President Trump told reporters in remarks released late Thursday that he is “not joking” about a plan to cover the planned wall on the southern border with solar panels — a plan floated by the president as part of a way to pay for the infrastructure project.Trump was asked about the project Wednesday night by reporters aboard Air Force One on the way to Paris. When asked if he was joking about plans to cover the wall in panels, Trump said: “No, not joking, no.”“There is a chance that we can do a solar wall. We have major companies looking at that. Look, there’s no better place for solar than the Mexico border — the southern border,” he said. “And there is a very good chance we can do a solar wall, which would actually look good.”Trump has floated the idea before, an idea that appears to have the support of some congressional lawmakers and, as Trump noted, has been proposed by some businesses. In June, Trump reportedly mentioned the idea to Republican lawmakers as a way to potentially help pay for the wall, and it appeared to be welcomed favorably by some of the fiscal hawks in the Republican caucus.
Author Archives: binghamboatwright
Avanti Markets, a company whose self-service payment kiosks sit beside shelves of snacks and drinks in thousands of corporate breakrooms across America, has suffered of breach of its internal networks in which hackers were able to push malicious software out to those payment devices, the company has acknowledged. The breach may have jeopardized customer credit card accounts as well as biometric data, Avanti warned.According to Tukwila, Wash.-based Avanti’s marketing literature, some 1.6 million customers use the company’s break room self-checkout devices — which allow customers to pay for drinks, snacks and other food items with a credit card, fingerprint scan or cash.An Avanti Markets kiosk. Image: AvantiSometime in the last few hours, Avanti published a “notice of data breach” on its Web site.“On July 4, 2017, we discovered a sophisticated malware attack which affected kiosks at some Avanti Markets. Based on our investigation thus far, and although we have not yet confirmed the root cause of the intrusion, it appears the attackers utilized the malware to gain unauthorized access to customer personal information from some kiosks. Because not all of our kiosks are configured or used the same way, personal information on some kiosks may have been adversely affected, while other kiosks may not have been affected.”Avanti said it appears the malware was designed to gather certain payment card information including the cardholder’s first and last name, credit/debit card number and expiration date.
You might be knowing that Raspberry Pi is a small palm sized computer that lets you perform certain tasks and it even has the capability to replace a basic computer. Recently, a developer even took up the task to use a Raspberry Pi 3 as his primary computer after losing his MacBook Pro at a laptop. Just in case you wish to get started with Pi, follow our getting started with Raspberry Pi guide.Coming back to Rock64, sold by Pine64, it’s a new Raspberry Pi competitor that lets you run 4K videos by spending $25 only; that’s cheaper that a Pi 3. Apart from the 4K playback at 60Hz, Rock64 also beats Raspberry Pi when it comes to supporting HDR10, via HDMI 2.0.Talking about the ports and connectivity, PINE64’s Rock64 board has eMMC module socket, Pi-2 Bus, Pi-P5+ Bus, one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, and a microSD card slot.
Fox Insider interviewed The Blaze host Lawrence Jones and he explained his idea about the swift changes being made in our society. Lawrence says that the “tides are changing” as he explains that he does not believe victimhood will work in winning elections for Democrats anymore.He said, “This has been a formula where they win, when they do this race-baiting tactic, when they make people feel like a victim,” Jones continued, “Until Donald Trump they did win elections.”Jones added, “Black folks have never wanted a handout. They have always been go-getters.”He continues, “The Republican party has always led the way,” Jones said, noting that Harriet Tubman and Martin Luther King Jr. were Republicans, while the Democrats were the party of the KKK.”“We should be capturing people in different communities,” Jones concluded, along with the idea that small policy changes such as school choice and pro-capitalism will be attractive to the black community.Donald Trump preached a similar lesson when he ran. I remember him stating something along the lines of, “You should vote for him because you have nothing to lose,” after being screwed over by Democrats for so long.I agree. Democrats keep the black community oppressed and then offer them “free” stuff to keep them voting Democrat. It’s sad really.Victimhood isn’t going to work anymore.
In theory, cultural diversity is a beautiful thing — nobody has a problem with welcoming the variety of language, art, attire, food, music, and benign traditions to be found around the world. In practice, though, it’s become a nightmare.The Portland Press Herald reports that on Thursday, the Maine House of Representatives voted against creating a new crime of “female genital mutilation.” Instead, there will be an “education and outreach” program to discourage the barbaric act in immigrant communities.Yes, really:“I do not believe that it is happening in the state of Maine. I truly do not believe that,” said Rep. Lois Galgay Reckitt, D-South Portland.
\“And I believe if it was happening, it would be prosecuted vigorously by the federal (laws) or by the abuse statutes in this state.”But Rep. Heather Sirocki, R-Scarborough, said that since introducing the bill she has heard from numerous people in Maine – including some in the medical field – with personal stories about seeing female genital mutilation.The Maine DHHS recently issued guidelines clarifying that all “mandatory reporters” of child abuse – such as doctors, child care providers or teachers –must report suspected incidents of the practice, which is often called FGM. Yet Sirocki pointed out that the Maine Prosecutors Association, representing district attorneys in the state, supported elevating the practice to its own felony crime because some prosecutors question whether it is “aggravated assault when the parents and the children consent.”“I think this illustrates clearly that we need to have clear law in Maine on this issue,” Sirocki said.
Record numbers of people are falling prey to fraudsters. Snake oil salesmen have adapted well to the 21st century; con artists abound. They still run scams in the street, but they also exploit cellphones and the internet to reach victims more readily.They are also drawn to online dating, where fraud has hit a high in the UK. MPs called this week for a ban on “catfishing”, the growing use of fake profiles, often to dupe those seeking romance out of money.While we get a lot of advice about how to avoid financial scammers online, less is said about how to handle an exchange with one in the office, in the marketplace or on the street. That’s partly because victims fail to report unethical behaviour and crime for fear of people thinking they are reckless or daft. Without their stories, we can’t learn how to avoid being victims ourselves.I’m happy to discuss what I have learned, having been conned numerous times. These include having been talked into buying useless stuff out of the back of a van and unwittingly funding a drug habit.
