Closing Thought–03Apr18

Since the news broke about the insecurity of Facebook the conversation about the people’s privacy is once again newsworthy…..

Well I am here to keep you abreast of the government’s attempts to invade our privacy….ever hear of the CLOUD Act?

No?  Then maybe you should stop skimming the post and read it for real…..

While the nation remained fixated on gun control and Facebook’s violative practices last week, the U.S. government quietly codified the CLOUD Act, its own intrusive policies on citizens’ data.

While the massive, $1.2 trillion omnibus spending bill passed Friday received widespread media attention, the CLOUD Act — which lawmakers snuck into the end of the 2,300-page bill — was hardly addressed.

The Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (CLOUD) “updates the rules for criminal investigators who want to see emails, documents and other communications stored on the internet,”CNETreported. “Now law enforcement won’t be blocked from accessing someone’s Outlook account, for example, just because Microsoft happens to store the user’s email on servers in Ireland.

The CLOUD Act will also allow the U.S. to enter into agreements that allow the transfer of private data from domestic servers to investigators in other countries on a case-by-case basis, further globalizing the ever-encroaching surveillance state. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has strongly opposed the legislation, listed several consequences of the bill, which it called “far-reaching” and “privacy-upending”:

http://theantimedia.com/us-government-privacy-cloud-act/

Our internet privacy has been under attack for well over a year now….we had better pay attention or lose out completely.

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Once And Future Infowars

Well first the Infowars in this post has nothing to with the site from the uber-conspiracist, Alex Jones….or the tin foil hat crowd…..

We have seen how social media has played into our elections and the spread of crappy world views….some might even say “fake news”…..but the future of social media is in question….maybe not by everyone but some at least……

A new book covers this subject……..

Violence, like Twitter, is a means of communication. If we do not understand it as such, its place in international relations makes no sense. As Thomas Schelling wrote in 1966: “The power to hurt is bargaining power. To exploit it is diplomacy — vicious diplomacy, but diplomacy.” Thinkers such as Joseph Nye and John Arquilla have argued that future wars will be determined by “whose story wins” more than who wins on the battlefield. Any analysis of narratives affecting war, however, must explain how violence itself shapes and destroys narratives. Violence may be a terrible way of communicating, but it will always be the ultimate way for states to signal their intentions and capabilities when discourse fails.

Journalist David Patrikarakos’ War in 140 Characters is an extremely rewarding, yet hopeless attempt to argue that new information technology — specifically, social media — has fundamentally “destabilized classic forms of war” and suggest that something new is upon us. According to Patrikarakos, social media is “one thing above all else: effect without cause.” As a result, it has given actors without any resources the ability to have an impact on what he calls the “narrative” and “discursive” levels of war, at which actors interpret the truth and political meaning of military action. Since the narrative and discursive levels of war have a greater impact on the political outcome of a war than military operations, effective tweeting can make battles irrelevant. And since non-state actors are better at tweeting than the West’s discredited institutions, they have gained an unprecedented advantage. The pernicious effects of battlefield social media thus threaten “the very idea that wars between state and non-state actors are asymmetric.”

https://warontherocks.com/2018/03/the-once-and-future-infowars/

It is up in the air on the future of social media….Facebook has called into question the security on these sites and points to ways they can be exploited.

Personally, I have never trusted any of them as far as I could spit them….my footprint on social media is very small to the point of being damn near none existent.

I have no confidence still and will continue to use them sparingly.

How About Facebook?

Ever sine I have been writing a blog (a total of 12 years) visitors would comment and send me a link to a Facebook post….I would thank them for the link but tell them that I was not on Facebook for I did not trust them to keep my info secure…

Looks like my fears were well founded…..

Facebook is reeling from a series of revelations about private user data being leaked to Cambridge Analytica, a shadowy political consulting firm that did work for the Donald Trump campaign.

Last Friday, reporters from The New York Times and The Observer of London told Facebook that Cambridge had retained copies of private data for about 50 million Facebook users. Facebook says Cambridge promised in 2015 that the data would be deleted. Facebook responded to the new revelations by banning Cambridge and several of its associates from Facebook.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/03/facebooks-cambridge-analytica-scandal-explained/

Recently I was told that this breech was no big deal….apparently the markets do not agree…..

