Friday Squid Blogging: Antifungal Squid-Egg Coating

The Hawaiian bobtail squid coats its eggs with antifungal bacteria.

As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven't covered.

Read my blog posting guidelines here.

Posted on July 12, 2018 at 4:03 PM • 244 Comments

Comments

Clive RobinsonJuly 12, 2018 11:46 PM

@ Friday on Thuirsday,

What local time of day on Thursday was it for you when you posted ;-)

I guess Bruce is "on the move" at the moment or similar and is "trying to get ahead of himself".

MarkHJuly 13, 2018 3:32 AM

Victoria Nuland, formerly a senior official in the US Department of State, said in an interview yesterday that in the summer of 2016, her department was approached by the FBI with concerns that the Russian Embassy was bringing from Russia an unusual number of temporary workers with "extreme technical qualifications."

The FBI worried that this influx of IT talent was associated with hacking of election systems, which had been detected in several US states around that time.

Perhaps this was reported previously, but it's my first time to learn of it.

hermanJuly 13, 2018 5:20 AM

Many Americans have a weird ancient hang-up with the number 13 - especially Friday the 13th. I would never have thought that the great security guru is a mystic - ancient yes, but mystic no... ;)

vas pupJuly 13, 2018 9:23 AM

Most people do what authority figures tell them to – even when they disagree. The reason, it turns out, is hidden in the brain:

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20180709-our-ability-to-stand-up-to-authority-comes-down-to-the-brain

"Education is one of the best ways to improve your ability to doubt, says Asp, and therefore your ability to think critically about things you might be told to do."

“When you’re in a conflicting situation, you have competing voices. One is telling you yes, one telling you no. It’s whichever you identify more with, whichever you think is right – that’s what you’ll go with,” says Birney.

Logically, you might expect there to be a tipping point where you realise what you’re doing is terrible idea. But if we believe strongly that we are doing something valuable – that the end justifies the means – this point becomes clouded, or may never appear.

=>Being able to stand up to authority doesn’t hinge on bravery or courage, confidence or stubbornness. The brain processes and regions essential for rejecting ideas from authority figures are starting to be revealed. And just how invested we are in a cause may prove to be the all-important factor in determining where we are able to draw a line in the sand.

“My aim is to make people able to resist,” says Caspar. “Even in the military, soldiers have the legal duty to follow orders, but also to refuse to follow illegal or immoral orders. It’s about how to make people think more about their own responsibility, even if they don’t feel responsible because they’re following orders."


Hackers are finding it too easy to circumvent traditional cyber defences, forcing businesses to rethink their security strategies. Many firms are now harnessing big data and adopting cutting edge verification checks:

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-44438808

"In the castle and moat approach the network was passive... But beyond Corp involves continuous monitoring where you are constantly using the network as a sensor or a way to get telemetry about what's going on."

The analysis done when users join a network makes it much easier to spot when attackers are trying to get access. That's because the authentication step will flag any anomalies meaning security staff will find out quickly that something suspicious is going on. Anything other than normal login behaviour will stand out."

Fred PJuly 13, 2018 10:10 AM

Variants on Spectre, including writes. https://arxiv.org/pdf/1807.03757.pdf

"The ability to perform arbitrary speculative writes presents significant new risks, including arbitrary speculative execution. Unfortunately, this enables both local and remote attacks, even when Spectre1.0 gadgets are not present."

vas pupJuly 13, 2018 12:21 PM

@David Webb. Thank you! There is link in article to Milgram research. Regarding Nazi area: do you know it was successful (!) German women's riot/mass demonstration (as I recall in 1942) against deportation their Jewish husbands to extermination camps. Some were already deported even returned back. That is great example how to NOT follow orders.

echoJuly 13, 2018 12:22 PM

@vas pup

Thanks for the link. This will rock a few egos who like to dish it out I'm sure. I also believe your second link may be useful in cases of instititional wilfull blindness.

Maybe it's just me but I believe security experts and computerscientisis when applied to a number of problems especially in the discrimination field may be useful. I have discovered some fo the traditional experts and lawyers who would usefully apply their skills lack the depth of understanding or expertise across fields to properly understand cases, or in some cases apply that last level of polish to get a case past a strict establishment judge.

echoJuly 13, 2018 12:26 PM

@vas pup

So the Nazis had their #metoo moment too? I wonder if there is a neuroligical reason why a large women's movement shifted decision making away from the rigid hierarchial driven reasoning that would otherwise have prevailed. Perhaps it forced different brain responses and social triggers which overrode Nazi conditioning?

Clive RobinsonJuly 13, 2018 1:27 PM

@ vas pup,

Most people do what authority figures tell them to – even when they disagree

I gave up being "compliant to authoritarian whims" some years ago now. I find barking "Identity Card and Proof of Lawful Authority" tends to unnerve the idiots and posers amongst them, because at hart the bulk of them are "authoritarian followers" themselfs and "jump to it" when ever "the voice of command" is used on them.

I've even had a Regimental Sergeant Major "jump to it" across a parade ground before as well as several more junior officers.

I'd advise anyone to get voice training and elocution lessons. Because a posh end of the "home counties" accent gets respect in most english speaking countries (but not Scotland as "Donny Boy" is about to find out). Further the deeper and more resonant your voice the more effective power it gives you over others. Think about the voice of the actor James Earl Jones to see this effect along with that of clear enunciation and the "longer words" of the higher end broadsheets.

In general I average four to six letter words as it makes most people more relaxed. However increasing this moderately unsurprisingly becomes entirely possible when occasions require sustained emphasis.

The proceeding paragraph demonstrates, "discarding shorter connectives", combining lengthened syllable, increased complexity words likewise increases word length.

Thirdly as this sentance and the one above demonstrates increasing the totality of words in a sentence increases the level of cognition required by the listener to comprehend what the orator is communicating to them, thus effectively brow beating the listener irritatingly into fealings of inferiority with the attendent decrease in personal control.

Tim StevensJuly 13, 2018 1:39 PM

The Mueller indictment released today is 29 pages, a mixture of comedy and tragedy. http://cdn.cnn.com/cnn/2018/images/07/13/gru.indictment.pdf
Hilariously, a Russian GRU unit prepared an extensive hacking campaign, but one of the first things they did was send an email on 3/19/16 to the "chairman of the Clinton Campaign" (John Podesta), asking him to click on a link and then change his password--which he did! Then they stole over 50,000 emails on 3/21/16. On 4/6/16, the GRU sent an email to 30 Clinton Campaign employees, with a link titled "hillary-clinton-favorable-rating.xlsx", which actually linked to a GRU-created website. Using these techniques, eight victims "Victim 1" through "Victim 8" were exploited. So no complicated Windows vulnerabilities were needed, just campaign staff clicked on links in emails and followed instructions to change passwords.

The indictment says in May 2016 the DNC became aware they had been hacked and hired "Company 1" (CrowdStrike) to exclude the intruders, which even though they had been tipped off CrowdStrike messed up and the hackers maintained access through October.
The indictment describes dissemination of the stolen emails and documents via "Organization 1" (WikiLeaks), and goes into some details of how this was all funded via bitcoin cryptocurrency. The attempts of the indictment to not name CrowdStrike or WikiLeaks or the Campaign Chairman take about 30 seconds each on Google to figure out.

Finally the indictment makes statutory allegations against the defendants, citing US Code Title 18 Section 1030, which sorry that statute is written for hacking into financial institutions or Government organizations (definition of "protected computer"), of which the DNC and Clinton Campaign are neither (so legally this is a bogus indictment). The indictment also attempts to escalate the punishment from not more than one year in prison [USC Title 18 Section 1030(c)(2)(A)] to not more than 5 years in prison [USC Title 18 Section 1030(c)(2)(B)] by stating the stolen emails value exceeded $5,000 (hmm, how much is an email worth?)

What actually is the point of indicting a handful of military Lieutenants in Russia, who were probably 20 year old computer techs following their superiors orders--what is that supposed to accomplish? Any effective action to deter such actions in the future need to address higher ups in the GRU/Russian Government, via diplomacy or economic sanctions or (hopefully not!) cyber counter-attacks.

Also, it is hard to believe all these details could have been gathered, without the U.S. having hacked in to the Russian hackers networks. Do the means justify the end--is hacking OK when used to gather evidence against hackers? This is the rationale used by vigilantes. This investigation has cost the taxpayers (like me) $16.7M in the first 10.5 months, employing at least 17 lawyers.

This is stupid. While I don't particularly like a foreign Government trying to influence our elections, I would rather live in a free society in which this opportunity exists, than live in a closed society like North Korea. Also, are any of naive enough to think the U.S. doesn't try to influence other foreign elections? Of course, any nation state has interests and may take steps to support favorable candidates in others elections.

BubbaJuly 13, 2018 2:05 PM

@Tim Stevens,

"Also, it is hard to believe all these details could have been gathered, without the U.S. having hacked in to the Russian hackers networks."

As far as I can tell this is the only valid reason this indictment exists, to demonstrate to Russia just how deep American access goes. Examine this line:

"During this time YERMAKOV researched PowerShell commands related to accessing Microsoft Exchange Server." (p. 11)

How could the US Government know that unless they were deep in Russia's military networks? So deep they could tell what these people were searching for...

vas pupJuly 13, 2018 2:17 PM

@Bubba: sounds reasonable. There is high probability of mutual deep penetration US-Russia, US-China.

Clive RobinsonJuly 13, 2018 2:49 PM

@ Fred P,

    Unfortunately, this enables both local and remote attacks, even when Spectre1.0 gadgets are not present."

Ahhh that Xmas giftvthat just keeps giving and giving...

I'm figuring we have another year of "easy gifts" before people have to start putting indepth effort to find the "more subtle gifts" put up higher in the tree, for probably two to three years after that.

Because I'm again taking a bit of a guess it's going to take that long for the likes of Intel, ARM and AMD to sort their shit out. Which may well result in the demise of the current high performance over engineered power guzzling CPU cores that is the IAx86-64bit architecture. We already know of preferable ways to get simillar or more CPU power from the same silicon real-estate at lower power consumption. Unfortunatly the issue is the sequentially minded programers.

I suspect what we will end up with as the next generation is stripped out architectures that are in effect slower, but with 100K+ gaye FPGA's integrated to do "custom hardware based algorithms" that will have a ten to fifty speed improvment, thus give back some of the losses of stripping out the architectures.

Five to ten years further down the path massively parallel algorithm architectures will be in cloud data / computing centers and the like. With the "desktop" being little different than todays graphical tablets/pads, just effectively becoming more and more like glorified "Thin Clients" to cloud computing centers.

Clive RobinsonJuly 13, 2018 3:46 PM

@ echo,

I wonder if there is a neuroligical reason why a large women's movement shifted decision making away from the rigid hierarchial driven reasoning that would otherwise have prevailed.

Err yes and no.

Hitler was known to enjoy emotionally and mentally tourturing young teenage girls/women for his own not even physical sexual pleasure. In fact some academics believed that he was in effect either impotent or got some gratification from abstinence from physical sexual activities. Part of this impotence/abstinence may have been down to the cocktail of doen right dangerous drugs he was being administered.

Likewise other members of the German leadership did not have anything close to what we might consider normal relations and consumed various substances that would earn you a spell in lockup if you had them in your possession these days.

At a lower level German children were brought up to believe that they should produce many children themselves the state encoraged not just marriage but having four or five children by the use of loans and housing. Then there were the views on the use of non german "arian" women to have children by german armed forces officers.

In short women were viewed as homemaking baby factories at that time.

Thus any stepping out of the mold would have shocked the authoritarian system. In a way "the mice had roared at the cats" and caused a "does not compute" type response rather than a pre-planed and trained for one.

Clive RobinsonJuly 13, 2018 4:24 PM

@ bubba, Tim Stevens, vas pup,

How could the US Government know that unless they were deep in Russia's military networks?

Err it depends on how the research was done.

If the person in Russia was known to use a particulat IP address or range, and used ordinary search tools on US or European or for that matter most "out of Russia" Intetnet sites, it would not take much of a search on the various "collect it all" databases the likes of the NSA have to realise what the research was all about.

It would not take an analyst to work it out, just someone with a little experiance in fairly standard industrial espionage.

In short it may well be a "snow screen" not for Russian military/IC but for US and other nations consumption.

The only two countries IC's that have supposadly "hacked the Russians" because "the US has loose lips" where other nations "methods and sources" are concerned are the Dutch and Israelis. With the supposed "fake news factory" and the servers at Kaspersky.

Personally I would very much doubt the current US IC giving over real information to be used in what is a matter of public record and significant national and internstional interest. Thus in all probability it is "constructed" on the basis it will not get challenged.

However it could backfire, Russia could rightly claim it was an official US Government admission to illegal acts. So far Putin and others in Russia have been running rings around the circus that is the Mueller and associated activities.

Oh and do not forget Russia has laws about the use of extrateritorial executions for those found guilty in various Russian courts both secret and public. Thus there could be a packet of nerve agent or something more inventive on it's way to the US as we discuss this...

In the UK various investigators have reason to believe that rather than the recent couple of "executions" there could be as many as twenty others the authorities in the UK have missed or treated as natural causes etc. Thus the question might be "How many in the US so far that have also been missed / ignored by authorities?"

TatütataJuly 13, 2018 6:26 PM

New York Magazine has a new item titled "Russia’s Alternate Internet.

This infrastructure is supposed to be a "DNS alternative" that strengthens the national network against foreign attacks, as well as complicating forensic investigations, but I make out from the text what is actually is, and what makes it so special against the usual protocols and equipment. Anyone has an idea?

echoJuly 13, 2018 7:01 PM

@Clive

I find a putting on a loud deep voice gets me funny looks and I was told only today a resonance is sexy neither of which command authority! That said the whole subject of power and influence, and knowledge is interesting. It is also related to sex discrimination and economic wellbeing. So I did a little reading on women communicating in business. Talk about painting yourself into a corner!

Spade@SpadeJuly 13, 2018 7:18 PM


"In short it may well be a "snow screen" not for Russian military/IC but for US and other nations consumption."

Clive, you're frankly intentionally ignorant on this point and disseminating bullshit without basis.

Unacceptable.

echoJuly 13, 2018 7:47 PM

Spade@Spade

We can all sniff our own gases at times. While I don't think you're talkign about the same subjectI am neurology passes most people by and really I don't blame people for this as it can be a difficult subject to follow and tie in with psychology and sociology, and politics, and perception. I am by no means an expert to any degree in any of these subjects and it too me a long time to begin to get a sense of how they related. I have now accumulated a body of knowledge I don't have a clue how to use and in some senses it's more painful knowing it because I sometimes spot things I otherwise woulnd't and give myself a bigger headache than if I never knew!

@Tatütata

Thank for the read. My best understanding of Russian military doctrine is shaped by a minimal amount of material so I may have things wrong but my sense is the Russians tend to veiw things via strategic partnerships and defending their own territory which is a different skew to amreica. EU countries tend to be a mix of everywhere in bewteen. I believe understanding this assymnetry will both help educate and better enable communication on these issues not to mention de-escalate tensions because it removes fear of the unknown. The Russians can be very capable and ar nobodies fool not to mention know which side their bread is buttered on. As others have commented pretty much the entire developed and developing world is no different in their own ways.

I have no idea what the truth of the matter is, and there are many blind alleys and things we may never know and things which we are certain of that we have been hoodwinked into believing. Will we ever discover the truth, or will enough time slide by it doesn't matter?

"We are all somebody else's idiot", as I read on the internet a few months ago. Food for thought.

AlJuly 13, 2018 11:24 PM

@ Tim Stevens
Here's 1030
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1030
And there is conveniently there, a link to "protected computer".
https://www.law.cornell.edu/definitions/uscode.php?width=840&height=800&iframe=true&def_id=18-USC-695191731-692694672&term_occur=1&term_src=title:18:part:I:chapter:47:section:1030
" (B)which is used in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce or communication, including a computer located outside the United States that is used in a manner that affects interstate or foreign commerce or communication of the United States"
And it is also in 1030
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1030#e_2
The thing is, it says commerce OR communication. So, it might just be that hacking an email server puts the hack in the scope of the "communication" definition.

Clive RobinsonJuly 13, 2018 11:52 PM

@ Spade@Spade,

Clive, you're frankly intentionally ignorant on this point and disseminating bullshit without basis..

All said without offering any other counter evidence etc. So just name calling and a rather poor argumentum ad hominem attack as well...

Which are the bottom two arguments on Paul Graham's hierarchy of disagreement,

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Graham_(computer_programmer)

But whilst I expect you to understand what "name calling" is you might not know what argumentum ad hominem is. So the following from Dr. Michael C. Labossiere might help you,

    Argumentum ad hominem, is a fallacious argumentative strategy whereby genuine discussion of the topic at hand is avoided by instead attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself.

Oh and are you aware that in quite a few places "Spade" is considered worse than the N-Word?

So using your rating method I guess that rates,

    Unacceptable Ignorance

Spade@SpadeJuly 14, 2018 12:55 AM

I don't care who you are or why you take liberties with reality to avoid verifiable fact.

Putin probably doesn't care either. Mission accomplished Clive. Enjoy your soft Brexit.

Wesley ParishJuly 14, 2018 2:14 AM

As usual, there's some interesting stuff being reported at ElReg:

Indictment bombshell: 'Kremlin intel agents' hacked, leaked Hillary's emails same day Trump asked Russia for help

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/07/13/russians_election_tampering/

Yawn.

Scam alert: No, hackers don't have webcam vids of you enjoying p0rno. Don't give them any $$s

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/07/13/hacker_extortion_scam/

Hardly surprising.

US drug cops snared crooks with pre-cracked Blackberry mobes – and that's just the start

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/07/13/dea_cracked_blackberry_smartphones/

Clean up this hot sticky facial-recog mess for us, Microsoft begs politicos

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/07/13/microsoft_facial_recognition/

As usual, it will only be when the politicos themselves get fingered that they'll do anything.

Clive RobinsonJuly 14, 2018 3:26 AM

@ spade@spade,

Looks like Clive is wrong, it's not all a big hoax. Go figure.

Oh dear you realy need to go and see some one about your unreal view of the world, it's not doing you any favours, here or I suspect anywhere else unless of course you are receiving benifit for them in some form of monetary equivalent.

You are now trying to put words in my mouth that I never said which is a realy stupid thing to do, as others have found in the past.

You realy need to "grow up" and stop behaving like a six year old in the plaground or as President Trump pointed out a 400lb pound teenager in a bedroom, spouting anything that they think makes them look big and important.

As for the article you link to go back and read it again and lift the facts --which are few-- from the page stuffing and supposition.

Then and only then argue on the available facts.

But then I guess you won't as you say,

I don't care who you are or why you take liberties with reality to avoid verifiable fact.

You are the one trying to build a house of cards out of your supositions because the little factual information available does not fit the narative you are trying to portray as some form of reality that is currently closer to being a conspiracy theory of "It's Put'n wot dun it".

Go away and actually look up the nerve agents involved and the words of one of it's designers --which I have linked to in the past-- which point out,

1, Whilst not beyond a competent chemists abilities to make the component parts present significant hazards.

2, Not only did Russia make large quantities of the component parts it gave them away to quite a few other countries including those in disfavour wirh the US in the middle east.

As the article you link to points out the chemicals found in the bottle have either not been fully analysed or the analysis is being withheld for some reason.

If you think back to the original attack, Mrs May PM made argument it was Russia in the UK Parliment prior to suitable analysis to provide factual evidence.

Is it realy to much to say "wait upon the evidence" rather than going off "half cocked" at best?

The only narative I have had on this and I've been very consistent is not to "needlessly make or multiply factually unsupported hypotheses". Something that apparently realy needles your attempts at what should be regarded as spreading "faux news behind an offensive pseudonym".

example counter evidenceJuly 14, 2018 4:15 AM

"""
The only two countries IC's that have supposadly "hacked the Russians" because "the US has loose lips" where other nations "methods and sources" are concerned are the Dutch and Israelis. With the supposed "fake news factory" and the servers at Kaspersky.
"""

Some should get their facts straight, as I said before @moderator removed my comment. (Why?)

Cozy Bear is not the same thing as the Internet Research Agency.

EvanJuly 14, 2018 6:49 AM

Popular Node.js module eslint was compromised several days ago to include a virus that attempted to steal Node Package Manager logins. The overall details - apparently a dev's Github login was compromised, and the change was quickly backed out - are IMO less important than the overall point, which is that software package management systems can be exploited as an attack vector, as there are minimal safeguards against it, and many package managers are run with root permissions.

https://github.com/eslint/eslint-scope/issues/39

bttbJuly 14, 2018 8:05 AM

"On The Media" and an hour (total) worth listening to:

"Reporting on the Russia investigation is not for the faint of heart. This week, a look at how a journalist became entangled in the investigation when she turned her source over to the FBI. Plus, how another reporter avoided common journalistic mistakes during the Iraq War and a conversation with the director of the new documentary The Other Side of Everything about the end of Yugoslavia.

1. Tom Nichols [@RadioFreeTom], professor of national security at the Naval War College, on separating the signal from the noise in stories about Trump's relations with Russia. Listen.

2. Marcy Wheeler [@emptywheel], national security blogger, on her decision to out a source to the FBI. Listen.

3. Jonathan Landay [@JonathanLanday], national security correspondent at Reuters, on his reporting at the outset of the Iraq War. Listen.

4. Mila Turajlić, director of "The Other Side of Everything," on her mother's dissent against the former Yugoslavian government. Listen.
WNYC Studios"

https://www.wnycstudios.org/story/on-the-media-2018-07-13/

1.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Nichols_(academic)
https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-death-of-expertise-9780190469412
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/21/books/the-death-of-expertise-explores-how-ignorance-became-a-virtue.html

2.
https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/07/13/the-russian-hack/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcy_Wheeler

3.
https://www.reuters.com/journalists/jonathan-landay
https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/shock-and-awe-2018
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/12/movies/shock-and-awe-review-woody-harrelson-james-marsden.html
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5540992/ ; movie trailer
https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/shock_and_awe_2018/

4.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mila_Turajli%C4%87
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm2043219/
https://www.newyorker.com/culture/the-front-row/the-other-side-of-everything-reviewed-a-daughter-documents-yugoslavias-nationalistic-nightmare
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/12/movies/the-other-side-of-everything-review.html

bttbJuly 14, 2018 8:39 AM

From https://twitter.com/RohdeD :


"The first “Swamp Chronicles” column where @adamdavidson will expose, explore & analyze the financial activities of Trump, his family & his associates—and make the case for greater transparency."
https://www.newyorker.com/news-desk/swamp-chronicles/where-did-donald-trump-get-200-million-dollars-to-buy-his-money-losing-scottish-golf-club

and for those that missed it:
https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/michael-cohen-and-the-end-stage-of-the-trump-presidency ; April 2018

JG4July 14, 2018 9:34 AM


https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/07/links-7-14-18.html

...

The Strange And Curious Case of the Deadly Superbug Yeast Wired. Jackpot….

...

Build-A-Bear limits store promotion as crowds build a logjam Reuters (EM). EM: “The bear is the national symbol of Russia — I am agog that the western MSM, usually so diligent in sussing out such threats, have not cottoned on to the high likelihood that Build-A-Bear is a corporate front for an ongoing effort by Russian intelligence services to meddle with our children’s minds...The scheme is as evil as it is brilliant.

...

New Cold War

...

Two Big “Russia! Russia!” Stories Released Days Before Trump-Putin Summit Caitlin Johnstone. See on timing.

...[fascinating and worthy of a lot of comments by itself]

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Don’t imagine you’re smarter LRB. “Nobody, I think, remains quite the same after reading their file.”

...

Imperial Collapse Watch

Second Zumwalt Destroyer Needs New Engine After Turbine Blades Damaged in Sea Trials USNI News. Also, there’s no ammo being manufactured for its Advanced Gun System. Three ships, $23 billion. Ka-ching.

...

Great News: Wearing A Tie Might Be Choking Your Brain Cracked. News you can use! If “your” office attire includes a tie…

Why It’s So Hard to Junk Bad Decisions—Edging Closer to Understanding “Sunk Cost” Scientific American

echoJuly 14, 2018 11:02 AM

@ spade@spade, @Clive

I'm with Clive on the Russian thing. "Wait on the evidence" seems reasonable to me.

The law is fairly solid on "fair hearing", and issues like "wilfull blindness" and "best effort" from the European Convention on down to English case law, through legal principles on "science not religion being the law" (a.k.a. the scientific method not unreasoned sentiment).

I have enough experience with establishment types and technical and legal issues to know they can jump ahead of the evidence because conclusions run counter to their arguments. I can if I have to do legal archeaology and pull up a pattern of cases over most of the last century to the present day to support this thesis.

I am offering nothing definitive and always tell people regardless of their status to go away and check for themselves.

While hiding behind the conceit of "sovereign decision making" a minister is still accountable in law.

I really have no idea about what the truth of the Russian affair is and any reasonable theory can develop into "movie plot theory" very quickly. Was a state behind this action? Gangsters? Perhaps a wealthy neo-con? It may just be a single rogue element who misread the signals or a paperwork bungle. Difficult though it may be and hypocrite that I am I still agree with Clive it is best to "wait on the evidence". I do not believe it proper to send a person to jail or declare war on the basis of political rhetoric or a false trial.

Clive RobinsonJuly 14, 2018 11:30 AM

@ JG4,

Of interest is this,

https://www.apnews.com/962accb4051944c3a90851b4dc17e5a0/Indictment-ties-Russian-government-to-election-hacking

Which is linked to via,

    Indictment ties Russian government to election hacking AP. An indictment need not include evidence. Nor is an indictment the same as a conviction.

The title and opening paragraphs do make a valid point along with clarifing when a "Trump speach Joke" became a "time marker" that others have subsequently called "Trump requesting help from Russia", which they then build into an accusation.

Also a another link on the current UK nerve agent poisoning,

https://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN1K32EI

As is normal for a Reuters post it has facts and "named" comment but does not go in for supposition or column stuffing. One thing it clearly indicates is that the investigation into the bottle and it's contents is very much on going, with International Nerve Agent experts invited to come and investigate at some point in the future. It will be interesting to see what they actually say, as they are effectively independent and restrain themselves to evidence and it's analysis.

echoJuly 14, 2018 1:35 PM

This is a remarkably honest article highlighting how American medical guidelines are botha "cheatsheet" for doctors and can vary widely inquality and, in some cases, twist healthcare into beaurocratic and public relations (not to mention financial) conveniences. However somethin in writing does give lawyers and other stakeholders representing patients interests a fixed target.

The latest science is very clear that an absense of guidelines allows discrimination to push into an area of endevour, whether deliberate or accidental, or direct or indirect.

