Has DHS become the Nations police force?

I read this article and was both amazed and scared at the implications of what this means. If you buy into the idea that the US has become a police state. With the NSA basically wielding unconstitutional powers to spy and track ALL Americans then we can assume that DHS is indeed the nations police force.

“A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty.”—James Madison

“Here [in New Mexico], we are moving more toward a national police force. Homeland Security is involved with a lot of little things around town. Somebody in Washington needs to call a timeout.”—Dan Klein, retired Albuquerque Police Department sergeant

If the United States is a police state, then the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is its national police force, with all the brutality, ineptitude and corruption such a role implies. In fact, although the DHS’ governmental bureaucracy may at times appear to be inept and bungling, it is ruthlessly efficient when it comes to building what the Founders feared most—a standing army on American soil.

The third largest federal agency behind the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense, the DHS—with its 240,000 full-time workers, $61 billion budget and sub-agencies that include the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, Secret Service, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)—has been aptly dubbed a “runaway train.”

In the 12 years since it was established to “prevent terrorist attacks within the United States,” the DHS has grown from a post-9/11 knee-jerk reaction to a leviathan with tentacles in every aspect of American life. With good reason, a bipartisan bill to provide greater oversight and accountability into the DHS’ purchasing process has been making its way through Congress.

A better plan would be to abolish the DHS altogether. In making the case for shutting down the de facto national police agency, analyst Charles Kenny offers the following six reasons: one, the agency lacks leadership; two, terrorism is far less of a threat than it is made out to be; three, the FBI has actually stopped more alleged terrorist attacks than DHS; four, the agency wastes exorbitant amounts of money with little to show for it; five, “An overweight DHS gets a free pass to infringe civil liberties without a shred of economic justification”; and six, the agency is just plain bloated.

article on DHS

What Internet does NASA use?

Saw this interesting article on Wired today. NASA uses a different internet than us mortal citizens. NASA has download speeds of 91MB a second. We can only hope as citizens for speeds of around 2 or 3 MB a second currently.

I am posting this because I think the technology is interesting.

When Google chief financial officer Patrick Pichette said the tech giant might bring 10 gigabits per second internet connections to American homes, it seemed like science fiction. That’s about 1,000 times faster than today’s home connections. But for NASA, it’s downright slow.

While the rest of us send data across the public internet, the space agency uses a shadow network called ESnet, short for Energy Science Network, a set of private pipes that has demonstrated cross-country data transfers of 91 gigabits per second–the fastest of its type ever reported.

NASA isn’t going bring these speeds to homes, but it is using this super-fast networking technology to explore the next wave of computing applications. ESnet is a test bed where scientists can explore new ideas before setting them loose on the commercial internet, and it’s an important tool for researchers who deal in massive amounts of data generated by projects such as the Large Hadron Collider and the Human Genome Project. Rather sending hard disks back and forth through the mail, they can trade data via the ultra-fast network, which is run by the Department of Energy.

In short, ESnet a window into what our computing world will eventually look like. “Our vision for the world is that scientific discovery shouldn’t be constrained by geography,” says ESnet director Gregory Bell.

NASAs internet

Has NSA bulk surveillance even stopped anything at all? Even a single attack? Or is it a plan to spy on everyone as I claim it is.

I knew Gen. Alexander was lying when he said that the NSA has stopped 50 attacks based on information picked up by their illegal bulk surveillance dragnet. The fact Alexander and Clapper are walking around after blatantly lying to Congress is totally an affront to anyone with any intelligence. If I lied to Congress… and they figured it out. I would be picked up and arrested that day.

 

On June 5, 2013, the Guardian broke the first story in what would become a flood of revelations regarding the extent and nature of the NSA’s surveillance programs.  Facing an uproar over the threat such programs posed to privacy, the Obama administration scrambled to defend them as legal and essential to U.S. national security and counterterrorism. Two weeks after the first leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden were published, President Obama defended the NSA surveillance programs during a visit to Berlin, saying: “We know of at least 50 threats that have been averted because of this information not just in the United States, but, in some cases, threats here in Germany. So lives have been saved.”  Gen. Keith Alexander, the director of the NSA, testified before Congress that: “the information gathered from these programs provided the U.S. government with critical leads to help prevent over 50 potential terrorist events in more than 20 countries around the world.”  Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said on the House floor in July that “54 times [the NSA programs] stopped and thwarted terrorist attacks both here and in Europe – saving real lives.”

