Essential for Citizens: Propaganda Literacy

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Tetsuo Arima Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences, Waseda University

society_160905_01Tetsuo Arima writes: In Washington D.C., the capital of the United States, there is an attraction called the “Duck Tour.” It takes tourists on an amphibious vehicle to tourist spots on both sides of the Potomac River. As the vehicle nears the State Department building, the tour guide gives tourists a quiz. “Over there is the Voice of America, a network which broadcasts around the world. What is the only country that is not covered by this network?” When I participated in this tour, I was the first to raise my hand and answer, “America.” The tour guide made a sour face.

The U.S. government does not engage in propaganda toward Americans. Since the people choose representatives to form a government by democratic elections, the government should not lead its people to make wrong decisions by spreading propaganda. This is a basic principle of democracy. Countries such as China and North Korea, which do not practice democracy, control their populations with propaganda.

However, the U.S., which is a democracy, does engage in propaganda toward other countries. Even its allies are no exception. America, with huge “soft” power, has great influence on other countries, mainly through movies, TV programs, music and fashion, and also utilizes propaganda to the maximum extent. The tour guide must have been displeased because he realized I knew that.

Propaganda in the Information Age

We live in a highly digitized world today. The amount of information is growing exponentially, and many people believe unconditionally that more information is better. This is true if such information is true, unbiased and helps its recipients make sound judgments. But as the amount of information grows, so does the amount that is biased and false. In particular, in the borderless world of the Internet, if one continues to pursue related information, one can easily stray into propaganda sites established by various countries without knowing it.

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Readers believe that such information is interesting and useful, but its creators take the trouble to translate and present it in an effort to plant certain ideas and images in the reader’s mind. They expend great time and money to do so. Even smallish businesses spend huge amounts of money on public relations and commercials, so it is natural that major countries bring together elite propagandists, organize powerful state agencies, and give them enormous budgets in order to spread propaganda.

VOA, mentioned above, is one of those propaganda agencies. In fact, it is modeled after the British Broadcasting Corporation. The BBC has a strong image as a reputable public broadcaster, but it is also known to spread propaganda, especially during wartime. Nonetheless, it did not spread rumors, praise its country unreservedly, or slander enemy countries, unlike state-owned media in non-democratic countries. The BBC reported news strictly based on facts, but achieved enormous impact by broadcasting only the facts that were convenient to its country and inconvenient to hostile ones.

Soviet Five-Year Plan propaganda poster.

Soviet Five-Year Plan propaganda poster.

Responsibility of the mass media

In China, a non-democratic country which controls its people with propaganda, news presented by China Central Television (CCTV), a broadcaster run by the Communist Party, should be regarded as propaganda whether it targets domestic or foreign audiences. Of course CCTV also uses language which makes its content really sound like propaganda. The problem in Japan is that the mass media frequently repeat such propaganda as part of their news. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] State Department Has Trouble Explaining the Point of Kerry’s Threat to Russia

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Should the U.S. Keep Control of Group that Handles Internet Domain Names?

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‘Under the guardianship of the United States and the First Amendment the internet has become truly an oasis of freedom, but that could soon change.’

During an often-contentious hearing Wednesday, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, took on the Obama administration for what has become his latest signature issue: internet oversight.

“It is not a democratic body.”

— Senator Ted Cruz

The Obama administration is due to relinquish U.S. control Oct. 1 over a private-sector, nonprofit organization that administers internet domain names and designations. Cruz warned that the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers will not on its own honor U.S. protections of free speech, and he is leading an effort to delay or stop the transfer.

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“A number of significant questions related to the transition remain unanswered, including whether the transition will yield an unconstitutional transfer of United States government property, how the transfer will affect human rights and free speech issues, if U.S.-controlled top-level domains such as .gov and .mil could be compromised or if ICANN will be subject to increased antitrust scrutiny.”

“Under the guardianship of the United States and the First Amendment the internet has become truly an oasis of freedom, but that could soon change,” Cruz said at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts, which he chairs.

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“It is not a democratic body,” Cruz said of the organization, which includes such internet stakeholders as Google and Facebook and is based in Los Angeles. And he warned that authoritarian countries such as China, Russia and Iran could exert control over the organization and censor internet use in their countries.

