Softwar, Cyberwar, Education, Propaganda, S&T
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This page includes:
- Softwar, Propaganda, Information Operations (IO)
- Panama Papers
- ICT, Internet, websites, computerisation, social media
- ICT outsourcing/offshoring
- Cinema (because of link with computer animation); propaganda
- Cyberwar, Cyberespionage, Cyberactivism, cybercrime and hacking
- Surveillance, Snowden, NSA, WikiLeaks, whistleblower
- Mobile phones
- Education and educational institutions such as Pyongyang University of Science and Technology
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Tulsi Gabbard on Assange
Jimmy Dore show
[Assange] [Whistleblower] [WikiLeaks]
7 Years of Lies About Assange Won?t Stop Now
April 12, 2019
One of the few towering figures of our time was reduced to nothing more than a sex pest and scruffy bail-skipper, writes Jonathan Cook.
By Jonathan Cook
For seven years, from the moment Julian Assange sought refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, they have been telling us we were wrong, that we were paranoid conspiracy theorists. We were told there was no real threat of Assange?s extradition to the United States, that it was all in our fevered imaginations.
For seven years, we have had to listen to a chorus of journalists, politicians and ?experts? telling us that Assange was nothing more than a fugitive from justice, and that the British and Swedish legal systems could be relied on to handle his case in full accordance with the law. Barely a ?mainstream? voice was raised in his defense in all that time.
From the moment he sought asylum, Assange was cast as an outlaw. His work as the founder of Wikileaks ? a digital platform that for the first time in history gave ordinary people a glimpse into the darkest recesses of the most secure vaults in the deepest of Deep States ? was erased from the record.
Assange was reduced from one of the few towering figures of our time ? a man who will have a central place in history books, if we as a species live long enough to write those books ? to nothing more than a sex pest, and a scruffy bail-skipper.
Julian Assange, in or before 2006. (Martina Haris via Wikimedia Commons)
[Assange] [WikiLeaks] [Media]
Discuss: Julian Assange Arrested
This morning, officers of the Metropolitan police were invited into the Ecuadorian embassy by President Lenin Moreno. They proceeded to arrest WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and literally drag him out of the building.
Assange arrest video:
?The UK must resist this attempt by the Trump administration?https://t.co/fq1JGfw40u
? WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 11, 2019
The important facts of the case are as follows:
Julian Assange is not wanted for ANY CRIME, except skipping his bail. This carries a maximum sentence of 6 months under UK Law.
The Swedish authorities have dropped all their investigations of him for sexual assault. Read more on that here.
Assange has said, many times, that above all else he is avoiding being extradited to the US. US officials have, in the past, referenced the idea of assassinating him, and their intelligence services are known to use ?enhanced interrogation? techniques (aka torture).
The UN has found, multiple times, that Assange?s detention was inhumane and illegal under international law.
Spanish Police Probe Extortion Scheme Involving Surveillance on Assange
April 10, 2019
UPDATED: Suspects are being investigated in Spain for having tried to extort ?3 million from WikiLeaks in exchange for a huge cache of documents and surveillance videos of Assange inside Ecuador?s London embassy, including with his doctors and lawyers.
By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News
A Spanish judge is investigating an alleged extortion scheme in which suspects in Madrid offered video and audio surveillance to the editor of WikiLeaks in exchange for ?3 million, WikiLeaks said on Wednesday.
The surveillance was taken over the past year inside the Ecuador embassy in London, where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has legally been granted political asylum since 2012, said Kristinn Hrafnsson, the WikiLeaks editor, at a press conference in the British capital. Included in the ?trove? of material was a copy of a legal document regarding Assange?s defense strategy that was briefly left behind in a conference room in the embassy, Hrafnsson said.
?It is a grave and serious concern when legal meetings are being spied upon and legal documents are stolen,? he said. ?That is something that not even prisoners have to endure.?
Assange was also filmed being examined by his doctor in the embassy, Hrafnsson said. ?Nobody expected that this was recorded and stored and found its way to some dubious individuals in Spain,? he said.
Fidel Narv?ez, Kristinn Hrafnsson and Jennifer Robinson at Wednesday?s press conference. (Ruptly/YouTube screenshot.)
Jennifer Robinson, Assange?s lawyer, called it a breach of attorney-client privilege. ?The documents you have seen [presented at the press conference] demonstrates just how much surveillance he has been under and it is a breach of confidence for us, his lawyers, and his doctors to provide medical care in the embassy,? Robinson said. ?This is a severe breach of attorney-client privilege and fundamentally undermines our ability to defend and provide defense to Julian Assange.?
Hrafnsson communicated with the alleged extortioners and was given samples of what they possessed, the WikiLeaks editor said. He then traveled to Spain and secretly videotaped a meeting with ?four individuals? in which Hrafnsson learned the extent of the material that they possessed. They told them him that ?3 million was ?a good deal? as they had had offers of ?9 million for the material. Hrafnsson then went to the Spanish police who opened an investigation. He said he knew the identity of one of the four who had a prior conviction on similar charges and was seen as the ?ringleader.?
[Assange] [Ecuador] [WikiLeaks]
On the Pavement with Wikileaks
April 8, 2019
When Julian Assange does leave the embassy, it will be important to try to focus a hostile media on why it is Assange is actually wanted for extradition, Craig Murray comments.
By Craig Murray
Entirely unexpectedly, I have been down in London this last three days outside and around the Ecuadorean Embassy, following WikiLeaks? announcement that their sources indicate Julian might be expelled within hours or days. Plainly Julian?s position within the Embassy has deteriorated fundamentally, to the extent he is now treated openly as a closely guarded prisoner. I still have not myself been granted permission to visit him and he is now very isolated.
