position:contractor

  • Facebook moderators complain over ’Big Brother’ rules at Accenture facility in Austin - Business Insider
    https://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-moderators-complain-big-brother-rules-accenture-austin-201

    Some of Facebook’s content moderators are in revolt over new ’Big Brother’-style rules.
    In an open letter to Facebook employees, moderators from Austin, Texas complained about draconian working conditions that are eroding trust in the company.
    The letter highlights the gulf in working conditions between Facebook’s well-compensated, full-time employees and its legions of contractor content moderators.


  • NYC passes minimum pay wage for Uber and Lyft drivers
    https://www.engadget.com/2018/12/04/nyc-minimum-pay-wage-uber-lyft-drivers

    12.04.18 - New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission voted today to establish a minimum wage for drivers working for companies like Uber, Lyft, Juno and Via. The city is the first in the US to set a minimum pay rate for app-based drivers. Going forward, the minimum pay will be set at $17.22 per hour after expenses, bringing it in line with the city’s $15 per hour minimum wage for typical employees, which will take effect at the end of the year. The additional $2.22 takes into account contract drivers’ payroll taxes and paid time off.

    “Today we brought desperately needed relief to 80,000 working families. All workers deserve the protection of a fair, livable wage and we are proud to be setting the new bar for contractor workers’ rights in America,” Jim Conigliaro, Jr., founder of the Independent Drivers Guild, said in a statement. “We are thankful to the Mayor, Commissioner Joshi and the Taxi and Limousine Commission, City Council Member Brad Lander and all of the city officials who listened to and stood up for drivers.”

    Earlier this year, the Taxi and Limousine Commission released the results of a study it requested, which recommended the new pay floor. And in August, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a bill requiring the commission to set a base pay rate. The Independent Drivers Guild, which has been working towards a minimum pay rate for some time, estimates that contract drivers in the city are currently earning just $11.90 per hour after expenses.

    Across the US, there’s been increased scrutiny on what companies like Uber and Lyft are actually paying their workers. In May, San Francisco subpoenaed the two companies for their pay records, and both companies have faced lawsuits over driver wages. Last year, NYC began requiring all ride-hailing services to offer an in-app tipping option.

    The rules passed today aren’t sitting well with the companies affected by them, however. Lyft told Engadget that it’s concerned that calculating pay per ride rather than per week will incentivize short rides over long rides. Further, Lyft says the new out of town rates — which require companies to pay drivers more when they take passengers outside of the city and return without a passenger — will be hard to implement before the new regulations take effect in 30 days.

    “Lyft believes all drivers should earn a livable wage and we are committed to helping drivers reach their goals,” the company told Engadget. “Unfortunately, the TLC’s proposed pay rules will undermine competition by allowing certain companies to pay drivers lower wages, and disincentive drivers from giving rides to and from areas outside Manhattan. These rules would be a step backward for New Yorkers, and we urge the TLC to reconsider them.”

    Uber released a statement as well ahead of today’s vote. The company’s director of public affairs, Jason Post, said:

    “Uber supports efforts to ensure that full-time drivers in NYC - whether driving with taxi, limo or Uber - are able to make a living wage, without harming outer borough riders who have been ignored by yellow taxi and underserved by mass transit.

    The TLC’s implementation of the City Council’s legislation to increase driver earnings will lead to higher than necessary fare increases for riders while missing an opportunity to immediately reduce congestion in Manhattan’s central business district.

    The TLC’s rules does not take into account incentives or bonuses forcing companies to raise rates even higher. Companies use incentives and bonuses as part of driver earnings to ensure reliability citywide by providing a monetary incentive to drivers to complete trips in areas that need them the most (such as outside of Manhattan).

    In addition, the rules miss an opportunity to immediately deal with congestion in Manhattan’s central business district. A recent TLC study authored by economists James Parrott and Michael Reich describes a formula that would financially punish companies who have low utilization rates. Instead, the TLC is choosing the adopt an industry-wide utilization rate that does not hold bases accountable for keeping cars full with paying passengers.”

    #USA #New_York #Uber #Mindestlohn


  • Saudis used Israeli spyware to track Khashoggi: Snowden - World News

    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/saudis-used-israeli-spyware-to-track-khashoggi-snowden-138669

    Software made by an Israeli cyber security firm was used to track murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a former U.S. National Security Agency contractor and whistleblower claimed Nov. 7.

    Addressing a conference in Tel Aviv, Israel via a video call from Russia, Edward Snowden said Pegasus spyware sold to governments by NSO Group Technologies was used to track opponents.

    “The Saudis, of course, knew that Khashoggi was going to go to the consulate, as he got an appointment. But how did they know his intention and plans?”

    Khashoggi, a Saudi national and columnist for The Washington Post, was killed on Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.


  • The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies - Bloomberg
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-10-04/the-big-hack-how-china-used-a-tiny-chip-to-infiltrate-america-s-top-compa

    The attack by Chinese spies reached almost 30 U.S. companies, including Amazon and Apple, by compromising America’s technology supply chain, according to extensive interviews with government and corporate sources.

    […]

    There are two ways for spies to alter the guts of computer equipment. One, known as interdiction, consists of manipulating devices as they’re in transit from manufacturer to customer. This approach is favored by U.S. spy agencies, according to documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. The other method involves seeding changes from the very beginning.

