who can give up essential
liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety, deserve neither liberty
-- Benjamin Franklin
"All governments lie and nothing
say should be believed."
"Power tends to corrupt, and
absolute power corrupts
absolutely. Great men
almost always bad men."
1. Western Spy Agencies
Secretly Rely on Hackers for Intel
2. Net Neutrality, Back by
CIA Torture Whistleblower Kiriakou To Finish
Sentence Home with Family
4. What the Corporate Media Aren't Telling You About the
Time with Bill Maher: Laura Poitras – CITIZENFOUR
This is a Nederlog of
February 5, 2015.
This is a crisis log. There are 5 items with 5 dotted links (and none
about The Guardian): Item 1 is on Glenn Greenwald
on how the Western spy agencies hack hackers to get information - while
their governments prosecute hackers for doing the same things as the
spy agencies do to them; item 2 brings the Good
News that it seems as if net neutrality may be preserved (I am wary,
and so write "seems as if", but that is the news); item
3 is about former CIA agent Kiriakou, who got released after 2
years of imprisonment; item 4 is about the TPP and
why so very few know about it; and item 5 is about a
video with Bill Maher interviewing Laura Poitras.
This file got uploaded a bit earlier than usual.
Spy Agencies Secretly Rely on Hackers for Intel
The first item
article by Glenn Greenwald on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
There is considerably more in
the article, that also contains this bit, showing Western governments
use two measures, one for hackers and one for itself:
The U.S., U.K. and
Canadian governments characterize hackers as a
criminal menace, warn of the threats
they allegedly pose to critical infrastructure, and aggressively
prosecute them, but they are also secretly exploiting their
information and expertise, according to top secret documents.
In some cases, the
surveillance agencies are obtaining the content of emails by
monitoring hackers as they breach email accounts, often without
notifying the hacking victims of these breaches. “Hackers are
stealing the emails of some of our targets… by collecting the hackers’
‘take,’ we . . . get access to the emails themselves,” reads
one top secret 2010 National Security Agency document.
These and other revelations
about the intelligence agencies’ reliance on hackers are contained
in documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Several of the
accounts to be mined for expertise are associated with the hactivist
collective Anonymous. Documents previously
published by The Intercept reveal extensive,
employed by GCHQ to infiltrate, discredit and disrupt that group.
The agency employed some of the same hacker methods against Anonymous
(e.g., mass denial of service) as governments have prosecuted Anonymous
2. Net Neutrality, Back by Popular Demand
item is an article by Amy Goodman on Truthdig:
This article brings Good
News (that also was reported by quite a few others): It seems as if
net neutrality will remain:
I say! That is
Good News! Then again, I wrote above that it seems as if net neutrality will
remain, and I must say I will only believe it if (1) this has
become law, while also (2) without there having been added all
sorts of "last minute" changes and loopholes (for I think I do
understand Obama and his government, as I also think I do
understand the GOP politicians: you really cannot trust
anything they say publicly).
In a blog post on the
website of the magazine Wired this week, Wheeler made a stunning
revelation. “Originally, I believed that the FCC could assure Internet
openness through a determination of ‘commercial reasonableness,’” he
wrote. This is what had worried proponents of network neutrality. Major
ISPs would be allowed to discriminate, favoring some websites over
others, as long as they weren’t being “unreasonable.” Wheeler continued
in his Wired piece, “I am proposing that the FCC use its Title II
authority to implement and enforce open Internet protections.”
What Wheeler means by
“Title II authority” is that he has made an about-face and will propose
rules that the Internet be regulated like a public utility, as are
other central pillars of our society like power utilities, water
systems and the telephone system. Imagine if the water coming out of
your tap was less clean than water at a neighbor’s house, because the
neighbor pays for premium water. Public utilities are regulated. People
get the same service, without discrimination.
But OK - while it still is not a law, so far this is, at least, a lot
better than it might have been.
3. Unbroken, CIA Torture Whistleblower
Kiriakou To Finish Sentence Home with Family
The next item is an article by
Lauren McCauley on Common Dreams:
In case you don't know
who John Kiriakou
(<- Wikipedia) is: This is from the Wikipedia item on him (minus two
links to notes):
He was the first U.S. government
official to confirm in December 2007 that waterboarding was used to interrogate Al
Qaeda prisoners, which he described as torture.