Nothing has happened so far this weekend, though I stated from the start that if the police were going to move in, the most likely time would be 4am on Monday morning. There is a thought that the massive media presence occasioned by WikiLeaks? announcement may have succeeded in deterring President Lenin Moreno from the expulsion. Let us hope that will prove the case.
JUST NOW: Heavily armed UK diplomatic police question driver of "free speech" truck outside of Ecuadorian embassy in London pic.twitter.com/tJan24DlbW
? WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 5, 2019
I am very exhausted, having been more or less on 24 hour watch for three days. It was also somewhat difficult to tell Nadira her birthday celebration had shifted without notice from a restaurant in Edinburgh to a wet pavement in London. But I was very pleased to have a very fruitful in depth conversation with Kristin Hrafnsson, editor in chief of Wikileaks. Our thoughts ran along these lines, and as this does not involve secrets but rather media handling, I see no harm in sharing these thoughts with you.
When Julian does leave the Embassy, whatever the circumstances in which he does that, it will be for a day or two the largest media story in the world and undoubtedly will lead all the news bulletins across every major country. The odds are that he will be leaving and facing a fight against extradition to the United States, on charges arising from the Chelsea Manning releases which revealed a huge amount about U.S. war crimes and other illegal acts.
It will be very important to try to focus a hostile media on why it is Julian is actually wanted for extradition. Not for the non-existent collusion with Russia to assist Trump, which is an entirely fake narrative. Not for meetings with Paul Manafort which never happened. Not for the allegations in Sweden which fell apart immediately they were subject to rational scrutiny. And not for any nonsense about whether he hacked the communications in the Embassy or cleaned up the cat litter.
This is not going to be an easy task because pretty well all of the Western media is going to want to focus on these false anti-Assange narratives, and they will be determined to give as little attention as possible to the fact he is a publisher facing trial for publishing leaked state documents which revealed state wrongdoing.
It is a classic and fundamental issue of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Drawing together a team that can get this message across in such MSM windows as are afforded, as well as through social media, is an important task. The team needs to be in readiness and to be backed by a suitable support infrastructure that can be dusted off and sprung into action. The public framing of Julian?s position will undoubtedly impact on the final outcome; that is why the MSM have put in such a consistent effort to demonise one of the most interesting figures and original thinkers of our time.
If the balloon really had gone up this weekend, we would have been woefully unprepared to deal with the task of explaining the true story. If nothing else, this weekend?s alarm has been very helpful in concentrating minds on the size of the task.
[Assange] [Whistleblower] [Repression] [Wikileaks]
5G Stunt Is Symbolic of This Gov't Folly
April 05, 2019 13:49
Korea by some reckoning became the first country in the world to offer commercial 5G mobile phone services on Wednesday night. The service was scheduled to start at midnight on Friday, but the government abruptly pushed it forward after a tipoff that Verizon of the U.S. was going to steal a march on Korea and bring its own launch forward by a week. But all the escapade has exposed is the folly of the current government.
SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus had originally planned to roll out commercial 5G services in late March. But at the time the government put the brakes on them because it felt their service charges were too high. In other words, government meddling first slowed the process down and then frantically speeded it up, like a slapstick film.
5G mobile connections are supposed to be 20 times faster than 4G services and will constitute a main artery for future technology. They are essential for self-driving cars and smart factories, cities and healthcare. Countries that really gain an early edge in 5G technologies could become the leaders of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Korea got a head start in the headlines by connecting a handful of celebrities this week, but in reality the U.S. and China are already far ahead because they are building proper networks for all and have more technology.
According to a U.S. report, Korea did rank first along with China last year in terms of 5G competitiveness but fell to third place this year. Huawei, ZTE and other Chinese companies now hold the bulk of core 5G-related patents.
[5G] [China competition]
Venezuela Coverage Takes Us Back to Golden Age of Lying About Latin America
by Mark Cook ? March 1, 2019
Largely unreported in the mainstream press, thousands march in Caracas. (February 2, 2019)
While sitting in my apartment in Caracas, Venezuela, and reading the online edition of Time magazine (5/19/16), I noticed a report asserting that there was not even something as basic as aspirin to be found anywhere in Venezuela: ?Basic medicines like aspirin are nowhere to be found.?
I walked out of the apartment to the nearest pharmacy, four blocks away, where I found plenty of aspirin, as well as acetaminophen (generic Tylenol) and ibuprofen (generic Advil), in a well-stocked pharmacy with a knowledgeable professional staff that would be the envy of any US drugstore.
A few days after the Time story, CNBC (6/22/16) carried a claim that there was no acetaminophen to be found anywhere, either: ?Basic things like Tylenol aren?t even available.? That must have taken the Pfizer Corporation by surprise, since it was their Venezuelan subsidiary, Pfizer Venezuela SA, which produced the acetaminophen I purchased. (Neither Time writer Ian Bremer nor CNBC commentator Richard Washington was in Venezuela, and there was no evidence offered that either of them had ever been there.)
I purchased all three products, plus cough syrup and other over-the-counter medications, because I doubted that anyone in the United States would believe me if I couldn?t produce the medications in their packages.
[Venezuela] [Propaganda] [Sanctions] [Covert]
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The game is up: you cannot install and run 5G without Huawei
20 March, 2019 by stalinsmoustache,
For some time now, Huawei has been quietly confident that no-one else has the ability to install and deploy 5G technologies without involving Huawei itself.
Now the new figures are out from the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). In 2018, Huawei?s had 5,405 PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) applications, which ? as Francis Gurry, the director of WIPO observed ? is ?an all-time record by anyone.? By comparison, the runner-up was Mitsubishi, in Japan, with 2,812.
