Thursday, September 29, 2016

Thursday 09-29-16

Forget Agenda 21: UN’s 2030 Agenda Will “Transform the World”

If you think Agenda 21 was bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Wait until you learn what the creepily utopian 2030 Agenda has in store for us all.
Once again Germany has stepped forward with their ideas of how to speed up the arrival of a one-world government.
While all eyes were on Obama and his creepily NWO speech, the German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier gave an address which went largely un-noticed.  It was a lengthy speech – you can read his entire address here – but these are some takeaway points:

“We could also choose to put our faith in the power of diplomacy or shrug our shoulders” in the face of the conflicts in Syria, Libya, Iraq and Yemen he said, noting that Europe also faces a choice of fighting to hold the region together or allowing it to fall apart again and be overrun by populists.
“The United States is also faced with a choice; in six weeks’ time, here too, the choice is about the supposed withdrawal from a crisis-ridden world – which some are calling for – or cooperation with international partners to solve some of those problems, he continues, noting that this choice “is important for all of us.” Indeed, “withdrawal, resignation, going it alone, or, responsibility for a better future; that is the choice in many places,” he said.
The United Nations would remain the central forum, for tackling these issues, he said. In the context of all the crisis meetings, “it gives me hope that we have made an important choice, the right choice, of the direction we want to take and that we have chosen unity and sustainability,” he said calling the 2030 Agenda a global pact that is the point of convergence for dealing with poverty and underdevelopment.

Now we know when they want the takeover to be complete: 2030.
We have all heard of Agenda 21, but the 2030 Agenda isn’t quite so familiar. Agenda 2030 emphasizes gender and racial equality, eradication of poverty, and the total abolition of violence and hate. It lays out that the future world is based entirely on these goals and that the only way to achieve these things is through sustainable development and control of climate change. Oh – and the planet will also be totally poverty free by 2030 as well.
Here are a few of the pertinent points:
  • It actually came into effect in January 2016.
  • Its full title is “Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”
  • The areas covered by the Agenda are people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership.
  • The 17 goals and 169 targets of the Agenda seek to build on the Millennium Development Goals and complete those that were not achieved.
  • The “Declaration” agreed upon at the United Nations meeting in New York has 53 points.
  • Point 2 sets the tone: ‘On behalf of the peoples we serve, we have adopted a historic decision on a comprehensive, far-reaching and people-centred set of universal and transformative goals and targets. We commit ourselves to working tirelessly for the full implementation of this Agenda by 2030’. 
Points 5, 18, 28, and particularly point 29 are particularly interesting. Now, in theory, it’s wonderful – rainbows and unicorns for everyone. It’s repetitive in the extreme, constantly pointing out the sanctity of sovereign nations and saying these issues apply TO EVERY SINGLE PERSON ON THE PLANET…

So, how can I turn the 2030 Agenda into the arrival of the one-world government?
Simple: it is entirely impossible to achieve what they have laid out without a one-world government, the New World Order we have heard so much about over the last few years.
This is what they are stating WILL be achieved by 2030 with all countries somehow miraculously retaining their own culture, resources, and economies:
  • Total eradication of hunger across the planet.
  • Total eradication of race inequality across the planet.
  • Total eradication of poverty across the planet.
  • Total eradication of gender inequality across the planet.
  • Total eradication of war across the planet.
  • Total eradication of Malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases across the planet.
  • Total eradication of TB across the planet.
  • A set standard of education for every child on the planet.
  • Clean water and sanitation for every person on the planet.
  • A decent job for every worker on the planet.
  • Sustainable economic growth in every country on the planet.
  • Sustainable agriculture across the planet.
  • Sustainable livestock production across the planet.
  • A reduction in natural resource use in every country on the planet.
  • A reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in every industrialized nation on the planet.
  • A reduction in flood and drought events is susceptible locations around the world.
There are other odds and ends they have thrown in but the bottom line is that all of these things will be done by the year 2030.
There are barely a half dozen countries on the planet that can engage in conversation without some disagreement and they honestly expect us to believe that there will be enough international cooperation while retaining nation sovereignty, to achieve even one goal on that list?

The Islamic State will be our friends?
India will give water to Pakistan?
North and South Korea will kiss and make-up?
Iran will stop making nuclear bombs?
Israel and Palestine will finally shake hands and  sort out their differences?
Achieving ANY of the goals on that list is impossible unless one single government calls the shots and enforces conditions whereby the goals become achievable. That means the removal of sovereign status for individual nations. It means one giant money pot made up of cash from every nation that has cash to finance these initiatives.
Globalism just took on a whole new meaning.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Wednesday 09-28-16


Snapchat in privacy storm over ‘surveillance sunglasses’ fitted with tiny video camera

Critics fear controversial device will be used to snap people without their consent

