Tag Archives: security

U.S. Senator Seeks Probe into Russian “FaceApp” Due to Security Concerns

FaceApp is currently the most popular app in Google Plays store. The app allows users to edit their photos to make themselves appear older or younger. There are more than 100 million users after celebrities posted pictures, which used the app, on social media went viral.  However the app has raised concerns over user privacy.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called for the FBI and the FTC, the US consumer protection body, to “look into the national security & privacy risks” The Russian developed app uploads users photos to their own servers raising questions as to the use the company could make to the vast amounts of data they are amassing.

“FaceApp’s location in Russia raises questions regarding how and when the company provides access to the data of U.S. citizens to third parties, including potentially foreign governments,” the New York senator said in a letter to the FBI.

“It would be deeply troubling if the sensitive personal information of US citizens was provided to a hostile foreign power actively engaged in cyber hostilities against the United States,” he added.

Read More: France 24

Sen Hawley Introduces Legislation to Protect University Research Being Stolen

Missouri’s Sen. Hawley has introduced legislation to protect university research being stolen by nations like China, Russia, and Iran. He has said that Universities have been long targeted by these nations in a bid to steal intellectual property and spy on research that has national security implications.

The legislation would require students to undergo screening before being allowed to participate in sensitive research.

Read More: The Daily Caller

Trump Administration Imposes New Restrictions on Chinese Firm Huawei

The Chinese telecoms giant and 70 of its affiliates have been placed on an “Entity List”. The list bans companies from acquiring US technologies without the government’s approval.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the President backed the move saying, it was to “prevent American technology from being used by foreign owned entities in ways that potentially undermine U.S. national security or foreign policy interests.”

Earlier in the day the President signed an executive order banning US companies from using telecommunications technology from firms deemed to pose an national security risk.

Read More: France 24

NSA IS COLLECTING EVERYONE’S DATA, EMAIL, PHONE CONVERSATIONS, BANKING INFORMATION, WEB SEARCHES, GPS POSITIONS ETC.

Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations
The 29-year-old source behind the biggest intelligence leak in the NSA’s history explains his motives, his uncertain future and why he never intended on hiding in the shadows.




The individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history is Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell.

He is deeply worried about being spied on. He lines the door of his hotel room with pillows to prevent eavesdropping. He puts a large red hood over his head and laptop when entering his passwords to prevent any hidden cameras from detecting them.

Though that may sound like paranoia to some, Snowden has good reason for such fears. He worked in the US intelligence world for almost a decade. He knows that the biggest and most secretive surveillance organisation in America, the NSA, along with the most powerful government on the planet, is looking for him.

Over the next three years, he learned just how all-consuming the NSA’s surveillance activities were, claiming “they are intent on making every conversation and every form of behaviour in the world known to them”.

But he believed that the value of the internet, along with basic privacy, is being rapidly destroyed by ubiquitous surveillance. “I don’t see myself as a hero,” he said, “because what I’m doing is self-interested: I don’t want to live in a world where there’s no privacy and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity.”

Once he reached the conclusion that the NSA’s surveillance net would soon be irrevocable, he said it was just a matter of time before he chose to act. “What they’re doing” poses “an existential threat to democracy”, he said.

“The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The result is people like myself have the latitude to go further than they are allowed to,” he said.

He lay, propped up against pillows, watching CNN’s Wolf Blitzer ask a discussion panel about government intrusion if they had any idea who the leaker was. From 8,000 miles away, the leaker looked on impassively, not even indulging in a wry smile.

ORIGINAL STORY:

NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCIES DATA MINING FROM INTERNET COMPANIES AS WELL AS PHONE DATA


It has now emerged the government has been mining data from the internet as well as phone data from Verizon. Leaked documents appear to show that a government spying program, called Prism, has been in place for years. Prism has allegedly allowed access to the the US and UK security services to the servers of the biggest internet companies: Google, Apple, Skype, Microsoft, YouTube, and Facebook.

However the internet companies in question have denied the claims. Google has issued a statement, “We have not joined any program that would give the U.S. government – or any other government – direct access to our servers.