And the vast majority of Huawei?s patents relate to 5G, to which the company has been devoting world-leading investment in research and development, backed strongly by the Chinese government.
[Huawei] [5G] [China competition] [Patents] [Decline]
U.S. Warns of N.Korean Cyber Warfare
By Jo Jae-hee
March 20, 2019 12:21
The U.S. has issued a warning against North Korean cyber crimes and promised a firm response.
"In the past two years we witness North Korea's 'Wanna Cry' ransomware spread to more than 150 countries, holding healthcare systems hostage and bringing factories to a halt," U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen told a security forum at George Washington University on Monday.
Ransomware is a hacking scheme designed to extort money from victims after malware is planted in their computer system and encrypts key files to make them inaccessible. But even if gullible victims pay up, typically in Bitcoin, their computers are never unlocked again.
U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen speaks at a security forum at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. on Monday. /AP
The Wanna Cry ransomware caused an estimated US$570 million worth of damage throughout the world, paralyzing the healthcare system in the U.K. and destroying the computer systems of French automaker Renault and the Russian Interior Ministry starting in May 2017.
The attack contaminated about 300,000 computers in 150 countries.
"On top of my list of threats that many of you can guess the word cyber is circled, highlighted and underlined," Nielsen said. "And no matter what malware you develop, I promise you, the engines of our democracy are far stronger and far more resilient than any code you can write."
"Let me just send one last message to our cyber adversaries," she added. "You cannot hide behind your keyboards and computer screens, we are watching you."
North Korean hacking groups like Lazarus and APT38 have also caused damage to financial institutions, NGOs and businesses around the world.
[Cyberwar] [Hacking] [WannaCry] [Canard] [Pushback]
The guilty silence over the jailing of Chelsea Manning
By Andre Damon ? 18 March 2019
It has been ten days since a federal judge imprisoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning for refusing to testify before the secret grand jury in Virginia, which is preparing an indictment against WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.
After running perfunctory news reports of Manning?s jailing, no major US newspapers have published any follow-up reporting on the imprisonment of the United States? most famous whistleblower and political prisoner.
None of the dozens of professional moralists employed by the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal who make it their business to publicize ?human rights? violations to promote US imperialist interests have written a single column protesting the imprisonment of Manning.
These newspapers regularly report on the alleged imprisonment and mistreatment of journalists, whistleblowers and dissidents at the hands of the United States? geopolitical rivals Russia and China. But when it comes to the jailing of a courageous whistleblower in the United States, they are silent.
The Democratic Party has likewise said nothing. There has been no protest from any significant Democratic politician, including from the party?s so-called ?progressive? wing. Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar have not spoken in Manning?s defense. Phone calls and emails by the WSWS asking for clarification to the offices of Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez were not returned.
[Chelsea Manning] [Whistleblower] [Double standards] [Political Prisoners] [Media]
Colbert Smears Tulsi Gabbard To Her Face While Telling Zero Jokes
Hawaii Congresswoman and Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard recently appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where instead of the light, jokey banter about politics and who she is as a person that Democratic presidential candidates normally encounter on late night comedy programs, the show?s host solemnly ran down a list of textbook beltway smears against Gabbard and made her defend them in front of his audience.
Normally when a Democratic Party-aligned politician appears on such a show, you can expect jokes about how stupid Trump is and how badly they?re going to beat the Republicans, how they?re going to help ordinary Americans, and maybe some friendly back-and-forth about where they grew up or something. Colbert had no time to waste on such things, however, because this was not an interview with a normal Democratic Party-aligned politician: this was a politician who has been loudly and consistently criticizing US foreign policy.
After briefly asking his guest who she is and why she?s running for president, Colbert jumped right into it by immediately bringing up Syria and Assad, the primary line of attack employed against Gabbard by establishment propagandists in American mainstream media.
Colbert: Do you think the Iraq war was worth it?
Colbert: Do you think that our involvement in Syria has been worth it?
Colbert: Do you think that ISIS could have been defeated without our involvement and without our support of the local troops there?
Gabbard: There are two things we need to address in Syria. One is a regime change war that was first launched by the United States in 2011, covertly, led by the CIA. That is a regime change war that has continued over the years, that has increased the suffering of the Syrian people, and strengthened groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS, because the CIA was using American taxpayer dollars to provide arms and training and equipment to these terrorist groups to get them to overthrow the government. So that is a regime change war that we should not have been engaging.
This interview was easily Colbert?s most blatant establishment rim job I?ve ever seen, surpassing even the time he corrected his own audience when they cheered at James Comey?s firing to explain to them that Comey is a good guy now and they?re meant to like him. Colbert?s show is blatant propaganda for human livestock, and the fact that this is what American ?comedy? shows look like now is nauseating.
Colbert: So, but if it is someone like Bashar al-Assad, who gasses his own people, or who engages in war crimes against his own people, should the United States not be involved?
[Media] [Gabbard] [Imperialism]
Desperate Venezuelans swarm sewage drains in search of water
Brian Ellsworth, Vivian Sequera
As Venezuela?s five-day power blackout left homes without water, Lilibeth Tejedor found herself looking for it on Monday in the last place she would have imagined - a drain pipe feeding into a river carrying sewage through the capital, Caracas.
People collect water released through a sewage drain that feeds into the Guaire River, which carries most of the city's wastewater, in Caracas, Venezuela March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Tejedor, 28, joined dozens of people who had flocked to the Guaire river, which snakes along the bottom of a sharp ravine alongside Caracas? main highway, to fill up a four-gallon (15 liter) plastic container.
Unlike the fetid liquid flowing through the Guaire river, the water emerging from the pipe was at least clear. Those who gathered to collect it said the water had been released by local authorities from reservoirs.