The glasses can record 10 seconds of video and are operated by tapping a button on the device.
The Snapchat spectacles have sparked privacy and surveillance fears
The Snapchat spectacles have sparked privacy and surveillance fears
Video is then automatically uploaded to the ‘Memories’ section of the popular app via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
The devices have already sparked surveillance and privacy fears among social media user.
Tremecca D. Doss, an American attorney, wrote: “Very interested to see if new privacy and surveillance issues in the workplace and at schools arise from Snapchat Spectacles.”
“When we’re under 24/7 inescapable surveillance, we will have done it to ourselves,” wrote another Twitter user.
Young people living today are the most surveilled generation in human history and it’s necessarily the government or spooks that are doing the snooping.
Social media app Snapchat launches Spectacles - glasses that record vi
Edward Snowden famously revealed the scary reach of the US and UK's surveillance state, but youngsters' privacy is actually threatened more by other children more than it is by shadowy spy agencies.
Snapchat and Instagram have already helped to create a society where every single moment is documented and shared online.
But the release of the new glasses could be a concerning escalation of the apparently voluntary youth-led surveillance society, because they allow photos and videos to be snapped even more subtly.
Experts have said "the knowledge, or even the perception, of being surveilled can have a chilling effect", making people less likely to express themselves freely or act in ways which are not considered normal by mainstream society.

The glasses are the first hardware from the Los Angeles-based company. The company says it’s changing its name to since it now has more than one product.
The glasses record so-called “circular video,” meaning it plays full-screen on any device in any orientation.
They will be available in the U.S. in the autumn on a limited basis and cost $130.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Tuesday 09-27-16

Toronto: Oliver Stone Unhappy with Obama and Says Surveillance "In the Hands of the Wrong President, It's Very Dangerous

"Obama has managed to put together the most intensive surveillance state in the history of the world," the 'Snowden' director told THR while discussing his film at the Toronto Film Festival. "This is pretty frightening when you think about the implications."
Oliver Stone warned against the dangers of global surveillance in a sit-down with The Hollywood Reporter at the Toronto Film Festival.
The Snowden director, in discussing his biopic of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, spoke about the current state of the country's surveillance system, which he says has intensified under the Obama Administration.
"I thought Obama, like everyone else, was going to be a reformer. He had criticized the surveillance prior," Stone told THR. "Since 2013, I have to tell you, it’s gotten a lot more serious because they’ve expanded the surveillance. It's gotten better."
 He continued, "Obama has managed to put together the most intensive surveillance state in the history of the world. This is pretty frightening when you think about the implications. In the hands of the wrong president, it’s very dangerous what we’re doing."
Despite Snowden's real-life ties with the U.S. government and NSA, the director clarified that the biopic wasn't made for a "political purpose," but rather to simply "tell the story."
"How do you keep a technical story like this — which was complicated — and keep it thrilling?" Stone asked. "There are no car chases, there’s no James Bond moment, there’s no violence. So, if it works as a thriller, the people who saw Bourne will go to this movie. Yes, I think so."


