Archive for espionage

Friday Links


Friday Links from The Political Carnival

Witch trialImage: Wikipedia

The Long, Sordid History Of Discrimination Against Christians in America

O'Reilly: 'There's gotta be some downside to having a woman president'

Higgins Says Social Security Violating Own Rules on Amherst Closing

Buying a Gun on Facebook Takes 15 Minutes

Western Spy Agencies Infiltrating, Warping World of Online Activism

Harry Reid Slams The Koch Brothers For Lying To The American People About Obamacare

Michigan Democrat taking Koch brothers head on over Obamacare

Jon Stewart blasts Fox News for stoking Arizona homophobes' fear

NC Republican Senate Candidate Is Getting Hammered Over Obamacare

Man who beheaded Greyhound passenger gets unescorted bus trips.

Lemerick, Ireland: Talk about culture is everywhere.

This app is fueling the uprising in Venezuela


I Love Polls


Polls & Surveys

Polls are a collection of numbers that are only as meaningful as you want them to be. Ask Mitt Romney. His pollsters told him he was going to win. He was crushed.

Polls told us that Americans overwhelmingly favored background checks on weapons. Congress didn't believe them.


So now we're getting some new numbers on Edward Snowden. But before you jump to any conclusions, in a poll conducted on the Fourth of July of this year, three names were given 2000 people at a fireworks gathering at Chicago's Navy Pier. Given these three names, they were asked who recently released classified documents about U.S. surveillance programs. William McKinley, Gustav Mahler or Edward Snowden. McKinley, the president, came in first with (37%); Mahler, the Austrian composer, second (21%); and Snowden, the document leaker, third (18%). The remaining 24% weren't aware of any classified documents being released. This isn't a slam on Chicago. It's a comment on how uninformed we are as a society.

So, with that as a reference, I'd like to share some numbers from a new HuffPost/YouGov poll.

Democrats said that Snowden did the wrong thing by a 46 percent to 26 percent margin, while independents said that he did the right thing by a 40 percent to 28 percent margin.

According to the new survey, 51 percent of Americans now say they've heard a lot about Snowden, while 38 percent say they've heard a little and only 11 percent said they've heard nothing at all.

Now that doesn't seem to jive with the unscientific poll in Chicago on Independence Day. Perhaps when you deal with real people, out with their families to enjoy the nations birthday, they become forgetful. Or maybe the YouGov poll is too tightly wrapped up in bed with the political activists of this country and not with the people as a whole. That's just a bit of an observation.

Forty-eight percent of respondents to the poll said that they support prosecuting Snowden for his actions, while 33 percent were opposed.

Maybe Snowden did wrong.  Maybe he did right.  We may never know until he tries to flee Russia (if he's even there) to another country and the US extorts or exerts pressure on other countries to act on unsubstantiated rumors of his flying over their airspace and forcing down his plane.

Hey, United States, stop the unregulated spying on us . Stop reading our mail. Stop snooping in on our internet communications. Stop tagging our phone calls. You need something for national security reasons? You should have it.  But do it legally. Get a warrant. That's what the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) is for.

And US Congress.  It's your job to make sure it's followed.


Cartoons of the Day- Chinese Cyberhacking




Year of the Snake



The Australian Financial Review: Corporate espionage and piracy by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp!


Rupert Murdoch's in more hot water, and this new scandal is a doozy. Via the Australian Financial Review:

A secret unit within Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation promoted a wave of high-tech piracy in Australia that damaged Austar, Optus and Foxtel at a time when News was moving to take control of the Australian pay TV industry.

The piracy cost the Australian pay TV companies up to $50 million a year and helped cripple the finances of Austar, which Foxtel is now in the process of acquiring.

A four-year investigation by The Australian Financial Review has revealed a global trail of corporate dirty tricks directed against competitors by a secretive group of former policemen and intelligence officers within News Corp known as Operational Security.

Their actions devastated News’s competitors, and the resulting waves of high-tech piracy assisted News to bid for pay TV businesses at reduced prices – including DirecTV in the US, Telepiu in Italy and Austar.

Were those the magic words?  "In the U.S."?

Of course, News Corp has categorically denied any involvement. You know, kind of like they've done in the past.

[D]ocuments uncovered by the Financial Review reveal that NDS [a News Corp subsidiary, News Datacom Systems] encouraged and facilitated piracy by hackers not only of its competitors but also of companies, such as Foxtel, for whom NDS provided pay TV smart cards. The documents show NDS sabotaged business rivals, fabricated legal actions and obtained telephone records illegally.

The words "handcuffs" and "Rupert" keep circling round and round my brain. I don't know why, they just do.

While News has consistently denied any role in fostering pay TV piracy, the Adams emails contradict court testimony given by Operational Security officers as well as statements by News lawyers in the past three weeks.

The article is lengthy and filled with details, so please link over. Meantime, I'll wrap up with this quote:

On May 5, Andy Coulthurst, a British hacker working for Operational Security, emailed Gutman: “Hacking Irdeto is SO EASY! All you need is . . .” and he rattled off the details.

H/t: @KateDoak