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- The Obama administration’s confused and weak foreign policy is paving the way for terrorism to flourish, according to Pete Hoekstra, former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
- “We now are seeing a resurgent al-Qaida, a resurgent Islamist movement. They see America as weak. They are training and people are participating in Syria, other parts of the world,” Hoekstra told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.
- “They’re participants; they’re fighting with al-Qaida and radical jihadists. They’re from the West, they’re from Europe, they’re from Canada, and, yes, they’re from the United States. They’re going to come back and we are growing this problem.
- “This problem is not diminishing under this president. It is growing by leaps and bounds.”
- He said Americans should be outraged by the “mess” being created by the White House on the world scene.
- “Our friends no longer trust us, we’ve lost Egypt, Israel is beside itself – they’re alone. It appears their only ally now in the Middle East is Saudi Arabia. How does this happen?” he said.
- Hoekstra said the United States is perceived as no longer knowing who its friends and enemies are.
- “This goes all the way back to early on when Obama moved into the White House. Remember the Green Revolution in 2009?” he said, referring to the massive anti-regime protests in Iran when then-incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed an election victory over his main opponent.
- “The people go to the streets [and] whose side are we are we on? We’re on the side of the regime,” he said.
- A similar siding occurred in Cairo during the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak, a longtime U.S. ally, according to Hoekstra.
- “The people go to the streets in Egypt, whose side are we on, we’re on the side of the Muslim Brotherhood who’s overthrowing Mubarak, someone who has been an ally for 20 to 30 years.”
- He said that in Libya, the U.S. has allied with jihadists in the past.
- “A lot of folks we don’t know who ended up attacking us in Benghazi and then this week we hear, oh, by the way, we’re negotiating with the Islamists in Syria,” he said.
- “Then it’s like, wait a minute, don’t you understand the Islamists in Syria, they’re the ones that attacked us, or their friends are the ones that attacked us in Benghazi, killed Americans?”
- Shinzo Abe secured final passage of a bill granting Japan’s govt sweeping powers to declare state secrets. The Bill won final approval of the measures at about 11:20 p.m. Tokyo time after opposition parties first forced a no-confidence vote in Abe’s govt in the lower house. The first rule of the pending Japan’s Special Secrets Bill is that what will be a secret is secret. The right to know has now been officially superseded by the right of the government to make sure you don’t know what they don’t want you to know. It might all seems like a bad joke, except for the Orwellian nature of the bill and a key Cabinet member expressing his admiration for the Nazis, “just as Germany needed a strong man like Hitler to revive defeated Germany, Japan needs people like Abe to dynamically induce change.”
- Submitted by Subcultureist of Japan’s Subculture Research Center blog,
- The first rule of the pending Japan’s Special Secrets Bill is that what will be a secret is secret. The second rule is that anyone who leaks a secret and a reporter who writes it up can face up to ten years in jail. The third rule is that there are no rules at to what government agency can declare state secrets and no checks on them to determine they don’t misuse the privilege; even of no longer existent agencies may have the power to declare their information secret. The fourth rule is that anything pertaining to nuclear energy is of course a state secret so there will not longer be any problem with nuclear power in this country because we won’t know anything about it. And what we don’t know can’t hurt us.
- The right to know has now been officially superseded by the right of the government to make sure you don’t know what they don’t want you to know.
- Legal experts note that even asking pointed questions about a state secret, whether you know or don’t know it’s a secret, could be treated as “instigating leaks” and the result in an arrest and a possible jail term up to five years. Of course, the trial would be complicated since the judge would not be allowed to know what secret the accused was suspected of trying to obtain.
- Ask the wrong question, five years in jail.
- And of course, trials about state secrets, would by the nature of the law, also be secret trials and closed to the public.
- At this point in time, no one has really claimed authorship of the secrecy bill. The author is a secret. Kafka would seem the most likely scrivener for this perplexing legislation, if he was still alive, but ruling coalition members acknowledge that another famous white man from the past may have provided the real inspiration for the bill and its implementation.
- An Upper House member of the Diet said on background to JSRC, “Deputy Prime Minister Aso Taro sort of telegraphed the punches of the administration by expressing his admiration for how the Nazi Party forcefully changed the German constitution this summer.
