Millions of China’s tweeters ‘silenced by real names decree’ http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/02/29/sina_weibo_censorship/ #censorship #Ch34
Terrorism Informatics: “The application of advanced methodologies and information fusion and analysis techniques to acquire, integrate, process, analyze, and manage the diversity of terrorism-related information for national/international and homeland security-related applications” Source: iacr.org
By now, we all should know what a Department of Homeland Security Fusion Center is. What you may not know is how they work, and as they say, the devil’s in the details.
Fusion Center FAQ: Fusion Center Guidelines for Law Enforcement (original location)
General Dynamics Wins $876 Million Contract to Move Homeland Security Headquarters
The task order has a ceiling value of $876 million and duration of seven years if all options are exercised.As part of the relocation, General Dynamics will provide full enterprise support to the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) headquarters on the St. Elizabeth’s Hospital campus, including the design, development and installation of an entirely new IT infrastructure. Once installed, the company will test, manage and maintain the IT enterprise to ensure continuous operations.
So what is in the “Mothership” of the DHS fusion center beehive?
Phase 1AUS Coast Guard HeadquartersPhase 1BUS Coast Guard Headquarters Shared-Use SpacesPhase 2A
Phase 2BFederal Emergency Management Agency Headquarters (FEMA)Phase 3
- Department of Homeland Security Headquarters
- National Operations Center (NOC)
- Transportation Security Administration Headquarters (TSA)
- Customs and Border Protection Headquarters (CBP)
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement Headquarters (ICE)
Phase 1 is scheduled to deliver in 2013, Phase 2 in 2014, and Phase 3 in 2016.
Sounds like a party! DHS, FEMA, TSA, CBP, ICE, and USCG all under one roof, that’s in entirely too many acronyms for me. Let’s get back to General Dynamics. What kinds of software/hardware are they installing?
Customer Testimonial – General Dynamics
This gentlemen is talking about NetOptics.
Phantom Virtual Tap for Total Visibility Across Your Virtual Network
They must be able to isolate suspicious voice, video, or
data streams for an interception, based on IP address, MAC address or other parameters. The device must also be able to carry out filtering at wire speed. Requirements for supporting Lawful Interception activities include:
• The ability to intercept all applicable communications of a certain target without gaps in coverage, including dropped packets, where missing encrypted characters may render a message unreadable or incomplete
• Total visibility into network traffic at any point in the communication stream
• Adequate processing speed to match network bandwidth
• Undetectability, unobtrusiveness, and lack of performance degradation (a red flag to criminals and terrorists on alert for signs that they have been intercepted)
• Real-time monitoring capabilities, because time is of the essence in preventing a crime or attack and in gathering evidence
• The ability to provide intercepted information to the authorities in the agreed-upon handoff format
• Load sharing and balancing of traffic that is handed to the LI (lawful interception) system
Test access ports, or Taps, are devices used by carriers and others to meet the capability requirements of CALEA legislation. Net Optics is a global leader in the range and capabilities of its Taps, which provide permanent, passive access points to the physical stream.
Let’s recap. General Dynamics is building the DHS headquarters, and they use NetOptics. Are we to believe that General Dynamics’ obligations stop at building infrastructure and designing a Big Brother supercomputer network?
EPIC has filed a Freedom of information Act lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security to force disclosure of the details of the agency’s social network monitoring program. In news reports and a Federal Register notice, the DHS has stated that it will routinely monitor the public postings of users on Twitter and Facebook. The agency plans to create fictitious user accounts and scan posts of users for key terms. User data will be stored for five years and shared with other government agencies.The legal authority for the DHS program remains unclear. EPIC filed the lawsuit after the DHS failed to reply to an April 2011 FOIA request. For more information, see EPIC: Social Networking Privacy.
