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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Snowden Reveals U.S. Government Plans to Spy for Corporations, Despite Telling the Public Otherwise

The NSA have once again proved hypocritical. Despite a spokesman writing to The Washington Post last August claiming “The department does ***not*** engage in economic espionage in any domain, including cyber”, top secret plans have proposed otherwise.

American lawyer and journalist Glenn Greenwald has released a 2009 memo that clearly defined “technology acquisition by any means” to give American corporations an advantage in global markets. The report was provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowdon.

It has already been revealed that Brazilian oil giant Petrobas, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank and international banking systems were all spied on, amongst many others. Even the EU antitrust commissioner investigating Google, Microsoft and Intel was targeted.

In response to the Petrobas revelations, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper admitted collecting “information about economic and financial matters”, but categorically denied more morally questionable purposes. He said: “What we do not do…is use our foreign intelligence capabilities to steal the trade secrets of foreign companies on behalf of –or give intelligence we collect to- U.S. companies to enhance their international competitiveness or increase their bottom line”.

The report, however, shows exactly plans to do just that. It focused on the possibility if “the United States’ technological and innovative edge slips”, particularly “that the technological capacity of foreign multinational corporations could outstrip that of U.S. corporations”. Energy, medicine, information technology and nanotechnology were all listed as crucial areas where this could happen.

In this case, the report recommended “a multi-pronged, systematic effort to gather open source and proprietary information through overt means, clandestine penetration (through physical and cyber means), and counterintelligence”. Notably, the memo discussed “cyber operations” to penetrate “covert centers of innovation”.

While some may even believe the NSA should have the right to protect the U.S’s financial position globally, the hypocrisy of the situation cannot be ignored. In May, five Chinese government employees were indicted for spying on U.S. companies. Attorney General Eric Holder said this was done “for no reason other than to advantage state-owned companies and other interests in China”, and “this is a tactic that the U.S. government categorically denounces”.

The fascinating 2009 memo also contemplated scenarios the U.S. intelligence community felt they may face in 2025. These included a “China/Russia/India/Iran centred bloc (that) challenges U.S. supremacy”, and even a world where “identity-based groups supplant nation-states”.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Behind the Mask of Anonymous

Anonymous has been brought back into the limelight with the recent events in Ferguson. It would not be a stretch to say that Anonymous played a major role in the unfolding of events in the St. Louis suburb after the shooting death of Michael Brown, a black teenager by a white police officer. If it wasn’t for Anonymous, who knows if the Justice Department would have launched this full-scale investigation into the Ferguson Police Department for civil rights violations. If it wasn’t for Anonymous, this could have been just another incident swept under the rug by the powers that be. Time and time again, Anonymous takes action in the face of tyranny while a great many more simply sit at home and do nothing. Love them or hate them, Anonymous is a force to be reckoned with.

I’m not here to give you a history lesson. There are many great sources from which you can learn the history of Anonymous. I highly recommend the documentary, We Are Legion – The Story of Hactivists, which is readily available. I’m here today because I feel there is a great misconception about what Anonymous truly is. It’s amazing how often I hear about Anonymous out in the world, whether in public or at work or even in the news. Despite all the things that Anonymous does and the varied amounts of activities and people involved, Anonymous is continuously referred to as a hacker group. Nothing could be further from the truth. It can be difficult to grasp what Anonymous is. Of course hacking is what gained the attention of the world, and remains a powerful tool in Anonymous’ arsenal, but it is just that, a tool. While Anonymous got its start in mischief and hacking, it has grown into something far beyond that. Anonymous, much like many other movements, started with humble beginnings, but has evolved into a powerful machine that has drawn the ire of leaders worldwide.

Movements may begin with somewhat abstract philosophies. Over time, as these philosophies congeal, the movement begins to solidify around them. Definitive goals and stances are established. Individuals see the direction the movement is going and choose to get involved. As the process evolves, so does the need for organization. Anonymous, while a movement which has no leaders, no membership and no hierarchy, has evolved pockets of leadership and organization. Just the fact that you’re reading this article on an Anonymous homepage tells you that there has to be some form of organization and leadership. Who do I send these articles to every week? Beats me. The who is irrelevant. Who am I? That doesn’t even matter. All that matters is the message. The Anonymous message is clear and simple.

Citizens of nations around the world, we are Anonymous. This is a message from us, from the resistance, the last line of defense. We have been watching the world’s events unfold around you, and truth be told, we are highly displeased. The monstrosities carried out by governments worldwide on a daily basis have grown far too old and we are here to bring these corrupted acts to justice. If you are tired of watching the world, our only home, be ripped to shreds for the illusion of riches based on paper with false value placed upon it, if you are afraid of your government or afraid to wake up in the morning to a war-torn city, whether you’re afraid of your life being lost because you have been tossed into pointless wars, fighting for someone you’ll never meet, or who will never care about you, but the money he takes because of you, then you, my friend, are part of the resistance. We are here to ask the public to join our crusade. Inform. If you are hearing this broadcast, if you’re watching this transmission, if you are reading our words and letters, then you, my friend, are Anonymous. Part of an ever growing legion that will never perish. Part of a collective that relies in unison. This message goes directly to the people that are aware of our corrupted, an unwilling society, as well as to the people that are not aware but wishing to be. Wishing for something more in life besides money and a job. Furthermore, we will never be destroyed. We, as in you and us. We, as in everything and everyone. We as an idea. Ideas cannot be arrested, killed, or broken. It cannot be interfered nor can it be stopped. Ideas, like courage, is contagious. Ideas cannot be divided. The idea is in the mind. You cannot throw it away in the trash. You cannot erase it, nor can you forget it. We are Anonymous and we are an idea to be reckoned with. We are an idea that will never halt or stand idly by while our governments commit vile acts against the people they claim to serve and protect so very highly. If you’re tired of your government and it’s broken system, if you are tired of people not willing to care for our world, our rights, our society and its future generations, then join us. Join the resistance. What have you done so far in life except become like the other 7 billion people who are going through the same process. We know this is why you seek us. Both us and yourself knew the moment you clicked this video (or read these words), that your time and moment has came. Because you, like most of the people around you, want change for the better. You want compassion. You want care. You want rights and an open society that makes positive impact without government interruption. You want less value on human possession and more value on human life. We know this is why you seek to become Anonymous. Yet most people are worried. Worried that they won’t succeed in life. Worried that they won’t have enough money to feed their families. Worried about their future. Worried that they won’t have enough money to pay the rent. Worried that someday they will become something low, while others expected something high from them. Worried about their job and their appearance. Worried about death. You want something more to life than to be born, grown up, make money, retire, and die like the millions of people inhabiting this globe and all of it for nothing. That is why we are here. That is why the resistance has came. We are not saviors. We are concerned citizens. Formed, built and molded upon from an idea that purifies itself with freedom and justice. We were here since the start. Since the beginning of you. Since the birth of everyone and everything. We are fighting for your rights. We are fighting for you and you only. We speak as one. For we wish for no fame or profit but sincerity and equality. Yet we are not just one single person group or community who call ourselves Anonymous. We are not just hackers like the media says and has corrupted you with. We are you. We are your neighbors. We are your fathers and your mothers. We are your sons and your daughters. We are your aunts and we are your Uncles, your sisters and your brothers. We are the poor unemployed man who is looking for his purpose in life and the food to place on this family’s table, as well as the lawyer who fights for the accused to the court of law and the teacher who teaches the children, and the person who delivers your mail, the students in your school, the workers your company. We are the person near you. We are the person walking with you. The person in the car you are seeing right now. We are your lover and enemy. We are them and they are us. This was a message from Anonymous, the final resistance. This was a call of justice. We are Anonymous. We are the resistance. We are legion. We are an idea. We do not forgive. We do not forget. United as one. Divided by zero. Expect us.