Tag Archives: MI-6

Analyzing Intelligence

What is given to us is behind a veil, we accept that and at times we accept that the media does not give us everything. It is however weird when the change is slightly larger than we expected and in a direction we did not see coming.

This all started almost three days ago when Iran ended up with a tanker, the news (several sources) gave us: “Tracking data shows an oil tanker based in the United Arab Emirates traveling through the Strait of Hormuz drifted off into Iranian waters and stopped transmitting its location over two days ago, raising concerns Tuesday about its status amid heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S.” we all have issues and we all thought about the big bad Iranian doing things that are unacceptable. In light of everything that happened, this is a fair point of view to have (you know that Iranian tanker in Gibraltar).

Yet now, CNN gives us (at https://edition.cnn.com/2019/07/18/middleeast/iran-tanker-intl/index.html) “Iran has seized an oil tanker it claimed was carrying 1 million litres of “smuggled fuel,” state news agency Press TV said on Thursday, before later releasing a video purporting to show the tanker.” we all want to think the worst of Iran (still a valid point of thought), yet that premise changes when we also get the following quotes: “US intelligence have been investigating what happened to the Panamanian-flagged tanker M/T RIAH. The ship-tracking website Marine Vessel Traffic has not had a current location for the tanker since July 7“, as well as “It remains unclear who owns the ship. While the initial US intelligence suggested that the tanker was UAE-owned, the United Arab Emirates has said that the tanker in question was “neither owned nor operated by the UAE. It does not carry Emirati personnel, and did not emit a distress call,” according to state-run WAM

And now we have an actual problem

To begin with, with all the digital options, and registries we get: ‘It remains unclear who owns the ship‘ are you flipping kidding me? In a time when both the Sea of Dammam, as well as the Strait of Hormuz are an absolute tinderbox, you have no idea what is going in and out of that place, you cannot tell who owns a million litre tanker? This is not some $27,000 Glastron poaching lobsters, too small to be seen by radar, this is a piece of metal the size of 500 40 feet containers this puppy is really visible! So not only does it imply the incompetence of the CIA, it shows that there is a larger facilitation at play.

When we consider the political and intelligence pressures in the Middle East as they are presently presented; the quote: ‘The ship-tracking website Marine Vessel Traffic has not had a current location for the tanker since July 7‘ reads like an absolute joke. When we consider intelligence pressure, the CIA, DGSE, MI-6 and optionally Mossad should have had an alert within 24 hours that any tanker vanishes. More important depending on where that happened red flags should have been raised all over the place and now that we see: “US intelligence suggested that the tanker was UAE-owned, the United Arab Emirates has said that the tanker in question was “neither owned nor operated by the UAE. It does not carry Emirati personnel, and did not emit a distress call” we see a much larger failing. There are programs in place to check ships registries, there are systems that can check the moment any blip is added or removed on the website Marine Vessel Traffic (and several places alike), in addition the fact that the UAE now gives us that an apparent UAE ship is not and neither does it have UAE staff is a failing on several fronts. I personally wonder what excuse Lloyds registry gives us soon enough. We cannot fault them for not being aware of facts, but the fact that a ship of this size cannot be identified as being owned is a failing, it is a tactical one to a much larger degree.

Overreacting much?

Is it? when we see the attacks in Yemen and other places, we see a tanker that could do massive damage to any harbour and for 9 days we had no clue that something was wrong, perhaps we did not care, but consider that a tanker like this could destroy in several ways a harbour and the environment in either Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar or the UAE, yes that is a large issue. A floating fuel bomb (a slight exaggeration) with one million litres of oil is a large issue. At the top of my head, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Riffa, Manama, Dammam, Kuwait city, as well as several Iranian villages, any of them could have been a target leaving any of these places in ruins for at least a decade. So yes, the intelligence community failed, moreover, at present with the presented awareness the IRGC did nothing wrong. The fact that in opposition the stage where US intelligence has nothing credible to offer is a larger failing still (yes more to come).

You are who?

When we consider that awareness of Panamanian-flagged oil tanker MT Riah could have been found in minutes is one part, the fact that the implied owner UAE is not gives us a larger doubt on intelligence data. Now data is dependent on vetting and checks and we cannot check it all, yet when we consider the registry, the owner was someone, who is not implies it was sold, so basically 40 hours ago, that part could have been verified and none of that seems to be the case (or it is classified beyond my eyes, which is weird, right?)

So for no less than 35 hours certain escalations seem to have been the case and CNN ignored that part, which might be a valid embargo, these things happen, yet the global news is propagating facts that are not and facts that are nowhere and none of it has any validation. This now sets a larger stage, in the eyes of the world Iran did nothing wrong (which does actually happen), but this floating tinderbox should have received a lot more visibility with credible and verified data, which is not the case and a lot of missing data in the last 24 hours ago implies that there is a path and that path is about something we are not informed on (which is still valid and credible) but in light of the fact that only 5 hours ago Reuters merely mulls data that has been known for well over 36 hours implies that there is a larger play and for whatever reason we see the absence of awareness by the news and those claiming to inform us leave us with the stage of “Iranian state TV aired footage of a vessel called “RIAH” that it said was seized by Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards for smuggling fuel” and was all they gave us 5 hours ago, whilst I gave a dedicated list of actions that could have been followed up on by actual journalists in the three minutes it took me to digest the data available. Is that not weird?

It gets to be worse

That is seen when we look at UK Reuters. We search of all news gives us: ‘US demands Iran free seized ship, vows to protect Gulf oil lifeline, In-Depth-Reuters UK‘ a mere three hours ago, yet the article it links to is all about ‘U.S. says Navy ship ‘destroyed’ Iranian drone in Gulf‘, something here does not belong, this is not a simple error and Reuters does not usually make these kinds of blunders, this is about something more and even as we all want to point fingers at Iran, we now have a larger stage and the US loss of credibility (that famous silver suitcase) gives us more to worry about, this is a set stage of pushing awareness and whilst the Europeans are all about saving a nuclear deal and the fact that (what I predicted) the surpassed transgressions of Iran on nuclear terms are now trivialised imply that there is a theatre going on, I merely wonder who the players are an which government ends up playing the court jester.

We might think about trivialising the entire matter, but consider that the ship optionally was smuggling merely $250K in crude oil, someone is not really getting rich, not in the larger scheme of things, so what was this actually about? Is it not interesting on how the media is not all over this, especially as it could escalate gulf pressures to a much larger degree?

 

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The assassin’s methodology

In the intelligence world methodology matters, it is actually a game maker in that setting. We seem to think that some parts were fabrication, we seem to hide behind the slogan ‘If it looks like Hollywood, it is fake‘, yet that premise is not quite accurate. In the 90’s there was a time where the Wetwork business had a massive shortage of recruits and volunteers. That all changed when someone decided to park a 747 in a building in New York, but before that there was a shortage. Those people worked all over Europe, usually in construction, often well-educated with a focus to be placed all over the EMEA region. They were often called Technical Account Managers (or Technical Consultants). Often not linked to a company, self-employed short term hires that got in did what needed to be done and left. It is that era where the strategic sense of segregation, isolation, assassination comes from.

To make another leap, some might remember the Austrian raid on its own intelligence service in 2018, if it was only that simple. When Reuters gave somewhere in May 2018 “That led some allied countries to fear that intelligence they had given to Austria might have been compromised“, if it was only that simple, the raid was 24 years late. The independent had part of it in 1994. It took me a while to find it, yet (at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/russian-mafia-summit-in-austria-1425805.html) we merely see: “Russia’s crime bosses held an unusual mob summit in Austria last month to discuss gambling, contract killings and other shady business back home, AP reports. The daily newspaper Izvestia reported that ‘Participants (also) enjoyed an extensive cultural programme. They even went skiing in the Alps.’“, there were two additional participants, two elements that would be speaking to a few only; they were one senior plus one additional representative from the FSB. It was not what they did and where they went, those bosses got a clear message where not to go and who not to bother. They already had a spread system in place, from Katendrecht (Rotterdam harbour district) to Antwerp and Monchengladbach Germany, they had channels in place and they were making a bundle (read: serious amounts of cash). So for these Wetwork TAM’s to stay under the radar was quite the challenge over there. The Russians were almost everywhere. Yet it changed, somehow in 1997/1998 the Germans got the upper hand in Germany and cleaned the place up by a lot. Some of the Russians went underground, some merely changed positions; there was an impact. One of these moments was seen in the Dutch newspapers (at https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/1997/07/29/man-ontvluchtte-moskou-politie-voert-onderzoek-uit-7362317-a714933), the case is larger than shown. What was not widely known was that there was some kind of an agreement between the FSB (read: former KGB people) and the Russian mafia itself. Germany got a handle on it somehow and even as the ‘evidence’ was staring them in the face, it was ignored. The firm Lorit was quite literally Tirol (his Moscow office) backwards. The newspapers at that point mentioned “Rozenbaoum kocht het huis in 1993 voor acht ton. Op het dak staan twee satellietantennes. Daarmee hield hij contact met zijn vrachtwagenchauffeurs die door Europa reden” which translates to: “Rozenbaoum bought the house in 1993 for 800K. There are two satellite antennas on the roof. He kept in touch with his truck drivers who drove through Europe“, it was 60Km from the German border and 92Km from the German base monitoring a lot of traffic. A lot more was going on, even then and as some issues were buried into miscommunication and a considerable amount of cases linked to the response: ‘I am unable to recall the precise details of those events‘, there were several indirect links to Austria, yet those were seemingly never proven.

How does this relate to today?

This relates to an article in ‘The Hill’ (at https://thehill.com/policy/technology/433497-trump-admin-threatens-to-withhold-intelligence-from-germany-unless-it-drops) 4 hours ago when we were introduced to: ‘Trump admin threatens to withhold intelligence from Germany unless it drops Huawei‘, so not only is the Trump Administration dumb and ignorant. not only have they not ever found, or produced any evidence that Huawei equipment was an actual security danger (not since 2012 have they given anything). They are now ready to alienate the one nation in Europe that had success against Russian operatives as well as against Russian organised crime (often linked to FSB priorities) and we are introduced to “The Wall Street Journal obtained a letter dated Friday from U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell to Germany’s economics minister saying that intelligence sharing would be limited if Huawei or other Chinese vendors are allowed to participate in building Germany’s 5G network“, so in that one place where the CIA has been useless for the longest of times (an exaggeration, read: a little too often), they are now biting the hand that has been feeding THEM intelligence. So when I presented: ‘segregation, isolation, assassination‘, I did so for a reason, I have never seen a target do this to their own survival chances, which is a novel experience to read. Even as the Germans offer: “Germany says it has seen no evidence that Huawei had or could use its equipment to spy on its users and that it should be allowed to bid for the country’s 5G network if it meets security criteria“, we see clear evidence of the Americans remaining utterly stupid. If only they had adopted the speech Alex Younger (MI-6) had. We can argue against that, but the premise was at least sound, the Americans did not even bother with that part, they have not bothered with that part of the equation since 2012. This is what I would call the result of taking intelligence out of ‘intelligence services‘, it merely becomes a speaking stage of services to whoever is a competitor of Huawei (they must be a non-Chinese or Russian player though).

We have seen several actual experts on 5G voice the issue that leaving out Huawei will delay true 5G for years that is what is in play and the Americans need to wise up fast. This seemingly implies that America has additional losses to register, not only in technology, not only in cloud issues, the German intelligence data that is a lot more important than anyone gives it credit to is likely to stop flowing to the US and to other players, which is not a good turn of events. In addition, the collected information on lone wolves, intelligence France needs might end up in a holding pattern if wrong pressure is applied. If quality intelligence equates to time, what else will France (or the Dutch) lose out on? There is no way to tell, I cannot even speculate on that. The issue will however become a lot more clear if both nations will have to deal with successful actions by extremist groups, as well as lost revenue by certain ‘entrepreneurial Russian entities’, something that was always going to happen, but perhaps not to the degree these places might see in 2019-2020.

So whilst we give consideration of ‘U.S. officials are increasingly sounding the alarm over the potential for Chinese spying‘, all whilst Facebook is giving away the data for free, we see a loaded cannon and the US is aiming it at their own needs. The US has had almost 7 years to collect evidence and present this, it was never done. In addition some of the true top ranking experts in that field have not been able to present any evidence, and finally, the US credibility is just too low. Perhaps some remember US Secretary of State Colin Powell and his silver briefcase giving evidence behind closed doors on the evidence of WMD’s in Iraq. How did that end? Does anyone remember? So when it is merely ‘adaptable’ telecom equipment, they better show the goods. The Americans has thus far not done that and the utter complacency of US tech corporations have become a joke to say the least. In this age of re-engineering, to end up 3 years behind China requires a truly new level of stupidity (read: short coming) and it is time for the people to realise that. Once the evidence comes out that there is no evidence, make sure that people making bold statements (like former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull) get their honours stripped, they facilitated directly against the needs of the Australian people and that should come at a price. Of course the US could clearly present the evidence and get that same former Prime Minister off the hook mind you.

I see merely cogs that are greased through nepotism, facilitation and the need for greed by some tech companies who could not get their ducks in a row in time. We really need to put the spotlights on those people too. In the end methodology is a simple approach, it goes from evidence, what we know, where someone will be, where something will appear and we act on that. The US fictive side in all this tends to go via the cloud solution called ‘delusion’ it has no grasp of evidence, it has no stage of reality and is merely the stage for people on what they desire whilst the do not have what the consumer needed in the first place, how was that ever an acceptable pasture to place your herd of needs?

 

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Does smoke mean fire?

We have all heard the expression before: ‘Where there is smoke, there is fire‘, yet what happens when no fire is found, what happens when certain involved parties are all combined in the need for deception?

That is the question; it is not a direct accusation, as I am not aware of all the facts. I am merely in possession of a whole heap of doubt. The latest is given with: “On Thursday, communications giant Vodafone said it is pausing the deployment of new Huawei equipment in its core networks across the globe. The core networks are particularly sensitive as if they are compromised, mass spying can be conducted across them“, the operative part is ‘if they are compromised‘, there is no evidence, there is no case, it is merely Vodafone sucking the proverbial addendum of America. This comes with the addition of “the University of California at Berkeley and UC San Diego — are removing Huawei equipment and shunning its cash. They apparently don’t want to lose funding under the terms of last year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which banned federal funding recipients from using certain products and services“. The mess is increasing and the whole fiasco is all connected to the fact that there is no evidence. At least with Alex Younger (MI6), the premise was that no government should be allowed to be in an optional point of weakness through foreign technology. I do not believe that was the cleverest step to make, but we can argue that it should be seen as a valid national reason, which is fair enough.

