Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I don't know ...therefore ass probers or NAZI's

you look me in the eyes & tell me ..he hasn't been "probed"  LMMFAO (laughing my motherfucking ass off ) or maybe it's just our good ole friends ? 

Hitler Gets Fired from McDonald's

Hitler Gets Fired from McDonald's

Hitler's Facebook Account Is Deleted

Hitler's Facebook Account Is Deleted





Looking back over the year it can be said that if there was ever a year of disillusionment 2013 would be a record year for it. The unfortunate part is that the disillusionment has been carried over from previous years and that the tolerance level has reached its nadir.
It is also unfortunate that whenever an honest American wants to talk about this disillusionment they are often canned up and labeled like a can of beans. The disillusionment is not just the product of dare we say a “right wing conspiracy” it is most certainly the result of years of persecution and being ignored by a government that has promised that it is looking out for its citizenry.
The 13 years that have been fraught with lunacy, oversensitivity, hatred, polarization, and conflict are about to become more heated in the year to come as the evidence continues to mount that we have chosen a police state lifestyle and a nation that has now become a war state.
The Obama Administration has consistently justified its broad exercise of military powers by pointing out that it is executing what Congress has authorized it to do. We all know that laid the groundwork for a police state during the Bush administration.
The dialogue that was raised about the Patriot Act I and II and the Project for the New American century’s section 5 was completely ignored because the nation was still trying to recuperate from its trauma after the September 11th, 2001 attacks.
Most of these provisions were supposed to have an expiration date, however now we realize that they have outlived their shelf life and President Obama has allowed for the loose interpretation of constitutional law, and the American people are slowly losing their grip on what citizens are entitled to under the constitution.
The mainstream media still has its grip on American opinion and as they move into the new year, they still do not have the ability to be cynical and skeptical about political moves in this country. It can be a liberal media that praises the left or a Conservative media that praises the right and still the American people are given nothing but platitudes that supply their already rigid thinking about that issues served up like bad school lunch.
It might as well be food for thought scraped from the dumpster because as the media is still caught up in the Duck Dynasty fiasco, constitutional freedoms and the American way of life is being brought down in a controlled demolition.
The liberties and freedoms that our forefathers have died for are being mocked and destroyed and it is becoming clear that the attitudes of most Americans is that we had this coming, or that it is not surprising and cannot be stopped.
As I have said many times, criminality immediately severs all ties to political party, religious affiliation and citizenship.
If you are a criminal you lose all of those affiliations, because of what they represent.
Good Christians, Muslims and Jews are not criminals. Great leaders no matter what party they are from lose their label of “great” when they commit a crime against humanity. If you are an American and you commit a crime against the constitution you are a traitor. You are no longer a true American and your loyalties are not to be trusted.
It appears that what we once called honorable men and women, are more than likely lying to you, stealing from you, and making a list of enemies that they can see eliminated if they pose a threat to their power.
This year we have debated as to whether or not Edward Snowden is a traitor or a hero. I often cringe when I hear people publicly state that he is a traitor when he pointed out the obvious truth about the American evolution into a police state.
Snowden told us the obvious and it is baffling to hear people defend the new cybernetic panopticon that is growing unabated.
Today I awakened with the radio on. A special news bulletin that was read made me jump out of bed enraged. The headline read was “Federal Judge now says NSA spying is Constitutional.
That ruling came courtesy of US District Judge William Pauley, who decided in favor of the NSA and the American government. This was in response to a case filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Reuters reported that Judge Pauley admitted in a decision penned in the Southern District of New York court that the NSA “vacuums up information about virtually every telephone call to, from, or within the United States,” but that no evidence exists that the spy agency abuses this program to spy on people without terroristic ties.”
Pauley also made the insipid statement that if the NSA wiretapping existed prior to 2001 the government could have predicted the 9/11 attacks.
These statements should be publicly shamed because those who know better would point out that a memo that was declassified in 2007 stated that as far back as 1997, Osama Bin Laden was already making waves as a CIA blow back, plotting an attack on U.S. soil. In 1998 his attacks on Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania had already sent a signal that he was becoming a formidable enemy of the United States and its interests.
It can also be noted that in 1996 that there was concern that terrorist operatives were planning an attack on the Atlanta Olympics. In fact at one high-level planning meeting before the Olympics in 1996, White House Counter-terrorism Richard Clarke had even theorized that terrorists might hijack a 747 and crash it into Olympic stadium.
So, does Judge Pauley really stand by his ignorance with this unconstitutional decision? Has the mainstream corporate media taken the time to point out that his statements are ludicrous? Absolutely not, we are still trying to ascertain the intent of Phil Robertson the so called “duck commander” with is statements in GQ magazine and why Jesse Jackson has been thrown into the circus.
This alone should convince you that there is a conspiracy to selectively present information in order to sway the public towards a police state agenda. What we are not told is what really can hurt us in the New Year.
In the battle for your liberty you must know who your enemies are and how they are fooling you into thinking that just because they hold lofty positions in the community that they can avoid being on wanted posters or have their mug shots posted on the internet.
There are other enemies that I encourage you not to tolerate and that is the pandering politicians who sound the desperation alarms by declaring that these unconstitutional moves are needed for security, when it is obvious that the security they speak of is their own, because they know the tolerance level is about to give and that when the dragnet goes out and citizens demand accountability they will be indicted on charges that demonstrate utter contempt for constitutional law.
Also be warned of trolls that linger in Social networks that use malicious attacks to try and discredit independent reporters. They are all quick to take reporters out of context, and label anyone they see as a threat to their “party” as an “agent” or a “gate keeper.”
It is appropriate to point out that many of these trolls call themselves “activists” that come on the scene to tell the world that they are here to destroy “hate speech” when what they are really doing is destroying any and all contrarian stance against what they feel is important for their political agenda.
If you don’t speak enough of the alleged Jewish Banking Conspiracy, you are an agent. If you speak against the Illuminati, you are an agent. If you do not talk about Obama’s illegitimacy as president you are an agent. If you don’t support prayer in the public schools or the Ten Commandments in court houses you are an agent.
I suggest that these trolls are agents. That they use push button “crisis” like the media does in order to inflict a credibility conundrum. It is time to declare that petty little agendas get in the way of true crime and constitutional negation that will thrust America into full on martial law in 2014.
I never have understood how this type of nonsense gets heard, and why so many people do not realize that there will be a time when independent thought will considered precedent for pre-crime by the government.
You can’t tell me that if Edward Snowden or Glenn Greenwald were to just show up one day in the United States appearing on TMZ or Good Morning America, that they would not be hauled away and put in a prison without a trial. That is just how bad we have become in this country with regard to the sickness of knee jerk and bumper sticker patriotism.
There are plenty of people out there that would demand an execution in the public square for any and all that expose these ignorant and unconstitutional decisions because the media has not discouraged these judges and politicos from spreading disinformation.
America will return the day we can tune into the nightly news and hear the talking heads declare that there are people in power that have abused their positions. That they have revoked the public trust, and have conducted themselves like mobsters.
If they could just say the truth about how we are seeing before us a small group of men that are leading through intimidation and coercion. These so called leaders are banking on the ignorance of the American people and making decisions that become bulletins without consequence or challenge.
There are Americans today that have a default setting of hate for anyone who does not necessarily agree with them politically or religiously. However there must be an agreement where people can set aside their programming in order to acknowledge that powerful men and women conspire. They do so in order to retain their power and keep their bulging paychecks.
Anymore, we see that there are people on the internet that try to sound the alarm and are met with mobs of people who are more than likely capable of meaningful dialogue on an issue kill it with a joke, or pretend like that they are in some half baked reality show.
The truth is we can make amusing comments and pretend it is alright, or claim that all people who believe that the government is corrupt are conspiracy nutcases, but the truth is that the idea of police state has now trickled into the television format of C-span.
On December 26th, 2013 C-span opened their phone lines and asked the provocative question “Is the United States a Police State?” The overwhelming majority said yes.
I don’t know what is worse, admitting to it, or doing nothing about it.

