A90210 May 31, 2019 4:32 PM

“Here’s DOJ’s official debunking of the VIPS [1] analysis on DNC hack: that even if it were true, it’d be irrelevant to Q of whether RU did it. Pretty close the what I say when I debunk it. [ (pdf; about 15 pages) ]


Sed Contra May 31, 2019 4:41 PM

“erroneously identified the ammonite as a land snail … used x-ray computerized tomography scans … the shell … confirmed as ammonite on the basis of its intricate internal chambers”

Actually, it is a snail. Those 100 million year old snails were a lot more sophisticated than we usually give them credit for.

A90210 May 31, 2019 4:45 PM

“Alexandria, VA — Today, Chelsea Manning and her legal team filed a Motion to Reconsider Sanctions, in which they ask Judge Anthony Trenga to release Chelsea from confinement, and ask that he modify the fines he imposed on her.

During the May 16th contempt hearing, Judge Trenga found Ms. Manning in contempt of court and ordered her confined for the term of the grand jury. Judge Trenga also imposed graduated fines to be assessed at $500 per day starting after 30 days of confinement, and jumping to $1,000 per day after 60 days, for as long as she refuses to comply with the court’s order to answer questions before the grand jury.

During that same hearing, Judge Trenga prevailed upon Ms. Manning to use her confinement as an opportunity to reflect on her principles and objections to the grand jury process. A letter from Chelsea filed with the court today represents her efforts to communicate those principles and objections clearly and completely to the judge, and to show him that she has in fact reflected on her convictions sincerely and at length.


The government and Chelsea’s legal team are in agreement that witnesses held in civil contempt may be held for no more than 18 months total, even for contempts occurring before different grand juries. As a result, on May 29, 2019, the government joined Ms. Manning’s counsel in asking Judge Trenga to give her 62 days “time served” and to modify his order of confinement to the term of this grand jury minus the 62 days she already spent in confinement (for contempt before a previous grand jury proceeding).”

The Pull May 31, 2019 5:07 PM


You don’t believe Russia interfered with the 2016 election?

& why is manning being held in contempt? She shouldn’t be even in front of a grand jury. Already served hard time.

American criminal justice system is a shame.

Anton May 31, 2019 5:56 PM

NSA Admiral Mike Rodgers – A True American Hero

NYT: In 2017 the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was delaying its annual reauthorization because the N.S.A. (Inspector General) had discovered widespread violations of a rule for how analysts could handle Americans’ emails collected under the program. Now, the agency director, Adm. Michael S. Rogers, was proposing to solve the problem by significantly reducing an important type of surveillance undertaken through the program.

Compare the NYT spotty, vague coverage to this superior time-line:
In 2012 the FISA court extended access to raw, or unprocessed, information gathered under Section 702 to the National Counterterrorism Center, a clearinghouse of terrorism threat information.

In 2012, the United States Attorney General Eric Holder granted the agency the authority to collect, store, and analyze extensive data collections on U.S. citizens compiled from governmental and non-governmental sources for suspicious behavior through pattern analysis and to share the databases with foreign states.

In mid-2016, Rogers ordered the NSA compliance officer to run a full audit on 702 NSA compliance. The NSA compliance officer identified several strange 702 “About Queries” that were being conducted. These were violations of the fourth amendment (search and seizure), ie. unlawful surveillance and gathering. Admiral Rogers was briefed by the compliance officer on October 20th, 2016.

Admiral Mike Rogers ordered the “About Query” activity to stop, reported the activity to the DOJ, and then went to the FISA court. On October 26th, 2016, full FISC assembly, NSA Director Rogers personally informed the court of the 702(17)* violations. (What a hero!)

  • Section 702(17) Surveillance – includes unauthorized upstream data collection of U.S. individuals through the use of “About” queries. Rogers had uncovered Section 702 violations involving the Trump Campaign.

It now makes sense that the heads of the Intelligence Brennan, Clapper and Carter then all screamed LOUDLY for President Obama to fire Admiral Rodgers
Full Rodgers NSA/Timeline:

Subsequently numerous and elaborate cover stories and insurance policies were then developed to prevent these ‘About Queries’ unmasking FISA/constitutional violations from ever being made public [1]. Will the 2019 no-secrets, fact-finding investigation led by the Attorney General succeed?

Why not have the independent Inspector General routinely audit these FISA programs for compliance as a condition of reauthorization?

[1] Actually NSA contractor Snowden experienced these abuses firsthand.
In his first public remarks as NSA director, Rogers stated that he believed that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was “probably not” working for a foreign intelligence agency, despite frequent speculation and assertion by the NSA’s allies to the contrary. Rogers added: “He clearly believes in what he’s doing. I question that; I don’t agree with it. I fundamentally disagree with what he did. I believe it was wrong; I believe it was illegal.”

Clive Robinson June 1, 2019 7:12 AM

@ A90210,

Here’s DOJ’s official debunking of the VIPS [1] analysis on DNC hack:

It’s nothing of the sort.

Neither the affidavit or the (declasified) document it’s supposadly based on have any kind of evidentiary value.

At best they are a series of assertions based on bo presented facts.

As for the VIPS analysis it has the slight advantage over the USG report that some of the source materials for it’s analysis are available and can be “tested”.

As I continuously warn the source used by the VIPS analysis whilst apparently accurate[1] fails to pass the basics of the scientific method, thus it’s usage by VIPS becomes one of interpretation not factual repeatable testing. Thus like the USG report fails to even get close to a “balance of probability” hurdle, let alone to that of beyond reasonable doubt.

In essence the affadavit is a load of nonsense similar to an argument between two beligerant drunks as to how high they could if they were sober make their mark above the urinal.

Befor anyone accuses me of taking side as they have in the past, you need to think how many actual sides there are. That is I care little or nothing for the prosecution or defence, what I do care about is “the passing off” of garbage as “evidence”. I just wish more people would realise why this is way more important than this current stupidity, which at the end of the day has little or nothing to do with justice but the bold swaggering of high fiving “might is right” advocates.

