Palestinian Christians urge pope to oppose Bethlehem wall

[Image: Israels-controversial-separation-barrier-via-AFP.jpg]

Palestinian Christians near Bethlehem on Monday urged Pope Francis to speak up against an Israeli decision to build its controversial separation barrier on a route they say would cut off their community.

“We cry to your Holiness with a feeling of despair and urgency in order to keep alive our hope that justice and peace is still possible,” said an open letter from the Christians of Beit Jala, a town near the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

“The Israeli military occupation that has already started building the ‘famous wall’ annexing Palestinian land… (is) separating Bethlehem as well as other regions from Jerusalem and our holy places,” it said.

The letter came as Israel’s President Shimon Peres was due to arrive in Italy on a three-day visit during which he would meet Pope Francis.

“We respectfully ask you to make use of this meeting to pass a strong message regarding the people of Palestine, and particularly the case of Beit Jala’s Cremisan land,” it said.

The letter added: “We need concrete actions in order to end Israel’s impunity so we can live with dignity in our free state… Your holiness, your election brought us hope that things would change. We are still hopeful.”

An Israeli court ruled last week in favour of constructing the so-called separation barrier through the 170-hectare Cremisan Valley, where many of Beit Jala’s Christians work on the land and its vineyards.

The barrier’s planned route would cut them off from the valley, and would effectively separate it from Jerusalem, which is five kilometres (three miles) away, locals say.

The International Court of Justice ruled in 2004 that parts of the barrier were illegal and should be torn down.

In the Cremisan area, the route of the barrier deviates sharply from the Green Line, the internationally-accepted line marking the divide between Israel and the territories it captured in the 1967 Six-Day War.

But Israel’s defence ministry insists it protects Israelis and that the route is determined by “specific security considerations” of the area.

“Building the Wall in the Bethlehem area it’s not only a violation of international law… it is also an attack against Palestinian social fabric and Palestinian Christian presence,” said Nabil Shaath, a member of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas’s Fatah party.

“Separating Bethlehem from Jerusalem for the first time in history, stripping Palestinians, mainly Christians, from their land in order to build and expand Israeli colonial settlements, walls and checkpoints is a cruel crime that further closes the chances for peace,” he said.

source @ http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/04/29/pa…ehem-wall/

via Truth Seekers: Cutting Through The Crap – All Forums http://true.icyboards.net/showthread.php?tid=170

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U.S. manufactured false intel on chemical weapons in Syria, winks Dennis Kucinich

[Image: screen_shot_2013-04-29_at_2.12.50_pm.png]

Allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria may be supported by the United States, France, Britain, Israel, and Qatar, but former Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich thinks they might just be Western-manufactured pretexts for war.

The anti-war Democrat, who went on a fact-finding mission to Syria in June 2011, sent out a little-noticed tweet on Thursday imploring his followers to “Google ‘Syria #FalseFlag #Chemical Weapons'” if they’re “trying to make sense of what’s happening.”

[Image: 130429_Screen%20shot%202013-04-29%20at%2...7%20PM.png]

I took the former lawmaker’s Googling advice and turned up a collection of stories implying that the United States fabricated evidence of a chemical attack (see: WikiLeaks Supporters Forum) or staged it in conjunction with the Qatari government (see: InfoWars, a conspiratorial website and radio show that Kucinich has been a well-received guest on).

It’s not clear which theory Kucinich subscribes to (efforts to reach him were not successful), but the ex-congressman is not alone in his skepticism about claims that sarin gas was used in Syria, despite his status as a fringe voice in U.S. politics.

In Congress, key lawmakers remain divided on the right U.S. response in Syria, as our own Kevin Baron reports, with Republicans such as Sen. Lindsey Graham urging the president to respond immediately and Democrats such as Sen. Claire McCaskill urging patience. Today, White House spokesman Jay Carney said “much more” work needs to be done to verify the intelligence assessment that Assad’s regime used chemical weapons.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has also weighed in on the topic, rejecting calls for intervention based on the lack of evidence on hand about the deployment of sarin. “Perhaps there are some states that believe any methods are good as long as they can help overthrow the Syrian regime. However, the subject of the use of weapons of mass destruction is far too serious,” he said. “I think it is unacceptable to use it, to speculate on it for geopolitical purposes.”

Kucinich’s remarks are part of an ongoing effort to provide a counternarrative to the idea that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is an absolute tyrant and his opposition are well-intentioned freedom fighters.

“I’ve read where President Assad has made certain commitments, and I would imagine that when things finally settle down, that President Assad will move in a direction of democratic reforms,” Kucinich predicted in a controversial interview with the Cleveland Plain Dealer in 2011.

Kucinich also came under fire during his fact-finding mission to Syria, when the state-sponsored news outlet SANA quoted him saying Assad is “highly loved and appreciated by the Syrians.” (Kucinich actually said “people still have a love and respect” for Assad, a somewhat — but only somewhat — less glowing appraisal of the strongman.)

