NSA using facial recognition software to steal your images. Russia beating the West at Propaganda war in Ukraine.

I think it safe to assume nothing is sacred in terms of the NSA. They are snagging any information they can and can afford to let technology catch up to what they have. They steal your phone calls… Web searches.. Your texts… They use your phone to see where you are going and how often… They are stealing your friends lists and finding out who you talk to and how often. The New York Times is now reporting they are stealing your photos off Facebook..Instagram or any other service they want. Let’s not forget this is all against the 4th amendment of the US Constitution..




The implications of this are devious and mind numbing. Let’s not forget they have not stopped any attacks anywhere for any reason. They are data mining for their own nefarious illegal plans which the NSA thinks you have zero right to actually know.




The National Security Agency is harvesting huge numbers of images of people from communications that it intercepts through its global surveillance operations for use in sophisticated facial recognition programs, according to top-secret documents.

The spy agency’s reliance on facial recognition technology has grown significantly over the last four years as the agency has turned to new software to exploit the flood of images included in emails, text messages, social media, videoconferences and other communications, the N.S.A. documents reveal. Agency officials believe that technological advances could revolutionize the way that the N.S.A. finds intelligence targets around the world, the documents show. The agency’s ambitions for this highly sensitive ability and the scale of its effort have not previously been disclosed.

The agency intercepts “millions of images per day” — including about 55,000 “facial recognition quality images” — which translate into “tremendous untapped potential,” according to 2011 documents obtained from the former agency contractor Edward J. Snowden. While once focused on written and oral communications, the N.S.A. now considers facial images, fingerprints and other identifiers just as important to its mission of tracking suspected terrorists and other intelligence targets, the documents show.

The implications of this are devious as well as mind numbing. They have yet to stop a single attack anywhere for any reason. Th continue Data mining for their own nefarious illegal plans.

The documents themselves can be found here.


Russia and Propaganda.

I have been interested in Propaganda for awhile and the various ways it is used both know and in our past. Propaganda has been around for hundreds of years now and has been almost perfected in WW2 and since the Cold War. The US and Russia are in a bitter propaganda war for the hearts and minds of the World concerning Ukraine.

Russia appears to be winning.

Rodionov says that, since its founding, Ruptly has attracted 14 subscribers and over 200 customers, including German broadcasters “both public and private.” Subsidies from Moscow enable Ruptly to offer professionally produced videos at prices cheaper than those of the private competition.

The battle over Ukraine is being fought with diverse means — with harsh words and soft diplomacy, with natural gas, weapons and intelligence services. But perhaps the most important instruments being deployed by Moscow are the Internet, newspapers and television, including allegedly neutral journalists and pundits dispatched around the world to propagate the Kremlin position.

“We’re in the middle of a relentless propaganda war,” says Andrew Weiss, vice president of studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, an influential Washington think tank. Weiss describes this propaganda as a crucial tool used by Russia to conduct its foreign policy.

Moscow is looking beyond the short-term, seeking to influence opinion in the long-run to create “an alternative discourse in Western countries as well,” says Margarita Simonyan, editor in chief of Kremlin foreign broadcaster RT, formerly known as Russia Today, which owns Ruptly.

The Kremlin invests around €100 million ($136 million) a year in Russian media abroad in order to influence public opinion in the West. This effort also helps explain why Putin addressed Germans directly in his speech on the annexation of Crimea. Noting the Kremlin had supported Germany’s reunification process, he called on Germans to back Russia’s reunification with Crimea. Putin’s popularity in Germany has declined steadily over the years, but his worldview remains quite popular.

A Triumphant Media Advance

Sources within the Kremlin express satisfaction these days when talking about Moscow’s information policies. “We may have won the war in Georgia in 2008, but we lost the propaganda battle against America and the West by a mile,” says one. “Thanks to RT and the Internet, though, we are now closing the gap.”