    One country in particular has an advantage executing this kind of attack: China, which by some estimates makes 75 percent of the world’s mobile phones and 90 percent of its PCs.

    #espionnage #Chine #États-Unis #informatique


  • USAID Managers Guide to Microcomputers in Development (1983)
    https://www.ictworks.org/usaid-managers-guide-to-microcomputers-in-development


    Une archive étonnante pour ceux et celles qui, comme moi, ont commencé(e)s à travailler en 1983 en Afrique avec des « Micro » (Goupil 3 et 4 !)

    In Africa recently, several donor agency personnel, Ministry officials, and one of the authors were discussing development. Inevitably, they talked about microcomputers.
    One member of the group mentioned that he was ordering an “Apple II Plus” system to help him write reports. A high-ranking government official commented that foreigners seemed to be crazed by jogging and “microprocessors” – the local term for microcomputers.
    The official asked why so many people were purchasing microcomputer systems: was this only another Western fad or was this the beginning of a new microelectronic era?
    Indeed, it may be difficult for microcomputer advocates to understand that many people do not share their zeal for electronic equipment. Providing officials with evidence of the utility of microccmputers can be a delicate and difficult task, particularly if there is some feat that people will be put out of work.
    Conversely, persuading overly enthusiastic officials of the possible problems of installing computer systems may be an equally arduous undertaking. Thus, donor, contractor, and host-country personnel mus, be involved in the entire decision-making process if microcomputers are to be accepted and appropriately used within their project or institutional settings.

    #Usages_Numeriques #Developpement #Afrique


  • Reality Winner, who pleaded guilty to leaking secret U.S. report, gets 63-month sentence

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/reality-winner-sentenced-pleaded-guilty-to-leaking-secret-u-s-report-today-2018-08-23/?ftag=CNM-00-10aab7e&linkId=55922192

    A former government contractor who pleaded guilty to mailing a classified U.S. report to a news organization was sentenced to more than five years Thursday as part of a deal with prosecutors, who called it the longest sentence ever imposed for a federal crime involving leaks to the media. 

    Reality Winner, 26, pleaded guilty in June to a single count of transmitting national security information. The former Air Force translator worked as a contractor at a National Security Agency’s office in Augusta, Georgia, when she printed a classified report and left the building with it tucked into her pantyhose. Winner told the FBI she mailed the document to an online news outlet.

    In court Thursday, Winner apologized and acknowledged that what she did was wrong.

    Authorities never identified the news organization. But the Justice Department announced Winner’s June 2017 arrest the same day The Intercept reported on a secret NSA document. It detailed Russian government efforts to penetrate a Florida-based supplier of voting software and the accounts of election officials ahead of the 2016 presidential election. The NSA report was dated May 5, the same as the document Winner had leaked.

    U.S. intelligence agencies later confirmed Russian meddling.

    #Reality_Winner



  • Trump Insider Wanted to Sell Social Media Surveillance Tools to Abusive Governments, Leaked Documents Suggest
    https://theintercept.com/2018/06/22/broidy-circinus-spying-tunisia-romania-uae

    Earlier this year, it was reported that Elliott Broidy, a convicted felon in a 2009 bribery case and a top Donald Trump fundraiser, proffered meetings with the president to foreign regimes who were also potential clients of his defense firm Circinus. Little is known about Circinus, but purported company documents obtained by The Intercept contain plans to peddle social media surveillance software to repressive regimes. The Circinus website paints the contractor as an red-blooded defender (...)

    #sécuritaire #spyware #exportation #activisme #web #surveillance


  • Reality Winner Has Been in Jail for a Year. Her Prosecution Is Unfair and Unprecedented.

    https://theintercept.com/2018/06/03/reality-winner-nsa-paul-manafort

    THIS IS A tale of two defendants and two systems of justice.

    Christmas was coming, and Paul Manafort wanted to spend the holiday with his extended family in the Hamptons, where he owns a four-acre estate that has 10 bedrooms, a pool, a tennis court, a basketball court, a putting green, and a guest cottage. But Manafort was under house arrest in northern Virginia. Suspected of colluding with the Russian government, the former campaign manager for Donald Trump had been indicted on a dozen charges involving conspiracy, money laundering, bank fraud, and lying to federal investigators.


    Paul Manafort’s Hamptons estate, left, and the jail in Lincolnton, right.

    A lobbyist who became mysteriously wealthy over the years, Manafort avoided jail by posting $10 million in bond, though he was confined to his luxury condo in Alexandria, Virginia. That’s why, in mid-December, his lawyers asked the judge to make an exception. Manafort’s $2.7 million Virginia home could not provide “adequate accommodations” for his holiday guests, some of whom would have difficulty traveling because of health problems, the lawyers stated. A day later, the judge agreed to the request. Manafort could have his Christmas getaway in the Hamptons.

    Hundreds of miles away, another defendant in an eerily related case was not so blessed. Reality Winner, an Air Force veteran and former contractor for the National Security Agency, was sitting in a small-town jail in Lincolnton, Georgia. Arrested a year ago today, on June 3, 2017, Winner was accused of leaking an NSA document that showed how Russians tried to hack American voting systems in 2016.

