TBR News June 14, 2011

Jun 14 2011

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C., June 14, 2011: “Obama was elected by a popular mandate and mainly because the mass of the public was fed up with rampant official corruption, law-breaking, endless political wars, a ruined economy and many other present and growing disasters to the national fabric. It is now becoming painfully obvious that Obama is a total sell-out to both the intelligence community and the powerful monies power elite that has been running this country for decades. He promised to end the war in Afghanistan. He didn’t and expanded it. He promised to close Guantanamo torture center. He did not. He promised more governmental openness and instead, has tried his best (and failed) to punish whistle-blowers who expose the rampant and criminal corruption in all branches of government. He is, in short, a total failure. But do we want to replace him with a Repubican lunatic like the Jesus Freak Bachmann or Saotorum? Or the idiot Palin? The hilarious fraud known as the Great bin Laden Removal is typical. No sane person believes the constantly changing stories and while Obama’s popularity ratings soared, they launched that cartoon show far to early for a positive reaction in the next Presidential election. Timing is everything, something the Obama people do not understand. And now we are informed that Obama and the crazy Cass Sunstein want to shut down the Internet because it is making fools out of him and his crime partners. Look for a bogus “cyber-attack” followed by “emergency decrees” designed to shut down anyone daring to expose the fraudsters and criminals. Julian Assange did a wonderful job, especially in toppling the petty tyrants we support throughout the oil-producing Arab world but notice how a sudden silence has fallen on the subject? Not a word about Julian or his work anywhere in the mainline American media. Why is this? Orders from the Oval Office to the corporations who own the major (and rapidly vanishing) print media and television comedy hours. Obama and his bedraggled crew has as much chance of shutting down the Internet and controlling any revival of it than they do of getting the Nobel Prize.”

IMF hit by ‘very major’ cyber security attack

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it has been targeted by a sophisticated cyber attack.

Officials at the fund gave few details but said the attack earlier this year had been “a very major breach” of its systems, the New York Times reports.

Cyber security officials said the hack was designed to install software to create a “digital insider presence”.

The IMF, which holds sensitive economic data about many countries, said its operations were fully functional.

The cyber attack took place over several months, and happened before former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested over sexual assault charges.

“I can confirm that we are investigating an incident,” said spokesman David Hawley.

“I am not in a position to elaborate further on the extent of the cyber security incident.”

The New York Times said IMF staff had been told of the intrusion on Wednesday by e-mail, but that the Fund had not made a public announcement.

The IMF is saying very little, beyond confirming that an incident has taken place, but on the face of it this looks like a serious attack on computer systems holding some very sensitive data.

The fact that the FBI has been called in, and that the neighbouring World Bank has severed its computer link to the IMF, show that it is being taken seriously.

An internal memo suggests that one particular desktop has been compromised – and security experts are speculating that an individual has been targeted with an email containing malware.

That could have enabled the attacker to gain access to the IMF’s systems. What is not clear is whether any data was lost.

For an organisation already in crisis as it looks for a successor to Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the cyber-attack is yet another challenge. The IMF’s members will be urgently seeking assurance that their data is secure and that the fund’s defences are in good order.

The e-mail warned that “suspicious file transfers” had been detected and that an investigation had shown a desktop at the Fund had been “compromised and used to access some Fund systems”.

There was “no reason to believe that any personal information was sought for fraud purposes,” it said.

High profile breaches

A cyber security expert told Reuters the infiltration had been a targeted attack which installed software designed to give a nation state a “digital insider presence” at the IMF.

“The code was developed and released for this purpose,” said Tom Kellerman, who has worked for the Fund.

Bloomberg quoted an unnamed security expert as saying the hackers were connected to a foreign government. However, such attacks are very difficult to trace.

The World Bank said it briefly cut its network connection with the Fund out “an abundance of caution”.

“The World Bank Group, like any other large organisation, is increasingly aware of potential threats to the security of our information system and we are constantly working to improve our defences,” said spokesman Rich Mills.

The incident is the latest in a string of high-profile cyber security breaches.

In April, the Sony Playstation network was shut down after hackers stole the personal data of about 100 million accounts and in May, US defence firm Lockheed Martin said it had come under a significant cyber-attack.

CIA Director Leon Panetta told the US Congress earlier this week that a large-scale cyber attack which would cripple power, finance, security and governmental systems was “a real possibility in today’s world”.

Dr. David Mandy: Special Needs Son Harassed by TSA at Detroit Metropolitan Airport

June 9, 2011,

by Taryn Asher

ROMULUS, Mich. (WJBK) – The Mandy family says they were on their way to the happiest place on earth (Disney), but had to go through hell to get there.

“I realize they’re trying to keep people safe, but come on, does he look like a terrorist?” said Dr. David Mandy.

The family was going through security when two TSA agents singled Drew Mandy out for a special pat down. Drew is severely mentally disabled. He’s 29, but his parents said he has the mental capacity of a two-year-old, which made the experience that followed at metro Detroit’s McNamera Terminal that much harder to deal with.

“You have got to be kidding me. I honestly felt that those two agents did not know what they were doing,” Mandy told us.

Dr. Mandy claimed they asked Drew to place his feet on the yellow shoe line, something he didn’t understand. They proceeded to pat his pants down, questioning the padding which was his adult diapers. When the agents asked Drew to take his hand and rub the front and back of his pants so they could swab it for explosives, his dad stepped in and tried to explain that Drew was mentally challenged.

“They said, ‘Please, sir, we know what we’re doing,'” Mandy said.

