Tuesday Open Thread 02-17-15

Good morning 99percenters!
News and Don Flemons, founding member of The Carolina Chocolate Drops

Cyber-Security Firm: NSA-Linked Spyware Found in Hard Drives Worldwide
Researchers with Kaspersky Lab describe what they say is "the most advanced threat actor" they’ve seen to date.

A top technology security firm announced on Monday that they have uncovered evidence that sophisticated spying software, likely linked to the National Security Agency, was implanted in the hard drives of personal computers across the globe.

Researchers with the Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab introduced their findings while presenting at the Kaspersky Security Analyst Summit in Cancun, Mexico, and also published an initial paper (pdf) Monday on what they consider "the most advanced threat actor" they’ve seen to date. 

Dubbed the Equation Group, the suite of surveillance platforms has been found in hard drives made by Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba and other top manufacturers, and located in personal computers in 30 countries, with the most infections seen in Iran, followed by Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Mali, Syria, Yemen and Algeria, Kaspersky said.

The targets reportedly included government and military institutions, telecommunication companies, banks, energy companies, nuclear researchers, media, and Islamic activists.Although the firm did not publicly name the source behind the spying campaign, they said the Equation Group "worm" was closely linked to Stuxnet, the cyberweapon the U.S. used to attack Iran's uranium enrichment facility beginning in late 2007.

Creepy, Calculating and Controlling: All the Ways Big Brother Is Watching You

“You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.”—George Orwell, 1984

None of us are perfect. All of us bend the rules occasionally. Even before the age of overcriminalization, when the most upstanding citizen could be counted on to break at least three laws a day without knowing it, most of us have knowingly flouted the law from time to time.

Indeed, there was a time when most Americans thought nothing of driving a few miles over the speed limit, pausing (rather than coming to a full stop) at a red light when making a right-hand turn if no one was around, jaywalking across the street, and letting their kid play hookie from school once in a while. Of course, that was before the era of speed cameras that ticket you for going even a mile over the posted limit, red light cameras that fine you for making safe “rolling stop” right-hand turns on red, surveillance cameras equipped with facial recognition software mounted on street corners, and school truancy laws that fine parents for “unexcused” absences.

My, how times have changed.

Today, there’s little room for indiscretions, imperfections, or acts of independence—especially not when the government can listen in on your phone calls, monitor your driving habits, track your movements, scrutinize your purchases and peer through the walls of your home. That’s because technology—specifically the technology employed by the government against the American citizenry—has upped the stakes dramatically so that there’s little we do that is not known by the government.

In such an environment, you’re either a paragon of virtue, or you’re a criminal.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, we’re all criminals. This is the creepy, calculating yet diabolical genius of the American police state: the very technology we hailed as revolutionary and liberating has become our prison, jailer, probation officer, Big Brother and Father Knows Best all rolled into one.

Polly Put the Kettle On

Dom Flemons - Fishing Blues

Dom Flemons - Bubblegoose (Ms. Jackson)

Dom Flemons and Pokey LaFarge - Going Back to Arkansas

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NCTim's picture

Fuck 'em, what are they going to do, arrest us all?

We had a couple of inches of ice pellets (dippin' dots) and the whole place is shut down.

Seems like a good morning for:

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

was ist los?

Fuck 'em, what are they going to do, arrest us all?

Uh, yeah, don't you watch/read Alex Jones?

We had a couple of inches of ice pellets (dippin' dots) and the whole place is shut down.

I just don't know now y'all do it!

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NCTim's picture

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3 users have voted.

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

NCTim's picture

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

NCTim's picture

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

Big Al's picture

Doesn't that perfectly illustrate the bind we're in. We supposedly elect people to represent us, make laws,
take actions and make decisions for our society. Then they made US the criminals. I've often wondered how
the perfect people do it. I can't seem to come even close.

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NCTim's picture

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

gulfgal98's picture

I have been struggling with the issue that Al posted about us all being criminals. Our government is supposed to serve the people and our elected officials are supposed represent us, but it seems as though neither of those two things are happening any more. We are paying for all of this, both financially and morally. And we may pay even more from the world wide blow back that will result from our imperialism.

On a personal note, I know it was requested by phone users, but I personally think the avatar sizes are now too small. Now it is difficult to read my sign which is why I chose my current avatar. I do not want to cause trouble, but just felt I wanted to express the rationale for my own view.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

"Propaganda is one hell of a drug." Abby Martin

"Politicians are cowards." Mike Gravel

Big Al's picture

and instead of representing us, it represents those who have the money and power.
It's a failed system no doubt. It's allowed the rich and powerful to make the laws and create the
systems (like the Federal Reserve System) and now it's to the point where they control everything.
Six major corporations controls 90% of the media. How can we ever get down to the truth
when that is in place? They do polls to ask the people their opinions on things, but the people
simply repeat the lies and narratives they've been given.
Maybe we should make a new law, and I know the chances of it working are nil, but
"the government, and anyone working directly or indirectly for the government, will not lie to the people at any time".
It works at the lower levels of course. We've never been able to get accountability at the higher levels.

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Cordelia Lear's picture

Now I can see your entire sign - even on my iPad. Before the size change the bottom line was cut off.

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"Never separate the life you live from the words you speak." --Paul Wellstone

mimi's picture

Bobswern's diary Kaspersky - Exposes NSA,,, is really to be recommended. The whole issue is.
Thanks for posting, bobswern. Thanks for posting the subject here in the Open Thread.

Have all a good day. Our so-called snow storm in the DC area was a silently modest dump of snow, followed by a blue sky and bright sun this morning. I am heading outside to enjoy it.

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Cordelia Lear's picture

U.S. to Give Some Syria Rebels Ability to Call Airstrikes

The U.S. has decided to provide pickup trucks equipped with mounted machine guns and radios for calling in U.S. airstrikes to some moderate Syrian rebels, seeking to replicate the success Kurdish forces, aided by American B-1B bombers, had over Islamic State last month.

The plan comes as the U.S. prepares to start training moderate rebels, who are waging a two-front fight against the extremists and Syrian regime forces. Defense officials said American trainers will be in place March 1 in Jordan, with a second site due to open soon after in Turkey.

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"Never separate the life you live from the words you speak." --Paul Wellstone

Big Al's picture

Flabbergasted. But then again.

So in effect they're going to provide Al Qaeda, the other terrorist group we're still at war with, and other terrorist
groups, this ability IN Syria. They're admitting they're supplying weapons to terrorists fighting in Syria against the
Assad regime.

Which is all illegal as hell. No way is it justified under the 2001 AUMF, the War OF Terror AUMF, even if that AUMF was legal,
which it's not.

Gawd, nobody seems to care.

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Cordelia Lear's picture

98% of the people understand who any of these groups are, where their followers came from, or what their cause may be. Our government does nothing to clear things up - on purpose. Neither does MSM.

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"Never separate the life you live from the words you speak." --Paul Wellstone

Unabashed Liberal's picture

just edited an older comment in order to find out the html code that I used to align a picture last week (I have the memory of a gnat).

I'm getting ready to test, or to try out, the positioning of a couple of images that I'll be using in future posts. Being able to 'edit' a previous comment kept me from having to bug Admin, or Goggle HTML code again.

This is the most user-friendly blog that I can recall posting on.

I really do appreciate--as I'm sure Everyone does--your hard work!

Mollie

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"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)