Tag Archives: ASIO

When we are merely given a paragraph

It happens, we get offered a paragraph and for some reason we wake up, we think: ‘That’s nice! Tell me more!‘ It can be for the strangest and least connected reasons out there. No matter that the push or the reason, we only get that one paragraph and are left hanging. That feeling came right off the bat when ABC gave me ‘ASIO warns of ‘hostile intelligence services’ using social media in annual report‘ (at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-17/asio-warns-of-hostile-intelligence-services-on-social-media/11609726) a day ago. Now, let’s be fair, ASIO is not really the one to play games of open communication, as its employees and governing staff were educated by the people of Sneaky, Peeping and Backstabbing incorporated, they have other markers to work with. As such as I was fed ““hostile intelligence services” using social media to target people across business and government“, which basically is a continuation (to some degree) of the quote we saw at ABC in July 2017 when we were given “help Australian security agencies get access to encrypted messages from suspected terrorists and other criminals“, in itself not an issue one would think, and there is exactly the problem, one did not think. I made references to private chat groups in Social media and extremism before 2016, just nice to know that someone gets around and wakes up every now and then. Or as I would phrase it as ‘What else is new?‘, Yet as Jade MacMillan takes us by the hand in this ABC article, we see: “A report in the New York Times earlier this year claimed China was using LinkedIn to try to recruit foreign spies“, again we go with the ‘What else is new?‘. There is nothing new under the sun as MI-6, CIA, DGSE and optionally ASIS have been using that very same tool to get information. The honey traps, the enticement parties and the stage where you are a winner, the tricks are as old as the very first sign stating: ‘Authorised Personally Only‘. In this the larger issue is avoided, you see financial entrepreneurs have been using these paths to gain information on how to find people with debts and some of them have (allegedly) been reporting those people to international whisper divisions, so that a deal could be struck. So whilst some look for foreign agents, they all ignore the debt collectors mining every bit of social media to gain a momentary advantage to collect on one debt and gain another bonus, and those people will always look for investors, especially investors that have a fluidic opinion of ethics and how to be working towards rewards.

It all comes across as silly and as mindless as “Attorney-General George Brandis said encryption was potentially the “greatest degradation of intelligence and law enforcement capability” in a lifetime“, he could not put gamers in a proper dimensional view, so why would he get this right? It is an easy enough question and there is a link. There was a reason why Facebook suspended and ended all group chat options (there were a few actually), they were off course way late, now that Lone wolves and others have found new means to get this started, they need to be more careful, but the state remains. Mining is the only way to do this and you need resources for that, as well as proper staff who comprehend data and not let some silly deep learning algorithm fix it. For example, consider that a facilitator created an auto fill chat system; it has 250,000 lines an hour, whilst the system has one anchor word, a word you can select. So as we see the chat go through, we make no sense on it, yet the users have set the word ‘الدراجين’ (meaning ‘riders’) even as the initial part makes no sense

WE now get:

يتيح للجميع وقتا طيبا والحزب

الهذيان الكبير في واحة في منتصف الليل

جميع الدراجين سباق اليوم

معلومات السباق في اللعبة

تسجيل جميع الدراجين بعد صلاة الفجر

يجب أن المؤمنين اقتبس مرور البقر

جميع الدراجين يعرفون أن السيارة مائة مؤهلة

 

Even in this setting the programming cannot make sense, and unless you knew that ‘riders’ was the operative word good luck in finding what comes next. a system like this has been in place for years, now there are dedicated programs, yet in the past there were 4-6 in a group of 100, so those 4 guest gamers would not be noticed and by the time someone woke up, it was already too late, the meeting was over and more secure conversations had taken place, this system worked global and now that Facebook chat groups are a thing of the past other means are used for all kinds of groups to find a way to pass a message along.

We get it, the employees of Sneaky, Peeping and Backstabbing incorporated are not supposed to put it in the open, yet the annual report seemingly ignores one part. Instead of having a dozen systems creating a small solution, we need to find the agencies actually working together to avert “ASIO has limited scope to redirect internal resources to address the increasing gap between demand for our counterespionage and foreign interference advice and our ability to furnish this assistance” and partially find a solution that will take care of the extremists, the organised crackpots and the corporate facilitators, if you do not consider the third group to be important, then you have remained asleep for far too long at the wheel.

So when I mentioned Brandis (never the sharpest tool in my personal opinion) we might consider the 2017 event and the quote: “If the laws are passed and technology companies comply, they could help with investigations into paedophile networks, major organised crime or terrorism”, the man is transparent as glass as he hid in the past behind ‘violent gamers’ and now he uses ‘paedophile networks’. Yet the larger issue not seen here are financial services, there is no oversight and there is no telling what an approached debt collector could find out without setting of ANY red flags. And that is with the players who are on the up and up and playing a proper game taking all the proper guidelines and consumer protection laws as noticed and complied with, this wild west group has a truckload of groups all willing to do what it takes to get the score and a foreign player is a stakeholder in finding needs. That group has been able to remain off the books for at least 2 years. They all seemingly forgot that places like Experian, Equifax, Dun & Bradstreet, have their own customer base and who checked out those credentials?

Yes, we can agree that the entire matter is too large for ASIO to deal with, but there is also the flaw that the scope of what they face is not dimensionalised in the proper fashion, it is openly misrepresented and that is optionally acceptable, as long as they know what they face in-house.

And it is not a rocket science deal; the FBI, MI5, BRGE, AIVD, MAD (yes that is the acronym for the German Intelligence Services) and the FSB all deal with these issues. OK, these players will not be calling the FSB but you get the idea. There are players that are about data and proper intelligence mining (Palantir Technologies), yet the field needs to widen but in another direction. If this is Business Intelligence then Palantir is SAS, whilst we need a more IBM statistics and IBM Modeller based solution rolled out, we do not need a solution that fits all, we need to feed clusters of investigators with power tools that allow them to surf data and mine activities to a much larger degree. We need to set server milestones with collected raw data that different clusters can attack. The intelligence branches have wanted to do it the wrong way around for too long (often pressured by wannabe politicians), what we need is a treasure trove of data that all players can have a go at and actually report findings. We create almost 3 Exabyte of data every day, and we need to find 1% of 1% in that, whilst all this happens before 5G, it is about to become 20 times worse and they cannot even handle what is out there now.

All whilst we know that the 1% of 1% remains a group of 98% which is merely misdemeanours playing around, as such we need to change the premise towards collected data, that is what we face at present so the entire matter of “greater awareness among our stakeholders of that threat — has increased demand for our advice and support”, which is misrepresentation in its own right. The stakeholders have their own needs and their own game to play. Consider the IP needs of Telstra (Australia), the Inside protection and mandates of Novartis (Pharmaceuticals), Insider trading on HSBC (Banking) and their needs are their financial protection needs and in this fearless leader Duncan Lewis (ASIO) has to optionally look out for the needs of Telstra (as some claim that hat Telstra needs, Australia needs) whilst hunting those wanting to harm Australians, in this the Stakeholders are more about the revenue and debatable a source of good (they allegedly merely want their bonus safe), as such we should optionally wonder about the needs of the stakeholders and the difference about their claim and their needs.

So whilst we see another batch of mobile swipe and pay solutions being rolled out whilst there are a few concerns on how that data is processed all over the world, we forget that those out to harm national needs are also out looking into all those apps and finding out that for the largest extent the IMEI number of any smartphone is a much easier anchor to work with and mapping the usage also gives a larger content on data and where the target might be, yet most forgot about how the old is still beneath the new, did they not? So even as we consider the title ‘ASIO warns of ‘hostile intelligence services’ using social media in annual report‘, we need to consider that ‘hostile intelligence services‘ is merely part of a much larger problem and that those services use all kinds of methods that the local knights of the round facilitating table (FBI, MI5, BRGE, AIVD, and MAD) are still not looking at (as far as I can tell).

In all this we were merely given a paragraph and whilst people wonder how to find resources, the matter on how to properly apply those resources so that they can have an impact was left off the table, and that was actually the delicious cream that should have graced the Strawberries, or are those Blackberries? I’ll let you work on that little last line conundrum yourself this weekend.

So have a nice day and let’s not forget that the weekend ends in 48 hours! #JustSaying

 

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When they are merely numbers

What if lives are not set in souls, but in numbers, simple numbers? That is the setting we see ourselves in today. A special shout out to Karl Stefanovic who rightfully backed the police and launched a scathing attack on their “timid” critics. Although I would rephrase from ‘timid critics‘ and merely categorise them as ‘fear mongering scaredy cats with a lack of knowledge‘, yet that would be merely my personal choice in the freedom of classification.

Karl is correct in a few ways, yet to see that. We need to look at the other side. My training comes from NATO and I mastered several weapons, to give you a specific setting here, which with the Remington Model 700 is really simple. The drift on 300 meters is optionally no more than 1.1936″ in a nominal setting, so if I aim for the head the brain is gone, if I aim for the chest the damage is worse as that person will not be instantly dead, but they will feel the pinch of a .308 slug and at that point, most Kevlar is useless. You see at 300 Yds the bullet impacts with 1950 lbs on roughly a square inch, in an oversimplified example a 1000 Kg hammer hits a square inch of your chest at a speed of 671 metres per second, good luck getting past that feeling! The Kevlar might slow it down but the impact will be enough to turn ribs to shrapnel and cleave its way through your chest, if the bullet gets through, it will still be mostly slim and nail shaped, leaving the recipient with plenty of optionally fatal damage. A Kevlar vest (if the person has one) might stop a pistol 9mm, even a .357, but with a .308 or .338 rifle, nope, that person becomes a write off. This is how a soldier thinks, it is them/him or me/us, we do not want to die for our country we merely make the other one die for their country/cause.

The police is a different slice of cake. They are trying to protect people from harm of self and/or protect them from harm by others. The police are there as protection for civilians, innocent or not. They have a duty to arrest and Karl is right in backing the police. The News from News.com.au is giving us “They do it sometimes with the public hating them. But they’re the first you call when you need them and they were the first to respond. I salute them this morning“, he is correct! The news also gives us: “The call comes in response to a deadly attack in Melbourne’s Bourke Street on Friday by Hassan Khalif Shire Ali — a Muslim refugee from Somalia. Ali crashed his car full of gas cylinders before stabbing three people, killing prominent Italian restaurateur Sisto Malaspina“, and at this point, the question from me is ‘At what stage was the police to assume that this was a terrorist?‘ You see ‘his car full of gas cylinders‘ was after the fact, yet when did the police know exactly what was going on? The police had a direct need to incapacitate to a degree, not to kill. It is that plain and simple! Their job is to evangelise and support the law, not enforce it through violence, even as that will be essential at that point. So the call ‘Shoot him, shoot him’ might come from outsiders, yet to shoot is not an easy task for them. Let’s not forget that the public has been willing to lynch a policeman using his firearm in the past, so the police is utterly willing to leave shooting as a final resort (and so for the most they should), or until there is a clear and present danger to others and even then it will be shoot to incapacitate, which with a Glock is a little harder then you think.

When we see Nine News (at https://www.9news.com.au/2018/11/11/19/18/bourke-street-terror-attack-family-say-hassan-khalif-shire-ali-was-mentally-ill), we see: “The family of the man responsible for Friday’s attack on Bourke Street insist he was not a terrorist but a mentally ill man “crying for help”“. This is optionally true and it also gives rise to the police and the caution used. They might have noticed symptoms that clearly called for caution and refrain from lethal force. Let’s not forget that the entire Martin Place event was a clear case of mental illness, so there is a precedent in all this. It merely makes the entire event sadder on more than one level. It will undoubtedly give false feelings of guilt to the police officer who discharged the lethal shot, it will give feelings of guilt to all the police and carers on the sidelines, and they should not feel guilt in any way. This man, no matter how we slice it has taken three lives, it comes with consequences.

