Tag Archives: Andrew Parker

MI5 to the rescue?

That is what one might think when we read the Guardian. The article: ‘MI5 to take over in fight against rise of UK rightwing extremism‘. The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/oct/28/mi5-lead-battle-against-uk-rightwing-extremists-police-action) gives us: “It comes amid growing global fears of the threat posed by far-right terrorists. In the US in recent days a man was charged with sending 13 pipe bombs to opponents of Donald Trump, including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton“. It all makes sense, let’s be clear about this. When we look at the MI5 site we get: “The role of MI5, as defined in the Security Service Act 1989, is “the protection of national security and in particular its protection against threats such as terrorism, espionage and sabotage, the activities of agents of foreign powers, and from actions intended to overthrow or undermine parliamentary democracy by political, industrial or violent means”“. This all makes sense, and their mission statement is at (https://www.mi5.gov.uk/what-we-do). The Guardian also gives us: “Four extreme rightwing alleged plots have been thwarted in the UK since March 2017, compared to 13 Islamist plots. But with around 100 investigations into the extreme rightwing currently live, the threat is assessed as growing“, so one would think that a big shout out is due to all the boys and girls at MI5. Yet, it is not that simple. You see when we see the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics giving us: ‘the political right opposes socialism and social democracy. Right-wing parties include conservatives, Christian democrats, classical liberals, nationalists and on the far-right; racists and fascists‘. My issue is not with MI5 or with their mission statement. My issue is with the setting that there is a grey area that lies between ‘Right-wing parties include conservatives, Christian democrats, classical liberals, nationalists‘ and ‘racists and fascists‘. You see, that borderline is getting more and more blurry. It is perhaps a lot more visible in the US where the Washington Post gave us earlier this month: ‘States can’t punish businesses for boycotting Israel, federal judge in Arizona says‘, when corporations will be allowed racism through ‘freedom of speech‘. So when we see: “In his personal life, he avoids companies he considers complicit in Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories. His aim had been to extend his boycott to his one-person law office — for instance, refusing to purchase from Hewlett-Packard because its information technology services are used at Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank“, now we get the setting that companies are getting punished for selling to the Israeli government. When we see this change, we see the opening of a lot more options for both bias and optionally racism, merely as it undermines his First Amendment rights. I understand that there is a touchy legal setting here, yet when we transfer this to the European side of things, it changes the game by a lot. Even when we consider “The ACLU challenged the legislation in both cases. Its success in protecting boycott activity in the courts is notable, as a bipartisan group of lawmakers pushes for federal legislation penalizing cooperation with boycotts sponsored by international governmental organizations. Even after modifications made by the bill’s Senate sponsors — Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) — the civil-liberties group argues that the measure would be unconstitutional“, we see a setting where MI5 has a much larger issue to deal with.

Part of that is seen in a paper by the Anti-Defamation League. They give us a top 10 of anti-Israel groups. Here we need to notice Al-Awda, perhaps the largest Palestinian-American grassroots organization. We are informed on: “While Al-Awda champions itself as a Palestinian rights group that advocates for “right of return,” its core ideology is predicated on the notion that Israel’s existence is illegitimate, Zionism is racism and resistance against Israel is justified. Many of Al-Awda’s supporters readily express support for terrorist groups, including waving Hamas and Hezbollah flags at anti-Israel rallies and posting messages to Al-Awda’s listserves demanding violent resistance against Israel” and they seem to be growing. Their Yahoo groups in Sweden and London are implied to be on the rise, they are gaining steam in the US (to what degree is unknown and I was not able to find more data), yet in all settings Universities seem to be the growth foundation going all the way to Sydney Australia; so there is momentum and all this is not merely done through individuals. It is my personal belief that this wave is gaining momentum, partially due to focussed ideology, which is not a crime mind you, but those people become facilitators to a lot more and there is our number two issue. MI5 is now confronted with a lot more work, merely because they have to look into these people and first ascertain whether they are merely ideologists who seek ‘a fair playing ground‘ for those who do not have it, whilst enabling extremism to a degree that they did not intend to give. The entire anti-Israel is perhaps the strongest visible example, yet when we recollect the entire ‘Hezbollah flags fly once again at London’s Quds Day march‘, we see clear evidence that I am right. So when we got treated 5 months ago to: ‘Police: We can’t stop people flying Hezbollah flags on London march‘, we accept that it is a legal part, yet the facilitation in all this is clear, it is given and it is continuing and there lies the issue for MI5. How can they act against the extreme right, whilst the buffer zone between the right and extreme right is large enough to give a protective shield to Hezbollah recruitment drives? So when we recollect the words of Metropolitan Police Commander Jane Conners where she stated: “Purely holding a flag does not necessarily incite religious or racial hatred. It is the words or actions of the person holding the flag that can cause incitement“, I personally respectfully decline to agree with that part, even as she academically is not wrong, she is absolutely incorrect with the given statement.

And it does not stop there, the entire Anti Saudi Arabia setting is evolving as well, it is not merely evolving as an Anti-Saudi-Arabia, it is in part driven as Pro-Iranian, you know the people funding terrorist organisations like Hezbollah (firing missiles from Yemen into Saudi Arabia), a part the media is steering clear from for a few reasons. That too counts as a problem, as it intensifies the complications for the security services. Technically a person is allowed to be as pro-Iranian as they feel like, especially former Iranians building a new life. Yet in all this the plot does not thicken, it merely gets larger. It is seen a few hours ago when Ahmad Dastmalchian, the former Iranian ambassador to Lebanon states: “Hezbollah is an “effective actor” in the Middle East region“, the statement is more intelligent than you might think, as it is actually giving Hezbollah the cloak of facilitation, the mantle of enabling and the shroud of enacting, all settings that Hezbollah is staged in, via and through the acts of Iran and their activities in the UK are growing.

