Aadhaar run by “private shop” accountable to no-one

The New Indian Express points out that the Indian biometric ID is essentially being collated and bared for snooping by foreign governments and private corporations, with no accountability to Indian citizens.

The material collected can be used to track, monitor, and control citizens.

It can subject them to unlawful governmental surveillance, as well as to criminal attacks.

The material can also be used to silence dissidents, frame patsies and scape-goats, and terrorize the population at large:

In 2012, the IB warned the state about loopholes in Aadhaar, but the government continued with the enrolment process, sidestepping security concerns.

The NSA top secret documents leaked last week point to the covert operation. “Identity Intelligence is exploiting pieces of information that are unique to an individual to track, exploit and identify targets… ,” the papers stated.

Three types of data is being mined by the NSA which includes “biometric, biographic and contextual.” Biometric data shows an individual’s physical or behavioural traits like face, iris, fingerprints, voice etc. Biographic data gives details of life history, including address, school, and profession while contextual data is about individual’s travel history and financial bank details.

Although, the US government had earlier scrapped Aadhaar-like project for its residents, it surprisingly mounted covert ops to infiltrate biometric database in other countries. The decision of the US to not allow biometric profiling of residents was followed by China, Australia and UK and similar proposals were shot down by the respective governments.

The intelligence agencies raised the contentious provision in the contract agreement that allows foreign vendors to keep the biometric data for next 7 years making it easy prey for NSA. “The contract agreement signed by UIDAI with foreign vendors is absurd. Private companies can easily share it with US spy agency. We have seen how they arm twist private players to gain foothold in their server,” a top intelligence official said, adding the UIDAI also had arrangements with certain private software firms for technology assistance. “

Greenwald: Torture porn promoter

An insightful piece at reclusive leftist on one of the most prominent  activists against torture….when it’s done by the government   – “libertarian” Glenn Greenwald.

Greenwald has been unmasked as a corporate/intelligence shill and Iraq war-promoter by his own leftist ex-fans.

 

Update: I have been asked to preface this post with a warning that readers may find it disturbing.)

When I posted a link to Glenn Greenwald’s column the other day, I was unaware of his history as an advocate for torturers. Greenwald has vigorously championed torturers’ rights, has explicitly privileged their version of events over that of their victims, and has asserted — in agreement with the torturers — that “no real pain was inflicted” on the victims.

Of course these aren’t the torturers at Gitmo or Abu Ghraib. It’s the film company of “Max Hardcore,” an extreme pornographer who grossly abused women while filming the proceedings for the entertainment of other men. Hardcore claims his victims were thrilled to be tortured, and Greenwald accepts this point of view unquestioningly.

Amazing what a difference gender makes, huh?

And if you’re thinking that it’s not a question of gender, that the real difference is between prisoners of war and allegedly volunteer performers, think again. I’ll help you:

Imagine that instead of Max Hardcore, we have a U.S. Army dude stationed in Iraq with a sideline in homemade porn. Imagine that this homemade porn is of a very special kind, involving Iraqi boys and young men off the streets, the ones who are scavenging in garbage dumps and living hand-to-mouth. Our imaginary Army pornographer offers these guys $20 each to be in a porn video. Many of them say yes — after all, $20 is a fortune for a street kid.

Each porn video consists of heavy-duty homosexual sadism and racism. The young Iraqi victim in each film is violently penetrated, choked, beaten, urinated on, masturbated on, fed his own feces, and forced to crawl on the floor while saying things like, “I’m a filthy sand n*****” and “Mohammed is a pig-f*****.” The Army pornographer screams racist epithets at the young victim throughout — that is, when he’s not too busy raping and kicking and pissing and force-feeding shit down the Iraqi’s throat. By the end of each video, the Iraqi victim is shrieking in pain and sobbing uncontrollably. When the camera finally shuts off, he collects his $20 and gets the hell out — shocked, shattered, humiliated to his core.

So think about that. Think about this imaginary series of homemade porn from Iraq, and imagine that it’s widely popular — on Army bases, stateside, anywhere white men enjoy fantasizing about torturing exploited Iraqis. How do you think people like Glenn Greenwald would react? Do you think Glenn would be talking loftily about the Army pornographer’s First Amendment rights? Do you think he would say that the videos are simply entertainment? That no harm is being done, to anyone? Would he insist that the central fact of the matter is that the Iraqis are exercising perfect free will? And that by honoring their desire to be humiliated and tortured for $20, he’s respecting them as people?

Of course not. If porn like that existed, there would be an uproar. C*****! People would throw up after 10 seconds of one video. What kind of sick shit is this? The racism! The hatred! The sheer breathtaking cruelty! And the whole surrounding exploitation — god! Paying these garbage dump kids all of $20 to be tortured! It’s too sick to believe. And what kind of insane people get off on this shit anyway? What’s wrong with them? Is our society really that vicious? Liberals all over the blogosphere would be writing long posts about the black heart of American fascism. And people like Glenn Greenwald would be saying that if this shit isn’t illegal somehow, then by god, we need to find a way to make it so.

That’s if the victims were men.

In the real world, of course, there is porn just like that: it’s what Max Hardcore specialized in. But his victims were female, you see. And that makes it okay. You can do anything to a woman — anything at all — and as long as some dude gets an orgasm out of it, it’s okay.

(And I cannot resist noting the extent to which the orgasm, in our current bizarro era of human-rights-as-defined-by-Larry-Flynt, has assumed preternatural importance as a kind of all-purpose salvific justification.

If you’re a guy who likes seeing women get beaten up and raped and mauled, but you don’t get any kind of sexual charge out of it, you’re a creep who hates women. But if it gives you an orgasm, then by god, it’s a healthy and beautiful thing. And anybody who says otherwise is a prude.)”

More here on the so-called “left-libertarian” alliance and what it really fronts for.

OSINT, espionage, & sedition

A university researcher wrote to me a week or two ago. He asked if I would be interested in a project studying Operation Mockingbird and the CIA’s past and continuing use of the news media (and of social media).

A little research into the researcher showed that he was involved in a website promoting the use of  OSINT.

OSINT is the graceless acronym the government bestows on something called open-source intelligence.

OSINT is public information similar to what this blog uses.

Not just media reports, but links on forums,  government data,  court documents, commentary at blogs and in discussion groups, social media postings.

As long as it’s not confidential (a lawyer’s privileged conversation) or obviously private (a home phone number or medical information), it’s all fair game.

Until “national security” gets involved.

Of course, “national security” is an elastic term that seems to include everything.

The empire’s desire for full-spectrum dominance makes anything in outer – or inner – space part of “national security.”

Now, until I encountered the term OSINT in the past few days, I‘d no idea that what I was doing by chance bears a resemblance to what a whole wing of the CIA specializes in.

I do it because I’ve generally found the major media unreliable (and uninteresting) and the alternative media, while far more interesting,  ideologically biased.

But there’s a catch.

OSINT can get an un-credentialed journalist or blogger into serious trouble.

How serious?

Wikipedia on the dangers of OSINT:

“Accredited journalists have some protection in asking questions, and researching for recognized media outlets. Even so they can be imprisoned, even executed, for seeking out OSINT.

Private individuals illegally collecting data for a foreign military or intelligence agency is considered espionage in most countries. Of course, espionage that is not treason (i.e. betraying one’s country of citizenship) has been a tool of statecraft since ancient times, is widely engaged in by nearly all countries, and is considered an honorable trade.”

So, well-paid mercenaries and meddlesome bureaucrats who provoke international conflicts and break domestic and foreign laws while  spying on foreign countries are patriots, while unpaid citizen-bloggers/journalists trying to deconstruct the dense fog  of corporate-state propaganda to help ordinary people should be shot.

Very rational.

That leads me back to the curious invitation in my mail-box.

If gathering open-source intelligence can in some circumstances be seen as  treasonous, then why the invitation?

Blogging from public sources is one thing. But blogging that is intended to inform an enemy might be another.

The OSINT web-site I saw gave me a hint by referring to an open-source “revolution.

Long-time readers of my blog will probably know  how I feel about “revolutions,” especially those led by what I call techno-utopians.

And sure enough, in the last two weeks it seems that the 45-year-old meme of “open source revolution” has been revived.

Yes, 45 years. That’s how old this “cutting-edge” meme is.

Only now it’s migrated from the soft-ware community, where it began, to the intelligence community.

Going back, the term “open-source” was a spin-off from a community of “hackers” creating what was later called free software at an MIT artificial intelligence lab in 1971.

The word hacker here doesn’t mean anything criminal. It’s a positive word for people who take apart and improve on computer programs for the sheer fun of it and for the good of the public.

At least, that’s the self-portrait.

The developer of free software, Richard Stallings, later worked at Lawrence Livermore lab and won a MacArthur “genius” award.

Lawrence Livermore is a government lab devoted to science and research in the interests of national security.

The cypherpunk group, devoted to developing strong cryptography ,  was the group from which Julian Assange and Wikileaks emerged.

It  included one researcher from the Lawrence Livermore lab, as well as many senior people from Bell, MIT, and Sun Microsystems (among others).

Stallings himself is a strong supporter of free software.

He developed the “copyleft” approach to IP, which allows changes to be made to code by innovators, so long as each innovator in turn allows other users the same freedom.

Copyleft also allows people the freedom to commercialize their innovations.

Stallings is a strong supporter of the hacker collective Anonymous, seeing it as a kind of legitimate “street protest.”

You can search this blog to find my ruminations about Anonymous….

(To be continued)

Unknown devices…..

Unknown devices keep showing up under network adapters in my device manager. I keep disabling them and they keep showing up.

They have no signature, no device ID or function, no location or vendor information. They just have the word root and then a number.

Then there’s the comment link on which I accidentally clicked that took me to an empty website. Was someone tying to download something or find my IP address?

My computer got very buggy and slow yesterday. Then my security software keeps turning off.

Worse, there are the unknown devices of my fellow man.

Someone sent me an email at which to contact them. The handle was something like city-slicker@usa.com (not the actual handle, of course).

Now do high-profile people usually have emails with such handles,  and, even if they do, do they give it out to strangers on the web?  Do they insist on contacting you and then insist that you respond only on personal email and private cell numbers?

And then do they comment on this blog using a fake handle?

One with a link on which I accidentally click that takes me to an empty website set up a long while ago?

Methinks I smell a set-up.  Especially when the high-profile one claims to have intelligence contacts/experience.

I could be wrong, of course. In which case, my profound apologies.

But that is why I do not respond except in ways I choose.

And that is why I like to keep it strictly about politics, except for people who have actually intersected with me.

Even then, I tend to be wary.

Anything a stranger needs to tell me can be posted at this blog.

If it’s confidential and has some public importance, disguise the information and post pseudonymously.

If it’s private information, please find a personal friend in whom to confide.

It does you, the reader, and me, the blogger,  no good to confuse web-reality with real-reality.

Google: Cyberbullying for profit

An anonymous Australian web-site reveals how Google has a financial incentive to cyber-bully people by elevating smear-and-extort sites like The Ripoff Report.

(I will not link to it, but here is Wikipedia’s entry on the Ripoff Report):

[Side-note: One of my attackers on the web seems to have been affiliated with this site,  which essentially runs an extortion racket by smearing people via hired proxies and then asking for money from the victims to remove the smears.]

UPDATE September 20th 2013: Victory

A large number of major companies have removed their advertisements from Ripoff Report.

This webpage contains an overview of the project.

The updated full report can be downloaded from this url:

https://www.adrive.com/public/9u3aau/Cyberbullying for Profit September 2013.zip

A list of examples URLs from Ripoff Report containing offensive material about children, public figures and individuals is contained in an attachment to the report but an also be found here:

This video explains how Google priorities links from Ripoff Report in its search results.

This video shows that Google considers Ripoff Report has unacceptable  business practices. So why does it advertise on its webpages? The answer is…..advertising revenue for  Google (see above).

Overview

The website Ripoff Report and other websites that emulate the business model of ‘cyberbullying for profit’  publish false and offensive information about minors, teenager, adults and businesses and these are often accompanied by photographs and identifying details.   Ripoff Report also publishes extremely racist and homophobic material, offensive material about religious groups, public figures and ‘celebrities’. While the material about public figures appears to be given a low Google page rank, the names of children, teenagers, ordinary people and small business owners ‘reported’ on these websites is contained in snippets displayed at or near the top of the Google search results (SERPs). These snippets contain names and location details couched in terms such as ‘ripoff’, ‘fraud, ‘pedophile’, ‘scam’, ‘whore’, ‘slut, ‘prostitute’, ‘skank’, ‘murderer’, ‘bitch’ ‘faggot’ ‘liar’ ‘drug abuser’, ‘cunt’, ‘stalker’, ‘HIV’ and/or ‘AIDS’ and other accusatory and derogatory terms.  

Ripoff Report earns revenue from two sources – advertising and payments from victims to the website to ‘rehabilitate’ their reputation in the Google search results or remove the false material. Despite the fact that the claims are false, if a person cannot pay their life is ruined because, as stated by Google, their search engine is often ‘the first place people look for information that’s published’ about a person.

Even if the allegations can be proven to be false Ripoff Report will not remove the material unless they are paid a substantial corporate advocacy’, or ‘arbitration’ feeIn response to removal requests, Google provides a number of excuses and victims must find an ‘ex-gratia’ payment in order to ensure the material is removed from the Google index and ameliorate the danger towards their children and/0r save their livelihoods and businesses. Furthermore, Ripoff Report publishes registered trade names and copyrighted photographs without permission. It claims a copyright over the webpages. This business model is enabled by both a high Google page rank  and advertising revenue. The companies and business that advertise on Ripoff Report supply this revenue and support the endangerment and cyberbullying of children, teenagers and adults and the destruction of careers and livelihoods. This project arose out of my own experience with the publication of false and defamatory material on these websites.

Despite the fact that it takes only a couple of minutes to remove links from the Google index, after four years of notifications, pleading with the website and Google, and litigation against Google it has not been removed. ……I sued Google for defamation in February 2011 with the hope that it would simply remove the links and I could then move on with my life. My hope was misplaced. …….

…Despite the fact that Google refuse most removal requests, they have quietly removed links for other victims of Ripoff Report.

[Lila: I have seen Google actively suppress information that exposes the financial mafia,which is to the left, politically.]

“For obvious reasons I cannot and will not publish the names of these people because they likely paid a substantial amount to either the websites or Google to save their families and livelihoods.

However, Google can and does remove websites and links without much effort.

For example, since December 2011 Google has removed almost 90,000 links from its index at the request of Ripoff Report. Many of those links contained registered trademarks and copyrighted photographs but it appears that Ripoff Report is  not questioned about these DMCA issues by Google. My blog, was also removed from the Google index soon after it went online.  If this appears difficult to believe consider that the removal occurred  after I drew attention to the blog by applying for AdSense advertising as an experiment.

In fact, I clearly stated on my blog that I was suing Google. Apparently’ freedom of speech’ only applies unless one says something negative about Google.

My blog was magically re-indexed in the Google index within hours of my public complaint in a blog conversation in which Matt Cutts was participating. The documents showing the removal and reinstatement of my blog in the Google SERPs can be downloaded from this link.

[Lila : Here is a previous blog post of mine, from 2009, where I reference Ripoff  Report and its owner, in the context of describing the nexus of organized crime and short-sellers.]