- Obviously, we’re not Nazis in Japan–because we hardly have any Jews, but we are like the defeated post World War I Germany in that we do not have the right to wage war to defend ourselves from our enemies. Just as Germany needed a strong man like Hitler to revive defeated Germany, Japan needs people like Abe to dynamically induce change.”
- Whistleblowers and journalist face up to ten years in jail for exposing anything the Japanese government declares “a special secret.” And what is a “special secret”–that is also secret.
- Whistleblowers and journalist face up to ten years in jail for exposing anything the Japanese government declares “a special secret.” And what is a “special secret”–that is also secret.
- In August this year, Aso Taro, who is also the Finance Minister stated at a seminar, “Germany’s Weimar Constitution was changed into the Nazi Constitution before anyone knew. It was changed before anyone else noticed. Why don’t we learn from that method?”
- It’s obvious that the Abe administration which pushed this bill into the Diet without public hearings and even the standard deliberations with Japan’s legal establishment has been an apt pupil of their German predecessors. They even attempted to pass the bill in the middle of the night yesterday while most of Japan was sleeping. The administration hasn’t been able to set a fire to the Diet building to justify a harsher crackdown but the LDP Secretary General was kind enough to say that those noisily protesting the bill were committing “terrorist acts.”
- The hawkish Prime Minister Abe has publicly stated his ambition to revise Japan’s constitution to rid it of Article 9, which forbids Japan from waging war. Upper house Diet member, Taro Yamamoto and others have publicly stated they believe the current bill is a stepping-stone to recreate a fascist Japan, as it existed prior to the Second World War.
- It might all seems like a bad joke, except for the Orwellian nature of the bill being proposed and a key Cabinet member expressing his admiration for the Nazis.
- A fourth straight month of solid hiring cut the U.S. unemployment rate to a five-year low of 7 percent in November, an encouraging sign for the economy.
- The Labor Department says employers added 203,000 jobs, nearly matching October’s revised gain of 200,000. The job gains helped lower the unemployment rate from 7.3 percent in October.
- The strengthening job market is likely to fuel speculation that the Federal Reserve may start to scale back its bond purchases when it meets later this month.
- The economy has now generated an average of 204,000 jobs from August through November. That’s up from 159,000 a month from April through July.
- Many of the November job gains were in higher-paying industries. Manufacturers added 27,000 positions, the most since March 2012. Construction firms gained 17,000.
- Back in the mid-2000′s, when jobs were plentiful and everyone was concerned with buying zero-interest homes, new cars and taking luxury vacations, Mike Maloney from the Hidden Secrets of Money was warning of the financial and economic destruction to come. In his assessment, a crisis was imminent:
- First the threat of deflation (1), followed by a helicopter drop (2), followed by big reflation (3), followed by a real deflation (4), and then followed by hyperinflation (5),
- We now know that Maloney was right.
- In 2008 we saw asset valuations from stocks to commodities lose significant value. It was a deflationary impact so threatening that the U.S. government was on the brink of a collapse which sunsequently led to members of Congress being warned that if nothing was done there would be tanks on the streets of America. This was followed by an unprecedented bailout package, which included an astronomical infusion of cash by the Federal Reserve under the direction of Chairman Ben Bernanke. Since then we’ve seen a massive reflation in a system where the economic fundamentals have only gotten worse – stock markets have hit all time highs, home prices have seemingly re-stabilized and personal debt is approaching 2007 levels.
- Mike’s first three stages have, without a doubt, now come to pass.
- If his forecast is correct – and it sure seems like it – then we will soon enter the next stage of this crisis and it will involve yet another deflationary hit to global asset prices. We know how destabilizing such an event can be from our country’s experience during the Great Depression. But as Mike notes in a follow-up to his original forecast, the next event will be nothing like what we saw during the 1930′s:
- I think it’s going to be a whole lot worse than the 30′s…
- People don’t understand the scale of the emergency that’s going on right now.
- They think that Ben Bernanke fixed things and that the economy is back on track, but the Fed is still doing emergency measures. They’re printing $85 billion a month – that’s over a trillion dollars a year… and people do not grasp the scale of the emergency measures that they’re doing right now.
- There was just a little over $800 billion of base money in existence before the crisis in 2008… that’s 200 years worth of currency creation… So that’s 0.8 trillion… now we create a trillion every year… that means we’re creating more than 200 years of currency every single year.
- …For him [Bernanke] to say that they’re not going to taper is an admission that they can never, ever taper… If they do the whole thing comes crashing down.
