organization:nsa

  • La crucifixion de Julian Assange – Ce qui arrive à Assange devrait terrifier la presse (Truth Dig) – Salimsellami’s Blog
    https://salimsellami.wordpress.com/2018/11/14/la-crucifixion-de-julian-assange-ce-qui-arrive-a-assange-dev

    Le silence sur le traitement d’Assange n’est pas seulement une trahison à son égard, mais une trahison de la liberté de la presse elle-même. Nous paierons cher cette complicité.

    L’asile de Julian Assange à l’ambassade d’Equateur à Londres s’est transformé en une petite boutique des horreurs. Au cours des sept derniers mois, il a été largement coupé de toute communication avec le monde extérieur. Sa nationalité équatorienne, qui lui a été accordée en tant que demandeur d’asile, est en cours de révocation. Sa santé s’est détériorée. On lui refuse l’accès à soins médicaux appropriés [ie à l’extérieur de l’ambassade – NdT]. Ses efforts pour obtenir réparation ont été paralysés par les « règles du bâillon » [« gag rules » – Une règle de bâillon est une règle qui limite ou interdit la discussion, la considération ou la discussion d’un sujet particulier par les membres d’un organe législatif ou exécutif. – NdT], y compris les ordres équatoriens lui interdisant de rendre publiques ses conditions de vie à l’intérieur de l’ambassade dans sa lutte contre la révocation de sa citoyenneté équatorienne.

    Le Premier ministre australien Scott Morrison a refusé d’intercéder en faveur d’Assange, un citoyen australien, même si le nouveau gouvernement équatorien, dirigé par Lenín Moreno – qui appelle Assange un « problème hérité » et un obstacle à de meilleures relations avec Washington – rend la vie du fondateur de WikiLeaks dans cette ambassade insupportable. Presque tous les jours, l’ambassade impose des conditions plus dures à Assange, notamment en lui faisant payer ses frais médicaux, en lui imposant des règles obscures sur la façon dont il doit prendre soin de son chat et en lui demandant d’effectuer diverses tâches ménagères dégradantes.

    Les Équatoriens, réticents à expulser Assange après lui avoir accordé l’asile politique et la citoyenneté, ont l’intention de rendre son existence si pénible qu’il accepterait de quitter l’ambassade pour être arrêté par les Britanniques et extradé vers les États-Unis. L’ancien président de l’Equateur, Rafael Correa, dont le gouvernement a accordé l’asile politique à l’éditeur, qualifie les conditions de vie actuelles d’Assange de « torture ».

    Sa mère, Christine Assange, a déclaré dans un récent appel vidéo : [L’auteur cite de longs extraits. Voir l’appel en entier et en français : https://www.legrandsoir.info/unity4j-christine-assange-lance-un-appel-… – NdT]

    Assange était loué et courtisé par certains des plus grands médias du monde, dont le New York Times et le Guardian, pour les informations qu’il possédait. Mais une fois que ses documents sur les crimes de guerre commis par les États-Unis, en grande partie fournis par Chelsea Manning, ont été publiés par ces médias, il fut mis à l’écart et diabolisé. Un document du Pentagone qui a fait l’objet d’une fuite et préparé par la Cyber Counterintelligence Assessments Branch (Direction du contre-espionnage cybernétique) du 8 mars 2008 a révélé une campagne de propagande visant à discréditer WikiLeaks et Assange. Le document dit que la campagne de diffamation doit chercher à détruire le « sentiment de confiance » qui est le « centre de gravité » de WikiLeaks et à salir la réputation d’Assange. Cela a largement fonctionné. Assange est particulièrement vilipendé pour avoir publié 70 000 courriels piratés appartenant au Comité national démocrate (DNC) et à de hauts responsables démocrates. Les démocrates et l’ancien directeur du FBI, James Comey, affirment que les courriels ont été copiés des comptes de John Podesta, chef de campagne de la candidate démocrate Hillary Clinton, par des pirates du gouvernement russe. Comey a dit que les messages ont probablement été transmis à WikiLeaks par un intermédiaire. Assange a dit que les e-mails n’avaient pas été fournis par des « acteurs étatiques ».

    Le Parti démocrate, qui cherche à imputer sa défaite électorale à l’ » ingérence » russe plutôt qu’à la grotesque inégalité des revenus, à la trahison de la classe ouvrière, à la perte des libertés civiles, à la désindustrialisation et au coup d’Etat des entreprises que le parti a aidé à orchestrer, accuse Assange d’être un traître, bien qu’il ne soit pas un citoyen américain. Ni un espion. Et à ma connaissance, aucune loi ne lui interdit de publier les secrets du gouvernement US. Il n’a commis aucun crime. Aujourd’hui, les articles parus dans les journaux qui publiaient autrefois des articles de WikiLeaks mettent l’accent sur son comportement prétendument négligeant – ce qui n’était pas évident lors de mes visites – et sur le fait qu’il est, selon les mots du Guardian, « un invité indésirable » à l’ambassade. La question vitale des droits d’un éditeur et d’une presse libre a cédé le place à la calomnie contre la personne.

    Assange a obtenu l’asile à l’ambassade en 2012 afin d’éviter l’extradition vers la Suède pour répondre à des questions sur des accusations d’infractions sexuelles qui ont finalement été abandonnées. Assange craignait qu’une fois détenu par les Suédois, il soit extradé vers les États-Unis [un accord d’extradition entre la Suède et les Etats-Unis autorise l’extradition d’une personne comme simple « témoin » – NdT]. Le gouvernement britannique a déclaré que, bien qu’il ne soit plus recherché pour interrogatoire en Suède, Assange sera arrêté et emprisonné s’il quitte l’ambassade pour avoir violé les conditions de sa libération sous caution.

    WikiLeaks et Assange ont fait plus pour dénoncer les sombres machinations et crimes de l’Empire américain que toute autre organisation de presse. Assange, en plus de dénoncer les atrocités et les crimes commis par l’armée américaine dans nos guerres sans fin et de révéler les rouages internes de la campagne Clinton, a rendu publics les outils de piratage utilisés par la CIA et la NSA, leurs programmes de surveillance et leur ingérence dans les élections étrangères, notamment les élections françaises. Il a révélé le complot contre le chef du Parti travailliste britannique Jeremy Corbyn par des députés travaillistes au Parlement. Et WikiLeaks s’est rapidement mobilisé pour sauver Edward Snowden, qui a exposé la surveillance totale du public américain par le gouvernement, de l’extradition vers les États-Unis en l’aidant à fuir Hong Kong pour Moscou. Les fuites de Snowden ont également révélé, de façon inquiétante, qu’Assange était sur une « liste de cibles d’une chasse à l’homme » américaine.

    Ce qui arrive à Assange devrait terrifier la presse. Et pourtant, son sort se heurte à l’indifférence et au mépris sarcastique. Une fois expulsé de l’ambassade, il sera jugé aux États-Unis pour ce qu’il a publié. Cela créera un précédent juridique nouveau et dangereux que l’administration Trump et les futures administrations utiliseront contre d’autres éditeurs, y compris ceux qui font partie de la mafia qui tentent de lyncher Assange. Le silence sur le traitement d’Assange n’est pas seulement une trahison à son égard, mais une trahison de la liberté de la presse elle-même. Nous paierons cher cette complicité.

    Même si ce sont les Russes qui ont fourni les courriels de Podesta à Assange, il a eu raison de les publier. C’est ce que j’aurais fait. Ces courriers ont révélé les pratiques de l’appareil politique Clinton qu’elle et les dirigeants démocrates cherchaient à cacher. Au cours des deux décennies où j’ai travaillé en tant que correspondant à l’étranger, des organisations et des gouvernements m’ont régulièrement divulgué des documents volés. Ma seule préoccupation était de savoir si les documents étaient authentiques ou non. S’ils étaient authentiques, je les publiais. Parmi ceux qui m’en ont transmis, il y avait les rebelles du Front de Libération Nationale Farabundo Marti (FMLN) ; l’armée salvadorienne, qui m’a un jour donné des documents du FMLN ensanglantés trouvés après une embuscade, le gouvernement sandiniste du Nicaragua ; le Mossad, le service de renseignement israélien ; le FBI ; la CIA ; le groupe rebelle du Parti des travailleurs du Kurdistan (PKK) ; l’Organisation de libération de la Palestine (OLP) ; le service de renseignement français, la Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure, ou DGSE ; et le gouvernement serbe de Slobodan Milosovic, qui a ensuite été jugé comme un criminel de guerre.