You Will Be Poor

There has been a progression through each iteration of monetary theft. A trial balloon launches, usually from academia, which proposes an “innovation” contrary to reigning practice and orthodoxy. A curmudgeonly minority reject it; the majority, securing their places on the intellectual fashion forefront, excoriate the old and after a suitable time for faux consideration and discussion, embrace the new.
The public, insufficiently appreciative of the arcane language, abstruse reasoning, and self-evident erudition and brilliance of the experts, sometimes presents an obstacle. It was hostile towards the US’s first foray into monetary theft: central banking. The anti-central bank contingent won battles for 137 years, but lost the war in 1913. J.P. Morgan and cronies laid the intellectual groundwork: conferences, scholarly papers, legislative proposals, and a Greek chorus of the day’s one-percenters singing at the top of their lungs that America needed to join the civilized world and establish its own central bank.
If you understand the main purpose of central banks, then notwithstanding obfuscatory “Fedspeak,” endless media drivel, and academics’ Greek-letter-laden equations, you know all you need to know about these larcenous institutions. They exist to make it easier for governments to steal, and everything else is window dressing. Gold is finite and requires real resources to find, mine, and mint; central banks’ fiat debt can be produced in infinite quantities at virtually zero cost and exchanged for the government’s fiat debt.
Substitute central bank “notes” for gold and the resources available to the government expand dramatically. It can, in conjunction with the central bank, conjure its own money. Couple a central bank with 1913’s other “innovation”—the income tax—and lovers of government had the wherewithal for their fondest dreams, one of which was American empire. World War I, the US’s first involvement in Europe’s wars, followed close after 1913’s depredations, notwithstanding President Wilson’s vow to stay out in his 1916 reelection campaign.
Franklin Roosevelt and Richard Nixon completed the switch from a gold-backed currency to fiat debt. After Nixon slammed shut the gold window in August, 1971, there have been no legal constraints (aside from the farcical debt ceiling) on either the creation of government debt or Federal Reserve purchases of that debt. The only constraints are political and those policy makers and central bank bureaucrats impose upon themselves, in other words none.
Whatever jolt debt monetization once might have given the economy has disappeared since the economy reached debt saturation before the last financial crisis. The increasing debt burden is slowing rather than promoting economic growth, and will soon, if it has not already, stop and reverse it. Elevation of financial asset and real estate prices (aka “bubble blowing”) supposedly promotes wealth effects that trickle down to the broader economy. The claim was dubious when first made during the housing bubble. Rising wealth inequality since then has revealed its absurdity. Whatever debt-based speculative “wealth” has been created has gone mostly to the financially well-connected who can borrow at negligible rates.
Quantitative easing was an application from central banking’s conventional tool kit—debt monetization—although its magnitude and global scale were unprecedented. More recent central bank “innovations”—zero and negative interest rates (ZIRP and NIRP) and now, proposed bans on cash—amount to outright theft. It is doubtful that even proponents believe their own transparently phony rationalizations for these measures. ZIRP and NIRP destroy the return on saving while rewarding debtors. And who are the world’s biggest debtors? Profligate governments, who are financing their unsustainable improvidence at history’s lowest interest rates and picking the pockets of individuals, companies, pension funds, insurance companies, and other entities that must generate a reasonable safe current return to meet future liabilities.
Proposed bans on cash, or even active discouragement of its use, are the next milestone in governmental larceny. Once all “money” (a misnomer, it’s really debt; there has been no “real money” in the global financial system since 1971) is forced into the banking system, it doesn’t take much imagination or foresight to see what comes next. The civil liberties’ implications of the government keeping track of everyone’s money and how it’s spent are of course ominous. However, the main reason the government wants financial assets confined to the banking and financial system is so that it can purloin them. Once bank accounts, brokerage accounts, insurance accounts, pension funds, and other easy-to monitor repositories of financial assets become the only stores of value, the government can partially or wholly nationalize—steal—assets and perhaps the repositories themselves.
At every juncture, the government runs into the self-defeating consequences of its policies, ongoing larceny threatens future larceny. Increase debt, taxes, and regulation enough and the economy collapses, putting a dent in government’s revenues. Nobody worries about grandpa and grandma eating cat food because ZIRP and NIRP deprive them of retirement income, but when those policies threaten the solvency of the insurance industry and pension funds and the government may be called upon to bail them out, it’s cause for concern. Any future moves by central banks to raise interest rates will be driven by that unacknowledged concern.
The financial system as a whole is heavily leveraged, its liabilities are many times its equity. Economic collapse would wipe out financial system equity, as it did in 2008, whether deposits are forced to stay in the system or not. The government has no equity to wipe out. Forced to stay, deposits will be expropriated by the government for its benefit or the benefit of the financial repositories (so-called bail-ins). That’s obviously only a one-time expedient that will temporarily forestall, but not prevent, ultimate insolvency for either the government or the financial system.
Governments can outlaw or seize any asset, including cash, precious metals, real estate, chattels, overseas accounts, or intellectual property. In its desperate rapacity nothing is off the table. For individuals, reducing deposits within the financial system and converting them to precious metals or cash while ownership is still legal makes some sense. However, outlawing the former has the weight of Roosevelt’s 1933 precedent, and outlawing the latter is under consideration, so their value as mediums of exchange may be set in the black markets that will inevitably arise as the government continues to expand its destructive domination of the economy.
Absent the kind of collective, preemptive measures described in “Revolution in America” to leverage the government and financial system’s indebtedness, bankrupting them before they bankrupt us, your assets are sitting ducks. If inertia, wishful thinking, the “you go first” problem, and fear of legal consequences prevent the revolutionary initiative, the government will still give up the ghost…but not before it makes you poor.
The sole capital that is 100 percent safe is intellectual capital: what you know. They can’t nationalize self-reliance and your self may be the only one on which you can rely. If you have not already started, expanding your knowledge of skills useful in a time of collapse and chaos would be well-advised.'

Monday, September 26, 2016

Monday 09-26-16

Tour New York's invisible, networked surveillance infrastructure with Ingrid Burrington's new book

Writer/artist Ingrid Burrington has published a book called Networks of New York: An Illustrated Field Guide to Urban Internet Infrastructure, which sketches the physical extrusions of the internet into New York City's streets and buildings, and makes especial note of how much of that infrastructure has been built as part of the post 9/11 surveillance network that NYC has erected over the past 15 years.

The Intercept's Cora Currier went on a surveillance walking tour with Burrington, learning to decode the orange-sprayed surveyors' marks on the pavement and to spot the telltales on poles and building-faces that meant that something invisible and important was going on. I did a similar walking tour once, with journalist Henrik Moltke, when we were working on publishing some of the Snowden docs, and I can confirm that it's an experience to both open your eyes and blow your minds.
At each intersection, we looked for NYPD cameras and information-gathering devices owned by the Department of Transportation. Burrington pointed out green boxes sporting little domes; those are signal-control boxes that collect data from traffic cameras, EZ-Pass scanners, and microwave radar sensors, in order to track the movements of cars and regulate traffic lights accordingly. There are plenty of urban planning reasons for this data collection, but Burrington notes, “every camera that belongs to a city agency is essentially also an NYPD camera.”
A lot of internet infrastructure resides in buildings that once housed earlier modes of communication, and those building still bear the aesthetic of another era. Early 20th-century communications companies liked ornate decor, especially lightning bolts, in contrast to the bland or cutesy logos that today’s internet giants hide behind. We went to 75 Broad Street, once home to the International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation. Over its doorway is a colorful mosaic of an angel with a lightning bolt and two globes showing the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Among other things, the building now houses a data storage center.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Friday 09-23-16

