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Why Black Folks Need Encryption

The battle between Apple Computer and the FBI is not just about the encrypted messages on one iPhone. What it is really about is expanding the legal ability of the Federal Government to spy on it’s citizens.  This has been an ongoing battle largely behind the scenes between tech developers and Government agencies such as NIST and the NSA. Indeed in 1988 the Government forced standards groups to make TCP/IP the telecom standard upon which the Internet is based, and rejected the OSI standard in large part because the OSI Standard included encryption that was difficult to break, and features which allowed the development of advanced security technologies at the “transmission” level, whereas TCP had none, and was easily compromised by government spooks, who had been using and testing the vulnerabilities of the protocol stack for years. The Internet is not secure, and by design – can never be secured, which is why the Government defense and intelligence agencies use a custom variation of TCP/IP which incorporates capabilities to enhance secure communication.

There are roughly 7 major Commercial Off The Shelf encryption systems in use today. In order to sell those in the US, NSA requires that security “backdoors” be built in such that the systems may be easily compromised by the NSA, and we would assume law enforcement agencies. This requirement does not cover, and has not covered to this point encryption systems on devices which store information internally in flash memory or disk drives. As such manufacturers and equipment owners have been free to encrypt an secure their data by any means they deem appropriate.

There is no such thing as unbreakable encryption. Even that used by the most secret agencies in the Government isn’t unbreakable. What it is is a system which is difficult enough to break that only another government or massive corporation has access to the computer horsepower and scientists to do so – which costs lots and lots of money. So it is actually a race to develop new, more complex systems as the previous system is broken. And I can tell you from personal experience that two guys in a garage that against odds come up with something new and radical which might give those systems heartburn – are in for a visit by the guys in black suits shortly after letting the world know you’ve developed it.

Now – most of what you see on TV about the technology is bullshit. You are not breaking into a unknown secured local network just in time for the hero to do his thing with your trusty laptop. There is no such thing as a 100% secure network, if it has any connection at all to the Internet. The Internet of Things (IoT) which is a hot-button meme right now in the industry isn’t going to happen, because the security in wireless systems is so poor (on purpose and by design).

So…If you are using commercial off the shelf products like cell phones and computers – you can’t stop them from listening in. What you can do is make it difficult enough that unless somebody like the NSA comes after you, you have security. Which is exactly what Apple did.

Here’s why civil rights activists are siding with the tech giant.

Last night, the FBI, saying that it may be able to crack an iPhone without Apple’s help, convinced a federal judge to delay the trial over its encryption dispute with the tech company. In February, you may recall, US magistrate judge Sheri Pym ruledthat Apple had to help the FBI access data from a phone used by one of the San Bernadino shooters. Apple refused, arguing that it would have to invent software that amounts to a master key for iPhones—software that doesn’t exist for the explicit reason that it would put the privacy of millions of iPhone users at risk. The FBI now has two weeks to determine whether its new method is viable. If it is, the whole trial could be moot.

That would be a mixed blessing for racial justice activists, some of them affiliated with Black Lives Matter, who recently wrote to Judge Pym and laid out some reasons she should rule against the FBI. Theletter—one of dozens sent by Apple supporters—cited the FBI’s history of spying on civil rights organizers and shared some of the signatories’ personal experiences with government overreach.

“One need only look to the days of J. Edgar Hoover and wiretapping of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. to recognize the FBI has not always respected the right to privacy for groups it did not agree with,” they wrote. (Targeted surveillance of civil rights leaders was also a focus of a recent PBS documentary on the Black Panther Party.) Nor is this sort of thing ancient history, they argued: “Many of us, as civil rights advocates, have become targets of government surveillance for no reason beyond our advocacy or provision of social services for the underrepresented.”

Black Lives Matter organizers have good reason to be concerned. Last summer, I reported that a Baltimore cyber-security firm had identified prominent Ferguson organizer (and Baltimore mayoral candidate) Deray McKesson as a “threat actor” who needed “continuous monitoring” to ensure public safety. The firm—Zero Fox—briefed members of an FBI intelligence partnership program about the data it had collected on Freddie Gray protest organizers. It later passed the information along to Baltimore city officials.

