Online shopping Giant, Amazon has recently unveiled “Prime Air,” a drone delivery system that the company promises will get your order to its customers in 30 minutes or less. Amazon predicts that seeing Prime Air drones will eventually be as common as seeing delivery trucks on the road today.
‘Nothing is beyond our reach’: Evil octopus strangling the world becomes latest US intelligence seal
Billions of dollars annually are being used to fund operations conducted by the United States intelligence community, the likes of which allow the government to eavesdrop on emails, listen to world leaders’ phone calls and about everything in-between.
One thing that budget hasn’t bought, however, is subtlety. The US National Reconnaissance Office launched a top-secret surveillance satellite into space Thursday evening, and the official emblem for the spy agency’s latest mission is, well, certainly accurate, to say the least.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence live-tweeted Thursday’s launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and throughout the course of the ordeal made no effort to ignore the logo for the NROL-39 mission.
The latest spy satellite to be sent into orbit by the NRO can be recognized by its seal: a malevolent octopus with furrowed brows that also happens to be wrapping its tentacles around all corners of the Earth.
“Nothing is beyond our reach,” the NRO boasts on the bottom half of the emblem just below the most sinister-looking cephalopod likely ever to be sent into space.
Along with the National Security Agency and more than a dozen others, the NRO is one of 16 federal offices under the directive of DNI James Clapper and is responsible for building and operating the spy satellites used to collect intelligence around the world. NRO-gathered intelligence was reportedly instrumental in the mission that brought US Navy SEAL’s to the home of former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in 2011, and decades earlier the agency launched a school-bus sized satellite into orbit to spy on Soviets at the height of the Cold War.
This time around the ODNI says the satellite’s payload is mostly classified, but did admit over Twitter that around a dozen mini satellites funded by both the NRO and NASA will be brought along to orbit as well. Another thing they didn’t bother to acknowledge, of course, is how the lack-of-subtlety apparent in the Earth-strangling octopus emblem could quickly be used by critics of the US intelligence community as fodder to further condemn the government for admitting to their sheer and unmatched ability to control the world’s information.
Thursday’s launch of the latest NRO satellite occurred almost exactly six-month-to-the-day after The Guardian and Washington Post newspapers published the first of what has since been revealed to be a trove of leaked national security document showing proof of the NSA’s widespread and extensive ability to monitor people around the world. On June 6 those papers first disclosed evidence in which the NSA was documented to demand telephony metadata from millions of people daily, and a steady stream of leaked files attributed to former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden have since captivated the world while also raising a number of questions.
Reporters with access to the cache of pilfered papers have reportedly released only a sliver of what’s been reported to be 50,000 documents during those six months, but the response has already been widespread. The leaders of countries such as Brazil and Germany have lashed out at the NSA’s behavior, and DNI Clapper and his deputy manning the NSA, Gen. Keith Alexander, have easily become two of the most embattled public figures in Washington.
That being said, you’d think ODNI would reconsider launching a new spy satellite. Or maybe even not put an octopus strangling the Earth on the outside.
“You may want to downplay the massive dragnet spying thing right now,” Chris Soghoian, the chief technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union, tweeted Thursday. “This logo isn’t helping.”
According to a top-secret budget document released by Snowden and first reported on in August, the NRO is in the midst of modernizing their signals intelligence, geospatial and communications system to replace current capabilities.
Looking at the NROL-39 logo, people could be forgiven for mistaking it for a version of the Lovecraftian elder god Cthulhu, who wants to swallow the Earth whole. But that is not the only National Reconnaissance Office emblem with an interesting spin on the space-spying theme: others include Masonic motifs, superhero ones and a few more that, frankly, defy easy classification.
cc: #Anonymous >> Worst-Case Scenario for Oil Sands Industry Has Come to Life, Leaked Document Shows #NOKXL #DGR #RiseUp #FightBack
As environmentalists began ratcheting up pressure against Canada’s tar sands three years ago, one of the world’s biggest strategic consulting firms was tapped to help the North American oil industry figure out how to handle the mounting activism. The resulting document, published online by WikiLeaks, offers another window into how oil and gas companies have been scrambling to deal with unrelenting opposition to their growth plans.
The document identifies nearly two-dozen environmental organizations leading the anti-oil sands movement and puts them into four categories: radicals, idealists, realists and opportunists—with how-to’s for managing each. It also reveals that the worst-case scenario presented to industry about the movement’s growing influence seems to have come to life.
