Thursday, May 31, 2018

Every US trade deal she's seen over 27 years has been bad for Americans said US congressional democrat Louise Slaughter: “In all the time I’ve been in Congress [27 years as of 2016], I have never seen a trade bill that benefited the American producer or the American worker. It’s all been give-away"-Politico, 2/19/2014

Democrat Rep. Louise Slaughter served in Congress from 1987 until her death in 2018.

2/19/2014, "Specter of NAFTA haunts Obama," Politico, Eric Bradner
"Nonsense,” said Rep. Louise Slaughter of New York.

In all the time I’ve been in Congress [27 years as of 2016], I have never seen a trade bill that benefited the American producer or the American worker. It’s all been give-away, and we really can’t afford that anymore,” she said. “People are sick and tired of the one-way trade deal.”...

Every time the president [Obama] tells a home audience he’s working on a bigger and better approach to international trade, Democrats and public interest groups only seem to hear “NAFTA on steroids.”

Obama is pushing to complete the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership [TPP], which would link North America with Asian countries like Japan. But to get his way, the president will have to sell the American public and the congressional leaders of his own party on the notion that the deal is an escape from NAFTA’s mistakes, rather than just an expansion of its reach."... 

Rep. Louise Slaughter passed away on March 16, 2018.


Added: Rep. Slaughter said US workers and manufacturers should be allowed level playing field with other countries. (Why would it be otherwise? Americans are global slaves. The US political class can't sell us out fast enough.)

"Slaughter spoke of her concern for the people of Rochester, N.Y., especially those in manufacturing jobs, which led her to battle against every free trade agreement, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
She said these agreements have caused businesses in Rochester [NY state] serious harm and led to widespread hardship in local communities.

Rep. Slaughter has championed the bipartisan Reciprocal Market Access Act (RMAA), which would require the reduction of foreign market barriers before decreasing U.S. tariffs, a move that would level the playing field for American workers and support American manufacturing jobs. The RMAA would enhance the tools available to U.S. trade negotiators, ensuring that the U.S. is able to achieve real reciprocity in the international marketplace."...

May 19, 2014, "Boilermakers name Rep. Slaughter Legislator of the Year,"

"N.Y. congresswoman cited for opposing bad trade deals, defending workers."


US and "allies" agreed to America Last trade deal in 1994: EU gets to impose 10% duty on US cars, US gets to impose no more than 2.5% on cars coming from EU "allies"-Wall St. Journal

3/12/2018, "Trump Tariffs May Threaten U.S. Auto Jobs, European Executives Warn," Wall St. Journal, William Boston, Geneva
"Under global trade rules set in 1994, the European Union imposes a 10% duty on cars and trucks from the U.S. and other countries, the maximum allowed. The U.S. applies a 2.5% tariff on imported passenger cars, the maximum it is allowed under the pact, and a 25% tariff on pickup trucks and work vans."...Commenter Harry Graff: "Looks as though the US has already lost the trade war in autos."] 



Trey Gowdy's interviews were a mess. He conflated counter intelligence and criminal operations-commenter

5/30/18, "Trey Gowdy’s Recent Activity Highlights Deep State Action Against Devin Nunes," tcth, sundance 

Among comments

"kan says:

2) This was a counter intelligence operation. 

*They were not “spies” but “informants”. 
*Informants are used in criminal investigations (according to Gowdy). 

*He said he only knew of the term “spies” being used in espionage cases. 

*What is a counter intelligence operation if not an espionage investigation?

Or, obversely, if truly informants then it is a criminal investigation

Which is it? 

If both, then see number 1 above....

1) Mueller is not investigating Trump. But he only knows the same thing about Mueller’s scope as we do. Yea- 3/4 of it are redacted. It does not exclude Trump. Also, if not after Trump why the Mueller leaks of interviewing Sessions for possible Trump obstruction? Why is Manafort being prosecuted for banking crimes crimes from 2005-2014 by SC [Special Counsel] office and not EDVA office [Eastern District of Virginia]? Why similar crimes in DC district by SC office not local USAGs [US Atty. Gens]?"


Lacking a soul but loving being on tv, Trey Gowdy was destined for the Deep State. After Nov. 2012 election GOP House Speaker Boehner told GOP to start acting like losers and let him do deals with Democrats. In awe of Boehner, Gowdy agreed, saying: “Perhaps I am practicing the grace that comes from watching someone try to do what I myself cannot do”-NY Times, 12/6/2012

By a 234-201 margin, Republicans retained control of the House in Nov. 2012 but to the NY Times and its pal, then GOP House Speaker andsage counsel” John Boehner, it meant it was time for elected Republicans in the House to start acting like losers, declare defeat, and accept the Democrat agenda. GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy agreed with Boehner who had long tried to persuade GOP House members to sell out Republican voters: 

““He is the de facto negotiator for the party,” said   

Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, who along with other lawmakers from his state has given Mr. Boehner headaches in the past. 

Perhaps I am practicing the grace that comes from watching someone try to do  
2012 was a repeat performance of 2011, whenMr. Boehner tried to persuade members to compromise with Democrats.” 