- I think the crash of 2008 was just a speed bump on the way to the main event… the consequences are gonna be horrific… the rest of the decade will bring us the greatest financial calamity in history.
- If Maloney is right, then the next crash is going to be followed by something so severe that many have suggested our civilization may not survive in its current form.
- Hyperinflation on this scale, originating in the United States, will lead to immediate global consequences. First, our systems of commerce break down. Next, the government will be left with no choice but to implement a state of martial law, something they have been war-gaming for years in anticipation of this very event. And finally, as noted by many contrarian experts, the world could very rapidly descend into widespread global conflict.
- We are, by all measures, on the very precipice of what is potentially the most enormous financial, economic, and social collapse in the history of the world.
- Both scenarios – deflation and inflation – are going to impoverish this nation and make it nearly impossible for people to acquire the basic necessities for life. One hundred million people are already struggling right now and are only capable of paying their rent and putting food on the table because of direct government assistance.
- When the system collapses that assistance will not be enough and those who failed to prepare by stocking long-term food stores, gold and silver, and barter supplies are going to be living in horrific conditions.
- This is big – and most people are completely ignorant to the possibility.
- What would you do if you logged in to your bank account one day and it showed that you had a zero balance and that your bank had absolutely no record that you ever had any money in your account at all? What would you do if hackers shut down all online banking and all ATM machines for an extended period of time? What would you do if you requested a credit report and discovered that there were suddenly 50 different versions of “you” all using the same Social Security number? Don’t think that these things can’t happen. According to Symantec, there was a 42 percent increase in cyberattacks against U.S. businesses last year. And according to a recent report in the Telegraph, big banks are being hit with cyberattacks “every minute of every day”. These attacks are becoming more powerful and more sophisticated with each passing year. Most of the time the general public never hears much about the cyberattacks that are actually successful because authorities are determined to maintain confidence in the banking system. But if people actually knew the truth about what was going on, they would not have much confidence at all.
- At this point, the attacks have become so frequent that there is literally no break between them. According to the Telegraph, major financial institutions are continually under assault, and the total number of attacks is constantly increasing…
- Every minute, of every hour, of every day, a major financial institution is under attack.
- Threats range from teenagers in their bedrooms engaging in adolescent “hacktivism”, to sophisticated criminal gangs and state-sponsored terrorists attempting everything from extortion to industrial espionage. Though the details of these crimes remain scant, cyber security experts are clear that behind-the-scenes online attacks have already had far reaching consequences for banks and the financial markets.
- The amount of money that some of these hackers are stealing is absolutely staggering. For example, during “Operation High Roller” thieves got away with somewhere between 78 million and 2.5 billion dollars…
- Dissected last year, Operation High Roller marked one of the biggest online thefts to have been made public. According to details of the investigation, somewhere between $78m (£48m) and $2.5bn was last year stolen from thousands of bank accounts across Europe, the US and Latin America.
- Among the customers targeted were rich individuals and high-value commercial accounts, with sophisticated software identifying the victims’ main bank accounts and transferring money to prepaid debit cards which could be cashed anonymously. Once the money had been taken, the hackers were able to hide their thefts by changing the victims’ bank balances so they appeared unaltered.
- Do you find it unsettling that the authorities don’t even know how much money was actually stolen?
- I do.
- And earlier this year, another gang of cyberthieves was able to steal 45 million dollars from ATM machines…
- A global posse of cyberthieves, armed with laptops in place of guns, hacked into financial institutions and stole $45 million from automated teller machines in a first-of-its-kind heist made for the 21st century, authorities in New York said Thursday.
- Over a seven-month period ending last month, the authorities said, hackers broke into computer networks of financial companies in the United States and India and eliminated the withdrawal limits on prepaid debit cards.
- Then, people involved in the heist withdrew tens of millions of dollars from ATMs in Manhattan and more than 20 other places around the world. In one case, surveillance cameras picked up a member of the “cashing crew” going from machine to machine, his cash-stuffed bag growing bigger with each hit.
- But thefts involving tens of millions of dollars are just the beginning.
- In the future, gangs of hackers, terror organizations or even foreign governments could use cyberattacks to bring the entire system down.
- John McAfee (formerly of McAfee Associates) recently warned that we are now entering an era of apocalyptic cyberattacks. He said that in the “next world war … the aggressors will be people sitting at home in armchairs while their software turns … all of our guns, our bombs … against us.”
