Drupal 8 & Drupalcon 2013, Open Source content management grabs brass ring; Weather.com, e-commerce linkdump & much moar

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So North America's Drupalcon 2013 is happening in Portland this week - a lot of people are bringing the A-Game. I got out to the 2011 & 2012 Drupalcons in Chicago & Denver, but can't this year.

Regardless here are a bunch of links I quickly slammed together about what's cropping up in the Drupal world nowadays. Roughly formatted for my own note-keeping, this may make very little sense to non-techies.

WTF IS Drupal? [drupal.org] It's an open source [Linux style GPL license] Content Management System (CMS) & framework, which can be used to build many different types of websites, including e-commerce & social networks. See INTRO to: Introduction to drupal slideshow, excellent.

I've mostly been working as a Drupal developer or done jobs involving Drupal site building work since 2007. Contact me hongpong AT hongpong.com re Drupal stuff if interested.

Drupal 8 is being developed in the community with a number of different major initiatives - as critical bugs get closed out and various ambitious plans, APIs etc shakes out. It will take a while to get sorted out, but brings really major, and indeed overdue, end user and site building enhancements, along with major simplification of the often crufty code inside Drupal's core module set.

Probably a great headliner, Weather.com has committed bigtime, making this the highest-traffic Drupal site to date.Weather.com Moving to Drupal | Acquia. Well done people - 100,000,000 unique visitors/month is the win! Also: Twitter Blog Running on Drupal not WordPress | LevelTen. And the Louvre!

Drupal community: Many of the following links are from the main commercial sites of major Drupal consultancies like Acquia. In some ways the Drupal community consists of consultancies, academics as well as people not engaged with Drupal commercially.

Overall the major organizing principle involves mutually providing very sophisticated free software to build up a large digital commons - while running businesses around designing, maintaining & developing that software. Some issues like "module X is pushed by consultant Y, module Z by group A," can bubble up, but this interesting balance of cooperation and competition results in plenty of free code for any takers, as well as increasingly spiffy SaaS (software as a service) vendors.

Evolution of Drupal governance: See Creating a structure for Drupal governance and Community Working Group.

The raising of skrillos for core: Funding Drupal Core Development | Lullabot

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In the Web Scene: There are many competitors & rivals in the CMS world and beyond. Drupal is Among the Big Boys in Open Source Communities | Forum One. And the general market: The 2013 Future of Open Source Survey Results. Reg reqd: Is It Time To Consider Open Source WCM For Digital Experience? | Acquia.

Here Google Trends shows Wordpress buzzing bigtime, and the decline of Joomla. Google Trends - Web Search Interest: drupal, wordpress, joomla - Worldwide, 2004 - present. Also the world map of interest in Drupal shows a pretty slid geography, with India, Africa, South America etc interested. See localize.drupal.org for crowd sourced translation services. See also Propeople | Spreading the magic of Drupal in Latin America. well attended!

Wordpress is complementary to Drupal in a lot of ways - used for blogging, open source and PHP based, with a really impressive market share and reach. Lol this and followed by The epic failure of "The RedHut of Drupal" :) and april foolz.

Publishing on interwebs: getting pretty good these days. webinar viewable w free login: Drupal for Publishers: How to Build a Better Newsroom CMS [May 14, 2013] | Acquia.

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All over the Government: Drupal is now a major accepted website development option for both the US federal & assorted international, regional, local governments. Drupal Gov Days 2013 | drupal4gov August 14-15 8:30am-5pm at NIH Campus, Natcher Auditorium.

Drupal for the European Commission: BoFSession at DrupalCon Portland 2013 | Pronovix interesting stuff.

Digital Agenda for Europe - European Commission powered by Drupal. Lol how can this be copyrighted [see footer]? Ohh EU :/

Georgia Peaches: Georgia.gov | drupal.org developed by Phase2, Mediacurrent, Acquia, and the OpenPublic Drupal distribution. Very detailed infos including the use of the Features module across many state government agencies! Good list of modules here. Georgia Technology Authority: Leading the way for Drupal in State Government | Phase2. 52 agencies? Damn skippy!

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D8 Core projects: See this all here.Drupal 8 Updates and How to Help | drupal.org. Also: Reducing risk in the Drupal 8 release schedule | Dries and Want more features in Drupal 8? Help fix bugs! | Dries. On May 16, "Currently, we have 27 critical bugs, 41 critical tasks, 155 major bugs, and 149 major tasks. ". Usually at Drupalcon a lot of major design issues get hashed out. There are also sprints ie: Participate in a Global Drupal Sprint this weekend. Dated but relevant: Updated Drupal 8 release schedule | Dries

Entity API & now Entity Reference in D8 core: a big deal for Drupal Commerce as well, with Entity Reference now in Drupal 8 core. It's a toolkit using pointers between nodes and entities - like "X is a member of Y" relationships.

Also you can use Entity API & Entity Reference to build fancy data dashboards. This is super cool: Using Drupal 7 Entity Reference to help Create User Dashboards | LevelTen | Dallas, TX. and How to Create Single-Page Apps With Drupal | Acquia. and If you aren't using Entity API to create nodes, you are doing it wrong | LevelTen // Working with Entities in Drupal 7 Series

E-Commerce: A Lot needs to be said. This is indeed probably going to turn into New Hotness with major market demand as people dump crumby old shopping carts and un-integrated forum software, Drupal offers a far better all around suite without licensing fees. See Sponsored blog post: Where should Drupal professionals focus for the next phase of growth? | Drupal Association

Part of the theory is here: Customer Experience: Where Content, Commerce & Community Collide

Drupal Commerce 2.x Roadmap Posted | Drupal Commerce - very successful and going to become more so. Drupal Commerce uses the Rules module for business logic - meaning you don't need to be a coder to make different commercial processes or functions happen. Drupal Commerce 2.x Roadmap | Drupal Commerce

Social Media stuff: Because a lot of modules bring third party services to bear, social media Drupal integration is a well coded & supported area. Socialize your Drupal site in 5 Easy Steps | LevelTen.

One popular module: Social media | drupal.org and Widgets | drupal.org

Social media presence On The Web | drupal.org

Distributions: Much like with Linux you can get different Drupal distributions for different purposes - auto-configured upon installation with different themes, workflows, etc than generic Drupal. Open Enterprise | drupal.org uses a new Apps style approach for various website features.

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MISCELLANEOUS: Sandbox projects are not officially approved by the Drupal community in any sense, though you can obtain them via drupal.org. There are some very cool ideas lurking in sandboxes.

jcarballo's sandbox: Diffbot | drupal.org. Scan the news. 3rd party integration

Drupal 8, aural interfaces and groundbreaking accessibility at Drupalcon Portland | Rootwork | Nonprofit Technology. Excellent news here.

Twig - a kind of dynamic theme markup technique - may not make it into D8 - I'm unclear about the topic. But anyway follow up here: pixelmord's sandbox: Drupal 8 Twig Sandbox | drupal.org. Improving all HTML markup, also re TWIG: [meta] Creating Dream Markup [#1980004] | Drupal

General performance testing: Round 5 results - TechEmpower Framework Benchmarks. Symfony2 not so hot. hmmm

D8 Translation big now. A bug thread involving Russian for example - getting more non-English into core: Use new Transliteration functionality in core for machine names [#1842718] | Drupal. Also RTL fixed for one theme! another bit.

Meet the Larks at DrupalCon Portland | Exaltation of Larks

Tumblr, hell we can make our own microblogz dangit. One BILLION Dollaz phaw...Hell No, Tumblr Users Won’t Go To Yahoo! | TechCrunch

Breaking up the Monolithic Drupal Site with a Subdomain Multisite | LevelTen | Dallas, TX - very interesting, we will see what they do about single sign on. Perhaps LDAP? Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) | drupal.org

internal to community is the bug threads. let's polish: Drupal.org D7 - improving issue pages | Drupal Association

Looks fantastic for subscription based anything: Easily integrate subscription billing on your Drupal site with Recurly

Perfect infographic does show why Pantheon is attractive - far fewer hosting and Linux tuning hassles which indeed often divert focus: Pantheon-Drupal-Developers-Road-to-Server-Hell-Infographic.jpg (1000×3946)

WSCCI is one of the D8 core initiatives. [META] WSCCI Home Stretch [#1983534] | Drupal. The new config system and javascript ie. JavaScript settings moved from Drupal.settings to global drupalSettings variable | drupal.org. . Integrate config schema with locale, so shipped configuration is translated [#1905152] | Drupal

Coherency in UI evolution: [meta] New visual style for Seven [#1986434] | Drupal and Proposal: A Style Guide for Seven | Drupal Groups

For developers: drupal_array_merge_deep | Drupal every day recursive merge. good site too. HOOKS people: How to invoke a new hook in a Drupal module | BeFused. Project mgmt: Planning Your Drupal Site | Mediacurrent Blog Post

SPARK for UI: Spark | drupal.org This has helped field test new D8 UI fixes and polishes. Webinar Wrap Up: Drupal 8 and Spark Simplify Responsive Design | Drupal Association. Drupal Association Webinar: Drupal 8 and Spark Simplify Responsive Design, Mobile | Acquia

MAPS. ARCgis for MapFreaks: energee's sandbox: ArcGIS | drupal.org. there is tons of other map stuff including OpenLayers and Mapbox.com as well worth looking at.

Creating Passionate Users: Attenuation and the suck threshold - saying that Pantheon helps: Drupalista Kelly Bell Shares the New Way of Developing on Drupal | Pantheon

it takes a half dozen people or moar to cover webchick's workload for maternity leave! Heads up: Maternity leave starting next week | webchick.net. Learn MOAR: "My job is to make Drupal awesome": meet Angie Byron - part 1 | Acquia. Very informative.

Looking for a Few New Site Builders | Drupal Association

Helper | drupal.org handy utilities from Dave Reid including a mail logger!

Menu Link Bundles. Confusing? Perhaps but gabor has a chart: Introduce menu link bundles per menus [#1966298] | Drupal

Typical local sprint: Village of Oak Park DUG Community Cultivation Grant report for the DA | Drupal Association

What is up with Fields: New Field Bases and Instances in Features | Phase2. This appears to be a big deal for Features building hmmm..

GIT. Learn your git. this is key. A recipe for a sane git process in Drupal's patch based workflow | PreviousNext. One branch per issue champs!

My Review of Frontend United 2013 | Darren Mothersele - brit conference.

Online event registration setup: Event Registration Site with Panopoly, Drupal Commerce Registration and Stripe: A Drupal, Awesome-sause Mashup. Spinoff. http://myeventsite.co/

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REST and Data plumbing; To Guzzle data: now in D8 core: Propeople | Introduction to Service Guzzle module. They're trying to integrate much more than just serving up webpages in the conventional sense. So how do you run iPhone, Android apps etc?

REST and other technologies break down yr internets data into smaller, more dynamic chunks than basically the old "load an HTML page" experience. Ensuring a certain basic level of REST design is a major part of D8. Guzzle is in D8. This is an outgrowth of the powerful Services module - for example see Propeople on Services.

Also LOL WebVisions 2013: Putting the Web in constant motion - WOOSHY STUFF!

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Theming: Looks nice. Aurora | drupal.org anyone tried it? Aurora 3.0 - Magic Birds and Boars | Snug.ug

And Best Drupal 7 Responsive Themes and 10 Free Drupal Themes for 7.x

7 modules to help with your Drupal responsive design | Web Omelette. Includes IOS Retina stuff.

More acquia snippets: The Three C’s of Modern Web Site Management | Acquia & Best Practice Checklist for Building a Drupal Website | Acquia // White paper: Resource Guide: Developing for Mobile on Drupal | Acquia. Controlling Your Site Layout Using The Mobile-First Omega Theme | Acquia

Clutch for forms with AJAX: unwieldy Drupal forms are an issue. could be win here? Yet another method to simplify making multipage/multistep Drupal forms | Sina Salek Official Site and Field Group Ajaxified Multipage | drupal.org

LOL unrelated: "I Contribute to the Windows Kernel. We Are Slower Than Other Operating Systems. Here Is Why." - Zorinaq

Anyway I will leave this linkdump there for now - hopefully this points to a few helpful areas.

Make Great Hack Cartel: CyberWar Afloat!! DIB to 2511 Wiretap All Da Networks! SAIC signs deal with Homeland Security, to get Feds' classified hoarded zero-day exploits

"10 providers serve 80 percent of the market. We have classified relationships with a good number of them." -- US Rep Mike Rogers, reminding us how the government creates cartel structures [source Reuters]

One of the more interesting news elements concerns how the federal goverment is going to hand out teh very tastiest candy to contractors - specifically SAIC it now appears - in the form of classified undisclosed hacker attack goodies.

Interestingly AT&T would get get very very important info about vulnerabilities on Apple and other major corporate rivals, providing them with a colossal competitive edge in the so-called "marketplace".

Basically you have the introduction of a cartel system for hacking, reminiscent perhaps of the cartel system for distributing drugs so profitably for the powers-that-be. And of course Homeland Security in the middle, the keystone.

The government/contractor class is entering a more demented, less sound phase of the information age by hoarding important software bugs instead of getting them fixed.

Foreign spooks will surely get their hands on tons of hacks and way more systems will end up getting seriously assaulted. Putting up large cash bounties for responsible disclosure (i.e. telling people who can issue security patches to the public, then telling the public) is almost certainly a better way to approach the problem.

This current policy direction will probably cause far more havoc on the Internet than it will prevent, shocking an outcome as that may be.

Executive Order -- Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity | The White House

[...] Sec. 2. Critical Infrastructure. As used in this order, the term critical infrastructure means systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States that the incapacity or destruction of such systems and assets would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination of those matters.[......]

Sec. 4. Cybersecurity Information Sharing. (a) It is the policy of the United States Government to increase the volume, timeliness, and quality of cyber threat information shared with U.S. private sector entities so that these entities may better protect and defend themselves against cyber threats. Within 120 days of the date of this order, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security (the "Secretary"), and the Director of National Intelligence shall each issue instructions consistent with their authorities and with the requirements of section 12(c) of this order to ensure the timely production of unclassified reports of cyber threats to the U.S. homeland that identify a specific targeted entity. The instructions shall address the need to protect intelligence and law enforcement sources, methods, operations, and investigations.

(b) The Secretary and the Attorney General, in coordination with the Director of National Intelligence, shall establish a process that rapidly disseminates the reports produced pursuant to section 4(a) of this order to the targeted entity. Such process shall also, consistent with the need to protect national security information, include the dissemination of classified reports to critical infrastructure entities authorized to receive them. The Secretary and the Attorney General, in coordination with the Director of National Intelligence, shall establish a system for tracking the production, dissemination, and disposition of these reports.

(c) To assist the owners and operators of critical infrastructure in protecting their systems from unauthorized access, exploitation, or harm, the Secretary, consistent with 6 U.S.C. 143 and in collaboration with the Secretary of Defense, shall, within 120 days of the date of this order, establish procedures to expand the Enhanced Cybersecurity Services program to all critical infrastructure sectors. This voluntary information sharing program will provide classified cyber threat and technical information from the Government to eligible critical infrastructure companies or commercial service providers that offer security services to critical infrastructure.