The TSA agents saw Drew holding a six-inch plastic hammer.

“My son carries his ball and his hammer for security. He goes everywhere with (them),” said Mandy.

The TSA it seems saw the toy as a weapon.

“He took the hammer and he tapped the wall. ‘See, it’s hard. It could be used as a weapon,'” Mandy explained. “So, Drew’s also holding the ball, and I said, ‘Well, how about the ball?’ He (said), ‘Oh, he can keep that.”

Dr. Mandy was told he would need to have the toy shipped if he wanted to keep it, a process which caused them to almost miss their plane, so he pitched it.

“It just killed me to have to throw it away because he’s been carrying this like for 20 years,” Mandy said.

Disgusted, he wrote TSA a letter. A response wasn’t far behind.

“Very polite. Very apologetic. He was embarrassed. He (said) we have to review how we deal with special needs individuals. Obviously, he (said), we’re doing a terrible job,” Mandy told us. “It made me feel that there is still hope, that there is still justice and that there’s still somebody who listens to people’s problems (in) the federal government.

That’s because federal security told him there are 800 TSA agents at Metro Airport and they are all going to be retrained based on Drew’s case.

We also spoke to a federal security director who said this incident is still under investigation, but as far as they can tell right now, better judgment was needed.

The TSA took away one toy hammer, but they were still able to take another toy hammer on board the airplane. How did that happen?

Drew’s mother, always prepared, had another one in her backpack and that already passed through security with no problem.

The Climate Crisis Hoax

May 1, 2011

by Larry Bell,


On this subject, there’s very little to debate.

I’ve encountered some folks who appear offended by the title of my new book Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax. Why do you call it a “hoax”? they ask. Why not refer to the matter as a debate? The reason is quite simple: A debate describes a discussion in which participants competitively argue opposing points of view that are assumed to be based upon honest positions.

A hoax is a deceptive act intended to hoodwink people through deliberate misinformation, including factual omissions. My book is about the latter.

The central lie is that we are experiencing a known human-caused climate crisis, a claim based on speculative theories, contrived data and totally unproven modeling predictions. And the evidence? Much is revealed by politically corrupted processes and agenda-driven report conclusions rendered by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which are trumpeted in the media as authoritative gospel.

S. Fred Singer, former director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service and University of Virginia professor emeritus commented about these sorry circumstances in the foreword of my book, stating in part:

“Many would place the beginning of the global warming hoax on the Senate testimony delivered by James Hansen of NASA [director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies] during the summer of 1988. More than anything else, this exhibition of hyped alarm triggered my active skepticism about the man-made global warming scare. This skepticism was amplified when I acted as reviewer of the first three IPCC reports, in 1990, 1996, and 2001. Increasingly claims were made for which there was no evidence; in some cases the ‘evidence’ was clearly manufactured. For example, the 1966 report used selective data and doctored graphs. It also featured changes in the text that were made after the scientists had approved it and before it was printed.”

Other fraud is evident through public exposure of e-mail files retrieved from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at Britain’s University of East Anglia. Scandalous exchanges among prominent researchers who have fomented global warming hysteria confirm long-standing and broadly suspected manipulations of climate data. The communications also reveal conspiracies to falsify and withhold information, to suppress contrary findings in scholarly publications, and to exaggerate the existence and threats of man-made global warming. Many of these individuals have had major influence over summary report findings issued by the IPCC. Still other evidence comes from mouths of government officials, international climate summit organizers and leading science spokespeople recorded in candid public admissions

Another lie claims that there is a consensus among climate scientists that a known man-made global warming crisis exists. Official statements to the contrary presented by more than 650 international climate-related experts who presented contrary official testimony recorded in a 2008 U.S. Senate minority report suggest otherwise. So do petitions signed by more than 30,000 scientists that have challenged IPCC’s 1995 procedures and report representations. Those circumstances prompted Dr. Frederick Seitz, former president of the U.S. Academy of Sciences, the American Physical Society, and Rockefeller University to write in The Wall Street Journal: “I have never witnessed a more disturbing corruption of the peer review process than events that led to this IPCC report.”

This brings us to a third, and most dangerous, lie of all–a fallacy that compelling evidence exists linking “unprecedented” climate warming to fossil CO2 emissions since the Industrial Revolution arising from an atmospheric “greenhouse effect.” Alarmists project such horrors as melting Greenland and Antarctic ice that causes oceans to flood coastal areas, increasingly severe weather and hurricane trends, migration of mosquito-borne plagues northward from the tropics, destruction of coral reefs, and yeah, lest we forget, those stranded and starving polar bears and penguins.

And what redemptive solutions are urgently implored? We must implement carbon cap-and-trade legislation; give lots of money to the U.N. to redistribute, and empower them to preside over world governments; abandon fossil fuel use in favor of heavily subsidized but assuredly abundant, “free,” and “renewable” alternatives; and empower expanding government bureaucracies to protect us from free market excesses. These include the same agencies that declared CO2 a “pollutant” (something rain forests certainly dispute), and that listed polar bears as a threatened species (despite expanding populations), presumably to discourage public support for oil and gas drilling in ANWR.

Corrupt climate science, upon which such fallacies are based, presents incalculably vast economic and social consequences. It provides justification and cover for gross regulatory intrusion by the EPA, DoE and other government agencies into agriculture, energy, transportation and construction industries; escalates food, fuel and manufacturing costs through unwarranted mandates and subsidies for otherwise uncompetitive “renewable” fuels; provokes legislation and legal suits that paralyze vital fossil energy exploration and infrastructure development; drives drilling operations and other job-supporting businesses overseas; politicizes and subverts science, education and media reporting; and defrauds hardworking taxpayers who pay many billions of dollars for honest information.

Apollo 7 astronaut Walter Cunningham contributed a statement for my book that conveys deep concern about corruption of climate science in general, and within NASA in particular: He comments that “Those of us fortunate enough to have traveled in space bet our lives on the competence, dedication and integrity of science and technology professionals who made our missions possible…In the last twenty years, I have watched the high standards of science being violated by a few climate scientists, including some at NASA, while special interest opportunists have dangerously abused our public trust.”

Clearly, most proponents of man-made global warming theory are very sincere, often well-informed, people. Here, honest debate based upon facts and logic should be openly welcomed, and nothing in the foregoing should be interpreted to suggest otherwise. Some, holding strong viewpoints on both sides of the issues, may be inclined to challenge base motives and affiliations of those who disagree, and responsibility for full disclosure of any serious conflicts of interest should be expected. In this regard, being part of any science community that depends on funding from biased sponsors (including government agencies and industries), doesn’t make those individuals or their work corrupt. The vast majority of all science professionals are in that situation.

Yet isn’t it remarkable that Al Gore, who has recently become extremely wealthy, has never felt obliged to publicly disclose his large stakes in green market industries through his Generation Investment Management firm, or in Chicago Climate Exchange cap-and-trade legislation interests? Would you trust a financial advisor who committed the same ethical breach?

Who stands to gain from the politics of corrupt climate science? There are many culprits, and they are becoming ever more powerful. Principal among them are certain agenda-driven federal government regulatory agencies; alternative energy and environmental lobbies; a captive multibillion-dollar per year climate science industry; cap-and-trade marketers; large, associated special-interest hedge fund managers; and yes, the U.N. and other organizations seeking global resource and wealth redistribution.

While it might be overreaching to bundle certain dishonest players within various categories into a unified conspiracy theory, many of these organs of misinformation clearly do appear to be joined at a common colon. Either way, the end results are much the same.

U.S. Underwrites Internet Detour Around Censors

June 12, 2011
by James Glanz and John Markoff

New York Times

The Obama administration is leading a global effort to deploy “shadow” Internet and mobile phone systems that dissidents can use to undermine repressive governments that seek to silence them by censoring or shutting down telecommunications networks.

The effort includes secretive projects to create independent cellphone networks inside foreign countries, as well as one operation out of a spy novel in a fifth-floor shop on L Street in Washington, where a group of young entrepreneurs who look as if they could be in a garage band are fitting deceptively innocent-looking hardware into a prototype “Internet in a suitcase.”

Financed with a $2 million State Department grant, the suitcase could be secreted across a border and quickly set up to allow wireless communication over a wide area with a link to the global Internet.

The American effort, revealed in dozens of interviews, planning documents and classified diplomatic cables obtained by The New York Times, ranges in scale, cost and sophistication.

Some projects involve technology that the United States is developing; others pull together tools that have already been created by hackers in a so-called liberation-technology movement sweeping the globe.

The State Department, for example, is financing the creation of stealth wireless networks that would enable activists to communicate outside the reach of governments in countries like Iran, Syria and Libya, according to participants in the projects.

In one of the most ambitious efforts, United States officials say, the State Department and Pentagon have spent at least $50 million to create an independent cellphone network in Afghanistan using towers on protected military bases inside the country. It is intended to offset the Taliban’s ability to shut down the official Afghan services, seemingly at will.

The effort has picked up momentum since the government of President Hosni Mubarak shut down the Egyptian Internet in the last days of his rule. In recent days, the Syrian government also temporarily disabled much of that country’s Internet, which had helped protesters mobilize.

The Obama administration’s initiative is in one sense a new front in a longstanding diplomatic push to defend free speech and nurture democracy. For decades, the United States has sent radio broadcasts into autocratic countries through Voice of America and other means. More recently, Washington has supported the development of software that preserves the anonymity of users in places like China, and training for citizens who want to pass information along the government-owned Internet without getting caught.

But the latest initiative depends on creating entirely separate pathways for communication. It has brought together an improbable alliance of diplomats and military engineers, young programmers and dissidents from at least a dozen countries, many of whom variously describe the new approach as more audacious and clever and, yes, cooler.

Sometimes the State Department is simply taking advantage of enterprising dissidents who have found ways to get around government censorship. American diplomats are meeting with operatives who have been burying Chinese cellphones in the hills near the border with North Korea, where they can be dug up and used to make furtive calls, according to interviews and the diplomatic cables.

The new initiatives have found a champion in Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose department is spearheading the American effort. “We see more and more people around the globe using the Internet, mobile phones and other technologies to make their voices heard as they protest against injustice and seek to realize their aspirations,” Mrs. Clinton said in an e-mail response to a query on the topic. “There is a historic opportunity to effect positive change, change America supports,” she said. “So we’re focused on helping them do that, on helping them talk to each other, to their communities, to their governments and to the world.”

Developers caution that independent networks come with downsides: repressive governments could use surveillance to pinpoint and arrest activists who use the technology or simply catch them bringing hardware across the border. But others believe that the risks are outweighed by the potential impact. “We’re going to build a separate infrastructure where the technology is nearly impossible to shut down, to control, to surveil,” said Sascha Meinrath, who is leading the “Internet in a suitcase” project as director of the Open Technology Initiative at the New America Foundation, a nonpartisan research group.