[Read the full story here, at McClatchy DC]

We are a nonpolitical technical entity. Göran Marby, CEO and president, Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers

The Obama administration maintains that the transfer involves technical matters that do not affect the substance of websites or the flow of information. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., the ranking member on the subcommittee, said the transition was really a “clerical process.” “The United States does not own the internet,” he said.

Internet addiction is worrying China. Boot camp-style correctional facilities hope to deprogram those who live in online worlds. Source: Supplied

Cruz is poised to add an amendment to a temporary government funding bill to block the transfer – the same tactic he used in 2013 to stop funding the federal health care law, which led to a partial federal government shutdown. However, this time, Cruz has mainstream support from powerful Republicans.

[Read the full text here, at McClatchy DC]

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, who is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, attended the subcommittee hearing and was supportive of putting off the transfer. Read the rest of this entry »


[PHOTOS] The Last Days of East Germany: 40 Fascinating Photographs That Capture Everyday Life in Berlin in the late 1980s

From vintage everyday: Between 1961 and 1989, the Berlin Wall divided East and West Germany and prevented the mass defection that took place after World War II. It also acted as a symbolic partition between democracy and Communism during the Cold War period. The wall was erected in the middle of the night, but it was torn down just as quickly 28 years later, leading to Germany’s reunification.

In January 1988, Erich Honecker paid a state visit to France. By all indications, the long stretch of international isolation appeared to have been successfully overcome. The GDR finally seemed to be taking its long-sought place among the international community of nations. In the minds of the GDR’s old-guard communists, the long-awaited international political recognition was seen as a favorable omen that seemed to coincide symbolically with the fortieth anniversary of the East German state.

In spite of Honecker’s declaration as late as January 1989 that “The Wall will still stand in fifty and also in a hundred years,” the effects of glasnost and perestroika had begun to be evident in the Soviet Union and throughout Eastern Europe. Although the GDR leadership tried to deny the reality of these developments, for most East Germans the reforms of Soviet leader Gorbachev were symbols of a new era that would inevitably also reach the GDR. The GDR leadership’s frantic attempts to block the news coming out of the Soviet Union by preventing the distribution of Russian newsmagazines only strengthened growing protest within the population.
Read the rest of this entry »

Master Death List: Journalists Killed in Russia

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56 Journalists Killed in Russia/Motive Confirmed

Terminology explained

Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev, Novoye Delo

July 9, 2013, in Semender, Russia

Mikhail Beketov, Khimkinskaya Pravda

April 8, 2013, in Khimki, Russia

Kazbek Gekkiyev, VGTRK

December 5, 2012, in Nalchik, Russia

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Gadzhimurad Kamalov, Chernovik

December 15, 2011, in Makhachkala, Russia

Abdulmalik Akhmedilov, Hakikat and Sogratl

August 11, 2009, in Makhachkala , Russia

Natalya Estemirova, Novaya Gazeta, Kavkazsky Uzel

July 15, 2009, in between Grozny and Gazi-Yurt , Russia

Anastasiya Baburova, Novaya Gazeta 

January 19, 2009, in Moscow , Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin (Reuters)