Facebook shares fell nearly 7 percent Monday amid controversy over how Cambridge Analytica, which was hired by President Trump’s 2016 campaign, was able to harvest personal data from more than 50 million Facebook users.

The 6.8 percent drop lopped nearly $40 billion off Facebook’s market value.

Equity analysts with Raymond James said in a report to clients that “continued concerns over Russian targeting and data misuse are clearly weighing on the shares.”

Facebook says it initially gave out the data to a researcher who claimed it would be used only for academic purposes. Facebook claims the researcher then “lied to us” and passed the content onto Cambridge Analytica. That firm then used the data to build “psychographic profiles” about voters.

Investors are worried about the fallout for Facebook from prosecutors, regulators, and advertisers.

I realize that followers on Facebook add to the number of total followers for the blog….but my security is more important than the number of followers to feed my ego.

Security measures are important to all us bloggers only some of us are a bit sharper than others.  I can state that none of my info was compromised by Facebook….can you?

Intel For Profit

I have written several posts about the privatization of war by using mercenaries…..corporations like Blackwater like to call themselves a security company but yet they supply mercenaries to fight in several countries…..soldiering for profit.

Nowadays they are also entering into the world of intel gathering taking up some of the slack of our intel agencies like NSA or CIA…….anytime there is a chance for profit I can foresee problems……

There has been an excellent look into this problem with a 3 part series on the privatization of our intel gathering……

Privatized and politicized intelligence is undermining the mission of providing unbiased information to both high-level decision makers and the American public,

Back in 1991, during the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the general consensus of the intelligence community was that America needed a strong Russia. Russians bore the weight of dismantling the Soviet Union and an internally strong and stable Russia was considered the biggest stable democratic government in the hemisphere.

A strong Russia provides stability throughout the region, it was understood. Without a strong and stable Russia, the massive Russian Federation would descend into small nationalist countries. Warring nations and instability would be the norm and not the exception.

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/02/11/u-s-intelligence-crisis-poses-a-threat-to-the-world/

The other 2 parts of this series here…….

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/02/13/how-intel-for-hire-is-undermining-u-s-intelligence-part-2/

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/02/18/a-crisis-in-intelligence-unthinkable-consequences-of-outsourcing-u-s-intel-part-3/

I agree that this has the potential of being disastrous for our intel establishment…..the leaks in the past have been perpetrated by private contractors of our intel agencies.

The more independent people employed the better the chances of catastrophic damage can be done in turn making the country less safe……

Only A Fools Errand

There has been a lot in the news about the now famous or infamous depending on your beliefs and I would like to give my opinion…..

In my younger years I was a member of the US Army CIC counter intelligence……only an idiot would see this as a good thing.

It is about what a single individual wants and not anything about the FISA warrant process.

The saga over whether the White House will or won’t release “the memo” may be over on Friday. Multiple reports—including at Fox News, ABC News, and the Washington Post—say President Trump has read the document and is set to release it. The White House, however, has agreed to make some redactions at the request of the FBI, which strongly came out against the release on Wednesday. Fox describes them as “technical edits,” but it seems the gist of the memo—asserting that the FBI and Justice Department abused their authority in the early stages of the Trump-Russia investigation—would stay intact. The only big question, then, is when the public would be able to read the memo.

ABC lays out the steps: After the White House informs the House Intelligence Committee that it doesn’t object to the memo’s release, the panel would then enter it into the Congressional Record. That step can only take place when the House is in session, which ABC notes would be the case at 4:30pm Friday. Failing that, the House would again be in session on Monday. One last wrinkle: GOP Sen. John Thune on Thursday told reporters that the Senate Intelligence Committee must see the memo before it’s made public. “I think they have to take into consideration what the FBI is saying,” Thune said of House Republicans, referring to the agency’s concerns.

This situation will make the warrant process damn near impossible because our intel people will be afraid that anything they had to get the warrant would later come back as a political football……

Keep in mind that a FISA warrant is used to investigate and prevent a terrorist attack or protect the country from espionage…..so the next attack that could have been prevented and was not will be on the heads of these political pigs that had NO evidence of wrong doing did what they did to assist a single individual and not the country.