Sources: Two NY Times articles, 12/6/2012 11/10/2012:

12/6/2012, “Boehner gains strong backing from House Republicans,” NY Times, Steinhauer 

“Many House Republicans appear to view Mr. Boehner with the same sort of respect that adult children award their parents for the sage counsel they ignored in their younger days....

On Wednesday, in a private meeting between Mr. Boehner and House Republicans, member after member spoke in support of him, in some cases saying a deal they would have rejected six months ago would most likely be taken today. 
“But with Mitt Romney’s and Mr. Ryan’s White House dreams dashed, Mr. Boehner resumes the role of the titular head of his party here, and many members realize they have little choice left but to support him. 
He is the de facto negotiator for the party,” said

Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, who along with other lawmakers from his state has given Mr. Boehner headaches in the past. 

Perhaps I am practicing the grace that comes from watching someone try to do  

Second NY Times article: Their party lost, badly, Mr. Boehner said.” (By a 234-201 margin, Republicans had retained control of the House)

11/10/2012, Boehner Tells House G.O.P. to Fall in Line,” NY Times, by Jonathan Weisman and Jennifer Steinhauer 

On a conference call with House Republicans a day after the party’s electoral battering last week, Speaker John A. Boehner dished out some bitter medicine, and for the first time in the 112th Congress, most members took their dose. 

Their party lost, badly, Mr. Boehner said, and while Republicans would still control the House and would continue to staunchly oppose tax rate increases as Congress grapples with the impending fiscal battle, they had to avoid the nasty showdowns that marked so much of the last two years. 

Members on the call, subdued and dark, murmured words of support — even a few who had been a thorn in the speaker’s side for much of this Congress.

It was a striking contrast to a similar call last year, when Mr. Boehner tried to persuade members to compromise with Democrats.”…

Added: NPR cheers for Boehner too because he tells elected Republicans to act like losers:

12/8/2012, Once Boxed-In, Boehner May Finally Be Master Of The House, NPR, Frank James

“”It’s vindictive,” complained Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas, talking to reporters after a closed-door meeting of the House Republican Conference on Wednesday. House GOP leaders booted the congressman from the House Agriculture Committee, an assignment important to his district and state.

It’s not a message to me. It punishes my constituents and I still represent them,” Huelskamp said. 

“It’s meant as a message to the Republican conference in general, especially the comment today [that Boehner reportedly made at the meeting] that there may be more punishment coming if you don’t vote the right way.””…


Boehner was known for crying

Added: Others noticed Gowdy's contribution to the country: 

Boehner and Gowdy


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Italy, we hear ya. Italy's vibrant working class culture is no more, destroyed by neoliberal economic policies imposed by Brussels parasites and Italian politicians. Gone are many of Italy's industrial towns and the very fabric of Italian society. The mafia and organized crime are biggest 'employers' in southern Italy-Attilio Mora, Consortium News

"All the traditional political parties have been wiped away. They have been replaced by the so-called ‘populists’: The Lega and the 5 Star Movement, undisputed winners of the latest elections in March."
5/29/18, "This is the New Italy," by Attilio Moro in Brussels, Special to Consortium News

"Years of neoliberal economic policies imposed by Brussels and by Italian politicians alike have devastated numerous industrial towns and the very fabric of Italian society reports Attilio Moro."

"Sesto San Giovanni, a town on the outskirts of Milan, used to be one of the industrial capitals of Italy. 

With around 200,000 inhabitants (45,000 blue collar workers, and a robust middle class), it was the headquarters of some of the most dynamic Italian companies, including Magneti Marelli, Falck, Breda and many more. 

Today Sesto is an industrial desert – the factories are gone, the professional middle class has fled, many stores have shut down, and the city is trying to reinvent itself as a medical research center.

Twenty-three kilometers (14 miles) to the north of Sesto, the town of Meda was the seat of various symbols of Italian excellence: Salotti Cassina and Poltrona Frau, both of which exported high-quality furniture all over the world and employed tens of thousands of workers and designers. They fed a number of small family-based companies providing parts and highly qualified seasonal labour. Today both companies are gone. 

Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, a former chairman of Ferrari, Fiat and Alitalia, and now a public enemy because of his dismissal of the “Made in Italy” label, acquired both companies and moved them to Turkey, choosing profit over quality—and Italian jobs. Montezemolo, of aristocratic background, is a champion of Italian neoliberalism, having founded the influential “free market” think tank Italia Futura (Future Italy) in 2009. 

Another victim is the town of Sora, with a population of 25,000, 80 km. (50 miles) east of Rome. Until recently Sora was an affluent commercial city, with medium-sized paper factories and hundreds of shops. Today, all of the factories are gone and 50 percent of shops have closed.

All over Italy, the neoliberal policies that led to the economic crisis and resulting social decadence have accelerated in the wake of the financial collapse of 2007.

Sesto San Giovanni used to be known as ‘the Italian Stalingrad’, due to the strength of its working class and the Communist Party receiving over 50 percent of the vote. Now the strongest party in town is the Lega (The League), a right wing, xenophobic party. This has been accompanied by a demographic shift, as Sesto has lost almost one third of its population, but acquired tens of thousands of immigrants, which today constitute almost 20 percent of its population.

