Tag Archives: Washington Post

Getting a mute to lead the blind

Confused? Good! It has been going on for a little while, but Al Jazeera heads the setting of others with ‘Is the US crackdown on spyware firms just getting started?’, the article (at https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2021/12/22/is-the-us-crackdown-on-spyware-firms-just-getting-started) gives us “The Biden administration blacklisted Israeli spyware firm NSO in November, but experts say more needs to be done.” Well, that might b e nice, yet the absence of evidence means that they take to the streets with the stupid and flammable people. It becomes even worse with “a collaboration by Amnesty International and a coalition of media outlets – revealed that NSO’s software was sold to authoritarian governments that used it to spy on political leaders, journalists, executives and human rights activists, including people close to murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.” As I personally see it, it was a collection of wannabe’s and fakes. They are that because evidence was not ever presented. And now the plot thickens, you think it does not? Well hold on, we are about to really up the throttle on this.

You see Bloomberg hands over the evidence I claimed all along. I wrote in several articles that if that list of 10,000 numbers was real the NSO Group would have a $400,000,000 piggy bank. But Bloomberg gives us ‘Pegasus Spyware Maker NSO Group Throws Cash at New Ventures to Survive’, where we are treated to “Israeli spyware firm NSO Group burned through most of its cash this year in a desperate bid to move past the scandal surrounding its phone-hacking tool Pegasus, according to a person with knowledge of the matter and private financial documents seen by Bloomberg News”, this could be seen as implied evidence that the money was never there, as such the list has to be (to a larger) part fake. Something I saw in less than 5 minutes, but all these wannabe essay writers You know, the one the Guardian has in Washington DC, as well as a wannabe essay writer at the United Nations with an outspoken hatred of Saudi Arabia. All going on flames and friends, but not a lot of evidence. Last Week at Wired we also get ‘Google Warns That NSO Hacking Is On Par With Elite Nation-State Spies’, but I will get back to that. You see the Bloomberg article (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-12-21/nso-group-burned-up-most-of-its-cash-to-shift-away-from-pegasus) also gives us “Two American funds have expressed interest in NSO’s Eclipse technology — which can detect, commandeer and land drones — and in its new big-data analytics platform, for which the company signed its first contract this quarter, the person said. Pegasus would either be shut down or brought under the same umbrella as the other businesses in a bet that U.S. ownership would improve its standing, according to the same person.” In this I personally think that these American Funds can go and get fucked (apologies for the language), you see if the NSO is on a blacklist, the Americans can go try and make it run on a kite. 

Although, there is every chance that China, Russia and optionally Saudi Arabia might want these technologies. So as we consider Wired giving us “The exploit mounts a zero-click, or interaction-less, attack, meaning that victims don’t need to click a link or grant a permission for the hack to move forward. Project Zero found that ForcedEntry used a series of shrewd tactics to target Apple’s iMessage platform, bypass protections the company added in recent years to make such attacks more difficult, and adroitly take over devices to install NSO’s flagship spyware implant Pegasus.” You see what Google (Apple too) isn’t telling you is that the transgression was possible to begin with. This is not some nerd in his mothers basement. This is the kind of person that can equal if not surpass both the NSA and GCHQ. More importantly both Google and Apple were not prepared, so just how many gaps are there in mobile phones? You want to complain about Huawei and their security dangers? Google and Apple are doing that all by themselves, just like Cisco did, but you probably missed those articles. Credit to Cisco of alerting everyone to this, but the media was eager to ignore it, much sexier to accuse Huawei without evidence.

So whilst the White House idiot gave the people a blacklisting, we get:  “NSO issued a statement at the time saying it was “dismayed” by the Biden administration’s decision and that its technologies “support US national security interests and policies by preventing terrorism and crime”” So now the parts are here, we get to my use of ‘White House Idiot’, fair enough! You see, as the finances show that members of the media have been lying (optionally by not vetting information). We also see that the members of the NSO Group might sell to anyone BUT the Americans. A stage that will cost America greatly, especially if China acquires this technology. So after they squandered weapons sales to Saudi Arabia (I am still hoping for my 3.75% bonus on sales to China), the setting is now that one of the most sophisticated pieces of intrusion software might end up where no one wanted it to go, it reminds me of the old saying regarding ‘A cornered cat’, and it serves the mother goose brigade as I personally see it and you can see it too, you merely need to look at the actual claims and the fact that we see words like ‘alleged’, we see ‘might be infected’ and we see no clear number system. No dashboard that gives optional validity to the claims by wannabe essay writers. 

You know what? I am slightly too angry. First the yanks go all out on Huawei whilst evidence was never presented, now we see that the 5G networks are AT BEST a mere 50% of what Saudi Arabia has and in case of the US it is a mere 1.4% of 1%, it is THAT slow. Now we see the same exercise and it will be anyones guess who ends up with the NSO group software. It will be up to the NSO group to decide, yet I feel strongly that it should never end up in American hands. A person should not be allowed to be THIS stupid and being given a slice of cake, if it does happen, it better be valued at several billions. If you are THIS stupid, you cannot be much of a software maker, so pay you will, optionally Google could buy it to make their hardware more secure. It is a stretch and it is a steep price, but it could mean that the Apple supremacy ends and that might be worth a bag of coins to Google. 

Yet the best moment was when I saw that the media nailed their own coffin (the finance bit), so whilst Wired and the Washington Post did the right thing, the others can take a long walk of a short pier as far as I see it. Oh yes, the Wired article was at https://www.wired.com/story/nso-group-forcedentry-pegasus-spyware-analysis/ 

One day until Christmas, I reckon it is that time of the year when we take a little more time to see what weapon systems are out for sale. I need a new hobby!