Whereas Ruptly is seeking to establish itself as an alternative to Reuters and the Associated Press in providing video footage, RT has already successfully established itself in the nine years since its creation, recently surpassing even CNN when it comes to clips viewed on YouTube. With close to 1.2 billion views, the BBC is the only media outlet ahead of RT. In Britain, RT has more viewers than the Europe-wide news station Euronews and in some major US cities, the channel is the most-viewed of all foreign broadcasters. RT’s 2,500 employees report and broadcast in Russian, English, Spanish and Arabic with German to be added soon.

The triumphant advance of Putin’s broadcaster began in a former factory in northeast Moscow. Founding RT editor Simonyan was just 25 at the time Putin appointed her in 2005. Her assignment from the Russian president: to “break the monopoly of the Anglo-Saxon mass media.”

It’s a mandate she has been pursuing successfully ever since. “There’s large demand for media that doesn’t just parrot the uniform pulp from the Western press,” says Simonyan. “Even in Western countries.” RT gives pro-Russian representatives from Eastern Ukraine far more air time than supporters of the government in Kiev, and not even Simonyan disputes this fact. “We’re something along the lines of Russia’s Information Defense Ministry,” her co-workers say, not without pride.

Ruptly and RT are only the most visible instruments being used by the Kremlin. Other propaganda methods being exploited can be less obvious.

For example, when German talk shows invite Russian journalists to speak about the Ukraine crisis, they are almost always pundits who could have been taken directly out of the Kremlin propaganda department. Programmers, of course, like to book these guests because they generate heated and provocative discussion. But it’s also a function of the fact that experts critical of the government either don’t want to talk or are kept from doing so. Take the example of Sergej Sumlenny, who served until January as the German correspondent for the Russian business magazineExpert. Early on, he appeared often on German talk shows, intelligently and pointedly criticizing Putin’s policies. He has since been driven out at the magazine.

In his stead, the Russian perspective is now represented on German talk shows by people like Anna Rose, who is generally introduced as a correspondent for Rossiyskaya Gazeta, or Russian Gazette. The name sounds innocuous enough, but eyebrows should be raised immediately when this “serious” Russian journalist begins claiming that the Ukrainian army could be shooting “at women and children” and that Russian soldiers need to provide them with protection. Her positions suddenly become more understandable with the knowledge that Rossiyskaya Gazeta is the Russian government’s official newspaper.

Manipulating Comments and Social Media

Those who read comments posted under articles about Ukraine on news websites will have noticed in recent months that they have been filled with missives that always seem to follow the same line of argumentation. Moscow’s independent business daily Vedomosti reported recently that, since the start of the Ukraine crisis, the presidential administration in Moscow has been testing how public opinion in the United States and Europe can be manipulated using the Internet and social networks. The paper reported that most of the professional comment posters active in Germany are Russian immigrants who submit their pro-Russian comments on Facebook and on news websites.

In addition, journalists and editors at German websites and publications report receiving letters and emails offering “explosive information about the Ukraine crisis” on an almost daily basis. The “sources” often mention they have evidence about the right-wing nature of the Kiev government that they would like to supply to journalists. The letters are written in German, but appear to include direct translations of Russian phrases. They would seem to have been written by mother-tongue Russian speakers.Other forms of propaganda have also been deployed in recent months. For example, there have been frequent incidences of intercepted conversations of Western diplomats or Kiev politicians getting published in ways that serve Russia’s interests. From the “Fuck the EU” statement by Victoria Nuland, the top US diplomat to Europe, right up to statements made by Estonia’s foreign minister that were apparently supposed to prove who was responsible for the deaths of protesters on Maidan Square. The Russian media also seemed to take pleasure in reporting in mid-April that CIA head John Brennan had traveled to Kiev.

There’s a high likelihood that this confidential information and the content of intercepted communications is being strewn by Russian intelligence. Officials at Western intelligence agencies assume that even communications encrypted by the Ukrainian army are being intercepted by the Russians.



Your cell phone is giving you up••••Cartography•••••••Europa supports life?•••••

The graphic

I was going to do something different and most likely will anyhow. I thought this was so alarming I should post my thoughts as well as the article. The single best thing that ever happened to intelligence agencies was the cell phone. Your phone constantly gives up its location to satellites even if your not using it… Many cases it does so when it is not on. It is alarming to say the least the Govt is collecting millions if not billions of innocent Americans data as well as anyone else “incidentally”.