The Italian Communist Party, once the strongest in the capitalist world, has in the meantime disappeared, together with the working class. There is also the destitution of a dwindling middle class accompanying the breakdown of the social fabric with rampant corruption.

All the traditional political parties have been wiped away.

They have been replaced by the so-called ‘populists’: The Lega and the 5 Star Movement, undisputed winners of the latest elections in March, who are now in the process of trying to form a new government. The Lega expresses the frustrations of the north of Italy that is still productive (fashion, services and some high quality products), and demands lower taxes, as Italian taxes are among the highest in Europe. They also want a parallel national currency, a reduction in circulation of the Euro (which slows down exports, especially to Germany) and limits to immigration.

The 5 Star Movement, which is partly considered to be the heir of the former Communist Party but with a different social base consisting of an undifferentiated lower class replacing the disappearing working class. It advocates a moralization of the political parties and a universal basic income of 750 euros per month ($875) for the poorest to reduce the effects of the social disaster which took place in the south of the country in the last 10 years: 20 percent unemployment, affecting 40 percent of young people, making the mafia and organized crime the biggest ‘employers’ in the most critical southern regions. 

This is the new Italy. The old one, the Italy of Fiat, Cassina, small family-run businesses, the Italy of the Christian Democrats, the Communist Party and vibrant working-class culture is no more." 

"Attilio Moro is a veteran Italian journalist who was a correspondent for the daily Il Giorno from New York and worked earlier in both radio (Italia Radio) and TV. He has travelled extensively, covering the first Iraq war, the first elections in Cambodia and South Africa, and has reported from Pakistan, Lebanon, Jordan and several Latin American countries, including Cuba, Ecuador and Argentina. Presently he is a correspondent on European affairs based in Brussels."


4 among comments



Comment: Nothing will change, certainly not in the US. The entire US political class would rather see the country burn to the ground than share it with us.


NY Times reporter at Trump Nashville rally exemplifies the problem by claiming the press is "free and fair." Who decreed that the press was fair? The press person taking money to do the job? Pathetic

5/29/18, Following is tweet from a person "covering the White House for the NY Times" who's also a "political analyst for CNN," checking in from a Trump rally in Nashville, Tenn., Nashville Municipal Auditorium, Tues., May 29, 2018. She's upset that a young boy at the rally pointed his iPhone at her while screaming "Fake News," because she claims press is both "free and fair:"

5/29/18, Following is among responses to above erroneous NY Times tweet. This one provides recent example of obviously not "fair"press:


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

A better idea: Since Poland's borders are secure, can Poland please build a military base in the US to defend our southern border since the US won't do the job? Thanks

5/27/18, "Poland offers $2 billion for permanent U.S. Military base to counter Russia," Daily Caller, Robert Donachie
Among comments
"The US is being invaded through its borders, whereas Polish borders are secure.

11 posted on 5/29/2018, 3:52:50 PM by Trumpisourlastchance"

Comment: Please stop trying to nullify the 2016 election by pandering to the US taxpayer funded Endless Unwinnable War Industry. We voted that US taxpayers are no longer the world's police force or Big Daddy. No country can bear that burden nor should it. We want to have friendly relations with everyone and help when we can. At some point it was insanely assumed that babies born in the US were born as global slaves required to put their own country's needs last. No other country would expect that of its citizens nor should it. As to the $2 billion from Poland, if you've got $2 billion to spend, you don't need anyone's help. The US doesn't need to "counter" Russia. The US needs to counter its political class by closing and barricading its borders and banning all Muslims from entering the US.  

Save the scare mongering about Fancy Bear, the scariest hacking power in the world, EternalBlue, was invented by US NSA, published on the internet in April 2017, and is now in toolbox of every hacker and nation state. Among those who've used the fruit of US oligarchy's negligence are Russia's Fancy Bear and Iran's Chafer-Wired, 3/7/18

Save the rap: 5/26/18, "F.B.I.'s Urgent Request: Reboot your router to stop [alleged] Russia-Linked Malware," NY Times, Louis Lucero II 

Not a single word from the FBI can be believed on any subject, especially subjects involving Russia, computers, or the security of Americans. "It’s difficult to find a domestic terrorist investigation that the FBI hasn't screwed up." 11/20/2017, "Should The FBI Be Abolished?" American Spectator, Steve Baldwin

Added: Since April 2017, NSA's elite hacking tool EternalBlue has been “in every hacker’s toolbox." EternalBlue...a sophisticated, top-secret US cyber espionage also frequently used by an array of nation state hackers

networks. It will be years before enough computers are patched against EternalBlue.”...EternalBlue can hide or give false clues about geographic location of the hacker. "They use these tools in trying to evade attribution. It makes it harder for us to determine whether the attacker was sitting in country one or two or three."

3/7/18, The Leaked NSA Spy Tool That Hacked the World,Wired, Lily Hay Herman 

Leaked to the public not quite a year ago [April 2017], EternalBlue has joined a long line of reliable hacker favorites. The Conficker Windows worm infected millions of computers in 2008, and the Welchia remote code execution worm wreaked havoc 2003.

EternalBlue is certainly continuing that tradition—and by all indications it’s not going anywhere. If anything, security analysts only see use of the exploit diversifying as attackers develop new, clever applications, or simply discover how easy it is to deploy…. 

EternalBlue is the name of both a software vulnerability in Microsoft’s Windows operating system and an exploit the National Security Agency developed to weaponize the bug. In April 2017, the exploit leaked to the public, part of the fifth release of alleged NSA tools by the still mysterious group known as the Shadow Brokers. 

Unsurprisingly, the agency has never confirmed that it created EternalBlue, or anything else in the Shadow Brokers releases, but numerous reports corroborate its origin—and even Microsoft has publicly attributed its existence to the NSA.

The tool exploits a vulnerability in the Windows Server Message Block, a transport protocol that allows Windows machines to communicate with each other and other devices for things like remote services and file and printer sharing. Attackers manipulate flaws in how SMB handles certain packets to remotely execute any code they want. Once they have that foothold into that initial target device, they can then fan out across a network.

Microsoft released its EternalBlue patches on March 14 of last year [2017]. But security update adoption is spotty, especially on corporate and institutional networks. Within two months, EternalBlue was the centerpiece of the worldwide WannaCry ransomware attacks….As WannaCry hit, Microsoft even took the “highly unusual step” of issuing patches for the still popular, but long-unsupported Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 operating systems. 

In the aftermath of WannaCry, Microsoft and others criticized the NSA for keeping the EternalBlue vulnerability a secret for years instead of proactively disclosing it for patching. Some reports estimate that the NSA used and continued to refine the EternalBlue exploit for at least five years, and only warned Microsoft when the agency discovered that the exploit had been stolen. EternalBlue can also be used in concert with other NSA exploits released by the Shadow Brokers, like the kernel backdoor known as DarkPulsar, which burrows deep into the trusted core of a computer where it can often lurk undetected. 

The versatility of the tool has made it an appealing workhorse for hackers. And though WannaCry raised EternalBlue’s profile, many attackers had already realized the exploit’s potential by then.

Within days of the Shadow Brokers release, security analysts say that they began to see bad actors using EternalBlue to extract passwords from browsers, and to install malicious cryptocurrency miners on target devices. “WannaCry was a big splash and made all the news because it was ransomware, but before that attackers had actually used the same EternalBlue exploit to infect machines and run miners on them,” says Jérôme Segura, lead malware intelligence analyst at the security firm Malwarebytes. “There are definitely a lot of machines that are exposed in some capacity.” 

Even a year after Microsoft issued a patch, attackers can still rely on the EternalBlue exploit to target victims, because so many machines remain defenseless to this day. “EternalBlue will be a go-to tool for attackers for years to come,” says Jake Williams, founder of the security firm Rendition Infosec, who formerly worked at the NSA. “Particularly in air-gapped and industrial networks, patching takes a lot of time and machines get missed. 

There are many XP and Server 2003 machines that were taken off of patching programs before the patch for EternalBlue was backported to these now-unsupported platforms.”

At this point, EternalBlue has fully transitioned into one of the ubiquitous, name-brand instruments in every hacker’s toolboxmuch like the password extraction tool Mimikatz. But EternalBlue’s widespread use is tinged with the added irony that a sophisticated, top-secret US cyber espionage tool is now the people’s crowbar. It is also frequently used by an array of nation state hackers including those in Russia’s Fancy Bear group, who started deploying EternalBlue last year [2017] as part of targeted attacks to gather passwords and other sensitive data on hotel Wi-Fi networks. 

New examples of EternalBlue’s use in the wild still crop up frequently. In February, more attackers leveraged EternalBlue to install cryptocurrency-mining software on victim computers and servers, refining the techniques to make the attacks more reliable and effective. “EternalBlue is ideal for many attackers because it leaves very few event logs,” or digital traces, Rendition Infosec’s Williams notes. “Third-party software is required to see the exploitation attempts.”

And just last week, security researchers at Symantec published findings on the Iran-based hacking group Chafer, which has used EternalBlue as part of its expanded operations. In the past year, Chafer has attacked targets around the Middle East, focusing on transportation groups like airlines, aircraft services, industry technology firms, and telecoms. 

“It’s incredible that a tool which was used by intelligence services is now publicly available and so widely used amongst malicious actors,” says Vikram Thakur, technical director of Symantec’s security response. “To [a hacker] it’s just a tool to make their lives easier in spreading across a network. Plus they use these tools in trying to evade attribution. It makes it harder for us to determine whether the attacker was sitting in country one or two or three. 

It will be years before enough computers are patched against EternalBlue that hackers retire it from their arsenals. At least by now security experts know to watch for it—and to appreciate the clever innovations hackers come up with to use the exploit in more and more types of attacks.”



Most of Ivanka Trump company's US imports are shipped from China-AP, 5/28/18

5/28/18, "China approves 13 new Ivanka Trump trademarks in 3 months," AP, Shanghai, Erika Kinetz

"Ivanka Trump does not have a large retail presence in China, but customs records show that the bulk of her company’s U.S. imports are shipped from China."...


Monday, May 28, 2018

Obama at 2004 DNC keynote address says US has "more work to do, more to do for workers I met in Galesburg, Illinois who are losing their union jobs at the Maytag plant that's moving to Mexico"...(Is Obama racist against Mexicans?)

7/27/2004, "Keynote Address at the 2004 Democratic Convention," Barack Obama, US President, 2009-2017, presidency.ucsb 
(parag. 6); "This year, in this election, we are called to reaffirm our values and commitments, to hold them against a hard reality and see how we are measuring up, to the legacy of our forbearers, and the promise of future generations. And fellow Americans - Democrats, Republicans, Independents - I say to you tonight: we have more work to do. More to do for the workers I met in Galesburg, Illinois, who are losing their union jobs at the Maytag plant that's moving to Mexico, and now are having to compete with their own children for jobs that pay seven bucks an hour."...


US and UK spy agencies defeat internet privacy and security by collaborating with tech companies and internet service providers. Security experts have long suspected that NSA has been introducing weaknesses into security standards-UK Guardian, 9/17/2013, reporting from Snowden NSA documents

It's not generally known that NSA happily prevents internet security of Americans including online banking, collaborating with technology companies and internet service providers to implant devices. UK Guardian article: "Intelligence officials asked the Guardian, New York Times and ProPublica not to publish this article" which appears to be based on Snowden provided material.

9/17/2013, "Revealed: how US and UK spy agencies defeat internet privacy and security NSA and GCHQ unlock encryption used to protect emails, banking and medical records," UK Guardian, James Ball, Julian Border, Glenn Greenwald

"$250m-a-year US program works covertly with tech companies to insert weaknesses into products
Security experts say programs 'undermine the fabric of the internet'"

"The files show that the National Security Agency and its UK counterpart GCHQ have broadly compromised the guarantees that internet companies have given consumers to reassure them that their communications, online banking and medical records would be indecipherable to criminals or governments.... 

Those methods include covert measures to ensure NSA control over setting of international encryption standards, the use of supercomputers to break encryption with "brute force", and--the most closely guarded secret of all--collaboration with technology companies and internet service providers themselves. 

Through these covert partnerships, the agencies have inserted secret vulnerabilities – known as backdoors or trapdoors – into commercial encryption software.... 

"By deliberately undermining online security in a short-sighted effort to eavesdrop, the NSA is undermining the very fabric of the internet." Classified briefings between the agencies celebrate their success at "defeating network security and privacy". 

"For the past decade, NSA has lead [sic] an aggressive, multi-pronged effort to break widely used internet encryption technologies," stated a 2010 GCHQ document. "Vast amounts of encrypted internet data which have up till now been discarded are now exploitable."

An internal agency memo noted that among British analysts shown a presentation on the NSA's progress: "Those not already briefed were gobsmacked!"

The breakthrough, which was not described in detail in the documents, meant the intelligence agencies were able to monitor "large amounts" of data flowing through the world's fibre-optic cables and break its encryption, despite assurances from internet company executives that this data was beyond the reach of government. 

The key component of the NSA's battle against encryption, its collaboration with technology companies, is detailed in the US intelligence community's top-secret 2013 budget request under the heading "Sigint [signals intelligence] enabling".

Funding for the program – $254.9M for this year – dwarfs that of the Prism program, which operates at a cost of $20m a year, according to previous NSA documents. Since 2011, the total spending on Sigint enabling has topped $800m. The program "actively engages US and foreign IT industries to covertly influence and/or overtly leverage their commercial products' designs", the document states. None of the companies involved in such partnerships are named; these details are guarded by still higher levels of classification.

Among other things, the program is designed to "insert vulnerabilities into commercial encryption systems". These would be known to the NSA, but to no one else, including ordinary customers, who are tellingly referred to in the document as "adversaries"....

Among the specific accomplishments for 2013, the NSA expects the program to obtain access to "data flowing through a hub for a major communications provider" and to a "major internet peer-to-peer voice and text communications system". 

Technology companies maintain that they work with the intelligence agencies only when legally compelled to do so. The Guardian has previously reported that Microsoft co-operated with the NSA to circumvent encryption on the email and chat services. The company insisted that it was obliged to comply with "existing or future lawful demands" when designing its products.

The documents show that the agency has already achieved another of the goals laid out in the budget request: to influence the international standards upon which encryption systems rely.

Independent security experts have long suspected that the NSA has been introducing weaknesses into security standards, a fact confirmed for the first time by another secret document. It shows the agency worked covertly to get its own version of a draft security standard issued by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology approved for worldwide use in 2006. 

"Eventually, NSA became the sole editor," the document states. 

The NSA's codeword for its decryption program, Bullrun, is taken from a major battle of the American civil war. Its British counterpart, Edgehill, is named after the first major engagement of the English civil war, more than 200 years earlier.


A classification guide for NSA employees and contractors on Bullrun outlines in broad terms its goals. 

"Project Bullrun deals with NSA's abilities to defeat the encryption used in specific network communication technologies. Bullrun involves multiple sources, all of which are extremely sensitive." The document reveals that the agency has capabilities against widely used online protocols, such as HTTPS, voice-over-IP and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), used to protect online shopping and banking. 

