Friday Squid Blogging: Cleaning Squid

Two links on how to properly clean squid.

I learned a few years ago, in Spain, and got pretty good at it.

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 September 15, 2023 at 5:08 PM49 Comments


name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons September 15, 2023 8:33 PM

15 September 2023 — Craig Murray Perplexed by UK Court’s Decision on Appeal[1]

For the 4+ years in which Julian Assange has been held in a “Super Max” British prison, without charge or a decision on extradition, the public is witness to the shame and farce the UK court deems appropriate for a case with so much at stake. In one of the most important national and international law cases this century, the balance between state power and the people’s right to know is on trial. To date, the short answer is…you are not allowed to know. You are also not allowed to speak, not if the government finds what you have to say troublesome, embarrassing, or worse–true.

This is not simply a speech case, nor an individual rights case. This is a case wherein a publisher may be prosecuted by the United States government absent any U.S. Constitutional authority to do so. Moreover, the explicit prohibition of the U.S. government to use any legal theory to silence a publisher or journalist for the sole act of publishing must contend with “or abridging the freedom of speech, the press, or…”

For example, gunning down civilians in the streets of Bagdad, a Reuters journalist among them, from the cockpit of a U.S. attack helicopter in 2007 is not deemed admissible by the U.S. DOJ in this case. The infamous “Collateral Murder” video, I prefer to call it the “Orders to Murder for Oil” video, the civilians killed were not collateral casualties in a firefight in the streets of Bagdad, they were the intended targets. The irony, the U.S. is refusing to allow the introduction of the video as evidence in the Assange case, but twists on several thorny knots of legal theory. That a brutal and heinous crime had been committed, it is the duty of those with the authority granted to seek justice. Reuters learned of the journalists fate only after the release of the video. The U.S. government had been stonewalling Reuters for years claiming they knew nothing of the missing reporter.

Consider if an Iraqi helicopter crew, allowed to fly training missions in the United States, were to take similar actions, would there be a call for accountability? Would the disqualification from secret level classification protect a state secret, criminal acts cannot be protected under the color of law, but I guess they can. How do you compel the government to reconcile the secret being held, that secret describes in detail a criminal act, and the ability to formalize the criminality–ie making a determination it is indeed a criminal act, if it cannot be tested or vetted?

Yes, I know the laws of war do not preclude U.S. military personnel from acting on situational grounds and the rules of engagement, but this question has not be tested or evaluated. Was the massacre by Vietnamese by U.S. Marines not worthy of a hearing? How did the trial manage to make it to the Marine military court allowing JAG officers to try the case?

During the start of the interview, Chris Hedges asks Murray to introduce the topic of Julian Assange’s status. In prefacing his coverage of the case Murray states, “…almost no pretense to due process.”, and it applies to the whole of the government’s handling of the Assange case. Murray then goes on to comment about the specific incoherence in the appellate process resulting in the appeal to the denial of appeal. Yes, a convoluted series of hoops and non-concentric circles about the drain leading to the mire of legal hypocrisy knowing no bounds.

The appeal made before a UK court, judge Swift, a former solicitor for the MoD MI5/MI6, dismissed the
150 page appeal with a three page response said, “there was no coherent legal argument in the 150 page pleading”, and, “and it followed no know form of pleading.” The Assange plea motion was written by Gareth Pierce, a well known defense attorney having an extensive background in IRA cases before the court. Murray cannot understand, rationally, why the judgement was not couched in terms of arguments regarding appeal but instead dismissed the whole pleading out of hand. I have to say Murray is not so naive as to think a rational basis can be found within the decision judge Swift summarized.


[1] The Real News Network, “The ‘slow motion execution’ of Julian Assange w/Craig Murray”, The Chris Hedges Report,, website, download Sept 15 2023, Sept 15 2023

P Coffman September 16, 2023 9:27 AM


About due process, I agree, even with Guantanamo detainees. If there is an excellent case, put together a nice case, then proceed judiciously.

However, Assange made a very high claim to moral superiority, which I cannot stomach. We are being asked to juxtapose wholesale posting of secret data with, at a minimum, one engagement that went (horribly) wrong. It does not indict everything labeled secret. Otherwise, it is a horrible argument for moral equivalence.

Assange’s moral equivalence comes across as some of the same old BS some religious people have used for (many) centuries. This rotor does not wash. Thus, while Assange deserves trial expeditiously, he should also grow up.

I realize a lot of our religious join the armed forces, so I am capable and do apologize to those who suffer the slings and arrows for a free world.

Winter September 16, 2023 9:56 AM


However, Assange made a very high claim to moral superiority, which I cannot stomach.

Justice is only justice when it is metered out equally to everyone. What you think about Assange as a person should have to be irrelevant to the question whether he should be incarcerated or not.

And everyone should have the right to a fair, public court case with a right to defend themselves in public.

Not giving anyone these rights tells us an injustice is performed.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons September 16, 2023 3:58 PM

@P Coffman

What? I am unclear as to your assertion, what I can say is the personal ticks or attributes of Julian has no place in what is going on, it is simply irrelevant. Even an objective weighting, if it were possible, where the power of the state can do what has been carried out on Julian and that of Julian’s behavior, possibly tens of orders of magnitude separable.

If it is your perception of Assange, it is on you to responsibly react, or act, in accord with Julian’s psychological behavior as it exists within the context of the perceived harm. Do or can you enumerate the case where Assange has breached your personal limits and makes it possible to be okay with condemning the man, for whom paid the cost of many other’s freedoms they still enjoy?

If you are inclined to respond, please do so with a well formed and delineated point by point statement or record. I’d wager, put my bet on the table, no one can reasonable argue or demonstrate with evidence anything that answers this challenge.

Those complaining or making a claim of Assange has it coming, I’d bet the accusers have yet to make their own remit to liberty, fidelity, or fraternity nor understand what these things mean.

Ismar September 16, 2023 5:58 PM

Re Julian’s mistreatment, it is worth mentioning that new Australian Labour government ( and it would appear that they have support from all spectra of the government as well) has been making concerted efforts on brining Julian home and should be commended for doing so

Stalin Regimes September 16, 2023 6:54 PM

Also worth mentioning is the politcal and media silence regarding Julian Assange case. It shades same light on current power structures, given the astonishing judicial irrationality being pushed forwarded.

