Tech

Google State Network Operations: Google Eric Schmidt, Jared Cohen, State Department nexus problem - Julian Assange notes they're holding the shit-bag

Date 2011-02-09 15:05:19
From burton@stratfor.com
To secure@stratfor.com
Others MessageId: <4D529F1F.30708@stratfor.com>
InReplyTo: 2045570843-1297258457-cardhu_decombobulator_blackberry.rim.net-421530589-@bda877.bisx.prod.on.blackberry
Text
** Cohen had dinner in Cairo the night before the Google Exec was picked up by GOE State Security.....one-hour after the dinner, the Gypo exec was grabbed off the streets heading into a friends apt.

More to follow.....

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http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/09/07/jared_cohen

State Department Innovator Goes to Google

Jared Cohen, a high-profile advocate of the State Department's forays into "21st-century statecraft," is leaving Foggy Bottom for New York. In an exclusive interview with FP, he talks about his time at State and his new project: building a "think/do tank" called Google Ideas.

via 1122191_Egypt - Google ** Suggest you read | Al Akhbar English. Jeremy Hammond's freedom died to bring you this information :[

"Google is getting WH [White House] and State Dept support and air cover. In reality they are doing things the CIA cannot do..." as Burton at Stratfor put it... As Jeremy Hammond rots in jail for the Stratfor leak, the emails in that leak showed that Eric Schmidt's wingman Jared Cohen was involved in using Google as an avenue to boil up unrest in various countries - and not merely by making blogs indexable either. It's gotten into a far more complicated game now. I am reposting some key articles on this. Julian Assange describes Cohen as a Generation Y Kissinger figure which is a pretty good way to put it.

Let's go back to 2012 for a bit here and see how the Jared Cohen / State Department thing got shaken out of the Wikileaks-supported Stratfor leak.

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By: Yazan al-Saadi - StratforLeaks: Google Ideas Director Involved in ‘Regime Change’ | Al Akhbar English

Published Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Top Google execs, including the company’s CEO and one of Barack Obama’s major presidential campaign donors Eric Schmidt, informed the intelligence agency Stratfor about Google’s activities and internal communication regarding “regime change” in the Middle East, according to Stratfor emails released by WikiLeaks and obtained by Al-Akhbar. The other source cited was Google’s director for security and safety Marty Lev.

Email exchanges suggest that Google execs were suspicious that Cohen was coordinating his moves with the White House.

The briefings mainly focused on the movements of Jared Cohen, currently the director of Google Ideas, a “think/do-tank” billed as a vehicle for spreading American-style liberal democracy. Cohen was also a former member of US Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff and former advisor to Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton.

Email exchanges, starting February 2011, suggest that Google execs were suspicious that Cohen was coordinating his moves with the White House and cut Cohen’s mission short at times for fear he was taking too many risks. Stratfor’s vice-president of counter-terrorism Fred Burton, who seemed opposed to Google’s alleged covert role in “foaming” uprisings, describes Cohen as a “loose Cannon” whose killing or kidnapping “might be the best thing to happen” to expose Google.

The Cohen Conspiracy

Stratfor’s spotlight on Cohen began on 9 February 2012 after Burton forwarded to the secure email list a Foreign Policy article discussing Cohen’s move from the State Department to Google Ideas. With this article, Burton noted that Cohen had dinner in Cairo with Wael Ghonim on January 27, 2011 just hours before the Egyptian Google Executive was famously picked up by Egypt’s State Security. (doc-id 1122191)

On the same day, Stratfor’s staff make reference to a Huffington Post article which highlighted Cohen’s role in “delaying the scheduled maintenance on Twitter so the Iranian revolution could keep going” and a Foreign Policy article that noted that Cohen “was a Rhodes scholar, spent time in Iran, [and] hung out in Iraq during the war…”. These casual discovers further perked Stratfor’s curiosity about Cohen. (doc-id 1629270)

The following day, Burton forwarded a message to the secure email list from “a very good Google source” who claimed that Cohen “[was] off to Gaza next week”. Burton added, “Cohen, a Jew, is bound to get himself whacked….Google is not clear if Cohen is operating [with a] State Dept [or] WH [White House] license, or [is] a hippie activist.”

Korena Zucha, another senior analyst on the list, queried, “Why hasn’t Google cut ties to Cohen yet? Or is Cohen’s activity being endorsed by those higher up in the [company] than your contact?”

In turn, Burton replied, “Cohen’s rabbi is Eric Schmidt and Obama lackey. My source is trying to find out if the billionaire owners are backing Cohen’s efforts for regime change.” (doc-id 1111729)

Later on, Burton forwarded information from the “Google source” of Cohen’s links in establishing Movements.org. The source added, “A site created to help online organization of groups and individuals to move democracy in stubborn nations. Funded through public-private partnerships.” Burton pointed out that the US State Department is the organization’s public sponsor.” (doc-id 1118344)

Indeed, the State Department, partnering with a number of corporations, was the main sponsor for the 2008 inaugural Alliance of Youth Movements summit in New York City that subsequently established Movements.org. Hillary Clinton endorsed the organization and presented a video message during the second summit held in Mexico City a year later.

On 11 February, Burton wrote to the secure email list that Cohen was still planning to head to Gaza. He added, “The dude is a loose can[n]on. GOOGLE is trying to stop his entry into Gaza now because the dude is like scorched earth. It’s unclear to GOOGLE if he’s driving without a license, but GOOGLE believes he’s on a specific mission of “regime change” on the part of leftist fools inside the WH who are using him for their agendas.” (doc-id 1113596)

Throughout this day, the idea proposed by Burton, and seemingly felt by his Google contacts as well, of Cohen and the White House’s involvement in the uprisings was actively discussed among the analysts, especially in regards to who would be targeted next. (doc-id 1113965)

By Monday, 14 February 2011, Burton shared intelligence with George Friedman, Stratfor’s founder, and Scott Stewart, vice-president of Stratfor’s tactical department, from his source in Google that Cohen was ordered not to go to Gaza. Burton’s Google source further stated, “Also, thinking I [the unnamed source] may be on the right track about him despite his denials [in reference to Cohen working for the White House/State Department].”

When asked to clarify his sources on Cohen, Burton claimed that they were Marty Lev, Google’s director for security and safety, and Eric Schmidt, the current CEO of Google. (doc-id 398679)

A week later, Burton forwarded an internal Google email obtained from a ‘senior Google executive’. This email was seemingly sent by Cohen to the senior Google executive to discuss Cohen’s planned trip in March.

“GOOGLE are doing things the CIA cannot do."

In it, Cohen wrote, “I wanted to follow-up and get a sense of your latest thinking on the proposed March trip to UAE, Azerbaijan, and Turkey. The purpose of this trip is to exclusively engage the Iranian community to better understand the challenges faced by Iranians as part of one of our Google Ideas groups on repressive societies. Here is what we are thinking: Drive to Azerbaijan/Iranian border and engage the Iranian communities closer to the border (this is important because we need the Azeri Iranian perspective).”

After reading Cohen’s email, Stewart remarked, “Cohen might end up having an accident if he is not careful. This is not child’s play.”

Burton responded, “GOOGLE is getting WH [White House] and State Dept. support and air cover. In reality, they are doing things the CIA cannot do. But, I agree with you. He’s going to get himself kidnapped or killed. Might be the best thing to happen to expose GOOGLE’s covert role in foaming up-risings, to be blunt. The US Gov’t can then disavow knowledge and GOOGLE is left holding the shit bag.” (doc-id 1121800)

On 10 March 2011, Burton forwarded another message from his ‘senior Google executive’ source detailing how Cohen was requested not to travel on his proposed trip. The source explained that Google had concerns over Cohen’s “baggage” as a “US State Dept. policy maker, his research and publications on Muslim extremists and youth movements and his presence in Egypt just as the uprising started.”The source also stated that Cohen was recommended to “take a lower profile on this specific trip and let time pass before being visible and associated with people known by their states to be active in challenging repressive societies.” (doc-id 1164190)

A subsequent message from Burton’s source on 22 March 2011 affirmed that Cohen “heeded the advice not to go to Turkey or UAE for those meetings.” (doc-id 1133861)

The final email dealing with Cohen was on 30 March 2011.
Here, Burton forwarded to the alpha (secure) email list a response by his source to Burton’s question of whether Cohen was playing any role in Libya at the time. The source stated, “Not that I’m aware of. He heeded the advice to avoid Turkey and UAE and didn’t go on that trip.” (doc-id 1160182)

Google Ideas: Politicizing Technology

Certainly, there is more than meets the eye to Cohen and his actions; even his superiors in Google seem to think so.

The belief, chiefly by Burton, that Cohen had seemingly played a role in fermenting the uprisings that toppled Zine el Abidine Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak underplays, and at times entirely disregards, the ability and agency by local movements in Tunisia and Egypt.

Nevertheless, Google Ideas, which Cohen directs, is a new animal. According to a report by the Financial Times published last July, Google Ideas seems to bond idealistic activist sensibilities with Google’s pursuit for continued global expansion - blurring the lines between business and political action. Schmidt and Cohen dub Google Ideas as a “think/do-tank” that aims to tackle political and diplomatic matters through the use of technology.

The first public event for the think/do-tank, in partnership with the Council on Foreign Relations and the Tribeca Film Festival, was held last June in Dublin. It gathered around 80 ‘former’ extremists, including former Muslim radicals, neo-Nazis, US gang members, and others, in a “Summit Against Violent Extremism”. The announcement by Google declared that the summit’s aim is “to initiate a global conversation on how best to prevent young people from becoming radicalised and how to de-radicalise others” and that “the ideas generated at the Dublin summit will be included in a study to be published later in the year.”

One spin off was the creation of the Against Violent Extremism group, apparently a network for those who attended the Dublin Summit. Beyond merely networking, the group also advertises certain projects that are in need of funding. Notably, much of the projects pertain to the Middle East, including an “Al-Awlaki Counter-Campaign” - Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen of Yemeni origin, was assassinated in September of last year by the US for his alleged al-Qaeda connections.

But the Against Violent Extremism site does not seem to be presently active. The last update for projects in need of funding was made in September and the last announcement regarding the workings of the site was made in October.

More recently, Foreign Policy reported in January that the Brookings Institute, one of the oldest and most influential think-tanks in Washington, DC, named Google Ideas as “the best new think tankestablished in the last 18 months.” Such accolades arguably suggests that Google Ideas is expected to be a major player in the near future.

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Now Julian Assange goes into this mix pointing out the weird Google ventures

http://thestringer.com.au/google-and-the-nsa-whos-holding-the-shit-bag-now

The Stringer (Australia), August 24, 2013

Google and the NSA: Who’s holding the ‘shit-bag’ now?

by Julian Assange

It has been revealed today, thanks to Edward Snowden, that Google and other US tech companies received millions of dollars from the NSA for their compliance with the PRISM mass surveillance system.

So just how close is Google to the US securitocracy? Back in 2011 I had a meeting with Eric Schmidt, the then Chairman of Google, who came out to see me with three other people while I was under house arrest. You might suppose that coming to see me was gesture that he and the other big boys at Google were secretly on our side: that they support what we at WikiLeaks are struggling for: justice, government transparency, and privacy for individuals. But that would be a false supposition. Their agenda was much more complex, and as we found out, was inextricable from that of the US State Department. The full transcript of our meeting is available online through the WikiLeaks website.

The pretext for their visit was that Schmidt was then researching a new book, a banal tome which has since come out as The New Digital Age. My less than enthusiastic review of this book was published in the New York Times in late May of this year. On the back of that book are a series of pre-publication endorsements: Henry Kissinger, Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Michael Hayden (former head of the CIA and NSA) and Tony Blair. Inside the book Henry Kissinger appears once again, this time given pride of place in the acknowledgements.

Schmidt’s book is not about communicating with the public. He is worth $6.1 billion and does not need to sell books. Rather, this book is a mechanism by which Google seeks to project itself into Washington. It shows Washington that Google can be its partner, its geopolitical visionary, who will help Washington see further about America’s interests. And by tying itself to the US state, Google thereby cements its own security, at the expense of all competitors.

Two months after my meeting with Eric Schmidt, WikiLeaks had a legal reason to call Hilary Clinton and to document that we were calling her. It’s interesting that if you call the front desk of the State Department and ask for Hillary Clinton, you can actually get pretty close, and we’ve become quite good at this. Anyone who has seen Doctor Strangelove may remember the fantastic scene when Peter Sellers calls the White House from a payphone on the army base and is put on hold as his call gradually moves through the levels. Well WikiLeaks journalist Sarah Harrison, pretending to be my PA, put through our call to the State Department, and like Peter Sellers we started moving through the levels, and eventually we got up to Hillary Clinton’s senior legal advisor, who said that we would be called back.

Shortly afterwards another one of our people, WikiLeaks’ ambassador Joseph Farrell, received a call back, not from the State Department, but from Lisa Shields, the then girlfriend of Eric Schmidt, who does not formally work for the US State Department. So let’s reprise this situation: The Chairman of Google’s girlfriend was being used as a back channel for Hillary Clinton. This is illustrative. It shows that at this level of US society, as in other corporate states, it is all musical chairs.

That visit from Google while I was under house arrest was, as it turns out, an unofficial visit from the State Department. Just consider the people who accompanied Schmidt on that visit: his girlfriend Lisa Shields, Vice President for Communications at the CFR; Scott Malcolmson, former senior State Department advisor; and Jared Cohen, advisor to both Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice, a kind of Generation Y Kissinger figure -- a noisy Quiet American as the author Graham Greene might have put it.

Google started out as part of Californian graduate student culture around San Francisco’s Bay Area. But as Google grew it encountered the big bad world. It encountered barriers to its expansion in the form of complex political networks and foreign regulations. So it started doing what big bad American companies do, from Coca Cola to Northrop Grumman. It started leaning heavily on the State Department for support, and by doing so it entered into the Washington DC system. A recently released statistic shows that Google now spends even more money than Lockheed Martin on paid lobbyists in Washington.

Jared Cohen was the co-writer of Eric Schmidt’s book, and his role as the bridge between Google and the State Department speaks volumes about how the US securitocracy works. Cohen used to work directly for the State Department and was a close advisor to both Condolezza Rice and Hillary Clinton. But since 2010 he has been Director of Google Ideas, its in-house ‘think/do’ tank.

Documents published last year by WikiLeaks obtained from the US intelligence contractor Stratfor, show that in 2011 Jared Cohen, then (as he is now) Director of Google Ideas, was off running secret missions to the edge of Iran in Azerbaijan. In these internal emails, Fred Burton, Stratfor’s Vice President for Intelligence and a former senior State Department official, describes Google as follows:

"Google is getting WH [White House] and State Dept support and air cover. In reality they are doing things the CIA cannot do... [Cohen] is going to get himself kidnapped or killed. Might be the best thing to happen to expose Google’s covert role in foaming up-risings, to be blunt. The US Gov’t can then disavow knowledge and Google is left holding the shit-bag."

In further internal communication, Burton subsequently clarifies his sources on Cohen’s activities as Marty Lev, Google’s director of security and safety and ... Eric Schmidt.