The next part is speculative (some might say highly speculative), yet I believe that CNN when they gave us (at https://edition.cnn.com/2018/08/17/uk/uk-anti-semitism-intl/index.html) 10 weeks ago the setting of: ‘Anti-Semitism is so bad in Britain that some Jews are planning to leave‘, I absolutely (as a conservative) disagree with the accusations that Jeremy Corbyn is anti-Semitic. He is also not anti-Semantic and that is where the issue lies. As he is trying to be more pro-Palestinian (or perhaps refuses to be anti-Palestinian, which is not the same) he actually enables anti-Semitic activities (not intentionally) and that is where the shoe becomes too tight for MI5. As we have a field so polarised, finding where the danger lies becomes a much harder mission and as such finding out the truth without revealing your hand is close to impossible. So when CNN gives us “Two people have previously been imprisoned for threatening to murder him for being Jewish, Lewis said. Now, he said, he’s reached the stage where he’s “almost being desensitized to the threats” — from both right and left — such is their regularity“, I am personally left in the understanding that many actions have been enabled by other actions, which is part of the nightmare setting for MI5. The second one is not merely a stage of miscommunications, it is almost hilarious when (using an example) hear that the market researcher who hated polls was offered membership in UKIP, which by the way is, merely my sense of humour acting up. It is a much larger problem. You see, the Independent gives us (at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/tommy-robinson-court-case-live-updates-trial-latest-edl-jail-sentence-old-bailey-contempt-free-a8596981.html) the stage where: “Tommy Robinson has walked free from court again after his contempt case was referred to the Attorney General“. If we see this in its execution, we might see the stage of ‘the Court of Appeal ruled that procedural failings had “given rise to unfairness”‘, yet is that the true setting, or is there support in the legal weeds for right winged groups? That question comes to mind when we see the Guardian revelation ‘Tommy Robinson could make more than £1m from a potential trip to the US next month, making him one of the best funded far-right figures‘ a mere 2 days ago. To see this much support and funding, places clearly places corporations in the line of shielding against acts against some of the far right players and that is where MI5 is about to fall short. If corporations are part of this, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that some MP’s will make demands and ask open questions in the House of Commons that should not be asked. Not because they are wrong to ask, but because they hinder and optionally invalidate the MI5 process of investigation. You merely have to ask how often such questions of hindrance was given in support of the IRA in the last three decades to give consideration that there is polarisation in the UK, giving a larger question mark whether the rise of rightwing extremism can we stopped, or merely slowed down a little.

You merely have to consider the ‘wisdom’ given in Operation Petticoat, a movie (and absolute classic) from 1959. The quote “In confusion there is profit” is very apt to this situation. Nothing entices miscommunication like a polarised political field. The UK with their pro-Iranian and Pro-Saudi think tanks are partial proof of that and there is nothing that loads a field like enticing politicians to seek the limelight with a cause that can be twisted six ways form Sunday, even as the politicians are not doing anything wrong or shady, that part was clearly seen with the entire Jeremy Corbyn thing and it is not close from over, because that part can be seen when we dig into the EDL and their ant-Islam agenda’s. The Guardian gives part of that (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/25/tommy-robinson-and-the-far-rights-new-playbook), yet I believe that it goes beyond what the Guardian has (and I have absolutely no evidence either). It is my personal belief that their quote: “The Fox News presenter Tucker Carlson covered Yaxley-Lennon’s story extensively on his show; Donald Trump Jr, the president’s son, tweeted his support, while the US ambassador for international religious freedom reportedly lobbied the UK on Yaxley-Lennon’s behalf. The UK Independence party is debating offering Yaxley-Lennon membership, while Stephen Bannon, the former Trump adviser and co-founder of Breitbart, has described him as “the fucking backbone” of his country and proposed including him in a new far-right venture, a pan-European network called The Movement“. I think that those people (like Tucker Carlson, Donald Trump Jr and Stephen Bannon) come with corporate cloud. The ‘£1m from a potential trip to the US next month’ is merely the frothing on the icing of the cake. the actual financial support could go a hell of a lot faster, even as Stephen Yaxley-Lennon might not get a penny, $2 to $3 million in Google Ads funding (which is 100% tax deductible) goes a long way covering the UK in text and display ads for a year on keywords from ‘immigration‘ to ‘financial support‘, whilst blanketing a whole range of websites with some ‘the EDL is there for you‘ slogans. That is the stage and that is what MI5 faces on the short term. By the time MI5 has a handle on things, we see that the message is already getting spread by parties where they have no influence and the MP’s will not be willing to hand them any favours. That is the reality of the show we are about to see.

It is not the ‘contempt of court‘ failure we need to fear it is the optional ‘contempt of others through advertisements’ that becomes the worry and these people are clever enough to phrase it as to not upset any filters, they will have the know-how and experience at their back and call for that.

We can in the near future consider that it sucked to be Andrew Parker in 2018-2019, oh K?

