Tag Archives: NSA

The political blame

I love the Guardian for the most. They have a good grasp of things and we might not see eye to eye on certain matters at times, their opinion is still valued as it enables me to critically reassess my own view. It is the opposing part that got to me this morning as I read an article a mere 4 hours old. The title alone woke me up. With ‘Despite Hammond’s threat, the Tories cannot be trusted to end austerity‘ Richard Partington makes a dangerous statement. Does he imply that the Conservatives love austerity too much (not entirely false), is he making the statement that Labor (the Jeremy Corbyn facade) is likely to end it immediately placing the UK in even more danger? There are several ways to see this. The article with “Chancellor hints that a no-deal Brexit will mean an unwanted extension to austerity“, which is absolutely true in a few ways, still that extension of 2-3 years will be better than the ECB push to set the stage for 15 years of additional austerity. And when we are treated to “The chancellor is likely to argue that money has been set aside for a no-deal Brexit, but should it be avoided, he can use these funds to end austerity. The thinly veiled threat – coming on the day of the crucial vote on whether to leave without a deal“. From my point of view, whatever is in reserve is essential to reduce debt as soon as possible. You see £2.1 trillion in debt is a killer. The interest alone will be well over £210 billion each year. So every month £17.5 billion is required to be set aside (all speculated on interest being a mere 1%), lowering that requirement as soon as possible is the only way to survive whatever comes next. Germany did massively push austerity around 2010 and the debt (as well as the interest) went down. We acknowledge that Germany was in a much better place (export wise), yet the truth in undeniable, the debt is killing the people of England and it needs to stop. Irresponsible acts by Labour in the past got us into this mess and Labor is just too stupid to see the danger that they are exposing their citizens to, it must stop and that was for me the largest reason to embrace Brexit, even now when we see: “For the most part the Conservatives have recycled savings from austerity into tax breaks for the better off” we should get angry, not because of the falsehood, but because of the presentation. You see, any austerity will affect the better off a lot less than the others, there is no denying it. If only Labor had not gone overboard spending the way they did (apart from the £11.2 billion NHS IT fiasco), they had no clue what they were doing and gave us this death through poverty sentence. The banks are all on the side of Labor as they are making bankers rich whilst these bankers do not have to do anything at all, the long term commitment to £17.5 a month does that for them.

Then we get even more fuel with: “Analysis from the New Economics Foundation this week shows that raising the tax-free personal allowance to £12,500 and higher-rate income tax threshold to £50,000 will cost as much as £30bn. The financial benefit of the increases have benefited higher-income households most and further stoked inequality“. In the first, no one, not even the rich oppose the £12,500 part, the part that predicts the cost to be £30 billion is misrepresented as that also includes the losses by those who went from £11,850 to £12,500, and this is the largest part. These so called ‘rich’, an interestingly small number basically gaining a mere £3,650 to be taxed lower earning them £700 over a year, whilst the even wealthier group did not gain the additional benefits as their tax bracket remained the same. As for the numbers in 2017 only an estimated 364,000 (out of 68 million) made over £150,000 a year. An additional 4.2 million got to the £50,000 range. those people are not gaining £30 billion, the benefit is mostly there for the lowest range being the largest group by far and Richard should be ashamed of himself trying to push buttons in that way.

Inequality has been there for a while and it is not due to the tax regulations as such, it is due to Labor (and Conservatives) being cowards and not adjusting the tax machine to make large corporations making pay their due. When we see Google, Amazon and others paying a mere 1%, we need to hang those policy makers in Piccadilly square. That is the real culprit, but it is likely too uncomfortable for Richard Partington to point that out, he likely has well paid friends in large corporations. We can agree that “The deficit is still expected to remain as high as £19.8bn in 2022-23 according to the Office for Budget Responsibility, the government’s own tax and spending watchdog“, and guess what, properly taxing large corporations would have taken care of that and optionally reduced austerity as well, yet policy makers are unwilling to try that as they fear large corporations walk out. So what? Let them go and forsake a 68 million consumer base, they will learn soon enough when that move goes tits up for them.