[1] science moves from cause to effect because this is not just testable but repeatedly so in a way that provides compleate facts within the scope of measurment thus A effected by B gives rise to C for who ever wishes to try. Importantly it is reported as “A subjected to B gives rise to C”. Forensics however moves in the opposit direction, that is it says that C is what we see therefore it must have been A effected by B… Which whilst true for A effected by B does not in any way say it can only have been A effected by B. That is C may arise from A effected by E, F or G, or even D effected by E, F or G, or even something else such as X effected by Y. This occures so much in forensics that it ought not to be called a science at all. In the USG report no A or B or C where presented in ways that could in no way be teated as factual or even to have existed, it is thus at best equivalent in standing to a ScFi or other fantasy story written by a Scientist (in fact less so, because scientists are publically known thus have a regard to their reputation).

Linux June 1, 2019 9:59 AM

Has anyone assessed if any Linux RDP application is vulnerable to CVE-2019-0708 (BlueKeep)? It’s not a protocol vulnerability, per Microsoft. But wondering if non-Windows implementations are safe.

A. Karhumaa June 1, 2019 10:57 AM

This is from BBC, yesterday:

“GM fungus rapidly kills 99% of malaria mosquitoes, study suggests”

the Science Magazine article it refers to:
“Transgenic Metarhizium rapidly kills mosquitoes in a malaria-endemic region of Burkina Faso”
seems to be behind a paywall, but I guess the gene for funnel-web spider toxin is either from

Nice species both…

Now, what might go wrong with this? Especially when there is a powerful lobby against “overly zealous restrictions”. Also think what the rogue actors could do with the same technology.

Rj June 1, 2019 2:38 PM

They are looking for explanation as to how such a collection of specimens wound up in the same place and time to be encased in amber? I think they overlooked one possibility: Some animal had a seven course dinner one these specimens and then the animal got sick and vomitted into a blob of tree sap.

Slim Pickins June 1, 2019 11:39 PM

@ Anton

 That was good to hear about Admiral Rodgers. Any DIRNSA is in the gray zone; lying is part of the job description, as is stealing. But will that person go full Kim Jong Un and shred the U.S. Constitution?  Rodgers would not do it.  Others would--and did.

 Speaking of self-interested bologna artists, RT <a href="">just posted this</a> about an outrage against the U.S. Constitution perpetrated against American citizens by former NSA authorities.  This kind of monkey trick cannot continue if the U.S. hopes to remain a liberal democracy. 

 What happened back then was wrong, wrong, wrong.  In fact, it means bin Laden won.  Input U.S.A. on September 10, 2001 and then output U.S.A. ten years later with the U.S. Constitution cut out into pieces and ignored.  That means they won folks, and it is a disgrace.  The benighted guardians did not have the bandwidth to figure that out, if they cared.

 <b>This act of treachery against American citizens cannot go unpunished.</b> Americans in service to the government take an oath to the U.S. Constitution, not to any foreign government.

AL June 2, 2019 1:10 AM

@The Pull
“& why is manning being held in contempt?”
It isn’t rocket science. It is a refusal to answer questions under circumstances where Manning can’t claim a 5th amendment protection. Because Manning was pardoned by Obama, she can testify as to whether Assange assisted in the stealing of information that Assange then subsequently published.

Assange is in the clear if he only published, but not if he assisted in the stealing of the stuff he published, even if his assistance was unsuccessful. All the obfuscation in the world won’t conceal that. If true, the assistance that Assange may have provided in cracking a NTLM password could be the linchpin to Assange’s undoing.

Memo to publishers: Don’t assist in the stealing of the information to be published.
Assange’s best defense is in defending the extradition request against the U.K. because he would be subjected to a political trial in the U.S. That said, the U.K. has been married to the U.S. pursuing the war in Iraq, Libya, and Yemen.

So, I think Assange is stuck in the wrong jurisdiction.

Alien Jerky June 2, 2019 2:58 AM

I have an older laptop that sits on a chair next to my couch which I use for playing Netflix, poking around the web, checking email, while watching a movie and such. It runs on Linux Mint using Firefox and Thunderbird, along with Gnome games which is a decent set of card games, mahjong, and some other mindless distractions. Nothing else on that laptop.

I had not run the Update Manager in a while, which is a GUI interface for apt-get, so I ran it. I always look down the list of what it is going to update mostly out of curiosity. At the top of the list was Chromium Browser and a calendar task manager program, which after some digging is also an evil google program. WTF! I do not want that evil spyware on my Linux computer.

I did not do the update yet. Did a manual search of the disk for the chromium browser but it is not installed nor that evil google events and task manager. apt-get should not be installing that spyware when it is not installed already. It of course is an opt-out instead of opt-in so they are force feeding it to everyone and have to uncheck it every time the update manager is run.

I kicked up the command line and ran apt-get update, then examined the manifest of what will be upgraded. There is that evil chromium browser in the list which would be installed if I ran apt-get upgrade. From the command line it is much more obscured to be noticed among the typical operating system update files being updated. Yet another advantage to a gui interface over command line operations.

Linux Mint is built on Ubuntu. The question becomes whether Ubuntu (Canonical) is the evil one or Linux Mint is the one who cut a deal with that very evil corporation known as google to force their spyware chromium browser into Linux machines.

Alejandro June 2, 2019 8:54 AM

This isn’t new, news, but I recently stumbled on it:

“Google’s New Facial Recognition Patent Wants To Stalk Your Social Media”

“The patent does not go into great detail about potential use cases, but it describes how the system could enable a user to automatically share a group photo with friends by identifying everyone in it.”

All I can say is, based on a recent experience, I know they are doing it.