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A two sided sword

It is nice (novel too) when the press does your work. Al Jazeera (at https://aje.io/xvndmj) with the headline ‘Nobel Peace Prize winners warn of growing disinformation threat’, which sounds nice, but the complication is that the press is part of the problem, in the last two years 

I looked at issues with the NSO group, Jamal Khashoggi (the reporter no one cares about), one sided accusations against Saudi Arabia, bungled investigations involving Jeff Bezos (and the UN), Ignoring the events from Iran and Houthi forces and that running joke known as the ICIJ with their papers of hope (Pandora papers). All issues that show the press being part of the problem, not a solution. All vying for digital dollars any way they can. 

So when I see “Maria Ressa of the Philippines said the greatest threat to democracy is “when lies become facts”, while Dmitry Muratov of Russia said society is currently in a dangerous “post-truth period””, I am not opposing Maria Ressa, I am stating that the disinformation problem is a lot larger than what we hear and journalists are part of that problem. 

Journalists have with some regularity placed themselves on the axial of a seesaw and tried to keep a balance between events taking place and Stakeholders that need things go certain ways (my speculation/presumption). It is a setting that have been going on since 2012 (which is when I started to take notice). So when I see “Muratov also told Al Jazeera that disinformation was a significant and growing threat. “Manipulation leads to war,” he said. “We are in the middle of a post-truth period. Now, everyone is concerned about their own ideas and not the facts,” Muratov said” I feel an involuntary giggle coming up. It is correct what he states, but the part of ‘Manipulation leads to war’, was this communicated to the morning breakfast shows? Was this communicated to newspapers who do this way too often? 

Yes there are problems and they are all over the place, yet the press is part of the problem, it stopped being part of the solution when shareholders needed to see more money from news outlets. A plate for pigs and there are too many pigs and the plate is seemingly getting smaller. 

So it needs to be clear, I am not opposing the person who achieved the standing of winning a Nobel price, I am however pointing towards the wannabe’s behind these people maximising digital coins at the expense of clear reporting. In case of the ICIJ, has anyone seen a clear dashboard giving us numbers of people per nation, nations with government people involved and non-government people? No, you haven’t. More importantly when we see the stage of those in zero tax nations (and their right to be there), what is left? In that stage we see the ICIJ speak like parrots, repeating the same thing over and over without any real revelations, any real criminal activities. So when you see “The new data reveals confidential information about the owners of offshore entities mostly registered in the British Virgin Islands, a notoriously secretive jurisdiction, between 1980 and 2018.” You get no real information, merely some silly essay person waving his dick. The problem is that this so called “confidential information about the owners of offshore entities”, is absent of criminal activities. It is about tax laws and these clowns have not achieved anything, merely made you all angry that some people get LEGALLY away with avoiding taxation. So Boo Hoo flipping Hoo. 

So I get it that some journalists should receive protection, but in my personal view, we could do without those 600 at the ICIJ brilliantly. The term of “when lies become facts” sounds really nice, but that means that we hold journalists and what they write accountable, an act that hasn’t been the case for the longest of times, should you doubt that, read the Leveson report. The stage is changing and to some degree journalists and news outlets are responsible for that mess. Consider that the big papers which include the Wall Street Journal, The Times, the LA Times, the Washington Post, the Boston globe and the NY Times. How many did a real piece on how tax laws have failed a nation? None as fr as I can tell, they are all screaming ‘Tax the Rich’ but it were these tax laws that got them in that setting. The disregarded acts by Iran are visible all over by the bulk of these papers seemingly disregard these parts, just like the assaults by Houthi’s but they are all eager to slam the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, one sided reporting is disinformation, I hope that this is clear? Filtered information (like morning shows) is also a form of disinformation and they all serve some stakeholder (as I personally see it).

A stage that has to change and it should start with those calling themselves journalists. 

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Direction and Course

We are all driven by doubts. We are all driven by needs and we are all enticed by desires. There is no exception, none at all. Not if you are a cleric, Christian or Muslim. Not if you are a farmer or a politician (although too often I think that the first party is more intelligent than the second one). We are all driven by surges, by vectors and by elements outside ourselves. They are the particles that fuel the internal engine in us and the mindset that accompanies it. I remain on the fence regarding the building scandal in Rotterdam, the political power-drive for a place called Vestia. The simplest side is a mere tally, 524 homes are removed to be replaced by 137 locations to inhabit, with an added 101 apartments for higher incomes and 143 apartments for sale, the tally does not add up. A new station is created with -143 locations. This was about money, plain and simple. So whilst Vestia hides behind “We achieve this by taking an effective and innovative approach to rentals, sales, liveability, maintenance, investments and operating costs. We are committed to providing good service to our customers: the people who rent and buy our homes”, so whilst we see one, we also see that they enabled the removal of 387 social housing locations, it was the simplest math problem. Someone got rich here. Yet in the setting of greed, there is so much out there, Rotterdam is not even the smallest blip on any, not even a Dutch radar. 

