A federal grand jury has indicted five officers of the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army on computer hacking, economic espionage and other charges, officials of the US Department of Justice announced at a press conference Monday morning.
The indictment is unprecedented under international law, as it aims to criminalize actions allegedly carried out not by individual hackers, or “rogue” elements, but by serving officers in the armed forces of a major country. It is calculated to provoke a confrontation between the US and Chinese governments.
“These represent the first ever charges against known state actors for infiltrating US commercial targets by cyber means,” Attorney General Eric Holder said at the press briefing, emphasizing that the Obama administration was undertaking a major escalation in its anti-China policy. “The range of trade secrets and other sensitive business information stolen in this case is significant and demands an aggressive response.”
The five men, named as Wang Dong, Sun Kailiang, Wen Xinyu, Huang Zhenyu, and Gu Chunhui, are said to be officers in Unit 61398 of the Third Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, based in Shanghai. Each faces 31 counts of computer and economic crimes. While none is in US custody, the charges would carry lengthy prison sentences.
The alleged targets of the hacking include Westinghouse Electric Co., United States Steel, Alcoa Inc., Allegheny Technologies Inc. (ATI), U.S. subsidiaries of SolarWorld AG, and the United Steel Workers union, which represents some workers at those companies.
Westinghouse is the major US builder of nuclear power plants, and built four such facilities in China in 2010-2011. The other companies entered into production agreements with Chinese companies during that time, or were engaged in trade litigation, as was the USW. The Chinese officers supposedly used cyber-warfare techniques to gain access to internal e-mails and other confidential materials at all six organizations.
Brain-altering drugs and digital “indoctrination” pose a potential threat not only to the stability of many individuals but of society itself. At least 10 percent of all Americans over six-years-old are on antidepressants. That’s more than 35 million people, double the number from less than two decades ago. Anti-psychotics have meanwhile eclipsed cholesterol treatments as the country’s fastest selling and most profitable drugs, even though half the prescriptions treat disorders for which they haven’t been proven effective. At least 5 million children and adolescents use them, in part because more kids are being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. This raises some troubling issues: Are a growing number of people experiencing psychological troubles? Have we just become better at recognizing them? Or is some other dynamic at work? One possibility is that the criteria for what constitutes a mental illness or disability may have expanded to the point that a vast number appear to have clinical problems. But there’s an even more insidious development: the drugs being used to treat many of the new diagnoses could cause long-term effects that persist after the original trouble has been resolved. That’s the case made by Robert Whitaker in his book, Anatomy of an Epidemic:
Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America. Speaking of long-term impacts on the brain, we’re also heading toward a world where humans are directly linked with computers that profoundly influence their perceptions and ideas. Despite many potential benefits, there is danger here as well. Rather than simply augmenting our memories by providing neutral information, the brain-computer connection may lead people into separate realities based on their assumptions and politics.
Brain-altering drugs and digital “indoctrination” – a potent combination. Together, they pose a potential threat not only to the stability of many individuals but of society itself. Seduced by the promise that our brains can be managed and enhanced without serious side-effects, we may be creating a future where psychological dysfunction becomes a post-modern plague and powerful forces use cyberspace to reshape “reality” in their private interest.
U.S Ambassador to France Charles Rivkin (center) leaves the Foreign Ministry in Paris, after being summoned on Oct. 21, 2013, to explain why America spied on one of its closest allies.
October 21, 2013
France and Mexico are angrily demanding explanations from the United States following new spying allegations leaked by former U.S. security contractor Edward Snowden.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Monday that he had called in the U.S. ambassador to explain an article in Le Monde newspaper about large-scale spying on French citizens by the U.S. National Security Agency.
The article alleged that the NSA had gathered tens of millions French phone records over a one-month period. Fabius called the claims “shocking.”
Meanwhile, Mexico reacted angrily Monday to an article published in the German weekly Der Spiegel, in which Snowden accused the NSA of accessing the e-mail of former Mexican President Felipe Calderon. Mexico’s foreign ministry called the practice “unacceptable, illegal and against Mexican and international law.”
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf would not confirm or deny the recent reports of U.S. spying. She told reporters Monday that all countries understand the value of gathering intelligence and said the United States is willing to discuss concerns any country has about U.S. practices.
“We’re trying to find the right balance here about what we gather and how we gather it,” Harf said. “The president has spoken to this at length now and it’s worth keeping in mind as we have a discussion, keep in mind the entire intelligence picture.”
Snowden, who has taken refuge in Russia, is wanted in the U.S. for espionage and other charges, after leaking details of the NSA’s worldwide spying activities.