    Nous avons appris par les courriels publiés par WikiLeaks que la Fondation Clinton a reçu des millions de dollars de l’Arabie saoudite et du Qatar, deux des principaux bailleurs de fonds de l’État islamique. En tant que secrétaire d’État, Hillary Clinton a remboursé ses donateurs en approuvant la vente de 80 milliards de dollars d’armes à l’Arabie saoudite, ce qui a permis au royaume de mener une guerre dévastatrice au Yémen qui a déclenché une crise humanitaire, notamment une grave pénurie alimentaire et une épidémie de choléra, et fait près de 60 000 morts. Nous avons appris que Clinton avait touché 675 000 $ pour une conférence chez Goldman Sachs, une somme si énorme qu’elle ne peut être qualifiée que comme un pot-de-vin. Nous avons appris que Mme Clinton avait dit aux élites financières, lors de ses entretiens lucratifs, qu’elle voulait » l’ouverture du commerce et des frontières » et qu’elle croyait que les dirigeants de Wall Street étaient les mieux placés pour gérer l’économie, une déclaration qui allait directement à l’encontre de ses promesses électorales. Nous avons appris que la campagne Clinton avait pour but d’influencer les primaires républicaines pour s’assurer que Donald Trump était le candidat républicain. Nous avons appris que Mme Clinton avait obtenu à l’avance les questions posées lors du débat pendant les primaires. Nous avons appris, parce que 1 700 des 33 000 courriels provenaient d’Hillary Clinton, qu’elle était l’architecte principale de la guerre en Libye. Nous avons appris qu’elle croyait que le renversement de Moammar Kadhafi lui permettrait d’améliorer ses chances en tant que candidate à la présidence. La guerre qu’elle a voulu a plongé la Libye dans le chaos, vu la montée au pouvoir des djihadistes radicaux dans ce qui est aujourd’hui un État en déliquescence, déclenché un exode massif de migrants vers l’Europe, vu les stocks d’armes libyens saisis par des milices rebelles et des radicaux islamiques dans toute la région, et fait 40 000 morts. Cette information aurait-elle dû rester cachée ? Vous pouvez dire oui, mais dans ce cas vous ne pouvez pas vous qualifier de journaliste.

    « Ils sont en train de piéger mon fils pour avoir une excuse pour le livrer aux États-Unis, où il fera l’objet d’un simulacre de procès« , a averti Christine Assange. « Au cours des huit dernières années, il n’a pas eu accès à un processus juridique approprié. A chaque étape, c’est l’injustice qui a prévalu, avec un énorme déni de justice. Il n’y a aucune raison de penser qu’il en sera autrement à l’avenir. Le grand jury américain qui produit le mandat d’extradition se tient en secret, a quatre procureurs mais pas de défense ni de juge.

    Le traité d’extradition entre le Royaume-Uni et les États-Unis permet au Royaume-Uni d’extrader Julian vers les États-Unis sans qu’il y ait de preuve prima facie. Une fois aux États-Unis, la National Defense Authorization Act permet la détention illimitée sans procès. Julian risque d’être emprisonné à Guantánamo Bay et torturé, d’être condamné à 45 ans de prison de haute sécurité, ou la peine de mort.« 

    Assange est seul. Chaque jour qui passe lui est plus difficile. C’est le but recherché. C’est à nous de protester. Nous sommes son dernier espoir, et le dernier espoir, je le crains, pour une presse libre.

    Chris Hedges

    Chris Hedges, a passé près de deux décennies comme correspondant à l’étranger en Amérique centrale, au Moyen-Orient, en Afrique et dans les Balkans. Il a fait des reportages dans plus de 50 pays et a travaillé pourThe Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News et The New York Times, pour lesquels il a été correspondant à étranger pendant 15 ans.

    Traduction « il y aura des comptes à rendre » par VD pour le Grand Soir avec probablement toutes les fautes et coquilles habituelles » »https://www.truthdig.com/articles/crucifying-julian-assange/URL de cet article 34082 
    https://www.legrandsoir.info/la-crucifixion-de-julian-assange-ce-qui-arrive-a-assange-devrait-terri




  • U.S. Intelligence Shuts Down Damning Report on Whistleblower Retaliation

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/us-intelligence-shut-downs-damning-report-on-whistleblower-retaliatio

    A top watchdog investigated 190 cases of alleged retaliation against whistleblowers—and found that intelligence bureaucrats only once ruled in favor of the whistleblower.

    The nation’s top intelligence watchdog put the brakes on a report last year that uncovered whistleblower reprisal issues within America’s spy agencies, The Daily Beast has learned. The move concealed a finding that the agencies—including the CIA and the NSA—were failing to protect intelligence workers who report waste, fraud, abuse, or criminality up the chain of command.

    The investigators looked into 190 cases of alleged reprisal in six agencies, and uncovered a shocking pattern. In only one case out of the 190 did the agencies find in favor of the whistleblower—and that case took 742 days to complete. Other cases remained open longer. One complaint from 2010 was still waiting for a ruling. But the framework was remarkably consistent: Over and over and over again, intelligence inspectors ruled that the agency was in the right, and the whistleblowers were almost always wrong.

    The report was near completion following a six-month-long inspection run out of the Intelligence Community Inspector General office. It was aborted in April by the new acting head of the office, Wayne Stone, following the discovery that one of the inspectors was himself a whistleblower in the middle of a federal lawsuit against the CIA, according to former IC IG officials.


  • Jackson Lears · What We Don’t Talk about When We Talk about Russian Hacking : #Russiagate · LRB 4 January 2018
    https://www.lrb.co.uk/v40/n01/jackson-lears/what-we-dont-talk-about-when-we-talk-about-russian-hacking
    La pensée unique aux États Unis de plus en plus sectaire et pesante

    Jackson Lears

    American politics have rarely presented a more disheartening spectacle. The repellent and dangerous antics of Donald Trump are troubling enough, but so is the Democratic Party leadership’s failure to take in the significance of the 2016 election campaign. Bernie Sanders’s challenge to Hillary Clinton, combined with Trump’s triumph, revealed the breadth of popular anger at politics as usual – the blend of neoliberal domestic policy and interventionist foreign policy that constitutes consensus in Washington. Neoliberals celebrate market utility as the sole criterion of worth; interventionists exalt military adventure abroad as a means of fighting evil in order to secure global progress. Both agendas have proved calamitous for most Americans. Many registered their disaffection in 2016. Sanders is a social democrat and Trump a demagogic mountebank, but their campaigns underscored a widespread repudiation of the Washington consensus. For about a week after the election, pundits discussed the possibility of a more capacious Democratic strategy. It appeared that the party might learn something from Clinton’s defeat. Then everything changed.

    A story that had circulated during the campaign without much effect resurfaced: it involved the charge that Russian operatives had hacked into the servers of the Democratic National Committee, revealing embarrassing emails that damaged Clinton’s chances. With stunning speed, a new centrist-liberal orthodoxy came into being, enveloping the major media and the bipartisan Washington establishment. This secular religion has attracted hordes of converts in the first year of the Trump presidency. In its capacity to exclude dissent, it is like no other formation of mass opinion in my adult life, though it recalls a few dim childhood memories of anti-communist hysteria during the early 1950s.

    The centrepiece of the faith, based on the hacking charge, is the belief that Vladimir Putin orchestrated an attack on American democracy by ordering his minions to interfere in the election on behalf of Trump. The story became gospel with breathtaking suddenness and completeness. Doubters are perceived as heretics and as apologists for Trump and Putin, the evil twins and co-conspirators behind this attack on American democracy. Responsibility for the absence of debate lies in large part with the major media outlets. Their uncritical embrace and endless repetition of the Russian hack story have made it seem a fait accompli in the public mind. It is hard to estimate popular belief in this new orthodoxy, but it does not seem to be merely a creed of Washington insiders. If you question the received narrative in casual conversations, you run the risk of provoking blank stares or overt hostility – even from old friends. This has all been baffling and troubling to me; there have been moments when pop-culture fantasies (body snatchers, Kool-Aid) have come to mind.