Meanwhile, besides DuckDuckGo @ there are some pretty good search engine alternatives around. Such as: Search Encrypt which has a very good privacy policy and one that’s real popular in Germany: StartPage,

Usually the also-rans have significant weaknesses and lapses, but lately it seems they are doing a pretty good job of keeping up with the money colored Eye of Providence.

Also see: “Facial recognition: Apple, Amazon, Google and the race for your face”

“China uses facial ID “for a sort of “social credit” system that determines whether the individual should be allowed to get a loan, buy a house or even much simpler things like board a plane or access the internet.

The London Metropolitan Police also use it as a tool when narrowing their search for criminals, though their system supposedly isn’t very accurate — with incorrect matches reported in a whopping 98 percent of cases.

In the US, police departments in Oregon and Florida are teaming up with Amazon to install facial recognition into government-owned cameras.”

(Personally I think Amazon is making a mistake getting into the mass surveillance game and monetizing personal data, but of course, that’s not my call.)

Allison June 2, 2019 9:49 AM

The marketing wizards at Ubuntu are now performing Credit Checks on Ubuntu users [1]!

It used to be that Linux Mint was Ubuntu but without the data-mining. But now Google is stealthy invading Linux while simultaneously planning to disable ad-blockers within Chrome.

Google uses its superior technical skills and marketing strategies to make installing its intrusive products a no-brainer. Advertisers prize the 18-34 generation simply because they have not developed the ability to critically discriminate. Google leverages realizes that instant no-brainer convenience always wins over ‘painful’ critical reasoning[2].

Silicon Valley knows many Linux desktops are developed by inexperienced coders to gain experience. Hence its easy for advertisers and AI analytics to CREEP-in over time.
Little wonder Linux desktops have chronic integration issues. For instance forget playing movies with multi-channel audio [3].

Last-Man Standing Product Selection
Never use a distribution which has a proprietary Software Source Manager. I use the unbiased open-source Debian Synaptic Package Manager (a graphical front-end for APT).
To maintain privacy never use modified Linux kernels and proprietary application distributions like SNAP. Instead use the included Firejail sandbox.

I started out with pure Debian Xfce but the Stable no-upgrade policy over two years is ridiculous.
The Testing release is up-to-date – but always have a Clonzilla boot image ready to eliminate any risk.
I then added the MX Linux repository to gain important application updates. The privacy focused Palemoon/Waterfox browsers are included in the MX distribution. Waterfox cleaning has also been added to Bleachbit[4].

The smartest distribution for fresh installs is MX Linux. Through its backports and other antiX offerings, the software is all cutting edge and not outdated even though this is a distro based on Debian stable. This alone, is a huge selling point.

[1] Ubuntu: ‘We are working closely with third parties including advertising networks, analytics providers, search information providers, CREDIT REFERENCE agencies.’

[2] no-brain to install when YOU are the product

[3] The mpv and Kodi players are the partial exceptions because they include ALL software within the package

[4] Similar to CCleaner in Windows but ten years later! Tables turn, as Ccleaner is now classified as spyware.

Faustus June 2, 2019 12:48 PM


Thanks for the update! Mistakes are rarely acknowledged here. Kudos to you!!

Sherman Jay June 2, 2019 4:59 PM

@Alien Jerky

The info from @Allison is excellent. The update warning from @Aiejandro is appreciated, too. And, I must say @faustus has often demonstrated kindness that is conspicuously missing from our society in general.

I run a non-major distro of Linux and for added protection of the system files I run it from an optical disc (read-only). I have been using a slightly older version of Firefox and it has worked fine on all sites for almost a year, until yesterday. Yesterday, I went to view a video on youtube (owned by G00gle) and it locked up my system. I re-booted, cleared all history, ran bleachbit and tried another youtube URL that I had successfully visited a week ago. That locked up the (slightly older) Firefox, too. So, I tried a fresh version of xubuntu with Firefox 61 and it played both youtube URL videos fine.

I have read on a few tech sites that G00gle has been investing heavily in Mozilla (makers of Firefox) and it seems that they have now loaded Firefox with ‘special features’ that assist G00gle owned youtube to track you. The older versions of firefox don’t have this special coding and so that is probably why (my reasoned speculation only) they lock up.

I highly recomment duckduckgo for searches, knowing that any of the ‘commercial sites’ I visit from there will try to put a ‘shovel full’ of tracking schmutz on your computer.

I’ve been slowly trying some alternative browsers like palemoon (darkmoon derivative is poor), seamonkey, etc.

best wishes to all (special sale at Amazin on heavy duty foil for lining hats??)

Sherman Jay June 2, 2019 5:05 PM

One other note regarding chrome/chromium. Many of the Linux distros will rely on and load chrome/chromium video and audio codecs as an easy way to get them to play (especially in some browsers and the Gnome fron-end for Mplayer). That is one reason why you see them in updates. They used to be considered safe. But, in today’s world, “who knows what evil lurks?”

Danny June 2, 2019 7:15 PM

@Allison wrote, “[1] Ubuntu: ‘We are working closely with third parties including advertising networks, analytics providers, search information providers, CREDIT REFERENCE agencies.’

It is interesting they so explicitly state connection to “credit reference” agencies.

By reference, these agencies should be agnostic in the usage of collected data. Matching up your online identity to an irrevocable offline (tangible world) identity thru such nefarious means can only be for a surveillance purpose.

This however appears to be the latest trends in masterpiecing the social architecture. We have monitors/surveillance apparatus at the OS layer. MS had already done so with Windows 10 and perhaps prior to. The Mobile OSes are already doing this from a long time ago because its difficult to obfuscate a mobile identity.

This is what the “cyber” war is really about among the world’s warring surfdoms. While most people in the “free” world advocates against the usage of segregated interent, a great many firewalls may be the only way to peacefully resolve this situation (less another round of trade treaties forced upon our allie’s throats).

The “intangible information world” provokes abstrct thinkings, as the Chinese would say interesting times.