Efforts to turn two looming cell towers in Toledo, Ohio, into faux pine trees to help them blend in with their surroundings are getting mixed reviews from residents, reports the AP. Some residents in Springfield Township have derisively dubbed the towers “frankenpines,” the Toledo Blade reports. Adding branches to the towers in the Toledo suburb wasn’t purely an aesthetic decision. It’s a zoning requirement for cell towers erected in Springfield Township residential districts.Springfield Township zoning officer Jacob Barnes says “the township is happy with how it turned out,” and told the Blade that he expects “the residents are as well.” A resident of a nearby subdivision who opposed construction of the 120-foot structure from the start says he remains concerned about potential health risks from living near a cell tower. Another resident says he’s just happy to have better cellphone service, and “I like how they disguised it. … My wife drives by it all the time and she didn’t even notice it.”
Source: Meet Ohio’s ‘Frankenpines’
Interpol has circulated a list of 173 Islamic State fighters it believes could have been trained to mount suicide attacks in Europe in revenge for the group’s military defeats in the Middle East.The global crime fighting agency’s list was drawn up by US intelligence from information captured during the assault on Isis territories in Syria and Iraq.
European counter-terror networks are concerned that as the Isis “caliphate” collapses, there is an increasing risk of determined suicide bombers seeking to come to Europe, probably operating alone.
There is no evidence that any of the people on the list, whose names the Guardian has obtained, have yet entered Europe, but the Interpol circulation, designed to see if EU intelligence sources have any details on the individuals, underlines the scale of the challenge facing Europe.
Dark web black market Alpha Bay went offline on June 5, leaving users to wonder whether its operators did it and ran off with their money.Reassurances that the market will be back online shortly rang hollow, and the Wall Street Journal revealed on Thursday that the market was shut down in a coordinated action by law enforcement agencies in the US, Canada, and Thailand.During the action, Alexander Cazes, a 26-year-old Canadian suspected of being one of the market’s administrators, was arrested in Thailand at the request of US authorities. A few days later, he was found dead in his cell at the Narcotics Suppression Bureau in Laksi district. By all appearances, he took his own life. The procedure for his extradition to the US was apparently underway.Alpha Bay was launched in late 2014 and has, in time, surpassed Silk Road in size. All kinds of contraband – including drugs and stolen payment card information – was sold and bought through it.Alpha Bay was one of the biggest markets of this kind on the dark web, and its disappearance is forcing its users to turn to other markets, like Hansa and Dream Market.
A top AT&T executive says the company may soon return to charging consumers an additional fee to protect their privacy. Last year, you might recall AT&T quietly started charging between $531 and $800 more each year if customers wanted to opt out of AT&T’s Internet Preferences program, which uses deep-packet inspection to track and monetize user behavior around the Internet. AT&T was heavily criticized for the move, and ultimately stopped charging the extra fees — but only to help secure regulatory approval for its Time Warner merger.But with AT&T getting every indication that its latest massive merger will be approved by Trump (despite a campaign promise to kill the deal), and AT&T having just successfully lobbied to kill consumer broadband privacy rules, the company says the “privacy surcharge” may be returning.In a an interview on C-SPAN, AT&T Senior Vice President Bob Quinn was quick to acknowledge that the idea wasn’t popular among consumer advocates and customers.”We got an enormous amount of criticism from privacy advocates when we rolled out, in Austin, Texas, an ad-supported Internet service…Privacy advocates screamed about that,” said Quinn.Of course that was then and this is now.
After successfully lobbying the GOP to kill consumer privacy protections, AT&T lobbyists have shifted their attention toward killing net neutrality, and ferreting all oversight of broadband ISPs to an over-extended and ill-equipped FTC. As such, there’s very little on the horizon stopping AT&T from doing whatever it damn well pleases under the Trump administration.”As the privacy revolution evolves, I think people are going to want more control, and maybe that’s the pricing model that’s ultimately what consumers want,” said Quinn, who repeatedly tried to insist this was simply “ad-supported Internet service” that the company would be revisiting eventually.But “more control” is the opposite of what AT&T offered. The company’s U-Verse broadband customers had to navigate a confusing array of options to even find the opt out function, and even then AT&T didn’t do a very good job making it clear that protecting your own privacy would be hugely expensive. Also note that while paying this additional money stopped you from seeing targeted ads, it didn’t even truly stop AT&T from collecting this data.
