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Saturday, Mar 11, 2017

Crisis: On Global Surveillance, Wikileaks & Panopticon, Trump Insane, Sanders On Trump


Sections                                                                     crisis index
Introduction

1. On global surveilance
2. Wikileaks’ Timely Reminder of our Digital Panopticon
3.
What Should We Do About a Mentally Ill President?  
4. Bernie Sanders Has a Plan to Defeat 'Delusional' Trump
Introduction:

This is a Nederlog of Saturday
, March 11, 2017.

Summary: This is a crisis log with four items and four dotted links, but the first link is fairly special: Item 1 is a partial extract from a Wikipedia lemma on global surveillance; item 2 is about a reaction on the Off-Guardian about the latest revelations on Wikileaks; item 3 is about an item that asks a question I consider quite legitimate (since a year now, also) but doesn't answer it; and item 4 is about a Bernie Sanders plan, who also had some fundamental and valid criticisms of Trump.

March 11: As to the updating problem: The Danish site is stuck on yesterday; and the Dutch site now moved back (!!!!) to March 8 for me. Where my site on xs4all.nl stuck for others I have NO idea: It may be December 31, 2015. (They do want immediate payment if you are a week behind. They have been destroying my site now for over a year. And I completely distrust them, but also do not know whether they are doing it or some secret service is.)
1. On global surveilance

The first item today is by Wikipedia and is a general lemma that starts many other related lemmas:

What I have done today - more will follow later - is to make 15 selections from about the first half of this 436 Kb large lemma, and to provide my own titles, in bold. The selections are in the order they are in the Wikipedia lemma.

Apart from providing the titles I did not add anything to these selections (that I think are very important: they document the nearly complete loss of all personal freedoms and all personal liberties of nearly everyone nearly everywhere):

1. Global surveilance:

Global surveillance refers to the mass surveillance of entire populations across national borders. Its roots can be traced back to the middle of the 20th century, when the UKUSA Agreement was jointly enacted by the United Kingdom and the United States, which later expanded to Canada, Australia, and New Zealand to create the Five Eyes alliance. The alliance developed cooperation arrangements with several "third-party" nations. Eventually, this resulted in the establishment of a global surveillance network, code-named "ECHELON", in 1971.

Its existence, however, was not widely acknowledged by governments and the mainstream media until the global surveillance disclosures by Edward Snowden triggered a debate about the right to privacy in the Digital Age.
2. Origins of global surveillance:

The origins of global surveillance can be traced back to the late 1940s, after the UKUSA Agreement was jointly enacted by the United Kingdom and the United States, which eventually culminated in the creation of the global surveillance network code-named "ECHELON" in 1971.