WikiLeaks cables also reveal that previously Cohen, when working for the State Department, was in Afghanistan trying to convince the four major Afghan mobile phone companies to move their antennas onto US military bases. In Lebanon he covertly worked to establish, on behalf of the State Department, an anti-Hezbollah Shia think tank. And in London? He was offering Bollywood film executives funds to insert anti-extremist content into Bollywood films and promising to connect them to related networks in Hollywood. That is the Director of Google Ideas. Cohen is effectively Google’s director of regime change. He is the State Department channeling Silicon Valley.

That Google was taking NSA money in exchange for handing over people’s data comes as no surprise. When Google encountered the big bad world, Google itself got big and bad.

END

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Keyhole Google and the CIA: Another dimension of this relationship worth noting is the essentially Google/CIA joint venture known as Google Earth. It's well known to researchers but not widely: one of Google's principle products, Google Earth, started as Keyhole, turbocharged by the CIA's venture capital fund In-Q-Tel. See Oct. 2004: Google buys CIA-backed mapping startup • The Register. This is an interesting take: http://dusk.geo.orst.edu/Pickup/AAG2009/6-Cloud9_Keyhole.pdf

In-Q-Tel Announces Strategic Investment in Keyhole - 2003 I think: - original: http://www.iqt.org/press/2003/Keyhole_06-25-03.html

ARLINGTON, Va. and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., June 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -

- In-Q-Tel, a private nonprofit venture funded by the Central Intelligence

Agency, today announced a strategic investment in Keyhole Corp., a pioneer of

interactive 3D earth visualization. The investment, made in February 2003,

was In-Q-Tel's first engagement with a company on behalf of the National

Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA).

Immediately demonstrating the value of Keyhole's technology to the

national security community, NIMA used the technology to support United States

troops in Iraq. "Within two weeks of In-Q-Tel's engagement with Keyhole, we

implemented the technology to support our mission within the Pentagon," said

Rob Zitz, Director of NIMA's InnoVision directorate. "Introducing

technologies like Keyhole is part of NIMA's effort to transform the

intelligence business, and the way we serve our customers."

Keyhole's EarthViewer 3D client application uses videogame-like 3D

graphics and access to massive databases of network-hosted earth information,

including satellite imagery and aerial photography, to produce an interactive

digital model of the earth. Keyhole's EarthSystem(TM) combines a tradition

of 3D graphics technology for flight simulators with innovative network-

streaming technology to deliver enterprise software solutions for large

business and government customers, as well as an Application Service Provider

solution for professional and consumer users. The result is a virtual flyover

experience-so compelling that multiple TV media networks recently used

EarthViewer 3D to 'fly' over Iraqi cities and landscapes in news broadcasts

using publicly available satellite images. In addition to media customers,

Keyhole solutions serve a broad range of markets including real estate,

transportation, insurance, consumer and government.

"In-Q-Tel invested in Keyhole because it offers government and commercial

users a new capability to radically enhance critical decision making. Through

its ability to stream very large geospatial datasets over the Internet and

private networks, Keyhole has created an entirely new way to interact with

earth imagery and feature data," said Gilman Louie, CEO of In-Q-Tel. "With

Keyhole's technology, individuals can see and manipulate their world in 3D,

meeting their business and operational challenges in powerful geographic

context."

"Keyhole's strategic relationship with In-Q-Tel means that the

Intelligence Community can now benefit from the massive scalability and high

performance of the Keyhole enterprise solution," said John Hanke, CEO of

Keyhole. "By capitalizing on trends in commercial markets, In-Q-Tel is

supporting an ever-higher standard of advanced technology adoption in

government. Keyhole is pleased to help set that standard for large-scale 3D

geospatial visualization."

NIMA's success with Keyhole highlights the significant overlap between

technology needs across the agencies of the Intelligence Community. "By

investing in Keyhole, In-Q-Tel is helping CIA and NIMA leverage limited

resources and gain access to a technology of high potential value to both

organizations," said Louie. Working through CIA, NIMA became a limited partner

with In-Q-Tel in the summer of 2002. In addition to an equity investment,

In-Q-Tel is partnering with Keyhole to further enhance Keyhole EarthSytem's

compatibility with a variety of government datasets through adoption of

advanced GIS data standards.

About In-Q-Tel

In-Q-Tel is a private, independent, enterprise funded by the CIA. Launched

in 1999, In-Q-Tel's mission is to identify and invest in companies developing

cutting-edge information technologies that serve United States national

security interests. Working from an evolving strategic blueprint that defines

the CIA's critical information technology needs, In-Q-Tel engages with

entrepreneurs, established companies, researchers and venture capitalists to

deliver technologies that pay out in superior intelligence capabilities for

the CIA and the larger Intelligence Community.

About Keyhole

Based in Mountain View, CA, Keyhole, Inc., is the pioneer of interactive

3D earth visualization and creator of the groundbreaking rich-mapping

EarthViewer 3D system that transforms the way users interact with geographic

information and earth imagery. Keyhole's EarthViewer 3D accelerates and

enhances decisions for business and government by enabling fast, fluid

interaction with massive network-resident databases of earth imagery and

geospatial information. Users can "fly" from space to street level seamlessly

while interactively exploring layers of information including roads, schools,

businesses, and demographics. Further information about Keyhole is available

at http://www.earthviewer.com .

About NIMA

NIMA ( http://www.nima.mil ) is a member of the National Intelligence

Community and a DoD Combat Support Agency. NIMA's mission is to provide

timely, relevant and accurate Geospatial Intelligence in support of national

security. Geospatial Intelligence is the analysis and visual representation

of security-related activities on the Earth. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md.,

NIMA operates major facilities in the northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., and

St. Louis, Mo. areas. NIMA Support Teams serve customers around the nation

and the world.

SOURCE Keyhole Corp.

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Few more notes: In-Q-Tel Keyhole Google Earth and CIA | Laboratory of Hidden Alternatives

Going to leave this post here for now but may expand upon the idea later....

Simcity has a rough launch for Mac but hey it's still simulating cities eh?

Electronic Arts recently released the new SimCity for Mac and there have been a bunch of snags for the long-awaited title. Anyway here are some FAQs.

Simcity players are looking at a bunch of different approaches to simulating the quanta of city life than SimCity 4 -- and there is more realism to quite a bit of the modeling, if also perhaps a Ayn Randian design philosophy in the background.

Anyway here are some good FAQs - the IGN guide is really detailed with sections on transit (no more subways) and regional multiplayer play. Global market.

Sim City Wiki Guide & Walkthrough - IGN - cheats n secrets

Pretty advanced stuff on larger transit network snags and specialized cities: SimCity FAQ/Strategy Guide for PC by super_luigi16 - GameFAQs. You smelt your way to Arcologies now - with an coal, ore, alloy resource network eh! Plastics! SimCity FAQ/Strategy Guide for PC by super_luigi16 - GameFAQs - silicon valley!

Also: Your first city in SimCity will suck, and that's okay - Destructoid

Also: SimCity Newbie Mayor's Strategy Guide | Ten Ton Hammer

Also: 8 Tips for the New SimCity | Ten Ton Hammer

Story from January.

On the main thread here we see how the new game develops: SIM City 5 - Actual Strategy Discussion - AnandTech Forums

Anyway it will be cool to see what happens, and hopefully popular pressure will push back the bad DRM policy imposed by EA. We'll see - and indeed if they get their act together maybe more fun simulators will get released like so many years ago, the heyday of independent Maxis development and SimAnt, SimEarth, SimLife, awesome games that I was really into...

University of Minnesota to test new Light Rail electromagnetic scenarios late at night

This is sort of cool. Went out to U students just recently. I am hoping the Green Line is activated ASAP!! Still moar cables to install in downtown St Paul dangit. On with the show!

From: Vice President Pam Wheelock <noreplywheelock@umn.edu>
Date: Mon, Aug 5, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Good afternoon.

I have two important items regarding the Green Line Light Rail Transit line to share with the campus community.

Overnight Train Testing to Begin

Overnight train testing on the Green Line Light Rail Transit line (formerly known as the Central Corridor) will begin this week and is expected to continue until late September. During the testing, trains will operate through the overnight hours and will move through campus at operational speeds. The cooperation and assistance of the entire campus community is needed to maintain safety and to ensure the integrity of the testing.

This testing for Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) and Vibration will occur between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. starting Thursday, August 8. During these late night hours, the University will need to limit building operations, and roads and sidewalks will be closed in order to ensure we have the quietest environment possible. This quiet environment is necessary in order to isolate the train vibrations and EMI from the existing background conditions. Please note that these closures and operational limits are ONLY during the late night hours.

More detailed information on the overnight train testing is available in the following .pdf documents:

Overnight Train Testing General Information Fact Sheet
EMI Certification Fact Sheet
Vibration Certification Fact Sheet

Washington Avenue Bridge Closure

In order to complete the final construction items on the Washington Avenue Bridge, the Met Council will close lanes on the vehicular level of the Bridge over the next two weeks. There will be no impacts to the pedestrian level of the Bridge.

The eastbound lane of the Washington Avenue Bridge will be closed from August 12 through August 16. The Metro Transit bus stop at Blegen Hall will be closed. Bus riders will instead use the Cedar/Washington Avenue bus stop.

The westbound lane will be closed from August 18 through August 23. The bus stop for Metro Transit and University of Minnesota Campus Connector at Willey Hall will be closed. Instead, bus riders will use the stop located at the 3rd Street Ramp, west of Cedar Avenue for Metro Transit Buses and the bus stop at the southeast intersection of 19th Avenue and 2nd Street for the University of Minnesota Campus Connector.

More detailed information on the bridge closure is available in the following .pdf documents: Met Council Central Corridor Construction Update

This message was approved by the Vice President for University Services of the University of Minnesota and sent to all Twin Cities students, faculty, and staff.

Backstories & Backbones; Security of US Emergency Alert System (EAS) is crap & spoof zombie apocalypses not very difficult apparently; #OpNSA NSA PRISM tunnel servers may be getting noticed; Joe Naccio & NSA revisited

Oh For Facks Sake. All this big government/police state techno-crap is so often easily hacked in some way, which means the Awesome Emergency Powers of Teh Govmints are easily subverted by the Baba Booey fans of the world, or zombie apocalypses as the case may be. Indeed quite possibly all this NSA crap is starting to get hacked (and not just by activists but cynical commercial weasels) and since it's all backdoored to everything and everyone's mom, everyone gets screwed. Well played. Truth tellers keep publishing before it's too late :/

Much of this is old news but why not batch some of it in one place?

On the newer lulz front at least some people are claiming to poke around including determining which servers run in-between points for PRISM mass surveillance for the NSA. And I don't know anything about these IOActive guys who posted on the EAS hack but they seem worth keeping an eye on….

Before the EAS info, here is a good place to look at alternative, well polished and much open source apps : https://prism-break.org/ - bookmark this and use it when setting up any new computer :)

Emergency Alert System Fail: Also covered in ars technica. See this video's crazy audio message for hacked Montana Emergency Alert System clip from this February: http://gawker.com/5983516/montana-tv-stations-emergency-alert-system-hac...

So more or less a main contractor mailed out the damn master login keys to their products controlling the national Emergency Alert System, exactly the opposite of what you're supposed to do.

Clearly in the event of some adverse network screwing with things, it will probably be a mess. Let's say a Jimmy Carter tries to cut off SAIC and Blackwater, triggering an epic new Iran Contra type Ollie North conspiracy scene -- all these dumb horrible systems like the EAS DASDEC will behave horribly.

/////

http://www.ioactive.com/news-events/ioactive_uncovers_vulnerabilities_in...

Press contact:
Craig Brophy
Global PR Manager, IOActive, Inc.
E: PR@ioactive.com
T: +1 206 462 2291

Press Release

IOActive Uncovers Vulnerabilities in United States Emergency Alerting System

Digital Alerting Systems DASDEC application servers found to be vulnerable to remote attack

Seattle, WA July 8, 2013IOActive, Inc., a leading provider of application security, compliance and smart grid security services, today announced that is has discovered vulnerabilities in the Emergency Alerting System (EAS) which is widely used by TV and radio stations across the United States.

IOActive's principal research scientist, Mike Davis, uncovered the vulnerabilities in the digital alerting systems - DASDEC - application servers. The DASDEC receives and authenticates EAS messages. Once a station receives and authenticates the message, the DASDEC interrupts the broadcast and overlays the message onto the broadcast with the alert tone containing some information about the event. The affected devices are the DASDEC-I and DASDEC-II appliances.

“Earlier this year we were shown an example of an intrusion on the EAS when the Montana Television Network's regular programming was interrupted by news of a zombie apocalypse. Although there was no zombie apocalypse, it did highlight just how vulnerable the system is,” said Mike Davis, principal research scientist for IOActive. “These DASDEC application servers are currently shipped with their root privileged SSH key as part of the firmware update package. This key allows an attacker to remotely log on in over the Internet and can manipulate any system function. For example, they could disrupt a station's ability to transmit and could disseminate false emergency information. For any of these issues to be resolved, we believe that re-engineering needs to be done on the digital alerting system side and firmware updates to be pushed to all appliances.”

The EAS is designed to enable to the President of the United States to speak to US citizens within 10-minutes of a disaster occurring. In the past these alerts were passed from station to station using the Associate Press (AP) or United Press International (UPI) “wire services” which connected to television and radio stations around the US. Whenever the station received an authenticated Emergency Action Notification (EAN), the station would disrupt its current broadcast to deliver the message to the public. On Wednesday 26 June, the Cyber Emergency Response Team (CERT) published an advisory providing details of the vulnerability.

IOActive has also issued its own IOActive Labs Advisory outlining the affected products, the impact and the solution.

About IOActive
Established in 1998, IOActive is an industry leader that offers comprehensive computer security services with specialisations in smart grid technologies, software assurance, and compliance. Boasting a well-rounded and diverse clientele, IOActive works with a majority of Global 500 companies including power and utility, hardware, retail, financial, media, aerospace, healthcare, high-tech, and software development organizations. As a home for highly skilled and experienced professionals, IOActive attracts talented consultants who contribute to the growing body of security knowledge by speaking at such elite conferences as Black Hat, Ruxcon, Defcon, BlueHat, CanSec, and WhatTheHack. For more information, visit www.ioactive.com.

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http://ics-cert.us-cert.gov/advisories/ICSA-13-184-02

Advisory (ICSA-13-184-02)

Monroe Electronics DASDEC Compromised Root SSH Key

Original release date: July 03, 2013

OVERVIEW

This advisory provides mitigation details for a vulnerability that impacts the Monroe Electronics DASDEC.

Mike Davis, a researcher with IOActive, reported a compromised root SSH key vulnerability to CERT Coordination Center (CERT/CC). This vulnerability is in Monroe Electronics DASDEC‑I and DASDEC-II appliances. ICS-CERT coordinated with CERT/CC and Monroe Electronics to resolve the vulnerability. Monroe Electronics has produced an update that mitigates this vulnerability.

This vulnerability could be exploited remotely.