On the southwestern edge of Lake Titicaca, Peru, there is an ancient 23-foot doorway known as the Aramu Muru. Local natives call it the “Puerta de hayu Marca,” the gateway to the lands of the gods and immortal life. Throughout their history, the natives have described people disappearing and appearing at this doorway.We’re revolutionizing the news industry, but we need your help! Click here to get started.In 1998, purported extraterrestrial contactee Jerry Wills claimed a tall blonde humanoid named Zo taught him how to access Aramu Muru and enter “another universe.” Wills further claimed that Zo illustrated to him how our universe is an experimental simulation within his species’ universe. They built it to understand their own reality, which is itself nested inside a larger universe.The next year, in 1999, the blockbuster science fiction film The Matrix came out and forever emblazoned into our collective subconscious the idea that our existence is a simulation created by a more advanced race of beings. Incidentally, the film also made long black trench coats, black sunglasses, and my last name all the rage, but I digress…
he security researchers at ESET have uncovered a stealth malware named Stantinko. When the researchers started analyzing this malware, they were pretty confused with little idea if it was an adware or spyware. The researchers have traced Stantinko malware since 2002. Since then, the malware creators have tracked its activity and increased sophistication. The malware is still active with the new version of the main services which was released earlier this year.Components related to FileTourSome of the key points that you must know about Stantinko malware are:The chief targets of Stantinko malware are Russia and Ukraine, with 46% and 33%, respectively.The botnet is primarily an adware that installs browser extensions for injecting ads during web browsing.Components of the malware are hidden inside legitimate FOSS software.It installs multiple persistent services to resist the cleaning attempts.Malicious extensionsWhat sets Stantinko adware apart from others is its ability to download and execute other payloads. The researchers were able to find additional modules deployed by the adware, including fully-featured remote control backdoor, a Google searching bot, and a WordPress and Joomla brute forcing tool.The current version of the malware is distributed via torrent. The initial infection file, FileTour, is a downloader that installs multiple malicious applications. Stantinko’s persistent services also install malicious extensions, which seem legitimate, for performing advertising fraud. The two installed extensions are The Safe Surfing and Teddy Protection, whose combined installations are around 500,000.
Facebook, Google and Twitter use the name Net Neutrality to push for a tighter, more monopolised Internet while claiming they seek to protect an open environment.Dozens of technology companies allied Wednesday to protest against the proposal by the government of Donald Trump aimed at limiting net neutrality.The term that seems to promote a more open web actually does exactly the opposite. It facilitates monopolies and limits information circulation on the web.Through their respective websites, Facebook, Google, Netflix and Twitter – among others – advocate an open and free network, while calling for the regulation of Internet providers in the United States.More than 80,000 online spaces participated in the initiative, dubbed the “Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality”. Companies displayed ads, alerts and information on the importance of an “Open Internet”.The reaction comes almost two months after the FCC began the process of reviewing the rules governing the activities of companies providing Internet access, such as Verizon, Comcast or AT & T, which seek ever more monopolistic regulations.Today, these tech giants do what they please with cyber infrastructure. They work closely with the spying apparatus to illegally collect private information from users. Now, they want more of that, more unlimited powers to determine who reads what, when and how.
Almost all of the lawmakers who co-sponsored a bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour also hired unpaid interns to supplement their staffs, a survey shows.A report from the Employment Policies Institute reveals that 174 of the bill’s 184 co-sponsors, or 95 percent, hire interns who are paid nothing.“It’s hypocritical to rally for a $15 minimum wage when these lawmakers don’t pay their own entry-level employees a cent,” said Michael Saltsman, managing director of the Employment Policies Institute.
Last month, the Congressional Progressive Caucus introduced the legislation to more than double the minimum wage, to counter what the lawmakers see as wage inequality amid a higher standard of living.
The Institute said it called the offices of House and Senate members and also checked congressional websites June 6 to 8 to determine intern compensation.
A US payment kiosk vendor has been stung by malware scum.Avanti Markets helps employers monetise the lunch-room and get rid of counter-service, going beyond a simple vending machine to cover the whole sandwiches-fruit-drinks-junk-food with one payment system.Last week, as first spotted by Brian Krebs, the company posted this breach notice.The outfit explains it’s telling people their personal information, payment card data, and maybe biometric data, is at risk.The biometrics in question seem to be fingerprints, since that’s what the company pitches as a payment convenience and security feature.The breach – a malware infection on “some Avanti Markets” – meant the attackers got access to customer information on infected machines.
Security firm Tripwire published a writeup on that failed Mirai attack, noting that the domain names tied to servers used to coordinate the activities of the botnet were registered variously to a “Peter Parker” and “Spider man,” and to a street address in Israel (27 Hofit St). We’ll come back to Spider Man in a moment.According to multiple security firms, the Mirai botnet responsible for the Deutsche Telekom outage was controlled via servers at the Internet address 18.104.22.168. Farsight Security, a company that maps which domain names are tied to which Internet addresses over time, reports that this address has hosted just nine domains.The only one of those domains that is not related to Mirai is dyndn-web[dot]com, which according to a 2015 report from BlueCoat (now Symantec) was a domain tied to the use and sale of a keystroke logging remote access trojan (RAT) called “GovRAT.” The trojan is documented to have been used in numerous cyber espionage campaigns against governments, financial institutions, defense contractors and more than 100 corporations.Another report on GovRAT — this one from security firm InfoArmor — shows that the GovRAT malware was sold on Dark Web cybercrime forums by a hacker or hackers who went by the nicknames BestBuy and “Popopret” (some experts believe these were just two different identities managed by the same cybercriminal).The hacker “bestbuy” selling his GovRAT trojan on the dark web forum “Hell.” Image: InfoArmor.GovRAT has been for sale on various other malware and exploit-related sites since at least 2014. On oday[dot]today, for example, GovRAT was sold by a user who picked the nickname Spdr, and who used the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.Recall that the domains used to control the Mirai botnet that hit Deutsche Telekom all had some form of Spider Man in the domain registration records. Also, recall that the controller used to manage the GovRAT trojan and that Mirai botnet were both at one time hosted on the same server with just a handful of other (Mirai-related) domains.According to a separate report (PDF) from InfoArmor, GovRAT also was sold alongside a service that allows anyone to digitally sign their malware using code-signing certificates stolen from legitimate companies. InfoArmor said the digital signature it found related to the service was issued to an open source developer Singh Aditya, using the email address email@example.com.Interestingly, both of these email addresses — firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com — were connected to similarly-named user accounts at vDOS, for years the largest DDoS-for-hire service (that is, until KrebsOnSecurity last fall outed its proprietors as two 18-year-old Israeli men).Last summer vDOS got massively hacked, and a copy of its user and payments databases was shared with this author and with U.S. federal law enforcement agencies. The leaked database shows that both of those email addresses are tied to accounts on vDOS named “bestbuy” (bestbuy and bestbuy2).