However, our review of the government’s claims about the role that NSA “bulk” surveillance of phone and email communications records has had in keeping the United States safe from terrorism shows that these claims are overblown and even misleading.  An in-depth analysis of 225 individuals recruited by al-Qaeda or a like-minded group or inspired by al-Qaeda’s ideology, and charged in the United States with an act of terrorism since 9/11, demonstrates that traditional investigative methods, such as the use of informants, tips from local communities, and targeted intelligence operations, provided the initial impetus for investigations in the majority of cases, while the contribution of NSA’s bulk surveillance programs to these cases was minimal. Indeed, the controversial bulk collection of American telephone metadata, which includes the telephone numbers that originate and receive calls, as well as the time and date of those calls but not their content, under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, appears to have played an identifiable role in initiating, at most, 1.8 percent of these cases. NSA programs involving the surveillance of non-U.S. persons outside of the United States under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act played a role in 4.4 percent of the terrorism cases we examined, and NSA surveillance under an unidentified authority played a role in 1.3 percent of the cases we examined.
Regular FISA warrants not issued in connection with Section 215 or Section 702, which are the traditional means for investigating foreign persons, were used in at least 48 (21 percent) of the cases we looked at, although it’s unclear whether these warrants played an initiating role or were used at a later point in the investigation. (Click on the link to go to a database of all 225 individuals, complete with additional details about them and the government’s investigations of these cases
Sickening.. Pathetic. Welcome to the Machine.
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How badly are we being manipulated. The 4 d ‘s Deny , Disrupt, Degrade, Deceive

First for something cool

The Brilliant Cube. Location South Korea.

Brilliant Cube on Vimeo : http://vimeo.com/m/77023605

Brilliant Cube

GCHQ and NSA with the other five eyes partners will stop at nothing to ruin your reputation

Besides from the NSA and GCHQ and five eyes other partners manipulating the cryptographic standards of the Internet so they can spy on you more readily…. This is by far the most disturbing development to date. The intelligence agencies will use as many means as they can to discredit you and ruin your reputation as they can without any finding of guilt or even being charged in any court of law.

Machines of loving grace

If you do not think the Snowden revelations impact you or you are immune from them you are vastly misguided or delusional. We are at the mercy of technology as it is right now. We live in many ways smack in the center of 1984. We live in a global police state. The ideas of freedom and democracy are illusions. In a very short period of time computers and machines will be more intelligent and more able than humanity. We are playing God in many ways…. We could be designing the very technology that ends up enslaving us. I posted two days ago on this blog about Google buying up artificial intelligence and machine learning companies left and right. It has been said Google is working on the “Manhattan project of Artificial intelligence “. The man in charge of the project thinks by 2040 we will be inferior to machines in almost every way. We live in scary times. Technology in many respects controls us and we are beholden to it now. We have a bleak outlook if the Govts are actively trying to undermine us at every turn. If Govts feel we are guilty before being charged with any crimes. If Technology will be the alter we all worship at. Where is the outrage at what Snowden has disclosed? We are more interested in Miley Cyrus twerking than the Govt spying on every detail of our lives. We care more about who gets cut off Americas Got Talent then we do about the fact out Constitution is being shredded before our very eyes. We care more about the New version of the IPhone or Samsung Galaxy 5 then we do about the very programs that are spying on you this very second. Sigh….

Wow. My mind is blown by this article. In case you were not aware Glenn Greenwald has started a new website with other like minded journalists called “The Intercept”. He has broken a few major stories in the last few weeks.

One of the many pressing stories that remains to be told from the Snowden archive is how western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction. It’s time to tell a chunk of that story, complete with the relevant documents.

Over the last several weeks, I worked with NBC News to publish a series of articles about “dirty trick” tactics used by GCHQ’s previously secret unit, JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group). These were based on four classified GCHQ documents presented to the NSA and the other three partners in the English-speaking “Five Eyes” alliance. Today, we at the Intercept are publishing another new JTRIG document, in full, entitled “The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations.”

By publishing these stories one by one, our NBC reporting highlighted some of the key, discrete revelations: the monitoring of YouTube and Blogger, the targeting of Anonymous with the very same DDoS attacks they accuse “hacktivists” of using, the use of “honey traps” (luring people into compromising situations using sex) and destructive viruses. But, here, I want to focus and elaborate on the overarching point revealed by all of these documents: namely, that these agencies are attempting to control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse, and in doing so, are compromising the integrity of the internet itself.

Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums. Here is one illustrative list of tactics from the latest GCHQ document we’re publishing today.

Critically, the “targets” for this deceit and reputation-destruction extend far beyond the customary roster of normal spycraft: hostile nations and their leaders, military agencies, and intelligence services. In fact, the discussion of many of these techniques occurs in the context of using them in lieu of “traditional law enforcement” against people suspected (but not charged or convicted) of ordinary crimes or, more broadly still, “hacktivism”, meaning those who use online protest activity for political ends.