Telman (Abdulla) Alishayev, TV-Chirkei 

September 2, 2008, in Makhachkala, Russia

Magomed Yevloyev, Ingushetiya

August 31, 2008, in Nazran, Russia

Ivan Safronov, Kommersant

March 2, 2007, in Moscow, Russia

Maksim Maksimov, Gorod

November 30, 2006, in St. Petersburg, Russia

Anna Politkovskaya, Novaya Gazeta

October 7, 2006, in Moscow, Russia

Vagif Kochetkov, Trud and Tulsky Molodoi Kommunar

January 8, 2006, in Tula, Russia

Magomedzagid Varisov, Novoye Delo

June 28, 2005, in Makhachkala, Russia

Pavel Makeev, Puls

May 21, 2005, in Azov, Russia

Paul Klebnikov, Forbes Russia

July 9, 2004, in Moscow, Russia

Adlan Khasanov, Reuters

May 9, 2004, in Grozny, Russia

Aleksei Sidorov, Tolyatinskoye Obozreniye

October 9, 2003, in Togliatti, Russia

Yuri Shchekochikhin, Novaya Gazeta

July 3, 2003, in Moscow, Russia

Roddy Scott, Frontline

September 26, 2002, in Galashki Region, Ingushetia, Russia

Valery Ivanov, Tolyatinskoye Obozreniye

April 29, 2002, in Togliatti, Russia

Natalya Skryl, Nashe Vremya

March 9, 2002, in Rostov-on-Don, Russia

Eduard Markevich, Novy Reft

September 18, 2001, in Reftinsky, Sverdlovsk Region, Russia

Igor Domnikov, Novaya Gazeta

July 16, 2000, in Moscow, Russia

Aleksandr Yefremov, Nashe Vremya

May 12, 2000, in Chechnya, Russia

Vladimir Yatsina, ITAR-TASS

February 20, 2000, in Chechnya, Russia

Shamil Gigayev, Nokh Cho TV

October 29, 1999, in Shaami Yurt, Russia

Ramzan Mezhidov, TV Tsentr

October 29, 1999, in Shaami Yurt, Russia

Supian Ependiyev, Groznensky Rabochy

October 27, 1999, in Grozny, Russia

Anatoly Levin-Utkin, Yurichichesky Peterburg Segodnya

August 24, 1998, in St. Petersburg, Russia

Larisa Yudina, Sovietskaya Kalmykia Segodnya

June 8, 1998, in Elista, Russia

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Ramzan Khadzhiev, Russian Public TV (ORT)

August 11, 1996, in Grozny, Russia

Viktor Mikhailov, Zabaikalsky Rabochy

May 12, 1996, in Chita, Russia

Nina Yefimova, Vozrozhdeniye

May 9, 1996, in Grozny, Russia

Nadezhda Chaikova, Obshchaya Gazeta

March 30, 1996, in Gehki, Russia

Viktor Pimenov, Vaynakh Television

March 11, 1996, in Grozny, Russia

Felix Solovyov, freelance

February 26, 1996, in Moscow, Russia

Vadim Alferyev, Segodnyashnyaya Gazeta

December 27, 1995, in Krasnoyarsk, Russia

Shamkhan Kagirov, Rossiskaya Gazeta and Vozrozheniye

December 13, 1995, in near Grozny, Russia

Natalya Alyakina, Focus and RUFA

June 17, 1995, in Budyonnovsk, Russia

Farkhad Kerimov, Associated Press TV

May 29, 1995, in Chechnya, Russia

Vladislav Listyev, Russian Public Television (OTR)

March 1, 1995, in Moscow, Russia

Viatcheslav Rudnev, Freelancer

February 17, 1995, in Kaluga, Russia

Jochen Piest, Stern

January, 10, 1995, in Chervlyonna, Russia

Vladimir Zhitarenko, Krasnaya Zvezda

January 1, 1995, in Grozny, Russia

Cynthia Elbaum, Freelancer

December 22, 1994, in Grozny, Russia

Dmitry Kholodov, Mosckovski Komsomolets

October 17, 1994, in Moscow, Russia

Yuri Soltis, Interfax

June 12, 1994, in Moscow, Russia

Aleksandr Smirnov, Molodyozhny Kuryer

October 4, 1993, in Moscow, Russia

Aleksandr Sidelnikov, Lennauchfilm Studio

October 4, 1993, in Moscow, Russia

Sergei Krasilnikov, Ostankino Television Company

October 3, 1993, in Moscow, Russia

Yvan Scopan, TF-1 Television Company

October 3, 1993, in Moscow, Russia

Vladimir Drobyshev, Nature and Man

October 3, 1993, in Moscow, Russia

Igor Belozyorov, Ostankino State Broadcasting Company

October 3, 1993, in Moscow, Russia

Rory Peck, ARD Television Company

October 3, 1993, in Moscow, Russia

Dmitry Krikoryants, Expresskhronika

April 14, 1993, in Grozny, Russia Read the rest of this entry »


Back Home After 172 Days in Space

 


How Russia Often Benefits When Julian Assange Reveals the West’s Secrets

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American officials say Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks probably have no direct ties to Russian intelligence services. But the agendas of WikiLeaks and the Kremlin have often dovetailed.

Julian Assange was in classic didactic form, holding forth on the topic that consumes him — the perfidy of big government and especially of the United States.

