­bic insults about the var­i­ous ways in which I had sup­pos­ed­ly per­formed sex­u­al favors for a male col­league.

 “In the way that these Inter­net haz­ing ses­sions, go, the cam­paign evolved and spread. Strange peo­ple began threat­en­ing me and my col­leagues on social media. Some accused me of hav­ing blood on my hands and of rack­ing up an “activist body count”–that peo­ple were actu­al­ly dying because of my report­ing under­mined trust in Tor.The attacks widened to include reg­u­lar read­ers and social media users, any­one who had the nerve to ask ques­tions about Tor’s fund­ing sources. An employ­ee of the Tor Project went so far as to dox an anony­mous Twit­ter user, expos­ing his real iden­ti­ty and con­tact­ing his employ­er in the hopes of get­ting him fired from his job as a junior phar­ma­cist.

It was bizarre. I watched all this unfold in real time but had no idea how to respond. Even more dis­con­cert­ing was that the attacks soon expand­ed to include libelous sto­ries placed in rep­utable media out­lets. The Guardian pub­lished a sto­ry by a free­lancer accus­ing me of run­ning an online sex­u­al harass­ment and bul­ly­ing cam­paign. The Los Ange­les Review of Books, gen­er­al­ly a good jour­nal of arts and cul­ture, ran an essay by a free­lancer alleg­ing that my report­ing was fund­ed by the CIA. Paul Carr, my edi­tor at Pan­do, lodged offi­cial com­plaints and demand­ed to know how these reporters came to their con­clu­sions. Both pub­li­ca­tions ulti­mate­ly retract­ed their state­ments and print­ed cor­rec­tions. An edi­tor at the Guardian apol­o­gized and described the arti­cle as a ‘fuck up.’ But the online attacks con­tin­ued. . . .”

Pro­gram High­lights Include:

1.–The role of Eddie Snow­den in mis­at­tribut­ing the Shad­ow Bro­kers non-hack to Rus­sia.
2.–Snowden’s fore­shad­ow­ing of the alleged Russ­ian “hack” of the Macron cam­paign”: ” . . . . ‘That could have sig­nif­i­cant for­eign pol­i­cy con­se­quences,’ Snow­den wrote on Twit­ter. ‘Par­tic­u­lar­ly if any of those oper­a­tions tar­get­ed US allies. Par­tic­u­lar­ly if any of those oper­a­tions tar­get­ed elec­tions.’ . . .”
3.–James Bam­ford’s analy­sis of WikiLeaker/Tor promoter/BBG asso­ciate Jacob Apel­baum as the most like­ly source of the Shad­ow Bro­kers non-hack. 
The ludi­crous nature of the “Rus­sia-did it” hypoth­e­sis con­cern­ing the Macron hacks: ” . . . . The hacked doc­u­ments in the ‘Macron hack’ not only con­tained Cyril­lic text in the meta­da­ta, but also con­tained the name of the last per­son to mod­i­fy the doc­u­ments. That name, ‘Rosh­ka Georgiy Petro­vichan’, is an employ­ee at Evri­ka, a large IT com­pa­ny that does work for the Russ­ian gov­ern­ment, includ­ing the FSB (Russ­ian intel­li­gence.) Also found in the meta­da­ta is the email of the per­son who uploaded the files to ‘archive.org’, and that email address, frankmacher1@gmx.de, is reg­is­tered with a Ger­man free web­mail provider used pre­vi­ous­ly in 2016 phish­ing attacks against the CDU in Ger­many that have been attrib­uted to APT28. It would appear that the ‘Russ­ian hack­ers’ not only left clues sug­gest­ing it was Russ­ian hack­ers behind the hack, but they decid­ed to name names this time–their own names. . . .”
4.–Neo-Nazi and Glenn Green­wald and Lau­ra Poitras asso­ciate Andrew Aueren­heimer’s role in mod­i­fy­ing the doc­u­ments in the Macron hack:  ” . . . . Short­ly after an anony­mous user of the 4chan.org dis­cus­sion forum post­ed fake doc­u­ments pur­port­ing to show Mr. Macron had set up an undis­closed shell com­pa­ny in the Caribbean, the user direct­ed peo­ple to vis­it nouveaumartel.com for updates on the French elec­tion. That web­site, accord­ing to research by web-secu­ri­ty provider Virtualroad.org, is reg­is­tered by ‘Wee­v­los,’ a known online alias of Andrew Auern­heimer, an Amer­i­can hack­er who gained noto­ri­ety three years ago when a U.S. appeals court vacat­ed his con­vic­tion for com­put­er fraud. The site also is host­ed by a serv­er in Latvia that hosts the Dai­ly Stormer, a neo-Nazi news site that iden­ti­fies its admin­is­tra­tor as ‘Weev,’ anoth­er online alias of Mr. Aeurn­heimer, Virtualroad.org says. ‘We strong­ly believe that the fake off­shore doc­u­ments were cre­at­ed by some­one with con­trol of the Dai­ly Stormer serv­er,’ said Tord Lund­ström, a com­put­er foren­sics inves­ti­ga­tor at Virtualroad.org. . . .”
5.–French cyber­se­cu­ri­ty chief Guil­laume Poupard negat­ed the asser­tion that Rus­sia hacked the Macron cam­paign: ” . . . . The head of the French government’s cyber secu­ri­ty agency, which inves­ti­gat­ed leaks from Pres­i­dent Emmanuel Macron’s elec­tion cam­paign, says they found no trace of a noto­ri­ous Russ­ian hack­ing group behind the attack. . . . ”


FTR #1080 Surveillance Valley, Part 6: Double Agents, Part 2 (Foxes Guarding the Online Privacy Henhouse, Part 3)

In this pro­gram, we resume dis­cus­sion and analy­sis of the con­sum­mate­ly impor­tant recent book Sur­veil­lance Val­ley: The Secret Mil­i­tary His­to­ry of the Inter­net by Yasha Levine. In the pre­vi­ous pro­gram, we not­ed, among oth­er points of analy­sis, the deci­sive role of Eddie “The Friend­ly Spook” Snow­den in pro­mot­ing the intel­li­gence-agency craft­ed Tor net­work.

In addi­tion to Tor, the Open Tech­nol­o­gy Fund (read “CIA”) helped finance the Sig­nal app for mobile phones. It, too, is fun­da­men­tal­ly com­pro­mised. ” . . . . . . . . The Tor project remained the best-known pri­va­cy app fund­ed by the Open Tech­nol­o­gy Fund, but it was quick­ly joined by anoth­er: Sig­nal, an encrypt­ed mobile phone mes­sag­ing app for the iPhone and Android. . . .”

Not sur­pris­ing­ly, the CIA’s Eddie “The Friend­ly Spook” Snow­den was a big pro­mot­er of Sig­nal, as well as Tor: ” . . . . Peo­ple at the ACLU claimed that Sig­nal made fed­er­al agents weep. The Elec­tron­ic Fron­tier Foun­da­tion added Sig­nal along­side Tor to its Sur­veil­lance Self-Defense guide. Fight for the Future, a Sil­i­con Val­ley-fund­ed pri­va­cy activist orga­ni­za­tion, described Sig­nal and Tor as ‘NSA-proof’ and urged peo­ple to use them. Edward Snow­den was the com­bo’s biggest and most famous boost­er and repeat­ed­ly took to Twit­ter to tell his three mil­lion fol­low­ers that he used Sig­nal and Tor every day, and that they should do the same to pro­tect them­selves from gov­ern­ment sur­veil­lance. ‘Use Tor, Use Sig­nal,’ he tweet­ed out.

“With endorse­ments like these, Sig­nal quick­ly became the go-to app for polit­i­cal activists around the world. Egypt, Rus­sia, Syr­ia, and even the Unit­ed States—millions down­loaded Sig­nal, and it became the com­mu­ni­ca­tion app of choice for those who hoped to avoid police sur­veil­lance. Fem­i­nist col­lec­tives, anti-Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump pro­test­ers, com­mu­nists, anar­chists, rad­i­cal ani­mal rights orga­ni­za­tions, Black Lives Mat­ter activists—all flocked to Sig­nal. Many were heed­ing Snow­den’s advice: ‘Orga­nize. Com­part­men­tal­ize to lim­it com­pro­mise. Encrypt every­thing, from calls to texts (use Sig­nal as a first step.)’ . . . .”

Yasha Levine sums up the fun­da­men­tal con­tra­dic­tions inher­ent  in this dynam­ic: ” . . . . If you stepped back to sur­vey the scene, the entire land­scape of this new Inter­net Free­dom pri­va­cy move­ment looked absurd. Cold War-era orga­ni­za­tions spun off from the CIA now fund­ing the glob­al move­ment against gov­ern­ment sur­veil­lance? Google and Face­book, com­pa­nies that ran pri­vate sur­veil­lance net­works and worked hand in hand with the NSA, deploy­ing gov­ern­ment-fund­ed pri­va­cy tech to pro­tect their users from gov­ern­ment sur­veil­lance? Pri­va­cy activists work­ing with Sil­i­con Val­ley and the US gov­ern­ment to fight gov­ern­ment surveillance—and with the sup­port of Edward Snow­den him­self? . . . .”