AFFECTED PRODUCTS

The following Monroe Electronics products are affected:

  • DASDEC-I
  • DASDEC-II

IMPACT

An attacker who exploits this vulnerability could gain root access to the device and affect the availability, integrity, and confidentiality of the system.

Impact to individual organizations depends on many factors that are unique to each organization. ICS‑CERT recommends that organizations evaluate the impact of this vulnerability based on their operational environment, architecture, and product implementation.

BACKGROUND

Monroe Electronics is a US-based company that maintains offices and research facilities in Lyndonville, New York. Monroe Electronics develops and distributes worldwide electrostatic measuring instruments including electrostatic voltmeters, electrostatic field meters, coulomb meters, and resistivity meters.

The affected products, DASDEC-I and DASDEC-II are emergency alert system (EAS) encoder/decoder (endec) devices that are used to broadcast EAS messages over digital and analog channels. According to Monroe Electronics, DASDEC-I and DASDEC-II are deployed across broadcast radio and television in the communication sector. Monroe Electronics estimates that these products are used primarily in the United States.

VULNERABILITY CHARACTERIZATION

VULNERABILITY OVERVIEW

COMPROMISED ROOT SSH KEYhttp://cwe.mitre.org/data/definitions/321.html, Web site last accessed July 03, 2013." href="http://ics-cert.us-cert.gov/advisories/ICSA-13-184-02#footnotea_ixegenr" name="footnoterefa_ixegenr">a

DASDEC-I and DASDEC-II had publicly available firmware images for these devices that included a private SSH key that authorizes remote logins to the devices. For software versions prior to 2.0-2, where the default SSH keys have not already been changed, an attacker can then log into a device with root privileges.

CVE-2013-0137http://web.nvd.nist.gov/view/vuln/detail?vulnId=CVE-2013-0137, Web site last accessed July 03, 2013." href="http://ics-cert.us-cert.gov/advisories/ICSA-13-184-02#footnoteb_ya73jua" name="footnoterefb_ya73jua">b has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v2 base score of 10.0 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is (AV:N/AC:L/Au:N/C:C/I:C/A:C).http://nvd.nist.gov/cvss.cfm?version=2&vector=AV:N/AC:L/Au:N/C:C/I:C/A:C, Web site last accessed July 03, 2013." href="http://ics-cert.us-cert.gov/advisories/ICSA-13-184-02#footnotec_6n5eegx" name="footnoterefc_6n5eegx">c

VULNERABILITY DETAILS

EXPLOITABILITY

This vulnerability could be exploited remotely.

EXISTENCE OF EXPLOIT

No known public exploits specifically target this vulnerability.

DIFFICULTY

An attacker with a moderate skill level could exploit this vulnerability.

MITIGATION

Monroe Electronics has produced a software update, Version 2.0-2 that resolves this vulnerability. DASDEC users can obtain the DASDEC v2.0-2 software update and release notes by contacting support@digitalalertsystems.com.

ICS‑CERT encourages asset owners to take additional defensive measures to protect against this and other cybersecurity risks.

  • Minimize network exposure for all control system devices. Critical devices should not directly face the Internet.
  • Locate control system networks and remote devices behind firewalls, and isolate them from the business network.
  • When remote access is required, use secure methods, such as Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), recognizing that VPN is only as secure as the connected devices.

ICS-CERT also provides a section for control systems security recommended practices on the ICS-CERT Web page. Several recommended practices are available for reading and download, including Improving Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity with Defense-in-Depth Strategies.http://ics-cert.us-cert.gov/content/recommended-practices, Web site last accessed July 03, 2013." href="http://ics-cert.us-cert.gov/advisories/ICSA-13-184-02#footnoted_t8orqgw" name="footnoterefd_t8orqgw">d ICS‑CERT reminds organizations to perform proper impact analysis and risk assessment prior to taking defensive measures.

Additional mitigation guidance and recommended practices are publicly available in the ICS‑CERT Technical Information Paper, ICS-TIP-12-146-01B—Targeted Cyber Intrusion Detection and Mitigation Strategies,http://ics-cert.us-cert.gov/tips/ICS-TIP-12-146-01B, Web site last accessed July 03, 2013." href="http://ics-cert.us-cert.gov/advisories/ICSA-13-184-02#footnotee_wn76bab" name="footnoterefe_wn76bab">e that is available for download from the ICS-CERT Web page (http://ics-cert.us-cert.gov/).

Organizations observing any suspected malicious activity should follow their established internal procedures and report their findings to ICS‑CERT for tracking and correlation against other incidents.

///////////

http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/662676

Vulnerability Note VU#662676

Digital Alert Systems DASDEC and Monroe Electronics R189 One-Net firmware exposes private root SSH key

Original Release date: 26 Jun 2013 | Last revised: 02 Jul 2013

Overview

Digital Alert Systems DASDEC and Monroe Electronics One-Net E189 Emergency Alert System (EAS) devices exposed a shared private root SSH key in publicly available firmware images. An attacker with SSH access to a device could use the key to log in with root privileges.

Description

The Digital Alert Systems DASDEC-I and DASDEC-II and Monroe Electronics R189 One-Net/R189SE One-NetSE are Linux-based EAS encoder/decoder (ENDEC) devices that are used to broadcast EAS messages over digital and analog channels. IOActive has reported several security issues affecting these devices. The most severe of these issues is the public disclosure of the default private root SSH key. The less severe issues could also contribute to an attacker's ability to compromise a vulnerable device.

Compromised root SSH key (CVE-2013-0137)
Publicly available firmware images for these devices included a private root SSH key that was authorized to log in to the devices (CWE-798, CWE-321). The fingerprint for the compromised SSH key is 0c:89:49:f7:62:d2:98:f0:27:75:ad:e9:72:2c:68:c3. Although this key is not hard-coded, it may be impractical for less technical users to manually disable or change they key prior to firmware version 2.0-2.

Predictable session ID
IOActive reports that the administrative web server uses a predictable, monotonically increasing session ID. This finding is based on running the web server in a test environment. Testing on a variety of firmware versions on devices both at the factory and in the field, Monroe Electronics could not reproduce this finding.

Log information disclosure
Logs available via the web server provide a variety of information about the configuration, operation, and status of the device (CWE-532). Some of the log information is public and may be required by regulation.

Predictable password generation
The dasdec_mkuser script generates passwords in a deterministic way (CWE-341), however these passwords are not for administrative access, and the script is not used for general user account configuration.

Default password
Like many similar devices, the DASDEC and One-Net ENDECs use default administrative credentials. Some sites fail to change the default administrative password and allow unrestricted internet access.

Impact

An attacker with the private key and SSH access can log in to a device with root privileges.

Predictable session IDs could allow an attacker to take control of an existing administrative web session.

Predictable and unchanged default passwords can allow an attacker to log in to a device with root privileges. Devices exposed to the internet are at particularly high risk, for example, see Secure EAS Codecs Prevent Zombie Attacks and US-CERT Alert TA13-175A.

Logs may disclose configuration information that can benefit an attacker.

Solution

Apply an update

On April 24, 2013, Monroe Electronics and Digital Alert Systems released firmware version 2.0-2 that disables the compromised SSH key, provides a simplified user option to install new unique keys, and enforces a new password policy. Monroe Electronics has taken considerable effort to provide update information to DASDEC and One-NetSE users.

DASDEC users can obtain updated firmware and release notes by contacting <support@digitalalertsystems.com>. R189 One-Net users can contact <eas@monroe-electronics.com>.

Disable compromised SSH key

The compromised root SSH key should be disabled immediately, especially if the SSH service is exposed to untrusted networks such as the internet. If SSH connectivity is required, generate, install, and test new SSH keys before disabling the compromised key. The fingerprint for the compromised SSH key is 0c:89:49:f7:62:d2:98:f0:27:75:ad:e9:72:2c:68:c3.

Manually inspect SSH keys

To identify a compromised key, examine the authorized_keys file at /root/.ssh/authorized_keys2.dasdec and use the ssh-keygen command to show SSH key fingerprints. The following example shows the fingerprint for the compromised key:

$ ssh-keygen -l -f authorized_keys2.dasdec
1024 0c:89:49:f7:62:d2:98:f0:27:75:ad:e9:72:2c:68:c3 wood@endec1 (DSA)

Note that ssh-keygen only shows the fingerprint for the first key/line in the file. If authorized_keys2.dasdec contains multiple keys (multiple lines, one key per line), it will be necessary to extract each key (line) to a separate file and run the ssh-keygen command on each key/file. These shell scripts can be used to list and test multiple SSH keys in an authorized_keys file:

To generate new SSH keys, use ssh-kegen.

Restrict access

If for some reason you are not able to remove and replace the compromised SSH key, restrict access to the SSH service to highly trusted hosts and networks only. As a general good security practice, restrict access to all services to trusted hosts and networks.

Change default passwords

Change any default passwords, and do not deploy production systems without changing default passwords. Search engines like Shodan can index systems exposed to the internet and default passwords are usually documented and well-known. It is often trivial for an attacker to identify and access systems on the internet using default passwords.

/////

#OpNSA: Some infos has been coming out about possible probing into the NSA PRISM system. Here are copies of some pastebins about all this. Start here: https://twitter.com/Op_NSA . It is indeed branded Anonymous and they said that two anons got searched over the weekend. What's cooking? Will the now-more-infamous NSA Q Group catch these cats?

#OpNSA claiming to have doxed some NSA officials and posting their phone numbers on interwebs. Something big may be taking off here -- if it turns out to be a honeypot there still better be lulz!

statement here:

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/op_nsa

IRC: https://webchat.anonops.com/?channels…

Transcript below:

Greetings Citizens of the World, we are Anonymous. It is understood that the recent exposé of the national security agency has angered you. Anger caused by the realization that your own elected representatives promised to vote for your best interests but changed their minds when the price was right, in favor of increased surveillance on your normal everyday life. You hate them for voting your freedom and privacy away, and you have every right to. There are those that say you have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide, but these are the same people who won’t tell you any of their own personal information upon your request. Complacent cowards like these have made it easier for this enormous surveillance operation to come to fruition. Eventually enough legislation will pass in favor of the evolving police state that will make every citizen a potential terrorist by default, and the NSA is at the core of it all. But you wonder to yourself, what can be done about all of this injustice and corruption? The answer is simple. Raise your voice so loud that no one can ignore it. Create such an overwhelming public outcry that the government and the media will be forced to acknowledge the issue. We need to show those directly responsible for all of this that there will be consequences for betraying us, and it will be the last time they do. In accordance with this we will be initiating stage two of operation national security agency and releasing the personal information of one politician each week that slandered Edward Snowden as a criminal and was involved with supporting the NSA and PRISM. We will make visible to everyone the depth of their violations against our freedom, privacy and well-being. We will expose the precise amount of money it took for them to turn their backs on us and we will show them how it feels to have their privacy abused and their personal information mined, collected and analyzed. But we won’t stop there. Since this affects not just Americans but everyone around the world, it is only right that we give this information as much exposure as possible. Spam the emails of your local representatives voicing your opposition to these surveillance measures along with president obama. Spread flyers regarding the NSA’s data mining and organize protests to inform the public. We will all need to work together in spreading this information as far and wide as we can so that the world is fully aware of what has been orchestrated at their expense. We are all in this together and have an obligation to awaken the masses to see how their rights are being stripped away one by one leaving themselves, their friends, their family and their children vulnerable to government manipulation and control. This will spark an awakening that cannot be stopped.

We are Anonymous.
We are Legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
Expect us.

This one is interesting, I don't know why anyone would trust any VPN in particular tho :/

/////

http://pastebin.com/BzN9aUkq By: luminary on Jun 29th, 2013 | OpNSA VPN services.

Want to defeat PRISM?

Do you like the idea of free internet usage?

Well here is a list of Virtual Private Network providers recommended by Anonymous.

These services claim explicitly in their Terms of Service that they don't keep connection

logs on their customers, though it's always best to do some SERIOUS digging into a company's

history before you commit your freedom.

If you don't plan on doing anything illegal and you're merely trying to avoid snoopers

or circumvent censorship, free VPNs will likely suffice, but if you're going for a more

shady flavor of activism, don't leave home without these.

All of these accept Bitcoin, so that's a very helpful attribute. Bitcoin is a highly secure

payment method used if you don't want people to know who you are when you buy things over the internet.

BTGuard VPN

Private Internet Access VPN

Air VPN

PRQ VPN

Mullvad VPN

///////

http://pastebin.com/TpGTHDSy By: luminary on Jul 7th, 2013 | syntax: None | size: 2.45 KB | hits: 2,365 | expires: Never

PRETENTIOUS MINIATURE PRESS RELEASE:

Greetings, National "Security" Agency -- and our followers whom we love so much:

This may look like a small release, but it's actually huge. See, we hacked the NSA yet again because we just love doing that. These are DNS tunnels that are sending encrypted data to and from the PRISM databases. We have the IP's of those servers. If you crash these servers with DDoS, you literally render PRISM "broken". We are also planning to release some of that data (which we have access to) if we can decrypt it. So anyway. Hit these -- you hit PRISM. And die in the Matrix, you die in real life, etc etc.

SLIGHTLY TECHNICAL INFORMATION THAT MEANS NOTHING TO A LOT OF PEOPLE:

ns3-194.akamaiedge.net 56923 IN A 23.61.199.194

lar7.akamaiedge.net 64613 IN A 222.122.64.131

la11.akamaiedge.net 90000 IN A 213.254.238.131

lac1.akamaiedge.net 90000 IN A 193.108.88.1

la6.akamaiedge.net 70352 IN A 96.7.50.192

ns6-194.akamaiedge.net 90000 IN A 95.100.168.194

ns7-194.akamaiedge.net 90000 IN A 96.7.49.194

lar2.akamaiedge.net 84886 IN A 2.16.40.192

la1.akamaiedge.net 53942 IN A 184.26.161.192

lar6.akamaiedge.net 54809 IN A 195.59.44.137

la7.akamaiedge.net 39448 IN A 96.17.144.197

ns5-194.akamaiedge.net 35282 IN A 184.85.248.194

la3.akamaiedge.net 39672 IN A 96.7.251.131

Acquired by:

Restless

R00tsh3ll - @r00tsh3ll1 (twitter)

Intro Written and Info PASTED by:

Luminary - @aluminary (twitter)

PS:

There's TONS more information to release. We're going through some folders to see what we can and can't release before July 11th, 2013 (DDoS day). There's more to come. For those that have been asking for "proof of a hack", we're releasing some more as we go, but remember: this is the NSA. We have to be very careful about what goes public before we're done actually UTILIZING that information. For those that are understanding of this, you are the people that will receive the best information first! ^___^

//////

http://pastebin.com/X3siNZRC By: luminary on Jul 8th, 2013 | syntax: None | size: 3.64 KB | hits: 120 | expires: Never

Tor Tutorial

By: @aluminary

Greetings, faithful supporters of Anonymous and haters of PRISM. We are Anonymous, and for a moment, we're going to take time off from destroying things we don't like and teach you how to secure yourself and hide your identity while online. Naturally, this will be a benefit to you in the long run. Most people have no doubt heard of “TOR”, or “The Onion Router”. In basic terms, Tor is a routing network that sends all of your internet traffic through many different nodes all scattered about around the world. So imagine you've got a message you want to pass to a friend who's standing 100 meters from you. Whereas your standard internet traffic would be like walking over to your friend and handing him that note, Tor puts many different people between you two. So rather, in this situation, you'd hand the note to one of those people, they'd pass it to a random person, who'd pass that on, again and again until it gets to your friend. This allows the actual source of the traffic to be hidden after it comes through the exit node. Fortunately, Tor is very easy to acquire.

