28, 2014
Crisis: Massive webcam spying * 2, Obama, Begg, Personal
   "They who can give up essential 
   liberty to obtain a little temporary
   safety, deserve neither liberty
   nor safety."
   -- Benjamin Franklin [1]
   "All governments lie and nothing
   they say should be believed.
   -- I.F. Stone.
   "Power tends to corrupt, and   
   absolute power corrupts
   absolutely. Great men are        
   almost always bad men."
   -- Lord Acton

Prev- crisis -Next

1. Yahoo webcam images from millions of users intercepted
     by GCHQ

2. Massive Webcam Spying Program Exposed
3. The Five Commandments of Barack Obama
4. The Moazzam Begg Arrest: Part of the Effort to
     Criminalize Muslim Political Dissent

5. Personal
About ME/CFS


This is the crisis item in Nederlog of the last day of February 2014. There again wasn't much today, indeed except for entries on the GCHQ's spying on millions of users of Yahoo's webcams, none of whom had any link to "terrorism", but all of which must have been most satisfactory for Sir David Omand.

Anyway, I have two items on that, one in text and one in video, sifted from quite a few more, and I also have an item on Obama's many lies, and an item on another piece by Glenn Greenwald.

That is it, for what I found today. I am sorry there wasn't more,

1. Yahoo webcam images from millions of users intercepted by GCHQ

The first article is by Spencer Ackerman and James Ball, in the Guardian:
This starts as follows:

Britain's surveillance agency GCHQ, with aid from the US National Security Agency, intercepted and stored the webcam images of millions of internet users not suspected of wrongdoing, secret documents reveal.

GCHQ files dating between 2008 and 2010 explicitly state that a surveillance program codenamed Optic Nerve collected still images of Yahoo webcam chats in bulk and saved them to agency databases, regardless of whether individual users were an intelligence target or not.

In one six-month period in 2008 alone, the agency collected webcam imagery – including substantial quantities of sexually explicit communications – from more than 1.8 million Yahoo user accounts globally.

In fact, there were quite a few article on this subject, and I note several things:
  • Clearly, this has not the remotest connection to "terrorism", although it must have been quite satisfying for Sir David Omand (who is smarter than anyone in the NSA, he thinks), since a good part of the pictures were nude ("substantial quantities of sexually explicit communications").
  • In fact, this was pure theft of private data - "regardless of whether individual users were an intelligence target or not" - financed by tax money from the people it was stolen from.
  • Also, this comes again from Snowden's revelations, but it also is partial: It is about Yahoo and about 2008-2010, but a lot more may have been stolen.
There is of course this, set apart in a paragraph:
GCHQ insists all of its activities are necessary, proportionate, and in accordance with UK law.
There is also this from a spokesperson for Yahoo:
"We were not aware of, nor would we condone, this reported activity," said a spokeswoman. "This report, if true, represents a whole new level of violation of our users' privacy that is completely unacceptable, and we strongly call on the world's governments to reform surveillance law consistent with the principles we outlined in December."
And there is a lot more in the article, which I recommend you read all of - and please mind that it probably is not only Yahoo's webcams that were hacked.

2.  Massive Webcam Spying Program Exposed

The next is a video on the same topic by The Young Turks:
This is a good video report, based on the text I reviewed in item 1.

Again, as also noted by Cenk Uygur, this has nothing to do with "terrorism", and also covers some 10% of nude pictures. As Uygur says at the end:
Big Brother is already here, and he is looking at your tits.
3.  The Five Commandments of Barack Obama 

The next article is by Karen J. Greenberg. I found it on Truth Dig, but it is also on TomDispatch:

This starts as follows:

In January 2009, Barack Obama entered the Oval Office projecting idealism and proud to be the constitutional law professor devoted to turning democratic principles into action.  In his first weeks in office, in a series of executive orders and public statements, the new president broadcast for all to hear the five commandments by which life in his new world of national security would be lived. 

Thou shalt not torture.

Thou shalt not keep Guantanamo open.

Thou shalt not keep secrets unnecessarily.

Thou shalt not wage war without limits.

Thou shalt not live above the law.

Five years later, the question is: How have he and his administration lived up to these self-proclaimed commandments?

And this is exactly what Karen Greenberg innvestigates, point by point, over three pages. Here is her ending:

Five years later, Obama’s commandants need a rewrite.  Here’s what they should now look like and, barring surprises in the next three years, these, as written, will both be the virtual law of the land and constitute the Obama legacy.

Thou shalt not torture (but thou shalt leave the door open to the future use of torture).

Thou shalt detain forever.

Thou shalt live by limitless secrecy.

Thou shalt wage war everywhere and forever.

Thou shalt not punish those who have done bad things in the name of the national security state.

This is a very good article, that I recommend you read all of. There are one or two remaining questions, that she did neither raise nor answer: What made Obama change? Or did he lie from the start?

I do not know the answers, but I do know Obama was a very disappointing president, and the above article gives a part of the reasons (though by no means all).

4. The Moazzam Begg Arrest: Part of the Effort to Criminalize Muslim Political Dissent

Finally for today, an article by Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain. I found it on Common Dreams, but it originally appeared in The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
Moazzam Begg, a native-born British citizen of Pakistani descent, spent three years incarcerated in the most notorious detention camps created in the post-9/11 “War on Terror”: all without ever being charged with any crime.

Arrested in Pakistan in 2002, he was transferred to Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, where he suffered torture and witnessed U.S. interrogators beat an innocent taxi driver to death, and then onwards to Guantanamo Bay where he would be detained for the next three years in conditions he’d describe as “torturous”.

Throughout this time Begg, now 45, was repeatedly deprived of legal counsel and was prohibited from even viewing the alleged evidence against him.
All of which is quite inhuman. And last Tuesday he was arrested again, on what seem to be false and certainly are very flimsy "terrorism" charges.

There is a lot more in the article, and I do hope Moazzam Begg will be released very soon.
5. Personal

Yesterday I said I am working on various things - such as: translating Chamfort's aphorisms, and working on the ME-directory - and indeed I have done some more on both, but I have not finished them today. In fact, it may take a few more days, depending on my health and energy, and also on some other things.

Also, I am sorry this is not a longer file, but I did not find more (except several other treatments of item 1). And in fact I am sorry because I am really much concerned with state terrorism against its own and other citizens, as I think clearly is the case, as I have been saying myself since 2005,
and as also follows from items 1 and 2: Your personal data are stolen from you not because you are a terrorist, but in order to be able to control you, anonymously also.

This is also why all the data of everyone are stolen, for that is indeed what they are: All semantical tricks that these data are "public" as soon as they are on your provider's disks is utter bullshit, that you also never were asked to democratically approve.
[1] Here it is necessary to insist, with Aristotle, that the governors do not rule, or at least, should not rule: The laws rule, and the government, if good, is part of its executive power. Here I quote Aristotle from my More on stupidity, the rule of law, and Glenn Greenwald:
It is more proper that law should govern than any one of the citizens: upon the same principle, if it is advantageous to place the supreme power in some particular persons, they should be appointed to be only guardians, and the servants of the laws.
(And I note the whole file I quote from is quite pertinent.)

About ME/CFS (that I prefer to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search machines) which is a disease I have since 1.1.1979:
1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS(pdf)

3. Hillary Johnson

The Why  (currently not available)

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2003)
5. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2011)
6. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

7. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)

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