In the FOIA you will notice many requests for information reguarding HBGary, a cyber defense contractor. Why is this important? Last year the hacker collective Anonymous breached HBGary’s databases, leaking all of their internal emails to the internet. Disclosures abound, the largest being Hunton and Williams, Palantir, Berico
Technologies, and HBGary were hired by the government to track down Wikileaks supporters and discredit them. See for yourself:
As interesting as that disclosure may have been, I found this file in the emails which is more on topic:
General Dynamics has selected HBGary Inc to provide this proposal for development of a software application targeting the Windows XP Operating System that, when executed, loads and enables a covert kernel-mode implant that will exfiltrate a file from disk (or other remotely called commands) over a connected serial port to a remote device. The enabling kernel mode implant will cater to a command and control element via the serial port. The demonstration will utilize an exploit in Outlook as the delivery mechanism for said software application. The subsequently loaded implant will be stable and will not crash the demonstration system. A usermode component will be included as part of the exploitation package that exercises the kernel mode implant for demonstration purposes. The loaded implant will use the connected serial port to remotely enable functions which can be visible on the collection computer connected on the other end of the serial line. The purpose of the demonstration setup is to verify the functionality for the customer and validate that all work has been completed
Development of a kernel-mode implant that is clearly able to exfiltrate an on-disk file, opening of the CD tray, blinking of the keyboard lights, opening and deleting a file, and a memory buffer exfiltration over a connected serial line to a collection station. For demonstration, a null modem cable will be used to connect the collection station
• The use of a standard Outlook Exploit as a delivery mechanism for the implant, with the intention being that any suitable exploit could be used for the same.
• As part of the exploit delivery package, a usermode trojan will assist in the loading of the implant, which will clearly demonstrate the full capability of the implant.
• Test set (which will consist of two computers networked together via a null modem cable using HyperTerminal) that can reliably and repeatedly demonstrate the exploit and subsequent implant capability of the system.
HBGary will begin development of a kernel-mode implant with the ability to exfiltrate an on-disk file, open the CD tray, blink the keyboard lights, open and delete a file, and execute a memory buffer exfiltration over a modem line to a collection station. The enabling kernel mode implant will cater to a command and control element via the serial port, and the rudimentary ICD/API in order to C2 the kernel implant will be developed by HBGary and documented appropriately for GDAIS use. As there are currently no requirements for stealth operation, this implant will be visible on the system if someone with technical knowledge were to investigate. Stability requirements are that this driver is loaded and unloaded without system crash, or blue screen.
General Dynamics, a defense contractor, is charged to monitor American citizen’s social media posts and aggregate the data into reports that look like this:
Serious Congressional oversight and review of the Posse Comitatus Act are in order. The lines between military and law enforcement have become so blurred that new guarantees are needed to protect our civil liberty. Lest we forget, Terrorism is just a word of recent invention.
Government orders YouTube to censor protest videos
In a frightening example of how the state is tightening its grip around the free Internet, it has emerged that You Tube is complying with thousands of requests from governments to censor and remove videos that show protests and other examples of citizens simply asserting their rights, while also deleting search terms by government mandate. Read more
Our Facebook page was removed earlier this week, after which we were met with this message from the Facebook administrators:
We’ve been experiencing a lot of abuse of the “reporting” mechanism on Facebook, thanks to supporters of regimes in the Middle East and others dissatisfied with our reporting for whatever reason. For a while, sharing was disabled for some of our posts due to them being tagged as “offensive” or as “hate speech,” but regular readers will doubtless object to that statement. You can read our stories over the past several weeks to review our editorial policy and decide for yourself. We hope to get the page unsuspended as soon as possible.
In a series of unrelated events, changes to my (V’s) own personal situation mean that news coverage will not go forward. I’m trying to unsuspend the Facebook page so citizen-reporting can continue as usual from all the non-admin contributors to the page.
While the page suspension was not the initial motivator for my (possible) retirement from newsing, it didn’t make my decision any harder. Situations change, and unfortunately the circumstances were not right to make an occupation out of newsing and live off of any ad revenues I might generate. Additionally, the idealistic stance of a boycott of PayPal severely inhibits the ability to generate donations, and honestly, I feel somewhat bad accepting them.