    Like any orthodoxy worth its salt, the religion of the Russian hack depends not on evidence but on ex cathedra pronouncements on the part of authoritative institutions and their overlords. Its scriptural foundation is a confused and largely fact-free ‘assessment’ produced last January by a small number of ‘hand-picked’ analysts – as James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, described them – from the CIA, the FBI and the NSA. The claims of the last were made with only ‘moderate’ confidence. The label Intelligence Community Assessment creates a misleading impression of unanimity, given that only three of the 16 US intelligence agencies contributed to the report. And indeed the assessment itself contained this crucial admission: ‘Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation and precedents.’ Yet the assessment has passed into the media imagination as if it were unassailable fact, allowing journalists to assume what has yet to be proved. In doing so they serve as mouthpieces for the intelligence agencies, or at least for those ‘hand-picked’ analysts.

    It is not the first time the intelligence agencies have played this role. When I hear the Intelligence Community Assessment cited as a reliable source, I always recall the part played by the New York Times in legitimating CIA reports of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s putative weapons of mass destruction, not to mention the long history of disinformation (a.k.a. ‘fake news’) as a tactic for advancing one administration or another’s political agenda. Once again, the established press is legitimating pronouncements made by the Church Fathers of the national security state. Clapper is among the most vigorous of these. He perjured himself before Congress in 2013, when he denied that the NSA had ‘wittingly’ spied on Americans – a lie for which he has never been held to account. In May 2017, he told NBC’s Chuck Todd that the Russians were highly likely to have colluded with Trump’s campaign because they are ‘almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favour, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique’. The current orthodoxy exempts the Church Fathers from standards imposed on ordinary people, and condemns Russians – above all Putin – as uniquely, ‘almost genetically’ diabolical.

    It’s hard for me to understand how the Democratic Party, which once felt scepticism towards the intelligence agencies, can now embrace the CIA and the FBI as sources of incontrovertible truth. One possible explanation is that Trump’s election has created a permanent emergency in the liberal imagination, based on the belief that the threat he poses is unique and unprecedented. It’s true that Trump’s menace is viscerally real. But the menace posed by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney was equally real. The damage done by Bush and Cheney – who ravaged the Middle East, legitimated torture and expanded unconstitutional executive power – was truly unprecedented, and probably permanent. Trump does pose an unprecedented threat to undocumented immigrants and Muslim travellers, whose protection is urgent and necessary. But on most issues he is a standard issue Republican. He is perfectly at home with Paul Ryan’s austerity agenda, which involves enormous transfers of wealth to the most privileged Americans. He is as committed as any other Republican to repealing Obama’s Affordable Care Act. During the campaign he posed as an apostate on free trade and an opponent of overseas military intervention, but now that he is in office his free trade views are shifting unpredictably and his foreign policy team is composed of generals with impeccable interventionist credentials.

    Trump is committed to continuing his predecessors’ lavish funding of the already bloated Defence Department, and his Fortress America is a blustering, undisciplined version of Madeleine Albright’s ‘indispensable nation’. Both Trump and Albright assume that the United States should be able to do as it pleases in the international arena: Trump because it’s the greatest country in the world, Albright because it’s an exceptional force for global good. Nor is there anything unprecedented about Trump’s desire for détente with Russia, which until at least 2012 was the official position of the Democratic Party. What is unprecedented about Trump is his offensive style: contemptuous, bullying, inarticulate, and yet perfectly pitched to appeal to the anger and anxiety of his target audience. His excess has licensed overt racism and proud misogyny among some of his supporters. This is cause for denunciation, but I am less persuaded that it justifies the anti-Russian mania.

    Besides Trump’s supposed uniqueness, there are two other assumptions behind the furore in Washington: the first is that the Russian hack unquestionably occurred, and the second is that the Russians are our implacable enemies. The second provides the emotional charge for the first. Both seem to me problematic. With respect to the first, the hacking charges are unproved and may well remain so. Edward Snowden and others familiar with the NSA say that if long-distance hacking had taken place the agency would have monitored it and could detail its existence without compromising their secret sources and methods. In September, Snowden told Der Spiegel that the NSA ‘probably knows quite well who the invaders were’. And yet ‘it has not presented any evidence, although I suspect it exists. The question is: why not? … I suspect it discovered other attackers in the systems, maybe there were six or seven groups at work.’ He also said in July 2016 that ‘even if the attackers try to obfuscate origin, ‪#XKEYSCORE makes following exfiltrated data easy. I did this personally against Chinese ops.’ The NSA’s capacity to follow hacking to its source is a matter of public record. When the agency investigated pervasive and successful Chinese hacking into US military and defence industry installations, it was able to trace the hacks to the building where they originated, a People’s Liberation Army facility in Shanghai. That information was published in the New York Times, but, this time, the NSA’s failure to provide evidence has gone curiously unremarked. When The Intercept published a story about the NSA’s alleged discovery that Russian military intelligence had attempted to hack into US state and local election systems, the agency’s undocumented assertions about the Russian origins of the hack were allowed to stand as unchallenged fact and quickly became treated as such in the mainstream media.

    Meanwhile, there has been a blizzard of ancillary accusations, including much broader and vaguer charges of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. It remains possible that Robert Mueller, a former FBI director who has been appointed to investigate these allegations, may turn up some compelling evidence of contacts between Trump’s people and various Russians. It would be surprising if an experienced prosecutor empowered to cast a dragnet came up empty-handed, and the arrests have already begun. But what is striking about them is that the charges have nothing to do with Russian interference in the election. There has been much talk about the possibility that the accused may provide damaging evidence against Trump in exchange for lighter sentences, but this is merely speculation. Paul Manafort, at one point Trump’s campaign manager, has pleaded not guilty to charges of failing to register his public relations firm as a foreign agent for the Ukrainian government and concealing his millions of dollars in fees. But all this occurred before the 2016 campaign. George Papadopolous, a foreign policy adviser, has pleaded guilty to the charge of lying to the FBI about his bungling efforts to arrange a meeting between Trump’s people and the Russian government – an opportunity the Trump campaign declined. Mueller’s most recent arrestee, Michael Flynn, the unhinged Islamophobe who was briefly Trump’s national security adviser, has pleaded guilty to charges of lying to the FBI about meeting the Russian ambassador in December – weeks after the election. This is the sort of backchannel diplomacy that routinely occurs during the interim between one administration and the next. It is not a sign of collusion.

    So far, after months of ‘bombshells’ that turn out to be duds, there is still no actual evidence for the claim that the Kremlin ordered interference in the American election. Meanwhile serious doubts have surfaced about the technical basis for the hacking claims. Independent observers have argued it is more likely that the emails were leaked from inside, not hacked from outside. On this front, the most persuasive case was made by a group called Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, former employees of the US intelligence agencies who distinguished themselves in 2003 by debunking Colin Powell’s claim that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, hours after Powell had presented his pseudo-evidence at the UN. (There are members of VIPS who dissent from the VIPS report’s conclusions, but their arguments are in turn contested by the authors of the report.) The VIPS findings received no attention in major media outlets, except Fox News – which from the centre-left perspective is worse than no attention at all. Mainstream media have dismissed the VIPS report as a conspiracy theory (apparently the Russian hacking story does not count as one). The crucial issue here and elsewhere is the exclusion from public discussion of any critical perspectives on the orthodox narrative, even the perspectives of people with professional credentials and a solid track record.

    Both the DNC hacking story and the one involving the emails of John Podesta, a Clinton campaign operative, involve a shadowy bunch of putatively Russian hackers called Fancy Bear – also known among the technically inclined as APT28. The name Fancy Bear was introduced by Dimitri Alperovitch, the chief technology officer of Crowdstrike, a cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC to investigate the theft of their emails. Alperovitch is also a fellow at the Atlantic Council, an anti-Russian Washington think tank. In its report Crowdstrike puts forward close to zero evidence for its claim that those responsible were Russian, let alone for its assertion that they were affiliated with Russian military intelligence. And yet, from this point on, the assumption that this was a Russian cyber operation was unquestioned. When the FBI arrived on the scene, the Bureau either did not request or was refused access to the DNC servers; instead it depended entirely on the Crowdstrike analysis. Crowdstrike, meanwhile, was being forced to retract another claim, that the Russians had successfully hacked the guidance systems of the Ukrainian artillery. The Ukrainian military and the British International Institute for Strategic Studies both contradicted this claim, and Crowdstrike backed down. But its DNC analysis was allowed to stand and even become the basis for the January Intelligence Community Assessment.