There is more out there, the stage of the media is getting out of control, stake holders, the setting of lobbyists that are gracing the foundation of media is getting larger, os getting stronger and the media itself does not care, it is like watching a crack whore reach for the goods. Their grasp towards digital dollars without contemplating the larger stage is ludicrous. As an example look at the home page of the Independent (independent.co.uk), the Los Angeles Times (latimes.com), The Washington Post (washingtonpost.com), and Dagens Nyheter (www.dn.se). Notice the advertisements? Let’s be clear, the papers are allowed to do that, yet consider who can afford that. Consider the cost of a front page advertisement in the paper versus the front page of a website. Consider the stage of who gets the visibility and how they got there. Now there is an opposing side to this some are merely advertising, there is no ‘stake holder’, there is no political need, but that stage is fluidic and siding with the stake holders. Consider the past, how many advertisements for some Microsoft device passed you by? How many claims of mobile data for less, how many ads are localised? Consider seeing the LA Times, seeing “Coliving Homes in Sydney. Coliving homes for rent in Sydney from A$1,300/month, inclusive of weekly housekeeping”, now there is nothing wrong with the ad. And it is powered by Google Ads and there is nothing wrong with that. Yet consider that an apartment costing A$1300 a week has an ad on the front page of the LA Times. The setting is so much larger than even I can understand. This is global and this is not some anti-Google setting, I am making the claim that there is a layer between the media and advertisers. Electronic lobbyists, I call them Stake Holders, and they are raking in millions. The view is not easy, and I am not making a claim that I have it, it is so convoluted on the global scale that no one really has an idea, it would require the Google source data and a very powerful computer to suss it out to the smallest degree. I saw glimmers as Microsoft was advertising its Surface pro, but that could just as easily be seen as a glimmer of delusion. The problem is not me, it is not anyone who might not be able to see it, it will be the media, they are part of it. They are setting a new course, they are setting a course towards their digital dollars at the expense of the people, what I often refer to the ‘click bitches’ they create though emotional articles. A newspaper will give you ‘Pandora papers: biggest ever leak of offshore data exposes financial secrets of rich and powerful’, whilst they also give you “the move was not illegal, and there is no evidence the Blairs proactively sought to avoid property taxes” Consider that journalists waste time on non-illegal actions whilst we see some papers give us ‘Houthi blockade restricts aid’, is that not interesting? The UN was all about attacking Saudi Arabia recently whilst keeping (according to media) Houthi and Iranian elements out of that think-tank presentation. So why are we not given the full view whilst some are wasting our time on “the move was not illegal”. I believe that political lobbyists and digital lobbyists are uniting to some extent, optionally the political lobbyists are also on the digital platform calling themselves ‘stake holders’. This is speculation, this is not proven (yet) and there could be all kinds of ‘evidence’ proving me wrong. I do not know yet, but the views I have seen over the last 15 months proving me to be correct more and more. And now, I am taking the light to my work and looking deeper into it all, because anyone not criticising and digging into his own data will fail from the start, and I do not like failure. But that is just me, to seek a direction and course requires energy and it needs a drive, but what that drive is remains open to debate, even for me.

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Ubituary

With not too much sadness and some feeling of achievement it is my joy to announce that Yves Guillemot, former CEO of Ubisoft was murdered on the night of Friday 15th of October, he was allegedly murdered by Antón Castillo dictator of Yara. Insiders claimed that the bug of his wealth vaporising on a daily basis enraged him beyond believe. Insiders investigating this (and the pandora papers) stated that Yves went missing in cloud environments linked to server with processor id CFC1E8CA-1DBB-1DCA5E8-60F8E99BD225, the people at the data centre deny that Yves Guillemot ever visited their firm and they also made claim that this processor number in unknown to them, investigative journalists were unable to track 37 of the 153 data servers, the investigation is seemingly ongoing.

So some will clam that I have no sense of humour, or at least a very sick one. You see, at least I am creative, we want to think that Ubisoft is creative, but from my point of view it is the ability to stack a game with bugs and glitches. When we look around we see SVG giving us ‘THIS FAR CRY 6 BUG HAS PLAYERS LOSING THEIR MINDS’, Sportskeeda comes with ‘How to fix the Maine 15f/158 error code in Far Cry 6’ and they also give us “While many bugs are found in Far Cry 6 itself, Maine 15f/158 seems to be linked to external account sources. So far, there has been no word from Ubisoft about what exactly the Maine 15f/158 error code is or what may be causing it” and the list goes on, yet I would like to add the Washington Post who gives us ‘A glitchfest that’s too big to wrangle’ with mention of “Yara, as a simulation of an island, falls squarely in the uncanny valley. Your enjoyment of the gameplay is likely to hinge on how much this bothers you. My first few hours with the game, as I acquainted myself with the brain-dead virtual denizens of Yara, felt awful. I watched AI drivers, honking, run over their fellow Yarans in the streets. In one mission, all of my opponents marched, single file, past me out of the military base I was sent to infiltrate, leaving it ripe for (an anticlimactic) plundering” the people report glitch after glitch, bug after bug and when a game is somewhere between $79 and $149 (there are a few versions) we need to consider why a company is allowed to release a game that is so broken? The problem is that there are more and more. All whilst some game makers set the stage of a non-disclosure agreement for too close to release. All whilst we see that some games are too big to review and so far the amount of bugs set the stage that consumers should be allowed to get full refunds up to 10 days after purchase. Whilst one sources gives us in May ‘‘Far Cry 6’ dev confirms game will not have “Cyberpunk-style issues”’, most can now confirm that the matter is a lot worse, plenty of gamers would love mere Cyberpunk style issues and it is all over the net and also a larger stage on YouTube. Seeking ‘Far Cry 6 bugs’ and ‘Far Cry 6 glitches’ shows how far Ubisoft has fallen of the beaten track. As far as I can tell, since 29 October 2020 when Watchdogs: Legion was released, we see that it was the only real decent release. I played it, and yes it had a few bugs and glitches, but nothing damaging, the fun for that game did not diminish. 

But Ubisoft did not learn its lesson. AC Valhalla, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, the Division 2, all flaws games, too flawed as I personally see it and now Far Cry 6 adds to that list of bungles. So is the state of a Ubituary (pun intended) so far out of bounds?

I know that when I buy an open world game that there will be issues, the bigger the game, the larger the chance of that happening. Yet in all this Ubisoft is seemingly releasing games that should not even be regarded as Beta versions, they are that flawed and as I see it, they are getting away with it and that is even worse. So whilst we get the crying Chihuahua gang (ACCC) with claims like ‘Current powers no match for Google’ (you can see that in two directions) we see Ubisoft clearing the masts of BS as the ACCC is overlooking the larger stage and Ubisoft should be held to a larger mirror, they claim to be an AAA+ developer, then they better prove it, because at present there are plenty of indie developers who show better quality products.

P.S. I apologise for not being able to add colours, I will do that later when WordPress stops fucking up!

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A disregarded shelter setting

The Guardian was at it again and they are not doing anything wrong (at least I think they aren’t) but the stage created is calling for a nice stage and it is getting close to immediate that we take a hard look at the meaning of hypocrisy. 

The article ‘Pandora papers: biggest ever leak of offshore data exposes financial secrets of rich and powerful’ (at https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/oct/03/pandora-papers-biggest-ever-leak-of-offshore-data-exposes-financial-secrets-of-rich-and-powerful) gives us a few items and before you think we are digging into the air, lets take a look at a few essential parts. It starts with “companies hired by wealthy clients to create offshore structures and trusts in tax havens such as Panama, Dubai, Monaco, Switzerland and the Cayman Islands” first, this is not an illegal act, then we need to look at Monaco and Dubai. Monaco gives us over two sources “You can apply for a Carte de Residence once you have an address in Monaco (either bought or rented a property for a minimum of a year). You must also agree to live there for more than three months of the year. Resident individuals are not subject to personal income tax in the Principality of Monaco”, now this is not the easiest setting as decent apartments tend to start at €3,000,000 going up to €387,000,000. As such I wish you good luck finding something you like. In Dubai we see “There is currently no personal income tax in the United Arab Emirates. As such, there are no individual tax registration or reporting obligations.” These are called tax havens and they are perfectly legal. It is the way THAT nation operates and it works for them, so when we see the Guardian give us “But the secrecy offered by tax havens has at times proven attractive to tax evaders, fraudsters and money launderers, some of whom are exposed in the files”, which is a debatable setting. You see someone who takes effort in buying an apartment in Monaco or Dubai, or most of these places is not a tax evader, that person is involved with tax avoidance and it is not the same. Black letter lawyers found a setting where the rules work FOR their clients and they are allowed to do this. Yet the Guardian inserts ‘tax evader’ whilst knowingly adding “some of whom are exposed in the files”, some implying not all and some is seemingly inserted hoping that the people are flamed to the list of “more than 100 billionaires, 30 world leaders and 300 public officials” hoping that they are all painted by the flamed audience. And in light of this, did anyone take a long hard look at “the cache includes 11.9m files from companies hired by” what is not looked at is the source of that information and how that source got the information. A setting not dissimilar from my article ‘The same gramophone’ on September 16th (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/09/16/the-same-gramophone/) regarding Pegasus and in light of evidence given (lack thereof) to the people by the Washington Post an interesting repetition of flames lacking evidence. The article on tax issues does not once, NOT ONCE mention tax avoidance, or give the setting of tax evasion versus tax avoidance. One is illegal the other is not. In this the text “They also shine a light on the secret finances of more than 300 other public officials such as government ministers, judges, mayors and military generals in more than 90 countries” could be seen as “They also shine a light on the private finances of more than 300 other public officials such as government ministers, judges, mayors and military generals in more than 90 countries”, yet they chose to not use the word Private did they? Private and non evidence could be seen as intrusive and harassing, the media really does not like it when their actions are seen in that way. 

My view?
You see if there was clear ‘tax evasion’ we would be getting this, instead of “leaked data with select media partners including the Guardian, BBC Panorama, Le Monde and the Washington Post. More than 600 journalists have sifted through the files as part of a massive global investigation”, so are they incompetent or is there too little remaining? The price of 600 journalists cannot be cheap so the more they flame, the more they ‘earn’ back, but that part is not really given is it? There is no top-line, a flaw we have seen more than once before. If it was clear 300 people can be shown in a top-line like Nation, government, non government easily enough. That would take an hour, perhaps two, but we do not get to see that, do we? We also get all kinds of embossed examples, with the added text “This is the Panama papers on steroids, it’s broader, richer and has more detail”, my view would be, then give it Ryle you dumb fuck! Do not posture, present facts! The top-line, the setting of tax evasion versus tax avoidance and a few other facts, including the source of the data, but we do not get any of that, do we?

I see it as a mere approach to the upcoming US debt ceiling and someone flaming that if ‘they’ had paid their taxes, there would not be an issue. Well, my view “Well, you stupid fucks, if you had clearly focussed on the tax laws that needed an overhaul for THREE DECADES we might not be in this mess either!” So whilst we are given “The files include disclosures about major donors to the Conservative party, raising difficult questions for Boris Johnson as his party meets for its annual conference”, an anti-tory smear setting. No matter who donates and to what party, if these people are not proven criminals, there would be no issue and I wonder how far these 600 journalists got. So when we consider “Many use shell companies to hold luxury items such as property and yachts, as well as incognito bank accounts” we need to see whether laws were broken and let’s be clear, they stated that these are people in over 90 countries. So which have laws against these acts and if they have an address in Monaco or Dubai, are any laws broken? This took me 5 minutes and we see a lack of a lot in one article seemingly the source of 600 journalists. 

I personally see only one option for a person like Gerard Ryle. Either give us that top-line clearly or become an Uber driver. As I personally see it, someone posturing absent of evidence should be somewhere else, not be some director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, but that is merely my call on the matter we see here now.

Oh, and before I forget the meaning of Hypocrisy is “the practice of claiming to have higher standards or more noble beliefs than is the case”, a setting too many journalists fall into lately.