It is not all him though, Richard is allowed his view (even the ones I very much disagree with), and the issue goes beyond certain people. Consider just a year ago when we were ‘informed’ on Apple at Battersea Power Station, a luxurious setting of hundreds of millions, of course they do not have to pay for it, as the tax payers gets to pay for all the taxation that they do not have to pay at that point. It gets even worse when we see the quotes in the Apple Insider. It is developer Simon Murphy that literally gives those readers with the prospect of them moving to plan B: “We’ll give [Apple] that building at the end of 2021. That’s what everyone is very confident about at this stage“, so not only did they short social housing by 40%, they also give away a place to large corporations? No one is asking questions on every level of government at this point (at https://appleinsider.com/articles/18/09/22/construction-delays-leave-apples-iconic-london-battersea-offices-in-doubt)? It seems that the way we do business has to change quite a lot and it is time to slash freebees to zero for the largest corporations. It is not only the Guardian though; we see a changed stage when we go to the Financial Times. They start (at https://www.ft.com/content/b2225c56-419c-11e9-b896-fe36ec32aece) with: “With economic risks again mounting, the EU needs new instruments” and that is merely the beginning. In addition to all the massive blunders they had by fictively keeping an economy running, by pumping 3 trillion into it, we now see: “reviving part of its stimulus programme after two years of weaning the eurozone off easy money — took markets by surprise. It should not have done. Signs of eurozone weakening, especially in Germany, and in key partners such as China, had been evident for months. Once the US Federal Reserve signalled a pause before lifting rates again, the ECB became likely to follow suit. In his final months in the role, ECB president Mario Draghi is clearly trying to get ahead of events“, form my personal point of view, Mario Draghi (and the ECB) are merely trying to keep the gravy train rolling and pushing the EU citizens into deeper debt with no option to get out, Brexit is the only way to cut that anchor. The ECB has become that irresponsible. It becomes an even larger problem with “By promising a new round of cheap long-term loans to banks willing to expand lending, moreover, the ECB will enable Spanish, Italian and other banks to roll over funding they have already received, some of which is set to mature“, so not only is it failing, the stage that the new debts are there to cover old debts is even more ludicrous and it should be to every person who read that. That is the push we see and we need to get out of it, these debts do not make governments better, they do not set the stage for an actual economy, it merely deposes nations to be ruled by banks, when any population is set to the stage where they are contributing to any economy by being a consumer against those who are not and regarded as a burden, at that point do we see that people are truly no longer equal, we are merely facilitating to the need of the balance of corporations and bankers are placed above the law and above any consideration. So at what point did we see elections that place banks and bankers above the law? And this is merely the beginning; we see part of this shift when we consider the words at CNBC by Invesco’s Kristina Hooper at a deeper level. She starts with: “I don’t think the slowdown is going to be that bad as we sit here today, and certainly that’s not what we got from the ECB [European Central Bank] in terms of their downgrade of growth forecasts“, yet when we see: “Now that we have the European Central Bank piling on, that raises questions about what’s going on. What are central banks worried about that is causing them to make rather dramatic pivots?“, that was actually simple, the ECB is dead scared of the ‘R’ word, it is ‘recession’ that scares them. Recession is on the horizon and basically the large four are all hit by it, or are optionally hitting it next quarter (France, Germany, Italy and UK), and for the ECB that is a problem, it would truly show that their policy was a failure, no matter how you dashboard the results into a precisely sliced and diced result that shows only positivity, the cost of living and the quality of life are impacting all and austerity is not a merely a dirty word, it is at this point a cause of suicidal depression for the many confronted with it. If only large corporations had been truly decently taxed, we could have avoided so much pain. We see even more in the end when we are treated to: ““China is employing a lot of stimulus both monetary and fiscal,” said Hooper. “We could actually see signs of some improvement in economic data in China.”” She is only partially right. China is not impaired with 26 anchors all trying to keep the EU boat on their needy little turf; in addition China has taken the lead in IP and Patents making a huge difference, in this America and the EU have fallen far behind. I have seen them ignore billions in IP merely because iteration is the prospect of long term management for large corporations nowadays in an age when these people are left without ideas, we see them surpassed by players like Huawei and Google leaping ahead and now we see the terms like ‘protectionism’ and how bad it is. On the other hand there is a solution against it, the Americans merely had to accuse Huawei as a national security danger and as long as they do not have to prove it can they get away with it, the moment they fail that they lose a lot more than merely an industry (in all fairness they do not really have any credibility left, so there is that too). There too we see issues; as John Bolton (the Trump geriatric solution to national security) gives us through the Sydney Morning Herald: “Bolton also offered blunt assessments on China’s island and military base building in the South China Sea and raised concerns “Manchurian” chips in Huawei technology could be activated for espionage” in this ‘could‘ is the operative word, there is no evidence, and as far as I can tell there never was. This too links to economies and economic welfare, Huawei leaped forward whilst the bulk of all economies were based on iterative progress. Why do you think that places like Google and Huawei truly leapt forward? Their rise is all about actual innovation, not iterative marketing. This makes for all the difference. And linked to all this is something truly away from the UK. With ‘STC, Huawei complete first indoor 5G trial in the Middle East‘, when we are treated to “Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Chinese vendor Huawei confirmed they have completed what they claim to be the first trial of indoor 5G in the Middle East region. During the trial in Dammam, STC used 100 megahertz in the 3.5 GHz band on the 5G network, and achieved a peak user downlink throughput of 1.3 Gbps” with the additional “STC said it currently provides 5G coverage in more than 450 locations across Saudi Arabia” and this relates directly to the EU and the UK. To have an economy growing you need to be ahead of the curve and both are no longer doing that in several fields. Even as I personally understand and accept the statements by Alex Younger (fearless leader of MI-6); we accept his position and he is not wrong, but it is inconvenient for the economy. The others are merely supporting fear mongering absent of evidence and it is about to cost them. You see, 5G is the economy maker and even as I have well over 2 billion in IP value ready to stage to those with the proper offer, I am but one person and I am not alone. 5G will drive IP and it will push new borders in IP, specifically in trademarks, a shift we have not seen ever. In all this, we see the stage where not only will we see the technology shift where Saudi Arabia is surpassing the US technologically, they now have the stage where they can push and own a 500% growth all over the Middle East, America lost out by being stupid and complacent in an industry where free runners set the stage, not those that rely on status quo. The UK (and the EU) will either catch up, or be regarded as lost for consideration.
At some point people there will push for political blame, I do not think that this is a great idea, but that is what will happen soon enough and at that point, all those who gave rise to John Bolton and the US administration will face a massive setback, to be removed from consideration in a world where they once had mighty voices, the funny part is that every success that we now see by Huawei and Saudi Arabia will be another nail in their coffin. A coffin soon to be named ‘rented by [irrelevant person]‘. What a legacy to have in an age where political delays were the foundation of austerity through improper taxation of corporation. There is more than one setback on the location called Lake Iteration; I saw that coming a mile away. Too bad that those relying on status quo never realised that blinkers of that nature is only to stop wearer of seeing the bigger play-field through the adaptation of fictively removing fear, fear keeps us on our toes, it makes us consider what others do and why they do it; with blinkers we only see what those in charge of us want us to see and that is a large limitation, it makes us focus on what is in front of us and we seem to forget that we are not alone, by not seeing that others pass us by and we only see that whilst we watch their asses rush forward at that point will we consider picking up the pace, picking it up way too late. That too is part of any economy, it is the essential part of being ahead of the game and the ECB is seemingly all about a horse named ‘banker’ to get that advantage and it is costing us. You see, it is not about Huawei having this advantage, it is about the realisation that British Telecom is no longer in the place where Huawei now is. All whilst there is plenty of documentation that the US has been accusing Huawei since before 2012 and up to now, no evidence has ever been produced. So whilst we can go back to the quote from October 2012 with: “American companies and its government should avoid doing business with China’s two leading technology firms, Huawei and ZTE, because they pose a national security threat to the US, the House of Representatives’ intelligence committee will warn in a report to be published on Monday“, consider the options, is US Intelligence this bloody inefficient and incompetent, or was this about something else? The leaping headway approach by Huawei was visible 7 years ago and in that time nothing changed. That non change is important for the people to realise; it is the UK economy that is getting hit time and time again. If you wonder why austerity takes this long (and longer still) consider the steps that industries had not taken, investments not done and we see non-stop tax relief for those sitting still (read: sitting on their hands). the issues are directly connected and when we realise that Germany has decided not to ban Huawei (a nations decently paranoid on security), when we watch the German economy pick up sooner we all know where to point the finger, we point it at the inactive and the exploitative, when we link names to those connected there, that is when we see a first sign of carefully phrased denials and weighted mention of ‘miscommunication between parties’. At that point, will you be forgiving and accept the ‘moving forward’ excuse, or will you hold them and their tax policies to account to a much larger degree?

Stop blaming the rich, they already got there! You need to go after those facilitators, those looking for free scraps and scraps through inaction; those are the ones you want to make suffer for your delayed and optionally permanently deleted so called ‘quality of life’.

 

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Our BBC alarm clock

It is Thursday, I just finished a baguette with salami and I was just going over the news (as one does) and I was hit by something stated in the BBC. I was not sure on how to react, but it made me take another look at certain matters. The event was initially about Saudi Arabia and their need for a nuclear reactor, they want to diversify their energy options. The one nation where sunlight would imply the need for large Elon Musk batteries to light Riyadh at night, whilst they get charged by free sunlight during the day, that one element is seen. Yet, they want a nuclear reactor requiring a huge water source to cool the entire matter. OK, that is their choice, and I am fine with it (no one cares what I agree with, I don’t care myself either). Yet the setting changes when I am confronted with two parts. The article (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-47296641) gives a few elements that become debatable in more than one way. So as I am listening to golden oldies like Atom Bomb Baby by The Five Stars (my sense of humour remains in place), as well as Civilization (Bongo Bongo Bongo) by Danny Kaye, songs that matter in this case. The first quote is: “Whistleblowers told the panel it could destabilise the Middle East by boosting nuclear weapons proliferation“, so why whistle blowers? Political impact does not require whistle blowers, there is no guarantee that it would result in destabilisation (it is likely though), and WHY EXACTLY did the BBC ‘hide’ behind the Whistle-blower statement?

The second part in all this is: “Lawmakers have been critical of the plan as it would violate US laws guarding against the transfer of nuclear technology that could be used to support a weapons programme“. So how does that relate to the Iran nuclear accords? America might have left it, but they were in the centre of all this. So, exactly why is there optionally a law against it and seemingly Iran was catered to, to begin with, and is still catered to at present by Europe. At this point everyone needs to sit down and really consider what their political representatives are up to all over the globe, because things are not really adding up at present.

Finally we get: “They also believe giving Saudi Arabia access to nuclear technology would spark a dangerous arms race in the volatile region. But concerns around rival Iran developing nuclear technology are also at play, according to US media“, if that is the case why allow talks with Iran to get it in the first place? And how exactly is ‘according to US media’ a valid response? And exactly who are the players in that US media mess? Does that not worry you?

