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DHS is paying college students to create extremist propaganda games and videos

MassPrivatel | July 27, 2017

According to EdVenture Partners, college students are being paid to create DHS propaganda videos, games and much more.

University students develop and execute campaigns and social media strategies against extremism that are credible,authentic, and believable to their peers and resonate within their communities in partnership with Homeland Security.”

Two weeks ago, the University of Maryland won this year’s DHS competition by creating a video game and social media campaign that ‘helps’ people recognize radicalization.

Helps, doesn’t begin to describe what DHS is doing.

College students make DHS propaganda educational tool-kits, apps, etc.

Students, at twenty three universities are being paid $2,000 to make DHS propaganda “mobile apps, cultural activities, videos, campus movements, social campaigns, websites, viral videos, blogs, education tool-kits.”

The winning school is awarded a $5,000 scholarship. To date, about 50–75 schools participate in the DHS competition each year.”

This is horrifying, DHS is paying colleges to create propaganda yearly.

DHS and the University of Maryland’s (UMD) want students to become participants in their ‘It Takes Just One‘ propaganda movement.

They want to teach you how to recognize the signs of radicalization, how to properly take action, and how to inspire others to take action as well.”

By action, they mean report them to law enforcement and ultimately Fusion Centers.

UMD’s propaganda game claims alt-right people must be dealt with

DHS’s  UMD’s ‘Operation Genovese‘ game, gives players a choice between an ‘alt-right’ man and an Islamic woman who has been radicalized by ISIS. The game claims, both of their views and anti-social behavior are an issue. The game says, that both of them MUST be deradiclized or stopped.

The game also claims, they will harm themselves or others unless they’re dealt with.

UMD’s game and ‘movement’ are designed to keep fear alive and report people based on their ideology.

The primary objective of It Takes Just One is to provide a platform for people who have witnessed or may witness his/her loved ones radicalize towards violent extremism.”

UMD claims, people should share their stories (report) as in ‘See Something, Say Something’ “even if it is not specific to countering violent extremism.” You know, so law enforcement can target innocent people.

July 28, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , , | 2 Comments

‘Not enough data to show Russian link to election’ – Wordfence CEO

RT | January 1, 2017

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS)’s claims that Russia hacked the 2016 US election are based on flimsy evidence, says security expert Mark Maunder.

On December 29, the DHS and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) released a Joint Analysis Report (JAR) put together by the DHS and the FBI that blames Russia for hacking the US presidential election in an operation which they nicknamed GRIZZLY STEPPE. Among other things, the report cites the presence of PHP malware as one of the clues pointing to Russian involvement.

RT talked to Mark Maunder, CEO of internet security company Wordfence, to get his perspective.

“Our field is PHP malware and WordPress security,” Maunder explained. “We protect about two million WordPress websites.”

“The Wordfence team analyzed the PHP malware the DHS and FBI included in their report, and we analyzed the IP addresses. Looking at the PHP malware, they provided a sample, so we used the sample to find the original PHP malware which is actually in some of the attacks we’ve seen on our customer’s websites and that we’ve blocked. And that malware is encrypted, so we had to find some way to decrypt it.

“Once we decrypted it, it showed us the name of the malware and some other information, like the version of the malware. We used that to do a few searches, and we actually found what looks like the source of the malware which is a hacking group that claimed they were based in Ukraine, and they’re distributing versions of that malware which are slightly newer,” he said.

Maunder said the malware isn’t so much a tool for breaking into systems, as one used to control those already compromised.

“The malware is something the attacker would use if they’ve just hacked into a website and they want to have the ability to control that website. In other words, view files, or maybe copy files back and forth and install additional tools – they would use this malware to do that. So, it’s not malware that’s used to infect workstations. It’s sort of used as a step in the process a hacker would use to put something on a website that would then infect workstations,” the security expert explained.

However, the fact that this software was used in no way indicates that Russia interfered, officially or otherwise, in the American presidential elections.

“It’s unfortunate that the report was released on the same day that the White House took action and expelled 35 Russian diplomats from the United States. That, and some of the language in the report, seems to suggest that it is proof that Russia interfered in the 2016 US election.

“What’s actually in the report doesn’t actually include enough data, in our opinion, to show that there’s a clear link that Russia interfered in the US election. What’s actually in the report is indicators of compromise that any systems administrator could use to figure out they’ve been hacked. There’s some stuff in there that’s associated with some previous Russian activity, but it’s not evidence of a Russian link, and I think a lot of people are interpreting it as that. There are tools in the report that are sort of general tools that are used by any hacker, so if you find some of the malware that’s in the report on your network, it doesn’t mean that you were hacked by Russia, and the report doesn’t conclusively prove that Russia interfered in the election. And so, I think it’s being misinterpreted and I think that’s unfortunate,” he said.

Maunder said it is even possible that the whole attack was a false-flag operation of some kind, but he admitted there was no evidence to back this idea so far, either. He conceded, however, that the authorities could have some other information that they have not yet made public.

“A lot of indicators of compromise in this report can be used by anyone, because some of those hacking tools are publicly available. However, if the DHS and FBI have other indicators of compromise that conclusively provide a Russian link, then perhaps that’s what they used to identify the attack and link it to Russia,” he said.