There is of course concern in opposition and the Guardian gives is (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/jan/27/huaweis-problems-deepen-as-western-suspicions-mount) with: “Critics say Huawei’s rapid expansion is suspicious. Founded in 1987 and focused on selling telecom equipment in rural areas of China, it has grown into the world’s largest supplier of telecoms equipment and second largest smartphone maker. It operates in more than 170 countries, employing about 180,000 people“. OK, I am willing to give that thought, because there is suspicion on that level, yet there is also Facebook, it grew to a multibillion dollar behemoth in less than a decade. At least with technology there are supporting investors when they comprehend the technology and it has been clear in the last 10 years that Huawei was ahead of the curve. My initial assessment in 2014 was that Huawei would soon have at least 20% of the mobile market. I was laughed at by several people, now when I remember them of their short sightedness, they seem to react in denial with statements like ‘I don’t know what you mean‘ and ‘Well, you should have communicated it better‘. Although I did state that Huawei will soon have well over 20% of the mobile market‘ seems to have been clear enough. Now they surpass that with a comfortable distance, and they are not done growing. When I initially discussed my $2B IP idea there were only two players. Google and Huawei, now my benefit to only consider Huawei will have a few more tactical benefits as well as leaving me with a larger slice of that cake which I find appealing as well. that is beside the point of me sticking it to Microsoft and Apple to show them how stupid their path of iterative technology was, in addition, if Huawei pulls it off, it will create a very new cloud technology based growth system. they will do so because all these jokers who are hiding behind ‘security concerns‘ will soon learn that evidence is still adamant and the people are finding out that getting sold short for the benefit of specific Telecom operators come with a massive price tag.

So I found a way around it and create a second system that avoids them altogether, that also means that these players will lost on terabytes of data per day making their losses increasingly uncomfortable. I do have an issue with the quote: “Ren went on a media blitz, breaking years of silence to say the company has never engaged in espionage on behalf of Beijing. “China’s ministry of foreign affairs has officially clarified that no law in China requires any company to install mandatory back doors. Huawei and me personally have never received any request from any government to provide improper information,” he said” I have no doubt that Ren Zhengfei is speaking the truth, yet I am also aware that someone like Chen Wenqing will never knock on the door of Ren Zhengfei, he will find a way around it and get what he needs in another way. By the way that same picture applies to Gina Cheri Haspel and General Paul Nakasone and their links to Microsoft, IBM, Facebook and Apple. You better believe that they are very much on the same page when it comes to their national security, your rights be damned (when National security is discussed).

So let’s not have that pot, kettle and black conversation, shall we?

Then we get to the trade secret part of it all. Oh, and before you get any crazy idea’s. Perhaps you have heard of how in the mid 60’s Israel, through Mossad acquired (read borrowed) the blueprints from the French and when the ban for Israel was clear, they producing an uncanny identical likeness of the Mirage 5, I believe it was called the Nesher, with technical specifications for several main parts to be as perfectly identical as a fingerprint. We were not really that surprised when it happened, yet what was less known was that some documents in the mid 90’s implied that the CIA was very aware of it all before the operation was completed, which shines a light on their need of what they regard to be a trade secret.

This part is important when we realise that the accusation reads: ‘conspiring to steal trade secrets from T-Mobile US Inc.‘. The question is: ‘What Trade Secrets?‘ You see Huawei is a lot more advanced than T-Mobile. Perhaps it is what BGR Media LLC claimed with: “unscrupulous T-Mobile sales reps lie to customers and open lines on their accounts without permission, all to meet unrealistic sales goals“, which is interesting as this is not a think Huawei does, they merely sell hardware and services to companies, not to individuals. Or perhaps the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) findings with: ‘EFF Confirms: T-Mobile’s Binge on Optimization is Just Throttling, Applies Indiscriminately to All Video‘, so how is any of that interesting to Huawei? So what exactly is the formal brief for the case? You see, the media does not divulge that, they give us all the innuendo but not the facts. And when it comes to the accusation ”Huawei used a Hong Kong shell company called Skycom to sell equipment in violation of the US sanctions in Iran“, which might hold water (I actually do not know), yet if the US is unwilling to set that stage by “The U.S. has agreed to let eight countries — including Japan, India and South Korea” to let the Iran sanctions be waived, why are they so specific? Is it merely because their financial and economic setting demands it? How is that proper sanctioning? All that, whilst the media at large is not making any mention of the other 5, we need to see that the entire Iran Sanction is to be seen as a cloak of corruption, if that was not allowed, the oil price would suddenly soar and at that point the US economy would be in deep drenching goo, is that not an interesting side as well? Or perhaps a better clue on how Cisco, Sun and HP equipment makes it to Iran without any hassle, an event that has been going on since 2012, so in all this, the entire Huawei discrimination debacle reads like a joke.

to be quite honest, if there was an actual security issue, I would go after Huawei without a moment’s hesitation, I know I can best Director Igor Kostyukov (GRU), yet going after Chen Wenqing, a man who eats, dreams and lives by the Art of War and optionally one of the few people on the planet whose eyes have seen the actual original version, he would be a lovely challenge for the likes of me. I am no Steinitz, Karpov, Kasparov or Carlsen, but I could be a crazy Bobby Fischer, he’ll never see me coming! (OK, that was my ego talking for a second).

You see, I look beyond the data, beyond what people and politicians hide behind and the entire Huawei mess is a political play of nepotism and fear, because those getting momentum in 5G will set the pace and win the race, that is what America fears it was that simple all along. That truth is easily found, the orchestration (read: rigging) of what would be global 5G rules and the FCC of setting a different stage, the non-accountability of AT&T in all this and that list is growing almost on a daily basis, it gets to be more interesting now that the Democrats from the “Leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission today demanding information concerning possible coordination between FCC officials and carriers in an ongoing legal fight” (source: the Verge) and a few more like them. In the last 15 days we have seen more orchestration and the setting of the stage with specific judges, to get a more appealing situation, when we see that part, we see that the technology gap in America is a lot larger than we think and it is setting the stage of fear against an advanced players like Huawei on an almost exponential growing path. America has seemingly no other optional left. That is why I saw from the beginning that places like Saudi Arabia could fuel exponential growth in 5G and making Huawei larger by the day. It also fuels the growth path back to Europe, because the moment Huawei proves that they have the good stuff, the EU will chose profit over short sighted American policies, because those policies do not pay the bills, profit does and the EU is desperate for any profit it can get.

Consider the billions of value of those networks and the billions of revenue that these networks make in addition through information, advertisement and data collection. America is starting to lose out because they were asleep at the wheel for close to 3 years, it is enough to miss out on an entire technology generation. That is the danger that iterative technology brings. For now I merely wonder what Google can do to stay ahead of it all, because their lives depend on the technologies that Huawei has, when Google search becomes less and less at the point of the spear, merely to be laughingly called Bing v2.1, how do you think Google will react? They optionally have the path to equal Huawei in a new network facilitating stream giving them additional revenue in a new dimension. We might initially think Saudi Arabia and Neom city in the pilot stage, yet that could so one thereafter evolve towards London, Paris and other places to grow strong and fast, because in the end all these policies sound nice, but they all forget the number one clause required. It all requires users and that is the part both Google and Huawei figured out a decade before the sheep (read: IBM and Microsoft) started to get a proper clue.

