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21 June 2013 Thought for the Week:
The Guardian and the Washington Post have made startling claims about the extent of the US government's surveillance of web communications. They allege that under a programme called PRISM the intelligence agencies have direct access to the servers of the biggest web firms, including Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, Skype and Apple.
Now it must be said that all of the firms have denied any knowledge of this programme, insisting they only hand over data when they receive a subpoena relating to named individuals, rather than offering blanket access.
Facebook, for instance, says it does not provide access to any government organisations, and any requests for information from law-enforcement bodies are dealt with on an individual basis in accordance with the law.
But, unlike yesterday's story about the blanket surveillance of American Verizon customers, these latest revelations will raise concerns outside the US. James Clapper, the US intelligence chief, has sought to reassure the public by saying the web-monitoring operation only targets "non-US persons". BBC News
WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO GIVE UP WHAT SNOWDEN HAS GIVEN UP?
“Would you be willing to give up what Edward Snowden has given up?” asks The Top Information Post. “He has given up his high paying job, his home, his girlfriend, his family, his future and his freedom just to expose the monolithic spy machinery that the U.S. government has been secretly building to the world. He says that he does not want to live in a world where there isn’t any privacy.
He says that he does not want to live in a world where everything that he says and does is recorded. Thanks to Snowden, we now know that the U.S. government has been spying on us to a degree that most people would have never even dared to imagine. Up until now, the general public has known very little about the U.S. government spy grid that knows almost everything about us.
But making this information public is going to cost Edward Snowden everything. Essentially, his previous life is now totally over. And if the U.S. government gets their hands on him, he will be very fortunate if he only has to spend the next several decades rotting in some horrible prison somewhere. There is a reason why government whistleblowers are so rare. And most Americans are so apathetic that they wouldn’t even give up watching their favourite television show for a single evening to do something good for society. Most Americans never even try to make a difference because they do not believe that it will benefit them personally.
Meanwhile, our society continues to fall apart all around us. Hopefully the great sacrifice that Edward Snowden has made will not be in vain. Hopefully people will carefully consider what he has tried to share with the world. The following are 27 quotes from Edward Snowden about U.S. government spying that should send a chill up your spine…
WASHINGTON 'RAGES' AT 'TRAITOR' EDWARD SNOWDEN
Washington rages at ‘traitor’ Edward Snowden as NSA faces fire over protection of secrets. Washington was in disarray last night as it attempted to determine exactly how damaging revelations of secret intelligence snooping programmes might be to American national security, as anger at the whistleblower behind them, 29-year-old Edward Snowden, continued to harden. "He's a traitor," the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, declared.
But while President Obama would love to get Mr Snowden in a courtroom, his administration is now facing its own legal battle. The American Civil Liberties Union yesterday filed a lawsuit arguing that its mass collection of private data is illegal and should be stopped, a move that could eventually end with the programme being tested in the Supreme Court. Top-level officials from NSA, FBI, the White House and State Department headed to Capitol Hill last night to give a behind-closed-doors briefing to the House of Representatives. They faced a likely barrage of questions about what, to some, looked like sloppy protection of secrets by the NSA…
The European Union signalled its own disquiet at some of what has been learned from Mr Snowden, notably at the Prism programme that monitors traffic such as chat, emails and photos that pass through giant US internet firms like Google and Apple, popular with European users. But an opinion poll by the Pew Research Centre found 62 per cent of Americans think it's more important for the US government to do all it can to prevent terror attacks than worry about personal privacy…
Russia could offer asylum to whistleblower
Johann Tomasson, a spokesman for the Iceland’s interior ministry, said Reykjavik could not make a determination until Mr Snowden filed an application, which he hadn’t yet done.
But Reykjavik’s Mayor Jon Gnarr, a former punk rocker, said:
WHILE WE’RE AT IT: JUST SO THAT YOU ARE AWARE - WAZE OF ISRAEL
“Waze of Israel - Google Beats Facebook” by Roi Tov.
Also important in this context is Check Point, a provider of software and combined hardware and software products for IT security, including network security, endpoint security, data security and security management. In other words, the supermarket near your home probably uses products from this giant to secure its transactions. Israel has access to all of them. This apparently innocent company got so rich that its CEO sits in a penthouse office atop Tel Aviv's highest tower.
"We are Social"
The upgrade was achieved by stealing code from Harvard students Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra; Mr. Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, made them believe that he would help them build a social network called HarvardConnection.com (later called ConnectU). Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged the theft by paying indemnifications.
Yet, Facebook is unlikely to lead the social networks market for much longer. As predicted in Facebook IPO Fails Mossad, people are unlikely to stick with it in the long term. People need privacy. Instead, it is predicted that specialized social media platforms will rise. For example, writing Back in Bethlehem wouldn’t have been possible without my use of such specialized social media as a safe data storage, hiding everything in plain sight but split in a myriad of tiny bits. If this tendency will continue, Facebook is expected to decline in a few years.