Then we get the house report, based on whistle-blowers (who exactly?) where we see: “within the US, strong private commercial interests have been pressing aggressively for the transfer of highly sensitive nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia

There is a larger play in this; the issue becomes who exactly are those ‘private commercial interests’? It seems that the media (including the BBC) is all about creating awareness whilst those writers are all about ‘not stepping on any toes’ and in light of the linked term ‘nuclear weapons proliferation‘, yet the BBC does not disappoint. We also get:

The commercial entities mentioned in the report are:

  • IP3 International, a private company led by ex-military officers and security officials that organised a group of US companies to build “dozens of nuclear power plants” in Saudi Arabia
  • ACU Strategic Partners, a nuclear power consultancy led by British-American Alex Copson
  • Colony NorthStar, Mr Barrack’s real estate investment firm
  • Flynn Intel Group, a consultancy and lobby set up by Michael Flynn.

Now we are off to the races! You see, even as IP3 International is visible on their website (at www.ip3international.com) with: ‘A global enterprise to develop sustainable energy and security infrastructure‘, we need to realise that this is a presentation play (everyone is allowed to do that). Sustainable is often used as it more than not can be replaced with renewable energy (which is still not the same), the larger issue is that there is a sizeable debate as it is also an increasing controversy over whether nuclear energy can be considered sustainable energy.

The textbook gives us: “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs“, which is reflected in: Kutscher, C.F.; Milford, J.B.; Kreith, F. (2018). Principles of Sustainable Energy Systems, Third Edition, I believe that IP3 International is revenue driven and one tends to go to the players that can pay their bill, I would see it as an innovative thought to go to Saudi Arabia, if only (according to law) it was not illegal. Yet there is the second stump in all this, you cannot start that conversation with Iran and not optionally refuse to have it with Saudi Arabia. And now the music is still on par with the events in play, because the song at present is ‘Grandma Plays the Numbers’ by Wynonie Harris. It is not a bet and the players are not hedging their bets, the issue becomes Politico (at https://www.politico.eu/article/mohammad-javad-zarif-iran-to-eu-give-us-more-to-preserve-nuclear-deal/), which gives us “On the nuclear deal, from which Trump’s withdrew last year, Zarif said a so-called special purpose vehicle set up by the EU to allow European countries to keep trading with Iran despite U.S. sanctions fell short of what Europeans had promised. In a clear message to European powers, he said domestic support for the deal was fragile — with 51 percent of Iranians in favor, according to an opinion poll“, it is not about the deal, it is to some extent as to where 49% of Iran wants to be as the margin is too close to call an actual win. What is important is where the hardliners stand and what path they want to walk on, it makes all the difference in this.

The other party that draws attention in this is Michael Flynn and his Flynn Intel Group. Even as it is seen as a consultancy group, the issue is optionally seen with “In January 2017, National Security Council staff began to raise concerns that these plans were inappropriate and possibly illegal, and that Flynn had a potentially criminal conflict of interest“, the imperative part is ‘possibly illegal‘, it does not state ‘should be regarded as illegal‘, the difference makes for all the difference here and the fact that this is not clearly stated implies that this is a political push, optionally against Saudi Arabia, and optionally to keep nuclear energy out of the middle east completely. When we realise that the issue changes, it does not merely require Europe to stop any Iran nuclear deal, it gives different levels of rise to the political pressures in play. The fact that we see (source: Ars Technica): “Flynn had decided to adopt IP3’s plan to develop “dozens of nuclear power plants” in Saudi Arabia during the transition while he was still serving as an advisor to IP3. Harvey also said that Barrack would be made a special representative, with credentials equivalent to an ambassador, to guide the plan“, yet the entire matter of ‘there is bi-partisan concern regarding Saudi Arabia’s access to nuclear technology‘, we seem to get a little less informed that this is not about the material itself, it is about upgrading the fuel required to upgrade it to weapons grade, that is the actual turkey in the oven.

And it is at this point that Bing Crosby starts sing Pistol Packin’ Mama. You see, we seem to forget that there are a few ways to upgrade Uranium towards a less acceptable use. It’s like stone washing your jeans (a small reference to alternative ways to upgrade Uranium), when you start looking into the matter, you can find several ways to upgrade the fuel to a boom point. That is where the issue is hiding at and when we go back to the case where people re happy to in like Flynn with Saudi Arabia, we get confronted with a memo that is seemingly linking former NSA Director Keith Alexander, when we look at the sources, there is a lot alleged, implied and not a whole lot valued as evidence (which does not make it true or false). The part that matter is that this is a lot larger and there is not a whole lot of information on the legality of it all (in one way or another).

The mess goes on and even NPR gets involved. We are all treated to: “Let’s take a closer look now at what a transfer of highly sensitive nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia would mean for U.S. national security“, yet how valid is that today? The first nuclear reactor was built in 1942, it is an energy solution that has been in place for almost 77 years. There are now 31 nations that employ nuclear energy, nations that include Armenia, Argentine, Romania, Netherlands, Sweden, Slovakia, the UAE and Switzerland. So how sensitive is that technology? If the technology is up to date (which might be sensitive) does that not also include that the reactors are safer? Should safety not be the largest concern in all this?

Well that is not entirely the story and it is Ars Technical that gives us: ““We remain concerned that the Saudi Government has refused, for many years, to consider any agreement that includes so-called ‘Gold Standard’ requirements against pursuing technologies to enrich uranium and reprocess plutonium-laden spent nuclear fuel,” the senators wrote in their letter to Trump.” that was the part that the BBC did not give us, so even as part of that still needs to be vetted, yet if true, there would be a partial issue, yet in all this we still see that Europe is willing to give it to Iran and as such, should Saudi Arabia not be entitled to that choice too?

When we see the elements in play is it actual about stopping Saudi Arabia getting a nuclear reactor, or is it about stopping a handful of former admirals and generals laying their fingers on $200 billion? In the end whatever happens, the players forget that Russia is eager to serve Saudi Arabia with the 20 nuclear reactors that Saudi Arabia in committed to switch on in under 36 months. It seems to me that the United States or those reporting via the US media are all about removing the US as the larger economic power. That is how I personally would read it, the entire mess has too many angles and too many ‘possibly illegal‘ and ‘concern regarding access to nuclear technology‘, whilst the list of nations with nuclear reactors is already way out of control, and we read this, whilst we know that Russia and China are eager to put their fingers on that much revenue, when you want to buy a car that does at least 250Km, are you going to wait in front of the Ferrari door, or do you accept that Lamborghini and Aston Martin are not second choice cars, they are equally great choices in really fast cars. When we realise that part of the equation, we might consider that the Americans: General (ret.) John M. Keane, U.S. Army, General (ret.) Keith Alexander, U.S. Army, Rear Admiral (ret.) Michael Hewitt, U.S. Navy, Admiral (ret.) Kirkland H. Donald, U.S. Navy, Lieutenant General (ret.) Patrick J. O’Reilly, U.S. Army are not merely Americans, they might be the few true Americans left in that place. We catered to Wall Street for so long, we forget that innovation and had work and proper commercial deals made America great, short selling stock a lot less so, and even as we ‘acknowledge’ that these fine gentleman are still being mentored (or is that insightful advised) by Robert McFarlane, we need to realise that the entire media mess is set in motion for very different reasons. I am not pretending to know the reason, yet those so called whistle-blowers have their own alternative need, I wonder if we ever get the truth on that part of this much larger equation.