Everyone should certainly be cautious about jumping to conclusions regarding chemical weapons in Syria, since it’s not yet clear how they were used or who used them. But, of course, there’s a difference between exercising caution and drumming up rumors that the chemical weapons evidence was somehow manufactured by the West without any proof.

found @ http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013…redirect=0

via Truth Seekers: Cutting Through The Crap – All Forums http://true.icyboards.net/showthread.php?tid=169

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Palestinian Christians urge pope to oppose Bethlehem wall

[Image: Israels-controversial-separation-barrier-via-AFP.jpg]

Palestinian Christians near Bethlehem on Monday urged Pope Francis to speak up against an Israeli decision to build its controversial separation barrier on a route they say would cut off their community.

“We cry to your Holiness with a feeling of despair and urgency in order to keep alive our hope that justice and peace is still possible,” said an open letter from the Christians of Beit Jala, a town near the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

“The Israeli military occupation that has already started building the ‘famous wall’ annexing Palestinian land… (is) separating Bethlehem as well as other regions from Jerusalem and our holy places,” it said.

The letter came as Israel’s President Shimon Peres was due to arrive in Italy on a three-day visit during which he would meet Pope Francis.

“We respectfully ask you to make use of this meeting to pass a strong message regarding the people of Palestine, and particularly the case of Beit Jala’s Cremisan land,” it said.

The letter added: “We need concrete actions in order to end Israel’s impunity so we can live with dignity in our free state… Your holiness, your election brought us hope that things would change. We are still hopeful.”

An Israeli court ruled last week in favour of constructing the so-called separation barrier through the 170-hectare Cremisan Valley, where many of Beit Jala’s Christians work on the land and its vineyards.

The barrier’s planned route would cut them off from the valley, and would effectively separate it from Jerusalem, which is five kilometres (three miles) away, locals say.

The International Court of Justice ruled in 2004 that parts of the barrier were illegal and should be torn down.

In the Cremisan area, the route of the barrier deviates sharply from the Green Line, the internationally-accepted line marking the divide between Israel and the territories it captured in the 1967 Six-Day War.

But Israel’s defence ministry insists it protects Israelis and that the route is determined by “specific security considerations” of the area.

“Building the Wall in the Bethlehem area it’s not only a violation of international law… it is also an attack against Palestinian social fabric and Palestinian Christian presence,” said Nabil Shaath, a member of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas’s Fatah party.

“Separating Bethlehem from Jerusalem for the first time in history, stripping Palestinians, mainly Christians, from their land in order to build and expand Israeli colonial settlements, walls and checkpoints is a cruel crime that further closes the chances for peace,” he said.

source @ http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/04/29/pa…ehem-wall/

via Truth Seekers: Cutting Through The Crap – All Forums http://true.icyboards.net/showthread.php?tid=170

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

U.S. manufactured false intel on chemical weapons in Syria, winks Dennis Kucinich

[Image: screen_shot_2013-04-29_at_2.12.50_pm.png]

Allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria may be supported by the United States, France, Britain, Israel, and Qatar, but former Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich thinks they might just be Western-manufactured pretexts for war.

The anti-war Democrat, who went on a fact-finding mission to Syria in June 2011, sent out a little-noticed tweet on Thursday imploring his followers to “Google ‘Syria #FalseFlag #Chemical Weapons'” if they’re “trying to make sense of what’s happening.”

[Image: 130429_Screen%20shot%202013-04-29%20at%2...7%20PM.png]

I took the former lawmaker’s Googling advice and turned up a collection of stories implying that the United States fabricated evidence of a chemical attack (see: WikiLeaks Supporters Forum) or staged it in conjunction with the Qatari government (see: InfoWars, a conspiratorial website and radio show that Kucinich has been a well-received guest on).

It’s not clear which theory Kucinich subscribes to (efforts to reach him were not successful), but the ex-congressman is not alone in his skepticism about claims that sarin gas was used in Syria, despite his status as a fringe voice in U.S. politics.

In Congress, key lawmakers remain divided on the right U.S. response in Syria, as our own Kevin Baron reports, with Republicans such as Sen. Lindsey Graham urging the president to respond immediately and Democrats such as Sen. Claire McCaskill urging patience. Today, White House spokesman Jay Carney said “much more” work needs to be done to verify the intelligence assessment that Assad’s regime used chemical weapons.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has also weighed in on the topic, rejecting calls for intervention based on the lack of evidence on hand about the deployment of sarin. “Perhaps there are some states that believe any methods are good as long as they can help overthrow the Syrian regime. However, the subject of the use of weapons of mass destruction is far too serious,” he said. “I think it is unacceptable to use it, to speculate on it for geopolitical purposes.”

Kucinich’s remarks are part of an ongoing effort to provide a counternarrative to the idea that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is an absolute tyrant and his opposition are well-intentioned freedom fighters.