Too many intelligence wannabe’s focussed on Mark Lowenthal’s Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy, which is an awesome book, and when you consider the simple: “on how the intelligence community’s history, structure, procedures, and functions affect policy decisions“, which is also an absolute truth, yet behind what you would like to have, these people all forgot about the consumers and what they demanded to be their right, that is where their gravy train became another Titanic and the greed driven path went not by one iceberg, but it steered towards one every other hour making it a wreck in the making, the entire 5G debacle in the US is no difference in that regard and I will be around to laugh at those in denial thinking and parroting ‘security concern‘ on all the media without any proper cause or evidence to show for it. Oh, and I am not the only one, a whole score of cyber experts are on that same path, so I am not alone in seeing through the media stupidity, merely seeing on how much bigger experts like me are totally ignored on several levels giving merely the rise and early expectation to someone screaming in some policy department ‘Iceberg dead ahead‘, whilst none of them are qualified or sanctioned to alter course, going straight for the natural Whiskey coolant.

Life can be exceedingly entertaining at time, but for all the tea (and Huawei mobiles) in China, I never expected them to be this hilarious. Sometimes smoke is not fire, it is the steam of a ship striking an iceberg and going down. For those on that ship do not worry, the direct path to land is only 3800 meters away (straight down).

 

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Room for Requirement

I looked at a few issues 3 days ago. I voiced them in my blog ‘The Right Tone‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2016/09/21/the-right-tone/), one day later we see ‘MI6 to recruit hundreds more staff in response to digital technology‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/sep/21/mi6-recruit-digital-internet-social-media), what is interesting here is the quote “The information revolution fundamentally changes our operating environment. In five years’ time there will be two sorts of intelligence services: those that understand this fact and have prospered, and those that don’t and haven’t. And I’m determined that MI6 will be in the former category“, now compare it to the statement I had made one day earlier “The intelligence community needs a new kind of technological solution that is set on a different premise. Not just who is possibly guilty, but the ability of aggregation of data flags, where not to waste resources“, which is just one of many sides needed. Alex Younger also said: “Our opponents, who are unconstrained by conditions of lawfulness or proportionality, can use these capabilities to gain increasing visibility of our activities which means that we have to completely change the way that we do stuff”, I reckon the American expression: ‘He ain’t whistling Dixie‘ applies.

You see, the issue goes deeper than mere approach, the issue at hand is technology. The technology needs to change and the way data is handled requires evolution. I have been in the data field since the late 80’s and this field hasn’t changed too much. Let’s face it, parsing data is not a field that has seen too much evolving, for the mere reason that parsing is parsing and that is all about speed. So to put it on a different vehicle. We are entering an age where the intelligence community is about the haulage of data, yet in all this, it is the container itself that grows whilst the haulage is on route. So we need to find alternative matters to deal with the container content whilst on route.

Consider the data premise: ‘If data that needs processing grows by 500 man years of work on a daily basis‘, we have to either process smarter, create a more solutions to process, be smarter on what and how to process, or change the premise of time. Now let’s take another look. For this let’s take a look at a game, the game ‘No Man’s Sky’. This is not about gaming, but about the design. For decades games were drawn and loaded. A map, with its data map (quite literally so). Usually the largest part of the entire game. 11 people decided to use a formula to procedurally generate 18 quintillion planets. They created a formula to map the universe with planets, planet sized. This has never been done before! This is an important part. He turned it all around and moreover, he is sitting on a solution that is worth millions, it could even be worth billions. The reason to use this example is because games are usually the first field where the edge of hardware options are surpassed, broken and redesigned (and there is more at the end of this article). Issues that require addressing in the data field too.

Yet what approach would work?

That is pretty much the ‎£1 billion question. Consider the following situation: Data is being collected non-stop, minute by minute. Set into all kinds of data repositories. Now let’s have a fictive case. The chatter gives that in 72 hours an attack will take place, somewhere in the UK. It gives us the premise:

  1. Who
  2. Where
  3. How

Now consider the data. If we have all the phone records, who has been contacting who, through what methods and when? You see, it isn’t about the data, it is about linking collections from different sources and finding the right needle, that whilst the location, shape and size of the haystack are an unknown. Now, let’s say that the terrorist was really stupid and that number is known. So now we have to get a list of all the numbers that this phone had dialled. Then we get the task of linking the information on these people (when they are not pre-paid or burner phones). Next is the task of getting a profile, contacts, places, and other information. The list goes on and the complexity isn’t just the data, the fact that actual terrorists are not dumb and usually massively paranoid, so there is a limit to the data available.

Now what if this was not reactive, but proactive?

What if the data from all the sources could be linked? Social media, e-mail, connections, forums and that is just the directly stored data. When we add mobile devices, Smartphones, tablets and laptops, there is a massive amount of additional data that becomes available and the amount of data from those sources are growing at an alarming rate. The challenge is to correctly link the data from sources, with added data sources that contain aggregated data. So, how do you connect these different sources? I am not talking about the usage, it is about the impaired data on different foundations with no way to tell whether pairing leads to anything. For this I need to head towards a 2012 article by Hsinchun Chen (attached at end), Apart from the clarity that we see in the BI&A overview (Evolution, Application and Emerging Research), the interesting part that even when we just look at it from a BI point of view, we see two paths missing. That is, they seem to be missing now, if we look back to 2010-2011, the fact that Google and Apple grew a market in excess of 100% quarter on quarter was not to be anticipated to that degree. The image on page 1167 has Big Data Analytics and Mobile Analytics, yet Predictive Interactivity and Mobile Predictive Analytics were not part of the map, even though the growth of Predictive Analytics have been part of BI from 2005 onwards. Just in case you were wondering, I did not change subject, the software need that part of the Intelligence world uses comes from the business part. A company usually sees a lot more business from 23 million global companies than it gets from 23 intelligence agencies. The BI part is often much easier to see and track whilst both needs are served. We see a shift of it all when we look at the table on page 1169. BI&A 3.0 now gets us the Gartner Hype Cycle with the Key Characteristics:

  1. Location-aware analysis
  2. Person-centred analysis
  3. Context-relevant analysis
  4. Mobile visualization & HCI

This is where we see the jump when we relate to places like Palantir that is now in the weeds prepping for war. Tech Crunch (at https://techcrunch.com/2016/06/24/why-a-palantir-ipo-might-not-be-far-off/) mentioned in June that it had taken certain steps and had been preparing for an IPO. I cannot say how deep that part was, yet when we line up a few parts we see an incomplete story. The headline in July was: ‘Palantir sues investor Marc Abramowitz for allegedly stealing company secrets‘, I think the story goes a little further than that. It is my personal belief that Palantir has figured something out. That part was seen 3 days ago (at http://www.defensenews.com/articles/dcgs-commentary), the two quotes that matter are “The Army’s Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) is proof of this fact. For the better part of the last decade, the Army has struggled to build DCGS from the ground up as the primary intelligence tool for soldiers on the battlefield. As an overarching enterprise, DCGS is a legitimate and worthwhile endeavour, intended to compute and store massive amounts of data and deliver information in real time“, which gives us (actually just you the reader) the background, whilst “What the Army has created, although well-intentioned, is a sluggish system that is difficult to use, layered with complications and unable to sustain the constant demands of intelligence analysts and soldiers in combat. The cost to taxpayers has been approximated at $4 billion“, gives us the realistic scope and that all links back to the Intelligence Community. I think that someone at Palantir has worked out a few complications making their product the one winning solution. When I started to look into the matter, some parts did not make sense, even if we take the third statement (which I was already aware of long before this year “In legal testimony, an Army official acknowledged giving a reporter a “negative” and “not scientific” document about Palantir’s capabilities that was written by a staff member but formatted to appear like a report from the International Security Assistance Force. That same official stated that the document was not based on scientific data“, it would not have added up. What does add up (remember, the next part is speculative), the data links required in the beginning of the article, have to a larger extent been resolved by the Palantir engineers. In its foundation, what the journal refers to as BI&A 3.0 has been resolved by Palantir (top some extent). If true, we will get a massive market shift. To make a comparison, Google Analytics might be regarded as MSDOS and this new solution makes Palantir the new SE-Linux edition, the difference on this element could be that big. The difference would be that great. And I can tell you that Google Analytics is big. Palantir got the puzzle piece making its value go up with billions. They could raise their value from 20 billion to 60-80 billion, because IBM has never worked out that part of analytics (whatever they claim to have is utterly inferior) and Google does have a mobile analytics part, but limited merely as it is for a very different market. There have always been issues with the DCGS-A system (apart from it being as cumbersome as a 1990 SAS mainframe edition), so it seems to me that Palantir could not make the deeper jump into government contracts until it got the proper references and showing it was intentionally kept out of the loop is also evidence that could help. That part was recently confirmed by US Defense News.