    The chatter surrounding the hack would never have acquired such urgency were it not for the accompanying assumption: Russia is a uniquely dangerous adversary, with which we should avoid all contact. Without that belief, Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s meetings with Russians in September 2016 would become routine discussions between a senator and foreign officials. Flynn’s post-election conversations with the Russian ambassador would appear unremarkable. Trump’s cronies’ attempts to do business in Russia would become merely sleazy. Donald Trump Jr’s meeting at Trump Tower with the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya would be transformed from a melodrama of shady intrigue to a comedy of errors – with the candidate’s son expecting to receive information to use against Clinton but discovering Veselnitskaya only wanted to talk about repealing sanctions and restarting the flow of Russian orphans to the United States. And Putin himself would become just another autocrat, with whom democracies could engage without endorsing.

    Sceptical voices, such as those of the VIPS, have been drowned out by a din of disinformation. Flagrantly false stories, like the Washington Post report that the Russians had hacked into the Vermont electrical grid, are published, then retracted 24 hours later. Sometimes – like the stories about Russian interference in the French and German elections – they are not retracted even after they have been discredited. These stories have been thoroughly debunked by French and German intelligence services but continue to hover, poisoning the atmosphere, confusing debate. The claim that the Russians hacked local and state voting systems in the US was refuted by California and Wisconsin election officials, but their comments generated a mere whisper compared with the uproar created by the original story. The rush to publish without sufficient attention to accuracy has become the new normal in journalism. Retraction or correction is almost beside the point: the false accusation has done its work.

    The consequence is a spreading confusion that envelops everything. Epistemological nihilism looms, but some people and institutions have more power than others to define what constitutes an agreed-on reality. To say this is to risk dismissal as the ultimate wing-nut in the lexicon of contemporary Washington: the conspiracy theorist. Still, the fact remains: sometimes powerful people arrange to promote ideas that benefit their common interests. Whether we call this hegemony, conspiracy or merely special privilege hardly matters. What does matter is the power to create what Gramsci called the ‘common sense’ of an entire society. Even if much of that society is indifferent to or suspicious of the official common sense, it still becomes embedded among the tacit assumptions that set the boundaries of ‘responsible opinion’. So the Democratic establishment (along with a few Republicans) and the major media outlets have made ‘Russian meddling’ the common sense of the current moment. What kind of cultural work does this common sense do? What are the consequences of the spectacle the media call (with characteristic originality) ‘Russiagate’?

    The most immediate consequence is that, by finding foreign demons who can be blamed for Trump’s ascendancy, the Democratic leadership have shifted the blame for their defeat away from their own policies without questioning any of their core assumptions. Amid the general recoil from Trump, they can even style themselves dissenters – ‘#the resistance’ was the label Clintonites appropriated within a few days of the election. Mainstream Democrats have begun to use the word ‘progressive’ to apply to a platform that amounts to little more than preserving Obamacare, gesturing towards greater income equality and protecting minorities. This agenda is timid. It has nothing to say about challenging the influence of concentrated capital on policy, reducing the inflated defence budget or withdrawing from overextended foreign commitments; yet without those initiatives, even the mildest egalitarian policies face insuperable obstacles. More genuine insurgencies are in the making, which confront corporate power and connect domestic with foreign policy, but they face an uphill battle against the entrenched money and power of the Democratic leadership – the likes of Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, the Clintons and the DNC. Russiagate offers Democratic elites a way to promote party unity against Trump-Putin, while the DNC purges Sanders’s supporters.

    For the DNC, the great value of the Russian hack story is that it focuses attention away from what was actually in their emails. The documents revealed a deeply corrupt organisation, whose pose of impartiality was a sham. Even the reliably pro-Clinton Washington Post has admitted that ‘many of the most damaging emails suggest the committee was actively trying to undermine Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign.’ Further evidence of collusion between the Clinton machine and the DNC surfaced recently in a memoir by Donna Brazile, who became interim chair of the DNC after Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned in the wake of the email revelations. Brazile describes discovering an agreement dated 26 August 2015, which specified (she writes)

    that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics and mailings.

    Before the primaries had even begun, the supposedly neutral DNC – which had been close to insolvency – had been bought by the Clinton campaign.

    Another recent revelation of DNC tactics concerns the origins of the inquiry into Trump’s supposed links to Putin. The story began in April 2016, when the DNC hired a Washington research firm called Fusion GPS to unearth any connections between Trump and Russia. The assignment involved the payment of ‘cash for trash’, as the Clinton campaign liked to say. Fusion GPS eventually produced the trash, a lurid account written by the former British MI6 intelligence agent Christopher Steele, based on hearsay purchased from anonymous Russian sources. Amid prostitutes and golden showers, a story emerged: the Russian government had been blackmailing and bribing Donald Trump for years, on the assumption that he would become president some day and serve the Kremlin’s interests. In this fantastic tale, Putin becomes a preternaturally prescient schemer. Like other accusations of collusion, this one has become vaguer over time, adding to the murky atmosphere without ever providing any evidence. The Clinton campaign tried to persuade established media outlets to publicise the Steele dossier, but with uncharacteristic circumspection, they declined to promote what was plainly political trash rather than reliable reporting. Yet the FBI apparently took the Steele dossier seriously enough to include a summary of it in a secret appendix to the Intelligence Community Assessment. Two weeks before the inauguration, James Comey, the director of the FBI, described the dossier to Trump. After Comey’s briefing was leaked to the press, the website Buzzfeed published the dossier in full, producing hilarity and hysteria in the Washington establishment.

    The Steele dossier inhabits a shadowy realm where ideology and intelligence, disinformation and revelation overlap. It is the antechamber to the wider system of epistemological nihilism created by various rival factions in the intelligence community: the ‘tree of smoke’ that, for the novelist Denis Johnson, symbolised CIA operations in Vietnam. I inhaled that smoke myself in 1969-70, when I was a cryptographer with a Top Secret clearance on a US navy ship that carried missiles armed with nuclear warheads – the existence of which the navy denied. I was stripped of my clearance and later honourably discharged when I refused to join the Sealed Authenticator System, which would have authorised the launch of those allegedly non-existent nuclear weapons. The tree of smoke has only grown more complex and elusive since then. Yet the Democratic Party has now embarked on a full-scale rehabilitation of the intelligence community – or at least the part of it that supports the notion of Russian hacking. (We can be sure there is disagreement behind the scenes.) And it is not only the Democratic establishment that is embracing the deep state. Some of the party’s base, believing Trump and Putin to be joined at the hip, has taken to ranting about ‘treason’ like a reconstituted John Birch Society.

    I thought of these ironies when I visited the Tate Modern exhibition Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, which featured the work of black American artists from the 1960s and 1970s, when intelligence agencies (and agents provocateurs) were spearheading a government crackdown on black militants, draft resisters, deserters and antiwar activists. Amid the paintings, collages and assemblages there was a single Confederate flag, accompanied by grim reminders of the Jim Crow past – a Klansman in full regalia, a black body dangling from a tree. There were also at least half a dozen US flags, juxtaposed in whole or in part with images of contemporary racial oppression that could have occurred anywhere in America: dead black men carted off on stretchers by skeletons in police uniform; a black prisoner tied to a chair, awaiting torture. The point was to contrast the pretensions of ‘the land of the free’ with the practices of the national security state and local police forces. The black artists of that era knew their enemy: black people were not being killed and imprisoned by some nebulous foreign adversary, but by the FBI, the CIA and the police.

    The Democratic Party has now developed a new outlook on the world, a more ambitious partnership between liberal humanitarian interventionists and neoconservative militarists than existed under the cautious Obama. This may be the most disastrous consequence for the Democratic Party of the new anti-Russian orthodoxy: the loss of the opportunity to formulate a more humane and coherent foreign policy. The obsession with Putin has erased any possibility of complexity from the Democratic world picture, creating a void quickly filled by the monochrome fantasies of Hillary Clinton and her exceptionalist allies. For people like Max Boot and Robert Kagan, war is a desirable state of affairs, especially when viewed from the comfort of their keyboards, and the rest of the world – apart from a few bad guys – is filled with populations who want to build societies just like ours: pluralistic, democratic and open for business. This view is difficult to challenge when it cloaks itself in humanitarian sentiment. There is horrific suffering in the world; the US has abundant resources to help relieve it; the moral imperative is clear. There are endless forms of international engagement that do not involve military intervention. But it is the path taken by US policy often enough that one may suspect humanitarian rhetoric is nothing more than window-dressing for a more mundane geopolitics – one that defines the national interest as global and virtually limitless.