If there is something to learn from Julian Assange case, besides the crimes exposed by his project [0]:

  • the Swedish executioners of character
  • the last mile executioners – the UK gov
  • the operational executioners/CIA plots for assassinating him while on diplomatic ground [1]
  • the secrets services threats to his child
  • the FBI Stasi like tactics [2]
  • the financial mafia []
  • the attacks on is friends and supporters [3][4]

Where is the morality on such tactics?





P Coffman September 17, 2023 9:31 AM

@name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons, @Winter, @Stalin Regimes

@Winter: He deserves his day in court. I said even Guantanamo detainees, so I might miss your main point. I am not equating these.

@name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons: Assange had asked anybody to become complicit with what Wikileaks had been doing. Wikileaks was somewhat novel, and I read stories about it. He sought his role as the public face of Wikileaks.

@Stalin Regimes: I really do not know enough specifics about the various intrigues tied to what amounted to actual leaking.

@name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons, @Stalin Regimes: Uh…well, some of the intelligence had been doctored, though which pieces? Unsure, though, what good is it for anybody to engage in risky behavior when any material is questionable? Wikileaks claimed to have the resources to vet it, though Assange’s personality meant some of his people bailed out. One might even question whether Wikileaks became a tool – because of him.

ALL, so yes, let’s see the trial, ‘roos notwithstanding. Any prosecution will never break up any old alliances.

The Wikileaks concept has been tested; the idea may be considered by many as dangerous, though elevating Assange or giving him a pass just for promoting something novel is plain wrong. He was reckless.

JonKnowsNothing September 17, 2023 12:18 PM

@P, Name, Winter, All

re: right to a fair, public court case with a right to defend themselves in public.

In the USA and in many other countries there are several sets of courts. There are the Perry Mason type courts that make up fiction stories and are based on the most likely court people will encounter.

There are other courts that you may never encounter personally but exist and these are the ones that the public knows little about. They may exist within the same court system as the public courts. They are called Ex Parte in the USA.

Ex Parte courts have only the judge and prosecutor. There is no jury and there is no defense in the room. The defense and accused are never shown or told what happens between the prosecution and the judge. The USA uses this extensively.

There are also courts like FISA, aka FISC. These are also Ex Parte courts where only the government and the judge(s) convene. The warrants are legal and the outcomes are predetermined.

There are military courts of justice and they run an entirely different program. Makes for great movies but it doesn’t happen like TomC in real life.

Specifically, for those still held in Gitmo, there are on going trials lasting 20 years. After 911 the USA passed specific laws exiling anyone accused to “not be on US territory”. The Gitmo base is in Cuba (yes THAT Cuba), so while the base is US territory there is a slight of hand to pretend it is technically not.

The trials are held under Military Laws and Rules. These are not the courts that the public think about. They are completely different in structure and who is allowed to be present and what kind of attorneys are permitted to practice-law in those courts.

  • iirc(badly) When one assigned JAG Officer assigned to defend a “detainee” proved very effective at countering all the government claims about the client, the Military just reassigned him off the case, to a different base, and different rank. The JAG Officer refused to abandon the client. That’s called “disobeying orders” and is a crime in the military and he was left with few options.

The biggest hurdle in all the remaining Gitmo cases is that the all of the evidence against them was obtained by Torture. The now infamous CIA Torture Report (hidden in the CIA and US government archives) details how that program was created and how it was used against anyone the CIA could get their hands on at the time, mostly by Rendition and by Bounty Hunter payments.

The USA passed laws after 911 that said there was no such thing as Torture, it was Enhanced Interrogation. And therein lies the crux of the problem.

  • Evidence obtained by Torture is not admissible
  • Evidence obtained by Enhanced Interrogation is admissible

Which works well in theory until those techniques are revealed in full court.

The Courts still cannot decide: 20 years and counting.

Steve September 17, 2023 12:35 PM

You are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, the QAnon Zone!

Winter September 17, 2023 12:36 PM


In the USA and in many other countries there are several sets of courts.

Every court that excludes one party from the trial, accusations, or evidence, or does not allow that party to select their own counsel, is by definition neither fair nor serves justice.

In other words, these are puppet courts not worthy the word “trial”.

But in my discussions with Americans I have often encountered an utter lack of understanding “justice” in any other way than bloody revenge. These people were positively gloating about the torture common in US prisons (executed by the inmates to each other). They also considered any legal defence of the accused as an abomination.

I interpreted it as:
A people get the government they deserve

JonKnowsNothing September 17, 2023 2:23 PM


re: They also considered any legal defence of the accused as an abomination.

With an exception for some groups, the majority of people in the USA came from “somewhere else”. In those “somewhere else” places such views are common. It doesn’t matter how far back you go historically, but 1500s is a good time frame to toggle.

What’s rather amazing is that it is still contained. The boat maybe leaking but it’s we are still afloat. That cannot be said of others.

For every scandal, and there are lots of them, we manage to right the boat and keep the sails up. It is Our Hope that lifts them.

lurker September 17, 2023 2:34 PM

@Stalin Regimes, @Spartan, ALL

As a hardware guy the only things remarkable I see in the Cryptophone inplant is i) that it seems quite big and obvious to anybody who looks inside the phone; and ii) that they gave it its own battery to avoid it being detected by its power draw from the phone supply. Otherwise it illustrates perfectly what @Clive is always warning us about: the separation of signal endpoints from the encryption device, which is an interesting exercise in a phone. The only way to prevent this implant getting onto a phone is impregnable physical security. Andy explained well in the videos how such physical security has a psychological cost to the victim, and is surely part of the intent of the adversary.

Spartan September 17, 2023 6:33 PM


“and ii) that they gave it its own battery to avoid it being detected by its power draw from the phone supply”

According to the cryptomuseum info the implanted battery could be for extracting data while the phone was off. I guess your assumption is also a possibility that was not considered by the archivist folks.

I’m not an hardware guy and don’t know if would be easy to extract the logic programmed in the FPGA’s. As limited as my understanding is regarding FPGA’s, it seems the FPGA needs to be programmed every time the system power ups. So the xilinx bitstream needs to be feed to the FPGA by some MCU and reside somewhere in “memory”. It would be nice to have samples of that if possible to extract.

