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."
New Zealand Targets Trade Partners, Hacks Computers
in Spy Operations
2. New spying legislation is
needed, intelligence committee
3. Data retention: Netherlands
court strikes down law as
breach of privacy
Noose Around Greece: How Central Banks Harness
Fear of Homegrown Terror Is Breeding Repression in
This is a Nederlog of
March 12, 2015.
This is a crisis blog. There are 5 items with 5 dotted links: Item 1 is about New Zealand's spying on those it calls
its "friends"; item 2 is about the very greedy
English attempts to give the government all the powers it wants
(leaving hardly any to the ordinary citizens - and see item
5); item 3 is about a Dutch legal decision (as
reported in an English paper); item 4 is about a
good article by Ellen Brown, who explains how central banks harness
governments; and item 5 is about a further increase
in the - totally irresponsible, and quite inhuman - repressive powers
the English government assigned to itself (helped by English
New Zealand Targets Trade Partners, Hacks Computers in Spy Operations
today is an article by Ryan Gallagher on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
The first thing I should
do here is refer you to this article on New Zealand, also in The
Intercept: New Zealand Prime Minister
Retracts Vow To Resign if Mass
Surveillance Is Shown. (This
links to my review of it. There are more links there.)
New Zealand is conducting
covert surveillance operations against some of its strongest trading
partners and has obtained sophisticated malware to infect targeted
computers and steal data, newly released documents reveal.
eavesdropping agency, Government Communications Security Bureau, or
GCSB, is carrying out the surveillance across the Asia-Pacific region
and beyond as part of its membership in the Five Eyes, a spying
alliance that includes New Zealand as well as the United States, the
United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.
The documents, revealed
on Tuesday by the New Zealand Herald in collaboration with
The Intercept, expose more details about the scope
of New Zealand’s involvement in the Five Eyes, and show that the
agency’s reach extends far beyond its previously
reported eavesdropping on at least ten small South Pacific nations
This is from two days
ago and shows New Zealand's prime minister Key to be a liar, a cheat
and a deceiver. And now here is, from the present article, a list of
countries the New Zealanders are spying on, also for the
benefit of the
document dated from April 2013 notes that the New Zealand agency
“provides [the NSA with] collection on China, Japanese/North
Korean/Vietnamese/South American diplomatic communications, South
Pacific Island nations, Pakistan, India, Iran, and Antarctica.”
Note that formally most
of these have friendly relations with New Zealand.
such as Japan and India, are publicly lauded as close and valued New
Zealand partners. The New Zealand government says
that Japan is “a major bilateral and regional partner of New Zealand”
having “a long-standing and warm relationship” with India. But each of
these countries, too, is still being targeted for surveillance.
There is more under the
last dotted link.
spying legislation is needed, intelligence committee will say
item is an article by Patrick Wintour on The Guardian:
This starts as follows:
Note the second
paragraph - and indeed this whole article seems neutral or whitewashing
(I am sorry to say). For example, here is Philip Hammond's complete bullshit:
New laws are needed to
deal with security and privacy in the UK following revelations of the
activities of Western intelligence agencies by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, parliament’s intelligence and
security committee (ISC) says in a report released on Thursday.
It is expected to
strongly defend the need for intelligence agencies to collect bulk
communications data on citizens – a tactic that was supported by Nick
Clegg, the deputy prime minister, in evidence to the committee – so
long as there are clearer rules on purpose, reporting, oversight and
the length of retention.
The foreign secretary,
Philip Hammond, said this week the debate over the framework
in which the agencies operate needs to be brought to an end early in
the next parliament. The position is supported by the Labour and
Liberal Democrat frontbenches who recognise that current legislation is
outdated due to the speed of technological change.
First paragraph: I completely
deny that the GSHC has "the right
to collect bulk data on the grounds that they had to have access to the
entire haystack to find the needle".
They don't have that right, and they should not have
it. Besides - and
Binney (<- Wikipedia) - they do not need the haystack to
get information about "terrorism", for that could have been done much
better by concentrating on known or realistically suspected terrorists;
they abuse the pretext of "terrorism" to survey the whole
population, which I can only explain as a gigantic power grab, and a
very serious attempt to install an authoritarian government.