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The same gramophone

It started over a month ago with ‘From horse to course’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/07/23/from-horse-to-course/) there we saw the attack and the debatability on some of the presented evidence. Today we see (at https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/sep/15/eu-poised-to-tighten-privacy-laws-after-pegasus-spyware-scandal) ‘EU commissioner calls for urgent action against Pegasus spyware’ and it would make sense, until we get to “The investigation was based on forensic analysis of phones and analysis of a leaked database of 50,000 numbers”, so in well over a month there are no top-line statistics? The list was attacked by a few well over a month ago, but here we see the Guardian, specifically Daniel Boffey hash over the same stage with nothing to show for it, so is he what some might call ‘a fucking tool’ for stakeholders or a wannabe journalist? Consider that we pretty much get the same details we saw in my article and these parts came from the BBC and the Guardian’s own article from last July. That article gave us “NSO has said Macron was not a “target” of any of its customers, meaning the company denies he was selected for surveillance using its spyware, saying in multiple statements that it requires its government clients to use its powerful spying tools only for legitimate investigations into terrorism or crime”, so whilst we now see “analysis of a leaked database of 50,000 numbers, including that of the French president, Emmanuel Macron, and European Council president, Charles Michel”. So did Daniel forget to do his homework or was he acting on the needs of a stakeholder? I actually do not know, hence I ask here. The largest failing is that the Guardian gives us some emotional charged article and no homework was done, there is no top-line on the nations involved with the 50,000 phone numbers. All whilst I also showed (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/07/28/retry-or-retrial/) a few days later when The Verge got involved that 50,000 numbers imply a cost of no less than $400,000,000 which is still not looked at, so why is the Guardian (BBC too) this unable to perform? In that article ‘Retry or retrial?’ We see the Verge giving us “The Washington Post says that the list is from 2016” and that journalist no one cares about was still alive. A setting that is seemingly overlooked by TWO news organisations and none of them vetted information through a top-line which is what I would have done first. So how many of these numbers are EU numbers? How many are in France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany or Sweden? In over a month neither newsagent got that part done and if the Verge is to be believed the 2016 list without a top-line shows newsagents to be massively incompetent. 

Added here we see the added part “A consortium of 17 media outlets, including the Guardian, revealed in July that global clients of the Israeli surveillance firm NSO Group had used hacking software to target human rights activists, journalists and lawyers”, that part negated is that the NSO group is a service branch towards governments on the tracking of criminals and terrorists. This caper costs a government “$500,000 for an extra 50 phones” (source: The Verge) all whilst the entire list represents a minimum value of $400 million. So which governments spend that much on these numbers and when you consider that it was a list of governments, we see additional info that the leaked list is a fictive list, there is no leak that hands the phone lists of all these governments and that is before we consider that one number might be on several lists. Consider that both Macron and Johnson want to know where Merkel gets her lingerie (ha ha ha). OK, that was a funny, but the setting is valid, there is a genuine need for several governments to keep track of a person and when we consider that I could have made a top-line within a week (depending on how the data looks) why did the Guardian and the BBC not succeed? Why do they not have any reference to the leaked list being a 2016 list? 

Also in the end we see the Guardian give us “NSO says it “does not operate the systems that it sells to vetted government customers, and does not have access to the data of its customers’ targets”” when we consider that we see more debatable sides to a list of 50,000, we see the lack of actions for well over a month (almost 2 months) and at no stage do we see any clear allegations against any government apart for some mention of Hungary, all whilst the top-line results could have pointed the finger at someone. Do you actually believe that the UAE or Saudi Arabia have any interest in a Dutch Human rights activist? At the prices that the NSO charges, I very much doubt it. 

So here I stand asking the Guardian (and specifically Daniel Boffey) what on earth do you think you are doing? Who are you serving, because the lack of evidence and lack of clear verifiable data implies you are not doing this for the readers, if that were true the article would have looked very different.

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The Iranian play

There were two stories out there. In this for now I am ignoring the Afghanistani part, as the BBC gave me a nice idea. They actually have a nice uncut gemstone in their possession and I need additional time (as I have only one set of eyes). So we look at the Yemeni setting where the media is happy to report on Houthi attacks, but there is a lull in this. The Yemeni do not have the required weaponry, implying that Iran is still driving this stage of concern. It is Al-Jazeera who gave us (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/8/29/several-killed-in-houthi-attack-on-yemens-largest-base) ‘Dozens killed in Houthi attack on Yemen’s largest base’ the start is nominal, but it is “At least 30 soldiers killed and 60 wounded in rebel attacks on major military base housing Saudi-led forces” that is the concern, the base is in most SW art of Yemen in Lahij. The issue with me is “armed drones and ballistic missiles”. You see, the missiles are one thing, there are too many players who want to grease their pockets, so until forensic evidence comes through, it is anyones guess where the missiles are from, but the armed drones, they are the problem. Yemen has no infrastructure for this, Iran is the only player willing to supply Houthi forces and that is the problem. You see as Iran pushes and pushes and both the US and UK are hopelessly stuck in their ego’s Saudi Arabia stands alone against Iran. Yes, the US and UK make claims, but they have backed down at economic sanctions, even though they are aware that this step will never work and with China and Russia making deals with Iran, Iranian funds keep on going towards Houthi forces. As far as I can tell, from the western media only Reuters looked at this, the Guardian, BBC, Washington Post, LA Times and many others ignored it, isn’t it nice for the media to largely avoid having to mention Iran in a negative light? What do those take holders have to care about (apart from their wallets)? Yet that is not fair on my side either with all the Afghanistan issues, I get that, but this has happened a few times before and it is bothering me, the transgressions by Houthi forces and by Iran are passed by. In this particular instance the Houthi forces attacked a military target, and it might not be nice, but I need to stay fair. In other instances they knowingly and blatantly attacked CIVILIAN targets and that was ignored as well. 

So when we see another threat in the light of ‘Iran vows to respond in kind if Biden targets nuclear program’, I wonder if I should sell my solution to meltdown their reactor to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, seems fair enough. I reckon that suddenly the western media will be all over the KSA for this, so I need to mull this over and there is the additional issues that it is still a concept, I never felt good about people selling concepts, not in IT and not anywhere else either. I reckon it makes me a service minded person, not a sales minded person. 