By the look at it the overall hardware logic is well understood but the programming is not. On thing that caught my eye was the cryptomuseum conclusion:

“When it was discovered, it was covered by a metal enclosure (removed here) that was printed with a serial number. This suggests that the implant was a volume-produced off-the-shelf solution.”

I’m just making hypothesis here but if this is produced in series for on field deployment, on different missions, with different compartmentalization strategies as we know by the IC modus operandi, than hypothetically they could all be excited during a drive by with the proper “credentials” to some master entity. If that was the case then that same master entity would have full control regarding the compartmentalization procedures employed. Imagine someone with that knowledge just bug-war-driving, through embassies and so on. Imagine that being used in defense terms. Just wondering …

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons September 17, 2023 7:55 PM

@ P Coffman

The Wikileaks concept has been tested; the idea may be considered by many as dangerous, though elevating Assange or giving him a pass just for promoting something novel is plain wrong. He was reckless.

Says you, a court in the United States, in the trial of Chelsea Manning failed to prove any measurable harm in regards to Wikileaks publishing. In addition, the State Department cable leaks were vetted by Wikileaks and a number of established news publishers such as the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Guardian. Harding with the Guardian decided to leak the password to the encrypted database in a book he and a fellow reported released. Assange called the U.S. State Department informing them of the leak, he acted responsibly.

Again, I have challenged you to demonstrate verifiable and evidence-based data that supports any assertion that the man must be persecuted, let alone prosecuted. Unless or until, the fact remains that the abuse of power outweighs and PERCEIVED damage occurring from the acts of Assange which.are not illegal, he is a publisher. To the contrary, the mountain of evidence, in which I have presented previously, demonstrates the outrageous criminality, war crimes, committed by the United States. I sense your appreciation of how Wikileaks operates is an anathema to your own moral or ethical training. Myself, the moral or ethical argument has not been made, tested, or resolved.

I have been down this road so often, I suggest educating yourself on the topic by reading Nils Melzer’s book released last year. A U.N lawyer working on cases of torture. His journey alone demonstrates how easily one falls into the trap set by powerful actors to control the narrative.

Anonymous September 17, 2023 8:04 PM

John Rafuse

I was Kevin’s friend and his brother from another mother. Before he met the love of his life, he was struggling with his business and he asked me to work with him. For years he’d call at least 20 times a day and we’d discuss, argue, and laugh about everything. He allowed me to spin him up to embrace the title of The World’s Most Famous Hacker… buy cool clothes (oh the screaming and kicking)… and try new things. He went on to record sold out shows across the globe for many years. We had many fun adventures, saw numerous magic shows, and got into a little harmless trouble here and there. The stories! He was my digital Sid Vicious. I’m so glad in the final years of his life he got a chance to find love and family and to enjoy a little of his success. Finally, I would like to share that the solitary confinement Kevin endured was torture and I believe Kevin was adversely affected by it. Please share your concerns about this with others in his name. Thank you. My condolences to all.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons September 17, 2023 8:13 PM


FGPAs are fairly similar, Structured ASICs are a different animal, and the old PAL technologies are still around. FPGAs for the most part do not require downloading. The RTL can be laid in statically, or programmatically but that is an order of magnitude away from the functionality intended. For example, there are dozens of baseline libraries that include ARM cores for use in FPGAs, a good number of FPGA designs are in network or signal processing as it is a key strength. Also found in MMUs and some test and measurement equipment. Overall, the flexibility and usability of FPGA is a mixed bag, implementation specific details are what determines the soundness of any one design. I have said before, the toolchain vulnerabilities, and one I identified, can have major implications as to the integrity of the FPGA as it is implemented.

Basically you have an FPGA core startup, very small logical boot chain which can be customized, and the execution of RTL sequences programmed onto the FPGA. Watchdog timers and other recovery implementations are typically provided as libraries to incorporate with your own RTL.

lurker September 18, 2023 4:05 AM

@name.withheld. ..

Did Leigh or Harding suffer any personal inconvenience following their flagrant disregard of commonsense publishing that password? With idiots like that claiming to be on our side, we don’t need enemies …

P Coffman September 18, 2023 10:34 AM


I am unsure whether I might be the right person to parse the Assange case with.

1) I never even lurked over at Wikileaks. OTOH, I like the concept of guerilla art. I understand, “Andre the Giant has a posse.” Just Assange is not my guy, alright?

2) We understand the security complex overclassifies more than a boatload of stuff, and we know crimes are often covered up via classification mumbo-jumbo. In the UK, it might be the ‘ol Teaberry Shuffle.

3) I feel a little dubious in the following context: yes, he has a right to a trial, though you and I know it can never be the entire security complex on trial. I have no such illusions.

4) About any harm caused by the Wikileak’s release of classified data? I recognize I am entirely out of depth. I represent no interest and am entirely out of the loop; perhaps if I had taken more interest in Wikileaks?

5) About security in general, I might burnish my credentials here on Mr. Schneier’s site (if aligned with site rules). However, I have not even completed my silly master’s program in cybersecurity owing to a screwup. I have one more course to go before I can say it. Thus, I might opine on general security topics or what have you.

If I might be of service, I might try. Alright, in a legal context, I never lurked on Wikileaks. Is this something?

AL September 18, 2023 12:09 PM


The charge against Assange includes a hacking of a computer system, which is outside a publishing aspect protected by the 1st amendment.

That said, it seems clear to me that the charges relate to exposing the actions taken by the UK and US when they started a war against Iraq on false pretenses, which lead to the murder/manslaughter of about 200,000 Iraqi civilians, amongst other fatalities, as well as billions of dollars in damages.

So, there is the issue of proportionality. Murder/manslaughter of 200,000 versus hacking or attempting to hack a computer?