It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
– Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895 – 1986)
Abstract I: Intent of this Article
With all the patriotic, good government, world beacon of freedom and democracy, and America is the greatest nation propaganda that Americans are indoctrinated with since childhood; most are hard-pressed to face the reality that the United States is now exhibiting striking attributes that it is sinking toward a closed fascist society. – Image courtesy of antemedius.com.
I need to stress three points about this article. Please recognize that it is an editorial and an analysis of current affairs. This means you will not see referenced citations for all points discussed because most facts are well established in the historical record and therefore not in dispute. However, plentiful links and embedded videos by credible and independent sources are provided that inspired some of the content and analysis.
The purpose of this article is not to repeat the facts and news stories of other texts and articles. The intent is to illustrate the true nature of the United States government by using freely available information to connect the dots in a way that may not have been considered before.
Abstract II: Defining Fascism
The new face of fascism isn’t necessarily white anymore. It may come in different flavors however it is still served in the similar cold dish of collectivism with the main course a government by the people for the government for the corporation. And, we the people always pick up the tab. Perhaps there is such a thing as a “free lunch,” for the very lucky few. – Image by unknown.
Secondly, what is fascism? Although I may have difficulty defining it I know it when I see it. However it is always best to begin with the dictionary definition to determine if it reflects what we are seeing today. Dictionary.com defines fascism as:
(sometimes initial capital letter) a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.
This of course is the traditional meaning of fascism as racism does not play a key role in American fascism. Moreover, the dictator is not a single person but a group of elite or ruling class despots all working together for their own interests. For a thorough definition please visit the Wikipedia definition for fascism.
The primary element of any fascist state is collectivism. It places a higher value on the concerns of the group over the rights of the individual. Thus the needs or even life of any single human being or all people of any smaller group can be sacrificed for the greater good. However, this term is really just a misnomer because it is almost solely applied by those who drive public policy to serve their own hidden illicit agendas.
Thus American fascism is rooted in the trading of other people’s wealth and liberty by those in power in exchange for personal gain and it is done without the consent or knowledge of those being compromised. A paraphrase from the Gettysburg Address nicely packages democracy (and freedom) – a government by the people for the people. With traditional fascism we have a government by the people for the government. With contemporary American fascism government becomes a conduit for a third party – a government by the people for the government for the corporation.
Congressman Ron Paul (R-Tx) describes American fascism as soft fascism. This is also known as corporatism. This means fascism is a spectrum with the most extreme form being that of Benito Mussolini’s Italy, Hitler’s Germany, or Stalin’s Soviet Union.
To prove that the United States reflects many traits of traditional fascism this article will reveal how all people are manipulated with questionable principles to support public policies that are harmful to society; demonstrate how our elected leaders are eroding our civil rights; disclose how the government is managed by an elite class of despots through corporatism, other private interests such as labor unions, and because of foreign interests such as the Israel lobby (AIPAC) and European banks; and advance why democracy is very limited to anemic representation in Washington and other levels of government.
Others have taken a point by point approach and these also inspired my analysis. These are very good for a quick overview but they do not examine how the collective mind of the public is systematically shaped to support public policies that lean toward fascism.
Laura Dawn Lewis What is Fascism (The 7 Conditions that Foster and Fuel Fascism).
It is dire to correct this before it becomes too deep otherwise just like Third Reich Germany, there is a possibility of history repeating itself and we may have reached a point of no return. I sincerely hope my analysis will motivate readers to take effective action whatever form that may take.
The following embedded video is of the whole interview of Ron Paul on NBC’s Meet The Press with Tim Russert. Before moving on it is important to note that most republics (states) now exhibit a sort of states-level soft fascism through labor unions who represent government workers.
Former NSA intelligence agent Russell Tice condemns reports that the Agency has been engaged in eavesdropping on U.S. citizens without court warrants. Tice has volunteered to testify before Congress about illegal black ops programs at the NSA. Tice said, “The freedom of the American people cannot be protected when our constitutional liberties are ignored and our nation has decayed into a police state.” [includes rush transcript]
We turn now to the growing controversy over President Bush’s decision to order the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens inside the country without the legally required court warrants. Bush’s decision was first revealed in the New York Times in mid-December. The Times published the expose after holding the story for more than a year under pressure from the White House. The paper reportedly first uncovered the illegal order prior to the 2004 election. When the editors at the Times decided last month to go ahead with the article, President Bush personally summoned the paper’s publisher, Arthur Sulzberger, and executive editor, Bill Keller, to the Oval Office in an attempt to talk them out of running the story. Since the story broke, calls for Congressional hearings and the possible impeachment of the president have intensified. Conservative legal experts have even admitted Bush may have committed an impeachable offense by ordering the NSA to break the law.