 

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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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A screen made with real silver

Forbes gave us the news on Monday. Many expected it; many saw it coming and no one is really surprised. It’s ‘Netflix’s Worst Nightmare Is Coming True‘. Stephen McBride gives us: “If you’ve been reading RiskHedge, you know I’ve been warning to keep money out of stock market darling Netflix (NFLX)“, he was of course correct, yet I would not go there for different reasons, reasons he actually mentions in part. As we are treated to: “It comes down to the lifecycle of disruptive businesses. Netflix pioneered “streaming” video where you watch shows through the Internet rather than on cable TV. For years, it was the only streaming service in town. Early investors rode this first-mover advantage to 10,000% gains from 2008 to July of this year.” Many, for the most the investors rejoiced. I saw the loaded cannon in another direction. As Forbes gives us, we are treated to: “Netflix had planned to spend $8 billion on shows and series this year… now it’ll spend roughly $12 billion. It now invests more in content than any other American TV network” that is where the danger is. You see, the cold hearted calculation is: 137 million users worldwide. This gets us on average $24 billion a year, it looks good, but it is not great. You see, this only works if this goes on in the long run, whilst it requires growth, it also requires people to stay with Netflix for a long time. Now, both are an option, but they have muddied the waters in another way. First there are the loans and the interest is due, as well as the principle of the matter (aka, the loan). It is optionally not a big thing if things were great moving forward, yet they are not. I had an idea earlier this year and I thought that handing it to Netflix is a great way to gain momentum. You see, I have written 1100 articles within the last 6 years alone and as such I do have a few ideas running around in my head.

Yet Netflix has a no-unsolicited submissions policy, so until you have an agent and such, there is no option. They only accept submissions through a licensed literary agent or from a producer, attorney, manager or entertainment executive with the players that Netflix has a pre-existing relationship. This makes total sense, yet it also gives rise to a much more expensive track, and $12 billion shows part of that. From my point of view new ideas and optionally the most profitable ones are found in what some would call ‘the geek corner’, these people can often not relate, cannot present but they tell great stories, they are most often really cheap and original. It is a much harder sell, yet the entire expense track could be down by at least 10%, saving Netflix $1.2 billion on the spot. Then there is the international concept. Some TV series became great in their own way. Sweden had Pipi Longstocking and that become a much loved character on a very global stage. Another Swedish treasure was a 70’s series called the White Stone, based on the book by Gunnel Linde, Sweden had its own share of successes down the track and we realise that some might seem less interesting nowadays. The Netherlands had the legendary series ‘Kunt U mij de weg naar Hamelen vertellen meneer?‘ It was a song story by children based on the Grimm story of the ratcatcher of Hameln. The series apart from some a few episodes is lost forever, which is a shame as this was a cultural highlight for the Dutch. The French had Thierry la Fronde, La demoiselle d’Avignon and several more, all unseen by a global audience. It is an option, but is that the case?

No it is not.

Netflix has shown that their money is well spent; series like Sabrina, The Haunting of Hill House and Altered Carbon are amazing achievements. We can clearly see that billions were well spend, yet in this donuts for dollars world, the overall stage (non-advertising space mind you), the annual setting for their audience is set to a requirement of close to 365 to 700 hours of TV entertainment a year to keep them, which that adds up to Sabrina, Star Trek Discovery, Haunting of Hill house, the Good Witch, Marvel’s The Punisher, Lost In Space, The OA, Seven Seconds, The Rain, Requiem, 3%, The Innocents, Sense 8, Grace and Frankie, Godless, The Mechanism, Dark, The Crown, Marvel’s Daredevil, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Stranger Things, Lady Dynamite, Glow, Sabrina, Altered Carbon, Mindhunter and at least 20 movies. They need to pull this off each year, and that pressure with Disney+ also increases, as the chance of switching to someone else is more and more likely.

We get that there are series that will always take the cake (Game of Thrones), and in this we see that there is some space to manoeuvre, but it is not a lot. You see, if someone loses the interest for 3 days, they will wonder what Netflix is for and optionally cancel, especially in this economy. That is the clear math I saw at the very beginning. It is not the price; $15 (the medium option) is more often than not a really acceptable price to most people. Netflix got that right, they merely need to find another additional venue for materials, because the well of creation will soon dry up, not merely because there are other players on the field, it is that Free to air TV, and other medium are vying for that same pool of viewers. Netflix as the first one has an advantage, but for how long?

Stephen McBride, a professional fund manager and the chief analyst at RiskHedge makes his financial case and that adds up to the findings I have. I am not sure on what the share price needs to be, yet his financial case and my mere view of the low average viewer gives light to a Netflix in trouble, how much is a clear unknown. Netflix has shown that with Sabrina and The Haunting of Hill House a new level of creepiness can be reached. Sabrina is a new take on what was fluffy, whilst The Haunting of Hill House had most of my friends scared beyond belief, so that series hit the mark. I saw the interesting catch on Lost in Space that after the original series and a movie can capture hearts all over the place, so Netflix is bringing the good stuff, no doubt about it. However, the entire setting is still low on hours. Even if year one for the audience is great, they will want more, or at least no less in the stage of year two and that is where I see trouble for Netflix. This business model will not work pumping billion after billion in a stage that grows ever more, and the path gets worse as more and more is borrowed.

That is the business case that is lost from the very start. This is all before we all realise that the need for Internet and 4K grows, so their infrastructure will shift within the next two years as well and their cloud will need a serious amount of cash to deal with that. I speculatively reckon that by 2021 (if Netflix makes it that long) will equal the NSA data server site at Camp Williams (Utah), so please take a moment to reflect on this. Netflix will in three years require the systems to facilitate to an audience and its hardware will be bigger than the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI), with the ability to serve optionally a little over half a billion people. That is the path that Netflix is on and people wonder why I am overly negative. Well, overly negative is a stretch. It is the old fashioned sales pitch. A man sells his soul to the devil, the devil agrees and the deal is that he needs to grow his customer base by 20%. Those who know of the value of a chess set might know that one too. That man required as payment one grain the first tile, and double one the next one and so on, until all 64 tiles were paid for. 1,2,4,8,16,32,64,128 (totaling 255 grains) and that is merely the first row, after that it goes fast and by the last row it the tile payment equalled the total grain production of Russia. In customer base you require a customer base that surpasses the total population, or in this specific case the hardware of a former super power. Also consider that over time Netflix needs to open a similar base in Europe and Asia to maximise the streaming within the time zones. How much will that cost? Oh and before you think that this is it, how much power will it take to keep that running? It is set to be $50 million a year in energy cost and 1 million gallons of water a day (per base). That is if there are no power surges and other calamities giving hardship to all this. Now we see more and more providers handing out one year of free Netflix, they will have a deal with Netflix, yet year one is not the problem, year two is the bigger issue, content makes that a challenge and as is stated in Forbes: “Netflix has three bad choices: continue borrowing billions and bury itself deeper in debt… dramatically raise its subscription prices… or cut back on making new content“, if we see the three, we wonder what impact monthly increases does, I reckon that they could go for the option of one price (HD, 4K) at the same price of $16. Basically get rid of Normal and merely have basic and premium (for $5 more), it will give a boost and most people might not worry about the $5, knowing that they could always upgrade their hardware and get better viewing. Borrowing billions is a non-starter as I see it, it merely lowers the lifespan, yet the final option ‘cut back on making new content‘, is not set in stone. What if we go by ‘making different new content‘, are they exploring that? This is where the golden oldies might bring life to the amount of materials they get at a much lesser expense. Disney is all about the family and the younger viewers. Disney rules that land, yet in the 70’s we saw that Scandinavia had its share of series appreciated by kids all over Europe and that might lower the edge that Disney has (to a small extent).