Both the Obama administration and leading members of both the Democratic and Republican parties have accused the Russian government of hacking the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and releasing sensitive documents to WikiLeaks in order to compromise presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Senator John McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has referred to the alleged hack as “an act of war.”

More recently, the Washington Post accused Russian hackers of breaking into the national power grid in Vermont, but the newspaper was soon forced to admit that its allegations were groundless.

January 2, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite | , , | 1 Comment

Joint FBI-Homeland Security report fails to prove Russians behind Clinton leaks

By Alexander Nercouris | The Duran | December 29, 2016

In conjunction with US President Obama’s announcement of new sanctions against Russia, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security have published a 13 page report into the Russian hacking allegations.

I think it is fair to say that a mountain has moved and produced a mouse.  To get a sense of the absurdity, consider that the report actually begins with a Disclaimer:

DISCLAIMER: This report is provided “as is” for informational purposes only. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within. DHS does not endorse any commercial product or service referenced in this advisory or otherwise. This document is distributed as TLP:WHITE: Subject to standard copyright rules, TLP:WHITE information may be distributed without restriction. For more information on the Traffic Light Protocol, see https://www.us-cert.gov/tlp. Reference Number: JAR-16-20296 December 29. (bold italics added)

After this unpromising beginning, the report – which goes by the frankly weird title “Grizzly Bear” – provides a summary that reads as follows:

Previous JARs have not attributed malicious cyber activity to specific countries or threat actors. However, public attribution of these activities to RIS is supported by technical indicators from the U.S. Intelligence Community, DHS, FBI, the private sector, and other entities. This determination expands upon the Joint Statement released October 7, 2016, from the Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security. This activity by RIS is part of an ongoing campaign of cyber-enabled operations directed at the U.S. government and its citizens. These cyber operations have included spearphishing campaigns targeting government organizations, critical infrastructure entities, think tanks, universities, political organizations, and corporations leading to the theft of information. In foreign countries, RIS actors conducted damaging and/or disruptive cyber-attacks, including attacks on critical infrastructure networks. In some cases, RIS actors masqueraded as third parties, hiding behind false online personas designed to cause the victim to misattribute the source of the attack. This JAR provides technical indicators related to many of these operations, recommended mitigations, suggested actions to take in response to the indicators provided, and information on how to report such incidents to the U.S. Government.

Note that the report is solely concerned with hacking.  It does not discuss who provided the DNC or Podesta material to Wikileaks, it does not say that Russian Intelligence carried out the hacking to influence the outcome of the US Presidential election, and nor does it say that Russian intelligence did this in order to swing the election to Donald Trump – all questions concerning which the FBI is known to have doubts.  On the contrary, it is careful to say that it is the US government (ie. the Obama administration), not the US intelligence community or the FBI or the Department of Homeland Security, which assesses that the Russians passed the DNC and Podesta material on to Wikileaks for onward publication in the media

The U.S. Government assesses that information was leaked to the press and publicly disclosed. (bold italics added)

The report provides no evidence that the hacking was the work of Russian intelligence agencies.  It merely states it as a fact

The U.S. Government confirms that two different RIS actors participated in the intrusion into a U.S. political party.

The two “actors” in question are the two groups of hackers known as Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear.  As I have pointed out previously, the claim that these two groups of hackers act for Russian intelligence has so far been based purely on inference, with no hard facts behind it.

There is nothing in this report that changes that, or which substantiates this claim, and nothing in the report that remotely resembles a hard fact to support it. On the contrary as the paragraph I have quoted above shows, the claim is still based purely on inference . That the claim is entirely inferential, and may be based on completely false reasoning, is it turns out also the opinion of an expert in this field.

The rest of the report  – which is to say nearly all of it – is taken up with technical information intended to confirm the existence of the hacking – something which no-one denies happened – and various suggestions for ways to mitigate against such hacking in the future.  Whilst this is no doubt helpful, it is hardly the issue under discussion.  Frankly it looks like padding, made to make the report look longer and more substantial than it actually is.

Even the Guardian has been forced to admit that this is thin stuff.

Security experts on Twitter criticised the government report as too basic. Jonathan Zdziarski, a highly regarded security researcher, compared the joint action report to a child’s activity center.

Tom Killalea, former vice-president of security at Amazon and a Capital One board member, wrote: “Russian attack on DNC similar to so many other attacks in past 15yrs. Big question: Why such poor incident response?”

If this is the sum total of the evidence upon which the Obama administration is claiming that the Russians were behind the leak of the DNC and Podesta emails, and that they did this to swing the election to Donald Trump, then this “evidence” in no way does that. Indeed if anything what the report shows is how confected this whole scandal actually is.

I would add that the complete absence of enthusiasm on the part of the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security for the Obama administration’s attempts to use the claims of Russian hacking for its own political ends shines through the whole report. Anyone with experience of such reports can spot it immediately. This is very much a report produced to order, which does the absolute minimum it can get away with in order to appear to comply with the order.

Interestingly the NSA, the branch of US intelligence which has presumably the greatest expertise in the area, and which has the most information about it, is not a co-author of this report. I wonder why?

December 30, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | Leave a comment

A Digital 9/11 If Trump Wins

By Finian Cunningham | SPUTNIK | November 6, 2016

There are disturbing signs that a digital 9/11 terror attack is being readied for election day in the US to ensure that Donald Trump does not win.