The implication is that this disempowers central authorities from infringing on people’s fundamental human right to communicate,” Mr. Meinrath added.

The Invisible Web

In an anonymous office building on L Street in Washington, four unlikely State Department contractors sat around a table. Josh King, sporting multiple ear piercings and a studded leather wristband, taught himself programming while working as a barista. Thomas Gideon was an accomplished hacker. Dan Meredith, a bicycle polo enthusiast, helped companies protect their digital secrets.

Then there was Mr. Meinrath, wearing a tie as the dean of the group at age 37. He has a master’s degree in psychology and helped set up wireless networks in underserved communities in Detroit and Philadelphia.

The group’s suitcase project will rely on a version of “mesh network” technology, which can transform devices like cellphones or personal computers to create an invisible wireless web without a centralized hub. In other words, a voice, picture or e-mail message could hop directly between the modified wireless devices — each one acting as a mini cell “tower” and phone — and bypass the official network.

Mr. Meinrath said that the suitcase would include small wireless antennas, which could increase the area of coverage; a laptop to administer the system; thumb drives and CDs to spread the software to more devices and encrypt the communications; and other components like Ethernet cables.

The project will also rely on the innovations of independent Internet and telecommunications developers.

“The cool thing in this political context is that you cannot easily control it,” said Aaron Kaplan, an Austrian cybersecurity expert whose work will be used in the suitcase project. Mr. Kaplan has set up a functioning mesh network in Vienna and says related systems have operated in Venezuela, Indonesia and elsewhere.

Mr. Meinrath said his team was focused on fitting the system into the bland-looking suitcase and making it simple to implement — by, say, using “pictograms” in the how-to manual.

In addition to the Obama administration’s initiatives, there are almost a dozen independent ventures that also aim to make it possible for unskilled users to employ existing devices like laptops or smartphones to build a wireless network. One mesh network was created around Jalalabad, Afghanistan, as early as five years ago, using technology developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Creating simple lines of communication outside official ones is crucial, said Collin Anderson, a 26-year-old liberation-technology researcher from North Dakota who specializes in Iran, where the government all but shut down the Internet during protests in 2009. The slowdown made most “circumvention” technologies — the software legerdemain that helps dissidents sneak data along the state-controlled networks — nearly useless, he said.

“No matter how much circumvention the protesters use, if the government slows the network down to a crawl, you can’t upload YouTube videos or Facebook postings,” Mr. Anderson said. “They need alternative ways of sharing information or alternative ways of getting it out of the country.”

That need is so urgent, citizens are finding their own ways to set up rudimentary networks. Mehdi Yahyanejad, an Iranian expatriate and technology developer who co-founded a popular Persian-language Web site, estimates that nearly half the people who visit the site from inside Iran share files using Bluetooth — which is best known in the West for running wireless headsets and the like. In more closed societies, however, Bluetooth is used to discreetly beam information — a video, an electronic business card — directly from one cellphone to another.

Mr. Yahyanejad said he and his research colleagues were also slated to receive State Department financing for a project that would modify Bluetooth so that a file containing, say, a video of a protester being beaten, could automatically jump from phone to phone within a “trusted network” of citizens. The system would be more limited than the suitcase but would only require the software modification on ordinary phones.

By the end of 2011, the State Department will have spent some $70 million on circumvention efforts and related technologies, according to department figures.

Mrs. Clinton has made Internet freedom into a signature cause. But the State Department has carefully framed its support as promoting free speech and human rights for their own sake, not as a policy aimed at destabilizing autocratic governments.

That distinction is difficult to maintain, said Clay Shirky, an assistant professor at New York University who studies the Internet and social media. “You can’t say, ‘All we want is for people to speak their minds, not bring down autocratic regimes’ — they’re the same thing,” Mr. Shirky said.

He added that the United States could expose itself to charges of hypocrisy if the State Department maintained its support, tacit or otherwise, for autocratic governments running countries like Saudi Arabia or Bahrain while deploying technology that was likely to undermine them.

Shadow Cellphone System

In February 2009, Richard C. Holbrooke and Lt. Gen. John R. Allen were taking a helicopter tour over southern Afghanistan and getting a panoramic view of the cellphone towers dotting the remote countryside, according to two officials on the flight. By then, millions of Afghans were using cellphones, compared with a few thousand after the 2001 invasion. Towers built by private companies had sprung up across the country. The United States had promoted the network as a way to cultivate good will and encourage local businesses in a country that in other ways looked as if it had not changed much in centuries.

There was just one problem, General Allen told Mr. Holbrooke, who only weeks before had been appointed special envoy to the region. With a combination of threats to phone company officials and attacks on the towers, the Taliban was able to shut down the main network in the countryside virtually at will. Local residents report that the networks are often out from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m., presumably to enable the Taliban to carry out operations without being reported to security forces.

The Pentagon and State Department were soon collaborating on the project to build a “shadow” cellphone system in a country where repressive forces exert control over the official network.

Details of the network, which the military named the Palisades project, are scarce, but current and former military and civilian officials said it relied in part on cell towers placed on protected American bases. A large tower on the Kandahar air base serves as a base station or data collection point for the network, officials said.

A senior United States official said the towers were close to being up and running in the south and described the effort as a kind of 911 system that would be available to anyone with a cellphone.

By shutting down cellphone service, the Taliban had found a potent strategic tool in its asymmetric battle with American and Afghan security forces.