    The bail system plays to the advantage of wealthy defendants like Paul Manafort and Harvey Weinstein (who paid his $1 million bond with a cashier’s check), because they can provide the government with fantastic sums; freedom is quite literally for sale, as in a story Anton Chekhov might have written about czarist Russia. The poor and the unlucky are stuck behind bars, punished before their guilt is determined. Defendants who are unable to pay bail have sometimes been held for years without a trial.

    IMAGINE THAT YOU are facing trial but are forbidden from searching for evidence to prove you are innocent. It is a scenario from a totalitarian “Alice in Wonderland” – you may do anything you want to defend yourself except the one thing that might actually help.

    That’s a rough approximation of the situation Winner’s lawyers have faced due to a strange twist in her case. She is accused of potentially causing “exceptionally grave damage” to national security by leaking a classified document that, the government claims, contains “national defense information.”

    Winner’s lawyers have stated in public filings that they needed to search on the internet to determine whether information in the document was known to a large number of government officials or was in the public domain. This was crucial to their effort to prove that the document did not merit NDI status. But because the document is classified, and because researching its contents on the internet could disclose search queries to hackers who theoretically could compromise the lawyers’ computers or access their routers, they were prohibited from Googling key phrases, according to court filings. In essence, Winner’s lawyers were forbidden from finding out if the document was as sensitive as the government claimed.


  • Russian electronic warfare firm to upgrade products after studying US Tomahawks downed in Syria — RT World News
    https://www.rt.com/news/428105-russians-study-tomahawks-syria


    Alleged fragments of missiles fired by the US-led coalition on April 13-14 and shot down by the Syrian air defense forces, as shown by the Russian defense ministry.
    © Igor Ermachenkov / Sputnik

    A Russian military contractor, specializing in electronic warfare, will use information gained from dissecting a US Tomahawk cruise missile, used during an attack on Syria, to boost the capabilities of its own equipment.
    The missile, delivered to Russia after the tri-party night attack on Syrian government targets by the US, the UK and France in April, is of particular interest to KRET, a leading developer of electronic equipment for the Russian military, according to Vladimir Mikheev, an aide to the company’s First Deputy Director Vladimir Zverev.

    Our new equipment needs to cover all spectra, optical and radio, which we found in the products of our counterparts,” Mikheev told Radio Sputnik.

    As specialists we were very interested in seeing the real-life use of various weapon systems in Syria, including the Tomahawks. Now having this missile in our hands we clearly know what channels it uses to communicate control, navigation and geolocation information,” he explained.

    Mikheev said incorporating the knowledge gained from studying the US cruise missiles will take KRET two to three years. It will help Russian electronic warfare systems be better in countering American missiles “on all stages of combat deployment” he said.

    Earlier reports claimed that Russia obtained at least two US missiles fired at Syria on April 14 in relatively undamaged state.


  • #sla benefits: why do you need SLA and what does it cover
    https://hackernoon.com/sla-benefits-why-do-you-need-sla-and-what-does-it-cover-c02301afc34e?sou

    SLA or a Service Level Agreement is a document highlighting the measurable metrics and results the customer expects to receive and the contractor is bound to provide. We list the SLA benefits below.While SLAs were around for quite some time, they became really popular about a decade ago, when the outsourcing culture began dominating the IT industry. It was only natural that when the customers delegated certain tasks to an outsourcing IT service provider they wanted to retain full control over the service quality and appropriate resource spending.Thus said, they needed certain metrics and indicators (like the app server/ web service uptime, support ticket response time, issue resolution time, etc.) to show the service was delivered with an appropriate level of efficiency. All of this is (...)

    #sla-benefits #development #service-level-agreement #startup


  • This American Is A General For A Foreign Army Accused Of War Crimes In Yemen

    https://www.buzzfeed.com/aramroston/stephen-toumajan-general-us-uae-yemen-contractor

    Stephen Toumajan spent most of his professional life as an officer in the US Army — but these days the country he serves is not the US but the United Arab Emirates. He is a major general for the Emirati military, according to his own statements and a UAE government website.

    He commands the UAE’s military helicopter branch at a time when that country’s forces are fighting one of the world’s deadliest conflicts: the brutal war in Yemen, which has left over a million people with cholera, 8 million people at risk of starvation, and 5,000 children dead or wounded. The UAE and its partners in the war have been accused of atrocities. Toumajan says he is not involved in that war.

    To be a UAE general is a step up for Toumajan, who left the US Army as a lieutenant colonel and once had a side gig running a women’s bust–enhancement business in Tennessee called Breast Wishes.

    More importantly, it represents a marked escalation of the role US private military contractors play in foreign conflicts. While military contractors have become deeply entwined in warfare all over the world, they traditionally have stuck to strict limits: advising, training, and supplying foreign armies — but not actually serving in them. It’s the distinction between being a contractor and a mercenary. Toumajan’s role blurs that distinction.


  • Exclusive: Massive military base buildup suggests the U.S. shadow war in Somalia is only getting bigger – VICE News
    https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/xw7nw3/somalia-is-looking-like-another-full-blown-us-war

    Les #bourbiers, causes et conséquences des #complexes_militaro-industriels,

    The looming possibility of a yearslong quagmire has earned Somalia a nickname among military officials and locals: “People call Somalia Africa’s Afghanistan,” said one State Department contractor.