    Having come of age during the Vietnam War, a calamitous consequence of that inflated definition of national interest, I have always been attracted to the realist critique of globalism. Realism is a label forever besmirched by association with Henry Kissinger, who used it as a rationale for intervening covertly and overtly in other nations’ affairs. Yet there is a more humane realist tradition, the tradition of George Kennan and William Fulbright, which emphasises the limits of military might, counselling that great power requires great restraint. This tradition challenges the doctrine of regime change under the guise of democracy promotion, which – despite its abysmal failures in Iraq and Libya – retains a baffling legitimacy in official Washington. Russiagate has extended its shelf life.

    We can gauge the corrosive impact of the Democrats’ fixation on Russia by asking what they aren’t talking about when they talk about Russian hacking. For a start, they aren’t talking about interference of other sorts in the election, such as the Republican Party’s many means of disenfranchising minority voters. Nor are they talking about the trillion dollar defence budget that pre-empts the possibility of single-payer healthcare and other urgently needed social programmes; nor about the modernisation of the American nuclear arsenal which Obama began and Trump plans to accelerate, and which raises the risk of the ultimate environmental calamity, nuclear war – a threat made more serious than it has been in decades by America’s combative stance towards Russia. The prospect of impeaching Trump and removing him from office by convicting him of collusion with Russia has created an atmosphere of almost giddy anticipation among leading Democrats, allowing them to forget that the rest of the Republican Party is composed of many politicians far more skilful in Washington’s ways than their president will ever be.

    It is not the Democratic Party that is leading the search for alternatives to the wreckage created by Republican policies: a tax plan that will soak the poor and middle class to benefit the rich; a heedless pursuit of fossil fuels that is already resulting in the contamination of the water supply of the Dakota people; and continued support for police policies of militarisation and mass incarceration. It is local populations that are threatened by oil spills and police beatings, and that is where humane populism survives. A multitude of insurgent groups have begun to use the outrage against Trump as a lever to move the party in egalitarian directions: Justice Democrats, Black Lives Matter, Democratic Socialists of America, as well as a host of local and regional organisations. They recognise that there are far more urgent – and genuine – reasons to oppose Trump than vague allegations of collusion with Russia. They are posing an overdue challenge to the long con of neoliberalism, and the technocratic arrogance that led to Clinton’s defeat in Rust Belt states. Recognising that the current leadership will not bring about significant change, they are seeking funding from outside the DNC. This is the real resistance, as opposed to ‘#theresistance’.

    On certain important issues – such as broadening support for single-payer healthcare, promoting a higher minimum wage or protecting undocumented immigrants from the most flagrant forms of exploitation – these insurgents are winning wide support. Candidates like Paula Jean Swearengin, a coal miner’s daughter from West Virginia who is running in the Democratic primary for nomination to the US Senate, are challenging establishment Democrats who stand cheek by jowl with Republicans in their service to concentrated capital. Swearengin’s opponent is Joe Manchin, whom the Los Angeles Times has compared to Doug Jones, another ‘very conservative’ Democrat who recently won election to the US Senate in Alabama, narrowly defeating a Republican disgraced by accusations of sexual misconduct with 14-year-old girls. I can feel relieved at that result without joining in the collective Democratic ecstasy, which reveals the party’s persistent commitment to politics as usual. Democrat leaders have persuaded themselves (and much of their base) that all the republic needs is a restoration of the status quo ante Trump. They remain oblivious to popular impatience with familiar formulas. Jess King – a Mennonite woman, Bard College MBA and founder of a local non-profit who is running for Congress as a Justice Democrat in Lancaster, Pennsylvania – put it this way: ‘We see a changing political landscape right now that isn’t measured by traditional left to right politics anymore, but bottom to top. In Pennsylvania and many other places around the country we see a grassroots economic populism on the rise, pushing against the political establishment and status quo that have failed so many in our country.’

    Democratic insurgents are also developing a populist critique of the imperial hubris that has sponsored multiple failed crusades, extorted disproportionate sacrifice from the working class and provoked support for Trump, who presented himself (however misleadingly) as an opponent of open-ended interventionism. On foreign policy, the insurgents face an even more entrenched opposition than on domestic policy: a bipartisan consensus aflame with outrage at the threat to democracy supposedly posed by Russian hacking. Still, they may have found a tactical way forward, by focusing on the unequal burden borne by the poor and working class in the promotion and maintenance of American empire.

    This approach animates Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis, a 33-page document whose authors include Norman Solomon, founder of the web-based insurgent lobby RootsAction.org. ‘The Democratic Party’s claims of fighting for “working families” have been undermined by its refusal to directly challenge corporate power, enabling Trump to masquerade as a champion of the people,’ Autopsy announces. But what sets this apart from most progressive critiques is the cogent connection it makes between domestic class politics and foreign policy. For those in the Rust Belt, military service has often seemed the only escape from the shambles created by neoliberal policies; yet the price of escape has been high. As Autopsy notes, ‘the wisdom of continual war’ – what Clinton calls ‘global leadership’ –

    was far clearer to the party’s standard bearer [in 2016] than it was to people in the US communities bearing the brunt of combat deaths, injuries and psychological traumas. After a decade and a half of non-stop warfare, research data from voting patterns suggest that the Clinton campaign’s hawkish stance was a political detriment in working-class communities hard-hit by American casualties from deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Francis Shen of the University of Minnesota and Douglas Kriner of Boston University analysed election results in three key states – Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan – and found that ‘even controlling in a statistical model for many other alternative explanations, we find that there is a significant and meaningful relationship between a community’s rate of military sacrifice and its support for Trump.’ Clinton’s record of uncritical commitment to military intervention allowed Trump to have it both ways, playing to jingoist resentment while posing as an opponent of protracted and pointless war. Kriner and Shen conclude that Democrats may want to ‘re-examine their foreign policy posture if they hope to erase Trump’s electoral gains among constituencies exhausted and alienated by 15 years of war’. If the insurgent movements within the Democratic Party begin to formulate an intelligent foreign policy critique, a re-examination may finally occur. And the world may come into sharper focus as a place where American power, like American virtue, is limited. For this Democrat, that is an outcome devoutly to be wished. It’s a long shot, but there is something happening out there.

    #USA #cuture #politique


  • Jackson Lears · What We Don’t Talk about When We Talk about Russian Hacking: #Russiagate · LRB 4 January 2018
    https://www.lrb.co.uk/v40/n01/jackson-lears/what-we-dont-talk-about-when-we-talk-about-russian-hacking

    Like any orthodoxy worth its salt, the religion of the Russian hack depends not on evidence but on ex cathedra pronouncements on the part of authoritative institutions and their overlords. Its scriptural foundation is a confused and largely fact-free ‘assessment’ produced last January by a small number of ‘hand-picked’ analysts – as James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, described them – from the CIA, the FBI and the NSA. The claims of the last were made with only ‘moderate’ confidence. The label Intelligence Community Assessment creates a misleading impression of unanimity, given that only three of the 16 US intelligence agencies contributed to the report. And indeed the assessment itself contained this crucial admission: ‘Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation and precedents.’ Yet the assessment has passed into the media imagination as if it were unassailable fact, allowing journalists to assume what has yet to be proved. In doing so they serve as mouthpieces for the intelligence agencies, or at least for those ‘hand-picked’ analysts.

    [...]

    The consequence is a spreading confusion that envelops everything. Epistemological nihilism looms, but some people and institutions have more power than others to define what constitutes an agreed-on reality. To say this is to risk dismissal as the ultimate wing-nut in the lexicon of contemporary Washington: the conspiracy theorist. Still, the fact remains: sometimes powerful people arrange to promote ideas that benefit their common interests. Whether we call this hegemony, conspiracy or merely special privilege hardly matters. What does matter is the power to create what Gramsci called the ‘common sense’ of an entire society. Even if much of that society is indifferent to or suspicious of the official common sense, it still becomes embedded among the tacit assumptions that set the boundaries of ‘responsible opinion’. So the Democratic establishment (along with a few Republicans) and the major media outlets have made ‘Russian meddling’ the common sense of the current moment. What kind of cultural work does this common sense do? What are the consequences of the spectacle the media call (with characteristic originality) ‘Russiagate’?