Artificial-intelligence engineers have a problem: They often don’t know what their creations are thinking.As artificial intelligence grows in complexity and prevalence, it also grows more powerful. AI already has factored into decisions about who goes to jail and who receives a loan. There are suggestions AI should determine who gets the best chance to live when a self-driving car faces an unavoidable crash.Defining AI is slippery and growing more so, as startups slather the buzzword over whatever they are doing. It is generally accepted as any attempt to ape human intelligence and abilities.One subset that has taken off is neural networks, systems that “learn” as humans do through training, turning experience into networks of simulated neurons. The result isn’t code, but an unreadable, tangled mass of millions—in some cases billions—of artificial neurons, which explains why those who create modern AIs can be befuddled as to how they solve tasks.
Not many must have heard about the existence of something called Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), a project hosted by Linux foundation to build a Linux based platform and framework for automotive applications. The project got kick-started back in 2012 and the founding members included marque automotive players such as Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, and Toyota, along with tech giants such as Fujitsu, HARMAN, NVIDIA, Renesas, Samsung and Texas Instruments (TI). Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) platform will debut in 2018 Toyota Camry.Toyota’s AGL Adoption In 2018 Toyota CamryAutomotive Grade Linux or AGL is a Linux based open source car infotainment platform that has been in the works for the last several years. As a Linux Foundation backed project, AGL now boasts broad based support from auto majors across the world. Along with the founding members like JLR and Toyota, car manufacturing giants like Daimler AG, Ford, Honda, Mitsubishi Motors, Subaru etc. are also paying members of the AGL project today.The 2018 Toyota Camry will be the first car to utilize AGL. According to Dan Cauchy of AGL, “Toyota is an early adopter of Linux and open-source and has been an active member and contributor to AGL for several years. They have been a driving force behind the development of the AGL infotainment platform, and we are excited to see the traction that it’s gaining across the industry.”
Small amounts of radioactive material being transported incorrectly has led to the firing of several employees after an incident at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the prominent facility that specializes in nuclear weapons.Last month, federal regulators launched an investigation into the lab after small amounts of nuclear materials were shipped by air, instead of by ground, as they were intended to be. They were supposed to be sent to facilities in California and South Carolina aboard a commercial cargo plane. Air transport of these materials is not allowed due to US regulations, according to a press release by the National Nuclear Security Administration.The laboratory has said it will not comply with requests to provide any details about the mistakes of its employees in connection to last month’s error and have said that everyone involved in the mishap has been held to account for their actions, according to the Associated Press.
Image by : Internet Archive Book Images. Modified by Opensource.com. CC BY-SA 4.0Like most people, you probably have more than a few photos and other images on your computer. And, like most people, you probably like to take a peek at those images and photos every so often.Firing up an editor like GIMP or Pinta is overkill for simply viewing images.
On the other hand, the basic image viewer included with most Linux desktop environments might not be enough for your needs. If you want something with a few more features, but still want it to be lightweight, then take a closer look at these four image viewers for the Linux desktop, plus a handful of bonus options if they don’t meet your needs.
There has been recent controversy regarding recommendations and regulations concerning operating room attire. We performed a non-systematic literature search regarding operating room attire and surgical site infection risk. Much of the literature relies on air sampling and culture of operating room equipment but does not present evidence regarding effect on surgical site infection risk. There is no evidence regarding surgical site infection risk related to operating room attire except for sterile gowns and the use of gloves. Naked surgeons shed fewer bacteria into the operating room environment than ones wearing scrub suits.
So this is one of those things that existed a few years ago from the now defunct website Celebrity Butt Plugs. It appears that they stopped making their celebrity novelties around 2013.
Anyway, what I found most amusing about their products was their L. Ron Hubbard butt plug with “hypno eyes.” Yes. An L. Ron Hubbard butt plug with flashing eyes. I’m assuming this was made for shits and giggles and not for actual use. I mean, I guess there could be some folks who would find this kinky? Whatever floats your boat, right?
Sadly it’s no longer produced and I wouldn’t trust buying a used buttplug on eBay or anything, so maybe shove an E-meter up you ass instead?
There is a park in South Korea called Haesindang Park, and its most noteworthy feature is that the park is essentially an elaborate celebration of the erect penis. One might guess that it was dreamt up by Ron Jeremy (or his South Korean equivalent) but in fact, its origins derive from a sweet and supernatural f
olk tale from centuries ago. The park is located at the fishing port of Sinnam on the eastern coast of the country.The basic situation is a familiar one in port and fishing cities across the span of history—as in, the husband is a sailor or a fisherman and is often away at sea while the wife wait
s at home. So jump back a few centuries: a maiden named Aebawi is married to a fisherman in Sinnam. One day before boarding his boat, the fisherman places
his wife on some rocks, with a heartfelt promise to come back soon. But a storm intervenes and prevents his quick return, and poor Aebawi perishes after being swept from the rocks. But due to her premature demise, Aebawi’s purportedly virginal soul remains in the area, and the disquiet in the waters cause the fish to abandon the region in search of a calmer locale. Later on, a man wanders by and chooses Aebawi’s rock as a place to fish. Not wanting to leave his fishing line unattended, he drops trou and relives himself in the waters. The sight of the man’s penis pleases Aebawi’s soul, which has a calming effect on the waters, so the fish decide that they can return to the area.What a charminglly oddball rationale for a park as interesting as this! Haesindang Park is very much a family-friendly location, and people are unconcerned about their children being confronted with all manner of phalluses everywhere. I have never been to Korea but this park is a strong reason to visit!