Is Fukushima Radiation Decimating Wildlife in the Western Portion of North America?

Seals, Sea Lions, Polar Bears, Bald Eagles, Sea Stars, Turtles, King and Sockeye Salmon, Herring, Anchovies and Sardines All Suffering Mysterious Diseases

Region: , ,

We’ve previous documented that seals, sea lions, polar bears, sea stars, turtles, sockeye salmon, herring, anchovies and sardines on the West Coast of North America are all suffering mysterious diseases … which are killing many.
We’ve asked whether this is related to massive releases of radiation from Fukushima. Update.
Sadly, we can now add other wildlife to the list.
EneNews reports:
Los Angeles Times, Dec. 29, 2013: Bald eagles are dying in Utah — 20 in the past few weeks alone — and nobody can figure out why. [...] Many suffered from seizures, head tremors and paralysis [...] Many of the eagles were brought to the mammoth Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah [...] Within 48 hours, most were dead. [...] State wildlife specialists are baffled. For weeks, officials have sent birds for necropsies [...] At first, the agency’s disease scientists guessed the illness could be encephalitis, which is caused by the West Nile virus, but later ruled out that possibility. [...] Officials suggest the die-off is possibly connected to the deaths of thousands of eared grebes that began in Utah in November. [...] Officials still don’t know why the shore birds became sick. [...] Officials at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center have their own theories. Some point to radiation from Japan after the 2011 meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. [...] A call from Idaho shed new light: A wildlife official said bald eagles there were also getting sick, suggesting the birds were arriving in Utah already in bad health.
Buz Marthaler, Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah co-founder: “It’s just hard to have your national bird in your arms, going through seizures in a way it can’t control — when you can see it’s pain but don’t know what’s happening to it. As a human being, you just have problems with that. And when you lose one, it just grabs your heart. [...] In an average year, we might get one or two, but we’ve received nine so far, and five of those have died. The other four are still in our care. [...] We aren’t ruling out anything.”
Washington Post, Dec. 30, 2013: [...] “This is really concerning to us,” says [Leslie McFarlane, the wildlife disease program coordinator for the state’s Division of Wildlife Resources]. She has been program coordinator for 10 years and describes the recent deaths as “very unusual.” [...] The symptoms noted in the recent spate of deaths—and the broad geographical area in which they have cropped up—are what has officials concerned.
Listen to the public news service report here
In a second article, EneNews notes:
Juneau Empire, Dec. 29, 2013: [...] the king [chinook] salmon — has fallen from its throne. [...] Alaska has seen unprecedented declines in recent years [...] scientists like Joe Orsi and Jim Murphy, both fisheries research biologists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, are digging deeper into [...] the cause of the startling downward trend. [...] When asked about the potential impact Fukushima may be having on king salmon stocks in the Gulf of Alaska and elsewhere in the state, Orsi would not comment. “I’ve been told to refer you to the (Environmental Protection Agency),” he said, “Because I’m not an expert on the topic.” Calls and emails to the EPA were not returned in time and digging on the federal agency’s site revealed no current information on radiation from the Fukushima disaster. The last posted monitoring results occurred in June of 2011.
Unfortunately, the American and Japanese governments are doing everything they can to cover up the severity of the Fukushima disaster.  Indeed, anytime government or big corporations screw up, the government works to cover it up … instead of actually fixing the problem. And see this.
EneNews continues:
Bellingham Herald, Dec. 5, 2013: “[...] we see from test fisheries that the Chinook numbers returning to the Fraser River system were at a record low,” explained Ken Balcomb, executive director and principal investigator for The Center for Research and a science advisor to the whale watch association. [...] [An] alarming decrease of an important identified food resource [...]
Islander Sound, Dec. 25, 2013: [A] dismal return of Chinook salmon to the Fraser River.
Salmon Fishing in British Columbia, Canada: There are two major salmon runs of Chinook that are targeted by anglers; the Fraser river [and] Harrison River.
December 2013: Previously unpublished map from gov’t scientists shows Fukushima plume already at Alaska coast (PHOTO)
November 2013: CBC Headline: Radiation from Fukushima arrives on Alaska coast — University scientists concerned — “Is the food supply safe?… I don’t think anyone can really answer that”
September 2013: US Gov’t: Alaska island “appears to show impacts from Fukushima” — “Significant cesium isotope signature” detected — Scientists anticipate more marine life to be impacted as ocean plume arrives (VIDEO)