- The truth is that it is not just our financial system that is vulnerable. Literally anything that is connected to the Internet could be attacked.
- And that is a lot of stuff.
- But for now, the big financial institutions remain the most prominent target. Just this week, we learned that a successful cyberattack on JPMorgan Chase resulted in the theft of the personal information of close to half a million corporate and government clients…
- Personal information of nearly half a million corporate and government clients who hold prepaid cash cards issued by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) may have been compromised in a cyberattack that took place on the bank’s network in July, the bank warned on Wednesday.
- Corporations use JPMorgan’s cash card, known as UCard, to pay salaries, while government agencies use it for issuing tax refunds and unemployment benefits. JPMorgan said it discovered in September that web servers supporting its site, www.ucard.chase.com, had been hacked, potentially involving unauthorized access to the personal information of 465,000 cardholders, according to a Reuters report.
- The issue was soon fixed and the incident has been brought to the attention of law enforcement authorities, JPMorgan said, adding that the bank has been trying to identify how many accounts were compromised in the attack.
- Of course this was not the first major “technical glitch” that JPMorgan Chase has encountered this year. In fact, earlier this year thousands upon thousands of their customers logged into their bank accounts only to discover that their balances had all been reset to zero. That problem was fixed shortly thereafter, but I guarantee you that all of the customers that witnessed that “glitch” will remember it for a very long time.
- And certainly JPMorgan Chase is far from alone in dealing with these kinds of issues. In fact, major U.S. bank websites were offline for a combined total of 249 hours during just one six week period earlier this year.
- When it comes to the Internet, nobody is ever entirely safe. Every major website and every major company are being targeted. According to USA Today, a cyberattack that began on October 21st has resulted in the theft of the login information for about 2 million Internet accounts…
- Almost 2 million accounts on Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yahoo and other social media and Internet sites have been breached, according to a Chicago-based cybersecurity firm.
- The hackers stole 1.58 million website login credentials and 320,000 e-mail account credentials, among other items, the firm Trustwave reported. Included in the breaches were thefts of 318,121 passwords from Facebook, 59,549 from Yahoo, 54,437 from Google, 21,708 from Twitter and 8,490 from LinkedIn. The list also includes 7,978 from ADP, the payroll service provider. According to a Trustwave blog, “Payroll services accounts could actually have direct financial repercussions.”
- So be cautious on the Internet. The bad guys are out there, and they are becoming more sophisticated with each passing day.
- And if you think that “the government will protect us”, you are just being naive.
- In fact, government agencies cannot even protect themselves from these guys. For example, identity thieves have been making fools of the IRS for years…
- The Internal Revenue Service sent 655 tax refunds to a single address in Kaunas, Lithuania — failing to recognize that the refunds were likely part of an identity theft scheme. Another 343 tax refunds went to a single address in Shanghai, China.
- Thousands more potentially fraudulent refunds — totaling millions of dollars — went to places in Bulgaria, Ireland and Canada in 2011.
- In all, a report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration today found 1.5 million potentially fraudulent tax returns that went undetected by the IRS, costing taxpayers $3.6 billion.
- So if you are waiting for the incompetent U.S. government to fix this problem, you are going to be waiting for a very, very long while.
- As a society, we are constantly becoming even more dependent on the Internet.
- Meanwhile, the attacks on the Internet are continually becoming even more sophisticated.
- At some point those attacks are going to cause some major league problems.
- The Chinese have made trillions of dollars flooding our shores with super cheap products, and now they are using some of that money to buy land and property all over America. For example, there is now a proposal to construct a multibillion dollar “China City” that would span approximately 600 acres in a remote area of New York state. This “China City” (that is actually what it would be called) would be located on Yankee Lake in Sullivan County, New York. The plans anticipate large numbers of Chinese businesses, plenty of homes for Chinese immigrants, a Chinese high school, a college, a casino and even a theme park. And the first 600 acres is only for “phase one” of the plan. Ultimately, the goal is for “China City” to cover more than 2,000 acres. Those promoting this plan say that it will be a great way for New Yorkers to learn to appreciate Chinese culture.
- So should we be concerned that the Chinese want to place a little slice of communist China right in the heart of New York state?