In addition, making different new content might also increase the amount of content that can be made with $12 billion. I hope Netflix pulls through, when we are confronted with The Haunting of Hill House we see that they have amazing diamonds to offer any crown viewer and I am curious what else they can come up with, especially after Sabrina.

When we consider this, how many have taken a look for the best TV series from the 70’s? I did and I reckon that this is not where we find the answers, there will be too many people remembering those, yet the international field where a local TV series makes it into the global population will be for the most real new stuff to many, there will be a risk, you see, for every remake like Three man and a baby there is the risk of having at least two mediocre versions like ‘the Birdcage’, and with an audience of 135 million moving towards 200 million diversity will be key. I am not sure how it is to be solved and the makers will have their challenge cut out for them, but the takings for them will be huge if they pull it off. In the end, the search for originality goes on and as we go for books, movies and optional video games (Alicia Vikander or Michael Fassbender anyone?) we see options. Yet how does it go when we go dark, really dark and we take a night at the museum into a very different direction? What if we push the nightwatchman into the Night watch and he has to survive the events of The Shooting Company of Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch in 1640, where he has to survive the night, not get shot for optional accusation of theft of the 100 florins that each of the 16 members had brought as payment to Rembrandt van Rijn and get back out without leaving a mark. We might think it is fun to walk in on Hortense Mancini by Jacob Fredinand Voet, yet what happens when you end up in The Wayfarer by Hieronymus Bosch (1503) and you have to get back then?

We can add twists on nearly any TV series, but will it work? It is not for us to solve, it is for Netflix to find a solution and that is where the problem starts, I might phrase it wrong, the problem did not start there. We were informed last year that Netflix cancelled 21 series, it does not really matter why, number of viewers tends to be the most likely reason, it merely adds the pressure for new content to be created, remember that they need between 365 and 700 hours per viewer for them to remain decently content. And in that picture, creating new content is a lot harder than merely creating a new season, the ante is up for the creators and so is the pressure for Netflix.

At least that is how I see it, and in this, the cinema has a silver screen, Netflix will need gold to score and they have to do it 20 times over each year making the effort unfathomable and each year that they do pull it off will add to the legend that started as Netflix.

 

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Those we needlessly fear

All others pay cash! Yes, that was direct, was it not? We have seen millions of articles fly by, all given the very same announcement: ‘Fear Saudi Arabia‘, as well as ‘MBS is a monster‘. Yet, what evidence was given? What actual evidence did we get?

Turkey played its innuendo game, we can also accept that the US is playing a protective game for Saudi Arabia and that too should be highlighted, yet NO ONE has taken an academic look at those so called tapes as have given the audience the rundown, what was there, what was proven. Is there even enough evidence that Jamal Khashoggi is on the tapes? Journalists are in their own corrupt little world of satisfying the shareholders, the stake holders and the advertisers and they all want Saudi Arabia to look like they are all guilty, all to the very top. In addition we see the G20 Argentina game that France played with their ‘confrontation’, conveniently enough staged to be caught on CNN. He was not that amateur like when he had to have a few words with someone high up at Crédit Agricole, was he? Where have they got that leaked conversation?

I see it as a simple operational premise to counter the fear that they have. It gets worse, at present the vultures are circling and we get to see more fallout. News dot com dot au are giving us (at https://www.news.com.au/world/middle-east/saudi-friend-of-jamal-khashoggi-sues-israeli-surveillance-firm/news-story/b0bf9d501332df9ad31bede7de904b6c) ‘Saudi friend of Jamal Khashoggi sues Israeli surveillance firm‘ gives us ‘A Saudi dissident‘, as well as ‘Omar Abdulaziz, said he was friends with Khashoggi‘. Now people make all kinds of claims, I can make the claim that I am the lover of Scarlett Johansson; she just does not know it yet. Anyone in the media can contact frukan Johansson and verify that fact (or prove it to be wrong), we can’t in the case of Khashoggi, can we? Was there corroborating evidence that they were actual friends? If so, why was that not added? The news site makes no real effort to substantiate that friendship and that is not what this is about. You see, it is the claim ‘a lawsuit against an Israeli surveillance company, claiming its sophisticated spyware targeted him and helped lead to the killing of his friend‘. We have two problems here. In the first, is there any evidence to back that up? In the second, Jamal Khashoggi was an unknown person to 93% of the planet, yet he was a journalist for the Washington Post, and as such he was a lot more visible than most others. Also, the entire filing matter in Istanbul gave rise that plenty of people knew where he was, so the spyware seems redundant. If there was quality spyware in place he could have been killed anywhere and leave the optional involvement of Saudi Arabia almost completely out of it. Does that not make sense?

The last paragraph is the killer here: “citing news reports and other sources claiming that NSO Group sold Saudi Arabia the technology in 2017 for $US55 million ($A75 million)“. The first thing here is to look at those news reports; I wonder how much innuendo is in there. Then we get the stage that technology worth $55 million was bought when JK was very much alone, giving rise to the reason of purchase, last by not least is the investigation on the NSO group and their software and that is what I believe was the foundation, it does not matter where and how the NSO group software was used. I believe that Omar Abdulaziz got wind of a 2016 article not unlike those on Vice (at https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/3da5qj/government-hackers-iphone-hacking-jailbreak-nso-group), and saw ‘Government Hackers Caught Using Unprecedented iPhone Spy Tool‘. so when we see (or saw) “Ahmed Mansoor, a 46-year-old human rights activist from the United Arab Emirates, received a strange text message from a number he did not recognize on his iPhone“, the brain of Omar Abdulaziz  optionally went ‘ka-chink‘ and his pupils turned to dollar signs, It was optionally his opportunity of a lifetime.

So who is right?

I am telling you right now that all I am writing from my opposition is pure speculation, yet is it less of more believable? Is the NSO group real? Yes they are and they have something that every nation on the planet with a decent technology level requires. Any government have people they want to keep tabs on, and that is what this solution optionally provides for. It is not a killing tool, and at $55 million it is not some tool you use for simply ending someone’s life, there are more convenient and more elegant ways to facilitate to punch out someone time clock of life. When you stage a $55 million solution when $50K in an account does it, that solution does not make sense.

Still, we cannot ignore the NSO group software and it might have been used to keep tabs on JK, that is optionally a reality we face, yet we all face that optional for a number of reasons and there we have the crux, knowing where a person is does not mean that their life has to be ended, the fact that we have tools, does not imply that we have to use other tools. The audience factor is trying to give us that idea, an emotional driven premise of events to set the stage of intentional international execution. There has been, and unlikely will be any evidence showing that. Not by some eager frog (an unnamed France governmental executive) stating to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ‘I am really worried!‘ worried about what? Conversations eagerly and ‘unintentionally’ leaked right in full view of the CNN camera, are people truly stupid enough to go for that bait?

Then we get claims in papers like the Sydney Morning Herald trying to up their game, yet at present I am not certain if the Saudi government would lose if a defamation case was brought to court and that is me merely contemplating two of the JK articles that I have read in the last two days.