I cannot comment on Aerican law but under UK law human rights may not be derogated. This stunt has been pulled by both healthcare and local authorities, and even trying to pull a fast one and hoist the cost of healthcare onto each other or the public because of alleged financial reasons which, normally, hold great sway in "public interest" cases. However, the courts have found in favour of patients and UK government has told the various instititions to go away and think again when they have tried to pull these stunts.

While the whole issue has constititional implications for patients there is also a "national security" issue. Both the US and UK hold a great deal of sway in various fields due to technological leadership, legal leadership, and the basic idea that other countries including developign countries look to us when seeking ways to improve both their governance and national economy but also the welfare of their own citizens. Undermining this has UN Security Council implications and regional unrest implications.

It is notable that in some parts of the world including advanced nations, Russia, China, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and so on thatthe medical profession and civic society form a "hard stop" against discrimination (and poverty) and a surprising number of governments allow and at times assist with medical improvments and counter discrimination. In the odd case some of these governments have actually exceeded the leadership normally held by Western nations including the US and UK.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/hhs-plans-to-delete-20-years-of-critical-medical-guidelines-next-week

albertJuly 14, 2018 1:56 PM

@MarkH,

"...her department was approached by the FBI with concerns that the Russian Embassy was bringing from Russia an unusual number of temporary workers with "extreme technical qualifications"..."

I assume you have the rest of the article?

Was the intent of the FBI to have the USDOS throw out the Russian techs?

That might make their job easier.....or CYA if the gang did something naughty and got away with it. One would think that Russkies would be even easier to monitor on US soil.

This doesn't track.

. .. . .. --- ....

echoJuly 14, 2018 2:35 PM

There is plenty of precedence for "bad actors" within large organsiations especially those with a "quasi judicial" role to abuse their position and make accusations based on little more than ignorance and personal grudges and fears. An "investigation" can throw attention away from the bad actor and place the burden of effort on the accused even where no legal or scientific evidence exists. If allegations are without foudnation it's often not to enhance understanding or improve situations but defelect attention and place a block on people getting a fair hearing and changing the dominent public narrative.

I have no comment on the allegations (other than the allegations are shocking and reprehensible if true) other than to say not every "authority" has "clean hands". In UK law not having "clean hands" may be enough to get a case thrown out.

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/07/14/security_roundup_july_13/

Russians could be behind 'cyber caliphate'

The US Senate is asking the Justice Department to look into the possibility that an Islamic extremist hacking group was actually the work of the Russian government.

Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Cory Gardner (D-CO) have written a letter [PDF] to Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking for an investigation into whether 'Cyber Caliphate,' a group that targeted military families with a series of attacks in 2015, was just a front for APT28, a Kremlin hacking operation.

"If substantiated, the claims about APT28 posing as the Cyber Caliphate could be the first public evidence that influence operations have specifically targeted American military families," the senators write.

"If left unchecked, such operations would threaten the personal liberty, financial security, mental health, and morale of our military families."

"Schneier Alg." in a NovelJuly 14, 2018 3:06 PM

In the Novel "The President is Missing" page 344 says, iirc:

'...SCHNEIER ALG., DOD...'

Regardless, former Counterterrorism advisor Clarke consulted on this novel. In addition, some technical aspects of this cyberterrorism plot are outlined, approx. between pp. 275-375.

Book Reviews:
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/06/18/bill-clinton-and-james-pattersons-concussive-collaboration
https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/bill-clinton-and-james-pattersons-the-president-is-missing-is-an-awkward-duet/2018/06/01/adca8530-64dd-11e8-a768-ed043e33f1dc_story.html


Does anyone want to share a view on how realistic the above plot is?

echoJuly 14, 2018 3:55 PM

I'm not getting drawn into this. Please also use your own identifier in the name box not "@acho" to avoid confusion.

On the issue of projecting authority Clive mentioned the other day: He mentioned a number of useful stratgies. The problem of sex discrimination can be an issue which is why what works for Clive may not work for women so a different tack needs to be taken. This often boils down to exceeding expectations and nurturing support from the ground up. By chance I was thinking of this prior to reading a new blog comment by Seth Godin on 'Fountain'.

Recent science on "white knighting" reveal it can be psychologically disabling for women. There are also new academic and education initiatives in the UK (to a lesser or greater degree) to reform education ina way which assists young women being able to individate more and act more as their own agency, and also open up a wider variety of career paths within the normal routes to power.

That said I daresay the attackers wanted to put the wind up women and either trigger: A.) Masculine defence of women by encouragign fiercer attack or B.) Frighten women who would cause individual men to weaken at the thought their wives were under threat. I'm struggling to understand the motives whoever is behind this. Angela Ricketts notes that she both made a stand along with other women although did freak out and whatever their reaction played into the propoganda coup whoever was behind this was engineering. Rather than get drawn further into conflict I believe the whole issue should be considered as part of ongoing public policy development.

https://www.stlmag.com/culture/visual-arts/the-magic-chef-mansion-and-marcel-duchamp-part-two/

(Elsa) Von Freytag-Loringhoven also deserves the credit, it seems, for one of the most groundbreaking art objects to ever appear in a gallery: Fountain, the urinal signed “R. Mutt” that Marcel Duchamp claimed as his own and which has made him a legend in the history of art. The story, I imagine, might seem depressingly familiar to every woman who has ever had a male boss publish her work with his name on it. Even more frustratingly, the “glaring truth has been known for some time in the art world,” according to the blog of art magazine See All This. Yet, “each time it has to be acknowledged, it is met with indifference and silence.”

Edit: Added "Elsa" to counter the first name/surname sex bias read into naming schemes unconciously used by the author.

Clive RobinsonJuly 14, 2018 6:27 PM

@ echo,

The AP article you link to on the Military Wives and those who thretened them, after the initiall "Shock Paragraph" to "Scene set" says,

    The false flag is a case study in the difficulty of assigning blame in a world where hackers routinely borrow one another's identities to throw investigators off track.

I know I've been saying this over and over for a number of years much to some readers here annoyance, but it is nice to see more main stream journalists starting to make the public more aware of what is the very serious issue of "attribution".

We face a very real issue in that under the Obama Administration the US Gov made once made it quite clear that they regarded cyber-attacks as the equivalent of kinetic-attacks and would thus take a kinetic-response stance.

There was push back and the idea got a "back burner" treatment to get it out of the public eye, but ot is clearly a US Gov agency (DoD et al) driven policy thus is not going to go away.

Then later it became clear that the CIA had developed "false flag" tools thus the US was very probably in the vanguard of cyber-false-flag capabilities if not actually use.

Thus the possability that a kinetic action against an otherwise innocent civilian population could be in effect "pretexted on demand" by the US in one of it's "Bomb a nation back to the stoneage, to keep the others in line" policy every decade or so is quite shocking (especially as the policy appears to be overdue currently).

But as mentioned here before there is no reason to suppose that the US IC is alone in these capabilities. We have good reason to believe not just from the Ed Snowden trove but in other ways that the UK's GCHQ has not only developed extensive tools but has been using them.

Personally I suspect that any nation with a sufficiently advanced education system would havr developed their own tools. But also even nations without sufficient "local talent" would almost certainly "buy in" either expertise or tools.

Thus we are in effect "sitting in the ships powder magazine" whilst many "juggle with matches"...

Which means that there needs to be more public knowledge, to reduce the effects of potential False-Flag-Fallout.

gordoJuly 14, 2018 6:34 PM

Former Secretary of State Clinton's private email server, containing the 30,000 deleted emails, or at least what's left of them, has been in the FBI's hands since 2015. This was public knowledge by at least September 2015 [ https://www.cbsnews.com/news/report-fbi-pulls-deleted-emails-from-hillary-clintons-server/ ]. Who else has the contents of this server is anyone's guess. No leaks of this material have, thus far, been reported.

In a May 2, 2016 unclassified email, FBI Director Comey wrote, "we assess it is reasonably likely that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton's private email account." Given that over half her email on that private server, the 30,000+ non-work-related deleted emails, pointed back to her private server, amounting to what one might call an "open secret," evidence of who these "hostile actors" might be, if any, is also, reasonably, anyone's guess. No evidence of hostile actors possessing said material, has, thus far, been produced.

The Mueller indictment of 12 Russians on July 13, 2018, says that the alleged spearphishing operations began "by at least March 2016" and continued "throughout the summer of 2016." At this point in the indictment, the July 27, 2016 date is called out to support that contention: "For example, on or about July 27, 2016, the Conspirators attempted after hours to spearphish for the first time email accounts at a domain hosted by a third‑party provider and used by Clinton’s personal office." There is no evidence, thus far, that the above mentioned domain ever housed the missing 30,00 emails or that [as best as I can find] any intrusion attempts were successful.

---

I've wondered, despite the unheeded warnings to the DNC, why the U.S. intelligence community did apparently nothing to hinder, if not stop, those and other alleged election-related attacks. Given that election infrastructure is now considered critical, maybe that will change and, at the same time, bring with it a new set of issues.

https://www.dhs.gov/news/2017/01/06/statement-secretary-johnson-designation-election-infrastructure-critical

---

Other background docs and snips:

Office of the Inspector General U.S. Department of Justice
A Review of Various Actions by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice in Advance of the 2016 Election
June 2018

https://int.nyt.com/data/documenthelper/39-justice-department-report-fbi-clinton-comey/5e54a6bfd23e7b94fbad/optimized/full.pdf#page=1 [ocr-friendly]

CHAPTER THREE: OVERVIEW OF THE MIDYEAR INVESTIGATION

In this chapter, we provide an overview of the Midyear investigation. More specifically, we describe the referral and opening of the investigation, the staffing of the investigation by the Department and the FBI, and the investigative strategy.

I. Referral and Opening of the Investigation (Review p. 37 / PDF p. 66)

[. . .]

C. FBI’s Decision to Open a Criminal Investigation

On July 10, 2015, the FBI Counterintelligence Division opened a criminal investigation in response to the 811 referral from the IC IG. Although only a small percentage of 811 referrals result in criminal investigations, witnesses told the OIG that a criminal investigation was necessary to determine the extent of classified information on former Secretary Clinton’s private server, who was responsible for introducing the information into an unclassified system, and why it was placed there. The FBI gave the investigation the code name “Midyear Exam,” choosing it from a list of randomly generated names. (Review p. 40 / PDF p. 69)

[. . .]

IV. Investigative Strategy

[. . .]

A. Collection and Examination of Emails that Traversed Clinton’s Servers and Other Relevant Evidence

The Midyear team sought to collect and review any emails that traversed Clinton’s servers during her tenure as Secretary of State, as well as other evidence that would be helpful to understand classified information contained in those emails. This included a review of the 30,490 work-related emails and attachments to those emails that former Secretary Clinton’s attorneys had produced to the State Department.

The team also attempted to recover or reconstruct the remaining 31,830 emails that Clinton’s attorneys determined were personal and did not produce to the State Department. As described above and in Chapter Five, before the Midyear investigation began, these emails had been deleted and “wiped” from former Secretary Clinton’s then current server. The Midyear team also believed that some work-related emails could have been deleted from Clinton’s servers before her attorneys reviewed them for production to the State Department. (Review pp. 54-55 / PDF pp. 83-84)

[. . .]

ATTACHMENT C

From: COMEY, JAMES 8. (DO) (FBI)
sent: Monday, May 02, 2016 7:15 PM
To: MCCABE, ANDREW G. (DO) (FBI); BAKER, JAMES A. (OGC) (FBI); RYBICKI, JAMES E. (DO) (FBI)
Cc: COMEY, JAMES 8. (DO) (FBI)
subject: Midyear Exam --- UNCLASSIAED
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

[. . . ]

With respect to potential computer intrusion by hostile actors, we did not find direct evidence that Secretary Clinton's personal email system, in its various configurations since 2009, was successfully hacked. But, given the nature of the system and of the actors potentially involved, we assess that we would be unlikely to see such direct evidence. We do assess that hostile actors gained access to the private email accounts of individuals with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact from her private account. We also assess that Secretary Clinton's use of a private email domain was both known by a large number of people and readily apparent. Given that combination of factors, we asses it is reasonably likely that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton's private email account. (Attachment C, pp. 4-5 / PDF pp. 547-548)

---

Mueller Indictment of 12 Russians for conspiracy, etc., on July 13, 2018:

http://www1.icsi.berkeley.edu/~nweaver/netyksho_et_al_indictment_ocr.pdf

Manner and Means of the Conspiracy Spearphishing Operations

21. ANTONOV, BADIN, YERMAKOV, LUKASHEV, and their co-conspirators targeted victims using a technique known as spearphishing to steal victims’ passwords or otherwise gain access to their computers. Beginning by at least March 2016, the Conspirators targeted over 300 individuals affiliated with the Clinton campaign, DCCC, and DNC.

[. . .]

22. The Conspirators spearphished individuals affiliated with the Clinton Campaign throughout the summer of 2016. For example, on or about July 27, 2016, the Conspirators attempted after hours to spearphish for the first time email accounts at a domain hosted by a third‑party provider and used by Clinton’s personal office. At or around the same time, they also targeted seventy‐six email addresses at the domain for the Clinton Campaign. (PDF pp. 7-8)

---

Dutch intelligence first to alert U.S. about Russian hack of Democratic Party
25-01-2018 NOS (Dutch Broadcast Foundation)

In the Summer of 2015, Dutch intelligence services were the first to alert their American counterparts about the cyberintrusion of the Democratic National Committee by Cozy Bear, a hacking group believed to be tied to the Russian government. Intelligence hackers from Dutch AIVD (General Intelligence and Security Service) had penetrated the Cozy Bear computer servers as well as a security camera at the entrance of their working space, located in a university building adjacent to the Red Square in Moscow.

[. . .]

Together with another group of Russian hackers (Fancy Bear, also known as APT28), Cozy Bear is also held responsible for the cyberintrusion of the DNC. In April 2016, Fancy Bear accessed the Washington servers of the Democrats; Cozy Bear had done so as early as the summer of 2015. Once more, the group was caught red-handed by the Dutch, who again alerted their U.S. counterparts.

https://nos.nl/nieuwsuur/artikel/2213767-dutch-intelligence-first-to-alert-u-s-about-russian-hack-of-democratic-party.html?

echoJuly 14, 2018 7:14 PM

@Clive

The AP article was linked to by somebody else placing "@echo" in the name field.

As for the contents of your comment I hate to say "I agree with Clive" just to stop myself nodding along when something pops up I don't agree with. Other than this then yes I believe it is a good time to take a step back and realise false attribution exists, and the tools and education systems and motives exist as a general thing. Not only this but, if fiction is to be believed, then honest actors beleving they were acting in the best interest of their own nation may actually have been duped by front operations hiding a foreign power or malicious criminal entity.

Creeping arbitrary power is a thing. I'm sure no reasonable person believes it's a good idea to talk ourselves over the cliff edge. I'm also not completely convinced any kenetic action following cyber incursions meets the threshold of exceptional circumstances as things stand. Perhaps there needs to be a larger public policy discussion before any mandate granted to government by the people is wielded on their behalf? There is some US research on juries and while the UK is much more secretive for not wholly wonderful reasons not even establishment judges are terribly keen on taking complex trials away from juries. Because of this I wonder if the US stayed its hand under Obama not only because he may have realised what Pandoras box he may have been opening but the lawfulness of any action conducted of this kind?

@Moderator: people scan the name field and misread an "@" attribution as the named person. Please edit or delete or comment on the misattributed post as you see fit. Thank you.

HmmJuly 14, 2018 7:33 PM

@echo

""Wait on the evidence" seems reasonable to me."

Sure of course.

Have you satisfied yourself with evidence that Russia annexed Crimea, or not?
What about Polonium poisoning of Litvinenko? Or meddling in the US elections?

Too soon? Still gathering evidence? Still unsure if there were Russian forces in Ukraine?

All of these are summarily dismissed by Putin's gov. He lies about all of that to this day.
There IS evidence of this, it's compelling beyond even a most intricate FUD narrative.

He's even admitted some of these things in interviews since. He ADMITS he lied essentially.

https://www.reuters.com/article/russia-putin-crimea/putin-admits-russian-forces-were-deployed-to-crimea-idUSL6N0N921H20140417
https://www.haaretz.com/putin-admits-taking-of-crimea-pre-planned-1.5334344
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-31796226
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/17/vladimir-putin-admits-russian-military-presence-ukraine

Pick your favorite source. All lies by the deep state, CIA plots to discredit him?

We all knew at the time, now we have even the ADMISSION after the fact because the charade served no further purpose and continued to be embarrassing to Putin because it was frankly undeniable at that point and he looked very silly lying plainly.

When the Skripals were poisoned both Putin and Russian state TV went on the offensive.
"What a traitor should expect" etc. It's not a fucking mystery, really.

There's really NO defending "the slim chance" ever whittling away that Putin is NOT responsible.
It doesn't make any sense to suggest that without any evidence pointing you there.
ZERO.

It's in fact irresponsible to entertain those BS rebuttals as if equal to the evidence in hand.

They have no counter explanation. They have no counter THEORY of any value, no evidence of interest, no compelling narrative that fits with existing historical verified fact.

Sure, MI6 "could have" poisoned them to blame Russia, maybe, sorta, sure!
PROVE IT CLIVE, and other denialists! PROVE ANY COUNTER CLAIM, ANY OF THEM!
We're all willing to hear it and evaluate your presentation on the merits.

If you don't have anything substantially smoking and gun-shaped to point to, it's downright dishonest to pretend there's a substantial doubt founded in any actual evidentiary basis that Putin is responsible for these things that most rational and fact-checking individuals can plainly see he has all but admitted directly.

It's a charade and some are playing along with it as if they've got counter evidence.

They do not. Clive does not. All he has is the gaslighting madness of asking others to disprove his possible negative hypotheses, myriad and manifold, which nobody would be well advised to even entertain until some evidence supporting that FUD surfaces.

At the end of the day, someone DID poison the Skripals with a WMD, a UK citizen has been murdered.

Apologists weaving weak BS counter-theories for Putin's plausible deniability deserve to be strongly rebuked until they can back up their FUD assertions in any meaningful and specific way. It's irresponsible and unacceptable. Sure they have a "right" to be those things, but we the literate few left all have a duty to push back on that as well.

echoJuly 14, 2018 7:36 PM

Ok. This had me ordering a few different money pouchs. The funny thing is I was just having a discussion about pickpockets with someone the day before. I also bought a key clip because, ta-dah, women's clothes have a nasty habit of having useless pockets or no pockets and lugging the world around in a shoulder bag justto carry a set of keys is asking for it.

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2018/jul/14/mugging-travel-holiday-barcelona
I was mugged on holiday. Don’t make the mistakes I made.

HmmJuly 14, 2018 8:00 PM

@echo I wasn't pointing that entire text wall at you, so don't feel attacked unless applicable.

I'm after nobody's wallet or pride, just a reasonable representation of what happened in the world.

echoJuly 14, 2018 8:03 PM

@Hmm

I'm not getting sucked into nation state propoganda or personal feuds. I wasn't born yesterday and know full well what various nation states and vested interests are up to given half a chance both at home and abroad. While there is always a subjective point of reference I'm sticking with agnostic methods and data as much as I can.

Russia is a very macho society but I don't perceive extreme hostility against women by the Russian state or Russian society. I cannot comment on the AWP or Skipral affair from this angle because I dont' have any data. It does seem out of place for the Russians to target women, or a professional operation as it is alleged the Novichock poisoning is to put a none combatant woman at risk. It just doesn't fit the profile. I only hate one hard data point on Russians a female friend shared with me and apart from some drunken gun waving which put the wind up her the Russian involved was not a direct material threat. I personally would be more concerned about threats to exploit women a Parisian woman shared with me but Russia isn't in the frame for this kind of thing. Again, it doesn't fit the Russian profile. If evidence and arguments surface which pass the test any reasonable person would conclude places the blame on the Russians I'm more than happy to acknowledge this but I also refuse not to be rushed to judgement.

I know nothing beyond what can be obtained from public sources and I have little to no (or sometimes negative) influence on any decision. If I do I gaurantee I will be the first to shriek. (Not to mention need another holiday to get over the surprise.

HmmJuly 14, 2018 8:11 PM

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-responds-new-mueller-indictments_us_5b48d15ce4b022fdcc590e2f

Observe Trump applying a similar Putineque tactic :

Pick an obviously BS position. Get refuted with evidence, lots of it. TONS.

Quickly pick a brand new position admitting no mistakes, aggressively attacking with red herrings.

Repeat.


"Putin's fine, okay?" "He tells me he did not meddle and I believe him." "Deep state?"

(Pile of evidence is dumped on the ground at his feet)

"SEE? Obama had all this evidence and did nothing! Everyone is so weak on Russia but me!"

If we allow these BS no value assertions to stand as if equal to evidence in hand, we lose ground.
It's gaslighting while moving goalposts without any integrity. The facts remain.

Nomatter who, if someone is taking liberties with the truth, they need to be corrected.
If they continue spreading BS, they need to be reputationally affected thus. Period.

"Trust, but verify" - and the third part, formerly unwritten : Consequences for liars!

HmmJuly 14, 2018 8:30 PM

@echo

I appreciate an open mind. It becomes a different thing when it's open to anything.

"While there is always a subjective point of reference I'm sticking with agnostic methods and data as much as I can."

ALL data thus far points at Russia unequivocally and without exception, unless you have more?

"it doesn't fit the Russian profile."

Russia has a pretty well documented history of killing spies and enemies interestingly enough.
And targeting women, in fact.

The UK woman who died was not "targeted" according to the working theory that she came into contact with a bottle of the toxin and was inadvertently killed, but the Skripals were the targeted party - their flat door was the point of their exposure.

Again, there is no plausible counter-theory being offered of any value, with any teeth at all.

Plausible deniability of Putin's involvement is and should be considered a completely un-established theory at best right now, with no basis in evidence or historical fact in this case or previously.

Putin has NEVER BEEN, to the extent of my reading and researching, "a maligned good-actor."

Putin has NEVER BEEN accused at high level like this of something he's later exonerated for.

The idea that we have to catch someone red handed to know anything is just ridiculous.
Even if we had, their baldfaced lies would suffice to clear them, by some standards...
And I'd call those standards intentionally weak, by any empirical standard comparison.

We cannot allow BS assertions to be weighed as plausibly as the evidence, the historical record.
The truth lands at his feet, no matter who "he" is - and we hold those feet to that fire.

HmmJuly 14, 2018 8:32 PM

"I'm not getting sucked into nation state propoganda or personal feuds."

Me neither. But I feel compelled to stand up for what is known and as yet not credibly refuted.

echoJuly 14, 2018 8:40 PM

@Hmm

I'm not that interested in Russia to dig deeply. The last thing I looked up on Russia out of curiosity was "Russian women's shoes" just to see what Google images coughed up. Why are DMs and snowboots at the top of the screen? No thanks.

echoJuly 14, 2018 11:55 PM

After reading the article I linked to over being heisted in the street I splurged on a few more security products which covered other security needs I have been considering for ages.

I had initially considered a lower level of security but on reflection the security products give me an extra layer of physical security which slows things down and makes things more awkward for an adversary. None of them will stop a determined adversary of course but shift the least line of resistance and reduce opportunism. Ok, so what are these security products? Nothing special but security by obscurity has its uses too and the less anyone else knows the fewer ideas I plant in their head. One of the security products I bought has a dual use and would have people laughing their socks off if they knew.

This reminds me. I have been lazy with a lot of other security related things too. I need to sort out my full disk encryption on my laptops plus organise encrypted backups and encrypted cloud backups properly.

DataJuly 15, 2018 12:39 AM

"One of the security products I bought has a dual use and would have people laughing their socks off if they knew."

Well?

echoJuly 15, 2018 12:52 AM

@Data

Not telling! It does take over-engineering security to ridiculous proportions though.

Clive RobinsonJuly 15, 2018 3:07 AM

@ Hmm,

PROVE IT CLIVE, and other denialists! PROVE ANY COUNTER CLAIM, ANY OF THEM!

There you go again you are like an old mut with a running sore, that keeps seeping because you keep scratching at it rather than leaving it alone to mend it's self.

You appear under the mistaken opinion that you shouting out what even you admit are a load of not factually supported claims means that others must shout back other unsupported claims to rebut you...

There is a reason why the legal process impartially gathers evidence and other information and then verifies where it can that they are both factual and relevant, then if they support or reject a tentitive hypothesis.

You further do not appear to understand why "shouting unsupported claims and allegations" is actually a criminal act and not free speech.

Thus for some reason you think attacking me because I won't join in with a "vigilanty mob rule" view point some how bolsters your image, rather than diminish it.

For your information not all legal systems are bivalued as "guilty or not guilty" in Scottland for instance they have a third option of "Case not proven". Which if you think about it is a recognition of reality, sometimes things can not be proven one way or anorher, verifiable facts can and quite frequently do conflict, and evidence may degrade or not be collected, that is just the way life is.

For you to reject what is the reality of the world we live in and instead claim people are "denialists!" thus they must fabricate and "PROVE ANY COUNTER CLAIM" against your factually unsupported claims is not just stupid it's the behaviour of a drunk talking themselves into criminal behaviour or imbecile not in control of their faculties.

And to be quite honest I'm very tired of your unwarranted very personal totally unjustified attacks on me, for which you have been warned are unacceptable in the past.

Clive RobinsonJuly 15, 2018 3:52 AM

@ two emptywheel.net links,

And so "Cambridge Analytica" comes up yet again...

I mentioned a long time ago that people should be taking a serious look into CA and what they had been upto with regards perverting the course of elections.

I also mentioned that people should dig a little deeper behind them than has so far happened, and you will find one or two "tech rock star" names directly or indirectly behind them Peter Thiel and Palantir and it's related companies for instance.

These are the names left out when they talk about Russia not being able to process the Clinton data but people in America could.

To use the old melodrama phrase of "Beware the enemy within" might be appropriate. Because these people have actually not just done what the Russians are accused of, but actually not just admitted it, but boasted about it and what they could do for large quantities of money to many nations wanabe leaders with significantly questionable agendas.

If and when the US MSM --if they ever do-- get off of their monoistic "reds under the bed" fixation they might realise just how much they have been lead by the nose and made to look fools by those outside the US who have cared to take a look beyond the drum beats, smoke, posturing and nationalistic flag waving.

The simple fact is as I've pointed out in the past, all nations that have the ability to make cyber-atacks are, and those who don't can by in the experties from anyone of many companies selling their services.

Big data held and manipulated by large data companies have surpassed the capabilities of even the top nations intelligence agencies. Such companies are global and hold no allegiance to a flag or nation, just their own interests. Likewise they appear to have no morals or ethics beyond that of self interest...