    The most immediate consequence is that, by finding foreign demons who can be blamed for Trump’s ascendancy, the Democratic leadership have shifted the blame for their defeat away from their own policies without questioning any of their core assumptions. Amid the general recoil from Trump, they can even style themselves dissenters – ‘the resistance’ was the label Clintonites appropriated within a few days of the election. #Mainstream Democrats have begun to use the word ‘progressive’ to apply to a platform that amounts to little more than preserving Obamacare, gesturing towards greater income equality and protecting minorities. This agenda is timid. It has nothing to say about challenging the influence of concentrated capital on policy, reducing the inflated defence budget or withdrawing from overextended foreign commitments; yet without those initiatives, even the mildest egalitarian policies face insuperable obstacles. More genuine insurgencies are in the making, which confront corporate power and connect domestic with foreign policy, but they face an uphill battle against the entrenched money and power of the Democratic leadership – the likes of Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, the Clintons and the DNC. Russiagate offers Democratic elites a way to promote party unity against Trump-Putin, while the DNC purges Sanders’s supporters.

    For the DNC, the great value of the Russian hack story is that it focuses attention away from what was actually in their emails. The documents revealed a deeply corrupt organisation, whose pose of impartiality was a sham. Even the reliably pro-Clinton Washington Post has admitted that ‘many of the most damaging emails suggest the committee was actively trying to undermine Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign.’ Further evidence of collusion between the Clinton machine and the DNC surfaced recently in a memoir by Donna Brazile, who became interim chair of the DNC after Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned in the wake of the email revelations. Brazile describes discovering an agreement dated 26 August 2015, which specified (she writes)

    [...]


  • The Multibillion-Dollar U.S. Spy Agency You Haven’t Heard of | Foreign Policy
    http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/03/20/the-multibillion-dollar-u-s-spy-agency-you-havent-heard-of-trump

    The #NGA is to pictures what the NSA is to voices. Its principal function is to analyze the billions of images and miles of video captured by drones in the Middle East and spy satellites circling the globe. But because it has largely kept its ultra-high-resolution cameras pointed away from the United States, according to a variety of studies, the agency has never been involved in domestic spy scandals like its two far more famous siblings, the CIA and the NSA. However, there’s reason to believe that this will change under President Donald Trump.


  • American and British Spy Agencies Targeted In-Flight Mobile Phone Use
    https://theintercept.com/2016/12/07/american-and-british-spy-agencies-targeted-in-flight-mobile-phone-use

    In the trove of documents provided by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is a treasure. It begins with a riddle : “What do the President of Pakistan, a cigar smuggler, an arms dealer, a counterterrorism target, and a combatting proliferation target have in common ? They all used their everyday GSM phone during a flight.” This riddle appeared in 2010 in SIDtoday, the internal newsletter of the NSA’s Signals Intelligence Directorate, or SID, and it was classified “top (...)

    #NSA #smartphone #écoutes #GCHQ #Air_France


  • Ex-NSA head suggests US also hacks [foreign] political parties
    http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/301667-former-cia-and-nsa-head-suggests-us-also-hacks-political-parties

    "A foreign intelligence service getting the internal emails of a major political party in a major foreign adversary? Game on. That’s what we do. By the way, I would not want to be in an American court of law and be forced to deny that I never did anything like that as director of the NSA,” he said.

    Hayden served as the director of the NSA between 1999 and 2005, under the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush presidencies. He served as director of the CIA between 2006 and early 2009, under Bush and Obama.


  • The NSA’s SKYNET program may be killing thousands of innocent people | Ars Technica UK
    http://arstechnica.co.uk/security/2016/02/the-nsas-skynet-program-may-be-killing-thousands-of-innocent-people

    “Ridiculously optimistic” machine learning algorithm is “completely bullshit,” says expert.

    In 2014, the former director of both the CIA and NSA proclaimed that “we kill people based on metadata.” Now, a new examination of previously published Snowden documents suggests that many of those people may have been innocent.

    (...) The highest scoring selector who travelled to Peshawar and Lahore is “PROB AHMED ZAIDAN”, Al-Jazeera’s long-time bureau chief in Islamabad.
    As The Intercept reported, Zaidan frequently travels to regions with known terrorist activity in order to interview insurgents and report the news. But rather than questioning the machine learning that produced such a bizarre result, the NSA engineers behind the algorithm instead trumpeted Zaidan as an example of a SKYNET success in their in-house presentation, including a slide that labelled Zaidan as a “MEMBER OF AL-QA’IDA.”


    #machine_learning #stupidité_artificielle #drones #robots_tueurs


  • Palantir, la discrète start-up financée par la CIA | Silicon 2.0
    http://siliconvalley.blog.lemonde.fr/2015/06/25/palantir-la-discrete-start-up-financee-par-la-cia

    Onze ans après sa création, Palantir Technologies entretient toujours la même culture du secret. Car ses outils, qui permettent d’analyser d’immenses quantités de données, sont utilisés au sommet du système de défense et de renseignements de l’Etat américain. Selon un document interne publié en début d’année, la CIA, la NSA et le département de la sécurité intérieure font ainsi partie des clients de la société. Tout comme les Marines, l’armée de l’air, les opérations spéciales et le FBI.
    […]
    Palantir, dont le nom est tiré du Seigneur des Anneaux, a été lancée en 2004 à l’initiative de Peter Thiel, co-fondateur et ancien directeur général de PayPal, le système de paiement en ligne. Trois ans après les attentats du 11-Septembre, il souhaite alors mettre à profit la puissance des algorithmes informatiques pour déjouer de futures attaques terroristes. Le projet séduit la CIA. L’agence américaine de renseignements injecte deux millions de dollars dans la start-up par le biais d’In-Q-Tel, sa branche d’investissements à but non lucratif.

    Les années qui suivent sont consacrées au développement de la plate-forme technologique qui collecte d’innombrables données, les analyse puis établit des liens pertinents entre elles.
    […]
    En 2011, d’abord, une des ses présentations détaillant des mesures pour faire taire Wikileaks est publiée en ligne par le réseau Anonymous, forçant M. Karp à s’excuser. Deux ans plus tard, la société est associée aux révélations sur les pratiques d’espionnage massif de la NSA. Elle nie alors toute implication.

    Mais Palantir reste toujours muet sur la portée réelle de ses capacités d’analyse. Quand l’entreprise communique, c’est essentiellement pour rassurer le public sur le respect de la vie privée. Elle assure avoir mis en place des garde-fous pour limiter la diffusion des nombreuses données personnelles qu’elle collecte. Mais ces derniers ne sont pas obligatoires : c’est aux clients de décider s’ils souhaitent les utiliser. Ses dirigeants assurent également ne pas mettre leurs outils dans n’importe quelles mains. Ils affirment, par exemple, avoir refusé de travailler avec le gouvernement chinois et avec l’industrie du tabac.


    • Et plus pour longtemps :
      Septembre 1960, la défection de deux agents de la NSA : traîtres ou lanceurs d’alerte ?

      C’est une étrange coïncidence : un demi-siècle avant Edward Snowden, deux lanceurs d’alerte, des whistleblowers, comme les nomment les Américains, ont eux aussi publiquement dénoncé les méthodes d’espionnage de leur pays et en particulier celles de la NSA, la National Security Agency. Et ils ont fini par se réfugier à Moscou ! Tout comme Snowden aujourd’hui. Et encore comme Snowden, ils ont été accusés d’être des traîtres par l’administration états-unienne. Il faut aussi observer que l’affaire Martin et Mitchell, du nom de ces deux lanceurs d’alerte, a entraîné de graves conséquences pour les services de renseignement américains et même provoqué un véritable scandale.

      Certes, le contexte historique était différent puisqu’on était alors en pleine Guerre froide… Mais on ne peut pas s’empêcher d’être frappé par la coïncidence. C’est pourquoi Monsieur X a décidé cette semaine de revenir sur l’histoire très étonnante de ces deux jeunes Américains qui, exactement comme Snowden, ont agi par idéalisme et n’ont pas cherché à en obtenir un quelconque intérêt personnel… Des idéalistes, donc, et également des naïfs. Comme semble l’être aussi Snowden !

      http://www.franceinter.fr/emission-rendez-vous-avec-x-septembre-1960-la-defection-de-deux-agents-d



  • Aux Etats-Unis, le débat sur la #surveillance relancé
    http://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/2014/11/SCHILLER/50928

    Quelques jours seulement après la publication de l’article du Guardian dans lequel le journaliste Glenn Greenwald révélait que l’Agence nationale de sécurité américaine (National Security Agency, NSA) collecte les données téléphoniques de millions d’abonnés américains (5 juin 2013), le président Barack Obama réunissait un groupe de conseillers. Après plusieurs mois d’enquêtes — et alors que les révélations fracassantes se succédaient —, le comité publiait des conclusions accablantes : les justifications fournies par la #NSA n’étaient pas valides ; elle n’avait pas apporté la preuve que la surveillance non autorisée des résidents américains avait empêché des attentats terroristes.