The title page of one of these documents reflects the agency’s own awareness that it is “pushing the boundaries” by using “cyber offensive” techniques against people who have nothing to do with terrorism or national security threats, and indeed, centrally involves law enforcement agents who investigate ordinary crimes:

No matter your views on Anonymous, “hacktivists” or garden-variety criminals, it is not difficult to see how dangerous it is to have secret government agencies being able to target any individuals they want – who have never been charged with, let alone convicted of, any crimes – with these sorts of online, deception-based tactics of reputation destruction and disruption. There is a strong argument to make, as Jay Leiderman demonstrated in the Guardian in the context of the Paypal 14 hacktivist persecution, that the “denial of service” tactics used by hacktivists result in (at most) trivial damage (far less than the cyber-warfare tactics favored by the US and UK) and are far more akin to the type of political protest protected by the First Amendment.

The broader point is that, far beyond hacktivists, these surveillance agencies have vested themselves with the power to deliberately ruin people’s reputations and disrupt their online political activity even though they’ve been charged with no crimes, and even though their actions have no conceivable connection to terrorism or even national security threats. As Anonymous expert Gabriella Coleman of McGill University told me, “targeting Anonymous and hacktivists amounts to targeting citizens for expressing their political beliefs, resulting in the stifling of legitimate dissent.” Pointing to this study she published, Professor Coleman vehemently contested the assertion that “there is anything terrorist/violent in their actions.”

Government plans to monitor and influence internet communications, and covertly infiltrate online communities in order to sow dissension and disseminate false information, have long been the source of speculation. Harvard Law Professor Cass Sunstein, a close Obama adviser and the White House’s former head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, wrote a controversial paper in 2008 proposing that the US government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-”independent” advocates to “cognitively infiltrate” online groups and websites, as well as other activist groups.

Intercept article detailing the program.

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Amazon central to Drone Strikes on Americans. Sniper time. Secret Space plane. Cryptography and it’s value.

I am off this afternoon and usually do not blog this much. I really started the blog to talk about Backgammon and the Indianapolis Colts. I never thought anyone would ever read it… I instead starting writing about things that interest me. Drones, History, Foreign Policy, NSA, Cryptography, CIA etc…

I was totally alarmed by two things I read today.

Amazons role in targeted killings of Americans.

I personally am against the use of Drones as weapons vs anyone for any reason. If you target Americans… You are not allowing them you are taking away a persons Constitutional guarantee of due process of the law.

“”””””Amazon is now integral to the U.S. government’s foreign policy of threatening and killing.

Any presidential decision to take the life of an American citizen is a subset of a much larger grave problem. Whatever the nationality of those who hear the menacing buzz of a drone overhead, the hijacking of skies to threaten and kill those below is unconscionable. And, as presently implemented, unconstitutional.

On Feb. 11 the Times reported that the Obama administration “is debating whether to authorize a lethal strike against an American citizen living in Pakistan who some believe is actively plotting terrorist attacks.” In effect, at issue is whether the president should order a summary execution — an assassination — on his say-so.

The American way isn’t supposed to be that way. The “due process of law” required by the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution is not supposed to be whatever the president decides to do.”””””””

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/4775840

DHS to buy 141,000 Sniper Bullets… Bringing the amount of ammunition purchased in last several years at over 2 billion

This is just staggering and scary.

“””””””””The Department of Homeland Security is buying more bullets with a solicitation for over 141,00 rounds of sniper ammunition.

According to a solicitation posted on FedBizOpps, the federal agency is looking to procure 141,160 rounds of Hornady .308 Winchester 168gr A-MAX TAP ammunition.

Such ammunition is sometimes retailed as “Zombie Max,” a marketing gimmick alluding to its power.

“What makes the .308 ammunition so deadly is the long range capability of the round,” notes James Smith. “The ability is called ballistic coefficient, or the efficiency of a projectile in overcoming air resistance as it travels to its target. According to Speer Reloading Manual Number 13, the .308 165 grain has the highest coefficient of any hunting rifle.”

The latest purchase further illustrates the fallacy of the DHS’ excuse that it is buying bullets in bulk in order to save money.

The federal agency will pay around $1.20 for each round, when a lower grain round could be acquired for around a quarter of the price.

The DHS has faced questions over the last couple of years as to the purpose of its mass ammo purchases which have totaled over 2 billion bullets, with some fearing the federal agency is gearing up for civil unrest.””””””””

http://nation.foxnews.com/2014/02/11/homeland-security-purchase-141000-rounds-sniper-ammo

Secret Space plane in orbit for 400 days

Interesting science wise.. Terrifying it is another example of incredible technology being used for horrific purposes most likely.