The Greatest Response To A Cease And Desist Letter, Probably Written While Drunk

from the cc:-mr.-bucks dept

Cross-posted from
This year certainly had its share of ups and downs in terms of lawyerly antics, but in our minds, 2013 shall forever be known as the year of the snarky cease and desist response letter. Back in June, we broke the news of the now famous response to a cease and desist letter received from the Town of West Orange, New Jersey, which went viral worldwide thanks to the power of sarcasm. A few months later, we wrote about an equally entertaining response to a cease and desist letter received from the American Bankers Association, rife with Spice Girls lyrics and Valley girl lingo.
It’s been a while since we wrote about one of these treasures, so we figured we’d close the year out with a bang. We discovered yet another amazing response to a cease and desist letter, and this one may be the greatest of them all — if only because we think its author might have been drunk while writing it….
Jeff Britton, the owner of Exit 6 Pub and Brewery in Cotteville, Missouri, received a cease and desist letter from none other than Starbucks, specifically from Anessa Owen Kramer of Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn, over a beer named “Frappicino.” As the world knows, the lords of coffee sell a frozen drink (a coffee Slurpee?) by the name of “Frappuccino.” Yes, the names are similar, but to be confused enough to think you could order the nectar of mall-hopping teenage girls at a bar, you’d have to be pretty drunk.
Rather than cower in fear over the legal consequences threatened by America’s coffee monarch, Britton decided it would be in his best interests to write a response on his own, without the assistance of legal counsel, because he didn’t need no stinkin’ lawyer. Here’s what he posted on the Exit 6 Facebook page:
So quick little story. Last week I received a cease and desist letter from the attorneys at Starbucks. Apparently there was a beer on Untappd that someone named “Frappicino”. 3 people had checked into said beer. 3. Starbucks [didn't] like that. So I got a letter. They wanted me to remove the beer and promise never to use their names again. They also wanted my written response and guarantee. Here is their letter. And also my response.
Needless to say, Britton’s response is amazing — he even threw in some legalese, despite the fact that he’s not a lawyer (oh yeah, heretofore, baby). Here are some highlights from his letter (all errors included in the original). You’d have to be drunk to write something like this, right? Who cares, it’s freakin’ awesome:
Exit 6 has proudly sold at least 38 drinks in Cottleville MO and has a strong presence in St Charles county, a suburb 40 miles outside the St Louis metropolis. It has recently come to Exit 6 Pub and Brewerys attention that there were 3 check ins to the beer with a very similar name to the “F Word”. Unfortunately it was only similar to the F Word because we meant to call it the same thing. Lucky for us, we’re poor spelers.
I would like for both Ms Owen Kramer and Mr Bucks to rest assured we meant no deception, confusion, or mistaking in the naming of the beer F Word. We never thought that our beer drinking customers would have thought that the alcoholic beverage coming out of the tap would have actually been coffee from one of the many, many, many stores located a few blocks away. I guess that with there being a Starbucks on every corner of every block in every city that some people may think they could get a Starbucks at a local bar. So that was our mistake.
Mr. Bucks isn’t Ms. Owen Kramer’s co-counsel; no, this “poor speler” is addressing Mr. Star Bucks himself, as if he were an actual human being. We imagine Britton was at least six Frapps in at this point.
We haven’t even gotten to the best part yet. To show Mr. Bucks just how sorry he really was, Britton enclosed a check in the amount of Exit 6′s profits made from its “Frappicino” beer to be applied to Ms. Owen Kramer’s legal fees, which he admits were “probably … more than Exit 6 made last year.” Here it is:
Behold: the legal equivalent of a mic drop. Cheers to you, Jeff Britton! We raise a glass in your honor.

Video – DARPA and Google: ‘Wearing electronic tattoos for is cool’

we got an whole gen of kooks /nuts ..can't wait to get "hooked", turned into 1/2 Human ,1/2 Machine  ?  got it ALL figured out ?      'cept  the "EVIL"   angle ... lol there is no God ?     until fucking satan starts snap~in at yer ass  & than it's oh please God save  me !  lol  & um not talk`in bout the relig  kooks & "their" books /"end times" bull shit  ... any of em !   funny how all these smart fucks  ... just can't figure out ...evil  lol .. until it's  latched on to their asses    & than "they" become ....believers   Oops hehe

truther December 31, 2013
21st Century Wire says…
There is a mental illness which has infected technophiles who work in the Silicon Valley and for MIT, and DARPA labs. They have run out of real creative and human ideas, and are now convinced that total tracking and control of the human population is the end all and be all.
VIdeo - DARPA and Google ‘Wearing electronic tattoos for is cool’
This sad cadre of degenerate individuals working for the likes of Google and DARPA are overpaid – and over-valued by their globalist benefactors in government and Wall Street – all of whom seek to profit off of the dehumanisation of 21st century society. They are calling it “BEAST TECH”.
“DARPA and Google want to convince young people that wearing electronic tattoos and ingesting daily digital ID tokens for “authentication” is cool.”
They’re serious…

“It’s cool to wear the Mark of the Beast”

Former DARPA director on research into Beast Tech

Hey kids, wear electronic tattoos. Take ingestible “authentication” tokens. Isn’t it cool? Cleared by the FDA. “You can take 30 per day for the rest of your life.”
I’m trying to come up with commentary on this that doesn’t include four letter words.
For the moment, I’m failing other than to repeat: “These people are sick.”

Video: Clear Evidence The Pentagon Exist Solely To WAR PROFITEER Off The American Taxpayers

truther December 31, 2013 ... until you wake up to the fact that the ENTIRE U.S. FED GOV.  is a "FRONT" for the hidden finance "system"  for the BREAKAWAY CIV.    you wont/can't grasp the FRAUD going on !!!   on THIS Planet & soon! VERY SOON  ..."off planet" ??  yea that's  just fucking ET ....flying  ALL over the fucking place ..right ;O   READ ,READ ! just fucking read Ben Rich's "statement's "    before he died ?? yup ET yep !


There are no parties in America. They are invented by the 0.1% to make sure they get richer and tax payers pay the bills.
Video Clear Evidence The Pentagon Exist Solely To WAR PROFITEER Off The American Taxpayers

BitTorrent Piracy Doesn’t Affect US Box Office Returns, Study Finds

A new academic paper by researchers from the University of Minnesota and Wellesley College has examined the link between BitTorrent downloads and box office returns. Contrary to what’s often claimed by the movie industry, the researchers conclude that there is no evidence that BitTorrent piracy hurts US box office returns. Internationally, there is a link between downloads and revenues, which the researchers attribute to long release windows.
jackWith their unconditional support for SOPA, PIPA and ACTA, Hollywood is pressing hard for new legislation to curb piracy. The studios want ‘rogue’ websites to be censored and are calling on Google and Internet providers to take responsibility.
However, a new study reveals that movie industry itself has the key to decreasing piracy, without passing any news laws.
In a paper titled ‘Reel Piracy: The Effect of Online Film Piracy on International Box Office Sales’ researchers from the University of Minnesota and Wellesley College examine the link between BitTorrent piracy and box office returns. As hypothesized, they find that international movie piracy losses are directly linked to the delay between US and foreign premieres.
In other words, the longer it takes before a movie is released internationally, the more box office revenues are impacted through piracy.
“We find that longer release windows are associated with decreased box office returns, even after controlling for film and country fixed effects. This relationship is much stronger in contexts where piracy is more prevalent: after BitTorrent’s adoption and in heavily pirated genres,” they write.
“Our findings indicate that, as a lower bound, international box office returns in our sample were at least 7% lower than they would have been in the absence of pre-release piracy.”
Aside from their conclusion that a lack of availability is fueling piracy, the researchers report a perhaps even more interesting result. Contrary to what the MPAA and other lobby groups claim, the study doesn’t find a negative effect of BitTorrent piracy on US box office revenues.
“We do not see evidence of elevated sales displacement in US box office revenue following the adoption of BitTorrent, and we suggest that delayed legal availability of the content abroad may drive the losses to piracy,” the researchers write.
The above means that movie pirates in the US wouldn’t have bought a ticket at the box office if file-sharing was nonexistent. Only international box office sales see a piracy related decline in revenue, which is attributed to long release windows, something the industry itself can address.
Yet, the movie industry lobbyists keep hammering on about eliminating pirate sites, while ignoring the fact that the industry itself can make important steps to decrease international piracy as well. Governments around the world are not blind to this double standard, as both the Netherlands and Switzerland chose to keep unauthorized movie downloading legal until the industry improves the availability of legitimate content.
Of course the study is far from perfect as there are many more factors that influence box office returns. However, the findings clearly suggest that the movie industry itself can take the biggest step towards eliminating piracy “losses,” not lawmakers.