In addition there is the acceptance of Palantir Gotham, which offered 30% more work with the same staff levels and Palantir apparantly delivered, which is a massive point that the Intelligence groups are dealing with, the lack of resources. The job has allowed NY City to crack down on illegal AirBnB rentals. A task that requires to connect multiple systems and data that was never designed to link together. This now gets us to the part that matters, the implication is that the Gotham Core would allow for dealing with the Digital data groups like Tablet, mobile and streaming data from internet sites.

When we combine the information (still making it highly speculative) the fact that one Congressman crossed the bridge (Duncan Hunter R-CA), many could follow. That part matters as Palantir can only grow the solution if it is seen as the serious solution within the US government. The alleged false statements the army made (as seen in Defence News at http://www.defensenews.com/articles/dcgs-commentary) with I personally believe was done to keep in the shadows that DCGS-A was not the big success some claimed it to be, will impact it all.

And this now links to the mentions I made with the Academic paper when we look at page 1174, regarding the Emerging Research for Mobile Analytics. The options:

  1. Mobile Pervasive Apps
  2. Mobile Sensing Apps
  3. Mobile Social Networking
  4. Mobile Visualization/HCI
  5. Personalization and Behavioural Modelling

Parts that are a given, and the big players have some sort of top line reporting, but if I am correct and it is indeed the case that Palantir has figured a few things out, they are now sitting on the mother lode, because there is currently nothing that can do any of it anywhere close to real-time. Should this be true, Palantir would end being the only player in town in that field, an advantage corporations haven’t had to this extent since the late 80’s. The approach SPSS used to have before they decided to cater to the smallest iteration of ‘acceptable’ and now as IBM Statistics, they really haven’t moved forward that much.

Now let’s face it, these are all consumer solutions, yet Palantir has a finance option which is now interesting as Intelligence Online reported a little over a week ago: “The joint venture between Palantir and Credit Suisse has hired a number of former interception and financial intelligence officials“, meaning that the financial intelligence industry is getting its own hunters to deal with, if any of those greedy jackals have been getting there deals via their iPhone, they will be lighting up like a Christmas tree on those data sets. So in 2017, the finance/business section of newspapers should be fun to watch!

The fact that those other players are now getting a new threat with actual working solutions should hurt plenty too, especially in the lost revenue section of their spreadsheet.

In final part, why did I make the No Man’s Sky reference? You see, that is part of it all. As stated earlier, it used a formula to create a planet sized planet. Which is one side of the equation. Yet, the algorithm could be reversed. There is nothing stopping the makers to scan a map and get us a formula that creates that map. For the gaming industry it would be forth a fortune. However, that application could go a lot further. What if the Geospatial Data is not a fictive map, but an actual one? What if one of the trees are not trees but mobile users and the other type of trees are networking nodes? It would be the first move of setting Geospatial Data in a framework of personalised behavioural modelling against a predictive framework. Now, there is no way that we know where the person would go, yet this would be a massive first step in answering ‘who not to look for‘ and ‘where not to look‘, diminishing a resource drain to say the least.

It would be a game changer for non-gamers!

special_issue_business_intelligence_rese

 

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How to see ‘facts’

Brexit is one of the shiniest examples on how information is twisted and turned into many ways, especially ways to either scare people or just knowingly and willingly misrepresent the facts (as I see it). In the first degree there is the press. I think that they are on a large scale doing the deeds that those who support them are requesting them to do.

This sounds ‘misleading’, so let me explain. When the press goes on quoting sources and not investigating sources, we need to start questioning the ‘facts’ that they represent and quote. I think that the press is not doing their utmost to inform their readers and the public at large. I am not talking about the Daily Mail, the Mirror or some Murdoch media outlet. No, I am referring to places like the Guardian, the Independent and even the Times, although in the last case, I have never read it (because only subscribers get access to their website articles (the ones that matter at least). We can wonder how far the press needs to go, yet the answer as I see it should be ‘A lot further than they are currently going‘.

It is up to you to decide whether my subjective version is accurate or not (never take anyone’s word for granted!)

1. The Guardian, ‘French minister: Brexit would threaten Calais border arrangement‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/03/david-cameron-calais-refugee-crisis-francois-holland).

Background: Regional president Xavier Bertrand, member of the Republicans, headed by Nicolas Sarkozy. This is important because Nicolas Sarkozy is against segregation from the EU and also very much against Brexit. When was the last time anyone going against party ruling would have been allowed to continue? Now that Sarkozy is not in power, they are all about getting elected!

The quote: “Xavier Bertrand, the recently re-elected president of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie region, has repeatedly said the Le Touquet agreement would be torn up if Britain left the EU. He said: “If Britain leaves Europe, right away the border will leave Calais and go to Dover. We will not continue to guard the border for Britain if it’s no longer in the European Union”“. The part that is so ludicrous is the issue that if this falls away, everyone will get checked before leaving the train, meaning that the train could stop halfway and until every person is checked, there will not be any continuation, in the second, if illegals are boarding the train, it would mean that France already has a problem, which means that this rash statement will make matters worse for France when Frexit becomes a fact because It would need to deal with a non-existing Le Touquet agreement, meaning that Belgium in equal measure will not be performing checks. This means that the flow from the Netherlands and Belgium towards France could possibly triple, especially in Lille. Consider that Lille has well over 20,000 industry/services. Do you have any idea what level of pressure would fall upon Lille? And that is just the registered part.

The Quote: “France’s economy minister, Emmanuel Macron, told the Financial Times that the Le Touquet agreement – a bilateral relationship between the UK and France – would be threatened by a British withdrawal from the EU“, which is partially a repetition from the first quote, but by Emmanuel Macron, the current Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industry in France. He states ‘threatened‘ not ‘withdrawn‘. So when in office you need to be ‘diplomatic’. Yet in all this, there is actually no reason to get there. You see, this is an agreement between nations, in all this it can remain an agreement within nations. Let’s not forget that the checks remain the same and the United Kingdom was never a part of Schengen. There is off course an impact for EU citizens, yet in all this, the United Kingdom would soon be forced to create an almost identical situation that Australia currently has. There would be every reason for the UK to adopt the Australian 457 visa situation. As its own infrastructure would soon after Brexit be massively damaged by the lack of skilled persons. This would include most of the western European nations (France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Italy).

Yet, the issue of the Le Touquet agreement will be an issue, just not the one that Xavier Bertrand states for the mere reason that France would lose a lot more soon thereafter.