Obama: America Must Surrender Sovereignty, Embrace One World Government

Earlier this week Barack Obama delivered his final United Nations speech.
In addition to praising the bankster loan shark operations run out of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, Obama called for “global integration,” code for a one-world government.
“I believe that at this moment we all face a choice. We can choose to press forward with a better model of cooperation and integration. Or we can retreat into a world sharply divided, and ultimately in conflict, along age-old lines of nation and tribe and race and religion,” he said.
In short, Obama has renewed the call to end national sovereignty.

The Council on Foreign Relations, often referred to as the “real State Department,” prefers to call it a transition to “global governance” or multilateralism.
In 2012, as the CFR unveiled the Council of Councils and its “Challenges for Global Governance in 2013,” Nicholas West deconstructed the globalist agenda. In addition to eroding national sovereignty through the promotion of “free trade” deals and treaties, the CFR has pushed behind the scenes for economic collapse, humanitarian intervention, destabilization of the Middle East, geopolitical reorganization, and control of the internet.
“The agenda of global governance exists, and the move toward a one world government is being executed. The solutions being discussed at think tank conferences in a wide range of disciplines from geopolitics, to science, to health, to economics and communications are all beginning to coalesce into an overall agenda of centralized control. This fusion is manifesting at an accelerated pace in tandem with the rapid awakening of humanity to its condition of increasing servitude,” writes West.
The current globalism in trade—from NAFTA, CAFTA, and AFTA to the impending TPP—serve as a template for the ongoing effort to globalize nations and destroy national sovereignty, according to Richard Haass, current CFR president and the former Special Assistant to George H. W. Bush and National Security Council Senior Director for Near East and South Asian Affairs.
In 2010 Haass wrote “states must be prepared to cede some sovereignty to world bodies if the international system is to function. This is already taking place in the trade realm. Governments agree to accept the rulings of the WTO because on balance they benefit from an international trading order even if a particular decision requires that they alter a practice that is their sovereign right to carry out.”
Haass cited the globalist contrivance of manmade climate change. “Some governments are prepared to give up elements of sovereignty to address the threat of global climate change.”
Obama read directly from the globalist script when he mentioned climate change during his speech at the United Nations.
“And that’s why we need to follow through on our efforts to combat climate change. If we don't act boldly, the bill that could come due will be mass migrations, and cities submerged and nations displaced, and food supplies decimated, and conflicts born of despair. The Paris Agreement gives us a framework to act, but only if we scale up our ambition. And there must be a sense of urgency about bringing the agreement into force, and helping poorer countries leapfrog destructive forms of energy,” Obama said.
Bernie Suarez writes climate change is one of six manufactured problems utilized by the elite.
“Problem-reaction-solution, the Hegelian Dialectic is that process the globalist ruling class have chosen to use as the primary tool to constantly change society in the direction they want it to go. They manufacture a problem, focus on that problem, then sell the solution. The solution is always the very thing that drives their plan forward.”
Specifically, the elite created the disruptive force of the Islamic State, they are pushing for the implementation of a militarized police state apparatus, have orchestrated revolutions, rolled out a propaganda campaign designed to promote world conflict and a possible Third World War, and have engendered disease hysteria that provides a backdrop for medical tyranny.
The United Nations speech was Obama’s swan song and a final tribute to the global elite. If Hillary Clinton is elected in November, we can expect a seamless transition and a continuation of the CFR’s agenda.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Thursday 09-22-16

National Effort Launches to Fight Surveillance State on Local Level

A coalition of seventeen organizations has launched an effort to combat the growing Surveillance State by supporting accountability measures in eleven cities across the United States. 
On Wednesday, the American Civil Liberties Union and a coalition of sixteen other civil liberties and technology firms announced the beginning of a national effort to combat the growth of secretive surveillance technology. The coalition’s aim is to “stop the unchecked, secret, and too often discriminatory use of surveillance technologies by local police and to move their approval process out of the darkness and into the light.”
The initiative, dubbed “Community Control Over Police Surveillance,” is the outgrowth of the ACLU’s TakeCTRL campaign, which was originally launched on January 20 with a focus on state legislation. The new effort focuses specifically on action to be taken on a local, city level. The ACLU is joined by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the National Network for Arab American Communities, Fight For The Future, The Tenth Amendment Center, and several other organizations.

read the rest at

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wednesday 09-21-16

U-2 Spy Plane Crashes In Sutter County; 1 Pilot Killed

3:45 p.m UPDATE: Beale Air Force Base officials say a seasoned instructor and another pilot were on board the U-2 plane that crashed near the Sutter Buttes on Tuesday.
The plane was on a training mission when it crashed.
The commander at Beale AFB says it’s been an emotional day at the base. He said they are still in the process of notifying the victim’s families.
“I would match the safety record of a U-2 with any other aircraft the Air Force flies. In fact, we are going to continue flying U-2 missions around the world and around the clock,” said Col. Larry Broadwell, Commander of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing.