They added, however, that it was being carried through unsanitary pipes and should only be used to flush toilets or scrub floors.
?I?ve never even seen this before. It?s horrible, horrible,? said Tejedor, preparing to carry the container on a small hand cart back to her home in the neighborhood of San Agustin.
Tejedor, who works at a computer technology store, has a two-year-old daughter and takes care of two nieces.
?The ones that are most affected are the children, because how do you tell a child that there?s no water?? she said.
The lack of water has become one of the most excruciating side effects of the nationwide blackout that the government of President Nicolas Maduro has blamed on U.S.-backed sabotage but his critics call the product of corruption and incompetence.
[Venezuela] [Covert] [Mismanagement] [Cyberwar]
Trump once again requests deep cuts in U.S. science spending
By Science News Staff
Mar. 11, 2019 , 12:15 PM
For the third year in a row, President Donald Trump?s administration has unveiled a budget request to Congress that calls for deep spending cuts at many federal science agencies, including a 15% cut for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and a 12% cut for the National Science Foundation (NSF), while providing hefty increases for the military.
But the $4.7 trillion request for the 2020 fiscal year that begins 1 October, released today, is already drawing bipartisan pushback from lawmakers in Congress and?as with past Trump administration requests?many of the cuts are unlikely to be enacted into law.
[Trump] [S&T] [Incompetence] [Decline]
Will national security concerns end the globalisation of technology?
7 March 2019
Author: Mark Gregory, RMIT University
Technology is a key battlefield according to recent Five Eyes? moves to limit China?s foreign technology acquisition and expansion activities. The goal is to restrict the use of telecommunications equipment and systems provided by vendors residing in non-democratic nations such as China that might be subject to government instructions to participate in espionage or intellectual property theft.
A man visits the Huawei Cyber Security Transparency Centre in Brussels, Belgium, 5 March 2019 (Photo: Reuters/Yves Herman).
After decades of promoting peace through economic cooperation with non-democratic countries, this change of direction is partly due to an exponential increase in what a nation?s security services can achieve globally by harnessing telecommunications and technology.
On 28 January 2019 it was announced that two indictments were returned by US courts alleging a total of 23 crimes were committed by Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, its affiliates and its CFO Meng Wanzhou. Meng was recently detained in Canada pending an extradition request by the United States.
The charges include wire fraud, conspiracy, violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and stealing trade secrets from German-owned telecommunications company T-Mobile. Meng is accused of misleading US banks about business deals in Iran and is now before a Canadian court. Huawei and Meng deny any wrongdoing.
The actions against Huawei by US authorities appear to be part of the Trump administration?s strategy to tackle the trade imbalance with China and the forced intellectual property transfer regime for companies doing business or manufacturing in China. They also target industrial policy supporting homegrown competitors that is unfair to non-Chinese competitors.
[China confrontation] [Huawei] [Imperial dilemma]
Russia Internet Protests - These Crowd Estimates Are Propaganda
The Russian parliament is currently discussing a new law that will establish an autonomous internet in Russia. The network will no longer depend on servers and services hosted in other countries.
The U.S. dislikes that as shutting down Russia's internet by manipulating servers in the U.S. will no longer be an option. Spying on Russian internet traffic will also become more difficult.
[cybersecurity] [Media] [Propaganda]
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Counterpunch Shadowboxes and Loses
In a fair boxing match, opponents enter the ring with similarly padded gloves and battle under the bright lights for the world to see. There are, of course, cases where one fighter cheats, as in the infamous case in 1983 when Luis Resto wore weakly padded gloves and hand wraps hardened with plaster to make them rock solid. His opponent, Billy Collins, an up-and-coming boxer from Tennessee with a 14-0 record, was permanently and very seriously injured in the fight at Madison Square Garden. His eyes were battered shut and his vision damaged. He never fought again and died depressed the following year at age twenty-two.
In the fight for truth in the public arena, similar subterfuges occur.
To battle honestly in the open forum, to argue to and fro squarely, is often prevented in advance by eliminating an opponent?s voice from the debate. This is the typical method used by the corporate mass media that stack the deck with sycophants and refuse dissidents a place to voice their ideas.
Then there is the masquerade of fighting an opponent who is really a collaborator and benefactor, whose punches one counters in a game of shadow boxing meant to convince the audience that the fight is real and you are on their side. Some alternative media use this technique because they are gatekeepers for the power elite.
Sometimes this ruse is so blatant that the fix becomes transparent because the smart-asses who play this game screw up, yet they still expect their real opponents to shut up and walk away because their fixer?s mantra is ?Never apologize, never explain.? It has always been the code of the rich and powerful.
Some are brawlers, however, and fight back against this bullshit.
The well-known leftist website Counterpunch is an example of the ?never apologize, never explain? school. A number of writers and journalists who have published many pieces at Counterpunch have been banned from this site in recent years without an explanation, Andre Vltchek and C.J. Hopkins being two who crossed an invisible boundary the Shadow had drawn and were never again published by Counterpunch. Others, smelling an odd odor, have walked away. The numbers are growing.
I?ve recently seen Counterpunch shadowbox and the Shadow won.
Glenn Greenwald: As Bezos Protests Invasion of His Privacy, Amazon Builds Global Surveillance State
February 11, 2019
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is publicly accusing the owner of the National Enquirer of ?extortion and blackmail,? weeks after the paper revealed details about his extramarital affair. Bezos had recently hired a private investigator to determine how the tabloid newspaper obtained private text messages between him and his lover, and whether the paper?s actions were politically motivated. The National Enquirer?s parent company, American Media, Inc., responded to Bezos?s investigation by threatening to publish revealing photos of Bezos if he did not agree to publicly state that the Enquirer?s coverage was not politically motivated or influenced by political forces. We speak with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald about the dispute and Amazon?s role in building the surveillance state.
