Posts Tagged With: spying

Strassel concluded, “To sum up, Team Obama was spying broadly on the incoming administration.”


WASHINGTON – Multiple reports indicate former National Security Adviser Susan Rice was the Obama administration official who requested the unmasking of incoming Trump officials.

Fresh from outdueling Scott Pelley on “60 Minutes,” author Mike Cernovich published an article in Medium on Sunday that said, “The White House Counsel’s office identified Rice as the person responsible for the unmasking after examining Rice’s document log requests.”

Unmasking is the potentially illegal revealing of names within the intelligence community of U.S. citizens who communications were monitored under surveillance.

The unmasked names of people associated with Donald Trump were then sent to every member of the National Security Council, some officials at the Defense Department, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and then-CIA Director John Brennan – essentially, the officials at the top, including former Rice deputy Ben Rhodes.

Cernovich also reported that New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman has had the information about Rice for at least two days, but “has chosen to sit on it in an effort to protect the reputation of former President Barack Obama.”

On Monday morning, Bloomberg reporter Eli Lake published information that appeared to support Cernovich’s claim.

Sources described as U.S. officials familiar with the matter told Lake that White House lawyers discovered last month that Rice “requested the identities of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign.”

The information reportedly came to light during a National Security Council review of the government’s policy on unmasking the identities of people not targeted for electronic monitoring but whose communications were intercepted incidentally.

Two sources told Bloomberg the review was conducted by the National Security Council’s senior director for intelligence, Ezra Cohen-Watnick.

The sources told Lake that “Cohen-Watnick discovered Rice’s multiple requests to unmask U.S. persons in intelligence reports that related to Trump transition activities.”

One source told Lake the reports “contained valuable political information on the Trump transition such as whom the Trump team was meeting, the views of Trump associates on foreign policy matters and plans for the incoming administration.”

A third published report has now emerged corroborating those accounts.

Circa News is reporting that National Security Council staff in the Trump administration discovered evidence of Rice’s involvement in the unmasking in computer logs left behind by the Obama administration.

Circa News also reported that “most if not all” of the surveillance information collected on the Trump team had nothing to do with any of the alleged election interference by Russia.

Last month on PBS, Rice denied knowing anything about reports that information on Trump and his associates was incidentally collected.

However, Rice’s credibility previously has come under question.

She went on all the major Sunday talk shows in September 2012 after the terrorist attack on the U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya, to blame the incident on a spontaneous protest over an Internet video defaming Islam, even though evidence has since shown the Obama administration knew that not to be true.

As someone both in the intelligence community and in the White House, Rice would seem to fit the profile of whoever it was who sought to discredit the then-incoming Trump administration by claiming it had ties to the Russian government.

However, as WND reported, in early March, intelligence chiefs who have seen the classified information in question, including Obama’s own former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper as well as former acting CIA Director Michael Morell, have said they have seen no evidence of collusion between the Trump team and the Russian government.

That would appear to indicate the real reason the Obama administration was feverishly collecting and sharing the classified information was not for national security purposes but for political reasons.

The new information on Rice come on top of bombshell revelations Friday that the spying by the Obama administration on then-presidential candidate Trump reportedly was even worse than what he has alleged.

And it had nothing to do with Russia but everything to do with politics.

Sources in the intelligence community claimed the unmasking of people in the Trump camp who were under surveillance was done purely “for political purposes” to “hurt and embarrass (candidate) Trump and his team.”

The revelations came from rank-and-file members of the intelligence community who are fighting back against a stonewall by the leaders at the nation’s spy agencies, according to Fox News.

Reporter Adam Housley said the sources were “not Trump” people but are “frustrated with the politics that is taking place in these (intelligence) agencies.”

Here is what they told Fox:

1) Surveillance targeting the Trump team during the Obama administration began months ago, even before the president had become the GOP nominee in July.

2) The spying on the Trump team had nothing to do with the collection of foreign intelligence or an investigation into Russia election interference.

3) The spying was done purely “for political purposes” that “have nothing to do with national security and everything to do with hurting and embarrassing Trump and his team.”

