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Fighting ISIS…With Porn

Some Iraqis had a clever idea. Penetrate the ISIS Internet and spread fake news and porn.

They did a far better job at taking down the ISIS recruiting tools that their supposedly better armed, and more Internet savvy American and other anti ISIS allies.

Shows you how “stuck on stupid” our cyber warriors have become.

 

They Planted Porn in ISIS Propaganda, Just for Starters, Then Sowed Chaos and Confusion in the ‘Caliphate’

A small group of Iraqi hackers figured they could do a better job fighting ISIS online than most governments—and they did. And do. With a vengeance.

Six young Iraqis are taking a strategy straight out of the Kremlin’s mischievous playbook, but with no thanks to Moscow. They’re using hacked accounts to attack the so-called Islamic State and fake news to disrupt its “virtual caliphate.”

Given the dangers they face, the six people who make up the little group calling itself, with conscious irony, “Daeshgram”—its name melding the Arabic acronym for ISIS and Instagram—are forced to live something resembling double lives. Four of them work professionally in information technology and cybersecurity, one is an engineer, the other a student—all of them live in Iraq. Their families and friends know nothing of their efforts to push back against ISIS.

If the streets of Mosul were Iraq’s physical frontline against the jihadists, then surely it is the social media channels and encrypted messaging applications that serve as the front line against the cyber caliphate, and these young geeks are deep in the trenches.

Nada and Ahmed are two of those six. For obvious reasons they wanted to use aliases for this story. They formed Daeshgram around a year ago.

“We started thinking about how we could fight them online,” says Nada. “We were always messing around on the internet with each other anyway. ISIS are still a threat to Iraq, to Syria, even the world. So we started looking into exactly what might be effective on social media, and on Telegram. Back then, ISIS could do whatever they wanted on Telegram, we wanted them to know we were going to fight them on there too.”

As Twitter and Facebook began clamping down on extremist material, the encrypted messaging app Telegram became the group’s new hangout and means of distributing propaganda amongst its members across the globe.

It all began with “infiltrating their Telegram channels” says Nada, “we spent months observing, and pretending to be ISIS members. We studied how they behaved, the sort of language they used, and tried to take note of the unwritten rules.”

Even in the apparent safety of their own homes, where they gathered as Daeshgram on the weekends and after work, they would receive death threats “every now and then on Twitter, and Telegram from ISIS,” explains Ahmed. “‘We will find you, we will kill you.’ We just accepted that it is a part of our activities,” he adds. “We are IT experts, we take our cybersecurity extremely seriously.”

But, ISIS wasn’t the only danger—so genuine-looking was much of the media Daeshgram was publishing, and so deeply embedded within the jihadists’ online activities were they, that there were fears the Iraqi government might also be a threat.

Had they been caught, Daeshgram’s activities likely would have been difficult to explain to the Iraqi authorities. Much of their work has a nuance and patience misunderstood even by counterterror experts on ISIS. “I’m not sure they would have understood what we were doing, so we had to be extremely careful with our security,” said Ahmed.

The group was operating in a murky area and without government sanction. People have been jailed for far less when it comes to participating in such groups online. But despite committing hundreds of thousands of men from the Iraqi army, special forces, and various militias to fight ISIS on the ground in Mosul, Fallujah, and elsewhere, the Iraqi government made no provision for fighting the group online.

Telegram often served as a means of delivery, it allowed for proliferation of the group’s high-quality media output, everything from radio broadcasts and written statements to half-hour cinematic battle videos.

Some of Daeshgram’s early efforts saw them photoshop a pornographic scene into an image announcing the opening of a new media center in Wilyat Al-Khayar, an area that roughly correlates to Deir az-Zour in eastern Syria. The scene is amusing, if a little crass, but it served an important purpose.

“It let Daesh know that we were capable of replicating their media to a very high standard, it was the first seed of doubt,” explains Nada. However, they soon learned that to have the effect they desired “our output had to be subtle, and believable.” Nada adds, “We wanted to create items that ISIS members would not question and would share widely”—believability was key, as with all fake news.

In one effort some months ago, the group released an official-looking video warning that Amaq, ISIS’ official news agency which has become the go-to source for information on the group’s activities, had been hacked. It hadn’t, but so legitimate-looking was the warning that moderators on various Telegram channels began marking Amaq output from the day as fake, and warning members off it.

The confusion was growing.

In another instance, seeing a rumor that ISIS’ radio station Al-Bayan had been destroyed in an airstrike, the group produced a perfectly branded and edited audio statement in the style of Al-Bayan denying it had been taken offline. Their Al-Bayan piece was ambitious, but it appeared to work: It was downloaded without question almost 800 times, and it included information about ISIS losses on the battlefield, and the increasing number of ISIS fighters who were working as informants for Western governments, or outright defecting—topics official ISIS media outlets would never include.

Another effort saw the group create the fake Al-Adnani news channel, which at its peak had some 500 members. Controlling the channel gave the group nearly complete control over exactly what was posted and shared between members.

This tactic of imitation and subtle manipulation became the focus of their efforts; “We took their templates, and we started to manipulate the information on there, it was almost impossible to tell which statements were ISIS and which we had made,” said Nada.

Are they aware of just how controversial the rise of fake news has been, and is it ever an ethical strategy to adopt?

“Naturally we’re aware of the discussions across the globe about fake news and the harmful impact it has had on countries, especially in their elections,” says Nada. “Fake news has been used to destabilize functioning democracies.” But she claims the strategy is justified: “While the tactics we have used are indeed similar, we—in contrast to other actors—openly acknowledge that we are purposefully creating confusion to delegitimize and discredit Daesh propaganda.”

Just this past week, the group pulled off what they described as “a major operation,” the culmination of weeks of preparation with other groups.

Dubbed #ParalyzingAmaq the operation saw the main Amaq website taken down by a hack, and perhaps equally as significant, the website’s Firefox plugin, which automatically redirects followers to the latest incarnation of Amaq, was thwarted.

With the site down, the group began uploading some of the more than 40 duplicate Amaq sites it had created—many of them barely discernible from the original—even to the best-trained eye. These duplicate sites are being bandied about among dozens of Telegram sites as genuine, with ISIS members vouching for their authenticity.

The Telegram phenomenon has given birth to an industry of analysts and experts. Navigating the groups and channels which frequently shut down and respawn is not especially complex, but it is time consuming and requires near constant attention.

Some analysts were quick to criticise last week’s efforts to disrupt ISIS’ activities labeling it “a publicity stunt.” Others said it was “just annoying.”

When I put it to Nada and Ahmed that their operation largely flopped, Nada said the purpose of the operation was never merely to take down Telegram accounts, as some appear to have expected. It was “to sow discord and confusion, and to undermine the credibility of Amaq among ISIS supporters, particularly Arabic speakers,” said Nada. “We achieved that goal.”

Indeed a look at some of the popular channels frequented by ISIS suggests they are right: In one chat several ISIS members are seen bickering following Amaq’s hacking. “This channel is not official,” says one. Another replies, “How do you know it’s not official?” A third member interjects, “No, give your evidence.” Only for the first to respond, “You should be careful what you say to me.”

Ahmed points out that ISIS enforces stringent anti-discord rules on Telegram, as it does in the real world. Arguments, and the questioning of authority, will often see members banned.

“That discord, or fitna [the Quranic term used by ISIS] includes doubting any credible news outlet,” says Ahmed. He adds that, following Friday’s operation, “We made them break their own rules, we made them engage in debates regarding what was real, and what wasn’t.”

Nada concludes: “Journalists and analysts are not our target audience. Daesh supporters themselves, especially the Arabic speaking ones, are our target. Our main objective was to create confusion and discord, and we were able to do that. What Western analysts think is not really relevant to our work.

“ISIS supporters don’t know which Amaq sites to trust,” she said, so, “they don’t trust Amaq anymore.”

In the fight against the virtual caliphate, that is no small victory.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U43eE7f7YyA

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Posted by on November 22, 2017 in International Terrorism, The Clown Bus

 

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The Chumph’s Money Laundering Mob Hotel in Panama and Guilt

When you are in a high level business, it is also your responsibility to make sure that  none of the money that goes into the business, or through the business is illegal.

Keeping Mafia or Drug Cartel money out can be difficult – but the Chumph’s desperation because he was near bankrupcy made him look the other way.

 

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How Jared Kushner Committed Perjury and His Newspaper Colluded With Russian Spies

Probably slated for the third round of Mueller indictments (After the Flynn family), Chumph son-in-law Jared Kushner is being investigated for back door deals with Wikileaks and Putin’s KGB.

Kushner perjured himself in testimony before Congress, declaring the he, and non of the Chumph staff ever had contact with Wikileaks or the Russians,

That’s bald faced lie.

How Jared Kushner’s Newspaper Became a Favorite Outlet for WikiLeaks Election Hacks

The New York Observer, owned by Trump’s son-in-law, was a friendly outlet for the 2016 Russian hackers.

White House senior advisor Jared Kushner at a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Nov. 9 in Beijing, China. (Thomas Peter-Pool/Getty Images)In the fall of 2014, Julian Assange, the embattled head of WikiLeaks, was meeting with a steady stream of supportive journalists in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he had taken refuge to avoid extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges. Among those seeking an audience with Assange was a freelancer working for the New York Observer, the newspaper owned and published by President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and key advisor, Jared Kushner.

Ken Kurson, the newspaper’s editor in chief — along with a freelance writer he’d hired — helped arrange a “no-holds-barred” interview with Assange that October.

“My editor Ken Kurson (kkurson@observer.com) and I are very interested in an interview with Julian Assange. This would be a cover story.… We will be in London the first week of October,” wrote Jacques Hyzagi, a freelance reporter for the Observer, to a press consultant who arranged interviews for WikiLeaks.

Kurson, when contacted by Foreign Policy, said he did not attend that meeting and has never communicated with Assange; he insists that the profile was Hyzagi’s idea. “We ran an interview pitched to us by a freelancer,” he wrote in an email.

“I have never communicated in any way with Julian Assange and this sort of fact-free, evidenceless charge is analogous to pizzagate and other totally ludicrous conspiracies,” he added.

Hyzagi did not respond to multiple requests for an interview.

Yet a series of exchanges between Hyzagi and the WikiLeaks representative indicated that a meeting involving Kurson and Assange was in the works; at one point Leonardo DiCaprio was invited to tag along, according to emails obtained by FP. (DiCaprio did not end up attending.)

After that, the plan was to travel to Moscow to meet with Edward Snowden, the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor. Snowden’s team declined a request for an interview from Hyzagi, according to Ben Wizner, Snowden’s attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union.

Hyzagi’s meeting with Assange resulted in a friendly feature in the Observer and kicked off a long-running series of laudatory articles about the WikiLeaks founder — many of those stories including exclusive details about the Australian transparency advocate. Later, the Observer also became a favored outlet of Guccifer 2.0, a suspected Russian hacker, who along with WikiLeaks released troves of emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC). WikiLeaks tweeted some of the Observer’s coverage, including stories expressing doubt that the Russians had meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Kushner has long denied any collusion with the Russian government, which is suspected of targeting the 2016 election, but his newspaper proved a favored conduit for hacks, which the U.S. intelligence community says were carried out on Kremlin orders. The Observer was not the only outlet that received exclusive access to Guccifer 2.0 documents — or those from other outlets such as DC Leaks, widely believed to be part of the same campaign — but it was the only one owned by someone who was part of the Trump campaign.

“This would be of significant interest to law enforcement and investigators,” John Sipher, a former CIA officer who worked in Russia, wrote in an email to FP.

 

 

 

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Sugar Coated Kisses for Putin From the Chumph

Putin’s boi toy rushed to arrive early in Hanoi met his master privately. Leaving the Chumph to breathlessly explain how good Putin was for him.

Noe – there are a few terabytes of hard information connecting the Russians to hacking the election. Putin’s bitch will have none of it.

 

 

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Putin’s Congressman and Flynn Meeting

I think I discussed a while ago that this whole thing of collusion with Russia goes a lot deeper than just the Chump and his merry band of misanthropes and traitors,

A bunch of Republicans in Congress received Russian help in their elections in exchange for…We don’t know what yet.

Putin’s favorite Bi&)*h in Congress is Republican Dana Rohrabacher, to takes orders directly from the Kremlin.

If he and Flynn were meeting during the election it opens up another path of communications between the Russians and the Chumph campaign.

Looks like lots more Republicans are going to be resigning…and/or going to jail.

I would not be surprised to learn of Flynn Indictments tomorrow.

The Washington Post reported in May that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, also a California Republican, was secretly recorded telling other party members, in what seemed to be a joke, “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump.”

In September, the Wall Street Journal reported that Rohrabacher offered Trump a deal that to protect Julian Assange, creator of WikiLeaks, which released emails damaging to Hillary Clinton ahead of the 2016 election, from legal peril. In return for not prosecuting him for his group’s 2010 leak of State Department emails, Assange would allegedly provide proof that Russia was not the source of the hacked Democratic emails. The intelligence community has pointed to Russia as the secret provider of the email trove to WikiLeaks.

Michael Flynn meeting with pro-Russia Rep. Dana Rohrabacher in 2016 probed by Mueller

Image result for Michael Flynn and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team of investigators is looking into a pre-election meeting that took place in 2016 between then-Trump campaign adviser Michael Flynn and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), who has often been described as “Putin’s favorite congressman.”

NBC News is reporting that “the meeting allegedly took place in Washington the evening of September 20” last year and “was arranged by his lobbying firm, the Flynn Intel Group.”

NBC News’ report does not have any information about the nature of the meeting, although it says that it is reviewing emails sent from Flynn’s firm to Rohrabacher’s staff thanking them for arranging the meeting.

JUNE 14, 2016 FILE PHOTO

Putin’s Congressman – Rorenbacher

Rohrabacher, a California Republican who has become notorious for his efforts to advance Russian interests as a member of the United States Congress, recently had his travel privileges restricted over fears that he has been compromised by Russian intelligence officials.