“We Haven’t Seen This Since The Great Depression” – Gallup CEO Destroys The “Recovery” Lie

I’ve been reading a lot about a “recovering” economy. It was even trumpeted on Page 1 of The New York Times and Financial Times last week.
I don’t think it’s true.
The percentage of Americans who say they are in the middle or upper-middle class has fallen 10 percentage points, from a 61% average between 2000 and 2008 to 51% today.

Ten percent of 250 million adults in the U.S. is 25 million people whose economic lives have crashed.
What the media is missing is that these 25 million people are invisible in the widely reported 4.9% official U.S. unemployment rate.
Let’s say someone has a good middle-class job that pays $65,000 a year. That job goes away in a changing, disrupted world, and his new full-time job pays $14 per hour — or about $28,000 per year. That devastated American remains counted as “full-time employed” because he still has full-time work — although with drastically reduced pay and benefits. He has fallen out of the middle class and is invisible in current reporting.
More disastrous is the emotional toll on the person — the sudden loss of household income can cause a crash of self-esteem and dignity, leading to an environment of desperation that we haven’t seen since the Great Depression.

Millions of Americans, even if they themselves are gainfully employed in good jobs, are just one degree away from someone who is experiencing either unemployment, underemployment or falling wages. We know them all.
There are three serious metrics that need to be turned around or we’ll lose the whole middle class.
  1. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of the total U.S. adult population that has a full-time job has been hovering around 48% since 2010 — this is the lowest full-time employment level since 1983.
  2. The number of publicly listed companies trading on U.S. exchanges has been cut almost in half in the past 20 years — from about 7,300 to 3,700. Because firms can’t grow organically — that is, build more business from new and existing customers — they give up and pay high prices to acquire their competitors, thus drastically shrinking the number of U.S. public companies. This seriously contributes to the massive loss of U.S. middle-class jobs.
  3. New business startups are at historical lows. Americans have stopped starting businesses. And the businesses that do start are growing at historically slow rates.
Free enterprise is in free fall — but it is fixable. Small business can save America and restore the middle class.
Gallup finds that small businesses — startups plus “shootups,” those that grow big — are the engine of new economic energy. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 65% of all new jobs are created by small businesses, not large ones.
Here’s the crisis: The deaths of small businesses recently outnumbered the births of small businesses. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the total number of business startups and business closures per year crossed for the first time in 2008. In the nearly 30 years before that, the U.S. consistently averaged a surplus of almost 120,000 more business births than deaths each year. But from 2008 to 2011, an average of 420,000 businesses were born annually, while an average of 450,000 per year were dying.
Bottom line: The two most trusted institutions in the U.S. are the military and small business. Most people know about our military’s importance, but not as many appreciate the role small business plays in creating the majority of new jobs and in national security itself.
America needs small business to boom again. Small businesses are our best hope for badly needed economic growth, great jobs and ultimately accelerated human development. When we get small business to boom, we can save America, restore our middle class and once again lead the world.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Tuesday 09-20-16