We might even overreact when we see: “Islamic State claimed the attack but today Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said there was no confirmed link to the terror group.” Yet the truth is that until people like ASIO give clear evidence that this was the case, we are merely getting an emotional push from a terrorist organisation seeking the limelight in any way they can, it will merely complicate matters in the short term and leave us with a bitter feeling in the long run. Yet we also see that Nine News is optionally wrong. As we see: “The terrorist has been named as 30-year-old Somali-born Hassan Khalif Shire Ali“, this is optionally wrong if any clear evidence of mental health is shown to be true. There is a call in the News.com.au article (at https://www.news.com.au/news/national/security-expert-says-were-feeding-the-beasts-of-terror-with-shoottokill-policy/news-story/59f2162b3427c2e2f5d0a3e6fe1babd1) with ‘Australia is “feeding the beasts” of terror and failing to prevent future attacks‘, in this Dr Allan Orr could be correct. there is no issue labeling the right person a lone wolf, or a terrorist, yet how was it done, what was planned and what was set in an emotional stage. It is order versus chaos. In addition is the man merely a terrorist because he is Muslim? Is he not merely a murderer at this point? These what I would call intentional misclassifications are also a larger problem, the media loves it to use the terrorist tag in all the wrong places and even as it is too soon to clearly determine this, we see that a police officer was used deadly force against an alleged murderer, alleged because intent needs to be shown in court, were these three people intended victims, or where they there and the man would be clearly guilty of manslaughter. In any case the police officer would be absolved of any guilt, especially if he/she had tried to resolve the issue in a non-lethal way.

There will be a political debate that is already raging on, yet the stage is larger than merely “I’ve been very open about the cancellation of visas, the numbers have ramped up, because there are some people who should not go on to become Australian citizens,” the setting of this might not be incorrect, yet when we know that ‘Permanent residency may be revoked at the discretion of the responsible Minister, for example in cases of criminal misconduct‘, if that is correct, then why would there be a political debate? It would be merely enforcing what is stated in policy, is it not?

It gets to be even more complicated when we see: “Ali was known to federal police and had his passport cancelled in 2015 amid fears the Somali-born man would travel to Syria“, the question becomes who was he going to support? Assad, Assad opposition, perhaps the direction does not matter, yet the direction does incline towards extremism, as such it cannot be ignored. It is an issue as we see that there are more sides to all this. The fact that no action was taken (apart from removing the passport) might have sufficed to some degree, his active interest to go to Syria was never explained (needed or not), if there would have been an assessment, even a mere interview and conversation on the consequence of doing that as a non-citizen might have optionally resolved the issue to some degree (highly speculative on my side). Even a limited monitoring on media and activities might have dampened the danger (or not). If these are all acts of a mental health issue, then the entire terrorist issue falls in the water and other activities might not have helped, but the knowledge of where this person was might have optionally aided the police in a few ways, and is that not important too? To give the members of the police every inch that they can use to resolve without being force to employ deadly force? It might not have been an option here, but the lack of indicators (as presently known) seems a little too staggering at present giving us the handle that not only was Karl Stefanovic correct, the officers subjected to this ordeal might be due a commendation or two (or three).

The last part is also the biggest issue. when we see both “Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he backs religious freedoms but has also called on Islamic leaders to call out the attack“, and “Those remarks that have in turn been labelled divisive by Muslim groups who say their community is not to blame for the actions of an individual and fear it could stoke Islamophobia“. It is the partial failure of Prime Minister Scott Morrison that his call, outside if the mental health scope was plain wrong. He can make that assessment after we know enough that mental health was not the stage here, and that part is still largely in question. You see, to require any religious group to lash out at mental health issues is the larger wrong and that is not seen here. Should I be wrong and the mental health part fails, then we have another issue, yet at present there has been no clear evidence to set that and whilst we accept: “Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said there was no confirmed link to the terror group“, yet this is very specific, was there any other data making any extremist link likely? I get the impression that this is not the case, giving us a much larger overreaction, just like the Martin Place incident of 2014.

From my point of view, we have become Muslim polarised to a much too large extent. Consider that every religion has its mental health cases. Consider (the Times, Oct 2017) ‘Mental patient murdered neighbour hours after hospital discharged him‘, also we have ‘How 18 psychiatric patients freed by one NHS Trust ALL went on to kill‘ (Daily Mail, Jan 2018), 19 people said to have killed someone, but not terrorists as they were allegedly not Muslim. Two filters of classification in a group of people that would have been a dangerous stage in any foundation, so we need to be extra careful who gets the ‘terrorist label’ as the impact is a lot larger and the negation that actual terrorists are could also endanger a lot more lives in the future.

The victims and perpetrators might merely be numbers, yet when the numbers are wrongly stacked, the people who are forced to act might wrongly do so making matters worse for everyone around and that needs to be clearly stated, as well as the fact that Karl Stefanovic made the right call in this case and that should be recognised on a national level as well.

 

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The non-knowing speak loudest

There is an old saying that goes back to the original circus, the days of Sir Alec Guiness, John Le Carre and the circus (MI6). Those who do not know speak and those who do will not. There is however a valid issue with that mindset. When it is merely intelligence and what some regard as spyshit, we tend to not care. It is their world and they tend to live by other rules even as they have the same lack of common cyber sense as some US generals, it is their choice to make. Yet when we see labour people like Michael Danby need to present evidence in regards to “an opposition Labor party MP, called on the Liberal-National coalition to block Huawei and fellow Chinese telecoms company ZTE from supplying equipment for the 5G network. “Both Huawei and ZTE must report to the Communist party cell at the top of their organisations,” he told parliament. “Let me issue a clarion call to this parliament: Australia’s 5G network must not be sold to these telcos.”” I am actually in the mindset that his seat should be put up for auction if he does not disclose a proper setting and give evidence as to the reasoning of all this. It becomes more pressing when we see “Mr Lord, a former rear admiral in the Royal Australian Navy, told Australia’s state broadcaster on Monday that these claims were “wrong”, adding that Huawei was not owned by any committee of government and posed no risk to Australia’s security“. It is not just because Mr Lord is a former rear admiral, more that the average naval midshipman tends to be more reliable than any politician. We get this from the Financial Times (at https://www.ft.com/content/1a2d19ba-67b1-11e8-8cf3-0c230fa67aec). In addition, when we get politicians start the scare tactics of ‘critical infrastructure pose a risk to national security’, there is a clear need for both Duncan Lewis and Paul Symon AO to get hauled in a chair in Canberra and ask them to openly answer the questions regarding any evidence that Huawei is a security threat. To blatantly accept the US on their ‘china fears’ is all well and good for Telstra, yet the setting is not a given and the fact that Telstra is nowhere near the technological levels of Huawei is not something that we blame them from, but they basically lost the 5G war before it started through their own actions and inactions.

Now if there is an actual national security concern, we should be open about that and when that happens, and evidence is presented, at that point we can all relax and state to Huawei that we feel sorry for the inconvenience caused, but such concerns are just too big to ignore. I think we have had quite enough of these presentations that reek of Colin Powell and his silver suitcase with evidence that no one ever saw in 2001. We cannot go in that direction ever again. We will not be the play toy of greedy telecom companies and their internal needs for stupidity and inactions; we can no longer afford such a nepotism environment.

That same issue can be said regarding Nationals MP George Christensen. Apart from him trying to undo a business deal of a 99 year lease, no matter how silly that deal was, Australia cannot be perceived as a nation that cannot be trusted at the business table. My second issue is why a maroon (Queenslander) is involving himself with NT politics. In that regard, why do we not see the responses form Vicki O’Halloran is she has any, is she not the appointed administrator? In this, the game is not over. The Australian Financial Review gives us: “Huawei faces the likelihood that Cabinet’s national security committee will veto it supplying equipment for the 5G network, based on the recommendations of security agencies, over concerns about the potential for cyber espionage at the behest of China’s leaders“. In this the question becomes, is there an actual security concern, or is it that the national concern is the devaluation of Telstra? In additional support we need to see the Sydney Morning Herald two weeks ago when they gave us (at https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/how-a-huawei-5g-ban-is-about-more-than-espionage-20180614-p4zlhf.html): “The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age reported in March that there were serious concerns within the Turnbull government about Huawei’s potential role in 5G – a new wireless standard that could be up to 10 times as powerful as existing mobile services, and used to power internet connections for a range of consumer devices beyond phones“, as well as “the decision will have an impact on Australia’s $40 billion a year telecoms market – potentially hurting Telstra’s rivals“. the first part is something I wrote about for well over a year, the second one is important as we see ‘potentially hurting Telstra’s rivals‘, from my personal point of view it reads like the one lobotomised idiot in telecom country gets to decide through arm-twisting on how we need to remain backwards as they set the standard that they could not deliver for the longest of times (a little sarcasm regarding Telstra’s 2011 3.7G), I wrote about that recently.

ABC gave us yesterday: “it continues to be the target of criticism over its connections to the Chinese Government, including allegations it is involved in state-sponsored espionage“, yet the people have never been shown actual evidence, so where is that at? There might have been doubts to some degree for a while, but the Powell stunt is too clear in our minds and the USA does not have the credibility (or credit rating for that matter) it once had. The fact that the opposing former rear admiral of the Australian navy trumps two half bit politicians seeking the limelight any day of the week and some stay silent, the reason for that is only speculation, but we might not need to seek far and a few words ion Google Search might help find that answer (like ‘Telstra’ and ‘8000’). When we see some giving us: ‘Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX:TLS) is betting it all on 5G‘ and we see the Telstra strategy briefing (at https://www.telstra.com.au/content/dam/tcom/about-us/investors/pdf-e/2018-Strategy-Update.pdf), we see on page 6, Leading with 5G, that would never be an option with Huawei in play as they are ahead by a lot, so the presentation given a week ago, whilst we realise that the presentation was prepared way before that is giving the setting that Huawei is no longer considered to be competition, that is what we now face! What some might call a backward organisation proclaiming to be leading whilst 8000 men will be missing through inaction. That page is even more fun when you consider the quote ‘new technologies like IoT‘, which is funny when you consider that the Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of interrelated computing devices. It is not a technology; it is a network that enables technology. In addition, when you start nit-picking in that 34 page event, we see all the bells and whistles we need to see, yet when you consider consumers and small business (the millions of people that Telstra charges) starts at page 9 and gives us 5 slides. We see ‘cutting edge 5G capability’ (by whose standards?), we see location devices (with the image of a dog), Access to rewards an tickets, a fully-digital relationship with Telstra (an implied no more personal interaction after the sales, merely a chatbot) and value added services, yet the value of a service like customer service and customer care are absent in that part of the equation, so how does this push the people forward, because I doubt that it actually will achieve anything in the long run and one flaw will anger the actual consumers without limits.

You see, personally I believe in the IoT, I believe in 5G, they are tools to enhance experiences and interactions, not make them obsolete and that is what  feel when I saw the Telstra strategy update. These two elements can enhance customer care, customer service and customer support, not replace them with ‘AI’ enhanced chatbots. So the moment we get a 2.0 version of ‘Telstra’s new chatbot, Codi, is making so many mistakes customers are furious’ (at https://www.businessinsider.com.au/telstra-codi-bot-backlash-2018-3), chatbots can be a great asset to get the information and channel the call to the right person, yet that again is merely enhancing and that can work fine. The presentation implies the loss of actual customer values and ignoring their need for interactions. That in an aging population might be the least intelligent stance to make ever.