The Daily Beast reported earlier this year that Rohrabacher was given instructions by Russian intelligence officials on how to alter sanctions legislation and to set up “a virtual show trial on Capitol Hill” last June, right at around the time that Donald Trump Jr. and key members of the Trump campaign met with Russian nationals who claimed to be representatives of the Russian government’s efforts to undermine the candidacy of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Rohrabacher’s original plan was to have a show trial in Congress of anti-Putin campaigner Bill Browder in which he would “confront Browder with a feature-length pro-Kremlin propaganda movie that viciously attacks him—as well as at least two witnesses linked to the Russian authorities, including lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.”

 

 

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Russians Fed on White-Right racism

 

This is some of the “news” propaganda used by the Russians to flood racist white wing sites like Breitbart and Alex Jones wh accepted the material as “fact” without doing any checking. Numerous Russian originated fake articles flooded white wing news sites explaining why the white wing is so disconnected with reality’

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Yet Another Chumph Travel Ban Bites the Dust

Falling faster than the criminals he appoints…

Image result for Trump Travel ban

Federal Judge In Hawaii Blocks Trump’s Third Attempt At Travel Ban

A federal judge in Hawaii has partially blocked President Trump’s third attempt to restrict entry into the U.S. for citizens of certain countries.

The newest version of the “travel ban” was due to go into effect on Wednesday. Like two previous executive orders, it was challenged in multiple courts. The new ruling by Judge Derrick Watson is only one piece of the complicated legal puzzle over the long-term fate of the president’s efforts to limit travel to the U.S.

In his ruling, Watson wrote that the third version of the ban, like those before it, “lacks sufficient findings that the entry of more than 150 million nationals from six specified countries would be ‘detrimental to the interests of the United States,’ “evidence that he says would be necessary for the ban to be enforceable.

As a result, he issued a temporary restraining order that will keep the ban from being enforced for six of the eight named countries — the six majority-Muslim nations. North Korea and Venezuela, which were added in the most recent version of the ban, are not affected by the ruling, and the restrictions on travel from those countries can go into effect.

The ruling in Hawaii v. Trump is the latest in the legal tug of war over Trump’s attempt to impose a ban on travelers from predominantly Muslim nations.

And it’s far from the end of the story. Another federal court is also expected to rule on the third version of the ban, and appeals are all but certain.

The original ban, signed by the president in the first week of his term, targeted seven countries — Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan — for 90 days. Syrian refugees were banned indefinitely. The ban also was imposed on lawful permanent residents, commonly known as green card holders, and travelers who had valid visas issued before the ban was to be implemented. That action met with immediate resistance as protestors flooded airports in major cities in support of travelers from those countries. Legal challenges to this first ban were successful as a federal district court and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked it.

In early March, Trump signed a new executive order. As NPR’s Joel Rose reported, “There are some key differences between Trump’s original order and this one. It only applies to people from six majority Muslim countries. Iraq has been dropped from the list. Lawful permanent residents or green card holders are explicitly exempt. So are travelers who already have valid visas. And refugees from Syria are no longer banned indefinitely, though the U.S. refugee program is still suspended for 120 days and the number of refugees admitted this year cut by more than half.

Watson, the judge in Hawaii, blocked that second travel ban too, saying that it was unconstitutional because it disfavored a particular religion. A court in Maryland came to the same conclusion. The parallel rulings were upheld by appellate courts.

That set the stage for the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene. In late June, the justices allowed Trump’s travel ban to take partial effect, but it allowed people with “close familial relationships” with someone in the U.S. to enter the country.

The debate then turned on what familial relationships would be considered valid. The administration interpreted that decision as favoring only certain family members such as parents, spouses, children, adult sons or daughters, sons- and daughters-in-laws, siblings, and fiances.

Left out were grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins of people currently living in the United States.

In September, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the government couldn’t bar entry to grandparents and other extended family members. However, the Supreme Court did allow the administration to ban refugees even if they had formal ties to U.S. resettlement agencies.

Then, late last month, the president amended the travel ban, as NPR’s Brian Naylor reported:

“The latest version of the travel ban — version 3.0, if you will — limits travel from Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia and Yemen. The nations of Chad, North Korea and Venezuela have been added. And Sudan, which was part of the original ban, has been dropped.

“The new rules take effect October 18. And unlike previous versions, the new ban is not temporary. It will remain in place until the affected nations comply with stringent requirements for vetting their citizens before they can receive visas to enter the U.S.”

That’s the version of the ban has now been blocked from going into effect, nationwide — at least for now.

However, the state of Hawaii did not challenge the ban as it applies to North Koreans or Venezuelans. Therefore, the judge’s restraining order does not apply to those portions of the ban, which can be enforced starting tomorrow.

 

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