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Gender: Male
Hometown: VA
Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 40,591

About Me

Blocked on Twitter by that rat bastard fuck @ggreenwald

Journal Archives

Accused Russian hacker to face charges in U.S.

A Russian national has been extradited to the U.S. and indicted in New Jersey in what federal officials on Tuesday called the “the largest international hacking and data breach scheme ever prosecuted in the United States.”.

Vladimir Drinkman, 34, with dual addresses in Syktyvkar and Moscow, was charged for his alleged role in a worldwide conspiracy that stole more 160 million credit card numbers, and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in losses.

He was originally arrested by Dutch authorities in the Netherlands in June 2012, and secretly extradited to the U.S. to face the criminal charges in this country.

In a brief appearance Tuesday in federal court in Newark, Drinkman pleaded not guilty to all 11 counts in the indictment and was ordered by Magistrate Judge James B. Clark to be detained without bail.

“Cybercriminals conceal themselves in one country and steal information located in another country, impacting victims around the world,” said Assistant Atty. Gen. Leslie R. Caldwell. “Hackers often take advantage of international borders and differences in legal systems, hoping to evade extradition to face justice. This case and today’s extradition demonstrate that through international cooperation, and through great teamwork … we are able to bring cyberthieves to justice in the United States.”


Putin Stokes Paranoia About the Web

President Vladimir Putin of Russia may fear that the Internet is a CIA project, but unfortunately he is not alone.

According to a recently released study about how the Russian public views the Internet, his views are widely shared by large portions the Russian population.

In fact, our research concludes that the Russian public’s distrust of Western sources and dissident information on the Internet creates a “perceptual filter” that bolsters Putin’s foreign and domestic policies.

A deep distrust of the Internet—domestic and foreign

Based on a survey of 1,600 individuals (see details below), almost half of all Russians believe that information on the Internet should be be censored. Likewise, two out of five Russians distrust foreign media and nearly half of Russians believe foreign news websites need to be censored.

These attitudes are partly driven by the fact that 42 percent of Russians believe the Internet is being used by foreign countries against Russia.

In contrast, Central Russian TV news, heavily dominated and controlled by the Russian government, is a primary source of information for 84 percent of Russians and trusted by 90 percent of all Russians.

Put together these attitudes about a malicious foreign influence over the Internet and perceived threats to political stability from domestic anti-government blogs and websites and you have a toxic mix.


In case anyone is wondering, Vlad has deftly used Snowden's propaganda value to his own end by framing his defection as an "escape" from America's overly oppressive internet restrictions...Not only that, but Vlad has repeatedly increased internet restrictions in his country under the guise of "protecting" the citizenry from the evil NSA...

Protesters take to the streets of Brazil over their dwindling water supply

BRAZIL IS THE Brazil fifth largest country in the world, measured by area or population, and it’s home to one-eighth of the fresh water on the planet, including the Amazon, the mightiest river in the world.

But Brazil’s most populous region is facing the worst drought it has encountered in a century.

The New York Times reports São Paulo, the largest and richest city in the country, is running out of water.

Some residents say their water is already cut off for more than half of every day, and the drastic situation is getting worse, igniting protests in the city and surrounding region.

Fears about what life will be like as water becomes more scarce have kicked off protests in and around the city.

In a meeting where someone secretly recorded audio that was leaked to the press, Paulo Massato, the metropolitan director of the São Paulo state-run water utility, said that people might have to flee the city.

So, how did we get here?

Well, massive growth over the 20th century built up a metropolitan area of more than 20 million residents that a leaky water system can’t adequately serve.

There are serious water shortages in the three most populous states in Brazil — São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Minas Gerais.

But São Paulo, both the metropolitan area and the surrounding municipalities, has it the worst so far.

The water supply in the Cantareira system, which provides most of the water for greater Sao Paulo, is at the lowest point it has ever been recorded — below 7% of its capacity.

The drought, combined with the ever-increasing demand for water in a growing city, has been made worse by environmental destruction, climate shifts, and pollution.

Forests and wetlands near the city have been destroyed as it has grown to be one of the largest cities in the world, removing an important source of water.


