The War on Information

“Deception is a state of mind and the mind of the State.”
James Jesus Angleton, chief of CIA counterintelligence, 1954 – 1975

On 28/10/2013 the British Prime Minister defended the mass-surveillance programs by his intelligence services, “who do such important work to keep our country safe“. David Cameron criticised the publication of “damaging material” and warned that, “it is much better to appeal to newspapers’ sense of social responsibility. However, if they do not demonstrate some social responsibility, it will be very difficult for the Government to stand back and not to act.

More than 60 years ago George Orwell wrote about a fictitious future British society, where all subjects would be kept under constant indoctrination and surveillance by “telescreens” – devices which operate 24/7 as both televisions and security cameras. The government would justify these actions as imperative security measure in a state of war.

A work of fiction becomes reality

Querying the Global Terrorism Database returns a total of 69 terrorist incidents on UK soil between 2000 and 2011with 58 fatalities1 and 1024 injuries. There is only one (1) occurrence with one (1) fatality which has not been linked to the “Secret Organization of al-Qa’ida in Europe”. Their most spectacular and lethal operation was the 7 July 2005 London suicide bombings in the public transport system.

The following day, 08/07/05, the former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook2 went public with his statement, that “Bin Laden was, […] a product of a monumental miscalculation by Western security agencies” and “Al-Qaida, literally “the database”, was originally the computer file of the thousands of mujahideen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians.

Cook’s statement supports the bigger picture, already revealed in 2004 by a former agent for French military intelligence, namely that Al Qaeda is “an intelligence construct used by Washington to destabilize and destroy sovereign countries, while sustaining the illusion of an outside enemy, which threatens the security of the Western World.”

Force majeure3 – imposing TINA-rule4

Also in Orwell’s fictive totalitarian society the government appears to be forced by the circumstances of wartime to put aside the commonwealth. However, as the story unfolds, it becomes obvious, that the true purpose of the war is not to be won, but never to end! “Safety” has become the all-overriding priority, using up most of the national funds and produced goods. Hence there is not enough left to support economic equality – a high standard of living for every citizen – but the masses have to accept ‘austerity measures’ for the greater public good, while remaining poor and uneducated.

UK MPs debating
Living wage: a salary above the poverty-line, sufficient to provide the necessities and comforts essential to an acceptable standard of living for all citizens.

Doublespeak

“Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.”
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

The Head of the UK Government, connecting “safety” with “social responsibility” to justify possible censorship in order to control public opinion about mass-surveillance, conjures the association with the Orwellian society where universal truth is formed by political statements with obvious contradictory meanings:

WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
— George Orwell, “Nineteen Eighty Four“, published 1949

Today Doublespeak is the synonym for the spin of ideas with an intention to deceive. And since in our case, the PM’s statement definitely conflicts with the fact, that mass-surveillance doesn’t keep us safe, a most interesting question arises:

Why is the mass-surveillance of such an importance, that “The Right Honourable David Cameron MP” has to make a fool out of himself with an insipid and pointless threat to gag the press – alike a banana republic despot?5

The hypocrisy behind “social responsibility”

The chief principle of banana-ism is to maximize the gains of a small elite, always ensuring that any shortfall is made up by those unfortunates whose daily life involves earning money rather than making it: Socialism for the rich and free enterprise for the rest.

“There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”
Warren Buffet, 2006

Over the last decade the PC and Internet have been assimilated with this interest.6 Originally the development of the PC in the 1980ies, as well as of the Internet in the 1990ies, had been initiated by a small radical group – the computer geeks – wherein the most valued creative innovation over profit and ethical network use over data-mining.

The ends justify the means

By contrast currently unfolds the institutionalised corruption of ICT in order to destroy equality and protect the establishment, aiming at its transformation to an instrument of power and control for the global superclass.

Alas any such a claim would have been dismissed as “conspiracy theory” – had not indisputable information been made public by a few idealistic insiders, risking their lives by leaking top-secret documents like this (click to enlarge):

nsa1024

Breaking News 20/02/2015: In 2010 a joint unit of NSA and GCHQ stole the encryption keys used to protect the privacy of cellphone communications across the globe. The spies hacked into the internal computer network of the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world. Using these stolen keys, intelligence agencies can monitor mobile communications without seeking or receiving approval from telecom companies and foreign governments:

cne-access-to-core-mobile-networksDear reader,  please judge by yourself in the following, whether the killer-argument of Western politicians and their mainstream media spin-doctors is substantiated, namely that global mass-surveillance is an imperative requirement for the fight against global terrorism.


News round up

Human rights groups’ open letter to David Cameron on surveillance
‘National security should never be used to justify preventing disclosures of illegalities or wrongdoing,’ says coalition.

Huge swath of GCHQ mass surveillance is illegal, says top lawyer
Legal advice given to MPs warns that British spy agency is ‘using gaps in regulation to commit serious crime with impunity’

It’s outrageous to accuse the Guardian of aiding terrorism” – nothing was published that could be a threat to national security; claims the UN Special Rapporteur on Counter Terrorism and Human Rights

US and UK struck secret deal to allow NSA to ‘unmask’ Britons’ personal data
The phone, internet and email records of UK citizens not suspected of any wrongdoing have been analysed and stored by America’s National Security Agency (NSA) under a secret deal that was approved by British intelligence officials.