It can be downloaded from here: https://www.torproject.org/

For windows users, that download comes with the Tor browser bundle, which, when used, routes all of your traffic through a series of nodes as mentioned previously. Likely Linux users will know how to properly configure a client or program to use Tor, so we won't waste their time.

Once downloaded, that package will come with Vidalia Control Panel, an .exe file which acts as a sort of mothership. Once opened, a socks5 proxy server will begin running on local host. Your computer is the only computer on the network that will be able to use it unless others are also running Tor. The Tor browser will begin running on its own, so all you'll really need to do once in that browser is simply start searching away like a pro. If you want to verify your privacy because of paranoia, you can visit cmyip.com while using the Tor browser and be assured that your real IP is in fact hidden.

Tor itself is generally considered trust worthy. The thing is, even if nodes are run by undesirable parties, not only would said parties have to own that node, but they'd have to own the entire random path to... well... backtrace you. A downside of this entire thing, though, is that Tor is a high latency network. Because your traffic is being routed all around, it's also a bit slower. You will certainly notice slower internet speeds in applications using Tor (regular browsers not on the proxy won't be any slower). Then again, such a trivial matter is certainly worth the amount of protection Tor will offer you. Tor is a widely used and completely free project available at the aforementioned link.

Remember though, nobody is completely invincible. And human error can play into your traffic, or worse, your identity, being revealed. If, however, you take precautions to make sure Tor is operating and so forth, you will be fine. One more downside of Tor – that is one of the reasons a lot of us use VPN services – is that it's blocked in a lot of places. Because it's so easy and so anonymous, many websites, services, IRCs and networks will block Tor Exit Nodes to eliminate or crack down on abuse. In these cases, you'll probably need special permission to use the Tor server, as is the case with the AnonOps IRC network, which is one widely used meeting place for Anons.

Stay Anonymous. Stay safe.

Keep it up and defeat PRISM. Together, we are strong.

Together, we are Legion.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/op_nsa

IRC: webchat.anonops.com

channel: #opnsa.

^^You cannot use Tor with webchat. J/s

/////////////

Something ought to be said here ^ about the importance of other tracking links in browsers, time attacks, recent tor vulnerabilities that have come up etc. More caution and other layers are pretty surely necessary. Stuff like Ghostery to block various web tracker bugs for example.

A recent tor security example, you would need to keep javascript shut off to be safer from this, as but one example http://tedjonesweb.blogspot.com/2013/06/torbroker-security-vulnerability...

Another recent discussion http://seclists.org/fulldisclosure/2013/Jul/31

"I run 5 tor nodes. I can tell that 5 nodes on the network are save for me. Trust tor. I will not run dsniff or tcpdump. Its save. I will never abuse the logins you gave me for free. Afk now, that one guy is surfing on xhamster, nice video choice" -- "Alex"

Lol well put I suppose. Concise anyway.

Good tor network data source http://torstatus.blutmagie.de/

Router name agentAdrianLamo is doing well lol http://torstatus.blutmagie.de/router_detail.php?FP=ba7385668e2386246f2fb...

Tor vuln paper http://www.syverson.org/tor-vulnerabilities-iccs.pdf

http://www.blackhatlibrary.net/Tor

also for listserv activity https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-censorship-events/

Tor activity very much logged by NSA as shown recently http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2013/06/24/using-tor-and-other-means-to-...

Anyway it's just a normal hesitation in pointing out that Tor or given VPNs are not magically perfect for sure. There are merits to both technologies but magic boxes they are not! Of course one should assume the FBI is listening closely to IPs like webchat.anonops.com etc. 141.101.120.67 & 141.101.120.66

//////

For more on the Op_NSA situation check out

https://twitter.com/Op_NSA

https://twitter.com/aluminary

https://twitter.com/dickfacerax

///////

Email encryption in general:

For basics of encrypting email see Riseup.net: https://help.riseup.net/en/encrypting-email-with-thunderbird

Cryptome.org has had interesting stuff about PGP keys lately as well! http://cryptome.org/2013/07/mining-pgp-keyservers.htm & many posts on PGP keys registered to assorted federal departments! 2013-0744.htm 2013-0746.htm 2013-0741.htm etc

///////

More backstories and Backbones:

Here is a possible explanation of the Company A / B / C listings in the NSA Inspector General report. MCI, AT&T & Sprint:

Date: Wed, 03 Jul 2013 16:05:20 -0400
From: "James M. Atkinson" <jmatk[at]tscm.com>
Organization: Granite Island Group
To: TSCM-L Mailingin List <tscm-l2006[at]googlegroups.com>
Subject: Presidents Surveillance Program of 14 September 2001

On September 14, 2001 the NSA initiated a program on eavesdropping of all or the telephone and internet traffic of all U.S. Citizens, and concealed this quite unlawful program under many layers of secrecy, not because it as in the interests of national security, but rather to hide the violation of the Fourth Amendment.

These are the "initial three backbones" that the NSA tapped into (with the consent of the companies, each of whom gave the NSA full, unrestricted access):

The attached PDF file is a list of all of the funds spent by the program... do the math, and closely observe the date ranges (they perfectly match up, to the day with all of the dates in the Snowden document leaks).

MCI COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES INCORPORATED/MCI TELECOMMUNICATIONS CORPORATION
AMERICAN TELEPHONE & TELG COMPANY/AT&T
SPRINT COMMUNICATIONS COMPANY

In the IG report these aforementioned companies at listed at Company A, B, and C.

There are four additional companies (and others) to include Verizon, Nextel, Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, and so on.

See also procurement code: DAAB0701DH802 for Booze Allen Hamilton (Snowdens employer)

The project and procurement code as: DXXXXX01XXXXX

The program office as listed at:

2011 CRYSTAL DRIVE STE 911 (One Crystal Park Bldg "Crystal City 2" see also: http://cryptome.org/rummy-op2.htm)
ARLINGTON , VA , 22202-3732
USA

19.1 Billion Dollar Series of Contract initiated on the same day that the president authorized the Presidents Surveillance System for the NSA, and ending on the day it as shutdown.

Using a DUNS# of 790238638

The persons name under whom this was all listed is:

GRAFTON THOMAS BIGLOW
1312 Rhode Island Ave NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 483-8707

At the same address is:
Hope L Biglow

Grafton Bigelow is also listed at various addresses in:
414 Second
Cape May, NJ and West Cape May, NJ
(609) 884-4346

Plus several addresses in:
Hyattsville, MD
West Palm Beach, FL

But, the name Grafton Biglow also turns up:

FEDERAL PROCUREMENT DATA CENTER
7th & D Street SW, Room 5652
Washington, DC 20407
Director: Mr. Graffton Biglow
Fax: (202) 401-1546
Internet e-mail: grafton.biglow[at]gsa.gov

Curious coincidence.

Hopefully he had his own phone checked for bugs.

Maybe they can use the "Nuremberg defense"or claim "Befehl ist Befehl"

Very, very carefully look at the attached document, and take very deep and very slow breathes as you read it.

The bottom line is the Rainmaker system captured and indexed 1.17 racks per day of communications, bridging all major service providers, all fiber optic choke points, and eavesdropping mostly on U.S. Citizens (unlawfully) in what is called a "General Warrant" which is explicitly prohibited under U.S. Law.

The President of the United State is just a fucking moron, and utter and complete moron.

--- FUCK THE PIGS ---

-jma

--
James M. Atkinson. President and Sr. Engineer
"Leonardo da Vinci of Bug Sweeps and Spy Hunting"
http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=15178662

Granite Island Group          http://www.tscm.com/
(978) 546-3803                jmatk[at]tscm.com
(978) 381-9111


Presidents-Spy-Program-Sept14-2001.pdf (342pp, 679KB)

/////////

The NSA Naccio Qwest case!

So there have been interesting developments. This bit about the contract hookups reminds me of Qwest's former CEO Joseph Naccio.

Here is what Naccio filed while fighting charges -- unlike virtually every white collar weasel ever, he ultimately got convicted of insider trading, no doubt with only the finest SIGINT available. Redacted PDF :: http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/threatlevel/files/512.pdf

http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_22918125/former-qwest-ceo-joe-nacchio-moved-halfway-house - April 2013 he is getting out of jail soon with enormous fines as well. Many posts at Denver Post.

Nacchio, who turns 64 in June, was convicted in 2007 on 19 counts of illegal insider trading connected to his sale of $52 million in Qwest stock. A federal jury in Denver found that he sold the shares based on nonpublic information about the company's deteriorating financial condition.

Lucrative secret contracts indeedly doodley.

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-05-10-nsa_x.htm 5-11-2006

The NSA, which needed Qwest's participation to completely cover the country, pushed back hard. ...

... the agency suggested that Qwest's foot-dragging might affect its ability to get future classified work with the government.

//////

Oct 15 2007: WSJ story: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119240248793758652.html

Nacchio Alleges Reprisal

Qwest Ex-CEO Says Firm Denied Pacts After Spurning NSA

By

DIONNE SEARCEY

and

EVAN PEREZ

Contentions from former telecommunications executive Joseph Nacchio that the government retaliated against his company because he didn't comply with National Security Agency requests could add to the renewed debate over the NSA's secret surveillance of telephone records.

Once-classified documents that were unveiled in the insider-trading case of Mr. Nacchio, the former chief of Qwest Communications International Inc., Q +1.60% suggest the U.S. government didn't offer lucrative contracts to the company after Mr. Nacchio refused to cooperate with what the documents call "improper government requests" in February 2001. The documents, submitted as part of Mr. Nacchio's defense in the insider-trading case, don't elaborate on the government requests. Mr. Nacchio has said in the past he didn't comply when asked by the NSA for access to the private phone records of Qwest customers.

Mr. Nacchio in April was convicted in federal court in Denver of insider trading for selling $52 million of stock in the spring of 2001 as Qwest's outlook was deteriorating. He was sentenced to six years in prison but remains free pending his appeal. His attorneys suggested in pretrial filings that Mr. Nacchio believed the company was about to win secret government contracts that would keep it in the black, despite warnings from his executive team that the company was in financial trouble. The judge at his trial didn't allow much of the classified defense, and Mr. Nacchio's appeal disputes that decision. The latest revelations were in pretrial briefs filed months ago that were unsealed last week.

A spokesman for the Director of National Intelligence office, which oversees the NSA and other intelligence agencies, declined to comment on the allegations in the court filings.

The revelations emerge as the White House is in negotiations with Congress on long-term changes to the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Democrats, and some Republicans, in Congress are at odds with the Bush administration's demand that lawmakers preserve the secrecy of the NSA program by granting telecommunications companies immunity from lawsuits for any aid they gave to the government surveillance without a court order.

The administration has balked at giving Congress documents detailing the legal justifications for the NSA program, and says that the secrecy is necessary to protect national security.

Speaking on Fox News channel yesterday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D., Md.) restated his position that Democrats were willing to pass such immunity, if the administration turned over documents about the NSA program.

Write to Dionne Searcey at dionne.searcey@wsj.com and Evan Perez at evan.perez@wsj.com

///////////

The Daily Caller is trying to get this narrative bounced again: http://dailycaller.com/2013/06/13/jailed-qwest-ceo-claimed-that-nsa-retaliated-because-he-wouldnt-participate-in-spy-program/

CBS news in 2009: http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-250_162-1616326.html

Naccio's argument was not allowed in open court. Of course that Denver judge also had the NSA all over his phone too I would hazard to guess.

But who cares what the NSA does to judge's phones anyway? (see NSA whistleblower Russ Tice specifying NSA space asset surveillance vs Justice Alito for example)

Don't forget Israel re NSA contractors: read up on James Bamford on Israeli contractors & the NSA: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/04/shady-companies-nsa/ . A few salient snippets on the pervasive role of the spinoff companies of Israel's NSA equivalent, Unit 8200:

Like Narus, Verint was founded by in Israel by Israelis, including Jacob “Kobi” Alexander, a former Israeli intelligence officer. Some 800 employees work for Verint, including 350 who are based in Israel, primarily working in research and development and operations, according to the Jerusalem Post. Among its products is STAR-GATE, which according to the company’s sales literature, lets “service providers … access communications on virtually any type of network, retain communication data for as long as required, and query and deliver content and data …” and was “[d]esigned to manage vast numbers of targets, concurrent sessions, call data records, and communications.”

In a rare and candid admission to Forbes, Retired Brig. Gen. Hanan Gefen, a former commander of the highly secret Unit 8200, Israel’s NSA, noted his former organization’s influence on Comverse, which owns Verint, as well as other Israeli companies that dominate the U.S. eavesdropping and surveillance market. “Take NICE, Comverse and Check Point for example, three of the largest high-tech companies, which were all directly influenced by 8200 technology,” said Gefen. “Check Point was founded by Unit alumni. Comverse’s main product, the Logger, is based on the Unit’s technology.”

According to a former chief of Unit 8200, both the veterans of the group and much of the high-tech intelligence equipment they developed are now employed in high-tech firms around the world. “Cautious estimates indicate that in the past few years,” he told a reporter for the Israeli newspaper Ha’artez in 2000, “Unit 8200 veterans have set up some 30 to 40 high-tech companies, including 5 to 10 that were floated on Wall Street.” Referred to only as “Brigadier General B,” he added, “This correlation between serving in the intelligence Unit 8200 and starting successful high-tech companies is not coincidental: Many of the technologies in use around the world and developed in Israel were originally military technologies and were developed and improved by Unit veterans.”

Equally troubling is the issue of corruption. Kobi Alexander, the founder and former chairman of Verint, is now a fugitive, wanted by the FBI on nearly three dozen charges of fraud, theft, lying, bribery, money laundering and other crimes. And two of his top associates at Comverse, Chief Financial Officer David Kreinberg and former General Counsel William F. Sorin, were also indicted in the scheme and later pleaded guilty, with both serving time in prison and paying millions of dollars in fines and penalties.

Anyway that's enough stuff for now. Figure better to get a hard reference of it for those interested!

Mysterious Parastoo apparent Iranian hacker group claims UAV flight inside USA; Redhack Turkish hackers on the Move, accused "cyber terrorist organization"

A few linxors on hacker stories both Turkish and Iranian. Pretty mysterious, not sure what to make out of it… Another post via Cryptome.

SOURCE: Parastoo Claims Launch of Second UAV in US

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FROM : PARASTOO
TO : DOD
RE : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_Air_Flight_655
HANDLE: OP655, PRE-RELEASE

PARASTOO IS SPEAKING. 