“Indeed, the U.S. government does not have direct access or a “back door” to the information stored in our data centres. We had not heard of a program called PRISM until yesterday.

“Any suggestion that Google is disclosing information about our users’ Internet activity on such a scale is completely false.

“We provide user data to governments only in accordance with the law. Our legal team reviews each and every request, and frequently pushes back when requests are overly broad or don’t follow the correct process.

“Press reports that suggest that Google is providing open-ended access to our users’ data are false, period.”

Facebook and Apple have also denied knowledge of the Prism program.

Read More: The Telegraph

WHY DO YOU NEED PGP?

Why do you need PGP?

by Phil Zimmermann

It’s personal. It’s private. And it’s no one’s business but yours. You may be planning a political campaign, discussing your taxes, or having an illicit affair. Or you may be doing something that you feel shouldn’t be illegal, but is. Whatever it is, you don’t want your private electronic mail (E-mail) or confidential documents read by anyone else. There’s nothing wrong with asserting your privacy. Privacy is as apple-pie as the Constitution.

Perhaps you think your E-mail is legitimate enough that encryption is unwarranted. If you really are a law-abiding citizen with nothing to hide, then why don’t you always send your paper mail on postcards? Why not submit to drug testing on demand? Why require a warrant for police searches of your house? Are you trying to hide something? You must be a subversive or a drug dealer if you hide your mail inside envelopes. Or maybe a paranoid nut. Do law-abiding citizens have any need to encrypt their E-mail?

What if everyone believed that law-abiding citizens should use postcards for their mail? If some brave soul tried to assert his privacy by using an envelope for his mail, it would draw suspicion. Perhaps the authorities would open his mail to see what he’s hiding. Fortunately, we don’t live in that kind of world, because everyone protects most of their mail with envelopes. So no one draws suspicion by asserting their privacy with an envelope. There’s safety in numbers. Analogously, it would be nice if everyone routinely used encryption for all their E-mail, innocent or not, so that no one drew suspicion by asserting their E-mail privacy with encryption. Think of it as a form of solidarity.

Today, if the Government wants to violate the privacy of ordinary citizens, it has to expend a certain amount of expense and labor to intercept and steam open and read paper mail, and listen to and possibly transcribe spoken telephone conversation. This kind of labor-intensive monitoring is not practical on a large scale. This is only done in important cases when it seems worthwhile.

More and more of our private communications are being routed through electronic channels. Electronic mail is gradually replacing conventional paper mail. E-mail messages are just too easy to intercept and scan for interesting keywords. This can be done easily, routinely, automatically, and undetectably on a grand scale. International cablegrams are already scanned this way on a large scale by the NSA.

We are moving toward a future when the nation will be crisscrossed with high capacity fiber optic data networks linking together all our increasingly ubiquitous personal computers. E-mail will be the norm for everyone, not the novelty it is today. The Government will protect our E-mail with Government-designed encryption protocols. Probably most people will acquiesce to that. But perhaps some people will prefer their own protective measures.

Senate Bill 266, a 1991 omnibus anti-crime bill, had an unsettling measure buried in it. If this non-binding resolution had become real law, it would have forced manufacturers of secure communications equipment to insert special trap doors in their products, so that the Government can read anyone’s encrypted messages. It reads:

“It is the sense of Congress that providers of electronic communications services and manufacturers of electronic communications service equipment shall insure that communications systems permit the Government to obtain the plain text contents of voice, data, and other communications when appropriately authorized by law.”
This measure was defeated after rigorous protest from civil libertarians and industry groups.

In 1992, the FBI Digital Telephony wiretap proposal was introduced to Congress. It would require all manufacturers of communications equipment to build in special remote wiretap ports that would enable the FBI to remotely wiretap all forms of electronic communication from FBI offices. Although it never attracted any sponsors in Congress in 1992 because of citizen opposition, it was reintroduced in 1994.

Most alarming of all is the White House’s bold new encryption policy initiative, under development at NSA since the start of the Bush administration, and unveiled April 16th, 1993. The centerpiece of this initiative is a Government-built encryption device, called the Clipper chip, containing a new classified NSA encryption algorithm. The Government is encouraging private industry to design it into all their secure communication products, like secure phones, secure FAX, etc. AT&T is now putting the Clipper into their secure voice products. The catch: At the time of manufacture, each Clipper chip will be loaded with its own unique key, and the Government gets to keep a copy, placed in escrow. Not to worry, though — the Government promises that they will use these keys to read your traffic only when duly authorized by law. Of course, to make Clipper completely effective, the next logical step would be to outlaw other forms of cryptography.

If privacy is outlawed, only outlaws will have privacy. Intelligence agencies have access to good cryptographic technology. So do the big arms and drug traffickers. So do defense contractors, oil companies, and other corporate giants. But ordinary people and grassroots political organizations mostly have not had access to affordable military grade public-key cryptographic technology. Until now.

PGP empowers people to take their privacy into their own hands. There’s a growing social need for it. That’s why I wrote it.

[ PGPi Home > Documentation > Why do you need PGP? > English ]

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

OSX WHOLE DISK ENCRYPTION:

MOUNTAIN LION ENCRYPTION:

PGP WHOLE DISK ENCRYPTION:

TIME MACHINE:

TSA Let 25 Illegal Aliens Attend Flight School Owned by Illegal Alien

The TSA (Transportation Security Administration) actually approved a course teaching 25 illegal aliens how to fly planes from a school owned by… another illegal alien.  6 of them actually went on to acquire pilot’s licenses.

Discovery of this was made by local police on a routine traffic stop of the owner.

The illegal alien owner held two FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) pilot licenses, also known as FAA certificates.

Chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security, Rep. Mike Rogers finds this “… amazing.  We have cancer patients, Iraq War veterans and Nobel Prize winners all forced to undergo rigorous security checks before getting on an airplane,…at the same time, ten years after 9/11, there are foreign nationals in the United States trained to fly just like Mohammed Atta and the other 9/11 hijackers did…”

For more on Homeland Security in the spirit style see prophet.tv and this teaching on Building the Warrior.

See for source article TSA Let 25 Illegal Aliens Attend Flight School Owned by Illegal Alien | CNSNews.com.

Rebel bombing kills top Syrian leaders, including Assad’s brother-in-law

Rebels in Syria launched a brazen attack in Damascus this Wednesday.  They released a bomb beside a high level meeting of security ministers killing three top regime officials which included Bashar Assad’s (the President) brother in law.

This may signal a change in what now looks like a civil war.

According to US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta the bloodshed is “rapidly spinning out of control” in Syria.

The officials killed (as reported by state run television) include: General Dawoud Rajha, General Assef Shawkat and General Hassan Turkmani.

For more news before it happens see prophet.tv.

see source article for more Rebel bombing kills top Syrian leaders, including Assad’s brother-in-law | Fox News.

Facebook Acquire Face.Com

Facebook have bought the facially recognition technology company Face.com. The Israeli based startup already had apps used on Facebook, which looks at users photos, tagging friends automatically.

This move suggests Facebook are seeking to further develop their facial recognition technology. With the vast amounts of personal data Facebook holds on it’s users, and the millions of photographs stored on their servers of users, and users families and friends; should we be concerned at Facebook further pursuing the capabilities of complying databases which would enable them to recognise you whenever, and wherever they see your image? Should we be concerned  as to the security of such data?

For more information: CNET

MUNRO: Obama ignores questions about controversial de facto amnesty decision 800,000 foreigners aged 15 to 30

President Barack Obama declined to take any questions from reporters about his controversial and significant decision to offer a de facto amnesty to at least 800,000 foreigners aged 15 to 30.

The announcement of the decision comes at a time of record unemployment among low-skilled workers, Hispanics and African-Americans.

For example, less than 50 percent of younger African-Americans have full-time jobs, according to data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Unemployment among Hispanics, youth and African-Americans rose in May, according to the BLS.

Obama justified his immigration decision by saying it is supported by business lobbies.

The president has often used this no-questions strategy when making important or poll-boosting announcements. (VIDEO: Reporter explains his Rose Garden exchange with Obama)

He declined to answer TheDC’s shouted question about the impact of his new policy on American workers. He also failed to answer another reporter’s question.