    #Etats-Unis #guerres #africom #Somalie #business #criminel #mafia #mafieux


  • Pentagon reports number of contractors employed in Syria for first time
    https://www.militarytimes.com/news/2018/04/17/pentagon-reports-number-of-contractors-employed-in-syria-for-first-ti

    The Pentagon is employing 5,508 contractors in Iraq and Syria — 2,869 of whom are U.S. citizens, 760 of whom are locals and the rest of whom are third country nationals — according to a quarterly report released in April.

    This is the first time the Pentagon has reported contractor numbers for Syria, according to past reports within the archives of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics & Materiel Readiness.

    “As the mission has grown and continued in Syria, [the DoD] is including those numbers in regular reporting, as well,” Heather Babb, a Pentagon spokeswoman, told Military Times.

    #syrie #mercenaires #contras


  • Saudi Arabia – #TOW_2B (#BGM-71F-Series) Missiles

    The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Saudi Arabia of TOW 2B (BGM-71F-Series) missiles for an estimated cost of $670 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.

    The Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has requested to buy up to six thousand six hundred (6,600) TOW 2B missiles (BGM-71F-Series) and ninety-six (96) TOW 2B (BGM-71F-Series) fly-to-buy lot validation missiles. Also included is government furnished equipment; technical manuals and publications; essential spares and repair parts; consumables; live fire exercise and ammunition; tools and test equipment; training; transportation; U.S. Government technical support and logistic support; contractor technical support; repair and return support; quality assurance teams; in-country Field Service Representative (FSR); other associated equipment and services in support of TOW 2B missiles; and other related elements of logistics and program support. The total estimated program cost is $670 million.

    This proposed sale will support U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives by improving the security of a friendly country which has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic growth in the Middle East. This potential sale is consistent with U.S. initiatives to provide key partners in the region with modern systems that will enhance interoperability with U.S. forces and increase stability.

    The proposed sale of TOW 2B missiles and technical support will advance the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to develop an integrated ground defense capability. A strong national defense and dedicated military force will assist Saudi Arabia to sustain itself in its efforts to maintain stability. Saudi Arabia will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.

    The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

    The principal contractor is Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, AZ. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

    Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the permanent assignment of any U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Saudi Arabia. There will be no more than two contractor personnel in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at any one time and all efforts will take less than two weeks in total.

    There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

    This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

    All questions regarding this proposed Foreign Military Sale should be directed to the State Department’s Bureau of Political Military Affairs, Office of Congressional and Public Affairs, pm-cpa@state.gov.

    http://www.dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/saudi-arabia-tow-2b-bgm-71f-series-missiles
    #armes #commerce_d'armes #USA #Etats-Unis #Arabie_Saoudite

    cc @fil @reka


  • Before the CIA, There Was the Pond | Newsmax.com
    https://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/US-Spy-Agency-The-Pond/2010/07/29/id/366034

    The head of the Pond was Col. John V. Grombach, a radio producer, businessman and ex-Olympic boxer who kept a small black poodle under his desk. He attended West Point, but didn’t graduate with his class because he had too many demerits, according to a U.S. Army document. His nickname was “Frenchy,” because his father was a Frenchman, who worked in the French Consulate in New Orleans.

    The War Department had tapped Grombach to create the secret intelligence branch in 1942 as a foundation for a permanent spy service. Grombach said the main objectives were security and secrecy, unlike the OSS, which he said had been infiltrated by allies and subversives and whose personnel had a “penchant for personal publicity.” It was first known as the Special Service Branch, then as the Special Service Section and finally as the Coverage and Indoctrination Branch.

    To the few even aware of its existence, the intelligence network was known by its arcane name, the Pond. Its leaders referred to the G-2 military intelligence agency as the “Lake,” the CIA, which was formed later, was the “Bay,” and the State Department was the “Zoo.” Grombach’s organization engaged in cryptography, political espionage and covert operations. It had clandestine officers in Budapest, London, Lisbon, Madrid, Stockholm, Bombay, Istanbul and elsewhere.

    Grombach directed his far-flung operations from an office at the Steinway Hall building in New York, where he worked under the cover of a public relations consultant for Philips. His combative character had earned him a reputation as an opportunist who would “cut the throat of anyone standing in his way,” according to a document in his Army intelligence dossier.

    In defining the Pond’s role, Grombach maintained that the covert network sought indirect intelligence from people holding regular jobs in both hostile countries and allied nations — not unlike the Russian spies uncovered in June in the U.S. while living in suburbia and working at newspapers or universities.

    The Pond, he wrote in a declassified document put in the National Archives, had a mission “to collect important secret intelligence via many international companies, societies, religious organizations and business and professional men who were willing to cooperate with the U.S. but who would not work with the OSS because it was necessarily integrated with British and French Intelligence and infiltrated by Communists and Russians.”

    On April 15, 1953, Grombach wrote that the idea behind his network was to use “observers” who would build long-term relationships and produce far more valuable information than spies who bought secrets. “Information was to be rarely, if ever, bought, and there were to be no paid professional operators; as it later turned out some of the personnel not only paid their own expenses but actually advanced money for the organization’s purposes.”

    The CIA, for its part, didn’t think much of the Pond. It concluded that the organization was uncooperative, especially since the outfit refused to divulge its sources, complicating efforts to evaluate their reports. In an August 1952 letter giving notice that the CIA intended to terminate the contract, agency chief Gen. Walter Bedell Smith wrote that “our analysis of the reports provided by this organization has convinced us that its unevaluated product is not worth the cost.” It took until 1955 to completely unwind the relationship.