Waze is one of these specialized social media companies. The company's home page tells the whole story in a few worrying words. "Waze is the world's fastest-growing community-based traffic and navigation app. Join other drivers in your area who share real-time traffic and road info, saving everyone time and gas money on their daily commute." This is nice, but it continues: "See other friends also driving to your destination, when you connect to Facebook. Coordinate everyone's arrival times when you pick up or meet up with friends. Now you're effortlessly in sync when you drive together."
In other words, Waze is a social-network real-time tracking device. It allows following an entire network of people moving on the road. Moreover, it allows proper movement of camouflaged military units in a variety of environments. The amazing thing is that people willingly cooperate with this violation of their privacy, to the extent that the company was sold for over a billion dollar[s].
Engineers who had developed applications for 8200, often adapt them to the civilian environment. Over the years, this has created what is known as the Israeli Hi-Tech market described in this article. Waze enters this category.
Selling Waze to either Google or Facebook was easy. As smartphones and tablets are getting more popular both companies are increasing efforts to court customers on the move. Waze's 40 million users would help Google add social features to its mapping tool and gain market-share over its main rival, Apple Inc. On the other hand, if Facebook wants to survive as the leading social network, it must purchase every specialized network gaining prominence in the market. Both companies offered Waze over a billion dollar. Yet, money was a secondary issue.
Waze has two locations. The main headquarters are in Ra'anana, near the abovementioned Amdocs; 70 workers develop the application and run the company from there. Another 10 workers are in Palo Alto, California, supervising the American operation. The main issue in the negotiations was the location of the company after the purchase. Waze's directors wanted it to stay in Israel. Facebook didn't agree; Google complied and won the bid.
Dear Waze CEO Noam Bardin, would you be kind enough to explain why do you need all the awesome data that you are collecting to remain accessible from Israel? I will understand if you decline to answer me (Bloomberg also commented that it was impossible to get answers from you). Don't worry, the answer is rather obvious. Source: Ken Freeland of Shamir-readers.
HOW MUCH LONGER CAN THE EMAIL LAST?
I thought Andrew Bolt’s, recent article on Emails was timely (11 June 2013).
NSA PRISM SURVEILLANCE DOWNPLAYED BY UK GOVERNMENT
I do hope people who use facebook and other social media can remember everything they have ever put up on their site; it is as sure as night follows day that at some stage in the future it may be used against them! Big, Big Brother has been ever so busy!
William Hague denies GCHQ tried to bypass privacy laws, as classified papers show Britain had access to Prism since 2010
The British and American governments have attempted to turn the debate over secret surveillance after the Guardian's revelations of a covert US program which appeared to garner and analyse emails and other personal information held by some of the world's leading internet companies.
After two days in which both administrations appeared flat-footed and embarrassed by the disclosures, US officials sought to downplay the importance of the Prism system, set up by the National Security Agency (NSA), while the British foreign secretary, William Hague, flatly denied GCHQ might have tried to bypass UK laws governing the collection and retention of personal data.
Hague, the cabinet minister responsible for GCHQ, is expected to make a statement on the issue to the House of Commons on Monday, but experts noted the foreign secretary still had many questions to answer, and raised further concerns about the rigorousness of a regulatory and oversight regime that critics have long argued is totally inadequate. One senior Whitehall source involved in this security process, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he had never heard of Prism until the Guardian revealed its existence last week.
In an interview on Sunday, Hague refused to be drawn on the details of classified documents obtained by the newspaper, which stated that GCHQ had last year generated 197 intelligence reports from Prism, the program set up in 2007 to help the US monitor traffic of potential suspects abroad. The papers also showed GCHQ, the UK's eavesdropping and security agency, had access to Prism since at least May 2010.
Since the revelations on Friday, neither GCHQ nor any government minister has denied the agency had access to material gathered by the program, which appears to have given the NSA ways of retrieving information from companies such as Google, Skype, Yahoo, Microsoft and Apple.
Hague also refused to say whether he had authorised GCHQ's access to Prism, or how many Britons had been spied upon, while insisting it was "nonsense" for people to think analysts at the agency in Cheltenham "are sitting around working out how to circumvent a law with another agency in another country".
But ministers have also not attempted to explain why GCHQ would need to access information from Prism, rather than going through the normal legal protocol when seeking information from an internet company based in another country. This involves making a formal request to the US department of justice, which would make the approach to the firm on the UK's behalf. The company then has to decide whether to provide information.
In the UK, GCHQ is bound by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act to seek approval for intercepting material from telecoms and UK-based internet companies.
SHADY COMPANIES WITH TIES TO ISRAEL WIRETAP THE U.S. FOR THE NSA
Army General Keith Alexander, the director of the NSA, is having a busy year — hopping around the country, cutting ribbons at secret bases and bringing to life the agency’s greatly expanded eavesdropping network. In January he dedicated the new $358 million CAPT Joseph J. Rochefort Building at NSA Hawaii, and in March he unveiled the 604,000-square-foot John Whitelaw Building at NSA Georgia.