The YouTube channel SevenSuperGirls features tween girls doing random stuff. However, it also appears to be custom-made for pedos. Even worse, the channel is recruiting young girls on the internet. In my article entitled Something is Terribly Wrong With Many “Kids” Videos on YouTube, I described the numerous ways videos aimed at children can be toxic and disturbing. Unfortunately, that was only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. And that iceberg goes deep. And it stinks. It is basically a terrible iceberg.A segment on the comedy show Tosh.O exposed a YouTube channel named SevenSuperGirls which contains thousands of videos featuring young girls doing “cute” things. In his segment, Tosh.O claims that he might have stumbled on to “something dark” while adding that those who watch that channel should “put on their pants and report themselves to the FBI”.Jokes aside, there is clearly something dark about that channel – not only due to its contents but due to how it attempts to recruit new girls by requesting audition tapes. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to picture how things can go horribly wrong for the girls involved. Especially when one understands the system behind the channel.
By Evan Blake
13 July 2017
In recent years, the multinational corporation Amazon has risen to become the preeminent online retail giant and the fourth most valuable company in the world. One of Amazon’s most significant business contracts, which has largely been kept hidden from the public since it was finalized in October 2013, was a $600 million deal for Amazon Web Services (AWS) to build a private computing cloud for the 17 American intelligence agencies known collectively as the “intelligence community” (IC).
The deal initiated Amazon’s ever-deepening integration with the American state, and implicates the company in the international war crimes, mass spying and repressive operations carried out by the spy agencies of American imperialism. Similar to the Krupp company, which supplied arms to the German military during World Wars I and II, Amazon today provides the technological scaffolding for the wars waged by American imperialism.
Since reaching its deal with the CIA, Amazon’s stock value has more than tripled from $319.04/share to $993.80/share today. In the process, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has amassed roughly $55.9 billion, becoming the world’s second-richest person with a current net value of $85.3 billion.
Through the contract, known as the Commercial Cloud Service or C2S cloud, the company forged links to all 17 IC agencies. The cloud securely stores large portions of the internet and telecommunications data accumulated by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA); eight agencies of the Department of Defense, including the National Security Agency (NSA), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and the intelligence wings of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps; the Office of Intelligence and Analysis and Coast Guard Intelligence of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); and the Intelligence Branch of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), to name the most prominent agencies of the IC.
Amazon runs the C2S cloud privately, behind the IC’s firewall, enabling the IC agencies to securely share data with each other, separate from the internet at large. The C2S cloud is a major component of the Intelligence Community Information Technology Enterprise (IC ITE) program initiated by then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in 2011. According to Clapper, the goal of the program is to “improve the ability to securely and efficiently discover, access, and share information” within the IC. Along with the Amazon-built cloud, the NSA constructed its own private cloud to store the swathes of data it continually collects. The two clouds work in complementary fashion, and are gradually replacing the isolated data centers used by each of the 17 IC agencies.
While the specific contents of the data shared between the IC agencies is classified and thus hidden from the public, it is undoubtedly used for all sorts of criminal operations. In a June 2015 speech, Clapper declared, “we have hundreds of millions of records in the cloud from the big six agencies [the CIA, NGA, FBI, NSA, NRO, and DIA] and others.”
In April 2016, Beth Flanagan, a leading official at the NGA, revealed that data from IC ITE was used to accuse the Syrian government of carrying out the August 2013 chemical weapons attack in Ghouta. These allegations were exposed as a trumped-up lie by investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, whose arguments were substantiated by a separate investigation by the United Nations. Nevertheless, the Obama administration almost enacted full-scale war against Syria, using these false allegations as a pretext.
The sharing of data—facilitated by Amazon—enables scenarios to take place where the CIA, NSA, NGA and the Air Force collaborate to identify, precisely locate and carry out the drone assassination of anyone deemed to be a “terrorist,” including American citizens. Thanks to Amazon, the spy agencies can now more seamlessly conspire to carry out bloody military campaigns, such as the military assault on Mosul, or secretly orchestrate the Saudi-led war against Yemen. They are no doubt using such technology to simulate and prepare for the long-planned wars against North Korea, Iran, China and Russia, which threaten to coalesce into a new, catastrophic World War between nuclear-armed powers.
“One of the most important technology procurements in recent history”
In mid-2012, the CIA began conducting negotiations with AWS, IBM and an unnamed third corporation to decide which company would win the 10-year, highly lucrative contract to create the private cloud for the IC, which had to be capable of analyzing 100 terabytes of raw data at a time, an immense figure.
In February 2013, the CIA secretly selected Amazon as the winning bidder. IBM filed a bid protest, claiming they had offered a lower price than Amazon, but in October 2013, the US Court of Federal Claims sided with Amazon, which then began to build the C2S cloud infrastructure. The cloud became operational in the summer of 2014, with then-CIA chief information officer Doug Wolfe praising it as “one of the most important technology procurements in recent history.”
Last month, current CIA CIO John Edwards declared in a speech at AWS’ Public Sector Summit, “It’s the best decision we’ve ever made… It’s the most innovative thing we’ve ever done… It is having a material impact on both the CIA and the IC.”
There were a number of factors that led the CIA to partner with Amazon, one of which was their ability to save money in the long-term. While $600 million is an enormous sum, at that point the IC was spending upwards of $8 billion annually to store and analyze the billions of pieces of metadata, phone and internet records, and other information that it was collecting en masse on its self-built servers, as noted in documents leaked by Edward Snowden.
Amazon’s cloud-based server offered a means to significantly reduce these costs, as it had a unique ability to scale up or down to meet the storage, computing and analytics needs of the IC at a given time. Amazon would also incorporate any innovations or improvements devised by their engineers, which happen on an almost daily basis, directly into the C2S cloud.
Another advantage that AWS had over IBM and the third bidder was its commercial cloud marketplace, which is a place for vendors to sell software infrastructure and other online products to customers. Amazon’s commercial cloud marketplace was established in mid-2012 and rapidly grew over the following year during its bidding with the CIA.