2. The Independent, ‘Brexit would only bring ‘low’ cost to British national security, says former head of MI6‘ (at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-would-only-bring-low-cost-to-british-national-security-says-former-head-of-mi6-a6948841.html)

Background: Sir Richard Dearlove, former El Jefe of MI6 (from August 1999 until May 2004), he was replaced by John Scarlett, who endorsed the government’s dossier on Iraqi weapons, including the controversial claim that some weapons could be deployed within 45 minutes (Source: CNN). Any rumour about Iraq ending his career seems far-fetched as Sir Richard Dearlove completed a 5 year tour, like several before him and all those who followed him. We can only argue (well, actually I can) that the Directors seat at £169,999 seems rather underpaid when you consider that you have to clean up the mess Labour made in its ignorance. The Chilcot Inquiry being the evidence here. So it was a little bit about Iraq! More important, the inquiry that ran from 24th November 2009 until 2nd February 2011, is currently being completed as parts were not to be published for several reasons. Its publication is expected to happen on April 16th 2016.

The quote: “Brexit would bring two potentially important security gains: the ability to dump the European Convention on Human Rights—remember the difficulty of extraditing the extremist Abu Hamza of the Finsbury Park Mosque—and, more importantly, greater control over immigration from the EU

The Quote: “Britain is Europe’s leader in intelligence and security matters and gives much more than it gets in return… If a security source in Germany learns that a terrorist attack is being planned in London, Germany’s domestic intelligence service is certainly not going to withhold the intelligence from MI5 simply because the UK is not an EU member“.

There are a few items here that matter. Even though the HRA could fall over, there are additional facts that would hinder extradition of a person like Abu Hamza. For one there was the case of cleric Abu Qatada, which took forever. I mentioned him in an earlier blog. I discussed this in March 2013 (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2013/03/10/humanitarian-law-v-national-security/) ‘Humanitarian Law v National security‘, you see on 16th December 2004 the Law Lords ruled that Section 23 of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 was an issue, which is now replaced by the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005, which is currently repealed. So, my issue here is that, as far as I can tell, the issue will remain to some extent. Yes, I agree with Sir Richard that immigration will gain control, yet at present there are a few loopholes that might not result in solving new issues from becoming a political hot potato (also known as ‘an issue not resolved’) that will give rise to new cases. In the second quote, I feel a few levels of doubt regarding the statement ‘Britain is Europe’s leader in intelligence and security matters‘. Yes the UK might give more than it receives, yet overall certain intelligence matters will dwindle as the data hub that matter is not the UK (they are in third position), it is number 2 (Netherlands) and the current leader (Germany) that are the data titans in Europe, with additional growth due to a Google data centre currently in development somewhere north or northwest of Amsterdam (latest info is that its completion is in 2017). Which would grow the Dutch data stream even further, which could grow to a speculated estimation of 6.5Tb/sec. Sir Richard knows that it is not about the amount of data, but it is about the quality of data. Yet in all this, there might be a consequence of Brexit. It is possible that access to certain data streams might not be forthcoming. Meaning that GCHQ would need to develop other algorithms to counter the lack of data (read: incomplete data). Sir Richard is correct that information would not be withheld, but the exchange of data would be less smooth and time would be lost, all parties seem to agree on that. Yet in all this, Dutch paper NRC gave us in 2013 “Achter de schermen werkt Bertholee hard aan de invulling van de bezuiniging uit het regeerakkoord: 70 miljoen tot en met 2016. Daar is kort daarna nog eens 11 miljoen bijgekomen” {paraphrased: behind the screens director Bertholee (AIVD, the Dutch version of MI5), is working hard to work out on how to implement the agreed cutbacks of 70 million through to 2016, which was shortly thereafter raised by 11 million}. So as the Dutch intelligence needs to cut back on 81 million, Dutch internet nodes will soon thereafter give passage to 40% more data. Even if the bulk of it is ‘Softly Pasting Additional Marketing‘, the intelligence ramification will be larger than expected, there is no way of telling the impact of Brexit, yet the response of Sir Richard, which was “Leaving the EU would bring only a “low” cost to Britain in terms of national security“, is not exactly a given, there is, in his defence, too many unknown factors at present.

So how did we look at facts? How about the speculations we read (in the second case). Well, they are not speculations. I added sources (all except one) and I extrapolated information for half a dozen sources. I have the advantage of languages, something plenty of journalists are lacking. My issue is less with the Independent and only slightly more with the Guardian. I believe that they should have dug deeper. They did mention the facts but the fact that Regional president Xavier Bertrand is not an elected official, he was Mayor of Saint-Quentin (was being the operative word), yet as the recently re-elected president of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie region, which was in 2010 and he is about to be replaced by Marine Le Pen (extremely likely), whilst as Mayor he was replaced by Frédérique Macarez in January 2016. So he can claim whatever he wants. Free bowls at the wicket and no official fact to be questioned. Clean given facts that were known before the article came to print. So why were these influential facts not given?

There are more articles in pretty much most papers (excluding the Times at present), which gives us the issue, because the papers should have informed us slightly better. I personally see it as cause and effect. Why a person makes that statement is one, but the position he/she is in is equally important. I have stated before again and again, never go from one source; not even me as a source. Use the information you get and form an opinion, because when the vote is due, whatever you select is on yourself, not on others. Being the non-winner is one thing, ‘I should have voted for the others’ when ‘your choice’ makes it would qualify you the voter as an idiot. Make sure you know what you select and why you make the selection.

 

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Strongarm, Intimidate, Terrorise

As we see the news of sanctions hitting our eyes via the news on TV, the Newspapers and the internet, some will conclude that the third cold war is now officially starting. Yet, some might have the question within their minds ‘who has the moral high ground?’, or better yet, what brought these escalations about?

Now, I have missed the cold war, whether you stare through a sniper scope overlooking Lakhta air base in a video game, or those who needed to take another look at the Arkhangelsk naval base because they serviced the Typhoons (in 1983 a genuine bringer of nightmares to NATO). The Cold War was a war, but one with its own rules, regulations, needs and wants.

But is this the same as the first or the second cold war? The first cold war was in itself about a disagreements in Ideology, there was however another side to it all. This was basically a pissing contest between the Kremlin and the White House on who was trained better, tools were the best and who got away with the most. The 70’s as it was depicted by John Le Carre with ‘the Circus’ and the after the fact knowledge that several members at the top of MI-6 had a better knowledge of Russian then those living in Moscow. Even with that set back, I always felt that the NATO side was victorious! I missed most of it and did not get hit with events until 1982-1984.

This new cold war we are about to face is something different. This is a lot less about ideology and a lot more about the greed of a chosen few. Let us take a look at the Ukraine and the Crimea region. Most will not remember the original Crimean War, even though one of the most famous names in history had her origin there. It was Florence Nightingale; slightly less famous was Mary Seacole who also earned her a place in the history books. In those days the direct reason for the war that was there was all about religion, specifically on access of the holy places in what is now called Israel (an area that was in those days part of the Ottoman Empire). It is the one time that the Russian Navy got it hide tanned (not the best moment in Russian Naval History), even though it held out for a year, dealing with England, France and the Ottoman Empire was a cake that turned out to be slightly too large for them.

I think it is important to ‘trivialise’ that part. It should also be noted that Russia started this fight with the Ottoman Empire because Russia held that it had a right to protect the Orthodox Christians. These events are important, as those contained the darkest days for the Russian Navy.