 

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The target is killing me

The BBC gave the news 4 hours ago. We are treated to ‘Men planned ‘driverless car’ attack‘ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-45409925). In the article we are also given “She said both men supported terrorist organisation, the so-called Islamic State (IS). The two had decided that improvised explosive devices (IEDs) could be made and used in the UK in a way which would spare their own lives but harm others they considered “infidels”, she said.” At this point three red flags went up. Then we see “In November he is said to have shared a propaganda video showing warfare and beheadings “to inspire supporters of IS [and] frighten those who do not support IS”“, which is red flag number 4.

Finally we are treated to “When the pair were arrested in the early hours of 19 December police seized three air rifles, two Samurai swords, a wine bottle of sulphuric acid, homemade fireworks, and “a variety of improvised homemade fuses” at Mr Star’s flat“. These are not Jihadists. They are losers in the first degree and they are playing the decoy in the second degree. When you see ‘My only attempt is to find a way to carry out martyrdom operation with cars without driver, everything is perfect only the programme is left‘ do you not get that?

The problem is not that they were caught; the issue is that they are draining essential resources. You see, from the early view (optionally not the correct one) we see the clash of ‘martyrdom operation‘ against ‘spare their own lives’; you see martyrdom opposes sparing one’s life. It is nice to see that Islamic State people are implied to be this stupid, because that is a war we can easily win, yet the reality is far from this. Some IS people are actually really intelligent and resourceful and lowering our guards will be the one fatal mistake we cannot walk away from. So the makers of ‘were trying to make an explosive device’ whilst the police went home with ‘three air rifles, two Samurai swords, a wine bottle of sulphuric acid, improvised homemade fuses‘, yes those people are indeed all kinds of dangerous, are they not? Even as this case is in the trial stage, we need to realise that the danger is still out there. Those people are not the ones in the dock. Al Bawaba gives us ‘ISIS militants in Afghanistan are still posing a potential threat to carry out attacks in the U.K. and Western Europe as they are in communication with cells there, British government warned Monday‘. That news less than 6 hours old is a more directly drastic given in this. The article gives (to the smallest degree mind you), the indication that British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson and Andrew Parker, director general of the MI5 are not entirely up to speed on the levels of danger. Now, coming from an outsider that is quite the accusation and it is not meant to be as such. When we see: “intelligence work had thwarted 20 plots in the last four years“, I would sincerely hope that the two earlier mentioned losers are not part of that equation. You see, I look at issues in a different way and something that I was ‘accidentally’ made aware of, merely because I am from that area and I speak the local language, and it gave rise to another thought. The article (at https://www.ad.nl/rotterdam/containers-in-water-door-menselijke-fout~a8e56404/) gives us “Forty sea containers fell from an inland vessel into the water on the Second Maasvlakte. Employees of the Port Authority pushed the containers out of the navigation channel“, let’s be fair here, mistakes will be made at any given day of the week, yet the math does not add up, not even if there is a human entry error. This was not merely one or two containers; it was a bunch of them (40 to be more exact). They were empty and when we see “The seaport police is researching the matter“, I have full faith that this is being done. Yet, will they find something? You see, these were 40 empty containers, what if the weight system had been intentionally ‘offset’ to give an additional 200 Kg to the empty weight of the container and the transgressor had forgotten to properly reset the system after they were done. Take that by 40 and we now get an 8 tonnes error; now we have a setting of a game; now we have the foundation of the problem. You see, I kind of remember (I am pleading the fifth here children) that the transport options for the people engaged in discrete entry and removal operations tended to have really good options if they could only get the goods to the UK and for the most, the police would concentrate on the Belgium and German borders. UK Customs tend not to dig too deep into any container and the weight would have been the trigger in those cases. Now we know that container weight and cargo weight makes for the total weight. We know the trailer weight, we know the cargo weight and the rest is computer calculated in an instant when the truck goes over the scales. So as the offset of 200 Kg was achieved there will be no alert. When you consider that a full 40 ft. container can be anywhere between 18 and 23 tonnes, the mindset will be set on only the ones raising flags and then more often than not only when the provider is an unknown one. So ever since the 90’s there has been a setting of partial containers (a container with 2 or more users), and adding a pallet of flat screen TV’s is an easy thing, and 50 displays per container leave no mark and when packed on a pallet and foiled all around leave no mark at all, an easy 25K, adding a bag of the white stuff (more risky) allows that profit to go to 2.5M, yup that is the easy money and now that we see that Some ISIS and IS supporters are willing to dish out serious cash, we see that an almost empty display with 1Kg of C4 is at present almost as rewarding as the white stuff and cannot be detected in similar ways. Add one container in the entire bunch set to setting off the alarms and not offsetting that container means that the basic defences seemingly work, everyone feels like a champion and 4 containers with C4 got through. That is an actual danger and many of the playing parties are still a bit in the dark whilst too many people focus on Andy Star and Farhad Salah. So whilst these individuals are stating that they supported ‘the so-called Islamic State‘, whilst in fact they are all about singing the song:

I love the limelight
I want to nooky
whilst I’m creaming the ground, oh yea.

Yes it is a whole new day for those wannabe’s; they too could get lucky at some point. Yet the dangers remain and I am slightly more worried that the statistics are changing as we underestimate the actual IS threat because of people like these two.