I like to think that the entire exercise of creating ANN proved that anyone who is persistent and consistent enough can have their voice heard and their stories told, that technology enables speech to live more freely. Unfortunately, the human mind is still shackled to a meatbag that needs to eat ramen noodles and sleep under a roof. I suppose it affirms the fact that speech is only as free as the people who utter it, and that issues of economic hardship are inseparably linked to the freedom of speech.
I find it happy that there are people in the world willing to speak up for the voiceless and to say the true things that aren’t being said. If you find any sadness in my retirement, then take it as an invitation to think a little harder and to speak a little louder. It’s sad to say that truth needs good PR, but it’s happy to admit that people are willing to do it, even if only for a little while.
What I would like to do in the near future is to write on my experiences with Anonymous, free speech issues, and in general fighting the good fight. This was a very big year, and it bears some reflecting on. This will be completely free, and yes, it will be written anonymously. I hope you enjoy it.
I’ll keep you posted on what happens with the Facebook page. Until then, as always, keep the lights on for me and semper lulis, amigos.
A Wave of Anti-Censorship Protests in Turkey
In towns across Turkey this Sunday, thousands of citizens took to the streets to protest proposed new Internet filters. Beginning in August, Turkey’s Information and Communication Technologies Authority, or BTK, has proposed a selection of opt-in filters that Internet subscribers could choose from. Additionally, BTK has proposed a list of banned words for use in domain names.
This isn’t Turkey’s first foray into online censorship: the Law on the Internet (or the Regulation of Broadcasts via Internet and Prevention of Crimes Committed Through such Broadcasts) No. 5651, enacted in 2007, allows a large variety of actors, including the government, to petition the court or the Telecommunications Authority to filter certain online content (for more details, see Access Controlled, Turkey Country Profile, 2009).
As a result of the law, popular video-sharing site YouTube has been blocked on and off since 2007 in response to complaints about specific videos (most of which were deemed to “insult Turkishness,” a criminal offense), while blogging platforms WordPress and Blogspot have also experienced bans at times. The law has also resulted in the blocking of a number of sites on the grounds of defamation, including the site of famed evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins.
Current law provides the opportunity for site owners to exercise their right of reply against a content ban; however, this right is usually given after a site has already been blocked.
Tunisia: More Filtering, More Transparency
Prior to the January 2011 uprising that led to the ousting of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia maintained one of the most extensive Internet filters in the world, blocking opposition websites, video-sharing sites, proxies, and nearly any human rights organization that criticized the Tunisian regime.
With the fall of Ben Ali came the fall of the country’s web censors, nicknamed “Ammar 404.” In a concessions speech given on January 13—just one day before fleeing the country—Ben Ali promised the removal of Internet censorship. That promise became reality almost immediately, with an official decision allowing the blocking of sites only by court order.
The Agence Tunisienne d’Internet (Tunisian Agency for the Internet or ATI) is the body in charge of implementing filtering; last week, it was reported that the agency had publicized the list of currently banned sites in an effort toward further transparency. The current list of blocked sites includes just four individual Facebook pages, all ordered blocked by the Military Tribunal of Tunis. At least one of the pages belongs to a known Tunisian activist.
Moez Chakchouk, CEO of the ATI, stated during a May 11 Q&A that “this is a filter and not censorship,” noting that there are “a thousand and one ways to access, especially by proxy or by typing a different URL syntax.”
It is worth noting that blocking an individual Facebook page (or an individual page on any site) is ineffective when users utilize HTTPS to visit a site, because network operators usually cannot determine which page a user is attempting to access. Facebook users can enable HTTPS by going to their account settings, or to enable HTTPS on all sites using Firefox, download EFF and Tor’s HTTPS Everywhere add-on.
Pakistan: No Facebook Ban (Yet)
The initial petition, filed in May 2010, was in response to an “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day” competition created as a Facebook page. Section 2 of the judgment explains:
The said move on the website in question sent a wave of resentment amongst the Muslims of the world in general and that of Pakistan in particular. As a result people from different walks of life protested against the act at different levels. Being Muslims by faith and having anguish pain in their heart due to said grisly act of the management of the said despicable website, the petitioners have filed these petitions seeking permanent ban on the said website
The judgment, made by the Lahore High Court in response to Writ Petition No. 10392 of 2010 (Islamic Lawyers Movement vs. Federation of Pakistan and three others), notes similar bans of Facebook in Saudi Arabia, Iran, the UAE, and China as a means of justifying a ban on the site (note that Facebook is not currently blocked in Saudi Arabia or the UAE), but does not ban Facebook outright, instead making several provisions for dealing in the future with websites that contain insults to Islam, including encouragement for the government to strive for legislation such as that “adopted by other Islamic countries in addition to China.”
A new petition against Facebook will be heard on May 19, just one day before the anniversary of the “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day” competition.
Network censorship and surveillance is a booming business. Censorship schemes continue to fragment the Internet and new censorship proposals are constantly introduced around the world, including in liberal democracies. (Lately governments have gotten fascinated by the idea of forcing ISPs to censor particular sites from the DNS, so users can’t find them even though the sites are still there.) Censors usually assume that most Internet users don’t know how to bypass the censorship (or, often, that many users won’t even realize the censorship is going on!).
Unfortunately, the censors are often right, at least in broad strokes: many Internet users get used to censorship and rarely or never try to bypass it. And censorship doesn’t always take the form of simply blocking sites and services. But there are still major efforts to beat technical censorship by technical means, and motivated users can generally take advantage of them. Millions of people are at least occasional users of censorship circumvention services, but it’s a perennial challenge to broaden this pool and give people the tools to maintain uncensored access over time.
Earlier this spring, I took part in a week-long book sprint event in Germany to create a second edition of How to Bypass Internet Censorship. The outcome of the sprint is a 240-page book, available by print-on-demand, for HTML browsing, and as a PDF or ePub download. This book gives details on a wide range of tools for a wide range of audiences, with information on the risks and limitations of particular approaches. It also suggests ways for people on uncensored or less-censored networks to help out.
There are also video interviews with me and other sprint participants discussing Internet censorship and circumvention. A book sprint is a collaborative process where a team produces or revises a book in a short, intense period, typically a single week. (This sprint was convened by FLOSS Manuals, an organization that uses book sprints and Internet collaboration to create open documentation for free and open source software and related technical topics. Their previous sprints have produced some great material in astonishingly short times.)
The manual is now being translated into several languages; if you’d like to help translate all or part of it into some language, please let FLOSS Manuals know!
One of the themes that we gave stronger emphasis in the second edition is the increasingly intimate connection between censorship and surveillance, and, conversely, between privacy and free speech. (One reason for this is that network devices that block particular words and phrases, or access to particular services, are thwarted when they can’t see what people are communicating. For example, it’s very easy for a firewall to block particular Wikipedia articles or Google search terms, but trickier when users use the secure version of Wikipedia or of Google Search.) This means that EFF’s HTTPS Everywhere software and the Tor project, both first conceived as privacy technologies, have significant anti-censorship applications (which are described in the book). It also means that censors are increasingly interested in blocking or subverting HTTPS encryption so that they can continue keeping an eye on the substance of people’s communications.
It’s also great to see that a subsequent book sprint has produced a manual on computer security and was able to re-use some of our material, which is licensed under a Creative Commons license.
There’s always more work to be done to document these topics clearly and completely. FLOSS Manuals has a wiki-like interface; if you have improvements to make, create an account and start editing!
"In recent weeks companies like Amazon, Sony, Google, Verizon, 24symbols and others have started to roll out ‘cloud-based’ content streaming and on-demand services (or plans) for movies, music and even books. Video on demand is nothing new, nor is streaming. The difference now, though, is that companies like Amazon want you to stream your own content. This article sheds some light on how the cloud, along with subscription and on-demand services, will transform our perception of content access and ownership.”
Will the Rise of #Wikileaks Competitors Make Whistleblowing Resistant to Censorship? ( dont forget #anonleaks )
Since it began publishing a trove of classified United States Embassy cables on November 28, 2010, Wikileaks has faced an onslaught of censorship that demonstrated how online speech is vulnerable when intermediaries refuse to host contentious or unpopular speech. When payment providers, service providers and even visualization software services cut off services, Wikileaks struggled to keep their site online, going down for periods of time and reducing the content they carry. But while the availability of Wikileaks content was restricted, the demand from readers and media organizations to access that information stayed strong. Now a new generation of Wikileaks-inspired websites is populating the Internet — decentralizing the concept of whistleblowing and making it harder to shut down speech merely by cutting off services to one site.
There are numerous other online whistleblower sites cropping up; here is a sampling of some of the newcomers:
- OpenLeaks is the most well-known of the new online whistleblowing sites. Founded by several former members of Wikileaks, including former Wikileaks spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg, OpenLeaks aims to avoid some of the controversy around Wikileaks by passing all material directly to news organizations, rather than publishing material themselves. The source submitting the documents will have the ability to choose how and to whom information is leaked.
- LocalLeaks provides an online service that will send information to 1,400 newspapers across the United States. Sources can choose which news outlets will receive their information.
- Rospil, created by journalist Alexei Navlny, is an online portal for whistleblowers to share information about corruption in Russia. They’re currently seeking experts who can provide analysis of the documents they receive and say with some authority whether or not they point to fraud and corruption within the government.
- RuLeaks is another Russian whistleblower site. A project of the Russian Pirate Party, RuLeaks is promoting itself as a “Russian Wikileaks.” It gained international attention after publishing a series of photos showing Putin’s lavish estate on the Black Sea.
- GreenLeaks.org (apparent trademark owners of “GreenLeaks”) is a nonprofit organization that provides an online platform for leaking information about nature, the climate and the environment. It should not be confused with similarly-named
- Greenleaks.com is a media organization that also publishes information about the environment.
Specific to a single news outlet:
- Al Jazeera’s Transparency Unit is an online portal for securely uploading documents, photos, audio, video and story tips. It’s goal is to “shine light on notable and newsworthy government and corporate activities which might otherwise go unreported.”
- The New York Times, which has been deeply involved with publishing recent materials from Wikileaks, is now rumored to be considering its own online leak submission system.
- There are also reports that the Washington Post is investigating a similar online document submission service.
As these sites multiply, they will still need to deal with the challenges that Wikileaks and Cryptome have faced. They will need to find ways to effectively protect the identities of their sources, provide an adequate media platform, earn the trust of whistleblowers, weed out fabricated leaks, and avoid the wrath of corporations and governments. However, one thing is clear: the strong demand by readers and the media will make anonymous whistleblowing websites a permanent fixture in the future of investigative journalism. Cutting off services to one popular whistleblowing website will never be enough to keep truthful political information off the Internet.
Today I learned that marijuana, “the most widely used illicit substance in the world,” was not illegal in the United States until 1937, the law was debated only 90 seconds, the American Medical Association was the only one who defended the idea that marijuana was not dangerous, and the government lied about the AMA’s lack of support. (Curiously enough, Portugal has found that decriminalizing drug use actually decreases drug use and helps more people get into treatment. Go figure.)FTA: “Rep. Robert L. Doughton of North Carolina introduced the Act in Congress on April 14, 1937 to criminalize the recreational use of marijuana through prohibitive taxation. The bill was the brainchild of Commissioner Anslinger who later testified before Congress in support of the bill. Congress held only two hearings to debate the merits of marijuana prohibition. The hearings totaled just one hour… Federal witness Harry Anslinger testified before the House Ways and Means Committee that “this drug is entirely the monster-Hyde, the harmful effect of which cannot be measured.” He was joined by Assistant General Counsel for the Department of the Treasury, Clinton Hester, who affirmed that the drug’s eventual effect on the user “is deadly.” These statements summarized the federal government’s official position and served as the initial justification for criminalizing marijuana smoking…
The American Medical Association (AMA) represented the lone voice against marijuana prohibition before Congress. AMA Legislative Counsel Dr. William C. Woodward testified, “There is no evidence” that marijuana is a dangerous drug. Woodward challenged the propriety of passing legislation based only on newspaper accounts and questioned why no data from the Bureau of Prisons or the Children’s Bureau supported the FBN’s position. He further argued that the legislation would severely compromise a physician’s ability to utilize marijuana’s therapeutic potential. Surprisingly, the committee took little interest in Woodward’s testimony and told the physician, “If you want to advise us on legislation, you ought to come here with some constructive proposals … rather than trying to throw obstacles in the way of something that the federal government is trying to do.”
…After just one hearing, the Ways and Means Committee approved the “Marihuana Tax Act.” The House of Representatives followed suit on August 20 after engaging in only 90 seconds of debate. During this abbreviated floor “discussion,” only two questions were asked. First, a member of congress from upstate New York asked Speaker Sam Rayburn to summarize the purpose of the bill. Rayburn replied, “I don’t know. It has something to do with a thing called marijuana. I think it is a narcotic of some kind.” The same representative then asked, “Mr. Speaker, does the American Medical Association support the bill?” Falsely, a member of the Ways and Means Committee replied, “Their Doctor Wharton (sic) gave this measure his full support … [as well as] the approval [of] the American Medical Association.” …Following this brief exchange of inaccurate information, the House approved the federal prohibition of marijuana without a recorded vote.”
Marijuana Use in America Before 1937; Sowing the Seeds for Prohibition
This work, excluding any content linked via another source/website, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given and references the URL: http://www.braincrave.com/viewblog.php?id=461.
Discuss this article live, right now, in chat
The Braincrave.com discussion group on Second Life is free to join and has open enrollment. We are a community of men and women who seek beauty and stimulation through our minds. We find ideas, education, and self-improvement sexy. We think intelligence is hot. But Braincrave.com is more than brains and I.Q. alone. We are curious. We have common sense. We value and offer wisdom. We experiment. We have great imaginations. We devour literacy. We are intellectually honest. We support and encourage each other to be better. Braincrave.com intellectual group discussions in Second Life are held twice daily, typically at 12:00 PM SLT and 7:00 PM SLT. The discussions take place in Second Life group chat so you must be a member of the Second Life group to participate or you can participate as a non-member through our IRC link.
Welcome back to http://NewWorldNextWeek.com - the video series from Corbett Report & Media Monarchy that covers some of the most important developments in alternative news & open-source intelligence. This week:
Story #1: Scientists Admit Climate Change Worse Before Human CO2
Related: Hansen’s “Hottest Year Ever” Based on Fabricated Data
Story #2: Virginia Court Rules Portions of ‘ObamaCare’ Unconstitutional
Flashback: Landmark Legislation - Both Parties Collude to Bring US Health Scare
Story #3: YouTube Will Allow Users to Flag Videos for Promoting ‘Terrorism’
Flashback: Lieberman Says YouTube Not Doing Enough to Remove Terrorist Content
Subscribe to http://NewWorldNextWeek.com to get hi-quality episodes to download, burn & share. And as always, stay up-to-date by subscribing to the feeds from Corbett Report http://ur1.ca/kbj1 & Media Monarchy http://ur1.ca/kuec Thank you.
#ACTA #nwo #systemsofcontrol
Tweet and retweet, Upload and reupload!
Transkript here: http://pastebin.com/BiGThwTS
Here are some Sites where you can get more information about ACTA and what you can do about it.
GET ORGANIZED HERE: