In light of recent events it's paramount that everyone observe complete protection at this site.
Things have been way too open in the past with people advertising precisely who they are and even going the swashbuckling route by soliciting correspondence at Hotmail accounts. (Hotmail accounts are no longer permitted for registration here at WLC.)
Irina's been out requesting that all reporters establish an account at mail.be. We've had some response but not enough. It would seem some people here don't take security seriously.
I don't think it's necessary to reiterate the obvious. The bad guys (and Georgie claimed they were at the door all the time) are trying to get in here constantly. We're most likely under a new concerted DDoS attack at the moment; the security implications when doing what we do are not trivial.
Your mail.be account should never be used 'naked' - you must connect with Tor. Those accounts are held and managed on offshore servers. So far so good. But they expose your sender IPs. And that is not good. (Yes we've written to them about this but we hardly are on pins and needles that they'll change. So we stay safe until further notice the only way we know.)
Our protection here is only as good as the weakest link in the chain. This site has been under attack on an almost daily basis. Although we're not aware of any actual break-in, we have to be prepared for this.
Try this scenario on for size.
One of the bad guys wants to get at and destroy WLC. First step is to see who's actually writing. An account with a Hotmail or other crappy webmail service is found. Bad guy now goes into that bag of tricks always kept at hand and/or simply uses Google to look up 'Hotmail hacks'.
The Hotmail account of the WLC member is now broken into. All the correspondence naively kept in that account with other members of WLC is mined. Only a few more steps at most are needed before everyone here is toast.
On Friday's Democracy Now, Amy Goodman spent a long segment with Eli Pariser of MoveOn.org talking about threats to the Internet. The timing was particularly appropriate because an extremely serious threat to our Internet freedoms made important advances last week and an alarm needs to be sounded. Unfortunately that's not what Amy talked about. Instead of enlightenment, Amy and Eli offered diversion and confusion. I was very disappointed.
Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the Protect IP Act. This legislation, if it becomes law, will make the Internet in the US like the Internet in China; both will be filtered by their governments. Like the Internet Blacklist bill [COICA] that they couldn't get passed last year, this new bill authorizes the Attorney General to create a list of websites that are to be blocked. COICA would have made legal the Federal government practice of seizing domain names without a notice or a hearing. This is a power that the AG started exercising on his own authority last year, after they failed to get their eggs hatched in the Senate. But as I pointed out last December, they have figured out that seizing domain names is pretty impotent if the search engines continue to do their job of indexing the web for us as they find it. So now they have come out with an "improved version" that forces even more draconian controls on the Internet.
In the light of President Obama's visit to Europe this week, I would like to take the opportunity to suggest some reading. It is an extraordinary document, a report compiled by Swiss politician Dick Marty for the Council of Europe: "Alleged secret detentions and unlawful inter-state transfers involving Council of Europe member states".
The full text, which has been available online for years, details CIA rendition flights within Europe. According to this report, several European countries facilitated the transfer of detainees to torture camps.
The report also lists a military facility in Stare Kiejkuty, Poland, and nearby Szymany airport as detainee drop off points (see page 17 f.). In the light of a current Polish criminal investigation into alleged CIA rendition flights to and from Szymany, a recent complaint against Poland at the European Court of Human Rights, and President Obama's visit to this country I urge everybody to have a look at this document. It clearly lists information on flights and dates of arrivals.
Many news outlets around the world reported about these rendition flights. On Stare Kiejkuty, these articles might be of interest:
It seems that it was very easy for journalists and Dick Marty to get hold of evidence; one is left wondering why the investigation in Poland is proceeding at a snail's pace.
The Polish press has been keeping the topic in the public's perception over the past years. For some more information on the topic see:
At this point NATO is just using Gaddafi to discipline the rebels.
For a month UN/NATO gave Gaddafi absolute freedom to apply maximum violence to suppress the rebels. Meanwhile they kept buying his oil and if he had been successful all would have been forgiven and they would have kept buying the oil from him.
They made overtures to the rebels and those overtures were rejected. They landed British SAS forces in a rebel area and the rebels arrested them. That probably delayed NATO air strikes by more than a week.
Most of all NATO wants oil from Libya and they can get that from Gaddafi or the rebels but they can't get that without stability. NATO did not act until they had determined Gaddafi would not prevail quickly. His promise to do to Benhgazi what he had just done to Ajdabiya, saying "Libya will clean house to house if the protesters do not surrender", meant that as many as a hundred thousand civilians could have been slaughtered and that whole oil producing area would be in great turmoil for a long time. So they finally acted.
Once NATO started bombing they had already determined that Gaddafi must go and they have every intention of removing him. But they still have not received the concessions they want from the rebels. That's why they have backed off. That is why they have been slow to resumed air strikes to stop Gaddafi's murderous bombardment of Misratah. They are using Gaddafi to discipline the rebels in an attempt to force them to beg for NATO's support on NATO's terms.
I am blogging today from the So. Cal. Linux Expo [SCALE9x]. I am promoting Anonymous, among other things to the Linux and Free Software communities. While I was here yesterday, someone attending the conference told me what Google did to support the popular uprisings in Iran a few years ago.
He said that at before that time there was basically nothing in the way of computer based Farsi translation but Google had a project in the lab which they rushed into production to support the struggle then rapidly developing in Iran.
"We feel that launching Persian is particularly important now, given ongoing events in Iran" said Google principal scientist Franz Och in a statement on Goolge's Official Blog.
After Wael Ghonim was released from the custody of Mubarak's thugs, he said he would like to return to work at Google if he was not fired. Outgoing Google CEO Eric Schmidt tweeted back "We're incredibly proud of you, @Ghonim, & of course will welcome you back when you're ready."
Just why founder Larry Page is now stepping in to replace Eric Schmidt as Google CEO is not clear but rumor has it that differences over Google's China policy played a big role. Schmidt opposed the decision by founders Page and Brin to pull out of China over government censorship.
At the White House Press Briefing yesterday, Friday, 25 February 2011 Press Secretary Jay Carney inadvertently reveals the top secret source of CIA intelligence on North Africa and the Middle East.
This is followed by a plug for my documentary Vietnam: American Holocaust
The brute force approach to popular uprisings is now being tried in earnest in Libya. In using artillery, aircraft and navy on peaceful protesters Colonel Gaddfi is attempt to break the protest movements with massive violence.
If he is successful, this type of violent response to popular uprising will almost certainly be used elsewhere with all the terrible consequences for humanity. If he fails and is hopefully executed for his war crimes, the reigning powers around the world will favor more peaceful methods of resolving contradictions.
There is a freedom of movement in a free field of archetype and symbol that enables both user and audience to observe without disclosure, absorb without acquisition, and create without demand for completion.
The repetition of archetypical representation uncovers both the user's and audience's collective mythologies, thereby revealing:
The anonymous is personal.
The groups that have been robbing Egypt for the past thirty years represent a circle much broader than their fearless leader Hosni Mubarak. They include a certain section of the very rich in Egypt, high ranking army officers, senior NDP functionaries, the U.S. and European imperialists, and while space does not permit a complete listing of all the beneficiaries of the Mubarak regime, I would be remiss if I didn't point out that the Zionists have long been singing "What a friend we have in Cairo."
All of these groups can do very well without Mubarak and if they can carry on as before without Mubarak, that is just fine with them. Mubarak will be gone shortly. I think everybody but Hosni Mubarak knows that. By ceding his presidential powers to Omar Suleiman the way he did today he blew the best chance they had of a "smooth and orderly transition" to more of the same under a different label, namely a Suleiman regime.
This is a first hand eyewitness account from a friend of mine who is in Egypt right now.
25 Jan 11 – The Beginning
I had made up my mind not to go to Tahrir; I had hoped for the best for the protesters. Though the protest was legal, I had a great deal of trepidation about how events could unfold. Hosni Mubarak is well reputed to wield a heavy hand over his people. However a friend wanted to go. Out of concern for him I went. I thought I knew the streets downtown better and could navigate us out more easily. I was wrong.
RT reports that while The New York Times made a "fortune" from the diplomatic cables release, its gratitude only goes so far. They published the classified US war logs in June, making WikiLeaks a blessing at a time when NYT's budget was diminishing.After reaping the rewards of the WikiLeaks documents,however, NYT changed their initial outook, calling Mr.Assange "source" rather than a collaborator, while simultaneously publishing disparaging content about him.
Completely unintentionally, revolution has been the theme of this week. I read Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy Of The Oppressed and saw the musical Fela! courtesy of the National Theatre broadcast. The South Africa retelling of the story of Christ (Son of Man) mirrored Fela! remarkably – for good and ill. The documentary on Antonio Negri (A Revolt That Never Ends) explored the workers movements in Italy in the 70′s, and his academic work on the Multitude since his time in prison.
Recently a Facebook friend featured an unfamiliar flag as his profile picture; a red crescent held in a vivid red background. Then, alternative news headlines emerged about major turmoil in the country of Tunisia. Next thing I knew, my friend was participating in the civil unrest that broke out there. Through the window opened by social media, I began to feel the outrage and intensity experienced by many people on the other side of the world. A quote from the film V for Vendetta came to me; “Remember, remember the fifth of November; the gunpowder, treason, and plot!” The surreal reports and rapidly changing scenery reported by my friend somewhat blurred the line between reality and fiction.
Talking-point politics, taken for political discourse is delusion. It's akin to the cunning nature of chatter in the mind of a neurotic. It masquerades itself as thinking. I will not offer the reader a well-intentioned flag to die under. It's contrary to my nature to send anyone to my gallows. I believe in wisdom. Living according to my conscience is the greatest pleasure. Its orgasm is sanity. In doing (and not doing the above), I hope that I have paid respect to any reader who happens to offer this essay his or her kind and undeserved attention.
If I were asked who the most relevant and important voices in post-modern political thought are, I would say former Eastern European dissidents. I only became acquainted with them three year after the Soviet Union collapsed. I was teased that I read them like ‘self-help’ for Eastern Europe. Not being too interested with the previous generations' culture war, I remarked, “Yes. But, also for the West.” Wikileaks, to me, is simply a larger dose of the medicine that these thinkers prescribed for the individual in the post-modern state.
I call this blog 'Tools of the Trade'. What I'll attempt to do here is to focus on the technologies behind the Wikileaks story. This could be hardware, software and even just concepts which, when wedded with technology, produce results the makers never conceived of. Let's look at secure networks, encryption, national and corporate censorship... as well as how folks circumvent it, smart phones, thumb drives and other ways of staying connected.
Cross hairs and gun-sights are all the rage in the media these days after the killings in Tucson, with Sarah Palin getting flack for her mindless cross hairs map, to the inflamed calls for illegal assassination of Julian Assange. Could this be a time for a more self-conscious look at the violent undercurrents of our ‘civilized’ American society? Perhaps each one of us has at some point put someone in our own gun sights after reducing them into the role of an enemy. What responsibility does each of us share for this violent rhetoric and behavior?