  • Snowden, les yeux et la mémoire
    http://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/2014/11/RIMBERT/50929

    Au printemps 2013, un consultant informatique d’une entreprise sous-traitante de l’Agence américaine pour la sécurité (National Security Agency, #NSA), M. Edward #Snowden, transmet aux journalistes Glenn Greenwald et Laura Poitras plusieurs centaines de milliers de documents secrets relatifs aux programmes d’#espionnage conduits par les Etats-Unis et leurs alliés au nom de la lutte antiterroriste. Si nul ne soupçonnait la première puissance mondiale d’angélisme, les publications qui se succèdent depuis dévoilent un système tentaculaire.



  • The Ghost of Ronald Reagan Authorizes Most NSA Spying
    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/09/29/new-documents-confirm-expansive-spying-powers-reagan-era-order

    The trove, which includes documents from the NSA, Department of Justice, and Defense Intelligence Agency, confirms long-standing suspicions that the bulk of U.S. foreign surveillance operations are governed not by acts of Congress, but by a 33-year-old executive order issued unilaterally by President Ronald Reagan.
    https://www.aclu.org/national-security-technology-and-liberty/executive-order-12333-foia-lawsuit

    #surveillance

    Reagan sous l’administration duquel était déjà passé le Computer fraud and abuse Act (CFAA).


  • A consortium of interested groups launched a giant #airship to fly over the #NSA's new snooping repository in Bluffdale, Utah. A 135 foot long thermal airship flew over the snoop headquarters last Friday with the message: “NSA Illegal Spying Below” with an arrow pointing downwards at the #panopticon.


    http://www.breitbart.com/InstaBlog/2014/06/29/EFF-NSA-Utah

    • Le site de Bluffdale avait déjà été mentionné ici il y a plus de 2 ans (mars 2012 par @Fil) http://seenthis.net/messages/63027 avec un compte-rendu de démêlés dus à des prises de photo.

      Il me semblait aussi l’avoir vu pour leurs soucis d’essuyages de plâtre, en fait des courts-circuits avec arc électrique (10 fois en 13 mois) qui empêchait un fonctionnement normal (oct. 2013).

      Meltdowns Hobble NSA Data Center - WSJ
      http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304441404579119490744478398?mod=wsj_nview_latest&mg=reno

      There have been 10 meltdowns in the past 13 months that have prevented the NSA from using computers at its new Utah data-storage center, slated to be the spy agency’s largest, according to project documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

      One project official described the electrical troubles—so-called arc fault failures—as “a flash of lightning inside a 2-foot box.” These failures create fiery explosions, melt metal and cause circuits to fail, the official said.

      The causes remain under investigation, and there is disagreement whether proposed fixes will work, according to officials and project documents. One Utah project official said the NSA planned this week to turn on some of its computers there.
      (…)
      This summer [2013], the Army Corps of Engineers dispatched its Tiger Team, officials said. In an initial report, the team said the cause of the failures remained unknown in all but two instances.

      The team said the government has incomplete information about the design of the electrical system that could pose new problems if settings need to change on circuit breakers. The report concluded that efforts to “fast track” the Utah project bypassed regular quality controls in design and construction.

    • J’oubliais : puissance électrique consommée 65 MW…

      But without a reliable electrical system to run computers and keep them cool, the NSA’s global surveillance data systems can’t function. The NSA chose Bluffdale, Utah, to house the data center largely because of the abundance of cheap electricity. It continuously uses 65 megawatts, which could power a small city of at least 20,000, at a cost of more than $1 million a month, according to project officials and documents.

      Pour le refroidissement, malgré les appels libertariens à couper l’eau (novembre 2013)
      The Salt Lake Tribune
      http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/57120093-82/nsa-power-facility-utah.html.csp

      Op-Ed: Utahns should deny water to NSA center

      la municipalité a conclu un contrat d’approvisionnement à un tarif préférentiel (juillet 2014)

      Utah town gave NSA a deal on water | The Salt Lake Tribune
      http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/57181642-90/bluffdale-utah-center-nsa.html.csp

      Bluffdale agreed to sell water to the National Security Agency at a rate below its own guidelines and the Utah average in order to secure the contract and spur economic development in the town, according to records and interviews.

      The deal could mean savings of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for the NSA and federal taxpayers, but is more of a gamble for Bluffdale, which had to issue a $3.5 million bond to help pay for new water lines. Bluffdale leaders consider that section of the city, now covered with sagebrush, ripe for new businesses.

      Without the influx of NSA revenue, it would have been 15 years before Bluffdale could have afforded to bring water to that area, said Bluffdale City Manager Mark Reid.

      pour des quantités astronomiques

      Bluffdale allowed the NSA to redact large portions of the correspondence, but the emails still demonstrate how Bluffdale persuaded the NSA to buy what eventually may be more than 1 million gallons of water a day from the city rather than from four other bidders.

      Mais à la suite des révélations de 2013 et de nouveaux appels à couper l’eau par des votes au niveau des états, la municipalité a fait savoir (mai 2014) qu’elle envisageait de recycler l’eau de refroidissement, dont pour l’instant, une petite partie sert à arroser la pelouse d’un parc et des terrains de football.

      Bluffdale to recycle millions of gallons of water used by NSA | FOX13Now.com
      http://fox13now.com/2014/05/12/bluffdale-to-recycle-some-nsa-water

      Timothy said at maximum capacity, the Utah Data Center could use as much as 1.2 million gallons of water a day. That water is purchased in shares from the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District. The NSA pays about $2 per 1,000 gallons.

      Bluffdale built a two million gallon tank to reuse water. Currently, it is being used to water a park outside city hall where soccer fields are set up for youth games. Timothy said the water reclamation will be expanded to include residential lawns and accommodate future growth in the south end of the city.

      “Eventually, as more water is returned to us, we’ll be able to add residents to the reuse project,” he said, adding it could reduce residents’ water bills.

      The NSA declined to comment on what is done with the water, or Bluffdale’s plans to reclaim it. The agency also would not answer questions about whether the facility is fully operational.

      Not even the mayor knows.

      “I have no idea,” he said. “We don’t ask that question because they wouldn’t even tell us.”


  • Fin de la guerre AMD/Intel en Russie
    http://www.comptoir-hardware.com/actus/processeurs/25465-fin-de-la-guerre-amdintel-en-russie.html

    La grande mère Russie a décidé de remplacer tout le parc informatique du gouvernement, soit environ 700000 PC et 300000 serveurs, pour se débarrasser de la pourriture capitaliste d’Intel et AMD qu’elle soupçonne de collaborer avec la NSA et la CIA. Et pour animer ces nouvelles machines, ils disent adieu aux CPU américains pour accueillir un SoC ARM 64-bit conçu sur leur territoire et nommé Baikal... [Tout lire]

    #Processeurs



  • ‘We Kill People Based on Metadata’ by David Cole | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books
    http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2014/may/10/we-kill-people-based-metadata

    General Michael Hayden, former director of the NSA and the CIA, (...) assert[ed], “We kill people based on metadata.”

    As Snowden’s disclosures have shown, the NSA collects far more private information on foreigners—including the content as well as the metadata of e-mails, online chats, social media, and phone calls—than on US citizens.

    (...)

    (...) It is probably under this authority that, according to The Washington Post, the NSA is recording “every single” phone call from a particular, unnamed country. Documents leaked by Snowden demonstrate that the NSA also collects, again by the millions and billions, foreign nationals’ e-mail contact lists, cell phone location data, and texts. This is the very definition of dragnet surveillance.

    Congress is far less motivated to do anything about the NSA’s abuse of the rights of foreign nationals. They are “them,” not “us.” They don’t vote. But they have human rights, too; the right to privacy, recognized in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which the US has signed and ratified, does not limit protections to Americans. Snowden’s revelations have justifiably led to protests from many of our closest allies; they don’t want their privacy invaded by the NSA any more than we do, and they have more to complain about than we do, as they have suffered far greater intrusions.