Traffic Safety Administration Takes Its Blood And Saliva 'Survey' To Pennsylvania, With Predictable Results

from the this-isn't-over-yet dept

It appears the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (in conjunction with the White House Office of National Drug Policy) isn't done turning American citizens against their local police departments with its quest to determine what percentage of drivers are hitting the road while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The police department of Ft. Worth, Texas, didn't seem to enjoy the extra attention its assistance of the NHTSA at "voluntary" checkpoints brought with it. After first defending his officers' actions during the saliva/blood/oxygen draws, the chief later backtracked, offering a sincere apology that actually apologized for his department's participation rather than simply leaving any contrition left unsaid. ("We apologize if any drivers were offended…" Seriously?)

The claims made by both the NHTSA and Ft. Worth PD about this "survey" didn't add up. It was supposedly both "voluntary" and "anonymous." But drivers who refused to participate had their breath surreptitiously "tested" by Passive Alcohol Detectors, which means at least one aspect wasn't "voluntary." And those that did agree to give blood or saliva had to sign a release form, which knocks a pretty big hole in the "anonymity" side of it. Furthermore, having law enforcement officers ask nicely for cooperation tends to make "voluntary" experiences feel more "mandatory." A sign posted before the checkpoint could have pointed out the survey was voluntary, but one would imagine this sort of notification would have eliminated the desired "randomness" the NHTSA was seeking.

I assume we'll be hearing more about this in the next few days, but it appears the NHTSA Blood n' Spit Road Show has moved on to Reading, Pennsylvania.
Police there joined forces with the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation — a company hired by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy — to conduct the road stops.
This doesn't seem to have made some locals very happy.
[E]ven though the drivers were told their provision of DNA was purely voluntary, many complained about the insistent quizzing and overall feeling of pressure — and that they were pulled to the side of the road in the first place for a research project, the Reading Eagle reported.

“I feel this incident is a gross abuse of power on many levels,” said Reading resident Ricardo Nieves, in a complaint to the town’s City Council earlier this week, Fox News reported.
But it appears as though the Reading police chief won't be apologizing any time soon for lending out his officers (and their perceived authority).
Reading Police Chief William Heim said to the Reading Eagle that federal authorities are only trying to determine the extent of drunken and drugged driving statistics as part of an overall fight to lower road crashes and driving-related injuries. And he said the cheek swab requests weren’t aimed at collecting DNA but rather checking for the presence of prescription drugs, Fox News said. Moreover, he claimed police only served as security and weren’t actually pulling drivers to the side or asking questions.
This survey may not be aimed at collecting DNA, but it's not as though it's not being collected along with the blood and saliva. Other than protecting the cash box (donors are awarded $10-50, depending on which fluid is volunteered), it would seem a truly voluntary survey wouldn't need much in terms of "security." What sending police officers does do, whether intentionally or not, is provide the surveyors with more participants by lightly applying the color of authority. Chief Heim, however, seems either blissfully ignorant or deliberately ignorant of the effect adding a "police presence" has on a situation.
Asked about Nieves' statement that the private firm wanted police there for intimidation, Heim responded: "People are not pressured by police presence to do something they don't want to.
Only a cop could give that answer with a straight face and only a cop would. Every single day people are pressured to do things they don't want to -- or things they don't feel they should need to -- by people in positions of authority. A uniform and an imbalance of power go a long way towards eliminating the resistance shown by average citizens. Only the tenacious escape the hundreds of purely voluntary situations ("would you mind popping the trunk for me?" "would you mind pulling ahead to the inspection area?") that arise everyday. Most people simply give these officers what they want, even when the officers themselves know they have no right to ask for it.

There will be more fallout from the NHTSA's latest bodily fluid "survey" stop. There will be more in the future as it continues around the country. And accompanying it all will be the assertion that adding police officers into the mix has zero effect on the public's perception of these "voluntary" surveys.

Steamy Love Aff…

April 9, 2012 by economicwarrior Steamy Love Affair: Mitt Romney, Wall Street Finance and Wealthy Politicians Affair with For-Profit Education Student Loan Academic-Industrial-Complex

Hampton, NH (April 9, 2012) Best-selling NH author  Barry James Dyke reports that Mitt Romney, Wall Street finance and wealthy politicians have a steamy love affair with the for-profit education  student loan academic-industrial-complex. In his new book, The Pirates of Manhattan II: Highway to Serfdom www.thepiratesofmanhattan.com the author documents the oncoming $1 trillion student loan tsunami in both for-profit and not-for-profit schools.  Dyke unveils the incestuous interconnection of Wall Street private equity firms in monster “club deals” which include Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, KKR, Carlyle and Providence Equity.

The author states, “For profit-education companies revenue stream is almost entirely dependent on the federal government funded student loans. For profit school enrollment has gone from 385,000 in 2000 to 1.8 million in 2010.  The Government Accounting Office (GAO), in a scathing 2010 report found that for-profit colleges engaged in deceptive practices, encouraged fraud to enroll students, saddled them with large debts and offered few solid job prospects to pay back loans.  For-profit schools enroll 10% of the people into colleges, used up 25% of government financial aid and account for 44% of student loan defaults” The author continues, “to make matters worse, much of for-profit education student loan academic complex capital/equity  base is supplied by mutual funds, which get their funding from Main Street America’s 401(k)s. It’s another showcase for Wall Street greed, and when it implodes, the taxpayer will hold the bag.”

Mitt Romney’s Florida primary fundraising chairman was James “Bill” Heavener, the CEO of Full Sail University, a for-profit college. Heavener contributed $85 thousand to a super PAC (Political Action Committee) Restore Our Future—supporting Romney which is run by former Romney aides. [To see Romney’s endorsement of Full Sail and other for-profit schools, see this YouTube.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wF_9r6-DLTw (Mitt Romney Endorses Scam For-Profit Colleges)].

TA Associates, a Boston based private equity firm is an investor in Full Sail University. C. Kevin Landry, an executive with TA donated $120 thousand to Romney’s super PAC. TA acquired for-profit The Rocky Mountain School of Design in Denver in 2011 and The Los Angeles Film School in Los Angeles. TA Associates owned another for profit educator, Florida Career College but sold the school to two other private equity firms, Greenhill Capital and Abrams Capital. Romney’s son Tagg runs a Boston based fund-of-funds private equity firm Solamere Capital where Mitt invested about $10 million. Solamere invested in TA Associates, which in turn acquired Vatterott Educational Centers, Inc. in 2009 from private equity firm Wellspring Capital Management.

The Apollo Group (NASDAQ:APOL) the country’s largest for-profit educator which owns the University of Phoenix, donated $75 thousand to Romney’s super PAC. In 2004, The Apollo Group settled with the Department of Education for nearly $10 million for its strong arm recruiting practices. In 2009, Apollo settled again for an additional $78.5 million for similar discretions. In 2009, The Carlyle Group, the private equity giant, teamed up with Apollo Group to acquire BPP Holdings PLC, a large British for-profit education concern for $607 million. CEO for Apollo was Todd Nelson. Now he is CEO of Education Management Corporation.