The committee heard
repeated evidence from the heads of the agencies in private and public
that they complied with UK law, but defended the right to collect bulk
data on the grounds that they had to have access to the entire haystack
to find the needle.
Hammond told the
committee “being able to acquire the data on a large scale and then
filter it down allows a series of filters and cross-references to be
automatically used to identify that tiny element within the bulk data
acquired that could be worthy of further analysis and ultimately review
by a human pair of eyes”.
He denied this
represented mass surveillance, saying “mass intrusion arises at the
point of the interrogation of the data not at the point when it is
simply collected and filtered according to the automatic process”.
Second paragraph: The whole point is not that many of the data
that are stolen are not read by "a
human pair of eyes". The point is
that everybody's data
of any kind are being gathered by anonymous spies
read on whatever secret grounds that only the spies know.
This is plain state
terrorism, and is intended to scare people off from
thinking, writing or saying anything they might think could endanger
them. (Which may be almost anything - and who can tell? Everything is
secret and anonymous.)
Third paragraph: Total and utter bullshit,
indeed of the form that the Stasi or the KGB would also
enthusiastically welcome: We need everybody's data to control
everybody, but - the gross liar says - it doesn't matter because most
of it is read ... by machines. Who cares who reads it as long as it is collected
in secret, may be used in secret, and can be about
That I must read in 2015,
The Guardian, the utter crap that this committe is still "likely to criticise Snowden for stealing the
information from the NSA" seems
to show things are not in The Guardian
as they used to be.
The committee is also
likely to criticise Snowden for stealing the information from the NSA
and for then allowing publication in the Guardian and other papers.
Snowden is currently in exile in Russia.
The committee has been
criticised for being insufficiently critical of the intelligence
agencies and for their excessive readiness to accept assurances form
the agencies. Its work has been hampered in its final stages by the resignation of its chairman Sir Malcolm Rifkind,
who was exposed in a Channel 4 covert investigation offering to sell
his services to what he believed to a Chinese firm.
So all in all this seems mostly just another agency that works for the
GCHQ, or indeed for the Chinese, as that most honorable Sir Malcolm
Rifkind thought he did.
retention: Netherlands court strikes down law as breach of privacy
item is an article by "Staff and agencies in The Hague" on The Guardian:
This starts as follows:
A judge has scrapped the
Netherlands’ data retention law, saying that while it helps solve crime
it also breaches the privacy of telephone and Internet users.
The ruling by a judge in
The Hague followed a similar decision in April by the European Union’s
top court that wiped out EU data collection legislation it deemed too
broad and offering too few privacy safeguards.
The Dutch security and
justice ministry said it was considering an appeal.
Under the Dutch law
telephone companies were required to store information about all fixed
and mobile phone calls for a year. Internet providers had to store
information on their clients’ internet use for six months.
The written judgment by
Judge GP van Ham conceded that scrapping the data storage “could have
far-reaching consequences for investigating and prosecuting crimes” but
added that this could not justify the privacy breaches the law entailed.
I say. Well... in
fact I knew of this since yesterday (by way of Bits of Freedom),
but I was curious whether it would be in the English press - and there
And clearly, I quite
agree with the judge - although it seems to me this judgment also could
have been reached a lot earlier.
Then again, I am not
certain this will stand, and a complicating factor is that the two
freaks who were Minister of Justice & Safety (!!), and his
Secretary, have just "left office" after it was found that they
returned 4,7 million guilders of illegal earnings to a Dutch
illegal drugsdealer (and I also remember that Teeven, the
Secretary, (i) was being investigated for making 10 million guilders
for himself in an anyway illegal large deal with hashish and
(ii) refused to do anything for me, as Amsterdam's
district attorney, knowing full well that I lived above illegal
drugsdealers who had gassed me, who had threatened me with murder, and
who had been arrested with 2 kilos of heroin and 1 kilo with cocaine).
He is that manner of a man, and the laws in Holland are being kept by
that manner of men.
Noose Around Greece: How Central Banks Harness
item is an article by Ellen Brown on Truthdig (and originally on the Web
This starts as follows:
Remember when the
infamous Goldman Sachs delivered a thinly-veiled threat to the Greek
Parliament in December, warning them to elect a pro-austerity prime
minister or risk having central bank liquidity cut off to their banks?