  • The NSA’s Secret Role in the U.S. Assassination Program
    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/article/2014/02/10/the-nsas-secret-role

    According to a former drone operator for the military’s Joint Special Operations Command (#JSOC) who also worked with the #NSA, the agency often identifies targets based on controversial #metadata analysis and cell-phone tracking technologies. Rather than confirming a target’s identity with operatives or informants on the ground, the #CIA or the U.S. military then orders a strike based on the activity and location of the #mobile phone a person is believed to be using.

    The #drone operator, who agreed to discuss the top-secret programs on the condition of anonymity, was a member of JSOC’s High Value Targeting task force, which is charged with identifying, capturing or killing terrorist suspects in Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

    His account is bolstered by top-secret NSA documents previously provided by whistleblower Edward #Snowden. It is also supported by a former drone sensor operator with the U.S. Air Force, Brandon Bryant, who has become an outspoken critic of the lethal operations in which he was directly involved in #Iraq, #Afghanistan and #Yemen.

    (...)

    One problem, he explains, is that targets are increasingly aware of the NSA’s reliance on geolocating, and have moved to thwart the tactic. Some have as many as 16 different #SIM_cards associated with their identity within the High Value Target system. Others, unaware that their mobile phone is being targeted, lend their phone, with the SIM card in it, to friends, children, spouses and family members.

    Some top Taliban leaders, knowing of the NSA’s targeting method, have purposely and randomly distributed SIM cards among their units in order to elude their trackers. “They would do things like go to meetings, take all their SIM cards out, put them in a bag, mix them up, and everybody gets a different SIM card when they leave,” the former drone operator says. “That’s how they confuse us.”

    As a result, even when the agency correctly identifies and targets a SIM card belonging to a terror suspect, the phone may actually be carried by someone else, who is then killed in a strike. According to the former drone operator, the geolocation cells at the NSA that run the tracking program – known as Geo Cell –sometimes facilitate strikes without knowing whether the individual in possession of a tracked cell phone or SIM card is in fact the intended target of the strike.

    “Once the bomb lands or a night raid happens, you know that phone is there,” he says. “But we don’t know who’s behind it, who’s holding it. It’s of course assumed that the phone belongs to a human being who is nefarious and considered an ‘unlawful enemy combatant.’ This is where it gets very shady.”

    (...)

    What’s more, he adds, the NSA often locates drone targets by analyzing the activity of a SIM card, rather than the actual content of the calls. Based on his experience, he has come to believe that the drone program amounts to little more than death by unreliable metadata.

    “People get hung up that there’s a targeted list of people,” he says. “It’s really like we’re targeting a cell phone. We’re not going after people – we’re going after their phones , in the hopes that the person on the other end of that missile is the bad guy.”

    #métadonnées

    • En 2011 #Gareth_Porter avait déjà dit l’essentiel
      http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/3588:how-mcchrystal-and-petraeus-built-an-indiscriminate-killing-machine

      Although the raids have undoubtedly killed a large number of Taliban commanders and fighters, it is now clear that they also killed and incarcerated thousands of #innocent civilians. The failure to discriminate between combatants and civilians flows directly from a targeting methodology that is incapable of such discrimination.

      (...)

      ... McChrystal’s operation relied on far more mundane technologies than Woodward’s sensational language suggested. In a new book, “Task Force Black,” by Mark Urban, the diplomatic editor at BBC’s “Newsnight,” reveals that McChrystal’s command gathered intelligence on al-Qaeda and Mahdi Army personnel from three well-known technologies: 24-hour surveillance by drone aircraft, monitoring of mobile phone traffic and pinpointing the physical location of the phones from their signals.

      (...)

      Targeting Phone Numbers, Not People

      #victimes_civiles


  • Michael Hayden: #Hackers Are Greatest Danger (24 January 2014)
    http://cryptome.org/2014/01/hayden-hackers.htm

    Google translation, tweaked by Cryptome via @reflets
    http://www.gandul.info/stiri/fostul-director-al-nsa-si-cia-statele-unite-fura-informatii-pentru-a-si-pro

    In a speech at the National Bank, General Hayden (former #NSA #CIA) said that there are three types of “sinners” in cyberspace : States, criminal groups and anarchists.

    States are “very good at it. Mine is. I’ve been director of the NSA and intelligence gathering reasons against legitimate targets, stealing information from other states. This does not put us on par with the Chinese. The Chinese steal things, and we Americans steal. But we do it to ensure the safety of our citizens, we do not do it to enrich our citizens, and that is the difference between us and the Chinese,” said Hayden, at the panel on “Intelligence and Cyber Security.”

    The second are “criminal groups” found in the former Soviet satellites. They consist of a lot of “talented people working for pay to steal things or to destroy networks on behalf of others.”

    The third group is made up of anarchists and activists, as well Guccifer who “do not do it for profit, but simply do.”

    In his opinion, the most dangerous is the third group .

    "States should be responsible for their actions. They should be careful that their actions have consequences. Groups have less control, but ultimately, they’re parasites. They live on the backs of others. Parasites can not find a way to survive after destroying their “host.”

    “I’m bad, but not a catastrophe,” said the American general.

    #terrorisme


  • WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Calls on Computer Hackers to Unite Against NSA Surveillance | Democracy Now!
    http://www.democracynow.org/2013/12/31/wikileaks_julian_assange_calls_on_computer?autostart=true

    Tribune de
    JULIAN ASSANGE
    : Those high-tech workers, we are a particular class, and it’s time that we recognized that we are a class and looked back in history and understood that the great gains in human rights and education and so on that were gained through powerful industrial work as we formed the backbone of the economy of the 20th century, I think we have that same ability, but even more so, because of the greater interconnection that exists now, economically and politically, which is all underpinned by system administrators. And we should understand that system administrators are not just those people who administer one unique system or another; they are the people who administer systems. And the system that exists globally now is created by the interconnection of many individual systems. And we are all, or many of us, are part of administering that system, and have extraordinary power, in a way that is really an order of magnitude different to the power industrial workers had back in the 20th century.
    And we can see that in the cases of the famous leaks that WikiLeaks has done or the recent Edward Snowden revelations, that it’s possible now for even a single system administrator to have a very significant change to the—or rather, apply a very significant constraint, a constructive constraint, to the behavior of these organizations, not merely wrecking or disabling them, not merely going out on strikes to change policy, but rather shifting information from an information apartheid system, which we’re developing, from those with extraordinary power and extraordinary information, into the knowledge commons, where it can be used to—not only as a disciplining force, but it can be used to construct and understand the new world that we’re entering into.
    Now, Hayden, the former director of the CIA and NSA, is terrified of this. In Cypherpunks, we called for this directly last year. But to give you an interesting quote from Hayden, possibly following up on those words of mine and others: “We need to recruit from Snowden’s generation,” says Hayden. “We need to recruit from this group because they have the skills that we require. So the challenge is how to recruit this talent while also protecting ourselves from the small fraction of the population that has this romantic attachment to absolute transparency at all costs .” And that’s us, right?
    So, what we need to do is spread that message and go into all those organizations—in fact, deal with them. I’m not saying don’t join the CIA. No, go and join the CIA. Go in there. Go into the ballpark and get the ball and bring it out—with the understanding, with the paranoia, that all those organizations will be infiltrated by this generation, by an ideology that is spread across the Internet. And every young person is educated on the Internet. There will be no person that has not been exposed to this ideology of transparency and understanding of wanting to keep the Internet, which we were born into, free. This is the last free generation.
    The coming together of the systems of governments, the new information apartheid across the world, the linking together, is such that none of us will be able to escape it in just a decade. Our identities will be coupled to it, the information sharing such that none of us will be able to escape it. We are all becoming part of the state, whether we like it or not, so our only hope is to determine what sort of state it is that we are going to become part of. And we can do that by looking and being inspired by some of the actions that produced human rights and free education and so on, by people recognizing that they were part of the state, recognizing their own power, and taking concrete and robust action to make sure they lived in the sort of society that they wanted to, and not in a hellhole dystopia.
    #surveillance
    #Assange
    #wikileaks
    #snowden


  • « Tourisme de catastrophe » au congrès du Chaos Computer Club, sur fond d’affaire Snowden | Slate.fr
    http://www.slate.fr/monde/81785/congres-chaos-computer-club-nsa

    Hanté par le scandale de la NSA, qui a provoqué une fréquentation record, le 30ème congrès de l’organisation de hackers allemande a été l’occasion, durant quatre jours, de disséquer et discuter les méthodes utilisées par les services secrets américains.

    #NSA #Snowden #Chaos_Computer_Club