YOU NEED TO BE INFORMED THAT WE HAVE SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHED A SECOND 
UAV FLIGHT ON U.S SOIL. THE RESULTS OF THIS OP WILL BE PUBLISHED 
TIMELY AFTER OUR RELEASE REGARDING THE JFK OP, DURING THE UPCOMING 
SO-CALLED GENEVA-2. OP655 TOOK PLACE OVER A DESERTED AREA IN 
MARYLAND, FAR FROM CIVIL OR MILITARY BASES FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS 
DEMO.

BOTH UAV USED IN THESE OPS ARE MADE IN U.S POWERED BY iDIRECT SYSTEM, 
WHICH WE MENTIONED IN OUR PREVIOUS MESSAGES. U.S NAVY USS VINCENNESE 
WAS INSIDE IRANIAN TERRITORY WHEN FIRED MISSILE TO A CIVILIAN PLANE 
RESULT IN 299 DEATH AMONG THEM 66 CHILDREN. LATER, THE CAPTAIN 
RECEIVED A MEDAL FOR HIS HEROIC OPERATION. 

TO HONOR THAT EVENT WITH A PROPER MEDAL BASED ON OUR STANDARDS, OP655 
FULL RELEASE WILL HAVE A BONUS: TECHNICAL DETAILS OF RQ-170. 

BESIDES THE GENEVA-2, WE HAVE SET DATES FOR FUTURE RELEASES ACCORDING 
TO A LIST OF DATES IMPORTANT RESISTANT FIGURES HAVE BEEN TARGETED AND 
ASSASSINATED BY THE ONLY REGIME WHO GET TO ENJOY A 6-DECADES DURABLE 
"LICENSE TO KILL" [1] WHILE SUCKING UP FINANCIAL BLOOD OUT OF U.S 
CITIZENS [2], WHO HAVE TO DEAL WITH THEIR OWN HONORABLE MEDAL 
CARRYING OFFICIALS LIKE JAMES CLAPPER WHO JUST EMBARRASSED HIMSELF 
ONCE AGAIN [3].

WHILE YOU ARE ENJOYING WATCHING A BIT OF UAV FUN FLYING OVER MONSTER 
FLEETS [4] WE WOULD LIKE TO REMIND YOU NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE,EVEN 
INSIDE PROTECTED CUBES IN MARYLAND OR THE MOST NUCLEAR-POWER 
DEPENDENT AREA -- VIRGINIA, YOU ARE NOT ANONYMOUS. EXPECT US.

03 JULY 2013
P.

1:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/
7254807/Mossads-licence-to-kill.html

2:http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Israel_seeks_5B_in_US_loans_
to_buy_arms_999.html

3:http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130701/12494623683/james-
clapper-admits-he-lied-to-congress-even-his-excuse-is-
misleading.shtml

4:http://f.lui.li/get_680_c87d.html

And via here: f.lui.li/get_680_c87d.html loaded this video, looks like a UAV watching an aircraft carrier apparently.

In late November 2012: Anti-Israel hackers leak nuclear watchdog email addresses • The Register

Troll-Hackers? Is This Nuclear Agency Under Cyber Threat by Familiar Iranian Hacker Group? | SiliconANGLE

The Hacker News - Security in a Serious way: Parastoo - Hackers break into International Atomic Energy Agency servers - The Hacker News

Full release from 25 Nov 2012: Parastoo Hacks IAEA && PARASTOO - 1 - Pastebin.com

Feb 26 2013: Parastoo claims hack of contractor linked to nuclear data | Washington Free Beacon: "Parastoo also stole more than 450,000 credit card records from some of IHS’s largest commercial clients, including Pepsi and BMW."

Feb 28 2013: Iranian Hacker Bullies VP Joe Biden, Credibly Threaten to Commandeer US Drones, Leak IHS Jane’s CBRN Documents | SiliconANGLE - note that some of the released material may have a trojan according to this.

Some absolutely shocking threats and claims have emerged from a fairly new hacking group on the scene. DefCon’s “y3ti” tipped us off to the group that calls themselves Parastoo that first emerged at the end of last year. Their latest chilling release confirms their earlier claims with an incredible stash of sensitive intelligence that was announced on a series of Iranian activist sites and later found on world-wide filesharing sites. The bounty is big, the targets are bigger, and the list of items they have hacked is staggering. Among this data and the statements– nuclear intelligence, military information, satellite images, national infrastructure intelligence, and a thinly veiled threat on the vice-president of the United States Joe Biden.

March 9 2013: Parastoo IAEA Mossad via Cryptome. This may be related?

IN TECHNICAL PART OF OUR LAST MESSAGE WE TALKED
ABOUT HOW PARASTOO GOT INTO C4ISR SYSTEMS BELONG
TO NATO AND USED A VSAT-BASED ATTACKS TO CONTROL
AND "PARASTOOJACK" A DRONE , LONG TIME AGO .
NOW THAT WE SLOWLY ARE WORKING THROUGH THE ROUTE
AND PARASTOOS , CYBER RESISTANCE GROUPS , AND
PEOPLE WHO ARE TIRED OF IMPERIALISTIC SHIT
BEING FED US AS POLITICS FOR A LONG TIME , IN
OUR NEXT MESSAGE WE WILL RELEASE A VIDEO OF HOW
THE ATTACH TO IDIRECT-CONTROLLED C4ISR SYSTEM
HAPPENED AND HOW PARASTOO BROKE INTO A FIPS 140-2
SECURE SATCOM ON THE MOVE . IT DEMONSTRATES , IN
A LIMITED WAY THAT PUBLIC WWW CAN HANDLE , WHAT
DID WE MEAN BY "AN EASY SPORT" IN OUR LAST MESSAGE .
IDIRECT DAYS ARE OVER FOR A LONG TIME , AND NOW
WE ARE CLOSING ITS FILE FOR GOOD , GIVE A BIT DATA
ABOUT THE JFK TEST AND TRY TO SPEAK "SERIOUSLY" TO
VICE PRESIDENT OF ANOTHER COUNTRY . DO NOT SUPPORT
ZIONIST-LED PLOTS. IT IS "SERIOUS" .

/////

On the Turkish front, #occupygezi and protesters have been supported by Redhack, an apparently older Turkish communist-sympathetic hacker group with sturdy skilz at defeating Turkish government websites.

RedHack_EN (RedHack_EN) on Twitter - English language outlet. Turkish: RedHack ★ (TheRedHack) on Twitter

e6f34b9e9e0be5e07dae99a483ee24fb.jpeg

#RedLeaks RedHack Belgeleri.. Kizil Hackerlar - 1997-2013

RedHack - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Documentary about Redhack: RED! Movie Turkish (İngilizce Subtitled) - YouTube - trailer here. lots of RedHack related video clips here.

RED-656x437.jpg

Red!, the world's agenda hacktivizm issues of weight and center of each year is increasing cyber-activism. It carries out actions in particular RedHack'in Anonymous'un and Turkey. At the same time contributing to the documentary ICT, academics, lawyers and politicians hacktivizmin through politics, explores the relationship between ethics and law. BSM-Independent Film Center, Red! founded an independent film exhibition and distribution network. Film screenings held across Turkey. documentary Who, Dr. Free Uçkan / Author-scholar Gökhan Ahi-IT Law Expert Professor. Dr. Aslı Tunç-Head of the Department at Istanbul Bilgi University Media Alper Stone-ODP Co-Chairman Dr. Rabun Kosar - Bogazici university for Data Processing Center Manager Özgür Murat-Lawyer -Attorney Bilgütay Durna Ilhan Cıhaner-MP - Former Republican Attorney General Ayhan Erdoğan-Attorney Asst. Assoc. Dr. Erkan Saka-Istanbul Bilgi University, Department of Communication

RED! « Independent Cinema Center: The movie RED! produced by BSM – Independent Cinema Center, focuses on two subjects that gain globally more and more attraction every year: cyber activism and hacktivism. In the movie, these subjects are principally treated through Anonymous and RedHack. At the same time, the movie examines the relations between hacktivism and politics, ethic and law.

This documentary does not conceal being biased. It approachs cyber activism and hacktivism from a class struggle perspective. Considering the cyber world as a new battlefield, the movie examines how the cyber struggle can be linked to the class struggle.

490-249.jpg

REDHACK Voice of the oppressed! - Tumblr

July 4 2013: RedHack Identified as “Cyber Terrorist Organization” - Bianet / English - Bianet

July 5 2013: Turkish Police Name RedHack a Cyber Terrorist Organization

July 4 2013: Redhack members face virtual terrorism charges for pro-Gezi tweets

A report recently prepared by the National Police Department into the recent nationwide Gezi Park protests has stated that members of the Socialist hacker group RedHack (Kızıl Hackerlar) committed virtual terrorism by inciting people to commit criminal acts in the tweets posted on the account “@TheRedHack” during the protests.

The National Police Department launched a large-scale investigation into the online activities of Redhack during the Gezi Park protests and determined the identities of the members of the group from their IP addresses. The Sabah daily reported on Thursday that the National Police Department is seeking legal action against Redhack.

The police department stated in its report that Redhack posted many tweets that invited people to attend the protests and incited people to commit crimes during the Gezi Park protests. The police department also included some tweets posted on the Redhack account in the report. A tweet posted on June 14 states, “People from around the country will be on the streets as of 2.00 p.m.” In another tweet posed on June 15, Redhack stated: “We are protesting for a fair, non-exploitative and classless world, for brotherhood and freedom. If they are so brave, they can stop us.” In other tweet, again posted on June 15, Redhack stated: “They [Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government] provides people with free transportation or food for their rallies, but they give us tear gas, police batons and police attack car. Do you continue to be silent?”

According to the Sabah report, Prosecutor Muammer Akkaş will launch an investigation into Redhack based on the police report. The prosecutor will reportedly investigate members of Redhack on charges of virtual terrorism.

RedHack | Cyber War News - a great many lulz on this category:

Turkish Police Informant Files Leaked By Red Hack - July 16 2012. "only way we will stop publishing these files is if so called gov’t sponsored “lamers” stop attacking journalists."

As you may be all aware, our actions are continuing non-stop since February. From that time our first action was against Ankara Security Headquarters and as a result seven innocent people got arrested and they are still imprisoned. The only evidence against them is a PlayStation Cd’s. The dominant powers then decided to transfer the investigation about us to a prosecutor who once managed the Sivas case to drop due to time-frame elapsed, where 33 intellectuals and artists got killed by mob of bigots. Despite this we didn’t stop and we were investigated by National Intelligence Agency (MIT) and complaint was made to Interpol. For disinformation reasons various news was made about us. We still did not stop. Ministry of Interior was hacked twice, 95% of police forces in Turkey were hacked, and other Ministry sites were hacked time to time. Lately we were declared “terrorists” after Ministry of Foreign Affairs was hacked where we have leaked document. All of a sudden cyber teams established against us have mushroomed up. Those couldn’t stop us with help of imperial powers such as USA, EU, Russia or China created “cyber counter-guerrillas” and created sites to vilify us. Also the government, that sees us as terrorists supported these people to attack other countries. They have tried various games to alienate people against us.

Very recently attacks started against opposition journalists that makes objective news and lawyers specialises on internet. With the helping hand of the government those fake sites published personal details of these freedom defenders and very harsh/degrading threats were made to them. Just today another dirty “cyber government” attack was made against Birgun (OneDay) newspaper. This must be the very “Cyber Army” that was established against us by establishments such as TUBITAK, TIB and BTK. One of their employee quite recently announced that they will use a different approach against us, this must be it. They will brand those fighting for the truth as a terrorist but will unleash their lamers against journalists, lawyers. This must be their so called “different approach”.

As these conditions were set by them and freedom defender’s details are published with the help of government, we have taken a decision. Since they are attacking those people fighting for freedom, we will not let them walk alone. Starting from the beginning, we will publish all the leaked documents we have managed to gather, uncensored.

We will only stop when they cease to treat these lamers with double standard and treat them as equal as us.

Tomorrow we will start to publish an uncensored police informants file of 70mb.

Since we are a “terrorist” and those who publish details of innocent people are heroes, then we will act with the language they understand. We won’t play the inoffensive any longer.

The choice is yours; either put the leash on these corrupted lamers that lacks knowledge of code or face the consequences.

Lastly, we will not let those take sides with us be alone. We have plenty of jokes and they are funny but they are all real.

We don’t ACQUIT We HACK!

We won’t embarrass those trust us and walks with us, we won’t leave them alone halfway through this struggle.

If we get arrested one day, we will defend our actions. Because bourgeois terrorists cannot judge us.

RedHack (Red Hackers Association)

Central Committee

14th July 2012

Hacking for the People!

Also recently June 29th 2013: RedHack Erases Public Debt and Renames Primary School in Instanbul | 40 Oz of Bad Karma

Google Translate- RedHack, Provincial Supervisor hacked

Intelligence documents about bomb plots leaked: This time the 'bomb' mails

Istanbul Special Provincial Administration Hacked by REDHACK - Hackers News Bulletin

Anyway, classic stuff. Bonus points to redhack for a much more well crafted public image than Parastoo!

/// UPDATE 3AM: On another LulzCluster altogether, keep an eye on https://twitter.com/op_nsa for another wave of possible NSA data drops. For apparently new hawt NSA hax0rd0x See http://pastebin.com/bBuS9aH5
http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=bk3yqHue for supposed new NSA leak pastebins including email addresses at nsa.gov and suspiciously obscure British domains, one can only hope MI6 municipal council weasel-moles are flushed trololol!
Also: Hello to @redhack_en posting this story: https://twitter.com/RedHack_EN/status/353780921373171712 A good day to you from Minnesota, Cheers! ///

The disgusting world of nuclear power: Pandora's Promise

There is some movie called Pandora's Promise which is more-or-less nuclear industry cheerleading in town with a full blown event going on. People will be nibbling on delicious cesium tainted tea leaves straight from Fukushima Prefecture I would assume. [ https://twitter.com/PandorasPromise ]

Someone posted, Come to the Republic in Calhoun Square to meet, eat, and discuss the film after the 4:50pm showing on Fathers' Day, June 16. http://www.republicmn.com/ And some UN panel said that everything is fine, the accident is over, no real risk of disease or doom from this thing. etc. See: http://www.unis.unvienna.org/unis/en/pressrels/2013/unisinf475.html

Okay let's check out whats the latest in the happy world of Nuclear News. This whole UN report is based on a false premise: Unlike Chernobyl which popped, burned and was contained relatively quickly, Fukushima is not even done leaking yet, and radiation has turned up in fish, fallout across Pacific Northwest. etc.

See ENEnews.com for US, world & Japanese energy & contamination news: http://enenews.com/

http://enenews.com/japanese-diplomat-we-are-facing-global-catastrophe-ov...

Akio Matsumura, Diplomat: "Let me clarify. We are facing global disaster — catastrophe — occurring. From that perspective, over 40 years, 50 years, or maybe 100 years. We cannot escape from this fact. …. This radioactive material, or contaminated water, any cases, reach out to your west coast as well. If you are counting on Japan, I can assure you now they do not take serious action."

"Pandora's Promise: "actually an infomercial… the film is dishonest to its core" http://enenews.com/cnns-nuclear-propaganda-film-is-dishonest-to-its-core...