Bank hackers find haven in Putin’s Russia

The diplomatic standoff between the United States and Russian President Vladimir Putin is hobbling efforts to prosecute cyber crime against American banks.

Russian hackers played a major role in the newly exposed worldwide cyber heist, where thieves learned how to imitate bank employees to withdraw more than $1 billion from 100 banks.

While analysts suspect the heist originated in Ukraine and Eastern Europe, that information is of little use to American law enforcement officials who are getting no help from Moscow when it comes to catching cyber thieves.
“Trying to get cooperation from law enforcement in that area is, in many cases, actively hampered by the Russian government,” said Stu Sjouwerman, CEO of cybersecurity training firm KnowBe4, which most often works with banks.

“Given the current relationship between the United States and Russia, does not seem likely,” added Peter Toren, a cyber crime attorney who was part of the Department of Justice’s original batch of computer crimes prosecutors.

Last August, Russian digital thieves were blamed for the cyber attack on JPMorgan that exposed sensitive data on over 83 million households. Reportedly, the same attack infiltrated up to nine other major banks.

“Harassment of U.S. financial firms is just part of the bigger picture and it is the price of business to some degree,” Sjouwerman said.

Experts believe much of the hacking occurs either at the behest of Putin’s government, or with its tacit approval. Some speculated the JPMorgan hit was retaliation for the new U.S. sanctions that were slapped on Russia as the country amassed troops on the Ukraine border.

Russia has been trying to exert influence in Ukraine since political unrest in late 2013 ousted Ukraine’s then-president. Russia later annexed Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine, angering the U.S. and leading to a slate of Western sanctions.


(Guess Kaspersky missed this one)

Georgia says Russia is now one step closer to annexing one of its provinces

Source: Business Insider

Georgia condemned on Thursday the signing of a border agreement between its breakaway region of South Ossetia and Russia, accusing Moscow of moving closer to annexing a territory it supported in a five-day conflict in 2008.

Georgia, which has ambitions to join NATO, and Russia fought that war over South Ossetia and another separatist region, Abkhazia. After it ended, Moscow recognized both regions as independent countries.

Moscow went further by signing a "strategic partnership" agreement with Abkhazia last November, seven months after annexing Ukraine's Crimea peninsula and throwing its weight behind separatists battling in eastern Ukraine.

Russia says it wants to sign a similar document to integrate its security forces and military with South Ossetia's, and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov signed a preliminary agreement with his counterpart in the separatist region on Wednesday.

"It's yet another action directed against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia and an attempt to artificially redraw internationally recognized borders," the Georgian foreign ministry said.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/r-georgia-condemns-russia-south-ossetia-deal-as-step-toward-annexation-2015-2

When and where will the 'expansions' end?

Italy Fears ISIS Invasion From Libya

ROME — Last weekend in Italy, as the threat of ISIS in Libya hit home with a new video addressed to “the nation signed with the blood of the cross” and the warning, “we are south of Rome,” Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi shuttered up the Italian embassy in Tripoli and raised his fist with the threat of impending military action. Never mind that Italy has only 5,000 troops available that are even close to deployable, according to the defense ministry. Or that the military budget was cut by 40 percent two years ago, which has kept the acquisition of 90 F-35 fighter jets hanging in the balance and left the country combat-challenged to lead any mission—especially one against an enemy like the Islamic State.

In fact, Renzi didn’t specify exactly who would wield that military might, and, two days later, when no one volunteered to lead the charge, he backtracked. “It’s not the time for a military intervention,” Renzi told an Italian television station Monday night and said the United Nations had to lead the way. “Our proposal is to wait for the UN Security Council. The strength of the UN is decidedly superior to that of the radical militias.”

Whether the time is right or not, there is no question that there is a palpable tension in Italy over the ISIS threat—Libya is just 109 miles away from the island of Lampedusa and 300 miles from Sicily—made worse by a 64 percent increase in illegal migrant arrivals by sea since last year. In all of 2014, more than 170,000 people arrived from Libya and Turkey, the highest number ever recorded. Last weekend, as the embassy staff made their way to Italy on a mercantile ship, 2,164 migrants left the same Libyan shores en route to Sicily. The week before, more than 300 people were lost in the same seas as their rickety fishing boats capsized before rescuers could save them.