Now when we go to today we have other issues to content with. Crimea has always been a cultural hot potato. It will take too long to explain the issues (and I am not an expert in that regard), there are several ties that were severed when Khrushchev placed it all within the border of the Ukraine; he never considered the idea that Ukraine would be anything but part of the ‘Russian brotherhood’.

It is the changes in the Ukraine that are at the centre of the Crimean escalation. As I see the Russian side, it seems to me that this would happen no matter what. The entire issue with the Black Sea navy has never been regarded positively by the Ukraine. The issues there have been going on for almost 7 years now, even though Ukraine has valid reasons for ‘demanding’ certain changes, it is a little far-fetched for Russia to accept the security of its Navy (the Black Sea Fleet) thought the Ukrainian security services. If America has any objections in that regard, then consider the issues several people had in the past with the ‘idiots’ patrolling and guarding at the US part of Soesterberg Air base, I had more than one issue with a few US guards, even though I was on the other side of the fence wearing a Dutch uniform.

So, we can agree that like the Americans, the Russians will not trust the guarding and protection of their defence forces by ‘outsiders’. This is one of the issues, which are at the very heart of this. The second one is one I discussed in an earlier blog named ‘Hot air for the Ukraine‘ on March 1st. The EEC is too much about adding new members and not about maintaining and setting a stable financial and economic platform. That part has been proven by many, but the issue goes wider (at http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/2014/car030514a.htm). The IMF is still finalising the fact finding mission and the amount needed for the Ukraine substantial. Another issue in this regard can be found at Reuters where we see the following quote “If the West wants Ukraine to align with them rather than Russia they will have to offer a carrot and the carrot could be better terms on the debt” (at http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/17/us-ukraine-crisis-debt-idUSBREA2G0E020140317)

And why does the west want this, Economic prosperity? Ukraine has a massive amount of debt! The only consequence many will initially see is that Ukrainians will suddenly relocate by droves of thousands to get that better future in the west (which is fair enough). That pressure gets added to the issues already dragging many down in Western Europe which are still unstable at present, so adding nations with bad budgets whilst the rest remains in a bad shape is just bad politics and bad judgement. Another view from the IMF can be seen in the Reuters article (at http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/25/us-ukraine-crisis-imf-idUSBREA1O1DT20140225)

The IMF has consistently said that Ukraine’s economic policies would create unsustainable large external and fiscal imbalances. It has called on Kiev to cut its large fiscal deficit, phase out energy subsidies, strengthen the banking sector, and allow the exchange rate to fall. A freely floating hryvnia currency and higher domestic gas prices are unpopular steps previously rejected by the Kiev

So they want money, but are unwilling to do what needs to be done? How is this in any way a good deal in any shape or form? I will grant that energy prices will always be unpopular, but this is all about a change where the government does not want change to begin with.

Now we get to the good stuff, namely intimidate and terrorise. These are basically synonyms for strongarming, and now it is the west doing this. Sky News reported that more sanctions are in place (at http://news.sky.com/story/1227143/ukraine-sanctions-target-putin-aides)

So basically, individuals are now targeted for alleged involvement of government actions. Is this even legal? It is interesting that these events are calling for sanctions. Consider that in the US one in seven lives below the poverty line. Now also consider the events as we saw the hard working people at Wal-Mart getting hit financially, needing food stamps and needing government support, whilst the owners are multi billionaires. Unless the Honorable African American in charge in the White House (aka President Barack Obama) is a coward, I hereby officially demand and he should officially call for similar sanctions which are to be placed against the members of the Walton family! I understand that sanctions are a tactical choice, yet to ignore your home base, whilst going after a few individuals (whose guilt is still officially in question) is nothing less than a joke. The fact that the advisors are hit with sanctions, yet, the person in charge (President Putin) is not getting any sanctions makes the joke even more pathetic.

Another issue we should not ignore is that the bulk of the people in Crimea WANT to be part of Russia. Now, that would never be my personal choice and I believe it is the choice of many non-Crimean not to go that path, but the idea that their choice is not the choice of the USA and the EEC and therefor rejected is a laughing matter, where is THEIR freedom of choice? In opposition, I do have an issue with the legality of that part too. I do acknowledge that Crimea is part of the Ukraine, yet the Ukraine is ‘only’ 72 years old. The issues we now see in Belgium as that nations is likely to split into two parts, whilst that nations is a lot older then the Ukraine is not causing this level of concern (mainly because it hasn’t happened yet). In my view, it seems a lot more legal if Crimea became independent. Consider the immediate consequence of that act. If the referendum is regarded as illegal, what will happen and what will the reaction be as referendums are called over the next 3 years as parties decide to secede from the EEC/Euro, as these requests are called for by Nigel Farage (UKIP/UK), Geert Wilders (PVV/NL) and Marine Le Penn (FN/FR). Will we suddenly see calls for illegality by the USA and the IMF? Consider that, because these steps are likely to push the EEC and therefor the USA over the edge of bankruptcy.

As a ‘supporter’ of the cold wars, tactically the entire escalation works nicely for NATO. If Ukraine does enter the EEC, then it comes with a nice ‘free’ naval base in a perfectly placed tactical position, with direct striking capabilities on several Russian fronts (still surprised that Russia is so against it?).

My issue remains that the power players in this game are all motivated by greed. You do not give out 35 billion unless you get 70-135 billion in return. The Ukraine does not have such economic prospects in any near future. Consider in addition that once this happens, the cheap gas deal that the Ukraine currently has will then is also be null and void, which means that the people in the Ukraine will have to content with an energy price hike of at least 20%. Look at your own heating bills (especially in the UK). How does it feel to pay 20% more?

The last side to the Ukraine is one that will hit all Europeans (and Americans). Please do not take my word for that, the paper was written by Anna Yemelianova and is called ‘A Diagnosis of Corruption in Ukraine‘ (at http://www.againstcorruption.eu/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/WP-14-Diagnosis-of-Corruption-in-Ukraine-new.pdf). You see, the big business boffins currently whispering into the ears of government officials in the west tend to ignore issues that do not cause THEM any grief, but those who pay their taxes and small businesses alike will get to deal with this to some degree in one way or another. From the very beginning of that paper where we see “Ukraine is a country is with wide scale and systemic corruption which makes a crucial influence on the economic, political, social and other spheres of public life“, it will be clear that whatever you pump into their economy, a percentage will end up with a man like Semion Yudkovich Mogilevich, a man who should be regarded as one of the most powerful men (some state the most powerful man) in the history of the Russian Mafia. Consider the end of the report where it states “21% of respondents in Ukraine reported paying a bribe in the past 12 months according to Transparency International Global Corruption Barometer 2009“.

This gives a clear indication, I might even state, this is in my personal view clear evidence that the numbers reported towards the IMF in regards to the economic support is underestimated by at least 30%. I will be bold enough to take my view one step further. When the Russian powerbase walks away, the floodgates that minimised some of this form of damage will be gone completely. It is a side that so many ignore, yet, when people in the News in the UK and the Netherlands read about these ‘Romanian gangs’, take heed for what happens when the Ukraine is added to the mix. These events are easily ignored by the power players as they remain out of reach, but the rest of the people in those area’s (99.98443213% roughly) will become a target one way or another.

Am I against the Ukraine joining the EEC? No, as I stated, it is about the freedom of choice. I do however have several reservations on why certain elements want to Ukraine to become part of the EEC no matter the cost. They have certain intentions and the press seems to be taking extreme care not to go anywhere near that part of the equation.

So who is strongarming, who is intimidating and who is terrorising? Three answers that call for a name, an entity or an organisation. So who exactly are the players and why are we seeing way too little on certain sides in the press?