More than 800 immigrants mistakenly granted citizenship

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government has mistakenly granted citizenship to at least 858 immigrants from countries of concern to national security or with high rates of immigration fraud who had pending deportation orders, according to an internal Homeland Security audit released Monday.
The Homeland Security Department's inspector general found that the immigrants used different names or birthdates to apply for citizenship with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and such discrepancies weren't caught because their fingerprints were missing from government databases.
DHS said in an emailed statement that an initial review of these cases suggest that some of the individuals may have ultimately qualified for citizenship, and that the lack of digital fingerprint records does not necessarily mean they committed fraud.
The report does not identify any of the immigrants by name, but Inspector General John Roth's auditors said they were all from "special interest countries" — those that present a national security concern for the United States — or neighboring countries with high rates of immigration fraud. The report did not identify those countries.
DHS said the findings reflect what has long been a problem for immigration officials — old paper-based records containing fingerprint information that can't be searched electronically. DHS says immigration officials are in the process of uploading these files and that officials will review "every file" identified as a case of possible fraud.
Roth's report said fingerprints are missing from federal databases for as many as 315,000 immigrants with final deportation orders or who are fugitive criminals. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has not reviewed about 148,000 of those immigrants' files to add fingerprints to the digital record.
The gap was created because older, paper records were never added to fingerprint databases created by both the now-defunct Immigration and Naturalization Service and the FBI in the 1990s. ICE, the DHS agency responsible for finding and deporting immigrants living in the country illegally, didn't consistently add digital fingerprint records of immigrants whom agents encountered until 2010.
The government has known about the information gap and its impact on naturalization decisions since at least 2008 when a Customs and Border Protection official identified 206 immigrants who used a different name or other biographical information to gain citizenship or other immigration benefits, though few cases have been investigated.
Roth's report said federal prosecutors have accepted two criminal cases that led to the immigrants being stripped of their citizenship. But prosecutors declined another 26 cases. ICE is investigating 32 other cases after closing 90 investigations.
ICE officials told auditors that the agency hadn't pursued many of these cases in the past because federal prosecutors "generally did not accept immigration benefits fraud cases." ICE said the Justice Department has now agreed to focus on cases involving people who have acquired security clearances, jobs of public trust or other security credentials.
Several members of Congress criticized the Obama administration Monday in the wake of Roth's report, though the report suggests that the gaps extend several years earlier than the Obama administration.
Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee Michael McCaul said ICE should quickly investigate all of the cases at issue and ensure that all immigration fingerprint records are digitized in short order.
Mistakenly awarding citizenship to someone ordered deported can have serious consequences because U.S. citizens can typically apply for and receive security clearances or take security-sensitive jobs.
At least three of the immigrants-turned-citizens were able to acquire aviation or transportation worker credentials, granting them access to secure areas in airports or maritime facilities and vessels. Their credentials were revoked after they were identified as having been granted citizenship improperly, Roth said in his report.
A fourth person is now a law enforcement officer.
Roth recommended that all of the outstanding cases be reviewed and fingerprints in those cases be added to the government's database and that immigration enforcement officials create a system to evaluate each of the cases of immigrants who were improperly granted citizenship. DHS officials agreed with the recommendations and said the agency is working to implement the changes.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Monday 09-19-16

It is a shame we have no more Statesmen all we have are Politicians, and what makes it worse is no one seems to care about it.

Noah Webster
In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate - look to his character. . . . When a citizen gives his suffrage to a man of known immorality he abuses his trust; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor, he betrays the interest of his country.
[Noah Webster, Letters to a Young Gentleman Commencing His Education to which is subjoined a Brief History of the United States (New Haven: S. Converse, 1823), pp. 18, 19.]
When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, "just men who will rule in the fear of God." The preservation of government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws; the public revenues will be sqandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded. If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws.
[Noah Webster, History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie & Peck, 1832), pp. 336-337, �49.]

Government will soon able legally hack anyone 

Digital devices and software programs are complicated. Behind the pointing and clicking on screen are thousands of processes and routines that make everything work. So when malicious software—malware—invades a system, even seemingly small changes to the system can have unpredictable impacts.

That’s why it’s so concerning that the Justice Department is planning a vast expansion of government hacking. Under a new set of rules, the FBI would have the authority to secretly use malware to hack into thousands or hundreds of thousands of computers that belong to innocent third parties and even crime victims. The unintended consequences could be staggering.

The new plan to drastically expand the government’s hacking and surveillance authorities is known formally as amendments to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, and the proposal would allow the government to hack a million computers or more with a single warrant. If Congress doesn’t pass legislation blocking this proposal, the new rules go into effect on December 1. With just six work weeks remaining on the Senate schedule and a long Congressional to-do list, time is running out.

The government says it needs this power to investigate a network of devices infected with malware and controlled by a criminal—what’s known as a “botnet.” But the Justice Department has given the public far too little information about its hacking tools and how it plans to use them. And the amendments to Rule 41 are woefully short on protections for the security of hospitals, life-saving computer systems, or the phones and electronic devices of innocent Americans. 
Without rigorous and periodic evaluation of hacking software by independent experts, it would be nothing short of reckless to allow this massive expansion of government hacking.
If malware crashes your personal computer or phone, it can mean a loss of photos, documents and records—a major inconvenience. But if a hospital’s computer system or other critical infrastructure crashes, it puts lives at risk. Surgical directives are lost. Medical histories are inaccessible. Patients can wait hours for care. If critical information isn’t available to doctors, people could die. Without new safeguards on the government’s hacking authority, the FBI could very well be responsible for this kind of tragedy in the future.
No one believes the government is setting out to damage victims’ computers. But history shows just how hard it is to get hacking tools right. Indeed, recent experience shows that tools developed by law enforcement have actually been co-opted and used by criminals and miscreants. For example, the FBI digital wiretapping tool Carnivore, later renamed DCS 3000, had weaknesses (which were eventually publicly identified) that made it vulnerable to spoofing by unauthorized parties, allowing criminals to hijack legitimate government searches. Cisco’s Law Enforcement access standards, the guidelines for allowing government wiretaps through Cisco’s routers, had similar weaknesses that security researchers discovered.

The government will likely argue that its tools for going after large botnets have yet to cause the kind of unintended damage we describe. But it is impossible to verify that claim without more transparency from the agencies about their operations. Even if the claim is true, today’s botnets are simple, and their commands can easily be found online. So even if the FBI’s investigative techniques are effective today, in the future that might not be the case. Damage to devices or files can happen when a software program searches and finds pieces of the botnet hidden on a victim’s computer. Indeed, damage happens even when changes are straightforward: recently an anti-virus scan
shut down a device in the middle of heart surgery.

Compounding the problem is that the FBI keeps its hacking techniques shrouded in secrecy. The FBI’s statements to date do not inspire confidence that it will take the necessary precautions to test malware before deploying them in the field. One FBI special agent
recently testified that a tool was safe because he tested it on his home computer, and it “did not make any changes to the security settings on my computer.” This obviously falls far short of the testing needed to vet a complicated hacking tool that could be unleashed on millions of devices.

Why would Congress approve such a short-sighted proposal? It didn’t. Congress had no role in writing or approving these changes, which were developed by the US court system through an obscure procedural process. This process was intended for updating minor procedural rules, not for making major policy decisions.

This kind of vast expansion of government mass hacking and surveillance is clearly a policy decision. This is a job for Congress, not a little-known court process.

If Congress had to pass a bill to enact these changes, it almost surely would not pass as written. The Justice Department may need new authorities to identify and search anonymous computers linked to digital crimes. But this package of changes is far too broad, with far too little oversight or protections against collateral damage.

Congress should block these rule changes from going into effect by passing the bipartisan, bicameral
Stopping Mass Hacking Act. Americans deserve a real debate about the best way to update our laws to address online threats.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Saturday 09-17-16

 How Google is helping to crack down on illegal fishing — from space

 Illegal and unreported fishing is a multibillion-dollar business around the globe, and one that has proven notoriously difficult to combat. In part, that’s because it involves a constant stream of renegade fishermen being pursued by countries that have only limited resources to carry out a perpetual cat-and-mouse game on the high seas.
But a new satellite-based surveillance system powered by Google, which will be publicly unveiled Thursday at a global oceans conference at the State Department, aims to help alter that equation. Global Fishing Watch, as it is called, is designed to act as an eye in the sky, constantly scouring the globe in search of those illegally plundering the oceans. The organizations that partnered to develop it, which include the marine-advocacy group Oceana and West Virginia-based nonprofit SkyTruth, say the free platform will help governments, journalists and everyday citizens monitor roughly 35,000 commercial fishing vessels nearly in real time.
“We will be able to see a lot of information about who is fishing where,” said Jacqueline Savitz, vice president for U.S. oceans at Oceana, adding that the platform will help “revolutionize the way the world views commercial fishing.”
The technology uses public broadcast data from the Automatic Identification System (AIS), which uses satellite and land-based receivers to track the movement of ships over time. Not all fishing vessels willingly broadcast their location, of course — particularly those intent on breaking the law — and vessels can switch off their trackers, potentially hindering the usefulness of the new technology. The United States and other countries already require vessels of a certain size to use the locator system, partly as a safety measure to avoid collisions at sea, and more countries are beginning to follow suit. Global Fishing Watch allows users to access that information to track specific vessels over time, going back to 2012. Savitz said she believes the tool will have an array of uses. Governments could use it to monitor and enforce fishing restrictions in their waters. Journalists and the public can use it to search for suspicious fishing activity, such as vessel that suddenly seems to disappear or one that rarely comes to port, and to make sure officials are safeguarding marine protected areas. Insurance companies can track the vessels they insure.
“We’re hoping it will be useful to a lot of different sectors,” Savitz said.
The use of satellites to patrol environmental activities both on land and at sea has grown steadily in recent years. Early last year, the Pew Charitable Trusts launched a similar technology aimed at helping authorities detect and respond to pirate fishing in the oceans. Known as Project Eyes on the Seas, it was developed alongside a British company and uses various satellite tracking data to help track suspicious vessel movements of fishing ships at sea.
“You can track anything in the world from anywhere in the world,” SkyTruth’s president, John Amos, whose work has helped reshape environmental watchdog efforts, told The Washington Post for a magazine story in 2013.
Global Fishing Watch, which has been under development for two years, has shown flickers of success. The government of the Pacific island nation of Kiribati used it to document how a tuna-fishing vessel had operated illegally inside the Phoenix Islands Protected Area, which had been declared off-limits to commercial fishing in early 2015. The episode resulted in a $1 million fine — a large sum for such a tiny government. Using satellite-based technology, Global Fishing Watch is a new system keeping tabs on fishing vessels to prevent illegal and unreported fishing. Using satellite-based technology, Global Fishing Watch is a new system keeping tabs on fishing vessels to prevent illegal and unreported fishing. (Oceana) The new technology being unveiled Thursday is one piece of a much broader international push to reduce overfishing in the oceans and cut back in particular on illegal fishing, which can deplete fish populations, harm local habitats and have serious economic consequences.
“The problem is just gigantic,” Secretary of State John F. Kerry said in an interview this week with The Post. “A third of the world’s fisheries are overfished, and the ones that aren’t overfished are at max, with more and more demand. Half the world’s population, basically, relies on protein from the ocean to survive. It’s an ecosystem that requires sustainability to survive, and we’re not treating it in a sustainable fashion.” 
Earlier this year, a first-of-its-kind international treaty designed to help stop illegal fishing entered into force after being ratified by dozens of countries. The accord, known as the Port State Measures Agreement, is aimed at improving the ability to detect illegal fishing, stop illegally caught fish from reaching ports and markets and sharing information about illicit fishing vessels among nations.
Under the agreement, a country can deny ships suspected of illegal fishing entry into port or refuse to let them offload fish or refuel. Fishing vessels that want to enter a given port also must request permission ahead of time, detail what fish they have on board and verify that it was caught legally.