The December 2010 presentation by Strategic Forecasting, or Stratfor, a global intelligence firm based in Texas, mostly advised oil sands companies to ignore or limit reaction to the then-burgeoning tar sands opposition movement because “activists lack influence in politics.” But there was a buried warning for industry under one scenario: Letting the movement grow unopposed may bring about “the most significant environmental campaign of the decade.”
"This worst-case scenario is exactly what has happened," partly because opposition to tar sands development has expanded beyond nonprofit groups to include individual activists concerned about climate change, said Mark Floegel, a senior investigator for Greenpeace. “The more people in America see Superstorm Sandys or tornadoes in Chicago, the more they are waking up and joining the fight.”
[View the documents at Inside Climate News]
Since the presentation was prepared, civil disobedience and protests against the tar sands have sprung up from coast to coast. The movement has helped delay President Obama’s decision on the Keystone XL pipeline—designed to funnel Canada’s landlocked oil sands crude to refineries on the Gulf Coast—and has held up another contentious pipeline in Canada, the Northern Gateway to the Pacific Coast.
The Power Point document, titled “Oil Sands Market Campaigns,” was recently made public by WikiLeaks, part of a larger release of hacked files from Stratfor, whose clients include the Departments of Homeland Security and Defense, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and the American Petroleum Institute, the oil industry lobby. It appears to have been created for Calgary-based petroleum giant Suncor Energy, Canada’s largest oil sands producer.
The company told InsideClimate News that it did not hire Stratfor and never saw such a presentation. Suncor is mentioned 11 times in the document’s 35 pages and all of Stratfor’s advice seems to be directed at the energy company. For example, one slide says, “Campaign ends quickly with a resolution along the lines Suncor had wanted.” In several emails released by WikiLeaks, Stratfor employees discuss a $14,890 payment Suncor owes the company for two completed projects, though no details were provided.
The presentation is the latest in a series of revelations that suggest energy companies—which for most of their history seemed unfazed by activists—have been looking for ways to dilute environmentalists’ growing influence.
Earlier this year, TransCanada, the Canadian energy company behind the Keystone XL, briefed Nebraska law enforcement authorities on how to prosecute demonstrators protesting the 1,200-mile project. In 2011, Range Resources, an oil and gas company, allegedly hired combat veterans with experience in psychological warfare to squash opposition of natural gas drilling.
"The Stratfor presentation isn’t a complete surprise," said Scott Parkin, a senior campaigner for the Rainforest Action Network and volunteer organizer for Rising Tide North America, both grassroots environmental groups. “As opposition has grown, coal, oil and gas companies are all starting to put more money into responding—from surveillance to protection to public relations.”
Who Was Targeted?
For each of Stratfor’s categories of environmental activist—radicals, idealists, realists and opportunists—the presentation explains how their campaigns are structured and how the fossil fuel industry could deal with them.
Three grassroots organizations—Rising Tide North America, Oil Change International and the Indigenous Environmental Network—were labeled radicals. Greenpeace and the Rainforest Action Network were classified as a cross between radicals and idealists. Sierra Club, the nation’s largest environmental group, Amnesty International and Communities for a Better Environment, among others, were labeled idealists. Several mainstream environmental groups, including the National Wildlife Federation, World Wildlife Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council and Ceres, a nonprofit that organizes businesses, investors and public interest groups, were called realists.
It then lays out tactics the groups would use to push for change. They include holding demonstrations outside annual meetings and marketing events, generating fear of oil spills and other environmental disasters, targeting CEOs and their families, collaborating with other green groups, and splitting the fossil fuel industry on the issue by praising companies working with activists and publicly shaming those that aren’t.
The presentation says that while environmental groups are publicly fighting to stop the expansion of the oil sands, their “real demand” is for fossil fuel companies to adopt a “global code of conduct”—a set of best practices not required by law, but that take into consideration things like greenhouse gas reduction policies and human rights.
The Power Point also describes all the ways fossil fuel companies like Suncor could choose to react to green groups’ campaigns, such as limiting contact with the organizations, intentionally delaying negotiations, developing its own environmental initiatives to overshadow activists’ demands, or simply not responding. It provides the pros and cons of each public relations decision, as well as the best- and worst-case outcomes for each.
For example, Stratfor said that choosing not to respond could be useful because in 2010, “activists are not stopping oil sands’ growth and they have no power in Alberta or Ottawa. Chance of success with U.S. government is slim.” The best outcome from a no-response strategy, according to the presentation, is that green “groups move to fracturing [natural gas fracking] or some other venue to press for the first major code of conduct.”