(d) The Secretary, as the Executive Agent for the Classified National Security Information Program created under Executive Order 13549 of August 18, 2010 (Classified National Security Information Program for State, Local, Tribal, and Private Sector Entities), shall expedite the processing of security clearances to appropriate personnel employed by critical infrastructure owners and operators, prioritizing the critical infrastructure identified in section 9 of this order.

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So "critical infrastructure" includes plenty of big corporate interests and anything that would affect their economic well-being is a threat. As always, regulations which make institutions more permanent, as opposition to the "critical" elements of society becomes blended with "terrorism".

U.S. gives big, secret push to Internet surveillance | Politics and Law - CNET News - April 24, Declan McCullaugh (who probably doesn't talk to sources on the f&!!ing telephone that much these days)

Senior Obama administration officials have secretly authorized the interception of communications carried on portions of networks operated by AT&T and other Internet service providers, a practice that might otherwise be illegal under federal wiretapping laws.

The secret legal authorization from the Justice Department originally applied to a cybersecurity pilot project in which the military monitored defense contractors' Internet links. Since then, however, the program has been expanded by President Obama to cover all critical infrastructure sectors including energy, healthcare, and finance starting June 12.

Those documents show the National Security Agency and the Defense Department were deeply involved in pressing for the secret legal authorization, with NSA director Keith Alexander participating in some of the discussions personally. Despite initial reservations, including from industry participants, Justice Department attorneys eventually signed off on the project.

The Justice Department agreed to grant legal immunity to the participating network providers in the form of what participants in the confidential discussions refer to as "2511 letters," a reference to the Wiretap Act codified at 18 USC 2511 in the federal statute books.

The Wiretap Act limits the ability of Internet providers to eavesdrop on network traffic except when monitoring is a "necessary incident" to providing the service or it takes place with a user's "lawful consent." An industry representative told CNET the 2511 letters provided legal immunity to the providers by agreeing not to prosecute for criminal violations of the Wiretap Act. It's not clear how many 2511 letters were issued by the Justice Department.

In 2011, Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn publicly disclosed the existence of the original project, called the DIB Cyber Pilot, which used login banners to inform network users that monitoring was taking place. In May 2012, the pilot was turned into an ongoing program -- broader but still voluntary -- by the name of Joint Cybersecurity Services Pilot, with the Department of Homeland Security becoming involved for the first time. It was renamed again to Enhanced Cybersecurity Services program in January, and is currently being expanded to all types of companies operating critical infrastructure.

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So you have a pilot program that covered the "Defense Industrial Base" or DIB. The security measures used to keep tabs on contractor computers are now rolled out across the interwebs. More on DIB below.

But military-style wiretapping America with fancy 2511 loopholes isn't enough! Let's hand out hacks too! Not surprisingly the NSA's main digital plumbing people, specifically SAIC, are jumping aboard the classified Goodie Gravy train.

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SAIC, Inc. : SAIC Signs Agreement With Department of Homeland Security To Be A Commercial Service Provider

05/15/2013| 04:10pm US/Eastern

MCLEAN, Va., May 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) (NYSE: SAI) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Enhanced Cybersecurity Services (ECS) program to become a Commercial Service Provider (CSP) of approved ECS services that will strengthen protection of U.S. critical infrastructure against imminent cyber attacks. In accordance with the MOA, SAIC is developing the capability and security certifications to utilize threat indicators for securing critical infrastructure customers against cyber threats.

Securing the Future is a guiding mission for SAIC. For decades, SAIC professionals have served the U.S. government and corporate America with expertise and technology to better protect our citizens, our military and our networks. SAIC is currently collaborating with community leaders and building key technologies and architectures that enable trusted sharing of threat information in real-time to protect against both the known and unknown threat landscape.

ECS is a voluntary information sharing program that assists critical infrastructure owners and operators as they improve the protection of their systems from unauthorized access, exploitation, or data exfiltration. DHS works with cybersecurity organizations from across the federal government to gain access to a broad range of sensitive and classified cyber threat information. DHS develops indicators based on this information and shares them with qualified CSPs, thus enabling them to better protect their customers who are critical infrastructure entities.

Key Quotes:

John Thomas, National Security Sector Acting President
"We must work together to protect our infrastructure, our economy, and our security from cyber attacks. If we don't work together, we won't succeed. This is why SAIC is proud to be a part of this endeavor to share valuable threat information between government and critical infrastructure providers."

Julie Taylor, Cybersecurity Operation Manager for National Security Services
"This collaboration between SAIC and DHS puts in place a new approach to threat sharing across public and private sectors that offers a positive shift in the threat landscape. Each step we take to cultivate our cyber ecosystem with trusted information sharing relationships will have a direct return on stabilizing our national security and our economy. Now that the doors of communication are open, we can further the cyber mission with valuable action as a team. "

David Lacquement, Cybersecurity Program Director
"As a former government executive in cyber threat management, I have seen firsthand the immense value that threat information sharing at network speed can offer to sustaining trusted channels for online transactions and communications. This public-private collaboration is strategically vital to significantly raising the level of cyber awareness, vigilance, and protection across our nation's critical infrastructure."

About SAIC
SAIC is a FORTUNE 500(®) scientific, engineering, and technology applications company that uses its deep domain knowledge to solve problems of vital importance to the nation and the world, in national security, energy and the environment, critical infrastructure, and health. The Company's approximately 40,000 employees serve customers in the U.S. Department of Defense, the intelligence community, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, other U.S. Government civil agencies and selected commercial markets. Headquartered in McLean, Va., SAIC had annual revenues of approximately $11.2 billion for its fiscal year ended January 31, 2013. For more information, visit www.SAIC.com. SAIC: From Science to Solutions®

Statements in this announcement, other than historical data and information, constitute forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause our actual results, performance, achievements, or industry results to be very different from the results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Some of these factors include, but are not limited to, the risk factors set forth in SAIC's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the period ended January 31, 2013, and other such filings that SAIC makes with the SEC from time to time. Due to such uncertainties and risks, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof.

Contact: Melissa Koskovich Jennifer Gephart

(703) 676-6762 (703) 676-6389

Melissa.l.koskovich@saic.com Jennifer.a.gephart@saic.com

SOURCE SAIC

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Here is the Department of Homeland Security page on it: Enhanced Cybersecurity Services | Homeland Security. See also Office of Cybersecurity and Communications and Stakeholder Engagement and Cyber Infrastructure Resilience. I wonder if someone gets applause for these titles, whew...

Enhanced Cybersecurity Services

Protecting critical infrastructure against growing and evolving cyber threats requires a layered approach. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) actively collaborates with public and private sector partners every day to respond to and coordinate mitigation efforts against attempted disruptions and adverse impacts to the nation’s critical cyber and communications networks and infrastructure.

As the federal government’s lead agency for coordinating the protection, prevention, mitigation, and recovery from cyber incidents, DHS works regularly with business owners and operators to strengthen their facilities and communities. To accomplish this, the DHS Enhanced Cybersecurity Services (ECS) program was expanded in February 2013 by Executive Order - Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity.

ECS is a voluntary information sharing program that assists critical infrastructure owners and operators as they improve the protection of their systems from unauthorized access, exploitation, or data exfiltration. DHS works with cybersecurity organizations from across the federal government to gain access to a broad range of sensitive and classified cyber threat information. DHS develops indicators based on this information and shares them with qualified Commercial Service Providers (CSPs), thus enabling them to better protect their customers who are critical infrastructure entities. ECS augments, but does not replace, an entities’ existing cybersecurity capabilities.

The ECS program does not involve government monitoring of private networks or communications. Under the ECS program, information relating to threats and malware activities detected by the CSPs is not directly shared between the critical infrastructure CSP customers and the government. However, when a CSP customer voluntarily agrees, the CSP may share limited and anonymized information with ECS. See the Privacy Impact Assessment below for more details.

Critical Infrastructure Entities

Most critical infrastructure entities already utilize cybersecurity providers to protect their networks. The ECS program offers an enhanced approach to protecting these entities by supplementing existing services and commercial capabilities with U.S. Government cyber threat information. This approach supports the delivery of enhanced capabilities to eligible participants from all sectors.

Participation in the program is voluntary and is designed to protect government intelligence, corporate information security, and the privacy of participants, while enhancing the security of critical infrastructure. Validated entities from all critical infrastructure sectors are eligible to participate in the ECS program and receive ECS services from qualified CSPs.

To learn more about becoming a validated critical infrastructure entity, please contact the ECS Program Management Office at ECS_Program@HQ.DHS.gov.

Commercial Service Providers

CSPs receive threat information from DHS and use it to offer specified services to their critical infrastructure customers in a secure environment in order to ensure the security of government furnished information.

CSPs deliver services to eligible customers through commercial relationships. The ECS program is not involved in establishing the commercial relationships between CSPs and validated critical infrastructure entities. As of February 2013, the following CSPs are approved to provide ECS services to critical infrastructure entities:

DHS is working with several additional providers who seek to offer enhanced cybersecurity services to entities. To learn about becoming a CSP, please contactECS_Program@HQ.DHS.gov.

Sector Specific Agencies

Sector Specific Agencies (SSAs) and DHS form a critical partnership within the ECS program. The role of the SSA is to leverage existing relationships with critical infrastructure entities to expand and improve ECS. The SSA is also responsible for helping to characterize risks and threats unique to critical infrastructure entities in their respective sectors. This characterization will enable the federal government to deliver the most effective indicators relevant to ECS protected entities based upon the unique threat environment of their sector. SSAs also serve as a vital conduit to DHS for data leading to requirements that will drive the development of ECS program capabilities.

Privacy and Civil Liberties

DHS embeds and enforces privacy protections and transparency in all its activities and uses the Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPPs) to assess and mitigate any impact on an individual’s privacy.   DHS has conducted and published a Privacy Impact Assessment for the ECS program. DHS also ensures that ECS and all of its cybersecurity activities are structured in a way that ensures individual rights are protected.

Contact Information

For more information, contact ECS_Program@HQ.DHS.gov.

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Once you poke around on FedBizOpps.gov a little bit it's easier to see how they blow so much money in DC.

Fun FEMA Pork tangent: Here are some FEMA satellite phone sole source contract. On the one hand, it's good someone has a satellite phone in emergencies, but someone is profiting off this sale...

https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=4a1af0e4e2942226816...

FEMA seeks to acquire on an other than full and open competition basis MSAT satellite terminals. These terminals are primarily utilized in Disaster Operations for mission critical communications within FEMA, as well as for communicating with strategic partners to support disasters. There is currently only one commercial satellite operator in North America offering two-way radio, push-to-talk (PTT) capability integrated with telephone. This feature makes it possible to communicate with another terminal in a specific talk group anywhere in CONUS. Authority is FAR 6.302-1 The anticipated period of performance is for one year. THIS NOTICE OF INTENT IS NOT A REQUEST FOR COMPETITIVE QUOTES. NO TELEPHONE INQUIRIES WILL BE ACCEPTED. A determination by the Government not to compete this acquisition based upon responses to this notice is solely within the discretion of the Government.

Contracting Office Address:

500 C Street SW

Patriots Plaza -- 5th Floor

Washington, District of Columbia 20472

United States

Primary Point of Contact.:

Christine Thomas

christine.thomas@associates.fema.dhs.gov

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Anyway here is the Reuters story central to this whole turn of narrative, a new system "Outside of the Military Industrial Complex" indeed.

REUTERS: Government to Share Cyber Security Information with Private Sector - By Joseph Menn | May 15, 2013

SOURCE http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2013/05/15/292065.htm

The U.S. government will use classified information about software vulnerabilities for the first time to protect companies outside of the military industrial complex, top officials told Reuters this week.

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said that a system being developed to scan Internet traffic headed toward critical businesses would block attacks on software programs that the general population does not realize are possible.

“It is a way to share information about known vulnerabilities that may not be commonly available,” Napolitano said at the Reuters Cybersecurity Summit in Washington, D.C.

The information would come from “a variety of sources” including intelligence agencies, she said on Tuesday.

The National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies develop and acquire knowledge about software flaws in order to penetrate overseas networks. Until now, there has been no straightforward way for these agencies to share that classified data with U.S. companies outside the defense sector, even though those companies could become victims of cyber attacks.

The plan is to discreetly share the data through what the government calls Enhanced Cybersecurity Services. Under a February presidential order, those services will be offered by telecommunications and defense companies to utilities, banks and other critical infrastructure companies that choose to pay for them.

Napolitano’s Department of Homeland Security will take the information from the NSA and other sources, and relay it to service providers with security clearances. The service providers would then use these “attack signatures” – such as Internet routing data and content associated with known adversary groups – to screen out malicious traffic.

Napolitano’s comments were the first disclosure that the screening would also cover attacks on software using methods known to the government that have not been disclosed to the software manufacturers or buyers.

While U.S. intelligence agencies have at times warned software manufacturers, such as Microsoft Corp. and Google Inc., or Homeland Security officials of specific, declassified problems, the new system will be machine-to-machine and far more rapid.

It reflects the realization that many espionage attacks from overseas are aimed at the private sector and that future destructive attacks may arrive the same way. (Classified attack signatures have been used to protect defense manufacturers under a Pentagon program.)

House of Representatives Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers said he was glad about the plan to share more broadly information about vulnerabilities, while maintaining control of the process to avoid tipping off rival countries or criminals.

“This can’t happen if you post it on a website,” Rogers, a Republican and lead author of a cybersecurity information-sharing bill that has passed the House, told the Summit. “We have to find a forum in which we can share it, and 10 providers serve 80 percent of the market. We have classified relationships with a good number of them.”

Among those that have agreed to provide the classified security services are AT&T Inc. and Raytheon Co. Northrop Grumman Corp. said this week it had also joined the program.

The secret but widespread U.S. practice of buying up tools leveraging unknown or “zero-day” software flaws for spying or attacks was the subject of a Reuters Special Report last week, in which former White House cybersecurity advisors said more flaws should be disclosed for defensive reasons.

Michael Daniel, the White House cybersecurity policy coordinator, told the Summit the Enhanced Cybersecurity Services program was still evolving and the type of information shared would change as threats do.

“We want to use the full capabilities that we have to protect as much of the critical infrastructure as we can with that program,” he said.

(Reporting by Joseph Menn; Editing by Tiffany Wu and Leslie Gevirtz)

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Here is the earlier Zero Day story: Booming 'zero-day' trade has Washington cyber experts worried | Reuters

(Reuters) - The proliferation of hacking tools known as zero-day exploits is raising concerns at the highest levels in Washington, even as U.S. agencies and defense contractors have become the biggest buyers of such products.

White House cybersecurity policy coordinator Michael Daniel said the trend was "very worrisome to us."