“I’ve read where President Assad has made certain commitments, and I would imagine that when things finally settle down, that President Assad will move in a direction of democratic reforms,” Kucinich predicted in a controversial interview with the Cleveland Plain Dealer in 2011.

Kucinich also came under fire during his fact-finding mission to Syria, when the state-sponsored news outlet SANA quoted him saying Assad is “highly loved and appreciated by the Syrians.” (Kucinich actually said “people still have a love and respect” for Assad, a somewhat — but only somewhat — less glowing appraisal of the strongman.)

Everyone should certainly be cautious about jumping to conclusions regarding chemical weapons in Syria, since it’s not yet clear how they were used or who used them. But, of course, there’s a difference between exercising caution and drumming up rumors that the chemical weapons evidence was somehow manufactured by the West without any proof.

found @ http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013…redirect=0

via Truth Seekers: Cutting Through The Crap – All Forums http://true.icyboards.net/showthread.php?tid=169

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

CISPA godfather claims Anonymous is after him

A co-author of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act says the hacktivist group Anonymous threatened him and others members of Congress on account of their support of CISPA.

The cybersecurity act known as CISPA overwhelmingly passed in the United States House of Representatives earlier this month only to ultimately once again stall in the Senate. Citing the same privacy concerns brought up by opponents outside of Washington, lawmakers in the Senate now say they are unlikely to consider the bill, suggesting that for the second time in as many years CISPA will fail to find its way out of Congress.

But even if those privacy woes indeed warranted a negative reaction from US senators, a co-author of CISPA suggests members of Anonymous had something to do with the defeat.

During a recent interview with Washington, DC-based The Hill, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Maryland) said Anonymous hacktivists threatened members of Congress and encouraged anti-CISPA activists to attack supporters of the bill that he co-authored with Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Michigan).

“Anonymous was threatening us. Anonymous was telling [others] to shut down people who supported the bill and that kind of thing,” Ruppersberger told the paper during an interview published over the weekend.

When CISPA was introduced by Rogers and Ruppersberger for the first time in 2011, public outcry over alleged privacy violations spurred a legion of opponents to protest on the Web and on the streets. Upon the bill’s reintroduction earlier this year, a similar call to arms was made for privacy advocates to stand up and fight against the argumentative cyber act.

CISPA was described by its authors as being able “to provide for the sharing of certain cyber threat intelligence and cyber threat information between the intelligence community and cybersecurity entities,” but its opponents have raised a number of questions about at what cost. Under CISPA, federal agencies — namely the US Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice — would intercept and monitor Internet traffic in order to analyze and deter any attempted cyberattacks. Critics have condemned it, however, saying it essentially allows online businesses to escape liability when letting Uncle Sam spy on Internet activity.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, one of the largest anti-CISPA groups, wrote of the bill, “It is written so broadly that it allows companies to hand over large swaths of personal information to the government with no judicial oversight — effectively creating a ‘cybersecurity’ loophole in all existing privacy laws.”

Citing the growing opposition this time around, Rep. Ruppersberger told the Hill recently that he purposely asked other members of Congress favoring his bill to stay silent on the issue until the last moment possible to avoid an alleged backlash: three days before the act went up for vote in the House, recalls the Hill, the number of co-sponsors of CISPA jumped from two to 36.

“I didn’t want to put anybody who was going to support the bill … to be subjected to those attacks in their districts, and calling and threatening and that type of thing, so we really decided to not get anybody on the bill right away and to educate people right to the end,” Ruppersberger said.

What exactly Ruppersberger means by attacks isn’t exactly obvious, but the call-to-arms that occurred leading up to the recent House vote is virtually inescapable. As with last year, members of Anonymous — along with the EFF, American Civil Liberties Union and others — went quite public with their opposition to the bill as it was readied for a congressional vote.

Last Monday more than 200 websites went offline in protest of CISPA, and the website Reddit and Web browser Firefox both informed their users of the legislation with predominantly displayed messages.

On their part, one message circulated by Anonymous and viewed over 22,000 times appears void of any actual threat, and instead asks opponents to voice their opinion about the bill using a viral Internet campaign. “Anonymous has asked numerous companies to participate in an Internet blackout on Monday, April 22. But, regardless of what these companies choose to do, individuals like ourselves can still help spread awareness of this threat. Below is a link to an image that promotes the hashtag #StopCISPA on Twitter. Make it your profile image all day Monday. Leave it up as long as you want,” reads the post uploaded to PasteBin and attributed to Anonymous.

“Tweet to #CISPA Reps @Call_Me_Dutch and @RepMikeRogers and tell them you oppose their bill,” reads another highly-read posting. Yet another message, viewed more than 7,000 times in under a week, contained the publically available office phone numbers for every congressman that voted for CISPA, along with information on how to raise objections with members of the Senate.