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: We begin today?s show looking at the ongoing fight between the world?s richest man and the National Enquirer. Last week, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos publicly accused the owner of the tabloid newspaper of ?extortion and blackmail,? weeks after the paper revealed details about his extramarital affair. Bezos had recently hired a private investigator to determine how the tabloid newspaper, the National Enquirer, obtained private text messages between him and his lover, and whether the paper?s actions were politically motivated. The National Enquirer's parent company, American Media, Inc., responded to Bezos's investigation by threatening to publish revealing photos of Bezos if he did not agree to publicly state that the National Enquirer?s coverage is not politically motivated or influenced by political forces.
[Bezos] [Amazon] [Surveillance] [AI]
N.Korea 'Plants Virus in S.Korean Bus Apps'
By Kim Bong-kee
February 11, 2019 11:49
A virus suspected of having been planted by North Korean hackers has been found in some smartphone bus navigation apps in South Korea.
Computer security firm McAfee said Sunday that it discovered malicious codes in four Android bus navigation apps for Daegu, Gwangju, Jeonju and Changwon. McAfee said the malicious codes were designed to siphon information to a server operated by hackers and added that they went beyond mere phishing and were targeted to steal military and political information.
The Android apps have been available on Google Play since 2013, and the malicious codes were planted during regular updates since Aug. 9 last year. They have now all been patched.
McAfee did not pinpoint North Korea as the source of the cyber attacks, but South Korean cyber security experts said the 42 keywords implanted in them -- like "defense," "tank," "National Intelligence Service," "North Korea" and "Moon Jae-in" -- point to North Korea.
Last month, reporters covering the Unification Ministry received suspicious e-mails containing malicious codes, raising suspicions that the North was behind the attempts. Around 200 North Korean hacker groups are believed to be operating overseas.
The Unseen Robert Frank: Outtakes From ?The Americans?
Thousands of Robert Frank?s unpublished photographs taken during and after his journeys that led to ?The Americans? have never been seen before by wide audiences.
By Jordan G. Teicher
Feb. 4, 2019
In his introduction to Robert Frank?s seminal photo book, ?The Americans,? Jack Kerouac claimed the photographer had captured ?scenes that have never been seen before on film.?
He was referring not to particular people, places or objects but to ?the humor, the sadness, the EVERYTHING-ness and American-ness? Mr. Frank documented as he traveled the country on a Guggenheim Fellowship beginning in 1955. At a time when mainstream publications tended to favor a rosy view of American life, Mr. Frank presented a comparatively stark vision that also challenged the aesthetics of popular photography.
The CIA Then and Now: Old Wine in New Bottles
The Nazis had a name for their propaganda and mind-control operations: weltanschauungskrieg ? ?world view warfare.? As good students, they had learned many tricks of the trade from their American teachers, including Sigmund Freud?s nephew, Edward Bernays, who had honed his propagandistic skills for the United States during World War I and had subsequently started the public relations industry in New York City, an industry whose raison d??tre from the start was to serve the interests of the elites in manipulating the public mind.
In 1941, U.S. Intelligence translated weltanschauungskrieg as ?psychological warfare,? a phrase that fails to grasp the full dimensions of the growing power and penetration of U.S. propaganda, then and now.
Of course, the American propaganda apparatus was just then getting started on an enterprise that has become the epitome of successful world view warfare programs, a colossal beast whose tentacles have spread to every corner of the globe and whose fabrications have nestled deep within the psyches of many hundreds of millions of Americans and people around the world.
[CIA] [IO] [Propaganda]
?New Knowledge? and the same old same old
Jonathon Morgan, CEO of New Knowledge and former State Department employee.
Most of us in the UK-based alternate media are familiar with the Integrity Initiative by now. A disinformation campaign funded by the foreign office through the (very dodgy sounding) Institute for Statecraft. Their job was to smear people opposing Theresa May?s government ? be they foreign or domestic. The scale of the scandal hasn?t been appreciated by the public, thanks to the muteness of the mainstream media, but the foreign office using public money to have the intelligence agencies smear the opposition should be enough to bring down any government.
Thanks to some excellent work by people in the alternate media and some MPs, the Integrity Initiative?s website is currently empty ?pending an investigation of data theft?. More honestly, it had become an embarrassment. They will likely disappear and then relaunch under a new name, and may indeed have already done so. For now, the Integrity Initiative is done.
Less well-known in this country is New Knowledge, a direct US-based parallel of the Integrity Initiative. They?ve been conducting ?counter-propaganda? and ?social media experiments? in the US since 2015, but only just hit the headlines.
Who are ?New Knowledge??
A good question ? we don?t really know. Their website claims to have ?thousands of volunteers?. This may or may not be true ? we only have three named people:
?but what a three they are. Jonathon Morgan, formerly of the State Department and Brookings Institute. Ryan Fox, formerly of military intelligence. Renee DiResta, formerly of Wall Street.
The State Department, military intelligence and Wall Street. The unholy trinity.
Obviously, some questions present themselves. Primarily, can we really trust all those
The Intelligent use of Intelligence
Posted on 1 February 2019
The United States Intelligence Community presents an annual assessment of national security threats to Congress. President Trump and the US Intelligence agencies are at odds over the 2019 Report. Putting aside Trump?s simplistic and intuitive understanding and his disregard for any evidence that contradicts his preconceptions, the enthusiasm with which Trump?s antagonists have grasped the agencies? judgements also raises an important question about the value and use of intelligence product.