Stratfor would not answer questions about the presentation because it has a policy not to comment on any of the WikiLeaks documents.
Several environmental groups named in the Stratfor presentation said they weren’t surprised by the consulting firm’s assessment of their work, but were disappointed, especially by its assumption that all they wanted was a code of conduct.
"The environmental community has been very united in saying that we need to stop tar sands expansion and clean up the mess already made there," said Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s international program. “That’s the only real path forward if we’re going to protect not only the health of communities on the ground in the boreal forests near the tar sands region, but also around the world from the impacts of climate change. We’re not looking for a code of conduct.”
For many, the leaked presentation provided proof that their work was having an impact, boosting their confidence to keep protesting.
"Knowing that groups like Stratfor are targeting us, surveying us, and also analyzing us shows how powerful these movements have become," said Parkin of the Rainforest Action Network and Rising Tide North America. "Obviously this wasn’t meant for public consumption, but this doesn’t intimidate us. If anything, it emboldens us. It encourages us to push harder."
#Ptech built Supply Chain Infrastructure - Destruction of Free Market
#ProTips #GIG #GlobalInformationGrid #IoT #InternetofThings
I have to tell you, though, I’m deeply suspicious some of the NSA’s assertions.
They seem to be claiming that they have cracked nearly everything, and that they have backdoor access to privacy software. But this is practically impossible.
A lot of encryption software used today is actually ‘open source’. This means that the software code is freely available to anyone.
GNU Privacy Guard (GPG) is a great example. GPG is an open-source, free alternative version of Phil Zimmerman’s original PGP software. And it’s widely used to encrypt files and emails.
But because GPG is open-source, the software code is available for anyone to view, inspect, and modify. If there were any backdoor access for the NSA, thousands of people would see this.
Not to mention, to penetrate a single 2048-bit encryption key can take anywhere from thousands of years to tens of millions of years, even with the fastest supercomputers.
Consequently, it’s IMPOSSIBLE for the NSA to have cracked everything. And my assessment is that this is an intimidation campaign.
The NSA wants people to think that they have this capability.
And if everyone thinks that the NSA is Big Brother’s Big Brother, all-seeing and all-knowing, then not only will everyone be terrified, but everyone will simply stop using encryption.
After all, why bother going through the hassle of encrypting/decrypting if the NSA can still read the contents of your email?
It’s in the NSA’s interest for people to think that the agency is almighty. I don’t buy it. These people are seriously vile. But they don’t have superpowers.
When done properly, email encryption is still a good option. And there are a number of open-source tools out there to consider using.
#SPREADTHIS -> (AMY GOODMAN): ‘What are you facing? When you say “the lesser of two evils,” what was the other choice?’ *
(LADAR LEVISON): ‘Unfortunately, I can’t talk about that. I would like to, believe me. I think if the American public knew what our government was doing, they wouldn’t be allowed to do it anymore, which is why I’m here in D.C. today speaking to you.’
I watched an interview about this last weekend. If you don’t know the details, I strongly suggest you read up and be horrified and write letters and vote because holy crap, this is not how the US should be running. (via monkeyfrog)
#BREAKING: HALF OF #TOR SITES #COMPROMISED, INCLUDING #TORMAIL :(
#MSM - Welcome to the era of Total Information Awareness and ain't it grand? | #globalinformationgrid #NWO
The problem isn’t the National Security Agency. It’s the Patriot Act and what it represents as we watch the modern surveillance state take shape — in secret.
It’s been more than 24 hours since the enterprising Glenn Greenwald revealed that the National Security Agency has been gathering the phone records of millions of Verizon customers. The idea is to match calls against a larger database of numbers used by suspected jihadists. After turning up relevant calling patterns, the NSA could then uncover the identities of the callers. But the Verizon-NSA story was not a one-off.
The news was followed by another revelation about the NSA on Thursday — this one disclosing that the agency has been accessing confidential user data held by Silicon Valley firms through secret backdoor access as part of a program, code-named PRISM.
Even the most hard-boiled cynic about the rise of the Big Brother state has to wonder what’s going on here.
For the folks who had prophesied that the passage of the Patriot Act set the U.S. on a slippery slope of unchecked government surveillance, these revelations are a predictable vindication of their warnings. But if past is prologue, the crazy thing is how little any of this this will matter to most people.
Sure, the civil liberties types are running around as if their hair is on fire. But the vast majority of the country is likely to tune out before tuning into the next episode of something really important to their lives, like “American Idol.” Maybe we trust government more than the opinion polls let on because Americans don’t seem to care very much about the building of a vast surveillance state in secret.