The United States is widely understood to use cellphone networks in Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries for intelligence gathering. And the ability to silence the network was also a powerful reminder to the local populace that the Taliban retained control over some of the most vital organs of the nation.

When asked about the system, Lt. Col. John Dorrian, a spokesman for the American-led International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, would only confirm the existence of a project to create what he called an “expeditionary cellular communication service” in Afghanistan. He said the project was being carried out in collaboration with the Afghan government in order to “restore 24/7 cellular access.”

“As of yet the program is not fully operational, so it would be premature to go into details,” Colonel Dorrian said.

Colonel Dorrian declined to release cost figures. Estimates by United States military and civilian officials ranged widely, from $50 million to $250 million. A senior official said that Afghan officials, who anticipate taking over American bases when troops pull out, have insisted on an elaborate system. “The Afghans wanted the Cadillac plan, which is pretty expensive,” the official said.

Broad Subversive Effort

In May 2009, a North Korean defector named Kim met with officials at the American Consulate in Shenyang, a Chinese city about 120 miles from North Korea, according to a diplomatic cable. Officials wanted to know how Mr. Kim, who was active in smuggling others out of the country, communicated across the border. “Kim would not go into much detail,” the cable says, but did mention the burying of Chinese cellphones “on hillsides for people to dig up at night.” Mr. Kim said Dandong, China, and the surrounding Jilin Province “were natural gathering points for cross-border cellphone communication and for meeting sources.” The cellphones are able to pick up signals from towers in China, said Libby Liu, head of Radio Free Asia, the United States-financed broadcaster, who confirmed their existence and said her organization uses the calls to collect information for broadcasts as well.

The effort, in what is perhaps the world’s most closed nation, suggests just how many independent actors are involved in the subversive efforts. From the activist geeks on L Street in Washington to the military engineers in Afghanistan, the global appeal of the technology hints at the craving for open communication.

In a chat with a Times reporter via Facebook, Malik Ibrahim Sahad, the son of Libyan dissidents who largely grew up in suburban Virginia, said he was tapping into the Internet using a commercial satellite connection in Benghazi. “Internet is in dire need here. The people are cut off in that respect,” wrote Mr. Sahad, who had never been to Libya before the uprising and is now working in support of rebel authorities. Even so, he said, “I don’t think this revolution could have taken place without the existence of the World Wide Web.”

Reporting was contributed by Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Andrew W. Lehren from New York, and Alissa J. Rubin and Sangar Rahimi from Kabul, Afghanistan.

Turkish arrests intensify global war between hacker activists and police

Operation follows arrest of three alleged leaders of internet activist group Anonymous in Spain on Friday

June 13, 2011

by Giles Tremlett in Madrid and agencies in Istanbul


The global battle between hacker activists and police intensified Monday with 32 arrests in Turkey and an admission from Spanish police that the group Anonymous had successfully attacked their website in response to arrests made there.

Turkish police arrested 32 suspected local members of Anonymous, including eight minors, according to state news agency Anatolian. The arrests followed a complaint from Turkey’s directorate of telecommunications, whose website was taken down on Thursday.

Members of the Anonymous collective said that attack was carried out as a protest against internet censorship by the recently re-elected government of prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, of the moderate Islamist Justice and Development party (AKP).

Turkey is due to introduce an obligatory nationwide internet filtering system in August that will see users forced to sign up to one of four filters.

These are labelled “domestic”, “family”, “children” or “standard”, but hacker activists gathered under the Anonymous umbrella claim they will lead to state control of individual internet use, and allow authorities to keep records of such use.

The police operation in Turkey followed the arrest of three alleged leaders of the so-called Anons in Spain on Friday.

Spanish police admitted that Anonymous had claimed responsibility for blocking their main website briefly in the small hours of Sunday morning in retaliation for the arrests. Police claimed the three detainees jointly formed the “leadership” of Anonymous in Spain. They had allegedly been involved in attacks on the websites of the Sony PlayStation, several banks, an electricity company and the governments of Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Iran, Chile, Colombia and New Zealand.

A server allegedly used in the attacks was taken away when police raided homes in Gijón, Barcelona, Valencia and Almeria. Spanish police said the group had also launched attacks on the Catalan regional police, a trade union and the country’s electoral administration.

They said a 31-year-old from Gijón, northern Spain, had been a core member of the leadership. “This person provided infrastructure for the group with a server in their home, from which major international attacks launched by Anonymous were co-ordinated,” police said.

But a video posted on YouTube by purported members of Anonymous denied that the three people were leaders.

“The police have lied. They cannot detain our leadership because we have no leadership,” they said in a video that featured a “spokesman” wearing the group’s Guy Fawkes-inspired mask and peering down from a digital billboard on Madrid’s central Gran Vía street. “The server they took did not belong to Anonymous but was a small internet relay chat (IRC) server that we annexed.”

The Guy Fawkes masks, which originate from the V for Vendetta graphic novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd, have become popular among protesters who have gathered in recent weeks in Spanish squares to demand social and political reform.The Anonymous video stated that the group backed the non-violent protest movement, which finished dismantling its tented city in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol square in the early hours of Monday morning – ending several weeks of occupation.

A minority of hardcore protesters remain in the Puerta del Sol and in Barcelona’s Plaça Catalunya square, while the movement itself concentrates on spreading its popular assemblies to city neighbourhoods and organising one-off protests.

A joint protest in city squares around the globe has been called for 16 June.

Anonymous members cripple websites by overwhelming their servers with traffic in so-called denial of service attacks.