On Sunday, the New York Times revealed there was dissent within the upper echelon of the Bush administration over the legality of the president’s order. According to the Times, Attorney General John Ashcroft’s top deputy, James Comey, refused to sign on to the continuation of the secret program in 2004 amid concerns about its legality and oversight. At the time, Comey was serving in place of then Attorney General John Ashcroft while Ashcroft was hospitalized for a medical condition. Comey’s refusal prompted senior Presidential aides Andrew Card and Alberto Gonzales to visit Ashcroft in his hospital room to grant the approval. The Times reports Ashcroft expressed reluctance to sign on to the program. It is unclear if he eventually relented. Both Ashcroft and Comey’s concerns appear to have led to a temporary suspension of parts of the program for several months. But the administration has repeatedly defended its actions.
An array of mini-antennas that power Aereo. Photo: Aereo
A federal judge on Wednesday refused to block a unique, antenna-based subscription service that enables the streaming of broadcast television to any internet-enabled device.
NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, Fox and others sued Aereo, a $12 monthly subscription service that went live in New York in March. The suit claims that the upstart, backed by media mogul Barry Diller, has failed to acquire licenses from the networks who deliver their broadcasts over the air. They claimed the redistribution of the material, without a license, infringed their copyrights because it amounted to Aereo briefly buffering or copying the broadcast and “facilitating” a public performance without permission.
The case was being closely watched as many believed it could shape the manner and method by which people watch television in the future, and perhaps provide an early answer to the question of whether online television would be controlled by a stodgy industry that once shunned the VCR, or whether third-party innovators embracing technological advances have a chance to build on the openness of the public airwaves. The outcome could have ramifications in a different copyright infringement case the broadcasters brought against Dish Network, which recently unveiled a service that allows the automatic skipping of commercials.
Aereo’s New York customers basically rent two tiny antennas, each about the size of a dime. Tens of thousands of the antennas are housed in a Brooklyn data center. One antenna — unique to a customer — is used when a customer wants to watch a program in real time from a computer, tablet or mobile phone. The other works with a DVR service to record programs for later online viewing.
U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan said there were no copyright violations, and refused to shutter the service.
“Aereo’s antennas thus reinforce the significance of the copies its system creates and aid the court in finding that Aero does not create mere facilitating copies,” the judge wrote. While the ruling technically only rejects a preliminary injunction, the tone of the ruling makes clear that the broadcasters will, in all likelihood, lose the case if they choose to continue litigating against the upstart.
The broadcasters said in their suit that “no amount of technological gimmickry by Aereo — or claims that it is simply providing a set of sophisticated ‘rabbit ears’ — changes the fundamental principle of copyright law that those who wish to retransmit plaintiffs’ broadcasts may do so only with plaintiffs’ authority.”
The court, evidently, thought otherwise.
Chet Kanojia, Aereo’s chief executive, said “We said from the start that we believed that full and fair airing of the issues would reveal that Aereo’s groundbreaking technology falls squarely within the law.”
Many would say that we are in the midst of revolutionary times. “Change,” it would seem, is being forced upon the world in ways many did not expect. Subjective slogans and unfulfilled campaign promises, however, are not what ail the world today. No, the ongoing financial crises exposing the soft underbelly of our modern State—the Leviathan—trace even back to that ancient book from which Thomas Hobbes borrowed his original title.
I once thought my own interpretation and outlook for the future was somewhat of a “fat-tail” event—purely within the realm of possibility (at least, in my mind) though still an extremely unlikely outcome in the near to intermediate future. However, things are moving far quicker than I had anticipated and I believe we are all in for a surprising twist.
All Tied Together
The spreading financial panic rippling through our world has put our leaders into crisis mode. In times past, economic or financial turmoil was somewhat manageable to isolate or contain. Not so today. The staggering level of interconnectivity of the entire world through our modern electronic and highly leveraged financial system has led to the creation of an extremely dynamic, almost living, network growing ever closer the structural design and complexity of the human brain. Now, with the pervasive spread of data and information in such a highly reactive system, centralized systems of authority are faced with a brave new world of opportunities and challenges.
In general, the spread of knowledge is a great benefit to society; however, in times of distress certain types of information can become quite dangerous. This is the reality of those who attempt to maintain confidence in the system and prevent panic, chaos, or worse. Those most at stake in this process are national governments and the various central banks—the many heads of the Leviathan, if you will.
Is Barack Obama a brilliant orator, captivating millions through his eloquence? Or is he deliberately using the techniques of neurolinguistic programming (NLP), a covert form of hypnosis developed by Milton Erickson, M.D.?