Trump?s telling the US intelligence chiefs to ?go back to school? stirred a recollection from my brief time in the intelligence world. Fresh to government and the Defence Intelligence Organisation in 1986 I was tasked with covering Vietnam. At one Director?s briefing I reported cautiously on the prospects of some reforms coming out of 6th National Congress. Immediately following the briefing, I was hauled into the Military Deputy Director?s Office and informed that the Vietnamese ?live in caves and eat rats?. I was instructed not to brief positively again on the Vietnamese Communists changing stripes.
[Intelligence Community] [cbw] [Stupidity]
N.Korea Runs 200 Hacker Groups Overseas
By Kim Myong-song
January 30, 2019 12:25
About 200 North Korean hacker groups are working overseas to earn hard currency and gather information by selling malware built by a global app developer, a source said Tuesday.
Their main customers are dealers in the West, including the U.S. and Canada. "North Korean hacker groups in China, Russia and Southeast Asia are taking orders from dealers in the U.S., Canada, Switzerland, and Sweden through a site (www.freelancer.com) to build software and plant malware in it," a source said Tuesday. "This is called 'Operation Trojan Horse.'"
They are believed to hack into foreign companies' systems using the malware to collect information and steal money. "There are currently about 200 North Korean hacker groups overseas, each of which is sending US$400,000 to $1 million to Pyongyang annually," the source said.
Each group consists of about five to 10 hackers working behind front companies camouflaged as trading firms set up by locals in the countries where they operate.
The source said the hackers are employed by the North's General Reconnaissance Bureau, the top spy agency, and at first specialized in cyber warfare like distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. But more recently they have focused on earning hard currency by hacking as the regime runs out of cash amid international sanctions.
Ryu Dong-ryeol of the Korea Institute of Liberal Democracy said they earn up to 1 trillion won a year and are also active in South Korea.
Voice of America said on Tuesday said the U.S. Congress is seeking various ways to guard against cyber attacks from North Korea.
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Silence of the Lambs: The Case of Marzieh Hashemi
by Rannie Amiri
January 25, 2019
In the wake of the outcry after the abduction and murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi?in a foreign country and under the directive of a rogue Crown Prince?one would think the threshold to condemn the detention of an American journalist in the United States without charge or trial would be quite low. Unfortunately, it has proven to be nearly insurmountable.
Marzieh Hashemi, a US citizen and anchorwoman of Iran?s English-language news station, PressTV, had been held under these circumstances for 10 days beginning shortly after her arrival to St. Louis Lambert International AirportJan. 12 to work on a documentary on the Black Lives Matter movement. She was finally released, again without charge, on Wed Jan. 23.
Hashemi was purportedly an alleged material witness in an as-yet unspecified investigation. She was forced to remove her headscarf and offered pork to eat, both against the tenets of her religion, before being transferred to Washington, D.C. to an unknown location.
As such, the muted response of those organizations whose primary purpose is to stand for press freedoms and human rights and against religious intolerance was rather remarkable.
The Committee to Protect Journalists ?expressed concern? in their statementon the situation but simultaneously found it necessary to add that, ?Iran routinely jails journalists? as if to provide pretext for the US to do likewise.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the self-proclaimed largest US Muslim civil rights advocacy organization, called onthe Department of Justice to merely ?explain? why an American citizen living in Iran was deprived of her religious and due process rights. Indeed, CAIR?s national executive director politely asked law enforcement officials to just ?clarify? the matter.
The incarceration of Hashemi was nowhere to be found on the Reporters Without Borders action page. Even the American Civil Liberties Union was seemingly mum on the case despite its salient ?No Charges? No Trials? No Justice? articleon Indefinite Detention.
[Iran confrontation] [Marzieh Hashemi] [Censorship] [Hypocrisy] [Media]
The US Media has Lost One of Its Sanest Voices on Military Matters
by Robert Fisk
January 14, 2019
I hate television ?experts?, the infamous ?analysts? who know all ? and support all ? about the military, the televisual ex-generals with vain presidential ambitions and the infamous American ?think tank? personnel whose right-wing, pro-Israeli beliefs are carefully shielded from viewers by the US networks who employ them. I always characterise the antiseptic and pseudo-academic institutions to which they belong as the ?Institute for Preposterous Affairs?.
The Fisk ?IPA? contains hundreds of robotic folk who will churn out claptrap about ?key players?, ?stakeholders? and ?moderate allies? and, of course, ?world terror?. They turn up on CNN, Fox and Russia Today. And, of course, the BBC.
But William Arkin was always a bit different. This ex-US marine intelligence author of ground-breaking work on secret CIA ?black sites? and equally secret US weapons dumps (nuclear and non-nuclear) has a respectful audience at both Harvard and Maxwell US Air Force Base. And when he quits, I take notice.
Here?s a guy the Reagan administration wanted to send to prison for revealing the location of US and Soviet nuclear weapons, and who ? in his own words ? ?had to fight editors who couldn?t believe that there would be a war in Iraq?. He?s just resigned his job as a talking head. Goodbye NBC News. That?s what I call a real story.
And here?s what Arkin told his colleagues about the American military when he left NBC last week. ?There is not a soul in Washington,? he wrote to them, ?who can say that they have won or stopped any conflict. And though there might be the beloved perfumed princes in the form of the [David] Petraeuses and Wes Clarks, or the so-called warrior monks like James Mattis and HR McMaster, we?ve had more than a generation of national security leaders who have sadly and fraudulently done little of consequence.
[US military] [Media]
For Hollywood, ?Vice? Is Remarkably Astute About Politics
January 10, 2019
Adam McKay?s movie may be flawed, but it?s still must-see for his depiction of how Cheney amassed power by exploiting Watergate, an inexperienced president and 9/11, writes James DiEugenio.