Since the bills passed in the House, a number of Washington sources have suggested that the Senate will once again let the bill die. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-West Virginia) said of CISPA that its “privacy protections are insufficient,” and the ACLU’s Michelle Richardson told US News & World Report that the bill was likely “too controversial” and “too expansive” to be considered by the Senate as is. Meanwhile, though, a report published by RT last week reveals that the federal government has already started to implement similar cybersecurity practices that put select parts of the Internet under the radar of the DHS.

source – http://rt.com/usa/cispa-author-anoonymous-579/

via Truth Seekers: Cutting Through The Crap – All Forums http://true.icyboards.net/showthread.php?tid=168

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

CISPA godfather claims Anonymous is after him

A co-author of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act says the hacktivist group Anonymous threatened him and others members of Congress on account of their support of CISPA.

The cybersecurity act known as CISPA overwhelmingly passed in the United States House of Representatives earlier this month only to ultimately once again stall in the Senate. Citing the same privacy concerns brought up by opponents outside of Washington, lawmakers in the Senate now say they are unlikely to consider the bill, suggesting that for the second time in as many years CISPA will fail to find its way out of Congress.

But even if those privacy woes indeed warranted a negative reaction from US senators, a co-author of CISPA suggests members of Anonymous had something to do with the defeat.

During a recent interview with Washington, DC-based The Hill, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Maryland) said Anonymous hacktivists threatened members of Congress and encouraged anti-CISPA activists to attack supporters of the bill that he co-authored with Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Michigan).

“Anonymous was threatening us. Anonymous was telling [others] to shut down people who supported the bill and that kind of thing,” Ruppersberger told the paper during an interview published over the weekend.

When CISPA was introduced by Rogers and Ruppersberger for the first time in 2011, public outcry over alleged privacy violations spurred a legion of opponents to protest on the Web and on the streets. Upon the bill’s reintroduction earlier this year, a similar call to arms was made for privacy advocates to stand up and fight against the argumentative cyber act.

CISPA was described by its authors as being able “to provide for the sharing of certain cyber threat intelligence and cyber threat information between the intelligence community and cybersecurity entities,” but its opponents have raised a number of questions about at what cost. Under CISPA, federal agencies — namely the US Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice — would intercept and monitor Internet traffic in order to analyze and deter any attempted cyberattacks. Critics have condemned it, however, saying it essentially allows online businesses to escape liability when letting Uncle Sam spy on Internet activity.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, one of the largest anti-CISPA groups, wrote of the bill, “It is written so broadly that it allows companies to hand over large swaths of personal information to the government with no judicial oversight — effectively creating a ‘cybersecurity’ loophole in all existing privacy laws.”

Citing the growing opposition this time around, Rep. Ruppersberger told the Hill recently that he purposely asked other members of Congress favoring his bill to stay silent on the issue until the last moment possible to avoid an alleged backlash: three days before the act went up for vote in the House, recalls the Hill, the number of co-sponsors of CISPA jumped from two to 36.

“I didn’t want to put anybody who was going to support the bill … to be subjected to those attacks in their districts, and calling and threatening and that type of thing, so we really decided to not get anybody on the bill right away and to educate people right to the end,” Ruppersberger said.

What exactly Ruppersberger means by attacks isn’t exactly obvious, but the call-to-arms that occurred leading up to the recent House vote is virtually inescapable. As with last year, members of Anonymous — along with the EFF, American Civil Liberties Union and others — went quite public with their opposition to the bill as it was readied for a congressional vote.

Last Monday more than 200 websites went offline in protest of CISPA, and the website Reddit and Web browser Firefox both informed their users of the legislation with predominantly displayed messages.

On their part, one message circulated by Anonymous and viewed over 22,000 times appears void of any actual threat, and instead asks opponents to voice their opinion about the bill using a viral Internet campaign. “Anonymous has asked numerous companies to participate in an Internet blackout on Monday, April 22. But, regardless of what these companies choose to do, individuals like ourselves can still help spread awareness of this threat. Below is a link to an image that promotes the hashtag #StopCISPA on Twitter. Make it your profile image all day Monday. Leave it up as long as you want,” reads the post uploaded to PasteBin and attributed to Anonymous.

“Tweet to #CISPA Reps @Call_Me_Dutch and @RepMikeRogers and tell them you oppose their bill,” reads another highly-read posting. Yet another message, viewed more than 7,000 times in under a week, contained the publically available office phone numbers for every congressman that voted for CISPA, along with information on how to raise objections with members of the Senate.

Since the bills passed in the House, a number of Washington sources have suggested that the Senate will once again let the bill die. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-West Virginia) said of CISPA that its “privacy protections are insufficient,” and the ACLU’s Michelle Richardson told US News & World Report that the bill was likely “too controversial” and “too expansive” to be considered by the Senate as is. Meanwhile, though, a report published by RT last week reveals that the federal government has already started to implement similar cybersecurity practices that put select parts of the Internet under the radar of the DHS.

source – http://rt.com/usa/cispa-author-anoonymous-579/

via Truth Seekers: Cutting Through The Crap – All Forums http://true.icyboards.net/showthread.php?tid=168

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Help the government spy on you or face a fine

cpu

A government task force is preparing legislation that would pressure companies such as Face­book and Google to enable law enforcement officials to intercept online communications as they occur, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with the effort.