While the UK or US in their own dreamland might see this prosecution as legitimate, in world opinion, I don’t see people viewing the US or the UK with the “clean hands” that would make this prosecution anything other than a political prosecution. That is my view as well. With their war crimes, the UK and US has forfeited any legitimacy with this Assange matter that helped expose UK and US war crimes.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons September 18, 2023 6:02 PM


No, as far as I am aware the authors, who included the passphrase in a chapter header, seem to have not even offended the Guardian. His articles are still published at the Guardian. None of the newspapers of record appear the least concerned for Assange’s fate, though they understand the ramifications. The fourth estate has somehow punted on this, it means their subservience to the state is more important then the truth or the ability to report it.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons September 18, 2023 6:35 PM

@P Coffman

I can appreciate your perspective, and I laud you for the journey you are on. It is difficult to defend Assange, as most have perceptually written him, along with the issues he represents, off which is a grave mistake. I appreciate your point-by-point response. It is helpful in dialog and conversation when delineating elements of a topic, it is important for clarity and completeness. As you have taken the time to write a cogent personal thesis I shall respond: RESPONSES TO YOUR STATEMENTS–THERE ARE MORE RABBIT HOLES TOO

1.) Wilileaks pioneered what is used today by almost every news organization in the world, dropbox. So you don’t have to visit the site to understand its operation or flavor. One of the developers, Aaron Swartz contributed to this work, and he was prolific in the cyber community, a thought leader and up and comer. Unfortunately he passed away at the age of 26, a little over ten years ago. He is missed by many.

2.) Yes, the classification system(s) by most governments are conveniently used to hide bits of criminality by those charged with and responsible for the judicious expenditures of tax revenue. If you have the time, look at the Bates FISA court report of October 2011, it is damning.

3.) Assange may have a right, but it must be exercised. The governments of record have denied nearly every opportunity to those rights. He is being destroyed by the state for revenge and the intel communities own obsequiousness to its internal BS. Wouldn’t survive the light of day as demonstrated by the words of Mike Pompeao.

4.) You are not alone, the majority of people with more than a passing understanding of the case have been duped into believing a narrative long spun and drawn out to attack and undermine any public support for Assange. The case demonstrates what it means to become an enemy of the state. Vault 7 was the kicker, the CIA lost it when Wikileaks published it, the guy who leaked it is now in a super max facility and they are literally gunning for Julian. I am afraid Julian will not make it back to the states if extradition is authorized by the UK.

5.) I am grateful for your participation and you are welcome to explore, comment, and contribute to the community. You will find a very serious set of characters here and we welcome vigorous and lively discussions. Bruce of course is the arbiter of all things Schneier, we often defer to him as necessary but are not blindly obedient, what we are is deeply respectful.

Stay curious P Coffman

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons September 18, 2023 6:53 PM


I agree with your sentiments, just one factual error. Julian Assange performed no hacking, Manning asked Assange if could provide a crack to access a SAM database (a windows local account password cache). On request Assange deferred, and replied he would get back to him. In the later conversation, Assange admitted there was nothing he could do to provide him with such a password. As Assange was solicited, not proffering to breach a local account, the hacking charge is completely bogus. And, it has nothing to do with Mannings leaks, Manning had already given Julian a trainload of information prior to his request for a password hack.

The hacking charge was invented to establish a non-journalistic action to allow a charge to stick. This also served to discredit Julian as a journalist or publisher–and it worked. The Obama justice department, with all the same facts, failed to conclude any chargeable offense, it is referred to as the “New York Times” problem. Under 45, the DOJ invented the hacking charge, no hacking occurred, not even assistance to what many consider part of journalistic integrity. They had to have the hacking charge to crack the legal nut they needed to break.

This case, pure and simple, the state needs to prosecute Assange because he did the unthinkable, embarrass the knickers off of the CIA after Vault 7 was released. Possibly the largest consequential tradecraft exposure in intel history.

AL September 19, 2023 11:31 AM


The charge against Assange is “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion”.

All that is needed for conspiracy is agreement among the conspirators and an act in furtherance of the conspiracy. The conspiracy need not be successful. They’re saying that some messaging constitutes an act in furtherance of the conspiracy.

So, they probably have a charge there. But it is still conspiracy to hack a computer being alleged by a party that killed 200,000 people. Way I see it, it is a bunch of murderers prosecuting someone who was bringing attention to their murders.

The US is rapidly descending into banana republic status. Don’t believe me, then ask Jeffrey Epstein. 😉

P Coffman September 19, 2023 2:12 PM

@ name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons:

Thank you for the encouragement. The site is a real resource for me, and I do enjoy reading these varied opinions.

I might have a minor beef of my own. Although the matter is a way-back machine ago, I have used this to beat up my reasonable thinking enough.

I only like to be good at something of my choosing. Anything right for what I might focus on. Policy is different enough. I want to understand this.

P Coffman September 19, 2023 2:18 PM


The Ex Parte aspect ought to undergo reasonable periodic review. If there is, it is not often enough or it goes under/unreported. Like, a seminal event is the only time we hear about this? Unsure if the last qualification of it even applies.

JonKnowsNothing September 19, 2023 4:34 PM

@P, All

re: Ex Parte aspect ought to undergo periodic review.

USA – Ex Parte means the only ones who know the details are the judge and prosecution. The defense and accused have no information at all.

Unlike movies, the USA appeals system is based on “technical legal errors”. These are often found in transcripts of the proceedings and in the way evidence may have been handled or presented.

Some years ago, the USA passed several laws limiting appeals for evidence or factual changes. It was done to limit appeals of people sentenced to the death penalty from delaying execution. The trickle down effect is that appeals are not forums for new evidence or even conditions that were undisclosed at the time, such as the prosecution withholding evidence that the accused what not responsible.

The courts themselves select which appeals they will take.

iirc(badly) TL;DR Ex Parte Example (some years ago / ymmv)

A Standford University Professor was asked to attend a conference overseas. The University asked them to go and so they did. When they went to get on the plane to return to the University and home, they found they had been marked on the No Fly List.

The No Fly List is compiled Ex Parte and anyone finding themselves on that list has a very difficult task in finding out why.

The Professor was stuck overseas for a number of years. In essence exiled. Standford was gracious enough to allow the Professor to complete their credentials while overseas but never responded to legal questions of “why they had requested the Professor to go to that conference”.

After more years of litigation from overseas (imagine the costs), the Professor was able to track down that it was the FBI that put them on the list. A series of court hearings took place to find out the reason. Each time the FBI requested Ex Parte and after that there was immediate ruling that the No Fly Marker would remain.

There was no information of what the FBI presented to the judges. No trail to follow. No interviews or witnesses to ask. Everything was shut tight.

Again more time passed and the Professor was able to learn it was 1 Piece of Paper that was presented. The contents undisclosed. Whatever was written on the paper caused the judges to rule against them.