4) The person who did the unmasking was someone “very well known, very high up, very senior in the intelligence world, and is not in the FBI.”

5) Congressional investigators know the name of at least one person who was unmasking names.

6) The initial surveillance on the Trump team led to “a number of names” being unmasked.

7) House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., has known about the unmasking since January.

8) Two sources in the intelligence community told Nunes who did the unmasking and told him at least one of the names of someone in the Trump team who was unmasked. The sources also gave Nunes the serial numbers of the classified reports that documented the unmasking.

9) It took Nunes a number of weeks to figure out how to see those intelligence reports because the intelligence agencies were stonewalling him and not allowing the chairman or other people to see them.

10) There were only two places Nunes could have seen the information: where the sources work, which would have blown their cover; and the Eisenhower Executive Office building on the White House grounds, which houses the National Security Council and has computers linked to the secure system containing the reports he sought.

11) Nunes got access to that system on March 21 with the help of two Trump administration officials.

The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel reported the documents Nunes saw confirming the Obama administration spied on the Trump team for months “aren’t easily obtainable, since they aren’t the ‘finished’ intelligence products that Congress gets to see.”

She said there were “dozens of documents with information about Trump officials.”

Strassel also reported there was a stonewall against the Intelligence committee chairman because, “for weeks Mr. Nunes has been demanding intelligence agencies turn over said documents—with no luck, so far.”

 

She also learned that, along with former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, one other Trump official was unmasked.

(Flynn resigned after his unmasking was leaked to the press as part of reports that he spoke on the phone with the Russian ambassador before the new administration took office. President Trump said the two discussed nothing inappropriate and Flynn was just doing his job, but the president asked for the aide’s resignation because he was not completely honest in his initial account of the conversation.)

But even the reports that did not unmask identities “were written in ways that made clear which Trump officials were being discussed.”

And, importantly, the documents were “circulated at the highest levels of government.”

Strassel concluded, “To sum up, Team Obama was spying broadly on the incoming administration.”

Fox News also reports the Senate Judiciary Committee is looking into whether leaks of information targeting the Trump team could have come from the FBI, because it requested Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, warrants that led to the acquisition of some of the foreign surveillance.

Nunes has said the FBI has not responded to his requests for information, and a source told Fox the agency is refusing to cooperate with the House investigation.

Fox also reported the Senate Judiciary Committee is looking into “whether the FBI wrongly included political opposition research from Trump’s opponents in its probe.”

The panel also is probing whether the FBI paid a former British spy who wrote a sensational and discredited report alleging wild improprieties by Trump and his aides.

On Friday, Press Secretary Sean Spicer noted the day before the president tweeted his accusation that Obama had spied on him, comments were made by “a senior administration official, foreign policy expert, Dr. Evelyn Farkas, (which) together with previous reports that have been out, raised serious concerns on whether or not there was an organized and widespread effort by the Obama administration to use and leak highly sensitive intelligence information for political purposes.”

As WND reported in depth, Farkas appeared to have inadvertently confirmed the former president’s administration spied on Trump’s transition team for political purposes.

Speaking on MSNBC March 2, she confirmed that not only was the previous administration collecting intelligence on the Trump team, it was attempting to share it as far and wide as possible.

 

Farkas claimed the information was about Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, but just days later, intelligence chiefs who had seen the classified information in question, including Obama’s own former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper as well as former acting CIA Director Michael Morell, said they have seen no evidence of collusion between the Trump team and the Russian government.

That would appear to add more credence to the assertion that the real reason the Obama administration was feverishly collecting and sharing the classified information was not for national security purposes but for political reasons.

On Friday, Spicer said, “Dr. Farkas’s admissions alone are devastating.”

He said that “in the ordinary course of their work, NSC – National Security Council – staff discovered information that may support the questions raised by the President and Dr. Farkas’s claim.”

“These are serious issues. They raise serious concerns. And if true, the issues would be devastating,” Spicer said.

Spicer then lectured reporters for ignoring the Farkas story and growing evidence that Obama did indeed spy on the Trump team.

“[I]f everyone was treating the president and the administration fairly, you’d ask a series of much different questions,” he said.

Although the White House has not yet commented on the assertion, administration officials apparently endorsed Cernovich’s confrontation with Pelley during a segment on “fake” news on March 26,
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2017/04/sources-susan-rice-behind-unmasking-of-trump-officials/#LzeCVSpTdXwwAk1w.99

Categories: Big Brother Spying, Democrats, Obama, revealing information, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Learn from Edward Snowden…ENCRYPTING YOUR LAPTOP LIKE YOU MEAN IT


Edward Snowden still maintained, “Encryption works. Properly implemented strong crypto systems are one of the few things that you can rely on.”

If you want to encrypt your hard disk and have it truly help protect your data, you shouldn’t just flip it on; you should know the basics of what disk encryption protects, what it doesn’t protect, and how to avoid common mistakes that could let an attacker easily bypass your encryption.

Follow the link to learn how to protect yourself…..

https://theintercept.com/2015/04/27/encrypting-laptop-like-mean/

Categories: 2nd Amendment, Banking, Big Brother Spying, Government Secrets, Identity Theft Protection, NSA, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

NSA OPS ‘WALK IN PARK’ NEXT TO PLANS TO TRACK KIDS…… Watchdog says personal details about attitudes collected, measured, assessed….


Dr. Karen Effrem, president of the national watchdog group, Education Liberty Watch, is sounding an alarm about Common Core, the federal education standards that almost all states are adopting by accepting federal “Race to the Top” funding.

Under Common Core, Effrem said, students’ personal information increasingly is being collected, measured and assessed while the standards shift the focus away from academics and toward psychological training and testing of personal attitudes and behaviors.

Jane Robbins, senior fellow with the American Principles Project and a Common Core expert, shares Effrem’s concerns.

She said an agreement between a group that develops the Common Core tests and the DOE requires the consortium to give the DOE “complete access to any and all data collected at the state level.”

Robbins said parents will not be notified if personal information about their children is released, nor will they be told who gets it.

Common Core, Effrem said, creates “a womb-to-tomb dossier on kids and families” that includes between 300 and 400 different data points, such as parents’ voting status, religious affiliation, medical data, newborn screening and genetic data.

That personal student information is to be stored and shared between states in what amounts to a national database clearinghouse of information that Effrem said will follow children and may help determine where they work or go to school.

“It’s lifelong,” Effrem said. “And, it’s not just phone records or tax returns or that kind of thing. It’s literally their entire lives and everything about them and their families.”

Robbins added it is illegal for the federal government to establish a student database, “but they get around that by having the states do it.”

Effrem cited concerns about what these kinds of personal data collections will ultimately do to freedom in America.

“It’s going to be like what happened in the Soviet Union or China,” Effrem said. “Only it’s going to be with super computers; it’s going to be at the click of a button instead of on paper.”

Teachers as psychologists

Effrem said many Common Core standards and assessments will be used to collect data that go beyond academics to focus on student’s psychological attitudes, values and beliefs.

She points to documents from the National School Boards Association, the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) and the U.S. Department of Education that promote teaching children beyond academics to focus on “non-cognitive” “21st Century skills” that include the disposition, social skills and behavior of children.

“Various elements of SEL can be found in nearly every state’s K-12 standards framework and in the Common Core State Standards for the English Language Arts,” states the National Association of State Boards of Education in an October 2013 paper, “From Practice to Policy.”

SEL (social emotional learning) is also starting to be incorporated in federal policies and initiatives, such as the Race to the Top, according to a 2013 CASEL report, “The Missing Piece, How Social and Emotional Learning Can Empower Children and Transform Schools.”

That finding was echoed by Pamela Orme, Anchorage School District social studies curriculum coordinator.

Orme said the SEL aspect of the standards became evident as they “began to unpack standards we found a clear correlation between Common Core and social, emotional learning.”

The CASEL report adds that some states like Illinois and Kansas are also implementing social emotional standards on their own, a practice it found is supported by a majority of teachers it surveyed.