The marketplace allows customers to test software products and developer tools before committing to a purchase. This appealed to the IC, which was tired of having spent large sums of money on inferior products. After signing the C2S cloud contract, the IC gave Amazon the green light to build a classified cloud marketplace solely for the IC, which went live in April 2016.
A third, highly significant reason that the IC transitioned to cloud-based computing and selected Amazon as their contractor stemmed from the increased need for internal security after recurring leaks made by whistleblowers, especially the cables obtained by Chelsea Manning and published by Wikileaks.
Throughout 2010, Wikileaks released the Afghan War Logs and Iraq War Logs, exposing the war crimes committed against those countries’ populations, as well as a dossier of US State Department diplomatic cables provided by Manning that exposed the US government’s foreign intrigues dating back to the 1960s, known as Cablegate. Clapper’s launching of the IC ITE initiative came the following year, in direct response to the evident weakness of the IC’s security systems.
Explaining how she walked away with immense amounts of government data, Manning wrote that she encountered “Weak servers, weak logging, weak physical security, weak counter-intelligence, inattentive signal analysis… a perfect storm.”
Centralizing data storage onto the private IC ITE clouds—using the advanced encryption methods developed by AWS and the NSA—enables the IC to prevent massive leaks from within. One of the security measures provided by the clouds is the ability to meta-tag all data with information, including where it came from and who is authorized to see it. Analysts are now only able to access data if they have the authorization. Further, if an analyst attempts to download large amounts of data, as done by Manning and Snowden, the cloud automatically flags this activity, halting it and notifying security personnel. Officials have claimed that if the current IC ITE measures had been in place in 2010 and 2013, Manning and Snowden would not have been able to walk away with troves of data.
Amazon, war propaganda, and the suppression of free speech
This is the second in a two part series, read part one here.
Prior to and during the C2S contract negotiations process, Amazon demonstrated its willingness to collaborate with the IC to stifle growing opposition to American imperialism and its spy agencies. In November 2010, AWS deliberately crashed WikiLeaks’ website after the organization began publishing the Cablegate documents.
After WikiLeaks had already published the Afghan and Iraq War Logs, numerous politicians had denounced the organization, with some calling for the execution of Assange. Right-wing Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman, who was instrumental in forming the Department of Homeland Security and served as chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee from 2007 to 2013, publicly called upon Amazon and other companies to sever ties with WikiLeaks, declaring, “No responsible company, whether American or foreign, should assist WikiLeaks in its efforts to disseminate these stolen materials.” Amazon dutifully complied, cutting off the public’s access to WikiLeaks’ web page.
In response, WikiLeaks tweeted: “WikiLeaks servers at Amazon ousted. Free speech the land of the free—fine our $ are now spent to employ people in Europe.”
Amazon’s sabotage of WikiLeaks forced the organization to find a new server provider, and demonstrated to the state Amazon’s readiness to crack down on those opposed to the government’s criminality. This nefarious use of its power to control Internet communications no doubt piqued the interest of the CIA, which two years later would include AWS as a bidder for its private cloud contract.
In the summer of 2013, two months after Snowden’s first revelations of massive spying by the American government, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos purchased the highly influential newspaper the Washington Post for $250 million.
After winning the Pulitzer Prize in Public Service in 2014 for its coverage of the Snowden leaks, in 2016 the Post became the first newspaper to call for the criminal prosecution of its own source. In an article headlined “No pardon for Edward Snowden,” the Post Editorial Board denounced those calling for Snowden’s pardon and demanded that he stand trial on espionage charges.
During the 2016 election campaign, the Post endorsed Hillary Clinton, the military and intelligence community’s favored candidate. Since the election of Trump, the Post has been one of the leading outlets engaged in a hysterical campaign of anti-Russia propaganda, intended to force the Trump administration to shift its foreign policy orientation toward continuing the drive to war with Russia begun under Obama. They have served as a direct conduit for the CIA and other intelligence agencies, repeatedly releasing sensationalist “breaking news” stories citing anonymous intelligence officials, in an attempt to stampede public opinion behind the right-wing campaign against Trump.
Undoubtedly, AWS’s undermining of WikiLeaks, combined with Bezos’s purchase of the Post and the increasing dominance of Amazon as a multinational corporation, influenced the CIA’s decision to award the C2S contract to the company. The company was recognized as a willing and competent ally in the fight to suppress free speech and democratic rights.
Cementing ties between Amazon and the military
In September 2013, while the Court of Federal Claims was determining whether the CIA would need to re-open the bidding competition between Amazon and IBM, AWS went ahead and posted more than 100 job listings for engineers possessing the highest security clearance offered by the US government, “Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information.”
The jobs were listed for an AWS center in Herndon, Virginia, a 20-minute drive from CIA headquarters. Last month, Amazon announced that it will be locating its new AWS East Coast corporate campus at One Dulles Tower in Herndon, and are expected to employ up to 1,500 tech workers at the campus. The company situates most of its data centers in the northern Virginia area, through which an estimated 70 percent of global Internet traffic flows.
Further developing its connections to the state, in 2015 Amazon partnered with the Department of Defense (DoD) to create a program titled “AWS Military Fellowship,” in which active-duty military personnel spend time working for Amazon. The company currently has at least three soldiers working at AWS.
In its statement announcing the program, Amazon wrote that it is intended to “build a unique cadre of officers who understand not only the profession of arms, but also the nature of the strategic problems facing the DoD, and the organizational and operational opportunities made possible by revolutionary changes in information and other technologies. These officers will be at the forefront of transforming defense strategy, military forces, and the supporting infrastructure.”