The document also shows that the NSA's Commercial Solutions Center, ostensibly the body through which technology companies can have their security products assessed and presented to prospective government buyers, has another, more clandestine role.

It is used by the NSA to "to leverage sensitive, co-operative relationships with specific industry partners" to insert vulnerabilities into security products. Operatives were warned that this information must be kept top secret "at a minimum".

A more general NSA classification guide reveals more detail on the agency's deep partnerships with industry, and its ability to modify products. It cautions analysts that two facts must remain top secret: that NSA makes modifications to commercial encryption software and devices "to make them exploitable", and that NSA "obtains cryptographic details of commercial cryptographic information security systems through industry relationships". 

The agencies have not yet cracked all encryption technologies, however, the documents suggest. Snowden appeared to confirm this during a live Q and A with Guardian readers in June. "Encryption works. Properly implemented strong crypto systems are one of the few things that you can rely on," he said before warning that NSA can frequently find ways around it as a result of weak security on the computers at either end of the communication.

The documents are scattered with warnings over the importance of maintaining absolute secrecy around decryption capabilities. Strict guidelines were laid down at the GCHQ complex in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, on how to discuss projects relating to decryption. Analysts were instructed: "Do not ask about or speculate on sources or methods underpinning Bullrun." This informaton was so closely guarded, according to one document, that even those with access to aspects of the program were warned: "There will be no 'need to know'." 

The agencies were supposed to be "selective in which contractors are given exposure to this information", but it was ultimately seen by Snowden, one of 850,000 people in the US with top-secret clearance. A 2009 GCHQ document spells out the significant potential consequences of any leaks, including "damage to industry relationships"....

Somewhat less important to GCHQ was the public's trust which was marked as a moderate risk, the document stated....

Without attention, the 2010 GCHQ document warned, the UK's "Sigint utility will degrade as information flows changes, new applications are developed (and deployed) at pace and widespread encryption becomes more commonplace." Documents show that Edgehill's initial aim was to decode the encrypted traffic certified by three major (unnamed) internet companies and 30 types of Virtual Private Network (VPN) used by businesses to provide secure remote access to their systems. By 2015, GCHQ hoped to have cracked the codes used by 15 major internet companies, and 300 VPNs.... 

Analysts on the Edgehill project were working on ways into the networks of major webmail providers as part of the decryption project. A quarterly update from 2012 notes the project's team "continue to work on understanding" the big four communication providers, named in the document as Hotmail, Google, Yahoo and Facebook, adding "work has predominantly been focused this quarter on Google due to new access opportunities being developed".

To help secure an insider advantage, GCHQ also established a Humint Operations Team (HOT). Humint, short for "human intelligence" refers to information gleaned directly from sources or undercover agents. 

This GCHQ team was, according to an internal document, "responsible for identifying, recruiting and running covert agents in the global telecommunications industry."

"This enables GCHQ to tackle some of its most challenging targets," the report said. The efforts made by the NSA and GCHQ against encryption technologies may have negative consequences for all internet users, experts warn." 

"Backdoors are fundamentally in conflict with good security," said Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist and senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union. "Backdoors expose all users of a backdoored system, not just intelligence agency targets, to heightened risk of data compromise." This is because the insertion of backdoors in a software product, particularly those that can be used to obtain unencrypted user communications or data, significantly increases the difficulty of designing a secure product." 

This was a view echoed in a recent paper by Stephanie Pell, a former prosecutor at the US Department of Justice and non-resident fellow at the Center for Internet and Security at Stanford Law School. 

"[An] encrypted communications system with a lawful interception back door is far more likely to result in the catastrophic loss of communications confidentiality than a system that never has access to the unencrypted communications of its users," she states.

Intelligence officials asked the Guardian, New York Times and ProPublica not to publish this article, saying that it might prompt foreign targets to switch to new forms of encryption or communications that would be harder to collect or read.

The three organisations removed some specific facts but decided to publish the story because of the value of a public debate about government actions that weaken the most powerful tools for protecting the privacy of internet users in the US and worldwide." image above from UK Guardian 


Added: NSA must be broken up: "An agency that prioritizes intelligence gathering over security" is "increasingly putting us all at risk." NSA's "TAO and its targeted surveillance mission should be moved under the control of U.S. Cyber Command, and Cyber Command should be completely separated from the NSAActively attacking enemy networks is an offensive military operation and should be part of an offensive military unit." 

2/20/2014, "It's time to break up the NSA," CNN, Bruce Schneier

"The NSA has become too big and too powerful. What was supposed to be a single agency with a dual mission--protecting the security of U.S. communications and eavesdropping on the communications of our enemies--has become unbalanced in the post-Cold War, all-terrorism-all-the-time era.

Putting the U.S. Cyber Command, the military's cyberwar wing, in the same location and under the same commander, expanded the NSA's power. The result is an agency that prioritizes intelligence gathering over security, and that's increasingly putting us all at risk.

It's time we thought about breaking up the National Security Agency.

Broadly speaking, three types of NSA surveillance programs were exposed by the documents released by Edward Snowden. And while the media tends to lump them together, understanding their differences is critical to understanding how to divide up the NSA's missions.