Asked if U.S. government buying in the offensive market was adding to the problem, Daniel said more study was needed. "There is a lot more work to be done in that space to look at the economic questions...so we can do a better job on the cost-benefit analysis," he said.

Some security experts say the government's purchasing power could help instead of hurt. They argue the U.S. government should bring the market into the open by announcing it will pay top dollar for zero-days and then disclosing all vulnerabilities to the companies concerned and their customers.

"Given that people are now buying vulnerabilities, the U.S. should simply announce that it is cornering the market, that they will pay 10 times anyone else," said Dan Geer, chief information security officer at In-Q-Tel, the U.S. intelligence community's venture capital firm. He said he was speaking outside of his official capacity.

IN-Q-TEL TROLLING. FACK... This story is going all over the place. In-Q-Tel is the CIA's venture capital wing, worth noting for those unfamiliar. They use government money to make private venture capitalists tons of profits - for example building up Keyhole into Google Earth, which, when installed on your computer phones home constantly.

See: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/additional-publications/in-q-tel/

In-Q-Tel - Wikipedia. Among other things: "In-Q-Tel sold 5,636 shares of Google, worth over $2.2 million, on Nov 15, 2005.[6] The stocks were a result of Google’s acquisition of Keyhole, the CIA funded satellite mapping software now known asGoogle Earth."

Exclusive: Google, CIA Invest in 'Future' of Web Monitoring | Danger Room | Wired.com: "The investment arms of the CIA and Google are both backing a company that monitors the web in real time — and says it uses that information to predict the future."

In-Q-Tel: The CIA's Tax-Funded Player In Silicon Valley : All Tech Considered : NPR && 25 Cutting Edge Companies Funded By The Central Intelligence Agency - Business Insider

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Batchez of linx follow when diving into this newest gravy train. Here is a plain setup showing a bunch of classified stuff about to go out the door to shady contractors, I'm sure none of them sketchballs with foreign intelligence angles who will sell out and use the good stuff to attack for massive profit.

DIBS ON YOUR INTERNETS: This is probably the original DIB thing now foisted on America at large, or closer to it:

www.dc3.mil/dcise/DIB Enhanced Cybersecurity Services Procedures.pdf
DIB Enhanced Cybersecurity Services (DECS)

The Department of Defense (DoD) in coordination with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is actively engaged in multiple efforts to foster mutually beneficial partnerships with the Defense Industrial Base (DIB) to protect DoD information residing on or passing though DIB company systems. One such effort is the DIB Cyber Security/Information Assurance (CS/IA) Program, including its optional DIB Enhanced Cybersecurity Services (DECS) component.

Under the optional DECS component of the DIB CS/IA Program, the Government will furnish classified cyber threat and technical information either to a DIB company or to the DIB company’s Commercial Service Provider (CSP). This sensitive, Government-furnished information enables these DIB companies, or the CSPs on behalf of their DIB customers, to counter additional types of known malicious cyber activity, to further protect DoD program information.

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This is also nuts: www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg544/docs/ECS_Fact_Sheet.pdf

And: Raytheon, Lockheed Get U.S. Secrets as Cybersecurity Go-Betweens

Cyber Security, Critical Infrastructure, and Obama’s Executive Order - Deloitte CIO - WSJ

Northrop, US DHS team up to support enhanced cybersecurity services :: Strategic Defence Intelligence

U.S. gives big, secret push to Internet surveillance | Politics and Law - CNET News

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Other Major Moves of Note right now: Of course the Bitcoin ecosystem got a major swipe at it from Department of Homeland Security's new uber-agency, Homeland Security Investigations. Warrant Reveals Homeland Security Seized Mt. Gox’s Dwolla Account for ‘Unlicensed Money Transmitting’ | Betabeat. I covered some key notes on the ever-spreading DHS-HSI organization in April 2012.

Associated Press situation is a big deal too. via @johnknefel: What's at Stake When the Department of Justice Seizes AP Phone Records | Politics News | Rolling Stone

Anyway I will leave it there for now. The Hack Cartel rides high today, but as with all these corrupt authoritarian bubbles they tumble sooner or later.

The Cyberwar fleet of fools will sink of its own accord, but how many innocent fishing boats will get capsized in the wake of their fooling about?

Cubic NUWAIX: Spoiler Alert! Uncompetitive Bidding for Cubic Apocalyptic Scenarios: NUWAIX 2013 Minot nuclear exercise & dramatic theft of explosives in Montana

HOW TO CUBIC YR APOCALYPTIC SKRILLO FLOW? uncompetitive bidding :)

dtra-contract.png

source- CBRNE Exercise / CMAP Support Services - Federal Business Opportunities: Opportunities J&A6.302-1_-_J3PBCS5990.pdf - Dec 7 2012

Quick post about how much money you can make simulating the apocalypse for the new Homeland Security & domestic military ops structure. Cubic NUWAIX - you has it! Spoiler Alert for Exercise Scenario: Open Ended Profits!

How to sign off on something sketchy - even the attorney is laying low:


dtra-sekrit.png

A somewhat interesting event is happening in a few sites around the midwest - ARDENT SENTRY 2013 is a major annual domestic military exercise - with a whole series of simulated events run in different places. Interestingly NUWAIX 2013 involves a simulated nuclear incident in Minot North Dakota, a place known for both nuclear technology and odd incidents.

Additionally there was a major theft of explosives round about those parts recently as well, no doubt by SAIC minions. cryptogon.com » Montana: 559 Pounds of High Explosives Stolen from U.S. Forrest Service Bunker - source KPAX:

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Carbon County Sheriff’s Office are asking for help from the public in gathering information about the theft of approximately 559 pounds of high explosives from a USFS explosives bunker located near Red Lodge.

A press release from the ATF says that in April 2013, someone used forced entry to get into an explosives storage facility owned and operated by the U. S. Forest Service, which is located about two miles south of Red Lodge.

Officials say that various emulsion-type explosives, explosive cast boosters and detonating cord were taken from the facility.

Hence one could speculate an event involving nukes, dynamite, ideally, cigar twirling ubervillains with headquarters on trains.

More interestingly - or concretely anyway - we find that the mysterious Cubic Corporation has an apparently open-ended contract doing these nuclear exercises & such. "Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity" IDIQ contract with Cubic Defense Applications Inc (CAI) "without using full and open competition".

Military & domestic exercises have a certain level of interest from alternative researchers and people that annoy Obama on the Internet because they have been known to relate to 'real world events' in different ways - like for example, if you have an exercise it's a good day to launch wars because the planes are already flying around etc. Recently this happened with a European bombing campaign of Libya actually - "Southern Mistral" was the exercise.

This is about DSCA - Defense Support of Civil Authorities! As discussed earlier at the NORTHCOM level this is CONPLAN 3501. dsca.army.mil: DSCA Training

dsca.png

Also: Defense Support of Civil authorities - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

NORAD and USNORTHCOM Conduct ARDENT SENTRY 2012 - http://www.northcom.mil/News/2012/042412.html

April 24, 2012

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. - The North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command will conduct a major exercise, ARDENT SENTRY 2012, focused on Defense Support of Civil Authorities, May 2 – 9, 2012.

The exercise will be primarily a Command Post Exercise, but there will be field training events within the exercise. Those events will take place in North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Alaska, Connecticut and Nova Scotia and involve United States and Canadian military units.

- North Dakota, the Air Force Global Strike Command will respond to a simulated Nuclear Weapons Incident (NUWAIX) on Minot Air Force Base.

- Oregon, the Oregon National Guard will work with state and local officials to respond to numerous weather-related and security events.

- Texas, US Army North will deploy a task force to work through the process of leading a military response to a major hurricane.

- Alaska, Joint Task Force-Alaska will conduct a coordinated response to a major aircraft crash in a remote area.

- Nova Scotia, Canadian and US Naval forces will work together to handle a security related event.

ARDENT SENTRY 12 will validate existing plans, policies, and procedures, including the Federal Inter-agency Response Plan, as well as state and regional plans.

For more information, contact USNORTHCOM Public Affairs at 719-554-6889 or 719-304-6097.

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We have to keep a special eye on Minot because of the mysterious 2007 Minot Nuclear Incident. Google that term - wiki here. People died, it was very strange. The wiki version is buttoned down pretty tightly - 2007 United States Air Force nuclear weapons incident - Wikipedia as a lot of odd things happened including possibly a fragmentary attempt to escalate the nuclear posture outside the authentic US chain of command (aka Cheney faction starts playing around).

Hence when there is another NORTHCOM exercise at Minot for NUWAIX, Minot's weird recent history is certainly related - "Don't forget where these things are, right you guyz?"

minot-nuclear-incident.png

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Related Linx - NUWAIX ALERTZ & so forth: Nevada internal planning for these exercises & moar. http://www.nv.doe.gov/nationalsecurity/homelandsecurity/frmac/pdfs/Events_Calendar.pdf

The President may be trolling GrumpyCats on the interwebs nowadays. Yet a few radars always go up over nuclear exercises.

Nuclear incident drills to start Monday across Montana | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

ALERT... Hundreds of Pounds of Explosives 'Stolen' From Montana Bunker!... NUCLEAR Drill in Montana on May 6th! | KnowTheLies.com - The Truth is Hidden in Plain View...

ALERT!... NUWAIX 2013... NUCLEAR Drill in Montana on May 6th! | KnowTheLies.com - The Truth is Hidden in Plain View...

Nuclear incident drills to start Monday across Montana | Great Falls Tribune | greatfallstribune.com - PAYWALLD

Great name for a site eh?? NESARA- REPUBLIC RESTORED - Galactic News: Nuclear Incident drills in Montana starting Monday

More seriously though, This whole thing sounded nicely insane. DTRA Increases Cubic CBRNE Support Contract | Global Biodefense

DTRA Increases Cubic CBRNE Support Contract

Posted on November 28, 2012

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) has announced intentions to increase the funding ceiling on an existing Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, High-Yield Explosives (CBRNE) Exercise Support Services contract with Cubic Applications, Inc. (CAI).

As a result of unanticipated increases in the quantity of Foreign Consequence Management (FCM), Nuclear Weapons Accident / Incident Exercise (NUWAIX) and Consequence Management Assistance Program (CMAP) events in FY13-14, the government requires an increase in the ceiling of the contract to ensure immediate and continued support of current and scheduled efforts in Fiscal Year 2013-14. The increase results in no change to the ordering period of the contract which continues through July of 2014.

“As CAI has over eight years’ experience in the planning, development, and execution of FCM/NUWAIX and CMAP efforts, only CAI possesses the in-depth knowledge and expertise required to plan, develop, and execute the current and scheduled FCM/NUWAIX and CMAP requirements,” states the DTRA announcement. “Further, as the current performer and executor of these highly specialized/niche counter CBRNE Exercise Support services, CAI is the only source capable of fulfilling the Government’s requirements.”

The current effort with CAI is managed under HDTRA1-04-D-0020. Due to current and anticipated growth in these areas, the agency expressed intentions to re-compete the program contract prior to expiration in January 2014.

CAI and parent company Cubic Corporation of San Diego, CA are engaged in the design, development, manufacture, integration, and sustainment of high technology systems, products, and services for government and commercial customers. Cubic employs nearly 7,800 people worldwide.

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Contract to spec: Google term HDTRA1-04-D-0020 gives more on the exercise contract. CUBIC snags $3.7 million here DTRA.mil 2010-07 BC Contract Awards Over 100K.xls

JustificationsApprovals - DTRA other loopholes / adjustments filed for contracts, listed here.

CBRNE Exercise / CMAP Support Services - Federal Business Opportunities: Opportunities

CBRNE Exercise / CMAP Support Services

Solicitation Number: J3PBCS5990

Agency: Other Defense Agencies
Office: Defense Threat Reduction Agency
Location: Defense Threat Reduction Agency (Headquarters)

/////

Ah yes Cubic Corporation was rumored to be associated with the Trapwire global surveillance grip project. They denied it. It's sort of indirect, but it's funny that Cubic has its fingers in deez pies and near other interesting pies as well.

VioletBlue Examining the ties between TrapWire, Abraxas and Anonymizer | ZDNet

Technically, Cubic has nothing to do with Abraxas Applications, which is behind TrapWire. But there are some historical vestiges as well as current shareholder arrangements that make the connections between Cubic, Abraxas Applications and Abraxas Corp. far more muddled than initially portrayed.

People are saying that TrapWire is linked to Anonymizer -- popular among activists and at-risk populations -- because Abraxas Corporation acquired Anonymizer in 2008.

Abraxas Corporation's parent company Cubic Corporation issued a statement saying that Cubic -- and its Abraxas Corporation -- have no affiliation with TrapWire, which they say is the product of a separate company, Abraxas Applications.

Cubic Corporation acquired Abraxas Corporation in November 2010 for $124 million. Cubic has three units focused on defense systems, mission services and transportation for military operations. Trapwire's software is designed to thwart terrorist threats and criminal attacks. In other words, Cubic and the two Abraxas companies live in opposite ends of the same neighborhood.

It's also true that Abraxas Applications was spun off -- out of Abraxas Corporation -- into its own software business in 2007, before the Anonymizer acquisition.

Abraxas Corporation developed TrapWire beginning in 2004 (PDF link to report of work shared between Abraxas Corporation and Abraxas Applications).

When TrapWire became ready to sell as a commercial product, Abraxas Applications was launched to do so in 2007.

The intent for Abraxas Applications at the outset was to have both Abraxas projects play together under the direction of both companies' former CEO, Hollis Helm, former chief of the CIA's National Resources Division.

The Barrett Brown research project is currently still hosting a pile of info on Cubic:Cubic Corporation - Project PM. Good point "Free Barrett Brown | Support the defense of Barrett Brown: imprisoned American journalist and activist, founder of Project PM. Since he was in fact supporting a research project calling attention to Cubic.

Cubic Corporation Has No Affiliation with Trapwire, Inc. > Cubic Corporation

This is worth documenting. It takes a special bureaucracy to really shape such technical realities, bringing them forth into our world. Cubic Corporation: more evidence of TrapWire link; their darker side exposed | Darker Net

1. Recently DARPA (part of the Pentagon) awarded Cubic Corporation $6 million to develop a “laser-emitting targeting computer” for American military snipers. It’s called ‘One Shot XG’ (see photo above) “that will allow the sniper to make kill shots “under crosswind conditions, at the maximum effective range of current and future weapons.”
2. In 2004, Cubic Corporation were granted a $6.5 million subcontract from General Dynamics Amphibious Systems to develop and produce a Driver Simulator and a Turret Simulator for the Marine Corps new Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV).
3. Cubic Corporation were also awarded another $6 million contract from Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin Joint Venture to produce tactical trainers for RLM’s shoulder launched, “fire-and-forget” anti-tank missile.
4. Cubic are also building the Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (STARS), an air/ground data link system for the US military.
5. Two days ago Cubic Corporation put out a press release denying any link with TrapWire, which we now know is questionable (if we go by their directors listings). Well here’s another Cubic Corp press release (from May 2010):

ORLANDO, Florida – May 17, 2010 – Cubic’s Simulation Systems Division, a defense systems unit of Cubic Corporation (NYSE: CUB), has been awarded a contract valued at approximately $4.8 million to supply 27 of its COMBATREDI systems to the Florida Army National Guard, along with four 180-degree Warrior Skills Trainers (WST), a vehicle trainer that works with COMBATREDI. The award represents Cubic’s first sale of the new COMBATREDI system, which immerses users in a highly realistic 360-degree “virtual reality” environment. COMBATREDI is a new approach for Cubic, its first completely tetherless, user-worn virtual training system. It features a high-definition helmet-mounted OLED video display that delivers game-quality graphics with a 60-by-45-degree field of view, and an integrated 3D stereo headset for sound effects. Trainees are able to move through a 360-degree virtual environment, including entering buildings, as if it were real. The user carries a realistic wireless “surrogate” rifle that performs like a real one, requiring things like magazine changes and selecting the correct firing mode to operate correctly. Cubic introduced the new system to potential military users late last year. “Cubic is pleased that it hasn’t taken long for the groundbreaking characteristics of COMBATREDI to be recognized by the user community,” said Tony Padgett, Immersive Product Line Manager for Cubic Simulation Systems in Orlando. “COMBATREDI fully immerses trainees into the virtual environment. This is a whole new way to train the dismounted soldier.” Padgett said COMBATREDI allows individual soldiers to be trained almost anywhere, incorporating virtually limitless scenarios without the need for dedicated facilities. The WST system also being delivered to the Florida Army National Guard projects realistic high-fidelity scenes on large screens using the Virtual Battle Space 2 (VBS2) engine. This system is in use in multiple U.S. Army locations.

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Anyway also here is an EPA exercise schedule & workshop list: Planning and Exercise Schedule | Region 8 | US EPA

epa-exercise-workshop.png

Mainly I would say that training exercises should be kept to the absolute minimum necessary, and indeed they should not be an opportunity for shadowy corporations like Cubic to profit from open-ended contracts.

Pentagon domestic operations switches from "pull" to "push" on 24-48hr timelines: "Defense Support of Civil Authorites" expands

This is an incredibly short period of time, he said, and it forces a change in the relationship between DOD and other agencies. The old paradigm was to have civil partners “pull assistance” from DOD, while now DOD will actually push assistance where it is needed.

Defense.gov News Article: Official Explains New Homeland Defense/Civil Support Strategy

There is also a video here: http://www.pentagonchannel.mil/Video.aspx?videoid=285596

Mirrored: Domestic Pentagon ops expands Defense Support of Civil Authorities vs domestic extremists - YouTube

//// UPDATE 4.22.13: I forgot! Here is one version of USNORTHCOM CONPLAN 3501. Thanx to YAN, reddit, & Cryptogon for taking note of this post! This video from the Boston metro area shows what domestic militarization of police is all about:

Also please follow PublicIntelligence.net and Cryptome.org for more handy docs. PI in particular has been pretty well on top of this.////

Mission drift into the US continues as the Pentagon contemplates dealing with "domestic extremists" under the rubric of Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) - one aspect of which is the US Northern Command's "USNORTHCOM CONPLAN 3501".

CONPLAN 3501, This generic emergency plan is relatively easy to obtain (most of the text), but it is the "friendly" hand of the DOD compared to the more mysterious and riot-control-oriented "USNORTHCOM CONPLAN 3502" entitled "Civil Disturbance Operations" (CDO). This surfaced in researching the role of Northcom at the 2008 Republican National Convention, which was a very 3502 CDO style operation with National Guard controlling space on Kellogg Blvd. CONPLAN 3502 is the post-2002 version of GARDEN PLOT, the 1960s-1990s template plan for domestic military deployments, like for example in the LA Riots.

This extends the story from late 2010: Secret 'Trigger' & blueprint for emergency domestic military crackdown plan revealed | HongPong.com and reconfirms various aspects.

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Here is the new front-piece document. Also bonus weird stuff about the ever popular integration of North America.

An interesting Snippet:

Loosely-networked or individually motivated violent extremists will continue to exhort followers and encourage violent extremism in the homeland.

o HVEs will operate alone or organize in small groups and will be largely autonomous in their operations; they will have access to web-based resources to assist them in their operational planning.

o Military members and facilities will remain prominent targets of terrorists, and particularly by HVEs.

ł DoD will be called upon to provide significant resources and capabilities during a catastrophic event in the homeland.

o The National Response Framework will remain the primary instrument for applying Federal capabilities during disaster response.

And

Rapid and actionable intelligence on terrorist threats

DoD will maintain and enhance the Joint Intelligence Task Force for Combating Terrorism (JITF-CT) as its key node for sharing intelligence with interagency partners on terrorist threats. DoD will improve and refine intelligence and information-sharing relationships that have developed since 9/11 and as a result of the Fort Hood shootings.

DoD maintains a robust array of foreign intelligence capabilities, and sharing relevant counterterrorism-related information with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and other key parties is vital to the prevention of potential terrorist threats to the homeland. JITF-CT will remain the focal point for DoD’s outreach and sharing of intelligence and information with the FBI, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), and the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). Additionally, DoD will expand its participation within the various FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs),9 as well as other similar entities to maximize “top-down” and “bottom-up” sharing of key pieces of intelligence and information, consistent with applicable law and policy.

And of course, Unity of Effort and the ever popular Council of Governors:

Promote Federal-State Unity of Effort

Unity of effort between the Federal Government and States must be one of DoD’s guiding principles in the homeland, since unifying DoD’s efforts with those of its external partners improves collaboration and shortens response times for meeting life-saving needs during emergencies. Unity of effort also means greater national preparedness at less overall cost, while preserving both Federal and State constitutional requirements and responsibilities. DoD and its Federal partners must continue to strengthen unity of effort with States to define common goals regarding capabilities, structures, and processes for responses to disaster and emergencies in the homeland. The Council of Governors – established by Executive Order in 2010 – will be an essential forum for enhanced, senior-level dialogue among Federal and State civilian and military officials for this purpose.

[.....] DoD will regard dual-status commanders as the usual and customary command and control arrangement in cases where Federal military and State National Guard forces are employed simultaneously in support of civil authorities within the United States.

DoD will continue to refine processes for dual-status commanders and their associated command structures. By leveraging the use of such commanders, DoD will improve Federal-State communication, economy of force, and force employment for planned events and no-notice or imminent incidents. Historic examples of the employment of dual status commanders include national special security events such as the Democratic and Republican national conventions and responses to disasters like Hurricane Sandy and wildfires in the western United States...

Vague talk of militarized domestic databases always good:

Since Federal and State military components have varying requirements for relevant information and level of detail, development of a COP solution need not specify systems, hardware, or software. Instead, it must be based on common data from authoritative military or civilian databases that flow to various systems in a common format.....

The DCE/DCO structure is reconfirmed to be key to domestic military operations:

DoD will use the planning capacity of Defense Coordinating Elements (DCEs) to expand planning cooperation at the regional level so that Departmental capabilities are considered in FEMA-led regional planning efforts. DoD will also build an integrated organizational architecture for its liaison and coordinating officers at various headquarters.

The ten FEMA regional offices are key nodes for integrating Federal plans with State and local plans, and DCEs within these regional offices are essential for operational and tactical unity of effort in an adaptive environment. This regional planning relationship bridges the gap between State-level planning conducted at a National Guard’s Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQ)-State and DoD and DHS national-level planning. The JFHQs in each of the 54 States and Territoriesprovide vital ties to State emergency officials and the National Guard Bureau. This enduring synergy positions the JFHQ as the key State-level organization for integrating the emergency plans of local DoD installations with State plans and FEMA regional plans.

DoD will deepen and facilitate rigorous Federal, regional, and State-level planning, training, and exercises through coordination and liaison arrangements that support civil authorities at all levels. These arrangements include DoD liaison officers at DHS and FEMA, Defense Coordinating Officers (DCOs), and Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officers from each Service.....

FULL DOCUMENT: Pentagon domestic ops Homeland Defense Strategy 2.2013

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Defense.gov News Article: Official Explains New Homeland Defense/Civil Support Strategy

By Jim Garamone - American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 1, 2013 – The Defense Department incorporated hard lessons learned when it codified its new homeland defense and civil support strategy, said Todd M. Rosenblum, DOD’s top homeland defense official.

In an interview with American Forces Press Service and the Pentagon Channel, Rosenblum, the acting assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense and Americas’ security affairs, said the new strategy is a recognition that the operating environment has changed.

“We face new threats, we have new vulnerabilities, we have new dependencies, most importantly we have a new way to do business,” Rosenblum said during a Pentagon interview. “We have to capture that and make sure the department is prepared and directed toward being more effective and efficient as we can be.”

The Defense Department is charged with defending the homeland from attack. U.S. Northern Command is further charged with working with state and local entities and other federal agencies to provide support in times of natural or man-made disasters. In the first instance, DOD has the lead. In the second, another federal agency -- such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency -- has the lead.

The strategy, released in February, looks at the lessons learned from past experiences -- from Hurricane Katrina through Hurricane Sandy.

They also looked at changes including the growth of communications networks, dependence on private-sector capabilities and “the rising expectations from the president and from the secretary, and certainly from the American people, that we will be prepared to provide support to civil authorities within a 24- to 48-hour window,” Rosenblum said.

This is an incredibly short period of time, he said, and it forces a change in the relationship between DOD and other agencies. The old paradigm was to have civil partners “pull assistance” from DOD, while now DOD will actually push assistance where it is needed.

“So we are postured to provide assistance as fast and rapidly as possible,” Rosenblum said.

The vast difference between the response to Katrina in 2005 and to Sandy in 2012 shows the effectiveness of the new strategy, he said.

“We were more efficient, timely and effective in our support to Hurricane Sandy,” Rosenblum said. “This is because we did integrated planning within DOD, with our federal partners, and with our state partners. We recognized the need to not wait to be called upon, but to pre-position our support capabilities knowing there’s going to be audibles and ad hoc requests.”

Planning is at the heart of the strategy, he said. Integrated planning -- with state and local officials, with other federal agencies and with non-governmental entities -- has increased visibility and prominence. The National Guard -- an organization that bridges state and federal efforts -- continues to play a crucial role. But, Rosenblum noted, the strategy recognizes that response to disasters requires an all-of-government approach.

Cyberattacks, he said, also could produce the type of man-made disaster that would require DOD assistance. The homeland defense mission codifies requirements to provide cyberdefense, he added.

“The threats to networks and critical infrastructure increase when we are engaged in operations overseas,” he said. “The physical effects of cyberattacks can impact our military operation capabilities and response capabilities.”

The fiscal environment impacts this -- and all other -- strategies.

“The sequester is real and effecting DOD through readiness, training,” Rosenblum said. “It is difficult for the department to plan and budget intelligently, when we don’t have budget certainty.”

Officials devised the strategy when the department had already committed to $487 billion in reductions over 10 years.

“Sequester has changed the calculus tremendously,” Rosenblum said. “But this strategy is not about buying new capabilities: It’s about our planning, our processes and our integration.”

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Defense.gov News Release: DOD Releases Strategy for Homeland Defense and Defense Support for Civil Authorities

U.S. Department of Defense

Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)

News Release

On the Web:

http://www.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=15878

Media contact: +1 (703) 697-5131/697-5132 Public contact:

http://www.defense.gov/landing/comment.aspx

or +1 (703) 571-3343

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 172-13

March 22, 2013

DOD Releases Strategy for Homeland Defense and Defense Support for Civil Authorities

The Department of Defense announced today the release of the Strategy for Homeland Defense and Defense Support of Civil Authorities. This policyestablishes DoD’s priorities in the areas of homeland defense and defense support of civil authorities through 2020, consistent with the president’s National Security Strategy and the 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance. It links with other DoD and national strategic documents related to missile defense, space, cyberspace, counterterrorism, and the Western Hemisphere. The strategy identifies two priority missions for the department in the homeland: defend U.S. territory from direct attack by state and non-state actors; and provide assistance to domestic civil authorities in the event of natural or manmade disasters, potentially in response to a very significant or catastrophic event.

The strategy emphasizes cost-effective policy mechanisms and innovative approaches to defend the homeland against direct attacks and to provide timely responses to routine and catastrophic events on U.S. territory. It stresses the continuation of DoD capabilities to defend against conventional and emerging threats in the air and maritime domains, while expanding cooperation with federal, state, and local partners to defeat asymmetric threats – including, for example, homegrown violent extremists who may seek to use improvised explosive devices. Additionally, it addresses DoD preparations for responding to man-made and natural disasters.

“The Department of Defense’s contributions to the defense of our nation have evolved over the past decade and account for new threats and challenges. Lessons learned from events like Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy and collaboration with our interagency partners and State Governors have framed our current approach to DoD civil support activities,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs Todd Rosenblum. “This strategy emphasizes strengthening our partnerships with federal agencies like the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, with state and local governments, with the private sector, and with our Canadian and Mexican neighbors – not only for more comprehensive approaches to complex security challenges in the homeland, but also to create efficiencies through collaboration and joint action,”

For further information about this strategy, please access http://www.defense.gov/news/Homelanddefensestrategy.pdf

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Never heard of this guy, he is the one doing the news release above. Career includes being Evan Bayh's national security staff & CIA Near East 1988-1993hires_061611094311_Rosenblum_Todd.JPG

Defense.gov Biography: Todd M. Rosenblum

Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas' Security Affairs [Acting?]

Todd M. Rosenblum is the Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs. In this position, he advises the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy on the homeland defense activities of the Department and regional security matters for the countries of the Western Hemisphere. He is also responsible for advising the Secretary of Defense on all matters pertaining to defense support to civil and law enforcement authorities in the homeland. Mr. Rosenblum has nearly 25 years of political, policy, and legislative experience in national security affairs.

Prior to his appointment at the Department of Defense in May 2011, Mr. Rosenblum was the Deputy Under Secretary of Intelligence for Plans, Policy, and Performance Management, Department of Homeland Security, from February 2009 to May 2011. He directed strategic and policy planning for the Department’s intelligence program, oversaw budget development and resource allocation priorities for the synchronization of intelligence programs and priorities, provided stewardship and direction for the Information Sharing Enterprise, and ensured that the intelligence program was aligned with national, departmental, and intelligence strategy and requirements.

Mr. Rosenblum was a Professional Staff Member on the Senate Intelligence Committee from March 2005 to November 2008, leading Committee oversight of Department of Defense human intelligence collection programs and Intelligence Community-wide intelligence collection programs and operations in the Middle East. Concurrently and prior to joining the Committee, he served as the Military Legislative Assistant and National Security Advisor to Senator Evan Bayh from January 2001 to November 2008, where he acted as senior counsel and represented the Senator on defense issues and foreign policy, national security legislative actions, and public affairs. He was a member of the Senior Personnel Staff, National Security Cluster, on the Obama Presidential Transition Team from November 2008 to February 2009.   

