Tag Archives: UK

What we do not get to read

 

Yes, we have all seen it, the bias in the media, the stage of reporting and more important not reporting, yet in all stages there was always the BBC. Now, for the most I am all about the BBC, I love that channel, whether it is one, two or BBC24, there is a place for all of them and as a conservative it is hard to judge as I went to the small island of Australia (extremely SSE of the UK) and there we do not have the BBC (weird, I know). Yet they are also online and I do see the BBC there regularly (mostly the news), so when the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/jan/21/dominic-cummings-thinktank-called-for-end-of-bbc-in-current-form), where the Dominic Cummings thinktank announced that it was time that the UK ‘called for ‘end of BBC in current form’‘, and I got all huffy and puffy on that notice. When we look at some of this we see: 

  1. the undermining of the BBC’s credibility; 
  2. the creation of a Fox News equivalent / talk radio shows / bloggers etc to shift the centre of gravity; 
  3. the end of the ban on TV political advertising.”

Well let’s start with item one, anyone who is out there giving us that someone needs to be undermined has ulterior motives, I have never known that undermining is an acceptable fair strategy, more importantly, anyone making any claims towards undermining or optional smear campaigns need to become weary of the bringer of that message. 

The second part is even more hilarious, there is a Fox News equivalent, it is called Fox News, I reckon that the UK has plenty of issues, a lot of them in the direction of discrimination and adding to that with a flair of news worthiness is not the way to go, in light of the morning shows, there is a decent representation. As such, Fox would have a hard time getting a share, let alone someone who treats the news as something on the go, a voice to stage biased views is not the one to go with, especially when you require credibility. 

The third is everyone’s favourite thing to oppose, we are all stoned to death with political pushes from nearly EVERY station on the planet, the articles are often politically laced and less political BS is very much appreciated by most people

As politically I see it, there is a larger issue and as I see it this is about something else, even as we are told that it is about one thing, it is not. People like Dominic Cummings are about large corporations, this is as I see it a first stab at the monarchy, they will not claim it, the more likely they will massively deny it. You see, they are about the message, yet what that message is, is not debated, even as they hide behind “the “mortal enemy” of the Conservative party“, it is not what they are, as a conservative I never had issues with the BBC, if MP’s are not prepared that is THEIR mistake, when they are caught with their pants down THEY are at fault and both sides know that. 

The issue is that people need to be under an advertisement blanket 24:7 to become effective, that is the American way and what is the actual danger is that the Monarchy is a blight to large American corporations. Even as Brexit went wrong, the yanks think that blanket advertisement could have prevented this. There is a truth, it might have been, but at that point the people would have unknowingly taken the path of the wealthy industrialists, and glossy newspapers and some newspapers are all about that, are they not?

When we see “allow politicians to speak directly to the public in ad breaks during Coronation Street” we see the docile approach and when we are told “government ministers should avoid appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme” we see a different level of subterfuge, lets face it, people can ALWAY decide not to appear anywhere, yet at times that leaves a larger question mark and in this it is not the BBC where that question mark is. If a politician is not prepared to answer hard questions, we need to see why not and it seems that BBC 4 Today asks the right questions, or so it seems.

And as we see: “The suggestions were made in a series of long blogposts in 2004 and 2005 by the New Frontiers Foundation, which was a short-lived free market thinktank that aimed to emulate rightwing US organisations such as the Heritage Foundation” we see a larger truth, this is about stating the right wing agenda, not the conservative agenda and you better believe that there is a difference. As such we see the steps of change, and you better believe that “decriminalising non-payment of the licence fee as a first step” is not a first step, it is an advanced step into the undermining of the BBC, I get it, most people do not want to pay it because there is a budget issue, we all see it and we all face it, yet there is a truth behind the existence of the BBC too, it is not shading or colouring, but the option to give a direct view of what is. So when we see “The prime minister first called the licence fee into question during the election campaign and Nicky Morgan, the culture secretary, has suggested a move to a Netflix-style subscription system could be considered for the BBC” you better believe that it is a direct assault on public broadcasting and its disappearance will have far reaching consequences. 

It is enahnced by Ben Bradshaw, a labour MP who gives us “they would like nothing more than to replace the BBC with a rightwing propaganda channel like Fox“, it is the stage for replacing information for advertisement and it would not change immediate, it would be a gradual chance and it can be that way because those who want propaganda have money, they have serious money and partially becasue both sids of the ile were cowards in the past. They refused to properly tax corporations who like the idea of £30 million, instead of the accounted part of £4,600,000,000 which ends up being a lot more than £30 million and there are 5 players already on that line, and more will want that situation but that is not possible in a monarchy and there is every chance, especially after the media debacle of HRH Prince Harry and his wife Meghan that too many people have had enough of that and as such these parties require a propaganda channel sooner rather than later, the BBC is too dangerous for them, as such they need that credibility gone. 

The second truth, the obvious one is also give to us by Ben Bradshaw “The BBC belongs to the British public, not the government, and the public value the public service ethos of the BBC, objective and accurate information and news and the broad range of much-loved radio and TV programmes and would not take kindly to them being sacrificed to Rupert Murdoch“, the immediate issues here are ‘the British public‘, the BBC to a larger degree works for them and as such political players cannot use that channel for ‘their’ message, the get asked serious questions and if they cannot answer, they are smeared with custard (pie in the face routine). In addition, any thinktank that is setting the stage where the people are sacrificed to Rupert Murdoch, or Roger Ailes. Now, they are both good at what they are involved in, yet the news is a larger stage. Even as we need to credit Ailes for a lot, his stage was set to “If you have two guys on a stage and one guy says, “I have a solution to the Middle East problem,” and the other guy falls in the orchestra pit, who do you think is going to be on the evening news?“, it is a fair assessment of our own needs, but at times we do not need a pretty picture, we need to get a real setting of where we are. And even if we do not like it, when it personally hits us we wanted and needed to know what was real and to a larger extent the solution that Cummings is attacking is a really bad thing. There is some level of acceptance as the US is a large place and WE do not watch the local news, but there tends to be local news, in the UK it is a much larger setting where that impact will hurt all the people in the UK. 

Now, I made an accusation earlier on and it is time to set the right frame there. When we consider the ludicrous attacks on the royal family, like the ones on HRH Prince Harry and is wife, most get a little angry, yet the larger population who was tainted by glossy news was not and that is the setting the UK is going to, as the real news is more and more presented in a breakfast and glossy way, we get mixed and opinionated news and it is not the same as actual (read: factual) news, but it is the first step in diminishing the monarchy. We seem to ignore (some successfully) on the news out there, when we look at late last year we see headlines like ‘Meghan Markle In New Documentary Said She Was Warned UK Tabloid Press Would “Destroy” Her Life But Was Unprepared For How Bad It Would Be‘, or perhaps even better Newsweek with ‘FOX NEWS HOST SAYS HE’S ‘SICK’ OF PRINCE HARRY AND MEGHAN MARKLE: ‘BRITAIN SHOULD…BECOME A REAL REPUBLIC’‘ and there we see another example of what America needs, it does not need a monarchy where we look out for the wellbeing of EVERY citizen, it is about a republic where big business rules and the media (as I personally see it) as a well paid prostitute only adheres to their needs 

  1. their shareholders
  2. their stakeholders
  3. their advertisers
  4. their circulation

In this the British royal family does not add to the circulation and is an opponent to the first three who wants that juicy collection of consumers that add up to 55 million, they will not care about the well being of the 13 million they end up casually ignoring, and destroying what little degree of freedom they have in their life, they want a population with 100% enablers. That is the danger and it is time for the people in the UK to wake up to that danger, because the 55,000,000 will not care initially, but as they move from being a consumer/enabler, they will care a great deal as they become the target, and that will happen.