The group says it is not involved in credit-card fraud, but has been held responsible for attacks on the servers of both Mastercard and Amazon.

Spanish police claimed their arrests were the first major action against Anonymous outside the United States and Britain, where several people were detained in January.

The British government has admitted to recent cyber-attacks at the Treasury and, in the words of defence secretary Liam Fox, to a “sustained attack” on the Ministry of Defence.

Thieves Found Citigroup Site an Easy Entry

June 13, 2011

by Nelson D. Schwartz and Eric Dash
New York Times

Think of it as a mansion with a high-tech security system — but the front door wasn’t locked tight.

Using the Citigroup customer Web site as a gateway to bypass traditional safeguards and impersonate actual credit card holders, a team of sophisticated thieves cracked into the bank’s vast reservoir of personal financial data, until they were detected in a routine check in early May.

That allowed them to capture the names, account numbers, e-mail addresses and transaction histories of more than 200,000 Citi customers, security experts said, revealing for the first time details of one of the most brazen bank hacking attacks in recent years.

The case illustrates the threat posed by the rising demand for private financial information from the world of foreign hackers.

In the Citi breach, the data thieves were able to penetrate the bank’s defenses by first logging on to the site reserved for its credit card customers.

Once inside, they leapfrogged between the accounts of different Citi customers by inserting vari-ous account numbers into a string of text located in the browser’s address bar. The hackers’ code systems automatically repeated this exercise tens of thousands of times — allowing them to capture the confidential private data.

The method is seemingly simple, but the fact that the thieves knew to focus on this particular vulnerability marks the Citigroup attack as especially ingenious, security experts said.

One security expert familiar with the investigation wondered how the hackers could have known to breach security by focusing on the vulnerability in the browser. “It would have been hard to prepare for this type of vulnerability,” he said. The security expert insisted on anonymity because the inquiry was at an early stage.

The financial damage to Citigroup and its customers is not yet clear. Sean Kevelighan, a bank spokesman, declined to comment on the details of the breach, citing the ongoing criminal investigation. In a statement, he said that Citigroup discovered the breach in early May and the problem was “rectified immediately.” He added that the bank had initiated internal fraud alerts and stepped up its account monitoring.

The expertise behind the attack, according to law enforcement officials and security experts, is a sign of what is likely to be a wave of more and more sophisticated breaches by high-tech thieves hungry for credit card numbers and other confidential information.

That is because demand for the data is on the rise. In 2008, the underground market for the data was flooded with more than 360 million stolen personal records, most of them credit and debit files. That compared with 3.8 million records stolen in 2010, according to a report by Verizon and the Secret Service, which investigates credit card fraud along with other law enforcement agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Now, as credit cards that were compromised in the vast 2008 thefts expire, thieves are stepping up efforts to find new accounts.

As a result, prices for basic credit card information could rise to several dollars from their current level of only pennies.

“If you think financially motivated breaches are huge now, just wait another year,” said Bryan Sartin, who conducts forensic investigations for Verizon’s consulting arm.

The kind of information the thieves are able to glean is shared in online forums that are a veritable marketplace for criminals. Networks that three years ago numbered several thousands users have expanded to include tens of thousands of hackers.

“These are online bazaars,” said Pablo Martinez, deputy special agent in charge of the Secret Service’s criminal investigation division. “They are growing exponentially and we have seen the entire process become more professional.”

For example, some hackers specialize in prying out customer names, account numbers and other confidential information, Mr. Martinez said. Brokers then sell that information in the Internet bazaars. Criminals use it to impersonate customers and buy merchandise. Finally, “money mules” wire home the profits through outlets like Western Union or MoneyGram.

“It’s like ‘Mission Impossible’ when they select the teams,” said Mark Rasch, a former prosecutor who is now with CSC, an information technology services firm. “And they don’t know each other, except by hacker handle and reputation.”

In the Citi attack, the hackers did not obtain expiration dates or the three-digit security code on the back of the card, which will make it harder for thieves to use the information to commit fraud.

Not every breach results in a crime. But identity theft has ranked first among complaints to the Federal Trade Commission for 11 consecutive years, with 1.34 million in 2010, twice as many as the next category, which is debt collection.

Many of these attacks have their origins in Eastern Europe, including Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Romania. In fact, the security expert familiar with the Citi breach said it originated in the region, though he would not specify the country.

In Russia, Xakep.ru, is one of the larger forums for Eastern European hackers today, with nearly 13,300 registered members, according to Cyveillance. HackZone.ru is larger, and has more than 58,000 members. In addition, attacks by Romanian hackers have grown noticeably more advanced recently, according to security experts.

On HackZone, one seller who called himself “zoloto” promised “all cards valid 100%” and that they would be sold only one time.

Underscoring the multinational nature of these rings, American law-enforcement agencies have also been putting more investigators overseas.

“The only way to address a global issue is to address it globally with your partners,” said Gordon M. Snow, assistant director of the F.B.I.’s Cyber Division.

The Secret Service established a presence in Tallinn, Estonia, last month, and has embedded agents with Ukrainian authorities since the beginning of the year. The F.B.I. has embedded agents in the Netherlands, Estonia, Ukraine and Romania, and works closely with its counterparts in Australia, Germany and Britain.

But even officials at these agencies acknowledge that as fast as they move, the hackers’ strategi

es are evolving at Silicon Valley speed.

“With every takedown, they regroup,” said J. Keith Mularski, a supervisory special agent with the F.B.I.

Riva Richmond contributed reporting.