Yet this does not give way to the issue on Telstra versus Huawei, as the Sydney Morning Herald states “Telstra has refused to exclude Huawei from its 5G tender, but that is seen more as a way of keeping its existing supplier Ericsson on its toes“, as well as “In other words, a ban could be bad news for TPG, Vodafone and Optus. Whether it is necessarily good news for Telstra – which has its own issues at the moment – is less clear“. In finality we get “Intelligence agencies tend to get their way on matters like these“, this beckons the question what are they actually after? The US seems to be in bed with Samsung and their 5G routers, so it makes sense that this will be the path that Telstra walks as well, time will tell how it ends.

So why is this such a big deal?

We are currently in danger of actually falling behind Saudi Arabia, yes, that place in a large sandbox is about to surpass us in 5G and other technologies. They had the audacity to reserve half a trillion dollars toward Vision 2030 and Neom. So when we got “Al-Khobar in the Eastern Province, of Saudi Arabia, has become the first city in the region to benefit from the fifth-generation wireless network or 5G network, according to a press statement issued by the Center of International Communication“, last month. There was not a surprise in my bone. You see, this will drive their Vision 2030 plans even further. So as Saudi Arabia is now the new pond to grow speciality in 5G, app designers can promote, test and deliver on knowledge that will be available whilst Telstra is trying to figure out how to get 5G installed. with “All the necessary national 5G policies and supporting administrative provisions are planned to be in place before the end of 2019, along with the award of initial batches of the spectrum to support the full commercial deployment of 5G technologies“, we see that Saudi Arabia had been taking this serious for a much longer time. This goes a little further when we see ‘the Middle East and Africa 5G Technology market (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Nigeria, and South Africa)‘, so at this point, Saudi Arabia has a head start to not just push Saudi Arabia forward, they have quite literally first dibs on gaining a chunk of the 98 million Egyptians. Not all can afford 5G, we get that, but those who do are confronted with only Saudi Arabia as a Muslim player, you did not actually believe that they would run to Vodafone, did you?

So back to the 5G local ‘market’! For this we need to take a look at the Australian Financial review 2 weeks ago. Here we see (at https://www.afr.com/opinion/columnists/the-technical-reasons-why-huawei-too-great-a-5g-risk-20180614-h11e3o), with the title ‘The technical reasons why Huawei is too great a 5G risk‘, the start is good, this is what we wanted. Yet we are treated to paragraphs of emotion and alleged settings. So when we see: “Huawei presents unique additional risk beyond the “normal” risk of buying complex equipment. China has demonstrated a long-standing intent to conduct cyber-espionage“, so is ‘intent’ shown in evidence? How did the CIA and NSA acquire our data or Cambridge Analytica for that matter? ‘China is thought to be behind data breaches‘ is merely a statement ‘thought‘ is speculation, not evidence. Then we get: “The US Trade Representative’s Section 301 report from March this year details the very close cooperation between the Third Department of China’s People’s Liberation Army (3PLA is a military hacking unit, also known as Unit 61398) and Chinese enterprises“, I have to get back to this. We are treated to ‘At one extreme, Huawei could be asked‘, is a case of fear mongering and not evidence. In addition we get ‘it is certainly a possibility‘ which came after ‘Vulnerabilities may already exist. This may not be the most likely possibility‘ as well as ‘very likely‘ all emotional responses, none of them evidence in any way, so the article with included in the title ‘The technical reasons’, has pretty much zero technology and close to 90% ‘allegedly’, speculations and emotional twists, whilst we cannot deny the optional existence of vulnerabilities, yet these are found regularly in Cisco hardware and Microsoft software, so have those two been banned in Australia?

Now to get back to the Section 301 report (at https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/Section%20301%20FINAL.PDF). It is 215 pages and I did not read that complete political US marketing behemoth. There is one that actually carries weight. On page 153 we see: “evidence from U.S. law enforcement and private sources indicates that the Chinese government has used cyber intrusions to serve its strategic economic objectives. Documented incidents of China’s cyber intrusions against U.S. commercial entities align closely with China’s industrial policy objectives. As the global economy has increased its dependence on information systems in recent years, cyber theft became one of China’s preferred methods of collecting commercial information because of its logistical advantages and plausible deniability“, which is basically good application of intelligence gathering. Please do not take my word for it, feel free to call the NSA (at +1-301-6886311, all their calls are recorded for training and quality purposes). Oh, and before I forget, the text came with footnote 970, which gave us “A number of public submissions provided to USTR state that the Chinese government has no reason to conduct cyber intrusions or commit cyber theft for commercial purposes, see CHINA GENERAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE [hereinafter “CGCC”], Submission, Section 301 Hearing 16 (Sept. 28, 2017); that the US has not provided evidence of such actions by China, that China is also a target of cyber-attacks, and that the two countries should work together“, there is that to deal with and is that not a rare instance where we are treated to ‘the US has not provided evidence of such actions‘, how many times have we seen claims like that since 2001? Would that number be a 4 or 5 digit number?

The point is not whether it can or could happen, the question becomes did it happen here? let’s not forget that in most settings the section 301 report is about US interests and their technological advancement (which they lost by becoming iteratively stupid). Here we have a different setting. In the setting we face Huawei has a technological advance over all we have in Australia and most of Europe as well. Huawei was one of the first to realise the power of data and 5G and they are close to a market leader, the US is basically relying on Samsung to get them there. BT (British Telecom) is on the ball, but still not on par. They are in bed with Finland “BT has teamed with Nokia to collaborate on the creation of 5G proof of concept trials, the development of emerging technology standards and equipment, and potential 5G use cases“, so this sets the larger players in a field where Nokia and Huawei are now active. The SAMENA Telecom Leaders Summit 2018 and Saudi Telecom Company (STC) announced today that it is working with Nokia to launch a 5G network in 2018 within Saudi Arabia, yet the technology agreements show that it does include Huawei and Cisco, so they aren’t already active, the setting for the initial bumps in the road that Cisco, Nokia and Huawei will surely overcome is knowledge that we will not have in Australia long after someone was able to connect the 5G router to a power point (very presentable, yet the online green light seems to be broken).

So whilst politicians are considering who to be buddies with, Saudi Arabia joins the US and they will be the first 5G providers, which means that the UK and Australia are lagging behind and optionally not for the short term either.

So am I not knowing or am I all knowing? I actually prefer the first, because it is more relaxing; yet the need to speak out loud is becoming increasingly important even if it was only to place the loud mouth limelight seeking politicians like Michael Danby and George Christensen in their slightly too arrogant place. They are of course welcome to present ACTUAL evidence proving me wrong. #WishingForAMiracleHere

 

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The fools errant

At times we all like to poke a little fun at government officials. Not in a vile way, like throwing a pie in the face of Theresa May, but one of those gestures one does to see if anyone was paying attention. A fine moment from my side was in October 1981, when I discovered a box in the archives. A box overlooked, forgotten. It was filled with envelopes. So when I read the little blighter, my eyes lighted up like little sapphires, the demon in my head grabbed the pitchfork, stabbed it in my brain and shouted to my inner-self and shouted: ‘Do it pussy! Be a man, and show those Major Wanker and Captain Caveman characters that they are asleep at the wheel‘. And so in October 1981, the Dutch Defence education garrisons (their edition of Sandhurst and so on) received the financial updates not in the usual progressive ‘Ministry of Defence’ brown envelopes, but in envelopes with the same colour stating ‘Ministry of War’. I believe we should all get a wakeup call every now and then. Perhaps it made them laugh, perhaps it made them question the events of that day, yet the chances are that they never even noticed it. Just my little frolic with chaos, no harm intended, and unless they got a paper cut from that envelope, my mission was a complete success.

So as some consider this to be a fool’s errant, immature, or even degenerate. Consider how Duncan Lewis feels when gets to deal with people like Pauline Hanson and Andrew Bolt, people you don’t want to have to deal with on any given day. Those two have a reliability factor that is lower than the reliability of a water heater turning milk into quality butter. It just ain’t gonna happen. The issue is seen in The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/may/31/asio-chief-says-radical-sunni-islam-creates-terrorists-not-being-a-refugee). Their attack is at “people become terrorists because they adhere to a violent interpretation of Sunni Islam, not because they are refugees“. There is enough evidence but I will get to that soon enough. What is a little upsetting that “former prime minister, Tony Abbott, who suggested Lewis was tiptoeing around the subject“, now the important word is ‘former‘, perhaps he is trying to get serious politics again, yet decided to take the silly road to get there. The quote “Hanson later told 2GB the response from Lewis at estimates was “not what the Australian public want to hear”” gives us more to roll our eyes against. The article gives us a few other parts and ends with: “He said he had no intention of appearing contemptuous of Hanson’s line of questioning: “The point I am making is we need to stick to the facts.”“. To that I would suggest that her existence is mere contempt to life in general, but that might just be me.

It is the ‘stick to the facts‘ that needs adherence and rightly so. In this article we see a gem that I have never considered before, mainly because of two reasons. The first is that I have no way of seeing the different versions of Islam in a person, when a Muslim passes me; I have no way of telling. For the same way, if another Australian or Brit passes me, I cannot tell if they are Catholic, Church of England, Protestant, Lutherans, Agnostic or Atheists, they all smell roughly the same, and according to certain tribes in Papua New Guinea, they all taste like chicken.

So it is my surprise that the media at large, with ‘stick to the facts‘ have never done a proper big data analysis of the known acted terrorists and which school of Islam they belonged to. The article implies that even the dim witted Pauline Hanson has never gone in that direction. Is that not interesting? In my view, I think that such an analyses would be of great interesting importance, yet in equal measure we must understand that the Islamic population of Australia comprises a mere 2.2%, so we might find a much better significance when we analyse a certain political party against the chances that they resort to discrimination. I mean, from a personal point of view, why anyone would try to abolish The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 in the first place is more than a small mystery. Now, as I started my story with my little demon issue, I need to take a look at Duncan Lewis too. With former director David Irvine we could go with: ‘The man looks like a librarian, what does he know about field intelligence?‘ we got none of that on current director Duncan Lewis. His rank is Major General, held numerous posts all over Europe and still looks like he could take on Anthony Mundine before lunch and get in a few decent punches. The only opposition between him and me might be that I outrank him at present through seniority (I have been a citizen for much longer than he has). Yes, that was a little funny!

So when we get back to the facts, we have two issues. The one is the extreme Sunni-Islam issue. Not the mention of it, but the mere fact that I have never seen anything in the media looking at that part. In equal measure, we have not seen any details on any of it in the European escalations in the UK and France. In addition, there is one part of Australian exposure as our exposure tends to be mostly Indonesian, Pakistani and Philippines as I currently see it. I will admit upfront that I have no idea how the different schools of Islam propagate over the Muslim nations, but the fact that we see a revelation in a short Guardian piece and nobody jumps on it, showing clear data in opposition, or a windbag response that this is not what Australians want to hear, I state: “Can we get clear data on this?” I think the people have a right to know and as I see it Director Lewis was not really tiptoeing around any issue, he was giving a fact. Now the Guardian gave us elements, yet when we consider: “Tony Abbott, who suggested Lewis, was tiptoeing around the subject. “Asio has to command the confidence of the Australian community, and that’s why you’ve got to be open and upfront about these things”“, I agree, which is why I am not stating that Director Lewis is wrong or incorrect, merely that we would like to see a decent amount of evidence, not just a local view, but projected against the global numbers and theatres of events. Is that such a strange concept, more important, why did none of these so called journo’s (read: Andrew Bolt) show either in opposition evidence of the incorrectness of Director Lewis, or in support of the comment ‘be open and upfront‘. I can tell you now, that in order of priority, the Australian population at large has three priorities. Get wasted, get laid and get high. So as for the ‘gobsmacking’ and upfront view, the two jokers in this farce majeure as I would call it are the elected Pauline Hanson and Andrew Bolt.