“””””””The U.S. Air Force’s unmanned X-37B space plane has now circled Earth for more than 400 days on a hush-hush mission that is creeping closer and closer to the vehicle’s orbital longevity record.
The X-37B spacecraft launched on Dec. 11, 2012, meaning that it has been aloft for 413 days as of Tuesday (Jan. 28) on the third mission for the program, which is known as OTV-3 (short for Orbital Test Vehicle-3). The endurance record is 469 days, set during OTV-2, which blasted off in 2011.
OTV-2 and OTV-3 have utilized different X-37B vehicle (the Air Force currently has two vehicles). The space plane currently zipping around Earth also flew the program’s inaugural OTV-1 mission, which stayed in space for 225 days after launching in 2010. [See photos from the X-37B space plane’s OTV-3 mission] “””””””””

http://m.space.com/24459-x37b-space-plane-mission-400-days.html

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Cryptography. Why is it so vital an interest to me and especially the NSA

“”””””””Most discussion of the Snowden revelations has looked at stories that have straightforward political implications, such as the tapping of German Chancellor Merkel’s phone. However, governments have spied on each other for hundreds of years. It’s harder to understand why Snowden’s release of documents which seem to show that the NSA has compromised cryptographic standards is important.

Governments want to be able to communicate without their adversaries abroad being able to listen to what they say. They also want to be able to listen in on their adversaries. Cryptography, the science of making codes and encoding information, and cryptanalysis, the science of breaking codes and decoding information, have important implications for national security. The U.S., like many other countries, used to treat codes as potential weapons, and controlled their export to foreign countries until the 1990s. The NSA played a key role in trying to break other countries’ codes, but it also had responsibility for protecting U.S. communications from external attackers.

For a long time, the U.S. national security establishment was able to keep a lid on cryptography. On the one hand, most serious users of cryptography in the U.S. were either part of the government or large firms (which could be influenced by the government). On the other, the U.S. imposed export restrictions on cryptographic technologies, to try to prevent them getting to countries with hostile interests. The NSA could both secure U.S. systems against foreign cryptanalysis and try to break other countries’ (and non-state actors’) codes without any very obvious conflict between its two roles.

From the 1980s on, it became harder and more complicated for the NSA to balance cracking foreigners’ cryptography while protecting and developing U.S. cryptography. The NSA began to lose control of cryptography as more private companies started to use it for their own purposes, and to push for stronger codes. These codes were tougher for the NSA to crack, and more likely (because they were in the private sector) to escape to foreign jurisdictions. As Whitfield Diffie and Susan Landau’s history of cryptography policy, Privacy on the Line describes it, the NSA tried to extend its authority to cover U.S. private industry as well as the public sector. This would allow it to influence the standards used by the private sector. However, the U.S. Congress was suspicious of the NSA, and put a different body, the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), in charge of private sector cryptography standards. As a top-secret memo made clear, the NSA was very unhappy with this decision, even though it still had substantial informal influence over the code making process. The NIST was poorly funded, and had little technical expertise, so that it had to consult with NSA over standards. Since the NSA had resources and technical expertise, the NSA was better able to shape NIST standards much more than Congress had ever envisaged .

These tensions broke out into the so-called “Crypto Wars” in the 1990s, when Phil Zimmerman, an activist and software developer, created a program called PGP or Pretty Good Privacy, which gave ordinary computer users access to new and powerful cryptographic techniques. U.S. authorities investigated Zimmerman for breach of export controls law, but had to give up when privacy activists pulled a series of clever stunts that made the law effectively unenforceable. At more or less the same time, the U.S. was dealing with a surging demand for strong cryptography, which it tried to resolve in law-enforcement friendly ways, through creating standards which would allow the government some access (through a scheme called “key escrow”) to encrypted communications. These efforts too failed, leading to the effective abandonment of U.S. efforts to limit private access to strong cryptography. It appeared that the national security state had lost out to an alliance of civil liberties activists (who wanted strong cryptography for individuals) and businesses (which wanted to get rid of export control rules that they saw as hampering U.S. competitiveness).

The old traditional cryptography regime, which had been dominated by national security, gave way to a new regime, based around electronic commerce, and the use of cryptography to protect communications, personal information and so on. People use sophisticated cryptography every day on the Internet, without ever realizing it, every time they click on a https:// Web address. They trust encryption to protect their bank account details, personal information and pretty much every other form of sensitive information on the Internet. Without widespread strong encryption, the Internet would be a much scarier place, where people would be far less likely to use their credit cards to buy things or reveal (knowingly or unknowingly) sensitive data.”””””””””

http://washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/02/12/the-political-science-of-cybersecurity-ii-why-cryptography-is-so-important/

You are not alone.

It has been a minute since I posted. I was moving… Had a blizzard and my Car broke down.

There has been a ton of information about the NSA recently. Have only minutes to do this… It crosses my mind some of what they supposedly can do might be propaganda to make Russia and China etc… Believe we can do it.