Iran successfully tests domestic air defense missiles

May 13, 2011


Iran has successfully tested on Sunday two domestically built air defense missiles, Xinhua said citing Iranian army commander.

Mersad and Shahin missiles that were designed by Iran’s Defense Ministry had already been submitted to the country’s air defense system, the senior Iranian Army commander, General Farzad Esmaili told country’s official TV.

Esmaili said that Mersad air defense system was capable of hitting targets at the average and low altitude up to 150 km away. The general did not specify on Shahin characteristics.

In February the commander of the Iran’s Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, General Mohammad Ali Jafari said that Iran had started mass production of ballistic missile defense systems, armed with missiles with a speed three times more than the speed of sound.

In mid-April Iran tested a new anti-aircraft missile, Said 2 in the central Iranian city of Arak.

Conversations with the Crow

When the CIA discovered that their former Deputy Director of Clandestine Affairs, Robert  T. Crowley, had been talking with author Gregory Douglas, they became fearful (because of what Crowley knew) and outraged (because they knew Douglas would publish eventually) and made many efforts to silence Crowley, mostly by having dozens of FBI agents call or visit him at his Washington home and try to convince him to stop talking to Douglas, whom they considered to be an evil, loose cannon.

Crowley did not listen to them (no one else ever does, either) and Douglas made through shorthand notes of each and every one of their many conversation. TBR News published most of these (some of the really vile ones were left out of the book but will be included on this site as a later addendum ) and the entire collection was later produced as an Ebook.

Now, we reliably learn, various Washington alphabet agencies are trying to find a way to block the circulation of this highly negative, entertaining and dangerous work, so to show our solidarity with our beloved leaders and protectors, and our sincere appreciation for their corrupt and coercive actions, we are going to reprint the entire work, chapter by chapter. (The complete book can be obtained by going to:


Here is the seventy eighth chapter

Conversation No. 78

Date: Monday, March 31, 1997

Commenced: 9:12 AM CST

Concluded: 9:28 AM CST

GD: I have been trying to work up an article on the BCCI and thought, Robert, you might have some knowledge of it, seeing as Corson told me you knew about them.

RTC: Bill has a motor mouth but yes, I know about them. What are you looking for?

GD: There has been quite a bit of comment on and off in the press about this and, as I said, Bill commented on this.

RTC: Well, BCCI was, is, a Paki bank, set up by a high-rolling con man and fraud expert named Abedi. We had connections with him and some of his people and he was willing to help us fund the anti-Russian rebels in Afghanistan but off the books. Critchfield had a hand in all of this gun business as you know. These people were a farce, setting up all kinds of off shore banks and basicially, it was nothing but a Ponzi scheme but one that we got into and were able to shut up a number of trouble makers along the way. And the Abedi people had connections with the Paki ISI…

GD: Pardon?

RTC: Called the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence. A Limey set it up at the time the Pakis broke off from India in the late ‘40s,. They basicially were the power behind the throne in Pakistan…ran everything, took huge bribes from us on one hand and the Russians on the other. Typical bunch of worthless raghead scum. Never turn you back on any of them,, ever, Gregory, or you get a knife in it. My, what a game that turned out to be. We had such a stake in all of that mess that we had to make sure it was kept quiet, at least until we managed to get Ivan out of Afghanistan. Oh yes, there were complaints because the BCCI people were not only outright frauds but very obvious to the legitimate bankers here. Oh, a nice conversation there and someone falling off a cliff there but these greedy crooks just got too much hubris and finally it began to unravel. You must have read about this. F. Lee Bailey was a front for them and God knows how many throughly rotten Congressmen, regulatory people and so on were on the take. I mean there was so much bribe money flowing out of those people you couldn’t wonder how high it went. They dragged old Clark Clifford into it and others. Of course Clark has a great opinion of himself and had no problem taking money for his services.

GD: And your people?

RTC: I have pounds of filched files on this. Poor Trento thinks he’s going to get them and write a Pulitizer Prise winner out of it. I ought to send them to you. Would you like that?

GD: And have Paki assassins lurking on my front porch, cunningly disguised as piles of dog droppings? Probably not…although…

RTC: Well, Trento is far too stupid to know what to do with them so if I don’t send them to you, I might burn them. Emily shouldn’t have to deal with it when I’m gone and Greg…my son, not you…wouldn’t have a clue. Yes, I can send them to you and you can do what you want with them. My God, Gregory, billions of dollars in taxpayers funds lining pockets from here to Karachi.

GD: Critchfield?

RTC: Among others…but not me. Jim made so much money from the rag heads that I’m surprised he didn’t buy the Capitol as a barn for his stupid horses.

GD: And Atwood…

RTC: Small potatoes. The roster of the anointed reads like the Washington social calendar. Senator this and Director that.

GD: Kimmel?
RTC: Oh, God, no, not Dudley Doright. And don’t mention any of this to him. He wouldn’t have the fantest idea what to do with it and if he tried, he would join brother Colby in the boneyard. I tell you, Gregory, when we started the Company in ’48, believe it or not, we were a bunch of idealists. Of course the Cold War was a fake but we were really interested in fucking up old Joe Stalin and also thwarting the liberal kikes inside the Beltway. Still, idealists at heart. The thievery started later. Gregory, put a poorish man in a room full of gold coins and a few will stick to his feet. Sometimes more than a few. I ran the CIA’s business section and believe me, it was a wonderful rerlationship with the latter-day robber barons. The slide rule Shylocks. I rather like you, Gregory and if I gave you come of the papers I collected, you would either die or become very, very rich. I think they call it blackmail.