    Mark Stout, a former intelligence officer and historian for the International Spy Museum in Washington, analyzed the newly released papers and said it isn’t clear how important the Pond was to U.S. intelligence-gathering as a whole. “But they were making some real contributions,” he said.

    Matthew Aid, an intelligence historian and author of “The Secret Sentry: The Untold History of the National Security Agency” who has reviewed some of the collection, said there was no evidence the Pond’s reports made their way to decision-makers. “I’m still not convinced that Grombach’s organization was a worthwhile endeavor in World War II and even less so when it went off the books,” he said.

    What it may have lacked in quality and influence, however, the Pond certainly made up with chutzpah.

    One of the outfit’s most unusual informers was a French serial killer named Marcel Petiot, Grombach wrote in a 1980 book.

    The Secret Intelligence Branch, as he referred to the Pond, began receiving reports from Petiot during the war. He was a physician in Paris who regularly treated refugees, businessmen and Gestapo agents, but he also had a predilection for killing mostly wealthy Jews and burning their bodies in a basement furnace in his soundproofed house. He was convicted of 26 murders and guillotined in 1946.

    Nevertheless, Grombach considered him a valuable informer because of his contacts.

    One cable discovered among the newly released papers appears to confirm the Pond was tracking Petiot’s whereabouts. In the undated memo, the writer says Petiot was drawn by a Gestapo agent “into a trap to be arrested by the Germans.” Petiot was briefly arrested in 1943 by the Gestapo.

    Such sources were often feeding their reports to top operatives — often businessmen or members of opposition groups. But there were also journalists in the spy ring.

    Ruth Fischer, code-named “Alice Miller,” was considered a key Pond agent for eight years, working under her cover as a correspondent, including for the North American Newspaper Alliance. She had been a leader of Germany’s prewar Communist Party and was valuable to the Pond in the early years of the Cold War, pooling intelligence from Stalinists, Marxists and socialists in Europe, Africa and China, according to the newly released documents.

    But it was the help from businesses in wartime that was essential to penetrating Axis territories.

    The Philips companies, including their U.S. division, gave the Pond money, contacts, radio technology and supported Grombach’s business cover in New York. Philips spokesman Arent Jan Hesselink said the company had business contacts with Grombach between 1937 and 1970. He added that they could not “rule out that there was contact between Philips and Grombach with the intention of furthering central U.S. intelligence during the war.”

    The Pond laid the groundwork and devised a detailed postwar plan to integrate its activities into the U.S. Rubber Co.’s business operations in 93 countries. It is unknown if the plan was ever carried out. The Pond also worked with the American Express Co., Remington Rand, Inc. and Chase National Bank, according to documents at the National Archives.

    American Express spokeswoman Caitlin Lowie said a search of company archives revealed no evidence of a relationship with Grombach’s organization. Representatives of the other companies or their successors did not respond to requests for comment.

    The Pond directed its resources for domestic political ends, as well.

    In the 1950s, Grombach began furnishing names to McCarthy on supposed security risks in the U.S. intelligence community. By then, the Pond was a CIA contractor, existing as a quasi-private company, and the agency’s leadership was enraged by Grombach’s actions. It wasn’t long before the Pond’s contract was terminated and the organization largely ceased to exist.

    #histoire #USA #espionnage #CIA


  • #Bounty_hunters' hired to track down illegal immigrants

    More than 170,000 immigrants refused leave to stay in Britain are to be tracked down by private-sector “bounty hunters”.

    The support services firm #Capita will earn up to £40million if it finds all of the migrants identified by the UK Border Agency who may be living in the country illegally.

    Rob Whiteman, chief executive of UKBA, told the Home Affairs Select Committee: “The contract is on payment by results, where they will make contact with potential overstayers from our records.

    “The potential value of the contract, if they performed very well over a four-year period, would be around £40 million.”

    He went on: “Capita will be paid for the number of people who they make contact with and leave.

    The existence of the group of potential overstayers – known as the #Migrant_Refusal_Pool – was first disclosed by the immigration watchdog in July.

    Its new deal with Capita, to be signed in the next month, follows a pilot project with #Serco, another services provider, which found that 20 per cent of migrants contacted left the country within six months.

    Capita will contact the people named on the list by writing to them, phoning them, emailing them and even sending them text messages, but will not visit them in person. When it makes contact with them, it will try to help them get the correct travel documents and flights to return to their home countries.
    Capita, which provides services for Government including Criminal Records Bureau checks and TV Licensing, declined to comment as the contract has not yet been signed.


    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/9551180/Bounty-hunters-hired-to-track-down-illegal-immigrants.html
    #Brexit #UK #Angleterre #overstayers #surveillance #migrations #privatisation #UKBA #it_has_begun (je ne sais pas quels autres tags utiliser pour cette barbarie) #renvois #expulsions

    @sinehebdo, un autre mot, très barbare cette fois-ci :
    #Migrant_Refusal_Pool

    #mots #vocabulaire #terminologie

    cc @isskein @reka


  • Congress Is Debating Warrantless Surveillance in the Dark
    https://www.wired.com/story/section-702-warrantless-surveillance-debate/%20

    In 2013, former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden famously brought to light a series of classified US government spying programs. For the first time, the American people learned that the NSA was collecting millions of their phone calls and electronic communications—emails, Facebook messages, texts, browsing histories—all without a warrant. Several of the programs Snowden revealed are authorized under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act. The (...)