On October 22, 2012, Kiriakou pleaded guilty to disclosing classified information about a
fellow CIA officer that connected the covert operative to a
Incidentally: it was
torture, not only "which
he described as". The
article starts as follows:
John Kiriakou, the CIA
agent who was jailed for blowing the whistle on the United States'
torture program, was released from Loretto Prison in Pennsylvania on
Tuesday under orders to finish the remainder of his 30-month sentence
Though glad the
whistleblower was finally able to return to his wife and five children,
supporters said the development was bittersweet considering that
Kiriakou has thus far been the only government official to be punished
for U.S. torture.
"John Kiriakou is a
dedicated public servant who became a political prisoner because he
brought to light one of the darkest chapters in American history: the
CIA’s ineffective, immoral and illegal torture program,"
said Jesselyn Radack, Kiriakou’s attorney and National Security and
Human Rights director of the Government
"Considering that the
last three heads of the CIA engaged in leaks of classified information
without being charged under the Espionage Act and that no CIA official
who ordered or participated in torture has been criminally punished,"
Radack continued, "it is a welcome development that Kiriakou can serve
the rest of his sentence at home with his family."
the Corporate Media Aren't Telling
You About the TPP
The next item is an article by
several writers (rather unclear) on Truthout:
This starts as follows:
Not only that: There is very
much more in this TPP, which is a huge favorite of that Noble
Liberal Progressive Obama, who also seeks to push this through Congress
on a fast track, so that very few will be able
to even read it (for the Members of Congress cannot read
it with their
lawyers, and also cannot take notes, and also cannot
discuss anything they have read with anyone else, for this very
intrusive legislation for hundreds of millions is secret and classified,
so that its hundreds of millions of - potential - victims will not
Partnership, or TPP as it's more commonly known, is a public health
disaster waiting to happen.
According to leaked
documents, the proposed trade deal, which I like to call the Southern
Hemisphere Asian Free Trade Agreement - SHAFTA - would extend patent protections for drugs made by
Big Pharma to prevent rival companies from making generic version of
those same drugs.
This a huge deal.
For hundreds of millions
of people all over the world, generic drugs are a cheaper alternative
to the more expensive drugs sold by Big Pharma.
So if the TPP goes
through, real live breathing people (Doctors Without Borders estimates
about half a billion of them) will effectively lose affordable access to the
medicine they need to survive.
Thus there is e.g. this in the TPP (which is secret, but so much is
The TPP would also
let corporations sue countries in international courts owned and run by
corporations, with judges handpicked from corporate law firms. In other
words, if a corporation doesn't like a regulation, or thinks it'll
diminish their profits, they can sue your town, state, or our federal
government over it - and that would gut environmental and financial
rules without any input from "We the People" or our elected
representatives in Congress.
The rest of the story is quite
informative about the reasons why almost no one in the mainstream media
even mentioned the TPP (outside one show, that is only
available by premium subscription): Their directors stand to make a lot
money if it gets implemented, and therefore they sit tight, don't say
anything, smile brightly, and talk only about bullshit items.
Time with Bill Maher: Laura Poitras – CITIZENFOUR (HBO)
The next and last item for
today is a video of 7 m 52 s with Bill Maher and Laura Poitras:
As I have said several times
since discovering him in 2010 (I
could not have done so much earlier, for I got fast internet only in
the summer of 2009): I like Bill Maher, for he is smart, witty, and
funny, and I mostly agree with him.
I also do not agree with him about some things, such as his
initial treatment of Edward Snowden, some of his stances on Muslims,
and most of his support for Barack Obama, but then again I am a real
liberal (in the sense of John
Stuart Mill and Alexis de Tocqueville, much rather than later
senses), and that means I can like people without having to
them all the way - which is a far more prevalent notion on both the
left and the right than I like (for it is a kind of totalitarianism:
"No, we do not approve of you unless you think like We, The
But he - sort of - excused himself on Snowden and Greenwald; said some
good things; and did a decent interview with Laura Poitras.