Britain’s surveillance agency GCHQ, with aid from the US National Security Agency, intercepted and stored Yahoo webcam video from millions of users — not suspected of wrongdoing, secret documents reveal. As the “material included large quantity of sexually explicit images”, the agents became less focused on fighting terrorism: “The documents also chronicle GCHQ’s sustained struggle to keep the large store of sexually explicit imagery collected by Optic Nerve away from the eyes of its staff“.

NSA Spies on World Bank, IMF, UN, Pope, World Leaders, American Politicians and Military Officers
Proof that NSA spying is not very focused on terrorism.

NSA talking points and suggested statements for officials (PDF)
An internal document recommending that officials use fear of another terrorist attack – like 9/11 – when pressed to explain agency’s programs.

“NSA and its partners must make sure we connect the dots so that the nation is never attacked again like it was on 9/11.”

Shouting ‘9/11’ in a Crowded Internet
Why the NSA’s ‘we keep you safe from terrorists’ rationale is bogus.

“The odds of dying in a terrorist attack are a lot lower than they are of dying in a car accident.”
– US-President Obama in Jay Leno’s Late Night Show 06/08/2013

… also you are 8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist – in the US – according to US official statistics.

… or 1000 times more likely to become a victim of gun violence – as CNN reported:

It’s official: The U.S. is the world’s leading terrorist state, and proud of it.” – analysis by Prof. Noam Chomsky.

The NSA’s SKYNET program may be killing thousands of innocent people – “ridiculously optimistic” machine learning algorithm is “completely bullshit,” says expert.

Report to the European Parliament – dated 11 July 2001 – “on the existence of a global system for the interception of private and commercial communications (ECHELON interception system) (2001/2098(INI))“.
Mass-surveillance already was in place before the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks.

Breaking News 09/01/2014: Back in the 1980ies the UK prevented today’s global GSM-standard for mobile phones to provide a strong encryption – facilitating future mass-surveillance. “I was told by a British delegate that the British secret services wanted to weaken the security so they could eavesdrop more easily” one expert recalls.

The so-called “snooper’s charter” in the UK7 was supposed to legalise mass-surveillance, but that plan was foiled by British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in the spring of 2013. However on 30/01/2014 a tireless Prime Minister Cameron fabricated the killer-argument why mass-surveillance is necessary: because fictional crime dramas on TV 😉 would prove it:

“I love watching […] crime dramas on the television. There’s hardly a crime drama where a crime is solved without using the data of a mobile communications device.”

“What we have to explain to people is that… if we don’t modernise the practice and the law, over time we will have the communications data to solve these horrible crimes on a shrinking proportion of the total use of devices and that is a real problem for keeping people safe.

Update Nov. 2016 about the “snooper’s charter”: Britain has passed the ‘most extreme surveillance law ever passed in a democracy’

Analysis: How your innocent smartphone passes on almost your entire life to the secret service

News update 17/01/2015: Obama Sides with Cameron in Encryption Fight – blame the terrorist:

 “If we find evidence of a terrorist plot… and despite having a phone number, despite having a social media address or email address, we can’t penetrate that, that’s a problem,”

Cameron seconds, that the major tech-companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft “need to work with us. They need also to demonstrate, which they do, that they have a social responsibility to fight the battle against terrorism.” The British Prime Minister asks:

“In our country, do we want to allow a means of communication between people which we cannot read?”

But not implementing encryption technologies leaves all government, corporate and private PCs and smartphones vulnerable to online data manipulation by criminal gangs – according to a classified US cybersecurity report!

Yes, encryption works: Encryption tools the NSA couldn’t crack – even when using services of the major tech-companies:

Off-the-Record (OTR) is a layer of encryption that can be added to any existing instant message chat system, provided that you can connect to that chat system using a chat client that supports OTR, such as Pidgin or Adium. With OTR it’s possible to have secure, end-to-end encrypted conversations over services like Google Talk and Facebook chat without Google or Facebook ever having access to the contents of the conversations.”

Notes:
1. Alone for 2011, alcohol-related deaths in the United Kingdom amount to 8,748! What happened to the government’s sense for “social responsibility” fail in this case?
2. On 06/08/05 — less than one month later — the 59 year old Robert Finlayson “Robin” Cook  died of a sudden heart attack
3. Force majeure: Latin: “superior force”, Law: unforeseeable circumstances that prevent someone from fulfilling an agreement or contract.
4. There Is No Alternative, (shortened as TINA) was a catch-phrase often used by the Conservative British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The slogan was supposed to make people believe, that free markets, free trade, and capitalist globalization are the best and only way for modern societies to develop.
5. George Orwell described the British Empire as “despotism with theft as its final object”.
6. Just take a look at the “evolution” of Google’s privacy policy: In 1999 their users were promised anonymity. Within a decade Google willingly gave up most principles in favour of business and government interests.
7. U.S. Patriot Act snooping powers have not cracked a single major terrorism case since their implementation in 2004, as reported by the FBI to the Justice Department’s inspector general in May 2015.

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