 

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Is SIGINT a joke?

The news has been rampant on several levels these last few days. Whether it is revelation 16 (roughly) by the traitor Snowden, whether it is the historic event that the top three in British intelligence were in one line, as requested by British parliament, or the fact of revelations we read in the press, whilst (former) press members find themselves prosecuted for blatant and indiscriminate invasion of privacy. The list goes on and on and on.

There is a lot more, but let us confine ourselves to these three events.

For the Commonwealth the event in Parliament was likely the ‘important’ one. Was it truly about the events there? Some might want to question the questions, the answers and what follows. I, with my sense of perspective wondered about the choice of the green tie that Sir John Sawers was wearing. Does it matter? It is all as trivial as choosing pancakes for breakfast!

Yes, we all think we know it, we all think we have an inkling of an idea. I did have an idea, but that was almost 29 years ago. Now, I still have an idea from my specialised view of data, data technologies as well as data collection techniques and none of that falls with MI-6 (only a small part of it). The gem of the event was with Sir Iain Lobban, director of GCHQ, which gave us the part we need to care about. You see, as the press was so willing to give out the details as the people had a right to know, as we have allowed our wrists to get cut because the press is all about advertising profits, gang bang sensation and visibility, it was willing to sacrifice safety and progress for PR and visibility. To go deep and give both criminals and terrorists the information on how to avoid certain paths of detection we see the limits of their use. These same reporters that are part of a group listening in on voice mails to get the scoop, who will sanctimoniously proclaim freedom of the press, will not hesitate to sell their neighbour down the drain for the commission of another column of text, paid per letter.

From my point, if I had the option of making the killing shot ending Edward Snowden’s life I would, even if that gets me 20 years in prison, because traitors do not deserve consideration of any kind. The entire situation of laughable as an American ran to their Communist opponent and almost 50% of the American population considered it a good thing. In addition, if in light of the revealed information a child of Guardian editor in chief Alan Rusbridger would get molested, then he would blame the system on the front page of his newspaper immediately. I do not wish anything bad on him or his family ever! He is not likely to be worried as his four hundred thousand pound a year job allows for secure private schools, but what about the other children? Those children who are not that safe environment, possibly in danger to be at the mercy of predators, whom now with knowledge of longer avoidance and as such pose even more danger to innocent victims. What about them?

It is a level of what I see as utter short-sightedness. An assault on three groups that have lived in a world of ambiguity to get their work done, now that world is in turmoil, especially as some traitor comes with information that is for the most non confirmable, too much goes from the air of ‘Snowden told us, so it must be true’. Several questions are not dealt with on many levels, especially by the press. It just drains the gravy train as it sells more and more news (papers).

The second part is directly linked to all this. Two news messages:

1. Snowden persuaded other NSA workers to give up passwords (at http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE9A703020131108)
2. Snowden has stolen 50,000 to 200,000 Classified Items from NSA.

The second had no verifiable source and as such there is no way to tell how correct that is, the first one is more of an issue. How stupid are Americans? That is of course if there is any truth in that part.

YOU NEVER GIVE OUT THAT INFO!

You can leave your partner/spouse/lover at some university frat party to have all the sex he/she needs, you give your credit card to your kids to buy all the toys they want, giving out login information is beyond utterly stupid. Snowden would not have needed it. As an IT person he either has rights to make changes, or he does not. If he did not, then giving out login info is the worst anyone could do. If this ever went to court then he could blame the original account holder. It is a level of non-repudiation!

So were the people at the NSA born stupid and stopped evolving after birth? That remains to be seen! The point is that the press is not that trustworthy either! The second part in regards to the classified items was from a non-disclosed, but also non verifiable source. There is no way for me to know. The question from this part is the one you do not see discussed openly on the news. How did all this info leave the building? Who was in charge? Issues that are also in play for Sir Iain Lobban! How vulnerable is GCHQ? What is in play to prevent this to happen in the UK? Even though Booz Allen Hamilton was cleared as they are the official boss of Edward Snowden, yet how was the clearing process? What are the checks in place for civilian contractors? The Washington Post published a large article questioning civilian contractor issues, from this part we wonder if it was deep enough. Even more, why were these issues not looked at more than a YEAR before the Snowden issues started?

If it was up to me (Sir Iain Lobban is likely secure in the knowledge that this is the last option that should ever happen), then I would like to make a small change at GCHQ. I would add a new inner circle, consisting of a Law Lord and two members from both MI-5 and MI-6 to watch the watchers. My only worry is that whoever oversees GCHQ internally is part of the ‘problem’ (no illegal or negative inclination implied). It does not harm for a set of cleared fresh eyes to look at the system to see if there is a danger. Something similar would need to happen at the NSA, but with their systems and such it might be a different source of people (like members of cyber command FBI and cyber command military).

There is too much info out there supporting the idea that US intelligence (and other governmental departments) seems to be oblivious to the need for Common Cyber Sense (at present with the amount of published info, it is unlikely that my thought on this is wrong).

Here is the third part, the PRESS part!

Their phone hacking was all about exploitation, revenue, profit and personal gain. The Intelligence community is about keeping people safe. There is a massive difference. If you wonder about these events, then consider the fact that because of greed and revenue, no steps have been taken on a global scale to see who buys your personal details and who has them. It could influence your insurance premium, your credit rating and your financial options. No one seems to be on par to get that properly regulated, because in America, Cash is king and the president to the United States is simply a number with a possible temporary status elevation, the rest is data cattle, sold at a moment’s notice. This risk is very real in the UK and Europe too. A consumer is nothing more than a customer number with an address and with a possible shipment of goods under way, that is their value and only for as long as they need products. To some extent the Washington Post covered this a week ago at http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/michael-chertoff-what-the-nsa-and-social-media-have-in-common/2013/10/31/b286260e-4167-11e3-8b74-d89d714ca4dd_story.html

what is less known is that they are one of the few who took a decent look at it (the Washington post), the rest remains on the Snowden gravy train, not informing anyone, they simply re-quote a Reuters line. Seems a little wrong doesn’t it? The article by Michael Chertoff sees the gem no one properly questions half way through where he wrote “there is no assurance that what is disseminated has context or news value“.

The true part, the real smart and the questionable art! The intelligence world is ALL about disseminating information and giving proper weight to the information acquired. It is about finding the bad guys, without that weight it is all media gossip used by the press and as we saw, the disciples of Rupert Murdoch have truly dented that group’s reliability, perhaps for a long time.

So is today’s SIGINT a joke? I hope not, because if so, the questions had been phrased at the wrong people. At some point parliament gets to answer the questions asked by the innocent and the victims on how parliament asked all about data and left corporations to do whatever they liked with our personal details. How many UK companies have had a backup data server in the US?

Consider this quote by Salesquest “The Siebel Customer Intelligence List consists of 265 Fortune 1000 or Global 500 companies that have deployed Siebel in their enterprise application environment. The first tab in the spread sheet lists the 265 Siebel customers, industries, corporate headquarter addresses, phone numbers, and web site addresses.” (At http://www.salesquest.com/resources/siebel-customer-list/)

How many of those are backing up their data to some server park in San Antonio? Consider those places, all their customer data, their financial data and forecast information. In some cases, the data will come from over a dozen nations. It is nice to ask where their data is, but what about the data dumps, the logs and the backups, where were they kept?

Let the intelligence community do what it needs to do, if not, then neither we nor the press gets to point fingers at them when things truly go very wrong.

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