The report also called it “critical” to develop social and emotional assessment tools so teachers can “measure students’ social and emotional competence.”

The Orwellian lengths the government is willing to go to to measure those results is made clear in the U.S. Department of Education Technology’s February 2013 draft report, “Promoting Grit, Tenacity and Perseverance: Critical Factors for Success in the 21st Century.”

Dubbed “affective computing” the report explores the “growing movement” within schools about how traits like dispositions, social skills, attitudes and “interpersonal resources” can be measured in students.

It also indicates a move toward changing student behaviors to promote what government declares are keys to success beyond “cognitive.”

The report also states assessments “can serve a wide range of purposes well beyond accountability” to include research and “diagnostic indicators for vulnerable students.”

It lauds the use of “affective computing” to measure social-emotional competencies, such as a student’s level of grit, tenacity and perseverance.

Included are photos of equipment that measures student responses: a facial expression camera, wrist wires, pressure mouse and posture analysis seat.

The report states the equipment has been used in studies of “data mining techniques.”

It states the sensors provide “constant, parallel streams of data” that when used with data mining techniques and self-reporting allows measurement and examination of feelings that include frustration, motivation, confidence, boredom and fatigue.

The report notes, “While this type of tool may not be necessary in a small class of students, it could be useful for examining emotional responses in informal learning environments for large groups, like museums.”

It also indicates collecting such data would help “individualize” learning, the latest trend in education.

To achieve individualized learning, many districts are providing computerized devices to students.

The devices not only provide a new way to access content, they are another way schools can track student activities, raising concerns of some parents and privacy advocates.

At least one school district has spied on students using school-issued laptops as revealed in a 2010 class action lawsuit against the Lower Merion School District in Philadelphia, Pa.

There, remote webcam spying was revealed after district officials attempted to punish then 15-year-old Blake Robbins for behavior in his bedroom.

The district admitted it gave students laptops they could use at home that included webcams that could be activated remotely by district personnel to spy on students.

Through the suit, it was revealed that two high schools in the district had secretly snapped 66,000 images.

Another student filed a separate lawsuit against the district after he discovered his school-issued laptop had been used to capture over 1,000 photos and screenshots without his knowledge.

These days, many districts have graduated to more portable products, like iPads, to give students.

A concerned father in Farmington, Minn., said the iPad initiative has resulted in district officials frequently examining the equipment that many also use at home.

He said middle school announcements regularly include a list of students who are ordered to the office so district personnel can inspect their iPad.

Since the iPad includes GPS tracking device capabilities, the parent, who asked to remain anonymous, cited concerns about the extent of data tracking the schools could access.

“Is there a tracking chip in there so that you could theoretically follow the student wherever he goes?” The parent asked. “How much information is the school district collecting through the iPad?”

There are few limits on how geolocation data collected in electronic devices can be used by educators.

Whatever information is on the iPad is completely accessible to school administrators, whether or not the device is owned by the district, according to Mo Canady, executive director of the National Association of School Resource Officers.

Canady said in most cases, school administrators have a lesser standard to meet than police when it comes to searching students and their belongings.

He added that school administrators have even more latitude when it involves a school-owned device.

“Law enforcement are bound by the Fourth Amendment (prohibiting unreasonable search and seizures),” Canady said. “School administration is not, so it makes a lot of difference.”

He said the same type of information school administrators can access if they have “reasonable suspicion” would require an officer to first obtain a search warrant before accessing the content.

Districts across the country that have allowed student iPad use also have polices that govern their use, and all reviewed for this article state they can be “seized and inspected” by the district at any time without warning.

The level of information about children districts are able to access, collect and distribute concerns Effrem, who said it is not their role as educators.

“I do not believe that parents are sending their kids to school to have psychological teaching, manipulation, monitoring, testing and data collection performed on their children,” she said. “That is not the role of the school.”

SchoolData

Categories: Politics, Strange News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

If There’s a RAT in Your Laptop, You Won’t Know Who’s Watching You….