Clive RobinsonJuly 15, 2018 6:16 AM

@ echo,

This reminds me. I have been lazy with a lot of other security related things too. I need to sort out my full disk encryption on my laptops plus organise encrypted backups and encrypted cloud backups properly.

Encryption and FDE especially can be a real problem and actually weaken your overall security.

Firstly there is the "over confidence" issue, you put rather more of your thoughts etc onto a system than you sensibly should do because of the illusion of encryption giving added security.

Secondly encryption at best only protects "data at rest" most real world attacks are not on data at rest unless the password/phrase to encryption key conversion is very weak.

Thirdly most encryption implementations when in use hemorrhage information via side channels including the actual key.

But the reality is criminal and espionage attackers are not for most people the real threat to their security.

The number one threat is poor Key Managment (KeyMan) issues. Loosing access to all your financial records, family photos movies audio recordings etc because you lost the Key Material (KeyMat) is so common it's embarising.

The number two threat is what happens when you become incapcitated or worse, you've just made somebody elses life a nightmare trying to sort it out because they have no access to the required KeyMat.

Look at backups for instance, you might have them safely stored in "off site" storage. So they survive the usual "fire, flood and theft" risks. But what have you done about backing up the KeyMat does your KeyMan strategy actually cover it?

What about Key Generation (KeyGen) how are you going to do it, how are you going to ensure sufficient "true" not "faux" entropy?

Then what about the "audit process" to ensure there is no KeyMat reuse etc?

The list of issues encryption causes people goes on for quite some length.

Whilst the commrnt above about "go to jail" for 180days is not yet common, it will quickly become a default option for "finding you guilty" irrespective of if you are guilty of anything else or not. History shows us that in the US "contempt of court" can keep you in jail for well over a decade on what are in effect civil matters not criminal...

Further we currently see the use of encryption being used to make people "look guilty" in front of their peers with variations on the old nonsence of "If you have nothing to hide..." Prosecuters are looking for "points" as this makes "prizes" for them, they care not a jot if you have done anything wrong, just how easy it is to make those promotion points off of you...

We have seen in the US "electronic discovery" be used as a way to bankrupt those brought to court as a way of "stripping rights" thus unjustly robbing them of the means to defend themselves. Further the likes of the FBI and DoJ repeatedly arguing that established protections on information such as that stored on paper, does not apply to that stored on electronic media and judges being daft enough to accept such false arguments.

In the UK there has been successive acts of Parliment making the use of encryption a special case with draconian sentancing. So far judges have been very hesitant in applying it, but various changes will be forced through and the likes of the LEO and Prosecuters add it as an increasingly easy way to get "promotion points". But others have more draconian views including execution and imprisonment of other family members etc. The legal process is being turned away from justice to being what are in effect televised games shows, where the only important thing is not for justice to be done but the illusion it has been done and that the accused are always guilt of something...

Personally I avoid encryption where ever I can when it comes to two of the three information states. That is storage and processing of information. I much prefer proper system segregation and physical security methods along with the notion of OpSec be it "old school updated" or specific to new technology and methods.

The third information usage state "communication of information" however is another matter entirely and has a whole different set of rules when it comes to implementation, but that as they say "is a story for another day".

CallMeLateForSupperJuly 15, 2018 9:26 AM

@echo
"I need to [...] organise encrypted backups and encrypted cloud backups properly."

I suggest you think long and hard about whether you really-really need to store your stuff, whether encrypted or not, on somebody-else's-hard-drive (read: "the cloud"). Nobody cares about either your security or your stuff even half as much as you care about it. Not Apple, not Google. Nobody. Companies with, say, massive databases, can argue that somebody-else's-hard-drives is a cost-effective solution for them. You and me, not so much. Multi-terabyte hard drives are readily available and relatively cheap.


(This Comment thingie does not like "terabyte", suggests "megabyte", and "tribute". WTF)

echoJuly 15, 2018 10:23 AM

@Clive

Thanks. I note the issues you mention. None of these are a bother to me as I have already discounted them and only seeking to protect data at rest from the random or casual opportunist.

Actually, if I can spill one item I bought was a portable safe for my handbag. Yes, a safe. For my handbag... On reflection dual use was the wrong term but it can also be locked to something immovable hence the brain fart.

This may be useful in an office or hotel. The joke is one mascara stick outside the safe is likely worth more than any cash or phone I would be carrying within the safe. Some data which may be accessible on a phone would decay very rapidly or be little to no use for a thief. The main value of the safe is to prevent nosiness and the incovenience of having to replace things not any actual theft itself. I joke this may create a situation where I should use the safe as a glorified make up bag and leave cash and phone outside the safe so yes maybe dual use hah hah.

The second this arrives I will attempt to pick the lock just to see how secure it is. I already know a nation state level adversary can open them within seconds to a few minutes given the correct equipment within a range of equipment portability and location and readiness but these are not the attackers I am defending against.

I'm not bothered by the feds. The problem is getting the feds to listen. Benign sexism is a very different threat model.

On the issue of your personal scheme including old school opsec, and data seperation, and physical security yes I believe this is a good model. Apart from my data if anyone wants to rob me of clothes (which are the only thing of value I have besides my laptops) they're welcome because I already have too many. There's a carry bag on the top shelf of the hallway cupboard for anyone who needs help carrying the loot.

echoJuly 15, 2018 10:39 AM

@CallMeLateForSupper

Pretty much everything vital can go on a single memory stick. Of the critical bulky data it too can fit on a single memory stick. The rest is deprecated or bulky data of little personal value. Storing encrypted copy out there on the cloud is a convenience. The bulk data I can afford to lose is too much even for a cold storage provider unless I pay silly money which I won't.

I once tried to set up a scheme among frienda but we never got around to it. I understand a resource sharing scheme has been tried by a handful of small busiensses (and there may even be a commercial 'middleman' for this) where people upload encrypted backups to each others servers. This keeps the business relationship more personal and costs low. Given legal risks I would recommend a contract prohibiting storing unlawful data and that encryption keys are held by the data owner, and that the owner assumes all liabilities including loss. This kind of solution may not be for everyone but it's an option.

HmmJuly 15, 2018 4:45 PM


@Clive

"You further do not appear to understand why "shouting unsupported claims and allegations" is actually a criminal act and not free speech."

Clive, my God your knowledge of what is lawful and what is true are both laughably inconsistent.

Nothing I have "shouted" (lol?) is unsupported, in fact every single thing mentioned is the overwhelming international consensus over a long trail of historical facts that you cannot refute.
Which you do not refute. Which you also cannot admit, sadly.

Putin is the #1 suspect in these events for very solid and documented reasons. Evidence.
You have nothing to impugn it with, your conspiracy theory BS bears zero actual weight.

Anytime you want to prove your case, do so. Until then you're making stuff up from whole cloth.
CIA this and that, go ahead. Prove it or you're but a conspiracy theorist, QED.

Make your case for Putin's innocence as you see fit. We'll see if you're right in the end.
(I'd offer to wager but I'm sure you'd weasel out of it with flowery prose, as you do)

To say I'm breaking laws by breaking well-reported news to you is hilariously uninformed.
Intentionally so. You're being a tool of a despotism, not a champion of the provable record.

Your move. Prove the international consensus wrong on any single issue. Begin.
Until you do so, your denialism is legless and mindless. You have zero basis for it.

It's irresponsible and frankly ridiculous for you to keep pretending Putin's an innocent victim,
that nobody can prove anything or know anything definitively. It's retarded frankly.

Just what exactly does Putin do to deserve your unflinching water bearing, Clive?

HmmJuly 15, 2018 4:48 PM

And yes, we'll ask the same of Trump - under oath, before a jury considering his highest crimes.

His answer will surely be another baldfaced denial in the face of overwhelming evidence, as yours.
It won't save him either.

HmmJuly 15, 2018 6:23 PM

"If and when the US MSM --if they ever do-- get off of their monoistic "reds under the bed" fixation they might realise just how much they have been lead by the nose and made to look fools by those outside the US who have cared to take a look beyond the drum beats, smoke, posturing and nationalistic flag waving."

^ The above is not the product of a sound and objective mind referencing evidence to make a point.
Your opinion of Putin's 'benign-but-framed' role in world affairs is actually NOT the norm.
http://www.pewglobal.org/2017/08/16/publics-worldwide-unfavorable-toward-putin-russia/
(Again, any source you like, Clive - but we will compare the sources)

Read the 29 page actual indictment and say it's all a big hoax again Clive - we'll wait :

http://www1.icsi.berkeley.edu/~nweaver/netyksho_et_al_indictment_ocr.pdf
-Actual indictment PDF, no BS. 29pages~

Read the indictment.

This exists, is serious. Your BS conspiracy theorism is not serious, does NOT exist really.
Find a flaw! Sell your BS theory in Russia if you like, but you can't sell that gaslit crap here.

The media didn't invent this by covering it, but you are being played a willing fool over and over via cognitive dissonance and preference for confirmation bias against OVERWHELMING evidence of fact.

It's extremely disappointing that YOU of all people are this ridiculously misinforming intentionally.
I can no longer dismiss it as merely misinformed when it's this deliberately repeated over and over.
If you want to be anti-US that's your right, but lumping all Americans is patently ignorant.

No Clive, the onus is on YOU to disprove any of it if you're going to pontificate on the soapbox.
Fact or fiction, pick a lane.

bttbJuly 15, 2018 8:39 PM

Emptywheel lays out there exist "four counterintelligence investigations focused on the Russian operation, just one of which is known to have targeted Trump’s people."

https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/07/15/dragons-caught-in-the-crossfire-on-the-genealogy-of-the-current-and-future-mueller-investigation

and, perhaps good news, from the comments section where Emptywheel writes:

"I know this is an unpopular opinion. But one reason I wrote this post is bc the press has been so shitty on these details that it’s unsurprising that [Rand] Paul believes what he hears. Unless things break soon I’m going to be in DC in two weeks trying to reach out to Republicans for that reason (and I suspect Rand may get a talking to from another Republican on this issue).

The impeachment circus on Rosenstein may make Republicans take sides soon, which will be interesting to watch."

https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/07/15/dragons-caught-in-the-crossfire-on-the-genealogy-of-the-current-and-future-mueller-investigation/#comment-742502

bttbJuly 15, 2018 8:47 PM

From Rayne at emptywheel.net:

"After the hacking of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, I wrote in early 2013 about asymmetric warfare. At the time I was puzzled by Americans’ surprise at such an extensive breach of a government asset by China.

We were warned in 1999 by the PRC in a white paper, Unrestricted Warfare, written by two Chinese military officers. They told us what they perceived about U.S.’ defense stance and where they were likely to press given their perception of our weaknesses and strengths.

Our own military processed this warning; it was incorporated into a number of military white papers. The U.S. intelligence community likewise digested the same white paper and military assessments of the same...."

https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/07/15/hybrid-or-ambiguous-asymmetric-warfare-is-here-to-stay/

btw there is a long comment by Curious, which made me curious if that was the Curious who used to post here.

MartinJuly 15, 2018 9:05 PM

What I've learned reading the comments on this entry:
1) Might not be a good idea to encrypt your hard drive.
2) Might not be a good idea to encrypt a cloud repository.
3) Trump's approach really gets folks stirred up.
4) Trumps business approach really bothers people; he's not a politician.
5) Putin get a lot of attention and worries folks even though Russia is really not a significant world economy.
6) China is overlooked as someone to watch with great care.
7) Doesn't seem UK folks respect Americans much...possibly justified.
8) Topic, seem to me, to have wondered off from "Schneier on Security's" focus.
9) No one seems to comprehend the "Russia hack" was really just piss poor IT security practices on the part of USA political party.
10) Courtesy and professionalism among commenters is important but sometimes missing.
11) Way too many TLAs and FLAs. Which indicating poor writing skills.


bttbJuly 15, 2018 9:25 PM

From David Ignatius, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2018/07/15/putin-must-wonder-what-else-america-knows-about-russia/ :

"When Russian President Vladimir Putin sits down at the table in Helsinki on Monday, he will surely have in the back of his mind some intelligence worries that have nothing to do with the U.S. president seated across from him.

Putin’s elite spy world has been penetrated by U.S. intelligence. That’s the implication of the extraordinarily detailed 29-page indictment of 12 Russian military intelligence (GRU) officers handed up by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigators on Friday. The 11-count charge includes names, dates, unit assignments, the GRU’s use of “X-agent” malware, its bitcoin covert funding schemes and a wealth of other tradecraft.

Putin must be asking himself: How did the Americans find out all these facts? What other operations have been compromised? And how much else do they know?..."

example counter evidenceJuly 15, 2018 10:02 PM

"""
Putin must be asking himself: How did the Americans find out all these facts? What other operations have been compromised? And how much else do they know?
"""

Putin knows it's all a false flag circus fake news witch hunt. I mean, where's the evidence?!

............

Did I get that right, greenwalders?

echoJuly 15, 2018 11:44 PM

@bttb

After navigating past Washington Post paywall hoops and chasign through the articles three links deep to read the actual indictment?

"Due to new European data protection law, this page is temporarily unavailable to you."

There's a joke in here somewhere.

Clive RobinsonJuly 16, 2018 2:14 AM

@ Hmm,

Your opinion of Putin's 'benign-but-framed' role in world affairs is actually NOT the norm.

No sorry you are making that up so you csn bang your drum.

You real should stop trying to put words in other peoples mouths who don't agree with your suppositions and assertions that are not based on factual evidence.

As I've repeatedly told you it's not a a case of behaving like a vigilanty that is required but one of reasoned caution.

As the current US President has found out recently Russian Premier Putin is not an inexperienced opperator. If you go of half cocked with an unsupported allegation then all you do is give him the chance to find a point he can argue, or call into question then do the same on anything else you have said in a more believable way.

As I've mentioned before with some of the President Obama allegations, what you say diplomatically behind closed doors can be a lot different to what is said in public.

As I noted Previous Presidents actually produced the evidence such as the surveillance pictures of the missiles in Cuba. Such things gave no room for argument that could gain traction for a false alternative.

With the likes of Putin, going off half cocked will loose you not just the battle but the war.

You claim to understand the principles of law, therefore the notion of being presumed innocent untill proved guilty should be known to you. It is something that goes back in English law for over a thousand years, thus it also formed part of US law and the law of many other countries.

Thus you make an assumption that warrants or indictments issued are some how proof of guilt, they are not, they are simply part of the process of bring the evidence to the tribunal of fact, where it will be assessed.

We may not like it under all cases but to talk of somebody being guilt without supporting evidence being available is not exactly a wise thing to do. Certainly in the UK most miscarriages of justice are down to people presuming guilt then being cognitively biased to find them guilty. It has involved criminal acts by police officers on a number of occasions which have made the court cases not tribunals of fact but show trials. And it's most certainly not what you would want as an innocent defendant.

As I've pointed out to you not all places have the "guilty / not guilty" option, some have a third option which is "case not proven" this does not mean that the person is either guilty or not, just that insufficient evidence has been made available to make a decison beyond reasonable doubt.

Why you do not appear to comprehend these basic points I have no idea. But I guess cognative bias might be a possible explanation.

But worse much worse, because I point out I will limit myself to comment where there is actuall factuall evidence you assume it means I am some how pro Putin or pro Trump or similar. It does not nor has it ever done so, so stop with your entirely false accusations.

Especially as I suspect it is not idiocy on your behalf but deliberate and thought out behaviour for reasons other than the content of the discussions.

HmmJuly 16, 2018 2:50 AM

@Martin

Credit where due, Martin, credit where due. Golf clap, you solved it. Finally, some clarity.

"9) No one seems to comprehend the "Russia hack" was really just piss poor IT security practices on the part of USA political party. "

It's so true. It's just been staring us in the face...

"NO ONE seems to comprehend" that Martin knows better/more than the IC/DOJ/NSA/FBI/ETC.

Nobody! Not one body. Did you, no... I didn't, you? Nobody comprehended this. Astounding right?

Martin had the whole thing figured out and these Special Council-(sic) types with their "lifelong dedication" and "service to country and Constitution" right? What utter MORONS they must be to even investigate something so cut and dry!

All that time, tax money spent gathering evidence, just completely wasted.
What an utter charade, the satellites, the whole thing. I feel sick.

Did they not even bother to ASK Martin what he assumed was true?
Step 1, Martin pontificates and reality responds. There is no step 2. Boom, solved.

Who knows, we could have been ALLIED WITH PUTIN by now! What a missed opportunity.

Well.. I don't know who's going to tell poor old Bob Mueller. Bless his little heart.
Call it off, shut it down, no collusion, no 32 indicted witches... burn the Cohen tapes.

Thanks to you Martin for setting the world straight once more. Salute.

HmmJuly 16, 2018 3:08 AM

@Clive

"You real should stop trying to put words in other peoples mouths" - I quoted you verbatim.

(I do that because you tend to weasel out of what you said after the fact, if at all possible.)

"You claim to understand the principles of law"

-Objection, misstates the record. Quote me or don't, that's the rule.

"With the likes of Putin, going off half cocked will loose you not just the battle but the war."

-Yeah, nothing worse than a loose battle rattling around. Thanks Sun Tzu.

"Thus you make an assumption that warrants or indictments issued are some how proof of guilt"

-THEY ARE evidence that a grand jury thought the ACTUAL evidence presented to them was credible, and charges were warranted under the law. You have, by comparison, Jack the bupkis whatsoever! YOU HAVE NOTHING TO BASE YOUR BS THEORIES ON OF COMPARABLE VALUE, YET YOU WEIGH THEM AS IF EQUAL OR GREATER!

A long and verifiable historical record makes your re-characterization attempts stand out starkly.
Because you misstate what the record ACTUALLY says again and again and again.
It's become so much of a pattern with you I do wonder if you realize you do it.

Fact : Trump stands accused of high crimes and collusion from Vladimir Putin's government which is also credibly accused of EXTREMELY SERIOUS CRIMES including WMD attacks on UK soil, and you're dithering around pretending your conspiracy theories and doubts carry real weight in the face of evidence-backed indictments by grand juries. The entire time you've pretended this was all cooked up by "the media".

It's about as insane as believing Trump when he says he'll ask Vlad about extraditing the GRU team responsible for the hacks in the first place. "Oh, I didn't think of that..."


Everything you've said here on the record is able to be referenced. Go back and look!

You may as well be Putin's camel for all the rhetorical water you shlep on his behalf.

HmmJuly 16, 2018 3:35 AM

@echo

I hadn't noticed any feud, I was busy refuting falsehood and rhetoric stated on par with fact.

It's topic agnostic, but this is a serious topic. A very, very serious topic.

I don't take disinformation campaigns lightly, witting or otherwise. It's entirely apersonal.

HmmJuly 16, 2018 4:20 AM

@echo

If you have something to add to any discussion topic please feel free to add it.
If it turns out to be obviously false on the face of itself, someone should say so.
Often someone will.

That's part of any discussion. That's not a feud, that's a factual correction.
Clive, Iggy, Martin, no one gets special consideration when it comes to falsehood.

If someone says "this all is entirely cooked up by the media" in a public forum like this they are realistically begging for an argument on the merits, and frankly you're obviously trying to allow one side to spout that nonsense and then expect to button up anyone correcting it with the actual facts at hand - including evidence and the historical record, quotes verbatim.

Unacceptable.

Sancho_PJuly 16, 2018 4:52 AM

There are two things to learn from the DNC-hack:

1) Be open and honest, infamous behavior will allways come to light.

2) Our IT systems are insecure, more problems are inevitable.

For 1), I‘m thankful that someone shed light on the DNC [1].
For 2), I‘m afraid that many will not understand [2] [3].


[1]
To me it doesn‘t matter who did it, only the content matters.
When police kills innocent people I wouldn‘t assume the President gave the order.
But when they systematically, by law, torture innocents, I‘d assume he knew about.
However, from that I would not conclude „the Americans“ knew about torture, less they would have supported it.
So I would not say the Americans did it.

[2]
It is not only the fact that e.g. clicking a link is still dangerous, as it was last century.
It‘s also a lack of discipline when the powers carelessly „confuse“ private with business (in email and money).

[3]
When the SoS, for years, runs an unsecured email service, mixing private and national matters, but no one complains:
Clearly NSA plus WH Security are run by foreigners with a weird accent.

echoJuly 16, 2018 5:19 AM

This isn't the only misuse of new law that I am aware of where law intended for one purpose is abused by a UK "authority" to get rid of an entirely different "problem".

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jul/16/widowed-father-ordered-leave-uk-against-advice-of-home-office-lawyers-andrew-farotade

Farotade’s case is important because it highlights what appears to be the disproportionate use of paragraph 322(5) and the tactical way the Home Office uses it to enforce removals, even against the advice of their own lawyers.

Farotade’s life is now in limbo. His request for a second judicial review was refused because the judge said the Home Office didn’t have to justify their use of 322(5). He hasn’t been able to work since 21 July 2016. He can’t afford to challenge the ruling in the court of appeal.

echoJuly 16, 2018 6:04 AM

Sexist gaslighting from a vested interest? This whole Brexit thing is yet another gang of rich selfish men joining forces and blowing trumpets for each other.

I note the photograph shows Theresa May putting on her beaten wife sunglasses.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2018/jul/16/brexit-mays-plan-dead-say-tory-remainers-and-leavers-jointly-ahead-of-key-votes-politics-live?page=with:block-5b4c5822e4b04dbcfcbe18d3#block-5b4c5822e4b04dbcfcbe18d3

Sir Bernard Jenkin, the Conservative Brexiter, told the Today programme this morning that he did not think Justine Greening’s call for a second referendum was realistic.

Clive RobinsonJuly 16, 2018 6:05 AM

@ gordo,

Grand juries in the United States Criticism

From other sorces lets just say that "criticism" is putting a bright face on it.

There are rrporyed cases where a grand jury has chucked out ehat a prosecuter has presented. The prosecuter has then come back with their "new interpretation" of the legislation and the grand jury rrjected it again. The prosecuter then took it before a different grand jury who nodded it through.

It's this sort of shenanigans that is all to common but because of the "veil" is seldom heard about...

It realy is something not just US citizens but anyone else thinking of visiting the US realy should be not just aware of but sufficiently conversant that they are aware of just what they could be facing...

Oh and for those thinking about visiting the US there have been statistical and legal analysis that more than hints that the US legal system is biased against non US citizens.

Yes I'm aware similar is as true if not worse than the US in other nation states. But people tend to be much more aware of them before visiting.

HmmJuly 16, 2018 6:13 AM

This is the result several grand juries, not a single one obviously.

You can say it might be flawed. It might be. You can say some grand juries ARE flawed, it's true.

What you can't say credibly is that these particular grand juries ARE flawed.

"There are rrporyed cases where a grand jury has chucked out ehat a prosecuter has presented"

That didn't happen here, nor have you any evidence of that here, nor any evidence that they came to the wrong legal threshold conclusions based on the evidence shown to them that they indicted upon, nor can you remove the historical record of veritably proven track records of related individuals. You've got none of that here.

This wasn't a reach, this was a massive slam dunk of evidence resulting in indictment.

Read it yourself, or do not read it - but don't pretend to characterize it as unfair without evidence of that.

It's obvious you haven't yet.

Clive RobinsonJuly 16, 2018 6:37 AM

@ bttb,

    We were warned in 1999 by the PRC in a white paper, Unrestricted Warfare, written by two Chinese military officers.

What that quote does not say is that the PRC paper has been repeatedly highlighted in various places at various times.

Also whilst it is a PRC document the content is fairly true for other nations as well that have the capability (read any Wester or First world nation and quite a few others). It's also true of other nations that do not have their own national capabilities, because there are plenty of commercial and governmental organisations that do have the capabilities that make them capabilities available to them.

That paper is just one of the reasons I have repeatedly warned on this blog and other places that people need to be aware of the multi-national nature of such activities.

But I've also repeatedly highlighted one obvious difference between the US and other nations. For some reason, presumably political the US gov has only one "cyber-existential-threat" at a time and they have swaped them around. Thus China, Iran, North Korea and Russia "get their turn in the barrel". Worse is that supposadly independent commercial cyber-attack investigators in the US tend to "follow the lead" of the IS gov "choice of the month".

It should not be difficult for people to work out just how idiotic such behaviour is. Then ask why it happens, that is what the cause of not just the US gov behaviour but why commercial entities likewise amp up the "choice of the month"...

My view point is such behaviour is acting as a major disservice to the US Citizens as it sets a very false impression. Which will determin where resources will be spent on or not. Not just by the US gov but US commercial entities that employe US citizens, who's jobs and thus income are dependent on those who employ them acting in the correct manner not just the US gov "choice of the month".

HmmJuly 16, 2018 6:50 AM

"It should not be difficult for people to work out just how idiotic such behaviour is."

You mean the behavior you just loosely implied, without any evidence.

Yeah that would be idiotic.

bttbJuly 16, 2018 8:39 AM

More from Ignatius:

"...“The Russians have surely begun a ‘damage assessment’ to figure out how we were able to collect this information and how much damage was done to their cyber capacity as a result,” says Jeffrey Smith, a former CIA general counsel, in an email. “They are probably also doing a CI (counter-intelligence) assessment to determine whether we have any human sources or whether the Russians made mistakes that we were able to exploit.”

Must the GRU assume that officers named in Friday’s indictment are now “blown” for further secret operations? Should Russian spymasters expect that operations they touched are now compromised? What about other Russian operations that used bitcoin, or X-agent, or another hacking tool called X-Tunnel? Has the United States tracked such operations and identified the targets? Finally, how are U.S. intelligence services playing back the information they’ve learned — to recruit, exploit or compromise Russian officers?

“I suspect the senior officers of the GRU who were involved do not have bright futures,” says Smith. “Putin will never extradite them, but it would be great if they were to defect to the U.S. and tell us what they know.”

Looking at this case through a counterintelligence lens raises an intriguing new series of questions. In putting all the detail into the indictment, Mueller was giving Russian intelligence a hint of how much America can see. But this public disclosure may mask much deeper capabilities — perhaps a capacity to expose many more layers of GRU military-intelligence operations and those by the Russian civilian spy services, the FSB and the SVR. American intelligence agencies rarely tip their hand this way by disclosing so much in an indictment; clearly they did so here to send messages.

Explains one former CIA officer: “Given that we clearly had so much of the Russian internal communication and cyber footprints, they must be asking what else do we have? Do we have communications between the units and more senior officers in the GRU? With the General Staff? With the Kremlin? With Putin? Probably not the latter directly, but the Russians are very bureaucratic and it’s hard for me to imagine there is not a clear trail of higher level approvals, progress reports, etc.”

Friday’s indictment is a legal document. But it’s also a shot across the Kremlin’s bow. The message is: If you don’t stop cyber-operations against the United States, we have the detailed information to identify and disrupt your intelligence services, officers, sources and methods. Mueller isn’t asking Russia to stop; he’s warning them of the consequences of going forward.