By James DiEugenio
Special to Consortium News
In 2015, director Adam McKay did something unusual in Hollywood. He made a good film out of a good book. In fact, one could argue that McKay?s movie ?The Big Short? is even better than Michael Lewis? book. It is funnier, has a faster pace and is much more innovative stylistically.
McKay has now done something even more unusual for Hollywood. He has made a good film about an unattractive and unlikeable character, former Vice-President Dick Cheney. Appropriately, the film is called ?Vice.? I am going to say some critical things about ?Vice.? But let me start by recommending that everyone who reads this website see this film. It?s not often that Hollywood produces a film this honest, ambitious and intelligent about the contemporary American political scene.
Covert British Military-Smear Machine Moving into US
January 10, 2019
After mobilizing a disinformation campaign across Europe, documents show that the Integrity Initiative is now infiltrating the U.S., report Max Blumenthal and Mark Ames.
By Max Blumenthal and Mark Ames
A bombshell domestic spy scandal has been unfolding in Britain, after hacked internal communications exposed a covert U.K. state military-intelligence psychological warfare operation targeting its own citizens and political figures in allied NATO countries under the cover of fighting ?Russian disinformation.?
The leaked documents revealed a secret network of spies, prominent journalists and think-tanks colluding under the umbrella of a group called ?Integrity Initiative? to shape domestic opinion?and to smear political opponents of the right-wing Tory government, including the leader of the opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbin.
Until now, this Integrity Initiative domestic spy scandal has been ignored in the American media, perhaps because it has mostly involved British names. But it is clear that the influence operation has already been activated in the U.S.. Hacked documents reveal that the Integrity Initiative is cultivating powerful allies inside the State Department, top D.C. think tanks, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, where it has gained access to Katharine Gorka and her husband, the fascist-linked cable news pundit Sebastian Gorka.
The Integrity Initiative has spelled out plans to expand its network across the U.S., meddling in American politics and recruiting ?a new generation of Russia watchers? behind the false guise of a non-partisan charity. Moreover, the group has hired one of the most notorious American ?perception management? specialists, John Rendon, to train its clusters of pundits and cultivate relationships with the media.
[Integrity Initiative] [Russia confrontation] [Front] [Propaganda]
The chilling manipulations of the Institute for Statecraft are straight out of the cold war playbook
As the prospect of a socialist government is now a real possibility, it seems that vested interests will stoop to all manner of dirty tricks and smears to prevent that eventuality, says CHRIS WILLIAMSON
OVER the past couple of months, I have been investigating the activities of the Institute for Statecraft and its so-called ?Integrity Initiative,? after some of its dubious actions were highlighted in recently published hacked documents.
They have registered premises just outside the Scottish village of Auchtermuchty and an office suite in an exclusive location near Temple Station in central London.
In response to one of my parliamentary questions on December 3, Foreign Office Minister Alan Duncan said: ?The Institute for Statecraft is an independent Scottish charitable body whose work seeks to improve governance and enhance national security. They launched the Integrity Initiative in 2015 to defend democracy against disinformation.?
The problem is that this ?charitable body? hasn?t confined itself to that and has strayed into smearing Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party.
[Integrity Initiative] [Russia confrontation] [Front] [Propaganda] [Corbyn]
How a NeoCon-Backed ?Fact Checker? Plans to Wage War on Independent Media
As Newsguard?s project advances, it will soon become almost impossible to avoid this neocon-approved news site?s ranking systems on any technological device sold in the United States.
by Whitney Webb
January 09th, 2019
By Whitney Webb Whitney Webb @_whitneywebb
MINNEAPOLIS ? Soon after the social media ?purge? of independent media sites and pages this past October, a top neoconservative insider ? Jamie Fly ? was caught stating that the mass deletion of anti-establishment and anti-war pages on Facebook and Twitter was ?just the beginning? of a concerted effort by the U.S. government and powerful corporations to silence online dissent within the United States and beyond.
While a few, relatively uneventful months in the online news sphere have come and gone since Fly made this ominous warning, it appears that the neoconservatives and other standard bearers of the military-industrial complex and the U.S. oligarchy are now poised to let loose their latest digital offensive against independent media outlets that seek to expose wrongdoing in both the private and public sectors.
As MintPress News Editor-in-Chief Mnar Muhawesh recently wrote, MintPress was informed that it was under review by an organization called Newsguard Technologies, which described itself to MintPress as simply a ?news rating agency? and asked Muhawesh to comment on a series of allegations, several of which were blatantly untrue. However, further examination of this organization reveals that it is funded by and deeply connected to the U.S. government, neo-conservatives, and powerful monied interests, all of whom have been working overtime since the 2016 election to silence dissent to American forever-wars and corporate-led oligarchy.
Dad?s Army?s cover blown
A formidable and secret UK government-funded anti-Russian StratCom (strategic communication) enterprise, its cover having recently been embarrassingly blown, now presents itself as a bumbling Dad?s Army outfit. But don?t be fooled: this pussycat is a tiger.
This published-sources-based story has been around for a few weeks but has so far gone completely unreported in Australian media: which is odd, because it is in my opinion quite an important foreign affairs story for Australia.
A lengthy set of files, made up of downloaded (or hacked) Integrity Initiative and Institute for Statecraft papers, was published online in late November by British contrarian writer Tim Hayward, as a ?working file in progress?, under the title ?Briefing note on the Integrity Initiative?, with authors Paul McKeigue, David Miller, Jake Mason, and Piers Robinson (who call themselves the ?Working Group on Syria Propaganda and Media?). The URL is here.
The authors introduce their set of papers as follows:
A close examination of past and present posts held by individuals associated with the Integrity Initiative indicates that [TK- British] specialists in military intelligence and other senior military personnel with responsibility for StratCom (strategic communication) operations are closely involved in the programme.