Oh, and before you think that they had any brain cells, consider the earlier mentioned part with ‘he is said to have shared a propaganda video showing warfare and beheadings “to inspire supporters of IS [and] frighten those who do not support IS”‘, so as they wanted to have that Sci-Fi solution in place, they give visibility to themselves by sharing a video that screams ‘We are here!’, yes like that would be the best course on any given day. The fact that it took up to 5 weeks after the shared video to arrest them is an equal worry on a few levels, but let’s not go there for now, because in equal measure it took weeks to consider that the ‘three air rifles‘ might have been considered Weapons of Optional Destruction, which is a new acronym in all this and intelligence logistics would have been required to validate the WOD acronym is currently assigned to ‘Workout of the Day‘ confusing MI-5 to optionally walk into the wrong Gym during an operation.

Yet the setting is not merely eerie, we see in several ways that this is still going on in a lucrative scale. Even as the Dutch police was able to capture a corrupt harbour worker with 363 Kg of Cocaine, I remain in the setting that he only got caught as Greed became his middle name and at that point, the chance of exposure grows exponentially with every shipment. It is the patient one, the one with a setting of small portions, that is the one who does not get captured and let’s not forget, after the container makes it into the UK, after that, on route the seal can be broken and at that point, finding the culprit becomes the stuff of nightmares (aka not the one you will find). Now we get the good stuff, because if it is not the large option, we see that the additional danger is not the drugs, but the 4 displays having 1Kg of one of the 2 Novichok parts, so 4Kg of processed Novichok, that is the actual danger and even as we are treated now to the news that Charlie Rowley has lost hope and doesn’t have long left to live, we must equally realise that we still do not know the transgressors. I refuse to believe (without any actual proper evidence) that this was the Russian State, not whilst the Russian Mafia is ten times more likely and above them is the true optional culprit Islamic State, or Islamic State sympathisers (funding the facilitators mind you), willing to become the martyr, an ‘actual’ martyr, not one interested in the setting to ‘spare their own lives‘, that is the growing danger and in all this the proper solution is yet to be found. If there is one given at present is that the optional trial runs should have been considered a success from their point of view. The fact that something as fast acting as a Novichok is seemingly still instilling death 2 months later. So even as we have an issue with News.com.au giving us ‘Novichok victim Charlie Rowley ‘close to death’ in the UK‘, as well as ‘This article originally appeared in The Sun and is republished here with permission‘ a mere 5 hours ago (at https://www.news.com.au/world/europe/novichok-victim-charlie-rowley-close-to-death-in-the-uk/news-story/549fb81c17db8ff0400cedf488b33abd), whilst (at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/novichok-poisoning-salisbury-attack-russia-charlie-rowley-meningitis-loss-eyesight-a8522991.html), we see ‘Novichok poisoning victim Charlie Rowley treated for meningitis and loss of eyesight‘, as well as ‘45-year-old hopes to be discharged ‘in next two or three weeks’‘ one hour ago. So if the media cannot get their fucking act together, how can we ever resolve the dangers to our nation when greed and circulation decides on what is true? In the end it is not whether Al-Qaeda and ISIS are trying to kill us, it is whether the media is enabling to do just that for them is becoming a much more important question. I personally have a lot more faith in the Independent than the other providers, but in all this someone needs to take a serious look at the news released and the factual setting o the stage, because being pointed at the wrong target is just as dangerous as ignoring that the target and method exists.

I will let you decide on where the danger is, but make sure that you choose wisely because in the end you might only get one shot at the factual danger, so make it count.

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How to get yourself killed

On the edge of the elections, we see new developments in a few areas. The issue is not the people trying to keep others safe; it is now to some extent the law that is aiding people getting killed. Here we see the first of a few issues, that first one being the Human Rights Act 1998. Now, let’s be clear! I am not against the HRA. The issue is that it is now protecting terrorists in completing their goals, which was not what it was intended to do. That issue is seen at the very beginning of article 2.1. Here we see: ‘Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law.

This gives us that Terrorists cannot be hunted down; the first rule is to capture them alive, whilst knowingly endangering the lives of many. In addition we see articles 6, 7 and 8 messing things up (in light of terrorism); still it is not a failure of the law.

The issue is that these laws were never designed with the abundance of terrorism to the amount we see nowadays. The fact that any armed police action, aimed on capturing terrorists is placing them in harm’s way, but in an unrealistic and unacceptable way. A policeman’s life is set to a higher degree of danger, whilst giving the terrorist a prolonged time to act out the acts of terrorism. It is in this light that we should see ‘May: I’ll rip up human rights laws that impede new terror legislation‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jun/06/theresa-may-rip-up-human-rights-laws-impede-new-terror-legislation). There is a growing concern that the laws of our nations have been a hindrance in dealing with acts of terrorism. In addition we see another return with “It is possible May’s plans could involve seeking further derogations from the ECHR. This is the way the government is seeking to prevent human rights claims against soldiers in future military situations“, the question is not just in the laws, the issue we see with “May was then repeatedly challenged about how the Home Office, police and intelligence services dealt with the information relating to the attackers, after Boris Johnson, her foreign secretary, said MI5 had questions to answer. One of the attackers, Khuram Butt, 27, had been reported to the anti-terror hotline in 2015 and a third attacker, Youssef Zaghba, 22, had been detained by Italian authorities in 2016”, there are questions for MI5 to answer, yet it is not just them. The UK needs to establish to with level SIGINT (GCHQ) has been missing the ball.