    #NSA #Facebook #Upstream #écoutes #web #surveillance #FISA #Google #AT&T

    ##AT&T


  • Amazon’s Last Mile
    https://gizmodo.com/amazons-last-mile-1820451224

    Near the very bottom of Amazon’s complicated machinery is a nearly invisible workforce over two years in the making tasked with getting those orders to your doorstep. It’s a network of supposedly self-employed, utterly expendable couriers enrolled in an app-based program which some believe may violate labor laws. That program is called Amazon Flex, and it accomplishes Amazon’s “last-mile” deliveries

    #amazon #livraisons #emploi


  • Twitter’s Panic After Trump’s Account Is Deleted Caps a Rough Week - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/03/technology/trump-twitter-deleted.html

    Only after further review did executives discover that it was a contractor who was leaving Twitter that day who had disabled Mr. Trump’s account, said the people involved in the matter.

    The incident immediately made the unnamed contractor a hero to some and a villain to others for muting, even temporarily, Mr. Trump. Yet the outcome for Twitter was black and white: It was another fiasco that the social media company had to clean up.

    The discovery that it was a contractor who deleted Mr. Trump’s account is difficult for Twitter, as well as other technology companies. Nearly every major technology company including Google, Facebook and Apple relies on contract employees to fill positions. In general, the jobs tend to be nontechnical roles such as customer support or administrative and operational positions.

    Many of these workers are brought on by staffing companies like Accenture, Adecco and Cognizant and work on renewable one-year contracts. Facebook, Twitter and other companies also outsource content review to third-party services like ProUnlimited and Cognizant, which are essentially internet call centers staffed with hundreds of workers who deal with customer service issues.

    Many of these people work side by side with full-time employees, but they are often paid significantly less, are identified with different color employee badges, and are not afforded the same perks and amenities that full-time workers have. Many complain of being treated like second-class citizens.

    #Twitter #Sécurité #Emploi


  • AL-JINAH MOSQUE
    US airstrike in Al-Jinah, Syria: Architectural assessment confirms building targeted was a functioning mosque, US misidentification possibly the cause for civilian casualties.

    http://www.forensic-architecture.org/case/al-jinah-mosque
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOyihqEOfYA

    Summary
    Forensic Architecture has undertaken an architectural analysis of the March 16th 2017 US Airstrike in Al-Jinah, Syria. We conducted interviews with survivors, first responders and with the building’s contractor, and examined available and sourced videos and photographs in order to produce a model of the building both before and after the strike. Our analysis reveals that, contrary to US statements, the building targeted was a functioning, recently built mosque containing a large prayer hall, several auxiliary functions, and the Imam’s residence. We believe that the civilian casualties caused by this strike are partially the result of the building’s misidentification.

    The Al-Jinah Mosque Complex Bombing — New Information and Timeline
    https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2017/04/18/al-jinah-new-info-and-timeline

    Bellingcat exchanged information with Forensic Architecture and Human Rights Watch. Both of which carried out separate investigations into the attack. All multimedia information has been archived by the Syrian Archive.

    On March 16, 2017, around 18:55 local time, a United States (US) airstrike targeted the Sayidina Omar ibn al-Khattab mosque, where reportedly almost 300 people had gathered for the Isha’a night prayers and a religious lecture. The airstrike completely destroyed the northern side of the mosque complex near al-Jinah in Syria’s Aleppo governorate. Thirty-eight bodies, including five children, were recovered from the rubble, according to the Syria Civil Defence, a search and rescue group operating in opposition-held territories better known as the “White Helmets”.

    There is no doubt that the US conducted the attack. Initial open source information already hinted towards US involvement as we detailed in our initial report, and the US Central Command (CENTCOM) claimed responsibility for the strike, saying it targeted “an Al Qaeda in Syria meeting location,” killing “dozens of core al Qaeda terrorists” after extensive surveillance. They incorrectly referred to the location of the attack as the Idlib governorate, but later confirmed to Bellingcat that they meant that the strike occurred near al-Jinah in the Aleppo governorate. A US military spokesperson claimed that the US had taken “extraordinary measures to mitigate the loss of civilian life”. The Pentagon released a post-strike image of the site, and said they “deliberately did not target the mosque at the left edge of the photo”. Instead, they claimed, a partially-constructed community hall was targeted.

    However, one pressing question remained: is this building a mosque or a meeting hall? New information, collected by both Forensic Architecture and Human Rights Watch, reveals that the building targeted was a functioning, recently built mosque containing a large prayer hall, several auxiliary functions, and the Imam’s residence. Bellingcat believes that the civilian casualties caused by this strike are partially the result of the building’s misidentification.


  • US signs deal to supply F-15 jets to Qatar after Trump terror claims | World news | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/15/us-signs-deal-to-supply-f-15-jets-to-qatar-after-trump-terror-claims

    The US and Qatar have signed a $12bn deal to supply dozens of F-15 jets to the tiny gas-rich Gulf emirate, despite recent high-profile claims by President Donald Trump alleging Qatar’s “high-level funding” of terrorism.

    The signing of the deal on Wednesday is the latest twist in the highly contradictory US diplomacy over the crisis around Qatar – now in its second week – with the emirate targeted by a Saudi-led embargo.