The first is targeted surveillance. 

This is best illustrated by the work of the NSA's Tailored Access Operations (TAO) group, including its catalog of hardware and software "implants" designed to be surreptitiously installed onto the enemy's computers. This sort of thing represents the best of the NSA and is exactly what we want it to do. That the United States has these capabilities, as scary as they might be, is cause for gratification. 

The second is bulk surveillance, the NSA's collection of everything it can obtain on every communications channel to which it can get access. This includes things such as the NSA's bulk collection of call records, location data, e-mail messages and text messages. 

This is where the NSA overreaches: collecting data on innocent Americans either incidentally or deliberately, and data on foreign citizens indiscriminately. It doesn't make us any safer, and it is liable to be abused. Even the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, acknowledged that the collection and storage of data was kept a secret for too long. 

The third is the deliberate sabotaging of security. The primary example we have of this is the NSA's BULLRUN program, which tries to "insert vulnerabilities into commercial encryption systems, IT systems, networks and endpoint communication devices." This is the worst of the NSA's excesses, because it destroys our trust in the Internet, weakens the security all of us rely on and makes us more vulnerable to attackers worldwide. 

That's the three: good, bad, very bad. Reorganizing the U.S. intelligence apparatus so it concentrates on our enemies requires breaking up the NSA along those functions. 

First, TAO and its targeted surveillance mission should be moved under the control of U.S. Cyber Command, and Cyber Command should be completely separated from the NSA. Actively attacking enemy networks is an offensive military operation, and should be part of an offensive military unit.

Whatever rules of engagement Cyber Command operates under should apply equally to active operations such as sabotaging the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility in Iran and hacking a Belgian telephone company. If we're going to attack the infrastructure of a foreign nation, let it be a clear military operation.  

Second, all surveillance of Americans should be moved to the FBI. The FBI is charged with counterterrorism in the United States, and it needs to play that role. Any operations focused against US citizens need to be subject to US law, and the FBI is the best place to apply that law. That the NSA can, in the view of many, do an end-run around congressional oversight, legal due process and domestic laws is an affront to our Constitution and a danger to our society. The NSA's mission should be focused outside the United States -- for real, not just for show. 

And third, the remainder of the NSA needs to be rebalanced so COMSEC (communications security) has priority over SIGINT (signals intelligence). Instead of working to deliberately weaken security for everyone, the NSA should work to improve security for everyone.

Computer and network security is hard, and we need the NSA's expertise to secure our social networks, business systems, computers, phones and critical infrastructure. Just recall the recent incidents of hacked accounts -- from Target to Kickstarter. What once seemed occasional now seems routine.

Any NSA work to secure our networks and infrastructure can be done openly--no secrecy required. 

This is a radical solution, but the NSA's many harms require radical thinking. It's not far off from what the President's [Obama] Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies, charged with evaluating the NSA's current programs, recommended. Its 24th recommendation was to put the NSA and U.S. Cyber Command under different generals, and the 29th recommendation was to put encryption ahead of exploitation. 

I have no illusions that anything like this will happen anytime soon, but it might be the only way to tame the enormous beast that the NSA has become." 

"Bruce Schneier is a fellow and lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School. He is the author of Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World."

Comment: I'm most grateful to Edward Snowden for his service, but nothing will change for the better. At one time, the average American on the left and perhaps some of the journalists to whom Snowden sent documents might've devoted themselves to this issue. But the left today has joined totalitarian, pro-war globalists. They don't indulge in side issues. They're giddy at the notion of all powerful FBI, CIA, and NSA, able to do whatever they want, arrest anyone they want, and certainly answer no questions from congress. Why would anyone want such a system? I see only one reason. The left's highest priority is to silence the rest of us. (No more "tolerance" and "inclusion.") The loss of some of their own freedom is a price they're willing to pay for silencing us. The entire US political class is on their side. Not a single one would stand up for us. That would be like freeing the slaves.


Sunday, May 27, 2018

Obama admin. placed children with human traffickers per Washington Post and NY Times. Obama didn't keep track of refugee kids, allowed so-called sponsors to prevent kids from receiving services-Washington Post, NY Times, Jan. 28, 2016...(US is now the Third World toilet its entire political class wanted it to be)

Two Jan. 28, 2016 articles, Washington Post and NY Times:

1/28/2016, "Obama administration placed children with human traffickers, report says," Washington Post, Abbie Van Sickle

 "The Obama administration failed to protect thousands of Central American children who have flooded across the U.S. border since 2011, leaving them vulnerable to traffickers and to abuses at the hands of government-approved caretakers, a Senate investigation has found. 

The Office of Refugee Resettlement, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, failed to do proper background checks of adults who claimed the children, allowed sponsors to take custody of multiple unrelated children, and regularly placed children in homes without visiting the locations, according to a 56-page investigative report released Thursday.

And once the children left federally funded shelters, the report said, the agency permitted their adult sponsors to prevent caseworkers from providing them post-release services. 

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) initiated the six-month investigation after several Guatemalan teens were found in a dilapidated trailer park near Marion, Ohio, where they were being held captive by traffickers and forced to work at a local egg farm. 