Fol­low­ing Snow­den’s pro­mo­tion of OTF’s Tor and Sig­nal tech­nolo­gies, OTF was at a zenith: ” . . . . After Edward Snow­den, OTF was tri­umphant. It did­n’t men­tion the leak­er by name in its pro­mo­tion­al mate­ri­als, but it prof­it­ed from the cryp­to cul­ture he pro­mot­ed and ben­e­fit­ed from his direct endorse­ment of the cryp­to tools it financed. It boast­ed that its part­ner­ship with both Sil­i­con Val­ley and respect­ed pri­va­cy activists meant that hun­dreds of mil­lions of peo­ple could use the pri­va­cy tools the US gov­ern­ment had brought to mar­ket. And OTF promised that this was just a start: ‘By lever­ag­ing social net­work effects, we expect to expand to a bil­lion reg­u­lar users tak­ing advan­tage of OTF-sup­port­ed tools and Inter­net Free­dom tech­nolo­gies by 2015. . . .’

As even­tu­al­ly became clear, the Tor net­work was eas­i­ly breached. It is a safe bet that the fas­cists grouped around the Pirate Bay site (on which Wik­iLeaks held forth), had breached Tor’s “secre­cy,” in addi­tion to the obvi­ous fact that intel­li­gence ser­vices could pen­e­trate it at will.

With this in mind, John Young’s rumi­na­tion about Wik­iLeaks sound more and more sub­stan­tive.

In all prob­a­bil­i­ty, Wik­iLeaks was a huge data min­ing oper­a­tion both by the very intel­li­gence agen­cies who were osten­si­bly tar­get­ed by Wik­iLeaks, and the Fas­cist Inter­na­tion­al net­work around Carl Lund­strom, Daniel Friberg, David Duke et al.

In FTR #‘s 756 and 831 we not­ed Snow­den’s fas­cist views and con­nec­tions. Levine mere­ly char­ac­ter­izes him as a “right-wing lib­er­tar­i­an,” but there is MUCH MORE TO IT THAN  THAT!

Snow­den down­played the fun­da­men­tal role of the Big Tech firms in aid­ing and abet­ting gov­ern­ment sur­veil­lance, in addi­tion to their own mas­sive sur­veil­lance and resul­tant data min­ing. ” . . . . There, while liv­ing under state pro­tec­tion at an undis­closed loca­tion in Moscow, he swept Sil­i­con Val­ley’s role in Inter­net sur­veil­lance under the rug. Asked about it by Wash­ing­ton Post reporter Bar­ton Gell­man, who had first report­ed on the NSA’s PRISM pro­gram, Snow­den shrugged off the dan­ger posed by com­pa­nies like Google and Face­book. The rea­son? Because pri­vate com­pa­nies do not have the pow­er to arrest, jail, or kill peo­ple. ‘Twit­ter does­n’t put war­heads on fore­heads,’ he joked. . . .”

Embody­ing his “cor­po­ratist” and Tech­no­crat­ic Fas­cist point of view, Snow­den cham­pi­oned the Big Tech firms as bul­warks against gov­ern­ment Inter­net sur­veil­lance, despite the only-too-obvi­ous fact (rein­forced by the doc­u­ments he leaked) that Big Tech is–and always has been–in bed with, and active­ly col­lab­o­rat­ing with, the very gov­ern­ment intel­li­gence agen­cies con­duct­ing that sur­veil­lance: ” . . . . The only islands of safe­ty were the pri­vate data cen­ters con­trolled by pri­vate companies—Google, Apple, Face­book. These were the cyber-fortress­es and walled cities that offered sanc­tu­ary to the mass­es. In this chaot­ic land­scape, com­put­er engi­neers and cryp­tog­ra­phers played the role of self­less gal­lop­ing knights and wiz­ard-war­riors whose job was to pro­tect the weak folk of the Inter­net: the young, the old and infirm, fam­i­lies. It was their duty to ride out, weapons aloft, and con­vey peo­ple and their pre­cious data safe­ly from fortress to fortress, not let­ting any of the infor­ma­tion fall into the hands of gov­ern­ment spies. He called on them to start a peo­ple’s pri­va­cy war, ral­ly­ing them to go forth and lib­er­ate the Inter­net, to reclaim it from the gov­ern­ments of the world. . . .”

The nau­se­at­ing head of Facebook–Mark Zuckerberg–has decried the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty’s use of the Inter­net for data min­ing. In FTR #1077, we high­light­ed the Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca affair, and Face­book’s full coop­er­a­tion with that project at every turn.

Oth­er Big Tech firms had sim­i­lar reac­tions. “. . . . . ‘We had­n’t even heard of PRISM before yes­ter­day,’ Mark Zucker­berg wrote in a Face­book post. He blamed the gov­ern­ment and posi­tioned Face­book as a vic­tim. “I’ve called Pres­i­dent Oba­ma to express my frus­tra­tion over the dam­age the gov­ern­ment is cre­at­ing for all of our future. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, it seems like it will take a very long time for true full reform.’ Apple,  Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo! All react­ed in much the same way, deny­ing the alle­ga­tions and paint­ing them­selves as the vic­tims of gov­ern­ment over­reach. ‘It’s tremen­dous­ly dis­ap­point­ing that the gov­ern­ment sort of secret­ly did all this stuff and did­n’t tell us. We can’t have a democ­ra­cy if we’re hav­ing to pro­tect you and our users from the gov­ern­ment,’ Lar­ry Page told Char­lie Rose in an inter­view on CBS. . . . .”

We present the con­clu­sion of the main part of the book, with Levine’s sum­ma­tion of the inex­tri­ca­ble nature and sym­bio­sis between the Inter­net, the tech firms and the so-called “pri­va­cy com­mu­ni­ty.”

The key points of dis­cus­sion and analy­sis of Levine’s book (as a whole) include:

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

NB: Mr. Levine does not go into the fascis­tic char­ac­ter of Snow­den, Assange, Green­wald et al. Some of those shows: Greenwald–FTR #888, Snowden–FTR #‘s 756, 831, Assange and WikiLeaks–FTR #‘s 732, 745, 755, 917.

“. . . . Then there was the fact that Sig­nal ran on Ama­zon’s servers, which meant that all its data were avail­able to a part­ner in the NSA’s PRISM sur­veil­lance pro­gram. Equal­ly prob­lem­at­ic, Sig­nal need­ed Apple and Google to install and run the app on peo­ple’s mobile phones. Both com­pa­nies were, and as far as we know still are, part­ners in PRISM as well. ‘Google usu­al­ly has root access to the phone, there’s the issue of integri­ty,’ writes Sander Ven­e­ma, a respect­ed devel­op­er and secure—technology train­er, in a blog post explain­ing why he no longer rec­om­mends peo­ple use Sig­nal for encrypt­ed chat. ‘Google is still coop­er­at­ing with the NSA and oth­er intel­li­gence agen­cies. PRISM is also still a thing. I’m pret­ty sure that Google could serve a spe­cial­ly mod­i­fied update or ver­sion of Sig­nal to spe­cif­ic tar­get for sur­veil­lance, and they would be none the wis­er that they installed mal­ware on their phones.’ . . .

. . . . So, although the app encrypt­ed the con­tent of peo­ple’s mes­sages, it also marked them with a flash­ing red sign: ‘Fol­low Me, I Have Some­thing to Hide.’ (Indeed, activists protest­ing at the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Con­ven­tion in Philadel­phia in 2016 told me that they were bewil­dered by the fact that police seemed to know and antic­i­pate their every move despite their hav­ing used Sig­nal to orga­nize. . . .”

” . . . . For many Inter­net com­pa­nies, includ­ing Google and Face­book, sur­veil­lance is the busi­ness mod­el. It is the base on which their cor­po­rate and eco­nom­ic pow­er rests. Dis­en­tan­gle sur­veil­lance and prof­it, and these com­pa­nies would col­lapse. Lim­it data col­lec­tion, an the com­pa­nies would see investors flee and their stock prices plum­met. [Ital­ics are mine–D.E.]

“Sil­i­con Val­ley fears a polit­i­cal solu­tion to pri­va­cy. Inter­net Free­dom and cryp­to offer an accept­able alter­na­tive. Tools like Sig­nal and Tor pro­vide a false solu­tion to the pri­va­cy prob­lem, focus­ing people’s atten­tion on gov­ern­ment sur­veil­lance and dis­tract­ing them from the pri­vate spy­ing car­ried out by the Inter­net com­pa­nies they use every day. All the while, cryp­to tools give peo­ple a [false] sense that they’re doing some­thing to pro­tect them­selves, a feel­ing of per­son­al empow­er­ment and con­trol. And all those cryp­to rad­i­cals? Well, they just enhance the illu­sion, height­en­ing the impres­sion of risk and dan­ger. With Sig­nal or Tor installed, using an iPhone or Android sud­den­ly becomes edgy and rad­i­cal. So instead of push­ing for polit­i­cal and demo­c­ra­t­ic solu­tions to sur­veil­lance, we out­source our pri­va­cy pol­i­tics to cryp­to apps–software made by the very same pow­er­ful enti­ties that these apps are sup­posed to pro­tect us from. . . .”


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

Con­tin­u­ing with our exam­i­na­tion of Yasha Levine’s sem­i­nal vol­ume Sur­veil­lance Val­ley, we con­tin­ue our analy­sis of the indi­vid­u­als, insti­tu­tions and tech­nolo­gies cen­tral to the so-called “online pri­va­cy” effort. The Tor Project, the Elec­tron­ic Fron­tier Foun­da­tion, the Broad­cast­ing Board of Gov­er­nors and its Open Tech­nol­o­gy Fund and Jacob Appel­baum are all the oppo­site of what they have been rep­re­sent­ed as being.