Mr. Rosenblum held several management and advisory positions at the Department of State and the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency from August 1994 to January 2001. From April 1999 to January 2001, he was the Executive Assistant/Chief of Staff to the Assistant Secretary of State for Nonproliferation where he provided executive management and policy liaison on the full range of nonproliferation issues. He was the Senior Foreign Affairs Advisor for Northeast Asia at the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency from August 1994 to April 1999, where he represented the Agency in numerous nonproliferation negotiations and regional security dialogues.

From January 1993 to August 1994, he was the Deputy Political-Military Advisor for the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, U.S. Department of State. Mr. Rosenblum chaired an interagency export control working group, providing departmental recommendations on proposed arms sales to the region, and was responsible for ensuring consistency between national policy and regional security assistance activities. He was an Intelligence Officer in the Central Intelligence Agency’s Office of Near Eastern Affairs, Directorate of Intelligence, from September 1988 to January 1993.

Mr. Rosenblum has received numerous individual and group awards from the Department of State, the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and the Central Intelligence Agency. He received his Masters in International Affairs in 1988 from the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, and his Bachelor of Arts in 1986 from Columbian College, The George Washington University.

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Anyway that should give everyone a little more to work with, given the heightened domestic military operations surrounding the Boston aftermath, it is important to get a sense of where the Pentagon sees itself going in these reactions and ongoing operations -- what happens next is another question.

A great move would be publishing the entire text of USNORTHCOM CONPLAN 3502 Civil Disturbance Operations on the Internets immediately!

2013: Boston, paper gold, Obama signs Stock Act reversal, Homeland Security and food stamps

UPDATE 4.19.2013: MOAR about domestic military operations policy shifts w doc & video: http://www.hongpong.com/archives/2013/04/19/pentagon-domestic-operations-switches-pull-push-24-48hr-timelines-defense-suppor

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Hang tight folks, it looks like we are on the cusp of another 'burst of change' on a few fronts. You should probably double the watts going to your news radar for at least 10-14 days, if you possibly can. And all those cheesy "financial systems" are getting Extra Discontinuous as they usually do when Collapse starts happening in various segments. I decided to cork out a very rough post on these topics, Your Mileage May Vary thx::

While the Boston situation loaded with symbolism like international flags & the JFK library fire attracts most attention, the reality is that bombings at events are pretty rare and unlikely to happen; once it does the media loops the same traumatizing video clips for web hits. The editorial style: giving viewers agog consciousness that spells ratings. I saw Good Morning America a few mornings ago, it was a massive blitz of domestic violence and a patina of Victoria's Secret models.

With that spectacle set aside for a moment, other trends hitting key points this week include a shady new Stock Act law being signed by Obama and dramatic corrections in several markets including particularly gold. Gotta give some space to the Hill, this is ridiculous:

President Obama quietly signed legislation Monday that rolled back a provision of the STOCK Act that required high-ranking federal employees to disclose their financial information online.

The White House announced Monday that the president had signed S. 716, which repealed a requirement of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act requiring the disclosure, which had previously been delayed several times by Congress.

That provision, added to the bipartisan bill aimed at halting insider trading by members of Congress, would have required roughly 28,000 senior government officials to post their financial information online, and had come under harsh criticism from federal government employee unions.
Both chambers of Congress quickly — and near silently — approved the repeal legislation at the end of last week by unanimous consent, just before heading home to their districts.

The STOCK Act was signed by the president a little over one year ago in a highly visible signing ceremony, where he said the legislation would tackle the "deficit of trust" that exists between Washington and the rest of the nation.

The new law scraps a provision that had been hotly contested by federal employees, as well as found to be problematic and even dangerous for high-ranking government workers. Congress twice had passed legislation to delay its implementation. Under that provision, high-ranking government workers would have been required to post their financial information on a publicly available online database.

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PAPER GOLD BIG MOVES: The gold market is a peculiar misunderstood beast - it's like a bunch of stuff in vaults with IOU's attached to numbered bars. The IOUs underwrite the financial products like Exchange Traded Fund GLD "gold" - it is operated in reference to the underlying gold's supposed value, but it's not actually a contract providing recourse to the gold.

I flagged for some people a few days ago that the COMEX or commodities exchange gold market, as well as JP Morgan, has had large declines in physical gold reserves in the warehouses recently.

See just recently: 30% of CNT Silver Inventories Withdrawn from COMEX Vaults in 2 Days! | SilverDoctors.com // Why Is JPMorgan's Gold Vault, The Largest In The World, Located Next To The New York Fed's? | Zero Hedge // Especially: Comex Gold Inventories Collapse By Largest Amount Ever On Record

Now today a whopping 122 tons of 'paper gold' got flipped around & tons of margin hikes are getting called on gold traders in different markets around the world, forcing people to keep dumping gold in bursts.

Gold Crush Started With 400 Ton Friday Forced Sale On COMEX | Zero Hedge - tactical deals of the Mega short sale to break through the 'important' price of $1540. Aha... Via Ross Norman of Sharps Pixley,

"Futures trading is performed on a margined basis.. One fund in particular, based in Stamford Connecticut, was identified as the previous shorter of gold and has a history of being caught on the wrong side of the law on a few occasions. As baddies go - they fit the bill nicely.

......The value of the 400 tonnes of gold sold is approximately $20 billion but because it is margined, this short bet would require them to stump up just $1b. The modest short selling in Jan 2013 had prompted little response from the longs - raising questions about their real commitment. By forcing the market lower the Fund sought to prompt a cascade or avalanche of additional selling, proving the lie ; predictably some newswires were premature in announcing the death of the gold bull run doing, in effect, the dirty work of the shorters in driving the market lower still."

These charts are nuts. In recent years, gold drops coincided with bubbles in the S&P type prices, that then crashed. What Happened The Last Time We Saw Gold Drop Like This? | Zero Hedge see 2008 and 2011. Gold Drops Most In 30 Years | Zero Hedge

In recent weeks due to Japan's new hyper-loose monetary policy, crazy things have been happening around the Yen's value. (Australia is spiking moar than anything else it seems) Europe also has a new wave of trust destabilizing the banking system with various deals being attempted in Cyprus & Greece.

(see Which Country's Gold Will Be Sold Next? | Zero Hedge). Also the creditor fascist complex has angled to get at the Greek government's remaining stash of gold so that they can be sacrificed on the altar of the billionaires once and for all.

See also, All Eyes On The Gold Rout, Most Oversold In 14 Years | Zero Hedge . Gold Plummets By Most In 30 Years, Stocks Have Biggest Drop Of 2013 | Zero Hedge - this cuts across a lot of sectors. The CFTC needs to be looked at as well, as some of this material indicates.

The DJIA has been flying high above all of this, though even the corporate news points out that this whole phase of asset value inflation is at least partially due to the Fed's loose monetary policy. Housing prices are "up" they say, what could possibly go wrong?

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It's pretty sick meanwhile that an incredibly high level of food stamps are the formal basis for America's food security, at around 23,000,000 households and rising. When Obama entered office this was less than 15,000,000 households -- and the benefits per household are slowly being cut along with much of the social safety net programs both in Minnesota and nationwide. US Households On Foodstamps Hit Record High | Zero Hedge. USDA data.

FoodstampHousholds.jpg

This is a consequence of bailing out banks with trillions of dollars, collateralizing the American people and introducing tons of sovereign credit risk into the US Dollar, the Euro & beyond. It has altered the "biopolitics" of the US to the point that this many people cannot handle generating economic activity in this system to keep themselves alive - and clearly the amount parceled out is declining fast.

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CSA's [relatively cheap & nutritious food share subscriptions] and local barter-based currencies are among the more resilient network ideas that ought to get looked at right now. I think there is a pretty severe risk to the stability of the whole country (let alone world) when food stamp debit card systems keep that many millions of families from starving. If nothing else there needs to be fallback systems from the US Dollar & conventional banking system may abruptly halt or radically shift in value or stability. This is something people need to start getting their heads around - so that if the debit cards stop working, different ones operating on some other basis (ie local currencies) can be handed out & millions aren't put in such imminent danger. (see DepressionScrip.com for 1930s substitute local credit instruments - key!)

The food stamp debit cards are usually administered by big banks - giving them yet another lever of functions to 'terrorize' elected officials and bureaucrats into further handing over all the nation's "commons" through fraud & socially constructed economic schemes. The banks have probably the biggest, quickest "kill switch" on social stability. A trivial switch for them to hit compared to most!!

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Bitcoin had a big run-up for several days and now has retreated somewhere into the $50-100 range - for a good time keep an eye on Bitcoin Charts. Still, it seems like there's more than enough demand to keep it above $40. However the Bitcoin economy suffers from overly concentrated exchanges.

The biggest exchange, MtGox, has such a large market share - and can't keep up once really huge, shady order floods come in, that the whole Bitcoin economy tends to get "goxxed" and bog down, panic selling and various cats stepping in to buy all the way down.

I am doing a lot of research on Bitcoin right now including the various exchanges (LIST) - in the long run, Bitcoin and other alternative cryptocurrencies share certain features like peer-to-peer encryption/hashing based universal linear transaction registers called "blockchains", and ways of verifying those blockchains with CPU or GPU intensive cryptographic calculations to award more 'coins' and slowly expand the money supply while shoring up trust in the global account ledger.

A new website as well as local Facebook & Twitter accts are getting rolling :) Brand new: follow http://twitter.com/bitcoinmn and http://facebook.com/bitcoinmn for Minnesota Bitcoin goodies!

Bitcoin OTC order book is a chat network approach to decentralized exchange design with trust ranking (like eBay rankings in a way).

Good news for people interesting in making exchanges or intercambios in the form of Ripple, in the early stages an open source project with VC backing to build multi-currency exchanges and trust networks among peers. (chart) Some open source software is available on GitHub for Ripple and its "XRP" intermediary currency, which could then be a proxy to regular fiats or Bitcoin etc.

See also: wow Six reasons why Chinese people will drive the next bull market in bitcoin – Quartz

Mining Bitcoins takes power, but is it an “environmental disaster?” | Ars Technica - wattage will improve - and compared to the phenomenal amount of energy blown on fractional reserve banking derived parasitic functions, Bitcoin is nothing! Also: “Taming the bubble”: investors bet on Bitcoin via derivatives markets | Ars Technica

Paul Krugman Goes on the Attack: Calls Bitcoin “Antisocial” // The Antisocial Network of Bitcoins - NYTimes.com by Krugman! "We have huge economic problems, but green pieces of paper are doing fine — and we should let them alone." LOL that food stamp chart is definitely not keeping the great Keynesian up at night.

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A moment for weird Boston links: What did Peter Griffin know about Boston and when did he know it? Watch! Family Guy boston bombing - YouTube Yeah this petition is picking up steam - Petition | Demand that Seth MacFarlane make a public accounting for his foreknowledge of the Boston Bombing | Change.org

This is a popular item now: Boston to Deploy Mass-Casualty Tablet Device During Marathon

Excellent videography: Boston.com viral video page - Boston.com. Also: Israel honors war dead with somber Memorial Day - News - Boston.com

Oh also in that viral video above you can see the military incongruously popping up within about 1 minute 44 secs in Boston as Cryptogon and other news have noted. You'll want to check out TC Indymedia Exclusive: Secret 'Trigger' & blueprint for emergency domestic military crackdown plan revealed | HongPong.com about USNORTHCOM CONPLAN 3502 if you haven't already.

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SEE previously Meet the new Boss in Town: ICE spawns... HSI Homeland Security Investigations, for great justice & cocaine cowboys | HongPong.com

Homeland Security's New $3.9 Billion Headquarters - Businessweek. Money quote:

In February, one of the DHS’s more persistent naysayers, U.S. Representative John Mica, a Florida Republican, boasted about how he and his fellow party members had curtailed the project. He said he would also like to dismantle much of the DHS.

He’d better act swiftly. If the White House ever gets all the DHS’s divisions on one campus, nobody will want to move them again.

Homeland Security bloat and the great Unemployed: Word went around that ICE was serving a federal warrant pertaining to Boston. ICE is a unit of Department Homeland Security which spawned the little known HSI, or Homeland Security Investigations, division, a new kind of (literal) black helicopter FBI-style agency

The dip in metals and the odd security situation brought Cryptogon.com to recall a post from late 2012 from HomelandSecurityUs.com, the Northeast Intelligence Network site edited by Doug Hagmann & his son. They are pretty conservative and have a fair bit of alarming material about Homeland Security. See Flashback: Warning: "Watch The Metals, When They Dip. It Will Be A Good Indication That Things Are About To Happen."

I'm not even going to get into the stuff coming up about the bomb sniffing dogs and weird "training exercise" angles right now because this other stuff seems more pertinent right now. People that have been at this a long time frequently bump into "exercises" that happen to overlap with 'live events', the argument being many times that exercises created the opportunity for staged events at many previous key points -- though of course governments do run a *lot* of exercises with all their security bloatware anyway.

This is the late 2012 Hagmann interview with a purported Homeland Security "insider" which stated that a dip in precious metals, after the fiscal cliff sets the stage, would presage further economic chaos and an escalation of repression against the American people, along with a major collapse in standard of living. DHS Insider Report: Coming This Spring: "Life for the Average American is Going to Change Significantly". It is kind of "classic stuff" for those of us that keep an eye on these things. The earlier predictions of source "Rosebud" didn't really pan out much in 2012, as these things often don't. But timelines are hard to nail down even for "deep weird" sources with good faith. Take a little while to glance over this, even if it's not your usual fare.

"Rosebud": Stop thinking about a normal situation. The country is divided, which is exactly where Obama wants us to be. We are as ideologically divided as we were during the Civil War and that rift is growing every day. Add in a crisis – and economic crisis – where ATM and EBT cards will stop working. Where bank accounts will contain nothing but air. They are anticipating a revolution and a civil war rolled into one (emphasis added by this author).

We all saw what happened with the Feds & Occupy camps. The American Occupy-style organizing eased off as the US economy was in a kind of stasis during 2012, but if things tense up in 2013 we are looking at a different political situation. In Europe things have been moving at a much different tempo, along with a great deal of confusion, snaky liberal operations, and a rising neofascist & quasi-fascist network is taking root in many nations.

See also The Terrifying Reality of Long-Term Unemployment - Matthew O'Brien - The Atlantic

On a decidedly anti-alarmist tack, Bruce Schneier: The Boston Marathon Bombing: Keep Calm and Carry On - Bruce Schneier - The Atlantic

See TC Indymedia Exclusive: Secret 'Trigger' & blueprint for emergency domestic military crackdown plan revealed | HongPong.com

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MOAR LINX: A bunch of stuff sitting around you may find interesting.

Just weird - part of a scifi based GE marketing campaign: 'The Matrix' is back (in your hospital) | Technically Incorrect - CNET News

Is Facebook's Secretbook Secure? CRYPTOME Colin Powell & Malcolm McDowell at Bohemian Grove 2013-0347.pdf // Hacktivists as Gadflies - Socrates to Jeremy Hammond // DoD Communications Systems Breach in 9/11 Trials

A little grumpycat may be worth reading - Guest Post: Are Individuals The Property Of The Collective? | Zero Hedge amirite Minneapolis?!