Danny June 2, 2019 7:21 PM

“They used to be considered safe. But, in today’s world, “who knows what evil lurks?””

Like most evil doers they often appear under the opposite banner, a clever attempt in obfuscating real intent as in the common euphemism “what are friends for.”

I’d be vigilant of any such parties wearing a shroud that says “privacy first” or appearing to openly advocate privacy-oriented rhetoric. Grugle being the first that comes to mind…

Huey Pilot June 3, 2019 8:02 AM

this is a drop box exploit and another reason why I don’t like that software, which has its hand down my pants all the time. if you click on it and have dropbox on your PC – you just shared the content of your entire dropbox with them.

————— Original Message —————
Subject: DHL Shipment Notification
From: “DHL Express”
Date: Mon, June 3, 2019 4:29 am

To: “DHL Delivery”

Dear Customer,

Pls find attached your invoice & packing list of this shipment and confirm your delivery address.

Download [1]


DHL Delivery Team.



A90210 June 3, 2019 12:22 PM

@The Pull

“… Russia interfered with the 2016 election?”

“[Comments] Badger Robert says:
June 2, 2019 at 7:25 pm

What is the best link to the online redacted Mueller report, when someone has a moment?

Rayne says:
June 2, 2019 at 7:45 pm

Original report at Justice Dept.

Searchable versions in PDF and Scribd at JustSecurity

Analysis of redactions at NYT

What volunteer readers have found in the report via MuckRock

Barbara Slate’s work on the Mueller Report Graphic Novel (available for preorder)
    P J Evans says:
    June 2, 2019 at 7:50 pm

    There’s an epub version here (or was a week ago):
    https ://muellerreport.dp .la/ mueller-report.epub

    [Use this link with caution as the domain is located in Laos, not the US. Remove the blank spaces to use. /~Rayne]
        Rayne says:
        June 2, 2019 at 8:18 pm

        Thanks, PJ. I’ve taken the precaution of ‘breaking’ the link to prevent accidental click through. It’s possible the domain is being used by someone in Los Angeles but it may well be redirecting traffic through Laos first.

        EDIT: For folks who want to read an EPUB file version of the Special Counsel report, I will recommend Calibre software for converting a PDF to EPUB. I haven’t done it myself to this particular file but I’ve used it for other PDFs to EPUB. It’s open source and runs on multiple platforms. Get it at or look for it at CNET’s Download(.)com. Do allow plenty of space for the original PDF and EPUB on your hard drive; in my experience EPUB files are about 3X the size of PDFs.

A90210 June 3, 2019 12:40 PM

There is “free” audio book of the Mueller report.

” [comments; edited] ANZAC Friend says:
June 2, 2019 at 3:54 pm

OT: Virginia Heffernan has advised that the whole Mueller report is available as an audiobook at Audible. IT IS FREE TO EVERYONE. “It’s read by 3 actors w/beautiful voices. It’s 19 hours. Listen to the summaries, or all of it. It will blow you away.”



errant aesthete says:
June 2, 2019 at 4:45 pm

This is as close to ‘as good as it gets!’ Maximizing the Message through the forum that will get the greatest return. The Mueller Report – Free to all.

As mentioned in the above thread, ... has put the recording entirely in the public domain, meaning it should be used with abandon on podcasts, data visualizations, in film, in YouTube videos, in PSAs, on TV, in cartoons, etc. Have at it, producers!"

Tatütata June 3, 2019 3:12 PM

Much is written here and elsewhere about the security of IoT devices, or lack thereof. Less about the network infrastructure that support them.

Kelly Weill, “BRAAAINS — Massive Google Outage Turned Smart Homes Into Zombies, The Daily Beast, 3 June 2019

Your smart home is only as smart as the network that runs it.

On Sunday, some Google users found themselves locked out of YouTube and Gmail as the tech giant experienced major outages across the U.S. But while the service disruption only affected most users’ browsing history, others saw their homes malfunction. Nest, a Google-owned smart home company, was also affected by the outage. For Nest users, that meant losing access to smart thermostats, smart baby monitors, and smart front doors.

A90210 June 3, 2019 3:18 PM

@Clive Robinson

“As for the VIPS analysis it has the slight advantage over the USG report [ in Roger Stone’s November pre-trial paperwork ] that some of the source materials for it’s analysis are available and can be “tested”.”

Thank goodness in some Democracies we still have a relatively free press and things like this can still be debated. Authoritarian, or authoritarian leaning, leaders, of course, prefer a less free press.

Thinking about VIPS, I remembered Binney and Thin Thread. From 2012,

“AMY GOODMAN: … You worked for the National Security Agency for more than three decades.

WILLIAM BINNEY: Almost four.

AMY GOODMAN: Almost four decades.


AMY GOODMAN: You, for a time, directed the NSA’s World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Reporting Group. Tell us what you did and then why you left and what happened to you afterwards.

WILLIAM BINNEY: Well, I was the technical director of that group, that basically looked at the world, so we looked at all the technical problems of—in the world, and see how we could solve collection, analysis and reporting on military and geopolitical issues all around the world, every country in the world. So, it was a rather large technical problem to tackle, but it—and one of the largest problems we thought we had was looking at the World Wide Web and all the ballooning and mushrooming communications in the world. And our ability to deal with that was diminishing over time, so I kind of referred to it as our inability to keep up with the rate of change. So, we were falling behind the rate of change.

So we—I had a very small group of people in a lab, and we decided to attack that problem. And we did it by looking at how we could graph the network of communications and all the communications in the world, and then—and then focus in on that graph and use the graph to limit what we wanted to attack. And we basically succeeded at that, but in the process, of course, we scooped up Americans from different places, so we had to protect their identities, according to our laws and privacy rights of U.S. citizens. So, under USSID 18, we built in protections to anonymize their identities, so you couldn’t really tell who you were looking at.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And that’s because the NSA could do surveillance from abroad, but not of U.S. citizens.