Maine U.S. Senator Olympia Snow’s husband John ‘Jock’ McKernan, a former governor of Maine has been a corporate officer of Education Management Corporation (NASDAQ: EDMC) since 1999. Majority owners of EDMC are private equity firms Goldman Sachs (43%) and Providence Equity Partners (32%). Education Management, which enrolls about 150,000 students, is embroiled in an $11 billion lawsuit with the U.S. Department of Justice over its alleged cutthroat sales practices to enroll students while loading them up with student loans. EDMC CEO Todd Nelson [prior Apollo CEO] and his wife Amy, donated nearly $5000 to Mitt Romney’s campaign. Amy Nelson, using a post office box in Utah, donated $50 thousand to Romney’s super PAC.

Goldman Sachs employees are Mitt Romney’s largest supporters. Romney with his wife Ann have millions invested with Goldman Sachs funds. Goldman Sachs Capital Partners invested $192 million in First Marblehead (NYSE: FMD) a student loan company in 2007 at $15.30 a share. By April 4, 2012, FMD was trading at $1.18. 
Romney gets contributions from all areas of predatory finance.  Bloomberg reported in April 2012, that payday lenders and auto-title lenders contributed $427,500 to Restore Our Future in 2012. Bain Capital is hard-wired into Wall Street finance and revealed in The Pirates of Manhattan II: Highway to Serfdom.

Blum Capital Partners, the private equity firm run by California’s U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s husband Richard C. Blum, is a major owner in Career Education (NASAQ: CECO) and ITT Educational Services (NYSE: ESI). Blum Capital which manages $2.7 billion gets about $600 million in funds California’s pensions, CalPERS, CalSTRS and the Los Angeles County Retirement System, and additional funds from the State of New York Pension.

Bridgepoint Education (NYSE: BPI) is 65% owned by the private equity firm Warburg Pincus. NCO Group, a worldwide mercenary debt collector of student and other loans is owned by One Equity Partners, the private equity arm of JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM). NCO was a $1.26 billion 2006 leveraged buyout engineered by JPMorgan Chase/One Equity Partners. Lauriat Education in 2007 did a $3.8 billion management/leveraged buyout with KKR and Citigroup Private Equity. Former president Bill Clinton is an Honorary Chancellor of Lauriat International Universities, and was the keynote speaker at Walden University’s commencement in July 2011. Not to be outdone, former President George W. Bush will speak in Las Vegas on June 22, 2012 at the annual meeting of APSCU, the leading association for-profit colleges at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino where Bush gets $100 thousand or more per speech. For further information about The Pirates of Manhattan II: Highway to Serfdom contact the author at castleassetmgmt@comcast.net

Monday, December 30, 2013

NSA intercepts laptop deliveries to install spyware

New light has been shed on the extensive scope of the National Security Agency’s spying operations yet again in a couple of reports from German publication Der Spiegel, which reveal various new “features” of the covert intelligence operations conducted by the NSA’s “geek” armies. The agency will apparently pull out all the stops in order to get to the information it seeks, even if that means intercepting shipping of computers purchased online by targets in order to infect them with spyware, or replace components with its own malware-installed hardware.
In addition to sophisticated attacks that target the digital aspects of modern life, the NSA sometimes still has to use “old-school” methods. When it comes to intercepting deliveries – a tactic that’s called “interdiction” – the NSA diverts the shipping delivery to its workshops where “agents carefully open the package in order to load the malware onto the electronics, or even install hardware components that can provide backdoor access for the intelligence agencies,” Der Spiegel writes. All subsequent steps can then be conducted from the comfort of a remote computer.
Such operations are among “the most productive” operations conducted by the agency allowing it to get into protected networks “around the world,” if needed, although there are several other means to getting to the information the NSA uses. However they’re only used for certain targets, and likely not responsible for all those Amazon shipments not arriving it time for Christmas.
The NSA’s Tailored Access Operations (TAO) division has been created in 1997 in order to use the growing Internet to spy on potential target. The division has increased its ranks and operations since then, massively expanding after the September 11, 2001 events, and it’s expected to further increase operations – with bases around the U.S. and maybe even in Europe – for future spying projects. “Getting the ungettable” is apparently TAO’s task, with one former TAO chief saying in a report that the division is responsible for “some of the most significant intelligence our country has ever seen,” with TAO having access to its “very hardest targets.”
For example, the agency can grab the error reports that Windows users send to Microsoft to identify bugs that can be used by TAO personnel to infect a targeted computer with custom spy malware. Moreover, the NSA uses various tactics to get its special spy Trojans installed on machines, from spam messages to targeting services like Facebook, LinkedIn Yahoo, Twitter and YouTube and using special operations with higher rates of success at infecting computers. Der Spiegel reveals that according to details in Washington’s current budget plan for intelligence services, some 85,000 computers worldwide will have been infected one way or another with spy malware by the end of the year.
Furthermore, the NSA has the ability of diverting traffic to NSA covert system that replicate existing services in order to transfer malware programs on the computers the targets are using. Another NSA digital spying operation targets the actual fiber optics cables that connect continents. One such successful NSA operation includes the tapping of the SEA-ME-WE-4 cable system that connects Europe with North America, Gulf states, Pakistan, India, Malaysia and Thailand.
Finally, in addition to diverting product shipments, tapping into Internet cables and networks, and infecting computers, the agency also has another arm called ANT – supposedly short for Advanced or Access Network Technology – that was able over the years to burrow its way “into nearly all the security architecture made by the major players in the industry” according to a second Der Spiegel story reveals (images from the published version of the article available from Cryptome), including products from U.S. companies such as Cisco, Dell, Western Digital, Seagate, Maxtor, but also international companies such as Samsung or Huawei.
According to the publication, the ANT team appears to have a key for almost “every lock.” A 50-page catalog apparently contains various technologies that can be used to compromise a digital target including laptops, computers, mobile phones, hard drives, routers and other gadgets susceptible to hacks. ANT operations include infecting machines at BIOS level in order for the spy malware to remain undetected to security program and to be reinstalled even after a system is completely cleaned. The agency has also compromised the firmware of hard drives manufactured by some of the companies mentioned above for similar spying purposes.

Looming Health Crisis: Wireless Technology and the Toxification of America

whats the plan folks ?  we just gonna wait until it's a waste land  ! that it ,huh


Looming Health Crisis: Wireless Technology and the Toxification of America
As a multitude of hazardous wireless technologies are deployed in homes, schools and workplaces, government officials and industry representatives continue to insist on their safety despite growing evidence to the contrary. A major health crisis looms that is only hastened through the extensive deployment of “smart grid” technology.

In October 2009 at Florida Power and Light’s (FPL) solar energy station President Barack Obama announced that $3.4 billion of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act would be devoted to the country’s “smart energy grid” transition. Matching funds from the energy industry brought the total national Smart Grid investment to $8 billion. FPL was given $200 million of federal money to install 2.5 million “smart meters” on homes and businesses throughout the state.[1]
By now many residents in the United States and Canada have the smart meters installed on their dwellings. Each of these meters is equipped with an electronic cellular transmitter that uses powerful bursts of electromagnetic radiofrequency (RF) radiation to communicate with nearby meters that together form an interlocking network transferring detailed information on residents’ electrical usage back to the utility every few minutes or less. Such information can easily be used to determine individual patterns of behavior based on power consumption.
The smart grid technology is being sold to the public as a way to “empower” individual energy consumers by allowing them to access information on their energy usage so that they may eventually save money by programming “smart” (i.e, wireless enabled) home appliances and equipment that will coordinate their operability with the smart meter to run when electrical rates are lowest. In other words, a broader plan behind smart grid technology involves a tiered rate system for electricity consumption that will be set by the utility to which customers will have no choice but to conform.
Because of power companies’ stealth rollout of smart meters a large majority of the public still remains unaware of the dangers they pose to human health. This remains the case even though states such as Maine have adopted an “opt out” provision for their citizens. The devices have not been safety-tested by Underwriters Laboratory and thus lack the UL approval customary for most electronics.[2] Further, power customers are typically told by their utilities that the smart meter only communicates with the power company “a few times per day” to transmit information on individual household energy usage. However, when individuals obtained the necessary equipment to do their own testing they found the meters were emitting bursts of RF radiation throughout the home far more intense than a cell phone call every minute or less.[3]
America’s Telecom-friendly Policy for RF Exposure
A growing body of medical studies is now linking cumulative RF exposure to DNA disruption, cancer, birth defects, miscarriages, and autoimmune diseases. Smart meters significantly contribute to an environment already polluted by RF radiation through the pervasive stationing of cellular telephone towers in or around public spaces and consumers’ habitual use of wireless technologies. In the 2000 Salzburg Resolution European scientists recommended the maximum RF exposure for humans to be no more than one tenth of a microwatt per square centimeter. In the United States RF exposure limits are 1,000 microwatts per centimeter, with no limits for long term exposure.[4] Such lax standards have been determined by outdated science and the legal and regulatory maneuvering of the powerful telecommunications and wireless industries.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ceased studying the health effects of radiofrequency radiation when the Senate Appropriations Committee cut the department’s funding and forbade it from further research into the area.[5] Thereafter RF limits were codified as mere “guidelines” based on the EPA’s tentative findings and are to this day administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
These weakly enforced standards are predicated on the alleged “thermal effect” of RF. In other words, if the energy emitted from a wireless antenna or device is not powerful enough to heat the skin or flesh then no danger is posed to human health.[6] This reasoning is routinely put forward by utilities installing smart meters on residences, telecom companies locating cellular transmission towers in populated areas, and now school districts across the US allowing the installation of cell towers on school campuses.[7]
The FCC’s authority to impose this standard was further reinforced with the passage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act that included a provision lobbied for by the telecom industry preventing state and local governments from evaluating potential environmental and health effects when locating cell towers “so long as ‘such facilities comply with the FCC’s regulations concerning such emissions.’”[8]
In 2001 an alliance of scientists and engineers with the backing of the Communications Workers of America filed a federal lawsuit hoping the Supreme Court would reconsider the FCC’s obsolete exposure guidelines and the Telecom Act’s overreach into state and local jurisdiction. The high court refused to hear the case. When the same group asked the FCC to reexamine its guidelines in light of current scientific studies the request was rebuffed.[9] Today in all probability millions are suffering from a variety of immediate and long-term health effects from relentless EMF and RF exposure that under the thermal effect rationale remain unrecognized or discounted by the telecom industry and regulatory authorities alike.
Growing Evidence of Health Risks From RF Exposure
The main health concern with electromagnetic radiation emitted by smart meters and other wireless technologies is that EMF and RF cause a breakdown in the communication between cells in the body, interrupting DNA repair and weakening tissue and organ function. These are the findings of Dr. George Carlo, who oversaw a comprehensive research group commissioned by the cell phone industry in the mid-1990s.
When Carlo’s research began to reveal how there were indeed serious health concerns with wireless technology, the industry sought to bury the results and discredit Carlo. Yet Carlo’s research has since been upheld in a wealth of subsequent studies and has continuing relevance given the ubiquity of wireless apparatuses and the even more powerful smart meters. “One thing all these conditions have in common is a disruption, to varying degrees, of intercellular communication,” Carlo observes. “When we were growing up, TV antennas were on top of our houses and such waves were up in the sky. Cell phones and Wi-Fi have brought those things down to the street, integrated them into the environment, and that’s absolutely new.”[10]
In 2007 the BioInitiative Working Group, a worldwide body of scientists and public health experts, released a 650-page document with over 2000 studies linking RF and EMF exposure to cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, DNA damage, immune system dysfunction, cellular damage and tissue reduction.[11]
In May 2011 the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer categorized “radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, associated with wireless cellphone use.”[12]
In November 2011 the Board of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM), a national organization of medical and osteopathic physicians, called on California’s Public Utilities Commission to issue a moratorium on the continued installation of smart meters in residences and schools “based on a scientific assessment of the current available literature.” “[E]xisting FCC guidelines for RF safety that have been used to justify installations of smart meters,” the panel wrote,
“only look at thermal tissue damage and are obsolete, since many modern studies show metabolic and genomic damage from RF and ELF exposure below the level of intensity which heats tissues … More modern literature shows medically and biologically significant effects of RF and ELF at lower energy densities. These effects accumulate over time, which is an important consideration given the chronic nature of exposure from ‘smart meters.’”[13]
In April 2012 the AAEM issued a formal position paper on the health effects of RF and EMF exposure based on a literature review of the most recent research. The organization pointed to how government and industry arguments alleging the doubtful nature of the science on non-thermal effects of RF were not defensible in light of the newest studies. “Genetic damage, reproductive defects, cancer, neurological degeneration and nervous system dysfunction, immune system dysfunction, cognitive effects, protein and peptide damage, kidney damage, and developmental effects have all been reported in the peer‐reviewed scientific literature,” AAEM concluded.[14]
Radiating Children
The rollout of smart meters proceeds alongside increased installation of wireless technology and cell phone towers in and around schools in the US. In 2010 Professor Magda Havas conducted a study of schools in 50 US state capitols and Washington DC to determine students’ potential exposure to nearby cell towers. A total 6,140 schools serving 2.3 million students were surveyed using the antennasearch.com database. Of these, 13% of the schools serving 299,000 students have a cell tower within a quarter mile of school grounds, and another 50% of the schools where 1,145,000 attend have a tower within a 0.6 mile radius. The installation of wireless networks and now smart meters on and around school properties further increases children’s RF exposure.[15]
Many school districts that are strapped for cash in the face of state budget cuts are willing to ignore the abundance of scientific research on RF dangers and sign on with telecom companies to situate cell towers directly on school premises. Again, the FCC’s thermal effect rule is invoked to justify tower placement together with a disregard of the available studies.
The School District of Palm Beach County, the eleventh largest school district in the US, provides one such example. Ten of its campuses already have cell towers on their grounds while the district ponders lifting a ban established in 1997 that would allow for the positioning of even more towers. When concerned parents contacted the school district for an explanation of its wireless policies, the administration assembled a document, “Health Organization Information and Academic Research Studies Regarding the Health Effects of Cell Tower Signals.” The report carefully selected pronouncements from telecom industry funded organizations such as the American Cancer Society and out-of-date scientific studies supporting the FCC’s stance on wireless while excluding the long list of studies and literature reviews pointing to the dangers of RF and EMF radiation emitted by wireless networks and cell towers. [16]
The Precautionary Principle / Conclusion
Surrounded by the sizable and growing body of scientific literature pointing to the obvious dangers of wireless technology, utility companies installing smart meters on millions of homes across the US  and school officials who accommodate cell towers on their grounds are performing an extreme disservice to their often vulnerable constituencies. Indeed, such actions constitute the reckless long term endangerment of public health for short term gain, sharply contrasting with more judicious decision making.
The 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment & Development adopted the precautionary principle as a rule to follow in the situations utilities and school districts find themselves in today. “Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.”[17] In exercising the precautionary principle, public governance and regulatory bodies should “take preventive action in the face of scientific uncertainty to prevent harm. The focus is no longer on measuring or managing harm, but preventing harm.”[18]
Along these lines, the European Union and the Los Angeles School District have prohibited cell phone towers on school grounds until the scientific research on the human health effects of RF are conclusive. The International Association of Fire Fighters also interdicted cell towers on fire stations pending “’a study with the highest scientific merit and integrity on health effects of exposure to low-intensity [radio frequency/microwave] radiation is conducted and it is proven that such sitings are not hazardous to the health of our members.’”[19]
Unwitting families with smart meters on their homes and children with cell towers humming outside their classrooms suggest the extent to which the energy, telecom and wireless industries have manipulated the regulatory process to greatly privilege profits over public health. Moreover, it reveals how the population suffers for want of meaningful and conclusive information on the very real dangers of RF while the telecom and wireless interests successfully cajole the media into considering one scientific study at a time.
“When you put the science together, we come to the irrefutable conclusion that there’s a major health crisis coming, probably already underway,” George Carlo cautions. “Not just cancer, but also learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, autism, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and psychological and behavioral problems—all mediated by the same mechanism. That’s why we’re so worried. Time is running out.”[20]
[1] Energy.gov, “President Obama Announces $3.4 Billion Investment to Spur Transition to Smart Energy Grid,” October 27, 2009,
[2] Ilya Sandra Perlingieri, “Radiofrequency Radiation: The Invisible Hazards of Smart Meters,” August 19, 2011, GlobalReserach.ca, http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=26082
[3] Dr. Bill Deagle, “Smart Meters: A Call for Public Outrage,” Rense.com, August 30, 2011, http://www.rense.com/general94/smartt.htm. Some meters installed in California by Pacific Gas and Electric carry a “’switching mode power-supply’ that ‘emit sharp spikes of millisecond bursts’ around the clock and is a chief cause of ‘dirty electricity.’” See Perlingieri, “Radiofrequency Radiation: The Invisible Hazards of Smart Meters.” This author similarly measured bursts of radiation in excess of 2,000 microwatts per meter every 30 to 90 seconds during the day, and once every two-to-three minutes at night.
[4] Magda Havas, BRAG Antenna Ranking of Schools, 2010,
[5] Susan Luzzaro, “Field of Cell Phone Tower Beams,” San Diego Reader, May 18, 2011,
[6] FCC Office of Engineering and Technology, http://www.fcc.gov/oet/rfsafety
[7] Luzzaro, “Field of Cell Phone Tower Beams”; Marc Freeman, “Cell Towers Could Be Coming to More Schools,” South Florida Sun Sentinel, January 5, 2012,
[8] Amy Worthington, “The Radiation Poisoning of America,” GlobalResearch.ca, October 9, 2007, http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7025
[9] Worthington, “The Radiation Poisoning of America.”
[10] Sue Kovach, “The Hidden Dangers of Cell Phone Radiation,” Life Extension Magazine, August 2007, http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2007
[11] Susan Luzzaro, “Field of Cell Phone Tower Beams”; Bioinitiative Report: A Rationale For a Biologically-based Public Exposure Standard For Electromagnetic Fields, http://www.bioinitiative.org/freeaccess/report/index.htm.
[12] World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer, “IARC Classifies Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields as Possibly Carcinogenic,” May 31, 2011, www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2011/pdfs/pr208_E.pdf; Joseph Mercola, “Be Aware: These Cell Phones Can Emit 28 Times More Radiation,” Mercola.com, June 18, 2011,
[13] American Academy of Environmental Medicine, “Proposed Decision of Commissioner Peevy [Mailed 11/22/2011] Before the Public Utilities Commission of the State of California,” January 19, 2012. www.aaemonline.org
[14] American Academy of Environmental Medicine, “The American Academy of Environmental Medicine Calls for Immediate Caution regarding Smart Meter Installation,” April 12, 2012, http://www.aaemonline.org/
[15] Havas, BRAG Antenna Ranking of Schools, 31-38.
[16] Donna Goldstein, “Health Organization Information and Academic Research Studies Regarding the Health Effects of Cell Tower Signals,”Planning and Real Estate Development, Palm Beach County School District, January 30, 2012.
[17] Havas, BRAG Antenna Ranking of Schools, 17.
[18] Multinational Monitor, “Precautionary Precepts: The Power and Potential of the Precautionary Principle: An Interview with Carolyn Raffensperger,” September 2004, http://multinationalmonitor.org/mm2004/09012004/september04interviewraffen.html.
[19] Luzzaro, “Field of Cell Phone Tower Beams.”
[20] Kovach, “The Hidden Dangers of Cell Phone Radiation.”
James F. Tracy is Associate Professor of Media Studies at Florida Atlantic University. He is an affiliate of Project Censored and blogs at memorygap.org.

Pirate Bay Uploads Surge 50% in a Year, Despite Anti-Piracy Efforts

Over the past year copyright holders have worked hard to stop The Pirate Bay from operating, but without success. Despite several domain changes and ISP blockades in various countries the resilient torrent site keeps on growing. This growth is reflected in the number of uploaded torrents, which increased by 50% over the past year. The Pirate Bay now lists over 2.8 million files, with video being the most shared content.
tpb-logo2013 has been an eventful year for The Pirate Bay, to say the least.
The site celebrated its tenth anniversary, but with pressure from copyright holders mounting, it had to switch domain names no less than six times.
In addition, the site continues to be censored by courts all around the world, which have ordered Internet providers to block subscriber access to the torrent site.
The idea behind these anti-piracy efforts is that people will eventually stop using The Pirate Bay. Thus far, however, traffic to the infamous torrent site continues to grow, and so is the number of torrents being uploaded.
Over the past year the number of new torrents added to The Pirate Bay went up 50%, and the uploads doubled compared to two years ago.
The bar chart below shows the progress of The Pirate Bay’s monthly uploads. In November 2011, 38,319 torrent files were added to the site, growing to 50,411 the year after, up to 74,195 last month.
In total The Pirate Bay now indexes around 2.8 million torrent links, which point to a variety of content ranging from the latest Hollywood blockbusters to vintage Linux distributions.
A snapshot taken earlier this month reveals that these torrents were being shared by 18,911,877 people, which includes both seeders and leechers.
The chart below, which is based on The Pirate Bay’s categories, shows that video is by far the most-shared content. More than half of all “peers” (10,258,076) share video files, which is 54% of the total.
Audio, which includes music, is the second most-shared category with 17% of all peers, followed by porn (13%), other (6%), games (5%) and software (5%).
pirate bay peers
The Pirate Bay’s continued growth shows that the site is not suffering much from the recent anti-piracy efforts.
On the contrary, the site is taking concrete steps to counter future blocking and takedown attempts. During the coming year the notorious torrent site plans to go underground, using a peer-to-peer browser which will make it impossible to censor or shut down the site.
Copyright holders won’t sit still though and will use everything within their means to stop The Pirate Bay from expanding.
With the above in mind, it is safe to conclude that 2014 will prove to be another eventful year.

Leaked Documents Show NSA Compromising Computer Hardware And Communication Technology On A Massive Scale

from the all-your-goddamn-everything-are-belong-to-us dept

Der Spiegel has released more NSA documents detailing the agency's hacking efforts around the globe. The so-called Tailored Access Operations (TAO) is the NSA's group of tech masterminds, deployed to insert the agency into worldwide communications. TAO uses a variety of exploits and backdoors to achieve this access, much of which is detailed in a 50-page document that Der Spiegel likens to a "mail-order catalog."

Another team (ANT -- Advanced or Access Network Technology) creates the exploits and "sells" them to the agency, providing access to communications and data that TAO can't achieve on its own.
In cases where TAO's usual hacking and data-skimming methods don't suffice, ANT workers step in with their special tools, penetrating networking equipment, monitoring mobile phones and computers and diverting or even modifying data. Such "implants," as they are referred to in NSA parlance, have played a considerable role in the intelligence agency's ability to establish a global covert network that operates alongside the Internet.

Some of the equipment available is quite inexpensive. A rigged monitor cable that allows "TAO personnel to see what is displayed on the targeted monitor," for example, is available for just $30. But an "active GSM base station" -- a tool that makes it possible to mimic a mobile phone tower and thus monitor cell phones -- costs a full $40,000. Computer bugging devices disguised as normal USB plugs, capable of sending and receiving data via radio undetected, are available in packs of 50 for over $1 million.
Between TAO and ANT, vast amounts of computer hardware have been compromised. Der Spiegel notes that ANT prefers to deploy its exploits at the BIOS level where they can remain undetected by most security and anti-virus programs. Other programs it creates hitch a ride in device firmware, including that of major American hard drive manufacturers like Western Digital, Seagate and Maxtor. (Apparently, Samsung and Huawei are similarly compromised, making them the only non-American companies listed in the documents.)

ANT also targets communications by compromising network equipment.
Other ANT programs target Internet routers meant for professional use or hardware firewalls intended to protect company networks from online attacks. Many digital attack weapons are "remotely installable" -- in other words, over the Internet. Others require a direct attack on an end-user device -- an "interdiction," as it is known in NSA jargon -- in order to install malware or bugging equipment.
It's unclear whether ANT provides exploits to other agencies, but the fact that a catalog exists suggests ANT isn't solely supplying the NSA. (If it is, one wonders why prices are listed. If it's internal development and deployment only, cost wouldn't be an issue.)

Security researcher Jacob Appelbaum, one of the contributors to the Der Spiegel article, addressed the Chaos Communication Congress over the weekend, delivering more details on ANT's exploits, including exploits affecting iOS devices and any phone using GSM connections. Most surprising perhaps was this exploit-in-a-box device that can deliver its compromising payload from up to eight miles away.

None of this should be taken to imply the TAO isn't perfectly capable of creating its own high-level exploits and backdoors. If anything, TAO is the more physical and aggressive counterpart to ANT, executing raids to achieve physical access to devices and networks (often with the assistance of the FBI -- or at least its vehicles).
An internal description of TAO's responsibilities makes clear that aggressive attacks are an explicit part of the unit's tasks. In other words, the NSA's hackers have been given a government mandate for their work. During the middle part of the last decade, the special unit succeeded in gaining access to 258 targets in 89 countries -- nearly everywhere in the world. In 2010, it conducted 279 operations worldwide…

To conduct those types of operations, the NSA works together with other intelligence agencies such as the CIA and FBI, which in turn maintain informants on location who are available to help with sensitive missions. This enables TAO to attack even isolated networks that aren't connected to the Internet. If necessary, the FBI can even make an agency-owned jet available to ferry the high-tech plumbers to their target. This gets them to their destination at the right time and can help them to disappear again undetected after as little as a half hour's work.
Even more disturbing, the NSA's TAO operation waylays purchased hardware en route to customers in order to install exploits.
If a target person, agency or company orders a new computer or related accessories, for example, TAO can divert the shipping delivery to its own secret workshops. The NSA calls this method interdiction. At these so-called "load stations," agents carefully open the package in order to load malware onto the electronics, or even install hardware components that can provide backdoor access for the intelligence agencies. All subsequent steps can then be conducted from the comfort of a remote computer.
The NSA's programs continue to make the world less safe for computer users under the guise of "security." Exploits go undiscovered and unpatched. Handcrafted exploits and backdoors are deployed without affected companies' knowledge. TAO has manipulated one of the most infamous Windows error messages in order to gain passive access to computers around the world.
The automated crash reports are a "neat way" to gain "passive access" to a machine, the presentation continues. [via XKEYSCORE, most likely.] Passive access means that, initially, only data the computer sends out into the Internet is captured and saved, but the computer itself is not yet manipulated. Still, even this passive access to error messages provides valuable insights into problems with a targeted person's computer and, thus, information on security holes that might be exploitable for planting malware or spyware on the unwitting victim's computer.
While not as directly useful as TAO and ANT's other tools, it still deployed frequently enough that the dialog box itself has become an agency inside joke.

[The altered text reads: "This information may be intercepted by a foreign SIGINT system to gather detailed information and better exploit your machine."]

These new revelations will only give foreign customers even more reasons to distrust American hardware. Der Spiegel's article notes that Samsung and Huawei hardware may be similarly compromised, but by and large, most of the "damage" seems to be domestic. Estimates have suggested American companies will potentially lose $150+ billion as a result of the NSA's actions. This should push that number even higher.

The question that needs to be asked is if this damage is worth it. The agency likely believes it is -- or at least believes it shouldn't be held responsible for tanking the overseas prospects of American tech companies. According to its defenders, the real problem here is the leaks, not the exploitation of every piece of hardware and software it can get its hands on. After all, if Snowden hadn't taken those documents, this would still be a secret and foreign companies will still be purchasing compromised goods from US companies.

The NSA has never seriously considered the consequences of its activities being exposed. This should have been factored in when considering the "costs" of programs like these. Nothing operates in a vacuum, not even the most secretive of agencies. Frankly, the level of exploitation exposed here verges on inconceivable. Any crying agency spokespersons have done about methods being exposed now looks like nothing more than diversionary noises delivered with poker faces. The agency has "root access." The rest is just skimming the surface.