Another part is “We have had tens of thousands of refugees come to Australia over the last decade or so and a very few of them have become subjects of interest for Asio and have been involved in terrorist planning“, which is something we all have seen to some degree. One of my classmates was a refugee, she was proud to be a student, proud to be a graduate and the first in her family history to have completed a tertiary education. This is where we see the bulk of the refugees, to build a happy and healthy family and a decent prospective future, which is pretty much the dream of the bulk of all 8 billion people on this planet. When we see this against Andrew Bolt who according to a source stated of some former event: “The document I seek is a list of links to articles related to “global-warming”, “climate-change”, “CO2” and “coral bleaching” that represent the sceptical view of those respective debates – as presented by the ABC on all its platforms. I have listened, viewed and searched for years and I’ve not found any sceptical articles on the ABC’s platforms“, that whilst even a simple search Bing.com (Bing of all places) on page 1 gives us a few examples. And when we look beyond ABC, we get even more options. So what was the ‘sceptical view‘ in all this? A view Andrew could relate to? Perhaps an intentional way to filter data, so that no exact match would be found? I am at a loss, so as we see him doing some tiptoe event around climate-change, or is that around Coral bleaching? Anyway, it seems to me that the only one not doing the tip toe, the tap dance or the jive is the one, the only, the Duncan Lewis himself!

In all this Pauline Hanson is even more of an issue, she should know better and if not, she has no business being an elected official. The one thing that sets her apart is that as the Ginger Neanderthal, she might think she has something in common with Wilma and Pebbles Flintstone, yet the latter two have qualities like wisdom, cute and endearing. Elements that Pauline Hanson clearly does not seem to have in my personal opinion. So as the Sydney Morning Herald claims that “Counter-terrorism experts have overwhelmingly backed spy boss Duncan Lewis“, I feel that I have to add that on a global level data analysts, the refugee volunteers at the refugee camps and immigration specialists will all come to the very same conclusion that the Spy boss is right. Is that not interesting too? On a planet so diverse, people in groups so far apart in acts and responsibility on their different workplaces would come to the very same conclusion? As we see these numbers we are confronted with the figurative notion that the chances of finding a Wall Street trader with integrity is larger than finding a terrorist in a refugee camp. When the numbers sway to such a degree, how lost was the cause of the opposition to Duncan Lewis in the first place?

As I see it, if she had done her homework properly she might have propelled forward through meaningful dialogue, but that is the flaw in my reasoning, when a view is as extremist as One Nation, meaningful dialogue would never have been on her agenda. It is reflected in the Sydney Morning Herald quote “some acknowledged he and Senator Hanson may have been talking at cross-purposes” (at http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/if-asio-dont-know-nobody-knows-terror-experts-back-spy-chief-over-pauline-hanson-20170530-gwg2hu.html) yet, again as I personally see it, she might have been intentional about the cross-purposes of this and in finality when we consider the global response and the expertise at that table, it would have been far better for Tony Abbott not to get involved in this to the degree he did, which is a tactical flaw on his side for certain.

So as I end my fool’s errand in all this, we need to consider the quote from Greg Barton “Lewis is seeing a much bigger and clearer picture than any of us,” Professor Barton said. However, “he should have unpacked more of what he was saying”, so as not to imply there was “zero connection at all” between migration and terrorism“, which is only partially correct from my point of view. I agree that stating more regarding any available statistics as Sunni versus other extremism, he is also correct that ‘zero’ is an undesired number as it tends to be statistically flawed, yet that invokes a long ongoing debate (wasting the time of EVERYONE) between ‘too insignificant’ and ‘zero’, terms the politicians hide behind at a moment’s notice, yet offer it on the table at the blink of an eye to make other people waste their times.

As for my next fools errant in the classification of ‘prank‘, I will take my copy of a Vatican work order, make a really close representation of the autograph of the man in the white outfit in the Vatican, and watch the reaction of the security guard in the Sistine Chapel as he reads that I have been ordered to paint the ceiling white. I’ll just sit back relax and watch chaos unfold, the next Aprils Fools day is 305 days away and I cannot wait that long, because that is how I roll!

It will be my homage to Charles Lutwidge Dodgson who decided to paint the roses red.

 

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At these shores

We have been ignorant, we have been in denial, and now we get to pay for it. it comes in a currency that we have not considered ever before. ISIS has arrived at the shores of Australia and we are seeing it just across the waters of the Philippines. The Guardian gives us ‘How and why Islamic State-linked rebels took over part of a Philippine city‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/29/explainer-how-and-why-islamic-state-took-over-part-of-a-philippine-city), there is no reply from me on how right or how wrong, I myself have been ignorant of the dangers in regards to the Philippines and perhaps our ignorance whether it will affect Indonesia in a similar manner. I can sum up the elements, but you are better off to go to the Guardian link I provided and go over the facts there yourself. The article is an excellent source of information, yet there are other elements that require attention. One part is seen in “his year-long presidency characterised by bloodshed, with a “war on drugs” that has left thousands of alleged drug addicts and suspected dealers dead. He has been condemned internationally for supporting vigilantism“, we see ‘condemned‘ whilst those other governments have not ever found any form of solution to settle the war on drugs. We can debate the ‘alleged drug addicts‘ to some degree as there is an alleged elements, yet he decided on a course no government has ever been willing to do, to make dealing and addiction both a crime, one that can be solved through execution. Is there a truth that when someone sees all those dead people taking drugs might be less interesting? We have to consider the issues as the Philippines has had its economic turmoil and bad times does impact anyone’s quality of life and we do know that drugs gives any person an escape from that. In addition, he has according to the Guardian made an appeal to other organisations to take up arms against Maute, it is the mention by Sidney Jones, the Jakarta-based director of the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict that gives us the impeding optional dangers to Indonesia as well. The quote: “In an October report, Jones predicted the current tumult. Facing losses in Syria and Iraq, Isis have increasingly looked to the Philippines to establish a province or “wilayat” in the region, the report said“, the question becomes: ‘Just the Philippines?

I have no direct answer, because both countries have collections of islands where oversight would be hard to say the least. Both places have area and villages in turmoil and in disarray. When we consider “They have been convinced by Isis that the answer to Mindanao’s problems is Islamic law“, yet this is just Maute. Is there any intelligence on how the other groups react to that? There are additional concerns as Maoist-led rebel talks in the Netherlands have halted. The US has blundered here too (my personal view) as US restrictions on arms supply have forced the Philippines to seek these products from China and Russia (Source: Reuters UK). That also gives Russia additional options to offer the Philippines more lucrative commercial solutions on a long term basis. It seems hilarious that it is ISIS that will hunker down with some success on the list of allies that the US has. In all this, it seems that the Maoist-led rebels are getting new options and perhaps an optional Philippine future which is a bit of a new-age surprise in a time when we considered the rise communism and Marxism a thing of the past. The question remains, once the Maute have been dealt with, what happens after that. There is clear movement as the US bungled a few diplomatic steps in light of the ISIS rise in the Philippines. Yet we must understand that the diplomatic picture here is a lot more complex than the Maute incident is currently giving visibility to. The Diplomat (at http://thediplomat.com/2017/05/why-is-the-philippines-turning-away-foreign-aid/) gave us “The Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte recently rejected a 250 million euro ($280 million) foreign aid package from the European Union (EU) on the grounds that the EU is trying to enforce human rights regulations in exchange for its aid“, which is fair enough from both sides. Yet with ISIS trying to get ground here, why has there not been a stronger response from London/Canberra? With Australia now on the doorstep of ISIS, another solution would have been required. It makes sense that there are questions from both sides, and to give a view to the severity of either side whilst knowing all the elements would just be folly from my side. Yet there is now a start of the acceptance of ISIS by Maute, which changes the game to some effect. For one, US drones are off the table, as are several other options. As long as Maute is one this path, several players could end up with their options not on the table. As some try to impose what they call ‘minimum guidelines‘, we now call a hindrance to deal with ISIS, which means that the war on terror as some tend to call it will be minimised in efficiency.

Yet there is another side that Manilla needs to realise and it is stated by Chithra Purushothaman: “To think that foreign aid from China would be entirely altruistic with no strings attached would not be wise. While human rights regulations might not come attached to Chinese aid, there is the chance of slipping into a debt trap that Manila would find hard to escape.” We should argue in equal matter that Russia would have a similar approach and for them a foothold on the Philippines could be the new nightmare scenario for the US Navy.

So how will this move forward? The open direct and non-compromising statements from President Rodrigo Duterte might sound awesome to some, yet after the Maute incident, the Philippines would need to get back to any sort of business plan, meaning that the need for conceding in some way on pressures from the person who gave them the goods and the money would form a second wave of changes. In which direction could not be stated, but geographically speaking, the Philippines are too interesting a place to just ignore for both Russia and China.

So as we see that ISIS is now an issue on the doorstep of Australia, we need to wonder how Canberra will react to the latest events and if they see it as a threat at all. With a Filipino population in Australia now approaching 200,000, both ASIS and ASIO would have their hands full on getting a hold of data that could enable them to figure out how large the risks would be for Australia. They might have had a good handle on the data in the past, yet the change in the Philippines to opt for vigilantism also includes an additional risk to ID Fraud and officially handed out incorrect passports, which does not help anyone, not even the Manilla government. Now, this last part is speculation from my side, yet when we see the messages as to the promises made by the president, if it is in the interest of President Rodrigo Duterte to hand out new identities to those who came to his ‘aid’, do you think that getting a new passport would be the hardest thing to get? The problem becomes what some extremists would do when they do get that new identity. That is the worry for those not in the Philippines. In the end, as the news is still escalating over the last week. We will not know what will happen next. Even when we realise that the ISIS claim for the suicide bomb in Indonesia is a real issue, the parts that remain an unknown for now is how large ISIS has grown in Jakarta and where they are growing towards. We get “President Joko Widodo said Indonesia needed to accelerate plans to strengthen anti-terrorism laws to prevent new attacks” from Asian Age, yet the reality is that the Indonesian president required more than a mere anti-terrorism law. They need an actual battle plan. If Mauta in Marawi is not actively stopped, ISIS would have a decent free go to anyone in the Sulawesi sea, which also implies that Brunei in play to some degree. We might be fooled by the Speech of President Trump to both Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and other distinguished guests, the ISIS issue is in South-East Asia and there is little evidence that it will let up soon. As President Trump gives a very different message to the Muslim nations (compared to former President Obama), there are indications that his version is more readily accepted. There is more as we see CNN, where we see an attack by Phelim Kline of Human Rights watch, which is her version and I am not stating that it is an incorrect one, yet when we read “Any assertion by any world leader, including US President Donald Trump, that Duterte is doing ‘an unbelievable job’ by cheerleading a murderous campaign that has killed more than 7,000 Filipinos is not only a gross insult to those victims and their family members, but sends a signal to Duterte and his willing executioners that their lawless killing spree can continue with a vengeance without fear of international criticism and repercussions“, I am not stating her version to be incorrect or inaccurate. Yet in this age, when we see that nobody can hold a budget, that services are denied more and more, and the people on a global scale have to accept that drug users are poor people who alas have a habit and they then take away services for thousands of people. The war on drugs has been a humongous failure on a global scale that is the denial of many people and even more politicians. Politicians who hide behind ‘a level of acceptance and tolerance‘, which is their right, yet some people have decided that enough is enough and started another path. The path that these politicians considered to be a non-option is being walked by one nation at present. Their fear is not how far will it go, their actual fear is what happens when it makes an actual difference. It takes one success for adaption to propagate a plan that is not humane.