See Fukushima Diary for tons of high frequency detailed, sourced local info: http://fukushima-diary.com/

Let's see how their nationwide nightmare goes in last few DAYS:

Most recently http://fukushima-diary.com/2013/06/260-bqm3-of-sr-90-measured-in-30m-nor... 260 Bq/m3 of Sr-90 measured in 30m north of reactor5, 6 discharge channel and the UN panel fails to mention Strontium at all.

http://fukushima-diary.com/2013/06/average-tumor-size-of-fukushima-child...

12 Fukushima children diagnosed to have thyroid cancer, 15 more suspected to have cancer, “300% up since February” [URL]

According to Fukushima prefectural government, the average tumor size was bigger by 28% in 2012 than 2011.

In 2011, 12 malignant or possibly malignant cases were found (One of them turned out to be benign nodule from surgery.). The average diameter of the tumor was approximately 14.1 mm.

In 2012, 16 malignant or possibly malignant cases were found. The average diameter of the tumor was approximately 18.1 mm, which is bigger than 2011 by 28%.

27,000 Bq/Kg from the soil in front of the swings for children of Fukushima city. Atmospheric dose : 1.17 μSv/h (1m above the ground), 2.35 μSv/h (on the ground) http://fukushima-diary.com/2013/06/27000-bqkg-from-the-soil-in-front-of-...

PLUTONIUM one of the world's most carcinogenic substances : 0.0084 Bq/m3 of Pu-239/240 measured from 15km offshore Fukushima plant,

http://fukushima-diary.com/2013/06/0-0084-bqm3-of-pu-239240-measured-fro...

54 Bq/Kg of Cs-134/137 measured from Shiitake mushroom in Osaka http://fukushima-diary.com/2013/06/54-bqkg-of-cs-134137-measured-from-sh...

Radiation level spiked from 57.1 μSv/h to 90 μSv/h within 3 months in an elementary school of Fukushima city

http://fukushima-diary.com/2013/06/radiation-level-spiked-from-57-1-%CE%...

222,495 Bq/Kg from street gutter mud of public hall in Fukushima city, 66km from Fukushima nuclear plant http://fukushima-diary.com/2013/06/222495-bqkg-from-street-gutter-mud-of...

40,000 Bq/Kg from farm soil in Fukushima city http://fukushima-diary.com/2013/06/40000-bqkg-from-farm-soil-in-fukushim...

Radiation level increasing in leakage detector hole of “nearly empty” reservoir No.1

http://fukushima-diary.com/2013/06/radiation-level-increasing-in-leakage...

Xe-133/135 detected from gas sample of reactor1,2,3, amount not announced, Tepco “Spontaneous fission” Xenon another element leaking actively NOW http://fukushima-diary.com/2013/06/xe-133135-detected-from-gas-sample-of...

Medical expert, “Thyroid cancer rate in Fukushima is obviously too high, related to the distance from the plant”

http://fukushima-diary.com/2013/06/medical-expert-thyroid-cancer-rate-in...

http://fukushima-diary.com/2013/06/radioactive-density-in-seawater-spike...

Radioactive density in seawater spiked 20 times much after opening the silt fence for only 40 mins

Cs-137 jumped up to be 42,000 Bq/m3 and Cs-134 spiked up to be 20,000 Bq/m3.

Radioactive Silver! Ag-110m detected from gas sample of reactor1 and 3,

http://fukushima-diary.com/2013/06/ag-110m-detected-from-gas-sample-of-r...

Flowchart showing all these various radioactive water pools spilling all over the place: Tepco still transferring contaminated water to the spare tank even after the leakage of 6/5/2013 http://fukushima-diary.com/2013/06/tepco-still-transferring-contaminated...

102.5 Bq/Kg of Cs-134/137 from Sayama green tea leaves for sale http://fukushima-diary.com/2013/06/102-5-bqkg-of-cs-134137-from-sayama-g...

shadiness: English version of Fukushima plant survey map shows atmospheric dose lower than Japanese version by 90% http://fukushima-diary.com/2013/06/english-version-of-fukushima-plant-su...

18,756 Bq/kg of Cs-134/137 measured from the mud in street gutter in Setagaya Tokyo http://fukushima-diary.com/2013/06/18756-bqkg-of-cs-134137-measured-from...

[Survey] 20% of over 18y.o in Fukushima feel unhealthy or very unhealthy in 2012 http://fukushima-diary.com/2013/06/survey-20-of-over-18y-o-in-fukushima-...

Spare tank for leaking reservoirs started leaking too, Tepco didn’t weld it http://fukushima-diary.com/2013/06/spare-tank-for-leaking-reservoirs-sta... 400 tones of ground water flow into the plant on the daily basis. In order to manage the shortage of contaminated water storage, they built 7 reservoirs. However, 3 of them leaked highly contaminated water.

These are merely some headlines going back to June 5th. This monster is still oozing all over the place and contaminating tons of food and water.

////

Overall we need to quit building fission related technology, it is a mess on many levels, particularly if any of them are hit by disasters like tsunamis, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes etc.

Probably a release of energy technology from the military industrial complex, along with winding down energy consumption as much as possible, [aka downshifting civilization before it implodes] would be a good place to start looking at this.

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.

chart.png

Here is the Euro chart, perhaps more relevant.

201303250051.jpg

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.

//////////////

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!

How to check cops checking your driver's license! Plus full texts of Anne Marie Rasmusson lawsuit settlements for cop ID checks

Yet another nasty branch on the poisonous tree of data abuse in Minnesota is bearing its digital fruit. Anne Marie Rasmusson, a former law enforcement officer, got 'checked out' by an absurdly sprawling array of Minnesota law enforcement officers illegally abusing their driver's license lookup systems. Three major legal documents from the settlements are included below, I believe for the first time on the web (I might be wrong but didn't spot anything on Google).

For the backstory of the weird law enforcement gangstalking of Rassmusson & subsequent litigation, see Nov 2 2012: Anne Marie Rasmusson's settlement haul now over $1 million - Aaron Rupar / CityPages.

From a clever data-fishing colleague, here is one proven method for promptly obtaining your own DVS data:

E-mail kim.jacobson@state.mn.us with "Hi Kim! This is a request to inspect public data under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act using my own equipment, in electronic form. I would like to inspect all records and logs of when my driver's license and motor vehicle information on file with DVS was accessed, along with date, time, request detail and requesting agency. My driver's license number and license plates are: X. Thanks!"

100% Lulz virtually guaranteed. Not a horrible time lag either, from what I am hearing from people.

Better Know An Acronym: Mpls PD's ALPR & MnDOT's MBUF, the Parallel DataSchemes: Better get yr DVS records while they're hot: the government has a habit of clamping down on these kinds of data flows, legislative authorization be damned!

On another critical but separate mass surveillance & data control issue, IPAD | Information Policy Analysis Division, Minnesota Department of Administration is taking public comment until January 30, 2013 on the issue of the automated license plate reader system which Minneapolis has semi-extralegally shifted from public to non-public data classification. The PDF is here: www.ipad.state.mn.us/docs/mplsappalpr.pdf. One idea: let IPAD know that this tech is dangerous for data regardless of who is supposed to have access. As the burgeoning DVS omnishambles indicates, 'sensitive' data should be minimized in government, and even 'authorized' personnel actually shouldn't be trusted to operate these systems without granular and public systems of accountability.

Again it is worth pointing out that the City of Minneapolis itself argued in the PDF above that the data generated by the Minneapolis Police Department's Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) system is dangerous and must be made non-public for the same reasons that MnDOT's Mileage Based User Fee (MBUF, aka Intellidrive) data is dangerous.

MBUF is a story I have been following for several years - it would send extremely frequent location/direction/velocity info to the government & its military-industrial contractor, Battelle, for every user in order to generate a dollar figure for taxing the vehicle - only nuking all your remaining privacy in the process. After many months, much MnDOT MBUF data was released via a Mn Data Practices Act Request, though it is difficult to work with. See Nov 30 2012: EXCLUSIVE MnDOT info cake: 2.97gb emails/docs on the Mileage Based User Fee (MBUF)- Minnesota's GPS vehicle taxing regime in the works

Previously: Jan 9 2013: MPD Tracking OccupyMN Facebook BBQs: Minneapolis "secret" Strategic Information Center / Emergency Operations and Training Facility 25 37th Ave NE in Fridley // MPD Homeland Security Unit at Cruz House: Minneapolis Police Department data request on Occupy Minnesota finally released; sketchy anti-Occupy fusion-style police material from Nevada // Dec 14 2012: Mordor Mayor Rybak makes moves to hide Minneapolis panopticon: Total Minneapolis Awareness Automatic License Plate Reader records form 'retroactive surveillance' empire. Ye Gods we keep catching substantial fish!

The issue of abusive operations in the MN Department of Public Safety-controlled DVS database is becoming a major issue recently, with the decidedly unlikely duo of Republican-aligned Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek and indefatigable Star Tribune reporter Randy Furst both finding highly indefensible query activity on their records. Minn. driver’s license data snoopers are difficult to track | StarTribune.com:

Despite widespread misuse of driver's license records in Minnesota, determining just who is peeking into your files can prove nearly impossible.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety, which oversees the driver's license database, refuses to tell people the names of users -- generally public employees -- who have looked up their information. Perhaps the most high-profile citizen getting stonewalled by the state is Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek, who is sparring with the department over what he believes were inappropriate queries into his driver's license records.

The Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) database, which contains addresses, photographs and driving records on nearly every Minnesotan, is protected under state and federal law. State records show that public employees frequently have misused the database by running people's names without a business purpose. That is the subject of a major lawsuit that recently ensnared police officers across Minnesota, as well as a criminal case pending against two Minneapolis employees.

Stanek learned in June that employees at 21 agencies, including his own office, had accessed his records over several years. Some of the queries came from as far away as Wells, Minn., a small town 117 miles south of Minneapolis that he has never visited. The Department of Public Safety would not provide him with the names of the users.

"I believe that some or all of these requests may have been without a legitimate government purpose," Stanek wrote in a December letter to the Department of Administration, asking for an advisory opinion on the matter. The Department of Public Safety "and DVS appear to have purposely created obstacles to deny me an opportunity to track illegitimate access."

Stanek had made two previous requests for his lookups out of curiosity, and was surprised by how many agencies had queried his name.

This time, he says, a security concern prompted his request for the lookups.

He believes the state has an obligation to show that the lookups had a legitimate purpose, even if they do not hand over the names.

Anyhow, a source provided a great deal of the Rasmusson legal paperwork obtained via the Minnesota Data Practices Act. I don't think it's around elsewhere on the Internet, so here it is. I haven't looked over too many settlements myself, so this is overall just funny stuff about a serious topic -- nothing like a government formally conceding abuse and paying out hard-collected taxpayer cash to cover for some ridiculous abuse of officially "necessary" authority.

I wonder what kind of world we'd live in if our government units were actually run by people who never screw up like this, wasting all these resources and being generally abusive. There will surely be more inquiries along these lines...

Three parts:

Rassmusson Lawsuit 1 1110 001 (44pgs) - direct download 1.8MB: rassmusson_lawsuit-1-1110_001.pdf

Rassmusson Lawsuit 1 1110 001 by Dan Feidt

Rassmusson Lawsuit 2 1109 001 (5 pgs) - direct download 205KB: rassmusson_lawsuit-2-1109_001.pdf

Rassmusson Lawsuit 2 1109 001 by Dan Feidt

Rassmusson Lawsuit 3 1102 001 (39 pgs) - Direct download 1.9MB: rassmusson_lawsuit-3-1102_001.pdf

Rassmusson Lawsuit 3 1102 001 by Dan Feidt

Leaving it there for now, but hell, something will probably turn up yet again before I even have time to deal with it!!

MPD Tracking OccupyMN Facebook BBQs: Minneapolis "secret" Strategic Information Center / Emergency Operations and Training Facility 25 37th Ave NE in Fridley

Dateline: Pseudo-Secret Minneapolis (aka Fridley): What WCCO called the "secret" "City of Eyes" Strategic Information Center has been located on the Google! Your Federal Stimulus Money & FY2010 Homeland Security Appropriations At Work - A Facility for Spying on Facebook Occupy Barbecues

strategic-center-mpls.png

It's nice when data releases tie together a larger system, and we've sure got that here. It's not really "secret" but it's quite shiny & new, not well-known at all, and it is certainly has been used as a site for spying on Occupy activists without criminal predicates by the Minneapolis Police Department. [emails a bit farther down]

///// UPDATE Nov 14 2014: See #Pointergate Pieces: Hodges merged out politically powerful police pensions; KSTP Quadruples Down; Minneapolis gang intel plugs away ///// UPDATE Jan 10 2013: See How to check cops checking your driver's license, Rassmusson lawsuit settlement docs /////

The Minneapolis Police Department files about Occupy Minnesota released by a data request on Monday afternoon are turning up interesting wastes of taxpayer money -- and even the so-called "secret" Strategic Information Center & Emergency Operations and Training Facility at 25 37th Ave Northeast in Fridley, north of the city line by the river & railroad tracks.

Also known as the EOTF/SIC, let's wrangle up everything we can find. Start with architects, via Wold Architects/Engineers: City of Minneapolis EOTF | Wold Architects and Engineers

Wold Architects and Engineers designed a site and facility for the City of Minneapolis Fire Department Training Campus to include a Fire Department’s Training Division; training classrooms multi-used as an Emergency Operations Center for the City’s Emergency Preparedness; a Strategic Information Sensor Monitoring Center for the Minneapolis Police Department; and vehicle storage garages for the Fire Department’s regional asset equipment.

The design exceeds the City of Minneapolis requirement for design to meet LEED Silver.

strategic-4.png

strategic-5.pngThis state-of-the-art federally funded facility allows police to determine... the location of barbecues on Facebook, including even the number of "YES" and "MAYBE" invitees.

This facility also encompasses "Shotspotter" directional microphones all over the city - I wonder if those are ever activated besides the gunshot decibel threshold "trigger" - they are in fact pretty high-fidelity microphones, it has been disclosed (May 28 2012 NYT article) but the manufacturer denies the mics are triggered by conversations.

I for one, am glad that we spent both municipal and borrowed federal tax dollars on training the Minneapolis police to believe a Facebook "YES" invite is real. The simulacrum of today's clicks has become the strategic information of tomorrow!

The old EOC center, used in the 2007 35W bridge collapse, can be seen here via MPR and clearly lacks expensive-enough videoconferencing gear.

Here is the press release from Nov 4 2010: Minneapolis opens Emergency Operations Training Facility - City of Minneapolis

Minneapolis opens Emergency Operations Training Facility

The City of Minneapolis has opened its new Emergency Operations Training Facility, which will help emergency responders and other City staff better prepare for and respond to emergencies. The multi-purpose building helps meet the training and response needs of the Minneapolis Fire Department, the Minneapolis Police Department, and the City's Emergency Management Division, along with other regional partners.

The Emergency Operations Training Facility is a multi-purpose building that includes training classrooms for Minneapolis firefighters and metro emergency managers, a strategic information center for the Minneapolis police, the main training site for the State of Minnesota Structural Collapse Team, and an emergency operations center that will be used during significant emergencies or disasters.

