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Gender: Male
Hometown: VA
Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 39,539

About Me

Blocked on Twitter by that rat bastard fuck @ggreenwald

Journal Archives

Google’s secret NSA alliance: The terrifying deals between Silicon Valley and the security state

In mid-December 2009, engineers at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, began to suspect that hackers in China had obtained access to private Gmail accounts, including those used by Chinese human rights activists opposed to the government in Beijing.

Like a lot of large, well-known Internet companies, Google and its users were frequently targeted by cyber spies and criminals. But when the engineers looked more closely, they discovered that this was no ordinary hacking campaign.

In what Google would later describe as “a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China,” the thieves were able to get access to the password system that allowed Google’s users to sign in to many Google applications at once. This was some of the company’s most important intellectual property, considered among the “crown jewels” of its source code by its engineers. Google wanted concrete evidence of the break-in that it could share with U.S. law enforcement and intelligence authorities. So they traced the intrusion back to what they believed was its source — a server in Taiwan where data was sent after it was siphoned off Google’s systems, and that was presumably under the control of hackers in mainland China.

“Google broke in to the server,” says a former senior intelligence official who’s familiar with the company’s response. The decision wasn’t without legal risk, according to the official. Was this a case of hacking back? Just as there’s no law against a homeowner following a robber back to where he lives, Google didn’t violate any laws by tracing the source of the intrusion into its systems. It’s still unclear how the company’s investigators gained access to the server, but once inside, if they had removed or deleted data, that would cross a legal line. But Google didn’t destroy what it found. In fact, the company did something unexpected and unprecedented — it shared the information.

Google uncovered evidence of one of the most extensive and far-reaching campaigns of cyber espionage in U.S. history. Evidence suggested that Chinese hackers had penetrated the systems of nearly three dozen other companies, including technology mainstays such as Symantec, Yahoo, and Adobe, the defense contractor Northrop Grumman, and the equipment maker Juniper Networks. The breadth of the campaign made it hard to discern a single motive. Was this industrial espionage? Spying on human rights activists? Was China trying to gain espionage footholds in key sectors of the U.S. economy or, worse, implant malware in equipment used to regulate critical infrastructure?



I'm grateful to Shane Harris for finally delivering what I've futilely been asking Snow-Wald to produce for the past year and a half, which is documented proof of complicity by the telecoms and Silicon Valley...For those keeping score, this is the THIRD major domino I've been eventually vindicated on after being pilloried on DU for months...

From day one, Greenwald, Snowden, the EFF and ACLU have made it a point to portray Silicon Valley as powerless victims in the NSA scandal, and I'd said at the time it was bullshit since Google wants to hoover up the same mass data as the NSA (albeit for different reasons), so isn't it logical that they would work together for a mutual goal?

But to the contrary, not only have Greenwald and his legion of cronies and useful idiots had this info about corporate involvement at their disposal and chose *NOT* to report it, they have actively re-directed the conversation every time it was going in that direction...My big question (for those DUers who haven't put me on ignore yet) is: Why would they do that? Once I find the answer to this, I'll have the answer to everything...

Hillary is a "soulless, principle-free, power-hungry veteran of DC’s game of thrones"

So sayeth Glenn Greenwald...Well, I guess if anyone would know it's ol' Glenn, since he is quick to recognize his own kind...

So is this supposed to be the "fearless" journalism, or the "adversarial" journalism? Someone please help me out...


Study: White People Think Black People Are Magical Unicorns

A new study featured in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science concludes white people may possess a "superhuman bias" against black people, and are therefore likely to attribute preternatural qualities to black people.

Jesse Singal explains at the Science of Us:

In a series of five studies, some involving so-called implicit association tests in which words are flashed on a screen quickly enough to "prime" a subject with their meaning but not for them to consciously understand what they have seen, the researchers showed that whites are quicker to associate blacks than whites with superhuman words like ghost, paranormal, and spirit.

This image of a magical black person, someone holding extraordinary mental and physical powers, has long persisted through American culture, whether it be through cringe-worthy movie roles or literature.

And the damage of such a potential bias is significant. While it's easy to understand why most clichés are both dangerous and destructive, the study suggests white people's tendency to cast a black person as a magical being—a stereotype that on its face some might claim is positive—is actually just as detrimental as say the image of the angry black woman, absent father, etc.

The superhuman image may be able to explain matters such why young black men are perceived to "be more 'adult' than White juveniles when judging culpability," write researchers Adam Waytz, Kelly Marie Hoffman, and Sophie Trawalter. If true, such a perception could outline the overwhelming racial disparities seen in prison systems throughout the country.

This bizarre phenomenon could even have contributed to the immense hope Americans placed on President Barack Obama in 2008. As the Boston Globe recently pointed out, back in 2007 David Ehrenstein described Obama's campaign as such:

Like a comic-book superhero, Obama is there to help, out of the sheer goodness of a heart we need not know or understand. For as with all Magic Negroes, the less real he seems, the more desirable he becomes. If he were real, white America couldn't project all its fantasies of curative black benevolence on him.


Google is the biggest corporate lobbyist in America now, says new Public Citizen report

This morning, a new Public Citizen report, “Mission Creep-y: Google is Quietly Becoming One of the Nation’s Most Powerful Political Forces While Expanding Its Information-Collecting Empire” came across my desk. It doesn’t break news. But it is an exhausting catalog of Google’s powerful information gathering apparatus, its missteps, and its massive social ambition.

When you put the isolated pieces together, it can kind of make you choke on your breakfast.

At a consumer level, Google is all over you. Its search algorithm takes in 200 different variables about you, pulling in information it gleans from your use of all of its products: Maps, YouTube, Gmail, and more. These are services you use, like, all of the time that can reveal very personal things. Since 2012, Google has made it its stated policy to track you as one user across all of its services, no matter what device you’re using. (This “comingling” of information, e.g. search history with chat transcripts, resulted in several lawsuits from privacy groups.)

Through its acquisition of DoubleClick Google knows what websites you were on when you saw a certain ad. Like all companies, it tracks your web history by placing a cookie in your browser. But because of the prevalence of Google Analytics and DoubleClick across the web now, once Google has identified you, it’s really, really difficult for you to ever be out of the company’s sight. The value of DoubleClick to Google cannot be underestimated. Google paid twice as much for DoubleClick in 2007 as it did for YouTube in 2006. The company is determined to not be any less efficient in tracking you on mobile either, linking tablet and smartphone use by giving every phone that uses the Google store an individual identifier.

Chillingly, none of the privacy experts could map the full entirety of just how much Google knows about consumers. But given its willingness to put together different pieces of data about you from different services, along with its new products and acquisitions — Google Now, Emu, Hangouts, Wallet, Next, Dropcam, Skybox, Google Glass and so on — the granularity of what it can discern is accelerating quickly.


Strange to see so little discussion about this...

The New England Patriots have failed at Twitter, and at life


Black America's Promised Land: Why I Am Still a Racial Optimist

Hope and pessimism have defined two traditions of American thinking about race. Fully acknowledging recent setbacks, the author makes the case for the tradition of hope.

Randall Kennedy

Not so long ago, black Americans were giddy witnesses to what many regarded as a miracle. Election night, November 4, 2008, seemed to be a millennial turning point as a majority of Americans entrusted an African American with the nation’s highest office and greatest powers. “If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible,” Barack Obama declared, “… tonight is your answer.” Against the backdrop of that high, a downturn was inevitable. But what many blacks are feeling now is more than a correction; it is depression.

The racial front is the site of especially keen disappointment. In a 2013 survey pegged to the fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington, the Pew Research Center found that less than half (45 percent) of all Americans agreed that the country had made “a lot” of progress toward racial equality during the previous half-century. Among blacks, only 32 percent shared the same view. That dourness stems in part from persistent hard times. The economic meltdown that accompanied Obama to the White House (and probably played a major role in his initial election) devastated the earnings and assets of black Americans. Since his election, they have not recouped their losses in what has only been a tepid recovery tipped in favor of the haves. Adding to the unhappiness is anger at the recalcitrance Obama has faced since the outset of his administration, a resistance mainly from Republicans that many observers believe is substantially fueled by racism.

Slumping morale among blacks, however, is attributable to more than frustration with Obama’s enemies; it also reflects frustration with the president himself. Although the overwhelming majority of politically active blacks supported Obama in 2008 and 2012 and continue to rally behind him defensively, an appreciable number feel let down. They maintain that he has been altogether too fearful of being charged with racial favoritism and has done too little to educate the public about the peculiar racial hazards that African Americans routinely face.

Beneath the malaise is a deep current of racial pessimism that has a long history in American and African American thought. Pessimists believe that racial harmony predicated on fairness is not part of the American future. They posit that the United States will not overcome its tragic racial past. They maintain that blacks are not and cannot become members of the American family (even with a black family occupying the White House). They believe that the United States is a white nation that will always be governed on behalf of white folk.

For pessimists, the Obama presidency is no sign of racial transcendence; to the contrary, it is a demonstration of the intractability of American pigmentocracy. For them, the Obama ascendancy shows that in order to rise to the top of American politics, a black politician must be willing to forgo substantively challenging the racial status quo (though he is allowed to cavil about it rhetorically). For them, the Obama administration simply mirrors the racial diversification of an existing order in which a relatively small sector of upper-crust blacks prosper while the condition of the black masses stagnates or deteriorates—the consequence of a misbegotten theory of racial trickle-down. For them, the Obama era is littered with bitter incongruity: While a black man is commander-in-chief, Michael Brown and thousands like him are stalked, harassed, brutalized, and occasionally killed in Ferguson-like locales across America.

The pedigree of black racial pessimism is impressive. In its ranks one finds such figures as Henry McNeal Turner, Marcus Garvey, Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael, Randall Robinson, and the extraordinary W.E.B. Du Bois. One encounters Frederick Douglass declaring in 1847, “I cannot have any love for this country … or for its Constitution. I desire to see its overthrow as speedily as possible, and its Constitution shriveled in a thousand fragments.” In that tradition, one also finds Derrick Bell, professor of law at Harvard, teaching in the 1990s that the United States is irredeemably imprisoned by its past, that “racism is an integral, permanent, and indestructible component of this society,” and that “black people will never gain full equality in this country.”


Net neutrality...Can you explain it?


Another rat flees the sinking ship of First Look Media

John Cook, the editor in chief of The Intercept, the newsmagazine started by the billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, will leave his position to return to his previous employer, Gawker Media, where he will oversee investigations.

Mr. Cook’s departure is the latest in a series of setbacks for Mr. Omidyar and the media company, First Look Media, that he pledged $250 million to start about a year ago. It was confirmed Thursday in a post on The Intercept, and by Gawker Media’s founder, Nick Denton, after first being reported by Sarah Ellison of Vanity Fair.

Mr. Cook will be deputy editor of investigations, a new role spanning Gawker Media’s eight titles, which include Jezebel and Gizmodo, Mr. Denton said in an interview Thursday. He will do “what he did best on Gawker — great big scoops — but across the eight sites,” Mr. Denton said.

First Look Media started with prominent hires like Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, two of the reporters who had received classified documents from the former National Security Agency contractor Edward J. Snowden, and Matt Taibbi, noted for his reporting on Wall Street for Rolling Stone magazine.

Mr. Taibbi, who was to have started a separate site called Racket, acrimoniously left the company last month. The turmoil was detailed in a long piece of self-reporting the company published, laying bare a clash between corporate staff members and journalists.

Mr. Cook was one of the story’s authors, and wrote that The Intercept, the site he ran with Mr. Greenwald and Ms. Poitras, had found its feet despite those difficulties. That conclusion seemed in peril Thursday, though in a post on The Intercept, Mr. Greenwald said that the site was seeking a replacement for Mr. Cook and would continue to grow.


And yes DUers, this is the same John Cook who just two weeks ago was telling us that everything was hunky-dory...

Fun Fact: The Intercept and Gawker Media offices share the same building, so all Cook is doing is changing floors

Evidently the GOP victories have completely eradicated Ebola...

Because it disappeared from the U.S. news cycle real quick

Matt Taibbi's first new Rolling Stone piece:

The $9 Billion Witness: Meet JPMorgan Chase's Worst Nightmare

She tried to stay quiet, she really did. But after eight years of keeping a heavy secret, the day came when Alayne Fleischmann couldn't take it anymore.

"It was like watching an old lady get mugged on the street," she says. "I thought, 'I can't sit by any longer.'"

Fleischmann is a tall, thin, quick-witted securities lawyer in her late thirties, with long blond hair, pale-blue eyes and an infectious sense of humor that has survived some very tough times. She's had to struggle to find work despite some striking skills and qualifications, a common symptom of a not-so-common condition called being a whistle-blower.

Fleischmann is the central witness in one of the biggest cases of white-collar crime in American history, possessing secrets that JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon late last year paid $9 billion (not $13 billion as regularly reported – more on that later) to keep the public from hearing.

Back in 2006, as a deal manager at the gigantic bank, Fleischmann first witnessed, then tried to stop, what she describes as "massive criminal securities fraud" in the bank's mortgage operations.

Thanks to a confidentiality agreement, she's kept her mouth shut since then. "My closest family and friends don't know what I've been living with," she says. "Even my brother will only find out for the first time when he sees this interview."

Six years after the crisis that cratered the global economy, it's not exactly news that the country's biggest banks stole on a grand scale. That's why the more important part of Fleischmann's story is in the pains Chase and the Justice Department took to silence her.

She was blocked at every turn: by asleep-on-the-job regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission, by a court system that allowed Chase to use its billions to bury her evidence, and, finally, by officials like outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, the chief architect of the crazily elaborate government policy of surrender, secrecy and cover-up. "Every time I had a chance to talk, something always got in the way," Fleischmann says.


No wonder Pierre and Glenn didn't want to go anywhere near this story...Now Rolling Stone is getting more mouse clicks in a week than the Intercept gets in a couple of months...
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