Obama’s deputy, Janet Napolitano, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, followed the same strategy Friday during a morning telephone press-conference. She gave a short statement and then left the conference while two officials provided not-for-attribution answers to selected reporters’ questions.

The reporters selected to offer questions included established media outlets and Spanish-language outlets. The chosen outlets included the Los Angeles Times, CNN, National Journal, Univision, The New York Times and La Prensa.

The selected reporters did not ask about the controversial impact on American workers.

American citizenship is a highly valued status, because it provides Americans with legal protections worldwide and gives them access to the shared wealth and sympathy of other Americans. Millions of illegal immigrants have risked their lives to win the prize for themselves and their children.

Obama has been under increased pressure from Hispanic lobbies to provide access to citizenship for up to 10 million illegal immigrants, whose arrival will boost the clout of ethnic lobbies.

In general, Democratic politicians have favored easy immigration, despite the impact it has on American workers, who provided the party’s base up until the 1980s.

via MUNRO: Obama ignores questions about controversial de facto amnesty decision | The Daily Caller.

Hundreds of words to avoid using online if you don’t want the government spying on you

It is common knowledge that governments scour the data sent over the internet on websites, social media, and email for potential threats. They do so by searching for the certain keywords, they believe highlight a potential threat. Unsurprisingly, the list includes words like: “bomb”, al Qaeda”, “terrorist”; however the list contains some more unlikely additions, like: “pork, “cloud”, “team” and “Mexico”.

As well as monitoring potential terrorist threats government agencies are also trying to find criminals, and identify health risks.

The Department of Homeland Security was forced to publish the list after a freedom of information request. So if you don’t want the government spying on you below is the words not to use online:

US Chamber of Commerce Hacked

Internet hackers have hacked into the US Chamber of Commerce computer systems. The attack appears to have been undetected for more than a year, and targeted four individuals computers who held sensitive information concerning trade in Asia.

Such attacks are not uncommon apparently. China has been found responsible for hacking governmental, military and industry targets in the past. America’s cyber security systems are proving inadequate to cope in this new era of cyberwarfare. However, the US military are taking the threat very seriously and are recruiting 10,000 “cyber warriors” to help defend America and her interests.

Prophet TV broadcast from the roof of the US Chamber of Commerce during the DC intercession covering the Dalai Lama’s trip to Washington DC. Support Prophet TV to enable these missions on a regular basis to sustain protection over the city.

 

The Math of US Debt!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

The following email was sent to us… an interesting exercise in math:

A million dollars?

Just save $500 every week for the next 40 years.

To get to a billion dollars

You would have to save $500,000 dollars per week for 40 years.

And a trillion?

That would require $500 million every week for 40 years.

The sheer enormity is hard to grasp.

If the total cost of the “bailouts” are $12.8 Trillion, and the government added no new debt from now on —

that would mean 6.4BM – $6,150,000,000 a week would have to be “paid back” for 40 years in order to pay it all the debt, and

without paying any compounded interest: principle only.

Ok…….

Then I found out that during FY 2010, the federal government collected $2.16 trillion in tax revenue. (80% income &SS tax, 10% corporate. 10% other).

So if the US government closed down all services and spent every penny it brings in from our taxes,  just to service the debt of the one bailout,  it works out to about 1 billion a week for 40 years. oh, at ZERO interest.

and that will never add up.

they spent 10X what they bring in a year, just in the one bailout.

Ironic we can all see the economic bomb sitting there, but cannot hear the ticking,

or know when it will blow – but the numbers dictate it must, and soon.

please respond if you can explain how these conclusions are mis-calculated —

I want to be very very wrong.

….and a final point:

US GDP is reported to be about $15,000,000,000,000/yr — that’s $288 billion a week.

We live in the wealthiest country the world has ever known, by a large margin.

(Next is China at 5.8 tr, over 50% smaller)

But the government has had almost endless debt spending since 1953 — even with the huge amount of actual wealth generated, they will not stop overspending – will not keep a balanced budget,  ever.

We must have a balanced budget amendment, as many states do, or even if this is impossibly solved, it will be forever repeated.

They never will if we don’t force them – so it must be a constitutional amendment.

Keeping a balanced budget is common sense, practical, and common.

Only the reckless don’t.

It will take a year or two to come to pass once we all insist, but first we the people must constantly insist!

Finally, savings can and must be done immediately.

Trimming waste sounds like a good place to start.

Annual US government waste is now at an all-time high —

just our WASTE each year is now equal to the entire economy of Canada:

  1. The federal government made at least $72 billion in improper payments in 2008.[1]
  2. Washington spends $92 billion on corporate welfare (excluding TARP) versus $71 billion on homeland security.[2]
  3. Washington spends $25 billion annually maintaining unused or vacant federal properties.[3]
  4. Government auditors spent the past five years examining all federal programs and found that 22 percent of them — costing taxpayers a total of $123 billion annually — fail to show any positive impact on the populations they serve.[4]
  5. The Congressional Budget Office published a “Budget Options” series identifying more than $100 billion in potential spending cuts.[5]
  6. Examples from multiple Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports of wasteful duplication include 342 economic development programs; 130 programs serving the disabled; 130 programs serving at-risk youth; 90 early childhood development programs;75 programs funding international education, cultural, and training exchange activities; and72 safe water programs.[6]
  7. Washington will spend $2.6 million training Chinese prostitutes to drink more responsibly on the job.[7]
  8. A GAO audit classified nearly half of all purchases on government credit cards as improper, fraudulent, or embezzled. Examples of taxpayer-funded purchases include gambling, mortgage payments, liquor, lingerie, iPods, Xboxes, jewelry, Internet dating services, and Hawaiian vacations. In one extraordinary example, the Postal Service spent$13,500 on one dinner at a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, including “over 200 appetizers and over $3,000 of alcohol, including more than 40 bottles of wine costing more than $50 each and brand-name liquor such as Courvoisier, Belvedere and Johnny Walker Gold.” The 81 guests consumed an average of $167 worth of food and drink apiece.[8]
  9. Federal agencies are delinquent on nearly 20 percent of employee travel charge cards, costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars annually.[9]
  10. The Securities and Exchange Commission spent $3.9 million rearranging desks and offices at its Washington, D.C., headquarters.[10]
  11. The Pentagon recently spent $998,798 shipping two 19-cent washers from South Carolina to Texas and $293,451 sending an 89-cent washer from South Carolina to Florida.[11]
  12. Over half of all farm subsidies go to commercial farms, which report average household incomes of $200,000.[12]
  13. Health care fraud is estimated to cost taxpayers more than $60 billion annually.[13]
  14. A GAO audit found that 95 Pentagon weapons systems suffered from a combined $295 billion in cost overruns.[14]
  15. The refusal of many federal employees to fly coach costs taxpayers $146 million annually in flight upgrades.[15]
  16. Washington will spend $126 million in 2009 to enhance the Kennedy family legacy in Massachusetts. Additionally, Senator John Kerry (D-MA) diverted $20 million from the 2010 defense budget to subsidize a new Edward M. Kennedy Institute.[16]
  17. Federal investigators have launched more than 20 criminal fraud investigations related to the TARP financial bailout.[17]
  18. Despite trillion-dollar deficits, last year’s 10,160 earmarks included $200,000 for a tattoo removal program in Mission Hills, California; $190,000 for the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming; and $75,000 for the Totally Teen Zone in Albany, Georgia.[18]
  19. The federal government owns more than 50,000 vacant homes.[19]
  20. .The Federal Communications Commission spent $350,000 to sponsor NASCAR driver David Gilliland.[20]
  21. Members of Congress have spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars supplying their offices with popcorn machines, plasma televisions, DVD equipment, ionic air fresheners, camcorders, and signature machines — plus $24,730 leasing a Lexus, $1,434on a digital camera, and $84,000 on personalized calendars.[21]
  22. More than $13 billion in Iraq aid has been classified as wasted or stolen. Another $7.8 billion cannot be accounted for.[22]