    Hailed by Qatar, the deal underlines the reigning confusion inside the Trump administration as it handles one of its first big foreign policy crises, which was in large part triggered by Trump.

    • La demande avait été acceptée dans son principe en novembre 2016 (sous BHO donc) pour un montant de 21,1 $Mds

      Government of Qatar – F-15QA Aircraft with Weapons and Related Support | The Official Home of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency
      http://www.dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/government-qatar-f-15qa-aircraft-weapons-and-related-support

      The Government of Qatar requested to purchase seventy-two (72) F-15QA multi-role fighter aircraft and associated weapons package; the provision for continental United States based Lead-in-Fighter-Training for the F-15QA; associated ground support; training materials; mission critical resources and maintenance support equipment; the procurement for various weapon support and test equipment spares; technical publications; personnel training; simulators and other training equipment; U.S. Government and contractor engineering; technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support. The estimated total program value is $21.1 billion.

      This proposed sale enhances the foreign policy and national security of the United State by helping to improve the security of a friendly country and strengthening our strategically important relationship. Qatar is an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Persian Gulf region. Our mutual defense interests anchor our relationship and the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) plays a predominant role in Qatar’s defense.

      Ça fait drôle de relire la motivation aujourd’hui…


  • Whistleblower Snowden warns of looming mass #surveillance in Japan
    https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2017/06/5db36d30fb00-exclusive-whistleblower-snowden-warns-of-looming-mas

    “This is the beginning of a new wave of mass surveillance in Japan,” the 33-year-old American said in an exclusive interview with Kyodo News while in exile in Russia, referring to a so-called anti-conspiracy bill that has stirred controversy in and outside Japan as having the potential to undermine civil liberties.

    The consequences could be even graver when combined with the use of a wide-reaching online data collection tool called XKEYSCORE, the former contractor for the U.S. National Security Agency said. He also gave credence to the authenticity of new NSA papers exposed through The Intercept, a U.S. online media outlet, earlier this year that showed the agency’s surveillance tool has already been shared with Japan.

    #Japon


  • How a small group of Israelis made the Western Wall Jewish again
    http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.792857

    On Saturday, June 10, 1967, the fifth day of the Six-Day War, Yosef Schwartz, a contractor, entered the bomb shelter in the Kiryat Hayovel neighborhood in western Jerusalem and found his daughter and grandchildren. “It was quite normal to see us and bring bread and milk,” says his daughter Zehava Fuchs. “But this time he was very tense, he hugged me and the children and he looked different than usual.”

    Schwartz, who was wearing the uniform of the old Haganah police force, left without saying where he was going. “I went up to the apartment to call my mother, she told me he didn’t want to say where he wast going,” said Fuchs.

    “The next day he came back crying. My brother was a pilot then and I was very worried something had happened, but then he told me that he had been in the Old City and touched the Kotel. He told how at night they demolished all the Mughrabi neighborhood. He was completely secular, but he said that when they worked there was a mystical feeling, they felt they were on a mission,” she added.

    Schwartz was one of 15 older contractors from the Jeruslaem contractors association who were called on by then Mayor Teddy Kollek that night to come to the Western Wall, which had just been captured. The task was to demolish the houses in the Mughrabi (Moroccan) Quarter that was built right next to the Kotel and create the Western Wall Plaza.

    Sasson Levy, one of the two contractors who is still alive, remembers the excitement very well: “I was sky-high, it was a pleasure.”

    Kollek enlisted the contractors for the work, but to this day it is still not clear who made the decision about the demolition. It is clear Kollek was involved, as well as Shlomo Lahat, who was the new military governor of East Jerusalem (and later mayor of Tel Aviv), and the head of the IDF’s Central Command, Maj. Gen. Uzi Narkiss. It is clear they intentionally made the decision without asking for – or receiving permission. No written documents remain concerning the decision, except for a hand-drawn map on a piece of paper that marked the boundaries of the area to be demolished.

    The contractors association was the most readily available source of manpower, but that was not the only reason that Kollek turned to them. The fear of an international protest made it necessary to use an unofficial civilian body to take on the job. The demolition work was given to the Jerusalem contractors and builders organization to distance any involvement of official bodies in the demolition as much as possible, wrote Uzi Benziman in Haaretz Magazine last week (in Hebrew).

    Kollek explained the urgency of clearing the plaza stemmed from the Shavuot holiday in a few days, when tens of thousands of Israelis were expected to flock to the Kotel. Leaving the old buildings standing could be dangerous, said Kollek. But the contractors, who were not called up to the reserves because of their age, saw it as much more than just another engineering project: That night remained engraved in their memories as a historic moment. So much so that after the war they established the “Order of the Kotel,” a sort of imitation of an order of knights for those who “purified the Kotel plaza for the people of Israel,” as they wrote about themselves.

    A coincidence led researchers from Yad Ben Zvi, the Ben Zvi Institute in Jerusalem named after former President Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, to study the Order of the Kotel story. Next week an exhibition will go on display at the Institute about the Order and the creation of the Western Wall Plaza.

    The work began about 11 P.M. The first job was to demolish a toilet that was built up against the Western Wall. A day earlier, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion visited the Kotel and reprimanded Yaakov Yannai, the head of the National Parks Authority, about the bathroom. “You come to place like this and you see a stench in the wall, we were surprised by it,” Levy remembers. “It made us angry in all the joy. At first we worked with hoes, pickaxes, cultivators and hammers. After that Zalman [Broshi, one of the largest builders in Jerusalem] brought in the tractor.”