In Control at Layer 2: a Tectonic Shift in Network Security| Whitepapers | TechRepublic - hacking optic networks.

Wells Fargo 401(k) Loans Jump 28% as Older Workers Borrow - Bloomberg

CNBC! USD/Bitcoin - MTGOXUSD - Stock Quotes

The Real Story Behind Facebook Moderation and Your Petty Reports | The Internet Offends Me

DARKWEBSEARCH: Shodan: The scariest search engine on the Internet - Apr. 8, 2013

Australian FiberFail with a last mile of copper, you idiots: FTTN a huge “mistake”, says ex-BT CTO | Delimiter

Peak Recovery? | Zero Hedge

11 Economic Crashes That Are Happening RIGHT NOW

Wordpress Mess going on: This plugin should help: WordPress › Limit Login Attempts « WordPress Plugins

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Anyway this is just a few trends happening now... I feel like the overall tone of this post is pretty conservative, as a lot of the research is coming out of places with that editorial slant. Nonetheless these are sources of information and lines of analysis that anyone is welcome to look at and come to their own conclusions.

I think that we urgently need to get real and start considering lots of alternate solutions, hopefully to avoid more authoritarian and crisis driven, panicky policies, like those fostered in the climate of the Fear of Terrorism which they are going to tediously lay on with a trowel for weeks, alongside major economic instability.

Batten All the Hatches.

Infiltrating Hollywood: The Rise and Fall of The Spook Who Sat By the Door

I remember seeing Spook years ago on a rough videotape with horrible audio at the Soap Factory - shortly thereafter it was possible to obtain the DVD, based on a negative long-hidden in some film vault under a false name.

spook1.png

Spook is one of those incredible movies - a 1973 narrative of a black CIA agent turned domestic revolutionary. The FBI bullied United Artists into dropping the film -- based on an earlier book by Greenlee, which covers the global guerrilla strategies more deeply -- and the actors got blacklisted. Why would the FBI have a problem with a film where black gangs organize to demand autonomy, attack the police & seize military hardware?

Another key element, well done for such a low budget guerrilla project: the portrayal of the US military as a domestic civil repression force -- at least roughly similar to GARDEN PLOT National Guard style deployments seen more frequently back in those days. (GARDEN PLOT has been replaced with USNORTHCOM CONPLAN 3502 "Civil Disturbance Operations" as research here has documented)

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There are plenty of funny moments in this film as well - the sense of humor strikes like a Cobra.

spook2.png

TRAILER:

FULL MOVIE! YAY - The Spook Who Sat by the Door by Director & producer Ivan Dixon, written & produced by Sam Greenlee, 102 mins.

I found this followup documentary via the film Hidden Colors' FB. Need to see this!! Infiltrating Hollywood: The Rise and Fall of the Spook Who Sat by the Door | Award Winning, Independent Documentary

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Infiltrating Hollywood: The Rise and Fall of the Spook Who Sat by the Door is an award winning independent documentary on the controversial and FBI repressed 1973 black film The Spook Who Sat By the Door. The Spook Who Sat by The Door is widely hailed as a cult classic and one of the most important underground black productions of the era. The film was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry in 2012.

Through interviews, with author Sam Greenlee, Berlie Dixon, widow of director Ivan Dixon, Academy Award winning editor Michael Kahn, Melvin Van Peebles several actors from the film, investors, academics, Todd Boyd, Ed Guerrero, and Eric Pierson; archival footage and production documents, Infiltrating Hollywood tells the story of The Spook Who Sat by the Door from its inception as a novel to its release and repression.

San Diego Black Film Festival: Best Film, Sacramento International Film Festival: Best Film, Cine-Soul, Athens International Film Festival: Honorable Mention, Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival: Finalist HBO Documentary Competition, Saatchi and Saatchi Producer’s Award, International Black Film Festival of Nashville: Best Documentary, Hollywood Black Film Festival: Honorable Mention.

The Rise and Fall of The Spook Who Sat By The Door :Infiltrating Hollywood -Trailer for Infiltrating Hollywood: The Rise and Fall of the Spook Who Sat by the Door, a documentary on the making of the cult film classic. A Film by Christine Acham and Clifford Ward.

// Pt 1 interview //

"The Spook Who Sat By the Door" filmmaker, writer and community activist SAM GREENLEE Answer questions from callers and talks about his LEGENDARY MOVIE. He speaks on the struggle and obstacles when trying to releasing the controversial movie, why they were banned from shooting in Chicago, the reason he and Jesse Jackson dislike each other and more!!!!

// pt 1 of 4 "Project Brotherhood Power Hour" Shot by Lyle Muse

// Pt 2 Spook interview/

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Sam Greenlee on black filmmaking today (posted in 2008):

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Anyway these items are just excellent. Thanks Mr Greenlee & the actors who got blacklisted as punishment, good careers crushed including lead Lawrence Cook or "Dan Freeman". And screw Hollywood for papering over how they let the government suppress a film without any accountability.

FinCEN floats new Bitcoin related currency regulation advisory as criminal bankster operations sack depositors in Cyprus

UPDATE 3.28 - BITCOIN SURGES TO $92 - see http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonmatonis/2013/03/24/cyprus-goes-cashless-t...
for notes on Bitcoin's surge in popularity as a refuge from the Looting, and more context to the FinCEN stuff as well.

The FinCEN structure is one of those good at gracefully failing to say much about the huge volumes of drug money circulating in the Federal Reserve System. They are now setting their eyes on extending the Ontology of Fail into Bitcoin.

Since the Cyprus looting political situation has slid forward, Bitcoin apps have been going viral in Europe - particularly in the small Spanish iOS market. For some unclear reason Bitcoin's value has been going parabolic since the start of 2013.

Good intro, suggests the rideup not just because of Cyprus: Bitcoin bubble or new virtual currency? | | MacroBusiness

Bitcoin interest spikes in Spain as Cyprus financial crisis grows (Wired UK)

Spain turns to Bitcoin, prompting incoherent discussion on Today

Bitcoin analysis: Cyprus crisis increases virtual currency interest | BGR

Bitcoin apps soar in Spain – will the Cyprus shocker boost virtual currencies? - Yahoo! News

BREAKING: In Response To Building Cyprus Panic - BITCOIN HITS NEW ALL-TIME HIGH OF $50....er, $52, $54, $55 - Max Keiser // Bitcoin-Related Apps Spike In Spain Over Weekend, Alongside Cyprus

Bitcoin getting a boost from euro crisis - FRANCE 24

BrianLehrer.tv: Saving the Kimani Grays - YouTube & bookmark'd to an interview Erik Voorhees and Marc Hochstein. Includes the quickie intro video for Bitcoin.

For updates: Bitcoin Watch

The rideup from ~ $47/Bitcoin to a pretty solid $64-72 range, likely due to Cyprus, shows that even if things cool off, Bitcoin demand definitely has reached a new audience.

This chart is from Mt. Gox, the largest Bitcoin exchange site.

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Here is the Euro chart, perhaps more relevant.

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Needless to say, the market spike has made Bitcoin mining quite a bit more profitable than only a few weeks ago.

Welcome To FinCEN.gov - FinCEN’s mission is to safeguard the financial system from illicit use and combat money laundering and promote national security through the collection, analysis, and dissemination of financial intelligence and strategic use of financial authorities.

FinCen Regulation of BitCoin and Virtual Currency

20 March 2013

A sends:

http://www.fincen.gov/statutes_regs/guidance/html/FIN-2013-G001.html

http://www.fincen.gov/statutes_regs/guidance/pdf/FIN-2013-G001.pdf

Guidance

FIN-2013-G001

Issued:

March 18, 2013

Subject:

Application of FinCEN's Regulations to Persons Administering, Exchanging, or Using Virtual Currencies

            The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network ("FinCEN") is issuing this interpretive guidance to clarify the applicability of the regulations implementing the Bank Secrecy Act ("BSA") to persons creating, obtaining, distributing, exchanging, accepting, or transmitting virtual currencies.1 Such persons are referred to in this guidance as "users," "administrators," and "exchangers," all as defined below.2 A user of virtual currency is not an MSB under FinCEN's regulations and therefore is not subject to MSB registration, reporting, and recordkeeping regulations. However, an administrator or exchanger is an MSB under FinCEN's regulations, specifically, a money transmitter, unless a limitation to or exemption from the definition applies to the person. An administrator or exchanger is not a provider or seller of prepaid access, or a dealer in foreign exchange, under FinCEN's regulations.

Currency vs. Virtual Currency

            FinCEN's regulations define currency (also referred to as "real" currency) as "the coin and paper money of the United States or of any other country that [i] is designated as legal tender and that [ii] circulates and [iii] is customarily used and accepted as a medium of exchange in the country of issuance."3 In contrast to real currency, "virtual" currency is a medium of exchange that operates like a currency in some environments, but does not have all the attributes of real currency. In particular, virtual currency does not have legal tender status in any jurisdiction. This guidance addresses "convertible" virtual currency. This type of virtual currency either has an equivalent value in real currency, or acts as a substitute for real currency.

Background

            On July 21, 2011, FinCEN published a Final Rule amending definitions and other regulations relating to money services businesses ("MSBs").4 Among other things, the MSB Rule amends the definitions of dealers in foreign exchange (formerly referred to as "currency dealers and exchangers") and money transmitters. On July 29, 2011, FinCEN published a Final Rule on Definitions and Other Regulations Relating to Prepaid Access (the "Prepaid Access Rule").5 This guidance explains the regulatory treatment under these definitions of persons engaged in virtual currency transactions.

Definitions of User, Exchanger, and Administrator

            This guidance refers to the participants in generic virtual currency arrangements, using the terms "user," "exchanger," and "administrator."6 A user is a person that obtains virtual currency to purchase goods or services.7 An exchanger is a person engaged as a business in the exchange of virtual currency for real currency, funds, or other virtual currency. An administrator is a person engaged as a business in issuing (putting into circulation) a virtual currency, and who has the authority to redeem (to withdraw from circulation) such virtual currency.

Users of Virtual Currency

            A user who obtains convertible virtual currency and uses it to purchase real or virtual goods or services is not an MSB under FinCEN's regulations.8 Such activity, in and of itself, does not fit within the definition of "money transmission services" and therefore is not subject to FinCEN's registration, reporting, and recordkeeping regulations for MSBs.9

Administrators and Exchangers of Virtual Currency

            An administrator or exchanger that (1) accepts and transmits a convertible virtual currency or (2) buys or sells convertible virtual currency for any reason is a money transmitter under FinCEN's regulations, unless a limitation to or exemption from the definition applies to the person.10 FinCEN's regulations define the term "money transmitter" as a person that provides money transmission services, or any other person engaged in the transfer of funds. The term "money transmission services" means "the acceptance of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency from one person and the transmission of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency to another location or person by any means."11

            The definition of a money transmitter does not differentiate between real currencies and convertible virtual currencies. Accepting and transmitting anything of value that substitutes for currency makes a person a money transmitter under the regulations implementing the BSA.12 FinCEN has reviewed different activities involving virtual currency and has made determinations regarding the appropriate regulatory treatment of administrators and exchangers under three scenarios: brokers and dealers of e-currencies and e-precious metals; centralized convertible virtual currencies; and de-centralized convertible virtual currencies.

            a. E-Currencies and E-Precious Metals

            The first type of activity involves electronic trading in e-currencies or e-precious metals.13 In 2008, FinCEN issued guidance stating that as long as a broker or dealer in real currency or other commodities accepts and transmits funds solely for the purpose of effecting a bona fide purchase or sale of the real currency or other commodities for or with a customer, such person is not acting as a money transmitter under the regulations.14

            However, if the broker or dealer transfers funds between a customer and a third party that is not part of the currency or commodity transaction, such transmission of funds is no longer a fundamental element of the actual transaction necessary to execute the contract for the purchase or sale of the currency or the other commodity. This scenario is, therefore, money transmission.15 Examples include, in part, (1) the transfer of funds between a customer and a third party by permitting a third party to fund a customer's account; (2) the transfer of value from a customer's currency or commodity position to the account of another customer; or (3) the closing out of a customer's currency or commodity position, with a transfer of proceeds to a third party. Since the definition of a money transmitter does not differentiate between real currencies and convertible virtual currencies, the same rules apply to brokers and dealers of e-currency and e-precious metals.

            b. Centralized Virtual Currencies

            The second type of activity involves a convertible virtual currency that has a centralized repository. The administrator of that repository will be a money transmitter to the extent that it allows transfers of value between persons or from one location to another. This conclusion applies, whether the value is denominated in a real currency or a convertible virtual currency. In addition, any exchanger that uses its access to the convertible virtual currency services provided by the administrator to accept and transmit the convertible virtual currency on behalf of others, including transfers intended to pay a third party for virtual goods and services, is also a money transmitter.

            FinCEN understands that the exchanger's activities may take one of two forms. The first form involves an exchanger (acting as a "seller" of the convertible virtual currency) that accepts real currency or its equivalent from a user (the "purchaser") and transmits the value of that real currency to fund the user's convertible virtual currency account with the administrator. Under FinCEN's regulations, sending "value that substitutes for currency" to another person or to another location constitutes money transmission, unless a limitation to or exemption from the definition applies.16 This circumstance constitutes transmission to another location, namely from the user's account at one location (e.g., a user's real currency account at a bank) to the user's convertible virtual currency account with the administrator. It might be argued that the exchanger is entitled to the exemption from the definition of "money transmitter" for persons involved in the sale of goods or the provision of services. Under such an argument, one might assert that the exchanger is merely providing the service of connecting the user to the administrator and that the transmission of value is integral to this service. However, this exemption does not apply when the only services being provided are money transmission services.17

            The second form involves a de facto sale of convertible virtual currency that is not completely transparent. The exchanger accepts currency or its equivalent from a user and privately credits the user with an appropriate portion of the exchanger's own convertible virtual currency held with the administrator of the repository. The exchanger then transmits that internally credited value to third parties at the user's direction. This constitutes transmission to another person, namely each third party to which transmissions are made at the user's direction. To the extent that the convertible virtual currency is generally understood as a substitute for real currencies, transmitting the convertible virtual currency at the direction and for the benefit of the user constitutes money transmission on the part of the exchanger.

            c. De-Centralized Virtual Currencies

            A final type of convertible virtual currency activity involves a de-centralized convertible virtual currency (1) that has no central repository and no single administrator, and (2) that persons may obtain by their own computing or manufacturing effort.

            A person that creates units of this convertible virtual currency and uses it to purchase real or virtual goods and services is a user of the convertible virtual currency and not subject to regulation as a money transmitter. By contrast, a person that creates units of convertible virtual currency and sells those units to another person for real currency or its equivalent is engaged in transmission to another location and is a money transmitter. In addition, a person is an exchanger and a money transmitter if the person accepts such de-centralized convertible virtual currency from one person and transmits it to another person as part of the acceptance and transfer of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency.

