News Updates from CLG


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Previous edition: NSA used Stuxnet to attack North Korea’s nuclear program, but U.S. agents could not access core machines

N.S.A. Secretly Expands Internet Spying at U.S. Border, Hunting for Hackers | 04 June 2015 | Without public notice or debate, the Obama administration has expanded the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance of Americans’ international Internet traffic to search for evidence of malicious computer hacking, according to classified N.S.A. documents. In mid-2012, Justice Department lawyers wrote two secret memos permitting the spy agency to begin hunting on Internet cables, without a warrant and on American soil, for data linked to computer intrusions originating abroad — including traffic that flows to suspicious Internet addresses or contains malware, the documents show. The Justice Department allowed the agency to monitor only addresses and “cybersignatures” — patterns associated with computer intrusions — that it could tie to foreign governments. But the documents also note that the N.S.A. sought permission to target hackers even when it could not establish any links to foreign powers.

WikiLeaks releases documents related to controversial US TPP corporate takeover pact –Document dump regarding Trade in Services Agreement comes day after organization put 100,000 bounty on documents from series of US ‘trade’ treaties | 03 June 2015 | WikiLeaks on Wednesday released 17 different documents related to the Trade in Services Agreement (Tisa), a controversial pact currently being hashed out between the US and 23 other countries — most of them in Europe and South America. The document dump comes at a tense moment in the negotiations over a series of trade deals. President Barack Obama has clashed with his own party over the deals as critics have worried about the impact on jobs and civil liberties. On Tuesday, WikiLeaks put a 100,000 bounty on documents relating to the alphabet soup of trade treaties currently being negotiated between the US and the rest of the world, particularly the controversial deadly Trans-Pacific trade corporate takeover agreement (TPP). The offer, announced yesterday, has already raised more than 33,000. [The TPP: They’re covering college students carrying mattresses around campus while Eden is burning.’ –MDR, Ph.D.]

Senate passes bill to privatize surveillance: Telcos to act as arm of law enforcement and collect, store data for US govt [I can’t help but think that this has been the goal all along. Nearly all of the previous privacy abuses will continue, but the costs will skyrocket so telco corpora-terrorists can make a killing on the spying. –LRP] Congress approves bill to resume, overhaul NSA surveillance after lapse –After six months of continued spying, NSA will leave records with phone companies | 02 June 2015 | The Senate gave final approval Tuesday to legislation that would restart — but also overhaul — controversial government surveillance programs that went dark over the weekend after lawmakers missed a key deadline. In a 67-32 vote, the chamber approved the so-called USA Freedom Act. The legislation, which already won approval in the House, now goes to President Obama’s desk. The vote comes after key surveillance programs — most notably, the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records — were suspended Sunday after Congress missed the deadline for reauthorization.

NSA surveillance bill passes after weeks-long showdown | 02 June 2015 | The National Security Agency lost its authority to collect the phone records of millions of Americans, thanks to a new reform measure Congress passed on Tuesday. President Barack Obama signed the bill into law on Tuesday evening. It is the first piece of legislation to ‘reform’ post 9/11 surveillance measures…Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul assailed the NSA in a 10-hour speech that roused civil libertarians around the country. He opposed both renewing the post 9/11-Patriot Act and the compromise measure — that eventually passed — known as the USA Freedom Act.

FBI says privacy must take backseat to national security in online fight against ISIS | 03 June 2015 | One of the United States government’s top counterterrorism officials says Congress must help investigators crack the encrypted communications of terrorists as groups like the so-called Islamic State ramp-up their online recruitment efforts. On Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Michael Steinbach, the assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s counterterrorism division, told the House Homeland Security Committee that the FBI is “imploring for Congress to help” law enforcement with its quest to decrypt digital communications. Steinbach said that the FBI is working with the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that the law enforcement tactics currently in use can be implemented as needed, but suggested that legislation might be needed for situations where communications being sought are obfuscated from the eyes of investigators by encryption or other means.