The boys were among more than 125,000 unaccompanied minors who have surged into the United States since 2011, fleeing violence and unrest in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador....

The report concluded that administration “policies and procedures were inadequate to protect the children in the agency’s care.” HHS spokesman Mark Weber said in a statement that the agency would “review the committee’s findings carefully and continue to work to ensure the best care for the children we serve.”

 The report was released ahead of a hearing Thursday before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which Portman co-chairs with Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.). It detailed nearly 30 cases where unaccompanied children had been trafficked after federal officials released them to sponsors or where there were “serious trafficking indicators.”

“HHS places children with individuals about whom it knows relatively little and without verifying the limited information provided by sponsors about their alleged relationship with the child,” the report said.

For example, one Guatemalan boy planned to live with his uncle in Virginia. But when the uncle refused to take the boy, he ended up with another sponsor, who forced him to work nearly 12 hours a day to repay a $6,500 smuggling debt, which the sponsor later increased to $10,900, the report said. A boy from El Salvador was released to his father even though he told a caseworker that his father had a history of beating him, including hitting him with an electrical cord. In September, the boy alerted authorities that his father was forcing him to work for little or no pay, the report said; a post-release service worker later found the boy was being kept in a basement and given little food.

The Senate investigation began in July after federal prosecutors indicted six people in connection with the Marion labor-trafficking scheme, which involved at least eight minors and two adults from the Huehuetenango region of Guatemala.

One defendant, Aroldo Castillo-Serrano, 33, used associates to file false applications with the government agency tasked with caring for the children, and bring them to Ohio, where he kept them in squalid conditions in a trailer park and forced them to work 12-hour days, at least six days a week, for little pay. 

Castillo-Serrano has pleaded guilty to labor-trafficking charges and awaits sentencing in the Northern District of Ohio in Toledo.

The FBI raided the trailer park in December 2014, rescuing the boys, but the Senate investigation says federal officials could have discovered the scheme far sooner.

In August 2014, a child-welfare caseworker attempted to visit one of the children, who had been approved for post-release services because of reported mental-health problems, according to the report.

The caseworker went to the address listed for the child, but the person who answered the door said the child didn’t live there, the report added. When the caseworker finally found the child’s sponsor, the sponsor blocked the caseworker from talking to the child.

Instead of investigating further, the caseworker closed the child’s case file, the report said, citing “ORR policy which states that the Post Release Services are voluntary and sponsor refused services.”

That child was found months later, living 50 miles away from the sponsor’s home and working at the egg farm, according to the report. The child’s sponsor was later indicted."

"VanSickle is a reporter for the Investigative Reporting Program, a nonprofit news organization at the University of California at Berkeley."  .........   


Jan. 28, 2016 NY Times article

"The report also said that it was unclear how many of the approximately 90,000 children the agency had placed in the past two years fell prey to traffickers, including sex traffickers, because it does not keep track of such cases."... 

1/28/2016, "U.S. Placed Immigrant Children With Traffickers, Report Says," NY Times,

The Department of Health and Human Services placed more than a dozen immigrant children in the custody of human traffickers after it failed to conduct background checks of caregivers, according to a Senate report released on Thursday.

Examining how the federal agency processes minors who arrive at the border without a guardian, lawmakers said they found that it had not followed basic practices of child welfare agencies, like making home visits.

The Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations opened its inquiry after law enforcement officials uncovered a human trafficking ring in Marion, Ohio, last year (2015). At least six children were lured to the United States from Guatemala with the promise of a better life, then were made to work on egg farms.

The children, as young as 14, had been in federal custody before being entrusted to the traffickers.... 

In addition to the Marion cases, the investigation found evidence that 13 other children had been trafficked after officials handed them over to adults who were supposed to care for them during their immigration proceedings. An additional 15 cases exhibited some signs of trafficking. 

The report also said that it was unclear how many of the approximately 90,000 children the agency had placed in the past two years fell prey to traffickers, including sex traffickers, because it does not keep track of such cases.... 

In the fall of 2013, thousands of unaccompanied children began showing up at the southern border. Most risked abuse by traffickers and detention by law enforcement to escape dire problems like gang violence and poverty in Central America.

As detention centers struggled to keep up with the influx, the Department of Health and Human Services began placing children in the custody of sponsors who could help them while their immigration cases were reviewed. Many children who did not have relatives in the United States were placed in a system resembling foster care. 

But officials at times did not examine whether an adult who claimed to be a relative actually was, relying on the word of parents, who, in some cases, went along with the traffickers to pay off smuggling debts. 

Responding to the report, the Department of Health and Human Services said it had taken measures to strengthen its system, collecting information to subject potential sponsors and additional caregivers in a household to criminal background checks. 

Mark Greenberg, the agency’s acting assistant secretary of the Administration for Children and Families, said it had bolstered other screening procedures and increased resources for minors. 

“We are mindful of our responsibilities to these children and are continually looking for ways to strengthen our safeguards,” he said." ----------------

Comment: The US is just another money laundering, third world toilet refugees thought they were escaping. All funded by seizure of US taxpayer dollars.