In addition, the article has the claim ‘and helped lead to the killing of his friend‘, which is actually very clever as in this way stated we have a problem, or do we? Is there any evidence that the solution was or was not used? If there is a way to check the usage of that software then Omar Abdulaziz opened an interesting door. You see at that point, under the US freedom of information act, close to two dozen claims can be made regarding the NSA (the San Antonio location) on how they have been keeping tabs on people. In the January case of Sherretta Shaunte Washington, her attorney might optionally (with properly applied intelligence) be able to overturn any given sentence against her. There has been the rumour that the NSA assisted in keeping tabs on a dozen burner phones. You see, it is not the sim card; it is the mobile imei number on EVERY phone that is the issue. The NSO group seemingly figured out the algorithm to take this to the races and that advantage is worth well over $55 million. That is exactly why the Mexicans wanted the solution too. Most Mexicans are still believing that without the sim it is nothing, yet one call gave away the imei number and that number is a lot more useful than most consider.

And in the end it is Forbes who gives us the missing diamond going all the way back to August 2016. Here we are treated to: “looking at the domains registered by NSO, they determined Pegasus could have been used across Turkey, Israel, Thailand, Qatar, Kenya, Uzbekistan, Mozambique, Morocco, Yemen, Hungary, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, and Bahrain, though there was no clear evidence“, in all this the one logical step, the one thought that no one has been willing to voice for a number of reasons. Turkey is on that list. So what if this was Turkey all along from beginning to end? Turkey, who had the solution to keep tabs on thousands of journalists, reporters and bloggers, and jailing hundreds of journalists, do you actually think that they are beyond killing a journalist? I mentioned a few yesterday, so you there is evidence all over the field and so far no actual and factual evidence has been given on any involvement of the Saudi Royal family, yet everyone is playing that card as often as possible.

I am not in denial, I am not stating that they are innocent, I am merely looking and hoping to see real evidence, and so far the absence of that investigation has been astounding. There is enough evidence on the involvement of Saudi’s in all this, yet the proper vetting of Turkish evidence by the media has seemingly been lacking. The press (and the media as a whole) merely pushed that same button again and again and it makes me wonder on the premise in which other ways we are (seemingly) being deceived. That is the clear consequence of orchestration, it makes us all doubt all the other evidence, and in light of the USA playing their silver briefcase WMD game in regards to Iraq, that has made us distrust a lot of other evidence, evidence that might have been valid, but we are in a stage where we no longer trust the messengers in all that and as the media and newspapers lose more and more credibility, we have started to treat most news as fake news.

That is the price of orchestration and the players remain in denial that it is happening. That is the part we see form a source called Foreign Policy dot com. The article (at https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/12/03/how-an-internet-impostor-exposed-the-underbelly-of-the-czech-media/), gives us: ‘How an Internet Impostor Exposed the Underbelly of the Czech Media. When politicians own the press, trolls have the last laugh‘, the article by Tim Gosling gives us: “Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis—and expose just how easily disinformation can slip into the mainstream press, especially when politicians control it.” It is a mere introduction to: “In September, the Czech broadsheet Lidove Noviny published an op-ed by Horakova expressing support for Babis’s refusal to offer asylum to 50 Syrian orphans, as was proposed by an opposition member of parliament. Playing up to his populist pledge not to allow “a single refugee” into the Czech Republic, the prime minister said the country had its own orphans to care for“. It merely gives us parts to ponder, the amount of pondering increases with: “In tapes released by unknown sources onto the internet last year, for instance, he was heard discussing stories damaging to his political rivals with a reporter from Mlada fronta Dnes, which alongside Lidove Noviny is controlled by Agrofert—the agrochemicals conglomerate that is the centerpiece of Babis’s business empire.

I have written again and again against the media facilitation for the shareholders, the stakeholders and the advertisers, here we see the impact when the media and the shareholder are one and the same. That article from a freelance reporter who seemingly contributed to Foreign Policy, The Telegraph, Politico Europe, Deutsche Welle, World Politics et al. He shows that there is a much larger issue and that the difference between those bringing the news and fake news bringers is almost indistinguishable. We might give passage to the LA Times, the Washington Post, New York Times, the Times, the Guardian and several others, yet after that the mess becomes no longer trusted, mostly because the source is too unknown to us. The media did this to themselves through facilitation and until that changes fake news will have too many options to gain traction with the people influencing a populist political nation on a near global scale.

It is one of the reasons why I refuse to merely accept the view of people blaming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for it all. There are too many intelligence gaps, too many parts of merely insinuated conjecture whilst the intelligence was not properly vetted and it happened for the most in Turkey (the consulate is Saudi ground). We might never ever get the answer of what truly happened, and to a very large extent it is because of the games that the media played from the very beginning. A game staged in innuendo, unnamed sources and people talking on the promise of anonymity. It is not the fact that these elements exist, it is because to a much larger extent too many of them were used at the same time, pressing the same directional button, most of it not scrutinised to the degree that was essential, and when contra dictionary evidence was found, those issues were ignored by the largest extent by all the media, that too is the foundation of fake news, we merely chose to ignore it, it is our emotional side and that is the bigger issue. People are no longer adhering to innocent until guilty, the media has become a ‘guilty until proven innocent machine‘ and that drives the populist agenda more than anything else, so I oppose them all by stating: ‘The Saudi government is one we needlessly fear, until we have conclusive evidence of their action that is the only way we should be‘. We have become puppets in a world where tyrants (Robert Mugabe), alleged mass murderers (Slobodan Milošević), criminals (shooters who were granted indemnity from prosecution) and paedophiles (Catholic clergy) get more consideration than any Muslim ever had, how sad has our world become?

 

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The truth hurts

Even as the headlines hit us 3 hours ago, like the Herald Sun giving us ‘French remarks on Khashoggi prompt anger‘, we see the outrage from Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and IO wonder if he comprehends how transparent the actions by turkey has been. Even as he gives us “Our intelligence shared information with them on Oct 24, including the voice recordings,” the political card is shown by his own admission. You see Jamal Khashoggi went missing and presumably died on 2 October 2018, so the tapes if they are authentic were created 3 weeks earlier, so that is the first piece of evidence right there. And even as some accept it, until the tapes are properly vetted, I will remain in doubt. The fact that this happened in a nation where well over 200 journalists are in prison for a very long time, in a country that is clearly allied with Iran, a nation in a proxy war with Saudi Arabia, I would be hard pressed to take anything at face value, yet the overall media has kept these two parts on the down low and some did make small mentions of that part, but for the most, the people were kept in the dark.

So when we initially see: “French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian had questioned Erdogan’s weekend remarks that Turkey gave tapes relating to Khashoggi’s killing to the United States, Saudi Arabia, Germany, France and Britain. Le Drian said he was not aware that France had any tapes“, we need to accept that there is more and even as we see that Justin Trudeau has confirmed receiving the tapes, I wonder how much scrutiny the tapes will receive as it took 3 weeks to hand them over. In addition, when you look back at all the media, we see that games were played by both Turkish officials and the media as a whole, I wonder if I get my fingers on the tape, whether we will hear the dismemberment as was claimed last month. There is a whole range of issues with politicised evidence, it loses value overnight as it get to be put under scrutiny and in the end, will we be able to tell whether the person who was recorded to be under duress, was that really Jamal Khashoggi? You might take offense on this, but the reality is that evidence is either real or fake and it is the job in any investigation to discredit fake evidence, to merely accept evidence ‘as is’ is folly. In addition, the media claims will also impact the reliability of the evidence. that is the consequence of the media game when it is all about ‘clicks’ and then there is the circulation, all newspapers want as big a slice of the 56 million newspaper readers and we have seen how certain overpaid editors will go to seem more and more exclusive and scoop like. So as we now get to put the unnamed sources against the tape we will see the impact that it had, and perhaps it will hold up, I do not know, I never heard the tapes.