The new facility is built on a 12-acre site in Fridley that the City purchased in 1990, and since that time, the site has been built out as a training facility for Minneapolis Firefighters. Over the years, a fire training tower and propane burn building have been constructed, and special equipment has been purchased to help train emergency responders for incidents involving hazardous materials and collapsed structures. The construction of the new Emergency Operations Training Facility on the site is a major step toward completing this training and response site.

The Emergency Operations Training Facility is built to a LEED Silver Quality Standard for sustainability, and it includes facilities for a wide range of emergency responders from Minneapolis and the region:

Emergency Operations Center

One of the lessons learned from the City's response to the Interstate 35W Bridge collapse in 2007 was that the City's Emergency Operations Center, located in the basement of City Hall, was too small to serve as a center for large-scale emergencies. The new facility fixes that, with 2,800 more square feet of floor space. It will also be used as a back-up Emergency Operations Center for the State, Hennepin County and the City of St. Paul.

Strategic Information Center

The Strategic Information Center is a new space where the Minneapolis Police Department will analyze data to determine long-range trends that pose potential risks to the city. It can provide emergency managers with important information during a major event, incident or disaster.

State of Minnesota Structural Collapse Team

This team serves the entire state with specialized equipment and trained personnel for urban search and rescue and structural collapse incidents. This facility will include apparatus bays for storage of emergency response vehicles and specialty equipment for the Coast Guard, State, City and Metro West region of Homeland Security. In addition, this facility will house training and classroom space, staff offices, support spaces and common spaces.

Coast Guard monitoring.

The U.S. Coast Guard will also use the facility as a monitoring location for cameras placed along the Mississippi River from St. Louis to the metro area.

Published Nov. 4, 2010

Moar casual Google Mapping:

google-streetview-mpls.png

Apparently they dropped a cool $50K on the fence in early 2012. here is the bid page "To furnish all labor, materials, equipment and incidentals necessary to accomplish the complete construction of Emergency Operations Training Facility Perimeter Fence Project, located at 25 37th Ave NE, Fridley, MN." SRC: Minneapolis, City of - Projects. [A little more on the fence industrial complex below]

google-streetview-mpls2.png

Of course, once Erin Brockovich samples those weird adjacent holding pond things, I'm sure the infamous Fridley Cancer Cluster case will be solved. Perhaps Sgt. Garcia can go out and take some samples!

google-map-mpls1.png google-map-mpls2.png

I believe at least two of structures are firefighter training buildings - later pics below seem to bear this out.

eoc-marketing-swag1.pngHere is some marketing swag about the video conferencing gear. AVI-SPL Integrates Government Emergency Operation Centers. See the PDF and video too.

eoc-marketing-swag2.pngLet's check out the $330,704 in electronically-created yet borrowed-at-interest-from-private-Fed-cartel recently invested in this barbecue monitoring center. Official less-than-informative stimulus info page: Minneapolis Recovery - City of Minneapolis Minneapolis Police Strategic Information Center.

[Naturally it is funded by the electronically created debt-digits from the Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), the same endless police pork hub that brought us all those "you might be a terrorist if you pay in cash" type intel flyers for everything from hotels to hobby stores - many of those flyers were financed by Grant Number 2007-MU-BX-K002, which I included ironically on my own site's banner art. Google it for lulz!] Here's that official page:

The City of Minneapolis is not a primary recipient on this project. No Federal Report XML is submitted for this project.

Dollars Awarded

$330,704

Project Status

Fully completed

Project Description

To establish integrated crime analysis in cooperation with the St. Paul Police Department. Staff will be located in a joint Strategic Information Center (SIC).

Funding Program

MN Department of Public Safety: Byrne Justice Assistance Grant

Responsibility for Implementation

Police Department

Funding Agency

US Department of Justice [BJA/Recovery Act]

Dollars Leveraged

Data not yet available.

Dollars Leveraged Description

Data not yet available.

Dollars Requested

$330,704

Projected Jobs Created

2

Award Type

Grant

Sub-recipient Names

Minneapolis, City of

Vendor Names

No vendors have been contracted to date.

Recovery Funds Spent to Date

$330,704

Perhaps this is even the 'secret' location Tippy spycams are constructed: a while ago prankster MPD Spokester & PIO Jesse Garcia shared pics of a camera construction room & with all the other video rigs this seems a likely spot.

Anyway finally here is the email chain which prompted this line of research. There are surely other gems, we are just barely getting started. Circa page 109 of Part 1:

strategic-center-targets-barbecue.png

The public servant on some of these emails is one Minneapolis Police Department officer Steven Otteson, who has a decidedly low Internet profile.

Poking for traces of intrepid Strategic Facebooker Otteson turns up very little - even though the email is dated June 2012, he has no listed salary on this MPD salary list: My Docstoc. Crossposted the index here: 2011 Minneapolis Police Dept Gross Salary index for Web.

A news story indicated the supervisor of the Strategic Information Center is MPD Lt. Jeff Rugel at 612-673-3428. Page 112:

rugel-bbq.png

"Why are we not getting this stuff from the SIC?" Here is stuff about why they should not have to "spend time looking it up" and it should be run through the SIC... This could kind of be the crux of the whole issue here on Page 114:

sic-track-occupy

Alright, that covers some of the new data on this SIC thing vis-a-vis obsessing on Occupy events, so let's turn to the news coverage of this facility.

Carefully shaped news coverage: Mid-2012 saw a series of mainstream media items intended to shape public perceptions this center is designed to neutralize the threats from the surveilled populace. WCCO went so far as to call it a "secret location". That is some quality Fourth Estate right there.

Coverage for this "City of Eyes" facility on WCCO March 19 2012 (video) City Of Eyes: Your Camera May Help Mpls Police Fight Crime « CBS:

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Minneapolis police are the first in the country to merge two technologies to help officers fight crime.

The Minneapolis Police Department has combined shot spotter technology and a system of cameras to help catch criminals in the act.

Authorities allowed WCCO-TV’s Reg Chapman into a secret location in Minneapolis, where a strategic information center is housed.

Minneapolis Police Deputy Chief Rob Allen said the room is where police gather intelligence.

“This is the room where we try and fuse the technology we have to monitor video cameras, to monitor the sounds of possible gunshots, and it’s where we have our officers who are trained in intelligence gathering,” he said.

The system in the room is like CBS’ Thursday night show “Person of Interest,” in which cameras are used to help save people from becoming victims of crime.

“If you can anticipate where crimes might happen, you got a far better chance of preventing them from occurring,” Allen said.

According to Allen, when a gunshot goes off, a camera turns toward the source of the sound. Strategic Information Center Commander Lt. Jeff Rugel said the technology helped solve a case where a man was shot, killed and pushed out of a moving car. The sound of the gunfire activated the cameras, which gave police their first clue.

[......]City Of Eyes

The number of cameras connected to the intelligence system is growing and helping police catch more criminals. But not all the cameras are owed by the city.

“The city owns roughly 250 cameras,” Allen said. “We can access right now … an infinite number of cameras.”

According to Allen, any camera that has an IP address, is connected to the Internet, and that police have permission to use can give information to authorities.

So whenever you are in a public space, know that you’re likely on camera. Police are using portable cameras more now than ever. They can put them where they are needed and have one up and running within an hour of the order.

Invasion Of Privacy?

But what about your right to privacy? Police say they are careful not to infringe on anyone’s rights.

“Every time we installed a camera system, we went to the neighborhood and said, ‘You know, this is what we’ve thought about doing? Do you want it or not,’” Allen said.

He says police can’t look into a place where someone has the expectation of privacy. [magic filters eh?] But police still have a wide reach, which gives criminals a greater chance of getting caught on camera.

Crime patterns are currently moving and Minneapolis police hope to add more portable cameras. Police believe if criminals know they are being watched they are more likely not to commit crimes.

Star Tribune writes about this center using Facebook to watch what the state defines as "gang members" (mysteriously, shady rich Caucasian financial operatives never seem to meet this race/age/wealth-biased deviance category schema).

Of course, this week's data release shows this has bloated out to canvassing political movements without even the semblance of illegal activity... there is no "barbecue predicate" but there are of course hourly wages to be paid by Minneapolis taxpayers for monitoring the barbecue Facebook Event. Perhaps even overtime!

Gangs sometimes fire first shots online | StarTribune by Matt McKinney July 14 2012:

Facebook has become a virtual street corner where members trade threats, mourn the dead.

"It's probably no different than any other kids, right?" said Minneapolis police Lt. Jeff Rugel. "They're sharing stuff that they used to do face-to-face or over the phone. But there's criminal stuff." [.....]

Rugel runs the police department's Strategic Information Center, where officers use technology to track crime. One of the jobs in his office amounts to monitoring Facebook full-time. They understand the teen slang and filter through thousands of innocuous and inane comments to look for the few that could solve a crime or stop one before it happens. They try to draw connections out of the Facebook networks to help document the shifting alliances on the street.

Police were aware of Facebook threats between rival gangs weeks before the shooting that killed Nizzel, but the threats weren't specific. When Rugel and his staff sees something that looks like trouble -- a known gang member says he's going to hurt someone -- they pass the information along to officers on the street.

It's a poorly kept secret that the police watch Facebook, said Rugel.

"You see comments every once in a while. 'Don't put that on Facebook. You know who's looking at it,' " he said.

Despite some users' occasional concern, many of the Facebook users monitored by police flaunt their illegal behavior online, showing themselves smoking marijuana, posing with stolen merchandise, the security tags still attached, and making gang signs. [.....]

There was also some bidding information online about the estimated $50,000 fence around the facility. Emergency Operations Training Facility Perimeter Fence Project (eBidDoc #1810882) contact: David Schlueter phone: 612-673-2834 e-mail: david.schlueter@ci.minneapolis.mn.us bid date: 01/25/2012 10:00:00 AM

Try http://io.questcdn.com/questio/projects/planholder/planholder_list.html?jobPK=1810882&userPK=&modifiable=FALSE&isQCPI=TRUE

strategic-center-fence-bidding.png

//////

garcia-yatedo.pngSome other stuff: for what it's worth, this lists PIO Jesse Garcia as being based at the Strategic Information Center.Minneapolis Police Department Employees - Professional Experience,Email,Phone numbers..Everything!: Digging deeper to: Jesse Garcia III - Strategic Information Center, Minneapolis Police Department:

It was scraped off his LinkedIn - no surprise there. But no one put it together... Jesse Garcia III | LinkedIn. I think it would be great if state law were changed so that Garcia could be cross-examined by taxpayers about the flow of drug money through the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and its member banks, let's say once a month on live community access TV. Looks like he ought to be tapped into that gigaflow of data on bankster crime intel!

Strategic Information Center

Minneapolis Police Department

September 2010 – Present (2 years 5 months)

I am a supervisor in our new intel center that focuses on:

-gang intel

-crime intel

-real time officer assist

-safety camera analysis

-Emergency Operations Center readiness

jesse.garcia@ci.minneapolis.mn.us

Public Information Officer / Media Relations

Minneapolis Police Department

October 2007 – September 2010 (3 years)

More media: Vehicle data, email access among Minneapolis legislative issues | MinnPost - Karen Boros, Nov 2, 2012. Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) including of course the "secret" camera on nearby Plymouth Ave. N. bridge is controlled from this "Strategic Information unit" according to the article - I would assume this is the same spot it's based, unless it is somehow split:

Currently, the Minneapolis Police Department uses cameras to record the license plates, time and location of vehicles. That data is now public information that can be obtained by anyone requesting the information.

“Our concern is that if it stays public data that people can use it for inappropriate purposes,” said Deputy Chief Robert Allen. The system now doesn’t allow police to inquire how it might be used. “We’re not allowed to make a judgment,” he said.

Access to the data is controlled by about a dozen people working in the department’s Strategic Information unit.

Alright this is taking more than long enough. This thing says it is 22,178 sq ft and it is on parcel 34-30-24-43-0009.

Minneapolis, City of - Projects: An estimated $1.5 million were bid on this beast for just a small chunk of the building, closed Feb 2012.

directions to site: 25 37th Ave NE Fridley, MN 55421

bids close: 02/23/2012, 10:00:00 AM

bids received by: City of Minneapolis Purchasing Department CONSTRUCTION OF THE EOTF APPARAUS BAY ADDITION 330 Second Avenue South Suite 552 Minneapolis, MN 55401

estimated value: $1,500,000.00

project completion date: 08/15/2011

pre-bid meeting information: A Pre-Bid Meeting and site tour will be held on February 15th, at 11:00 AM, Local Time in Room 128 at the Emergency Operations Training Facility located at 25 37th Ave NE, Fridley MN. All interested bidders should attend this meeting.

addenda: 1

project description: Scope of Work Includes: Complete construction of the Apparatus Bay Addition at the City of Minneapolis Emergency Operations Training Facility. This work shall include all labor, equipment, materials, installation, handling, delivery at site, necessary insurance and permits, erection and other required items for general, civil, landscaping, demolition, structural, architectural, mechanical and electrical construction and stability as shown on the plans and specifications.

additional description: This Contract contemplates the complete construction of the Emergency Operations Training Facility Apparatus Bay Addition for the Minneapolis Fire Department located at 25 37th Avenue NE., in Fridley, all in accordance with the Contract Documents. This Project has been designed to comply with the requirements of the State of Minnesota Sustainability Building Guidelines B3 (MSBG B3) Version 2.1 and also the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Design ( USGBC LEED®) Rating System. It is the intent of this Contract that the Project shall become MSBG B3 Version 2.1 Certified and LEED® SILVER level of quality building under the LEED®-NC Rating System. Work to be performed consists of the furnishing of all materials, machinery, equipment, labor, supplies, tools, transportation, and other incidentals necessary or convenient to complete the work as shown in the Contract Documents on file in the Minneapolis Finance Department, Property Services Division and with the Purchasing Agent of the City of Minneapolis.

owner: City of Minneapolis

350 South 5th Street, Room 223

Minneapolis , MN 55415

ph: 612-673-3774

contact: Chris Backes e-mail: chris.backes@ci.minneapolis.mn.us

Soliciting Agent: Soliciting agent

Minneapolis, City of

330 2nd Ave. S. Suite 552

Minneapolis, MN 55415

ph: 612-673-2834

fax: 612-673-3565

contact: David Schlueter e-mail: david.schlueter@ci.minneapolis.mn.us

It was used to host a session of the 10,000 Lakes Chapter of the International Code Council. [pdf]

The site's address is place on things like preparedness for your pet: Emergency Preparedness - City of Minneapolis && stuff about exercises (again on the sidebar) City Preparation - City of Minneapolis - the 'meh' front page: Emergency Preparedness - City of Minneapolis. Really need to improve page titles at the city. Perhaps after the election?

Awards - City of Minneapolis:

Minneapolis wins its second Tekne Award

Minneapolis Emergency Operations Training Facility

November 2011: The Minnesota High Tech Association recognized the City of Minneapolis and its Emergency Operations Training Facility with an award at the 2011 Tekne Awards, held Nov. 3 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The Tekne Awards recognize Minnesota companies and individuals who have shown superior technology innovation and leadership.