Running list of NSA capabilities

“It can track the numbers of both parties on a phone call, as well location, time and duration. (More)
It can hack Chinese phones and text messages. (More)
It can set up fake internet cafes. (More)
It can spy on foreign leaders’ cell phones. (More)
It can tap underwater fiber-optic cables. (More)
It can track communication within media organizations like Al Jazeera. (More)
It can hack into the UN video conferencing system. (More)
It can track bank transactions. (More)
It can monitor text messages. (More)
It can access your email, chat, and web browsing history. (More)
It can map your social networks. (More)
It can access your smartphone app data. (More)
It is trying to get into secret networks like Tor, diverting users to less secure channels. (More)
It can go undercover within embassies to have closer access to foreign networks. (More)
It can set up listening posts on the roofs of buildings to monitor communications in a city. (More)
It can set up a fake LinkedIn. (More)
It can track the reservations at upscale hotels. (More)
It can intercept the talking points for Ban Ki-moon’s meeting with Obama. (More)
It can crack cellphone encryption codes. (More)
It can hack computers that aren’t connected to the internet using radio waves. (More)
It can intercept phone calls by setting up fake base stations. (More)
It can remotely access a computer by setting up a fake wireless connection. (More)
It can install fake SIM cards to then control a cell phone. (More)
It can fake a USB thumb drive that’s actually a monitoring device. (More)
It can crack all types of sophisticated computer encryption. (Update: It is trying to build this capability.) (More)
It can go into online games and monitor communication. (More)
It can intercept communications between aircraft and airports. (More)
(Update) It can physically intercept deliveries, open packages, and make changes to devices. (More) (h/t)”

NSA capabilities

Again .. This is what we know of. It is most likely 1/100th of what they can do.

NSA stealing your text messages


The National Security Agency has collected almost 200 million text messages a day from across the globe, using them to extract data including location, contact networks and credit card details, according to top-secret documents.
The untargeted collection and storage of SMS messages – including their contacts – is revealed in a joint investigation between the Guardian and the UK’s Channel 4 News based on material provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The documents also reveal the UK spy agency GCHQ has made use of the NSA database to search the metadata of “untargeted and unwarranted” communications belonging to people in the UK.
The NSA program, codenamed Dishfire, collects “pretty much everything it can”, according to GCHQ documents, rather than merely storing the communications of existing surveillance targets.
The NSA has made extensive use of its vast text message database to extract information on people’s travel plans, contact books, financial transactions and more – including of individuals under no suspicion of illegal activity.
An agency presentation from 2011 – subtitled “SMS Text Messages: A Goldmine to Exploit” – reveals the program collected an average of 194 million text messages a day in April of that year. In addition to storing the messages themselves, a further program known as “Prefer” conducted automated analysis on the untargeted communications. ”

Texts stolen by NSA

Secret war being fought in 135 Countries worldwide and counting

This is almost more scary to me then the NSA disclosures… Either way it should give you chills up and down your spine.

They operate in the green glow of night vision in Southwest Asia and stalk through the jungles of South America. They snatch men from their homes in the Maghreb and shoot it out with heavily armed militants in the Horn of Africa. They feel the salty spray while skimming over the tops of waves from the turquoise Caribbean to the deep blue Pacific. They conduct missions in the oppressive heat of Middle Eastern deserts and the deep freeze of Scandinavia. All over the planet, the Obama administration is waging a secret war whose full extent has never been fully revealed — until now.

Since September 11, 2001, U.S. Special Operations forces have grown in every conceivable way, from their numbers to their budget. Most telling, however, has been the exponential rise in special ops deployments globally. This presence — now, in nearly 70% of the world’s nations — provides new evidence of the size and scope of a secret war being waged from Latin America to the backlands of Afghanistan, from training missions with African allies to information operations launched in cyberspace.

In the waning days of the Bush presidency, Special Operations forces were reportedly deployed in about 60 countries around the world. By 2010, that number had swelled to 75, according to Karen DeYoung and Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post. In 2011, Special Operations Command (SOCOM) spokesman Colonel Tim Nye told TomDispatch that the total would reach 120. Today, that figure has risen higher still.

In 2013, elite U.S. forces were deployed in 134 countries around the globe, according to Major Matthew Robert Bockholt of SOCOM Public Affairs. This 123% increase during the Obama years demonstrates how, in addition to conventional wars and a CIA drone campaign, public diplomacy and extensive electronic spying, the U.S. has engaged in still another significant and growing form of overseas power projection. Conducted largely in the shadows by America’s most elite troops, the vast majority of these missions take place far from prying eyes, media scrutiny, or any type of outside oversight, increasing the chances of unforeseen blowback and catastrophic consequences.