The indictment also sends a message to President Trump and members of his entourage who are potential targets of Mueller’s probe: Here’s a hint of what we know; how much are you willing to wager that we don’t know a lot more about Russian contacts and collusion? For example, the indictment is a proffer of Mueller’s information about contacts between GRU cut-out “Guccifer 2.0” and Roger Stone, Trump’s friend and adviser. What else does Mueller have?

Seeing these details, we have new appreciation for the dilemma of FBI officials James B. Comey, Peter Strzok and the handful of others who saw the unfolding story of Russia’s secret attempt to undermine Hillary Clinton and help Trump. As Strzok put it in his statement to a House committee Thursday: “In the summer of 2016, I was one of a handful of people who knew the details of Russian election interference and its possible connections with members of the Trump campaign.”

Strzok kept quiet about the conspiracy he was watching. Trump was elected president. But now, at last, with Friday’s indictment, we see a bit of what Strzok and the other intelligence officials saw.

And here’s a spooky final question: How much has the intelligence community told Trump about its operations against Russia? If you were one of the American intelligence officers who helped gather the information that’s included in Friday’s indictment, what would you think about the fact that Trump has asked for a private meeting first with Putin?"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2018/07/15/putin-must-wonder-what-else-america-knows-about-russia/

Sometimes in the USA no paywall is present with javascript turned off

bttbJuly 16, 2018 8:47 AM

@example counter evidence

"Putin knows it's all a false flag circus fake news witch hunt. I mean, where's the evidence?!

............

Did I get that right, greenwalders?"

WTF

vas pupJuly 16, 2018 9:02 AM

Science fiction enthusiasts have a positive attitude to the digitizing of the brain:
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/07/180712100452.htm
"The goal of a technology known as mind upload is to make it possible to create functional copies of the human brain on computers. The development of this technology, which involves scanning of the brain and detailed cell-specific emulation, is currently receiving billions in funding. Science fiction enthusiasts express a more positive attitude towards the technology compared to others.

"For example, is the potential for conscious experiences transmitted when the brain is copied? Does the digital brain have the ability to feel pain, and is switching off the emulated brain comparable to homicide? And what might potentially everlasting life be like on a digital platform?"

A positive attitude from science fiction enthusiasts

Such questions can be considered science fiction, but the first breakthroughs in digitising the brain have already been made: for example, the nervous system of the roundworm (C. elegans) has been successfully modelled within a Lego robot capable of independently moving and avoiding obstacles. Recently, the creation of a functional digital copy of the piece of a somatosensory cortex of the rat brain was also successful.

Scientific discoveries in the field of brain digitisation and related questions are given consideration in both science fiction and scientific journals in philosophy. Moralities of Intelligent Machines, a research group working at the University of Helsinki, is investigating the subject also from the perspective of moral psychology, in other words mapping out the tendency of ordinary people to either approve of or condemn the use of such technology."
***

Breakthrough in construction of computers for mimicking human brain:
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/07/180711093119.htm

"A computer built to mimic the brain's neural networks produces similar results to that of the best brain-simulation supercomputer software currently used for neural-signaling research. Tested for accuracy, speed and energy efficiency, this custom-built computer named SpiNNaker, has the potential to overcome the speed and power consumption problems of conventional supercomputers, with the aim of advancing our knowledge of neural processing in the brain, including learning and disorders such as epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease.

The human brain is extremely complex, comprising 100 billion interconnected brain cells. We understand how individual neurons and their components behave and communicate with each other and on the larger scale, which areas of the brain are used for sensory perception, action and cognition. However, we know less about the translation of neural activity into behavior, such as turning thought into muscle movement.

Supercomputer software has helped by simulating the exchange of signals between neurons, but even the best software run on the fastest supercomputers to date can only simulate 1% of the human brain.

Developed over the past 15 years and based on the structure and function of the human brain, SpiNNaker -- part of the Neuromorphic Computing Platform of the Human Brain Project -- is a custom-built computer composed of half a million of simple computing elements controlled by its own software. The researchers compared the accuracy, speed and energy efficiency of SpiNNaker with that of NEST -- a specialist supercomputer software currently in use for brain neuron-signaling research."

CallMeLateForSupperJuly 16, 2018 9:11 AM

Who else is tired of the tenor of the posts by @Hmm directed at @Clive? Then speak up.

@Hmm
Please tone it down. There is no excuse for most of the shrillness.

bttbJuly 16, 2018 9:12 AM

@Sancho_P

"When the SoS, for years, runs an unsecured email service,..."

When I first read that, I first thought of Schneier on Security, not Secretary of State.

vas pupJuly 16, 2018 9:44 AM

Related to psychology of security (threat assessment):

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20180710-why-the-brain-always-finds-new-problems-and-threats

"Why do people expand what they call threatening when threats become rare? Research from cognitive psychology and neuroscience suggests that this kind of behaviour is a consequence of the basic way that our brains process information – we are constantly comparing what is in front of us to its recent context.

Instead of carefully deciding how threatening a face is compared to all other faces, for example, the brain analyses how threatening it is compared to other faces it has seen recently – or compares it to some average of recently seen faces, or to the most and least threatening faces it has seen.

This kind of comparison could lead directly to the pattern my research group saw in our experiments: when threatening faces are rare, new faces would be judged relative to mostly harmless faces. In a sea of mild faces, even slightly threatening faces might seem scary.

It turns out that for your brain, relative comparisons often use less energy than absolute measurements. Just think about how it’s easier to remember which of your cousins is the tallest than exactly how tall each cousin is. Human brains have likely evolved to use relative comparisons in many situations because these comparisons often provide enough information to safely navigate our environments and make decisions, all while expending as little effort as possible."

RGJuly 16, 2018 12:07 PM

The Richest vs The Most Powerful

1) Postal Service needs to double rates
2) Vastly expanded online sales tax
3) FCC hired prominent Amazon critic to explore anti-trust anti-competitive strategies
4) New 10-25% tariffs on common consumer goods sold by Amazon
5) Supreme Court vetting on Anti-trust
6) 90% of 2018 tax cuts for wealthy and corporations
7)

Take out China, Amazon and finance the Republican tax-cut. All in one swoop!

Both the dazed & confused base and the opposition have been unable to connect these dots.
Why has no-one been able to tie-together these rather obvious ordered associations? Is it the constant barrage of chaos?

Add these tariff/tax burdens to years of skyrocketing debt, housing prices, property taxes, rents, insurance and energy. Can we change course in-time? Hmmm,,,

Completely unrelated, what happened to the Chinese Intelligence officers who were indicted several years ago?

I apologize for going off-topic for such a nonsensical stupid post. Maybe social media has dumbed-me-down?

HmmJuly 16, 2018 1:40 PM

@supper

My tone is actually spot on, considering Clive's own and the narrative he's pushing without wheels.

Clive needs to understand he's entitle to his own opinions, absolutely -
but passing them along as public fact is where he's going to meet pushback.

Fact : Clive says repeatedly "everything is cooked up by the media"

This won't stand as a fact. It's been debunked. He comes back with it, wham, down again.
You're right, I'd love it if we didn't have to reaffirm what is provably true constantly.
That would really be an improvement to the discussion.

But when people correct something factually incorrect that he says, he apparently feels entitled to use flowery prose to insult and gaslight them as if that's legitimate.

I push back on the merits. I don't pull punches when someone is being dishonest.
When they're rude about it on top they can expect a similar response.

I hope I'm not being rude in explaining all of this to you in a reasonable tone, supper.
But I won't be silenced just because someone wants to push a false narrative uninterrupted,
as if it indeed has factual basis - when it so obviously has none at all.

Clive RobinsonJuly 16, 2018 2:03 PM

@ Martin,

1) Might not be a good idea to encrypt your hard drive. 2) Might not be a good idea to encrypt a cloud repository.

You might have got the wrong impression with both 1 and 2. You need to think of security in the broader terms, that is loss to you as well as loss to unknown third parties( the the latter being the more normal fare of this blog).

It should be,

0) Do not use encryption unless you follow and use good KeyGen, KeyMan and Off-Line encryption/decryption practices.

1a) Never let unencrypted data out of your control. No exceptions ever, otherwise you will regret it at some point.

2a) Do not use cloud storage ever, even if you think you do not care, because someday you will...

2b) If you do have to use cloud storage because the requirment is beyond your control (this includes the personal data rapatious social media such as linkedIn etc as well),

2b1) Do not put anything on cloud storage you your employer or others would care about if you stuck it up on a bill board in Central Park etc.
2b2) Never use the cloud supplied encryption. Always use your own encryptionand follow 0 above religiously.

But as indicated the most likely misfortune to befall the average person is data corruption due to hardware failure or those easily insured losses of fire, flood, theft.

Which generally means unless you've realy practiced good KeyMan your "secret" list of keys goes as well... Hence you end up locked out of any backups you have locally or remotely... So unless you know what you are doing, don't use encryption...

bttbJuly 16, 2018 2:38 PM

Warning- long post from today on https://www.democracynow.org/

"Debate: Is Trump-Putin Summit a “Danger to America” or Crucial Diplomacy Between Nuclear Powers?"
w/ Glenn Greenwald and Joe Cirincione

"AMY GOODMAN: Glenn Greenwald, good or bad, the summit? And what do you want to see come out of this?

GLENN GREENWALD: I think it’s excellent. And I would just cite two historical examples. In 2007, during the Democratic presidential debate, Barack Obama was asked whether he would meet with the leaders of North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Syria and Iran without preconditions. He said he would. Hillary Clinton said she wouldn’t, because it would be used as a propaganda tool for repressive dictators. And liberals celebrated Obama. It was one of his greatest moments and one of the things that I think helped him to win the Democratic nomination, based on the theory that it’s always better to meet with leaders, even if they’re repressive, than to isolate them or to ignore them. In 1987, when President Reagan decided that he wanted to meet with Soviet leaders, the far right took out ads against him that sounded very much just like what we just heard from Joe, accusing him of being a useful idiot to Soviet and Kremlin propaganda, of legitimizing Russian aggression and domestic repression at home.

It is true that Putin is an authoritarian and is domestically repressive. That’s true of many of the closest allies of the United States, as well, who are even far more repressive, including ones that fund most of the think tanks in D.C., such as the United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia. And I think the most important issue is the one that we just heard, which is that 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons are in the hands of two countries—the United States and Russia—and having them speak and get along is much better than having them isolate one another and increase the risk of not just intentional conflict, but misperception and miscommunication, as well.

AMY GOODMAN: Joe Cirincione, your response? Your banner says “Ploughshares Fund: Building a Future Free of Nuclear Threats.” Why not support a conversation between the people who are in control of, well, essentially, the nuclear trigger in the world?

JOE CIRINCIONE: Right. Let’s be clear. Glenn, there’s nothing wrong with meeting. I agree with you. Leaders should meet, and we should be negotiating with our foes, with those people we disagree with. We’re better off when we do that. And the kind of attacks you saw on Barack Obama were absolutely uncalled for, and you’re right to condemn those.

What I’m worried about is this president meeting with this leader of Russia and what they’re going to do."

[...]

"GLENN GREENWALD: So, I mean, I think this kind of rhetoric is so unbelievably unhinged, the idea that the phishing links sent to John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee are the greatest threat to American democracy in decades. People are now talking about it as though it’s on par with 9/11 or Pearl Harbor, that the lights are blinking red, in terms of the threat level. This is lunacy, this kind of talk. I spent years reading through the most top-secret documents of the NSA, and I can tell you that not only do they send phishing links to Russian agencies of every type continuously on a daily basis, but do far more aggressive interference in the cybersecurity of every single country than Russia is accused of having done during the 2016 election. To characterize this as some kind of grave existential threat to American democracy is exactly the kind of rhetoric that we heard throughout the Bush-Cheney administration about what al-Qaeda was like.

And I would just remind everybody, as well, that if you look at Russia’s—at the United States’s Russia policy during the administration of Barack Obama—look at what he did and said. In 2012, he mocked the idea, spread by Mitt Romney, that Russia was our greatest existential foe. Yes, that was before Crimea, but it was after Georgia. It was after they were accused of murdering dissidents and imprisoning journalists. He mocked that idea and said we have all kinds of reasons to try and get along with Russia. Even after 2016, after Crimea, after he was told that the Russians interfered in the U.S. election, he didn’t talk about it as 9/11 or treat it like 9/11. He expelled a few Russian diplomats and urged everybody to keep it in perspective, and said that Russia is the seventh- or eighth-largest economy in the world, behind even Italy, and not a grave threat to the United States.

This kind of talk, this kind of climate, it’s amazing. Joe’s work is something I vehemently support, which is eliminating the threat of nuclear weapons. Yes, it’d be great if we had better leaders, but the leaders of the countries that have 90 percent of the nuclear stockpile happen to be Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. That’s not going to change. So the question is not “Do we wish we had better leaders?” The question is “Do we want these two countries trying to talk and resolve their differences peacefully, or do we want them isolating one another and feeling besieged and belligerent and attacked, which heightens all the tensions that Joe has devoted his career to combating?” And I think it’s much better to have the kind of dialogue that Barack Obama advocated with Russia than the kind of belligerence that Democrats now demand of our government."

[...]

"AMY GOODMAN: Joe Cirincione, do you find it unusual that you are—you know, you share the same views right now, for example, as Dan Coats? When the—as the Russian indictments were coming down, the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats raised the alarm on growing cyberattack threats, saying the situation is at a critical point, coming out forcefully against Russia. This is President Trump’s national intelligence director. He said, “The warning signs are there. The system is blinking. It is why I believe we are at a critical point.” Joe?

JOE CIRINCIONE: Yeah. Well, let me say where I agree with Glenn. I agreement that many Democrats are trying to get to the right of Donald Trump on lots of issues—for example, on North Korea. And you see them trying to out-macho Donald Trump, and that is dangerous. And, of course, I support dialogue. I think the only solution to a lot of these issues, whether it’s nuclear arms control or Syria or the Korean Peninsula, is diplomacy. There are no military solutions to these issues."

[...]

"AMY GOODMAN: So, Glenn, right now President Trump has, you know, repeated what President Putin says, that he denies that he was doing any cyberattacks on the United States, but at the same time Trump blames the Democratic Party, says they should have protected—you know, that the DNC and the DCCC should have protected their cyberspace more.

GLENN GREENWALD: Well, first of all, you know, in terms of what Joe just said, it’s really not true that the U.S. is doing nothing about the threat posed to cyberwarfare. We spend $70 billion every year on the intelligence budget, a large portion of which is spent by the NSA on how to fortify computer systems and to prevent those kinds of attacks. You know, it is true that if you see what the Russians allegedly did in 2016 as some kind of 9/11-style attack on the U.S., that does get pinned on President Obama. He was the president at the time, which means he allowed it to happen on his watch, that kind of an attack. And he also had six months in office where he did very little in response, except expel a few diplomats and impose some sanctions, because he didn’t treat it like some grave attack on American democracy, but it’s the kind of thing that these two countries have been doing to one another for decades. And I agree with him completely.

And let me just say, I do not think that—this idea that if you meet with a leader, it means that you’re legitimizing all of their abuses. I mean, again, look at Washington. Joe just worked for and just left ThinkProgress, which is affiliated with the Center for American Progress, that takes money from one of the most repressive regimes on the planet, the United Arab Emirates. And when he left, he cited that kind of money drowning Washington as a reason. We deal with regimes all the time that are incredibly repressive. The United States government is often repressive. We destroyed Iraq. We set up a worldwide torture regime. We still have a prison in Guantánamo where people have been imprisoned for 17 years on an island with no trial. We have to deal with other countries who violate human rights. Our own governments deal with human rights—abuse human rights. And I think to look at dialogue with other countries as legitimizing human rights is the kind of rhetoric that the right used for seven decades to delegitimize attempts to reach peaceful negotiations with the Soviet Union. And that is what I worry about.

I actually think that Joe and I are largely in agreement on most of these questions, with the exception of how to look at what happened in 2016. And I think it’s time that we move past 2016, fortify our computer systems, try and of course have cyberdefenses, like we’re already doing, but instead of looking at the world through the 2016 election, look at it through The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock, that is now at two minutes before midnight, the worst rating since 1953 for the threat to humanity, largely because of the threat of nuclear weapons, along with climate change, that is in the hands of these two countries. And let’s hope for more and more and more dialogue between Russia and the United States, and move away from the rhetoric that says it’s treasonous or dangerous for us to meet and talk and have dialogue.

AMY GOODMAN: So, Joe, that point, that you are not condoning your opponent when you have a meeting?

JOE CIRINCIONE: No, not necessarily. But Donald Trump is, with this meeting. He is praising Vladimir Putin. I actually think the protesters in Finland have this just about right. Both of these men are dangerous. Both of these men oppress basic human rights, basic freedoms. Both of them think the press are the enemy of the people. Putin goes further: He kills journalists. He has them assassinated on the streets of Moscow. Donald Trump does not go that far yet."

[...]

"AMY GOODMAN: Glenn Greenwald, do you think Putin has something on Trump?

GLENN GREENWALD: No, I mean, I’ll believe that when I see evidence for it. So let me just make two points. Number one is, if you look at President Obama versus President Trump, there’s no question that President Obama was more cooperative with and collaborative with Russia and the Russian agenda than President Trump. President Trump has sent lethal arms to Ukraine—a crucial issue for Putin—which President Obama refused to do. President Trump has bombed the Assad forces in Syria, a client state of Putin, something that Obama refused to do because he didn’t want to provoke Putin. Trump has expelled more Russian diplomats and sanctioned more Russian oligarchs than [Obama] has. Trump undid the Iran deal, which Russia favored, while Obama worked with Russia in order to do the Iran deal. So this idea that Trump is some kind of a puppet of Putin, that he controls him with blackmail, is the kind of stuff that you believe if you read too many Tom Clancy novels, but isn’t borne out by the facts.

The other issue that I want to make is that, you know, again, this idea that somehow that you are endorsing the repression of other countries’ leaders if you meet with them—it is true that Trump has never criticized Putin, although he has taken all the steps I just outlined against Putin. But he’s also never criticized Benjamin Netanyahu. He’s also never criticized the incredibly repressive leaders of Saudi Arabia. He’s never criticized the fascist president of the Philippines. It is true President Trump likes fascist and authoritarian leaders, and that is a problem, but it’s not like Putin is the only leader that he doesn’t criticize.

But what he has been consistent about for a long time—and this is something that Joe himself recently said, that I agree with completely—is that a lot of these international institutions that are supposed to be off limits from criticism, like free trade organizations, the World Trade Organization, NATO, the EU, have devastated the working-class populations of multiple countries. And if we want to understand why we have a Donald Trump and why we have a resurgent “alt-right” throughout Europe and why we have Brexit, we need to start asking questions about whether or not these institutions, that have been so sacred for so long, are actually ones that are serving the interest of our country. And until we figure out how to solve the root causes that have given rise to Trumpism and to fascist extremism in Europe and in the country I live in, Brazil, which is that these institutions are destroying the economic future of tens of millions and hundreds of millions of people in order to benefit the rich, we’re just going to have more Trumps, no matter how much we kick our feet and call him names. And that, I think is the issue that is most being ignored by all of this rhetoric.

AMY GOODMAN: Listen, we have to go to break. It’s really hard to do that, but we’re going to break for 30 seconds. And when we come back—Glenn, you just got back from Russia. There are a number of Democrats—I’m not just talking Republicans, mainly Democrats—who are saying Trump should have done what Obama did, and that’s cancel this meeting with Putin once the indictments came out. And they’re citing the precedent of Obama in 2013 when Putin gave Edward Snowden political asylum. Obama canceled their meeting. You just came back from visiting Snowden. I’d like to ask you about that and also get Joe Cirincione’s view. This is Democracy Now! Our guests are Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald and Joe Cirincione, president of Ploughshares Fund. Stay with us..."

https://www.democracynow.org/2018/7/16/debate_is_trump_putin_summit_a_danger ; part_1; transcript available

https://www.democracynow.org/2018/7/16/part_2_debate_on_russian_meddling ; part_2

https://www.democracynow.org/2018/7/16/mass_protests_meet_trump_putin_summit ; first part of show, w/ Finnish Politician Heidi Hautala

bttbJuly 16, 2018 2:47 PM

@hmm

1a) We are the 'xyz' government; trust us and/or we are here to help.

1b) Do what? What's the evidence that you are willing to disclose? What is the evidence and its' accuracy, authentication, reliability, etc., and chain of custody? Why do you say that? ...

bttbJuly 16, 2018 3:16 PM

From https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/07/16/at-helsinki-summit-putin-reenacts-the-june-9-trump-tower-meeting/ :

"I know there are a lot of people who aren’t as convinced as I am that a clear agreement was reached between Trump’s top aides and Putin’s emissaries at the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting. For doubters, however, Vladimir Putin just re-enacted the meeting on the world stage at the Helsinki summit.

On top of the denials, from both sides, of Russian tampering in the election (and both sides’ embrace of a joint cybersecurity working group), that re-enactment came in three ways.

First, when asked whether Russia tampered in our election, Putin issued a line that was sort of a non-sequitur, asserting that, “I was an intelligence officer myself. And I do know how dossiers are made of.” The line — a reference both to the Steele dossier and Putin’s more damaging kompromat on Trump — is pregnant with meeting (and probably was planned). When asked, later, whether he had any compromising information on Trump or his family, Putin said, “Now to kompromat. I did hear these allegations that we collected kompromat when he was in Moscow. I didn’t even know he was in Moscow.”

This is a reference to the pee tape, allegedly taped when he put on Miss Universe in Russia in 2013. But it’s premised on a claim about which there is sworn counter-evidence in the US. Rob Goldstone — the guy who set up the June 9 meeting — described how Putin not only knew Trump was in Moscow, but was still trying to fit in a meeting with him.

'And it went down to the wire. It was on the day of the contest itself that maybe around 4:00 in the afternoon Emin called a few of us into a conference room at Crocus, and his Dad, Aras, was there. And we were told that a call was coming in through from a Mr. Peskov, who I know to be Dmitry Peskov, who I believe is a spokesman for Mr . Putin, and there’d be an answer. And the answer I think, as I may have stated the last time I saw you, was that due to the lateness o f the newly crowned King of Holland who’d been delayed in traffic, whether air or road traffic, Mr. Putin would not be able to meet with Mr. Trump. However, he invited him to Sochi, to the Olympics, and said he’d be happy to meet him here or at any future time. And that’s how it was left, so there would be not meeting taking place.'

So not only did Putin lie about whether there could be a pee tape (I don’t think there is one, but I think the 2013 involves compromise in another way), but did so in a way that invoked the Agalrovs as Trump’s handlers going back years.

And did you notice that he never denied having kompromat?

Then, in a response to one of the questions about Putin’s tampering in the election, after he suggested that he’d be willing to have Mueller come to Russia to question the GRU officers who hacked Hillary, he demanded similar cooperation on his legal issues. He then raised Bill Browder (who is no longer a US citizen), complaining that

[...]

Aside from being muddled, both in Putin’s delivery and the translation, this is precisely the dangle that Natalia Veselnitskaya used to get into Trump’s campaign back in 2016 to ask to have the Magnitsky sanctions overturned.

This was simply Putin laying out his receipts of Trump’s compromise on the world stage.

There’s one other area where Putin simply showed off how badly he has compromised the President. His prepared talks emphasized cooperation on Syria, claiming it “could be first showcase example of joint work.” As I have noted, that has been the operative plan since less than 15 hours after polls closed in November 2016. And it was known by someone who played a significant role in the Russian attack.

[OTR Direct Message]

This meeting, then, is just Putin collecting on the receipts collected back on June 9, 2016."


AndersJuly 16, 2018 3:18 PM

I remember here the discussion about the Guccifer 2.0 Google search...

Well, that DNC indictment now gives the answer for that.
Russians were not searching from the Google info about their hacking,
as some suggested here (time travel etc).

They were actually using Google search for a spellcheck and translation,
so that blog text would be correct and plausible. Even i do the same
from time to time - i search how some expression is actually written
(i know how it's pronounced). So for me as a non-native English speaker
it was easy to spot and understand.

CallMeLateForSupperJuly 16, 2018 3:18 PM

@Hmm

"But when people correct something factually incorrect that he says, he apparently feels entitled to use flowery prose to insult and gaslight them as if that's legitimate."

It was you, not "people", who was dueling - and I don't say "correcting" because what I perceived from you was in-your-face confrontation, and in a not nice way. I would agree that @Clive has an unusual writing style, but I do not agree that "insult" and "gaslight" describe his writing. If you perceive his "flowery prose" to insult or gaslight, the only thing I can offer is ... perhaps some comprehension bias is going on. I have read Clive Robinson for years, and I don't remember anyone, excepting to odd troll or n'er-do-well, taking issue with what he writes.

"I won't be silenced just because [...]"

Silence? Who wants to silence you? I guess I missed that post.

I won't engage with you on this again.

MartinJuly 16, 2018 4:52 PM

@Hmm

You were somewhat sarcastic in your comments regarding my item #9; "9) No one seems to comprehend the "Russia hack" was really just piss poor IT security practices on the part of USA political party."

However, it appears you didn't understand, or possibly read, my post otherwise you'd not have written such a reply.

Read my opening statement. It states: "What I've learned reading the comments on this entry:" The word "entry" relates to this particular post of Mr. Schneier's blog.

The perspective I wrote about in item #9 was based on the comments of the blog entry on July 16th, not the insights and perceptions I had developed about the issue over the previous many months. I think if you'd read my posting a bit more carefully you'd not have written such a reply; a reply that within the context of my entire message is a bit confusing...at least to me and perhaps others.

Take care and best of luck with your journey.

HmmJuly 16, 2018 4:56 PM

@supper

"because what I perceived from you was in-your-face confrontation"

I admit that's somewhat valid. I have lost patience with repeated falsehood stated as facts.

I certainly do carve out ample room for people's views and opinions. He's no exception to that.
Clive's certainly entitled to hate, loathe, insult, and sing dirty songs about the US!

In fact on a lot of levels I completely and wholeheartedly agree with him. Not all.
We can have different views and I'd be bored out of my skull here if we didn't.

What I do push back on is assertions of fact without backing attempting to replace valid information.

"The Media" did not invent this story. "The CIA" did not invent Russian collusion claims.
To state such things a bedrock for discussion is going to cause friction with reality.
Why it's not everyone in the room pushing back, that's a question for themselves perhaps.

Everyone has an opinion. Not everyone gets their own 12 dimensional universe.
These disinformation campaigns are deliberate - not on his part per se, but deliberate.

I'm not reality's sole arbiter, but I'm not refuting this stuff with personal op-eds either.
We are all responsible to maintain the factual record - and challenge changes to it on the merits.

To that end I bring the factual record in any capacity you'd like to read it.
I haven't called anyone any names or implied anyone is stupid deliberately.
I do not make things up. I cite, I quote, and I note a reasonable consensus.

The thing is.. I'm not challenging Clive. I'm challenging his casual assertions of fact that aren't based in fact, that are gaslighting BS tropes pushed by deliberate intent from propaganda outlets that seek to discredit out of hand any disagreeing journalistic integrity simply because they can't compete with it on the merits.

The world does not agree that this is all a hoax, that Putin is a maligned innocent.
Clive continually insinuates that all Americans are stupid for distrusting Putin.
There's no factual basis for that line of BS, and we do know where it comes from.

If you can't back your case whatsoever, and it's a whopper of a statement, don't state it as fact.
That's considered falsehood, if repeated it's propaganda, and if not serious it's trolling.

So we can have nice things, we can have excellent discussions. We will. We can be absolutely polite to eachother and respect the opinions of others with varied experience sets and backgrounds and locations... but what we can't expect is to sit around pretending nothing is provable and everything printed is a lie and expect nobody to challenge that.

It's entirely avoidable and I'm not the only party despite your insinuation.

"I feel" or "I think" is a good caveat to place inline with such claims of opine-basis.
That's perfectly unimpeachable, even if we might argue about the merits of it.

But when you call it FACT, you can be called to task on the assertion when plainly wrong.

That's not going away. I won't let that go away in any dimension I'm corporeal in.
Not while I have faculties of reading and contrasting information from BS rhetoric.
YMMV.

Right now I'm watching Trump kiss Putin's proverbial ring on TV. (Not stated as fact..)
It's depressing as an American, but I'll try to remember it's only a temporary treason.

Someday we'll have verifiable truth as our standard again instead of BS demagoguery.
Have an excellent day meanwhile.

MartinJuly 16, 2018 5:00 PM

@Clive

Thanks for taking time to comment on my two statements concerning encryption. You are correct that the focus of your thoughts were about managing access keys. And, that is clearly of the highest priority. My comments side-stepped that critical issue.

I'll spare you and others with the many stories I've seen over the years where failure to properly manage access key has caused immense frustration and loss of data. As you pointed out, it is an aspect of security that is frequently underrated in importance.

Thanks again.

bttbJuly 16, 2018 5:06 PM

@Hmm
"The US has charged her as a spy/agent as of just now."
+1

by emptywheel, https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/07/16/how-russian-spies-cultivated-the-nra-and-national-prayer-breakfast-to-seek-republican-assets/ :

"DOJ just announced the arrest, over the weekend, of gun rights activist Maria Butina for conspiracy to spy for Russia. (complaint, affidavit)

The affidavit explains how, between March 2015 (when she expected the GOP would “likely obtain control over the U.S. government after the 2016 elections”) and 2017, Butina worked with Aleksandr Torshin and two US persons to cultivate Republicans and lay the groundwork for warmer relations between Republicans and Russia. She focused on the NRA, she explained, because “the NRA [is] the largest sponsor of the elections in the US congress.”

The person listed as USP 1 (who has been named but I’ll wait for confirmation) laid out precisely how she should pitch herself — not too critical of Obama, pretense that there was a post-Putin world on the horizon — and gave her all the introductions to friendly types she might need.

The end of the narrative laid out in the complaint describes meticulous details around the National Prayer Breakfast last year, on February 2, 2017. Trump very nearly met with Torshin a the meeting, only pulling out at the last minute.

[...]

But understand that this indictment is not even part of the Mueller probe. Nevertheless, several parts of it get two degrees away from Trump and his spawn."

and

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/16/us/politics/trump-russia-indictment.html

HmmJuly 16, 2018 5:06 PM

@ Martin

Ah, so you didn't mean it? Then it is my mistake. But it was more than just #9, right?

3) Trump's approach really gets folks stirred up.

Yeah, and backing Nazis, attacking minorities, calling people animals, treason, etc.

4) Trumps business approach really bothers people; he's not a politician.

Even business people know there are laws against emoluments and such.

5) Putin get a lot of attention and worries folks even though Russia is really not a significant world economy.

Now you're trying to downplay the threat Russia can pose on world security, apparently.
Unless I'm mistaken, it does imply that.

#9 was just much more pointedly false, because Russia in fact hacked both parties - and others.
This is part of the verifiable public record. Trump, Putin, Clive and others deny this fact.

So when you said 3,4,5 and then 9, I assumed it was part of a deliberate pattern.
If you say I was mistaken then I was, but the pattern idioms are there to see.

7) Doesn't seem UK folks respect Americans much...possibly justified.

This also seems like a veiled insult along the lines of Clive's attacks on Americans.
As an American I really don't take it hard at all, who cares, but you might note that.
Clive's attacks on Americans go beyond his comments about the government. Also notable.

8) Topic, seem to me, to have wondered off from "Schneier on Security's" focus.

That's debatable but this is the appropriate Friday Squid and info security is security.
This seemed like an attempt to derail the current discussion without adding a new topic...

10) Courtesy and professionalism among commenters is important but sometimes missing.

Sometimes that's true. Let's all work on that myself included.

When we speak our minds let's be clear to differentiate between fact and feeling.
That should cut down on a lot of the disputes of "what is" going on right now.

Have an excellent day and thank you for clarifying.

echoJuly 16, 2018 5:07 PM

I need a lawyer to sign some documents. With respect to the type of document which needs signing confidentiality is a legal issue with some strict case law applying only they don't know this because I haven't told them. Because I don't have a printer I asked if they could print the documents for a reasonable fee before signing. They said they don't offer this service and I should use a library or stationers which of course makes the breach of confidentiality issue even worse. Last but not least they expect me to organise this before being squeezed into a ten minute appointment tomorrow.

I also wanted to take the opportunity while I was there to briefly discuss a case I wanted to bring and schedule a discussion for another time. This kind of attitude isn't something I feel is very helpful.

I have no idea what it is with people today.

gordoJuly 16, 2018 5:12 PM

Uncomfortable Questions in the Wake of Russia Indictment 2.0 and Trump’s Press Conference With Putin
By Jack Goldsmith Monday, July 16, 2018

[B]ehind the indictment, and the congratulatory reaction to it, lie some uncomfortable unanswered questions about blowback toward U.S. officials, reciprocal interference by the United States in other nations political affairs, the lack of preparation for renewed electoral interference in this country, and U.S. journalists’ publication of stolen U.S. government information. These questions have heightened significance and more difficult answers in light of President Trump’s astounding performance Monday in Helsinki.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/uncomfortable-questions-wake-russia-indictment-20-and-trumps-press-conference-putin

HmmJuly 16, 2018 5:22 PM

@Bttb

"But understand that this indictment is not even part of the Mueller probe."

Very true. The Mueller probe has opened cans of borscht in other areas, such as the NRA.

Also the BREXIT campaign, the same groups pushing online campaigns for that were involved in Trump.
The exact same people, literally there is now evidence of that.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/russia-used-web-posts-to-disrupt-brexit-vote-h9nv5zg6c

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/14/how-400-russia-run-fake-accounts-posted-bogus-brexit-tweets

https://infacts.org/putin-buy-brexit/

"the data shows" = this isn't an opine, this is data derived.

The thing is Putin's no dummy - the KGB/GRU are no slouches.
They defend their interests to the death.

What they've managed to do is insert themselves into one of the two major political parties here.
They've made that party's successes line up with their own. That's a serious coup.

The NRA is probably one of the more powerful lobbying organizations in the US overall.
To have foreign nationals in charge of disinformation campaigns with untraceable donor cash..
We are in a very dangerous situation in uninformed, news-divided, politically polarized America.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jul/16/sacha-baron-cohen-guns-children-toddlers-who-is-america-reality

https://people.com/tv/sacha-baron-cohen-kids-guns-who-is-america/

What's that idiom? Divide and conquer.

Putin is winning handily due to people who don't think critically. - (I feel, I think.)

Cheers.

HmmJuly 16, 2018 5:24 PM

@echo

... Buy a printer? You can pay me back in installments, I'll lend you the $100.

RatioJuly 16, 2018 5:30 PM

@Anders,

I remember here the discussion about the Guccifer 2.0 Google search...

Well, that DNC indictment now gives the answer for that. Russians were not searching from the Google info about their hacking, as some suggested here (time travel etc).

They were actually using Google search for a spellcheck and translation, so that blog text would be correct and plausible.

Which discussion about Guccifer 2.0 would that be? Are you perhaps referring to this discussion instead?

If so, please note that the Netyksho et al. indictment is about GRU officers hacking the Clinton campaign, and the DCCC and DNC starting in at least March and April of 2016 respectively, and publishing stolen data using their Guccifer 2.0 persona (see §2–6). On the other hand, the article alleging high ranking Russian intelligence officers searched for information about an upcoming attack talks about NSA access starting in late 2015 with the overall context being Cozy Bear, which Dutch intelligence links to SVR.

All that aside, it is in fact possible for someone (or multiple someones) to search for both translations and news, and other information besides.

HmmJuly 16, 2018 5:40 PM


Some "factual record keeping" to prove quasi-definitively : this IS NOT a partisan issue.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) called the press conference a “missed opportunity” for Trump to hold Russia accountable for the attempted election interference.

— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) July 16, 2018
It is imperative that Congress hold hearings on the extent and scope of any cooperation with Russia in Syria regarding Iran’s presence.

— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) July 16, 2018
Finally, if it were me, I’d check the soccer ball for listening devices and never allow it in the White House.

— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) July 16, 2018
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said succinctly: “The Russians are not our friends. I’ve said that repeatedly, I say it again today. And I have complete confidence in our intelligence community and the findings that they have announced.” He did not answer questions after his statement at the U.S. Capitol, according to The New York Times.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) urged America to be “clear” and label Russia a “foe” following the roughly 40-minute press conference.

We need to be clear. Russia is our foe. Putin is actively trying to hurt our country. America needs to speak with one voice AGAINST Russia.

— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) July 16, 2018
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) skewered Trump for failing “to defend all that makes us who we are” as Americans.

“No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant,” McCain said in a statement. “Not only did President Trump fail to speak the truth about an adversary; but speaking for America to the world, our president failed to defend all that makes us who we are—a republic of free people dedicated to the cause of liberty at home and abroad.”

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) dubbed Trump’s decision to hold both countries responsible for poor U.S.-Russia relations as “bizarre” and “flat-out wrong.”

“The United States is not to blame,” he said in a statement. “America wants a good relationship with the Russian people but Vladimir Putin and his thugs are responsible for Soviet-style aggression. When the President plays these moral equivalence games, he gives Putin a propaganda win he desperately needs.”


Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) on Monday defended the intelligence community against Trump’s attempts to once again undermine its credibility by refusing to blame Russia for election meddling.

“From the President on down, we must do everything in our power to protect our democracy by securing future election from foreign interference, regardless of what Vladimir Putin or any other Russian operative says,” Hatch said in a statement.


Strong statement from Orrin Hatch’s office on Trump/Putin meeting: pic.twitter.com/Ashf6PioMG

— Herb Scribner (@HerbScribner) July 16, 2018
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), an outspoken critic of Trump, echoed his fellow Republican senators. He called the press conference “shameful.”


I never thought I would see the day when our American President would stand on the stage with the Russian President and place blame on the United States for Russian aggression. This is shameful.

— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) July 16, 2018
House Republicans, including Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), also blasted Trump’s refusal to call out Putin.

“It’s time to wake up & face reality,” Kinzinger tweeted. “#Putin is not our friend; he’s an enemy to our freedom.”

The American people deserve the truth, & to disregard the legitimacy of our intelligence officials is a disservice to the men & women who serve this country. It’s time to wake up & face reality. #Putin is not our friend; he’s an enemy to our freedom.

— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) July 16, 2018
I strongly disagree w/ statement that Russia did not meddle in 2016 election. With all I have seen on House Intel Comm & additional indictments of 12 Russian officers last week, it is clear Russia’s intentions. President Trump missed opportunity to hold Putin publicly accountable

— Frank LoBiondo (@RepLoBiondo) July 16, 2018
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) urged the U.S. to focus on “holding Russia accountable and putting an end to its vile attacks on democracy.”

“The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally,” Ryan said in a statement.

Paul Ryan’s statement. pic.twitter.com/j5doFcTZ1S

— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) July 16, 2018
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) stood by the findings of the U.S. intelligence community and the House Intelligence Committee.

“Russia is not our friend,” Gowdy said in a statement. “It is possible to conclude Russia interfered with our election in 2016 without delegitimizing [Trump’s] electoral success.”

Trey Gowdy: “Russia is not our friend. Russia attempted to undermine the fundamentals of our democracy, impugn the reliability of the 2016 election...it is possible to conclude Russia interfered with our election in 2016 without delegitimizing [Trump’s] electoral success.” pic.twitter.com/b4sn5qGba4

— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) July 16, 2018


Pretty damning stuff. -(I think, I feel)

echoJuly 16, 2018 6:31 PM

One of the travel safes I ordered arrived today. Visually it is as described. I have already made a casual attempt to defeat the lock and it passes this very low threshold. After examining the locking mechanism I believe this attack may be mitigated by the design. There is another attack on the lock which I have not tried and I have ordered the tools seperately to attempt this later.

I bought this to prevent casual nosiness or opportunistic theft. There are other lawyers of security involved so this is good enough to protect against the inconvenience factor.

This travel safe wouldn't protect against anyone who was prepared but this is another security layer with mitigations in place.

All in all this travel safe may be a complete waste of money. My feeling is if anyone got this far then all my other security mitigations would have failed. They could either have what was inside or I would be racing out the door but at least I would know so it would have served its purpose.

If I had anything hugely important to store I wouldn't be carrying it with me or it would be placed in a properly secure location.

AndersJuly 16, 2018 6:51 PM

@Ratio

Yes, that's the same.

"They learn that right before a hacking attack, the Russians search the internet for any news about the oncoming attack."

I think this is the same event. One is official indictment, another is events described through the journalist comprehension. Journalists often describe technical things how they understand it and probably somewhere timeline got mixed up.

Some similar "misunderstanding" was recently regarding the Sanger book where was described the hack back, looking through the web cams etc...

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/pav5yz/fireeye-denies-hacking-chinese-military-david-sanger-perfect-weapon

https://taosecurity.blogspot.com/2018/06/bejtlich-on-apt1-report-no-hack-back.html

echoJuly 16, 2018 7:31 PM

@Anders

WhatI believe the indictment and other evidence demonstrates is the omg scary Russian cyber operation isn't very sophisticated at best if true. Assuming "the Russians did it" it does seem peculiar that everyone is racing around demanding mega billion budgets and kenetic action and deep moats when the Russians are a bunch of clowns with a pea shooter.

From what I can tell most cyber attacks or frauds attributed to Russia are much more sophisticated than what the Russian state is demonstrably capable of on the evidence presented.

So the Russian state uses Google to search for information then hides itself behind a proxy later? This does seem a bit odd.

There are a lot of blanks in the public information and a very cluttered narrative is being told. Perhaps therearevery good reasons for this and I can understand why but it does make for a very poor and not wholly convincing read.

RatioJuly 16, 2018 8:01 PM

@Anders,

I think this is the same event. One is official indictment, another is events described through the journalist comprehension. Journalists often describe technical things how they understand it and probably somewhere timeline got mixed up.

There’s no need to mix up the timeline to get to what you’re proposing: the hacking in the indictment comes after the NSA gaining access in late 2015.

But here’s a wrinkle. The indictment explicitly states that Netyksho & co. are GRU, while the article strongly suggests the searching is done by people linked to Cozy Bear. I guess it’s possible be that precisely this passage is not about Cozy Bear (SVR) but about GRU, in contrast to the rest of the story.

The people doing the searching are a bigger problem. In the article it’s “high ranking Russian intelligence officers”, and those are decidedly not the kind of people doing the searching in the indictment. This seems like a fatal flaw.

And finally, there is no way you can conclude that they didn’t search for new based on the fact that they did search for translations. It is in fact possible to do both, and more, even for a single person. This surely is a fatal flaw.

RatioJuly 16, 2018 8:11 PM

Edit:

s/it’s possible be/it’s possible/
s/search for new/search for news/

MajorJuly 16, 2018 8:12 PM

It is beyond me why so many people want to question the suggestion that Putin is a dangerous actor in Russia, in the United States and in the world.

I am not really following the personalities here, but I find it unlikely these folks are generally Trump supporters and need to believe all that entails. Perhaps I am wrong.

It seems like there is some need to be clever to the point of creating 2nd level conspiracy theories, the first level being that Trump is a Russian plant, the next level that Russia is unfairly maligned.

And this seems akin to a certain security nihilism that is rampant here. Newbies could easily leave thinking that it is not worth trying to be secure because of all the possible hardware and software vulnerabilities that are bandied about. These are real and interesting to know, but obscure the fact that, for the average person who is not likely to be the specific target of state level hacking, multiple layers of incomplete protection are likely to be sufficient, and certainly much much better than nothing. I wonder if average people stumbling upon the blog understand this, despite the fact that clever souls continually expound that nothing is secure.

This is not to deny that the USA and/or Trump may be as bad or worse. That is really a separate question. Certainly nuclear countries run by the the apparently unhinged are more of an existential threat than Russia. Putin is Machiavellian, not unhinged.

But Putin is not a nice guy. He is horrible to his people and he would love to infuse Americans and citizens of democratic countries with doubt about specifically those free institutions that make our project worthwhile, despite our shortcomings. He does not fight our racism or bigotry or injustice. He fights the struggling aspects of freedom that give us hope.

Absolute proof is not possible in a world of disinformation. But Putin's words and explicit actions are proof enough for me to conclude that this man does not like freedom and does not wish us well. I think diplomacy and outreach are always appropriate, but actually pushing his propaganda is sad.

I offer this comment with respect for the intelligence and knowledge of the people gathered here.

HmmJuly 16, 2018 8:21 PM

" isn't very sophisticated at best if true."

That seems to be true. They used spearphishing, script kiddies can do spearphishing.
They made mistakes, they cross-used bitcoin depos in some cases, etc. Normal stuff.
Accessing email systems is pretty routine, RAT trojans and standard chicanery.

It's not really a super "sophisticated" thing to run an army of Twitter bots;
It's also not a super covert activity, they're blasting a propaganda message.
On some level they expect to be visible. They're linking to Pro-Rus propaganda.

It's not APT28 level stuff. Russia has some serious groups it doesn't compromise with twitter bot operations trying to convince morons to spam Pizzagate stories for bitcoin fractions.

But on the theater-wide view, you see each individual operation is just a limb.
It doesn't matter if Russia is caught in this particular hack WHEN TRUMP WON, right?

He denied, and to THIS DAY despite OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE denies it took place - verbatim!
That's a huge Russian coup. Nobody kisses the ring for no reason!

Trump is taking a huge political hit to provide cover to Putin on this.

The question is : WHY? And do you really think Mueller doesn't have a thick file on that too?


RatioJuly 16, 2018 9:01 PM

@CallMeLateForSupper,

I have read Clive Robinson for years, and I don't remember anyone, excepting to odd troll or n'er-do-well, taking issue with what he writes.

Hi. I have quite vocally taken issues with @Clive Robinson’s commentary. I find it to generally be so atrocious and containing so much (possibly regurgitated) disinformation, especially on the current topic, that I now actively try and avoid all of it.

Make of that what you will.

Clive RobinsonJuly 16, 2018 10:25 PM

@ bttb,

The quote,

When asked, later, whether he had any compromising information on Trump or his family, Putin said, “Now to kompromat. I did hear these allegations that we collected kompromat when he was in Moscow. I didn’t even know he was in Moscow.

Is an interesting one, Putin does his usual misdirection non answer but then says something that is more specific that he need not have said. Something which is not just unlikely, but if I remember correctly conflicts with other information from Donald Trump that was linked to by @Hmm.

That is Donald Trump made various public comments about his relationship with Putin, and especially his time with the Miss World contest in Russia. A news outlet had produced a collation of Trumps comments which is what @Hmm had linked to. In there Trump mentioned that Putin had sent a note and a gift. Yes it could be "Trump trash talk" bigging himself up, a lot off the stuff in the collation clearly was, but a letter and a gift were quite speciffic unlike much of the rest of it.

Whilst it is possible a Putin Aid sent stuff to Trump, Miss World was a major event for Russia and Putin (see past shenanigans with sporting events and allegations of bribary etc to guage that by). Thus I find it unlikely that Putin did not know Trump the major self publisizer was in Moscow.

Thus has Putin "slipped" rather than being "slippery" in his comments. It's something journalists might want to follow up on. After all the usual first sign the works of man are about to come crashing down is "tiny cracks".

echoJuly 16, 2018 11:04 PM

@Clive

I have found the way things work lately rushes things. There's a lot of cross talk where different people have different views. A lot of claims and assumptions can be made.

That said I also read that Putin reads a lot of intelligence reports and takes them at face value. He did dodge this which is fair enough. I cannot recall any other major leader ever being asked this question. I have also read that hosting Miss World was regarded as a major coup for Russia because it helped cement their legitimacy as an important nation on par with Western nations which is why Russia has been keen to acquire other events too. You have to note that Russia lacks this type of 'soft power' that the West regards as a hallmark of status.

As for whether Putin did or didn't know I have no idea. My brain doesn't work in an especially politically agressive or calculating way so the whole thing goes woosh.

The whole affair smacks of a boys club with everyone trying to out-macho each other. For all the talk I believe human rights and social affairs have been squeezed out as has the basic economics. As "important" as some issues are I feel there has been a loss of perspective.

Clive RobinsonJuly 16, 2018 11:42 PM

@ Hmm,

My tone is actually spot on, considering Clive's own and the narrative he's pushing without wheels.

The only narative I am pushing is one of caution and waiting for evidence to become available, certainly not partisan politics, something our host @Bruce had asked for all to avoide due to what was happening at the time, and you can read his guidence that he now links to at the top of the Friday Squid pages.

But I've been consistant in that view point since before you came to this blog with your loud naritive. Which as others have pointed out got you a warning from @Moderator.

You've since gone on blustering away making comments about what you see as my perfidy and hate for Americans, that apparently only you see.

The record shows that I am actually quite sympathetic to Americans it's certain behaviours of the US MSM and various US Gov entities I take exception to, which I suspect from other comments here and other places I am far from alone in.

But I also take the same view with my own country, and several others, so it's a little difficult to see how you conclude I've some special hang up over America.

As others again have noted where people have had issues with what I say it is because they have a personal agenda.

Which on looking back can usually be found to have started when I disagreed with something they said and pointed out why I disagreed. Others just appear under sock puppet names make an ad hominem attack or just name call as they have at our host @Bruce and then just go away again (as two did just the other day).

Your "beef" however appears to be that I won't bang a drum for your oppinions or wave a flag for your allegations or chearlead you along in your quests what ever they might be. Have you actually given thought to why that might be?

One of your agenders is clearly claiming the current US President is guilty of high treason, and with it for quite some time that he would soon be gone (he is by the way still US President as I indicated he probably would be, he is after all still a "useful tool/idiot" to those that would be the ones to impeach him, but that as they say "is politics").

What appears to especially gall you is when I point out that things you claim as evidence or certainties are not factually supported at the required level. Whilst you might want to prosecute a ham sandwich, I'd rather stick to what would be acceptable as admissable evidence, as it usually appears in an acceptable period of time. When it does there is little need for disruptive argument that can turn into the modern equivalent of a blood sport where people dig themselves into entrenched positions that they can then not climb out of and at best a piric victory is won by one side. But what of the collateral damage to the blog and it's host have you asked yourself that?

As regards Russian Premier Putin, I think many are aware of his failings, but also his apparrnt popularity in his own country via the ballot box. But also, importantly that he is a quite an adept political operator as are the various properganda entities in Russia he may or may not control in some way. If you look back on this blog you will find that in the past when people have made comment about Putin and something shocking like the assasination of a journalist on a bridge, that various vested interests show up and start filling this blog in much the same way you do, but from the other side. This can clearly be seen to have created collateral damage and driven away both readers and commentors.

I can not stop you making your allegations and suppositions and ad hominem attacks, but it is clearly starting to upset others. Thus you behaviour is obviously not doing you any favours in their eyes and I suspect a good few others either. The choice of what you do next is upto you but I would think wisely on it and consider the historical perspective.

HmmJuly 17, 2018 12:28 AM

Clive, when you show evidence of any reasonably possible counter-possibility, replete with starting point assumptions being rationally considered, your null hypothesis will be that much more substantiated.

Until then? It's up to you to prove the world wrong, old friend.

You can't just assert it.

Clive RobinsonJuly 17, 2018 2:18 AM

@ echo,

I need a lawyer to sign some documents. With respect to the type of document which needs signing confidentiality is a legal issue with some strict case law...

Yup and what realy realy surprises me in the UK is just how few lawyers either do not know the ins and outs of it or just ignore them...

For instance they happily send copies of documents in a WP format which has all the recent edits you can get with the "undo" feature. Such documrnts are sent as email attachments often across public networks without any confidentiality measures in place.

When you insist on communication by registered mail etc they think you are being "akward".

I've seen this degredation in standards continue for well over a year...

The reason I suspect is a variation on "fees come first".

I know there are one or two other commenters here who are aware of the problem.

HmmJuly 17, 2018 2:29 AM

@Clive

Russia is responsible for "ongoing, pervasive attempts" to undermine US democracy, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said in a statement.

Mr Putin denied the claim.


Clive, I'm curious as hell, what's your take on this?

Fact or fiction? Is Putin trying to undermine the US - or not?

echoJuly 17, 2018 2:37 AM

@Clive

I took a slightly different reasoning route but, yes, basically what you said.

Wesley ParishJuly 17, 2018 3:07 AM

Probably majorly Off-Topic, but definitely relating to the Topic Under Heated Discussion:

When I was growing up, I learnt there were two ways to crack a coconut. The brute force one meant using an axe to bash it into tiny little pieces; the other, slower but more sure way was to belt it with the blunt edge of a large knife and rotate it in your hand until you heard a dull thump, and then you knew that it had cracked all over. The second method meant you didn't have to pick up broken bits of shell off the ground to try to get the meat - a difference between a tasty and a hasty spitting-out when it came to kulaus, young coconuts of the sort that Thailand makes a killing from, exporting them as "drinking coconuts."


I realized that that is the method Putin is using. No big bash at the United States, but plenty of tiny little thumps and eventually the nut cracks. And why not? It's the same method used against the Soviet Union. He's got proof it works.