WILLIAM BINNEY: Well, and, you see, the World Wide Web routes things all over, so you never really know where U.S. citizens’ communications are going to be routed. So, you—if you were collecting somewhere else on another continent, you could still get U.S. citizens. That’s—see, that was a universal problem. So we devised how to do that and protect U.S. citizens. So—and this was all before 9/11. And we devised how to do that, made that effective and operating. So we were actually prepared to deploy about eight months before 9/11 and actually have a system that would run and manage the—what I call 20 terabytes a minute of activity.

So—but after 9/11, …”

A90210 June 3, 2019 4:39 PM


“Memo to publishers: Don’t assist in the stealing of the information to be published.”

IANAL, but

“… DANIEL ELLSBERG: But my warning really was that it wasn’t going to stop there [regarding Obama’s war on whistle-blowers], that almost inevitably there would be a stronger attack directly on the foundations of journalism, against editors, publishers and journalists themselves. And we’ve now seen that as of yesterday. That’s a new front in President Trump’s war on the free press, which he regards as the enemy of the people.

AMY GOODMAN: And the Trump administration saying Julian Assange is not a publisher, is not a journalist, that’s why he is not protected by the First Amendment?

DANIEL ELLSBERG: In the face of this new indictment, which—and let me correct something that’s been said just a little wrong by everybody so far. He doesn’t just face 170 years. That’s for the 17 counts on the Espionage Act, each worth 10. Plus, he’s still facing the five-year conspiracy charge that he started out with a few weeks ago. I was sure that the administration did not want to keep Julian Assange in jail just for five years. So I’ve been expecting these Espionage Act charges.


DANIEL ELLSBERG: They started out with a [conspiracy] charge that made Julian look something other than a normal journalist. The help to hacking a password sounded like something that, even in the Digital Age, perhaps most journalists wouldn’t do, and that would hope to separate him from the support of other journalists.

In this case, when they had to lay out their larger charge, this is straight journalism. They mention, for instance, that he solicited investigative material, he solicited classified information—terribly, he didn’t just passively receive it over the transom. I can’t count the number of times I have been solicited for classified information, starting with the Pentagon Papers, but long after that, and that’s by every member of the responsible press that I dealt with—the Times, the Post, AP, you name it. That’s journalism. So, what they have done is recognizable, I think, this time to all journalists, that they are in the crosshairs of this one. They may not have known enough about digital performance to help a source conceal her identity by using new passwords, as Julian was charged with. They may not be able to do that. But every one of them has eagerly received classified information and solicited it.”

A90210 June 3, 2019 4:45 PM

and, regarding President Trump’s war against a free press and national security reporting,

“… JEREMY SCAHILL: This is a precedent-setting moment, not just legally, but morally, because this is not the end. This is the beginning. And they will eventually come for other news organizations, or they will scare media outlets from doing high-stakes national security reporting. It doesn’t matter what you think of any of these individual whistleblowers. It doesn’t matter what you think of The Intercept. But it does matter that we all recognize that this is an attack on our basic rights to information about what the U.S. government does in our names and with our tax dollars. It matters that people who blow the whistle on crimes and war crimes be defended and not abandoned or portrayed as violent criminals or traitors [espionage act]. All of us must ask ourselves where we stand. History will remember our answers.


Look what’s happened, Amy. Trump is trying to run the deck on this. They are digging up old cases. They are trying to throw the book at anyone who does critical national security reporting. This isn’t about Julian Assange 2016, the election, Sweden. This is about a war on the press. And it was a huge, fatal mistake that major news organizations refused to stand up when they started coming for WikiLeaks and Chelsea Manning in 2010. Huge mistake. They owe some of the responsibility for this.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to read Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning’s statement that she just released from jail on Thursday. She said, “This administration describes the press as the opposition party and an enemy of the people. Today, they use the law as a sword, and have shown their willingness to bring the full power of the state against the very institution intended to shield us from such excesses.” Those are the words of Chelsea Manning, speaking to us from jail.”

gordo June 3, 2019 6:08 PM

Good article with good links . . .

Chomsky and Herman’s Propaganda Model Foretells a Weaponized Facebook
In an online world of commodified speech, perceptions and opinion are easily weaponized
Daniel Broudy & Jeffery Klaehn, Truthout, June 3, 2019

Today, information can enlighten and democratize. It can just as well imprison and impede the interests of the common good. The processes of commodification and marketization described here are sustained by a framework directed largely by Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple and Amazon, which monopolize privatized and commercialized discourse. This sort of power did not emerge naturally.

Clive Robinson June 4, 2019 4:42 AM

@ Tatütata,

With regards the quote,

    Your smart home is only as smart as the network that runs it.

It’s a point people still don’t appear to “grock” even after the massive DDoS attacks using zombified IoT devices, got even ordinary everyday news journalists talking about the issue, let alone the more technical press.

There are quite a few Amazon customers that paid for “Smart Home Devices” to find that they had purchased WEEE at a very high price “after” the backend servers over which they had no control got turned off.

Yes we can all have a chuckle at their misfortune, but that’s just the old “I’m smarter than you are schmuck” reflex kicking in that is the basis for about one third of our jokes (why seeing pain and suffering in others is funny I’ve never realy wanted to dig into but if U-Tube is anything to go by it’s seen by some as a way to get rich or as in the case of “Kanghua Ren” also get a “go to jail free” for 15months yellow card).

But we need to think a few steps ahead in where this backend server issue is taking us. At the moment it is still possible in the US to buy a car –second hand– that is old enough not to have the “Spy in the Sky” system fitted to it. But that is changing as are the capabiliries of the “Spy in the Sky” systems. People need to think what will happen when some idiot legislator decides after a little persuasion that switching such systems from “permiso to nonpermiso” will be a good idea?

