“It is criminal to steal a purse, daring to steal a fortune, a mark of greatness to steal a crown. The blame diminishes as the guilt increases.”
— Johann Friedrich Von Schiller
First, this is a great video about Stuxnet.
It’s very well done and has a few things you might not know about Stux. More importantly, it’s relevant to the big news of the day. The hacker group Lulzsec released a torrent file containing bulletins, email archives, images and other internal documents from the Arizona police. The torrent wording is particularly interesting
We are releasing hundreds of private intelligence bulletins, training manuals, personal email correspondence, names, phone numbers, addresses and passwords belonging to Arizona law enforcement. We are targeting AZDPS specifically because we are against SB1070 and the racial profiling anti-immigrant police state that is Arizona.
The documents classified as “law enforcement sensitive”, “not for public distribution”, and “for official use only” are primarily related to border patrol and counter-terrorism operations and describe the use of informants to infiltrate various gangs, cartels, motorcycle clubs, Nazi groups, and protest movements.
Every week we plan on releasing more classified documents and embarassing personal details of military and law enforcement in an effort not just to reveal their racist and corrupt nature but to purposefully sabotage their efforts to
terrorize communities fighting an unjust “war on drugs”.
Hackers of the world are uniting and taking direct action against our common oppressors – the government, corporations, police, and militaries of the world. See you again real soon! ;D
Here are some other fun facts: If you go to their website LulzSecurity.com and press the mute button, the music doubles the volume. Also interesting is that they take donations. Wikileaks got fucked there and Lulzsec is taking them in bitcoins. Very prudent.
You might think this is a juvenile prank and well, you’re right. I’d also like to draw your attention to this article in the nytimes today:
THIS spring was a rough season for the Fourth Amendment. The Obama administration petitioned the Supreme Court to allow GPS tracking of vehicles without judicial permission. The Supreme Court ruled that the police could break into a house without a search warrant if, after knocking and announcing themselves, they heard what sounded like evidence being destroyed. Then it refused to see a Fourth Amendment violation where a citizen was jailed for 16 days on the false pretext that he was being held as a material witness to a crime.
In addition, Congress renewed Patriot Act provisions on enhanced surveillance powers until 2015, and the F.B.I. expanded agents’ authority to comb databases, follow people and rummage through their trash even if they are not suspected of a crime.
None of these are landmark decisions. But together they further erode the privilege of privacy that was championed by Congress and the courts in the mid-to-late-20th century, when the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement was applied to the states, unconstitutionally seized evidence was ruled inadmissible in state trials, and privacy laws were enacted following revelations in the 1970s of domestic spying on antiwar and civil rights groups.
For over a decade now, the government has tried to make us more secure by chipping away at the one provision of the Bill of Rights that pivots on the word “secure” — the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee of “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures.”
The founding fathers, who sought security from government, would probably reject today’s conventional wisdom that liberty and security are at odds, and that one must be sacrificed for the other. In their experience, the chief threat to individual security came from government itself, as in the house-to-house searches conducted by British customs officers under blanket “writs of assistance.” After the Boston lawyer James Otis Jr. eloquently challenged the writs in 1761, John Adams, who was present in the crowded courtroom, wrote of the audience’s rage, “Then and there the child independence was born.”
Independent America’s answer to those searches was the Fourth Amendment, with its requirement that law enforcement have probable cause to believe that evidence of a crime can be found at a particular place and time before a judge issues a warrant.
The ingenious feature of this demand is that it makes criminal investigations more efficient and accurate, even as it preserves liberty. If that rule and others in the Bill of Rights are followed, the police waste less time chasing false leads, make fewer erroneous arrests and leave the community safer.
In other words, the framers handed down a system in which liberty and security were fused, one inseparable from the other. So it is hard to see how safety has been enhanced by the post-9/11 expansion of counterterrorism surveillance, which has uncovered hardly any known plots and instead burdens analysts with so much irrelevant noise that they have trouble hearing the ominous melodies.
A recent study by the Breakthrough Institute found only two cases that benefited from the secret warrants made easier by the Patriot Act. The rest, the report concluded, “were broken open due to the combination of well-deployed undercover agents, information from citizen or undercover informants and tips from foreign intelligence agencies.” The two exceptions were the Portland Seven, Oregon Muslims who tried to travel to Afghanistan to fight with the Taliban in 2001, and Najibullah Zazi, a Colorado resident from Afghanistan who pleaded guilty last year to planning a suicide attack in the New York City subways.
Two successes in nearly a decade might be enough to satisfy a fearful public, but it is worth noting that both cases began with old-fashioned tips — the first from a landlord, the second from Pakistani intelligence linking Mr. Zazi to Al Qaeda — and could have been pursued with the law enforcement tools available before 9/11.