US says data on 4 million government staff hacked | 04 June 2015 | The US government on Thursday admitted hackers accessed the personal data of at least four million current and former federal employees, in a vast cyber-attack suspected to have originated in China [when, in actuality, it likely originated in Langley, VA, to justify the latest secret NSA surveillance program]. The Office of Personnel Management also said that additional exposures “may come to light.” The government’s personnel department handles hundreds of thousands of sensitive security clearances and background investigations on prospective employees each year.

Prisoner alleges CIA sexual abuse, torture beyond Senate findings | 02 June 2015 | The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency used a wider array of sexual abuse and other forms of torture than was disclosed in a Senate report last year, according to a Guantanamo Bay detainee prisoner turned government cooperating witness. Majid Khan said interrogators poured ice water on his genitals, twice videotaped him naked and repeatedly touched his “private parts” — none of which was described in the Senate report. Interrogators, some of whom smelled of alcohol, also threatened to beat him with a hammer, baseball bats, sticks and leather belts, Khan said. “I wished they had killed me,” Khan told his lawyers. He said that he experienced excruciating pain when hung naked from poles and that guards repeatedly held his head under ice water.

Slain Boston man had planned to behead police officers: FBI | 03 June 2015 | A Massachusetts man slain by law enforcement officers on Tuesday had discussed plans to behead police officers with an associate arrested the same day, according to papers filed in Boston federal court on Wednesday. Usaamah Abdullah Rahim, 26, who law enforcement officers shot to death after he allegedly confronted them with a large knife, had told David Wright “I’m just going to, ah, go after them, those boys in blue,” an FBI agent involved in the investigation said in an affidavit. Rahim had ordered three knives, with blades ranging in length from 8 inches (20 cm) to 9.75 inches (25 cm), from online retailers and had joked in wire-tapped phone conversations with Wright, 24, about “thinking with your head on your chest,” according to the affidavit.

Boston shooting: Suspect plotted to behead Pamela Geller, sources say| 03 June 2015 | Usaamah Rahim, who was fatally shot after waving a military knife at law enforcement officers in Boston, was originally plotting to behead Pamela Geller, an activist and conservative blogger sociopath, law enforcement sources told CNN on Wednesday. But Rahim, a 26-year-old security guard who officials believe was radicalized by ISIS [I-CIA-SIS] and other extremists, decided instead to target the “boys in blue,” a reference to police, according to court documents. “I can’t wait that long,” he said of the original beheading plan, according to an FBI affidavit filed in federal court in Boston on Wednesday.

Tennessee infant dies in sleep less than four days after receiving seven vaccines | 03 June 2015 | Parents in Memphis, Tennessee, are mourning the loss of their baby girl Ja’Liyah Cortize Turner, after she passed away in her sleep, less than four days after receiving seven vaccines. Her mother Quavia felt pressured into getting her daughter further vaccinated, even though she didn’t want to, because her daughter had a bad reaction from the round of vaccines given to her earlier. Ja’Liyah’s autopsy report did not mention the vaccines even though she still had the knots on her legs at the injection sites. Her cause of death was ruled “Unknown, Undetermined.” The autopsy stated Ja’Liyah had no significant medical history contributing to her death. Yet, it is very significant Ja’Liyah had just received seven vaccines four days earlier.

How the Humanist Movement Fosters Economic Injustice –A Movement That Makes a Mockery of Its Conventions | 28 May 2015 | The idea that solving the social problems produced by religion will allow for solving the problems of economics in fact gets the reality of the matter backwards…As Michael Rectenwald, Professor of cultural history, science studies, and critical theory at New York University and an expert on the history of secularism, recently suggested to me, with such comments Marx may well have invented what is now called the Existential Security Hypothesis (ESH)…Thus, as Rectenwald writes, “a true humanist doesn’t work hard to eradicate religion. A true humanist works to eradicate the conditions that make religion necessary. In other words, a true humanist condemns liberals more than religions, because liberalism permits such oppression as makes religion necessary.”