Now there are two problems with that assumption of mine. The first is whether the European intelligence services have been keeping its allies and NATO partners up to date on movements. The second is how some allies classify certain people of interest (Youssef Zaghba). Without that knowledge we end up kicking both MI6 and GCHQ without actual cause. So it is not just MI5. We can wonder how certain borders were passed as well as how we will stop certain events from happening. So Boris Johnson is correct that there should be questions and answers, yet in the first only to the smallest degree and in the second, I would want to ask GCHQ a few questions before knocking on the door of Andrew Parker. The fact that he goes straight to the door of MI5, gives an implicit lack of knowledge on the address of Boris Johnson which is not the way we know him, so I wonder what he is playing at, at present. This now gets us to ‘Police and MI5 face further scrutiny after third attack since March’ (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/05/police-and-mi5-face-further-scrutiny-after-third-attack-since-march). The part that matters here is “MI5 has a staff of 4,000, with up to 1,000 more promised by 2020, to keep tabs on a list of 3,000 people classified as “subjects of interest”, who included Butt, and to engage in other activities. Counter-terrorism accounts for just over 60% of what MI5 does”. We can hide behind the numbers to some extent as we consider that 1650 keep tabs on 3,000 people. This implied two people to watch per agent, this in a situation where it is about resources. In addition when we consider “Another of the London attackers, Rachid Redouane, was not known to the police or MI5, the police said”. The numbers show the impossibility of the task. In opposition we get that either the UK becomes an unlivable police state, or we take the war to them and prune the HRA to a larger extent. Weirdly enough, that gives us the headache that the HRA is losing potency, something that none of the players want. We basically move a nation into a place where we end up getting ourselves killed. As Richard Barrett, former director of global counter-terrorism operations at MI6 states: “I do not want to live in a state like that”. So even the agencies want a non-police state system, as such we need to consider other evolutions.

So how to go forward?

Until we get an actual union of interest in the Intelligence industry there will be an age of uncertainty. As SIGINT departments unite to set forth the first need of identifying the dangers and replicate that knowledge we are at an impasse. If this reads weird, then let me explain it. The function of GCHQ is to monitor and report to the UK agencies. This is how it should be in the past. In this age of ISIS/ISIL we need to consider that SIGINT agencies set the data in one common database when it concerns terrorists. So basically GCHQ forwards Intel directly to NSO (Netherlands), DGSE (France), SAIC (Germany) and so on. After that (or actually at the same time) the obtained data goes to MI5 and MI6. As filters are removed the whole gets more and quicker intelligence on movements. There is no issue with Brexit or Bremain, this is about European security, and as Europe becomes safer, so will the UK be safer. This path has never been walked because the trouble is with containing intelligence going into the open. In this setting we have intelligence filters this is not a bad thing, but the need in light of the attacks require us all to rethink the issues. There is an additional benefit that the union of data could give additional clusters of information, clustering’s we did not have in the past. It gives voice to not just paths of interests, but a path of people that are a justifiable target in this situation. A path that is partially hindered by the Human Rights Act in a way that was never the intent of the Human Rights Act in the first place.

The issue becomes a larger issue when we see certain media. Now as we exclude the tabloids on mere grounds of inferior intellect and increased factors like being clueless and greed driven through the expanse of emotion, we do get some media that should have known better. So when we see “Dame Stella Rimington, the first female director general of the agency, spoke out this week (6 June) during a keynote speech at 2017’s Infosecurity conference. The former spymaster took the time to urge for a calm response in the wake of recent London terror attacks” (at http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/former-mi5-chief-nobody-really-knows-how-deal-cyber-espionage-1625025), we see in addition “We are facing a world where there’s cyber-espionage now, which nobody really knows how to effectively deal with. We are facing a world of very complex communications which make it very difficult [for] our intelligence services to keep pace with changes taking place.

This is a path that has a few additional repercussions. The first repercussion is seen in the need of new technology to meet the challenges. The second repercussion is seen in combined need to evolve HUMINT, FININT and GEOINT. As money can be transferred through alternative means in faster ways and new methods we see that the terrorists are equipped and given new means to which several intelligence paths have no way to counter at present. The simplest issue of funding terrorist infrastructure through international debit cards is a nightmare to get through. Ordering these debit cards with up to 5,000 euros is getting easier and payment via web becomes increasingly easy. Getting these cards in Western Europe and dispense them to the dangerous elements in the UK is an increased danger as we now have a situation where HUMINT and FININT walk two very different paths. If we do not get an evolved SIGINT solution, we will see an escalation of events whilst the intelligence will fail. At present when a student is found with 2,000 euro a flag is raised (not always), yet when a student is seen with a debit card and 300 Euro, no flag will ever be raised. The cyber path is intervening on several levels increasing the dangers of a successful attack as they just get what they need at their destination. Nowadays a student goes into a car rental place, has his international student ID, picks up a van, pays with the prepaid card and he is off to load it up with explosives. At this point, when properly done, SIGINT, HUMINT and FININT will all have failed to stop this. This is the danger that Dame Stella Rimington is warning us about. And whilst the tabloid jokes are all about the emotions and the blame game towards the intelligence service, we see that failure after failure stacks up, mainly because what the intelligence agencies need is not coming their way. It’s like giving Jenson Button the task of winning the F1 trophy whilst giving him an Edsel to get the job done, which seems a little too unfair on the poor lad.