Such an attack – involving widespread internet and power outage – would have nothing to do with Russia or any other foreign state. It would be furnished by agencies of the US Deep State in a classic “false flag” covert manner. But the resulting chaos and “assault on American democracy” will be conveniently blamed on Russia.

That presents a double benefit. Russia would be further demonized as a foreign aggressor “justifying” even harsher counter measures by America and its European allies against Moscow.

Secondly, a digital attack on America’s presidential election day this week, would allow the Washington establishment to pronounce the result invalidated due to “Russian cyber subversion”. That option stands to be invoked if the ballot results showed Republican candidate Donald Trump as the imminent victor.

Democrat rival Hillary Clinton is the clear choice for the White House among the Washington establishment. She has the backing of Wall Street finance capital, the corporate media, the military-industrial complex and the Deep State agencies of the Pentagon and CIA. The fix has been in for months to get her elected by the powers-that-be owing to her well-groomed obedience to American imperialist interests.

The billionaire property magnate Trump is too much of a maverick to be entrusted with the White House, as far as the American ruling elite are concerned. The trouble is, however, that despite the massive campaign to discredit Trump his poll support remains stubbornly close to Clinton’s.

The latter has been tainted with too many scandals involving allegations of sleazy dealings with Wall Street, so-called pay-for-play favors while she was former Secretary of State, and her penchant for inciting overseas wars for regime change using jihadist terrorist foot-soldiers.

As one headline from McClatchy News only days ago put it: “Majority of voters think Clinton acted illegally, new poll finds”.

Trump is right. The US presidential election is “rigged”. Despite handwringing condemnations by pundits, it seems obvious that the system is heavily stacked against any candidate who does not conform with the interests of the establishment. The massive media-orchestrated campaign against Trump is testimony to that.

But such is popular disgust with Clinton, her sleaze-ball husband Bill and the Washington establishment that her victory is far from certain. Indeed in the last week before voting this Tuesday various polls are showing a neck-and-neck race with even some indicators putting the Republican narrowly ahead.

Over the weekend, the Washington Post, which has been one of the main media outlets panning Trump on a daily basis, reported this: “The electoral map is definitely moving in Trump’s direction”.

This is where a possible Deep State contingency plan is being readied to scupper a shock win by Trump.

In recent days, American media are reporting a virtual state of emergency by the US government and its security agencies to thwart what they claim are Russian efforts to incite “election day cyber mayhem”.

In one “exclusive” report by the NBC network on November 3, it was claimed that: “The US government believes hackers from Russia or elsewhere may try to undermine next week’s presidential election and is mounting an unprecedented effort to counter their cyber meddling.”

On November 4, the Washington Post reported: “Intelligence officials warn of Russian mischief in election and beyond.”

Apparently, the emergency security response is being coordinated by the White House, the Department of Homeland Security, the CIA, the National Security Agency and other elements of the Defense Department, according to NBC.

These claims of Russian state hackers interfering in the US political system are not new. Last month, the Obama administration officially accused Moscow of this alleged malfeasance.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has lambasted American claims that his country is seeking to disrupt the presidential elections as “hysterical nonsense”, aimed at distracting the electorate from far more deep-rooted internal problems.

The Obama administration and its state security agencies have not provided one iota of evidence to support their allegations against Russia. Nevertheless the repeated charges have a tendency to stick.

The Clinton campaign has for months been accusing Trump of being a “pro-Russian stooge”. Her campaign has also claimed that Russian hackers have colluded with the whistleblower organization Wikileaks to release thousands of private emails damaging Clinton with the intention of swaying the election in favor of Trump.

Wikileaks’ director Julian Assange and the Russian government have both rejected any suggestion that they are somehow collaborating, or that they are working to get Trump elected.

But on the eve of the election, the US authorities are recklessly pushing hysteria that Russia is trying to subvert American democracy. Michael McFaul, the former US ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014 is quoted as saying: “The Russians are in an offensive mode and the US is working on strategies to respond to that, and at the highest levels.”

NBC cites a senior Obama administration official as saying that the Russians “want to sow as much confusion as possible and undermine our process”.

Ominously, the news outlet adds that “steps are being taken to prepare for worst-case scenarios, including a cyber-attack that shuts down part of the power grid or the internet.”

Nearly two weeks ago, on October 21-22, the US was hit with a widespread internet outage. The actors behind the “distributed denial of service” were not identified, but the disruption was nationwide and it temporarily disabled many popular consumer services. One former official at the US Department of Homeland Security described the event as having “all the signs of what would be considered a drill”. Could that cyber-attack have been the work of US Deep State agencies as a dress rehearsal for an even bigger outage planned for November 8 – election day?

The Washington establishment wants Clinton over Trump. She’s the marionette of choice for their strategic interests, including a more hostile foreign policy towards Russia in Syria, Ukraine and elsewhere.

But Trump might just snatch an election day victory from the jaws of defeat.

In which case, the shadowy forces that really rule America will trigger a “digital 9/11”. It’s not difficult to imagine the chaos and mayhem from internet blackout, power, transport, banking and communications paralysis – even for just a temporary period of a few hours.