The City of Minneapolis took home the award in the “Technology Excellence in a Nonprofit Organization” category that recognized the City’s Emergency Operations Training Facility/Strategic Information Center (EOTF/SIC) for bringing technology and information together to make Minneapolis a safer place. At the facility, technology, digital data, streaming video and highly interactive interfaces come together in one highly efficient communication center for the city.

The Minneapolis Fire Department, Police Department, and Emergency Management division opened the EOTF/SIC in August 2010 as a place where they and other emergency responders could coordinate more closely than had ever been possible before. The facility recently demonstrated its effectiveness during the response to the May 22 tornado that struck north Minneapolis.The multi-purpose building also provides training space for emergency responders.

Here it was, the first one: Minneapolis Emergency Operations Training Facility wins Tekne award - City of Minneapolis: The City of Minneapolis took home the award in the “Technology Excellence in a Nonprofit Organization” category that recognized the City’s Emergency Operations Training Facility/Strategic Information Center (EOTF/SIC) for bringing technology and information together to make Minneapolis a safer place. At the facility, technology, digital data, streaming video and highly interactive interfaces come together in one highly efficient communication center for the city.... and earlier: Oct 18, 2011: Minneapolis Emergency Operations Training Facility a finalist for Tekne award - City of Minneapolis

Mpls. Unveils New Emergency Operations Center | Crime | Downtown News - Nov 4 2010, KSTP Gail Brown: Congressman Keith Ellison secured $750,000 for the project in a 2010 appropriations bill, and he will be attending a ribbon cutting ceremony at 2:30 p.m. along with Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, City Council President Barb Johnson and other city leaders.

Ellison Secures $750,000 for Minneapolis Emergency Operations Center - Ellison.House.gov Oct 15 2009:

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minneapolis) secured a $750,000 appropriation for the City of Minneapolis to build a new Emergency Operations Center in a bill approved by the House today. The funds were included in H.R. 2892, the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill for FY 2010.

Roughly the same stuff in this Council Prez Barb Johnson doc.

It's on Pinterest - see Government & Military for tons of funny stuff including everything from the avispl swag people above. And also: AV Products We Love / Minneapolis Emergency Operations Training Facility

There is a blog post about training there on the Mpls Dept of Civil Rights by Anthony Johnson - Civil Rights Urban Scholars with a helpful slideshow. Tony’s Voice: Our Day As Fire Fighters! | Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights.

strategic-center-3.png strategic-center-2.png strategic-center-1.png

I think you can see this fire training structure (or maybe a similar one) on Google Maps though I have not swung by to check out the Facility myself. Another one:

Minneapolis Emergency Services Employ projectiondesign - AVNetwork.com (undated? A couple pix included)

Fredrikstad, Norway--The City of Minneapolis has deployed 12 projectiondesign F32 DLP projectors as the main display source in the Analyst Room and F22 series projectors in the Incident Command Room of its Emergency Operations Training Facility (EOTF).

Located just outside Minneapolis, the EOTF boasts an extensive surveillance, audiovisual and network infrastructure specified and installed by systems integrator AVI-SPL.

“In a facility like this, even the slightest compromise in performance can result in tragic consequences,” said Fred Primoli, regional VP Sales for AVI-SPL. Primoli and his colleagues worked with the city for nearly two years on the concept, planning and final implementation of the EOTF, with the primary challenge being an interesting one: the creation of a state-of-the-art communications facility that may get activated no more than once in a decade.

“We needed systems that were capable of totally robust operation 24 hours per day, seven days per week – but which also were capable of performing at their best after extended periods of inactivity.

“From the outset we were delighted with the performance of the F32 projectors. The Analyst Room has three rear-projection screens, each measuring 160 inches wide by 120 inches tall, with four projectors driving each screen so that four separate windows can be shown on each one.

“The projectors have been superbly colour-matched to ensure consistency across each screen, while their excellent resolution, contrast and brightness mean they are equally at home showing video or data sources – which is important in an installation such as this where the staff need to a view a combination of both.”

Deputy Chief Robert Allen, a veteran of the Minneapolis Police Department, said: “The new display system allows us to look at a video feed and understand a situation almost instantly. Through video, we can get information to our officers much faster – especially when time is critical. We can zoom in with our cameras and really examine a situation and relay it back to our officers, allowing them to be prepared even before they get there. With this new technology, we can see something happen faster than a police offer 50 feet away.”

F22 series projectors from projectiondesign can also be found in the EOTF’s Incident Command Room that’s used for emergency training and an actual declared emergency.

“There is a large number of emergency monitoring projects in the U.S., and we are delighted that our technology has been used to display high-resolution security-camera images in so many of them," said Anders Løkke, marketing director, projectiondesign. "The Minneapolis EOTF already demonstrated its effectiveness during the tornado that swept through the area last May and, although we would prefer it if our systems never had to be used in similar situations again, the reality is that the city is better-protected now that its providers of emergency services have such easy, immediate and accurate access to security-camera imaging from so many locations.”

“The EOTF was conceived as a place where the various Departments responsible for emergency response and management in Minneapolis could co-ordinate their efforts more closely than had previous been possible,” said Primroli.

Same stuff as May 11, 2012: Minneapolis Emergency Services Goes with Projectiondesign - Fire Apparatus

On May 20 2011 CItyPages reported on Rocco Forte, former Minneapolis fire chief, departing, and Forte talked about being pleased to help finish the complex: "After the 35W bridge collapse, the Republican National Convention, and the tornado that went through South Minneapolis, it is clear that we have one of the finest emergency management teams in the country. It was also a long time goal of mine to complete the Emergency Operations Training Facility that includes an Emergency Operations Center, Strategic Information Center as well as a training facility which seats up to 250 people per day."

Reed Construction Data estimates its cost at $3,988,400 (a more accurate cost estimate is available from RSMeans Online), they say.

There are a couple autogenerated links at Facility Management Minneapolis Product From Industrial Manufacturers, Distributers, Suppliers And OEMs.

There is some PR speak about AVI-SPL getting an award. Press Release/ InfoComm, Sound & Video Contractor Honor AVI-SPL with Two PRO AV Spotlight Awards - Audio/Video Equip./Surveillance - AVI-SPL, Inc. | PRZOOM

On March 11, 2009, the overall cost of the project was pegged by House Research as $27,403,000. SRC: www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hrd/bs/86/hf0554.pdf

This bill would grant $8,000,000 in bond proceeds to the City of Minneapolis to design, construct, furnish, and equip an emergency operations center housed in the City’s current training center and to make other improvements to the training center.

According to the 2008 budget request, the overall cost of the project is $27,403,000 with the City and Hennepin County funding the non-state funded portions of the project. The Joint Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis will be located at the Minneapolis Fire Training Campus on city owned land. The City contends the current facility is inadequate and limits the effectiveness of the command structure. The City further contends that the Minneapolis Fire Training Campus is an ideal location for the EOC as it would provide a secure operations center with enough room to respond to a major incident affecting the county. Finally, the City believes this request would provide much needed training classrooms at the Minneapolis Training Facility which is the main site for training the State Structural Collapse Team.

HF 554 Status in the House for the 86th Legislature (2009 - 2010) - this is the bill number - I suspect it probably got rolled into the omnibus bill but I will leave that to a Deep Wonk to suss out. // H.F. No. 554, as introduced - 86th Legislative Session (2009-2010).

With a pretty severe shortage of funds for both state and municipal operations, is an open-ended SIC mandate to track protest activity on Facebook really the most prudent use of funds? And doesn't this operational configuration create a chilling effect on political expression in Minneapolis? The research continues....

Mordor Mayor Rybak makes moves to hide Minneapolis panopticon: Total Minneapolis Awareness Automatic License Plate Reader records form 'retroactive surveillance' empire

rybak-licenseplate-mordor-panopticon.jpg

"It is poor civic hygiene to install technologies that could someday facilitate a police state." ~ Cryptographer/security guy Bruce Schneier (src)

We all know the old motif - Feds staking out parking lots, reporting the license plates back to Hoover. Nowadays things are a little different - computers can trivially hoover up all the unique features like license plates and faces from video signals, 24/7. These are technical capabilities that Hitler and Stalin only dreamed of. The former National Security Agency employee William Binney described the system locking into place as a "turnkey totalitarian state" is arriving one system at a time. One of those turnkeys just turned up in Minneapolis.

The word is out now that more than 2 million license plate records have been obtained through a data request, since the surveillance material consists of mostly public record fields. Minneapolis developer Tony Webster (@webster) wrote up the info on what happened here - and quite correctly calls for the government to quit holding this kind of data for a number of serious reasons. See TonyWebster.com: Minneapolis Police release 2.1 million license plate records.

Rybak wants quick action on license plate data | StarTribune.com:

A day after the city released a database containing more than two million license plate scans, Mayor R.T. Rybak wants expedited state action to make the data non-public.

The Legislature is already expected to take action this session to reclassify license plate tracking data, which is derived from cameras mounted on local police squad cars across the state. But after complying with a request for Minneapolis' entire public database -- featuring dates, times and locations of all plates scanned in a 90 day period -- Rybak wants more immediate action.

He said the request was "already in the works" before Tuesday's data release, but "it does concern me." His request to temporarily reclassify the data would, if approved by the Commissioner of Administration, prevent the city from releasing the tracking data to members of the public.

See also latest on MPR: Lawmakers mull bill to regulate automatic license plate readers Minnesota Today. I think MPR is inaccurate as MPD said they'd shortened this to 90 days from the original year, as Strib indicated. (otherwise they would have violated MN Data Practices Act by failing to release earlier public records upon request)

Minneapolis' DFL Mayor RT Rybak (@mayorRTrybak) has sprung into action to demand the records generated by Minneapolis Police Department's Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) system become classified as "private data", which means only the government, cops, various lawyers under different circumstances, etc, could trivially get ahold of incredibly detailed data & patterns about your vehicle's movements without a warrant.

Rybak's thoughtful plan is to make sure that no one else can get that data, only that bloated galaxy of whom John Young @ Cryptome.org calls the 'authoritatives' lording the new panopticon over us.

This is our window - our snapshot of the beta test - into the hellish future of total 'retroactive surveillance' awaiting us, when all our actions are constantly recorded to be 'played backwards' whenever some bureaucratic enforcer wants to increment his career through hassling us, demanding civil fines for infractions etc.

As recent posts on this site have documented, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (which just got a new chief) is spending state taxpayer money funnelled to military-industrial contractors in order to build a local version of a GPS tracking system called Intellidrive, which would transmit every damn move, including velocity, of every tagged car.

Additionally, exposure of abusive & immoral practices in the Drug Recognition Evaluator training program (& main BCA file) resulted not in a candid cleanup by law enforcement, but stonewalling. When individual law enforcement officers invariably abuse these massive data mining deployments, as some do, is there really adequate oversight let alone punishment for turning these 'necessary' technologies into avenues of abuse?

Plus of course, what are the implications of the chilling effects of these ALPR systems? What is the price paid by society when the chilling effect of avoiding ALPRs by staying put kicks in? How many people refuse to fly because of the intrusive & abusive security measures? And what happens when municipal cameras collect data even more granular and intrusive than the federal TSA?

For more on this stuff I recommend following @webster, and @RichNeumeister, a citizen activist on nearly all data & privacy matters at the Mn State Capitol. It seems like Webster triggered the Rybak blocking him on Twitter. Classy - especially since Webster posted in this recent context he's a lifelong DFL supporter.

To quote a bit from Rich Neumeister's blog which is VERY helpful for Minnesota issues: Two meetings: prescription records and license plate scans

Now to the Criminal Justice and Juvenile Information Policy Group meeting which was to make a decision about the collection and retention of millions of records of where you and I travel if we happen to be owners of cars collected secretly by the cops.

Per Eric Roper's Star Tribune Blog post  the Policy Group made up of Commissioners, judges, and others decided to make the license scan data private, but deleted the retention of 180 days for the data if there were no hits for law enforcement investigation.

Now I have to scratch my head on this one. By deleting the retention of 180 days, is the Policy Group saying with all intents and purposes, DO NOT KEEP OR COLLECT LICENSE SCANS ON INNOCENT AND LAW ABIDING PEOPLE, or are they saying the COPS CAN COLLECT ALL THE LICENSE SCAN DATA THEY WANT ON INNOCENT AND LAW ABIDING PEOPLE AND KEEP IT AS LONG AS THEY WANT.

I am perplexed.

& also earlier: Email to Minnesota Criminal Justice Policy Group on License Plate Cameras. For what it's worth Webster tweeted this afternoon (Tues Dec 13th) that the division of the state govt that implements/sets the rules, IPAD, has NOT yet received anything new from Minneapolis about ALPR data.

The reality is that politicians are not that responsible about these data issues. Instead you get ignored, blocked on Twitter etc. I am writing another post about yet another newly relevant old case - the Norm Coleman credit card database leak which I covered at Politics In Minnesota circa January 2009, eerily similar to the new charges against alternative journalist Barrett Brown. (Posting links to data like the Coleman leak is a form of journalism & research that feds are trying to redefine [unconstitutionally] as a felony! NOT GOOD). But that is definitely a whole 'nother story....

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MORE ON RETROACTIVE SURVEILLANCE LIKE MINNEAPOLIS POLICE DEPARTMENT ALPR SYSTEM: (not to be confused with the practice of retroactively legalizing the earlier illegal surveillance performed by telecoms during the Bush administration). 'Retroactive surveillance' is basically a timestamped panopticon.

Retroactive surveillance is a class of technology which can easily destroy certain dimensions of 'free will' and therefore should be considered extremely carefully as a keystone type of social control system. It's my personal opinion it will take at least a century for this type of tech to be possible to be used ethically (if ever), as the ethical structures do not currently exist – a major reason we are all descending into a kind of neo-feudal technocratic authoritarianism worldwide.

cryptogon.com » NYPD and Microsoft Team Up to Peddle Retroactive Surveillance System [WSJ] - same type of camera data inputs

NYPD, Microsoft Hope to Make a Mint off New Surveillance System - National - The Atlantic Wire

Coming soon: Ubiquitous surveillance from Big Brother's wayback machine (the archive.org wayback machine snapshots many websites over time, invaluable!)

NetworkWorld, 2011: Coming soon: Ubiquitous surveillance from Big Brother's wayback machine

cryptogon.com » New Video Surveillance System Tags, Tracks and Follows

a commenter puts it well at cryptogon.com » Coming Soon: Retroactive Surveillance on Anyone: "A present anxiety of future trouble from the unforgotten past; black to the future."

A change in tune: law enforcement now aggressively promoting retroactive surveillance capabilities of license plate readers | Privacy SOS

Is there any science (social science) of retroactive surveillance?

House Passes Surveillance Bill without Retroactive Immunity | TPMMuckraker

Drug war provides cover for retroactive surveillance without probable cause | Privacy SOS

.. That's all for now - this post is licensed Creative Commons remix/reuse with attribution to Dan Feidt/Hongpong.com non-commercially, including the "sheeple style" remix image I slapped together.

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