In addition, U.S. and international officials have been coordinating on ways to better share information in an effort to detect and halt illegal fishing around the globe, and to prosecute those involved. Officials plan to release more specifics  about those efforts at this week’s “Our Ocean” conference.
At the same time, individual countries are taking their own actions. Indonesia, for example, recently sank 60 boats that it had impounded for illegally fishing in its waters, part of an aggressive campaign to deter the practice and assert sovereignty over one of its key resources.
Kerry said both new technologies and more aggressive efforts to fight the problem are essential, because demand for fish will continue to increase as populations grow and massive numbers of people in countries such as China and India escape poverty. For the oceans to continue to provide food and livelihoods for billions of people each day, he said, the world has to treat them like the fragile resource they are.
“We have to find a way to enforce [fishing laws]. We have to find a way to monitor it. And that’s very difficult in vast oceans with resources that are [limited],” Kerry said, adding, “We’re trying to create accountability where there is very little. You can’t have impunity on this and expect to win this battle.”


Zika spraying kills millions of honeybees

(CNN)The pictures are heartbreaking: Millions of honeybees lie dead after being sprayed with an insecticide targeting Zika-carrying mosquitoes.
"On Saturday, it was total energy, millions of bees foraging, pollinating, making honey for winter," beekeeper Juanita Stanley said. "Today, it stinks of death. Maggots and other insects are feeding on the honey and the baby bees who are still in the hives. It's heartbreaking."

Stanley, co-owner of Flowertown Bee Farm and Supply in Summerville, South Carolina, said she lost 46 beehives -- more than 3 million bees -- in mere minutes after the spraying began Sunday morning.

Juanita Stanley says she lost more than 3 million bees.

"Those that didn't die immediately were poisoned trying to drag out the dead," Stanley said. "Now, I'm going to have to destroy my hives, the honey, all my equipment. It's all contaminated."
Stanley said Summerville Fire Capt. Andrew Macke, who keeps bees as a hobby, also lost thousands of bees. She said neither of them had protected their hives because they didn't know about the aerial spraying.

"Andrew has two hives," Stanley said. "He didn't know they were going to spray. His wife called him. His bees are at their porch right by their home, and she saw dead bees everywhere."
It's a tragedy that could be repeated across the country as cases of Zika continue to rise and local mosquito control districts struggle to protect their residents and ease local fears.
The spray fell from the skies between 6:30 and 8:30 a.m. Sunday. It was the first aerial spraying in 14 years, according to Dorchester County Administrator Jason Ward, part of the county's efforts to combat Zika after four local residents were diagnosed with the virus.
"We chose Sunday morning because few people would be out and about that early on a weekend," Ward said. "To protect the bees, you don't want to spray after the sun has been up more two hours, so we scheduled it early."
The county used a product called Trumpet, which contains the pesticide naled, recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for control of adult Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that transmits Zika.
According to the manufacturer's label (PDF), Trumpet is "highly toxic to bees exposed to direct treatment on blooming crops or weeds. To minimize hazard to bees, it is recommended that the product is not applied more than two hours after sunrise or two hours before sunset, limiting application to times when bees are least active."
"We followed that recommendation," said Ward, "which is also the policy laid out by the state, using a pesticide the state has approved for use."
Ward says the county also notified residents of the spraying by posting a notice on its website at 9 a.m. Friday, two days before the spraying. He added that it alerted beekeepers who were on the local mosquito control registry by phone or email, a common practice before truck spraying.
The loss of her "honey girls" is devastating, says Juanita Stanley.

"That's true when they sprayed by trucks; they told me in advance, and we talked about it so I could protect my bees," Stanley said. "But nobody called me about the aerial spraying; nobody told me at all."
Stanley said she "would have been screaming and pleading on their doorstep if they had."
" 'Do it at night when bees are done foraging,' I would have told them," she added, breaking into tears. "But they sprayed at 8 a.m. Sunday, and all of my bees were out, doing their work by then."
Macke was also not informed, Ward said, because he, like many hobby beekeepers, is not on the local mosquito control registry.
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"We are obviously saddened by the fact people have lost their hives, and we have gone back and looked at our procedures," Ward said. "We will now give up to five days of advance notice, and we have expanded our list to include more local beekeepers."
Stanley says she doesn't think there was malice involved, but that doesn't make the loss of her "honey girls" any less painful.
"This wasn't about the honey," she said. "It was about raising bees and selling them to other people, and spreading the honey girls out there into the world. Now, I can't help anyone anymore, because all of them are dead."