Months of fingering Russia as a destabilizing foreign enemy intent on interfering in US democracy to get “Comrade Trump” into the White House would then serve as a self-fulfilling prophecy. In that event, the US authorities could plausibly move to declare the election of Donald J Trump null and void.

In fact the scenario could be contrived to a far more serious level than merely suspending the election result. The US authorities could easily feign that a state of emergency is necessary in order to “defend national security”.

That contingency catapults beyond “rigged politics”. It is a green light for a coup d’état by the Deep State forces who found that they could not win through the “normal” rigging methods.

November 6, 2016 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

US government officially accuses Russia of political hacks

RT | October 7, 2016

The US intelligence community is “confident” that Russia is behind the recent hacks of US officials’ and organizations’ emails, the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of National Intelligence said.

According to the joint statement issued Friday, “disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts.”

“We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities,” says the statement, posted by the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

The thefts and disclosures are “intended to interfere with the US election process,” the statement said, adding that “the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia” to influence public opinion.

External attempts to access election systems in several states“in most cases originated from servers operated by a Russian company,” the US officials said. “However, we are not now in a position to attribute this activity to the Russian Government.”

It would be “extremely difficult” for anyone to alter ballot counts or election results through cyberattacks, DHS and DNI said.

DHS has established an Election Infrastructure Cybersecurity Working Group “with experts across all levels of government” to raise awareness of cybersecurity risks, and urges state and local election officials to seek cybersecurity assistance from the federal authorities.

This is the first time the US government has officially accused Russia of cyberattacks related to the US presidential campaign. The Democratic National Committee blamed Russia for the hack of their email servers in June, though a lone hacker going by the name ‘Guccifer 2.0’ claimed responsibility and denied any ties to Russia.

The statement from Homeland Security and DNI comes just hours after Secretary of State John Kerry said that Russian actions in Syria “beg for an appropriate investigation of war crimes.” Moscow has dismissed Kerry’s words as “propaganda” intended to distract from US failure to implement the Syrian ceasefire agreement.

US cybersecurity experts claim that six out of eight IP addresses used by the DNC hackers were hosted on King Servers, a Russian provider. Vladimir Fomenko, owner of the company, told RT that he was never contacted by US law enforcement, however.

“We are ready to assist in probing this crime and consulting the FBI or other services on such issues. Hackers are a common threat and we must fight it together,” Fomenko said.

“If the FBI asks, we are ready to supply the IP addresses, the logs,” he said. “Nobody is asking… It’s like nobody wants to sort this out.”

October 7, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | 3 Comments

Homeland Security detains US journalist returning from Beirut, tries to confiscate phones

RT | July 22, 2016

A Wall Street Journal reporter returning from Beirut was taken into holding, grilled and asked to hand over her phones by the Department of Homeland Security at Los Angeles International Airport.

When the journalist, Maria Abi-Habib, returned from Beirut, it was another ordinary work trip. But after touching down at LAX in Los Angeles, she was treated as a dangerous suspect by the service, which now enjoys broad authority at airports.

She outlined the ordeal in a Facebook post, largely focusing on the dangers of the loss of privacy and the risk to journalistic work emerging out of the DHS practice.

As soon as she joined the line for immigration, a friendly officer walked up, giddily saying “Oh, there you are. I was trying to recognize you from your picture. I’m here to help you get through the line.” The friendly greeting by the female agent was only offset by the fact of how much she already knew. As Abi-Habib explains:

“The DHS agent went on to say she was there to help me navigate immigration because I am a journalist with The Wall Street Journal and have travelled to many dangerous places that are on the US’ radar for terrorism. She independently knew who I worked for and my Twitter account, countries I’d reported from (like Iraq) and even recent articles I’d written — I told her nothing about myself.”

But to a journalist already on the US Immigration list, this was unsurprising. Abi-Habib was put on the list precisely because of her line of work, and it had previously served to help her navigate customs more quickly.

But this time was different. After being escorted to baggage claim, she was led into a closed-off section of LAX into a room, where another DHS agent was already waiting.

“They grilled me for an hour – asking me about the years I lived in the US, when I moved to Beirut and why, who lives at my in-laws’ house in LA and numbers for the groom and bride whose wedding I was attending.”

Although she took this all in high spirits – given her previous work experience with security checks – Abi-Habib’s story quickly took a darker turn when the DHS officers asked her for her two mobile phones, saying they needed to “collect information,” though didn’t say about what.

Abi-Habib tried to explain that this not only violated her First Amendment rights, but exposed the professional sources she was protecting as a journalist. Although the words are nothing out of the ordinary for the profession, the DHS officer questioning her shot back: “Did you just admit you collect information for foreign governments?”

Shocked, Abi-Habib replied: “No, that’s exactly not what I just said,” as she proceeded to protest the confiscation of the phones.

That is when the real shock came. Abi-Habib was promptly handed a DHS document, which outlined that the service could deprive her of her rights as a US citizen at any border, and that the authority extended up to 100 miles (160km) from the border inside the actual country.

“So, all of NY city for instance,” she writes. “If they forgot to ask you at JFK airport for your phones, but you’re having a drink in Manhattan the next day, you technically fall under this authority. And because they are acting under the pretence to protect the US from terrorism, you have to give it up.”