More time, (hard to believe) and more challenges and more digging, it was disclosed it was a check list. One item on the check list was what was causing the No Fly marker. What that check box marker was took more time to discern. At last it was revealed that an FBI Agent had made the check mark. Requests to interview the Agent were denied.

Even more time passed. After a great deal of effort, the defense was able to get that Agent on the stand, in front of open court, in front of a judge and ask about the marked box.

The Agent said:

  • Oh, that’s a mistake. It should not be marked. No one ever asked me to verify it or told me there was any problem

Did the No Fly Marker get removed? No.

The FBI marked another different box on the form and refused to disclosed the new reason.

Stanford University did not explain how or why or who told them to send that Professor overseas. What did become clear is, that it is much easier to strand someone overseas than to prevent them from leaving. The Ex Parte held up for ~8-10years. Had the Professor not had legal assistance, it would have held up much longer.


  • How many average persons have the funds to challenge Ex Parte rulings?

The USA is not the only country to use Ex Parte rulings. The USA just spent $6 Billion to remove Ex Parte convictions rendered in another country.


ht tp s://www.theguardian.c o m/us-news/2023/sep/19/freed-americans-prisoners-iran-return-us

  • Five former prisoners land in Virginia after controversial deal which involved exchange of five Iranians and unfreezing of $6bn

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons September 19, 2023 5:17 PM


I fully hear you, and agree with your perception of the moral dissonance under U.S. occupation, as the aggressor, in an illegal war. No moral stance justifies the decimation of Iraq and many of their people. Look at the routing that occurred in Mosul to quash DASH/ISIS. The whole of Mosul was razed, planners were calculating how much land, in hectors, would be required to bury the dead. I am unaware of any building, house, or shed left standing from reports available. Look at reporting from DW on the destruction of Mosul, it is grotesque and depressing.

Conspiracy requires mens rea, or intent. If an FBI interloper acts as a cutout for a criminal network, the interloper must establish an act as part of the conspiracy. Simple solicitation to a criminal act cannot be considered enjoined if the supposed co-conspirator is uncooperative and dismissive of the request by a conspirator. Party A asks party B to assist in some act, party B replies “I will see what I can do.” Often an answer in this case by party B can be seen as a deferral, or passive denial. It goes to intent, did party B become a willful participant or was this a case of either not wanting to disappoint party A or just a method for party B to reject party A’s request.

The charge is legal weak sauce, and as I suggested the primary purpose was to get past the “political” charges brought later by the U.S. DOJ. It also follows some in DOJ was being inventive in establishing a charge outside the context of the “New York Times” problem. And [robably under the advice of UK Crown prosecutors, the needed cover to grab Assange must be seen as a non-journalistic activity. Journalists will describe performing acts not in furtherance of a crime but the protection of a source. If you are receiving valuable information that is of primary importance to the public, and is evidence of criminal activity of the state, there may be legal, ethical, and moral arguments for such protective actions. Of course in the National Security court, we know how relevant this is–doesn’t matter as the absolute privilege and authority to suppress information is remanded to the state.

I have suggested Assange having received a large amount of damning information, under most circumstances would have an obligation to report and decimate the facts of a criminal enterprise. If I received information during 1940 suggesting Hitler had formulated and changed “The Final Solution” from expelling Jewish peoples from Germany and Europe but to extermination, I would like to think leaking this information represents a moral imperative. This fictional act is somewhat similar to Mannings actions. The publisher stands outside the nature or features of these acts, unless of course you were a publisher in Germany in the early to mid 20th century.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons September 19, 2023 5:57 PM

A report from the UN on Mosul in Iraq produced four years ago is available on Youtube:


A six minute video describing the ground in a once vibrant ancient city.

JonKnowsNothing September 20, 2023 12:40 PM

@P, All

re: Ex Parte and the No Fly List

HAIL Warning

This story was on the MSM about a British Journalist being detained by the Ex Parte No Fly List. There was some interesting bits within the article, outside of the main “outrage” at being held, interrogated, having their devices (phone, laptop) taken away and not returned.

  • 2500 stops YTD June 2023 in UK

[a person] from Cardiff, was detained by counter-terrorism police for about four hours at Bristol airport in July [2023] as she returned from a holiday in Portugal, her first since the Covid pandemic, with her husband and teenage daughter.

“I asked the police why my passport was flagged and they said they didn’t know.

In the USA, such stops are not uncommon. When you are between the boarding area and the plane you are in a No Man’s Land. You have none of the designated rights within that space. So it’s a good place for LEAs to stop and hold people for interrogation. There doesn’t have to be any reason specifically, they can stop anyone.

The No Fly List is international in scope. It can happen at any airport anywhere and on any leg of the flight: inbound-outbound.

  • A small detail: if you are stopped after getting a boarding pass, you cannot get a refund or re-booked to another flight from the same ticket. The airlines get to keep your money. On outbound flights, the stops happen most often right after you get the boarding pass but before you get on the plane. On the return flights, the stop happens before you enter the terminal.

Common practices are The Reid Method of Interrogation with Good Cop Bad Cop. Generally this is enough to get anyone to agree to anything. The room temperature is frigid, you will not have a jacket or coat or blanket. Bathroom is not accessible, nature will take its course and you have to decide where to do the necessity. Food and water may also be withheld or offered as enticement to “cooperate”. Phone calls for help will not be allowed.


ht tps://www.theguardian.c o m/media/2023/sep/20/british-journalist-held-by-police-at-luton-airport-for-five-hours-without-arrest

  • British journalist held by police at Luton airport for five hours without arrest
  • detained under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, used routinely by counter-terrorism officers to question people at airports for up to six hours at a time.
  • Official figures show 2,498 people were stopped under schedule 7 powers in the year to 30 June
  • detainees are a wide range of people
  • The Home Office said schedule 7 enabled officers to stop, question, detain and search a person to determine whether they are or have been involved in terrorism.

ht tps://en.wikipedia.o rg/wiki/Reid_interrogation
ht tps://en.wikipedia.o rg/wiki/Reid_interrogation#Nine_steps_of_interrogation

ht tps://en.wikipedia.o rg/wiki/Good_cop_bad_cop

  • It is an instance of the Reid technique

(url fractured)

vas pup September 20, 2023 5:53 PM

Why we personify threatening events

“Following the scientific Enlightenment, you might think we would avoid personifying natural phenomena and imbuing them with conscious intent. Yet a quick look at the imagery people used to describe Covid-19 suggests otherwise, with many commentators describing the virus if it had the conscious intention to destroy humanity. Cartoons depicted the virus with arms, legs and an evil grin, while US President Donald Trump spoke of it as “tough and smart”. Some scientists have even started giving the different variants nicknames inspired by mythology.