Not only is the NSA collecting all of your metadata. Who you call ••for how long ••and how often it now can track your movements as easily as just intercepting the data.

It should not be overlooked the NSA has routinely ignored the law and what the FISA court actually allowed it to do. In fact the FISA court found one progr the NSA ran was outside the law during its entire existence and at no time did they make any effort to comply with the law or Constitution. There is no evidence whatsoever that this entire five eye partnership and dragnet has stopped so much as one terrorist attack. The NSA simply lied about it when the news first was leaked.

Washington Post article

The National Security Agency is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world, according to top-secret documents and interviews with U.S. intelligence officials, enabling the agency to track the movements of individuals — and map their relationships — in ways that would have been previously unimaginable.

The records feed a vast database that stores information about the locations of at least hundreds of millions of devices, according to the officials and the documents, which were provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. New projects created to analyze that data have provided the intelligence community with what amounts to a mass surveillance tool.

(Video: How the NSA uses cellphone tracking to find and ‘develop’ targets)

The NSA does not target Americans’ location data by design, but the agency acquires a substantial amount of information on the whereabouts of domestic cellphones “incidentally,” a legal term that connotes a foreseeable but not deliberate result.

One senior collection manager, speaking on the condition of anonymity but with permission from the NSA, said “we are getting vast volumes” of location data from around the world by tapping into the cables that connect mobile networks globally and that serve U.S. cellphones as well as foreign ones. Additionally, data are often collected from the tens of millions of Americans who travel abroad with their cellphones every year.

In scale, scope and potential impact on privacy, the efforts to collect and analyze location data may be unsurpassed among the NSA surveillance programs that have been disclosed since June. Analysts can find cellphones anywhere in the world, retrace their movements and expose hidden relationships among the people using them.

Washington Post article on Cell Phone snooping

Guess I will be back to do my Enhanced Interrogation information tomorrow. Be safe. It’s ok to leave your phone at home. I promise you can survive. Back up the numbers you need at keep somewhere you can access.

Bonus Interesting Cartography

I think Maps are beautiful and most certainly are artwork. A few of these are Game of Thrones maps. I have never read or seen the movie/book. Maps are gorgeous however.

Game of Throne Maps

Rare and Antique Maps
















Editor of Guardian called in front of House of Commons to answer for Snowden Leaks

This is at the very center and the main issue of freedom of press. A free Country must have a press that has the freedom and ability to investigate even the most controversial subject matter free of any interference. It is expressly written into the US Constitution and is at the heart of any Democratic Society.

Despite all the political blustering that has surrounded Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger’s meeting with the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee this week, the real story in the Snowden affair is cryptography.

In some ways, it seemed as though UK security agency GCHQ had been hit by the notorious CryptoLocker virus. CryptoLocker holds computer users to ransom by encrypting all their files and can cause serious headaches for the victim. Some of the answers given by Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger at the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee on 3 December paint a picture similar to what happens when the virus strikes.

Rusbridger admitted that David Miranda, the partner of Guardian US columnist Glenn Greenwald, had been carrying some of the Snowden files in encrypted form when he was held under the Terrorism Act in August. But, so far, neither the police nor GCHQ have been able to decrypt them.

So, just like CryptoLocker victims, GCHQ is in possession of some of its own files but cannot get into them, as much as it would like to. The contents of the files won’t be a surprise, but GCHQ would very much like to know what it is that Snowden and the journalists know about its work.

Encryption lay at the heart of some of the most important exchanges during Rusbridger’s hour-long appearance in front of MPs. There were some odd interventions at the start of the session, including committee chairman Keith Vaz’s questioning of Rusbridger over whether or not he loved Britain, but from then on, one issue dominated proceedings. This was the transfer of a copy of the Snowden files by the Guardian to the New York Times.

Rusbridger made it clear that the Guardian had indeed shared its entire collection of Snowden files with its American partner. This had been done for journalistic collaboration, and as a safeguard after the pressure put on the Guardian by the UK government over the project.