As CNN makes a quick reference to a photo event (at http://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2017/03/world/city-of-the-dead/), yet here we see part that the CNN people offered as evidence, yet did not talk about loudly in that opposition to the Philippine president: “Methamphetamine, or “shabu” as it’s known locally, is used by 860,000 — 49% — of the country’s 1.8 million drug users, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime“, 2% of the entire Philippine population is addicted to drugs! The CDC sets the Percentage of persons 12 years of age and over with any illicit drug use at 10.2%, which was a 2014 number, but it gives a rather large realisation, the US war on drugs has been lost on pretty much every field, the politicians are in denial because admittance is not just the only issue, the people would demand action and the US government has no options or funds for that. In addition, the stat is not entirely fair as the CDC goes for ‘illicit drug use‘ which is a much larger concept than the use of narcotics. So there is an unbalanced comparison. Yet when a nation has 2% of its population set to addicts, we need to accept that there is a much larger problem, it does not make the actions of President Rodrigo Duterte the right one, but I wonder if this at present is the only one remaining. When we consider the Netherlands with its population and its liberal approach of drugs, the numbers indicate that its narcotics addition is set to a mere 0.5%, I have no idea how reliable it is, yet the numbers come from the Dutch NRC, which is actually one of the much better national newspapers the Dutch have. So there the addiction numbers are a mere 25% of what the Philippines currently faces.

This all has an impact, because that would fuel the extremists agenda’s by a lot, in addition as we see that Islam prohibits all drugs that are not medically prescribed gives the drugs addicts even less options, so there is a growing concern to face.

This does not give acceptance of any party, and it will not give ISIS any additional options, the fact that Maute is ‘connected’ to them should fuel the fear of the other parties that are talking to ISIS at present. This gives light to the direction of President Rodrigo Duterte, we just do not know at present how this will play out. What is a given is that ISIS is stretching to the places a lot closer to home than we considered before, the question for us becomes: What are we willing to do to stop ISIS from actually landing here?

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Chapter 13

I have been aware of the story for almost a day now. To be honest, it took a little while to let things sink in. Also, my approach here is completely different from my other stories. This all is not a clear cut thing and I might be barking up all the wrong trees. The story ‘Argentinian government moves to dissolve domestic intelligence agency‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/27/argentina-government-domestic-intelligence-agency-alberto-nisman) should be a wake-up call to many people. What you are about to read is not based on evidence, evidence that we see as quality facts that can be used to speculate on what actually happened. I am stating that none of the evidence is of any calibre at all, I am however using the events that I am aware of and as such, I see a different escalation, one that could be utterly wrong. I leave it up to the reader, I am just warning the reader at this point, to scrutinise my thoughts, as I do and do not accept the speculation on face value alone.

You see, for the most a population has little to no clue what their levels of protection are, until they are removed. Consider that we in Australia need to remain safe whilst someone decided that Australia will be a lot safer if the ASIO is disbanded. I can tell you now that this would be the worst idea in a long line of really bad ideas. If we go by the oldest book on this (the art of war), then at some point, the reader gets to chapter 13, which is all about espionage.

Today, we have a host of issues with spooks, but the one we ignore is that they are here to prevent issues. Yet now consider that these are used against us. However, be aware that spies can be used in any matter of ways, in addition, these groups do not just represent governments, at times large corporations employ them for similar reasons.

So as we look at the initial text, I will add the conversion to modern and technological approach

From the view of the Art of war, we get the following:

  • We employ the use of spies, of whom there are five classes:
    • Local spies;
    • inward spies;
    • converted spies;
    • doomed spies;
    • Surviving spies.

There is a book; it is called ‘Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy: The Secret World of Corporate Espionage’ by Eamon Javers. It is not a bad read, more important, this current world has an evolved use of former intelligence officers (from many countries), some come from the redacted world of cutbacks in the US and some who privatised themselves. They use their spy craft to aid corporations in distinguishing weaker targets, preparing for cases and litigation in several legal areas and to aid in final trading decisions, as well as change the premise of trade agreements (or to destabilise them by interfering with costs and profit margins. For these options, they might choose to employ Local Spies and/or Inward spies.

In modern days, we will actually see the converted spy in several ways, whether this person is an informer through IT, a trader, or merchant. In the household form, see this person as one of your distributors, however, as he is getting his bonus from another source, he will tip the revenue scales in a minor way, you that you almost got the job, but almost getting the job is not the same as getting the job and you lose out on revenue. I can go on and give you examples of the last two types, but you get the picture!

So why is this event an issue at present?

Consider that Argentina, as it is in such a dire situation, that it needs to get its economy in a much better place. Now we look at the first quote “Argentina’s president announced a major shakeup of her country’s intelligence network on Monday in her most combative step yet to address the fallout from the death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman“. This sounds all fair and good, but is dissolving the intelligence agency a step that should be considered? Let’s not forget that Argentina has two enemies, the first one is big business. Big Business will always be an enemy of ANY government that prefers to give a fair deal to the people of its nations; the second is X, which is not the United Kingdom or the Commonwealth. Yes, there has been and there will remain a clear difference of opinion there, but that is a disagreement, not a statement for hostile acts.

When we look at what drove all this (at http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/20/world/americas/alberto-nisman-found-dead-argentina-amia.html), we see the title, which gives us a first clue ‘Puzzling Death of a Prosecutor Grips Argentina‘. “From the moment 10 years ago when he was assigned to investigate the 1994 suicide bombing of a Jewish centre here that left 85 people dead, Mr Nisman, an even-keeled lawyer, became entangled in a labyrinthine plot that he traced to Iran and its militant Lebanese ally, Hezbollah“, in addition we get “explosive accusations that top Argentine officials, including President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, had conspired with Iran to cover up responsibility for the bombing as part of a deal that would supply Iranian oil to Argentina“. You see, Argentina has a few issues all over the place, in addition, there is no denying that the people have never forgotten what happened in 1994, yet, and my deepest apologies to those who had lost loved ones, friends and people they knew, this event is not the highest priority for Argentina in their current dilemma, so why is there suddenly a revelation?

I am not entirely sure that any of these facts are true (pure speculation), when looking at the timeline, the events are off. Is it not convenient that Alberto Nisman ends up dead just after he accuses certain people from a case that is two decades old? Did he actually find evidence? Perhaps something was given, or left for him to find. Consider the implied involvement of Iran and its oil delivery, why would that now get distorted, just when oil is massively on the way down in price. So as we read: “He accused Hezbollah of having carried out the bombing and senior Iranian officials of having planned and financed it“, based on what evidence? This is not a case that has had nonstop attention; it was a specific case, a 20 year old one. How hard would it have been to insert scraps leaving to fictive evidence? In addition, Hezbollah has eagerly taken credit for their actions in the past, so why deny it now? I am not stating that they are innocent, but the fact that Hezbollah has a fading course of visibility, this claim would give them the ‘image’ they wanted to have.

The next part hits back to all the parts mentioned before. The person implied in this, now suddenly disbands one intelligence branch and creates a new one. Is this just a shifting label, or are the people getting replaced. I reckon in Argentine’s current predicament, to remove their intelligence branch for someone else is tactically bad (guess where all these officers would go to) and if it is just a sanitation of bad apples, the branch would not needed to be disband in one instance and created in a reformatted version the next.

All these elements are not adding up. Now, let us be fair, why would it make sense to me? I am not in Argentina, I have no clue what the reasoning is and why certain political steps are taken. So, consider this quote from the guardian “Cristina Fernández de Kirchner said she would support a bill to dissolve the existing structure – which employs more than 2,000 people – and replace it with a new federal intelligence agency“. When we add the following part “It follows a protracted struggle with the intelligence agency that has come to light after the suspicious death of Nisman, which the president blames on rogue spies who are trying to undermine her“, as well as ““We must start to work on a project to reform the Argentine intelligence system, in order to clear up a system that has not served national interests,” Fernández said“, so as we see the known facts, the president, who will be leaving  office after two terms is now, 9 months until elections, shoveling over a massive anthill called the ‘Intelligence branch’? So, as we see the accusation of ‘rogue spies’, instead of cleaning house, they are resetting the entire branch? That does not seem like the best idea. Regardless whether there are rogue elements, it is likely that other connections remain hidden as it all goes into another form, which means that it could easily start again. The question on how Alberto Nisman died is still not settled with clarity, so if it was murder, than shuffling the intelligence branch seems an even less good idea.

I can also state with some certainty that doing all this, whilst Argentina is still in treacherous economic waters, having a reliable intelligence branch is pretty essential. Yet, this gives us the part, is it reliable? Latin American nations have been accused more often implied accused seen as a harsh, possibly corrupt group of power brokers. If that is the case, cleaning the intelligence foundations make a lot more sense than ‘just’ relabeling it. If we accept the last quote “her tussle with the spy agency has so far led to increased surveillance powers for the army“, we must consider more than one path. Was this step deliberate, or was it orchestrated? You would think that both answers are the same, but they are not. In the first case we see the consequence of shifting powers, which grows the military oversight, in the other situation it was always about setting military oversight and this was being orchestrated by reshaping the intelligence branch into a Federal Intelligence Agency. The question then becomes, if this is a step towards the ‘FIA’, why was it done in this way? Consider the espionage part in the beginning. Venezuela is in a very bad state and until the hedge funds issues are completely resolved, having an active intelligence branch at your disposal seems pretty essential as well. Let’s not forget the reference to the book in the beginning, under these conditions, there could be profit for both Uruguay and Paraguay, Chili is also a player in this case. As the intelligence branch falters, it also means that economic and corporate advantages could be gained at the expense of Argentinian margins, that whilst the hedge funds vulture issue remains unresolved. All this leads to the question what has actually been happening, it seems decently clear (in my personal view) that the reference to the Jewish centre was not a cause for accusation, but likely a diversion. So, why were certain allegations made, more important, why is the accused president not receiving a lot more opposition and vocal complaints?

We won’t know what is actually in lay, perhaps for some time, but when this article gets more space, at that point, I will follow up on this story, hopefully all loaded with verified facts.

 

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Allegiance!

This story took some time; I had to rewrite it after going all misogynistic on Lisa Wilkinson’s ass (almost literally). You see, in hindsight (pun intended), it is all entirely my own fault. I got emotional about emotions, which is pretty fatal at times. I made the number one error, I took at face value what I should not have, we all do this in time, we will all remain to make that mistake, it makes us human. You see, I considered Lisa to be her own brand of Journalist as we see the aftermath of the Martin Place events, which was the biggest error of all. She might have been a journalist at some point, but now she is an entertainer, her reading the news does not make her a journalist, she is reading events on the morning show. So when my stomach turned on her over-emotional dragging event of interviews of the relative of victims, I took out my own dictionary and the initial (never published) article was the result. And in that light, let’s be clear that Karl Stefanovic is not innocent either, he might not have said the words, but sitting next to her, we get that what hits both goose and gander.

Yet, like some, I was able to rectify my views before the damage was done, but it is important to mention the events none the less, because it should affect you the reader too.

You see, we all have an allegiance, and we forget that the Channel Nine Morning Show only has allegiance to the ratings and the advertisers, no matter how they pour that batter, it is all about the money, which takes, as I see it, journalism out of the equation.

So what was this about?

Well, there was a hostage situation in Sydney, which is now taken out of proportions by pretty much any party who gets a say in the word. There is a dangerous precedent here and as I see it, the jo0urtnalistical branch is not standing up to give fair and balanced information. That is weirdly enough done by Russel Brand in ‘Russell Brand The Trews (E212)‘ (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZ8ZYAvWTxo). When we start relying on comedians to give us actual news, you know that we are all in trouble!