The false dichotomy of liberty versus security is accompanied by another myth: that someone else’s rights are always the ones at risk, that I can give up their rights for my safety. It seems a comfortable bargain. The terrorist is covertly monitored, the drug dealer is searched and the upstanding citizen is protected.
But it does not always work that way. The constitutional system of case law and precedent applies rulings on rights universally. So, legally, if a black man in a poor neighborhood can be stopped and frisked with minimal reason, so can a white woman in a rich neighborhood — even if the police tactics differ.
American history is replete with assaults on liberties that first target foreigners, minorities and those on the political margins, then spread toward the mainstream. The 1917 Espionage Act, for example, was used to prosecute American labor leaders and other critics of the government, and the 1798 Alien Enemies Act was revived after Pearl Harbor to intern American citizens of Japanese ancestry. A similar process is taking place now, as the F.B.I. has begun using counterterrorism tools to search, infiltrate and investigate groups of American peace activists and labor leaders in the Midwest.
The Fourth Amendment is weaker than it was 50 years ago, and this should worry everyone. “Uncontrolled search and seizure is one of the first and most effective weapons in the arsenal of every arbitrary government,” Justice Robert H. Jackson, the former chief United States prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials, wrote in 1949. “Among deprivations of rights, none is so effective in cowing a population, crushing the spirit of the individual and putting terror in every heart.”
:: Free to Search and Seize via The NYTimes :: I excerpted the whole thing because it’s important.
The LulzSec hacking is not without important historical perspective.
Thirty-five years ago today, a group of anonymous activists broke into the small, two-man office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Media, Pa., and stole more than 1,000 FBI documents that revealed years of systematic wiretapping, infiltration and media manipulation designed to suppress dissent.
The Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI, as the group called itself, forced its way in at night with a crowbar while much of the country was watching the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier fight. When agents arrived for work the next morning, they found the file cabinets virtually emptied.
Within a few weeks, the documents began to show up � mailed anonymously in manila envelopes with no return address � in the newsrooms of major American newspapers. When the Washington Post received copies, Atty. Gen. John N. Mitchell asked Executive Editor Ben Bradlee not to publish them because disclosure, he said, could “endanger the lives” of people involved in investigations on behalf of the United States.
Nevertheless, the Post broke the first story on March 24, 1971, after receiving an envelope with 14 FBI documents detailing how the bureau had enlisted a local police chief, letter carriers and a switchboard operator at Swarthmore College to spy on campus and black activist groups in the Philadelphia area.
More documents went to other reporters � Tom Wicker received copies at his New York Times office; so did reporters at the Los Angeles Times � and to politicians including Sen. George McGovern of South Dakota and Rep. Parren J. Mitchell of Maryland.
To this day, no individual has claimed responsibility for the break-in. The FBI, after building up a six-year, 33,000-page file on the case, couldn’t solve it. But it remains one of the most lastingly consequential (although underemphasized) watersheds of political awareness in recent American history, one that poses tough questions even today for our national leaders who argue that fighting foreign enemies requires the government to spy on its citizens. The break-in is far less well known than Daniel Ellsberg’s leak of the Pentagon Papers three months later, but in my opinion it deserves equal stature.
Found among the Media documents was a new word, “COINTELPRO,” short for the FBI’s “secret counterintelligence program,” created to investigate and disrupt dissident political groups in the U.S. Under these programs, beginning in 1956, the bureau worked to “enhance the paranoia endemic in these circles,” as one COINTELPRO memo put it, “to get the point across there is an FBI agent behind every mailbox.”
The Media documents � along with further revelations about COINTELPRO in the months and years that followed � made it clear that the bureau had gone beyond mere intelligence-gathering to discredit, destabilize and demoralize groups � many of them peaceful, legal civil rights organizations and antiwar groups � that the FBI and Director J. Edgar Hoover found offensive or threatening.
:: The Los Angeles Times ::
This was sent to me via Email today, perhaps as an extension of a series of drunken pranks from the weekend.
Dear friend of NASSCO,
If you are a new NASSCO member, you have exclusive access to our members only section at www.nassco.org. Your username is contained in the new member packet that is on the way to you via UPS.
If you just completed the Pipeline Assessment & Certification Program (PACP), or the Inspector Training and Certification Program (ITCP), congratulations! As a certified individual, you have access to manual updates at www.nassco.org. If you are now a certified Trainer, you will also have access to Training Materials online.
Below you will find your temporary password, which you can change once you login. If you have problems logging in, please call 410-486-3500.
Temporary Password: ***********
You are receiving this message from the NASSCO.org website. Refer to http://www.nassco.org for more details.