Mr. Assange, the editor of WikiLeaks, rose to global fame in 2010 for releasing huge caches of highly classified American government communications that exposed the underbelly of its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and its sometimes cynical diplomatic maneuvering around the world. But in a televised interview last September, it was clear that he still had plenty to say about “The World According to US Empire,” the subtitle of his latest book, “The WikiLeaks Files.”

From the cramped confines of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he was granted asylum four years ago amid a legal imbroglio, Mr. Assange proffered a vision of America as superbully: a nation that has achieved imperial power by proclaiming allegiance to principles of human rights while deploying its military-intelligence apparatus in “pincer” formation to “push” countries into doing its bidding, and punishing people like him who dare to speak the truth.

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Notably absent from Mr. Assange’s analysis, however, was criticism of another world power, Russia, or its president, Vladimir V. Putin, who has hardly lived up to WikiLeaks’ ideal of transparency. Mr. Putin’s government has cracked down hard on dissent — spying on, jailing, and, critics charge, sometimes assassinating opponents while consolidating control over the news media and internet. If Mr. Assange appreciated the irony of the moment — denouncing censorship in an interview on Russia Today, the Kremlin-controlled English-language propaganda channel — it was not readily apparent.

Now, Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks are back in the spotlight, roiling the geopolitical landscape with new disclosures and a promise of more to come.

[Read the full story here, at The New York Times]

In July, the organization released nearly 20,000 Democratic National Committee emails suggesting that the party had conspired with Hillary Clinton’s campaign to undermine her primary opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders. Mr. Assange — who has been openly critical of Mrs. Clinton — has promised further disclosures that could upend her campaign against the Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump. Separately, WikiLeaks announced that it would soon release some of the crown jewels of American intelligence: a “pristine” set of cyberspying codes.

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United States officials say they believe with a high degree of confidence that the Democratic Party material was hacked by the Russian government, and suspect that the codes may have been stolen by the Russians as well. That raises a question: Has WikiLeaks become a laundering machine for compromising material gathered by Russian spies? And more broadly, what precisely is the relationship between Mr. Assange and Mr. Putin’s Kremlin?

Those questions are made all the more pointed by Russia’s prominent place in the American presidential election campaign. Mr. Putin, who clashed repeatedly with Mrs. Clinton when she was secretary of state, has publicly praised Mr. Trump, who has returned the compliment, calling for closer ties to Russia and speaking favorably of Mr. Putin’s annexation of Crimea. Read the rest of this entry »


Vladimir Putin Honors Critical Russian Journalist’s Birthday with a Celebratory Gunshot Wound to Journalists’s Head 

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Alexander Shchetinin found dead with a gun near his body after friends tried to visit him at home.

Rachael Pells reports: A well-known Russian journalist and critic of President Vladimir Putin has been found dead in his Kiev apartment with a gunshot wound to the head.

The body of Alexander Shchetinin, founder the Novy Region (New Region) press agency, was found at his flat after friends tried to visit him on his birthday.

A police spokesperson said Kiev forces were alerted of Ms Shchetinin’s death at around midnight on Saturday. He is believed to have died a few hours earlier, between 8 and 9.30pm.

Officials have speculated that his death was caused by suicide, after a gun was found near his body along with spent cartridges, and the door to his apartment was said to be locked. Read the rest of this entry »


The Weaponization of Information: Russia’s Successful Campaign to Spread False Stories 

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Using both conventional media and covert channels, the Kremlin relies on disinformation to create doubt, fear and discord in Europe and the United States.

STOCKHOLM —  With a vigorous national debate underway on whether Sweden should enter a military partnership with NATO, officials in Stockholm suddenly encountered an big-brother-halfunsettling problem: a flood of distorted and outright false information on social media, confusing public perceptions of the issue.

“People were not used to it, and they got scared, asking what can be believed, what should be believed?”

— Marinette Nyh Radebo, Mr. Hultqvist’s spokeswoman

The claims were alarming: If Sweden, a non-NATO member, signed the deal, the alliance would stockpile secret nuclear weapons on Swedish soil; NATO could attack Russia from Sweden without government approval; NATO soldiers, immune from prosecution, could rape Swedish women without fear of criminal charges.

“Moscow views world affairs as a system of special operations, and very sincerely believes that it itself is an object of Western special operations. I am sure that there are a lot of centers, some linked to the state, that are involved in inventing these kinds of fake stories.”