We begin with infor­ma­tion over­lapped from our last pro­gram, high­light­ing how Jacob Appel­baum and the Tor net­work hooked up with Wik­iLeaks.

Tor, Appel­baum, Assange and Wik­iLeaks:

1.–Became increas­ing­ly inter­twined, enjoy­ing acco­lades from many, appar­ent­ly unsus­pect­ing, groups: ” . . . .  His [Appel­baum’s] asso­ci­a­tion with Wik­iLeaks and Assange boost­ed the Tor Pro­jec­t’s pub­lic pro­file and rad­i­cal cre­den­tials. Sup­port and acco­lades poured in from jour­nal­ists, pri­va­cy orga­ni­za­tions, and gov­ern­ment watch­dogs. The Amer­i­can Civ­il Lib­er­ties Union part­nered with Appel­baum on an Inter­net pri­va­cy project, and New York’s Whit­ney Museum—one of the lead­ing mod­ern art muse­ums in the world—invited him for a ‘Sur­veil­lance Teach-In.’ The Elec­tron­ic Fron­tier Foun­da­tion gave Tor its Pio­neer Award, and Roger Din­gle­dine made in on For­eign Pol­i­cy mag­a­zine’s Top 100 Glob­al Thinkers for pro­tect­ing ‘any­one and every­one from the dan­gers of Big Broth­er.’ . . . .”
2.– Dif­fered fun­da­men­tal­ly from the accept­ed text: ” . . . . With Julian Assange endors­ing Tor, reporters assumed that the US gov­ern­ment saw the anonymi­ty non­prof­it as a threat. But inter­nal doc­u­ments obtained through FOIA from the Broad­cast­ing Board of Gov­er­nors, as well as analy­sis of Tor’s gov­ern­ment con­tracts paint a dif­fer­ent pic­ture. They reveal that Appel­baum and Din­gle­dine worked with Assange on secur­ing Wik­iLeaks with Tor since late 2008 and that they kept their han­dlers at the BBG informed about their rela­tion­ship and even pro­vid­ed infor­ma­tion about the inner work­ings of Wik­iLeak­s’s secure sub­mis­sion sys­tem. . . .”
3.–Did not adverse­ly affect the gov­ern­ment fund­ing of Tor at all, as might be expect­ed by the super­fi­cial appar­ent real­i­ty of the sit­u­a­tion: ” . . . . Per­haps most telling was that sup­port from the BBG [read “CIA”–D.E.] con­tin­ued even after Wik­iLeaks began pub­lish­ing clas­si­fied gov­ern­ment infor­ma­tion and Appel­baum became the tar­get of a larg­er Depart­ment of Jus­tice inves­ti­ga­tion into Wik­iLeaks. For exam­ple, on July 31, 2010, CNET report­ed that Appel­baum had been detained at the Las Vegas air­port and ques­tioned about his rela­tion­ship with Wik­iLeaks. News of the deten­tion made head­lines around the world, once again high­light­ing Appel­baum’s close ties to Julian Assange. And a week lat­er, Tor’s exec­u­tive direc­tor Andrew Lew­man, clear­ly wor­ried that this might affect Tor’s fund­ing, emailed Ken Berman at the BBG in the hopes of smooth­ing things over and answer­ing ‘any ques­tions you may have about the recent press regard­ing Jake and Wik­iLeaks.’ But Lew­man was in for a pleas­ant sur­prise: Roger Din­gle­dine had been keep­ing folks at the BBG in the loop, and every­thing seemed to be okay. ‘Great stuff, thx. Roger answered a num­ber of ques­tions when he met us this week in DC,’ Berman replied. . . .”
4.–” . . . . In 2011 con­tracts came in with­out a hitch–$150,000 from the Broad­cast­ing Board of Gov­er­nors and $227,118 from the State Depart­ment. Tor was even able to snag a big chunk of mon­ey from the Pen­ta­gon: a new $503,706 annu­al con­tract from the Space and Naval War­fare Sys­tems Com­mand, an elite infor­ma­tion and intel­li­gence unit that hous­es a top-secret cyber-war­fare division.The Navy was passed through SRI, the old Stan­ford mil­i­tary con­trac­tor that had done coun­terin­sur­gency, net­work­ing, and chem­i­cal weapons work for ARPA back in the 1960s and 1970s. The funds were part of a larg­er Navy ‘Com­mand, Con­trol, Com­munca­tions, Com­put­ers, Intel­li­gence, Sur­veil­lance, and Recon­nais­sance’ pro­gram to improve mil­i­tary oper­a­tions. A year lat­er, Tor would see its gov­ern­ment con­tracts more than dou­ble to $2.2 mil­lion: $353,000 from the State Depart­ment, $876,099 from the US Navy, and $937,800 from the Broad­cast­ing Board of Gov­er­nors. . . .”

In this con­text, we recall some ear­li­er obser­va­tions about Wik­iLeaks. John Young, one of Wik­iLeaks’ founders turned crit­ic of the orga­ni­za­tion har­bors deep sus­pi­cions con­cern­ing the group. ” . . . 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. And they’re usu­al­ly pret­ty elab­o­rate and pret­ty care­ful­ly run. They’ll even pros­e­cute peo­ple as part of the cov­er sto­ry. That actu­al­ly was talked about at (Sunday’s) pan­el. They’ll try to con­ceal who was inform­ing and betray­ing oth­ers by pre­tend­ing to pros­e­cute them. . . .” The Tor/Appelbaum/BBG (read “CIA”)/WikiLeaks nexus may very well be proof of Young’s sus­pi­cions.

Appel­baum, Wik­iLeaks and Tor became fun­da­men­tal to the oper­a­tions of Eddie “The Friend­ly Spook” Snow­den. In past dis­cus­sion, we have not­ed that in the sum­mer of 2009, when Snow­den made his deci­sion to dis­close the NSA doc­u­ments, he was work­ing for the very same CIA from which the Broad­cast­ing Board of Gov­er­nors and its Open Tech­nol­o­gy Fund were derived. Jacob Appel­baum was fund­ed by BBG, as was Tor. ” . . . . From the start, the Tor Project stood at the cen­ter of Snow­den’s sto­ry. The leak­er’s endorse­ment and pro­mo­tion intro­duced the project to a glob­al audi­ence, boost­ing Tor’s world­wide user base from one mil­lion to six mil­lion almost overnight and inject­ing it into the heart of a bur­geon­ing pri­va­cy move­ment. In Rus­sia, where the BBG and Din­gle­dine had tried but failed to recruit activists for their Tor deploy­ment plan, use of the soft­ware increased from twen­ty thou­sand dai­ly con­nec­tions to some­where around two hun­dred thou­sand.

“Dur­ing a pro­mo­tion­al cam­paign for the Tor Project, Snow­den said: ‘With­out Tor, the streets of the Inter­net become like the streets of a very heav­i­ly sur­veilled city. There are sur­veil­lance cam­eras every­where, and if the adver­sary sim­ply takes enough time, they can fol­low the tapes back and see every­thing you’ve done. With Tor, we have pri­vate spaces and pri­vate lives, where we can choose who we want to asso­ciate with and how, with­out the fear of what that is going to look like if it is abused. The design of the Tor sys­tem is struc­tured in such a way that even if the US Gov­ern­ment want­ed to sub­vert it, it could­n’t.’ Snow­den did­n’t talk about Tor’s con­tin­ued gov­ern­ment fund­ing, nor did he address an appar­ent con­tra­dic­tion: why the US gov­ern­ment would fund a pro­gram that sup­pos­ed­ly lim­it­ed its own pow­er. What­ev­er Snow­den’s pri­vate thought on the mat­ter, his endorse­ment gave Tor the high­est pos­si­ble seal of approval. It was like a Hack­er’s Medal of Val­or. With Snow­den’s back­ing, no one even thought to ques­tion Tor’s rad­i­cal antigov­ern­ment bona fides. . . .”

Next, we review infor­ma­tion about the so-called “Arab Spring.” In FTR #‘s 733 through 739, we pre­sent­ed our view that the so-called Arab Spring was a U.S. intel­li­gence oper­a­tion, aimed at plac­ing the Broth­er­hood in pow­er in Mus­lim coun­tries dom­i­nat­ed either by a sec­u­lar dic­ta­tor or absolute monar­chy.

Yasha Levine has high­light­ed the role of U.S. tech per­son­nel in train­ing and prep­ping the Arab Spring online activists. As we have not­ed in the past, the so-called Arab Spring might have been bet­ter thought of as “The Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Spring,” as the neo-lib­er­al, pri­va­ti­za­tion ide­ol­o­gy of Broth­er­hood eco­nom­ic icon Ibn Khal­dun was fun­da­men­tal to the oper­a­tion.

The eco­nom­ic goals of the Arab Spring “op” were reviewed in, among oth­er pro­grams, FTR #‘s 1025 and 1026.

Recall while read­ing the fol­low­ing excerpts of this remark­able and impor­tant book, that:

1.–The Tor net­work was devel­oped by, and used and com­pro­mised by, ele­ments of U.S. intel­li­gence.
2.–One of the pri­ma­ry advo­cates and spon­sors of the Tor net­work is the Broad­cast­ing Board of Gov­er­nors. As we saw in FTR #‘s 891, 895, is an exten­sion of the CIA.
3.–Jacob Appel­baum has been financed by the Broad­cast­ing Board of Gov­er­nors, advo­cates use of the Tor net­work, has helped Wik­iLeaks with its exten­sive use of the Tor net­work, and is an ide­o­log­i­cal acolyte of Ayn Rand.