We also see the repeated claim: “Erdogan says the murder was ordered at the “highest levels” of the Saudi government“, whilst we merely get in confirmation: “Saudi authorities have acknowledged that the killing was premeditated“, the first cannot be proven, and the second does not warrant the first part. Even as we accept the entire setting of premeditation, we still have no idea where Mohammad al-Otaibi is, we have not heard anything from him or anything about his whereabouts and the media is not too eager to look there either, are they?

So when we see: “the kingdom of Saudi Arabia would detain or fire more than 20 people in connection with alleged killing of Jamal Khashoggi, Otaibi was not among them. He has not been heard from for weeks at this present day“, I looked at it, the Washington Post (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/senior-saudi-diplomat-in-istanbul-when-khashoggi-was-killed-drops-out-of-sight/2018/11/12/85f8e406-d7b1-11e8-8384-bcc5492fef49_story.html) is also still looking at it, but the bulk of the newspapers have either written him off, or have no idea how to exploit his situation at present, another political game still played and the Turkish government is silent on that too, merely some version of ‘he did not work out‘. The Washington Post also gives us: “Given his role as the senior diplomat in the consulate, Turkish authorities have been sceptical of the notion that Otaibi was an unwitting bystander to the killing“, I agree with that initial assessment. Even as I have seen government stages where it is easy enough to push through 15 people under the radar (the US does it all the time), the staging can be done in a few ways merely depending on the degrees of freedom that middle management in any policy environment has. You only need to retrace the steps of CIA rogue operative Frank Terpil to know that not only has it happened before, it has happened a few times. People like Lao Ta Saenlee who got almost free reign and intelligence worker happily looked the other way for a price and the irritating sturgeons that were nipping at the heel of Lao Ta Saenlee were removed, so that some people had their success stories. This is not new; it isn’t even original it is merely how some people stay in business by keeping other people in business. In that environment it is easy to push through half a battalion on people and whilst the successes go the other way, no questions are asked, because there is success. The CIA, the NSA, MI6, DGSE, Mossad. they all have their versions and they are all still operating under similar operative states, so I was not surprised on the 15 people and yes, there is a chance that there was orchestration on a higher level, but as Turkey decided to drip feed the media and people on accusations and ‘revelations’ these people got to hide into the Monty Python shrubbery of denial. They were not in ‘this’ shrubbery, they were in ‘another shrubbery’, so the people looked under the ‘S’, whilst they were already under the ‘A’ of accomplished, achieved and away.

The Washington Post also gives us: “Mehdi Eker, a lawmaker and senior member of Erdogan’s party, said the nature of Otaibi’s involvement could be determined if Turkish authorities were allowed to interrogate him as a witness. Eker said he is mystified as to why Otaibi was not among the Saudis arrested or fired over the case“, I agree. Mehdi Eker is as I personally see it correct and the fact that the media ignored it for weeks is still part of the problem. As they are to a larger degree not asking the questions, we are feeling not merely left out, we are left with the feeling that we are intentionally kept in the dark, making us question whatever evidence is shown even more. And it is there at the end of the Washington Post where we get one more gem. It is the quote: “Turkey’s public prosecutor said last week that Khashoggi was strangled almost immediately after entering the consulate on Oct. 2“, if that is true, then exactly who was tortured and dismembered whilst still alive? Perhaps you recall the part that several news outlets gave us on October 17, 18 and 19? The headline: ‘Recordings reveal Khashoggi tortured then dismembered while still alive‘. As we see that we get more and more conflicting parts handled to us, is it even a surprise that the evidence presented is called into doubt as valid evidence? So when French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian gave us: “He has a political game to play in these circumstances” he gave us something that is as close as an absolute truth as truth is likely to get in this case. The evidence is all around us; it is shown in well over two weeks of articles. If only turkey had decided not to play the Iranian game and handed it all over, there would have been no issues and there would have been a total victory from the Turkish side, so at that point, as this never happened, is it not the most direct stage where we do not trust the evidence given to us? We all accept that Jamal Khashoggi is dead and possibly dies on October 2nd, yet so far there is no clear evidence on that either is there?

The fact that people classified as ‘enemy of Iran’ can travel all over Turkey unseen whilst they have the entire embassy wired, does that not contradict one another on a few levels either? It does not mean that it did not happen; he might have been dissolved as one source gave us two weeks ago, yet that also contradicts evidence in a few ways. All these questions and many papers aren’t asking them.

The truth hurts and the plain truth is that this was folly on several levels, first of all the Saudi side where something was allegedly optionally done in-house where the denial factor would have been removed. A stage where a model 24 from 400 metres would have finished a job outside of Saudi premises, the entire paperwork would have implied travels and honeymoon situations giving a non-peaceful opponent of Jamal Khashoggi even more options. Then there was the waiting on the Turkish side, whilst the implied evidence from the Turkish side would have broken the case open instantly, giving Iran what they desperately desired. this all points to the evidence being either tainted, or optionally fabricated, and the Turkish players got the media involved to make it emotionally worse making the evidence even less reliable all at the same time. That is merely the truth of the matter and the truth hurts, it really does in this case.

Oh and the partial denial from France merely indicates that French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian might not have been on the recipient side, the question becomes who exactly were given the tapes for each nation, the fact that we do not see this question in the media, or revelation of those names by Turkey, who seems to focus on who did get it does not help much either.

It is scary as to what governments nowadays stage as competency in ‘execution’ of policy. It is even scarier to see all the elements that the media seems to skate around (almost non stop I might add).

 

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The price of identity

We all have needs, we all have identities. It is important to us, as it is for many others. No one debates or disagrees with it. Yet what to do when identity hinders us? When we see the Washington Post (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/former-nsa-deputy-is-mattiss-leading-choice-to-head-the-spy-service-if-it-splits-from-cyber-command/2018/10/05/1be8d7a8-c73d-11e8-b2b5-79270f9cce17_story.html) giving us ‘Former NSA deputy is Mattis’s leading choice to head the spy service if it splits from Cyber Command‘, we need to consider the impact of identity, corporate identity, governmental identity, military identity, projected and presented identity. They are not the same and can vary to a much larger degree. When someone is part of what used to be referred to ‘No Such Agency‘. We will get the impact of identity; we all know that and many faced it too. Look at any friend or co-worker you have ever known and ask him/her about the impact of a merger and they will tell you, there are changes. Some are subtly, some are not noticed, yet others are, usually in infrastructure and the way things were done. Now the change tends to be for the good in the long run but that is not a given.

So what gives?

It is my personal observation and a highly speculative one at that. Yet I believe that the Washington Post giving us: “The current head of both organizations, Gen. Paul Nakasone, has urged Mattis to keep the NSA and U.S. Cyber Command under one leader on the grounds that the nine-year-old military organization is not ready to stand on its own, these people said. In recent weeks, Mattis was close to a decision to separate the leadership arrangement, but Nakasone’s counsel has caused him to reconsider, according to two U.S. officials. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive internal deliberations“, is not entirely accurate. I believe that ‘military organization is not ready to stand on its own‘ is not the setting that matter. I believe that Stratfor who gives us ‘A New, More Aggressive U.S. Cybersecurity Policy Complements Traditional Methods‘ is very much at the heart of that. I believe that the general is not ready or perhaps unwilling to set the offensive and aggressive part in motion. Now, this is no bad reflection on the general, let that be a first. He is well decorated, he has seen the field in many ways and he has done a fair share of field events. He has earned his rank. I merely wonder that a man who has seemingly played a defence and protection game is the man for the offense. I think that this is a football moment, and as a non-football expert (and a 49ers fan) I would compare the General to DeMarcus Lawrence from the Dallas Cowboys against what the US seems to demand is a Derrick Henry (Tennessee Titans), or even a Tom Brady (New England Patriots), roles that are not really moveable. Even as a Quarterback might become a really good Derick Henry that Quarterback will never become a DeMarcus Lawrence. The defence and offense game is that far apart. This is where Chris Inglis comes in. He is an analyst (at heart), he is used to counter offensive strategies and introduce strategies of his own (effective one’s mind you). I believe that this is the game that is in the open at present and these two will need to find a way to make it work. Not merely because it is good for the needed strategy, but because the segregation of the two elements might hurt U.S. Cyber Command in a few ways, not merely funding, but the elements that U.S. Cyber Command currently have access to will partially fall away and getting two infrastructures like the NSA is unyielding, unaffordable and in the end will introduce flaws and dangers on both sides of the isle making the setting (as I personally see it) a non-option right of the bat. Stratfor gives us a few other items.