The world evolved too fast in too many directions and in this terrorists, especially lone wolves could use the system to remain largely invisible until it is too late. It is a collection of what we used to perceive as unrealistic elements ion danger assessment that is now stopping police and agencies in finding the targets trying to hurt innocent civilians. The game has become too unbalanced, and for the most I agree with Richard Barrett. Yet, in equal measure, we see a lack of evolution in technology that the seekers need to classify disseminated information as well as being able to cluster a multitude of databases each filled with variable information to find that needle, hoping that you are even near the right haystack. Consider the scenario I just painted. Finding that person would be near impossible if the Lone Wolf kept to the ground. So where is the validation of blame? There is none and the people actually realise this. It does not change the job, or the challenge. It merely increases the pressure. So when I read: “The third attacker was named as Youssef Zaghba, an Italian national of Moroccan descent, who was living in east London” there is no concern to be elevated into some danger status, yet when we see in addition “is said to have told Italian authorities “I’m going to be a terrorist”, while officers reportedly found Islamic State-related material on his mobile phone when they intercepted him” makes it a different issue (apart from any person proclaiming to become a terrorist to the police). How long until that news reached the UK? In addition, what did the Italians do to stop this possible extremist? When we see a file on Youssef Zaghba in the areas of FININT and SIGINT, what do they reveal? You see, we might not stop all events, yet there is an increased chance that any previous success by these lone wolves will leave us with information that potentially stops the next attack. That will leave us with increased options when SIGINT will start sharing the data internationally.

We are in a phase where we get ourselves killed, not because of the failing of the agencies, but with our complacency regarding human rights and thinking that the agencies did not need certain elements. As we are bragging on Facebook and demanding the government does not collect data, we place ourselves in harm’s way, which is increasingly stupid.

Yet in equal measure spending irresponsibly (read: Jeremy Corbyn’s lame promise) is equally dangerous. You see we need to work on actual solutions, not buy 1000 staff members, 15 servers and hope it will work itself out. That is a recipe for a political pork pie that leaves us with indigestion.

There is a lot that requires doing, let’s not get ourselves killed whilst doing that.

 

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Enabling cybercrime!

Yes, we are all in the unintentional habit to enable cybercrime. Yet what complications do we face when the one enabling it is not you, me or Joe Worker, but Microsoft or Apple? Where do we stand when we are confronted by companies, so driven by what I consider the useless drive of greed through Marketing, whilst ignoring the technical support department? Do not claim that it does not happen, because I have been witness to such events (though not personally at Microsoft or Apple).

It did not just start with the affair of the 101 nude celebrities, yet it is at the core of the visibility that it drives. It is not with the push by so many to get forced towards Google Search and Facebook Messenger, but that is definitely the debatable event pushing the worry, fear and quite honestly the total distrust of greed and marketability that is overtaking what some seem to laughingly refer to as ‘technological improvements‘.

In this age, we see a growing drive for ease and ‘comfort’, yet a lot seems to be enabling cybercrime and exploitation.

We got the ‘Fear Google‘ event and the expose with a non-dressed Jennifer Lawrence has been cancelled (at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/jennifer-lawrence-and-kate-upton-nude-photos-exhibition-cancelled-after-artist-finally-concedes-the-images-were-stolen-property-9723751.html).

Perhaps I am too much of a cynic, but the text “Though not, says the artist behind it, due to legal reasons. But instead because he’s had a moral change of heart“, how about the truth (as I consider it to be), ‘the pressure of Jennifer Lawrence has given my expose ALL the publications I needed‘. Seems to be more honest, also, the fact that her lawyer Lawrence Shire, especially if he is the Shire related to Grubman Shire, might have taken away whatever courage he thought he had to continue. I leave it up to the reader to form their own mind.

Yet this is not about that, but it could be.

Consider the following issue, which I witnessed myself today. The setting is simple. She uses her smartphone and for the most never ever uses Skype. Yet, she has a Skype account on her notebook. She needed Skype on her mobile, which was easy enough, yet after installing it, we have lost 4 hours and half a dozen attempts to reset her password.

Skype1

 

 

 

 

 

  1. We enter Skype.
  2. Password lost, which means another browser.
  3. We enter mail details.
  4. We use the received code to enter a new password
  5. We go to Skype, yet the linked identity does not work.
  6. We start again from step 2.

As you can see in the diagram, for some reason, the Skype name and the android Skype are not updated or linked. Even as a technologist it took me a while to see through this and Microsoft is not much help either. If we consider I had dozens of attempts without any repercussions, how long until someone starts trying to get into someone that actually matters?

The issue I showed two days ago (at http://thenextweb.com/apple/2014/09/01/this-could-be-the-apple-icloud-flaw-that-led-to-celebrity-photos-being-leaked/) gave some indications of what is going on. Now we see another level on Skype that calls certain matters into question, more important that the Skype android cannot get updated for some reason, so there is even more going on now, especially as the issues surrounding android Skype seem to have been around since 2012.

This is not the only issues that are out on the works; it seems that Microsoft OneDrive has similar issues of security. There we see that you cannot limit the one drive to be ONLY accessible by certain devices, with cyber-crime on the rise to this degree, we see another mass collecting point, where the people behind it seem to be dancing to the music of Marketing and the mere simplistic need of the matter, as a technologist would mention it is not there. It is likely the same kind of answer I heard in the past “We will get to that in the next edition” or “Let’s get this ‘solution to’ (read revenue from) the customer first“, solutions where the technologist is not at the centre of it all.