— Gleb Pavlovsky, helped establish the Kremlin’s information machine before 2008.

They were all false, but the disinformation had begun spilling into the traditional news media, and as the defense minister, Peter Hultqvist, traveled the country to promote the pact in speeches and town hall meetings, he was repeatedly grilled about the bogus stories.

Sweden’s defense minister, Peter Hultqvist, last month at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. He has tried to counteract disinformation that has threatened to sway public debate in Sweden about a proposed military partnership with NATO. Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Sweden’s defense minister, Peter Hultqvist, last month at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. He has tried to counteract disinformation that has threatened to sway public debate in Sweden about a proposed military partnership with NATO. Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

“The planting of false stories is nothing new; the Soviet Union devoted considerable resources to that during the ideological battles of the Cold War. Now, though, disinformation is regarded as an important aspect of Russian military doctrine, and it is being directed at political debates in target countries with far greater sophistication and volume than in the past.”

“People were not used to it, and they got scared, asking what can be believed, what should be believed?” said Marinette Nyh Radebo, Mr. Hultqvist’s spokeswoman.

[Read the full story here, at The New York Times]

As often happens in such cases, Swedish officials were never able to pin down the source of the false reports. But they, numerous analysts and experts in American and European intelligence point to Russia as the prime suspect, noting that preventing NATO expansion is a centerpiece of the foreign policy of President Vladimir V. Putin, who invaded Georgia in 2008 largely to forestall that possibility.

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In Crimea, eastern Ukraine and now Syria, Mr. Putin has flaunted a modernized and more muscular military. But he lacks the economic strength and overall might to openly confront NATO, the European Union or the United States. Instead, he has invested heavily in a program of “weaponized” information, using a variety of means to sow doubt and division. The goal is to weaken cohesion among member states, stir discord in their domestic politics and blunt opposition to Russia. Read the rest of this entry »


Detail from a 1958 Soviet Space Propaganda Poster

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Heritage Auctions


NSA ‘Shadow Brokers’ Hack Shows SpyWar with Kremlin Is Turning Hot 

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Western intelligence bosses recently have become open about stating what they’ve known for years, that Snowden is a Kremlin pawn designed to inflict pain on Russia’s adversaries in the SpyWar.

 writes: The National Security Agency can’t catch a break. Over three years ago, Edward Snowden, an IT contractor for the agency, defected to Moscow with more than a million classified documents. Since then, Snowden’s vast trove has been used to embarrass NSA about the extent of its global espionage reach.

“Significant questions loom over this new scandal.  In the first place, what really is The Shadow Brokers? They appear to be a transparent front for Russian intelligence. Indeed, they’re not really hiding that fact, given the broken English they used in their online auction notice asking for bitcoin in exchange for NSA information.” 

I’ve been warning from Day One that the Snowden Operation was a Russian propaganda ploy aimed at inflicting pain on NSA, America’s most important spy agency, and its global alliance of espionage partnerships that’s been the backbone of the powerful Western intelligence system since it helped defeat the Nazis and Japan in World War II.

“From his Russian exile, even Snowden admitted on Twitter that this was pretty obviously a Kremlin spy game.”

Western intelligence bosses recently have become open about stating what they’ve known for years, that Snowden is a Kremlin pawn designed to inflict pain on Russia’s adversaries in the SpyWar. There’s no doubt that’s the case, especially since the Kremlin now has admitted that Snowden is their agent.

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For more than three years NSA has been subjected to an unprecedented stream of leaks about myriad Top Secret intelligence programs. Although Snowden claimed his motivation was to protect the civil liberties of fellow Americans by exposing secrets, it’s impossible to miss that well over 95 percent of the programs he’s compromised are purely involved with foreign intelligence. The impact of all this on agency morale has been devastating and NSA is in a state of crisis thanks to Snowden.

[Read the full story here, at the Observer]

This week things took a marked turn for the worse, however, with the exposure of highly sensitive NSA hacking tools on the Internet by a murky group calling itself “The Shadow Brokers” which announced it planned to sell programs purloined from the agency. Like clockwork, NSA’s public website crashed and stayed down for almost a full day. Although there’s no indication this was linked to The Shadow Brokers, the optics for NSA were terrible.