The only issue that Russel got wrong is the response that Rupert Murdoch had, you see, I saw the disgust all over the net, but THIS is the cost of doing business, this is the face of revenue. In addition we see the headlined from the Daily Telegraph and other papers. Headlines are all about the masses who do not read. Now we see issues on bail laws and on hate sheikh. Yet, these places of publication are no longer about true journalism, this is about product that is for sale and it is a lot easier to sell it to an emotional mass, then to a level headed person.

Now, we see how emotions can be used for good, if you doubt that then look at the sea of flowers in Martin Place. People feeling for the victims, it is clean, it is pure, but it needs there, the press is pushing this into new directions. The interview of the partner of the victim was simple exploitation, it might work out for the victim’s partner, and that is fine by me, but I doubt whether he has any personal agenda here, he is getting over a shocking event and within 2 days the press was all over him for a story, which was all presented in the ‘awwwww’ voice of Lisa Wilkinson and that truly got my emotions rolling in a very negative way.

Yet, it does not stop there; there is a lot more, which is why Russel’s video news is such a gem to see. Around 1:50 we see a summary, the man was instable, other decent sources state that he was a self-styled Muslim Cleric, we see the Australian stating ‘he claimed he converted from Shia to Sunni Islam‘, in light of the news, I find any newspaper to be less reliable, but there is a clear issue, why was he painted ‘a terrorist’? It seems Russel had the same question marks I have, but I will take that road further down this story, where I will present the views and you can happily agree or disagree.

You see, here we get the first issue of allegiance. For this we need to look at ‘The silent minutes of the Lindt Cafe siege that beg many questions‘ (at http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/the-silent-minutes-of-the-lindt-cafe-siege-that-beg-many-questions/story-fnl2dlu7-1227161245948). You see, there are many question, but we are asking them in the wrong direction, which links to another article on 10 ‘failures’, which begs many issues to question, mostly the values of the reporter. The first one I have an issue with is ‘FAILED: SAVED FROM EXTRADITION‘, Iran has been seen as a place of inhumanity for a long time and Australia was not sending a person back on the alleged crime of Fraud, into the hands of the Iranian justice system, which has been regarded in more than one instance of being pretty non-existent, but now suddenly it is good enough to extradite a person for? It seems a little double standard to me. ‘FAILED: DROPPED OFF WATCH LIST‘ is the second one. The events in Martin Place were not a terrorist action, not by the standard we need to ‘hold’ terrorism, a hostage situation is an act of terror for the victims, but it is about the agenda of the transgressor. In that light there are two actual groups; Man Haron Monis is part of neither, as I see it.

Let’s take a look at these two groups for the clarity of it all. There is the aligned lone wolf and the non-aligned lone wolf. Now, here is the dangerous quote, by considering, a terrorist to be sane and balanced. They are seen as sane and balanced, as he/she is regarded by the people around them in their day to day dealing with them. They might not be noticed at all, until the penny drops and they go all out and all radical, often these people will have a decent degree, they are educated, but they will not conform to any ‘set standard of life’. In that regard Horst Mahler might be the most famous one of the lot, a man with legal degrees, Social democrat, socialist, he went from extreme left to extreme right, from Rote Armee Fraktion, he changed lanes towards the teachings of Mao towards the NPD. One could argue that it was his need to be in the spotlight, I believe that as his view on the world changed, so did his alignment. It is not clear whether his view in regards to the holocaust denial is anti-Semite in its foundations, or whether this view has other foundations, this article is not about that part and it would take a long time to go over the alleged evidence. In all this, we get a tainted picture form the press at large, in those days, the RAF called the press at large unreliable, what they attacked and what was ‘denounced’ as any truth in regards to the attacks on the Axel Springer press empire, is now to the larger extent known to be an absolute truth, a view that is only enforced by the acts of Rupert Murdoch and his empire of revenue building proclamations of events for profit.

So this non-aligned lone wolf could group with others, but as a singular person he/she is often a lot harder to track and even harder to stop. Even today, the intelligence branch is lacking options to find that person, the issues on data collection that is now being stopped to some extent will only make it near impossible for people to be protected from these attacks.

The second group is the aligned lone wolf. Now we can look at lone wolfs of ISIL, ISIS, Al Qaeda, but also Aryan, KKK and even the IRA. In some cases events by a single person, who idolised a larger group acted out. Even though we see those people as part of that organisation, it is not always a truthful link. Yet as I see it, they ‘believe’ that the view of such a group is the righteous one and as such they act out. This group is easier to spot, but it still requires access to large amounts of data to see whether these people are indeed lone wolves. The additional problem is the lack of data, these people tend to keep a lower profile and as such there is less direct data linking them, most data will be ‘indirect’.

Man Haron Monis is not part of either. He has been seen as self-proclaimed, should be seen as attention seeker that is acting out. The fact that he is painted as a terrorist only makes matters worse. If we paint any person with serious mental health issues with the T-word, we will not get anything done and whatever budget we think we need, will be regarded to be short by 1000% and still not yield resolutions, interestingly enough, I am now seeing a SMH article confirming this view (at http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/sydney-siege-man-haron-monis-humanitarian-and-terrorist-20141219-12ajn5.html). So the second claim ‘FAILED: DROPPED OFF WATCH LIST‘ was more than correct ASIO has other fish to fry, this was a police matter to some extent and until he did something wrong, there was nothing to hold against him.

So back to the list, I am not going to go over all ten, some are too ludicrous to voice, yet this one ‘FAILED: GIVEN LEGAL AID‘ is an issue, You see, in Australia we have legal aid, which is there for all of us, which included him and tax payers pay that bill, for all who need legal aid, so get over it already. By the way, the press at large have been hammering on too little legal aid for a long time, which makes this ‘failure’ valued at the going price of ‘a sizeable giggle’.

The one that really matters is the one they left for the last ‘FAILED: INFORMATION NOT SHARED‘, it is not an issue! Some data is not to be shared and it is safe to say that the press is the least reputable source to claim what needs to be shared (reason to follow shortly).

ASIO and ASIS will have data they do not share, it puts people at risk and it puts operations at risk. We only need to look at the case of Phillip Arantz to see the operational need of not sharing data, which goes into two directions, data that could end up being suppressed and data that could end up being exploited, both would be disastrous for both ASIO and ASIS. In light of Philip Arantz, was Police Medical Officer, Dr A. A. Vane ever held to account by law or by the press? Seems that the press was visibly absent, one could argue that additional investigations would be valid regarding the Crown Employees Appeal Board, there too, a lack of press visibility. At his death the SMH placed 533 words regarding his life, now compare that to the tens of thousands of words a loon with a gun in a coffee shop got, so information should not be shared, as we cannot trust where that information ends up (or not ends up).

As we move back into allegiance, we need to see that the hardest part is that exploitation works two ways, it gets power from events we see as good, like #illridewithyou where the people are acting out to protect the Muslim community form being unjustly attacked and the interviews we see on how sorry we all feel, yet in that second instance we see that there is almost no news given regarding the 132 Muslim children slaughtered by the Taliban in a real terrorist act. How interesting that this news was hardly reported on. Yet, allegiance goes a lot further and is not just about terrorism. You see, allegiance is more and more about big business and advertising.

Whether the story is painted in light of ethicality as we see in FIFA, we must question why certain events are brought forward to such an extent. Consider the updated article ‘FIFA ethics investigator Michael Garcia resigns in relation to World Cup bidding process report‘ (at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-18/fifa-ethics-investigator-michael-garcia-resigns-in-relation-to-/5974852). I wrote about it a few times, when it all started ‘Sacking the editor?‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2014/11/14/sacking-the-editor/) and  ‘Any sport implies corruption!‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2014/03/19/any-sport-implies-corruption/), now we see that the ABC reports on the following parts “Garcia says he lost confidence in the independence of the ethics committee’s adjudicatory chamber following a statement issued by Eckert, based on Garcia’s still-secret report, in November” and “Garcia, who formerly served as chief federal prosecutor in Manhattan, had appealed against Eckert’s statement, saying it contained misrepresentations, but that appeal was ruled inadmissible by FIFA on Tuesday“, so we get intentional misrepresentation as stated by one person. The fact that this report is kept a secret is also a problem, especially in light of the claims by the Sunday Times, who still needs to be held accountable for their statements. We see all matters of allegiance, but allegiance to whom, or to what. Not unlike many, we want to know what is done to us. In a video statement by Joseph “Sepp” Blatter (at http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/dec/19/fifa-agrees-publish-michael-garcia-report-world-cup-bid-qatar-russia), we see at 1:54, where we hear ‘football is still the game of the world‘. Is it? It seems more and more that football is big business because many watch it. That has been at the centre of all this and as we see statements of misrepresentation by FIFA and the press at large, we must ask ourselves, what games are they playing? That light becomes a lot brighter when we consider the independent article (at http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/first-coca-cola-now-sony-as-sponsors-turn-their-backs-on-fifa-is-it-finally-game-over-for-the-qatar-world-cup-9882688.html), it seems that the issue (as I reported in my previous blog), diluted return per advertisement as the world cup would be held in Winter, because of temperatures, we see a shift on how some ‘threaten’ to walk away. You see, the stance of Sony is quite nice, but when they are confronted with the danger that FIFA 17 and onwards not getting released on PlayStation as EA could be confronted with Microsoft demanding exclusivity for FIFA games, should they start sponsoring, how many soccer fans would bail on their PlayStation? Let me be frank, there is no evidence that this will happen at all, but is that risk so far-fetched? FIFA games have been going strong since before 1998 on many systems, if PlayStation becomes the one ‘leave one out‘, their advantage will be truly gone and they currently do not have that much advantage left.

So here we see the picture of allegiance, that what we perceive to be (journalists towards their audience) and what it actually is (journalists adhering to the need of big business), yet in that same light we are a slave to the allegiance of our own emotions, that what we fear it is (the ISIS flag in a coffee shop with people under threat of death) and what is actually shown (a black flag with letters we cannot read).

News_GoogleSearch

 

 

When we see that articles are used, and changed (as we see the Google search), then to read the text not to include that part, we see, as I see it, an intent to misinform the public. The press deciding to rely on the push-button called fear to change public opinion, whilst any proper journalist would have correctly reported on the fact that a Shahada flag (the one that was used, apparently comes in two versions, black with white letters and white with black letters, a simple view of contrast. The text is “There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God“, a simple religious expression, a very Muslim expression. Most of us Christians have so many flags, is it that far-fetched that the Muslims would have a flag? And as we misuse our flags, is it not conceivable that one deranged Muslim would misuse the Shahada? Why was this not clearly mentioned in so many articles?

As I see it, allegiances are here, to some extent they should be here, but the one the press seems to invoke is a dangerous one, especially as they are not held to any account for the proclamations they make in light of ‘the people have a right to know‘, to some extent they do, yet they also have ‘a right to not be misinformed‘, a part that many players remain silent on.

Where do you stand, and what is your allegiance?

 

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Advice from the press?

So, as we look at the Guardian, we see someone stating that we need an independent monitor. So, what is going on? To be quite honest, at first I thought I was reading a cartoon. The fact that the spokespersons name is Julian Disney did not help matters (and I so love my Disney movies).

Yet, this is not me having a go at a respectable person. I do not know Prof Julian Disney AO; he is a professor of Law at UNSW. Even though those from UTS will always happily have a go at their academic brethren (Australian graduates regard the rivalry between Oxford vs. Cambridge and Harvard vs. Yale to be mere child’s play), we do keep all professors in high regard!

Yet, that does not mean that we will not oppose them when needed and this is as I see it such a moment!