In March 2016, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter visited Amazon headquarters in Seattle, “as part of a West Coast swing aimed at strengthening ties between the Department of Defense (DoD) and the tech community,” according to an Amazon blog post on Carter’s visit.
Carter first met with the AWS Military Fellowship employees, then held a meeting with Jeff Bezos and other key figures in AWS leadership, “to discuss innovation topics and ways to strengthen military exchange programs and partnerships with the technology industry,” the report notes. Reports also suggest that there were discussions of expanding the Pentagon’s use of AWS cloud-computing technologies.
During his West Coast tour, Carter also announced the formation of the Defense Innovation Advisory Board, which would be headed by Carter and Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Alphabet, the parent company of Google. In July 2016, Bezos was invited to join the board, whose purpose is to further integrate leading figures from the technology sector with the military. It is a component of the broader “Third Offset Strategy,” which seeks to maintain the global supremacy of the American military over potential rivals, in particular Russia and China.
Announcing the program, Carter declared that the board is “charged with keeping DoD imbued with a culture of innovation in people, organizations, operations, and technology … and also to ensure that we’re always doing everything we can to stay ahead of potential adversaries.”
Over the past year, the board has met with leading figures in the military, including at the headquarters of U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, Florida. In early January, the board voted to approve 11 recommendations to enhance the military in areas ranging from strengthening cybersecurity for advanced weapons to increasing funding for artificial intelligence research.
During the 2016 election campaign, Bezos made mild criticisms of Trump, who accused the Post of being a “fake news” outlet. Since Trump’s inauguration, however, the two have reconciled their differences, with Trump appointing Bezos to the American Technology Council that he formed in May. Bezos and the 18 other tech executives on the council met cordially with Trump in June.
The fight against Amazon requires a struggle against imperialism
The integration of Amazon with the state and its spy agencies typifies a broader trend of modern capitalism, in which all of the major corporations closely collaborate with their respective governments and facilitate imperialist war abroad. This is one of the defining features of imperialism.
Under the catch-all justification of protecting “national security,” a euphemism for upholding the global interests of the American capitalist class, the military-intelligence apparatus has carried out unremitting atrocities abroad and erected the infrastructure for a police state within the US. Since its contract with the IC in 2013, Amazon has directly facilitated these behind-the-scenes machinations.
As Lenin noted in the Preface to his 1917 work State and Revolution, written during World War I and in the midst of the Russian Revolution, “The imperialist war has greatly accelerated and intensified the transformation of monopoly capitalism into state-monopoly capitalism. The monstrous oppression of the laboring masses by the state—which connects itself more and more intimately with the all-powerful capitalist combines—is becoming ever more monstrous. The foremost countries are being converted—we speak here of their ‘rear’—into military convict labor prisons for the workers.”
Amazon exemplifies these characteristics described by Lenin. While collaborating with the spy agencies to wage war abroad, Amazon subjects its workforce in the US and around the world to brutal sweatshop working conditions.
As the International Amazon Workers Voice (IAWV) has reported, the company pushes its workers to their utmost limit, causing widespread workplace injuries and even fatalities. It tracks employees’ movements and enforces ever-increasing productivity requirements, creating conditions at Amazon warehouses that increasingly resemble the “convict labor prisons” described by Lenin.
The struggle to put an end to class exploitation and war are inseparably connected. There can be no fight against war without a fight against its root cause, capitalism and its division of the world into rival nation states. The resources squandered on imperialist war and the spy agencies, and the immense wealth accumulated by figures like Bezos, must be seized by the working class and redirected to provide for social needs, not private profit or the destruction of foreign countries.
orignal source https://www.wsws.org
The House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) yesterday, including legislation that would require the Air Force to create a new branch of the military called the ‘Space Corps’ by the beginning of 2019. The Space Corps would replace the Air Force’s current space departments and receive more funding as well as its own command.It was a major step for those in favor of creating a sixth military branch, but the Space Corps is still far from reality. The Senate Armed Services Committee’s current markup of the NDAA, a $696 billion measure, does not include the Space Corps, but rather creates a new officer to oversee space defense in the Pentagon, according to a summary of the bill acquired by Space News.The creation of a Space Corps is also opposed by Air Force leadership and Secretary of Defense James Mattis along with the Trump administration. The White House issued a statement about the NDAA this past week that said space defense needed to be addressed, “the creation of a separate Space Corps, however, is premature at this time.”The Senate’s current version of the NDAA seems to agree. Rather than creating an entirely new military branch, the Senate bill would create a new Chief Information Warfare Officer (CIWO) in the Defense Department to oversee “cybersecurity and cyber warfare, space and space launch systems, electronic warfare, and the electromagnetic spectrum.” The Senate bill would also require the head of Air Force Space Command to serve for six years, rather than two or four years.
When he was head of GCHQ, Robert Hannigan said some pretty clueless things about the Internet and encryption. For example, in 2014, he accused tech companies of ‘facilitating murder’, and joined in the general demonization of strong crypto. Last year, he called for technical experts to work more closely with governments to come up with some unspecified way around encryption. Nobody really knew what he meant when he said:”I am not in favor of banning encryption. Nor am I asking for mandatory back doors. … Not everything is a back door, still less a door which can be exploited outside a legal framework.”Now, speaking to the BBC, he has clarified those remarks, and revealed how he thinks governments should be dealing with the issue of end-to-end encryption. As he admits:”You can’t uninvent end-to-end encryption, which is the thing that has particularly annoyed people, and rightly, in recent months. You can’t just do away it, you can’t legislate it away. The best that you can do with end-to-end encryption is work with the companies in a cooperative way, to find ways around it frankly.”