The political leadership in Washington says everything’s fine and that the government is doing the right thing. The White House set the tone with its defense of “a critical tool” in the fight against terror. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Saxby Chambliss followed the White House’s lead, defending the collection of this vast trove of information, which they said had helped thwart attacks against the homeland.
"I know that people are trying to get to us," Feinstein said. ”This is the reason why the FBI now has 10,000 people doing intelligence on counterterrorism. This is the reason for the national counterterrorism center that’s been set up in the time we’ve been active. It’s to ferret this out before it happens. It’s called protecting America.”
Yes, some “people are trying to get us” though that’s part of a broader discussion about America’s place in the world. I don’t like having to trust Feinstein at her word because there’s no legal way to find out whether she — or the rest the government — is bending the truth or working off flawed information. (WMDs in Iraq, anyone?)
But this is just after-the-fact grousing by yours truly. We traded away a lot in return for the promise of more security when Congress passed the Patriot Act into law in 2001 (and then extended it in 2011.) All that’s left to prevent an uber-powerful super-spy agency from going rogue is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which meets behind closed doors and whose proceedings are usually shrouded in secrecy.
Coming down with buyer’s remorse yet? You ought to be.
see: #ProjectPM && http://www.echelon2.org for more info!
#MSM - Edward Snowden speaks: #CIA analyst, 29, who leaked #NSA documents reveals himself - #globalinformationgrid #seemslegit
Defense contractor, 29, who leaked NSA documents reveals himself
- Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former CIA technical assistant, says he passed the classified information to The Guardian
- The documents blew open a number of intense NSA surveillance operations and caused a firestorm over the government’s actions
- Snowden, a high school drop-out, says he leaked information because he doesn’t ‘want to live in a society that does these sort of things’
- Comes after National Intelligence director James R Clapper defended the surveillance programs for keeping America safe
- NSA filed criminal report with Justice Dept. in relation to leaks to The Guardian and The Washington Post
The whistle-blower responsible for leaking confidential NSA documents in one of the most serious breaches in U.S. political history has come forward.
Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former CIA technical assistant, claims he passed the classified information that blew open a number of intense surveillance operations to the media because he doesn’t ‘want to live in a society that does these sort of things.’
Snowden, who now works for Booz Allen Hamilton, a defense contractor for the National Security Agency, caused a firestorm after he leaked the top-secret documents to The Guardian over several days of interviews.
Whistle-blower: Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former CIA technical assistant, claims he passed the classified information to the media
He said he wanted to own up to the leak because he didn’t believe he’d done anything illegal.
'I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong,' he told The Guardian.
Explaining his decision to disclose the sensitive documents, North Carolina native said: ‘I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions,’ but ‘I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant.’
He said he was bracing for the government to demonize him, but he hoped that his coming forward would not divert attention away from the revelations he made public.
'I really want the focus to be on these documents and the debate which I hope this will trigger among citizens around the globe about what kind of world we want to live in,' he told The Guardian.
'My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them.'
Snowden was living ‘a very comfortable life’ with his live-in girlfriend in Hawaii, where he earned $200,000 with Booz Allen.
But he said: ‘I’m willing to sacrifice all of that because I can’t in good conscience allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.’
According to The Guardian, Snowden copied the final set of documents he intended to disclose three weeks ago, at the NSA office in Hawaii where he had been working.
He then told his boss and his girlfriend that he’d be away for a few weeks, keeping the reasons vague as only someone working in intelligence can, and on May 20, he boarded a plane to Hong Kong, where he remains.
He chose Hong Kong because ‘they have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent,’ he said.
Snowden said he has been holed up in a hotel room since arriving in the city, leaving it just three times for fear he’s being spied on.
He described to the newspaper how he rims the door of the plush hotel room, where he is eating all of his meals, with pillows to prevent anyone from eavesdropping.
Snowden has good reason to be concerned. The NSA - the most powerful and secretive organization in the world - is hunting him down, having visited his home in Hawaii twice and already contacted his girlfriend.
Sitting in his hotel room alone, he has watched television reports and read articles online since the news of the leaks first broke, and he is well aware of the threats being thrown his way.
And given the Obama administration’s track record at prosecuting whistle-blowers, he fully expects to get the same treatment. But he insists he is not afraid of what lies ahead because ‘this is the choice I’ve made,’ he told The Guardian.
According to newspaper, he broke down just once during the series of interviews, when he was discussing the impact his actions would have on his family, many of whom work in government agencies or departments. He said these fears for his family’s welfare kept him up at night.