That would be the National Association of Sewer Service Companies. Yeah, so if somebody just messed up an email address this baffled me. If you did this as part of a prank, 6/10. 7/10 if the package arrives at my house…
The Williams X-Jet, created by Williams International, was a small, light-weight Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) system powered by a modified Williams F107 turbofan aircraft engine. It was designed to be operated by and carry one person and controlled by leaning in the direction of desired travel and adjusting the power. It could move in any direction, accelerate rapidly, hover, and rotate on its axis, staying aloft for up to 45 minutes and traveling at speeds up to 60 miles per hour (100 km/h). It was evaluated by the U.S. Army in the 1980s, and was deemed inferior to the capabilities of helicopters and small unmanned aircraft.
Other VTOL systems developed by Williams International included a jet-powered flying belt developed in 1969, which was powered by a Williams WR19 fanjet, and the WASP (Williams Aerial Systems Platform) developed in the 1970s, which was powered by the more powerful WR19-9. This vehicle was nicknamed “The Flying Pulpit”.
:: The Wikipedia ::
:: Via Email (Thanks Star!) ::
This is sort of like watching someone drunk on power do jaeger shots…
WASHINGTON — The Federal Bureau of Investigation is giving significant new powers to its roughly 14,000 agents, allowing them more leeway to search databases, go through household trash or use surveillance teams to scrutinize the lives of people who have attracted their attention.
Enlarge This Image
Brendan Smialowski for The New York Times
Valerie E. Caproni, the F.B.I. general counsel, said the bureau had carefully considered each change to its operations manual.
The F.B.I. soon plans to issue a new edition of its manual, called the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide, according to an official who has worked on the draft document and several others who have been briefed on its contents. The new rules add to several measures taken over the past decade to give agents more latitude as they search for signs of criminal or terrorist activity.
The F.B.I. recently briefed several privacy advocates about the coming changes. Among them, Michael German, a former F.B.I. agent who is now a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, argued that it was unwise to further ease restrictions on agents’ power to use potentially intrusive techniques, especially if they lacked a firm reason to suspect someone of wrongdoing.
“Claiming additional authorities to investigate people only further raises the potential for abuse,” Mr. German said, pointing to complaints about the bureau’s surveillance of domestic political advocacy groups and mosques and to an inspector general’s findings in 2007 that the F.B.I. had frequently misused “national security letters,” which allow agents to obtain information like phone records without a court order.
:: via the NYTimes ::
I think that demanding politicians be married is about as ridiculous as demanding that priests be celibate.
I believe that one day soon I will live in a country where a female president is brought down by a sex scandal.
“I would start a revolution, but I just bought a hammock.”-Zach Galifianakis.
Also, did you catch this? I just saw it:
A Wikileaks post published on The Nation shows that the Obama Administration fought to keep Haitian wages at 31 cents an hour. It started when Haiti passed a law two years ago raising its minimum wage to 61 cents an hour. According to an embassy cable: This infuriated American corporations like Hanes and Levi Strauss that pay Haitians slave wages to sew their clothes. They said they would only fork over a seven-cent-an-hour increase, and they got the State Department involved. The U.S. ambassador put pressure on Haiti’s president, who duly carved out a $3 a day minimum wage for textile companies (the U.S. minimum wage, which itself is very low, works out to $58 a day).
Haiti has about 25,000 garment workers. If you paid each of them $2 a day more, it would cost their employers $50,000 per working day, or about $12.5 million a year … As of last year Hanes had 3,200 Haitians making t-shirts for it. Paying each of them two bucks a day more would cost it about $1.6 million a year. Hanesbrands Incorporated made $211 million on $4.3 billion in sales last year.
:: via Business Insider ::
Just in case you’ve been living under a tectonic plate, Haiti is probably the most fucked place on earth.
Wow, I totally missed this:
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has intensified the American covert war in Yemen, exploiting a growing power vacuum in the country to strike at militant suspects with armed drones and fighter jets, according to American officials.
The acceleration of the American campaign in recent weeks comes amid a violent conflict in Yemen that has left the government in Sana, a United States ally, struggling to cling to power. Yemeni troops that had been battling militants linked to Al Qaeda in the south have been pulled back to the capital, and American officials see the strikes as one of the few options to keep the militants from consolidating power.
On Friday, American jets killed Abu Ali al-Harithi, a midlevel Qaeda operative, and several other militant suspects in a strike in southern Yemen. According to witnesses, four civilians were also killed in the airstrike. Weeks earlier, drone aircraft fired missiles aimed at Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical American-born cleric who the United States government has tried to kill for more than a year. Mr. Awlaki survived.
:: More from the NYTimes ::