Driven by FBI concerns that it is unable to tap the Internet communications of terrorists and other criminals, the task force’s proposal would penalize companies that failed to heed wiretap orders — court authorizations for the government to intercept suspects’ communications.

Rather than antagonizing companies whose cooperation they need, federal officials typically back off when a company is resistant, industry and former officials said. But law enforcement officials say the cloak drawn on suspects’ online activities — what the FBI calls the “going dark” problem — means that critical evidence can be missed.

“The importance to us is pretty clear,” Andrew Weissmann, the FBI’s general counsel, said last month at an American Bar Association discussion on legal challenges posed by new technologies. “We don’t have the ability to go to court and say, ‘We need a court order to effectuate the intercept.’ Other countries have that. Most people assume that’s what you’re getting when you go to a court.”

There is currently no way to wiretap some of these communications methods easily, and companies effectively have been able to avoid complying with court orders. While the companies argue that they have no means to facilitate the wiretap, the government, in turn, has no desire to enter into what could be a drawn-out contempt proceeding.

Under the draft proposal, a court could levy a series of escalating fines, starting at tens of thousands of dollars, on firms that fail to comply with wiretap orders, according to persons who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. A company that does not comply with an order within a certain period would face an automatic judicial inquiry, which could lead to fines. After 90 days, fines that remain unpaid would double daily.

Instead of setting rules that dictate how the wiretap capability must be built, the proposal would let companies develop the solutions as long as those solutions yielded the needed data. That flexibility was seen as inevitable by those crafting the proposal, given the range of technology companies that might receive wiretap orders. Smaller companies would be exempt from the fines.

The proposal, however, is likely to encounter resistance, said industry officials and privacy advocates.

“This proposal is a non-starter that would drive innovators overseas and cost American jobs,” said Greg Nojeim, a senior counsel at the Center for Democracy and Technology, which focuses on issues of privacy and security. “They might as well call it the Cyber Insecurity and Anti-Employment Act.”

The Obama administration has not yet signed off on the proposal. Justice Department, FBI and White House officials declined to comment. Still, Weissmann said at the ABA discussion that the issue is the bureau’s top legislative priority this year, but he declined to provide details about the proposal.

Increased urgency

The issue of online surveillance has taken on added urgency with the explosion of social media and chat services and the proliferation of different types of online communication. Technology firms are seen as critical sources of information about crime and terrorism suspects.

“Today, if you’re a tech company that’s created a new and popular way to communicate, it’s only a matter of time before the FBI shows up with a court order to read or hear some conversation,” said Michael Sussmann, a former federal prosecutor and a partner at the law firm Perkins Coie’s Washington office who represents technology firms. “If the data can help solve crimes, the government will be interested.”

Some technology companies have developed a wiretap capability for some of their services. But a range of communications companies and services are not required to do so under what is known as CALEA, the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act. Among those services are social media networks and the chat features on online gaming sites.

Former officials say the challenge for investigators was exacerbated in 2010, when Google began end-to-end encryption of its e-mail and text messages after its networks were hacked. Facebook followed suit. That made it more difficult for the FBI to intercept e-mail by serving a court order on the Internet service provider, whose pipes would carry the encrypted traffic.

The proposal would make clear that CALEA extends to Internet phone calls conducted between two computer users without going through a central company server — what is sometimes called “peer-to-peer” communication. But the heart of the proposal would add a provision to the 1968 Wiretap Act that would allow a court to levy fines.

Challenges abound

One former senior Justice Department official, who is not privy to details of the draft proposal, said law enforcement officials are not seeking to expand their surveillance authorities. Rather, said Kenneth L. Wainstein, assistant attorney general for national security from 2006 to 2008, officials are seeking “to make sure their existing authorities can be applied across the full range of communications technologies.”

Proponents say adding an enforcement provision to the 1968 Wiretap Act is a more politically palatable way of achieving that goal than by amending CALEA to redefine what types of companies should be covered. Industry and privacy experts, including some former government officials, are skeptical.

“There will be widespread disagreement over what the law requires,” said Albert Gidari Jr., a partner at Perkins Coie’s flagship Seattle office who represents telecommunications companies. “It takes companies into a court process over issues that don’t belong in court but rather in standards bodies with technical expertise.”

Some experts said a few companies will resist because they believe they might lose customers who have privacy concerns. Google, for instance, prides itself on protecting its search service from law enforcement surveillance, though it might comply in other areas, such as e-mail. And Skype has lost some of its cachet as a secure communications alternative now that it has been bought by Microsoft and is reportedly complying with wiretap orders.

Susan Landau, a former Sun Microsystems distinguished engineer, has argued that wiring in an intercept capability will increase the likelihood that a company’s servers will be hacked. “What you’ve done is created a way for someone to silently go in and activate a wiretap,” she said. Traditional phone communications were susceptible to illicit surveillance as a result of the 1994 law, she said, but the problem “becomes much worse when you move to an Internet or computer-based network.”