Snowden’s ability to get to the center of the NSA is impressive given he attended community college in Maryland to obtain his high school diploma but dropped out before completing.
Ten years ago he enlisted in the US army and began a training program to join the Special Forces, explaining to The Guardian that he wanted to fight in the Iraq war because he felt he had an obligation as a human being to help free people from oppression - the same reason he is giving to justify his leaks. But he broke both his legs in a training accident and was discharged.
He got his first NSA job working as a security guard at one of the agency’s facilities at the University of Maryland before moving to the CIA to work on IT security. There, he rose quickly.
He was given more and more access to top-secret documents as he climbed the ranks. And in 2007, he was stationed with diplomatic cover in Geneva, Switzerland, where he was responsible for maintaining computer network security.
The clearance sparked his concern for the intense surveillance detailed in the documents.
He told The Guardian of one incident where CIA operatives got a Swiss banker drunk in an effort to recruit him as an informant to obtain secret banking information.
He said they encouraged him to drive home intoxicated in his car and when he was arrested for DUI, the undercover agents offered to help and managed to recruit the banker after the favor.
He said this and other things he witnessed in Geneva disillusioned him about how his government worked and how this in turn impacted the world.
'I realized that I was part of something that was doing far more harm than good,' he said.
He told The Guardian that he first considered exposing the Government’s secrets in Geneva but he chose not to because he didn’t want to endanger anyone - the CIA deals in people rather than systems or technology.
When he quit that role in 2009, he took up a job with an outside contractor and was assigned to an NSA facility in Japan.
He said he was disappointed President Obama advanced the policies he was hoping the newly elected President was stamp out, and that ‘hardened’ him.
He said he could no longer wait around for someone else to act, and after spending three years learning just how ‘intent’ the NSA was to make every conversation and behavior in the world known to them, he took the leap.
Biometric Database of All Adult Americans Hidden in Immigration Reform | #GIG | #NWO | #GlobalInformationGrid | #InternetOfThings | #SystemsOfControl | #InvasionOfPrivacy
The immigration reform measure the Senate began debating yesterday would create a national biometric database of virtually every adult in the U.S., in what privacy groups fear could be the first step to a ubiquitous national identification system.
Buried in the more than 800 pages of the bipartisan legislation (.pdf) is language mandating the creation of the innocuously-named “photo tool,” a massive federal database administered by the Department of Homeland Security and containing names, ages, Social Security numbers and photographs of everyone in the country with a driver’s license or other state-issued photo ID.
Employers would be obliged to look up every new hire in the database to verify that they match their photo.
This piece of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act is aimed at curbing employment of undocumented immigrants. But privacy advocates fear the inevitable mission creep, ending with the proof of self being required at polling places, to rent a house, buy a gun, open a bank account, acquire credit, board a plane or even attend a sporting event or log on the internet. Think of it as a government version of Foursquare, with Big Brother cataloging every check-in.
“It starts to change the relationship between the citizen and state, you do have to get permission to do things,” said Chris Calabrese, a congressional lobbyist with the American Civil Liberties Union. “More fundamentally, it could be the start of keeping a record of all things.”
For now, the legislation allows the database to be used solely for employment purposes. But historically such limitations don’t last. The Social Security card, for example, was created to track your government retirement benefits. Now you need it to purchase health insurance.
“The Social Security number itself, it’s pretty ubiquitous in your life,” Calabrese said.
David Bier, an analyst with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, agrees with the ACLU’s fears.
“The most worrying aspect is that this creates a principle of permission basically to do certain activities and it can be used to restrict activities,” he said. “It’s like a national ID system without the card.”
For the moment, the debate in the Senate Judiciary Committee is focused on the parameters of legalization for unauthorized immigrants, a border fence and legal immigration in the future.
The committee is scheduled to resume debate on the package Tuesday.
Blowing the Whistle on the #NSA (by @corbettreport)
TRANSCRIPT AND SOURCES: http://www.corbettreport.com/?p=7271
Thanks to these insiders, we not know that the NSA has consistently and systematically broken the law in its surveillance activities, and in fact that these programs started before 9/11, which served merely as a justification for bringing them into the public spotlight. Find out more about the NSA whistleblowers in this week’s BoilingFrogsPost Eyeopener report.
#Anonymous - To America - You ARE being WATCHED-1.8 Billion Megapixel Camera. #Argus - #NWO
We are Anonymous
We are Legion
We do Not forgive
We do Not forget