One of them is “A best-case scenario for a U.S. cyberattack would be disabling computer systems and networks being used against U.S. interests to prevent an attack from happening or to disrupt an attack that is in progress“. The problem there is that some of the opponents are getting to be really good at what they do and a few of them are not state driven, not by any state changing the dynamics of the solution. Even as I discussed the hop+1 strategy almost three years ago, settings like that require an expert layer one knowledge and the players cannot both have these experts changing the needs of the infrastructure overnight.

The second consideration is: “Perhaps the main challenge to U.S. engagement in tit-for-tat cyberattacks is that the United States is by far the biggest target for such attacks“. That might be true but that goes beyond mere true enemies, it includes a truckload of students wanting to finger the man (or is that giving them the bird)? Do they really want to waste resources to those people whilst the US has actual enemies in the world?

The larger issue is seen with: “Discussing the strategy, national security adviser John Bolton hinted that the administration had already taken steps to bolster offensive efforts in recent weeks, warning that the United States is no longer just playing defense when it comes to cybersecurity. But despite the Trump administration’s more hawkish tone regarding cybersecurity, it will continue mainly to rely on traditional measures such as the legal process, regulations and cooperation with the private sector when it comes to cybersecurity” It is here when we get the consideration of the resources required. The defence, offense and legal sides of it all becomes a real mess if the two split up giving the chance that targets and issues walk away on technicalities. How does that help?

The strategy s even more profound when we consider “Clandestine, discreet attacks are certainly already key elements of U.S. cyber tactics. There have likely been more examples of U.S.-launched attacks that have not come to light, perhaps because they were never recognized as cyberattacks. While the less known about U.S. cyber capabilities, the more effective they will be when deployed, this by definition limits the deterrence value of U.S. cyber capabilities“, at this point is the setting of ‘discreet’ that comes into play. With the two separated they will get into each other’s fare waters and more important give accidental light to the discreet part of the operation, there will be no avoiding it, only the most delusional person would think that it does not get out when more than one player is involved, because that will always introduce a third item being the intermediary, the cold war taught many players that part of the equation. And that is even before we get to the statement: “recent cases like the September indictment of North Korean cyber operatives, which displayed heavy FBI reliance on private security firms such as Mandiant and Alphabet to collect technical evidence and carry out investigations“, now we see the folly as Mandiant and Alphabet are mentioned, the entire matter grows further as soon as Constellis becomes part of the equation. That is beside the point of realising (highly speculative on my side) that neither three Mandiant, Alphabet and Constellis have the required safe servers in place to prevent names, places and facts from going out into the open. I might not be able to get in, but there are dozens who will get in and that voids the security of the matter to a much larger degree. For arguments sake I will leave Booz Allan Hamilton out of that equation, they have been snowed on long enough.

And even as we see the instance of legal preference, the US must realise that any attack from state or non-state parties in China or Russia has close to 0% of being successful (outside of the exposure part), the entire matter in case of the OPCW in the Netherlands is one. An attack was thwarted, yet was it THE attack? The guardian article (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/04/visual-guide-how-dutch-intelligence-thwarted-a-russian-hacking-operation) reads nice, and we see all these facts and from my point of view, things do not add up. You see, I would have used the car that we see mentioned “In the boot of their car was uncovered an arsenal of specialist electronic Wi-Fi hacking equipment” as a fire and forget consumable, use it as an access point, segregating the hacker from the accessing unit. When you have (as they stated) “cash: €20,000 and $20,000” getting a second car far enough to access yet not be directly linked is seemingly easy enough. Then there is the setting of the photo at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. I am not debating the issue of the photo, it seems genuine enough. In this operation they did not fly to Germany and took the train, or take a car and cross at Oldenzaal, Emerich, or even via Belgium and enter via Antwerp, or Eindhoven. It almost read like they wanted to get noticed. They know that Amsterdam Airport is high tech and nothing escapes their camera eyes. To me (a paranoid me) it comes across as ‘Where did they not want us to look‘. A mere sleight of hand deception, and again the entire GRU mention. A phone outside of that building and they had the taxi receipt? No one merely driving them to the airport in Russia or even them taking a bus from any hotel in Moscow. No a taxi receipt of all things, is anyone buying that? So in this it is not the Dutch, it is the Russian side that makes no sense at all.

How did I get there?

This is the initial setting of offense and defence. The proper application of strategy in all this matters, because we seem to undervalue and underestimate the need of either in all this. Because we get to push a button anywhere and anytime we seem to underestimate on what is recorded, what is collected and what can we verify. That entire mistake is how any offensive strategy can optionally become folly from the moment the instigation of ‘press any key‘ to start gets us. Proper offensive is not about doing what needs to be done, it is about being able to prove who did what. Perhaps Sony remembers that part as they were given that it was North Korea did something, whilst their computers were not even close to PC gaming ready, the mere processor, which was about 25% (at best) of a 1994 Silicon Graphics Indigo system is not the system that gives you what you need to hack the night away. The tools are equally as important as the access and ability to negate identity. When you see that part, the entire hop+1 intrusion path makes a lot more sense.

This now gets us to the end of the Washington Post, where we were treated to: ““As the build of the cyber mission force wraps up, we’re quickly shifting gears from force generation to sustainable readiness,” Nakasone said in a statement in May. “We must ensure we have the platforms, capabilities and authorities ready and available” to carry out successful cyber-offensives. Some former senior intelligence and defense officials oppose separating the “dual-hat” leadership arrangement, including former NSA Director Keith Alexander, former Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. This week, former CIA Director David Petraeus, a retired Army general, said during a Washington Post cyber summit that he’d keep the dual-hat arrangement “for the time being.”” It is not merely the ‘we have the platforms, capabilities and authorities ready and available‘, you see, when we get to capabilities we see the need of offensive players and even as Cyber command might be aces in their field, the offensive game differs to some degree and even as we see that they are way above the student levels, we get back to the Football equivalent you see the application of defence and offense. It is not DeMarcus Lawrence versus Derrick Henry, the question becomes can DeMarcus Lawrence be a Derrick Henry that is good enough, that is the battle within. The mere realisation that if you fail this when the offensive is broken into a train wreck that makes the limelight in every paper, that is the game that is the dilemma that Gen. Paul Nakasone faces as I personally see it.

And when we see Stratfor with the one little gem we did not consider, the mere proposed fact that North Korea has a mere 9,000 IP Addresses, do you really think that they could have done this all, or are we in a setting where someone had the ability to act on BGP hijacking and was able to mask it to the level it needed to be masked at, because that was the offensive play that needed to be considered and there was no way that the evidence had been uncovered to that degree with a backdoor could be removed with a simple reset of routers.

#FourtyNinersRule

 

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