In the aftermath of the 1970s Watergate affair and a subsequent congressional inquiry led by Sen. Frank Church, it was revealed that the NSA, in collaboration with Britain's GCHQ, had routinely intercepted the international communications of prominent anti-Vietnam War leaders such as Jane Fonda and Dr. Benjamin Spock. Decades later, a multi-year investigation by the European Parliament highlighted the NSA's role in economic espionage in a report entitled 'Development of Surveillance Technology and Risk of Abuse of Economic Information', in 1999.
3. The general public only knew since June 2013:
However, for the general public, it was a series of detailed disclosures of internal NSA documents in June 2013 that first revealed the massive extent of the NSA's spying, both foreign and domestic. Most of these were leaked by an ex-contractor, Edward Snowden. Even so, a number of these older global surveillance programs such as PRISM, XKeyscore, and Tempora were referenced in the 2013 release of thousands of documents. allows government analysts to search through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals. Britain's global surveillance program cables that form the backbone of the Internet.
4. All American telephone records are stolen:
As confirmed by the NSA's director Keith B. Alexander on September 26, 2013, the NSA collects and stores all phone records of all American citizens. Much of the data is kept in large storage facilities such as the Utah Data Center, a US$1.5 billion megaproject referred to by The Wall Street Journal as a "symbol of the spy agency's surveillance prowess."
5. About Edward Snowden, in 2013:
On June 6, 2013, Britain's The Guardian newspaper began publishing a series of revelations by an as yet unknown American whistleblower, revealed several days later to be ex-CIA and ex-NSA-contracted systems analyst Edward Snowden. Snowden gave a cache of documents to two journalists: Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, Greenwald later estimated that the cache contains 15,000 – 20,000 documents, some very large and very detailed, and some very small. In over two subsequent months of publications, it became clear that the NSA had operated a complex web of spying programs which allowed it to intercept Internet and telephone conversations from over a billion users from dozens of countries around the world.
6. How the laws were raped and abused:
Due to this central server and backbone monitoring, many of the programs overlapped and interrelated among one another. These programs were often carried out with the assistance of US entities such as the United States Department of Justice and the FBI, were sanctioned by US laws such as the FISA Amendments Act, and the necessary court orders for them were signed by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Some of the NSA's programs were directly aided by national and foreign intelligence agencies, Britain's GCHQ and Australia's DSD, as well as by large private telecommuni- cations and Internet corporations, such as Verizon, Telstra, Google and Facebook.
7. The state's terrorists are all about absolute power over anyone:
In a statement addressed to the National Congress of Brazil in early August 2013, journalist Glenn Greenwald maintained that the U.S. government had used counter-terrorism as a pretext for clandestine surveillance in order to compete with other countries in the "business, industrial and economic fields". In a December 2013 letter to the Brazilian government, Snowden wrote that "These programs were never about terrorism: they’re about economic spying, social control, and diplomatic manipulation. They’re about power."
8. All conversations by phone are stolen:
According to the congressional testimony of Keith B. Alexander, Director of the National Security Agency, one of the purposes of its data collection is to store all the phone records inside a place that can be searched and assessed at all times. When asked by Senator Mark Udall if the goal of the NSA is to collect the phone records of all Americans, Alexander replied, "Yes, I believe it is in the nation's best interest to put all the phone records into a lockbox that we could search when the nation needs to do it."
9. All emails, chats, and browsing histories are stolen:

In the United States, the NSA is collecting the phone records of more than 300 million Americans. The international surveillance tool XKeyscore allows government analysts to search through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals. Britain's global surveillance program Tempora intercepts the fibre-optic Under the NSA's PRISM surveillance program, data that has already reached its final destination would be directly harvested from the servers of the following U.S. service providers:
Microsoft, Yahoo!, Google, Facebook, Paltalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple Inc.
10. All social interactions are mapped (from phones and e-mails):

The NSA uses the analysis of phone call and e-mail logs of American citizens to create sophisticated graphs of their social connections that can identify their associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions and other personal information.

According to top secret NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden, during a single day in 2012, the NSA collected e-mail address books from:

Each day, the NSA collects contacts from an estimated 500,000 buddy lists on live-chat services as well as from the inbox displays of Web-based e-mail accounts. Taken together, the data enables the NSA to draw detailed maps of a person’s life based on their personal, professional, religious and political connections.
11. National and international collaborations of the states' secret terrorists:
Data gathered by these surveillance programs is routinely shared with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). In addition, the NSA supplies domestic intercepts to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and other law enforcement agencies.
(..)
As a result of the NSA's secret treaties with foreign countries, data gathered by its surveillance programs is routinely shared with countries who are signatories to the UKUSA Agreement. These foreign countries also help to operate several NSA programs such as XKEYSCORE. (See International cooperation.)
12. Mobile phone tracking all over the world:
Mobile phone tracking refers to the act of attaining the position and coordinates of a mobile phone. According to The Washington Post, the NSA has been tracking the locations of mobile phones from all over the world by tapping into the cables that connect mobile networks globally and that serve U.S. cellphones as well as foreign ones. In the process of doing so, the NSA collects more than 5 billion records of phone locations on a daily basis. This enables NSA analysts to map cellphone owners’ relationships by correlating their patterns of movement over time with thousands or millions of other phone users who cross their paths.
13. Infiltrating American Yagoo and Google by the British:
In contrast to the PRISM surveillance program, which is a front-door method of access that is nominally approved by the FISA court, the MUSCULAR surveillance program is noted to be "unusually aggressive" in its usage of unorthodox hacking methods to infiltrate Yahoo! and Google data centers around the world. As the program is operated overseas (United Kingdom), the NSA presumes that anyone using a foreign data link is a foreigner, and is therefore able to collect content and metadata on a previously unknown scale from U.S. citizens and residents.
14. How everyone gets mapped in far more detail than they themselves can know:
The New York Times, citing documents leaked by Edward Snowden, reported in September 2013 on the NSA's "push to exploit phone and e-mail data of Americans after it lifted restrictions in 2010", which enables "large-scale graph analysis on very large sets of communi- cations metadata". This slide from an NSA presentation shows one of the methods in which the agency uses e-mail and phone data to analyze the relationship network of a target. According to The Times, the NSA can "augment the communications data with material from public, commercial and other sources, including bank codes, insurance information, Facebook profiles, passenger manifests, voter registration rolls and GPS location information, as well as property records and unspecified tax data". Such types of data were collected from U.S. citizens as well as foreign nationals.
15. Others who are especially investigated (a few from a long list):

Other prominent targets included members and adherents of the Internet group known as "Anonymous", as well as potential whistleblowers. According to Edward Snowden, the NSA targeted reporters who wrote critically about the government after 9/11. 

As part of a joint operation with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the NSA deployed secret eavesdropping posts in eighty U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide. The headquarters of NATO were also used by NSA experts to spy on the European Union.

2. Wikileaks’ Timely Reminder of our Digital Panopticon

The second item is by Kit on the off-guardion.org:

This starts as follows:

In the late eighteenth century English Utilitarian philosopher and social-theorist Jeremy Bentham devised what he called the “perfect prison” – The Panopticon. The design is simple, a circular prison with one guard in the central room, and all the cells facing the guard tower. In this way the gaoler can have a line of sight to every cell at once, and no inmate can ever be sure he’s not being observed. Bentham described it as:

…a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example…a mill for grinding rogues honest.”

Wikileaks latest release of classified documents, entitled Vault 7, comes as a timely reminder to all of us (as if we needed it) that the panopticon – the theorized perfect prison – is now a fibre-optic, digitized, hard-coded reality.

And not only that: It has been organized on a world-wide scale; it is all being done in the deepest possible secret; and the states' neofascist terrorists [1] know incredibly much more about anyone's life than anyone can recall, in complete detail: They steal absolutely everything - all e-mails, all phone-conversations, all private photographs, all that can be found on one's computer, while all is done in the deepest secret and has been going on, in the deepest secret, since 50 years or so.

Also, these secret activities are employed by very few individuals (seeing that they have the personal and private details of billions) and are employed for very few individuals: Those in top government positions and the very rich. Then again, these
secret activities are financed by everyone who pays taxes.

Then there is this:

These early analyses show us the powerful trifecta of these operations – the CIA can hear you, find you and…if they deem it necessary…kill you. In fact, the reveal that the CIA has been working on hacking vehicle control systems adds new dimensions to the (as yet unsolved) case of Michael Hastings, a counter-culture voice in the American press who died in an inexplicable car accident four years ago. (A good rundown of the case can be found here.)

Incidentally - and whether or not Hastings was killed - there are very many more persons who have been killed by the CIA, though indeed far more often outside the USA, as in South-America, Asia and the Middle East, than inside the USA.

As to sourcing secret attacks that have been found:

The final section we’ve highlighted, the proof that “…the CIA cannot only increase its total number of attack types but also misdirect attribution by leaving behind the “fingerprints” of the groups that the attack techniques were stolen from” is an interesting tidbit of information. Worth remembering, because it will almost definitely have fallen down the memory hole next time some “evidence” is produced claiming Russia or China or Iran have hacked this, that or the other.