Abi-Habib tried a different tactic – revealing that the phones were the property of the Wall Street Journal, and that the service would need to contact the paper’s attorneys to obtain permission. At that point things became potentially even more dangerous. The DHS now accused her of impeding the investigation.

That is “a dangerous accusation,” she wrote, “as at that point, they can use force.”

“She said she had to speak to her supervisor about my lack of cooperation and would return,” she wrote, as another officer remained.

The female officer returned 30 minutes later and said Abi-Habib was free to go.

“I have no idea why they wanted my phones – it could have been a way for them to download my contacts. Or maybe they expect [sic] me of terrorism or sympathizing with terrorists – although my profile wouldn’t fit, considering I am named Maria Teresa, and for a variety of other reasons including my small child.”

The DHS’ expanded powers are coming under increasing scrutiny in an age when all of one’s most private information is carried in their back pocket – not to mention sensitive work-related information. But as Abi-Habib later found out, the DHS was indeed perfectly within its right to deprive a citizen of their rights for up to 100 miles within US borders – a law that was “quietly passed” in 2013.

“This legislation also circumvents the Fourth Amendment that protects Americans’ privacy and prevents searches and seizures without a proper warrant,” she explains, adding that using encryption is now practically a must – although even then is not a guarantee, seeing as some apps will reveal the identity of the recipient, if not the chat history.

“Never download anything or even open a link from a friend or source that looks suspicious. This may be malware, meaning that they have downloaded software on your phone that will be able to circumvent the powers of encryption,” Abi-Habib warns after speaking to an encryption expert.

She also advises to “travel naked” – an expression which a tech-savvy acquaintance used. That means not taking a sensitive phone with you – only the SIM card – and using it in a ‘clean’ phone. All sensitive numbers should also be written on paper.

Abi-Habib’s story follows a wave of controversy over special powers now afforded to US agencies at the border. A new proposal to ask visitors for their “social media identifier” could help border agents search your background without having to go to the National Security Agency (NSA), it turned out late June.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which is part of the DHS, believes having this “identifier” could help it find “possible nefarious activity and connections.”

The public consultation process for that proposal will expire August 22. If successful, the social media information would be gathered in addition to the numerous database checks, fingerprinting, and face-to-interviews that already take place. How it would be processed is not revealed in the proposal and providing the information would be voluntary.

Read more:

Social profiling: US border agents want to know what you’re saying on Facebook & Twitter

July 22, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 1 Comment

Non-military federal agencies have more firearm authority than entire US Marine Corps ‒ report

RT | June 24, 2016

The militarization of local law enforcement in America has long been documented, but a new report found 67 federal agencies such as the IRS and Health and Human Services have spent $1.48 billion purchasing guns, ammunition and military-style equipment.

Among the startling findings in the 50-page report is that the 67 non-military agencies and 15 Cabinet-level departments have more than 200,000 federal officers with arrest and firearm authority, which exceeds the size of the entire United State Marine Corps, with its 182,000 personnel.

The documented purchases were made over an eight-year period from fiscal years 2006 to 2014. The report found traditional law enforcement agencies spent just 77 percent of that amount to make purchases totaling $1.14 billion during the same time period.

Other findings were that the Internal Revenue Service shelled out nearly $11 million on guns and ammunition for 2,316 “special agents.”

“The IRS stockpile includes pump-action and semi-automatic shotguns with buckshot and slugs; and semi-automatic AR-15rifles (S&W M&P 15) and military-style H&K 416 rifles,” the report said.

The details come from the Militarization of America: non-military federal agencies purchases of guns, ammo, and military-style equipment, published by the non-profit good government group OpentheBooks.com. The data comes from analyzing publicly available information from US government agency spending, outside the Department of Defense. The report cover carries an endorsement by former Senator Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma).

OpentheBooks.com was founded by Illinois businessman Adam Andrzejewsk, who ran in the Illinois gubernatorial race in 2010 with Tea Party support, but was beaten by a wide margin.

Other accounts included in the report are that the Food and Drug Administration has 183 armed “special agents,” representing a 50-percent increase over the 10 years from 1998-2008.

At the Department of Health and Human Services, “Special Office of Inspector General Agents” are now trained with sophisticated weaponry by the same contractors who train US military special force troops, Andrzejewski maintained.

The report showed that in 1996, the Bureau of Justice Statistics had 74,500 law enforcement officers with arrest and firearm authority employed by federal agencies, and that number had increased by nearly 50 percent in 2008 to 120,000 officers.

Other findings include that the Department of Homeland Security has purchased 1.7 billion bullets, including 453 million hollow-points, since 2004, and the DHS estimated its bullet inventory reserve at 160 million rounds.

The report also found that federal agencies had spent $313,958 on paintball equipment, along with $14.7 million on Tasers, $1.6 million on unmanned aircraft, $8.2 million on buckshot, $7.44 million on projectiles and $4 million on grenade/launchers.

The report comes following the recent attacks on a gay nightclub in Orlando that left 49 people dead and 53 others injured, when a gunman fired on them with an assault weapon.

“As the Obama administration and its allies are pushing hard for an assault weapons ban on private citizens, taxpayers are asking why IRS agents need AR-15s,” Andrzejewski wrote in an opinion column in Forbes magazine. “After grabbing legal power, federal bureaucrats are amassing firepower. It’s time to scale back the federal arsenal.”