Growth Industry

Formally established in 1987, Special Operations Command has grown steadily in the post-9/11 era. SOCOM is reportedly on track to reach 72,000 personnel in 2014, up from 33,000 in 2001. Funding for the command has also jumped exponentially as its baseline budget, $2.3 billion in 2001, hit $6.9 billion in 2013 ($10.4 billion, if you add in supplemental funding). Personnel deployments abroad have skyrocketed, too, from 4,900 “man-years” in 2001 to 11,500 in 2013.

A recent investigation by TomDispatch, using open source government documents and news releases as well as press reports, found evidence that U.S. Special Operations forces were deployed in or involved with the militaries of 106 nations around the world in 2012-2013. For more than a month during the preparation of that article, however, SOCOM failed to provide accurate statistics on the total number of countries to which special operators — Green Berets and Rangers, Navy SEALs and Delta Force commandos, specialized helicopter crews, boat teams, and civil affairs personnel — were deployed. “We don’t just keep it on hand,” SOCOM’s Bockholt explained in a telephone interview once the article had been filed. “We have to go searching through stuff. It takes a long time to do that.” Hours later, just prior to publication, he provided an answer to a question I first asked in November of last year. “SOF [Special Operations forces] were deployed to 134 countries” during fiscal year 2013, Bockholt explained in an email.”

OPS active in 134 Countries and counting

What can possibly go wrong?

Have to run.. Stay informed. Be wary. Protect yourself from Govt intrusion by any means available. This is advice for everyone including and most specifically for those doing nothing wrong.

Quick ideas:
BlackSMS
Enlocked Email
Wickr
DuckDuckGo search engine
Riseup email service.

https://imgflip.com/i/66qpd

Take care be safe.

How do you measure Empire? NSA again

How do you measure an empire? How much is too much?

I ran across this earlier today and was blown away. I knew the numbers actually from other research I have done. I knew in Africa alone there is over 300 US Military installations. I shudder to think of how much money this costs taxpayers. I wonder about the actual benefits.

“Mapping the Blind Spots”

If you look closely enough on Google or Bing Maps, some places are blanked out, hidden from public view. Many of those places disguise secret or sensitive American military facilities.

The United States military has a foothold in every corner of the world, with military bases on every continent. It’s not even clear how many there are out there. The Pentagon says there are around 5,000 in total, and 598 in foreign countries, but those numbers are disputed by the media.

But how do these facilities look from above? To answer that question, you first need to locate the bases. Which, as it turns out, is relatively easy.

That’s what Josh Begley, a data artist, found out when he embarked on a project to map all known U.S. military bases around the world, collect satellite pictures of them using Google Maps and Bing Maps, and display them all online.

The project, which he warns is ongoing, was inspired by Trevor Paglen’s book “Blank Spots on the Map” which goes inside the world of secret military bases that are sometimes censored on maps.

“I wanted to apply this to a digital landscape,” Begley told Mashable. “What are the actual blind spots of Google Maps or Bing Maps? Which installations are secret and which can be viewed on the open Internet?”

Begley has found the coordinates for 650 bases, and published pictures for 644 of them — although a few are blacked out, not displayed, or blurred.

He started working on the project at the beginning of November, simply armed with the Department of Defense 2013 Base Structure Report, an inventory of all the real estate owned by the Pentagon around the world, a few media reports that uncovered secret bases, and a computer script he had used last year to make another mapping project that displayed aerial pictures of U.S. prisons.

Secret US Military bases mapped with Bing and Google Earth

The actual site with the pictures.

Empire

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NSA

I think the argument he makes is fairly spot on. The NSA has been acting with impunity for 10 plus years. You can make an argument that it has been since the 50’s. The author rightfully points out that Congress cares more about Baseball players lying to Congress about Steroids than it does about Clapper and Alexander lying to Congress about NSA activities.

The National Security Agency is breaking trust in democracy by breaking trust in the internet. Every day, the NSA records the lives of millions of Americans and countless foreigners, collecting staggering amounts of information about who they know, where they’ve been, and what they’ve done. Its surveillance programs have been kept secret from the public they allegedly serve and protect. The agency operates the most sophisticated, effective, and secretive surveillance apparatus in history.

Recent disclosures about the intelligence gathering activities of the NSA, and the ensuing federal response, have demonstrated that the agency is a rogue state — unaccountable and out of control. Intelligence community leaders have openly lied to elected officials and the public about the nature and extent of the agency’s data collection efforts. And despite their respective responsibility in carefully overseeing intelligence agencies, President Obama and Congress have shown no credibility as custodians of the NSA. So far, Congress has shown far less tolerance for baseball players allegedly lying about personal steroid use than military leaders lying about surveillance programs that undermine the bill of rights.