Only AFTER some got to admire the Jennifer Lawrence’s chest section do we now see the headline “Apple Says It Will Add New iCloud Security Measures After Celebrity Hack” (at http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/09/04/apple-says-it-will-add-new-security-measures-after-celebrity-hack/), so is this Marketing waking up, or was IT slamming their fist on the table? Either way, those pushing people and business alike to cloudy places of automatic public revelations should now seriously wake up and smell the intrusion on their networks.

Several of these solutions are still not completely up and running, and the ‘patch’ like solutions in place now, are likely no more than a temporary option, whilst the cyber-criminal goes on exploiting other venues of weaknesses. Let’s not forget that the 101 celebrities list sounds nice, but there are globally at least 399 more women who are beautiful beyond believe, and those not into that kind of information are likely interested in the files of Sir Iain Robert Lobban (GCHQ), Andrew Parker (MI5), John Sawers (MI6). Guess what! They are likely to have very secure solutions in their possession, yet can the same be said for Ewen Stevenson (CFO-RBS) or Simon Henry (CFO Lloyds Banking group)? These people all use solutions for presentations, memo’s and other items. In some cases they need connections to keep up and running. How long until we see the power of Cyber criminals as they influence the market? It just takes one unconfirmed message to make a shift in any direction. If people are scared of what a Lone Wolf can do by blowing up things, think of the damage of disclosed financial events bring. We have seen the smallest of restraint in the press in the case of Jennifer Lawrence (but only by using a super computer and exposing the deeds of the members of the press to the Lyapunov stability algorithm), but is that enough?

There is a growing sense of fear and massive distrust. We have seen it start with Facebook Messenger on the mobile, we have seen some people whisk it all away, yet not unlike the laughable Sony Troll, as they mentioned the ridiculousness of the changed terms of service from Sony, we have seen too much blatant abuse from the greed driven data collectors and now, as trust is gone, more people are starting to wonder why their own local governments aren’t truly looking into it and they fear the same flaccid indecisiveness from them when the Financial sector left a large group of the population (not just in America) in utter destitution.

It goes beyond mere ethics; it is an absolute absence of dedication towards consumer protection for the prospering board of directors, which is at the essential fearing heart of many, both wealthy and utterly non wealthy alike.

This all is getting now more and more visibility as we see the growing amount of people in their ‘right to be forgotten‘, yet as we see at the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/sep/10/google-europe-explain-right-forgotten-eric-schmidt-article-29) we see the following quote “Google is currently conducting a grand tour of Europe, with the ten members of its Advisory Council touring seven cities to gather evidence on the developments in the so-called “right to be forgotten” ruling“, in addition we see “The one thing that everyone agrees about this case is that the label it has been given – the “right to be forgotten” – is a very poor descriptor. More accurately, it is about the right to obscure or suppress personal information“, so is that it, or is there more? Well we can consider the part where the absence of any legal obligation on Google to reveal its processes, which renders Google judge, jury, and executioner. So in combination that it is not about forgetting (read deleting), but about obscuring (read less easy to find) will leave an open field for those with better data comprehension. A market where Google is trying to cash in, so instead of everyone finding it, only those paying for certain levels will more easily acquire information. That is not what ‘right to be forgotten‘ was about. Now again we see the press, yet in this case they are not really placed in any blame, however there is a (sizeable) missing level of clarity on what EXACTLY is requested from more than one side, the un-clarity leads to uncertainty with that leading to nothing getting done. So what is in play?

We know that Google’s fortunes are also linked to data, which means that any additional ‘forget me now’ request is impacting the business of Google, not the one, or the 5, but consider every postcode in the world and 5-10 requests from each of those to be forgotten, now it becomes a massive task, requiring thousands of people, working thousands of hours, paid from the at that point medium slim lined coffers of Google, whilst at the same time having to hold onto those records for later reasons, likely including journalistically and/or juridical. So as we look at all these escalations, then Skype, OneDrive and iCloud are not just three identities, they become three entities of threat of the collected data of all, the privacy of them and whether forgotten or not, they are aware of where they kept their information, passwords and snapshots.

The view of technology every person needs to start comprehending, because they all forgot that ease and comfort come at a price, they just did not consider the currency that was linked to that price. Some of this can be seen in the Lifehacker who in February 2013 (at http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2013/02/why-cloud-services-are-so-easy-to-hack/) write “In most cloud environments, there’s no concept of intrusion detection or prevention, and if they are there people don’t know how to use them“, in itself not that amazing a quote, even though it is a year old and in one year many people tend to not educate themselves that much because of the declining comfort levels. Yet at the end he states a more powerful issue: “This week, I’m in London for Data Centre World, paying particular attention to how to maximise efficiency and lower costs in the data centre“, which is at the heart of my issue. Often these factors involve automation and scripting, which when it comes to issues like speed and the prominence of reduced cost tends to leave security in the backdrop. So if you had any reason to fear any of these solutions, then consider one issue “If all your cloud data became public knowledge at 23:00 and in the 8 hours following you had ZERO control“. Would you be worried? If not then sleep on and sweet dreams, if the answer is ‘Yes’, then you need to take some serious time and get educated on the risks and the consequences. I cannot answer the question for you, but when was the last time you actually had such a conversation with your IT person, or with the sales engineer of the sales person who sold you the cloud solution?