- Should we really be allowing other nations (especially ones that publish maps showing what will happen when they nuke us) to be setting up self-sustaining communities inside our own country that have no intention of integrating into the wider culture?
- David North of the Center for Immigration Studies is one of those that is sounding the alarm over this project. According to him, the eventual goal of the “China City” project is to essentially take over two small towns and cover a total of more than 2,000 acres…
- The first version of the plan to emerge was a grandiose one. It would cover more than 2,000 acres (more than three square miles) spread over the towns of Mamakating and Thompson. It would include a Chinese theme park, a city full of China-related businesses, a high school, a college, and 1,000 residences. Every province in China would have an office there and the place would be replete with symbols of Chinese culture. For more on these plans see CCOA’s website, festooned with golden dragons and text in both Mandarin and English. When finished it would be a $6 billion project, its backers say.
- But for now, the first phase is only going to cover about 600 acres…
- A revised version of the initial offering was proposed later; this would, as a modest start to the broader project, include a college, an urban area, some family housing, and lots of student housing; it would cover less than 600 acres and would all be in the town of Thompson, whose officials, a local lawyer tells me, are somewhat less hostile to the plan than those in Mamakating.
- And this is not the first time that this kind of thing has been proposed. As I reported last year, a different Chinese group has purchased 200 acres of land in a rural area of Michigan and hopes to create a “China City” out there…
- A Chinese group known as “Sino-Michigan Properties LLC” has bought up 200 acres of land near the town of Milan, Michigan. Their plan is to construct a “China City” with artificial lakes, a Chinese cultural center and hundreds of housing units for Chinese citizens. Essentially, it would be a little slice of communist China dropped right into the heartland of America. This “China City” would be located about 40 minutes from both Detroit and Toledo, and it would be marketed to Chinese business people that want to start businesses in the United States.
- You can read the full article about that project right here.
- Most of the time, when the Chinese gobble up our properties they do not do it in such large chunks. But make no mistake – they are voraciously buying up real estate right now. In fact, CNN recently published an article about the cities where they are the most active…
- New York and Los Angeles top the list of U.S. cities they are most interested in, according to Juwai.com, a website where Chinese buyers browse global real estate listings.
- More surprisingly, Philadelphia and Detroit come in at No. 3 and No. 4.
- The top 10 list is rounded out by Houston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Atlanta, San Diego and Memphis.
- Chinese buyers purchased $8.2 billion worth of U.S. property in 2012, according to Juwai.
- It has been estimated that the Chinese are now buying one out of every ten homes sold in the state of California. And this buying spree actually appears to be accelerating. The following is a brief excerpt from a recent CNBC article entitled “Chinese buying up California housing“…
- At a brand new housing development in Irvine, Calif., some of America’s largest home builders are back at work after a crippling housing crash. Lennar, Pulte, K Hovnanian, Ryland to name a few. It’s a rebirth for U.S. construction, but the customers are largely Chinese.
- “They see the market here still has room for appreciation,” said Irvine-area real estate agent Kinney Yong, of RE/MAX Premier Realty. “What’s driving them over here is that they have this cash, and they want to park it somewhere or invest somewhere.”
- So where did they get all of this cash?
- A lot of it came from us of course. We have lost tens of thousands of businesses and millions of jobs to the Chinese, and now they are literally buying up little pieces of America with the money that we spent on all of the cheap plastic trinkets that they exported to us.
- And they are not just buying up residential real estate. They are buying lots of commercial real estate as well. In fact, in a previous article I talked about how one Chinese firm recently purchased one of the most important landmarks in New York City…
- Chinese conglomerate Fosun International Ltd. (0656.HK) will buy office building One Chase Manhattan Plaza for $725 million, adding to a growing list of property purchases by Chinese buyers in New York city.
- The Hong Kong-listed firm said it will buy the property from JP Morgan Chase Bank, according to a release on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange website.
- Chinese firms, in particular local developers, have looked overseas to diversify their property holdings as the economy at home slows. Chinese individuals also have been investing in property abroad amid tight policy measures in the mainland residential market.
- Earlier this month, Chinese state-owned developer Greenland Holdings Group agreed to buy a 70% stake in an apartment project next to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., in what is the largest commercial-real-estate development in the U.S. to get direct backing from a Chinese firm.
- So where is all of this eventually heading?
- Should we all start learning how to speak Chinese?