Then there is this on how the Western propagandist sources deal with findings of extremely widespread secret data-gatherings on everyone anywhere by the secret services: As hardly relevant and also intentionally misclassified under "technology":

The BBC considers Wikileaks revelations to be a smaller story than the Lords voting on small amendments to the article 50 bill, or the Champions League. The story about how the CIA is spying on all of us and researching covert assassination techniques was filed, not under “politics”, but rather “technology”. You can only imagine that, had this modern BBC existed in 1945, they’d have reported the bombing of Hiroshima under “technology” too, perhaps with the headline “US make breakthrough in use of Nuclear energy”.

Yes, indeed. Here is the final bit on the media that I'll quote from this article:

All-in-all the media are taking it in their stride, not one source I could find expressed any kind of shock or moral outrage. They take a deliberately apathetic tone chosen very carefully. They tell us the facts, but refuse to analyse them. They address the current reality as the only option.

Yes indeed, although I do know some media which do express "shock or moral outrage", but indeed none of these are mainstream media, and all of these are fairly small and not very well-known media.

And this is a recommended article.

3. What Should We Do About a Mentally Ill President?

The third item is by Jim Hightower on AlterNet:

This starts as follows:

It's time to face up to the obvious: The president of the United States is deranged.

I don't mean he's merely idiosyncratic or pushing policies that I think are crazy, nor do I say this as just another political jab. I mean that Donald J. Trump literally is mentally ill.

OK, I'm no doctor, but you don't need a doctorate in mental disorders to see that his behavior in public and on Twitter is beyond abnormal—it's psychotic. As we've seen, he routinely plunges uncontrollably into prolonged fits of petty paranoia; he succumbs to delusions of imperialist grandeur; he spouts absurd right-wing rumors as facts (while simultaneously denying that actual facts are true); and he is pathologically addicted to lying, bizarrely repeating his most blatant fabrications even after they've been debunked.

Well, I am a psychologist who - virtually a year ago - did react as Hightower does here: I do believe that the president of the USA is insane, and I also know his diagnosis: He is a megalomaniac, which psychiatrists translate as a grandiose narcissist. [2] And I quite agree that "Trump literally is mentally ill", and the facts mentioned by Hightower are a reasonable indication of his mental illness [3].

Incidentally, here is a neat illustration of Trump's megalomania (never was a president elected who did so much):

Many people who attain high public office grow in their position of trust. Some, however, just bloat.

Trump has bloated spectacularly since entering the White House, where he's had a disastrous start. He chose a cabinet and staff mostly made up of ideological quacks, incompetents and Wall Street grifters. Yet, buoyed by his explosive ego, the president pronounced his start historic: "I don't think there's ever been a president elected who in this short period of time has done what we've done."

This is the last bit that I'll quote from this article, which shows that Jim Hightower doesn't really answer the question his title asks:

We have a president who is detached from reality, careening from one mess to another. But who will say, the emperor has no clothes?

Meanwhile, quite a few did. But there are two problems. The first consists of the mainstream media, that by now have been mostly transformed into propaganda entities, that ceased to report honestly or adequately, and that even seriously asks the question whether you can call a liar a liar if he is president. The second is the fact
that the Republicans currently have the majority everywhere in the USA.

I think that there is sufficient reason to impeach Trump now, but - if this is done at all, indeed [4] - it will not happen now for the reasons stated. And it also may never happen because Trump may soon have changed the USA into the NUSA: The Neofascist United States of America, where no voice is allowed that differs from his own.

4. Bernie Sanders Has a Plan to Defeat 'Delusional' Trump

The fourth and last item today is by Andrea Germanos on Common Dreams:

This starts as follows:

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has offered a blistering critique of President Donald Trump, calling the real estate mogul "delusional" and a "pathological liar" whose goal "to undermine American democracy" can be pushed back by engaging the segments of voters that Trump's campaign capitalized on.