GD: One has to be careful what that, Robert. For instance, you tell me Angleton was in with the mob…

RTC: And the kikes too, don’t forget that. I really liked and admired Jim but…

GD: Yes. That’s like having a best friend from collegs who pimps autistic children to fat old men,

RTC: Yes, more or less but Jim had terrible friends. They got more out of him than he ever got out of them, let me advise you.

GD: I got the better of a Jew once and I thought the bugger would explode. On the other hand, I would never try to get the better of a Mafioso. I’ve known a few and I get on fine with them but try to screw them? I think not. Well, most of them have a really well developed sense of honor and the Jews do not. And they hate the Jews.

RTC: But Lansky…

GD: An exception. There is always an exception. Well, I might take some of your background material on the BCCI people if you have it to hand and it isn’t too much trouble. I always thought Clark Clifford was a triple plated phoney anyway. Him and Alan Cranston.

RTC: Agreed but why stop there?

GD: I’d be on this call for three days straight, just reading off the names. Isn’t America blessed to have to many thieves that get away with it?

RTC: Well, if you steal a dollar, you are a thief but if you steal ten million, you are a financier.

RTC: Or a Republican.

(Concluded at 9:28 AM CST)

Dramatis personae:

James Jesus Angleton: Once head of the CIA’s Counterintelligence division, later fired because of his obsessive and illegal behavior, tapping the phones of many important government officials in search of elusive Soviet spies. A good friend of Robert Crowley and a co-conspirator with him in the assassination of President Kennedy

James P. Atwood: (April 16, 1930-April 20, 1997) A CIA employee, located in Berlin, Atwood had a most interesting career. He worked for any other intelligence agency, domestic or foreign, that would pay him, was involved in selling surplus Russian atomic artillery shells to the Pakistan government and was also most successful in the manufacturing of counterfeit German dress daggers. Too talkative, Atwood eventually had a sudden, and fatal, “seizure” while lunching with CIA associates.

William Corson: A Marine Corps Colonel and President Carter’s representative to the CIA. A friend of Crowley and Kimmel, Corson was an intelligent man whose main failing was a frantic desire to be seen as an important person. This led to his making fictional or highly exaggerated claims.

John Costello: A British historian who was popular with revisionist circles. Died of AIDS on a trans-Atlantic flight to the United States.

James Critchfield: Former U.S. Army Colonel who worked for the CIA and organizaed the Cehlen Org. at Pullach, Germany. This organization was filled to the Plimsoll line with former Gestapo and SD personnel, many of whom were wanted for various purported crimes. He hired Heinrich Müller in 1948 and went on to represent the CIA in the Persian Gulf.

Robert T. Crowley: Once the deputy director of Clandestine Operations and head of the group that interacted with corporate America. A former West Point football player who was one of the founders of the original CIA. Crowley was involved at a very high level with many of the machinations of the CIA.

Gregory Douglas: A retired newspaperman, onetime friend of Heinrich Müller and latterly, of Robert Crowley. Inherited stacks of files from the former (along with many interesting works of art acquired during the war and even more papers from Robert Crowley.) Lives comfortably in a nice house overlooking the Mediterranean.

Reinhard Gehlen: A retired German general who had once been in charge of the intelligence for the German high command on Russian military activities. Fired by Hitler for incompetence, he was therefore naturally hired by first, the U.S. Army and then, as his level of incompetence rose, with the CIA. His Nazi-stuffed organizaion eventually became the current German Bundes Nachrichten Dienst.

Thomas K. Kimmel, Jr: A grandson of Admiral Husband Kimmel, Naval commander at Pearl Harbor who was scapegoated after the Japanese attack. Kimmel was a senior FBI official who knew both Gregory Douglas and Robert Crowley and made a number of attempts to discourage Crowley from talking with Douglas. He was singularly unsuccessful. Kimmel subsequently retired, lives in Florida, and works for the CIA as an “advisor.”

Willi Krichbaum: A Senior Colonel (Oberführer) in the SS, head of the wartime Secret Field Police of the German Army and Heinrich Müller’s standing deputy in the Gestapo. After the war, Krichbaum went to work for the Critchfield organization and was their chief recruiter and hired many of his former SS friends. Krichbaum put Critchfield in touch with Müller in 1948.

Heinrich Müller: A former military pilot in the Bavarian Army in WWI, Müller  became a political police officer in Munich and was later made the head of the Secret State Police or Gestapo. After the war, Müller escaped to Switzerland where he worked for Swiss intelligence as a specialist on Communist espionage and was hired by James Critchfield, head of the Gehlen Organization, in 1948. Müller subsequently was moved to Washington where he worked for the CIA until he retired.

Joseph Trento: A writer on intelligence subjects, Trento and his wife “assisted” both Crowley and Corson in writing a book on the Russian KGB. Trento believed that he would inherit all of Crowley’s extensive files but after Crowley’s death, he discovered that the files had been gutted and the most important, and sensitive, ones given to Gregory Douglas. Trento was not happy about this. Neither were his employers.

Frank Wisner: A Founding Father of the CIA who promised much to the Hungarian and then failed them. First, a raging lunatic who was removed from Langley, screaming, in a strait jacket and later, blowing off the top of his head with a shotgun.

Robert Wolfe: A retired librarian from the National Archives who worked closely with the CIA on covering up embarrassing historical material in the files of the Archives. A strong supporter of holocaust writers specializing in creative writing

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