That is your car will each and every journy or part there of not alow it’s self to be driven unless “Big Brother” via the “Spy in the Sky” says you can. People should ask what happens when that “backend” has a “technical issue”?

It’s not as though the subject has not comeup before, do you remember US President Obama’s big red “Internet off” switch idea? Well it was pointed out back then it would have to act like a “Deadman’s Switch” to be effective. That is all computers would have to seek permission to function from some point in the US via an unforgable “heartbeat signal”. The signal stops the computers stop…

In essence that is what all systems that use a “backend server” are, they are part of that “Big Red Off Switch” strategy, only with IoT “red” has a slightly different meaning.

Over time fully independent systems will become increasingly more expensive, to the point that the will effectively disappear and all others will in reality be “owned” not by you, but some server rented in some rack space in Communist “Red” China.

You can already see this happening, in the UK a popular US Orign fast food franchise already instals the equivallent of IoT CCTV security in their retail outlets. Fairly soon most SoHo and SME security will be like this “because of cost savings”. This will distort the market and within a relatively small time all stand alone systems will be “Red China Backend Server Only”… Likewise “municipal” systems.

In effect IoT is becoming President Obama’s “Big Red Off Switch” but instead of it being in the US under a US President’s thumb, it will be in China under a different thumb…

Maybe it’s time for a “Public Technologist” to make like “Mr Smith” and “go to Washington” on this apparently otherwise unregarded issue…

Clive Robinson June 4, 2019 7:33 AM

@ A90210,

With regards the quote

    So—but after 9/11, …

There are a number of notable dates in history. One was the successful “Trinity Test” where “Physics lost it’s innocence” another was “The day the eagle landed” and the “one small step” and mankind took the first step of the journy from it’s cradle. Some are remembered favourably others as uncertain beginings but others in infamy.

9/11 was one of the latter, a fundemental tenent of US Exceptionalism died that day, and it became a catalyst for worse, far worse to come.

It’s been remarked that the Moon landings were the last event of the brief “era of hope” and from there on the US descended bit by bit into a mire of ultra-conservatism. But 9/11 also marked the begining of the end when the ultra-conservatism became exploited and the US turned in on it’s self to nihilism.

Whilst there have since WWII been some in the US and other places who “saw” a descent into some armageddon where the light of democracy will fail and an increasingly “Police State” will be struck down and lawlessness prevail, it was seen by most as a minority “Whacko” group of social misfits.

But now after 9/11 the failures of FEMA and failings of other Federal entities like the NSA, the rabid cronyism of legislators to corporations and others less visable entities, rampant suspicion of the US Government is growing faster than the US population. That is what was once “Whacko” is becoming normalized.

It goes by many names but “Preping” or “for when the SHTF” are but two that are easy to find, some of it is actually a good and healthy response others very far from.

Whilst “climate change” is contested there is little argument that US Government response to increasing natural disasters is at best ineffective. Worse it’s highlighted the fragility of technology under Corporate Managment where “maximising shareholder value” is the mantra and “short term profit” won at dangerous cost cutting the norm.

Worse for various reasons newer generations have become totaly dependent on this increasingly fragil technilogy for eveb their very basic functioning. That is it’s taken less than a century for US and other Western societies to loose their robustness through “self reliance” with more than a few now compleatly incapable of actually maintaining themselves without the fragily technology effectively keeping them on “life support”. They are in effect the denizens of “the kingdom of the blind” where their “one eyed king” is flaky fragile technology stacked on other flaky fragile technology piled high. And as with “Humpty Dumpty” we know what is going to happen, it’s not a question of “if” but “when”, and with each day that passes the odds are getting shorter.

Thus perhaps unsuprisingly we are starting to see a renewed interest in things like how to do basic “raw ingredient” cooking, through preserving. But also now how to make the preserving agents, and other things like other basic living requirments in life such as soap. But also not just how to do basic home repairs through various craft skills upto and including how to build homes from the diminishing natural resources around us with just one or two hand tools that you could “lightly carry” on your belt or backpack. People are actively “going off grid” and learning the skills “home sanitation”, making potable “white water” from grey or black water with minimal energy. Which includes technology such as “gasification” to run engines on biomass fuels, but also TUD etc methods such as “rocket stoves” to not just get maximal energy out, but also minimise polution. Likewise storage technology and “green energy” sources.

My own grandmother used expressions like “Mend and make do” and “thrifty” she was born in the Victorian era whilst “Empire” still had meaning and was expanding. My father learnt how not just to maintain a house but improve it including making furniture, “full works” building/construction and decorating. All whilst growing food crops in the garden and holding down a full time job as a senior Chartered Accountant in a large organisation. Likewise my Mother did much in the way not just of “raw food” prep, cooking and preserving, clothes making and the like she also had a full time job as the head of a teaching department in one of the largest academic institutions in the area. We were a “three car family” at a time when “one car” was considered a status symbol. In short neither of my parents had even the remotest need to do the things they did, but it was not just the teachings of their parents and grandparents, they had both served and lived through WWII and full well knew the value of what many now strangely call “survival” or “prep’ing” skills.

As a result by the time I was eight I knew how to do basic carpentry, concreting, brick laying and plastering. But also how to turn a live chicken into a sunday roast with all the trimings in one pot and turn a pigs head into “brawn” in a preasure cooker and make other charcuterie including “air cure hams”, bacon and proper “salted beef” and it’s cousin “corned beef”. Then there was rendering of fat and skin to get lard, suit and gelatin for the making of pies, pastries, pudings. Which also included the making of jams and cheeses both fruit and dairy.

Perhaps more importantly sustainability wise also how to raise a chicken for the eggs, likewise the pig for the sausages and baccon and grow tomatoes, mushrooms, potatoes cabbage and onions and bake the bread for a “Full English” (I’ll leave out the “Black Pudding” details as some readers are squeamish). Thanks to a local farmer by the time I was a little older I knew how to set traps and shoot both rabbits and pigeons not just for “vermin control” but also “for the pot”. Further I learnt –though I’ve not done it for several years– to take a live sheep, pig, goat or deer and get a freezer full of “joints and offal” and have the skins preped and stretched for leather making on my own.