Where did the half billion raised for Haiti go? Red Cross won’t say, only built six houses | 03 June 2015 | In late 2011, the Red Cross launched a multimillion-d-llar project to transform the desperately poor area, which was hit hard by the earthquake that struck Haiti the year before. The Red Cross received an outpouring of donations after the quake, nearly half a billion dollars. In fact, the Red Cross has repeatedly failed on the ground in Haiti. Confidential memos, emails from worried top officers, and accounts of a dozen frustrated and disappointed insiders show the charity has broken promises, squandered donations, and made dubious claims of success. The Red Cross [frauds] says it has provided homes to more than 130,000 people. But the actual number of permanent homes the group has built in all of Haiti: six.

Hillary Clinton calls for sweeping expansion of voter registration | 04 June 2015 | Hillary Rodham Clinton on Thursday called for sweeping changes in national voter registration laws aimed at making it easier for young people and minorities to take part in elections, putting her on a collision course with Republicans who say such reforms are a political ploy that would lead to widespread abuses. In a speech at an historically black college here [Texas Southern University], Clinton called for federal legislation that would automatically register Americans to vote at age 18 and would mandate at least 20 days of early voting ahead of election days in all states. Clinton said Republican state legislatures are deliberately restricting voting by curtailing early access to the polls and other measures in an effort to suppress Democratic turnout.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to Run for President | 04 June 2015 | Emphasizing his record as a seasoned leader of a prosperous state, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry formally declared Thursday that he is entering the 2016 presidential race. Speaking in an airport hangar in this Dallas suburb, in front of the type of transport plane he flew as a captain in the U.S. Air Force, Mr. Perry, age 65, also highlighted his military training and promised to take a more muscular approach to addressing conflicts in the Middle East…The Republican criticized the Obama administration for withdrawing troops from Iraq.

Colorado Lunch Lady Fired for Giving Kids Free Meals Says She’d Do it Again | 04 June 2015 | A woman says she was fired from her job in an elementary school cafeteria for helping students who forgot to bring m-ney for lunch. Della Curry, 35, was terminated from her position as a kitchen manager at an Aurora, Colorado, elementary school on Friday for giving such students free lunches, she told ABC News today. “I was let go for not charging for all of the food I gave to the students,” the former Cherry Creek School District employee said.

Montana man saves newborn moose after he found it crying next to its dead mother and calls rescue team who horrify him by SHOOTING it dead | 04 June 2015 | A Bozeman, Montana man thought he was saving a baby moose’s life when he called park authorities about the orphan, but instead he ended up unwittingly aiding in the slaughter of the helpless newborn. Josh Hohm was exploring the woodland near West Boulder Campground in Montana’s Gallatin National Forest this past Memorial Day when he stumbled upon a newborn moose, so young it could barely walk. Nearby, Hohm spotted a sad sight: the dead body of the calf’s mother along with a stillborn baby. Overwhelmed by the scene, Hohm hugged the little orphaned moose, posing for a selfie with the baby…Hoping to get the moose some protection and food, Hohm called the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Service. Hohm says after he handed the newborn over to the rangers, they shot the baby dead in a ‘mercy killing’ and then proceeded to blow up the three bodies so that their rotting carcasses would ‘not attract bears and other predators’ to the campground.

Brown bear brothers look like they’re shaking on a deal as they play in a lake in Kamchatka, Russia –Heart-warming photos were taken by Sergey Ivanov, who visits the region every year to watch the bears | 02 June 2015 | Stretching out their furry little paws in a show of brotherly respect, two adorable brown bear cubs appear to strike a deal while playing in a lake. In a scene echoing hit Disney film Brother Bear, the animals were pictured enjoying a morning splash in Kamchatka, Russia. The two cubs can even be seen whispering into each others’ ears – just like in the movie – as they stand in the flowing waters of Kurile Lake. Describing the heart-warming spectacle, professional photographer, Sergey Ivanov, 52, said: ‘It seemed like a meeting of two best friends with handshaking.’

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