June 24, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Militarism | , | 1 Comment

US, Israel agree to cyber information-sharing efforts

RT | June 22, 2016

The United States and Israel have signed a joint declaration on cyber defense cooperation, making Israel one of the only nations to join the Department of Homeland Security’s information-sharing platform on cyber threats.

The declaration was signed Tuesday by Israel’s National Cyber Directorate chief Eviatar Matania and Cyber Security Authority head Buky Carmeli, as well as Alejandro Mayorkas, deputy secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security, and Under Secretary of Homeland Security Suzanne Spaulding.

The agreement was announced at the 6th Annual International Cybersecurity Conference at Tel Aviv University.

The bilateral cyber defense initiative will commit the US and Israel to expanded cooperation “for the benefit of dealing effectively with common threats in the cyber domain,” the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

The pact means Israel will be one of the first nations in the world to join the DHS’s Automated Indicator Sharing program, which involves data-sharing on cyber threat indicators between governments and private companies.

The declaration specifically means the two nations will cooperate in real time on the monitoring of cyber activities, defending vital infrastructure, private-sector partnerships, and future efforts at research and development of new technologies, JTA reported.

Spaulding, the undersecretary for national protection and programs with DHS, will oversee the bilateral cyber defense operations, along with Israel’s Carmeli.

June 22, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | 2 Comments

Syria, ISIS, and the US-UK Propaganda War

By Eric Draitser | New Eastern Outlook | May 6, 2016

With the war in Syria raging in its fifth year, and the Islamic State wreaking havoc throughout the Middle East and North Africa, it’s clear that the entire region has been made into one large theater of conflict. But the battlefield must not be understood solely as a physical place located on a map; it is equally a social and cultural space where the forces of the US-UK-NATO Empire employ a variety of tactics to influence the course of events and create an outcome amenable to their agenda. And none to greater effect than propaganda.

Indeed, if the ongoing war in Syria, and the conflicts of the post-Arab Spring period generally, have taught us anything, it is the power of propaganda and public relations to shape narratives which in turn impact political events. Given the awesome power of information in the postmodern political landscape, it should come as no surprise that both the US and UK have become world leaders in government-sponsored propaganda masquerading as legitimate, grassroots political and social expression.

London, Washington, and the Power of Manipulation

The Guardian recently revealed how the UK Government’s Research, Information, and Communications Unit (RICU) is involved in surveillance, information dissemination, and promotion of individuals and groups as part of what it describes as an attempt at “attitudinal and behavioral change” among its Muslim youth population. This sort of counter-messaging is nothing new, and has been much discussed for years. However, the Guardian piece actually exposed the much deeper connections between RICU and various grassroots organizations, online campaigns, and social media penetration.

The article outlined the relationship between the UK Government’s RICU and a London-based communications company called Breakthrough Media Network which “has produced dozens of websites, leaflets, videos, films, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and online radio content, with titles such as The Truth about Isis and Help for Syria.” Considering the nature of social media, and the manner in which information (or disinformation) is spread online, it should come as no surprise that a number of the viral videos, popular twitter feeds, and other materials that seemingly align with the anti-Assad line of London and Washington are, in fact, the direct products of a government-sponsored propaganda campaign.

In fact, as the authors of the story noted:

One Ricu initiative, which advertises itself as a campaign providing advice on how to raise funds for Syrian refugees, has had face-to-face conversations with thousands of students at university freshers’ fairs without any students realising they were engaging with a government programme. That campaign, called Help for Syria, has distributed leaflets to 760,000 homes without the recipients realising they were government communications.

It’s not hard to see what the British Government is trying to do with such efforts; they are an attempt to control the messaging of the war on Syria, and to redirect grassroots anti-war activism to channels deemed acceptable to the political establishment. Imagine for a moment the impact on an 18-year-old college freshman just stepping into the political arena, and immediately encountering seasoned veteran activists who influence his/her thinking on the nature of the war, who the good guys and bad guys are, and what should be done. Now multiply that by thousands and thousands of students. The impact of such efforts is profound.

But it is much more than simply interactions with prospective activists and the creation of propaganda materials; it is also about surveillance and social media penetration. According to the article, “One of Ricu’s primary tasks is to monitor online conversations among what it describes as vulnerable communities. After products are released, Ricu staff monitor ‘key forums’ for online conversations to ‘track shifting narratives,’ one of the documents [obtained by The Guardian ] shows.” It is clear that such efforts are really about online penetration, especially via social media.

By monitoring and manipulating in this way, the British Government is able to influence, in a precise and highly targeted way, the narrative about the war on Syria, ISIS, and a host of issues relevant to both its domestic politics and the geopolitical and strategic interests of the British state. Herein lies the nexus between surveillance, propaganda, and politics.

But of course the UK is not alone in this effort, as the US has a similar program with its Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC) which describes its mission as being:

…[to] coordinate, orient, and inform government-wide foreign communications activities targeted against terrorism and violent extremism… CSCC is comprised of three interactive components. The integrated analysis component leverages the Intelligence Community and other substantive experts to ensure CSCC communicators benefit from the best information and analysis available. The plans and operations component draws on this input to devise effective ways to counter the terrorist narrative. The Digital Outreach Team actively and openly engages in Arabic, Urdu, Punjabi, and Somali.