Our responses to extreme weather reveal the same tendency. We give hurricanes and
storms the same names we might give our children, and describe their actions in the humanising language of wrath and vengeance. We can even see it in our angry reactions to IT issues – every time we curse our computers or cajole our smartphones, !!! we are demonstrating the automatic urge to anthropomorphise inanimate objects.

According to recent scientific research, our penchant for personification is a natural human reaction to unpredictable event, and while it is often harmless, !!! it can sometimes lead us to underplay the real risks of the situation. It all depends on the specific characters that we create and the features we give them.

Scottish philosopher David Hume. “There is a universal tendency among mankind to consider all beings like themselves, and to transfer to every object, those qualities, with which they are familiarly acquaintance, and of which they are intimately conscious,” he wrote in The Natural History of Religion, published in 1757. “We find human faces in the moon, armies in the clouds; and by a natural propensity, if not corrected by experience and reflection, !!! ascribe malice and good will to everything that hurts or pleases us.”

Hume proposed that this was a way for us !!! to cope with the uncertainty of the world – the “perpetual suspense between life and death, health and sickness, plenty and want, which are distributed amongst the human species by secret and unknown causes”.

!!!Waytz’s research primarily examined our tendency to anthropomorphize technology. In the first study, they questioned people about their own computers. They had to rate how often they faced problems with the device, and how much it appeared to “behave as if it has its own beliefs and desires”. The results were exactly as predicted: => the less reliable the participants’ devices, the more they saw it acting with a mind of its own.

An anthropomorphic bias was even reflected in fMRI brain scans. When learning about the unpredictable devices, the participants had heightened activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the anterior cingulate cortex. These areas that were already known to be involved in “mentalizing” – that is, placing ourselves in other people’s shoes and trying to understand their motives.

The researchers conclude that “perceiving an agent as having a mind of its own may not be mere metaphor” – our brains are trying to consider the device’s behavior as if it were literally another person.

The sense of control can offer useful comfort. “Our work has shown that people do feel a sense of predictability and understanding over things they anthropomorphize,” Waytz says, “so regardless of whether they actually understand those things it does provide a
sense of psychological relief.”

..anthropomorphism can exacerbate irrational behavior. Consider our perceptions of good fortune and the ways that it can influence our financial decision making. Katina Kulow at the University of Louisville and colleagues recently asked participants to report how much they anthropomorphized luck by rating statements such as: “To what extent does
luck have intentions?”

!!!the more they attributed human-like characteristics to matters of chance, the more likely they were to opt for riskier choices when gambling. That’s worth remembering, whenever you think that “Lady Luck” might be on your side.

When it comes to our health, however, anthropomorphism may protect us from risk.

Personifying an illness seems to make the danger feel closer and increases people’s
sense of vulnerability, and this encourages us to take suitable precautions, according to research by Lili Wang at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, and colleagues.

The available evidence supports the idea. Feelings of uncertainty are likely to
increase beliefs in religious or paranormal figures, for example, and brain scans show that these beliefs often share the same neural underpinnings as other forms of anthropomorphism.”

vas pup September 20, 2023 6:07 PM

Brain implants make disabled walk but can’t read thoughts

“The future is going to be weird,? Elon Musk said in 2020, as he explained the
potential uses of brain implants developed by his neurotechnology company Neuralink.

Since it was founded in 2016, the company has been developing a computer chip designed to be implanted into the brain, where it monitors the acitivity of thousands of neurons.

The chip — officially considered a “brain-computer interface” (BCI) — consists of a
tiny probe containing more than 3,000 electrodes attached to flexible threads thinner than a human hair.

!Musk said he wants to link the brain with computers to allow information and memories from deep inside the mind to be downloaded, like in the 1999 science fiction film “The Matrix.”

!!!As well as using the technology to try and treat conditions like blindness and
paralysis, Musk has voiced ambitions to use Neuralink to achieve human telepathy, which he said would help humanity prevail in a war against artificial intelligence. He also said he wants the technology to provide people with “super vision.”

Neuralink revealed on Tuesday that it has received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to launch its first in-human clinical study.

Juan Alvaro Gallego, a BCI researcher at Imperial College London, UK, agreed, arguing it’s hard to imagine BCIs reading our minds in this lifetime.

The fundamental problem is that we don’t really know where or how thoughts are stored in the brain. We can’t read thoughts if we don’t understand the neuroscience behind them, Gallego told DW.

Gallego said the technology was first developed to help people paralyzed with spinal injuries or conditions like Locked-in syndrome — when a patient is fully conscious but can’t move any part of the body except the eyes — to communicate.

If you [could] translate their internal communication into words on a computer, it
would be life-changing, said Gallego.

In these sorts of cases, BCIs are designed to record electrical signals from neurons in the motor cortex, then send the signals to a computer where they are displayed as text.

!!!What the electrodes are really recording is a motor plan — more precisely, the end result of all the processing in different parts of the brain (sensory, linguistic, cognitive) required to move or speak.

So BCIs aren’t really recording your thoughts, but rather the brain’s plan to move a finger here, a leg there, or to open your mouth to make an “aah” sound.

Rather than using electrodes to record from the brain and interpret intended movements, they instead stimulated the brain with tiny currents to produce sensation,? said Gallego.

BCIs raise “a variety of ethical concerns” that will need to be considered carefully by researchers, companies, funding agencies, regulators and users themselves.

The technology is giving birth to a new field of moral inquiry: neuroethics. It’s here where discussions turn more sci-fi.”

Clive Robinson September 20, 2023 6:59 PM

@ Bruce, ALL,

Re : Burnout and early death.

The evidence has been stacking up for a while now but men in particular suffer from various forms of measurable “work strain” not just mentally but physically.

There are various “white collar” jobs where people put in a lot of work and effort, yet they are regarded in a lowely status.

