Tag Archives: Jim Sensenbrenner

Innuendo on the aftermath

The BBC is giving us more, and more, and more. Now they give us “The coronavirus crisis might be causing widespread economic upheaval around the world, but the world’s biggest tech firms are thriving.” And why is that? Consider the simple truth, Apple, even though not completely innovative, does give us something lovely. A lot of people got access to their Super early because of the Coronavirus, we do not want to splash and splurge, but when you are in lockdown, you cannot escape yourself, you can stare down the walls, go insane, or do something else. Surf the web using a Apple iPhone, or a Google Pixar, read a book, play a game or watch a DVD that is ordered via Amazon, then there is the surfing and 2 billion visit Facebook, so yes ‘the world’s biggest tech firms are thriving’, shops would not have been a great offer, lockdowns do that, but the people can order things and some get the hardware to do this. When you have one day to live, the option to see in brilliance and astounding quality matters a great deal to that person. And in all this, the digital highway will be travelled a lot more than usual, people working from home, people being denied high resolution Netflix because the internet if congested, but the advertisements go through, and we all see them. Then we get “At a hearing in Washington on Wednesday, lawmakers grilled the companies about whether they were abusing their dominance to quash rivals, noting the sharp contrast between their fortunes and many other firms”, as I personally see it, they aren’t quashing rivals, they are using their expertise to gain faster and more. 

Beyond that there is “Republican congressman Jim Sensenbrenner asked Mark Zuckerberg why Twitter had removed a post by the US president’s son, Donald Trump Jr, discussing the efficacy of the drug hydroxychloroquine. Twitter is not owned by Facebook. “I think what you might be referring to happened on Twitter, so it’s hard for me to speak to that,” said Mr Zuckerberg.””it gives my earlier view on the stupidity of politicians, as Jim Sensenbrenner cannot tell who owns what and addresses the wrong person on the matter, we see the Cowboy show I expected to see, a waste of time, and poor entertainment at that. 

It becomes a larger issues when we see “Democratic congresswoman Pramila Jayapal asked Jeff Bezos for a “yes or no” answer: Did Amazon ever use seller data to make its own business decisions? This was a reference to reports that Amazon has used data gathered from businesses selling products via its site to design and price its own rival first-party goods – something the firm has previously suggested had been limited to a group of rogue employees. Mr Bezos responded that he couldn’t give an answer in such simple terms” That is part of the problem, the lack of knowledge, when we look at “Did Amazon ever use seller data to make its own business decisions?” What exactly is ‘seller data?’, is it a cookie that the users has agreed on, was it sales data from the application that was used, as such, what application data is in play? Was it a customer review? Three questions that rip out the threads of the conversation. As such, as we saw Democratic congresswoman Pramila Jayapal rip Attorney General William Barr to shreds, she should have known better from the start, and we go from cowboy act to dog and pony show. In all this there is also debate on ‘to make its own business decisions’, especially as APN partners have options to make choices and decisions, it was a poorly phrased question and a wrongly lit situation from the get go. And last but not least we see “Republican congressman Matt Gaetz claimed that Google collaborates with Chinese universities that take “millions upon millions of dollars from the Chinese military” and noted that tech investor Peter Thiel had previously accused the company of “treason””, so how stupid is Matt Gaetz and where does he have ANY evidence that Google was taking money from the ‘Chinese military’? It is these levels of stupidity that gets no results, mere innuendo, yet they ALL seems to agree that overhauling Tax laws and competition laws would be a larger need, especially that in light of 5G and optionally 5G plus (a new IP I am working out) the need to both would be essential in keeping the playing field level, but these politicians, but their own account they sealed their own lives. Even as we see: “But Cicilline goes on: “This is the tip of the iceberg. It’s not just about Covid. Facebook gets away with it because there is no competitor. It’s the only game in town.”” I still remember the setting in 1997, I saw so called bullet point executives having no clue on the digital highway, dismissing it of hand as some paths had no business purpose, the setting did not change before 5 years AFTER Facebook was created by people lacking innovative vision and trying to bleed off Facebook settings, and history is about to repeat itself in the 5G environment, the back-fall is that big and US Congress, seemingly ignorant of the digital dimension are making things worse by stopping the only 4 resources in the US who have a chance of c countering what comes next. So well done djotto’s! And it does not end there. Considering the lacking intelligence by these democrats, when the people realise just how far it lacked, we get to see that the upcoming election is not a given, not by a long shot. I keep on wondering what the hearing was about, when will we get to see these documents and so called evidence that they rely on? I wonder how many holes I get to shoot into that part of the equation. I talk about innuendo and here it is, proudly brought to you by the BBC. It was Republican Greg Steube who sets that in motion with the question “Do you believe the Chinese government is stealing technology from US companies?”, mind you that he tried to push for a yes-or-no answer in light of the simplistic minds that these members of Congress have. Yet consider that the most powerful tech bosses and owners of the IP stated “I don’t know of specific cases where we have been stolen from by the government” (Tim Cook), and that is the first part where we see the issue. Then there was “no first-hand knowledge of any information stolen from Google in this regard” (Sundar Pichai), “I haven’t seen that personally but I’ve heard many reports of it” (Jeff Bezos), in this we only have Mark Zuckerberg who gives us “I think it’s well documented that the Chinese government steals technology from US companies”, this issue here is in the first that it was narrow-minded to set a shallow question on a closed answer, all whilst Tim Cook gives us that he does not know the the Chinese government is stealing, but cheap knock off’s, especially when it is promoted by Kylie and Kendall Jenner (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-53596192) are getting promoted by people of no mind and a clever approach on what they can get away with, I think they are called criminals. Sundar supports the view, or basically leads in his own fairway that Google was not a victim of that approach. We get Jeff giving us that he has seen many reports, yet I wonder who wrote them, I hope he is not relying on FTI Consulting for more than one reason. Only Marky Mark remains, I cannot fault his view and perhaps he is right, but in light of the Bezos hacking view and the issue on Sony and North Korea, there are too many questions on who does what and so far too many issues have left us with too many questions on how short the comings of come of the US cyber divisions really are, and that is not all. The hand that could be feeding them is the hand they are biting whilst not adjusting for the laws to make a proper job, that is the setting that we are left with in the aftermath and the innuendo around us leaves us with questions on politicians seeking the limelight. And why was Microsoft not there?

It is a weird setting and it will get a lot weirder in 2021. 

 

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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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