Notice that the CSCC is, in effect, an intelligence hub acting to coordinate propaganda for CIA, DIA, DHS, and NSA, among others. This mission, of course, is shrouded in terminology like “integrated analysis” and “plans and operations” – terms used to designate the various components of the overall CSCC mission. Like RICU, the CSCC is focused on shaping narratives online under the pretext of counter-radicalization.

It should be noted too that CSCC becomes a propaganda clearinghouse of sorts not just for the US Government, but also for its key foreign allies (think Israel, Saudi Arabia, Britain), as well as perhaps favored NGOs like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, or Doctors Without Borders (MSF). As the New York Times noted:

[The CSCC will] harness all the existing attempts at countermessaging by much larger federal departments, including the Pentagon, Homeland Security and intelligence agencies. The center would also coordinate and amplify similar messaging by foreign allies and nongovernment agencies, as well as by prominent Muslim academics, community leaders and religious scholars who oppose the Islamic State.

But taking this information one step further, it calls into question yet again the veracity of much of the dominant narrative about Syria, Libya, ISIS, and related topics. With social media and “citizen journalism” having become so influential in how ordinary people think about these issues, one is yet again forced to consider the degree of manipulation of these phenomena.

Manufacturing Social Media Narratives

It is by now well documented the myriad ways in which Western governments have been investing heavily in tools for manipulating social media in order to shape narratives. In fact, the US CIA alone has invested millions in literally dozens of social media-related startups via its investment arm known as In-Q-Tel. The CIA is spending the tens of millions of dollars providing seed money to these companies in order to have the ability to do everything from data mining to real-time surveillance.

The truth is that we’ve known about the government’s desire to manipulate social media for years. Back in February 2011, just as the wars on Libya and Syria were beginning, an interesting story was published by PC World under the title Army of Fake Social Media Friends to Promote Propaganda which explained in very mundane language that:

… the U.S. government contracted HBGary Federal for the development of software which could create multiple fake social media profiles to manipulate and sway public opinion on controversial issues by promoting propaganda. It could also be used as surveillance to find public opinions with points of view the powers-that-be didn’t like. It could then potentially have their “fake” people run smear campaigns against those “real” people.

Close observers of the US-NATO war on Libya will recall just how many twitter accounts miraculously surfaced, with tens of thousands of followers each, to “report” on the “atrocities” carried out by Muammar Gaddafi’s armed forces, and call for a No Fly Zone and regime change. Certainly one is left to wonder now, as many of us did at the time, whether those accounts weren’t simply fakes created by either a Pentagon computer program, or by paid trolls.

A recent example of the sort of social media disinformation that has been (and will continue to be) employed in the war on Syria/ISIS came in December 2014 when a prominent “ISIS twitter propagandist” known as Shami Witness (@ShamiWitness) was exposed as a man named “Mehdi,” (later confirmed as Mehdi Biswas) described as “an advertising executive” based in Bangalore, India. @ShamiWitness had been cited as an authoritative source – a veritable “wealth of information” – about ISIS and Syria by corporate media outfits, as well as ostensibly “reliable and independent” bloggers such as the ubiquitous Eliot Higgins (aka Brown Moses) who cited Shami repeatedly. This former “expert” on ISIS has now been charged in India with crimes including “supporting a terrorist organisation, waging war against the State, unlawful activities, conspiracy, sedition and promoting enmity.”

In another example of online media manipulation, in early 2011, as the war on Syria was just beginning, a blogger then known only as the “Gay Girl in Damascus” rose to prominence as a key source of information and analysis about the situation in Syria. The Guardian, among other media outlets, lauded her as “an unlikely hero of revolt” who “is capturing the imagination of the Syrian opposition with a blog that has shot to prominence as the protest movement struggles in the face of a brutal government crackdown.” However, by June of 2011, the “brutally honest Gay Girl” was exposed as a hoax, a complete fabrication concocted by one Tom MacMaster. Naturally, the same outlets that had been touting the “Gay Girl” as a legitimate source of information on Syria immediately backtracked and disavowed the blog. However, the one-sided narrative of brutal and criminal repression of peace-loving activists in Syria stuck. While the source was discredited, the narrative remained entrenched.

And this last point is perhaps the key: online manipulation is designed to control narratives. While the war may be fought on the battlefield, it is equally fought for the hearts and minds of activists, news consumers, and ordinary citizens in the West. The UK and US both have extensive information war capabilities, and they’re not afraid to use them. And so, we should not be afraid to expose them.

May 6, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

DHS releases best practices for government drone use, says nothing about warrants

PrivacySOS | January 4, 2015

In late December 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released its “Privacy, Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Unmanned Aircraft Systems Working Group” best practices recommendations for government drone use. The 11 page document does not contain the word “warrant,” nor any recommendations to federal, state, or local law enforcement about getting judicial approval to use drones to monitor people.

The best practices DHS offers mostly concern basic data security issues, including recommendations to delete data when it’s not needed, to limit collection where possible, to be (a little—not too) transparent with the public about drone acquisitions and operations, to avoid mission creep, and to refrain from spying on people based on their political views or protected class alone.

Those are all good things, but these recommendations are just that—suggestions. The document isn’t legally binding. And it completely avoids tackling a very important issue: judicial oversight and approval of police drone use. There’s little chance that congress will pass legislation mandating that police get warrants to use drones any time soon, so the responsibility for filling in the gap falls to state legislatures and courts.