Typically deflected by,

“The only time they know we exist is to shout at us when things go wrong”

This used to be especially true in infrastructure jobs in technology.

In certain industries it’s led managment to make incredibly poor decisions about maintenance staff, with the result when the inevitable happens and things break expensively they get blaimed if not persecuted. Whilst others who are actually responsible for the problems garner sympathy.

It’s well established in primate studies that those subjects that are in what are submissive roles exhibit strong chemical markers of “fight/flight” over stimulation and the known harm it causes.

In the ICT Industry cyber-security, sysadmins and network admins and technicians all fall into this catagory, as do a number of “support” roles.

To see what the latest thinking on the harm it can cause people have a look at,

One obvious question that arises, as it is a form of abuse and harasment in the work place,

“Are employers liable or going to become liable for taking 10years or more off of not just your work life, but 15 or more years off of actual longevity by early death?”

The 18-36months of Covid lockdown and altered working practice has not just got people out of some of these forms of “work strain” via “home-working” it has caused a number to “re-evaluate” their life direction. Thus even with a major recession being in progress, rates of staff changing their employment direction/domain are increasing and thus creating “labour/employee shortages”.

It does not take much thinking to realise that if “infrastructure and security” staff decrease this opens opportunity for attackers to “make hay” which figures suggest they already are.

Especially in larger organisations where managment have seen the false mantra of “economy of scale in manpower” to cut “fixed costs” etc. Thus work that should be done is not, and systems become increasingly fragile untill the inevitable happens.

Clive Robinson September 20, 2023 7:57 PM

@ ALL,

Signal is switching on “Post Quantum”(PQXDH) “Key Agrement Protocol” and will be switching of “Pre Quantum”(X3DH) in a few months.


“Signal adopts new alphabet jumble to protect chats from quantum computers”

“Signal has adopted a new key agreement protocol in an effort to keep encrypted Signal chat messages protected from any future quantum computers.”

Note PQXDH is actually a “hybrid” not “chained” protocol using Pre Quantum X25519 eliptic curve Diffie-Hellman key agreement scheme, and Post Quantum CRYSTALS-Kyber “key encapsulation mechanism”(KEM) algorithms that are broadly orthogonal thus significantly increasing any potential algorithmic attackers work load (what it does and does not do via side channel leakage is yet to be determined as it’s mostly implementation dependent).

Clive Robinson September 20, 2023 8:15 PM

@ ALL,

A serious question to consider,

“Would you let Hell on Rusk’s minions smack a hole in your head and shove a chip in?”

Nahh me neither[1]…

He only got FDA approval for in vevo human research just a few months back. But I can see people –where they can– putting their hands up for this.

If people think it sounds very “Matrixie” I would not be surprised, however it is unlikely to yet be able to read let alone collectively share thoughts.

[1] In fact in the sense of responsible disclosure, back in the summer of 2000 in a EU payed for Security event in Stockholm I actually said publically I’d leave the profession when “Bill Gates required a DIN connector to be inserted in the back of the head. OK it’s not Billy Bob and it’s volunteering for research… But I can see the likes of Meta considering it for much more advanced VR in the very near future if they are not doing so already.

Clive Robinson September 20, 2023 8:39 PM

@ ALL,

As many here have assumed going back into the last century, and the enquiry into the Greek Olympics confirmed, and the Ed Snowden trove likewise confirmed with the report of NSA agents installing implants. The US has very dirty hands when it comes to Cyber-Espionage.

Well it appears China has decided it’s “time to state the obvious” rather than remain politely diplomatic,

As others will no doubt be able to work out, this has come at an inopportune time for Washington.

Oh and for those that still witter on about the Chinese co-opting law. We know the US Gov Agencies co-opt US and other Nations companies and organisations, and if they don’t comply then people end up in Jail or worse as an example to others to “toe the line”…

Clive Robinson September 20, 2023 9:35 PM

@ All,

More evidence that,

“Managment have lost all reason and sense, if they ever had it…”.

The 18-36month “Work From Home”(WFH) that started with Covid lockdown caused quite a lot of changes. In ICT and “knowledge work” it did not have the dire negitive effects on productivity that some predicted via neo-con style mantra. In fact contrary to that view in quite a few cases productivity actually went up.

Now we are seeing mantra driven managers not just forcing “return to office”, but many coupling it with draconian surveillance and threats, because they are not listening to what others that have already made this mistake are reporting,

“research indicates some executives who mandated the return then regretted it, others lost key staff, and research by DevOps darling Atlassian indicates office mandates are bad for morale and stifle innovation.”

Hence the associated productivity drops and increase in “disaster” events due to key personnel leaving etc.

As noted in other studies, lockdown-Homeworking has caused quite a few employees to reevaluate their home/work life balance and actual worth. Especially amongst those who their employers can least aford to loose (though managment may not realise it till disaster strikes).

The question that will eventually be asked by history is the same one that came about for organisations that failed to have adequate “Disaster Recovery” in place and went belly up within a relatively short time after a disaster or limped into being taken over by competitors and effectively disolved.

Covid was a major disaster that hit all employers and in some respects –long covid– still is. Many employers were not setup for lock-down and have already gone out of business, others have hung in but have been hit by the recession we are currently going through. And yet managers are getting more anti-employee and wasting valuable resources on employee surveillance systems, for no acountable reason.

Unsurprisingly many employees especially the more capable thus valuable ones to an emoloyer are thinking “I don’t need this BS and grief” and in effect “voting with their feet” for “greener pastures”.

As I indicated on this blog some time ago, historically pandemics have been followed by major social change and significant effects in lord-labourer relationship and the necesity for lords to “loosen up the bounds”.

It looks like too many MBA / neo-con types in managment have not learned, or more correctly do not want to learn from history…

I guess the question is when are they going to get the “Go belly-up Memo” and will it be in time?

vas pup September 21, 2023 5:37 PM

Ministers back bill to legalize widespread police use of facial recognition tech

“A ministerial panel voted on Monday to lend cabinet support to a government-sponsored bill to legalize police usage of facial recognition cameras placed in public spaces across Israel.

The legislation, backed by Justice Minister Yariv Levin and National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, is being billed as a government effort to tackle crime in Arab communities, but critics say it !!! lacks sufficiently clear oversight guardrails on the powerful technology, especially in light of recent alleged police misuse of other advanced tools.