It will be released……

The White House on Friday declassified a partisan and bitterly disputed memo on the Russia investigation, clearing the way for House Republicans to release allegations of what they say is FBI misconduct, per the AP. The move came over the fierce objections of the FBI and Justice Department, which have said the document prepared by Republicans on the House intelligence committee is inaccurate and missing critical context. The memo alleges that the FBI abused US government surveillance powers in its investigation into Russian election interference. It wasn’t immediately clear when the House committee would release it.

Trump, who has called the investigation a “witch hunt,” has supported the release of the memo in the apparent hopes that it could help undermine the probe being led by special counsel Robert Mueller. The president, dogged by the unrelenting investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russia, lashed out anew Friday at the FBI and Justice Department as politically biased against Republicans. “The top Leadership and Investigators of the FBI and the Justice Department have politicized the sacred investigative process in favor of Democrats and against Republicans – something which would have been unthinkable just a short time ago. Rank & File are great people!” Trump tweeted.

This is a fools errand that does NOTHING to protect this country from anything….tying the hands of our intel people……remember if there is an attack how we got there and who made it possible.

Trump has pissed up our process and he did it to save his ass….has nothing to do with protecting the country.

But hey…read the memo and try to work it out for yourself…..

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/02/full-text-nunes-memo-fbi-transcript-385057

Or you could spend the day believing those scheming toads on FOX…..

Closing Thought–05Jan18

This is 2018….and the year of the spy…..we have investigations going on about the Russian intel project that may have influenced an election or at least had some willing Americans working for them during the election.

The US just busted some Russian spies about 5 years ago…they were normal individuals with jobs, families and spy craft…..how does Russia go about recruiting people to work with them……

Good question with a pretty good answer…..

Are you of Russian descent?

The Senate committee probing alleged Russian interference in the U.S. political system has deemed anyone “of Russian nationality or Russian descent” relevant to its investigation, according to a document obtained by TYT.

In an email dated December 19, 2017, April Doss—who serves as senior minority counsel on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI)—defined the scope of the committee’s inquiry as anyone a subject “knows or has reason to believe [is] of Russian nationality or descent.” The senior majority counsel for the SSCI, Vanessa Le, was cc’d on the emails.

https://tytnetwork.com/2017/12/27/anyone-of-russian-descent-now-targeted-in-senate-investigation/

The babbling Right has said the Congressional investigations is a witch hunt….after reading this story I have to agree….that is if the story is accurate…..

Sorry I digress….back to the meat of the post….how does Russia recruit their operatives?

This is the first of a three-part series based on never-before-published training manuals for the KGB, the Soviet intelligence organization that Vladimir Putin served as an operative, and that shaped his view of the world. Its veterans still make up an important part of now-Russian President Vladimir Putin’s power base. All were trained in the same dark arts, and these primers in tradecraft are essential to an understanding of the way they think and the way they operate.

U.S. intelligence operatives understand this only too well. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told CNN earlier this month Putin is “a great case officer,” suggesting he “knows how to handle an asset, and that’s what he’s doing with the president”—that is, the president of the United States.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-kgb-papers-how-putin-learned-his-spycraft-part-1

Recruiting spies is an art form……and the Russians have become artist in its execution…..

A new year and we are off to the races…..shall we enjoy the time together…..TTFN…..chuq

Closing Thought–30Jun17

Spy vs Spy!

That’s Bond– James Bond

Since I was a teenager I have loved me some spy novels and such….but you know real-life is just as interesting as the fiction stuff.

Remember a few years back when the US caught all those Russian sleeper agents…..one was a sexy red head that could make a dead guy write bad checks.

Then there are stories of the assassinations around the world…especially the ex-KGB guy that was poisoned in the UK with his tea…..

Then I read the report of a Brit spy that was found dead stuffed into a sports bag…..

After the dead body of an MI6 spy was found locked in a sports bag in London, police said the death was “probably an accident” – but British and American spy agencies have secret intelligence suggesting Gareth Williams may have been assassinated over highly sensitive work on Russia.

A British spy whose naked body was found decomposing in a padlocked sports bag in his bathtub is among at least 14 people suspected of having been killed by Russian assassins on British soil, BuzzFeed News can reveal.

Source: The Death Of The Spy In The Bag Is Linked To Russia By Secret Intelligence Files

See what I mean…fascinating.

My question is how does a dead guy accidentally lock himself into a sports bag?

Any answers out there?

Time to say bye for the day…..hope you will join tomorrow for more stuff…..chuq