While at least 20 states have passed laws to regulate drones, many of them don’t put any restrictions on law enforcement. Maine and Virginia require police to acquire warrants before deploying drones in most circumstances. The Drone Privacy Act in Massachusetts would require that police get a warrant before spying on us with drones, and ban the use of weaponized drones among state and local law enforcement.

January 6, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | Leave a comment

Bush-era officials can be sued for abuse of 9/11 detainees – court

RT | June 18, 2015

A federal appeals court reinstated a lawsuit against former Justice Department and law enforcement officials for violating the rights of men perceived as Arab or Muslim who were rounded up after 9/11 and held for months, sometimes in solitary confinement.

In a 2-1 ruling, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals decided that Bush-era heads of the Department of Justice, FBI and Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), can be sued for violating the constitutional rights of 762 men, described as “out-of-status aliens” because they either overstayed their visas or worked without permits.

The case, known as Turkmen v. Ashcroft, was filed in 2002 by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). It names as defendants the former Attorney General John Ashcroft, former FBI Director Robert Mueller and former commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service James Ziglar. The CCR is also suing the officials in charge of the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, New York, and the Passaic County Jail in Paterson, New Jersey, where the plaintiffs were being held for anywhere from three to eight months.

A federal court dismissed the case in 2013, after concluding there was no evidence the officials had any “intent to punish” the plaintiffs. However, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that decision, ruling that the Justice Department officials were not entitled to “qualified immunity,” and that the confinement conditions of the immigrants were actually established with “punitive intent.”

“We believe, then, that the challenged conditions—keeping detainees in their cells for twenty‐three hours a day, constructively denying them recreation and exposing them to the elements, strip searching them whenever they were removed from or returned to their cells, denying them sleep by bright lights—were not reasonably related to a legitimate goal, but rather were punitive and unconstitutional,” judges Rosemary Pooler and Richard Wesley wrote in the majority opinion.

Pooler and Wesley said the government officials presumed that “all out‐of‐status Arabs or Muslims were potential terrorists until proven otherwise,” and justified the detentions on national security grounds.

The lawsuit claims the mass detentions were part of the FBI’s “hold-until-cleared policy,” holding the men described as “potential recruits” for Al-Qaeda solely because of their Middle Eastern, North African, or South Asian origin. Of the eight current plaintiffs, six are Muslim, one is Hindu, and one is Buddhist.

“It might well be that national security concerns motivated the defendants to take action, but that is of little solace to those who felt the brunt of that decision,” the two judges wrote.

“We are thrilled with the court’s ruling,” said CCR attorney Rachel Meeropol. “The court took this opportunity to remind the nation that the rule of law and the rights of human beings, whether citizens or not, must not be sacrificed in the face of national security hysteria.”

Benamar Benatta, one of the plaintiffs, said he was “delighted” by the ruling. Cleared for release on November 14, 2001, Benatta remained in solitary confinement until April 30 the following year. … Full article

June 18, 2015 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | Leave a comment

DHS whistleblower ‘almost loses child’ for probing immigration & corruption

RT | June 12, 2015

After voicing concerns about an obscure US immigration program for foreign investors, a Department of Homeland Security agent says she was barred from owning a personal firearm and almost lost custody of her one-year-old adopted daughter.

Taylor Johnson, a senior special agent with a division of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), testified before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on Thursday. She was at a hearing alongside several other whistleblowers who claim that they have also faced harassment for speaking out against their agencies wrongdoings.

Johnson told the committee her problems started after investigating the so-called EB-5 program, which offers visas to foreign investors. When she questioned whether visas were being approved with enough scrutiny, her managers began to receive complaints about her queries. She was removed from the investigation and the case was closed.

“Some of the violations investigated surrounding the project included bank and wire fraud, and I discovered ties to organized crime and high-ranking politicians and they received promotions that appeared to facilitate the program,” Johnson testified.

The whistleblower discovered that “EB-5 applicants from China, Russia, Pakistan, Malaysia had been approved in as little as 16 days” and that case files didn’t have “the basic and necessary law enforcement queries.”

Johnson told the committee her gun was confiscated. She mentioned her access to her workplace and government databases were revoked and the government vehicle she used was also taken away. “I was told I couldn’t even carry or own a personal weapon, which is a constitutional rights violation,” she added.

“When an adoption social worker tried to contact and verify employment, she was told that I had been terminated for a criminal offense,” Johnson said, choking up. “I almost lost my one-year-old-child.”

Johnson’s testimony comes as the EB-5 program is already under intense criticism due to a report released in March by the DHS’ inspector general John Roth. Roth’s report concluded that Homeland Security deputy secretary Alejandro Mayorkas violated ethics rules by intervening as the head of USCIS on several occasions in EB-5 visa cases involving prominent Democrats, such as Senator Harry Reid and Governor Terry McAuliffe.

Mayorkas has since said, “I regret the perception my own involvement created.” It is unclear however if Johnson’s investigation concerned Mayorkas or any of his associates.

Read more:

TSA whistleblower says agency operates on culture of ‘fear and distrust’ & lax security

June 12, 2015 Posted by | Corruption | , , , , | 1 Comment