It sounds like a virtual haunting, and it happens on your computer. File folders go missing. The mouse curser starts roaming around on its own. Pop up messages appear for no particular reason. The laptop shuts down without a command. After it restarts, the webcam light is on. But if you’re not using the computer in genreal, and the camera in particular, who is?
If you’re lucky your computer has viruses; if you’re not so lucky, your PC may have a RAT problem. A RAT infestation can lead to a whole new level of privacy violation.
Remote access tools (RATs) were developed to allow users to access their PCs away from the office—think advanced telecommuting—but a new generation of hackers is developing increasingly advanced RAT software that allows them to take over a computer owned by an innocent target—think you—and make it their “slave.” Once they’re in, they can spy on you through the webcam and listen into your conversations on the microphone, effectively turning your computer into a one-way mirror into your life.

“People would not have a clue it’s been installed on their PC as the methods now are getting more and more advanced,” says Black Shadow, a hacker contacted by TakePart through Hack Forums, a bulletin board. “Hackers use them for a few reasons: to spy on a person, to steal from their accounts, to build up a bot-net for DDS [distributed denial-of-service] attacks, or just for fun, to be nosy.”
A YouTuber who goes by the handle DaSheepherder posted a video on Hack Forums some 15 months ago complaining he’d been RATted by one of the members of the forum. “Whoever did it just deleted everything,” he said. “I have got, like, nothing, nothing left. All my intros and all my upcoming videos have been deleted. I’ll have to start from scratch making the intros and all that.”
Black Shadow saw the post and says he helped DaSheepherder retrieve the deleted files. “I cleaned up his PC, got rid of the RAT for him,” he wrote on Hack Forums. “[A]fter the kid I helped got hacked, I wanted to find a way to stop them, so I have produced a RAT Firewall. [N]ow it’s time to help people defend themselves.”
To detect a RAT takeover, says Black Shadow, “Look at your startup items. It will show [up] there for sure, unless it’s been programmed into the memory, then it will not be visible.
“Look at your task-manager at running processes, most RATS are set to run from these, it will always run from user name.”
And always, he says, “Check for your webcam light if it’s on.”
The snoop, and the consequences, coming from the other end of that webcam can be far more serious than losing a fledgling YouTube inventory if you’re living in a country embroiled in political unrest, insurrection or civil war.
Karim Taymour, a Syrian activist, told a reporter from Bloomberg that after he was arrested by the Assad regime, his interrogators showed him a “stack of more than 1,000 pages detailing his conversations and electronic files exchanged on Skype,” according to Reporters Without Borders.
“My computer was arrested before I was,” Taymour said.
In its annual “Enemies of the Internet” report released March 12, Reporters Without Borders found that “Internet content filtering is growing, but Internet surveillance is growing even more. Censors prefer to monitor dissidents’ online activities and contacts rather than try to prevent them from going online.”
Oppressive governments are like RATters: They like to watch.

Categories: Identity Theft Protection, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ever use a rent to own computer…they were spying on you!!


FTC settles PC spying charges with rent-to-own computers
===============================================
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday that seven rent-to-own companies and a software design firm have agreed to settle charges that they spied on people using the computers that consumers rented from them.

According to the FTC, the computers captured screenshots of confidential and personal information, logged computer keystrokes and took webcam pictures of people in their homes. All of these things happened without the knowledge or consent of the people who rented the computers, the FTC said.

Meanwhile, the software design firm, DesignerWare LLC, collected data that allowed rent-to-own stores to track the location of rented computers without consumers’ knowledge, the FTC said.

The settlements bar the companies from any further illegal monitoring, from activating location-tracking software without the consent of renters and from deceptively collecting and disclosing information about their customers.

In addition to North East, Pa.-based DesignerWare, the FTC said it also settled with seven companies that operate rent-to-own stores and licensed software from DesignerWare, including franchisees of Aaron’s Inc., ColorTyme and Premier Rental Purchase.

A person who answered the phone at DesignerWare said that the company doesn’t believe that it’s done anything wrong and doesn’t have any other comment. He refused to give his name.

Categories: Strange News, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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