Department of Homeland Security emails, meanwhile, have indicated that Homeland tracked the movements of protesters and attendees of a black cultural event in Washington, DC, last spring. Emails from New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Metro-North Railroad showed that undercover police officers monitored the activities of known organizers at Grand Central Station police brutality protests. The monitoring was part of a joint surveillance effort by MTA counter-terrorism agents and NYPD intelligence officers. (There are also well-documentedinstances of authorities spying on Occupy Wall Street activists.)

In December 2014, Chicago activists, citing a leaked police radio transmissionalleged that city police used a surveillance device called a Stingray to intercept their texts and phone calls during protests over the death of Eric Garner. The device, designed by military and space technology giant Harris Corporation, forces all cell phones within a given radius to connect to it, reroutes communications through the Stingray, and allows officers to read texts and listen to phone calls—as well as track a phone’s location. (According to theACLU, at least 63 law enforcement agencies in 21 states use Stingrays in police work—frequently without a warrant—and that’s probably an underestimate, since departments must signagreements saying they will not disclose their use of the device.)

In addition to the official reports, several prominent Black Lives organizers in Baltimore, New York City, and Ferguson, Missouri, shared anecdotes of being followed and/or harassed by law enforcement even when they weren’t protesting. One activist told me how a National Guard humvee had tailed her home one day in 2014 during the Ferguson unrest, matching her diversions turn for turn. Another organizer was greeted by dozens of officers during a benign trip to a Ferguson-area Wal-Mart, despite having never made public where she was going.

In light of the history and their own personal experiences, many activists have been taking extra precautions. “We know that lawful democratic activism is being monitored illegally without a warrant,” says Malkia Cyril, director of the Center for Media Justice in Oakland and a signatory on the Apple-FBI letter. “In response, we are using encrypted technologies so that we can exercise our democratic First and Fourth Amendment rights.” Asked whether she believes the FBI’s promises to use any software Apple creates to break into the San Bernadino phone only, Cyril responds: “Absolutely not.”

“I don’t think it’s any secret that activists are using encryption methods,” says Lawrence Grandpre, an organizer with Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle in Baltimore. Grandpre says he and others used an encrypted texting app to communicate during the Freddie Gray protests. He declined to name the app, but said it assigns a PIN to each phone that has been approved to access messages sent within a particular group of people. If an unapproved device tries to receive a message, the app notifies the sender and blocks the message from being sent. Grandpre says he received these notifications during the Freddie Gray protests: “Multiple times we couldn’t send text messages because the program said there’s a possibility of interception.”

Cyril says “all of the activists I know” use a texting and call-encryption app calledSignal to communicate, and that the implication of a court verdict in favor of the FBI would be increased surveillance of the civil rights community. “It’s unprecedented for a tech company—for any company—to be compelled in this way,” Cyril says….

 

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Feds Drop the Hammer on Drumph Militia – Arrest Campaign Co-Chair for Conspiracy

Apparently the DOJ has had enough of the right wing armed Militia extremists, and finally has begun to hold them accountable for their domestic terrorism. The Drumph is about to find at least a segment of his racist popular support …In jail. They aren’t being prosecuted because they are Trump supporters -buy rather the fact that they have committed crimes. It has been noted here, as well in a lot of other places the difference in handling these folks and a black or minority person who would point a gun at a federal or local police officer.

I would imagine that a lot of this is being driven by the violent reactions of Trump supporters against those who do not toe their line, or protesters –  mirroring that of Hitlers Brown Shirts during his rise to power. It was common for Hitler’s supporters to violently attack. beat, and even kill anyone they felt opposed them or belonged to another party.

Long past time to reign that shidt in.

Trump campaign co-chair arrested for conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States

Jerry Delemus, the husband of a New Hampshire Republican lawmaker and co-chair of the state’s “Veterans for Trump” coalition, was arrested Thursday for his role in the armed standoff nearly two years ago at the Bundy ranch.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Delemus on nine federal charges — including conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, threatening a federal law enforcement officer, obstruction of justice, attempting to impede or injure a federal law enforcement officer and several firearms charges, reported Portsmouth Patch.

The Tea Party activist and outspoken Donald Trump supporter traveled cross-country in 2014 to take part in the armed standoff between Bureau of Land Management agents and Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his militia supporters in a dispute over unpaid grazing fees.

He was apparently the security team member who asked Jerad and Amanda Miller toleave the Bundy ranch just weeks before they gunned down two Las Vegas police officers.

Delemus also traveled to Oregon in January to take part in the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Preserve.

His wife, state Rep. Susan Delemus (R-Rochester) announced the arrest to the former chairman of New Hampshire’s Republican Party — who issued a call on Facebook for “all NH patriots to come together ASAP” to ”protest this tyranny in the most visible way possible.”

“She said that the FBI just rolled up with lots of vehicles and Agents who were in tactical gear,” posted Jack Kimball, the former GOP chair. ”They forced their way into Jerry Delemus and Sue’s condo with weapons drawn and arrested Jerry and took him away.”

Delemus and his wife have been quoted multiple times by local and national media about their support for Trump.

Susan Delemus gained a measure of fame after she declared every politician but Trump was lying to her through the television.

“We’ve got people in positions of power who I know for a fact are liars. Liars!” Delemus said. “I watch the TV — My president comes on the TV and he lies to me! I know he’s lying. He lies all the time.”

She also made news four years ago, when she angrily confronted state officials in an attempt to keep Obama off the ballot in New Hampshire, causing the assistant secretary of state to fear for his safety.

Most recently, Susan Delemus made news for siding with Trump in his feud with Pope Francis.

“The Pope is the anti-Christ,” Susan Delemus posted on her own Facebook page. “Do your research.”

Jerry DeLemus switched over in July from Sen. Ted Cruz’s leadership team in New Hampshire, and instead backed Trump because he’s an “anti-politician.”

The failed candidate for “constitutional candidate” also organized the infamous rally where Trump failed to correct a man who called Obama a Muslim.

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2016 in Domestic terrorism, The Clown Bus

 

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FBI Investigates Possible Crimes in Flint Water Crisis

Not sure what they could prosecute other than gross negligence…Unless they have a smoking gun…

The DOJ obviously feels there is something to look at.

An “Old Warrior” makes the case here

A bit of the history, and why the Governor is culpable.

FBI Joins Investigation of Flint Water Lead Contamination

The FBI is working with a multi-agency team investigating the lead contamination of Flint’s drinking water, alongside Environmental Protection Agency investigators who can tackle criminal violations of federal environmental law, officials said Tuesday.

Several local, state and federal officials have resigned since doctors revealed last year that using the Flint River for the city’s drinking water supply caused elevated levels of lead in some children’s blood. Lead contamination has been linked to learning disabilities and other problems. Michigan’s governor has apologized repeatedly for the state’s role.

FBI spokeswoman Jill Washburn told the AP in an email that the agency’s role is “investigating the matter to determine if there have been any federal violations.” She declined to say when the FBI got involved.

Officials haven’t said whether criminal or civil charges might follow the investigation.

In addition to the FBI and the EPA, the team includes the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Gina Balaya, a U.S. attorney’s spokeswoman in Detroit, told The Associated Press in an email. The Detroit Free Press first reported the FBI’s involvement Tuesday.

In November, the EPA announced it was auditing how Michigan enforces drinking water rules and said it would identify how to strengthen state oversight. The U.S. attorney’s office in Detroit said in January that it was investigating the water crisis with the EPA.

Flint switched its water source from Detroit’s water system to the Flint River in 2014 to save money while under state financial management. The river water was not treated properly and lead from pipes leached into Flint homes. The city returned to Detroit’s system in October while it awaits the completion of a separate pipeline to Lake Huron this summer.

The U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is expected to hold a hearing Wednesday on Flint’s water crisis. Detroit schools emergency manager Darnell Earley, who was state-appointed emergency manager for Flint when its water source was switched, had been asked to testify but declined the invitation, Detroit Public Schools spokeswoman Michelle Zdrodowski said in an email.

The federal investigation is one of several taking place into Flint’s water supply. Last month, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced the appointment of a special counsel to help his office investigate whether laws were broken.

An independent panel appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder has determined that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality was primarily responsible for the water contamination. The Michigan Civil Rights Commission also plans to hold hearings to explore whether the civil rights of Flint residents were violated.

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2016 in American Genocide, Stupid Republican Tricks

 

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Y’allQaeda…Busted!

Looks like the FBI tricked them into driving to a event where they were going to speak…Reports are that the killed  was Lavoy Finicum.

FBI Takes Cowbollah down!

Ammon Bundy Arrested, Follower Killed, During Confrontation With Law Enforcement In Oregon

Ammon Bundy, leader of the month-long militant occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Burns, Oregon, was arrested Tuesday in a highway confrontation with law enforcement that killed one of his followers and wounded another, according to the FBI.

Bundy and four followers were arrested in a traffic stop in which shots were fired, the FBI said in a statement.

The FBI said the shootings happened when agents, along with Oregon state troopers, stopped a vehicle to arrest people involved in the armed occupation on charges of conspiracy to impede federal officials from discharging their duties.

“During that arrest, there were shots fired,” the FBI said. “One individual who was a subject of a federal probable cause arrest is deceased. … One individual suffered non-life threatening injuries.”

A sixth person involved in the occupation was arrested about 90 minutes later in Burns, the FBI said.

“We have been informed that Ammon was taken in to custody while outside the refuge and that shots were fired, but confirmation of these details is still lacking,” the Bundy Ranch said on its Facebook page.

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2016 in Domestic terrorism

 

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Why Does The FBI Ignore The Council of Conservative Citizens Hate Group?

The C of CC is probably the most prominent hate group in America. They count and have counted as members people like former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott of Mississippi, former RNC Chair Haley Barber, and a host of other Republican politicians. It would seem that those relationships have shielded the organization form the just scrutiny of the DOJ and FBI…Sometimes referred to as the KKK in suits, the C of CC advances and agenda no less toxic than the other white supremacist groups.

So, if looking for culpability in the organization which poured hate into Dylaan Roots head – you need to aim a little higher at the Republican congressmen and Senators who actively resisted the FBI stepping in on their friends and partners.

The FBI Ignored Dylann Roof’s Hate Group

The feds say they didn’t investigate the group that helped inspire the killer, but even hate speech is free speech—until it promotes violence.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said it did not investigate the hate group that inspired Dylann Roof to kill nine black parishioners in Charleston, South Carolina last year.

FBI spokeswoman Jillian Stickels told The Daily Beast that there is no record of an investigation into the Council of Conservative Citizens. This comes after The Daily Beast requested FBI files on the group through the Freedom of Information Act. The FBI did not respond to requests for files on the CCC’s most prominent leaders.

The FOIA request also covered one week following the June 17, 2015 attack, indicating that the FBI wasn’t looking into the group even after it was revealed that Roof cited the CCC in his manifesto.

Roof wrote that he Googled “black on White crime” and found them.

“The first website I came to was the Council of Conservative Citizens. There were pages upon pages of these brutal black on White murders,” Roof said, adding that more research led him to “fight” a race war.

After the Charleston shooting, the CCC’s webmaster first said the FBI was looking into suspected ties between him and Roof, and then later denied being part of any investigation.

The Council of Conservative Citizens was founded in 1985. It was meant to be a successor to the White Citizens Councils formed to oppose desegregation following the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education. (Justice Thurgood Marshall called the councils the “uptown Klan.”) The FBI maintainedextensive records on the earlier Citizens’ Councils, particularly in the ‘50s and ‘60s.

Senator Trent Lott posed with officials of the pro-white Council of Conservative Citizens in 1997. From left, William D. Lord, state coordinator; Mr. Lott; Tom Dover, president, and Gordon L. Baum, executive officer.

But the practice apparently did not continue, despite inflammatory statements from the new CCC. In the 1980s, the CCC called blacks “genetically inferior.” In 2001, the CCC website said, “God is the author of racism. God is the One who divided mankind into different types. Mixing the races is rebelliousness against God.”

Racist statements don’t automatically trigger an FBI investigation, of course. What’s usually needed is a link to a threat of violence or criminal activity. Recent prosecutions of ISIS members show that the government may investigate and prosecute people for as little as re-blogging an image that calls for violence.

Other hate groups have been investigated by the FBI, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, including the Aryan Nations, the National Alliance, and several neo-Nazi groups.

From the C of CC Newsletter

The director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project speculated the CCC was not extreme enough to worry the FBI.

“It may be that they considered the Council to be too mainstream to investigate,” Heidi Beirich said. “After all, several GOP lawmakers including Trent Lott were very close to the group in the 1990s.”

The CCC was co-founded by two Democrats, former Georgia governor Lester Maddox and former Louisiana congressman John Rarick. Republican senator Trent Lott spoke to the CCC at least five times, as did Republican congressman Bob Barr in 1998. Mike Huckabee, another Republican, delivered a videotaped speech to the group in 1993 when he ran for governor of Arkansas.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, and prominent Republican supporter at a C of CC meeting in 2001

This historical one, just for fun –

 
 

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Chicago DA Asks for FBI Help in Investigation of Police Shooting

Let’s face it – nobody believes the Chicago internal “independent” investigatory authority is ever going to find a Policeman in Chicago guilty of anything…Even the DA Office in Chicago knows that one is corrupt to the core.

Alvarez asks FBI to help in probe of fatal shootings of 2

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez seemed to take a shot at the Independent Police Review Authority on Thursday, asking the FBI to help with the investigation of the deadly police-involved shooting that claimed the lives of Quintonio LeGrier, 19, and Bettie Jones, 55, in West Garfield Park.

Alvarez said in a statement that while she is urging “a thorough, professional” review by the Independent Police Review Authority, her office has also contacted the FBI.

The top prosecutor also emphasized that her office “does not control the pace or process of IPRA” and that the investigative agency needs “to get it right so that justice can be served.”

“This is a deeply disturbing incident that demands a very deliberate and meticulous independent investigation. At this stage, the investigation is being conducted by IPRA, but my office has also contacted the FBI to request their involvement as well,” Alvarez said in the statement.

Once the investigation is complete, her office will determine whether any charges would be filed, Alvarez said.

LeGrier and Jones were fatally shot by an officer who was responding to a domestic disturbance call from Antonio LeGrier, Quintonio’s father, at his apartment building last weekend.

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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White Supremacist Foiled In Ray Gun Mass Murder Attempt

An industrial X-Ray machine certainly has the power to kill through irradiating victims. This white supremacist decided to try loading one in a truck and use it to drive by victims. This, like most whit supremacist and right wing plots almost never hits the news – and is never covered in the right wing press.

 

This White Terrorist Plotted To Kill Innocent Americans, But You Probably Haven’t Heard Of Him

A 55-year-old man thought he had procured a working X-ray device that could focus lethal levels of radiation on residents of an upstate New York community.

It’s exactly the kind of horrific plot that might raise the alarm amid the heightened concern over terrorist attacks on the United States. But there’s something notably different about this case — Eric Feight is white, and his intended victims were Muslim-Americans.

Feight on Wednesday was sentenced to prison for 97 months — more than eight years — for providing material support to terrorists, according to the FBI. He would have gone through with the plot, but federal agents fooled him by posing as Ku Klux Klan members who promised to finance and obtain a “radiation device” that didn’t actually work, the FBI said.

In a world where the mere mention of a plot by a jihadist gets wall-to-wall news coverage, and where fear of terrorism leads presidential candidates to call for a full ban on Muslim immigration, the New York state death ray plot received relatively little notice.

In January 2014, Feight pleaded guilty to helping klansman Glendon Crawford modify the X-ray machine, as well as another device which — if it worked — would remotely activate the X-ray machine on a truck. That rig was supposed to irradiate their victims, killing them days later. The device was never actually operable, the FBI said.

“Eric Feight aided Glendon Scott Crawford in altering a dispersal device to target unsuspecting Muslim Americans with lethal doses of radiation,” Assistant Attorney General John P. Carlin said on Wednesday. “Feight and Crawford’s abominable plot to harm innocent Americans was thwarted thanks to the tireless efforts of law enforcement.”

The FBI called the device a “weapon of mass destruction” in August, though it appears to have softened its language since.

In June 2012, an undercover investigator brought Crawford X-ray tubes to examine for possible use in the weapon, and provided technical specifications a month later. At a meeting that November in an Albany coffee shop with undercover investigators, Crawford brought Feight. Both men committed to building the device and named the group “the guild,” according to the indictment against them.

Investigators gave Feight $1,000 to build the remote control device and showed the men pictures of industrial X-ray machines they said they could obtain. They planned to provide him access to an actual X-ray system to assemble with the remote control in June 2013. According to court documents, the sealed indictment was filed the same day and both men were arrested.

Crawford was convicted in August and awaits sentencing.

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2015 in Domestic terrorism

 

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