The irony is that he would not have nearly as much chance of success if the Gypper aka Ronald Reagan, hadn't started the deregulation ball rolling, and if successive US Presidents hadn't continued rolling the ball. The US still maintains some social cohesion, but it's been undermined. There's no point in commenting on President Trump's agendas, except to say, a major force in breaking up the Soviet Union appears to have been the environmental degradation caused by manufacturing and agricultural policies that could not be appealed.

In the 1970s and 80s there were a number of novels written about the breakup of the Soviet Empire, but the US and Western Alliance "Intelligence" Agencies were caught with their pants down by the Soviet Union's breakup.

So far Putin's winning. I think he respected Obama; I can't see that he respects Trump.

And I hope that's the last thing I have to say about Trump for quite a while.

Wesley ParishJuly 17, 2018 3:11 AM

Oops. In the above

a difference between a tasty and a hasty spitting-out

should read
a difference between a tasty treat and a hasty spitting-out

Mea culpa.

Wesley ParishJuly 17, 2018 3:39 AM

@vas pup

Instead of carefully deciding how threatening a face is compared to all other faces, for example, the brain analyses how threatening it is compared to other faces it has seen recently – or compares it to some average of recently seen faces, or to the most and least threatening faces it has seen.
In other words, working memory acts as a Markov chain. re: working memory, see:

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-neuroscience-of-working-memory

for a quick definition.

WeatherJuly 17, 2018 4:06 AM

@all,some of the posts are talking know the person, but some comments, if face to face deserves a punch in the nose. If you know the person you are stressed there position, show some fun respect.
The comment about "that is what traitors deserves" is probably you fn know we are clean and you tipping your hand that you don't know what is going on.

I take Roberson cursoues side

echoJuly 17, 2018 5:35 AM

I phoned then visited another lawyer this morning for signing a statutory declaration. I prepared documents in ODF and DOC format stored on USB memory stick and email on my smartphone. On arrival they asserted they didn't accept documents in electronic media only paper!

I have already put my complaint via their contact form on their website (which theoretcially could accept a one page text document) calling this "security theatre" not to mention outsourcing risks of a breach of confidentiality to me by being forced to use public systems, and additional expenses I cannot afford for unecessary equipment I don't otherwise need. I don't own nor want a printer when a lawyers office has stacks of the things. There are also health and other reasons I noted which I declined to go into specifics about. I also complained they hadn't given a fully formed reason and declined to reconsider, and that I objected to a second untrained member of admin staff with no decision making capability trying to pressure me into accepting company policy.

Law Society guidelines include:

http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/support-services/help-for-solicitors/practice-advice-service/q-and-as/refusing-a-service/
It is important to note that where a person is complaining about being refused a service they will need to produce evidence that there was no legitimate reason for the refusal to provide the service. They will also need to show that there has been a financial loss or that they have been unreasonably inconvenienced by the refusal. For this reason, it is likely that this type of complaint will be rare.

bttbJuly 17, 2018 7:35 AM

Off the top of my head:

1) Trump, afaik, was briefed about the upcoming 29 page indictment before he left for Europe recently.

2) Thus Trump had time to ponder strategy.

3) Perhaps, like a manager with a failing company (playing with other peoples money), Trump is playing a high-risk high-payoff gamble, at others' expense, to try to keep his sorry a$$ in the presidency, presumably pre-pardon by somebody.

4) I hope governors ("Machinery. a device for maintaining uniform speed regardless of changes of load, as by regulating the supply of fuel or working fluid." [1]) are in place to limit how much damage a potentially desperate Trump can do to the USA and the blue planet on, presumably, his way out.

5) Of course, a fly in the ointment is Pence.

6) What will happen now, in the near future, and so on.

[1] http://www.dictionary.com/browse/governor

echoJuly 17, 2018 7:50 AM

I sent a second complaint to another lawyer about their refusal to accept electronic documents because: "policy".

I have also done a quick survey of lawyers email and document policies, and Law Gazette articles and Law Society Guidelines. The whole area swings to "can add value to the business and is valued greatly by clients" to "by prior arrangement only". Articles and guidance is very thin and displays little knowledge or information beyond talking points or passing on to equally vague government or other guidelines. The only comments I could discover about documents being risky is from unsolicited documents or documents which may be part of a property or financial scam. Another thing is that lawyers websites often contain a message box or lawyers correspond by email while discussing the issue both of which are capable of accepting a single page document containing nothing but text.

Very little of the material discusses confidentiality or discrimination or other disadvantages to the client, nor places this in a legal context which may apply to some clients.

JG4July 17, 2018 9:13 AM


@Wes, vas pup and others interested in brain function and dysfunction

Foone@Foone
https://twitter.com/Foone/status/1014267515696922624
You want to know something about how bullshit insane our brains are?
OK, so there's a physical problem with our eyes:
We move them in short fast bursts called "saccads", right?
very quick, synchronized movements.
The only problem is: they go all blurry and useless during this.
2:59 PM - 3 Jul 2018
...


https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/07/links-7-17-18.html

...

We asked psychologists why so many rich people think the apocalypse is coming Salon

...[I'm betting on a US-India alliance against China]

China?

The Coming American-Russian Alliance Against China The American Conservative

...

#NeverTrump Goes to War John Robb, Global Guerillas. “[Mueller’s] indictment put Trump on the on the horns of a dilemma. He could either support the national security establishment’s conclusion and diminish his electoral legitimacy or he could disparage the legitimacy of the US national security establishment while standing next to Putin. He chose the second course….

...

Mueller’s Latest Indictment Contradicts Evidence In The Public Domain Disobedient Media

...

The Magic Of Novichok – Deadly Agent Found In Perfume Bottle Moon of Alabama

...

Dark Patterns: How Tech Companies Use Interface Design to Undermine Online Privacy Privacy News Online

I toured Lennar’s Amazon smart home — here’s what it’s like Inman (Clive). Clive: “My take: ‘Alexa, show me a dystopian vision of exurban sprawl where the surveillance state knows my every move, even at home; and while you’re at it, explain to me what’s going on with the landscaping in front of my garage preventing its presumable intended use by vehicles.'”


echoJuly 17, 2018 9:20 AM

@bttb

Oh heck and I thought I was fussy. Yes, a lot of my effort with respect to bringing a case has been with selecting the right lawyer. This can be a difficult thing for a lot of reasonsbut also very important especially when cases may involve certain kinds of sensitivity and trust issues and understanding of the case.

Thanks for the links. I can add them to my database as a citation that I'm not being difficult for the sake of being difficult.

As an update I got ahead of the eight week complaint deadline and contacted the Legal Ombudsman. The short version is this can be expensive for the lawyers concerned but free for me. (Yay!) The other thing is other people have complained about blanket bans on recieving electronic documents. I was concerned the issue would be dropped if the lawyers played nice but the Legal Ombudman confirmed to me that they can progress an issue with the legal profession (and hopefully other agencies such as the Equality and Human Rights Commission and Health and Safety Executive etecetera if applicable). The operative I spoke with offered comment which I won't disclose but I can say that I am keen in the public interest that people get the very best representation and where the legal profession may not be in tune with this and where document handling is an issue or even a discriminatory issue then it is an area which must be challenged for a lot of reasons.

vas pupJuly 17, 2018 10:00 AM

The cameras that know if you're happy - or a threat:

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-44799239

"Facial recognition tech is becoming more sophisticated, with some firms claiming it can even read our emotions and detect suspicious behaviour. But what implications does this have for privacy and civil liberties?"

"WeSee says it has been working with a "high profile" organisation in law enforcement to analyse people who are being interviewed.

"Using only low-quality video footage, our technology has the ability to determine an individual's state of mind or intent through their facial expressions, posture, gestures and movement," chief executive David Fulton tells the BBC."

[!!!!!]"The key question we always ask ourselves is: Who is building this technology and for what purposes?" says Privacy International's Frederike Kaltheuner.

"Is it used to help us - or to judge, assess and control us?"

WeatherJuly 17, 2018 11:17 AM

@echo in my country they have justifi of the peace, some time they are old (olden days), try another. If you are trying to say computer stuff, it will get thrown out, I don't have a answer who you could turn to, but sorry to say the internet is the only way to say it.
(I'm in the same boat as you)

Tim StevensJuly 17, 2018 11:45 AM

@Al

Thank for you clarification (way earlier, before all the Clive bashing). I agree that Section 1030, part B of the definition of protected computer "(B)which is used in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce or communication" could maybe apply to an email server, due to the term "communication".

I do think our laws need to be better written and more comprehensive, to include hacking into private organizations, maybe with a different level of penalty if deemed less severe than hacking into a financial institution (though that's harder to codify in general, seems to depend on the specific instance so probably better left up to a judge to determine in each case).

Tim

HmmJuly 17, 2018 1:42 PM

@Tim Stevens

It's not Clive bashing, it's fact enforcement.

Fact : Russia meddled in the US election. That's undisputed except by agents of Vladimir Putin.

Clive just got in the way of the truth beam. He'll be more careful I think, as should we all be.

But you might notice, he didn't want to answer the basic question I asked above.
I assume that's because his answer to that would not be of a factual basis.

The media did not invent all of this, and anyone who says so will be held to account their assertion.

Lying in public deliberately is rude as hell.

vas pupJuly 17, 2018 2:49 PM

@Clive:
I have three questions:
(1)Do you have in UK indictment by Grand Jury or that is only currently North American tool to place somebody in club fed for up to 18 month for contempt of court which actually is attempt to use your right set in 5th Amendment of US Constitution?
(2)Could MI5/MI6 agents lie to suspect but suspect when can't lie to agent because it is crime per se?
(3)When (under what circumstances) LEOs could search office of lawyer (solicitor/barrister)?

I guess many other respected bloggers will highly appreciate your answers as I usually do.

gordoJuly 17, 2018 2:55 PM

Trump flips – then flips again – a day after downplaying Russian interference
The Guardian 17 Jul 2018

“Let me be totally clear in saying that … I accept our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election took place,” Trump said. Then he added: “It could be other people also. There’s a lot of people out there.”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jul/17/donald-trump-putin-summit-republicans

Does that qualify as a non-denial denial?

AnuraJuly 17, 2018 3:25 PM

@gordo

That's someone who has the emotional development of a child giving a begrudging apology to get out of trouble, knowing that it will work.

HmmJuly 17, 2018 3:31 PM

It's not going to work. He called Putin "strong" no fewer than 4 times there.

He rebuffed the US IC as he has the entire time. Anyone who didn't expect this is silly.

Now he's going to walk it back saying he misspoke on a double negative...
despite everything else he's said, not to mention accused of or actively denying?

It's not going to work, lol. Mueller holds the cards.

Clive RobinsonJuly 17, 2018 3:43 PM

@ Hmm,

Russia is responsible for "ongoing, pervasive attempts" to undermine US democracy

First off a technical point that is important. The US is not a "democracy" but a "Representational democracy" which is a very major difference and has significant impact on American citizans. Which I've mentioned on the odd occasion.

Second I've not heard/read any of Dan Coats recent comments. However I suspect they will be abscent of any usefull information. People in such positions are usually more style over content, and are mainly "pushing a message"

If you were to ask me if I thought Russia was running espionage etc against the US I'd say "Don't be daft of course they are, just as many other nations will be doing and the US against Russia and every other nation" which I've said in various ways for many many years now. It's just another part of the great game, and normal, some would even say healthy.

Whilst the US might claim Russia is attacking it's political system many journalists for decades have pointed out that the US attacks other nations political systems. Worse the US gets realy upset when people don't vote the way they try to order / cajol them to do. The time most will remember will be Palastine, the toys definitely got throw out of the pram over that. Oh and don't forget Obama's direct interferance in the UK's Brexit process. Which brings us to corporates like Peter Tiel's Palantir it's subsidiaries and associated entities like Cambridge Associates interfering where ever they could get payed. Some are now realising that it's the corporates that are the real big threat these days and CA was upto their eyballs in both the US election and Brexit and UK election, for which evidence is stacking up. Arguabbly they had more effect on the US election than Russia did. Oh and CA was a funny setup apparrntly many from the UK "upper circle". I was warning about them here long before even a very few people outside of "dirty politics" had heard of them.

But getting back to your gestion about "undermining" the answer is kind of yes and no, what they want is a srmi-symbiotic relationship for mainly economic reasons. Thus they certainly don't want to harm the US citizens unlike the various Russian criminal elements.

And this is where it all gets mucked up. Russia for various reasons discussed before have better programers but can not aford to give them the money or lifestyle they would get in the West. So some try legitimate emigration etc whilst others see criminal association as being a faster way, without having to leave home. This has been known for several decades and if you know emigrated Russian's they will talk to you about it, often with a fatelistic shrug of the sholders.

As both the NSA and FBI have found they can not buy the talent they want. The people who might consider working for them are not the ones they want.

Thus as we know the FBI and presumably other LEO and IC entitiesin the US have tried turning/blackmailing those with the skills...

It's no different in other nations like the UK and of course Russia. Because of resource limitations the Russians apparently have a long arm approach with a blind eye to certain activities.

Which is one of the reasons atribution is so difficult to get right to the standards required for real prosecutions.

Which brings us back to President Obama and his starting of pointless indictments of "comunist orientals". These people are never likely to be alowed into the US by either their own countries or the US. So no defendent means the prosecution can say what they like knowing full well they are never going to get called on it. Once the trend got started US autorities got slipshod... They've tried the same indictments with Russians on the same assumptions. Only the Rissian's no doubt encouraged by Premier Putin are challenging the indictments and all of a sudden chalangrs are being made, and the wheels on those indictments are suddenly starting to wobble.

The point is the US personnel drawing up the cases against the Russians have not done their homework... This has been discussed in the UK and it was pointed out it was a very unwise thing to do... If the Russians play hard ball they could start their own trial in abstentia against those presenting evidence in the US cases for a number of "crimes". The difference is that if the US persons are found guilty in a Russian court the Russian state can issue international death warrants. That is the Russians have a law that alows them to send a state executor after those found guilty no matter what country they may be in.

And I've mentioned the Salisbury chemical weapons poisoning may well be such a botched execution, so might the successfull execution that happened in Norbiton South West London / Surrey in the Groves conservation area of the Royal Borough of Kingston KT3 3TX...

It's been quite seriously pointed out that there may have been 20 such executions in the UK in the past year or so that the UK Police forces have treated as "accidental deaths"... Thus it may be the case that Russia has executed a few Americans already, that have likewise been treated as accidental (general autopsy blood tests only look for around twenty actual poisons so many thousands would be missed). Put simply untill some one does more selective testing and comes up with evidence of orher poisons etc we won't know for sure, thus the need for the cautious approach.

But the fun stuff realy starts with President Obama letting the cat out of the bag that the US IC actively spys on many IS politicians phone calls. I do not know if you remember the politicians (mainly republicans) that were shocked to find their conversations with Israeli politicians etc had been recorded. Whilst it's not difficult to work out who got listened in to (the ones giving the standing ovation to the Israeli Premier after he spoke in the house). It's fairly certain quite a few of them had behaved illegaly (talking Foreign Policy etc). But Obama decided not to push it from the IC to the DoJ/FBI why this was is a question that some people would like to know the answer to.

Which brings us to the very begining of the Obama Presidency and why Donald Trump became and remained a person of interest and almost certainly have been buged etc. The old saying about paranoia applies to this and they certainly were out to get his

HmmJuly 17, 2018 3:53 PM

"The US is not a "democracy" but a "Representational democracy"

Actually it's a Republic... never been a Democracy... we both digress.

"However I suspect they will be abscent of any usefull information. People in such positions are usually more style over content, and are mainly "pushing a message""

You think the Director of National Intelligence is all about style over content, I see.
That's an interesting one-liner to throw out there, especially in the Trump era.

"It's just another part of the great game, and normal, some would even say healthy."

It's HEALTHY in your view to hack hackers steal emails and data and weaponize that to influence elected government in an adversary directly, perhaps with collusion and/or treason involved? HEALTHY?

I think we have different definitions of health perhaps.

"many journalists for decades have pointed out that the US attacks other nations political systems."

Nobody is giving the US a pass for the 53 coup in Iran, for example. Not I.
But it IS "Whataboutism" to mention that in the context of proving Russia's involvement.

"Oh and don't forget Obama's direct interferance in the UK's Brexit process."

Obama openly said it was a dumb idea. He didn't secretly fund hackers to spread propaganda,
unless you have evidence of that. Russia did. There is evidence. You dismiss it.


It's pretty obvious you're trying to make this conversation about Obama for some reason.

That's odd.

RGJuly 17, 2018 4:02 PM

At the White House toady President Trump was reading his ‘back-tracking’ speech being broadcast to the nation on live television.
Just as he spoke of his faith in our Intelligence Agencies the lights dimmed into blackness.

Maybe it was just sheer coincidence. Maybe human error. Or maybe someone seeking revenge by remote commandeering of ‘smart’ lighting.
If it was intentional the timing was perfect, making their point how disgusted they most certainly feel. The room cycled dark then light several times until The President acknowledged the prank.
Besides Trumps push for Israeli security and world peace with Putin, I’d sure like to know who the perpetraitors were. Why not showcase Silicon Valley/Palantir facial recognition technology to id those with the biggest grins?

HmmJuly 17, 2018 4:02 PM

I reject your premise because you don't prove it's true in any sense, Clive.

Trump colluded with Russia openly. He called for hackings, HIS SON met with Russian nationals with him two floors above, playing Tetris or watching Shark Week or whatever he does with his time, if you believe that story. His other son-in-law tried to set up a secret back-channel communication link to the Kremlin outside of US IC observation.

This isn't Obama. None of that was Obama "setting him up" or whatever your BS spiel leans towards.

Interestingly, Don Jr. had a call before and after that meeting with a blocked number for several minutes.
I think you'll find that conversation directly relates to what the POTUSA knew and when he did know it.

Now that Trump is trying to walk back his full throated defense of Putin's innocence...
You are taking up those reigns directly, it appears to a casual observer.

And without evidence to present to prove your premises. That's the kicker. That's the rub.

gordoJuly 17, 2018 4:07 PM

@ Anura,

. . . knowing that it will work.

Maybe that's his "teflon coating".

AnuraJuly 17, 2018 4:14 PM

@Hmm

"Republic" doesn't really mean anything. Republicans decided to start saying "we aren't a democracy we are a republic" for obviously superficial reasons, but outside the US it doesn't really mean anything except that supposedly the government acts in the interest of the public, which pretty much every government claims to do.

Really, the US is a democratic republic. Representative democracy is a form of democracy, but in practice it ends up just turning into aristocracy when paired with capitalism. I'm thinking it's time to give up the idea of a state entirely.

HmmJuly 17, 2018 4:19 PM

@Anura

Perfectly stated. But don't give up - never give up. Not even in despotism.

Even if they throw you off a 4-5 story building, never give up.

echoJuly 17, 2018 4:23 PM

@Clive

Don't forget one of Cambridge Analytica's founding members was Steve Bannon. The same Steve Bannon who likes to promote the French National Front and Nigel Farage (another National Front type). He also brags openly about whipping up a movement as the means to seize power. This movement seems to be stuff with "lone wolf" neo-nazi types.

Even if Russia is guilty it still doesn't let off a lot of nasty politicians on both sides of the Atlantic including the merely corrupt politicians.

I don't like politics much anymore. I find it very squalid.

WeatherJuly 17, 2018 4:48 PM

Based on shit, I think President Trump is doing a good job, some one is telling him to clean house, I've got more points but your country is lucky to have him.

Put it this way
all the shit he puts up with and he still does his job, he's got chactor respect Trump

RatioJuly 17, 2018 5:00 PM

@Anura,

[…] but in practice [representative democracy] ends up just turning into aristocracy when paired with capitalism.

Nonsense.

I'm thinking it's time to give up the idea of a state entirely.

So give it up and actually go live somewhere where there is no state. You’ll love it.

AnuraJuly 17, 2018 5:08 PM

@Ratio

Nice well-argued post. Props. No, seriously, you really added a lot to the conversation.

HmmJuly 17, 2018 5:45 PM

Question: If you were upset at Russia right now, President Trump, why would that be?

Trump: I’m not upset at Russia. Mostly, I am disappointed … in America. Most of the blame for our relationship with Russia is that America until now has acted as though we were some sort of special place with higher standards than the rest of the world, where we claimed to believe in democracy and the rule of law, which just means you cannot torture people or have a really good parade, and the media often says mean things about you based in fact. None of that is good.

Putin: Imagine if any of this were really happening!


VERBATIM. This is happening? Or you know, did "the media" invent all this also?

Christ on a Kremlin!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilcRS5eUpwk

RatioJuly 17, 2018 6:01 PM

@Anura,

Nice well-argued post. Props. No, seriously, you really added a lot to the conversation.

You post a comment that first says the word “republic” doesn’t really mean anything. Of course it does, but meh, whatever, King Trump and Princess Ivanka approve.

Next you assert that in practice representative democracy paired with capitalism turns into aristocracy, which I say is nonsense. Your assertion is as well-reasoned and based on provided evidence as my reaction to it is.

Finally you wonder if we wouldn’t be better off without a state, and I suggest you could try putting your money where your mouth is. Oh, I’m so sorry, that was an unnecessarily capitalistic, private property based way of putting things.

HmmJuly 17, 2018 6:08 PM

Let's try not to take swipes at eachother's chosen turns of phrase of itself.

We're all on the same team or at least in similar boats.

I find both of your characterizations apt at the same time.

AnuraJuly 17, 2018 6:11 PM

@Ratio

I made statements that can be argued with, you didn't. If you disagree with that point, then state why you disagree. If you require more explanation, ask for it. Your comment left no room for further conversation, nor did it provide any insight or serve any purpose whatsoever so mine was the only reasonable response.

Firefox is getting worseJuly 17, 2018 6:24 PM

Health Insurers Are Vacuuming Up Details About You -- And It Could Raise Your Rates
https://www.propublica.org/article/health-insurers-are-vacuuming-up-details-about-you-and-it-could-raise-your-rates

To an outsider, the fancy booths at last month’s health insurance industry gathering in San Diego aren’t very compelling. A handful of companies pitching “lifestyle” data and salespeople touting jargony phrases like “social determinants of health.”

But dig deeper and the implications of what they’re selling might give many patients pause: A future in which everything you do — the things you buy, the food you eat, the time you spend watching TV — may help determine how much you pay for health insurance.


I wonder if posting this comment will ...

gordoJuly 17, 2018 6:50 PM

Jake Williams*, @ MalwareJake, in the below video, talks about what a couple of the charges in the recent Mueller indictment of 12 Russians might mean for security researchers and others. He also touches on the Marcus Hutchins/MalwareTechBlog case and what the DOJ is doing under the Wiretap Act and CFAA [Hutchins didn't have a license to create wiretap/communication-intercept software...].

Russia/DNC indictment introduces new legal theories
July 14, 2018 by RenditionSec

There appear to be two new legal theories being tested in the indictment of the GRU military officers charged with hacking the DNC/DCCC.


First there are allegations that the use of hacked DNC email accounts amounts to aggravated identity theft. This is interesting because it’s a clear departure from what we normally think of in identity theft.

Second, there’s a money laundering charge. This one is even stranger because it seems to imply that because the Russians purchased infrastructure using Bitcoin and did so with the intent to obscure the financial trail, that amounts to money laundering. This could be a first attempt by the DoJ to establish case law criminalizing the use of cryptocurrency to commit (or attempt to commit) a crime.

https://www.renditioninfosec.com/2018/07/russia-dnc-indictment-introduces-new-legal-theories/

[Video length: 21:35]

---

* Former NSA TAO operator; not a lawyer.

See also:
https://twitter.com/MalwareJake/status/1019267225369432065

RatioJuly 17, 2018 7:15 PM

@Anura,

I made statements that can be argued with, you didn't.

I, too, made statements that can be argued with. And I expended as many words on making a reasoned, fact-based argument as are contained in the comment I responded to. (A little more, actually, but they were sort of snarky, so maybe they don’t count.)

If you disagree with that point, then state why you disagree. If you require more explanation, ask for it.

I disagree because your comment has given me no reason to change the position I already had, which, it turns out, is different from yours.

Your comment left no room for further conversation, nor did it provide any insight or serve any purpose whatsoever so mine was the only reasonable response.

My comment did leave room for further conversation (as demonstrated by the conversation we’re having right now) and could have provided you with the insight that asserting these types of things without even the hint of a reasoned argument won’t convince anyone. I didn’t write my comment like that just to express my disagreement but to show you what these kinds of statements look like from the other side.

So, no, IMHO there were other, reasonable, responses.

AnuraJuly 17, 2018 7:34 PM

I, too, made statements that can be argued with.

A generalized disagreement can't be argued with because you haven't indicated what specifically you disagree with. "Nuh-uh" doesn't serve to further any sort of debate.

Literally, for this to continue, I would have to try and guess at what your objections are and then argue with myself. So, no, you didn't actually provide a statement that can be argued with.

Seriously, do you expect me to put in effort to debate you when you clearly aren't interested in putting effort into it yourself? So, seriously, let it go or make a point. You're replies are just a waste of space.

As for the leaving room for further conversation. You have completely distracted from the conversation, and turned this into a conversation about your comment specifically. Your comment is just contradiction; the most childish form of debate.

RatioJuly 17, 2018 9:16 PM

@Anura,

A generalized disagreement can't be argued with because you haven't indicated what specifically you disagree with. "Nuh-uh" doesn't serve to further any sort of debate.

I have indicated why the word “republic” does actually mean something, and I asked you why you don’t practice what you preach and enjoy the absense of a state. Your response has been crickets.

That leaves your assertion that in practice representative democracy paired with capitalism turns into aristocracy. It is on you to show that what you claim is the case.

AnuraJuly 17, 2018 10:17 PM

@Ratio

I have indicated why the word “republic” does actually mean something

You said "of course it does" and ignored everything I wrote after that. Republic, in today's world, doesn't imply much more than there is no monarch, and most constitutional monarchies are not fundamentally different from democratic republics; it's purely a matter of formality. Using the word "republic" as a synonym for "representative democracy" is purely a US-thing, and using "republic" as if it is incompatible with "democracy" is a Republican propaganda tactic. Thus, in the context of the conversation, the word "Republic" doesn't mean anything.

That leaves your assertion that in practice representative democracy paired with capitalism turns into aristocracy. It is on you to show that what you claim is the case.

You claimed it was nonsense; that's an assertion that YOU have to defend if you want to make it. I didn't have to expand on my point in my original comment, because it was an aside rather than an important part of the discussion. Hence, my point, if you think something needs expanding, then say so. You quite obviously aren't interested in debating any of these points. You just took offense to something I said, and felt the need to respond with a dismissive, condescending post, that served absolutely no purpose whatsooever.