  23. Fraud related to Hurricane Katrina spending is estimated to top $2 billion. In addition, debit cards provided to hurricane victims were used to pay for Caribbean vacations, NFL tickets, Dom Perignon champagne, “Girls Gone Wild” videos, and at least one sex change operation.[23]
  24. Auditors discovered that 900,000 of the 2.5 million recipients of emergency Katrina assistance provided false names, addresses, or Social Security numbers or submitted multiple applications.[24]
  25. Congress recently gave Alaska Airlines $500,000 to paint a Chinook salmon on a Boeing 737.[25]
  26. The Transportation Department will subsidize up to $2,000 per flight for direct flights between Washington, D.C., and the small hometown of Congressman Hal Rogers (R-KY) — but only on Monday mornings and Friday evenings, when lawmakers, staff, and lobbyists usually fly. Rogers is a member of the Appropriations Committee, which writes the Transportation Department’s budget.[26]
  27. Washington has spent $3 billion re-sanding beaches — even as this new sand washes back into the ocean.[27]
  28. A Department of Agriculture report concedes that much of the $2.5 billion in “stimulus” funding for broadband Internet will be wasted.[28]
  29. The Defense Department wasted $100 million on unused flight tickets and never bothered to collect refunds even though the tickets were refundable.[29]
  30. Washington spends $60,000 per hour shooting Air Force One photo-ops in front of national landmarks.[30]
  31. Over one recent 18-month period, Air Force and Navy personnel used government-funded credit cards to charge at least $102,400 on admission to entertainment events, $48,250 on gambling, $69,300 on cruises, and $73,950 on exotic dance clubs and prostitutes.[31]
  32. Members of Congress are set to pay themselves $90 million to increase their franked mailings for the 2010 election year.[32]
  33. Congress has ignored efficiency recommendations from the Department of Health and Human Services that would save $9 billion annually.[33]
  34. Taxpayers are funding paintings of high-ranking government officials at a cost of up to$50,000 apiece.[34]
  35. The state of Washington sent $1 food stamp checks to 250,000 households in order to raise state caseload figures and trigger $43 million in additional federal funds.[35]
  36. Suburban families are receiving large farm subsidies for the grass in their backyards — subsidies that many of these families never requested and do not want. [36]
  37. Congress appropriated $20 million for “commemoration of success” celebrations related to Iraq and Afghanistan.[37]
  38. Homeland Security employee purchases include 63-inch plasma TVs, iPods, and $230 for a beer brewing kit.[38]
  39. Two drafting errors in the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act resulted in a $2 billion taxpayer cost.[39]
  40. North Ridgeville, Ohio, received $800,000 in “stimulus” funds for a project that its mayor described as “a long way from the top priority.”[40]
  41. The National Institutes of Health spends $1.3 million per month to rent a lab that it cannot use.[41]
  42. Congress recently spent $2.4 billion on 10 new jets that the Pentagon insists it does not need and will not use.[42]
  43. Lawmakers diverted $13 million from Hurricane Katrina relief spending to build a museum celebrating the Army Corps of Engineers — the agency partially responsible for the failed levees that flooded New Orleans.[43]
  44. Medicare officials recently mailed $50 million in erroneous refunds to 230,000 Medicare recipients.[44]
  45. Audits showed $34 billion worth of Department of Homeland Security contracts contained significant waste, fraud, and abuse.[45]
  46. Washington recently spent $1.8 million to help build a private golf course in Atlanta, Georgia.[46]
  47. The Advanced Technology Program spends $150 million annually subsidizing private businesses; 40 percent of this funding goes to Fortune 500 companies.[47]
  48. Congressional investigators were able to receive $55,000 in federal student loan funding for a fictional college they created to test the Department of Education.[48]
  49. The Conservation Reserve program pays farmers $2 billion annually not to farm their land.[49]
  50. The Commerce Department has lost 1,137 computers since 2001, many containing Americans’ personal data.[50]

 

Pick the Low-Hanging Fruit

 

Because many of these examples of waste overlap, it is not possible to determine their exact total cost.

Yet it is evident that our government loses hundreds of billions of dollars annually on spending that most Americans would certainly call wasteful.

Lawmakers seeking to rein in spending and budget deficits should begin by eliminating this least justifiable spending.