Anti-immigration politicians have argued for months that it would take little for jihadi fighters to infiltrate a migrant boat and effectively end up taxied into Italy by rescue ships and the Italian navy. In a biting editorial in Il Giornale newspaper, owned by the Silvio Berlusconi family, Sergio Rame hypothesized that the recent influx was an attempt by terrorists to effectively “smoke out” the Italian navy into rescuing the migrants, in an attempt to lure the boats close to Libyan shores in order to launch an attack. The Italian government, which supports the rescue of migrants fleeing war, dismissed the theory.

Meanwhile, the Italian government said they are prepared to deploy 500 special anti-terrorism police to protect sensitive tourist sites in Rome.

What is disturbing is that something is drastically changing in the migrant shuttling business, which has lead defense analysts to warn that Italy has never been so exposed to an attack. For the first time since Italy started officially rescuing migrants in 2013—first through its now defunct Mare Nostrum program and later through the European Union’s border control Frontex Triton mission—the smugglers, who usually melt in with the migrants, are armed and dangerous. Last weekend, smugglers wielding Kalashnikovs fought the Italian coast guard rescue boat to wrestle back a smuggler ship after the human cargo had been rescued and the boat seized. They hauled the boat back towards Libya, presumably to fill it up again. The Office of Migration in Rome says there could be as many as half a million people in camps waiting to come to Italy and the unrest will push them out faster.


Poland military spending is skyrocketing as Russia meddles next door

With an eye on the evolving conflict in Ukraine, Poland has begun an ambitious 10-year, $42 billion overhaul of its military, as it grows increasingly wary of neighboring Russia. The announcement comes asthe ceasefire in Ukraine between the government and Russian-backed rebels hangs in the balance.

Ukraine shares a border with Poland, which has itself a long history of armed conflict with Russia and was part of the Soviet bloc until Poland's communist regime collapsed in 1989.

Poland also borders the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad to the north, and is becoming increasingly uneasy as Russian warplanes fly closer to the borders of the European Union and NATO -- more than 100 instances in the past year. Poland is a member of both organizations.

Despite the ceasefire deal worked out by leaders of France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia last Thursday, Polish officials said the Ukraine conflict could reignite and even expand.

“The key to a political and military solution lies in Moscow," Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski told reporters Thursday in Warsaw. "The possibility of a lasting peace still isn't close," he said, suggesting the previous Minsk ceasefire agreement signed last September failed because of "Russian separatists."



i.e. "Social Justice Warriors"

Is another term we're about to lose completely to RW framing...I'm seeing it used in a pejorative sense almost daily...

How could someone who works for social justice ever be used as an epithet?? What could *EVER* be negative about working for social justice??

U.S. Dog Shows Up at Hospital Where Owner Is Battling Cancer

Call it coincidence or love, but a miniature Schnauzer in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, ended up at the hospital where her owner is battling cancer -- even though the dog was originally 20 blocks away at home.

A surveillance camera in the hospital lobby caught the dog entering through the automatic doors and wandering around.

The dog, named Sissy, belongs to Nancy Franck, 64, who has been at Mercy Medical Center for about two weeks following surgery. Her husband, Dale Franck, 66, had been taking care of Sissy and her brother Barney, also a miniature Schnauzer, back home.

“She was on a mission that night to see her mom," Dale Franck told ABC News today, "but she couldn't find the right elevator to take."

He said he noticed Sissy was missing around 1:30 a.m. this past Saturday, and he was worried sick.

"I kept checking everywhere, calling out, 'Sissy! Sissy!'" he recalled. "I was pulling my hair out."

He finally got a call at 5:30 a.m. from security officer Samantha Conrad at the hospital, saying she had found his dog, he said.

"She found my number and house address from her tag on her collar," Dale Franck said. "I was so relieved, and I asked my daughter go and pick her up."


That's a smart little nose...

With a captain like this, who needs enemies??

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