As for capitalism and representative democracy degrading into aristocracy - pretty much every country is ran by the richest people in that country, and in capitalism most wealth is hereditary. The majoritarian principles these democracies are based on then means the representatives that don't represent the interests of elites are left mostly powerless. That's pretty much aristocracy right there. The wealthy then seek to control the flow of information, making governments less transparent to stifle democratic processes, and then they control the debate in the media, using their power to manipulate the public into supporting the agenda of the elites. In the end, the state has more power over the public than the public has over the state.

WeatherJuly 18, 2018 12:20 AM

@mod and @bruce this is meant to be a security sites, I understand your freedom of speech, but they are doing more damage than good.
I even offer a technical position but they side step it, please I can offer a lot but they do not belong on this website.
You have two choices, and the freedom of speech makes it one.
@hmm yes I am referring to you.

HmmJuly 18, 2018 2:05 AM

@weather

You're being a hypocrite. You're not even offering anything as a topic to change to.

Shame on you.

HmmJuly 18, 2018 2:14 AM

The President of a major country has basically been outed as a blackmailed asset of an adversary.
You can change the subject if you want, but you'll need something more interesting than that.

I think anybody would frankly be happy to change the subject at this point, it's depressing.

Nobody is gloating about it. It's not a victory to realize that.
But realize it you should, the evidence is overwhelming.

Conspiracy theories nonwithstanding.

HmmJuly 18, 2018 2:37 AM

*SELF-outed. Let's be real about it. He didn't reverse himself with the double negative.

We're not all sleeping 2 hours a day, the guy forgot how to lie.

WeatherJuly 18, 2018 2:50 AM

@hmm every one is a hypocrite, I am just saying don't be so forward, take what you will

HmmJuly 18, 2018 3:06 AM

I agree everyone is a hypocrite. Given enough time we'd all hang ourselves.

I'm not trying to shut down particular conspiracy theories. I enjoy theories. I explore theories.
Everything is a theory. I'm sure someone can walk through walls, I just haven't SEEN it.

I'm not trying to make you think a certain way. Just represent what you DO see truthfully.
Else what good is it.

Wesley ParishJuly 18, 2018 5:05 AM

In the vague hope that the topic of this blog might be of interest to someone, I offer the3 following, vacuumed from Slashdot, natch:

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/vbqax3/hackers-sim-swapping-steal-phone-numbers-instagram-bitcoin

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-egypt-politics/egypt-targets-social-media-with-new-law-idUSKBN1K722C

https://www.propublica.org/series/the-health-insurance-hustle

https://www.propublica.org/article/health-insurers-are-vacuuming-up-details-about-you-and-it-could-raise-your-rates

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/carepartners-data-breach-ransom-patients-medical-records-1.4749515

Is there any difference between the last one and the penultimate two? The one where crooks are holding patients to ransom with stolen data, and the two prior to that where big business is holding patients to ransom with stolen data?

bttbJuly 18, 2018 6:15 AM

@Wesley Parish

"So far Putin's winning. I think he respected Obama; I can't see that he respects Trump."
+1

How much did Putin's active measures against the USA 2016 election cost? Any estimates? $100M USD? $600M USD? How much did it cost Mercer, Bannon, Parscale, et al. to effectively use (weaponize?) available information (regardless of source)? Any estimates?

Could it be that actors who fight best with military grade propaganda tools will win in countries like the USA and UK?

A number of people I respect have said, regarding the USA, "we're f?cked".

bttbJuly 18, 2018 6:46 AM

Regarding Putin saying "I didn’t even know he was in Moscow.”

@Clive Robinson said:

"Is an interesting one, Putin does his usual misdirection non answer but then says something that is more specific that he need not have said. Something which is not just unlikely, but if I remember correctly conflicts with other information from Donald Trump that was linked to by @Hmm.

[...]

Thus has Putin "slipped" rather than being "slippery" in his comments. It's something journalists might want to follow up on. After all the usual first sign the works of man are about to come crashing down is "tiny cracks".


You might have seen Goldstone's sworn counter-evidence (in single quotes (') below:

From emptywheel:

"I know there are a lot of people who aren’t as convinced as I am that a clear agreement was reached between Trump’s top aides and Putin’s emissaries at the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting. For doubters, however, Vladimir Putin just re-enacted the meeting on the world stage at the Helsinki summit.

On top of the denials, from both sides, of Russian tampering in the election (and both sides’ embrace of a joint cybersecurity working group), that re-enactment came in three ways.

First, when asked whether Russia tampered in our election, Putin issued a line that was sort of a non-sequitur, asserting that, “I was an intelligence officer myself. And I do know how dossiers are made of.” The line — a reference both to the Steele dossier and Putin’s more damaging kompromat on Trump — is pregnant with meaning (and probably was planned). When asked, later, whether he had any compromising information on Trump or his family, Putin said, “Now to kompromat. I did hear these allegations that we collected kompromat when he was in Moscow. I didn’t even know he was in Moscow.”

This is a reference to the pee tape, allegedly taped when he put on Miss Universe in Russia in 2013. But it’s premised on a claim about which there is sworn counter-evidence in the US. Rob Goldstone — the guy who set up the June 9 meeting — described how Putin not only knew Trump was in Moscow, but was still trying to fit in a meeting with him.

'And it went down to the wire. It was on the day of the contest itself that maybe around 4:00 in the afternoon Emin called a few of us into a conference room at Crocus, and his Dad, Aras, was there. And we were told that a call was coming in through from a Mr. Peskov, who I know to be Dmitry Peskov, who I believe is a spokesman for Mr . Putin, and there’d be an answer. And the answer I think, as I may have stated the last time I saw you, was that due to the lateness o f the newly crowned King of Holland who’d been delayed in traffic, whether air or road traffic, Mr. Putin would not be able to meet with Mr. Trump. However, he invited him to Sochi, to the Olympics, and said he’d be happy to meet him here or at any future time. And that’s how it was left, so there would be not meeting taking place.'

So not only did Putin lie about whether there could be a pee tape (I don’t think there is one, but I think the 2013 involves compromise in another way), but did so in a way that invoked the Agalrovs as Trump’s handlers going back years.

And did you notice that he never denied having kompromat?..."

https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/07/16/at-helsinki-summit-putin-reenacts-the-june-9-trump-tower-meeting/

https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Goldstone%202%20Transcript_redacted.pdf ; senate testimony

https://www.emptywheel.net/ ; into the weeds, in general

AnuraJuly 18, 2018 6:51 AM

@bttb

The foreign propaganda operations were remarkably small, but they managed to piggy back on a right-wing propaganda campaign by Murdoch and friends. Republicans in the US spent the last few decades getting their voters to distrust non-conservative news, and have been fanning conspiracy theories for years. All Russia had to do was give them a push.

We need to realize that Russia is only a small part of our problem. We should not dismiss them as a problem, but recognize that to solve the problem we need to end the environment that allows disinformation from all actors to spread. Mainstream Media has turned news into a reality show, where the entertainment value of Republicans debating Democrats is more important than who actually has the best policy. Even truth itself is allowed to be treated as a partisan issue for the sake of maintaining a centrist point of view.

RGJuly 18, 2018 8:16 AM

According to the POTUS our new foe’s Antitrust commission has fined Google a record $5 billion.

Those without smart phones will remember the FCC’s 2012 similar antitrust investigation.
While a strong case was being assembled the Obama administration (advised by the hundreds of ex-Google executives) quietly squashed it.

I await enforcement of GDPR regulations in Europe and California. In particular to prevent the tracking of automobiles without explicit owner consent or knowledge.
I also detest the inherently biased Google Analytics supported news sites and its corrupting of places of worship, public institutions such as libraries and transportation road maps.

Sadly American innovation has largely been reduced into hoodwinking its technically illiterate citizens and legislators. The strategy was widely successful for over twenty years. However this short-sighted technology exploitation now perils America’s national security as worldwide foes (which the POTUS says is everybody) leap-frog ahead. Now its monumental crises time with Wall St still sucking/milking the old cow.

China Android smart-phones & media streamers (buy Amazon) already give the owners the option to turn off Google Services and Play Store. Yet American commercial sites quietly refuse to even rate products that don’t include data-mining.
I will buy my first smart-phone when they are universal factory unlocked, no account or data-mining credit check, untouched by any carrier with the ability to uninstall and manage applications. With it be from Europe or China?

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-4581_en.htm

File under: Celebrate! Dance to the Music

JG4July 18, 2018 9:32 AM


Thanks for the mostly positive discussion. At first, I thought that Freedom to Tinker might be a DIY/right-to-repair effort. Perhaps it is more interesting. A subtle blend of understatement and hyperbole could be useful in making a point. The tension between short-term profit and long-term profit is a fundamental tradeoff on your planet. And perhaps all of the planets.

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/07/200pm-water-cooler-7-17-2018.html
...
News of The Wired

“Can Classes on Field Experiments Scale? Lessons from SOC412” [Freedom to Tinker]. “Most behavioral experiments out in the world are conducted by people with no university training. In 2016, bloggers at NerdyData estimated that A/B test company Optimizely's software was deployed on over half a million websites. In 2017, the company announced that it had passed its one millionth experiment. Companies trying to support millions of behavioral studies aren't waiting for universities to train socially conscious experimenters. Instead, training happens in hotel ballrooms at events like Opticon, which draws in over a thousand people every year, SearchEngineLand's similarly sized SMX marketing conference series, and O'Reilly's Strata conferences. And while scientists might consider experiments to be innocuous on their own, many have begun to wonder if the drive to optimize profits through mass behavioral experimentation may have damaging side effects.” • Indeed….

“A Short Guide to Hard Problems” [Quanta]. • I wonder if anybody’s transferred this line of thinking to political “science.” Suppose we start with a graph representation of political relationships. What would follow?
...

bttbJuly 18, 2018 11:09 AM

@Anura

"We need to realize that Russia is only a small part of our problem."

For example, perhaps Israel, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Russia gaming (buying cheap?) Trump, Kushner, et al., to support those nations' interests, perhaps, to the detriment of the U.S.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/israeli-saudi-and-emirati-officials-privately-pushed-for-trump-to-strike-a-grand-bargain-with-putin


"we need to end the environment that allows disinformation from all actors to spread."

Who decides what is disinformation? Perhaps a media savvy educated populace is a long term alternative (start when they are young) or a pipe dream.


"Mainstream Media has turned news into a reality show, where the entertainment value of Republicans debating Democrats is more important than who actually has the best policy."

For example, from Democracy Now:

"AMY GOODMAN: But even on the issue of Russia and comparing Russia and the United States.

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL: The vilification of alternative, dissenting views or linking those views to a foreign power—in many people’s views, an implacably hostile foreign power—is the degradation of our political media culture. When Rand Paul, who is interesting on foreign policy, reminds, as The New York Times has over the last—you know, that America has meddled in other countries’ elections, has interfered, has overthrown countries’ governments, and MSNBC contributors tweet “traitor”? And I would also mention Glenn Greenwald. We talked of him earlier. Malcolm Nance, a very ubiquitous commentator on MSNBC on intelligence and other issues, said Glenn was—I’m going to read it, because it’s so outrageous—”an agent of Trump & Moscow … deep in the Kremlin’s pocket.” This is—we’ve seen this in our history before. And I think it is—it’s dangerous when you have a suffocating consensus instead of a full, robust debate.

And it should be about issues. Juan is right. When we fix so much on personalities, we’re feeding the beast, we’ve seen, of media malpractice, this obliteration of the line between news and entertainment, the conglomeratization, the decimation of local news. These are issues which collide with an administration which does want to delegitimize public accountability, if they know public accountability journalism, delegitimize any check on abuses. And we, as representatives of a media which seek to speak to the issues, seek debate, to foster, not police, debate, need to stand up and continue to do our work despite these fake news and—people are despairing about the issue of news, about facts, about—anyway. But I think what—the tweeting, to call someone a traitor because they have a point of you don’t agree with, we’re in a dangerous territory."

https://www.democracynow.org/2018/7/17/katrina_vanden_heuvel_we_need_robust


also https://www.thenation.com/article/common-ground-for-secure-elections-and-true-national-security/ :

"Common Ground: For Secure Elections and True National Security
An open letter by Gloria Steinem, Noam Chomsky, John Dean, Governor Bill Richardson, Walter Mosley, Michael Moore, Valerie Plame, and others."

bttbJuly 18, 2018 3:02 PM

From Kim Zetter at https://motherboard.vice.com/amp/en_us/article/mb4ezy/top-voting-machine-vendor-admits-it-installed-remote-access-software-on-systems-sold-to-states

"Top Voting Machine Vendor Admits It Installed Remote-Access Software on Systems Sold to States
Remote-access software and modems on election equipment 'is the worst decision for security short of leaving ballot boxes on a Moscow street corner.'

[...]

The nation's top voting machine maker has admitted in a letter to a federal lawmaker that the company installed remote-access software on election-management systems it sold over a period of six years, raising questions about the security of those systems and the integrity of elections that were conducted with them.
Advertisement

In a letter sent to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) in April and obtained recently by Motherboard, Election Systems and Software acknowledged that it had "provided pcAnywhere remote connection software … to a small number of customers between 2000 and 2006," which was installed on the election-management system ES&S sold them.

The statement contradicts what the company told me and fact checkers for a story I wrote for the New York Times in February. At that time, a spokesperson said ES&S had never installed pcAnywhere on any election system it sold. "None of the employees, … including long-tenured employees, has any knowledge that our voting systems have ever been sold with remote-access software," the spokesperson said.

ES&S did not respond on Monday to questions from Motherboard, and it’s not clear why the company changed its response between February and April. Lawmakers, however, have subpoena powers that can compel a company to hand over documents or provide sworn testimony on a matter lawmakers are investigating, and a statement made to lawmakers that is later proven false can have greater consequence for a company than one made to reporters.

ES&S is the top voting machine maker in the country, a position it held in the years 2000-2006 when it was installing pcAnywhere on its systems. The company's machines were used statewide in a number of states, and at least 60 percent of ballots cast in the US in 2006 were tabulated on ES&S election-management systems. It’s not clear why ES&S would have only installed the software on the systems of “a small number of customers” and not all customers, unless other customers objected or had state laws preventing this...."

https://motherboard.vice.com/amp/en_us/article/mb4ezy/top-voting-machine-vendor-admits-it-installed-remote-access-software-on-systems-sold-to-states

echoJuly 18, 2018 3:11 PM

I just had an international money transfer halted for fraud/money laundering checks.

The reason why I was using international money transfer is largely because of a US domestic policy of security theatre and puritianism being forced onto the international financial system. Visa won't process certain types of payments hence using money transfer (which can also be problematic with some money transfer providers) and the UK government went along with this in spite of the action being A.) Discriminatory B.) Unlawfully restricting lawful behaviour. C.) The products being bought passing readily through Customs and attracting VAT which is collected on delivery.

Now I have to divulge information which triggers a whole lot of other law and opens the money transfer company up to legal action and a judicial review against the UK government.

bttbJuly 18, 2018 3:45 PM

@Anura

"Even truth itself is allowed to be treated as a partisan issue for the sake of maintaining a centrist point of view."

From Democracy Now:
"On Tuesday, former President Barack Obama spoke in Johannesburg at an event marking the centennial and used his first major address since stepping down as president to issue thinly veiled criticism of President Trump.

'BARACK OBAMA: We see the utter loss of shame among political leaders, where they’re caught in a lie and they just double down and they lie some more. … You have to believe in facts. Without facts, there’s no basis for cooperation. If I say this is a podium and you say this is an elephant, it’s going to be hard for us to cooperate.'"

https://www.democracynow.org/2018/7/18/on_mandelas_100th_birthday_rev_jesse

Clive RobinsonJuly 18, 2018 3:52 PM

@ Hmm,

You think the Director of National Intelligence is all about style over content,

When it comes to "public pronouncements" yup, especially when pushing a political message such as the one we were discussing (which I've still not read, much US MSM has effectively blocked European readers, apparently according to some early reports in UK media those with paid up subscriptions).

After all if you think about it similar US IC heads routinely lie to political oversight and other commities, so making political (style) excuses (ie no content) is part of the job description. Other gov entities get "political appointees" that are "political pay offs...

Geting back to the DNI what they do behind closed office doors we are kind of not supposed to know, in more than general terms.

But in the usuall managment gumph, an organisational head is "outwards focused" whilst the deputy / No2 is "inwards focused". Thus to be honest when it comes to the DNI I would not be surprised if they had little or no participation in day to day activities that were not administrative.

I'm not denegrating what the DNI might or might not do, but getting their hands down and dirty is not something I would expect them to be doing.

bttbJuly 18, 2018 4:03 PM

Open Letter By The Nation

"Many Americans remain deeply concerned about reports of Russian interference with the 2016 election. Meanwhile, relations between the United States and Russia are at their lowest and most dangerous point in several decades. For the sake of democracy at home and true national security, we must reach common ground to safeguard common interests—taking steps to protect the nation’s elections and to prevent war between the world’s two nuclear superpowers.

Whatever the truth of varied charges that Russia interfered with the election, there should be no doubt that America’s digital-age infrastructure for the electoral process is in urgent need of protection. The overarching fact remains that the system is vulnerable to would-be hackers based anywhere. Solutions will require a much higher level of security for everything from voter-registration records to tabulation of ballots with verifiable paper trails. As a nation, we must fortify our election system against unlawful intrusions as well as official policies of voter suppression.

At the same time, the US and Russian governments show numerous signs of being on a collision course. Diplomacy has given way to hostility and reciprocal consular expulsions, along with dozens of near-miss military encounters in Syria and in skies above Europe. Both sides are plunging ahead with major new weapons-development programs. In contrast to prior eras, there is now an alarming lack of standard procedures to keep the armed forces of both countries in sufficient communication to prevent an escalation that could lead to conventional or even nuclear attack. These tensions are festering between two nations with large quantities of nuclear weapons on virtual hair-trigger alert; yet the current partisan fixations in Washington are ignoring the dangers to global stability and, ultimately, human survival.

The United States should implement a pronounced shift in approach toward Russia. No political advantage, real or imagined, could possibly compensate for the consequences if even a fraction of US and Russian arsenals were to be utilized in a thermonuclear exchange. The tacit pretense that the worsening of US-Russian relations does not worsen the odds of survival for the next generations is profoundly false. Concrete steps can and must be taken to ease tensions between the nuclear superpowers."

https://www.thenation.com/article/common-ground-for-secure-elections-and-true-national-security/

Take Action: Add your name to support this historic Open Letter for secure elections and true national security.

Clive RobinsonJuly 18, 2018 4:10 PM

@ Hmm,

It's pretty obvious you're trying to make this conversation about Obama for some reason.

You'ld be wrong.

It just so happens that there were massive changes during the eight years of the Obama administration.

Look at it this way if we were talking about inteligence events during WWII in the UK Winston Churchill would come up frequently. Mentioning that it was he who was responsible for various things including SOE, would not be making the conversation about him.

So if I talked about health care in the US this century, it would be difficult not to mention Obama and Trumps subsequent attempts to compleatly undo anything Obama had tried to achive.

There is no need to try and invent some ulterior reason for me mentioning Obama and the things he did which were firsts for a US President...

For instance would you leave Obama out of a conversation about "The Great US Internet kill switch"?

Clive RobinsonJuly 18, 2018 4:21 PM

@ Hmm,

It's HEALTHY in your view to hack hackers steal emails and data and weaponize that to influence elected government in an adversary directly, perhaps with collusion and/or treason involved? HEALTHY?

Yes but I suspect it's your take on what "healthy" means that is the cause of the problem.

Healty has a number of meanings but the root of them is "behaving normally". That is when your body is behaving normally, you are healthy. Likewise when a complex machine is functioning correctly it's status is "healthy". In the case of national espionage when the state is doing the usual things then it's unlikely war or worse is going to happen therefor like a machine it's state is healthy.

If Russia or China suddenly stoped it's usuall espionage, that would be distinctly unhealthy and people would be hitting panic buttons around the world.

gordoJuly 18, 2018 4:28 PM

@ JG4,

"while scientists might consider experiments to be innocuous on their own, many have begun to wonder if the drive to optimize profits through mass behavioral experimentation may have damaging side effects.” • Indeed….

Thanks for the above. You might find this of interest as well:

"Social Science One", as it's now called, the research commission announced the day prior to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's first day of testimony before Congress last April [1][2][3], was launched last week [4][5].

The day after the launch of Social Science One, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) sent a letter to Social Science One, copied to the Federal Trade Commission and the European Data Protection Board, urging the suspension of the proposed study as it involves Facebook "disclosing data to third parties without users' affirmative consent"[6]. EPIC also states: "We recognize the opportunity provided by new privacy-preserving techniques to permit research access to very large data sets, but again you have chosen the most controversial data set to test these methods"[7].

Lastly, here’s the abstract[8] for the working paper[9]:

A New Model for Industry-Academic Partnerships
Gary King and Nate Persily
First version: 4/9/2018
This version: 7/10/2018

Abstract

The mission of the academic social sciences is to understand and ameliorate society’s greatest challenges. The data held by private companies hold vast potential to further this mission. Yet, because of their interaction with highly politicized issues, customer privacy, proprietary content, and differing goals of business and academia, these datasets are often inaccessible to university researchers. We propose here a model for industry-academic partnerships that addresses these problems via a novel organizational structure: Respected scholars form a commission which, as a trusted third party, receives access to all relevant firm information and systems, and then invites independent academics to do research in specific areas, following standard peer review protocols, funded by nonprofit foundations, and with no pre-publication approval required. We also report on a partnership we helped forge under this model to make data available about the extremely visible and highly politicized issues surrounding the impact of social media on elections and democracy. In our partnership, Facebook will provide privacy-preserving data and access; seven major ideologically and substantively diverse nonprofit foundations will fund the research; and a nonprofit academic association will oversee the peer review process for funding and data access.

---

[1]https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/09/technology/mark-zuckerberg-facebook.html
[2]https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10104797374385071
[3]https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2018/04/new-elections-initiative/
[4]https://socialscience.one/
[5]https://socialscience.one/blog/social-science-one-public-launch
[6]https://epic.org/2018/07/epic-asks-ftc-and-edpb-to-sus.html
[7]https://epic.org/privacy/facebook/EPIC-ltr-SocialScienceOne-July-2018.pdf
[8]https://gking.harvard.edu/partnerships
[9]https://gking.harvard.edu/files/gking/files/partnerships.pdf

Clive RobinsonJuly 18, 2018 4:33 PM

@ Hmm,

Obama openly said it was a dumb idea.

Actually he did rather more than that. He made a direct threat to the UK it's politicians and it's citizens. But he also broke UK law on UK soil by doing so.

So unlike some under payed Russian putting drivel on twitter and the like President Obama directly interfeared with a UK Election and committed a criminal act by so doing...

You can look up the relavant bits and bobs.

I've mentioned it before but for some reason US Exceptionalism apparently Trumps all, even criminal behaviour by it's head of state. Which kind of makes all the noise, chest beating and other US nonsense about underpaid Russian drivel, rather hypocritical...

Clive RobinsonJuly 18, 2018 5:19 PM

@ Hmm,

I reject your premise because you don't prove it's true in any sense, Clive.

I have not made a hypothesis or premise, other than that Donald Trump would still be in office come the mid tetms, and so far the evedence available shows me to be correct.

As for everything else I'v stated I'm waiting for a suitable level of evidence, for very good and proper reasons.

But I suspect that if anybody who was impartial looking at your comments over the past few days attacking both myself and others would say that it would not matter what I said you'ld disagree with it as per your by now well established agenda.

Oh and by the way those hypothesises you've made like about current US President Donald Trump, it would appear there is not sufficient evidence to proceed, as he's still very much in office "blackout" or not.

So have a good day.

Oh and for the sake of others reading and rightly complaining, thus before @Moderator brings an axe down, I think it's time to stop this pointless pandering to your agenda. Because it should now be obvious to everybody who has read your posts you are desperate to spread your obnoxious falsehoods about others to further your agenda and try to justify your obviously incorrect assumptions...

Security SamJuly 18, 2018 5:21 PM

When I see the word squid
I think of a sonobuoy fathom
Just send it one scuttle pulse
And it'll end up on the bottom.

Clive RobinsonJuly 18, 2018 5:35 PM

@ echo,

I don't like politics much anymore. I find it very squalid.

That as they say "is an understatment".

Thanks for more on Cambridge Analytica, I just wish a few more people especially in the US would wake up to them.

Because if you compare what CA and the various alleged Russian cyber attackers got up to. The Russian's were at best a bunch of beginers fumbling around in comparison.

As I've mentioned before people realy need to unmask those behind CA as they have various intetesting ties to the likes of Rupert "the bear faced liar" Murdoch, Republican party backers and various foreign interests.

But so far unsuprisingly the US MSM has more or less not made much on CA prefering "to throw more faggots on the bonfire" of the updated "reds under the bed" scare...

Ignoring CA, various other corporates like Palantir and a large number of other nations attacking the US political and various networks is most unwise.

echoJuly 18, 2018 6:02 PM

@Clive

There was an article a few months ago which exposed the Bannon connection with Camrbidge Analytica.

The Independent(?) also published an article this week about the European Reform Group including a long list of right wingers who met via this group. Other media articles cover the unlawful activity of the Brexit campaign. The same people who unlawfully funded Brexit ae the same people who rag on Goerge Soros for his very public anti-fascist initiatives and donations.

George Monbiot is also doing big on "dark money" this week. Contrast how big lobby interests hide behind charitable status yet UK charities representing vulnerable people are forced into gagging orders forbidding criticism of the government in exchange for funding. My personal view is this is a very disingenuous use of state and legislative power.

As for halting my international money transfer I will be pulling a Clive. I want their name, rank, and serial number and what policy they are acting under and what reasons they have for believing the transaction is improper. I have already informed them that I am more than happy to cooperate with a police and/or customs investigation and they know where I live. Would they like to make an appointment? I can give them the names and numbers of individual police officers if they like the personal touch. I will not be divulging more information until they give me the answers I want first. I will be contacting the FCA and also referring to another statutory regulatory authority.

Neither of the two lawyers I put complaints in with have bothered replying. They have eight weeks to resolve the disagreement before the Legal Ombudsman is involved.

bttbJuly 18, 2018 6:10 PM

Carole Cadwalladr, Guardian & Observer writer, has a great Twitter feed, @carolecadwalla. For example,

"... On Sunday, the Observer confirmed Cambridge Analytica’s data was accessed from Russian IP addresses. Now @DamianCollins tells CNN this was the notorious Facebook data twitter.com/donie/status/1…
[...]
More on Rohrabacher's Moscow meetings here & how he features in new FBI docs. But it really can't go on, can it?? @Nigel_Farage's ongoing unchallenged appearances on @bbc & elsewhere? Remember he will not take my questions under any circs. thebea.st/2LqnElL?source…
[...]
Rohrabacher, a Californian Republican, is overtly pro-Kremlin & has been forever. And one of the weirder things @Nigel_Farage is involved in is a bid to split California. You know who else wants to do that? Putin! Another Calexit campaign was revealed to be Russian influence op pic.twitter.com/QmipVVmeoZ
[...]"

ps. javascript not required with PCs.

echoJuly 18, 2018 8:04 PM

@bttb

Is it really in Russias interests for the West to be taken over by neo-fascists?

It's interesting noting Nigel Farage is involved in another state splitting exercise. Like one of Steve Bannon's prominent supporters said of Steve Bannon, Nigel Farage is one who has been "involved" for a long time. Nigel was a blatant neo-nazi at school.

Zuckerberg needs to read up on the purpose of a "D notice" and folow the reasonign through and apply it. I'm not persuaded it's useful to give extremists a platform or allow them to build a platform, or encourage or collude with a virus like ecosystem of like minds which are seeking to dominate a society for hateful dogmatic purposes. When these kinds of hate sites were edge cases it was one thing. When they are given a tall pedestal to stand on with a wide view this is something else.

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/18/facebook-infowars-holocaust-deniers-zuckerberg-730772

The establishment can be vain, corrupt, and stupid. However, just because a charlatan makes a valid claim against the bad habits of the establishment doesn't mean the nonsense or the voodoo they are peddling is beneficial. This is why critical thought, well reasoned and sociable discussion, and education is important. It is also why curated knowledge in the form of quality instititions and well edited books matter.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/brian-cox-brexit-eu-uk-science-infinite-monkey-cage-large-hadron-collider-a8444811.html

Britain’s most celebrated particle physicist says national politics lacks the minds to navigate Brexit successfully. As a scientist, university lecturer and media personality, Professor Brian Cox has been a vocal advocate for rational thought as the world descends into a mess of rhetoric and appeals to emotions. He is concerned a divide is emerging between those who care about evidence and reasoning, and those who are happy to abandon them altogether.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jul/18/how-disgraced-anti-vaxxer-andrew-wakefield-was-embraced-by-trumps-america

How disgraced anti-vaxxer Andrew Wakefield was embraced by Trump's America. Twenty years after his discredited paper linked autism to the MMR jab, the doctor – who was struck off the medical register in the UK – has become a leading light in the US and frighteningly influential worldwide

RatioJuly 18, 2018 10:10 PM

@Anura,

I have so far ignored parts of your responses that don’t deal with my remarks but instead focus on me and assume bad faith. Is it inappropriate for me to not include this type of commentary when interacting with you?

Anyway…

You said "of course [‘republic’] does" [mean something] and ignored everything I wrote after that.

Let’s see if that hypothesis works. Here’s what followed on the topic of “republic”:

Republicans decided to start saying "we aren't a democracy we are a republic" for obviously superficial reasons, but outside the US it doesn't really mean anything except that supposedly the government acts in the interest of the public, which pretty much every government claims to do.

Really, the US is a democratic republic.

… and here’s what I thought:

  • Word games? Of course.
  • A democratic republic? Fine with me.
  • Outside the US “republic” doesn’t mean anything? This is simply not true.

The assumption that I ignored these two sentences was wrong, as you perhaps now see.

Republic, in today's world, doesn't imply much more than there is no monarch, and most constitutional monarchies are not fundamentally different from democratic republics; it's purely a matter of formality.

Double digit percentages (in the 10–20 range, IIRC) of people in half a dozen constitutional (hereditary) monarchies in Western Europe favor a republic and it seems to me that the overwhelming majority in fact does view constitutional monarchies and democratic republics as fundamentally different.

Do you personally think that a US constitutional (hereditary) monarchy would not be fundamentally different from today’s democratic republic?

Even between otherwise similar countries having a president or having a monarch looks very different: le Roi Emmanuel Macron is like Trump with a crown; der König Frank-Walter Steinmeier is more like King Philippe of Belgium.

(My phrase “King Trump and Princess Ivanka” was intended for you to maybe discover these last two points yourself. Note to self: work on my allusions.)

Using the word "republic" as a synonym for "representative democracy" is purely a US-thing, and using "republic" as if it is incompatible with "democracy" is a Republican propaganda tactic. Thus, in the context of the conversation, the word "Republic" doesn't mean anything.

Using the words “republic” and “democracy” interchangeably like that is not “purely a US-thing”. The same thing happens in Mexico, for example.

Given all of the above, I’d say that the word “republic” does in fact mean something in the context of this conversation.


You then skate right past your musings on doing away with the idea of a state. That was a minor point anyway.


You claimed [the statement that in practice representative democracy paired with capitalism turns into aristocracy] was nonsense; that's an assertion that YOU have to defend if you want to make it.

Oh? I’ll get to some of it below.

I didn't have to expand on my point in my original comment, because it was an aside rather than an important part of the discussion.

An aside that also included giving up on the idea of a state? Just your regular parenthetical remark, nothing to respond to, really.

As for capitalism and representative democracy degrading into aristocracy - pretty much every country is ran by the richest people in that country, and in capitalism most wealth is hereditary.

Here’s a question: is there a fundamental difference between representative democracy and aristocracy? Or is this so-called degrading a question of something turning into basically the same thing it already was?

Another question: how far are you willing to go to eliminate hereditary advantages, which also include intelligence, for example?

And a couple more: what are the disadvantages of your alternative? Does it take into account that it will have to deal with human beings? What will it degrade to? Is this degradation caused by your alternative? Indeed, does the combination of capitalism and representative democracy cause aristocracy? Wouldn’t an estate tax at a suitable level, entirely compatible with capitalism, fix the issue you raise?

[...] In the end, the state has more power over the public than the public has over the state.

The public and the state aren’t two monoliths. Further, representatives of the state are also members of the public. Your solution depends on the state enforcing a condition of no, or at least minimal, power differential between members of the public. Thus, the representatives of the state will have to be able to (at least temporarily) wield far greater powers than members of the public who are subjected to these powers to protect them from… power differential. Where do I sign up?

AnuraJuly 18, 2018 10:50 PM

@Ratio

I'm sorry you put effort into that. I can't help but roll my eyes at literally everything that you wrote. All of your stuff on Republic is just plain petty; I don't place much weight on the term, but you act like I said the word doesn't mean anything at all.

And now you seem to want to completely change topics and debate my proposed systems of economics and government? Let me guess, I respond to your questions, you ask "ah, but what do you do in x scenario?" And then I respond with an answer. And you look for another scenario where you think there is a flaw, and repeat ad nauseum. Just like every debate about any alternative economic system started by people who are hostile to any alternative, which eventually ends with the hostile party explaining how they will not accept any arguments in favor alternative until a world power is using that alternative.

WeatherJuly 19, 2018 12:10 AM

Sorry echo was referring to you post not visual features.
Soppoable Iraq have a missle governed by sound that like of a jet engine, I wonder why you don't here anything about that, why does the mixing box take three different basic maths to make duplicate, this is not paranoia it's basic no one is perfect, and if you think I work for them, I sent a cv with chactor trate unstable, shit can be seen but not registered. They are cilvans as well, but release it to 3 news isn't going to help things, sleep with the devel and get a rash.
Maybe you should not auto skip my posts

echoJuly 19, 2018 2:08 AM

Cash = security.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/19/cashless-society-con-big-finance-banks-closing-atms

The recent Visa chaos, during which millions of people who have become dependent on digital payment suddenly found themselves stranded when the monopolistic payment network crashed, was a temporary setback. Digital systems may be “convenient”, but they often come with central points of failure. Cash, on the other hand, does not crash. It does not rely on external data centres, and is not subject to remote control or remote monitoring. The cash system allows for an unmonitored “off the grid” space. This is also the reason why financial institutions and financial technology companies want to get rid of it. Cash transactions are outside the net that such institutions cast to harvest fees and data.

WeatherJuly 19, 2018 2:26 AM

@weather, rocketlab needs soppurt, it was meant to be me, my uncle life's there, will trade knowledge, be sinsure I

Wesley ParishJuly 19, 2018 2:44 AM

@bttb

Estimates of the cost? "factory" of propaganda, regular hours, utilities cost, etc? Standard rates, it would seem. Set of individuals to work out the best "routes" of attack? smaller bunch, but higher cost - these are highly skilled individuals. International access via Internet portals - cheapest part of the equation.

$100 million USD seems cheap, but it's probably much more than what was actually needed. The target after all has been prancing about like a wounded bull elephant trying to impress the elephant matriarch.

As far as I can make out, from the titbits we've been told about the fake social media accounts etc, the purpose was further alienation of an already alienated people. (I've forgotten the various articles that discussed this, and everybody online likewise seems to have forgotten them as well, but fake social network accounts were mentioned, and that I do remember - that they had no specific "aim," no "target" as such.)

And as such, "military grade propaganda tools" are hardly necessary. It's not the quality of the weaponry that's the issue, it's the degree of prior injury the quarry has sustained that determines whether or not the quarry falls. And to determine that, you need to understand the degree of social engineering the right-wing has performed over the past few decades.

RatioJuly 19, 2018 3:34 AM

@Anura,

I'm sorry you put effort into that. I can't help but roll my eyes at literally everything that you wrote.

So…

  • You say I ignore what you wrote, all the while making it very clear you think I’m acting in bad faith. I make explicit what I thought of the text you say I ignored so you can see for yourself that I didn’t ignore it, or at least that it wouldn’t have made a difference if I had (which is all I can show you), and that I am not acting in bad faith. You roll your eyes.
  • You say Republicans play word games. I indicate I agree with you. You roll your eyes.
  • You say the US is a democratic republic. Once again I agree. You roll your eyes.
  • You say outside the US “republic” doesn’t really mean anything. I give you poll numbers that show that to be false. You roll your eyes.
  • You say using “republic” and “democracy” interchangeably is something unique to the US. I inform you it’s not and offer Mexico as an example. You roll your eyes.

And so on. That’s what you’re going with?

All of your stuff on Republic is just plain petty; I don't place much weight on the term, but you act like I said the word doesn't mean anything at all.

I act as if you said that as a result of various claims you made (which turn out to not all be, in fact, true) the word means nothing in the context of this conversation: “[...] Thus, in the context of the conversation, the word "Republic" doesn't mean anything.

My issue isn’t with the importance you attach to the term, although I’m not so sure if you’re as indifferent to the US, say, being a constitutional monarchy or a democratic republic as you claim to be. (I’ll take your word for it.) My issue is with you making an argument that rests on false premises, which when pointed out to you result in eye rolls. Because truth matters to you.

And now you seem to want to completely change topics and debate my proposed systems of economics and government?

Not at all. I was in a hurry and dumped a bunch of questions. You can ignore all but this one: Wouldn’t an estate tax at a suitable level, entirely compatible with capitalism, fix the issue you raise?

Let me guess, I respond to your questions, you ask "ah, but what do you do in x scenario?" And then I respond with an answer. And you look for another scenario where you think there is a flaw, and repeat ad nauseum.

Wrong again, but since you appear incapable of limiting the discussion to the topic at hand, which doesn’t include me, I’ll make a guess about you: you must be one of those people who when their alternative is compared to less than successful historical and strikingly similar systems will claim, “that wasn’t Real $UNICORN_SYSTEM!” What do I win?

You know what, we’ll do things your way and declare that what you describe doesn’t happen in Real Capitalism. Problem solved.

Have fun debating whoever you imagine me to be at your convenience.

bttbJuly 19, 2018 11:10 AM

Carole Cadwalladr, British investigative journalist and Guardian & Observer writer, will be on Fresh Air today at 1 pm et, on National Public Radio (NPR) at https://www.npr.org/programs/fresh-air/ or a NPR station near you.

Carole Cadwalladr has written extensively about topics like Cambridge Analytica (and its' Canadian and USA affiliates) and Brexit. For example, https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/17/data-war-whistleblower-christopher-wylie-faceook-nix-bannon-trump

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carole_Cadwalladr

https://mobile.twitter.com/carolecadwalla

bttbJuly 19, 2018 11:31 AM

@Wesley Parish

"Estimates of the cost? "factory" of propaganda, regular hours, utilities cost, etc? Standard rates, it would seem."

Yes, I was trying to get some estimate of the 'total cost' of the (U.S. 2016 election) Russian active measures' campaign.

"Set of individuals to work out the best "routes" of attack? smaller bunch, but higher cost - these are highly skilled individuals. International access via Internet portals - cheapest part of the equation."

Regarding the latter, iirc the Facebook ad buy was around $100K USD for around 20 to 30 ads. Don't know about Twitter.

WeatherJuly 19, 2018 11:37 PM

Parrellel maths coding
if you have a loop of all the byte range it equals 0x7f80,that number is quite good, if you start with that value and you use add, subtract, divide or mulpcation like add 31 then divide by 2 times 5,the value you are left with is all the starting values of a byte that have been run through those three functions, if you want to see what 0x41 would have worked out to you subtract 0x41 from 0x7f80 then subtract from number, you will be left with what it would have come to.
Mixing this with aes and basic maths functions for sbox instead of substitute, you can in theory process all possible then select the one that matches.
The down side is or, and, xor does not work to good, it destroys the number

bttbJuly 20, 2018 9:03 AM

Regarding an estimate of the cost of Russian influence on the 2016 U.S. election:

1) Oops "20 to 30 ads" above should be "around 3,000 ads".
https://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2017/09/14/russia-facebook-2016-election/

2) "By 2016, however, the [Internet Research Agency] IRA’s America operation had evolved into a major project, with a monthly budget of more than $1.25 million a month for operations and employees posing as dozens of political characters, often with extreme views that would regularly get cited in American media, according to special counsel Robert Mueller's indictment."

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/kevincollier/a-former-manager-at-the-russian-troll-factory-is-now-living

https://www.justice.gov/file/1035477/download ; USG Indictment, 37 pages, 02/16/18

bttbJuly 20, 2018 9:34 AM

@Clive Robinson

"What that quote does not say is that the PRC paper has been repeatedly highlighted in various places at various times.

Also whilst it is a PRC document the content is fairly true for other nations as well that have the capability (read any Wester or First world nation and quite a few others). It's also true of other nations that do not have their own national capabilities, because there are plenty of commercial and governmental organisations that do have the capabilities that make them capabilities available to them."

Yes, and Brexit and the U.S. 2016 election might be good examples of cost-effective (perhaps less than $100M USD) (asymmetric?) meddling by Russia.

Clive RobinsonJuly 20, 2018 10:39 AM

@ bttb,

Yes, and Brexit and the U.S. 2016 election might be good examples of cost-effective (perhaps less than $100M USD) (asymmetric?) meddling by Russia.

The Russian's were not much into Brexit... It was US companies fronted by the likes of Cambridge Analytica that were spending most on Brexit and US Pres 2016.

The US however were apparrntly doing it on the cheep (less than 60million) down in South America... Not that that is anything new [1]. As for the very lame "wataboutism" argument it's usually accompanied by the sounds of scoundrels backwards footsteps as they know they have been caught out presenting an untrue "It's all them Reds" etc type argument.

As I've said several times people need to stick their heads above the US MSM and actually get some fresh air and a more balanced perspective.

The reason they should is unsurprisingly it appears that evidence is mounting that the likes of Rupert "the bear faced lier" Murdoch have been actively running cover / interferance for those who are right of center (even for US right leaning voters) and more than somewhat unpleasant / antisocial. It's no great supprise to those in the UK who now know that Murdoch and his eldest children have basically lied about the illegal activities going on in their news papers or have dodged out of the country to avoid purjuring themselves.

By rights all the Murdochs should be investigated by SEC and the shareholders should get rid of them as they realy are not "fit and propper persons" to hold any kind of position of authority.

bttbJuly 20, 2018 11:26 AM

"The Russian's were not much into Brexit... It was US companies fronted by the likes of Cambridge Analytica that were spending most on Brexit and US Pres 2016."

Thinking of Aaron Banks I may have overestimated Russia's role in Brexit.

From yesterday's Fresh Air with Carole Cadwalladr:
TERRY GROSS, HOST: ... "Do you see parallels between what's being investigated in the Brexit campaign and what's under investigation in the Trump presidential campaign?"

CAROLE CADWALLADR: Oh, very clearly, yes. There's absolute parallels and overlaps between what happened in Brexit and what happened in the Trump campaign. And that was one of the sort of very first things that alerted me when I first started looking at this 20 months ago was this very, very clear overlap of individuals.

So Robert Mercer, he's the billionaire hedge fund owner who was the main donor of Trump's presidential campaign. He's also the one who bought Cambridge Analytica, the company that I first started investigating for its role in the referendum. And so that was a very clear link. Steve Bannon, of course, he was Trump's campaign manager. He was a vice president for Cambridge Analytica.

And the link, really, the through-link who I keep coming back to is this character called Nigel Farage. So I don't know how familiar American listeners are with him, but he was the guy who Trump introduced at his rally in Mississippi in the summer of 2016. And he brought him up on stage, and he said, this is Mr. Brexit. And he said very clearly, if Brexit can happen in Britain, then I can get elected in the United States.

And it's this parallel, and the way that Brexit really opened the door for Trump is one of the sort of main strands that sort of kept me going throughout this whole investigation.Nigel Farage. So I don't know how familiar American listeners are with him, but he was the guy who Trump introduced at his rally in Mississippi in the summer of 2016. And he brought him up on stage, and he said, this is Mr. Brexit. And he said very clearly, if Brexit can happen in Britain, then I can get elected in the United States.

And it's this parallel, and the way that Brexit really opened the door for Trump is one of the sort of main strands that sort of kept me going throughout this whole investigation.

GROSS: And Nigel Farage was the first foreign visitor that Trump welcomed after he was elected.

CADWALLADR: That's right, yes. It's this very, very close relationship between them all. Between - Steve Bannon is really the sort of linking character there, really. Steve Bannon has been involved with Robert Mercer in various projects over the years. And wherever Steve Bannon was, Robert Mercer's money was. And when Robert Mercer started funding Donald Trump's presidential election, that was when Bannon was brought in as his campaign manager.

And Bannon and Farage go back. They are close ideological allies. And, in fact, Steve Bannon actually opened a branch of Breitbart in London in 2012, specifically to support Nigel Farage's mission to take Britain out of the EU. So these close sort of personal friendships and relationships and ideological alignments, and now also political destinies, that are shared between the two countries.

GROSS: Why did Steve Bannon care so much about Brexit and England leaving the EU?

CADWALLADR: The person who really put this into context for me was Christopher Wylie. So he's the pink-haired guy, as people - when I'm always - when I say to people, if they know who he is, he's the pink-haired guy, the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower. And I first started talking to him in, I think it was the beginning of April last year.

And one of the first things we talked about in this insanely long first telephone conversation I had with him was that he had had a conversation with Bannon back in 2015, and - 2014, sorry. And Bannon was very clear about it, is that this idea of Britain, in some ways, being a sort of cultural leader for America. And so this idea of where Britain led culturally, then it would sort of set a path for America, also.

And Steve Bannon's things, he kept on telling me, was to change culture. That was the thing - is that politics was downstream of culture. So first of all, you have to change the culture. And this is where they really saw Britain as its place in the English-speaking world, sharing a culture with America. And so the idea of, if you could sort of have a bridgehead first here, then that could be influential in terms of the impact upon America later.

GROSS: And so Bannon set up a Breitbart office in London to help try to move British culture and politics to the far-right.

CADWALLADR: Yeah. And there's one of my - there's - one of my favorite video clips is of - which I and other people post - whenever there's an opportunity, we post it again on Twitter. And it's Nigel Farage with a pint of beer in his hand on the day that Article 50 was triggered. So that was the day that Britain started the formal process of leaving the European Union.

And there's a little video clip of him saying, thank you, Breitbart. Thank you, Steve Bannon. You were hugely influential. There's a twin influence there. So Breitbart was the sort of cultural influence, and then Cambridge Analytica became the sort of vehicle - the mechanism by which that influence was sort of spread more widely, I think.

GROSS: So Christopher Wylie, who you've described as the guy a lot of people know as the pink-haired guy, so he became your main source. He is the person who is credited with setting up the operation that used Facebook data taken from tens of millions of Facebook users to psychologically target them and then send them appropriate messages. And those messages might have been, like, fake news or, you know, whatever. But once they were psychologically profiled, they'd be sent messages to help sway them to vote for Brexit or, in America, to vote for Trump.

He had deep regrets about the way his model was used and, eventually, you know, became your source. So tell us more about his role in what Cambridge Analytica did in targeting voters...."

https://www.npr.org/2018/07/19/630443485/reporter-shows-the-links-between-the-men-behind-brexit-and-the-trump-campaign

bttbJuly 20, 2018 11:34 AM

"What Stays on Facebook and What Goes? The Social Network Cannot Answer"
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/19/technology/facebook-misinformation.html

and, also about Facebook, from https://boingboing.net/2018/07/17/check-out-this-tool-for-explor.html :

"Fathom Information Design created an interactive website called Fakebook that presents a bunch of Facebook ads purchased by Russia-linked agents, showing the intended audiences for the ads. Is their any reason to doubt that the Russians are still buying Facebook ads designed to divide and anger Americans?

In late 2017, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a sample of Facebook ads purchased by Russia-linked agents to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. This tool reveals how they targeted demographics to spread disinformation, increase hostility and discourage voters.

Advertisers on Facebook can target users based on pages they follow. The Russians targeted over 700 interests, such as Texas secession and Bernie Sanders. We used an algorithm to cluster them into the topics shown here based on the number of times interests were targeted by the same ad."

https://fathom.info/fakebook/ ; afaik, javascript required

gordoJuly 20, 2018 11:40 AM

Just when I thought the popcorn was going stale...

Russian firm indicted in special counsel probe cites Kavanaugh decision to argue that charge should be dismissed
July 20, 2018

The 2011 decision by Kavanaugh, writing for a three-judge panel, concerned the role that foreign nationals may play in U.S. elections. It upheld a federal law that said foreigners temporarily in the country may not donate money to candidates, contribute to political parties and groups or spend money advocating for or against candidates. But it did not rule out letting foreigners spend money on independent advocacy campaigns.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/russian-firm-indicted-in-special-counsel-probe-cites-kavanaugh-decision-to-argue-that-charges-should-be-dismissed/2018/07/19/0faace34-8aba-11e8-a345-a1bf7847b375_story.html?utm_term=.aa3457d66dcd

Clive RobinsonJuly 20, 2018 4:03 PM

@ bttb,

...Secretly Taped Trump...

Call me naive but I have to ask,

    What part of the Doh gnarled's private life has not been recorded for posterior?

echoJuly 20, 2018 4:22 PM

It's possible Trump and Putin may meet at the Whitehouse. This affair is getting very Morcombe and Wise. I wonder if they will have matching pajamas.

HmmJuly 20, 2018 11:40 PM

"The Russian's were not much into Brexit..."

That's not really a factual statement.

Clive RobinsonJuly 21, 2018 1:20 AM

That's not really a factual statement.

Hmm more of the self referential again. How do it your self with much repetition...

HmmJuly 21, 2018 3:44 PM

Well "not much" is where you successfully dithered your statement. But why bother?

It's quite factually reported in a myriad of sources that the same people behind the Russian propaganda effort to push Trump were involved in similar efforts with Brexit, so for you to casually disregard these reported facts as if they don't exist is...

Well, you tell us, what is it?

Because it does carry and further the interests of the propagandists themselves to have people deny the factual reporting that their efforts were cross-referenced in both campaigns, which is, in fact, a fact.

Now the "degree" to which they were involved is subjectively described, and that's fine, but pretending it wasn't significant, proven beyond doubt with evidence, or serious... well, as the UK government has been shaken to its core over the issue with a 1% or so margin between the two sides... to say it had "not much" effect without disambiguation is just another non-factual assertion intended to casually shut down discussion. Along the lines of saying there's no evidence of Russian hacks, WMD attacks, or other lines of assumption carried with undue weight and zero evidence in support.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/how-the-bad-boys-of-brexit-forged-ties-with-russia-and-the-trump-campaign--and-came-under-investigators-scrutiny/2018/06/28/6e3a5e9c-7656-11e8-b4b7-308400242c2e_story.html

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/06/britains-russia-collusion-scandal-looks-just-like-trumps.html

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-nigel-farage-arron-banks-russia-links-eu-referendum-vote-leave-a8422506.html

Or, you know, just deny it happened.

gordoJuly 21, 2018 8:11 PM

Things aren't always what they seem. Spin, historicity, and policy...

Cambridge Analytica is what happens when you privatise military propaganda
Adam Ramsay 28 March 2018
You can't understand the Cambridge Analytica scandal until you understand what its parent company does.

Baudrillard's argument centred on the fact that NATO's action in the Gulf was the first time audiences in Western countries had been able to watch a war live, on rolling TV news – CNN had become the first 24-hour news channel in 1980. Because camera crews were embedded with American troops, by whom they were effectively censored, the coverage had little resemblance to the reality of the bombardment of Iraq and Kuwait. The events known to Western audiences as "The Gulf War" – symbolised by camera footage from 'precision' missiles and footage of military hardware – are more accurately understood as a movie directed from the Pentagon. They were so removed from the gore-splattered reality that it's an abuse of language to call them the same thing. Hence, the "Gulf War" did not take place.


[. . .]

Back to SCL: why are NATO's mercenary propagandists getting involved in the US presidential election and – if the growing body of evidence about the link between Cambridge Analytica and AggregateIQ is to be believed – Brexit?

https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/brexitinc/adam-ramsay/cambridge-analytica-is-what-happens-when-you-privatise-military-propaganda

---

Facebook backs down from 'napalm girl' censorship and reinstates photo
Sam Levin, Julia Carrie Wong, and Luke Harding 9 Sep 2016
Company U-turns on its decision to remove the iconic Vietnam war photo featuring a naked girl after global outcry and accusations of ‘abusing power’

Norway’s largest newspaper published a front-page open letter to Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, slamming Facebook’s decision to censor the historic photograph of nine-year-old Kim Phúc running away from a napalm attack and calling on the CEO to live up to his role as “the world’s most powerful editor”.


[. . .]

Phúc, who now lives in Canada with her husband and two children, piled on further pressure with her own powerful statement, saying: “I’m saddened by those who would focus on the nudity in the historic picture rather than the powerful message it conveys. I fully support the documentary image taken by Nick Ut as a moment of truth that capture the horror of war and its effects on innocent victims.”

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/sep/09/facebook-reinstates-napalm-girl-photo

---

Is Trump The Toughest Ever On Russia?
Scott Horsley Heard on Morning Edition July 20, 2018

"When you actually look at the substance of what this administration has done, not the rhetoric but the substance, this administration has been much tougher on Russia than any in the post-Cold War era," said Daniel Vajdich, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.

https://www.npr.org/2018/07/20/630659379/is-trump-the-toughest-ever-on-russia

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