Yet it also feeds another sentiment. When the people really on one side, Iran might finally consider that they no longer have option, other than end up being the courtesan to either Russia or China. If they feel happy about that, so be it. As I see it, we need to start giving open support towards the KSA (or openly hostile towards Iran), either will do. But staying on the fence is no longer acceptable. If we do not do this, we need to equally silence the voices of the UN and HRW on Yemeni issues, is that not fair? If we do nothing, we need not look at articles in the news on what happens there either, those articles seem like empty reminders of what sitting on ones hands looks like. 

I get it, some will see this as an overreaction, but so far how many Houthi attacks were there on CIVILIAN targets in the last year alone? How many were reported on? Who reported them? When you tally these elements and you see how one-sided the media has become it might dawn on you that silence was never golden and it is no longer acceptable. And I get it, some will state that they support the Houthis. I get that, but do that loudly to and when Saudi Arabia closes the oil-tap, consider that you enabled that step, and it is fair, if we need not consider our non-allies, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has the same right, but I reckon that the stakeholders in certain areas are really desperate to avoid that step, it would cost them a bundle and they like feeling rich in the wallet and poor in the soul. It is a state of mind some people can live with. 

I never did and yes, I have supported the wrong people in the past, but I was always direct, people always knew where I stood, it is time to set open policies all over the middle east, we have that right, and I believe we are running out of options. 

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Retry or retrial?

It is time to revisit a few issues, actually one issue and a whole lot connected to it. To start, I decided to go with The Verge, it has its ducks decently in a row, the article ‘NSO’s Pegasus spyware: here’s what we know’ is the best of them all, they also make reference to a lot of articles, and they have a decent line. The article (at https://www.theverge.com/22589942/nso-group-pegasus-project-amnesty-investigation-journalists-activists-targeted) is best if you read it yourself. Mitchell Clark did a good job, and as you have read the article, I can make a few jumps. The important jump gets us to the Washington Post (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/interactive/2021/nso-spyware-pegasus-cellphones/). This came from the link in “However, much of the reporting centers around a list containing 50,000 phone numbers” and when we seek the Washington Post article, we get “reporters were able to identify more than 1,000 people spanning more than 50 countries through research and interviews on four continents: several Arab royal family members, at least 65 business executives, 85 human rights activists, 189 journalists, and more than 600 politicians and government officials — including cabinet ministers, diplomats, and military and security officers. The numbers of several heads of state and prime ministers also appeared on the list”, no evidence mind you, merely statement and boasting. I call it boast, because we see there that the Amnesty’s Security Lab examined 67 smartphones all whilst close to 50% had an inconclusive test. If this is 67, what about the other 49,933? So when we get to “NSO chief executive Shalev Hulio expressed concern in a phone interview with The Post about some of the details he had read in Pegasus Project stories Sunday, while continuing to dispute that the list of more than 50,000 phone numbers had anything to do with NSO or Pegasus”, my support goes to Shalev Hulio. The Washington Post has a declining amount of credibility and this does not help. From my point of view, I would have made a dashboard based on the 50,000 numbers with a clear separation, In the top layer the continents, then the countries, where we see number of mobiles, versus number of landlines. This basic setting was never done, how stupid is that? A second dashboard could be the identifying class (journalist, government, lawyer, NGO) just to coin a phrase, the Washington Post was all about emotion, not about fact. I see this as a prime time hack job, with the alleged journo’s being the hacks, we also do not get any level of trustworthy setting on how the leak got to the Washington Post. Question upon question and in the mean time we get to see “In Hungary, numbers associated with at least two media magnates were among hundreds on the list, and the phones of two working journalists were targeted and infected, forensic analysis showed” 4 people and 50,000 numbers, could the article be any less relevant? And the stupidity of the Washington Post does not end, no it goes further with “Amnesty’s forensics found evidence that Pegasus was targeted at the two women closest to Saudi columnist Khashoggi, who wrote for The Post’s Opinions section. The phone of his fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, was successfully infected during the days after his murder in Turkey on Oct. 2, 2018, according to a forensic analysis by Amnesty’s Security Lab”, we see ‘two women closest to Saudi columnist Khashoggi’, so how did they get there? Because the numbers were on the list? And when we see ‘The phone of his fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, was successfully infected’, so how was that evidence obtained? From my point of view the text “according to a forensic analysis by Amnesty’s Security Lab” just does not cover it. It even gets worse with “Also on the list were the numbers of two Turkish officials involved in investigating his dismemberment by a Saudi hit team”, I see it as a weak approach to mention “investigating his dismemberment” which was NEVER proven, the proof requires a body, they never got that, at best the man is theoretically still merely missing. And from there we get to “Khashoggi also had a wife, Hanan Elatr, whose phone was targeted by someone using Pegasus in the months before his killing. Amnesty was unable to determine whether the hack was successful”, consider the text “Amnesty was unable to determine whether the hack was successful”, if that is true, how come we get “targeted by someone using Pegasus in the months before his killing”, how was that timeline proven? It is a simple question, the article is a bad approach to give more visibility to a journalist no one gives a fuck about. I like the quote ““This is nasty software — like eloquently nasty,” said Timothy Summers, a former cybersecurity engineer at a U.S. intelligence agency and now director of IT at Arizona State University”, is it eloquent because the NSA never made it, or because an Israeli company has the lead on this? I wonder what Timothy would have said if this was an NSA application? 

And the Verge is on my side, they give us “WAIT, WHO MADE THIS LIST?”, as well as “At this point, that’s clear as mud. NSO says the list has nothing to do with its business, and claims it’s from a simple database of cellular numbers that’s a feature of the global cellular network”, which is supported by “A statement from an Amnesty International spokesperson, posted to Twitter by cybersecurity journalist Kim Zetter, says that the list indicates numbers that were marked as “of interest” to NSO’s various clients. The Washington Post says that the list is from 2016” and when we consider these quotes and we read the Washington Post article for the shite it seems to be, I wonder who is waking up to the fact that the media, all the other media is merely re-quoting what the Washington Post stated and it is absent of all kinds of facts, or they merely didn’t bother putting the facts there. 

The entire Pegasus setting seems like a Wag the Dog approach to whatever these papers want to create and it is optionally a setting (a speculative one) that this is the push from stakeholders who have an issue with the NSO group, all whilst no credible evidence is given to us that there is an actual issue. And in all this the money trail was ignored, I ignored it too, mainly because I was unaware, yet the Verge was aware and they give us “At the time, the costs were reportedly $650,000 to hack 10 iPhone or Android users, or $500,000 to infiltrate five BlackBerry users. Clients could then pay more to target additional users, saving as they spy with bulk discounts: $800,000 for an additional 100 phones, $500,000 for an extra 50 phones” this implies that the cheapest option would be 500 times $800,000, which gives us $400,000,000 that is a whole lot of cash for a lot of people no one cares about. Yes, there are a few alleged targets that makes the pricing worth it, but with the setting I have, there is no way that the 50,000 numbers make sense, oh and before I forget, if this is a list for multiple sources, how many of the numbers doubled up? Too many questions and the media stupidly reprinting what the Washington Post is giving us makes no sense at all, unless you are a stakeholder with anti-Israel sentiments. 

In this Shalev Hulio is right that he is “continuing to dispute that the list of more than 50,000 phone numbers had anything to do with NSO or Pegasus”, I would too and I found a lot of the disputable issues within an hour, I wonder how shortsighted the media was when they decided to reprint what the Washington Post gave them. So whilst the Guardian gives us ‘the global impact of the Pegasus project’, I merely see a storm in a teacup, because the issues in the Washington Post were never decently vetted on a few levels and that is likely the biggest failing of the media at present. It is merely my point of view and I am happy to state that I could be wrong, but the lack of credible evidence, all whilst the media has a declining level of credibility makes my view the most likely correct one, most likely, because I have not seen the evidence, but as you read the articles, that are all about details, lacking generic evidence, how would you see it?

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Discriminators big and small

It happens, we sometimes discriminate, even if that was not the intent, even if it was just a joke (obviously a bad one), or even if it was an unknown reason, merely because you never knew. The last one is actually a larger slice of the cake and it is not held against anyone. If it was unintended, and we never knew the foundation of that discrimination, we feel a little ashamed when it passes and we make a mental note not to do it again. Should the media be given a pass? Are they allowed to be ‘uninformed’? It is a much larger question than you think and it is brought to the surface today by two events. The first is ‘Saudi-led coalition intercepts Houthi drone, says state TV’ (at https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/saudi-led-coalition-intercepts-houthi-drone-says-state-tv-2021-06-14/). Here we see “air defences intercepted and destroyed an armed drone launched by Yemen’s Houthi group towards the southern Saudi city of Khamis Mushait, state television said on Monday” they are one of THREE non muslim sources that gave me the article. So when we have the BBC, Boston Globe, NY Times, Washington Post, the Times, San Francisco Chronicle and several other large news papers, I found a total of three sources that gave me this article. Saudi Arabian citizens are under terrorist attack by Houthi forces and we see none of that, we will see teabag ladies holding up CAAT signs on arms trade against Saudi Arabia,  that makes all the newspapers, optionally the teabag lady was the human interest side. Some of us will shout all kinds of ‘evil Saudi intent’ yet these people have not been told the whole truth, why is that? Why is the media setting the stage of intentional discrimination? And it is not one nation, this is global, or should I say Christian global? We saw the French examples of pushing a ‘non-religion’ agenda, or is that a christian agenda?

Islam does not allow an image of Mohammed

It took me 3 minutes to come up with an alternative image to make sure that the classroom would understand that an image of Mohammed was taboo in Islam, so instead of the image explaining that is was against Islam to give any image of Mohammed, we see an image causing outrage and they knew it was going to lead to outrage, so why was that?

The second one is more despicable, I saw a few sources give us ‘New Zealand’s Ardern criticises Christchurch attack film amid uproar’, with the added text ““They Are Us” film about PM Jacinda Ardern’s response to 2019 Christchurch terror attacks has been slammed by New Zealand’s Muslims and others for pushing a “white saviour” narrative and “sidelining the victims””, I wonder why the powers are so afraid of Islam and Muslims, when we see “Philippa Campbell, New Zealand producer, on Monday announced that she was resigning, according to The Guardian”, when we realise that the producer is resigning, there is a larger issue in play with the director and the people behind the screens and that too does not yet make it to the forefront, why is that? 

As I see a daily dose of age discrimination and religious discrimination all over the field, do you really think that statements by others in the area of ‘Trust them, it will work out, they know what they do’, do you think there is any trust left? The media is eager to put ‘the people have a right to know’ in the drawer when it suits the needs of their friends, yet they are well versed in staging these friends into the circle of ‘unnamed sources’, so why is that? And more importantly why do we continue to let this happen? Gallup had a nice presentation (at https://news.gallup.com/poll/157082/islamophobia-understanding-anti-muslim-sentiment-west.aspx) for me there were two slides, but I will give one, here we see how massive that problem is and the media is shunning its responsibilities to the largest extent. 

Here we see that Italy seems to be the most accepting nation with 28% not accepting muslims, but with a 15% data gap the message there could be a lot worse, in the US that non acceptance is 52% with only an 8% gap, so at best it is a 50/50 premise there and why is that? Muslims have been part of investigations against extremism. In the FBI, CIA, and other players in town on a global scale all whilst we are shunning our duties as people, as citizens, as concerned people who need to be told the truth and the truth is being skewed and negated n nearly every turn, why is that? I do not expect you to have the answer, but I believe it is more important to be told the truth and the media is not part of that, why are news agencies stacking news to set an anti perception? Consider that today, today is a good day to consider just that. 