The activities of the Integrity Initiative include:
[Front] [Russia confrontation] [Integrity Initiative]
Social Media Storms And Nuclear Early Warning Systems: A Deep Dive And Speed Scenarios Workshop Report
Nautilus Institute, Technology For Global Security, Preventive Defense Project
January 8, 2019
This workshop concluded that: ?[I]ndividuals, organizations, and even states may start to use social media to try to provoke nuclear attacks against their adversaries; or for other political-ideological or religious reasons; that they will be effective in terms of reaching some highly influential people as well as large numbers of people; and included in these two types of readers are likely to be some people making nuclear early warning assessments, and nuclear command decisions? and: ?The workshop participants were convinced that social media platforms and social media users can shift the center of gravity away from the current, celebrity-driven and conflict-amplifying social media conflict amplifying dynamic that degrades the quality of much information and towards more reliable, authenticated information while preserving the ability of users to free speech and near-instantaneous networking.
This report was prepared by staff of Nautilus Institute, Preventive Defense Project Stanford University, and Technology for Global Security with assistance from N Square Collaborative. It is the report of the October 20, 2018 workshop on Social Media Storms and Nuclear Early Warning Systems. The workshop was co-sponsored by the Nautilus Institute, the Preventive Defense Project?Stanford University, and Technology for Global Security, and was funded by the MacArthur Foundation. This paper is published simultaneously here by Technology for Global Security.
[Social media] [Nuclear war]
The investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, in his memoir ?Reporter,? describes a moment when as a young reporter he overheard a Chicago cop admit to murdering an African-American man. The murdered man had been falsely described by police as a robbery suspect who had been shot while trying to avoid arrest. Hersh frantically called his editor to ask what to do.
?The editor urged me to do nothing,? he writes. ?It would be my word versus that of all the cops involved, and all would accuse me of lying. The message was clear: I did not have a story. But of course I did.? He describes himself as ?full of despair at my weakness and the weakness of a profession that dealt so easily with compromise and self-censorship.?
Hersh, the greatest investigative reporter of his generation, uncovered the U.S. military?s chemical weapons program, which used thousands of soldiers and volunteers, including pacifists from the Seventh-day Adventist Church, as unwitting human guinea pigs to measure the impact of biological agents including tularemia, yellow fever, Rift Valley fever and the plague. He broke the story of the My Lai massacre.
[Seymour Hersh] [Media]
OffG in the New Year
The two faces of Janus, looking back to the past and forward to the futue.
And so the year ends. 2018 is a closed book. The final sentence dotted, a new chapter started. It was a bleak year, politically, for many of us ? but not entirely without hope.
We enter 2019 with the US announcing they are pulling out of Syria and Afghanistan ? if this comes to fruition, then the Syrian people deserve the world?s respect for a hard-fought victory. Though Western media will never cover it, or admit it, the Syrian government ? with their Russian and Iranian allies ? have done not only Syria, but the entire world, a major service in preventing the creation of a second Libya.
In the UK the Tory party still limps along in ?power?, for want of a better word. But Jeremy Corbyn?s Labour party are ahead in the polls, and there is every reason to think a new election will be called sometime this year. If that election is fair, Corbyn will win?and we may see some real positive changes in the way the UK is run.
Elsewhere, Ukraine?s government remains a hot-bed of neo-fascism, being enabled by their American sponsors ? a dangerous situation that could boil over at any moment. Austerity continues to kill and impoverish millions across the world, especially in the EU. The absurd ?RussiaGate? investigations being carried out by Robert Mueller are birthing a climate of hysterical Russophobia that could easily spiral out of control. Neo-McCarthyism in action. Silicon Valley corporate giants still wield enormous power online, seeking to stifle debate and censor free speech. We are under no illusions, this website ? and dozens of others like it ? live under a constant threat of being shut down.
UN Panel Details White Helmets? Staged Chemical Attacks, Organ Thief; MSM Silent
An utterly cynical anglo-american propaganda project from the start, the White Helmets, hailed as heroes by the presstitutes, were in reality key actors in the West?s numerous false flags against Syria?s legitimate government.
Utter silence. That is the sound of Western corporate media days after a more than one-hour-long panel on the White Helmets at the United Nations on December 20.
Journalists were present, so the silence isn?t due to lack of access. And in any case it was live streamed on the UNTV channel, and remains available on Youtube for keen observers to watch.
More likely, the silence is due to the irrefutable documentation presented on the faux-rescue group?s involvement in criminal activities, which include organ theft, working with terrorists ? including as snipers ? staging fake rescues, thieving from civilians, and other non-rescuer behaviour.
?Organ traders, terrorists & looters?: Evidence against Syrian White Helmets presented at UN
On the panel was one of corporate media?s favourite targets to smear, British journalist Vanessa Beeley, who gave a fact-based lecture on her years of research into the founding, funding and nefarious activities of the White Helmets, research which includes numerous visits to White Helmets centers, countless testimonies from Syrian civilians, and even an interview with a White Helmets leader in Dara?a al-Balad, Syria.
Maxim Grigoriev, the director of the Foundation for the Study of Democracy (a member of the UN?s Global Counter-Terrorism Research Network) spoke at length, detailing some of the over 100 eyewitnesses his foundation has conducted interviews with.
These include over 40 White Helmets members, 15 former terrorists, 50 people from areas where terrorists and WH operated, with another over 500 interviewed by survey in Aleppo and Daraa.
Among testimonies presented by Grigoriev were numerous accounts of the White Helmets? involvement in organ theft.
[White Helmets] [Organ trafficking] [Media]
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