    Two bulldozers worked to demolish the houses. They ran into difficulties when the rooms underground collapsed suddenly under the bulldozers, but the collapse also provided them with space to bury the rubble and flatten the ground. 135 houses were demolished, and in the end the demolition exceeded the area drawn on the map.

    Levy does not remember the residents of the houses or whether anyone was evacuated from them. Fuchs says that when she asked her father about them, “he said they went with a megaphone and asked the people to gather, and they went out through the Zion Gate, because through this gat they took out the refugees of the Jewish Quarter [in 1948].”

    Bruria Shiloni, the daughter of Yosef Zaban, and who was there that night, does not remember the residents. “I didn’t have the impression that people lived there, that there was life,” says Shiloni. “Later I heard that they smuggled them out of there. The feeling was that they were demolishing empty and piled up huts, I didn’t see movement of people.”

    Benziman tells how in one case the residents refused to leave the house and left only after the bulldozer rammed the wall. In one house, an elderly woman named Haja Ali Taba’aki was found dead in her bed. In one of the pictures a bulldozer can be seen demolishing a house with furniture, curtains and a vase with flowers inside.

    Zaban was the father of Yair Tsaban, who became a member of Knesset for the left-wing Mapam party. Shiloni went to the Kotel with her father and remembers the trip and Kollek standing on a crate or step, speaking to those present. During the demolition she was not there, after two officers accompanied her to find her husband, a platoon commander who had been wounded in the fighting.

    The Order of the Western Wall was founded that same night and the members continued to meet regularly until the 1990s, when most of them passed away. In 1967 they enlisted in another task from Kollek and built the structure near the windmill in the Yemin Moshe neighborhood of the capital that housed the original carriage used by Moses Montefiore in his travels. In 1983 they published album with almost prophetic predictions by Itamar Ben-Avi, a journalist and son of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, about the creation of the Kotel Plaza. Ben-Avi died in 1943. In 1987 the members of the Oder attended a ceremony in their honor in the Knesset, and received the “Defender of the Kotel” decoration.

    The founder of the order was Baruch Barkai, who became the secretary of the group and a rather unusual figure. Barkai was born in Latvia, studied law, was a journalist, art collector and a member of the Lehi pre-state underground, also known as the Stern Gang. He was even arrested on suspicions of being involved in the murder of Chaim Arlosoroff. Barkai later wrote a number of books, two of which are etiquette guides, and founded the most polite Knesset member competition.

    “It was a difficult day for him,” says Barkai’s son Itamar, who was named after Ben-Avi, who his father admired. The 1983 album says the Order was founded on Sunday, the third day of the Hebrew month of Sivan, June 11, 1967 at 3 A.M. in the Kotel Plaza, with the 15 members who had answered the call of the engineering officer, Capt. Eitan Ben Moshe, to purify the Kotel Plaza. “In doing so they fulfilled the vision of Itamar Ben-Avi: ‘The Kotel with space on the right and space on the left too, the Kotel with a broad courtyard in front of it.”

    The Yad Ben- Zvi researchers discovered the story by accident, through a person who participated in the demolition, but not a member of the Order.

    Ze’ev Ben Gal was born to a Samaritan family, fled his parent’s home, enlisted in the Palmah and lived on Kibbuts Rosh Hanikra. During the Six-Day War he served as a bulldozer driver in the reserves and was called to the Mughrabi neighborhood. During his work he noticed a large iron lock, it seems the lock on the gate to the neighborhood, and kept it. After he died last year, the lock made its way to the kibbutz archive, where they decided to give it, and the story behind it, to Yad Ben-Zvi.

    Fuchs was photographed for the movie that was part of the “50 Faces, 50 years” project created by the Tower of David Museum in the Old City. She said about her father, Schwartz, that he was so proud of every house he built, and suddenly he was proud of demolishing houses, “but he felt that he was carrying out a great mission for the Jewish people.”

    Anyone who knew the Kotel before the demolition was amazed by the plaza that was born overnight. “I read in the newspaper that they demolished the houses and straightened the plaza in front of the Kotel, but I didn’t imagine they made a stadium,” an “elderly Yemenite” Jew was quoted in the Davar newspaper. The quote appears in an article that appeared recently by Shmuel Bahat in the journal Et-mol, published by Yad Ben Zvi. Kollek too is quoted justifying the demolitions: “It ws the greatest thing we could do and it is good we did it immediately.”


  • Leaked Documents Reveal Counterterrorism Tactics Used at Standing Rock to “Defeat Pipeline Insurgencies”
    https://theintercept.com/2017/05/27/leaked-documents-reveal-security-firms-counterterrorism-tactics-at-sta

    A shadowy international mercenary and security firm known as #TigerSwan targeted the movement opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline with military-style #counterterrorism measures, collaborating closely with police in at least five states, according to internal documents obtained by The Intercept. The documents provide the first detailed picture of how TigerSwan, which originated as a U.S. military and State Department contractor helping to execute the global war on terror, worked at the behest of its client #Energy_Transfer_Partners, the company building the #Dakota_Access_Pipeline, to respond to the indigenous-led movement that sought to stop the project.