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Genuinely puzzled

Yup it happens, the news at time makes little sense, it makes little sense for several reasons and that is fair, even for me. Consider the BBC headline ‘Saudi Arabia: Authorities defend mosque speaker restriction’,  which in itself outside of any Islamic nation might be treated with a simple ‘Meh!’ This would not be a negative response, merely a response that approaches the sentiment of ‘Whatever!’, so as I read “The country’s Islamic Affairs Ministry announced last week that all loudspeakers should be set at only a third of their maximum volume. Islamic Affairs Minister Abdullatif al-Sheikh said the measure was in response to complaints from the public. But the move in the conservative Muslim nation sparked a backlash on social media”, I initially wondered why the BBC even took time to give notice to the event, for the most, what does it inform us about? Is it to give visibility to Abdullatif al-Sheikh? Perhaps it was to alarm us to “the move in the conservative Muslim nation sparked a backlash on social media”? I actually do not know, but this news also gives us that there was no space for ‘WHO to start COVID-19 vaccination in Houthi-run north Yemen’ with “Houthi authorities in control have played down the impact of the pandemic, largely denying any outbreak there”, or perhaps it is ‘UAE shows last minute unity to host Asian Qualifiers as China baulks at covid outbreaks’ with “The remaining seven matches in Group A – which will qualify teams for both the next round of the AFC’s World Cup 2022 qualifying and directly into the Asian Cup China 2023 – will be now held at the Sharjah Stadium”, neither news is seen at the BBC, so whilst we accept that speaker settings for announcements are important to the people in the KSA, the western population would all like to know the impact of Football decisions (people in the UK are weird that way), oh I reckon that the people in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Italy would react in a similar fashion.

So whilst it is nice to read “the measure was in response to complaints from the public”, I personally would reckon that the rules of Islam have been clear in many Arabic nations, and as these speakers tend to be set, why would there be complaints now? So whilst some might know that the 5 moments are “Fajr (sunrise prayer), Dhuhr (noon prayer), Asr (afternoon prayer), Maghrib (sunset prayer), and Isha (night prayer). Each prayer has a specific window of time in which it must be completed”, the internet also shows us “In a mosque, the muezzin broadcasts the call to prayer at the beginning of each interval. Because the start and end times for prayers are related to the solar diurnal motion, they vary throughout the year and depend on the local latitude and longitude when expressed in local time”, when we see that, some (including me) might wonder why the speaker settings are suddenly cause for concern. The sound of a person calling to prayer the islamic people is part of Islamic heritage, I wonder who the complaining people would be. I would go as far as stating that unless these calls are lately a lot louder, who would complain on speaker settings and the part we read “the move in the conservative Muslim nation sparked a backlash on social media” gives rise to my puzzlement. It is fair that this news would be (and is) seen in Al Jazeera, but I saw no mention in Arab News, so Islamic news made it to the BBC and not to Arab News? What is going on? 

And when we see “Mr Sheikh said that those who want to pray do not need to wait for the Imam’s call to prayer” the wondering does not top and here I found that the news also made it to Radio Athens, they give us on their website with the added “In a country where there are tens of thousands of mosques, the decision was generally welcomed. However, it also provoked reactions on social networking sites, with the appearance of a hashtag calling for a ban on loud music in restaurants and cafes”, I could not rely on the radio as I haven’t spoken proper Greek since 3575BC. And more important the information on Athens Radio is seemingly the same as the BBC, but the paragraph comes across different due to “with the appearance of a hashtag calling for a ban on loud music in restaurants and cafes”, all whilst both sides give us the one side that is seemingly strange “The restrictions come as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman continues attempts to make Saudi Arabia more liberal and lessen the role religion plays in public life”, I am not sure how to react, optionally, I see in part a reason to disagree. I get that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia wants to make liberal moves and as we can see on YouTube, several tourists are showing the world just how pretty and how amazing Saudi Arabia looks. I have seen a few of these video’s and the view we see from the Sky Bridge Kingdom Tower is amazing. It was the first time I saw this and I wonder why other media have never given a clear view of an architectural marvel like that and what it offers. Yet even if I were to go to Riyadh, I personally feel that I would miss out on the call of prayer, not that I am Islamic, but it is part of Islamic life. As a visitor we would not want to see changes that are part of the foundation of a nation. Yet, I admit that this might merely be me. And in all this I am personally more stricken by “those who want to pray do not need to wait for the Imam’s call to prayer” I have no idea what to make of that, but I understand that as I am not Muslim, I might not get that part. Another source gives us “The decision has angered ultra-conservatives in the country”, it is fair that there are those in favour and those opposing any decision, yet the BBC (Radio Athens neither) gives us anything on the ultra-conservatives and who they are. This sparked a revisit to the Washington Post who gave us in 2018 ‘Saudi Arabia’s once-powerful conservatives silenced by reforms and repression’ with the addition of “these conservatives now tiptoe on social media outlets like Twitter. In mosques and at community gatherings, they reluctantly criticise recent changes they stridently oppose, such as the easing of social boundaries between men and women”, with that in sight we see certain patterns emerge and the BBC was not informing us of that, or perhaps they assumed we knew that, which in light of the Martin Bashir caper is massively silly on several levels. In all this the one part some people overlooked. If the speakers are to be set to 33%, what stops them from upgrading the sound equipment in Mosques from 100 Watt to 300 Watt? It is merely a thought. All parts the BBC is overlooking and I know for a fact that they have faced the ‘hardware upgrade’ in the past. So the lack of information in their article is calling for a few questions. In the end, the only useful information I got from the article was the existence of Islamic Affairs Minister Abdullatif al-Sheikh. From my personal point of view the BBC article was a blunder, one that the BBC should not have made. 

As such my genuinely puzzled setting is quite complete.

A new starts and breakfast is approximately 3 hours and 32 minutes away. Have a great Wednesday!

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