I agree with Sanders that Trump is a "delusional" "pathological liar" whose aim is the neofascistic one of destroying most of the federal laws, and to give the USA to the rich and their servants, and to no one else, and to start an authoritarian dictatorship under Trump's rule.

Speaking Thursday to CNN's "Situation Room," Sanders addressed Trump's allegation less than a week ago (which has created an ongoing "conundrum" for the White House) that former President Barack Obama ordered Trump Tower to be wiretapped. That claim, Sanders said, "just adds to the delusional statements we hear from President Trump," referencing also the "total nonsense" from Trump that 3-5 million people voted illegally in November and that he saw people in New Jersey celebrate the destruction of the twin towers on 9/11.

It's not the first time the senator has used "delusional" to describe Trump, and in a new interview, Sanders repeats another criticism of the president: that he frequently lies.

Clearly, Sanders is quite correct on both counts. Here is some more:

In fact, he "lies all of the time," Sanders said to the Guardian, and does so "to undermine the foundations of American democracy" by doing things like "making wild attacks against the media," saying "that virtually everything that mainstream media says is a lie," making "wild accusations" like that of millions voting illegally on Election Day, and disparaging the George W. Bush-appointed judge who blocked his first Muslim ban. With acts like this, Sanders said, Trump purports to be "the only person in America who stands for the American people, the only person in America who is telling the truth, the only person in America who gets it right."

In fact - since I am a psychologist - I think Sanders may be more right than he himself believes: I think it is quite conceivable that Trump's megalomaniac delusions do tell him - as a megalomaniac - that Trump is The Greatest; is The Only American Who Gets It Right, sald also is The Only Person Who Is Telling The Truth. (Of course, I don't know, but these are the kinds of delusions megalomaniacs do have.)

Here is Sanders on Trump's goal:

Trump's goal, Sanders said to the Guardian, "is to end up as leader of a nation which has moved in a significant degree toward authoritarianism where the president of the United States has extraordinary powers, far more so than our constitution has provided for or the values of the American people support." To fight back, Sanders says, "very conservative Republican colleagues who believe in democracy [...] have got to join us in resistance."

Hm. I understand why Sanders is saying this, but most leading Republicans are heavily lobbied; most leading Republicans seem to be heavily corrupted; and most leading Republicans have much to gain financially by Trump's rule, so I think this will be realistic only after another huge economical crisis has broken out, which I sincerely
hope will happen before Trump has started a nuclear war.

-----------------
Notes

[1] I am sorry, but since I have been totally falsely been called "a dirty fascist" and "a terrorist" by the degenerate sado-stalinistic terrorists from the ASVA across eleven years (in which I did not all study because of illness), and since I believe I am simply right on the NSA, the CIA, the FBI, and very many more secret spies, I will say what I think they are: Neofascist terrorists who are laying the groundwork to change the whole world into a paradise for the few rich and their eager legal, economical and secret assistants, and a hell for everybody else.

[2] Incidentally, I much dislike the popularity of psychiatric terminology and therefore see reason to avoid it: Megalomania is an English expression since a long time and rather clearly reflects what the psychiatrists have called "grandiose narcissism" since the 1980ies. I think English terms are much to be preferred over psychiatrese, and therefore strongly prefer megalomaniac (Dutch: "grootheidswaanzinnige") over the psychiatrese "grandiose narcissist". (But this is an aside.)

[3] Yes indeed, though what convinced me (in March 2016) is that these enormous oddities in behavior do correspond - point by point: look at videos of speeches by Trump - quite precisely to all of the nine criterions that psychiatrists use (if 5 out of 9 are present) to call someone a megalomaniac (in English). I say Trump satisfied all 9 criterions to a t, and I am not by far the only psychologist or psychiatrist who said so. (And see this brief video, from November 2016:
Is Donald Trump Mentally Stable? A Psychologist’s Perspective | Unite for America).

[4] I explain this immediately afterward, and here add that the main reasons Trump will not be allowed now are the great power of the Republicans and the corrupt nature of the mainstream media (and see item 1 and item 2).


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