These files had not been redacted to remove the names of intelligence staff but had largely been transferred in a way that Rusbridger considered fully secure. He reiterated both these points repeatedly in response to near-identical questions from the Committee. Some of the MPs argued that the Guardian might have committed an offence by transporting secret materials to a foreign country, especially if it had not encrypted them securely.

A cryptographic contradiction

A contradiction remains after Rusbridger’s evidence session relating to cryptography, and it’s one that is crucial when we think about whether or not The Guardian overstepped the mark in the Snowden affair.

When pressed for details of the security arrangements for the Guardian’s Snowden files, Rusbridger was reluctant to provide an on-the-spot answer and offered to provide written details to the committee later.


First admendment argument

Just as I made a minute ago but I bet he did so more eloquently and with more intelligence than I was able to provide.

The digital dimension of communications and citizenship has rendered old laws and societal and political values anachronistic. The Guardian is no longer an ex-provincial national print title serving centre-left liberal chattering classes. It is a global multimedia publisher. As such, it no longer needs to answer to an English judiciary that tends to bow to the mantra of “national security without question”. It clearly does not see itself as compelled to give up leaked documents to the state.

Rusbridger has been working with the New York Times on the Snowden affair, and has been defining international public interest in democracy and liberty as he goes. And when he appeared before the committee, he spoke not of Parliament Square in London but of the legacy of the Pentagon Papers case of 1971. He also spoke eloquently about the US First Amendment and blocking prior restraint injunctions on the grounds they would be unconstitutional.

He may just have been transformed into one of the few British media editors who actually gets the First Amendment. Through bitter personal experience, Rusbridger appears to have realised that culturally, socially and politically, the UK is a backward and inferior member of the post-industrialised liberal democracies.

Everything he has described about his experience with GCHQ officials in the Guardian’s basement in July this year confirms this view.

The Guardian editor said he had diligently engaged with the uniquely British process of confidentially checking every article that hinged on a Snowden file, bar the first one, with Air-Vice Marshall Andrew Vallance, Secretary of the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee.

The first story revealed GCHQ had been monitoring foreign diplomats at a British G20 summit. It was politically embarrassing and was not D-Notice checked precisely because of the British state’s penchant for prior estate injunction first and judicial questions later.

The state made it clear that it had no interest in debating the ins and outs of press freedom at other points in the affair, such as when it took a chainsaw to The Guardian’s hard discs in a symbolic destruction of copies of the Snowden files. And while Rusbridger saw the files confiscated from David Miranda, partner of Guardian US writer Glenn Greenwald, as excluded confidential journalistic material, the UK government took them to be evidence of crime and detained Miranda under the Terrorism Act.

First admendment argument to protect press

BONUS: Europa has salt water oceans underneath the Ice that is not only heated in various places but might support life.

The ice shell of Jupiter’s moon Europa is marked by regions of disrupted ice known as chaos terrains that cover up to 40% of the satellite’s surface, most commonly occurring within 40° of the equator1. Concurrence with salt deposits2 implies a coupling between the geologically active ice shell and the underlying liquid water ocean at lower latitudes. Europa’s ocean dynamics have been assumed to adopt a two-dimensional pattern3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, which channels the moon’s internal heat to higher latitudes. Here we present a numerical model of thermal convection in a thin, rotating spherical shell where small-scale convection instead adopts a three-dimensional structure and is more vigorous at lower latitudes. Global-scale currents are organized into three zonal jets and two equatorial Hadley-like circulation cells. We find that these convective motions transmit Europa’s internal heat towards the surface most effectively in equatorial regions, where they can directly influence the thermo-compositional state and structure of the ice shell. We suggest that such heterogeneous heating promotes the formation of chaos features through increased melting of the ice shell and subsequent deposition of marine ice at low latitudes. We conclude that Europa’s ocean dynamics can modulate the exchange of heat and materials between the surface and interior and explain the observed distribution of chaos terrains.

Nature article abstract

Daily Galaxy article on subject