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First, some explanation is needed of what’s been compromised. The crown jewel here is a 300-megabyte file containing “exploits”—that is, specialized sophisticated cyber tools designed to burrow through firewalls to steal data. What The Shadow Brokers has, which it claims it stole from an alleged NSA front organization termed the Equation Group, appears to be legitimate.

Here we are, three years after Snowden, dealing with the consequences of allowing Russian moles to run amok inside NSA.

These exploits—or at least some of them—appear to come from NSA’s elite office of Tailored Access Operations, which is the agency’s hacking group. Arguably the world’s most proficient cyber-warriors, the shadowy TAO excels at gaining access to the computer systems of foreign adversaries. TAO veterans have confirmed that, from what they’ve seen of what The Shadow Brokers has revealed, they’re bona fide NSA exploits.

This represents a security disaster for an agency that really didn’t need another one. How this happened, given the enormous security that’s placed on all NSA Top Secret computer systems, raises troubling questions about what’s going on, since the agency instituted much more strenuous online security after Snowden’s defection, which revealed how slipshod NSA counterintelligence really was.

However, significant questions loom over this new scandal.  In the first place, what really is The Shadow Brokers? They appear to be a transparent front for Russian intelligence. Indeed, they’re not really hiding that fact, given the broken English they used in their online auction notice asking for bitcoin in exchange for NSA information. From his Russian exile, even Snowden admitted on Twitter that this was pretty obviously a Kremlin spy game.

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Pro-Russian sources have pointed to the Equation Group as an NSA front for more than a year. In early 2015, Kaspersky Labs, one of the world’s leading cybersecurity firms, announced the discovery of the Equation Group and fingers were quickly pointed at NSA as being the culprit behind those hackers. It should be noted that Kaspersky Labs has a very cozy relationship with the Kremlin and is viewed by most espionage experts in the West as an extended arm of Russian intelligence. The firm’s founder, Eugene Kaspersky, was trained in codes and ciphers by the KGB in the waning days of the Soviet Union, even meeting his first wife at a KGB resort. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] More Leaked DNC Data Coming 

Congressional Democrats are scrambling to assess the scope of an unprecedented leak that revealed the personal data of nearly 200 current and former House Democrats, and they are bracing for more leaked data. Iconic Security CEO Adam Ghetti joins Lunch Break and explains how the FBI deals with data breaches.

pelosi-incandescentspy-data-nsa-gop-nro Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Krauthammer: Putin Ready to Move, ‘Sees Weakness in the White House’

Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of sending saboteurs across the border into Crimea to provoke the Russians, which a Ukrainian official called “ridiculous.” Charles Krauthammer agrees, and believes Putin is ready to take advantage of U.S. and European weakness.

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Israeli Athletes at Rio Olympics Endure ‘Shocking’ Hostility, Taunting by Muslim Nations 

The confrontations with delegations of nations traditionally hostile to Israel have marred an otherwise successful Olympics for Israel. Two days ago, judo fighter Yarden Gerbi won the bronze medal, making her the nation’s first medal winner since the 2008 Olympics.

 reports: The 2016 Olympic Games have been billed as an opportunity to put politics aside in the spirit of international camaraderie, but that’s not necessarily how it’s working out for Israeli athletes.

“Shocking but not surprisingly, the Lebanese and Saudi delegations obviously have the wrong idea about the Olympic Games.”

Animosity toward the 47-member delegation has triggered a reprimand from the International Olympic Committee and alarm from Jewish groups such as the Anti-Defamation League, which issued a statement this week decrying anti-Israel “hostility” in Rio de Janeiro.

“Instead of using the events to forget animosity and promote peace between people, they have brought their brainwashed minds to Rio.”

“Shocking but not surprisingly, the Lebanese and Saudi delegations obviously have the wrong idea about the Olympic Games,” said a statement Wednesday by Roz Rothstein, CEO of the pro-Israel group Stand With Us.

[Read the full story here, at Washington Times]

“Instead of using the events to forget animosity and promote peace between people, they have brought their brainwashed minds to Rio,” she said. “How unfortunate that they could not implement the good, peaceful intentions of the Olympics, and instead have used it as a forum to spread hate and continued rejection of peace.”

“How unfortunate that they could not implement the good, peaceful intentions of the Olympics, and instead have used it as a forum to spread hate and continued rejection of peace.”

The confrontations with delegations of nations traditionally hostile to Israel have marred an otherwise successful Olympics for Israel. Two days ago, judo fighter Yarden Gerbi won the bronze medal, making her the nation’s first medal winner since the 2008 Olympics. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Krauthammer: Trump’s Russia Comment ‘Set a Trap That the Clinton Campaign Fell Into’ 

Charles Krauthammer discusses Donald Trump’s call for Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s missing emails, and how the Clinton campaign’s response belies a total contradiction.

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Dezinformatsiya: Russian Internet Trolls were Being Hired to Pose as Pro-Trump Americans

It’s a brand of information warfare, known as ‘dezinformatsiya,’ that has been used by the Russians since at least the Cold War. The disinformation campaigns are only one ‘active measure’ tool used by Russian intelligence to ‘sow discord among,’ and within, allies perceived hostile to Russia.

 reports: Russia’s troll factories were, at one point, likely being paid by the Kremlin to spread pro-Trump propaganda on social media.

That is what freelance journalist Adrian Chen, now a staff writer at The New Yorker, discovered as he was researching Russia’s “army of well-paid trolls” for an explosive New York Times Magazine exposé published in June 2015.

“The DNC hack and dump is what cyberwar looks like.”

— Dave Aitel, a cybersecurity specialist, a former NSA employee, and founder of cybersecurity firm Immunity Inc., wrote for Ars Technica last week.

“A very interesting thing happened,” Chen told Longform‘s Max Linsky in a podcast in December.

“I created this list of Russian trolls when I was researching. And I check on it once in a while, still. And a lot of them have turned into conservative accounts, like fake conservatives. I don’t know what’s going on, but they’re all tweeting about Donald Trump and stuff,” he said.

Linsky then asked Chen who he thought “was paying for that.”

“I don’t know,” Chen replied. “I feel like it’s some kind of really opaque strategy of electing Donald Trump to undermine the US or something. Like false-flag kind of thing. You know, that’s how I started thinking about all this stuff after being in Russia.”

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St. Petersburg, Russia. Flickr/ranopamas

In his research from St. Petersburg, Chen discovered that Russian internet trolls — paid by the Kremlin to spread false information on the internet — have been behind a number of “highly coordinated campaigns” to deceive the American public.

“I created this list of Russian trolls when I was researching. And I check on it once in a while, still. And a lot of them have turned into conservative accounts, like fake conservatives. I don’t know what’s going on, but they’re all tweeting about Donald Trump and stuff.”

— Adrian Chen

It’s a brand of information warfare, known as “dezinformatsiya,” that has been used by the Russians since at least the Cold War. The disinformation campaigns are only one “active measure” tool used by Russian intelligence to “sow discord among,” and within, allies perceived hostile to Russia.

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[Read the full story here, at Business Insider]

“An active measure is a time-honored KGB tactic for waging informational and psychological warfare,” Michael Weiss, a senior editor at The Daily Beast and editor-in-chief of The Interpreter — an online magazine that translates and analyzes political, social, and economic events inside the Russian Federation — wrote on Tuesday.

He continued (emphasis added):

“It is designed, as retired KGB General Oleg Kalugin once defined it, ‘to drive wedges in the Western community alliances of all sorts, particularly NATO, to sow discord among allies, to weaken the United States in the eyes of the people in Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and thus to prepare ground in case the war really occurs.’ The most common subcategory of active measures is dezinformatsiya, or disinformation: feverish, if believable lies cooked up by Moscow Centre and planted in friendly media outlets to make democratic nations look sinister.”

Vladimir Putin

It is not surprising, then, that the Kremlin would pay internet trolls to pose as Trump supporters and build him up online. In fact, that would be the easy part. Read the rest of this entry »


IT’S ON: WikiLeaks Releases Hacked Audio of US Democratic Party Voicemails

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The new release includes 29 voice messages pulled from the emails of high-ranking DNC officials, totaling 14 minutes.

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One file (#16014) involves a Clinton supporter calling to demand that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders be prevented from winning the primary.

The emails released over the weekend showed that officials within the ostensibly neutral organization had a clear bias toward former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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Sanders supporters were outraged, and the embarrassment forced DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz to resign ahead of this week’s convention. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Trump to the Russians: ‘If you’re listening, I hope you find Hillary Clinton’s missing emails’

Vladimir Putin