CONGRESS HAS SHOWN IT CARES MORE ABOUT BASEBALL PLAYERS LYING ABOUT STEROIDS THAN THE NSA LYING ABOUT SPYING

After more than a decade of legal adventurism, secret presidential orders, and deceptive wordplay, policymakers and intelligence officials have erected a surveillance apparatus that can track the location of hundreds of millions of people, collect the phone records of the entire nation, and tap into the very backbone of the internet. Every day, the NSA collects millions of electronic records belonging to people who are not suspected of any wrongdoing. It may even know what you’re up to in World of Warcraft, because the bad guys are apparently slaying dragons while they plot terror attacks.

NSA article

NSA using Cookies to track you.

The NSA has its fingers over every aspect of life in modern day world. If you use any electronic device for any reason your information is in a database likely that is increasingly becoming all encompassing.

The National Security Agency is secretly piggybacking on the tools that enable Internet advertisers to track consumers, using “cookies” and location data to pinpoint targets for government hacking and to bolster surveillance.

The agency’s internal presentation slides, provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, show that when companies follow consumers on the Internet to better serve them advertising, the technique opens the door for similar tracking by the government. The slides also suggest that the agency is using these tracking techniques to help identify targets for offensive hacking operations.

For years, privacy advocates have raised concerns about the use of commercial tracking tools to identify and target consumers with advertisements. The online ad industry has said its practices are innocuous and benefit consumers by serving them ads that are more likely to be of interest to them.

The revelation that the NSA is piggybacking on these commercial technologies could shift that debate, handing privacy advocates a new argument for reining in commercial surveillance.

According to the documents, the NSA and its British counterpart, GCHQ, are using the small tracking files or “cookies” that advertising networks place on computers to identify people browsing the Internet. The intelligence agencies have found particular use for a part of a Google-specific tracking mechanism known as the “PREF” cookie. These cookies typically don’t contain personal information, such as someone’s name or e-mail address, but they do contain numeric codes that enable Web sites to uniquely identify a person’s browser.

In addition to tracking Web visits, this cookie allows NSA to single out an individual’s communications among the sea of Internet data in order to send out software that can hack that person’s computer. The slides say the cookies are used to “enable remote exploitation,” although the specific attacks used by the NSA against targets are not addressed in these documents.

The NSA’s use of cookies isn’t a technique for sifting through vast amounts of information to find suspicious behavior; rather, it lets NSA home in on someone already under suspicion – akin to when soldiers shine laser pointers on a target to identify it for laser-guided bombs.

Separately, the NSA is also using commercially gathered information to help it locate mobile devices around the world, the documents show. Many smartphone apps running on iPhones and Android devices, and the Apple and Google operating systems themselves, track the location of each device, often without a clear warning to the phone’s owner. This information is more specific than the broader location data the government is collecting from cellular phone networks, as reported by the Post last week.

“On a macro level, ‘we need to track everyone everywhere for advertising’ translates into ‘the government being able to track everyone everywhere,'” says Chris Hoofnagle, a lecturer in residence at UC Berkeley Law. “It’s hard to avoid.”

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Washington Post article

I do not believe almost anything the Govt or NSA tells us concerning their activities. If the Highest ranking officials will lie to Congress in a coordinated effort to deceive then it is fairly obvious they will lie to the Pawns without thinking twice.

Be careful out there. Big Brother is watching.

Just located this. I have run out of time but I will discuss this more after I have had a chance to digest the information. Suffice it to say this is the best breakdown of the revelations since they started in June.

incredible interactive on NSA published by the Guardian

Stunning Interactive. Pattern of Life.

When Edward Snowden met journalists in his cramped room in Hong Kong’s Mira hotel in June, his mission was ambitious. Amid the clutter of laundry, meal trays and his four laptops, he wanted to start a debate about mass surveillance.

He succeeded beyond anything the journalists or Snowden himself ever imagined. His disclosures about the NSA resonated with Americans from day one. But they also exploded round the world.

For some, like Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, it is a vitally important issue, one of the biggest of our time: nothing less than the defence of democracy in the digital age.

But the intelligence agencies dismiss such claims, arguing that their programs are constitutional, and subject to rigorous congressional and judicial oversight. Secrecy, they say, is essential to meet their overriding aim of protecting the public from terrorist attacks.

The debate has raged across time zones: from the US and Latin America to Europe and to Asia. Barack Obama cancelled a trip to Moscow in protest at Russian president Vladimir Putin’s protection of Snowden. Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff cancelled a state visit to Washington in protest at the US spying on her. Bolivian president Evo Morales’s plane was forced down in Vienna amid suspicion that Snowden was being smuggled out of Russia.

In Germany, a “livid” Angela Merkel accused the US of spying on her, igniting a furore that has seen the White House concede that new constraints on the NSA’s activities may be necessary. Meanwhile, in Britain, prime minister David Cameron accused the Guardian of damaging national security by publishing the revelations, warning that if it did not “demonstrate some social responsibility it would be very difficult for government to stand back and not to act”.