- Internet experts say huge chunks of sensitive web traffic have been routinely hijacked by hackers and diverted to foreign computers, compromising the data of victims in at least 150 cities worldwide.
- Researchers at New Hampshire-based global internet intelligence company Renesys say that they’ve witnessed a complex type of Man-in-the-Middle attack occur on computer networks no fewer than 60 days this year already, the likes of which they say should never have happened.
- In incidents described in a report released by Renesys last month, the firm claims that web data from major financial institutions, government agencies and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) alike were all compromised when unidentified hackers exposed a rarely-discussed vulnerability in order to almost silently divert that information away from its intended destinations, and instead route it abroad to be collected, read and then re-sent to the rightful recipient.
- The method of attack exploits a vulnerability in the Border Gateway Protocol, or BGP, and takes advantage of the fact that much of the information routed through the global system of networks considered to be the backbone of the internet is exchanged based off of little more than trust among administrators.
- BGP is “essentially the glue that holds the disparate parts of the Internet together,” Jennifer Rexford, a computer science professor at Princeton University, told the Washington Post’s Andrea Peterson last month.
- “Each domain (AT&T, Princeton and so on) will tell its neighbors it connects to directly which destinations it can reach and over what paths,” Rexford said of BGP. “Those neighbors will then choose amongst those set of paths that are offered by their respective neighbors, add themselves to the front of the path and tell their neighbors.”
- “By default your neighbor just believes you, and doesn’t have a really reliable way to tell if you are actually telling the truth,” Rexford added. Unfortunately for many, though, hackers are alleged to have taken advantage of this vulnerability and in turn exploited the trusting relationship between neighboring domains.
- “Like a lot of the technologies underlying the Internet, it was designed without security in mind under this sort of implicit assumption that all the guys on the network are good guys, and all the bad guys — if they exist at all — are outside the network,” Rexford added. “People worried about the network being vulnerable to physical attacks, but the idea of cyberattacks wasn’t really in people’s thinking at the time.”
- Decades later, the internet has emerged to become a beast that even the developers of the protocols it relies on wouldn’t have expected. Renesys says hackers took advantage of this, and were able to therefore hijack web data without relying on the sophisticated means conjured up by officials at, say, the National Security Agency.
- While classified documents released this year suggest that the NSA has physically tapped into fiber optic cables carrying internet data and even developed methods of attack to compromise the most complex of encryption algorithms, the method identified by Renesys is a whole different sort of sneaky. What these hackers have been doing, the company claims, involves hijacking the route web traffic is intended to travel and diverting it elsewhere for analysis before sending it back on its right path.
- “Why settle for simple denial of service, when you can instead steal a victim’s traffic, take a few milliseconds to inspect or modify it and then pass it along to the intended recipient?” Renesys co-founder Jim Cowie wrote last month. “This year, that potential has become reality.”
- According to Cowie and company, hackers have been using their skills to take web data meant for certain servers and send it all the way to Belarus in one example, and Ireland in another. The victims, the company claims, were computer users in the United States, South Korea, Germany, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Libya and Iran, who likely never knew that their internet transmissions were secretly diverted to unintended recipients during the normal transfer of bits and bytes.
- In one example cited by Cowie, a computer that connects to the internet in Mexico willingly transmits data to Washington, DC that is carried over BPG by the networking firm PCCW.
- “Mexican provider Alestra hands it to PCCW for transit in Laredo, Texas,” Cowie wrote, and then “PCCW takes it to the Washington, DC metro area, where they would normally hand it to Qwest/Centurylink for delivery.”
- Instead, he continued, PCCW gives that data to another fiber cable owner, Level3, and that’s when hackers have their way with the information.
- “Level3 . . . is advertising a false Belarus route, having heard it from Russia’s TransTelecom, who heard it from their customer, Belarus Telecom,” he says. “Level3 carries the traffic to London, where it delivers it to Transtelecom, who takes it to Moscow and on to Belarus. Beltelecom has a chance to examine the traffic, and then sends it back out on the ‘clean path’ through Russian provider ReTN. ReTN delivers it to Frankfurt and hands it to NTT, who takes it to New York. Finally, NTT hands it off to Qwest/Centurylink in Washington DC, and the traffic is delivered.”
- “The recipient, perhaps sitting at home in a pleasant Virginia suburb drinking his morning coffee, has no idea that someone in Minsk has the ability to watch him surf the web,” Cowie said.