Marcus Thomas, former assistant director of the FBI’s Operational Technology Division, said good software coders can create an intercept capability that is secure. “But to do so costs money,” he said, noting the extra time and expertise needed to develop, test and operate such a service.

A huge challenge, officials agree, is how to gain access to peer-to-peer communications. Another challenge is making sense of encrypted communications.

Thomas said officials need to strike a balance between the needs of law enforcement and those of the technology companies.

“You want to give law enforcement the ability to have the data they’re legally entitled to get, at the same time not burdening industry and not opening up security holes,” he said.

found here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/nati…story.html

via Truth Seekers: Cutting Through The Crap – All Forums http://true.icyboards.net/showthread.php?tid=167

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Help the government spy on you or face a fine

cpu

A government task force is preparing legislation that would pressure companies such as Face­book and Google to enable law enforcement officials to intercept online communications as they occur, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with the effort.

Driven by FBI concerns that it is unable to tap the Internet communications of terrorists and other criminals, the task force’s proposal would penalize companies that failed to heed wiretap orders — court authorizations for the government to intercept suspects’ communications.

Rather than antagonizing companies whose cooperation they need, federal officials typically back off when a company is resistant, industry and former officials said. But law enforcement officials say the cloak drawn on suspects’ online activities — what the FBI calls the “going dark” problem — means that critical evidence can be missed.

“The importance to us is pretty clear,” Andrew Weissmann, the FBI’s general counsel, said last month at an American Bar Association discussion on legal challenges posed by new technologies. “We don’t have the ability to go to court and say, ‘We need a court order to effectuate the intercept.’ Other countries have that. Most people assume that’s what you’re getting when you go to a court.”

There is currently no way to wiretap some of these communications methods easily, and companies effectively have been able to avoid complying with court orders. While the companies argue that they have no means to facilitate the wiretap, the government, in turn, has no desire to enter into what could be a drawn-out contempt proceeding.

Under the draft proposal, a court could levy a series of escalating fines, starting at tens of thousands of dollars, on firms that fail to comply with wiretap orders, according to persons who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. A company that does not comply with an order within a certain period would face an automatic judicial inquiry, which could lead to fines. After 90 days, fines that remain unpaid would double daily.

Instead of setting rules that dictate how the wiretap capability must be built, the proposal would let companies develop the solutions as long as those solutions yielded the needed data. That flexibility was seen as inevitable by those crafting the proposal, given the range of technology companies that might receive wiretap orders. Smaller companies would be exempt from the fines.

The proposal, however, is likely to encounter resistance, said industry officials and privacy advocates.

“This proposal is a non-starter that would drive innovators overseas and cost American jobs,” said Greg Nojeim, a senior counsel at the Center for Democracy and Technology, which focuses on issues of privacy and security. “They might as well call it the Cyber Insecurity and Anti-Employment Act.”

The Obama administration has not yet signed off on the proposal. Justice Department, FBI and White House officials declined to comment. Still, Weissmann said at the ABA discussion that the issue is the bureau’s top legislative priority this year, but he declined to provide details about the proposal.

Increased urgency

The issue of online surveillance has taken on added urgency with the explosion of social media and chat services and the proliferation of different types of online communication. Technology firms are seen as critical sources of information about crime and terrorism suspects.

“Today, if you’re a tech company that’s created a new and popular way to communicate, it’s only a matter of time before the FBI shows up with a court order to read or hear some conversation,” said Michael Sussmann, a former federal prosecutor and a partner at the law firm Perkins Coie’s Washington office who represents technology firms. “If the data can help solve crimes, the government will be interested.”

Some technology companies have developed a wiretap capability for some of their services. But a range of communications companies and services are not required to do so under what is known as CALEA, the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act. Among those services are social media networks and the chat features on online gaming sites.

Former officials say the challenge for investigators was exacerbated in 2010, when Google began end-to-end encryption of its e-mail and text messages after its networks were hacked. Facebook followed suit. That made it more difficult for the FBI to intercept e-mail by serving a court order on the Internet service provider, whose pipes would carry the encrypted traffic.

The proposal would make clear that CALEA extends to Internet phone calls conducted between two computer users without going through a central company server — what is sometimes called “peer-to-peer” communication. But the heart of the proposal would add a provision to the 1968 Wiretap Act that would allow a court to levy fines.

Challenges abound

One former senior Justice Department official, who is not privy to details of the draft proposal, said law enforcement officials are not seeking to expand their surveillance authorities. Rather, said Kenneth L. Wainstein, assistant attorney general for national security from 2006 to 2008, officials are seeking “to make sure their existing authorities can be applied across the full range of communications technologies.”

Proponents say adding an enforcement provision to the 1968 Wiretap Act is a more politically palatable way of achieving that goal than by amending CALEA to redefine what types of companies should be covered. Industry and privacy experts, including some former government officials, are skeptical.