Data is currency, when it is open knowledge for all; you end up only having goodwill and an empty hard drive, which is valued at the price of the empty hard drive.

 

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The Data Intelligence bill

GCHQ_StampBThe events that occurred in Woolwich have sparked more than just one debate. The new debate is involving the additional powers that Home Secretary May wants to hand to the intelligence branch. It involves a data bill that was vetoed by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. He stated that it was too much of an invasion of privacy.

Is he correct?

Initially I would side with that part. Yet, you cannot have it both ways. There is a plain and simple need to keep England’s citizens safe from radicalised attacks. The issue of Home grown terrorism had been an issue going back to Sir Jonathan Evans reign of MI-5. He was more than just a little concerned with outside influences on the British way of life. This now falls firmly on the shoulders of both Andrew Parker, who is well aware of the issues as well as the needed response and Sir Iain Robert Lobban of GCHQ. As this is Signal intelligence and as such it falls in his lap as the data would be needed for MI-5, MI-6 and some parts of local law enforcements.

I would think that part of this bill will start with Lord Carlile. His involvement in this goes back to the Terrorism Act of 2000. Current issues are ‘tainted’ by two reports and as such they both are important. First there is the National council of Civil Liberties that drafted a response to the definition of terrorism, which seems to have been the work of Gareth Crossman and Jago Russel. You should take a look at it (source: http://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/pdfs/policy06/response-to-carlile-review-of-terrorism-definition.pdf). It is an interesting work, and important to read is how they see this all. Part of the weakness is the approach on page 3 where they state: “It is vital that the definition of ‘terrorism’ is drawn as tightly as possible“. It is a decent stance to have, yet in the light of fear against home grown/lone wolf terrorism it is actually counterproductive. Terrorism is a shifty acre of quicksand and the strict approach is not only going to fail, it will get the people involved stopping this drowned. Not a good thing me thinks!

I feel uncertain to the point 6 they make on page 5. Yes, they do state that it is outside of the scope of the document, and as such they only raise the comments made that Terrorism should be dealt with under Criminal law. Here is where I might be the dissenting voice. The law should cover all, I do believe in that, however, what part of law? We are dealing with a group that does not seem to be categorised as such. These people are not transgressing in a way where we approach a normal person, or even the average person. Whilst we approach these transgressors in one way or another, even when if possible their defence starts going into the Mental Health act we will see a case where the court is drawn into years of litigation and dealing with a case that as such should be seen as a non-combatant involved in hostile military actions against civilians with no allegiance to any nation and as such it becomes a mess where each case locks down the justice system more and more. Consider the American situation (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance act). This comes from a special report by their Justice department stated in June 2005.

This allowed the use of FISA information in a criminal case provided that the ‘primary purpose’ of the FISA surveillance or search was to collect foreign intelligence information rather than to conduct a criminal investigation or prosecution. The seminal court decision applying this standard to information collected in intelligence cases was issued in 1980. See United States v. Truong Dinh Hung, 629 F.2d 908 (4th Cir. 1980). In this case, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the government did not have to obtain a criminal warrant when ‘the object of the search or the surveillance is a foreign power, its agents or collaborators,’ and ‘the surveillance is conducted primarily for foreign intelligence purposes.’ Id. at 915. However, the court ruled that the government’s primary purpose in conducting an intelligence investigation could be called into question when prosecutors had begun to assemble a prosecution and had led or taken on a central role in the investigation.

This shows that the narrowness of the scope would be the obstacle we should be trying to prevent. The issue is NOT our privacy at that point; it is all about them having access to go after the right people. This requires them to blanket us with collection of data. Even though the data is all collected, it will turn out that 99.9% might never be accessed. Having it is however essential for their success of stopping terrorist attacks. So when the Sky News UK reporter Stephen Douglas mentioned “are they playing politics with fear” then he is in my humble opinion incorrect. This data bill has been needed for a long time. It can even be safely speculated that MI-5 could have intervened with the Kenyan involved in the Woolwich murder at an earlier stage as more flags would have been raised. Their interview with him would have led to other questions, confirmations of danger. That seems to not have happened at this stage.

So from the civil liberty document we move to document cm7058 from June 2007 which holds “The Government Reply to the Report by Lord Carlile of Berriew Q.C. Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation The Definition of Terrorism“. (Source: http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/cm70/7058/7058.pdf). My issue is with point 5 on page 5. Idiosyncratic terrorism imitators should generally be dealt with under non-terrorism criminal law. This is the point that shows the need of the data bill. Especially when we consider Lone wolf or Home grown terrorists there will be the issue whether the person was a mental health wannabe, or a more intelligent individual being allowed a second go at harming groups of people, after civil rights protected him the first time.

So even if we want to give strength to both Nick Clegg and the National council of Civil Liberties. They are there speaking out to protect your rights. Yet, in that process, they are giving strength and freedom to terrorist attacks like the one in Woolwich (not intentionally). This issue is like a seesaw. These two viewpoints are utterly opposing and as we give power to one, we remove it from the other. The interesting part is that the information we surrender will not harm us unless we support terrorism. Should that not convince you then please remember that you have already given away your privacy to most market research and financial institution data centres. They only want your money, or in a product driven way bank you. The intelligence community wants to keep you safe. In my mind, there is no debate. The data bill is likely to come and should be there, if only to prevent a second Woolwich.

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