The Arab Spring pro­vid­ed moti­va­tion for enhanced U.S. fund­ing for Inter­net Free­dom. The Open Tech­nol­o­gy Fund, like the BBG a CIA “deriv­a­tive,” was at the cen­ter of this: ” . . . . The moti­va­tion for this expan­sion came out of the Arab Spring. The idea was to make sure the US gov­ern­ment would main­tain its tech­no­log­i­cal advan­tage in the cen­sor­ship arms race that began in the ear­ly 2000s, but the funds were also going into devel­op­ing a new gen­er­a­tion of tools aimed at lever­ag­ing the pow­er of the Inter­net to help for­eign oppo­si­tion activists orga­nize into cohe­sive polit­i­cal move­ments. The BBG’s $25.5 mil­lion cut of the cash more than dou­bled the agen­cy’s anti­cen­sor­ship tech­nol­o­gy bud­get from the pre­vi­ous year, and the BBG fun­neled the mon­ey into the Open Tech­nol­o­gy Fund, a new orga­ni­za­tion it had cre­at­ed with­in Radio Free Asia to fund Inter­net Free­dom tech­nolo­gies in the wake of the Arab Spring. . . .”

The fun­da­men­tal posi­tion of BBG and OTF (read “CIA”) to the so-called online pri­va­cy com­mu­ni­ty was con­cise­ly expressed by Yasha Levine: ” . . . . From behind this hip and con­nect­ed exte­ri­or, BBG and Radio Free Asia built a ver­ti­cal­ly inte­grat­ed incu­ba­tor for Inter­net Free­dom tech­nolo­gies, pour­ing mil­lions into projects big and small, includ­ing every­thing from evad­ing cen­sor­ship to help­ing polit­i­cal orga­niz­ing, protests, and move­ment build­ing. With its deep pock­ets and its recruit­ment of big-name pri­va­cy activists, the Open Tech­nol­o­gy Fund did­n’t just thrust itself into the pri­va­cy move­ment. In many ways, it WAS the pri­va­cy move­ment. . . .”


FTR #1078 Surveillance Valley, Part 4: Tor Up (Foxes Guarding the Online Privacy Henhouse, Part 1.)

Yasha Levine’s sum­ma­tion of the inex­tri­ca­ble nature and sym­bio­sis between the Inter­net, the tech firms and the so-called “pri­va­cy com­mu­ni­ty” include:

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

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

Key points of analy­sis and dis­cus­sion:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Birds of a Feather: The So-Called Internet “Privacy Activists,” the Intelligence Services and Big Tech

Yasha Levine’s recent book “Sur­veil­lance Val­ley” is a MUST READ! Rel­a­tive­ly short and very much to the point, this volume–subtitled “The Secret Mil­i­tary His­to­ry of the Internet”–chronicles the fact that the Inter­net is a weapon, devel­oped as part of the same group of over­lap­ping DARPA/Pentagon projects as Agent Orange. In posts and pro­grams to come, we will more ful­ly devel­op the basic themes set forth in the excerpt recapped in this post: 1 )The Inter­net is a weapon, devel­oped for counter-insur­gency pur­pos­es. 2) Big Tech firms net­work with the very intel­li­gence ser­vices they pub­licly decry. 3) Big Tech firms that data mine their cus­tomers on a near­ly unimag­in­able scale do so as a direct, oper­a­tional exten­sion of the very sur­veil­lance func­tion upon which the Inter­net is pred­i­cat­ed. 4) The tech­nolo­gies tout­ed by the so-called “Pri­va­cy Activists” such as Edward Snow­den and Jacob Apple­baum were devel­oped by the very intel­li­gence ser­vices they are sup­posed to deflect. 5) The tech­nolo­gies tout­ed by the so-called “Pri­va­cy Activists” such as Edward Snow­den and Jacob Applebaum–such as the Tor Inter­net func­tion and the Sig­nal mobile phone app– are read­i­ly acces­si­ble to the very intel­li­gence ser­vices they are sup­posed to deflect. 6) The orga­ni­za­tions that pro­mote the alleged virtues of Snow­den, Apple­baum, Tor, Sig­nal et al are linked to the very intel­li­gence ser­vices they would have us believe they oppose. 7) Big Tech firms embrace “Inter­net Free­dom” as a dis­trac­tion from their own will­ful and all-embrac­ing data min­ing and their ongo­ing con­scious col­lab­o­ra­tion with the very intel­li­gence ser­vices they pub­licly decry.


Agent Orange and the Internet: The Spawn of Project Agile

In his book–one of the most impor­tant in recent memory–Yasha Levine sets forth vital, rev­e­la­to­ry infor­ma­tion about the devel­op­ment and func­tion­ing of the Inter­net. Born of the same DARPA project that spawned Agent Orange, the Inter­net was nev­er intend­ed to be some­thing good. Its gen­er­a­tive func­tion and pur­pose is counter-insur­gency. In this land­mark vol­ume, Levine makes numer­ous points, includ­ing: The har­vest­ing of data by intel­li­gence ser­vices is PRECISELY what the Inter­net was designed to do in the first place. The har­vest­ing of data engaged in by the major tech cor­po­ra­tions is an exten­sion of the data gathering/surveillance that was–and is–the rai­son d’e­tre for the Inter­net in the first place. The big tech com­pa­nies all col­lab­o­rate with the var­i­ous intel­li­gence agen­cies they pub­licly scorn and seek to osten­si­bly dis­tance them­selves from. Edward Snow­den, the Elec­tron­ic Fron­tier Foun­da­tion, Jacob Appel­baum and Wik­iLeaks are com­plic­it in the data har­vest­ing and sur­veil­lance. Snow­den and oth­er pri­va­cy activists are dou­ble agents, con­scious­ly chan­nel­ing peo­ple fear­ful of hav­ing their com­mu­ni­ca­tions mon­i­tored into tech­nolo­gies that will facil­i­tate that sur­veil­lance!


FTR #1026 The So-Called “Arab Spring” Revisited, Part 2

In FTR #‘s 733 through 739, we pre­sent­ed our view that the so-called Arab Spring was a U.S. intel­li­gence oper­a­tion, aimed at plac­ing the Broth­er­hood in pow­er in Mus­lim coun­tries dom­i­nat­ed either by a sec­u­lar dic­ta­tor or absolute monar­chy.

Con­tin­u­ing analy­sis from our pre­vi­ous pro­gram, this broad­cast delves fur­ther into the net­work­ing between the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and Al-Qae­da. Against the back­ground of the occu­pa­tion of Idlib Province in Syr­ia by Al-Qae­da, we high­light the appar­ent role of Mor­si’s gov­ern­ment and the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in the events sur­round­ing the 2012 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Beng­hazi, Libya.

The over­throw of Khadafy in Libya was an out­growth of the so-called Arab Spring, as was the pre­cip­i­ta­tion of the civ­il war in Syr­ia. Of par­tic­u­lar sig­nif­i­cance is the fact that the GOP-led inves­ti­ga­tions of the Beng­hazi attack led direct­ly to both the inves­ti­ga­tion of Hillary Clin­ton’s e‑mails and the deci­sive­ly sig­nif­i­cant FBI tam­per­ing with the 2016 elec­tion, as well as the alleged “hack” of Hillary’s e‑mails!

An Egypt­ian news­pa­per pub­lished what were said to be inter­cept­ed record­ings of Mor­si com­mu­ni­cat­ing con­spir­a­to­ri­al­ly with Muham­mad al-Zawahiri, the the broth­er of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the head of Al-Qae­da. Much of this checks out with infor­ma­tion that is already on the pub­lic record.

Note the net­work­ing of GOP Sen­a­tors John McCain and Lind­say Gra­ham with Khairat El-Shater of the Egypt­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood while he was in prison, as well as the alleged links between the Egypt­ian Broth­er­hood and the cells involved in attack­ing the U.S. Embassy in Libya.

What we may well be look­ing at is a gam­bit along the lines of what has become known as the Octo­ber Surprise–collusion between the Iran­ian Islamists and George H.W. Bush/CIA/GOP to (among oth­er things) desta­bi­lize the Carter admin­is­tra­tion and 1980 re-elec­tion cam­paign.

In addi­tion, we won­der about a deal hav­ing been struck to have Al-Qae­da fight against Bashar Assad in Syr­ia, while avoid­ing attacks inside the U.S.?

Of pri­ma­ry focus in the mate­r­i­al below is Khairat El-Shater (translit­er­at­ed spellings of his name dif­fer.) El-Shater:

1.–Was the num­ber two man in the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, though not for­mer­ly a mem­ber of Mor­si’s gov­ern­ment.
2.–Networked with U.S. Ambas­sador Anne Pat­ter­son and GOP Sen­a­tors John McCain and Lind­say Gra­ham and Khairat El-Shater (alter­na­tive­ly translit­er­at­ed with two “t’s” and/or an “al”), short­ly after Mor­si was deposed. ” . . . . It is inter­est­ing to note here that, pri­or to these rev­e­la­tions, U.S. ambas­sador Anne Pat­ter­son was seen vis­it­ing with Khairat El-Shater—even though he held no posi­tion in the Mor­si government—and after the oust­ing and impris­on­ment of Mor­si and lead­ing Broth­er­hood mem­bers, Sens. John McCain and Lind­say Gra­ham made it a point to vis­it the civil­ian Shater in his prison cell and urged the Egypt­ian gov­ern­ment to release him. . . .”
3.–Was deeply involved in mobi­liz­ing Al-Qae­da on behalf of Mor­si and the Broth­er­hood: ” . . . . Also on that same first day of the rev­o­lu­tion, Khairat al-Shater, Deputy Leader of the Broth­er­hood, had a meet­ing with a del­e­gate of jiha­di fight­ers and reit­er­at­ed Morsi’s request that all jihadis come to the aid of the pres­i­den­cy and the Broth­er­hood. . . . ”
4.–Was the appar­ent source of a $50 mil­lion con­tri­bu­tion by the Broth­er­hood to Al Qae­da: ” . . . . That the Mus­lim Brotherhood’s inter­na­tion­al wing, includ­ing through the agency of Khairat al-Shater, had pro­vid­ed $50 mil­lion to al-Qae­da in part to sup­port the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in Egypt. . . .”
5.–Had the pass­port of the alleged leader of the Beng­hazi attack in his home when he was arrest­ed: ” . . . . Most recent­ly, on July 29, 2013, Ahmed Musa, a promi­nent Egypt­ian polit­i­cal insid­er and ana­lyst made sev­er­al asser­tions on Tahrir TV that fur­ther con­nect­ed the dots. . . . Musa insist­ed that he had absolute knowl­edge that the mur­der­er of Chris Stevens was Mohsin al-‘Azzazi, whose pass­port was found in Broth­er­hood leader Khairat El-Shater’s home, when the lat­ter was arrest­ed. . . .”
6.–Epitomized the GOP-beloved, cor­po­ratist eco­nom­ic ide­ol­o­gy and lifestyle: ” . . . . Arguably the most pow­er­ful man in the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood is Khairat El-Shater, a mul­ti­mil­lion­aire tycoon whose finan­cial inter­ests extend into elec­tron­ics, man­u­fac­tur­ing and retail. A strong advo­cate of pri­va­ti­za­tion, Al-Shater is one of a cadre of Mus­lim Broth­er­hood busi­ness­men who helped finance the Brotherhood’s Free­dom and Jus­tice Party’s impres­sive elec­toral vic­to­ry this win­ter and is now craft­ing the FJP’s eco­nom­ic agen­da. . . . . . . . the Brotherhood’s ide­ol­o­gy actu­al­ly has more in com­mon with America’s Repub­li­can Par­ty than with al-Qai­da. Few Amer­i­cans know it but the Broth­er­hood is a free-mar­ket par­ty led by wealthy busi­ness­men whose eco­nom­ic agen­da embraces pri­va­ti­za­tion and for­eign invest­ment while spurn­ing labor unions and the redis­tri­b­u­tion of wealth. Like the Repub­li­cans in the U.S., the finan­cial inter­ests of the party’s lead­er­ship of busi­ness­men and pro­fes­sion­als diverge sharply from those of its poor, social­ly con­ser­v­a­tive fol­low­ers. . . .”

This broad­cast begins with con­clu­sion of read­ing of a key arti­cle that was fea­tured in our last pro­gram.

Key points of analy­sis in dis­cus­sion of the Morsi/Zawahiri/Brotherhood con­nec­tion include:

1.–Muhamed Zawahir­i’s promise to bol­ster Mor­si’s gov­ern­ment with mil­i­tary sup­port, in exchange for Mor­si steer­ing Egypt in the direc­tion of Sharia law. ” . . . . The call end­ed in agree­ment that al-Qae­da would sup­port the Broth­er­hood, includ­ing its inter­na­tion­al branch­es, under the under­stand­ing that Mor­si would soon imple­ment full Sharia in Egypt.  After this, Muham­mad Zawahiri and Khairat al-Shater, the num­ber-two man of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood orga­ni­za­tion, report­ed­ly met reg­u­lar­ly. . . .”
2.–Morsi’s agree­ment with Zawahir­i’s pro­pos­al. ” . . . . Zawahiri fur­ther request­ed that Mor­si allow them to devel­op train­ing camps in Sinai in order to sup­port the Broth­er­hood through trained mil­i­tants. Along with say­ing that the Broth­er­hood intend­ed to form a ‘rev­o­lu­tion­ary guard’ to pro­tect him against any coup, Mor­si added that, in return for al-Qaeda’s and its affil­i­ates’ sup­port, not only would he allow them to have such train­ing camps, but he would facil­i­tate their devel­op­ment in Sinai and give them four facil­i­ties to use along the Egypt­ian-Libyan bor­der. . . .”
3.–The net­work­ing between U.S. Ambas­sador Anne Pat­ter­son and GOP Sen­a­tors John McCain and Lind­say Gra­ham and Khairat El-Shater (alter­na­tive­ly translit­er­at­ed with two “t’s”), short­ly after Mor­si was deposed. ” . . . . It is inter­est­ing to note here that, pri­or to these rev­e­la­tions, U.S. ambas­sador Anne Pat­ter­son was seen vis­it­ing with Khairat al-Shater—even though he held no posi­tion in the Mor­si government—and after the oust­ing and impris­on­ment of Mor­si and lead­ing Broth­er­hood mem­bers, Sens. John McCain and Lind­say Gra­ham made it a point to vis­it the civil­ian Shater in his prison cell and urged the Egypt­ian gov­ern­ment to release him. . . .”
4.–Note that Mor­si sanc­tioned and Broth­er­hood-aid­ed Al-Qae­da mil­i­tants were appar­ent­ly involved in the Behg­hazi attacks that led to the Beng­hazi inves­ti­ga­tion, the Hillary e‑mails non-scan­dal and all that fol­lowed: ” . . . . Accord­ing to a Libyan Ara­bic report I trans­lat­ed back in June 2013, those who attacked the U.S. con­sulate in Beng­hazi, killing Amer­i­cans, includ­ing Ambas­sador Chris Stevens, were from jiha­di cells that had been formed in Libya through Egypt­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood sup­port.  Those inter­ro­gat­ed named Mor­si and oth­er top Broth­er­hood lead­er­ship as accom­plices. . . . ”
5.–Khairat El-Shater was deeply involved in mobi­liz­ing Al-Qae­da on behalf of Mor­si and the Broth­er­hood: ” . . . . Also on that same first day of the rev­o­lu­tion, Khairat al-Shater, Deputy Leader of the Broth­er­hood, had a meet­ing with a del­e­gate of jiha­di fight­ers and reit­er­at­ed Morsi’s request that all jihadis come to the aid of the pres­i­den­cy and the Broth­er­hood. . . . ”
6.–Khairat El-Shater was the appar­ent source of a $50 mil­lion con­tri­bu­tion by the Broth­er­hood to Al Qae­da: ” . . . . That the Mus­lim Brotherhood’s inter­na­tion­al wing, includ­ing through the agency of Khairat al-Shater, had pro­vid­ed $50 mil­lion to al-Qae­da in part to sup­port the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in Egypt. . . .”
7.–Next, we high­light anoth­er impor­tant arti­cle from Ray­mond Ibrahim about the Mor­si/Al-Qae­da con­nec­tion to the Beng­hazi attack. Sup­ple­ment­ing the infor­ma­tion about net­work­ing between U.S. Ambas­sador to Egypt Anne Pat­ter­son, John McCain, Lind­say Gra­ham and Khairat al-Shater, we note that:

1.–The Beng­hazi attack­ers were appar­ent­ly linked to Mor­si and the Broth­er­hood: ” . . . . days after the Beng­hazi attack back in Sep­tem­ber 2012, Mus­lim Broth­er­hood con­nec­tions appeared.  A video made dur­ing the con­sulate attack records peo­ple approach­ing the belea­guered U.S. com­pound; one of them yells to the besiegers in an Egypt­ian dialect, ‘Don’t shoot—Dr. Mor­si sent us!’ appar­ent­ly a ref­er­ence to the for­mer Islamist pres­i­dent. . . .”
2.–The pass­port of the alleged leader of the Beng­hazi attack was found in the home of McCain/Graham con­tact Kharat al-Shater’s home when he was arrest­ed: ” . . . . Most recent­ly, on July 29, 2013, Ahmed Musa, a promi­nent Egypt­ian polit­i­cal insid­er and ana­lyst made sev­er­al asser­tions on Tahrir TV that fur­ther con­nect­ed the dots. . . . Musa insist­ed that he had absolute knowl­edge that the mur­der­er of Chris Stevens was Mohsin al-‘Azzazi, whose pass­port was found in Broth­er­hood leader Khairat El-Shater’s home, when the lat­ter was arrest­ed. . . .”
3.–The attack on the U.S. Embassy may well have been intend­ed to take Chris Stevens hostage, in order to use him as poten­tial barter for the Blind Sheikh: ” . . . . The day before the embassy attacks, based on lit­tle known but legit­i­mate Ara­bic reports, I wrote an arti­cle titled ‘Jihadis Threat­en to Burn U.S. Embassy in Cairo,’ explain­ing how Islamists—including al-Qaeda—were threat­en­ing to attack the U.S. embassy in Cairo unless the noto­ri­ous Blind Sheikh—an Islamist hero held in prison in the U.S. in con­nec­tion to the first World Trade Cen­ter bombing—was released.  The date Sep­tem­ber 11 was also delib­er­ate­ly cho­sen to attack the embassy to com­mem­o­rate the ‘hero­ic’ Sep­tem­ber 11, 2001 al-Qae­da strikes on Amer­i­ca. . . .”
4.–The Unit­ed States: ” . . . . first with Anne Pat­ter­son, and now with Sen­a­tors John McCain and Lind­say Gra­ham, keep pres­sur­ing Egypt to release Broth­er­hood lead­ers; McCain per­son­al­ly even vis­it­ed the civil­ian El-Shater, whose raid­ed home revealed the pass­port of Azzazi, whom Musa claims is the mur­der­er of Stevens. . . .”

Fol­low­ing the Beng­hazi dis­cus­sion, we recap an arti­cle about the Broth­er­hood and appar­ent Al-Qaeda/Beng­hazi col­lab­o­ra­tor Khairat El-Shater, not­ing the pow­er­ful res­o­nance between his and the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood’s val­ues and those of the GOP and the cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ty:

1.–” . . . . the Brotherhood’s ide­ol­o­gy actu­al­ly has more in com­mon with America’s Repub­li­can Par­ty than with al-Qai­da. Few Amer­i­cans know it but the Broth­er­hood is a free-mar­ket par­ty led by wealthy busi­ness­men whose eco­nom­ic agen­da embraces pri­va­ti­za­tion and for­eign invest­ment while spurn­ing labor unions and the redis­tri­b­u­tion of wealth. Like the Repub­li­cans in the U.S., the finan­cial inter­ests of the party’s lead­er­ship of busi­ness­men and pro­fes­sion­als diverge sharply from those of its poor, social­ly con­ser­v­a­tive fol­low­ers. . . .”
2.–” . . . . Arguably the most pow­er­ful man in the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood is Khairat El-Shater, a mul­ti­mil­lion­aire tycoon whose finan­cial inter­ests extend into elec­tron­ics, man­u­fac­tur­ing and retail. A strong advo­cate of pri­va­ti­za­tion, Al-Shater is one of a cadre of Mus­lim Broth­er­hood busi­ness­men who helped finance the Brotherhood’s Free­dom and Jus­tice Party’s impres­sive elec­toral vic­to­ry this win­ter and is now craft­ing the FJP’s eco­nom­ic agen­da. . . .”

We con­clude with infor­ma­tion about the train­ing of activists in high-tech and social media in order to launch the Arab Spring.

In a remark­able and very impor­tant new book, Yasha Levine has high­light­ed the role of U.S. tech per­son­nel in train­ing and prep­ping the Arab Spring online activists.

Note while read­ing the fol­low­ing excerpts of this remark­able and impor­tant book, that:

1.–The Tor net­work was devel­oped by, and used and com­pro­mised by, ele­ments of U.S. intel­li­gence.
2.–One of the pri­ma­ry advo­cates and spon­sors of the Tor net­work is the Broad­cast­ing Board of Gov­er­nors. As we saw in FTR #‘s 891, 895, is an exten­sion of the CIA.
3.–Jacob Appel­baum has been financed by the Broad­cast­ing Board of Gov­er­nors, advo­cates use of the Tor net­work, has helped Wik­iLeaks with its exten­sive use of the Tor net­work, and is a the­o­ret­i­cal accolyte of Ayn Rand.


FTR #983 Fascism, 2017 World Tour, Part 2

As the title indi­cates, this pro­gram exam­ines man­i­fes­ta­tions of fas­cism around the world.

In Europe, we ana­lyze:

1.-The reca­pit­u­la­tion of Nazi and fas­cist ele­ments in the cur­rent Bul­gar­i­an coali­tion gov­ern­ment of Boyko Borisov. (Bul­gar­ia was a Nazi ally in World War II.)
2.-The vital­i­ty of “regionalism”–a political/economic doc­trine that advo­cates the seces­sion of key pros­per­ous regions from nation states.
3.-Analysis of region­al­ism as an appli­ca­tion of glob­al­ist eco­nom­ic the­o­ry to Euorope.
4.-The his­to­ry of regionalism’s advoa­cy by Third Reich vet­er­an the­o­reti­cians.
5.-Edward Snow­den and Julian Assange’s sup­port for Cata­lan seces­sion from Spain.
6.-The suc­cess of the AfD in Ger­man elec­tions.
7.-AfD politi­cian Alexan­der Gauland’s state­ment that Ger­mans should be proud of what that country’s sol­diers accom­plished in World War II.
8.-The Aus­tri­an Free­dom Party’s pro­ject­ed suc­cess in upcom­ing elec­tions. The par­ty was formed in 1956 by Third Reich vet­er­ans as a vehi­cle for re-intro­duc­ing Aus­tri­an Nazis into the country’s polit­i­cal life.

In Latin Amer­i­ca, we exam­ine:

1.-The ver­dict that Argen­tine AMIA bomb­ing inves­ti­ga­tor Alber­to Nisman’s death was a mur­der, not a sui­cide.
2.-Review of the AMIA bomb­ing inves­ti­ga­tion.
3.-The dis­cov­ery of a cache of Nazi arti­facts, includ­ing devices used for deter­min­ing racial puri­ty. Hitler appar­ent­ly posed with some of the arti­fi­cats.
4.-The role of Nisman’s wid­ow as the judge inves­ti­gat­ing the Nazi arti­fact case.
5.-Operational links between Amer­i­can Nazi Christo­pher Cantwell and the Koch Broth­ers-fund­ed Lud­wig Von Mis­es Insti­tute in Brazil.

In the Unit­ed States, we detail:

1.-How Bre­it­bart active­ly pro­mot­ed Neo-Nazism, while down­play­ing what it was actu­al­ly doing.
2.-How white suprema­cist and Nazi ele­ments are suc­cess­ful­ly using YouTube to main­stream fas­cist and racist views.

In the Mid­dle East, we high­light:

1.-Benjamin Netanyahu’s polit­i­cal con­nec­tions with the Thyssen/Krupp firm, one of the lynch­pins of the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work.
2.-Yair Netanyahu’s attri­bu­tion of his father’s polit­i­cal dif­fi­cul­ties to sab­o­tage by an inter­na­tion­al Jew­ish con­spir­a­cy.
3.-Ronald Regan’s 1981 cita­tion of Ibn Khal­dun as a key advo­cate for sup­ply-side eco­nom­ics.
4.-Review of the Mus­lim Brotherhood’s embrace of the views of Ibn Khal­dun.


FTR #952 Be Afraid, Be VERY Afraid: Update on Technocratic Fascism

One of the illu­sions har­bored by many–in par­tic­u­lar, young peo­ple who have grown up with the inter­net, social net­works and mobile technology–sees dig­i­tal activ­i­ty as pri­vate. Noth­ing could be fur­ther from the truth. Even before the cyber-lib­er­tar­i­an poli­cies advo­cat­ed by indi­vid­u­als like John Per­ry Bar­low, Eddie Snow­den, Julian Assange and oth­ers became man­i­fest in the Trump admin­is­tra­tion’s were imple­ment­ed by the Trump admin­is­tra­tion and the GOP-con­trolled con­gress, dig­i­tal affairs were sub­ject to an extra­or­di­nary degree of manip­u­la­tion by a mul­ti­tude of inter­ests.

We begin our exam­i­na­tion of tech­no­crat­ic fas­cism with a look at the cor­po­rate foun­da­tion of Poke­mon Go. Infor­ma­tion about the back­ground of Poke­mon Go’s devel­op­er (Niantic) and the devel­op­ment of the firm is detailed in an arti­cle from Net­work World. In addi­tion to the for­mi­da­ble nature of the intel­li­gence agen­cies involved with gen­er­at­ing the cor­po­rate foun­da­tion of Poke­mon Go (Key­hole, Inc.; Niantic), note the unnerv­ing nature of the infor­ma­tion that can be gleaned from the Android phone of any­one who down­loads the “app.”

Poke­mon Go was seen as enhanc­ing the “Cool Japan Strat­e­gy” of Prime Min­is­ter Shin­zo Abe. The “Cool Japan Pro­mo­tion Fund” was imple­ment­ed by Abe (the grand­son of Nobo­suke Kishi, a Japan­ese war crim­i­nal who signed Japan’s dec­la­ra­tion of war against the U.S. and became the coun­try’s first post­war Prime Min­is­ter) to “raise the inter­na­tion­al pro­file of the country’s mass cul­ture.”

The Finance Min­is­ter of Japan is Taro Aso, one of the enthu­si­asts of Nazi polit­i­cal strat­e­gy high­light­ed below. The “Cool Japan pro­mo­tion Fund” would have been under his admin­is­tra­tion, with Tomo­mi Ina­da func­tion­ing as his admin­is­tra­tor for the pro­gram. Now serv­ing as Japan’s Defense Min­is­ter, Ina­da is anoth­er advo­cate of Nazi polit­i­cal strat­e­gy.

Next, we turn to anoth­er man­i­fes­ta­tion of Poke­mon Go. The “Alt-Right” (read “Nazi”) move­ment is using Poke­mon Go to recruit kids to the Nazi cause. Con­sid­er this against the back­ground of Niantic, the Cool Japan strat­e­gy and the pro-Nazi fig­ures involved with it. Con­sid­er this also, in con­junc­tion with the Naz­i­fied AI devel­oped and deployed by Robert and Rebekah Mer­cer, Steve Ban­non, Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca and the “Alt-Right” milieu with which they asso­ciate.

A recent “New York­er” arti­cle by Jane May­er con­cern­ing Robert Mer­cer keys some inter­est­ing thoughts about Mer­cer, Ban­non, the Alt-Right Wik­iLeaks and the Naz­i­fied AI we spoke of in FTR #‘s 948 and 949. In FTR #946, we not­ed this con­cate­na­tion’s cen­tral place in the Face­book con­stel­la­tion, a posi­tion that has posi­tioned them to act deci­sive­ly on the polit­i­cal land­scape.

We note sev­er­al things about the May­er piece:

She writes of Mer­cer’s sup­port for the Alt-Right–Mercer helps fund Ban­non’s Bre­it­bart: “. . . . In Feb­ru­ary, David Mager­man, a senior employ­ee at Renais­sance, spoke out about what he regards as Mercer’s wor­ri­some influ­ence. Mager­man, a Demo­c­rat who is a strong sup­port­er of Jew­ish caus­es, took par­tic­u­lar issue with Mercer’s empow­er­ment of the alt-right, which has includ­ed anti-Semit­ic and white-suprema­cist voic­es. . . .”

Mer­cer is racist, feel­ing that racism only exists in con­tem­po­rary black cul­ture: “. . . . Mer­cer, for his part, has argued that the Civ­il Rights Act, in 1964, was a major mis­take. Accord­ing to the one­time Renais­sance employ­ee, Mer­cer has assert­ed repeat­ed­ly that African-Amer­i­cans were bet­ter off eco­nom­i­cal­ly before the civ­il-rights move­ment. (Few schol­ars agree.) He has also said that the prob­lem of racism in Amer­i­ca is exag­ger­at­ed. The source said that, not long ago, he heard Mer­cer pro­claim that there are no white racists in Amer­i­ca today, only black racists. . . .”

His work at IBM was fund­ed in part by DARPA, strong­ly imply­ing that the DOD has applied some of the Mer­cer tech­nol­o­gy: “. . . . Yet, when I.B.M. failed to offer ade­quate sup­port for Mer­cer and Brown’s trans­la­tion project, they secured addi­tion­al fund­ing from DARPA, the secre­tive Pen­ta­gon pro­gram. Despite Mercer’s dis­dain for ‘big gov­ern­ment,’ this fund­ing was essen­tial to his ear­ly suc­cess. . . .”

In a 2012 anti-Oba­ma pro­pa­gan­da film fund­ed by Cit­i­zens Unit­ed, Steve Ban­non bor­rowed from “The Tri­umph of the Will: “. . . . Many of these [dis­il­lu­sioned Oba­ma] vot­ers became the cen­tral fig­ures of ‘The Hope & the Change,’ an anti-Oba­ma film that Ban­non and Cit­i­zens Unit­ed released dur­ing the 2012 Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Con­ven­tion. After Cad­dell saw the film, he point­ed out to Ban­non that its open­ing imi­tat­ed that of ‘Tri­umph of the Will,’ the 1935 ode to Hitler, made by the Nazi film­mak­er Leni Riefen­stahl. Ban­non laughed and said, ‘You’re the only one that caught it!’ In both films, a plane flies over a blight­ed land, as omi­nous music swells; then clouds in the sky part, augur­ing a new era. . . .”

Next, we return to the sub­ject of Bit­coin and cyber-lib­er­tar­i­an pol­i­cy. We have explored Bit­coin in a num­ber of programs–FTR #‘s 760, 764, 770 and 785.

An impor­tant new book by David Golum­bia sets forth the tech­no­crat­ic fas­cist pol­i­tics under­ly­ing Bit­coin. Known to vet­er­an listeners/readers as the author of an oft-quot­ed arti­cle deal­ing with tech­no­crat­ic fas­cism, Golum­bia has pub­lished a short, impor­tant book about the right-wing extrem­ism under­ly­ing Bit­coin. (Pro­grams on tech­no­crat­ic fas­cism include: FTR #‘s 851, 859, 866, 867.)

In an excerpt from the book, we see dis­turb­ing ele­ments of res­o­nance with the views of Stephen Ban­non and some of the philo­soph­i­cal influ­ences on him. Julius Evola, “Men­cius Mold­bug” and Ban­non him­self see our civ­i­liza­tion as in decline, at a crit­i­cal “turn­ing point,” and in need of being “blown up” (as Evola put it) or need­ing a “shock to the sys­tem.”

Note that the Cypher­punk’s Man­i­festo (pub­lished by the Elec­tron­ic Fron­tier Foun­da­tion) and the 1996 “Dec­la­ra­tion of the Inde­pen­dence of Cyber­space” writ­ten by the lib­er­tar­i­an activist, Grate­ful Dead lyri­cist, Elec­tron­ic Fron­tier Foun­da­tion founder John Per­ry Bar­low decry gov­ern­men­tal reg­u­la­tion of the dig­i­tal sys­tem. (EFF is a lead­ing “dig­i­tal rights” and tech­nol­o­gy indus­try advo­ca­cy orga­ni­za­tion.)

The libertarian/fascist eth­ic of the dig­i­tal world was artic­u­lat­ed by Bar­low.

Note how the “free­dom” advo­cat­ed by Bar­low et al has played out: the Trump admin­is­tra­tion (imple­ment­ing the desires of cor­po­rate Amer­i­ca) has “dereg­u­lat­ed” the inter­net. All this in the name of “free­dom.”

In FTR #854, we not­ed the curi­ous pro­fes­sion­al resume of Bar­low, con­tain­ing such dis­parate ele­ments as–lyricist for the Grate­ful Dead (“Far Out!”); Dick Cheney’s cam­paign man­ag­er (not so “Far Out!”); a vot­er for white supremacist/segregationist George Wal­lace in the 1968 Pres­i­den­tial cam­paign (very “Un-Far Out!”).

For our pur­pos­es, his most note­wor­thy pro­fes­sion­al under­tak­ing is his found­ing of the EFF–The Elec­tron­ic Fron­tier Foun­da­tion. A lead­ing osten­si­ble advo­cate for inter­net free­dom, the EFF has endorsed tech­nol­o­gy and embraced per­son­nel inex­tri­ca­bly linked with a CIA-derived milieu embod­ied in Radio Free Asi­a’s Open Tech­nol­o­gy Fund. (For those who are, under­stand­ably, sur­prised and/or skep­ti­cal, we dis­cussed this at length and in detail in FTR #‘s 891 and 895.)

Next, we present an arti­cle that brings to the fore some inter­est­ing ques­tions about Bar­low, the CIA and the very gen­e­sis of social media.

We offer Ms. Sun­der­son­’s obser­va­tions, stress­ing that Bar­low’s fore­shad­ow­ing of the com­mu­ni­ca­tion func­tions inher­ent in social media and his pres­ence at CIA head­quar­ters (by invi­ta­tion!) sug­gest that Bar­low not only has strong ties to CIA but may have been involved in the con­cep­tu­al gen­e­sis that spawned CIA-con­nect­ed enti­ties such as Face­book.

In FTR #951, we observed that Richard B. Spencer, one of Trump’s Nazi back­ers, has begun a web­site with Swedish Alt-Righter Daniel Friberg, part of the Swedish fas­cist milieu to which Carl Lund­strom belongs. In FTR #732 (among oth­er pro­grams), we not­ed that it was Lund­strom who financed the Pirate Bay web­site, on which Wik­iLeaks held forth for quite some time. In FTR #745, we doc­u­ment­ed that top Assange aide and Holo­caust-denier Joran Jer­mas (aka “Israel Shamir”) arranged the Lundstrom/WikiLeaks liai­son. (Jer­mas han­dles Wik­iLeaks Russ­ian oper­a­tions, a point of inter­est in the wake of the 2016 cam­paign.)

It is a good bet that Lundstrom/Pirate Bay/WikiLeaks et al were data min­ing the many peo­ple who vis­it­ed the Wik­iLeaks site.

Might Lundstrom/Jermas/Assange et al have shared the volu­mi­nous data they may well have mined with Mercer/Cambridge Analytica/Bannon’s Naz­i­fied AI?

We con­clude with recap of Microsoft researcher Kate Craw­ford’s obser­va­tions at the SXSW event. Craw­ford gave a speech about her work titled “Dark Days: AI and the Rise of Fas­cism,” the pre­sen­ta­tion high­light­ed the social impact of machine learn­ing and large-scale data sys­tems. The take home mes­sage? By del­e­gat­ing pow­ers to Bid Data-dri­ven AIs, those AIs could become fascist’s dream: Incred­i­ble pow­er over the lives of oth­ers with min­i­mal account­abil­i­ty: ” . . . .‘This is a fascist’s dream,’ she said. ‘Pow­er with­out account­abil­i­ty.’ . . . .”

We reit­er­ate, in clos­ing, that ” . . . . Palan­tir is build­ing an intel­li­gence sys­tem to assist Don­ald Trump in deport­ing immi­grants. . . .”

In FTR #757 we not­ed that Palan­tir is a firm dom­i­nat­ed by Peter Thiel, a main backer of Don­ald Trump.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Wik­iLeaks’ con­tin­ued prop­a­ga­tion of Alt-Right style Anti-Semit­ic pro­pa­gan­da: ” . . . . Now it is the dar­ling of the alt-right, reveal­ing hacked emails seem­ing­ly to influ­ence a pres­i­den­tial con­test, claim­ing the US elec­tion is ‘rigged.’ and descend­ing into con­spir­a­cy. Just this week on Twit­ter, it described the deaths by nat­ur­al caus­es of two of its sup­port­ers as a ‘bloody year for Wik­iLeaks.’ and warned of media out­lets ‘con­trolled by’ mem­bers of the Roth­schild fam­i­ly – a com­mon anti-Semit­ic trope. . . .”; assess­ing all of the data-min­ing poten­tial (cer­tain­ty) of Wik­iLeaks, Poke­mon Go and the (per­haps) Bar­low-inspired Social Media world against the back­ground of the Mercer/Bannon/Cambridge ana­lyt­i­ca Naz­i­fied AI.


FTR #938 The Trumpenkampfverbande, Part 12: Settling In, Part 2 (The Underground Reich Comes Into Plain View, Part 5)

In FTR #‘s 891 and 895, we high­light­ed the Broad­cast­ing Board of Gov­er­nors, a Con­gres­sion­al fig leaf insti­tut­ed to dilute CIA con­trol over Amer­i­can for­eign broad­cast out­lets such as Radio Free Europe, Voice of Amer­i­ca and Radio Free Asia. In addi­tion to the broad­cast out­lets dis­cussed in the sto­ry that fol­lows, we note that the change from a “board of gov­er­nors” to a “CEO” to be appoint­ed by Trump also gives the nom­i­nee pow­er over Radio Free Asi­a’s Open Tech­nol­o­gy Fund, devel­op­er of numer­ous apps and oth­er tech­no­log­i­cal method­olo­gies favored by the so-called “pri­va­cy advo­cates.”

The replace­ment of the gov­er­nors is seen as a poten­tial boon to the Trump admin­is­tra­tion. “ . . . . ‘There’s some fear among the folks here, that the fire­wall will get dimin­ished and attacked and this could fall vic­tim to pro­pa­gan­da,’ the Repub­li­can offi­cial said. ‘They will hire the per­son they want, the cur­rent CEO does not stand a chance. This will pop up on Steve Bannon’s radar quick­ly. They are going to put a friend­ly per­son in that job.’ . . . . ”

The change will affect domes­tic broad­cast media as well. ” . . . . Because of the mod­i­fi­ca­tion of the Smith-Mundt Act in 2013, the BBG can now broad­cast in the U.S., too. But the influ­ence on the domes­tic mar­ket could be even more sub­tle, the Repub­li­can offi­cial warned. A BBG CEO influ­enced by the admin­is­tra­tion could pen­e­trate estab­lished media out­lets with pack­ages, series or oth­er news prod­ucts pro­duced by the BBG’s net­works but picked up and aired by tra­di­tion­al media like Fox News or Bre­it­bart. Many U.S. out­lets cur­rent­ly use con­tent from VOA. ‘No mon­ey would even change hands, you’ve had no effect on the bud­get,’ the offi­cial said. ‘But it will den­i­grate the prod­uct. . . . ’ ”

In the con­text of the changes made to the BBG, we review the polit­i­cal incli­na­tions of Ban­non: ” . . . The late Andrew Bre­it­bart, founder of the web­site Ban­non went on to lead, called Ban­non the “Leni Riefen­stahl of the Tea Par­ty movement”—a ref­er­ence to the infa­mous cre­ator of Nazi pro­pa­gan­da films. While insist­ing to a Wall Street Jour­nal reporter in 2011 that his work isn’t pro­pa­gan­da, Ban­non went on to cite Riefen­stahl among his main influ­ences . . . ”

Next, we turn to the sub­ject of free trade, on which Trump has had much to say, bash­ing Chi­na and Mex­i­co as coun­tries the U.S. should “put right” in their trade rela­tions with the U.S. It’s worth not­ing we haven’t heard Trump men­tion a trade war with Ger­many despite all his tirades against Chi­na and Mex­i­co. It rais­es the ques­tion of why, since Germany’s unprece­dent­ed and dam­ag­ing sur­plus­es make it such an obvi­ous trade war tar­get.

” . . . . There is one poten­tial trade war, how­ev­er, that few peo­ple have so far noticed — but which could soon be his eas­i­est tar­get. Ger­many. Giv­en the size of its pop­u­la­tion, it runs a far larg­er trade sur­plus than Chi­na — and a mas­sive sur­plus with the U.S. in par­tic­u­lar. Even bet­ter, the indus­tries to pick off are rel­a­tive­ly sim­ple to iden­ti­fy, and would actu­al­ly have a chance of cre­at­ing well-paid Amer­i­can jobs. . . .

“. . . . Germany’s trade sur­plus is absolute­ly mas­sive, and unprece­dent­ed in mod­ern indus­tri­al his­to­ry. Last year it hit 8.9% of gross domes­tic prod­uct, and it is like­ly to break through 9% before the end of 2016. Glob­al­ly, it is sec­ond in size only to China’s, but giv­en that Ger­many is a far small­er coun­try, it is only fair to mea­sure it on a per capi­ta basis — and when you look at it that way, Germany’s sur­plus is sev­en times big­ger than China’s. . . . Much of Germany’s trade sur­plus is clear­ly the result of cur­ren­cy manip­u­la­tion. The euro has depressed the real val­ue of the country’s exports, allow­ing it rack up those huge exports. You can argue about whether China’s cur­ren­cy is real­ly at its fair val­ue or not — but no one can real­ly dis­pute that Germany’s cur­ren­cy is way, way below what it would be if it still had the deutschemark. . . .”

Obvi­ous­ly, part of the answer lies in the fact that Deutsche Bank–a key ele­ment of the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work and the Under­ground Reich–is owed hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars by Trump. Trump’s oth­er con­nec­tions run in the direc­tion of the Under­ground Reich as well. (The Trump/Deutsche Bank con­nec­tion is dis­cussed, in among oth­er pro­grams, FTR #‘s 920, 921, 922 and 927.)

We note in pass­ing that Ger­many is prepar­ing for a trade war with the U.S.–we don’t think one will real­ly take place, but we may be treat­ed to Trumpian “fake news” and/or pro­pa­gan­da. Ger­many is assert­ing that the fac­tors behind its enor­mous trade sur­plus can not be altered, because it is due to nat­u­ral­ly occur­ring cir­cum­stances like a rapid­ly aging pop­u­la­tion.

” . . . There are plen­ty of rea­sons for that. Germany’s cur­rent account sur­plus has nev­er been as high as it is this year and nev­er before has that sur­plus rep­re­sent­ed such a sig­nif­i­cant share of the country’s gross domes­tic prod­uct. Mak­ing mat­ters worse is the fact that the US is the largest con­sumer of Ger­man exports. . . .

“. . . . As high as it is, though, the cur­rent sur­plus is like­ly to con­tin­ue grow­ing. The recent fall in the euro’s val­ue rel­a­tive to the dol­lar fol­low­ing Trump’s elec­tion makes Ger­man prod­ucts and ser­vices even more com­pet­i­tive. And many econ­o­mists believe that the val­ue of the dol­lar will con­tin­ue to climb, which means that the val­ue of the euro against the dol­lar will shrink cor­re­spond­ing­ly. Their pre­dic­tions are based on recent indi­ca­tions that Trump’s announced eco­nom­ic stim­u­lus poli­cies will push up both America’s sov­er­eign debt load and its inter­est rates. . . .”

The pro­gram con­cludes with analy­sis of how Trump’s con­tin­ued involve­ment in his busi­ness empire (through his chil­dren) leaves him open to manip­u­la­tion. The Philip­pines is a good exam­ple: “ . . . . So, under the deal, Trump’s chil­dren will be paid mil­lions of dol­lars through­out their father’s pres­i­den­cy by Jose E.B. Anto­nio, the head of Cen­tu­ry Prop­er­ties.

“Duterte recent­ly named Anto­nio the spe­cial gov­ern­ment envoy to the Unit­ed States. The con­flicts here could not be more trou­bling or more bla­tant: Pres­i­dent Trump will be dis­cussing U.S. pol­i­cy in South­east Asia with one of his (or his children’s) busi­ness part­ners, a man who is the offi­cial rep­re­sen­ta­tive of a for­eign leader who likens him­self to Hitler. Also note that the Trump fam­i­ly has an enor­mous finan­cial inter­est in Duterte’s dead­ly cam­paign: Root­ing out crime in the Philip­pines is good for the real estate val­ues. . . . Duterte recent­ly named Anto­nio the spe­cial gov­ern­ment envoy to the Unit­ed States. The con­flicts here could not be more trou­bling or more bla­tant: Pres­i­dent Trump will be dis­cussing U.S. pol­i­cy in South­east Asia with one of his (or his children’s) busi­ness part­ners, a man who is the offi­cial rep­re­sen­ta­tive of a for­eign leader who likens him­self to Hitler. Also note that the Trump fam­i­ly has an enor­mous finan­cial inter­est in Duterte’s dead­ly cam­paign: Root­ing out crime in the Philip­pines is good for the real estate val­ues. . . . .”

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Trump’s busi­ness deal­ings in India, where mem­bers of the BJP par­ty fig­ure in the dis­po­si­tion of the oper­a­tions in that coun­try; Trump’s con­sid­er­a­tion of Bernie Sanders sup­port­er Tul­si Gab­bard for a cab­i­net posi­tion; “Alt-Right” king­pin Steve Ban­non’s high regard for Gab­bard; Gab­bard’s strong sup­port for Modi and net­work­ing with the BJP; Gab­bard’s net­work­ing with the RSS, the Indi­an fas­cist orga­ni­za­tion for which the BJP serves as a front.