I learnt these skills as what was then for some still “a normal part of growing up”.

So in my lifetime I’ve seen “life skills” for living be entirely lost by most, and now, out of fear of the pervading nihilism or faux patriotism some are desperatly trying to find and learn all these “living skills” again. Because of their quite realistically in their view deteriation of society, where it has lost to totalitarianism and soon worse self destruction. Therefor they see they are going to need these life skills again and “real soon now”.

Whilst it does not matter if you or I consider their outlook Whacko/Realistic, it’s fairly clear that loosing these “life skills” is far from a healthy or a robust way to live or for society to exist. But conversely desperately trying to learn not just those life skills but those of “Covert paramilitary skills” including “improvised offensive defence” weaponry/usage/tactics is likewise not at all healty. As history teaches us soldiers are almost always a scurge on society, and unless held checked become via what you might call “a protection racket” feudal leaders, preying on society by the naked theft of “eminent domain” which is enforced by the faux mantra of “for the greater good” to make the wrong of “might is right” thuggery rest more easily on peoples shoulders. However as was once pointed out to me “Puting a blanket under yoke or saddle, does not make the heavy load any the less for those who have to bare it”.

Thus whilst I’m happy to see people prepare to live more in keeping with narure and the available sustainable resources, I am not happy to see people prepare to partake in the destructiveness of war be it national, civil or warlording, that can not end well, even if it is just “lost opportunity costs”.

Alyer Babtu June 4, 2019 2:14 PM

@Clive Robinson

we are starting to see a renewed interest in things like how to do basic … maintain a house but improve it including making furniture

Decades ago, I had some furniture made by a fellow in his 80s who had worked as a coal miner, had to quit because of black lung, then went into woodworking to support himself, asking why he hadn’t done that from the beginning. He built his large farmhouse and all the furniture (including a curved front glass paneled high chest).

What some genius with these kinds of skills needs to do today is design a modern line of “nomadic” furniture where each piece of furniture can be disassembled and packed up as a solid block with no void space, for today’s ever-moving metro-persons.

gordo June 4, 2019 3:31 PM

Bearing a squid moniker and all . . .

BlackSquid Slithers Into Servers and Drives With 8 Notorious Exploits to Drop XMRig Miner
June 3, 2019

We found a new malware family that targets web servers, network drives, and removable drives using multiple web server exploits and brute-force attacks. This malware, which we named BlackSquid after the registries created and main component file names, is particularly dangerous for several reasons. It employs anti-virtualization, anti-debugging, and anti-sandboxing methods to determine whether to continue with installation or not. It also has wormlike behavior for lateral propagation. And it uses some of the most notorious exploits today: EternalBlue; DoublePulsar; the exploits for CVE-2014-6287, CVE-2017-12615, and CVE-2017-8464; and three ThinkPHP exploits for multiple versions.

In addition, cybercriminals may be testing the viability of the techniques used in this malware’s routine for further development. The sample we acquired downloads and installs an XMRig Monero cryptocurrency miner as the final payload. But BlackSquid may be used with other payloads in the future.

Our telemetry observed the greatest number of attack attempts using BlackSquid in Thailand and the U.S. during the last week of May.

Roberto June 5, 2019 7:29 AM

You have to admire the ruthless efficiency of American Big-Data to monetize away citizens privacy. Its as if Wall St funding had no conscience…

To harden against lawsuits and regulations, slippery Silicon Valley frequently redefines itself. Did you catch the transmutation of ‘Third-Parties’ into ‘Partners’ or ‘Affiliates’?

As documented below, the EU continues stepping up to the data ownership challenge to battle these multi-personality cyber con-artists. In comparison the USA is only beginning.

Recently there has been an unusual talk of government privacy investigations [0].
Will the West be able to trust the USA politicians to actually respect privacy [1]?
Or will the loop-hole lobbyist authored fixes be in?
Will mass surveillance continue to be misused to dig dirt and frame political opponents?

Two-faced Zuckerberg told shareholders that Facebook was becoming a “privacy-focused social platform.” Yet just hours before Zuckerberg reassured investors about Facebook’s commitment to privacy, his own lawyers argued in court that “there is no privacy” on Facebook.

Facebook has a long history of publicly touting its privacy credentials while using tortured legal definitions to ignore those promises entirely. In the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica story, Facebook repeatedly emphasized to the public and to lawmakers and regulators that it heavily restricted third-party access to user data, in compliance with its consent agreement.
In reality, Facebook was in fact sharing user data widely by (re)defining all of those external companies as PARTNERS providing “Facebook experiences.”

Good News from Europe
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) will hear a landmark privacy case regarding the transfer of E.U. citizens’ data to the United States in July, after Facebook’s bid to stop its referral was blocked by Ireland’s Supreme Court on Friday.
Facebook took the case to the Irush Supreme Court when the High Court refused its request to appeal the referral, but in a unanimous decision on Friday, the Supreme Court said it would not overturn any aspect the ruling.
The case is the latest to question whether methods used to transfer data outside the E.U. give consumers sufficient protection from U.S. surveillance.

[0] or is it just a 2020 election ploy? Like the boastful (non-existent) Republican health-care plan? Or internal struggles within the lame FTC to fine Facebook. Or the industry led FCC?

[1] Perhaps they wish to avoid another institutional FAA/Boeing type meltdown proving the USA can’t be trusted on airline safety

vas pup June 5, 2019 1:13 PM

@Pull: “American criminal justice system is a shame.”

Black folks called justice as just us.

It could be fixed, but required changes at the core:
(1) Confession is not the final and overriding other facts evidence. Currently that is working to close the case, but to find truth, i.e. real perpetrator.
(2) Plea bargain was good at the old ages when system was not developed. Now it is just serve as disqualification of prosecutors.
Your cooperation could affect sentencing ONLY, not qualification of the event of crime because it is set of facts in the past. Moreover, you can’t take your confession back, but plea bargain is not mandatory for judge. You may get substantially more than you expected signing plea bargain.
(3) Grand jury is obsolete institution at all and should be abandoned. None of other civilized country in the world (including UK) used it anymore. Selection of jury for Grand jury is done by secretary of court, no chance for challenge such selection.
Using 5th Amendment right is ABSOLUTE, and using it could NOT be considered as contempt of court during ANY criminal related hearing.
Otherwise, it creates perjury entrapment.
(4)Sentencing guidelines are very cruel. That is why # of incarcerated in US is higher than in any other country in the world.
Existence of two criminal justice systems: federal and state required clear demarcation of jurisdiction on trial with NO overlapping area excluding double jeopardy. Period.

vas pup June 5, 2019 1:40 PM

Was Mona Lisa’s smile a lie?

“The authors also point out that there also is no upper face muscle activation in the Mona Lisa painting. A genuine smile causes the checks to raise and muscles around the eyes to contract, and is called a Duchenne smile, after 19th century French neurologist Guillaume Duchenne. The asymmetric smile, also known as a non-Duchenne smile, “reflects a non-genuine emotion and is thought to occur when the subject lies,” the authors note.”

I’d like AI analyzed in the same way smiles of politicians during town hall meetings in particular, as well as suspects of criminal activity during interrogation AND smiles of interrogators and judges.

vas pup June 5, 2019 1:47 PM

How the Internet may be changing the brain
“The key findings of this report are that high-levels of Internet use could indeed impact on many functions of the brain. For example, the limitless stream of prompts and notifications from the Internet encourages us towards constantly holding a divided attention — which then in turn may decrease our capacity for maintaining concentration on a single task,” said Dr Firth.

“Additionally, the online world now presents us with a uniquely large and constantly-accessible resource for facts and information, which is never more than a few taps and swipes away.

“Given we now have most of the world’s factual information literally at our fingertips, this appears to have the potential to begin changing the ways in which we store, and even value, facts and knowledge in society, and in the brain.”

Korner Stone Surface June 6, 2019 10:25 AM

The Mueller report show is nothing other than a complete strategic waste of all of our time.
It’s just more fodder for the rumour mill to keep massive quantities of people from becoming curious about more credible threats to our existences.

As for anybody trying to use electronic tools, now is a great time to go “steampunk” if you can.

There’s a wealth of ways of how work got done before (and during) the early years of computing.

This current time sucks for computers and computer users.
The best of times is behind us. The worst is yet to come.

For collegiate security majors, go into locksmithing and demolition crew training. There’s more job stability there.

“The Russians” didn’t hack the DNC. It was NOT state sponsored. But nobody can hear the truth over the high amplitude wall of lies.

There are so many obvious lies that they are starting to bump into each other, knocking the less obvious lies into view to be revealed for what they are.

Just profile every attacking element and keep a running tab. If you consider motive and credentials, you end up with a completely different list of suspects. All this modern Joe McCarthyism only serves to get us all dead fast, with the crumbling ICBM treaties choking on the NeoConTrump projectile vomit.

HUMINT from all other nations, beware, the USA is pretty much a rogue nation containing several independent (and some interacting) malicious groups and some longstanding continued threats.

Take it from a US native, this place is rancid. You cannot trust our leadership nor our media nor our technologies nor our cultural traditions nor our technological innovations nor our consumerism.

P.S.- Operation/Project PAPERCLIP, Operation/Project NORTHWOODS. Look em up if you haven’t already, and then ask a surviving vet about it while you still can.

Great Barrier Reefer Madness June 6, 2019 1:13 PM—Animal-Cruelty–A-Possible-Warning-Behavior-for-Terrorism—survey.pdf

([Animal Cruelty Correlation to Criminal Acts, & Potentially Terrorism] explained; PDF)

1) many industries are barely regulated or not regulated at all or the regulatory depts have been undermined
2) technological innovations are encouraged at a very high rate, negligent of interoperability risks in modern life
3) many traditional historical innovative procedures are ignored in terms of their risks and damages; they are so familiar that they are accepted wholeheartedly and with blind faith
4) criminal enterprises and ambitions were significantly amplified by the advent of the internet/world-wide-web
5) war crimes, crimes against humanity, violations of the nuremburg “code”, human rights abuses, animal cruelty, cases of mass murder, cases of torture, cases of abduction, cases of extortion, cases of impersonation, cases of domestic terrorism, wars without premise, war profiteering, ritual abuse, human trafficking, slavery, abuse by proxy, etcetera are historical realities.
6) cultural denial doesn’t erase what already happened or what is happening to this day.
7) efforts to censor whistleblowers both legally and illegally, overtly and covertly are not rare
8) genetic engineering, genetic hybridisation, genetic splicing, genetic mosaics techniques are continual areas of unprecedented damages and risks and crimes and controversies and concerns.
9) corporate culture tends to perpetuate itself at all costs
10) military and intelligence organizations (and a few others) tend to keep secrecy as a very high priority
11) sometimes secrecy is a premise for continued uninterrupted abuse, murder, and/or theft.
12) both individual and cultural memories need to maintain comprehension of both benevolent resources to be sought and maintained; and malevolent situations to be actively blocked and voided.
13) convergence tends to happen in absence of interventions.

Now is a great time to appreciate where this does and doesn’t lead us as lives.


Alyer Babtu June 6, 2019 7:12 PM

@A90210 et al

To add to your musical bouquet

(With apologies to Kurtis Blow)

If your program’s crashed and your data’s gone
And there’s a big back door and your system’s pwned
Well, these are the breaks
Break it up, break it up, break it up

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