I have been very vocal in the past in regards to the press, their actions and their flaws, their massive flaws. It seems that the press all about ‘self-regulating’ and beyond that it is all about public advocates (so that they will have access to materials. Yet, the intelligence field does not operate in this way. I had a few concerns, which I addressed as “I would have preferred that a clear location would be there to alert someone, even if it was a special appointed judge“, which allows for whistle blowers to the smallest extent, but not one that is open to all. I want to be certain that the information is properly vetted for ‘misuse’ (read: whinge to promote one’s self agenda and career).

So yes, I have issues with the article (at http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2014/oct/02/australian-press-council-spy-powers-independent-monitor). My first issue is “The Greens senator Scott Ludlam announced on Wednesday the Greens would not be supporting the next tranche of legislation, which will force telecommunications companies to keep the personal details of Australians for two years“. We have two options here, either the DSD (Australian version of GCHQ) gets all the data, or they get access to the data when properly needed. They opted for option two, which means that telecoms need to hold on to data. Listen up people, this means that your data is safe until there is a direct known threat, which will allow for a ‘data warrant’. So if you did nothing, you will never show up in their lists. To be clear, in America, the NSA opted for solution one, which gives them all your actions and as such you were ‘mined’ for flags. This means that in 99.999657% likelihood (roughly), they never saw you, they mined you with processes, but no person ever saw your actions.

The second quote is “He added that it was critical for the inspector general of intelligence and security, journalists and the community to continue to monitor how the new laws were implemented“, I agree with most of this view, but let’s change ‘, journalists and the community‘ into ‘a special appointed and security cleared judge‘. I have nothing against the proper person monitoring what happens and as I am still in favour of a legal approach, it should be a special appointed judge and let’s keep the journo’s out of that part, for several reasons. Let’s not forget that the Sunday Mirror entrapment sting is less than a week old and we have seen our share of issues, especially when there was some free for all against Julia Gillard, with the questions aimed at Tim Mathieson to be the ‘Ruddy’ cake, the icing and the candles. There are several more issues. I admit we are not as bad as that island on the other side of the planet, but when it comes to trusting the press, we should all have issues, especially as the Sony issue was ignored by ALL!

So, as it stands, at present I will oppose the Australian Press Council on this.

There is however something in the quote “This will affect every man, woman and child and every device in the country. Now the government has rammed the Asio laws through the Parliament today it is now turning its sights on every internet user in the country“, this statement is not incorrect, yet the people (read the press and politicians) are both dancing around one issue, whilst another issue is the real threat. It is not that the Intelligence community has access. They are merely there to stop the dangers of terrorism. My issue from the very beginning has been ‘who else gets to have access‘. Here we see the real danger, which the press seems to be unwilling to voice. Why? Is a company like Telstra too able to ‘uproot’ your careers? That fear was voiced by me in the blog ‘For our spies only!‘ which I wrote on the 26th of September, the issue is not what should get access, but what will end up having access too that is to a larger degree a concern. I am still convinced that if data retention becomes a larger issue, the intelligence community will be lacking in hardware, knowledge and staff to deal with these massive amounts of data, which leaves us open to other issues, yet this is just my view!

Now consider the impact!

What impact could there have been? Well, to understand that, we have to take a look at yesterday’s news (at http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/law-order/jihadist-sponsor-accused-may-have-made-one-fatal-error-that-led-to-his-arrest/story-fni0fee2-1227075746698). The issue here is not how they got him, but how they almost did not get him. The issue was luck, if the FBI did not have a record on all 12 Americans in Syria, we would not know. Hassan El Sabsabi was allegedly funding people to join Islamic State. He would still be in business, and your money on pizza would have gone to support Islamic State. What a lovely meal you would be having then. Was it perhaps the peperoni supreme?

If ASIO had the data and the scripts would have been running, it is likely that he would have been known earlier, more important, who else is doing this? If they funded a non-American they could still be in business and perhaps they still are. There is no evidence that there was only one person doing this, there is evidence that he is unlikely to be the only one. Did you sign up for your Pizza, your Salad or your Sushi to be the foundation for another terrorist? No! So let ASIO do their job! In this case the press will only advice on the things that further their OWN cause, which tends to be circulation and advertisement. That part has been in the foreground in such a blatant way, that I feel no other option then to oppose the view Professor Disney is offering. Possible we will see more information on what happens next and perhaps the Professor will sway my view. I do not think so, but ignoring voices of wisdom tends to be silly and polarising, which serves no one, not even me, myself and I.

What other issues are there?

Well for me that is pretty much it. I believe that access needs to be monitored and no one beside the Intelligence community should have access and that will, at present not be a given. However, I am very much in favour of the press not getting access at all. Yet, the article by Paul Farrell seems to be written with the ‘intent’ to instil fear. A fear we should not get into, for the very reason that it is fear that they are trying to remove and is achieved by people not looking over their shoulder, especially a group of journalists who seem to give into appeasing advertisers, the one group we do not want to see anywhere near these amounts of data.

 

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For our spies only!

It’s out in the open, apparently Australia will get its first feel of a ‘cold war’, which according to Attorney General Brandis, will be a lot worse, will it?

Let us take a look.

The first source is the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/26/spy-agencies-to-get-stronger-powers-but-what-exactly-will-they-be), as I am all about a certain level of consistency, let us add a few quotes. “Crossbench senators and many stakeholders raised their concern that, in the absence of a clear definition of a computer network, a single warrant could be used to access a wide range of computers, given the internet is a network of networks” as well as the response to the greens who wanted to add a limit of 20. “Brandis said such an amendment “would impose an arbitrary, artificial and wholly unworkable limitation that would frustrate the ability of Asio to perform its statutory functions“.

These are both fair points, in regards to the sunset clause the response was “No. Brandis rejected a call to put a 10-year expiry date on the new law related to special intelligence operations, despite agreeing to similar sorts of sunset clauses in the yet-to-be-debated foreign fighters bill“.

And the fourth quote, which we need later on is ““Freedom is not a given,” the attorney general said. “A free society is not the usual experience of mankind. Freedom must be secured, and particularly at a time when those who would destroy our freedoms are active, blatant and among us”“.

So, this sounds fine and it all sounds viable, but what about the dangers here (are there even dangers)?

For those with some insight in law, here is the bill as it currently stands (at http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/legislation/bills/s969_first-senate/toc_pdf/1417820.pdf), which for the most is an amendment to the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 (at http://www.comlaw.gov.au/series/c2004a02123).

Initially, it seemed that there was an issue on page 76, yet, when we look at the final product, the change makes perfect sense. The first change here is the approach to information; basically, we will not have a weaky leaky speaky person. So we will (hopefully) not have an issue with some person dreaming to be on team Manning, Snowden and Moronic. It was so nice of the NSA to get into ‘hot’ water, so that we can prevent it. However, not all is well; this is seen (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2014/sep/26/internet-threat-existence-video). Whether it was just bad form, or over generalisation, Senator Glenn Lazarus stated “The internet is a serious threat because it can be used to orchestrate and undertake criminal behaviour across the world“. He then continues how ASIO and ASIS are there to increase security. It is this slight casual quote that seems to voice the dangers, as these powers are needed to combat security threats of several shapes. Yet the senator states “orchestrate and undertake criminal behaviour“, which is a lot broader then initially implied. This does not mean that this will be used as such, and quite honestly, if it stops shady financial advisors, then I am all fine with that, but it goes further than that as it was voiced (not stating the reality will be as such). Another part of the Guardian showed the ‘grilling’ of Attorney General Brandis by Senator Scott Ludlam, yet it seems that there the kettle is off the boil too. The Senator knew that Brandis would not answer or resort to speculation. He stated “I am not going to indulge Senator Ludlam by answering hypothetical cases or cases of historical interest“, which is fair enough. The Senator should know that, when he did a similar thing on October 4th 2013.

So where is the fire and is there a fire? You see, what is happening now, is what should have been done some time ago. I oppose Brendan Molloy from Pirate Bay (a fellow student), but his heart is in the right place (top right behind the rib cage, just like mine) and all these posters we see all over the place in regards to whatever, whenever, forever and prison. It is nice that we see all these posters on dangers and so on, yet some people seem to ignore the debilitating blows the US suffered at the hands of Manning and Snowden, not to mention Jullian Assange (which I will not go into at present). This will now change. At times those who don’t know speak those who know remain silent. It is when those who know speak out, that is when the casualties really go into many digits and Australia has its own brand of security issues. America has a little over 19,000 border miles on an area occupied by 320 million people. Australia seems larger, with a 22,000 border miles coastal line, yet overall Australia only has 22 million people, so with a population less than 10% we have to play the game another way. The security measures are one way, not the only way, but it will possibly stem several issues, which gives our intelligence branches a little more time to figure it out. Let us not forget that we have an intelligence structure and a form of Signal Intelligence, but if you think that they get a serious chunk of cash, then consider that the total Australian intelligence budget is a little under 1% of what America gets, and we get to look at a similar sized chunk of land to observe and a lot less people.

This got me to two issues that are now forming, yet the bill seems to not cover it as such. I am referring to the Telecommunications (Interception and access) Act 1979. Intelligence is essential, so is data collection and analyses. What happens when new solutions are needed? What happens when we face a change? The US had this when they needed more efficiency for the buck and a system called Palantir was used in the tests. Like Deployable Ground Station (DGS), the army ended up with a version known as DCGS-A. Now we get off to the races, the initially optional new system Palantir, its software was rated as easier to use (not unlike the analytical tool IBM Modeller), but did not have the flexibility and wide number of data sources of DCGS-A, which now gets us into hot water, or what the London Chef of Sketch might classify as: ‘from the frying pan into the fire’, these changes will also impact other systems and other people. In many cases the use of a NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) is used (or in many cases Positive Vetting). The entire mess (slight exaggeration), will take on new forms as we see how the changes might also have a flaw (as I see it), what happens when there is a sudden spike of collected data. Scripts, automation, production jobs and moreover the gathering, sifting and storing of data will soon take an entirely new dimension. The current intelligence framework is in my humble opinion not even close to ready for a growth in excess of 400% (800% is more realistic). You see, if we are to set up a path that gives us a possible trace of events, then we need several snapshots, now, they will not snapshot the entire nation, but the amount of data that needs to be stored so that the people who need to know can follow the trace will be a massive one. I for one, am absolutely not in the mood to allow a ‘3rd party’ (read IBM, Oracle and a few others) to set up shop, as that data could even end up in America. Even though I have no issue with my data, feel free to check my Diablo 3 save file guys! The issue is when a grey field allows other uses. For this I recall the article ‘NSA linked to corporate dangers?‘, which I wrote on September 22nd 2013 (Yes, a year ago!), where I quoted the NSA site (the open source unclassified part), “The Information Assurance Business Affairs Office (BAO) is the focal point for IA partnerships with industry. It also provides guidance to vendors and the NSA workforce in establishing IA business relationships and cultivates partnerships with commercial industry through demonstrations and technical exchanges“.

So when we see such an escalation, how long until we see an ‘evolution’ of our intelligence data to create a business space? Let’s be honest upfront, the NSA has a different charter and as such has a massive amount of additional tasks, yet in the current form, is such an evolution that far-fetched? How dishonest is the advantage when a firm like Telstra or iiNet gets their greedy little marketing claws on data so verbose that they can target 10%-20% more ‘efficient’? So we have 2 sides and as far as I see it an element that might need tweaking because of it (reference to the: Telecommunications (Interception and access) Act 1979). The entire Data mining issue is also on the table as I have not met an abundance of miners who have my levels of skill when it comes to massive data sets. When the pressure is on and they need to create a creative alternative to a missing values data set, the race will be pretty much over. Then what? Get external experts?