This is why I see the message from people like Dominic Cummings as a very dangerous one, and I feel it is important to speak out against such dangers. Yes, we all see the BBC, a lot of us see and hear the boring (and a real classic) music by Eric Spear of Coronation Street, and the Manchester setting, but the larger truth is that the people in the UK own the BBC, not the politicians. If there is one truth then it is the one where we need to remain aware that what is not owned by politicians could end up giving us the actual facts, not the ones that will make money for the rich industrialists, they have plenty of options, they merely want zero opposition so that they can wield us more comfortably.

As I see it, they need it all done, because too many people are shouting about tax changes, tax changes that properly tax large corporations to a fair degree. I have no problems with corporations having a profit, yet the stage where there is a tax bill of £30 million against £4,600,000,000 which leaves them with an optional 99.992% of their profits, it does not add up and that should not ever be allowed, more important, when that Cummings foundation gets their way, you will not even be informed on those events, unless the evidence gets spread to a much larger degree in a much wider setting, when that is no longer possible, we will be told and most will accept whatever the industrial driven media gives us and you better believe that this is not a good idea.

 

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The second lap

We always seem to have a problem with the second lap, the first lap is OK, it is new, we just started, it is the second lap that is the problem, it is that stage where you are tired from the previous lap and the second wind has not started, mainly because the second lap is not the moment where the body adjusts for prolonged exercise.

That is how some see the EU at present (mainly the Observer). The setting of ‘the EU’s weakness on the world stage‘ is however no laughing matter. As we are introduced to “Ursula von der Leyen believes Europe should take a leading “geopolitical” role in international affairs, reflecting the EU’s status as the world’s largest trade bloc. But turning words into deeds is proving problematic“, and it is “We must use our diplomatic and economic strength to support global stability and prosperity… and be better able to export our values and standards” that is part of the problem, in the first, the EU is su up to the gills in debt through the idiotic scheme by Mario draghi that the EU has no economic strength. The IMF gives the EU in GDP growth 2.8% (2017), 2.2% (2018), 1.5% (2019), and 1.6% (2020). This seems like an improvement, yet 0.1% increase is not really an increase and when we consider that the devaluation of the currency gives the EU debt that is currently around € 10,593,000,000,000 a much larger issue to battle, at present only the German debt is decreasing slowly, but the debt in Spain, Italy, and France (all in the trillions) is still increasing, so where does the EU think it has economic strength? And all this whilst the Financial Times informed us yesterday on ‘Europe braces for new fiscal battles‘, here we see Paolo Gentiloni trying to shake things up (no idea why he was referring to shaking up). The issue is larger than anyone can see, because the stage of “widely disliked given their impenetrable and convoluted nature“, the game where you adjust the rules in the middle of the game with 27 players, the entire stage goes awry in this game where the option of “On the Italian social democrat’s reform wish list will be changes making the rules more symmetrical — allowing for countries to be pushed to boost their economies via fiscal policy in downturns, rather than just reining in deficits and debt” (at https://www.ft.com/content/a062fb2e-3b24-11ea-a01a-bae547046735), and it is the debt these never elected officials are trying to be in deny with. Yet there is also an upside in this (as I see it) if this play goes on, the German population will not tolerate the EU to continue. None will address their debt and Germany (as one of the big four) is the only one who got the debt below 72% of GDP, the rest is in a bismal state and whilst we get that the Italians (French and Spain also) are all about ‘new investments’ they are doing it on a maxed out credit card. And whilst we all see this, we also see “One idea is to give countries extra scope to borrow to fund green investment“, yet the basic issue is that this is yet another idea to IGNORE outstanding debts and the people will have to pay for that. So as we see “has already run up against opposition from conservative northern European states“, we see that the Italian factor (Genitoli) is hiding behind “the urgency of the green agenda could improve its chances“. So whilst we now see “Some will want to use any reform opportunity to loosen the regime. Others will wish to use the greater clarity to make the deficit rules even tighter“, we see a basic fight between the spenders and the none spenders and the non spenders have had enough of it all, it founded the Brexit and there are others who do not want to be caught with the consequences of another nation in a stage with their pants down, as such all the other players will have to grab their ankles (you get the idea). 

So while we go back to the Observer view (at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/19/the-observer-view-on-the-eus-weakness-on-world-stage ) we might see “Trump’s illegal, and unilateral, action effectively blew up the most prized achievement of Borrell’s predecessors, Federica Mogherini and Cathy Ashton – the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which was already on life-support because of US sanctions“, it seems that the EU is in some kind of a delusional stage where they take the filtered media view on Iran. Iran had been in a proxy war with Saudi Arabia, it has repeatedly threatened the state of Israel and whilst we are given “the US then insisted that the EU3 (Britain, France and Germany) trigger the deal’s dispute mechanism“, whilst the violations by Iran on the Nuclear pact are completely ignored. All in a stage where the delusional parties are setting the stage where Joseph Borell is in a stage to ‘talk’ with IOran whilst Iran has been refusing to do so and littered transgression upon transgression and the EU remains in denial and seemingly gives the EU press the stage that they are not to report on it for all kinds of unknown reasons. And when we look at the media, they are all so against war that it scares them (which it does), I merely wonder if the US and the UK press would have written ‘The Wrong Track for Confronting Germany‘ in 1943, as we see the New York Times write up the Iranian stage 12 hours ago. In addition, Al Jazeera reported 5 hours ago ‘Iran’s new Quds leader vows ‘manly’ revenge for Soleimani killing‘, which is fine, but this escapes the entire stage as they already had their missile go, yet their ego is not satisfied, so as we are treated to ‘Iran warns of ‘repercussions’ for IAEA after European moves over nuclear deal‘, as well as ‘Iran says it still respects 2015 nuclear deal, rejects ‘unfounded’ EU claims‘ (yesterday, source: CNA), all whilst there are dozens of reports as well as public statements that Iran had transgressed on set limits, so exactly HOW they are ‘respecting’ the Nuclear deal? 

In all this the lack of strength in response from the EU has been frightening. And in regards to the responses, we see on the 20th of January “Mr Mousavi said: “Tehran still remains in the deal. The European powers’ claims about Iran violating the deal are unfounded“, all whilst the news on January 5th was ‘Iran will no longer abide by uranium enrichment limits under 2015 nuclear deal‘, as well as the fact that Iran on state television, on January 5th responded that they pulled out of the Nuclear deal agreement (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsQ-NBaOUMw), as such we can all speculate on what Mr Mousavi is smoking, but more importantly, in light of all this, the utter lack of diplomatic power by the EU, as such the EU statement “We must use our diplomatic and economic strength to support global stability and prosperity“, Ursula von der Leyen sounds nice, but she cannot deliver on any of that. The EU is in the second lap, out of energy from the first lap and their second wind is nowhere near kicking in. Iran might be the strongest example, but it is not the only one, the lack of action in Syria, the lack of action in Yemen and the opposing support against Saudi Arabia, whilst ignoring the actions of Iran in a proxy war, in a speculated stage of a nuclear pact that was not sustainable in any degree and several parties are in denial of all this whilst there is enough optional evidence that the creation of the amounts of enriched Uranium that is now at the core of it all could not be produced by the amount of centrifuges allowed, there are more factors to consider, yet the supporting evidence is at present too thin (a lack of exact numbers is in play too).

In the end, the EU is an organisation that is on its final steps of becoming irrelevant, the debt made them so and these so called elected officials never stepped in when they were supposed to step in as debt levels were pushed to excessive levels as even now, people like Paolo Gentiloni (not just him mind you) are trying to find ways of getting around the debt for spending purposes.

And the matter will get worse soon enough, as the EU nations are in shambles on the EU budget, especially as Brexit is nearing completion, the members are all in a desperate setting of non-union, as we see news like “a French minister has warned nations they will have to pay more“, which is slightly weird as this was always going to be the setting, I warned of that almost 3 years ago. The stage at present is that Germany (at present) pays 20.78% of that budget and France is up for 15.58%, those are the big two and they are looking at an additional 3%-4% after brexit, which now implies that the long term budget up to 2027 will get a massive slam into a wall, it is in that setting, where nations are now feeling the pinch are confronted with a Paolo Gentiloni who wants to spend more and as such all nations have to pay more. Even as the big three are confronted with the impact on their loans from that change, the smaller nations are still in shambles as they were eager to overspend in their first option and they too will have to pay more, so now we optionally get to see an EU gravy train where none of the members agree on anything, as such that expensive train will keep costs high and not produce results, merley delays. 

So when we look at the stage of the EU and the setting of Ursula von der leyen with her “We must use our diplomatic and economic strength to support global stability and prosperity“, all whilst there is no economic power left in the EU and its diplomatic strength (which is linked to their economic power) dwindles basically as fast as their economy does, I wonder what Ursula von der Leyen is looking at, because the outlook from this side is really grim for the EU.

The second lap is the killer for a runner, as the runner gets better he can run longer, yet the reality of crossing that startline the first time and realising that you have less energy whilst you are at the beginning is the realising factor, yet there is a difference, a runner tends to be realistic about where he is and where he is going, as I personally see it, the EU is seemingly a lot less focussed on the reality of the matter as I personally see it. You merely have to read enough media and focus on the quotes to see that part of the equation.

 

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As the house comes down

There are two articles in the Guardian, both are mere hours old and it shows the impact that bully tactics have. In the first it is the EU who starts with ‘EU trade commissioner ‘will call Trump’s bluff’ over Huawei security‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/jan/16/eu-trade-commissioner-will-call-trumps-bluff-over-huawei-security), where we also see ‘Phil Hogan convinced US president will not withdraw intelligence cooperation with UK and EU‘, it appears that Mr. Andrew Parker was right as I expected him to be. The text “The EU trade commissioner has said he will call Donald Trump’s “bluff” on threats to withdraw the US’s cooperation with the UK and the rest of the bloc on intelligence and security over Huawei, the Chinese telecoms giant” and it is important to note that the US has still not shown one lick of evidence that Huawei is under the intrusion thumb of the Chinese government. It was an odd situation, do you think that the Chinese government would interfere with such a large setting of income, whilst the data will be coming to them already through the direct means of applied usage of social media? However, we need to recognise that the US is n a worse state now, even as direct numbers are not given, the political hounding of Facebook and Google, could see a much larger jump of people to Harmony OS and as such these companies could lose a large stage of data coming their way. I personally believe that this is the direct impact of electing into the oval office a man who is known for the one-liner ‘You’re Fired!‘, but that is just me.

There is also the given part of “Phil Hogan has also risked the wrath of the US president by declaring that the EU is not, in principle, opposed to giving the Chinese tech group access to 5G plans. At a press conference in London he said the US did not have exclusivity on safety and security of its citizens, and predicted Trump would come round to the EU view that they had shared interests in that regard“, I believe that Phil Hogan is right, the foundations of the threats were not based on evidence (as I see it), in addition as the US is losing more and more ground in intel gathering in the Middle East, they will become more and more dependant on the EU and UK sources out there and not sharing is really disadvantageous for the US, it will take well over a decade to regrow the size and quality of sources they had. 

The second issue is seen (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/16/iran-says-it-is-enriching-more-uranium-than-before-nuclear-deal) in the article ‘Germany confirms Trump made trade threat to Europe over Iran policy‘, as we are introduced to ‘Defence minister says Trump threatened to impose 25% tariff on European cars‘, here the stage is different, it is not Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, it is the larger EU political community that is the danger. Iran is a clear and present danger, it was so before America offed Qassam Soleimani and Iran will remain a threat after. The media on a global scale has been all about minimising the impact on Iran, even as there was no way that some nuclear deal would ever make it, but the political hacks in the EU had the arrogance to think that they could (a valid option), yet even now, well over a year later, there is still nothing there. Even now as we get from various sources in the media that Iran is presently enriching more Uranium than ever before, we are given the raw dangers. Even as the EU members are in denial through “In invoking the dispute mechanism for the Iran nuclear agreement or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – in other words, in deciding to hold Tehran to account for its breaches of the deal – the UK, France and Germany insist that they are still firmly behind the deal” we see a dangerous escalation delusion from the EU side. the problem is that if Iran makes a false move on willing to talk, we get the same situation that America faced when Japan stated that they were willing to talk in the months before Pearl Harbour, the problem now is that the target is Israel and optionally a scare tactic towards Saudi Arabia and for some reason people are oblivious to the fact that if the ground of one nation is radioactive, that dust is likely to spread to neighbouring nations. As I see it, Iran will not care about what happens to Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan, optionally it will cross the mediteranian and impacts Italy, Spain, Turkey and Greece for generations. If the radioactive matter hits the sea that will happen for certain. Yet the arrogance of the EU politicians that a place like Iran will talk whilst their Uranium enrichment is running at full force is a dangerous precedence. I do believe that America is doing the wrong thing for the right reason and when (not if) that first missile mysteriously makes it into Hezbollah hands, the denials from Iran will be as loud as possible as it will ‘hide’ behind the military power of Russia, I am just not certain if Russia will be willing to be part of that mess.

So even as we see: “Iran initially denied responsibility for the crash, but three days later admitted that it had downed the plane believing it was an incoming US missile. An Iranian national security commission is investigating the episode“, it does not mention that the person releasing the video is now arrested for matters of Iranian national security. Still the EU politicians think that they can weave some kind of deal and the months of delay is working into the Iranian hands as well and those politicians need to be woken up as soon as possible, because once it is too late, the costs will be beyond comprehension and at that point the EU politician will hide behind ‘fair play’ and ‘unforeseen complications’ all whilst history has seen these issues all before. And in all this, the one part that matters is not addressed. Even as we see and are told that Uranium enrichment is at an all time high, the method of how they are doing it is ignored. Thousands of centrifuges were under critical eyes disposed of, so how were they replaced so easily? With the response as to the killing of January 3rd, we now see that there are Iranian claims that enrichment is back, yet how was this done in under two weeks? It could only have been done if the hardware was already there and if enrichment was the main agenda point from before July 2019, and that means that Iran intended to break the Nuclear accords long before they lost one general, is no one seeing that part?

The media is certainly not making any mention in that direction. The fact that one part of the deal was the reduction of centrifuges from 19,000 to 6,104 (at https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/16/middleeast/rouhani-iran-uranium-enrichment-intl/index.html). So how can they be back to enriching so quickly? The second part is that enrichment would stop at 3.67%, there is no clear word on how rich their uranium is (at present), but there is also the locations, only Natanz was supposed to be active, but the implied amount stated gives rise to the importance of the fact that there is no way that Natanz can produce that much, implying that Arak, Ishafan, or Bushehr is either back online, or that the EU missed a few places (not entirely improbable).

The second part is that the only registered mine is Bandar Abbas, to continue on the track they are now, the traffic there would have increased massively and no one noticed? An optional issue is that there is MORE than one Uranium mine in Iran, this has two distinct issues. In the first it would mean that Iran has a much larger Uranium consideration, the second is that another mine has been largely unnoticed. It all adds up that in the first the EU dropped the ball to a much larger extent, in the second that the EU was unaware and therefor unable and unwilling to be a true investigator. Now we see the bully threat that America wrongfully made for the right reasons. My small speculation becomes, what is happening to the South, South West and West of Tabas (South Khorasan Province)? And in addition, why is there no open awareness in the EU in these matters? 

It gets to be worse, but I will spare you that part (for now). 

There is another side to all this, it is the financial side. All these actions are costing a boatload of money, money that Iran should not have and that implies that it is getting fueled to some extent from somewhere. Even as we are treated to ‘Defying U.S. sanctions, Iran boosts gas oil sales to neighbours‘ (source: Reuters), we are looking at a larger Iranian infrastructure need, and as far as I can tell, gasoil sales will not fuel that need, and even as we are given “more than 80% higher than the previous quarter and nearly four times higher than the first quarter, data from consultancy FGE showed“, the math doesn’t add up.

So either Iran had the means hidden, or there is a larger play going on. Consider that Iran had to replace well over 5,000 centrifuges to make their setting truthful, these things each costs a bundle, the mining operations needed to be ‘upgraded’ through manpower and that is another infusement of funds, last we see the missile and drone programs, it all adds up to the costs that they cannot afford, someone has handed Iran a credit card, or made funds in other ways available and I cannot see where it comes from (which makes sense as I do not walk in those lanes), yet the media is also not reporting on any of that and finding this would be a massive scoop for any paper, so why is there nothing? Is there nothing? If that is so then the nuclear threat from President Rouhani is hollow and empty, but I do not believe that to be true (personal conviction). 

The main problem for all nations is that Iran has an advanced weapons program, one that does NOT include nuclear weapons, yet the technological knowhow is largely there, as we see enrichment continue, the setting for a dirty bomb is merely months away, so Iran could use a dirty bomb in 2020 if it chose so, an actual nuclear weapon is less likely, yet not impossible. The problem that a weapon like that would be developed in unknown (read: unvisited Iranian) locations and the trigger would be part of a non-nuclear bomb, even if there was nuclear fission, they need the bare minimum to test that, hence hiding a 1Kg bomb in 3 tonnes of TNT would be easily hidden. 

When we go by “The total radioactivity of the fission products is extremely large at first, but it falls off at a fairly rapid rate as a result of radioactive decay. Seven hours after a nuclear explosion, residual radioactivity will have decreased to about 10 percent of its amount at 1 hour, and after another 48 hours it will have decreased to 1 percent. (The rule of thumb is that for every sevenfold increase in time after the explosion, the radiation dose rate decreases by a factor of 10.)” (source: Britannica) and a weapon with less than one Kg would be acceptable for testing, Iran has plenty of places where this would happen unobserved and within hours the larger extend would not be registered, the only path is the EMP, as long as there is no measurement around, it will go unnoticed if the bomb is small enough, so as Iran tests its nuclear detonation options, it can go a long way in staying undetected end the nuclear trigger is pretty much the same for a 400Gr and a 10KT bomb, so that is the danger and we have no idea where Iran is at at this point. Yet the latest info is still that Iran has NO nuclear weapons technology. However, if it can create the amounts of fission that Iran is claiming to be making, they might not be far off, in the most positive scenario they are at best a year away from that.

And in that environment the EU politicians rely on ego and arrogance that Iran will play ball, I might not agree with the bully tactic, but in this case the US and all others have very little to go on. My issue is that I personally believe that anyone (including Iran) is innocent until proven guilty, yet as we witness the statements by president Rouhani and the actions by Iran, can we afford to take that path? Can we actively set the stage of endangering the State of Israel (the most likely first target) to this level of danger? And when that happens, what are the levels of danger that Saudi Arabia faces? More importantly, depending of the first blast, what are the dangers of the surrounding nations of the target? Lets not forget that the Suez Canal goes straight through that area, not only destroying an economy, but endangering the economy of the entire EU. 

When we are in a house as it is coming down on top of us, we need to see what our options are and that part is in no way clear, all whilst we know that running out of the house will bring new and other dangers.

 

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Devil in the details

We all make mistakes at time, the issue is not that we make mistakes, the issue is on how to clear the error in question, that is always how I saw work, we (without question) try to work without error, the people that tell you that they never made a mistake are usually lying to you. Some hide it, some clean it up before it is noticed, these are merely two types, but in honesty, who would you prefer to be working for your company (or the company you work in)? So when I got wind of ‘UK concealed failure to alert EU over 75,000 criminal convictions‘, I had to take a step back, you see, this is not some failure, this is not some sall bungle, the quote we are give is “The police national computer error, revealed in the minutes of a meeting at the criminal records office, went undetected for five years, during which one in three alerts on offenders – potentially including murderers and rapists – were not sent to EU member states” and as I see it it is not some small mistake, a stem like this does not work sometimes, it does not work or it works always. This leaves me to think that issues were filtered, optionally on purpose giving out a larger concern when we see “It’s an ongoing glitch that we need to fix. We are working towards getting that done“, I personally refuse to believe that this was a glitch, this was orchestration set to pass as a glitch, the question is why and when we see “There is still uncertainty whether historical DAFs [daily activity file], received from the Home Office, are going to be sent out to counties (sic) as there is a reputational risk to the UK.

In this the Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott gives us “It is bad enough to have made serious errors in relation to sharing information on criminals, but it seems that there was also an attempt at a cover-up. Ministers need to come clean. When did they know about these failures, why did they not make them public, and how are they going to prevent any repetition? A full, urgent investigation is needed.” In this situations she is almost right, I believe that there was a ‘cover-up‘, I merely think it ended up on a ministers plate and that person reacted poorly to the situation. And with ‘how are they going to prevent any repetition‘ we see a much larger failing. From my point of view the system was designed or was set up to optionally hide certain elements, yet the reason behind this is unclear. For some reason I believe that at least part of the reason is ‘fear of damaging Britain’s reputation‘, yet not in the way that this is shown in the article. When you look at the statistical numbers all over the field, consider that the crime numbers were supposed to be 30% (the one in three) higher (if every conviction based on merely one crime), what then? 

The Labour party would blame it all on austerity, yet the truth is (as I personally see it) much more refined. We have been in denial of what any government needs to do and we in turn do not try the criminal path, and let’s face it, we saw other news that allows to take care of the shortage of police officers. 

As issues like we see with Netflix are not resolved, and as another article gives us “This research shows that Netflix is ripping off our public services by channelling profits through tax havens even though it appears to have employees, property, and a substantial customer base in the UK,” yet linked to this is “the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecasts will make just £30m each from the likes of Facebook, Amazon, Google and Netflix“, so basically 5 companies see the light of optional international passing their revenue, avoiding well over £1,000,000,000 in tax payments, do you not think that this would have lowered austerity (and improved police visibility)? So when we see a group of losers wrongfully blame a tennis player for the environment, what if we ask the people in the UK all to renounce their Netflix subscription? Let’s not forget we have Disney Plus now (as well as Stan and a few others), I wonder how that massive hit will go over with Netflix. After that we start taking care of Amazon, Facebook and Google, the other four will actually be much harder to deal with, but Netflix is not, there are alternatives and the people protecting Netflix (and others) better realise that we are all about redistributing that one billions and taking their £ 350,000,000 profit away from them without any hesitation. 

Yet I digress, it is the crime statistics that might go out of whack, optionally impacting tourism if they had been released. Now we need to consider that not all crimes are alike, yet the article gives us: “including murderers and rapists – were not sent to EU member states” and that statement surprised me, not because of those two, but because the number of armed robbery convictions would more than likely be much higher. We also do not know what happened to these people after their sentence, so there is the immigration and deportation part to consider as well. 

Yes, the article gives a certain lack (not judging), mainly because the start gives us ‘the Guardian can reveal‘, implying that this article had a pushed deadline to be first, as such the follow up in this matter would be interesting to read, I reckon that in the near future the Guardian would have a full page (or two) on this matter. So even if we had last may “There is a nervousness from Home Office around sending the historical notifications out dating back to 2012 due to the reputational impact this could have“, I personally believe that the Office for National Statistics (GOV.UK) has a much bigger problem in their near future, when the numbers going back to 2012, the interpretation of these numbers will suddenly get a very different story to content with. You might remember the sort of researchers that make a nice story when they get statistics and top line results. Their “when we look at these numbers, we can clearly see” and likeminded responses. When the results are a part of the 30% of convictions off, ‘we can clearly see‘ becomes an entirely different matter in this situation. 

It is the setting of “historical backlog of 75,000 notifications” and we see that, but not before we consider the National Crime Statistics site, which gave us a few parts we need to consider “4% decrease in police recorded homicide offences (from 728 to 701 offences)” for Homicide, “11% increase in police recorded robbery offences (to 85,736 offences)” for Robbery, and “According to the CSEW, there was no change in the proportion of adults who experienced sexual assaults in the year ending March 2019 (2.9%)” for sexual assaults which is up to March 2019. Now consider the fact that (optionally) there was no decrease in homicide, optionally a small increase, that the robbery numbers are higher than now and that sexual assaults did not stay the same, they went up. This would change the story for the Police department to some degree (not their fault) and the stage we see now that the investments required would change a whole lot because of the non registered foreigner effort. You see, I believe that the situation is less positive. I believe that “UK has failed to pass on the details of 75,000 convictions of foreign criminals to their home EU countries” has a much larger impact. In my mind there is no way that people will avoid looking at the statistics when 75,000 conviction cases are missing. I believe that there is a larger (speculated) play and it is not merely my point of view. When we look (at https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/bulletins/focusonpropertycrime/yearendingmarch2016), we see again and again “theft from the person offences along with cash or foreign currency and mobile phones“, when we consider ‘foreign currency‘, yet why are these merely crimes by Brits? and why is it ‘cash or foreign currency‘? I believe that there has been a trend and even as 75,000 convictions do not add up against some of the numbers, but when we see “Crimes recorded by the police show a 7% rise (539,767 offences) in criminal damage and arson offences“, we see that 75,000 convicted criminals are more likely than not to be a much larger impact on the numbers and now we see correlation and optional co-variant impacts on some of the crime, yet even as a co-variant is not always a good thing, we optionally now see a larger impact and in this instance can the government give clear answers on whether these 75,000 criminal convictions are part of these numbers? I have reason to believe (I have no evidence) that this might not be the case. It is a larger setting and I personally believe that it was not merely a play to make the foreign governments not aware, it was merely a side effect. 

You see, if that was not the case, the issue of ‘foreigners and crime‘ would have had a much larger hit and a lot sooner, a total of 75,000 might force the Home office to take a different stance, one that costs money. It is my personal believe that there are elements missing. Not due to the Guardian of course, because that would take a lot longer to investigate and it is more likely that not that the Guardian and the Independent will be all over this when the impact of damage is seen to a larger degree (the size of larger remains debatable). 

Consider these statements:

  • In contrast a much lower number of adults had been a victim of theft from the person (only 7 in 1,000 adults) or robbery (3 in 1,000 adults)
  • Around 3 in 50 children aged 10 to 15 had been a victim of personal theft and around 1 in 50 had been a victim of criminal damage to personal property

Now consider the (optional and speculated) impact of the statements after the 75,000 convictions are considered

  • In contrast a lower number of adults had been a victim of theft from the person (only 9 in 1,000 adults) or robbery (5 in 1,000 adults)
  • Around 4 in 50 children aged 10 to 15 had been a victim of personal theft and around 3 in 50 had been a victim of criminal damage to personal property

The shift seems small, yet still visible, the fact that the damage to children is now (mind you speculated) approaching 10% is an actual much larger setting then before, its impact would constitute the need for the government to change its position on crime and support a different stance on crime related issues from police to prison it would impact the government budget to a much larger degree. Now, we need to remember that this is speculated and the impact of data is not clear at present, yet I remain that ‘one in three alerts on offenders – potentially including murderers and rapists – were not sent to EU member states‘ feels wrong, a system fails or works, it does not filter, this all feels like orchestration, yet the stage is not clearly set. The Daily Mail was off course a little more colourful with “More than 2,000 foreign killers, paedophiles and rapists are waved into the UK without criminal records checks as police arrest TWO every day” yet there is still no (clear) information on how the numbers impact, as I am personally not convinced that this was merely one system, as the shift in the department of corrections would unbalance the system with numbers that did not match the Home office and as such the issue would have been seen well within the 5 years it took now.

Could I be wrong?

Of course, the issue of data is largely unseen which give optional strength to my speculation, and we need to be clear, I am speculating on the matter, yet the issue is based on a larger issue, a clear IT issue, until there is a clear open presentation on WHY one in three did not make it into the register, I feel that I am correct. However, when we consider the sources that the UK has, I truly believe that this could not be contained to merely one segment, and that is my personal view on the matter. As such I believe the 75,000 will have impacted numbers all over the stage, the foreign policy part being the one that (finally) exposed it finally after 5 years.

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The cornered bully

We all have these moments, when we have to speak out against dopey (the bully in the corner) but the boss we report to is a spineless sack of shit and he will not do anything, more importantly he seems to be heralding the voice of the bully like he has credibility. So there we are, the bully (America), the spineless boss (pretty much most nations in the EU and the Commonwealth) and the people ready to speak out, the IT experts who are muzzled by bosses, because they are afraid to start a fight.

That is the setting that the Guardian introduces us to with ‘Using Huawei in UK 5G networks would be ‘madness’, US says‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/jan/13/using-huawei-in-uk-5g-networks-would-be-madness-us-says). We have seen it before, the US is now getting more and more afraid of the billions being missed out on and they are going full throttle with the fear mongering. Even as we see “Matt Pottinger, presented an incendiary dossier which they said featured new evidence of the security risks of relying on Huawei technology in future phone networks“, we get introduced to the Gerbil-in-the-groceries Matt Pottinger the new flagship for presenting ‘news’ just like Colin Powell with his Silver briefcase. You see, I am not afraid to face that music, neither are the hundreds of intrusion experts who have been unable to validate the wild fantasies of America, America took the VHS example and is trying to steer the ships of nations and now they are boasting an unwillingness to share intelligence. This is nice, but in the end, the Intelligence from the US is backdated and there is every chance that it is as false as any news they spread. The entire bully network comes to blows when we see “The intense and public lobbying presents an immediate headache for Boris Johnson“, I also do not disregard “having been repeatedly advised by the UK’s security establishment that any security risks can be contained“, this is equally important, because Alex Younger who is the official Big Boss at MI-6 stated that infrastructure this important should not leave British hands, this is not a case of Huawei being a danger, it is a national policy and that is fine, I would even state that this gives the UK and option to buy the Huawei technology, rip it apart, set it under a loop and optionally give BT a chance to become a contender, US firms will jump at that opportunity, to have Huawei technology without the Huawei fear. Let’s face it, Huawei offered that solution to the US last year, but there is a larger concern and for the US it is not really spying, it is the fear where data will end and there are several new players all non-American whilst the American data gatherers are tapped out (financially), so the US is bullying all others to wait hoping that Silicon Valley will come with an American solution that is actually real 5G, all whilst it is not coming and at present all those who delay are losing momentum and twice the amount of time on the 5G path, so any delay up to a year means a 2 year delay and they all know that you are either better (the US is not), you are first (the US can not) or you cheat (the only path the US has at present). 

This all gives us two distinct realities, the first is that for the first time the US is not the first at the top in technology, a shock they have a hard time surpassing and they are not the only 5G company, they are really not ready for real 5G, you see in my past blogs I showed that whatever they call 5G is really not 5G, nowhere near, not at those speeds. The Guardian also gives us “Ahead of the UK decision the head of MI5, Andrew Parker, said over the weekend that he saw “no reason to think” that using Huawei technology should threaten intelligence sharing with the US“, Mr Parker is right, but mainly because the quality of US intelligence is seemingly fading, they are losing sources all over the Middle East and they have too little in the Far East, as such we lose out on a source that is mostly redundant. Mr Parker’s assertion is in opposition to “a senior US official who was part of the delegation, who said: “Congress has made it clear they will want an evaluation of our intelligence sharing.”“, two parts are shown here, the fact that the bullying continue and the fact that this ‘senior US official‘ is left nameless, just like the fact that this matter is on the desk of a deputy national security advisor. In the age where America goes to vote next year, no one wants to burn their fingers and their career on this, and when the truth comes out (and it will) their careers are gone in the international field and the national field no longer has the juicy options it once had. 

When we get to “The officials, who had flown in specially from the US, would not spell out what the “relatively recent information” that they had shared with their UK counterparts was“, it is all a load of HogWash (American expression), you see, If there was any actual danger the US would spread it like a wildfire to EVERY security IT Consultant, but they did not and the news is flat on that. What we do get is ‘Facebook and Google are as much of a threat as Huawei‘ (source: Marketwatch) where we see “Facebook is already undermining the democratic process, including in the U.S. itself, where the platform has facilitated foreign interference in elections.

 

In addition, Facebook has fueled division and fear, and refused to remove hate speech, Holocaust denial and anti-Semitic posts. The platform has been described as a “megaphone for hate” against Muslims, and it is accused of facilitating a genocide against the Rohingya in Myanmar. For these reasons, the British actor and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen recently called Facebook “the greatest propaganda machine in history.”” This is true but it is only he side effect of the matter, the real issue is not there it is seen in “these threats already exist, because Facebook (which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp) and Google (which owns YouTube) have an astonishingly comprehensive range of data about their users — their location, contacts, messages, photos, downloads, searches, preferences, purchases, and much else” It is not the porridge, it is the spoon, the data is everything and as the data no longer merely flow to America, but it will flow to China as well (via aps and so on) in a larger growing slice it will no longer flow to the US, that is the real fear, it will impact all firms relying on data and that is the real ticket and it will have an impact sizing up to billions of dollars every year, it is a larger impact as data becomes the new currency. I will go as far as setting the stage that the IP I had designed will impact it even further for the globally based 400 million small business firms. Even as America sneers at the little guy, they are the foundation of data, not Google and not Facebook, they are merely the facilitators not the creators. That reality is now up for grabs in more than one way. If it was really all about security, the news would have picked up to a much larger degree to ‘Cisco critical bugs: Nexus data center switch software needs patching now‘ with the added text “Cisco has disclosed a dozen bugs affecting its Data Center Network Manager (DCNM) software, including three critical authentication-bypass bugs that expose enterprise customers to remote attacks” (source: ZDNet), this is not the first time, I gave more info months ago when at least one such an issue woke up and whilst all are screaming about 5G security and feigned Chinese values, they all ignore the Elephant in the room (Cisco), I do believe that it was an honest mistake, there was no ill practice at work (from the side of Cisco), but there is a larger concern and those security advisors connected to the Oval office do not seem to care (or optionally merely not comprehend), it is a larger issue that is impacting the Fortune 500, but the press is blind to it. In support there is also ‘A Cisco Router Bug Has Massive Global Implications‘ (source: Wired) with the added information “The devices play a pivotal role at institutions, in other words, including some that deal with hypersensitive information. Now, researchers are disclosing a remote attack that would potentially allow a hacker to take over any 1001-X router and compromise all the data and commands that flow through it. And it only gets worse from there“, which was given to us last May, with the almost complete rundown by researchers from the security firm Red Balloon. And the added information “Once the researchers gain root access, they can bypass the router’s most fundamental security protection. Known as the Trust Anchor, this Cisco security feature has been implemented in almost all of the company’s enterprise devices since 2013“, this is the setting, an impact that is global and the US is keeping it quiet, yet the unproven stage without any real evidence is heralded to the max, which gives the larger implication that this is about data and about the financial security of the US, and why should we pay for that? They were flaccid for years, they refused to innovate and China started to innovate, even as we see in the Guardian article that the kit from Huawei “cheaper and more advanced than rivals“, we see one part, the fact that the US has nothing to counter what Huawei offers is the larger concern (for America), they are 2-3 years behind and that implies that they have nothing to enter the field with until 2025 and become a real contender, at which point Huawei is the new standard and as such data will flow via Huawei and not via American solutions, the data loss for America will be to some degree crippling. their revenue from advertisement, their revenue from data sale and other revenues liked to that are all impacted, it could cost the US 50-150 billion in the foreseeable future and that is where the US fear kicks in, their debt is out of control and that amount would have a much larger impact on the infrastructure that can no longer be paid for, one system after another will fail, a cascade of systems all collapsing because the US has no reserves left, the EU is also out of reserves and they see the 5G part as essential to surpass American firms and most need to contend with spineless politicians and long winded ‘talks’ by the EU gravy train, the are all in it for the money and commercial EU is seeing it all come apart, they can hold on if they get the 5G edge, an option that the US dreads. 

As such the cornered bully is getting more brazen, relying on past tactics that exploded in everyone’s face and they are still doing it, hoping that they can get away with it the second time around, optionally they will rely on other technologies, as long as they are not Chinese, it is not the hardware, it is the data. Ericsson gives us “5G is designed for industrial applications. This means that falling behind on 5G as a platform for innovation will jeopardize the European industrial base. With two global vendors based in Europe, the continent has the prerequisite to lead” (they merely fail to inform us (for valid reasons) that the two players are Ericsson and Nokia, but their solutions are almost two full generations behind Huawei, they would need two years to upgrade and that is what they face, they were all asleep at the wheel and now that the ferryman wants to get paid for all the time they were asleep, they are no longer willing to foot the bill, 4G is almost at a break even point and that is stopping most to go forward, even as they see that 5G is going to take over, they are all afraid that the next iteration of hardware is just beyond the horizon. And they are still setting larger foundations for themselves, because the real cash is the data, not the hardware and that is the stage where they all need to select an optional new provider, the devil you know beats the devil you know not and they want their coins. 

In all this the bully in the corner is getting more and more aggravated and we see that, but they did this to themselves, when I can surpass the US in IP (something I never thought possible) that is the point you need to realise where the US failed, their IP is just not there and they have no real counters other than the Silver Briefcase scenario hoping it will buy them enough time.  You see, when we accept the foundation of one quote: ‘5G Antenna Market was estimated to be US$ 9,835.0 Mn in 2018 and is expected to reach US$ 34,720.1 Mn by 2027 growing at a CAGR of 15.5% over the Forecast Period Owing to the Evolution of Smart Antennas‘, we see what the US is missing out of, the antennas alone are setting the stage of 9-15 billion each year surpassing my estimation of 50 billion value by 2022, yet that is merely the antenna’s, Huawei launched their 5G routers last week and that is where the money becomes a serious setting. When we combine the stage offered “The power of the chipset enables the router to be the first to support commercial application of 4G and 5G dual-modes. It is the first to have the capacity to perform to industry benchmarks of peak 1.65Gbps@100MHz download speeds” with “LTE Advanced has been available for several years now and some carriers (notably AT&T in the US) are calling it 5Ge, or 5G Evolution, even though it is most definitely not an official 5G standard, but rather the latest iteration of 4G” (source: Forbes) you get to see how dire the US situation is for the US, they claim to be 5G and they are not, they claim that Huawei is a danger and they cannot prove that it is, the data is everything and they are at an ever growing risk to lose large chunks of it. Now that Huawei is forced towards their Harmony OS, we will see a growing non US population switching, meaning that the data is no longer going to the US in a readable format. That is the larger loss for the US and they are getting close to desperate. 

In my view, that is the consideration of dumping the brains that they needed and that is the consequence of a flaccid business path, down the track it tends to cost and the US is scared of that moment, hoping to scare all others, we see that the EU is considering their options and as the US loses nation after nation we see  larger stage, when the data surpasses into national hands again, they will not care about US substandard intelligence, most will have their own and a new generation of apps will be adopted by its users on a global scale.

 

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By royal choice

I do not get it, I get that some people are not in the forethought of the press. I also get that sometimes things get exaggerated by others and the press steps in to take a bite of that (by their account) delicious profit pie. Yet the animosity against the members of the British house of royalty eludes me. From my point of view, I have seen (movies, documentaries and papers) that Jewish people were treated with more respect and more consideration by members of German death squads than the British royal family has been from 1975 onwards by members of the press and paparazzi. Even now, I see tweets by the dozen (to my line alone) on the negativity against Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan. I just do not get it!

It does not matter whether anyone can come up with any justification, I personally believe that their private affairs are their private affairs. And let me be clear, I do not see any valid justification. Even now, we see options like ‘from various sources’, ‘according to sources close to the matter at hand’ and so on. 

Let’s face it, the press have no valid setting at present or ever, lets not forget that basically and in my personal opinion, the mother of prince Harry was murdered by paparazzi and the press is eager to get any print they can lay their fingers on, so they them self set this deadly foundation.

For his royal highness to get out of all this makes perfect sense to me, that is until someone muzzles the press and makes any mishap with paparazzi a direct stage with that person doing double digits in a prison. You see this has nothing to do with ‘the people have a right to know’, there are various royal websites that keep the people informed and aware of events taking place. The glossy press makes its money from advertisers and circulation and any member of the royal family contributes massively to the margins of the glossy press, too much I think and as such I personally believe that their model has changed, changed for the better of the owners, not the famous people they stalk and optionally harass to get the goods, the misquoted juicy stories that give their circulation needs the boost they feel that they are entitled to.

I avoid those magazines and you all should too,you all (the buyers of those magazines) contributed to the death of Princess Diana and it is time to stop before her son or her grandson becomes the next victim. Piers Morgan referred to them as ‘treacherous royal upstarts’, whilst people like him are part of the problem, not part of the solution. This is a newly wed family, now with child and they get badgered 24:7, it is my personal opinion to wonder why are we even debating their choice? 

I believe that a year or two of rest would do them, their marriage and their family bond some good. Give them time to figure it all out, is that so hard? 

Oh, and I still believe that the press needs to be set to rules that are a lot more debilitating when it comes to their push against the royal family. If they can avoid ‘news’ casting on events that Iran instigated for over three years they can refrain on this too. They have no right to do this, and I give no two hoots about their statements on what their priorities are. I also believe that it is time to punish the harassment strife of glossy magazines, so those magazines should be on high GST (or VAT, BTW), if gossip is their beef, let the reader pay for it, for the most ‘the advertisers’ are bringing in the money for their magazines, so I believe a balance should be found and that is me in a good mood. For all I care those magazines should be scrapped all together. 

And it does not end, the messages,often with #HarryAndMeghan are still pouring in on Twitter, it is all people think about, yet on twitter we also see a lot of positive, a lot of people addressing the British Media. One stated: “British Media: We pay your bills! We have a right to bully you into Oblivion!”, it was a person who added a #MegXit tag, but the word is out there, people are seeing the overwhelming harassment stage that this is taking and several are voicing their disgust with it all. 

I believe that it is time to bring the hammer down on the heads of the glossy media, there is only so much abuse we accept and this level of bullying is beyond acceptable. If there is a Royal Choice, I hope that his royal highness selects his heart and gets out of that mess, I believe that it will force an actual view shift on glossy magazines. Oh, they’ll shrug it off and move to the next Kardassian or Swift story, and after a few editions they’ll move over to the next member of the family living (or lived) in Buckingham Palace, that too is the way the press thinks.

 

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Travel by Ransomware

On Tuesday an interesting article was given by the guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/jan/07/travelex-being-held-ransom-hackers-said-demanding-3m#maincontent), the title ‘Travelex ‘being held to ransom’ by hackers said to be demanding $3m‘ almost said it all and then I noticed something. First we get “Criminals are thought to be demanding about $3m (£2.3m) – to give the firm access to its computer systems after they attacked using the Sodinokibi ransomware on 31 December“, the price is not set without quarter, this we get from “They are reportedly threatening to release 5GB of customers’ personal data – including social security numbers, dates of birth and payment card information – into the public domain unless the company pays up” as well as “banks who use Travelex’s foreign exchange services to stop taking online orders for currency, affecting Sainsbury’s Bank, Tesco Bank, Virgin Money and First Direct.” You see Travelex, based in London, has a presence in more than 70 countries with more than 1,200 branches and 1,000 ATMs worldwide. It processes more than 5,000 currency transactions every hour yet, even as we see that it is on the London Stock Exchange, however the group is based in the United Arab Emirates. As for the actions we see “On Thursday 2 January, the Met’s cyber crime team were contacted with regards to a reported ransomware attack involving a foreign currency exchange. Inquiries into the circumstances are ongoing” here is the snag, what are the chances that US actions are impeded as it impacts 70 countries? Is there a reason why the FBI is not equally involved? You see, Sodinokibi is a spin off from Gandcrab and as we see (at https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/fbi-releases-master-decryption-keys-for-gandcrab-ransomware/) the FBI got those keys. Now the keys will not be compatible, but if they get one solution, they might get another solution. The fact that corporations are hit and we see “the developers behind the wildly successful GandCrab Ransomware announced that they were closing shop after allegedly amassing $2 billion in ransom payments and personally earning $150 million“, we would want to think that the FBI is on top of this and get some pay-back (I had to use that pun).

We also learn from Acronis “Sodinokibi ransomware exploits an Oracle WebLogic vulnerability (CVE-2019-2725) to gain access to the victim’s machine“, and when we go to the Oracle page we see that there had been a solution from last May onwards. there is also the part “Product releases that are not under Premier Support or Extended Support are not tested for the presence of vulnerabilities addressed by this Security Alert. However, it is likely that earlier versions of affected releases are also affected by these vulnerabilities. As a result, Oracle recommends that customers upgrade to supported versions” the question becomes did Travelex forget to do a few things? the article does not pan out on that.

Yet in all this IT News (at https://www.itnews.com.au/news/ransomware-shuts-down-travelex-systems-536191) gives us ‘Unpatched systems could be attack vector, say researchers‘, and they also give us “No evidence has surfaced so far that structured personal customer data has been encrypted, or exfiltrated. This is in contrast with a report in Computer Weekly that alleged the criminals deploying the Revil/Sodinokibi ransomware had attacked servers storing sensitive, confidential information that included customer names and their bank account and transaction details” and it does not stop there. They also give us “Troy Mursch, chief research officer at security vendor Bad Packets said it notified the forex multinational in September of a serious vulnerability in its Pulse Virtual Private Networking servers. The vulnerability went unpatched until November” which sets a much larger question mark on the entire issue as the news give us that the attack came almost a month after that. They curtiously also give us “Prior to that, security researcher Kevin Beaumont noted that Travelex was operating cloud instances of Windows Server on Amazon Web Services that had Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) enabled and exposed to the internet, but with Network Level Access (NLA) control disabled. An RDP flaw, known as BlueKeep, allows for full remote compromise of Windows without user interaction” and these issues are not asked about? At least the Guardian article does not stop on them. 

The most hilarious response is seen at the very end of the IT News article with “Despite the attack closing down online systems, Travelex said it does not currently anticipate any material financial impact for its parent Finablr” Travelex might have numerous issues to consider, but the customer does not make the high point of that, or as I would mildly put it, who cares about Finablr? Well I reckon that the London Stock Exchange cares as the value of Finablr made a crashing 17% loss, that is almost one in five pounds that is lost too those bright young lads (ladies also). They advertise (on their website) ‘Finablr is a global platform for Payments and Foreign Exchange solutions underpinned by modern and proprietary technology‘ instead of ‘Finablr is a global platform for Payments and Foreign Exchange solutions underpinned by modern and proprietary hackable technology‘. It is a small difference, but a distinct one, especially as Oracle had placed a solution for months and the second message by Kevion Beaumont does not help any I reckon. In support a source gave the BBC that they feel let down, complaining that their travel money is “in limbo”, which is interesting, as the Guardian article gives us “Travelex first revealed the New Year’s Eve attack on 2 January, when it sought to assure that no customer data had yet been compromised” and as the article came 5 days after, the absence of victim mentioning is an interesting one, it seems that Travelex is not handling this situation well on a few levels, optionally also in arrear of making mantion towards the customers, all in opposition to the text on Travelex.com, which gives (among more data) “Tony D’Souza, Chief Executive of Travelex, said “Our focus is on communicating directly with our partners and customers to protect them and their information from any further compromise. We take very seriously our responsibility to protect the privacy and security of our partner and customer’s data as well as provide an excellent service to our customers and we sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused. Travelex continues to offer services to its customers on a manual basis and is continuing to provide alternative customer solutions in the interim. We are working tirelessly to bring our systems back online.”” 

As such we get Travelex giving us one part and the BBC giving quite the opposite, and at this point my question becomes, exactly how much money is ‘in limbo‘?

That and a few more parts all rise to the surface when I look into this matter, the entire time gap on the side of Travelex being the most prevalent one. The one part that Acronis made me wonder about was the exemption list, the fact that It will try not to infect computers from countries based on the locale setting of the computer, which gives us “Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuanian, Tajikistan, Iran, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tatarstan“, the reason is unknown to me, perhaps they fear those countries and their ‘justice system’?

By the way, the entire Finablr website mention was essential, they are so for the ‘future’ yet security is seemingly not among it. That part is seen when we consider “In April 2019, the Cybereason Nocturnus team analyzed a new type of evasive ransomware dubbed Sodinokibi“, as such it took the Oracle team months to get a solution made (which makes perfect sense) yet the lack of implementation by Travelex is less normal. From all information it seems to me that Travelex should have made larger steps to be secure no later than Halloween, so the issue is a little larger than we consider, and the fact that Sodinokibi is a much larger field that goes back a few billion dollars. This is a contemplated speculation when we look at CSO Online where we get “While Sodinokibi is not necessarily a direct continuation of GandCrab, researchers have found code and other similarities between the two, indicating a likely connection” implying that for at least one person $150 million was not enough. 

As such, the entire Travelex issue will be around much longer than the ransomware will be, there will need to be a larger amount of questions to its mother organisation Finablr as well. From my speculative side it seems that some players are lacking certain IT skills, or/and a larger shortage of it, that is the initial feeling I got when I saw the information that Troy Mursch and Kevin Beaumont handed over to the press, and so far the information as seen supports a larger failing in Travelex and optionally Finablr as well. There is support for my way of thinking, no matter who is on the board of directors, none of them are IT experts and that is fine, yet by not having a visionary IT expert leading the charge we see a larger failing coming their way. It is not merely having an IT department and a security department, someone needs to spearhead and protect IT issues in the Board of Directors and there is no evidence that this is happening, actually the Travelex issue gives rise that it is not happening at all. More important, the issue with the website is that it is highly sales oriented, and when I had a look there (I reckon the Sodinokibi members as well), I wondered how secure are Unimoni, Xpress Money, Remit2India, Ditto and Swych? When one of these points get attacked, will the board of directors act appropriately? It is optionally a little ironic that they are hit whilst they advertised a paper on their site on November 20th (a month before the attack) ‘Why data protection is your new strategic priority‘, my initial thought? ‘Sarcasm, when it backfires it becomes irony!‘ Yes it seems like a cheap ride from my side, but we forget that Common Cyber Sense is a real thing and corporations need a much larger vested interest in being safe than ever before, GandCrab showed that part months before this event took place and I reckon that Financial corporations need to take a much larger vested interest in that matter, or so I am led to believe, I could (of course) be wrong.

What do you think?

 

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