The Israel Police supports the bill, and on Monday, Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai hailed facial recognition tech as a “life-saving tool” that could be critical to fighting organized crime, especially in Arab communities.

!!!According to the bill, police will be allowed to deploy the facial recognition technology to “prevent, thwart or uncover serious crime and those involved in planning or carrying it out.” The legislation is similar to another bill, awaiting its final Knesset votes, that would retroactively legalize the use of the controversial, unregulated Hawk-Eye program, which can track and identify license plates and determine whether the vehicle was stolen or if its owner’s driver’s license is expired.

=>The bill would also let the police retain and use data gathered by the biometric facial recognition cameras to investigate criminal activity, but requires the police to purge data not used for a real-time identification within 72 hours.

Furthermore, the bill puts police in charge of supervising their own use of the cameras, though the force is obligated to make annual reports to the Knesset and the attorney general on camera usage.

There are also concerns that the new technology can infringe upon privacy, especially as the cameras require access to existing databases of biometric photographs in order to make real-time identifications.

This includes biometric photographs held by a number of law enforcement agencies, including the Israel Defense Forces, the Shin Bet, and any other public organ tapped by the justice minister, with the approval of the Knesset’s National Security Committee.”

I hope same will be used in US to track mass shoplifting and other violent street criminals and put them behind bars not peaceful demonstrators. Looks like is not highest priority for State DAs.

Clive Robinson September 22, 2023 6:19 AM

@ Bruce, ALL,

Re : ML / LLMs and Black Swan issues.


“If you’re cautious about using ML and bots at work, that’s not a bad idea”

Is an article about the unknowns of ML and LLMs in particular and the harms that are foreseeable in general but not yet in particular (ie class not instance).

In short we’ve a historical list of harms etc from other earlier leading edge technology, and it’s not difficult to work out that ML LLMs are “reboiled history” not intelligence, thus realise LLMs will relive all past harms, but rather more so than other –forward facing– tech might.

To be honest I can not wait for the ML LLM “hype bubble” to burst for two reasons,

1, It’s being hyped for profit as the latest VC con game.
2, It’s the biggest surveillance and privacy invasion tool we curently have.

In short it’s “built to create harm in every way”.

Clive Robinson September 22, 2023 7:26 AM

@ ALL,

“Report claims NFT’s are worthless in the main”

In an article titled,

“95% of NFTs now totally worthless, say researchers”

We get told in effect the over hyped bubble of “Non Fungible Tokens”(NFTs) has effectively burst, and those left holding them don’t even have the worth of toilet tisue.

This in no way surprises me I saw it comming some time ago and warned it was a new con artist “Venture Capatilist”(VC) faux-market.

I also indicated they were environmentally harmfull and would remain so (one of the joys of the blockchain is it pointlessly burns and burns energy as long as it exists in use).

Oh and the very short lived nature of the NFT VC-faux-market means they’ve had to find a new faux-market to exploit… Which looks like it’s AI ML via LLMs currently.

Whilst I’ve no intention of “investing” in any way, and would not in any way encorage others. Ask yourself the question of,

“Where does the money go?”

In short,

1, Certain peoples pockets.
2, To suppliers of equipment.
3, To energy and water suppliers[1]

Currently the biggest supplier od equipment is Nvidia which apparebtly is now a trillion dollar entity you can aquire shares in. Realising to late yet again where the market has moved to is Intel and it’s plans… Which kind of suggests on previous experience the clock has nearly run out on this faux-market bubble.

But also you have to consider a rather more important question,

“Who pays?”

Well the answer is “we do” by,

1, Paying for LLM use.
2, Having our privacy sold.

To most the novelty soon wears off so we will not pay directly. So that leaves the second option, which might account for Micro$hafts behaviours,

[1] Whilst the report mentions the energy consumption of NFT’s the same equipment only in greater quantity is used for LLM’s where it is estimated each query consumes 1/2 a litre of pottable water for “cooling”.

Winter September 22, 2023 10:25 AM


“95% of NFTs now totally worthless, say researchers”

As one of the commenters of the Reg article already wrote:

I’m only surprised by the implication that 5% are still worth something.

Actually, less that 1% was still worth more than $6000. That is still hundreds of collections.[1]


[1] The Bored&Mutant Ape Yacht Club NFTs are still worth something, respectively ~$44k and ~8k.

Clive Robinson September 22, 2023 11:10 AM

@ Winter,

“Actually, less that 1% was still worth more than $6000. That is still hundreds of collections.”

And yes and it looks like a lot of money…

That does not even cover a tiny fraction of the energy bill, nor get close to the peek faux-market for NFT’s max value.

As far as I can see residual value is not even going to cover the blockchain costs…

So in effect they own not something with a fractional value, but an increasing debt.

A bit like one of those houses that were not worth the monthly mortgage, before they burnt down uninsured.

Clive Robinson September 22, 2023 11:22 AM

Bringing up the Yuk factor

And to close out this Squid Thread for the week something with total Yuk factor, you sincerly hope is not being directed your way. Titled,

“A non-invasive way to turn a cockroach into a cyborg”

“A team of mechanical engineers at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore has found a way to electronically control cockroaches without injuring them. In their paper published in the journal npj Flexible Electronics, the group describes the new technology they used to remotely control the cockroaches and the benefits of doing so.”

One benifit they describe is to be able to not just speed control it but direct it around an obstical course… All done remotely…

It’s like a SiFi horror movie prop but for real, heading to a place next to you any time now…

Winter September 22, 2023 12:21 PM


As far as I can see residual value is not even going to cover the blockchain costs…

But the ultimate in status games is to burn money, potlatch style. Light your sigar with a $100 bill, that kind of stuff.

NFTs simply take burning money to a new level.

we could be talking about the easter bunny September 22, 2023 1:23 PM

Within America (and here too), there’s a painful default denial of and lack of acknowledgement that our(?) CIA itself is still barely defined at all and often seems to experience it’s own internal perpetual ID (identity) crisis.

All this talk about CIA correlations lacks any factual rigor thus, and of course(?) the CIA is not unanimously populated nor is it habitually transparent.

Meanwhile, I’m stymied by noticing at least one real life discreet lookalike for J.A. who was alive and free.

America suffersfrom an acute surplus of rampant hoaxes and a hostile void where there ought to be communally protective news media.

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