Now we go back to the initial fourth statement ““Freedom is not a given,” the attorney general said. “A free society is not the usual experience of mankind. Freedom must be secured, and particularly at a time when those who would destroy our freedoms are active, blatant and among us”“. I do not oppose the statement perse, yet in my view the statement is “Freedom is a given in Australia, to keep the Australian values, in a time and under conditions that were designed to remove the tranquillity of our lives, steps must be taken to safeguard the freedom we hold dear. As such we need to act according to new paths for the sole purpose of stopping these elements amongst us, who are driven to remove freedoms, we and all those who came here to enjoy our way of life“.

Freedom remains a given, we will just add a few new solutions to stop those intent on destroying our lives and our freedoms!

In the end, both the Attorney General and myself decided to make Pappas Bravas, he said potato, I said tomato, yet I remain at present cautious on who else is eating from our plate, without the balance of the whistle blower, that person might remain undetected, in that regard, I would have preferred that a clear location would be there to alert someone, even if it was a special appointed judge (who would be added in subsection “(4) The persons to whom information may be communicated under subsection (3) are the following:

Was that such a stretch?

 

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The hungry Journalist games

Another day and another article on Sky News!

This all started a long time ago, but it seems that this article (at http://news.sky.com/story/1293651/internet-firms-take-legal-action-against-gchq), opens up new avenues to explore, aqs it already had taken the cake as one might say. There are issues for certain, they are on both sides, but what is this about?

The seven countries involved are the UK, the US, Germany, the Netherlands, South Korea and Zimbabwe. Let’s start by stating that this is an interesting group of nations to begin with. It was an article in Der Spiegel that set them off. Most sources seem to have copied and pasted the same message (Reuters Journalism as I tend to call it), one source also had this: “Their complaint follows in the wake of articles about mass surveillance published in the Guardian based on material released by Snowden“.

So again this could be a ‘Snowden’ story, but I want to take a look at another side and the quote by Eric King spokesperson (deputy director) of Privacy International who stated “It completely cripples our confidence in the internet economy and threatens the rights of all those who use it. These unlawful activities, run jointly by GCHQ and the NSA, must come to an end immediately

Is that the truth, or should the correct quote be “It completely undermines our support of optional criminal activities and threatens the opportunity of economic abuse for all who desire it. Their unlawful activities, run jointly by GCHQ and the NSA, must come to an end immediately, so that we may again focus on possibly deniable illicit profit

That is quite the change, isn’t it? Consider the following two issues. First the prices, for example ‘Greenhost’ offers the following:

Webhosting 120 GB storage and 1.2 TB data traffic for 132.75 euro’s a month and virtual data servers containing 50 GB storage and 1 TB bandwidth a month for 215 euro’s a month. Basically, just one account would fit the web space for most the ENTIRE Forbes top 50, not just one or two.

So, in light of recent events, I thought I had something here, the Dutch provider fits the bill, but then I got to Riseup, which no longer seemed to be active and the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) which seemed highly ideologically to me. More important, it did not fit the bill either. So am I barking up the wrong tree? (I have been wrong before you know!)

I still believe that the ISP’s are all about not complying as it is not about freedom, but about bandwidth (which directly translates into revenue), which seemed to fit the first part, but the others are not about that, which makes me wonder what is in play. Do you actually think that the NSA and GCHQ are about wasting time? So, is the Chaos Computer Club a waste of time? No, as far as I can tell, they are not. Are they a threat? Well, that remains the issue. They are hackers after all. Is it that farfetched that some people would want to keep track of some of these members? Let’s not forget that someone is feeding organised crime the knowledge that they need to avoid prosecution, when considering the power that both the Triades and the Russian Mafia have in the digital age area, looking into the CCC to some extent seems to be a given. However, knowing their skills, doing it in the way it is implied to have been done seems a little over the top as most of these hackers are pretty proud of themselves and they are for the most not in hiding. Let us not forget, they voice themselves to be about the freedom of the German people and the utter privilege of their data remaining private.

The fact is that this is an implied mess involving 7 countries, the next valid question becomes: ‘are they linked (beyond the accusation), or are they just a collection of elements?’

That question bares scrutiny, but should also indicate the view I have had of Snowden from the very beginning. I believe him to be a joke (and a bad one at that). Now, most of you will not believe this, but let us take a look at the EVIDENCE. I am not talking about some claim, but actual evidence partially on the common sense you and me hopefully tend to have.

1. The claims that he has made involves massive levels of access. Not the access a hacker will ever have, but the information from top level sources in the CIA, NSA and GCHQ. So were talking hacking into over dozens of top level secured servers, servers which are monitored 24/7. He, some hacker no one had ever heard from, did all that. These people behind the screens do NOT EVER give out passwords, do not give access, yet he had all the information and walked out of one of the most secure buildings in the world with all THAT data? This is a quote found in sources like ‘the Verge’ and ‘Wired’. I think we can agree that wired is a reputable source in regards to technology (at http://www.wired.com/2013/06/snowden-thumb-drive/) “‘There are people who need to use a thumb drive and they have special permission,’ an unnamed, ex-NSA official told the LA Times. ‘But when you use one, people always look at you funny.’” This is not unlike the view I have had for a year now. Let’s not forget, the NSA is the place where SELinux was developed, it was designed to keep close tabs on access control, specifically, who, where, how and with what. So ‘some’ technician, with the USB drive in the most secure server space on the planet is just not going to fly. The question I had from the very beginning is not how he did it, but what was actually at play here? The next part is assumption! Was it to give Booz Allan Hamilton more profit? That was my alleged first thought. If data was going to get ported to non-government institutions, this small caper could give BAH and whoever was getting oversight an easy and clean billion a year in revenue. That tactic, still ethically wrong, would have made perfect sense to me.

Here is how I see it and this is PURE assumption (I will get back to evidence in a minute for my next issue), consider the Microsoft disappointment with data collection plans for the Xbox One. We see some of the changes (at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/23/us/politics/house-votes-to-limit-nsas-collection-of-phone-data.html). The following quotes are essential here. The first one was from Jim Sensenbrenner, Republican of Wisconsin, “The N.S.A. might still be watching us, he added, but now we can be watching them“. It is a bold statement, but is it true; moreover, should they be watched? Yes, any intelligence operation needs oversight, which is fair enough in a democratic way of life, but how many should overlook this? Are the people in oversight not granted well above average powers and is it fair to any opposition party that they should have it?

2. What lies beneath this access is the amount of involvement. Prism is one of the named projects with supported links to Australia, the UK and the Netherlands, with Microsoft as a commercial partner. Really? One nation, known for clogs, cheeses, Hans Brinker and soccer is placed next to the NSA and the Commonwealth? It is a technological hub, no doubt about that, but it is the size of Maryland. So, this is just the first of several projects, involving secrecies that would be limited to the very top, most of it would not be written down and Snowden had it (as in having in past tense, details follow). The mention of projects like XKeyscore, Tempora, Project 6, Stateroom, Lustre and Muscular. They are not only different projects, but they are a scope of projects that would not ever be in one location to begin with. So, what is implied as ‘the top’ of data gathering and one IT person has it all? Is no one asking the questions the PRESS should have asked and openly doubted from the very beginning to begin with (a part that is not voiced in any way).

The funny part is that stateroom seems to be no more than the legal collection of information as EVERY government tends to collect diplomatic data and in his claim he made them ALL bitches to the NSA, they just do not know it. There is also a reference to Echelon, there are several references, but the one that matters is not named. A covert niche within the NSA and the name of the source is: Tom Clancy!

Is anyone starting to wake up now?

This is not about anything but the warped imagination that is not even close to a reality. Consider that every government has embassies and consulates, the Dutch have them, the Australians have them, so do the Brits and the Germans, not to mention the French and they have them too. Consulates and Embassies represent their governments. Consulates tend to be specific for people and companies, so that they have backups. Like getting home when your passport is stolen, or to help a company with a list of people they should talk to for starting to do business. Trade will always remain important anywhere. Embassies are more about ‘governing’ opportunities as I see them. The Dutch want to get first dibs on building a reliable bridge, so their ambassador talks the great talk. People skills is what it is all about and talking to the right people. There are other sides too, they try to resolve issues, like a Dutchman committing a crime in Melbourne (for example) and the Embassy tries to ‘help’ the Dutch person to get home again, or to assist local government with their investigation if need be. These people do work that they sometimes like and sometimes hate, it is a job that needs to be done. To get the best results some things need to remain confidential and secret and as such whether through encrypted ways or through other ways messages go back and front between a government and its local representatives and that needs a little more security. Some is as simple as a message of a first insight as to build a bridge; to keep the advantage this goes encrypted. It is the cost of business, plain and simple. There is no hidden agenda (other than national pride in trying to score the job). So, they do they do their job and they are not the NSA bitch in the process.

It is simple approach and the lie hidden within a truth was stated as “They are covert, and their true mission is not known by the majority of the diplomatic staff at the facility where they are assigned” Part of the truth is that the encryption specialist is usually not known, it is not a secret either, he used to be the person, who had one extra book with cyphers, he opened each page and set the encryption box and transmitted the information, often a NCO of communication (often has NATO duty reference A00x0). That person had two extra tasks and most in the diplomatic staff might not know, or better stated, they absolutely do not care.

When we saw the statements by certain key people in Australia or the UK they spoke the absolute truth. The small explanation I gave is done by all, the DSD (AUS), GCHQ (UK) and as I said it the Dutch have it too. It is a simple legally valid and required job that needs to be done, nothing secret about it, it is the cost of doing business and sometimes, to keep a lead profitable it sometimes gets handed over more secured, just like they do it at Microsoft (they just get heaps better equipment).

Another issue is the XKeyscore reference. Does such a thing exist, most likely! Now consider the implications of the following, there are mentions of 700 servers in 150 locations. The fact that it needs to intercept without visibility and analyse at the same time as a person does many things at the same time. Even if the best of the best was used (which likely is the case), then we are looking at a very select group trying to get a handle on perhaps no more than the most dangerous 2000 people on the planet. Does anyone believe that a system like this remains a secret if 4 Australian bases are involved? The next part can also be taken as a fact. Can anyone even guess the amount of bandwidth this takes? Most routers nearby the monitored person will truly get a beating, so whatever this is, it will show up. It is the scope that is claimed that makes no sense. Some in the NSA might find it nice if it was true, but the weak link in all this is the actual internet.

The last part of this is the kicker in this joke. If his life depends on it all, do you actually think he would ever part with the information? This came from the NY Times from October 2013 (at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/18/world/snowden-says-he-took-no-secret-files-to-russia.html) “Mr Snowden said he gave all of the classified documents he had obtained to journalists he met in Hong Kong, before flying to Moscow, and did not keep any copies for himself“, so his life depends on a journalist, who now has the thousands of documents?

Perhaps we should look at a much more likely explanation, the man has no value, the press is stretching the value of events, as they would and Snowden has played his part, I still think that the Chinese saw in him what I saw from the very beginning, a simple joke! They walked away and he had to flee to Russia who is keeping him around for entertainment and to piss of the Yanks (which they also regard as good entertainment). My issue is not him, but the fact that I see more wasted time and energy on laughable cases that keep us all away from actually moving forward. In this economy, as we are so stretched thin, rebuilding an economy is a first need, not waste time on some feigned attack on the ‘confidence in the internet economy‘ as Eric King puts it.

And for the love of whomever, let’s not compare Snowden and Assange, I completely oppose Assange and his view, but at least he seemed to believe in that what he did was a just cause and acted accordingly.

In the end this is just my view, but no one seems to be asking the questions the press are supposed to be asking. The Guardian and Der Spiegel seem to get a ‘free’ hand in boasting tons of data and a simple stamp ‘Snowden said it was so’ seems enough for people to just accept it.

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