“There will be widespread disagreement over what the law requires,” said Albert Gidari Jr., a partner at Perkins Coie’s flagship Seattle office who represents telecommunications companies. “It takes companies into a court process over issues that don’t belong in court but rather in standards bodies with technical expertise.”

Some experts said a few companies will resist because they believe they might lose customers who have privacy concerns. Google, for instance, prides itself on protecting its search service from law enforcement surveillance, though it might comply in other areas, such as e-mail. And Skype has lost some of its cachet as a secure communications alternative now that it has been bought by Microsoft and is reportedly complying with wiretap orders.

Susan Landau, a former Sun Microsystems distinguished engineer, has argued that wiring in an intercept capability will increase the likelihood that a company’s servers will be hacked. “What you’ve done is created a way for someone to silently go in and activate a wiretap,” she said. Traditional phone communications were susceptible to illicit surveillance as a result of the 1994 law, she said, but the problem “becomes much worse when you move to an Internet or computer-based network.”

Marcus Thomas, former assistant director of the FBI’s Operational Technology Division, said good software coders can create an intercept capability that is secure. “But to do so costs money,” he said, noting the extra time and expertise needed to develop, test and operate such a service.

A huge challenge, officials agree, is how to gain access to peer-to-peer communications. Another challenge is making sense of encrypted communications.

Thomas said officials need to strike a balance between the needs of law enforcement and those of the technology companies.

“You want to give law enforcement the ability to have the data they’re legally entitled to get, at the same time not burdening industry and not opening up security holes,” he said.

found here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/nati…story.html

via Truth Seekers: Cutting Through The Crap – All Forums http://true.icyboards.net/showthread.php?tid=167

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Lost City of Heracleion Gives Up Its Secrets

In fact, Heracleion was true, and a decade after divers began uncovering its treasures, archaeologists have produced a picture of what life was like in the city in the era of the pharaohs.

The city, also called Thonis, disappeared beneath the Mediterranean around 1,200 years ago and was found during a survey of the Egyptian shore at the beginning of the last decade.

Now its life at the heart of trade routes in classical times are becoming clear, with researchers forming the view that the city was the main customs hub through which all trade from Greece and elsewhere in the Mediterranean entered Egypt.

[Image: heracleion-4_2548199c.jpg]

They have discovered the remains of more than 64 ships buried in the thick clay and sand that now covers the sea bed. Gold coins and weights made from bronze and stone have also been found, hinting at the trade that went on.

Giant 16 foot statues have been uncovered and brought to the surface while archaeologists have found hundreds of smaller statues of minor gods on the sea floor.

Slabs of stone inscribed in both ancient Greek and Ancient Egyptian have also been brought to the surface.

Dozens of small limestone sarcophagi were also recently uncovered by divers and are believed to have once contained mummified animals, put there to appease the gods.

Dr Damian Robinson, director of the Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology at the University of Oxford, who is part of the team working on the site, said: “It is a major city we are excavating.

“The site has amazing preservation. We are now starting to look at some of the more interesting areas within it to try to understand life there.

“We are getting a rich picture of things like the trade that was going on there and the nature of the maritime economy in the Egyptian late period. There were things were coming in from Greece and the Phoenicians.

[Image: heracleion-2_2548191c.jpg]

“We have hundreds of small statues of gods and we are trying to find where the temples to these gods were in the city.

“The ships are really interesting as it is the biggest number of ancient ships found in one place and we have found over 700 ancient anchors so far.”

The researchers, working with German TV documentary makers, have also created a three dimensional reconstruction of the city.

At its heart was a huge temple to the god Amun-Gereb, the supreme god of the Egyptians at the time.

From this stretched a vast network of canals and channels, which allowed the city to become the most important port in the Mediterranean at the time.

Last month archaeologists from around the world gathered at the University of Oxford to discuss the discoveries starting to emerge from the treasures found in Heracleion, named for Hercules, who legend claimed had been there.

It was also mentioned fleetingly in ancient texts.

Dr Robinson said: “It was the major international trading port for Egypt at this time. It is where taxation was taken on import and export duties. All of this was run by the main temple.”

[Image: heracleion-5_2548202a.jpg]

Submerged under 150 feet of water, the site sits in what is now the Bay of Aboukir. In the 8th Century BC, when the city is thought to have been built, it would have sat at the mouth of the River Nile delta as it opened up into the Mediterranean.

Scientists still have little idea what caused the city to slip into the water nearly 1,000 years later, but it is thought that gradual sea level rise combined with a sudden collapse of the unstable sediment the city was built on caused the area to drop by around 12 feet.

Over time the city faded from memory and its existence, along with other lost settlements along the coast, was only known from a few ancient texts.

French underwater archaeologist Dr Franck Goddio was the first to rediscover the city while doing surveying of the area while looking for French warships that sank there in the 18 century battle of the Nile.