Providers and Sellers of Prepaid Access

            A person's acceptance and/or transmission of convertible virtual currency cannot be characterized as providing or selling prepaid access because prepaid access is limited to real currencies. 18

Dealers in Foreign Exchange

            A person must exchange the currency of two or more countries to be considered a dealer in foreign exchange.19 Virtual currency does not meet the criteria to be considered "currency" under the BSA, because it is not legal tender. Therefore, a person who accepts real currency in exchange for virtual currency, or vice versa, is not a dealer in foreign exchange under FinCEN's regulations.

* * * * *

            Financial institutions with questions about this guidance or other matters related to compliance with the implementing regulations of the BSA may contact FinCEN's Regulatory Helpline at (800) 949-2732.

1 FinCEN is issuing this guidance under its authority to administer the Bank Secrecy Act. See Treasury Order 180-01 (March 24, 2003). This guidance explains only how FinCEN characterizes certain activities involving virtual currencies under the Bank Secrecy Act and FinCEN regulations. It should not be interpreted as a statement by FinCEN about the extent to which those activities comport with other federal or state statutes, rules, regulations, or orders.

2 FinCEN's regulations define "person" as "an individual, a corporation, a partnership, a trust or estate, a joint stock company, an association, a syndicate, joint venture, or other unincorporated organization or group, an Indian Tribe (as that term is defined in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act), and all entities cognizable as legal personalities." 31 CFR § 1010.100(mm).

3 31 CFR § 1010.100(m).

4 Bank Secrecy Act Regulations - Definitions and Other Regulations Relating to Money Services Businesses, 76 FR 43585 (July 21, 2011) (the "MSB Rule"). This defines an MSB as "a person wherever located doing business, whether or not on a regular basis or as an organized or licensed business concern, wholly or in substantial part within the United States, in one or more of the capacities listed in paragraphs (ff)(1) through (ff)(7) of this section. This includes but is not limited to maintenance of any agent, agency, branch, or office within the United States." 31 CFR § 1010.100(ff).

5 Final Rule - Definitions and Other Regulations Relating to Prepaid Access, 76 FR 45403 (July 29, 2011),

6 These terms are used for the exclusive purpose of this regulatory guidance. Depending on the type and combination of a person's activities, one person may be acting in more than one of these capacities.

7 How a person engages in "obtaining" a virtual currency may be described using any number of other terms, such as "earning," "harvesting," "mining," "creating," "auto-generating," "manufacturing," or "purchasing," depending on the details of the specific virtual currency model involved. For purposes of this guidance, the label applied to a particular process of obtaining a virtual currency is not material to the legal characterization under the BSA of the process or of the person engaging in the process.

8 As noted above, this should not be interpreted as a statement about the extent to which the user's activities comport with other federal or state statutes, rules, regulations, or orders. For example, the activity may still be subject to abuse in the form of trade-based money laundering or terrorist financing. The activity may follow the same patterns of behavior observed in the "real" economy with respect to the purchase of "real" goods and services, such as systematic over- or under-invoicing or inflated transaction fees or commissions.

9 31 CFR § 1010.100(ff)(1-7).

10 FinCEN's regulations provide that whether a person is a money transmitter is a matter of facts and circumstances. The regulations identify six circumstances under which a person is not a money transmitter, despite accepting and transmitting currency, funds, or value that substitutes for currency. 31 CFR § 1010.100(ff)(5)(ii)(A)-(F).

11 31 CFR § 1010.100(ff)(5)(i)(A).

12 Ibid.

13 Typically, this involves the broker or dealer electronically distributing digital certificates of ownership of real currencies or precious metals, with the digital certificate being the virtual currency. However, the same conclusions would apply in the case of the broker or dealer issuing paper ownership certificates or manifesting customer ownership or control of real currencies or commodities in an account statement or any other form. These conclusions would also apply in the case of a broker or dealer in commodities other than real currencies or precious metals. A broker or dealer of e-currencies or e-precious metals that engages in money transmission could be either an administrator or exchanger depending on its business model.

14 Application of the Definition of Money Transmitter to Brokers and Dealers in Currency and other Commodities, FIN-2008-G008, Sept. 10, 2008. The guidance also notes that the definition of money transmitter excludes any person, such as a futures commission merchant, that is "registered with, and regulated or examined by…the Commodity Futures Trading Commission."

15 In 2011, FinCEN amended the definition of money transmitter. The 2008 guidance, however, was primarily concerned with the core elements of the definition - accepting and transmitting currency or value - and the exemption for acceptance and transmission integral to another transaction not involving money transmission. The 2011 amendments have not materially changed these aspects of the definition.
16 See footnote 11 and adjacent text.

17 31 CFR § 1010.100(ff)(5)(ii)(F).

18 This is true even if the person holds the value accepted for a period of time before transmitting some or all of that value at the direction of the person from whom the value was originally accepted. FinCEN's regulations define "prepaid access" as "access to funds or the value of funds that have been paid in advance and can be retrieved or transferred at some point in the future through an electronic device or vehicle, such as a card, code, electronic serial number, mobile identification number, or personal identification number." 31 CFR § 1010.100(ww). Thus, "prepaid access" under FinCEN's regulations is limited to "access to funds or the value of funds." If FinCEN had intended prepaid access to cover funds denominated in a virtual currency or something else that substitutes for real currency, it would have used language in the definition of prepaid access like that in the definition of money transmission, which expressly includes the acceptance and transmission of "other value that substitutes for currency." 31 CFR § 1010.100(ff)(5)(i) .

19 FinCEN defines a "dealer in foreign exchange" as a "person that accepts the currency, or other monetary instruments, funds, or other instruments denominated in the currency, of one or more countries in exchange for the currency, or other monetary instruments, funds, or other instruments denominated in the currency, of one or more other countries in an amount greater than $1,000 for any other person on any day in one or more transactions, whether or not for same-day delivery." 31 CFR § 1010.100(ff)(1).

12 [sic] As our response is not in the form of an administrative ruling, the substance of this letter should not be considered determinative in any state or federal investigation, litigation, grand jury proceeding, or proceeding before any other governmental body.

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I thought this dubious speech was kind of interesting. Moar Fear of Bitcoin!!

ASSOCIATION OF CERTIFIED ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING SPECIALISTS (ACAMS) 18TH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL AML AND FINANCIAL CRIME CONFERENCE

REMARKS OF JENNIFER SHASKY CALVERY
DIRECTOR
FINANCIAL CRIMES ENFORCEMENT NETWORK
ASSOCIATION OF CERTIFIED ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING SPECIALISTS (ACAMS)
18TH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL AML AND FINANCIAL CRIME CONFERENCE
MARCH 19, 2013
HOLLYWOOD, FL

          Good morning. I want to start by thanking our hosts, THE ASSOCIATION OF CERTIFIED ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING SPECIALISTS, for the opportunity to join you at this year's conference.

          Some of you may have heard me speak recently about FinCEN's broad mission, and how important it is for us to build strong public-private partnerships for us to achieve success. I cannot emphasize this fact enough. Our nation's financial institutions play a vital role in our efforts to safeguard the financial system from illicit use, combat money laundering, and promote national security. And we do this through the collection, analysis, and dissemination of financial intelligence and strategic use of our financial authorities.

          FinCEN depends on the information financial institutions provide to us, and today I'd like to focus on what our analysts do with that information. FinCEN is a leader in the analysis of Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) data and financial intelligence. Our advanced analytic tools and highly skilled analysts play a unique role in analyzing and integrating BSA data and other information to accomplish three ends: (1) map illicit finance networks; (2) identify compromised financial institutions and jurisdictions; and (3) understand the current methods and schemes for illicit finance. These three key pieces of analysis are critical to enable our stakeholders - law enforcement, regulators, foreign partners, and industry - to take action against money laundering and terrorist financing.

          FinCEN's analysis depends primarily on the excellent information you provide - it is the baseline from which our analysts work. During my time at FinCEN, I have been continually impressed by the exceptionally high caliber of FinCEN's analytical team. What our analysts do now - and do very well - is look across that data to find interconnections to support ongoing law enforcement cases, to find trends and patterns within that data, and to understand the overall changes and shifts within it. They will also combine those findings with other information sources, such as law enforcement data or publicly available data, and enhance the picture.

          Where our analysts are going - and we're not there yet, but we are on the cusp of these capabilities - is to take our analysis to a whole new level. Currently, we are capable of dissecting law enforcement and BSA information to identify a specific methodology for illicit finance in a particular segment of the financial industry related to a particular type of crime. We are also capable of using such information to identify entirely new and unknown bad actors engaged in similar activity in other parts of the country. However, right now this is long and arduous work as analysts sift through hundreds and sometimes thousands of reports. Very soon, new capacities made possible by our internal technology modernization, will allow our analysts to deal with such data sets to find leads in a fraction of the time previously necessary. Very soon, we will be able to point law enforcement and other stakeholders precisely to where they should be looking. Our analysts, working hand-in-hand with our superb technology team, are now putting these new capacities into place.

          FinCEN does this analysis well now - and having seen the initial results from our new capabilities, I am excited about where we are headed. I am committed to making this a central role for FinCEN in the 21st Century. So today, I'd like to talk to you about some of the work we are doing and where our cutting-edge analytical efforts are taking us as we seek to remain out in front of emerging payment systems, identify and track third party money launderers, and uncover trends and patterns in the BSA data.

Emerging Payment Systems

          I'd like to begin today by discussing how FinCEN's analysts are working hard to stay ahead of the curve in understanding emerging payment systems and related financial flows and vulnerabilities and to put that information into the hands of those customers who need it most.

          As we all know, during the past decade, the development of new market space and new types of payment systems have emerged as alternatives to traditional mechanisms for conducting financial transactions, allowing developing countries to reach beyond underdeveloped infrastructure and reach those populations who previously had no access to banking services. For consumers and businesses alike, the development and proliferation of these systems are a significant continuing source of positive impact on global commerce.

          These new systems have also expanded the boundaries of "money transmission" as more sophisticated payment systems have become available. And the inherent added complexity of these systems opens them to potential misuse by criminals.

          FinCEN's analysts are continually working to understand the schemes and methods used to exploit emerging payment methods for money laundering and terrorist financing, and to develop related guidance for law enforcement. This guidance provides law enforcement with information on key sectors' operations, recordkeeping practices, and efforts to identify and counter vulnerabilities.

          Partnership is key. As our analysts develop their understanding of these new systems, they are significantly aided by working directly with the financial industry. This partnership enables them to better follow financial trails and realistically understand financial mechanisms.

          For instance, FinCEN's analysts are working to finalize a bulletin that will explore the relatively new payment technology of digital currency systems. FinCEN's bulletin will help "de-mystify" the digital currency realm by explaining to the broader law enforcement community how these systems work. The bulletin will also address the role of traditional financial institutions as intermediaries.

          We're viewing our analytic work in this space as an important part of an ongoing conversation between industry and law enforcement. FinCEN is dedicated to learning more about digital currency systems, along with other emerging mechanisms, to protect those systems from abuse and to aid law enforcement in ensuring that they are getting the leads and information they need to prosecute the criminal actors. As our knowledge base develops, in concert with you, we will look to leverage our new capabilities to identify trends and patterns among the interconnection points of the traditional financial sector and these new payment systems.

          To date, FinCEN's analysts have explored and produced reference products for law enforcement on many traditional and emerging payment systems. These include: cross border funds transfers and correspondent accounts, money transmitters, online payment systems, prepaid cards, and mobile payments. FinCEN's analysts then follow up this work by providing in-person analysis and training to thousands of investigators each year.

          In addition to developing products to help law enforcement follow the financial trails of emerging payments methods, FinCEN also develops guidance for the financial industry to clarify their regulatory responsibilities as they relate to emerging areas.

          In fact, just yesterday, FinCEN issued interpretive guidance to clarify the applicability of BSA regulations to virtual currencies. The guidance responds to questions raised by financial institutions, law enforcement, and regulators concerning the regulatory treatment of persons who use virtual currencies or make a business of exchanging, accepting, and transmitting them.

          FinCEN's rules define certain businesses or individuals as money services businesses (MSBs) depending on the nature of their financial activities. MSBs have registration requirements and a range of anti-money laundering, recordkeeping, and reporting responsibilities under FinCEN's regulations. The guidance considers the use of virtual currencies from the perspective of several categories within FinCEN's definition of MSBs.

          The guidance explains how FinCEN's "money transmitter" definition applies to certain exchangers and system administrators of virtual currencies depending on the facts and circumstances of that activity. Those who use virtual currencies exclusively for common personal transactions like receiving payments for services or buying goods online are not affected by this guidance. Those who are intermediaries in the transfer of virtual currencies from one person to another person, or to another location, are money transmitters that must register with FinCEN as MSBs unless an exception applies. Some virtual currency exchangers are already registered with FinCEN as MSBs, though not necessarily as money transmitters. The guidance clarifies definitions and expectations to ensure that businesses engaged in similar activities are aware of their regulatory responsibilities.

Third Party Money Launderers

          Analysts at FinCEN work on the front lines with law enforcement to help address head-on some of the U.S. government's highest investigative priorities. Healthcare fraud and tax fraud (by identity theft) are both serious and growing drains on U.S. government programs, with losses estimated in the hundreds of billions of dollars.

          To combat these serious and growing frauds, FinCEN has partnered with the Department of Justice, the Internal Revenue Service, and officials within the Department of Health and Human Services to provide targeted analysis of individuals and organizations engaged in fraud. In this effort, FinCEN has to date analyzed more than 270,000 BSA filings in support of more than 300 healthcare fraud investigations.

          FinCEN's mapping of the illicit finance networks used to move such fraud proceeds revealed that check cashers are a key node. They are often used to cash out fraudulent healthcare claims and fraudulent tax returns. While we cannot determine what percentage of the overall illicit proceeds pass through complicit check cashers, we assess that such third-party money launderers comprise a crucial link in the movement of fraudulent proceeds by significant organized criminal actors.

          But here is where FinCEN's analysts have taken their work to the next level. In mapping these networks, FinCEN has also uncovered distinct and unique trends concerning the laundering of fraud proceeds through check cashers. Illegal proceeds from healthcare fraud and tax return fraud by identity theft are moved through the U.S. financial system in identifiable ways, leading FinCEN to identify markers of these transactions.

          FinCEN's review of suspicious activity reports related to these cases reveals several indicators of money laundering in multiple transactional models. Often these transactions involved a third party closely linked to a check casher. FinCEN determined that many of these third parties received ACH credits from Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance companies.

          FinCEN analysts continue to provide ongoing support to investigations into laundering healthcare and tax fraud proceeds. And we will leverage our analytic findings to better inform industry of key indicators to improve their awareness and enhance BSA filings received on these actors. Our analysts are committed to proactively identifying financial institutions involved in the laundering of proceeds of frauds against the U.S. government. We believe that using this information will be key to furthering both criminal and civil enforcement actions, and preventing such fraudulent activity in the future.

Uncovering Trends and Patterns

          In addition to providing case support, some of you may know that FinCEN has, for many years, carried out trends and pattern analyses of the information contained in the millions of SARs and CTRs that financial institutions send to FinCEN annually. For example, FinCEN studies the BSA records filed on U.S. dollar and foreign currency movement and transactions associated with Mexico and other foreign jurisdictions. These high level analyses aid in detection of illicit financial activity of specific targeted groups, such as Mexican drug trafficking organizations and other transnational criminal organizations operating in the United States and elsewhere.

          For example, our advanced data matching algorithms have allowed us to increase match rates between CMIRs, CTRs, and SARs by over 50 percent in some jurisdictions. This gives us insight into dollar flow from a foreign jurisdiction to the point the dollars are deposited into a U.S. bank, from which we can work to ultimately identify the foreign beneficiary of a wire emanating from the account.

          In another example, analysts have developed a product that allows investigators to review, evaluate, and compare the transactional and aggregate remittance activity of MSB agents using various "red flag" indicators to assist in the identification of agents acting as third party money launderers.

Advanced Analytics

          Naturally, FinCEN's ability to conduct this kind of complex analysis would be impossible without the BSA data financial institutions provide.

          There are also technical challenges to producing timely, cogent, and actionable intelligence products, useful to both our policy leaders and to field personnel. As I noted, filing protocols and the data within FinCEN reports vary from form to form, particularly with respect to those forms not filed strictly by financial institutions, such as the CMIR and Form 8300. Because of these variances, FinCEN analysts are challenged to find innovative solutions to match and fuse data as part of their mapping of illicit finance networks, identification of compromised financial institutions and jurisdictions, and understanding of schemes and methods for illicit finance.

          In the very recent past, our analysts often needed to develop ad hoc tools to help analyze the data because our technical backbone was unable to sufficiently support the layers of tasks required to query, download, integrate, sort, connect, and chart the data.

          Last fall, FinCEN began rolling out a key component in our IT Modernization Program to improve upon our ability to conduct analysis and make the BSA data available to a large number of federal and state agencies, including law enforcement and regulators. FinCEN Query allows users to easily access, query, and analyze 11 years of BSA data; apply filters to narrow search results; and utilize enhanced data capabilities. Our users are now able to look at the information more comprehensively, and we are excited to work with them in making sure that your filings become more valuable than ever before in this new system.

          To give you an idea of the value of the information your institutions provide, in the months since FinCEN Query went live last September, there have been over 1.1 million queries of the BSA data by more than 6,400 users. This past Wednesday alone, there were over 20,000 queries of the BSA data through FinCEN Query.

          With our technology advancements, we are now getting closer to being able to leverage predictive analytics to take our work even further. This will provide us with the ability to work with our law enforcement partners, review their top completed investigations, understand the money laundering indicators present in our data, parse through the existing BSA forms, and then develop automated business rules that will allow us to provide agencies with new leads indicative of similar illicit activity elsewhere.

          For example, FinCEN is working towards developing business rules based on information provided by our law enforcement and regulatory partners. Our goal is to dive deeper into aggregated regional and state level data to extract underlying drivers and trends between and among regions. We are doing this by automating the detection of regions and industries with significant changes, reviewing BSA records, and drilling down to understand which financial institutions are on the front lines of seeing changes in trends and patterns.

          Moving forward, we expect to use the strategic application of business rules on the data industry provides to not only detect, but also to "predict" where certain types of money laundering, such as the placement of dollars in connection with trade-based money laundering activities, might be manifested.

          This type of predictive analysis will significantly improve our intelligence and enforcement efforts by allowing us to focus on those vulnerable regions or financial sectors where money laundering or financial crimes are most prevalent. Furthermore, it will allow us to provide new leads to law enforcement, alert our regulatory partners, and develop "red flags" for industry so we can provide feedback on the kind of information that would be helpful in their SAR reporting.

          We are beginning to touch the very early parts of this capability; we are very excited to be heading in this direction and I greatly look forward to seeing the products when we are able to reach full implementation.

          In another aspect of our modernization, financial institutions will be required to utilize the new FinCEN reports, including CTRs and SARs, starting April 1, 2013. The new FinCEN reports were specifically developed to work with the new FinCEN Query system that we just rolled out, and these new FinCEN reports allow us, law enforcement, and regulators to slice and dice the information submitted in a much more advanced way.

          We're happy that more and more institutions are coming on board with the new formats in advance of the deadline. As of last Friday, approximately 90 percent of the batch-filed SARs and CTRs received from the largest financial institutions, and 60 percent of single SAR or CTR filings received (typically from smaller financial institutions), were submitted using the new formats. We know that industry is working hard to make the changes. One thing I want to point out in particular with respect to the new formats is the guidance that we put out last March with respect to new fields.

          As that guidance clearly explains, the new FinCEN CTR and FinCEN SAR do not create any new obligations or otherwise change existing statutory and regulatory expectations. Financial institutions must provide the most complete and accurate information known to them. They are not under an obligation to collect non-mandatory information simply because there is now a field for it. However, just as has always been the case, if financial institutions have information that is pertinent to a report, they need to be able to include it in the report, so that the CTR, SAR, or other FinCEN report is complete and accurate.

          FinCEN has and will continue to provide additional guidance and training materials in support of the new reports through Webinars, FAQs, and other publications and materials. And to keep this rapidly approaching deadline fresh in everyone's minds, we continue to work with our regulatory and industry partners by issuing our own reminders to industry.

          As a result of all the work that is being done within the industry, at FinCEN, and in partnership with regulatory and law enforcement partners, the adoption of the new reports will prove extremely valuable to our shared fight against money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes.

Conclusion

          My remarks today have focused extensively on the work being done by FinCEN's analytical team - not only their ongoing efforts, but where we are heading in the future. From the time I arrived at FinCEN, I have been continually impressed by the fascinating work our analysts are doing, and even more so, by their dedication each and every day to FinCEN's mission, and their desire to make a real difference as public servants.

          I've been in government long enough to know that FinCEN's analysts can stand toe-to-toe alongside the best analysts in the federal government and around the world. And to be their champion as Director of FinCEN is an honor. It is gratifying to hear how passionately our analysts feel about their work. In their own words, here is what some of them have to say:

"Arriving at FinCEN as an analyst from the banking compliance sector opened up a whole new world for me. I was really excited to join FinCEN because for the first time I would be able to view and analyze all of the SARs associated with a case and gain a better understanding of how my SARs were being used by FinCEN, as well as our Federal, state, and local partners. My first assignment was to analyze the movement "repatriation" of U.S. dollar currency from Mexico and the players engaged in the wholesale banknote industry. This project relied heavily on my banking knowledge, but it also required me to work alongside law enforcement, regulators, and the financial industry in a whole new capacity. I learned how best to review and analyze BSA data, but more importantly, I was having a real-time impact on the fight against Mexican Drug Cartels and their ability to place large amounts of illicit dollars back into the U.S. financial system. It was amazing that as a new analyst I could make such a difference."

"As a career analyst, I truly enjoy coming to work every day here at FinCEN for many reasons, but specifically because I am challenged by analyzing the BSA, adding value to a law enforcement case, developing a methodology for how money is laundered through a specific industry, or identifying a money laundering network. I think the best way to describe my job is to imagine five different 1,000 piece puzzles mixed together in a pile. My job is to try and determine how to put together each puzzle, while not knowing how many actual puzzles are in front of me. It's truly a rewarding and satisfying experience once you've finished a "puzzle" and are confident that you know not only what you're looking at, but that you can explain it to others."

          There is no doubt that we will never run out of puzzles to complete. And as the escalation of transnational criminal threats to the U.S. financial system has increased, so too has the imperative to ensure that FinCEN is fully maximizing its potential to disrupt this activity. I am hopeful that my remarks today have given you new insight into the team at FinCEN working to respond to these threats.

          But we can't do it alone. Your financial institutions are the eyes and ears in the fight against terrorists and other bad guys. The BSA data starts with you. It is the key to our defenses and we are depending on you. I am committed to maximizing our ability to be effective partners and colleagues.

          FinCEN is a critical partner in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. Our talented and dedicated team is committed to that mission. We have an incredible opportunity to serve the American public and to contribute to the safety of this country and the world. FinCEN will meet the challenges ahead working together with you, law enforcement, and our regulatory partners.

          Thank you once again for inviting me here to speak with you today.

###

Get back to us when you help get some money laundering banksters in jail!

NEW VIDEOS: Interviews from Enbridge blockade in Leonard MN & Indigenous Canadians barred from their consulate by Minneapolis police

Got a batch of videos here from the last week to check out. Glad to have a little chance to bring these interesting projects, including Idle No More MN & the Enbridge Blockade near Leonard MN (also known as the encampment) going strong since late February. All these videos are basically unedited and you can remix them as Creative Commons at your leisure!

Interview w Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network, the Native fight for natural world

Really fascinating interview, unedited, with Indigenous Environmental Network longtime organizer Tom Goldtooth inside the kitchen tent at the Enbridge Blockade/encampment near Leonard MN. Covers capitalism, colonialism, Indigenous organizing and tar sands resistance. Thanks Tom!

VIDEO - CREATIVE COMMONS W REMIX!

https://www.facebook.com/EnbridgeBlockade?ref=ts&fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Indigenous-Environmental-Network/18626498...

Interview with Tito Ybarra, Enbridge protest encampment organizer & Native comedian

Interview with Tito Ybarra, camped at Enbridge Encampment/blockade at Leonard MN. A popular native comedian has been bottomlining the camp protesting above several pipelines operated by Enbridge without an easement on Red Lake ceded land. Covers humor in politics, organizing the camp & more.

SUBSCRIBE: The 1491s: http://www.youtube.com/user/the1491s

Slapping Medicine Man: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVWLHMZ-ceE

Learn the AIM Song: Singing lessons by the 1491s: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJ89HBfaLs4

Follow Tito: https://www.facebook.com/TitoBAYBAY

Comedy page: https://www.facebook.com/TitoComedy?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/EnbridgeBlockade?ref=ts&fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Indigenous-Environmental-Network/18626498...

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So these are the videos from the March 20 Idle No More protest in Minneapolis. @tshirttoby also shot a livestream.

Canadian citizens barred from access to their Consulate in downtown Minneapolis as IdleNoMore protesters try to register their concerns with the Canadian govt.

This is related to a major Idle No More symposium happening Friday Mar 21st

INFO https://www.facebook.com/events/449434278463290/?ref=3

VIDEO - CREATIVE COMMONS W REMIX!

PT1 http://youtu.be/fQHAB0QgoTc

PT2 http://youtu.be/cQ8nr3oO7qk

PT3 http://youtu.be/g19DQUKu2rA

LOL wow for the House of Cards: Cyprus bank confiscations likely beta test for mass filching of deposits across western world. "Cannot possibly comment"

Admittedly this is a little bit speculative but it looks pretty big.

lol wow I can't believe they are triggering a huge EU bank run in Cyprus by confiscating big slabs of bank accounts to satiate the European Central Bankers - it's blamed on rich Russians who 'deserve' to have their savings jacked en masse.

SEE: Cyprus: The World’s Biggest "Poker Game" | Zero Hedge. It is mind boggling, they could just isolate bad bank debt or "paper" Iceland style, but instead of course it's way more fun to traumatize everyone by stealing their money point-blank as a "stability levy". This is because when you get down to it, fractional reserve banking is a crisis-driven paper scam system, and the scamsters gotta get paid up front regardless of what insane precedent is set...

I just finished watching the old 1990s UK House of Cards series & Cyprus is the finale setting - and lol the gas reserves are the big deal, just like the secret oilfield in the TV show. Similar scam to nuke savers floated in Australia as well. See CASH GRAB: Inactive bank accounts to be seized | News.com.au && After Cyprus, Who Is Next? | Zero Hedge

A still from the pivotal endgame of House of Cards:

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Says a Cypriot bank employee: "Are we the guinea pigs? There's a feeling they are trying this out on us before they do it elsewhere." Cyprus bailout: 'people are panicking, they're afraid of losing their money' | World news | The Guardian

Are you ready for your Skinner box, ladies & gentlemen? The Big Theft is in Beta Testing! We must pay off all bank bondholders 100%, just eat the deposits!

As the Great British Leader Francis Urquhart put it: You might very well think that, but I cannot possibly comment

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Cyprus bailout: big implications in a small-scale rescue | World news | guardian.co.uk

Could The "Cyprus Fiasco" Occur In The United States? | Zero Hedge (you think?)

#Cyprus Depositors Vent Fury Through Social Media | Zero Hedge

Europe Scrambling With Last Minute Revision To Cyprus Deposit Confiscation Plan | Zero Hedge

Meanwhile out of control domestic loansharking nukes Detroit - cause BOND HOLDERS GOTTA GET PAID AS SOCIETY CRUMBLES: Wall Street: $474 Million, Detroit: 0 | Zero Hedge

The Rape Of Cyprus By The European Union & The IMF | Zero Hedge

Trololol for Rooskies with Bruce Krasting: Two Sides of Cyprus | Zero Hedge

ART: NEOFEUDALISMUS: Nein Nein Nein! | Zero Hedge

For Everyone Shocked By What Just Happened... And Why This Is Just The Beginning | Zero Hedge

Saxo Bank CEO: "This Is Full-Blown Socialism And I Still Can't Believe It Happened" | Zero Hedge

Germany And IMF's Initial Deposit Haircut Demand: 40% Of Total | Zero Hedge - stay classy, International Monetary Fund.

JPMorgan Asks "Has Europe Bazookaed Itself In The Foot", Answers "Yes" | Zero Hedge

ALSO: Let's look at the ol Fascist electoral outlook / unemployment chart: via Guest Post: Why Europe Is Still In Peril, In Two Charts | Zero Hedge

NOW:
euro-unemployment.png

THEN:

chart-german-unemployment-and-nazi-links.jpg

Well champs, what next? I think ruthless Tories running false flags, but who knows?

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Stay Fly: Holy Smokes

Oh I dearly hope this is an authentic photo - isn't it easily the greatest news photograph ever? Floating around, see : Something Out of The Godfather... | E L V O M I T A R . C O M etc.

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Good luck to the Catholics, they need help like all of us. Regardless, there's no swag like Vatican swag.

The three main figures in this pic would make a solid Goodfellas trio.

Gallani, checking his phone, is the maestro, the schemer, but his rough touch sets in motion awkward consequences.

Agostini, upper right corner there, agonizes over the hijinks of the others. Looks down, closes his eyes, fingers the Rosary.

De Fiore, upper left, is the financial specialist, the man with the leads. He's the one who rolls with the Swiss bankers.

Drago lights the cigarette - he is of course the fixer, the tall man on the run, ever craning down, looking in on his operations.

Cuocco, facing away, mendacious but bumbling, he's a convenient scapegoat for the others and always a step behind.

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