- Renesys believes around 1,500 individual IP blocks from 150 cities around the world — including Chicago, Denver, Montreal and New York — were compromised in what the firm claims was not an accident, but indeed an attack.
- “In practical terms, this means that Man-In-the-Middle BGP route hijacking has now moved from a theoretical concern to something that happens fairly regularly, and the potential for traffic interception is very real,” Cowie wrote. “Everyone on the internet — certainly the largest global carriers, certainly any bank or credit card processing company or government agency — should now be monitoring the global routing of their advertised IP prefixes.”
- “This kind of attack should not happen,” he added. “You cannot carry out this kind of hijacking without leaving permanent, visible footprints in global routing that point right back to the point of interception. We believe that people are still attempting this because they believe (correctly, in most cases) that nobody is looking.”
- The Washington Post is reporting that the NSA use cell phones to track the movements of millions of people daily. The NSA claims that they do this to aid their anti-terror surveillance. The report goes on to say:
- The huge database built up by the NSA (National Security Agency) keeps an eye on “hundreds of millions” of mobile phones, it let the agency map movements and relationships in ways that were “previously unimaginable”.
- It added that the vast programme potentially surpassed any other NSA project in terms of its impact on privacy. Information about the programme was in papers released to the Post by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
- The spying agency is said to have accumulated so much data, about 27 terabytes according to leaked papers seen by the Post, that it was “outpacing” the NSA’s ability to analyse the information in a timely fashion.
- The analysis, via a computer system called Co-Traveler, was necessary as only a tiny fraction of 1% of the data gathered was actually useful in its anti-terror work, said the paper. The analysis is so detailed that it can be used to thwart attempts to hide from scrutiny by people who use disposable phones or only use a handset briefly before switching it off.
- The American Civil Liberties Union believes that such ‘dragnet surveillance’ should not be conducted without public debate. They say on their website:
- “It is staggering that a location-tracking program on this scale could be implemented without any public debate, particularly given the substantial number of Americans having their movements recorded by the government. The paths that we travel every day can reveal an extraordinary amount about our political, professional, and intimate relationships. The dragnet surveillance of hundreds of millions of cell phones flouts our international obligation to respect the privacy of foreigners and Americans alike. The government should be targeting its surveillance at those suspected of wrongdoing, not assembling massive associational databases that by their very nature record the movements of a huge number of innocent people.”
- We have known for a long time that the phoney war on terror was set up for ulterior motives. We live in a country where our government is frightened of its own shadow and that paranoia is being forced onto the citizens of this country.
- Of course there are those that would do us harm as a nation, there always has been, and there always will be. If certain individuals need to be watched and tracked for national security purposes so be it, but tracking millions of citizens going about their regular business is not only costly, but as the report shows, provides the NSA with more data than it can process.
- This is counter-productive as somewhere in that mass of unprocessed data might be the information on the one individual that could be planning to act on his or her destruction of the United States fantasy. If, or when, a genuine terror attack occurs, it could well be the NSA that is to blame because they weren’t doing the right thing at the right time.
12.05.13 - US ruling elite see China as big ‘threat’
- The ruling elite of the United States see China as the greatest threat to the country’s future, said a political commentator on Wednesday, as tensions are rising between the two nations over Beijing’s new air defense zone.
- The US is “pursuing a strategy of surrounding China” said Richard Becker in an interview, a regional coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition, a US based protest umbrella group consisting of many antiwar and civil rights organizations.
- Becker said the Obama administration’s 2012 strategy of a pivot or rebalance toward Asia is “ominous since about 60 percent of all US foreign military is already based in Asia, and the intention is to increase that further.”
- America‘s pivot policy is not peaceful and is meant to contain China, he said.
- Despite the US rhetoric that “we hear about peaceful intentions or good intentions or friendly intentions” in talks with Chinese officials, the reality is that the US strategy in Asia is to surround China with “US military power” or the military power of allied countries like Japan, Becker noted.
- There has been strong perception from China that the pivot to Asia is part of US’ China containment policy. Experts say the United States needs a weak, divided China to continue its hegemony in Asia and this is accomplished by the United States establishing military, economic, and diplomatic ties with China’s neighbors.
- US Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday had a five-hour meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing to resolve the rising tensions over China’s declaration for a new air defense zone in the East China Sea. However, the dispute remained unresolved at the end of the meeting, according to US officials.
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