Designed to house about 4,000 earphone-clad intercept operators, analysts and other specialists, many of them employed by private contractors, it will have a 2,800-square-foot fitness centre open 24/7, 47 conference rooms and VTCs, and “22 caves,” according to an NSA brochure from the event. No television news cameras were allowed within two miles of the ceremony.
Overseas, Menwith Hill, the NSA’s giant satellite listening post in Yorkshire, England that sports 33 giant dome-covered eavesdropping dishes, is also undergoing a multi-million-dollar expansion, with $68 million alone being spent on a generator plant to provide power for new supercomputers. And the number of people employed on the base, many of them employees of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, is due to increase from 1,800 to 2,500 in 2015, according to a study done in Britain.
Closer to home, in May, Fort Meade will close its 27-hole golf course to make room for a massive $2 billion, 1.8-million-square-foot expansion of the NSA’s headquarters, including a cybercommand complex and a new supercomputer center expected to cost nearly $1 billion.
ANDREW BOLT ASKS: Why bring in refugees who make Australians less safe?
10th June 2013. “To say something risks making law-abiding African refugees the target of racists. To say nothing risks making law-abiding Australians the target of violence.
From Melbourne and Dandenong in just the past two months (and note, these are allegations only):
From last August a rare admission - of the kind made dangerous under our racial discrimination laws:
A previous police commissioner, Christine Nixon, deceived Victorians about this, falsely claiming:
ALEX JONES AND THE SECRETIVE BILDERBERGER GROUP
The headline read: “US conspiracy theorist Alex Jones in bizarre rant on BBC show” after a
BBC interview of American Alex Jones.
Jones was revealing further details about that semi-secret group The Bilderbergers. Obviously Jones was intent on getting his message out no matter how impolite and aggressive he appeared to the ever-so polite English!
LOOKING BACK: EARLIER OT REPORTS ON ‘THE BILDERBERGERS’
Vol.12 No32 - 3 September 1976.
Vol.18 No46: 26 November 1982.
Vol.18 No49 17 December 1982.
THE HIGH PRIESTS OF GLOBALIZATION
“Bilderberg Conference Convenes” by Stephen Lendman, Global Research, June 07, 2013. On June 5, the London Evening Standard headlined “No minutes, no press conferences – just the world’s power brokers chewing the fat on the issues of the day. It’s the Bilderberg conference – and it’s coming to a suburb near you.”
On June 6, it convened. It continues through June 9. It’s a rite of spring. A previous article said British political economist Will Hutton calls attendees the “high priests of globalization.” Powerful movers and shakers have their own agenda. They’re up to no good. They meet annually face-to-face. They conspire, collude and collaborate against populist interests. Their’s alone matter….
In her book “Web of Debt,” Ellen Brown quoted economist/geopolitical analyst Hans Schicht saying: “What has been good for Rockefeller, has been a curse for the United States. Its citizens, government and country indebted to the hilt, enslaved to his banks. The country’s industrial force lost to overseas in consequence of strong dollar policies (pursued for bankers not the country.”…
Bilderberg rogues plan a world unfit to live in. They may end up destroying it in the process. It’s hard imagining a more malevolent force. US members reflect the worst of what it stands for…”
LETTERS TO THE PRESS
The Editor of The Age, 7th June 2013
- - Nigel Jackson, Belgrave Victoria
The Editor, On Target 7th June 2012
- - John Brett, Highfields Queensland
BASIC FUND AND SEPTEMBER REFERENDUM/ELECTIONS
The basic fund stands at $57,051.44 . Special thanks are due to all contributors and I welcome more from supporters who are leaving their financial contribution to the last minute to push the fund over the line for this year. The basic fund allows us to plan ahead and support our small staff.
There is no doubt 2013 will be a year of the greatest challenge Australia has had to face since the days of World War 2. Regrettably the great majority of people only move under the pressure of events and it is to be hoped the basic instincts of the Australian voter will come to the fore on September 14th and deliver a resounding NO to any Referendum questions. But there will have to be advice and guidance to ensure that movement is in the right direction. This is what the League alone offers. The May issue of the New Times Survey was a step in this direction and wholly dedicated to fostering a NO vote with a special contribution by Dr David Mitchell.
The Bill to enable the Referendum passed in Parliament on the 5th June and this quote from ALGA President, Mayor Felicity-ann Lewis says it all... "Although we are disappointed that two Opposition MPs voted against the Bill, the legislation received overwhelming support by members across the political divide, with 134 MPs voting in favour of the Bill".
The recent amendments to the Electoral Act with nomination costs set to rise is another method to favour the major political parties and an example how money is used to restrict your democratic rights. Under the proposed amendments, the fee for candidates wanting to run for the Senate would double from $1000 to $2000. The deposit for those seeking a seat in the House of Representatives would also double with the nomination deposit jumping to $1000.
This collusion by politicians has an easy answer ... PLACE THE SITTING MEMBER LAST WHEN YOU VOTE!
- - - Louis Cook, National Director.
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