(See January 6th post here.)
It seems the European Central Bank (headed by Mario Draghi, former
managing director of Goldman Sachs International) has now made good on
Note Draghi's former
director of Goldman Sachs International": Precisely the man Europe needs! Here is the noose
Draghi and the ECB use:
The noose around
Greece’s neck is this: the ECB will not accept Greek bonds as
collateral for the central bank liquidity all banks need, until the new
Syriza government accepts the very stringent austerity program imposed
by the troika (the EU Commission, ECB and IMF). That means selling off
public assets (including ports, airports, electric and petroleum
companies), slashing salaries and pensions, drastically increasing
taxes and dismantling social services, while creating special funds to
save the banking system.
As to the prominence of the
ECB: That it in fact political:
In the Eurozone,
the national central banks of member countries have relinquished this
critical credit power to the European Central Bank. And the ECB, like
the US Federal Reserve, marches to the drums of large international
banks rather than to the democratic will of the people.
Yes, indeed. And Ellen
Brown quotes Pepe Escobar:
intervened, not to save Greece, but to save private banking.
Precisely. Here is a lesson
Ellen Brown draws:
The ECB bought public debt
from private banks for a fortune, because the ECB could not buy public
debt directly from the Greek state. The icing on this layer cake is
that private banks had found the cash to buy Greece’s public debt
exactly from…the ECB, profiting from ultra-friendly interest rates.
This is outright theft. And it’s the thieves that have been setting the
rules of the game all along.
Beware of Masters of the Universe dispensing smiles. Draghi and the . .
. ECB goons may dispense all the smiles in the world, but what they are
graphically demonstrating once again is how toxic central banking is
now enshrined as a mortal enemy of democracy.
banks are no longer tools of governments for the benefit of the people.
Governments have become tools of a global central banking system
serving the interests of giant international financial institutions.
These “too big to fail” behemoths must be saved at the expense of local
banks, their depositors, and local economies generally.
Fear of Homegrown Terror Is Breeding Repression in the
The last item today is an
article by Avista Stahl on Truthout:
This starts as follows:
Two weeks before
The Washington Post reported the identity of the masked ISIS
executioner known as "Jihadi John," the British government assumed vast
and wide-ranging new powers to counter the perceived threat of domestic
Islamic extremism. The controversial Counter-Terrorism and Security
(CTS) bill enables UK authorities to strictly control the movement of
suspected terrorists, with minimal judicial oversight. It also mandates
that a vast number of public sector employees - including doctors,
professors and youth workers - report possible signs of radicalization
to the government, or risk arrest.
Let me formulate this as
a question, noting the term "Repression in the UK" in
the title (with which I thoroughly agree):
Who does not think that the attempt to force (for that
is what "mandate" means) ordinary citizens and specifically:
"a vast number of
public sector employees - including doctors,
professors and youth workers - [to] report possible signs of
to the government, or risk arrest"
is not an attempt to
impose fascist laws on these ordinary citizens? (I'd really
like to know - and this is the first time I've read that this forced
agreement to the government's policies and practices now has
been "assumed" in Great Britain.)
In any case, I think this is extra-ordinarily sick - and I am
very glad not to live in a Great Britain with the prresent government,
present GCHQ and present crazy politicians: This kind of horror was not
even contemplated in the 1950ies, 1960ies, 1970ies and 1980ies
when the dangers of terrorism were very much greater than they
are now (for there was an enormous Soviet bloc with large well-trained
armies and atomic weapons).
And here is more of this English sickness:
Among the most
sweeping powers the bill
bestowed upon government officials is the ability to issue "temporary
exclusion orders," which prohibit British citizens suspected of
terrorism-related activity abroad from returning home for a period of
up to two years. The bill also expands the government's powers to seize
passports from people suspected of involvement in terrorism. Both
powers can be applied without any initial judicial oversight.
Merely being "suspected" of
"terrorism-related activity" may cause some governmental yahoo to
impose your effective starvation or to condemn you to a life of crime,
if you are British, for other states have no duties to "British citizens", and especially not if these are "suspected" of "terrorism-related activity".