US internet companies, their co-operation with the NSA exposed by Snowden’s documents, fear a worldwide consumer backlash, and claim they were forced into co-operation by the law.

Much of the NSA’s defence is that the public should be unconcerned, summed up by the dictum: “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.” But civil liberties groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union warn that surveillance goes well beyond what Congress intended and what the US constitution allows.

Cell phones, laptops, Facebook, Skype, chat-rooms: all allow the NSA to build what it calls ‘a pattern of life’, a detailed profile of a target and anyone associated with them.

And the number of people caught up in this dragnet can be huge.

You don’t need to be talking to a terror suspect to have your communications data analysed by the NSA. The agency is allowed to travel “three hops” from its targets — who could be people who talk to people who talk to people who talk to you. Facebook, where the typical user has 190 friends, shows how three degrees of separation gets you to a network bigger than the population of Colorado. How many people are three “hops” from you?

Guardian Interactive on NSA

Bradley Manning

The Manning Trial is nearing its end. I suppose his Guilt was never in doubt. The way this whole trial has been approached should send up red flag warnings to every single person in this Country. Was he a Whistleblower? Or was a traitor.?

Military obfuscation and compliant media make for an Orwellian trial of managed misinformation against the WikiLeaks source

further Manning article snippets

At least the parts I think are interesting/ relevant.

The lack of contemporaneous access to court documents has caused irreparable harm to the American public’s right to scrutinize the conduct of military prosecutors and the rulings of the presiding military judge. This will surely taint the final outcome of Pfc Bradley Manning’s trial.

“Military confinement. That’s like a term of art,” said the spokesperson for the military district of Washington (MDW) – which is responsible for convening a fair and impartial trial for the accused – to an American TV reporter last summer. The reporter was known for investigating infotainment websites during pre-trial sessions. “The practical effect?” commented the spokesman to the reporter. “He’s in jail.”

As we wait for the second circuit to rule on the Department of Justice’s midnight appeal of Judge Katherine Forrest’s permanent injunction on indefinite military detention of American citizens without trial or charges, Jennifer Elsea, a legislative attorney who provides policy and legal analysis to the US Congress, reminds us that aiding the enemy (pdf) is “one of two offenses under the Uniform Code of Military Justice that apply to ‘any person’, rather than just members of the military, like Manning.”

Manning article found here

Time magazine. Shame on you. Shame on NSA as well.

I have heard this mentioned before about Time Magazine but it is a pretty vivid display of how a media giant will use propaganda and the power of images to sway opinion or block discussion on what should be important issues.

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This was actually brought on by this weeks cover of gitmo… Except in the US it is about Chicago. I sort of trusted Time Magazine as a semi reliable news source. I am honestly scared to see what I would discover if I looked into the media and its relationship to the Govt. Obviously this sort of thing is wide spread. Your opinions are being molded for you by people you do not know and almost certainly not like you whatsoever. They control what you read.. They control the images you see. They control the debate that can be had. Obviously media is having major substantial and widespread problems if the are colluding with the Federal Govt to show what they wish. You realize what a scam embedded journalists were right? That was the DOD and Pentagon controlling the message. Not much different that 1940 ish Germany. In 2001 the scope of the size of the message the Govt wanted to display on its terms was unprecedented in human history.

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People should be talking today about the level of spying the NSA is doing on us daily… And is that really the way we want the US to become? A Police State or Corporate Police State? I am serious as a heart attack when I say the NSA knows more about me and you then I or you know about yourself. The level of snooping since 2001 is also unprecedented in human history. The Data they take every day and store on super computers is massive. I bet it was perhaps discussed on some news shows… I bet most had general stories that seemingly put there to distract us from the real issue.

This is actual truth and you can find the videos on YouTube that backs up what I am saying.

On Sept 10th 2001 Donald Rumsfield stood in the Pentagon and announced they had lost 2.1 or 3.1 trillion dollars.!! Could not be found or accounted for.

Sept 11th. Think you know what happens.

Something about this one fact has bothered me for such a long time

The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets, according to a top-secret document obtained by The Washington Post.

The program, code-named PRISM, has not been made public until now. It may be the first of its kind. The NSA prides itself on stealing secrets and breaking codes, and it is accustomed to corporate partnerships that help it divert data traffic or sidestep barriers. But there has never been a Google or Facebook before, and it is unlikely that there are richer troves of valuable intelligence than the ones in Silicon Valley.

From today’s Washington Post.

http://m.washingtonpost.com/investigations/us-intelligence-mining-data-from-nine-us-internet-companies-in-broad-secret-program/2013/06/06/3a0c0da8-cebf-11e2-8845-d970ccb04497_story.html