‘Slap In the Face’: DeVos Under Fire for Including Fringe Men’s Rights Group in Sexual Assault Talks
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is under fire on Thursday as she holds three meetings on campus sexual assault—including one where she’ll hear from a fringe “men’s rights” group with a history of harassing sexual assault survivors and placing the blame for sexual and physical violence on victims.The “listening sessions” are aimed at assessing the Obama administration’s expanded protections for students who are sexually assaulted on campus. In 2011 the Department of Education introduced guidance for Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, requiring schools that receive federal funding to quickly investigate complaints of sexual assault and offer protections to survivors, and banning schools from retaliating against those who file sexual assault complaints.In her confirmation hearing earlier this year, DeVos would not commit to upholding Title IX guidance. Since being confirmed DeVos has reportedly ignored requests for meetings with survivors’ advocacy groups including the National Women’s Law Center, SurvJustice, and the Victim Rights Law Center.
The United States presents itself to the world as a beacon of liberty and a proponent of human rights around the world, ready and willing to stand up for and defend the downtrodden. Florida Senator Marco Rubio recently said that the world looks to the U.S. as an example of democracy. This myth is not believed outside of the United States’ borders, and decreasingly within. There is simply too much evidence to the contrary.The U.S. has been at war for over 220 of its 241 year history. During that time, it has shown a complete lack of respect for the human rights of both the citizens of the nations against which it wages war, and its own soldiers. We’ll take a look at examples from recent history, and see how the U.S. continues these barbaric practices today.
(NEWSER) – The family of an Ohio man who returned to the US comatose in April after suffering a traumatic brain injury from a car accident in the Republic of Georgia was given little chance of recovering by doctors who said they should be prepared to turn off his feeding tube within six months to a year. Yet 38-year-old Zach Lawrence, of Dublin, Ohio, apparently wasn’t listening to the physicians at Ohio State University’s Dodd Hall Rehabilitation Center, the AP reports. He’s begun making sounds, keeping his eyes open, and smiling at his children. Some of the best evidence that he’s aware came when he was asked to respond with a push of a “yes” or “no” button to the question: “Do you like Michigan?”Ohio State and the University of Michigan have one of the fiercest and most storied rivalries in college football and just about everything else. To the delight of his family, Lawrence pushed the “no” button not once but twice. “He always makes a face when we mention Michigan,” Lawrence’s wife, Meghan, tells the Columbus Dispatch. “We’re pretty sure he’s in there.” Meghan Lawrence says Dodd Hall’s Disorders of Consciousness program has made all the difference. Therapists have been helping Lawrence stand on a treadmill and have been using electric stimulation to move messages from his brain to other parts of his body.
As of right now, it is a felony to carry a firearm into a “gun free zone” in Ohio. There is also the risk of a year in prison and a $2,500 fine! However, lawmakers are looking to make a significant change to that!Ohio legislature is currently considering a bill that will lessen the penalty of a concealed hand gun in a no gun zone so that people are not risking a felony background to having their firearm. With a felony, people lose their right to vote AND own guns. The bill, which is sponsored by Republicans, will allow licensed carries to take their firearm into places that are considered gun-free zones, including government buildings, restaurants, and schools. Here’s the kicker, they just can’t get caught!However, if they DO get caught, they will simply be asked to leave and the citizen also won’t face criminal charges.
Taxi app turned lawsuit magnet Uber last week was sued by Donna Giacomaro, a resident of Levittown, New York, for text message harassment, in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and New York state law.The complaint, filed in the Eastern District of New York, alleges that Uber last month began sending Giacomaro text messages that she never consented to receive.The court filing claims Uber’s need to grow its customer database has made it disinclined to maintain an accurate list of Uber customers.”Because Defendant’s income is dependent on the number of consumers registering as customers of Defendant, Defendant’s customer enrollment process does not include procedures necessary to confirm the accuracy of the information Defendant receives from potential customers, including their phone numbers,” the complaint says.
Love it or hate it, SPAM is a cultural icon. The little loaves of spiced pork shoulder are recognized all over the US (and beyond!) for their saltiness, their fattiness, their ability to withstand all manner of emergency up to and incuding thermonuclear war and zombie apocalypse, and the distinctive schlllloooooop sound they make as they slide out of their cheery blue cans. That noise is more powerful than a mating call for certain Hawaiians I know.
A few weeks ago, we tasted every flavor of Spam on the market. It was… interesting. But the real question is: What do you do with over a dozen cans’ worth of leftover Spam?
You get creative, that’s what.
Each one of these recipes is just one small step for Spam, one giant leap for Spamkind (as we community of Spam lovers like to call ourselves).
According to this email, which purports to be from Amazon, the company has observed multiple login attempt errors on your account during it’s “usual security enhancement protocol.” Supposedly, Amazon is concerned that someone other than you has been trying to access your account. Therefore, claims the email, Amazon has suspended your account for security reasons and your access will be restricted until you click to update your details.However, the email is not from Amazon and the claim that your account has been suspended is untrue. Instead, it is a phishing scam designed to steal your Amazon account login details and a large amount of your personal and financial information.Here’s what the scam email looks like:Dear Amazon.com Customer,During our usual security enhancement protocol, we observed multiple login attempt error while login in to your online Amazon account.We have believed that someone other than you is trying to access your account for security reasons,we have temporarily suspend your account and your access to online Amazon and will be restricted if you fail to update.
As reported by ABC News, New Mexico man Eduardo Barros was house-sitting at a home in Tijeras with his girlfriend and her daughter this past Sunday.
Barros then got into a fight with his girlfriend, and things grew violent. At some point, he allegedly threatened her with a gun, saying: “Did you call the sheriffs?” However, the home that the couple was occupying had an active smart home device running inside.
The Google Home misinterpreted Barros’ threat as a voice command, and called 911. When the police heard the altercation over the phone, they immediately rushed over with a SWAT team. After a long standoff, the police were able to capture Barros.
His girlfriend sustained some injuries, but was not hospitalized. Her daughter was unharmed.