[Image: heracleion-3__2548197c.jpg]

When divers began sifting down through the thick layers of sand and mud, they could barely believe what they found.

“The archaeological evidence is simply overwhelming,” said Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe, an archaeologist at the University of Oxford has also been taking part in the excavation.

“By lying untouched and protected by sand on the sea floor for centuries they are brilliantly preserved.”

The researchers now also hope that they may even find some sarcophagi used to bury humans in some of the outlying areas around the sunken city.

“The discoveries enhance the importance of the specific location of the city standing at the ‘Mouth of the Sea of the Greek’,” said Dr Goddio, who has led the excavation.

“We are just at the beginning of our research. We will probably have to continue working for the next 200 years for Thonis-Heracleion to be fully revealed and understood.”

source – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environ…crets.html

via Truth Seekers: Cutting Through The Crap – All Forums http://true.icyboards.net/showthread.php?tid=166

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Lost City of Heracleion Gives Up Its Secrets

In fact, Heracleion was true, and a decade after divers began uncovering its treasures, archaeologists have produced a picture of what life was like in the city in the era of the pharaohs.

The city, also called Thonis, disappeared beneath the Mediterranean around 1,200 years ago and was found during a survey of the Egyptian shore at the beginning of the last decade.

Now its life at the heart of trade routes in classical times are becoming clear, with researchers forming the view that the city was the main customs hub through which all trade from Greece and elsewhere in the Mediterranean entered Egypt.

[Image: heracleion-4_2548199c.jpg]

They have discovered the remains of more than 64 ships buried in the thick clay and sand that now covers the sea bed. Gold coins and weights made from bronze and stone have also been found, hinting at the trade that went on.

Giant 16 foot statues have been uncovered and brought to the surface while archaeologists have found hundreds of smaller statues of minor gods on the sea floor.

Slabs of stone inscribed in both ancient Greek and Ancient Egyptian have also been brought to the surface.

Dozens of small limestone sarcophagi were also recently uncovered by divers and are believed to have once contained mummified animals, put there to appease the gods.

Dr Damian Robinson, director of the Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology at the University of Oxford, who is part of the team working on the site, said: “It is a major city we are excavating.

“The site has amazing preservation. We are now starting to look at some of the more interesting areas within it to try to understand life there.

“We are getting a rich picture of things like the trade that was going on there and the nature of the maritime economy in the Egyptian late period. There were things were coming in from Greece and the Phoenicians.

[Image: heracleion-2_2548191c.jpg]

“We have hundreds of small statues of gods and we are trying to find where the temples to these gods were in the city.

“The ships are really interesting as it is the biggest number of ancient ships found in one place and we have found over 700 ancient anchors so far.”

The researchers, working with German TV documentary makers, have also created a three dimensional reconstruction of the city.

At its heart was a huge temple to the god Amun-Gereb, the supreme god of the Egyptians at the time.

From this stretched a vast network of canals and channels, which allowed the city to become the most important port in the Mediterranean at the time.

Last month archaeologists from around the world gathered at the University of Oxford to discuss the discoveries starting to emerge from the treasures found in Heracleion, named for Hercules, who legend claimed had been there.

It was also mentioned fleetingly in ancient texts.

Dr Robinson said: “It was the major international trading port for Egypt at this time. It is where taxation was taken on import and export duties. All of this was run by the main temple.”

[Image: heracleion-5_2548202a.jpg]

Submerged under 150 feet of water, the site sits in what is now the Bay of Aboukir. In the 8th Century BC, when the city is thought to have been built, it would have sat at the mouth of the River Nile delta as it opened up into the Mediterranean.

Scientists still have little idea what caused the city to slip into the water nearly 1,000 years later, but it is thought that gradual sea level rise combined with a sudden collapse of the unstable sediment the city was built on caused the area to drop by around 12 feet.

Over time the city faded from memory and its existence, along with other lost settlements along the coast, was only known from a few ancient texts.

French underwater archaeologist Dr Franck Goddio was the first to rediscover the city while doing surveying of the area while looking for French warships that sank there in the 18 century battle of the Nile.

[Image: heracleion-3__2548197c.jpg]

When divers began sifting down through the thick layers of sand and mud, they could barely believe what they found.

“The archaeological evidence is simply overwhelming,” said Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe, an archaeologist at the University of Oxford has also been taking part in the excavation.

“By lying untouched and protected by sand on the sea floor for centuries they are brilliantly preserved.”

The researchers now also hope that they may even find some sarcophagi used to bury humans in some of the outlying areas around the sunken city.

“The discoveries enhance the importance of the specific location of the city standing at the ‘Mouth of the Sea of the Greek’,” said Dr Goddio, who has led the excavation.

“We are just at the beginning of our research. We will probably have to continue working for the next 200 years for Thonis-Heracleion to be fully revealed and understood.”

source – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environ…crets.html

via Truth Seekers: Cutting Through The Crap – All Forums http://true.icyboards.net/showthread.php?tid=166

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment