Ending Anonymity: Why the WEF’s Partnership Against Cybercrime Threatens the Future of Privacy, by Whitney Webb

If there is no privacy there is no freedom.

This article is the only article I’m posting today (7/13). It is a very important but lengthy article. It’s one of the rare instances where I deem it more worthwhile to spend a half-an-hour reading a single article than browsing through SLL’s daily selection of multiple articles. It details the plans which will culminate in requiring government permission to use the internet, eliminating anonymous posting and commentary, and making central-bank issued digital currencies the only mediums of exchange. Whitney Webb has detailed the stories behind Jeffrey Epstein, Covid-19, and now Cyberpolygon. Her work is always exhaustively researched, with extensive links to her internet-accessible sources. With the permission of Webb and the site where this story is originally published, The Last American Vagabond (thelastamericanvagabond.com), I am posting the entire story and it will be featured for the rest of the week. Her other articles at The Last American Vagabond, some of which I’ve posted on SLL, are also highly recommended. Note well the last paragraph of this article.

All of this should serve as a poignant reminder that, as much as our lives have become interconnected with the internet and online activity, the fight to protect human freedom, dignity and liberty against a predatory, global oligarchy is fundamentally one that must take place in the real world, not only online. May the coming “cyber war”, whatever form it takes, remind many that online activism must be accompanied by real world actions and organizing.

Cyber Polygon

Ending Anonymity: Why the WEF’s Partnership Against Cybercrime Threatens the Future of Privacy, by Whitney Webb

With many focusing on tomorrow’s Cyber Polygon exercise, less attention has been paid to the World Economic Forum’s real ambitions in cybersecurity – to create a global organization aimed at gutting even the possibility of anonymity online. With the governments of the US, UK and Israel on board, along with some of the world’s most powerful corporations, it is important to pay attention to their endgame, not just the simulations.

Amid a series of warnings and simulations in the past year regarding a massive cyber attack that could soon bring down the global financial system, the “information sharing group” of the largest banks and private financial organizations in the United States warned earlier this year that banks “will encounter growing danger” from “converging” nation-state and criminal hackers over the course of 2021 and in the years that follow.

The organization, called the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), made the claim in its 2021 “Navigating Cyber” report, which assesses the events of 2020 and provides a forecast for the current year. That forecast, which casts a devastating cyber attack on the financial system through third parties as practically inevitable, also makes the case for a “global fincyber [financial-cyber] utility” as the main solution to the catastrophic scenarios it predicts.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, an organization close to top FS-ISAC members has recently been involved in laying the groundwork for that very “global fincyber utility” — the World Economic Forum, which recently produced the model for such a utility through its Partnership against Cybercrime (WEF-PAC) project. Not only are top individuals at FS-ISAC involved in WEF cybersecurity projects like Cyber Polygon, but FS-ISAC’s CEO was also an adviser to the WEF-Carnegie Endowment for International Peace report that warned that the global financial system was increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks and was the subject of the first article in this 2-part series.

Another article, published earlier this year at Unlimited Hangout, also explored the WEF’s Cyber Polygon 2020 simulation of a cyber attack targeting the global financial system. Another iteration of Cyber Polygon is due to take place tomorrow July 9th and will focus on simulating a supply chain cyber attack.

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American Women’s Soccer Team Defeated After Opponents Play U.S. National Anthem During Game Forcing Them To Kneel The Whole Time

From The Babylon Bee:

TOKYO—The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team’s Olympic hopes are once again in jeopardy after opponents came up with a clever way to defeat them: playing the U.S. national anthem during every game so that the women have to kneel the entire time.

It’s a move many are calling the “greatest 4D chess move of all time.” Some are even saying it’s the most important strategy developed in soccer since the kick was invented. Many are hopeful it will even get Americans interested in watching soccer again.

“It’s a genius strategy,” said one commentator as a singer on the sidelines began singing, “O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light” over the stadium’s sound system. Megan Rapinoe was going to intercept a pass but dutifully took a knee and was forced to turn over the ball to the other team, or however it is that soccer works. “Beautiful play there! It’s going to be tough to see the U.S. women recover from this one!”

“Oooh, and now the singer is going hard into the ‘home of the brave’ stanza, really forcing the U.S. women to stay kneeling. “Wicked brilliant!” (We are told “wicked brilliant” means “cool” or “dope” in British.)

At the end of their first match in which the opposing team employed this tactic, the women lost 27-1, having scored one goal when Rapinoe stood up briefly when the singer ran out of breath.

Requiem for an Empire: A Prequel, by Pepe Escobar

Even we citizens of the American empire can take some satisfaction in its death throes. Empire has been an expensive game, both in blood and treasure, and we have nothing to show for it. From Pepe Escobar at strategic-culture.org:

The inexorable imperial rot will go on, a tawdry affair carrying no dramatic, aesthetic pathos worthy of a Gotterdammerung.

Assaulted by cognitive dissonance across the spectrum, the now behaves as a manic depressive inmate, rotten to the core – a fate more filled with dread than having to face a revolt of the satrapies.

Only brain dead zombies now believe in its self-billed universal mission as the new Rome and the new Jerusalem. There’s no unifying culture, economy or geography knitting the core together across an “arid, desiccated, political landscape sweltering under the brassy sun of Apollonian ratiocination, devoid of passion, very masculine, and empty of human empathy.”

Clueless Cold Warriors still dream of the days when the Germany-Japan axis was threatening to rule Eurasia and the Commonwealth was biting the dust – thus offering Washington, fearful of being forced into islandization, the once in a lifetime opportunity to profit from WWII to erect itself as Supreme World Paradigm cum savior of the “free world”.

And then there were the unilateral 1990s, when the once again self-billed Shining City on the Hill basked in tawdry “end of history” celebrations – just as toxic neocons, gestated in the inter-war period via the gnostic cabal of New York Trotskysm, plotted their power takeover.

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At FDA Urging, Pfizer and Moderna to Include Thousands More Children in Clinical Trials, by Children’s Health Defense Team

There is no low to which they won’t sink. Now they’re using kids as guinea pigs. From the Children’s Health Defense Team at childrenshealthdefense.org:

Pfizer and Moderna will increase the number of children in their COVID vaccine clinical trials prior to seeking Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told the vaccine makers the size and scope of their pediatric studies, as initially envisioned, were inadequate to detect rare side effects.

The rare side effects cited by the FDA include myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, and pericarditis, inflammation of the lining around the heart, multiple people familiar with the trials told The New York Times.

Moderna’s shot is authorized for emergency use in people 18 and up, and Pfizer’s vaccine is authorized for children as young as 12. No COVID vaccines have yet received EUA approval for children younger than 12.

Expanding the pediatric trials means thousands more children as young as 6 months old may soon be recruited and enrolled in COVID vaccine trials.

According to the Times, the FDA asked the companies to include 3,000 children in the 5- to 11-year-old group, the group for whom results were expected first.

One person, granted anonymity by the Times to speak freely, described that figure as double the original number of study participants.

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Trying to Put All America Behind, by Edward Curtin

A literary and political reminiscence as truth and freedom disappear in America. From Edward Curtin at off-guardian.org:

Sixty years ago this summer, on August 7, 1961, President John Kennedy signed the bill creating The Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts. It consists of forty miles of immaculate sandy beach, marshes, ponds, and upland along the Atlantic Ocean, with some portions stretching across the land to Cape Cod Bay in the west.

Henry Thoreau walked this wild Outer Atlantic Beach in 1849.  He said you can stand there and look out to sea and “put all America behind” you.

I am trying to do that as I stand looking at the waves breaking on a foggy early morning shore.  I am alone except for the hundreds of seals moaning on a sand bar and the gulls fishing in the tidal inlet at the far southern end of Coast Guard Light Beach.  A few laughing gulls swoop by as if to mock me with their laugh-like calls.

It is very hard to put the United States of America behind you when the fog of an endless propaganda war warps your mind and tries to crush your spirit even when you look away as far as the eye can see.

Across the ocean to the northeast, Mathew Arnold, on a far distant shore in England, wrote his famous poem “Dover Beach” at about the same time that Thoreau was walking where I stand.

Two very different men standing in different worlds, not just one at a window and the other in the blowing wind.

The former was an academically connected school inspector whose faith, vague as it was, was falling away as he described in “Dover Beach”: the turbulent ebb and flow of the breaking waves of faith that was being replaced by the sad withdrawing roar of melancholic human misery, devoid of love, light, joy, certitude, or help for pain.

It was the rhythmic sound of world-weariness and declining faith in the Old World.

The latter, a child of the New World, harsh critic though he was of the resigned lives of quiet desperation most people live, was still a man of deep if unorthodox faith in the divine, telling us that most people are determined not to live by faith if they can help it, as if anyone could live without faith in something, whether that something be God, skepticism, atheism, or the then-emerging new god of science.

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For Every Whistleblower They Make An Example Of, They Prevent A Thousand More, by Caitlin Johnstone

The way those who tell the truth about the government are treated by the government, you’re not going to have a long line of people signing up for whistleblower positions. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

Whistleblower Daniel Hale has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison after pleading guilty to leaking secret government information about America’s psychopathic civilian-slaughtering drone assassination program.

The sentence was much harsher than Hale’s defense requested but not nearly as harsh as US prosecutors pushed for, arguing that longer prison sentences are necessary for deterring whistleblowing in the US intelligence cartel.

The Dissenter’s Kevin Gosztola reports:

Despite the fact that Hale pled guilty on March 31 to one of the five Espionage Act offenses he faced, prosecutors remained spiteful and unwilling to support anything less than a “significant sentence” to “deter” government employees or contractors from “using positions in the intelligence community for self-aggrandizement.”

In other words, if you tell the public the truth about your government’s crimes, you will be made an example of so nobody else tries to do that. And then for that brave and selfless act, you’ll be smeared as doing it for “self-aggrandizement”.

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After 18 Years, Bring Home America’s Troops from Iraq, by Doug Bandow

Unlike in Afghanistan, the government didn’t even have the excuse that there was a prominent terrorist 9/11 mastermind hiding in Iraq to justify its regime change operation. From Doug Bandow at antiwar.com:

President Joe Biden plans to keep U.S. forces in Iraq but out of combat, he hopes. At least that is what he said after representatives of the two governments met Monday in the latest “strategic dialogue.” Americans and Iraqis alike are still paying the price for George W. Bush’s disastrous invasion of Iraq.

The Islamic State, which overran much of the country only a few years ago, has been defeated. It remains a threat, but one that Iraqis can contain. The continuing divisions within Iraqi society pose a greater challenge to Baghdad. Although nominally at peace, Iraq is riven by sectarianism, violence, and corruption, which have inflamed popular frustration and anger, especially among the young, who are desperate for a better future.

Unfortunately, outside powers exacerbate internal problems. Geography and religion enhance the influence of Iran, which supports well-armed militias in Iraq. They operate outside of Baghdad’s control and today direct much of their fire at US forces.

Although more distant, Washington has acted even more imperiously and recklessly. The Reagan administration supported Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship, providing naval protection for oil shipments used to fund his murderous aggression against Iran. However, his 1990 attack on Kuwait turned Washington against him, leading to the first Gulf War. Then Bush used 9/11 as an excuse to invade Iraq. His claim that Baghdad possessed nuclear weapons was false, a striking pastiche of lies and misstatements, highlighted by calculated falsehoods from Ahmed Chalabi, a U.S.-subsidized expatriate who dreamed of seizing Iraq’s presidency.

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The Insecurity Industry, by Edward Snowden

Your phone is watching you, hearing you, retransmitting your data, and recording your movements. What a great technology, huh? From Edward Snowden at edwardsnowden.substack.com:

 

1.

The first thing I do when I get a new phone is take it apart. I don’t do this to satisfy a tinkerer’s urge, or out of political principle, but simply because it is unsafe to operate. Fixing the hardware, which is to say surgically removing the two or three tiny microphones hidden inside, is only the first step of an arduous process, and yet even after days of these DIY security improvements, my smartphone will remain the most dangerous item I possess.

The microphones inside my actual phone, prepped for surgery


Prior to this week’s Pegasus Project, a global reporting effort by major newspapers to expose the fatal consequences of the NSO Group—the new private-sector face of an out-of-control Insecurity Industry—most smartphone manufacturers along with much of the world press collectively rolled their eyes at me whenever I publicly identified a fresh-out-of-the-box iPhone as a potentially lethal threat.

Despite years of reporting that implicated the NSO Group’s for-profit hacking of phones in the deaths and detentions of journalists and human rights defenders; despite years of reporting that smartphone operating systems were riddled with catastrophic security flaws (a circumstance aggravated by their code having been written in aging programming languages that have long been regarded as unsafe); and despite years of reporting that even when everything works as intended, the mobile ecosystem is a dystopian hellscape of end-user monitoring and outright end-user manipulation, it is still hard for many people to accept that something that feels good may not in fact be good. Over the last eight years I’ve often felt like someone trying to convince their one friend who refuses to grow up to quit smoking and cut back on the booze—meanwhile, the magazine ads still say “Nine of Ten Doctors Smoke iPhones!” and “Unsecured Mobile Browsing is Refreshing!”

In my infinite optimism, however, I can’t help but regard the arrival of the Pegasus Project as a turning-point—a well-researched, exhaustively-sourced, and frankly crazy-making story about a “winged” “Trojan Horse” infection named “Pegasus” that basically turns the phone in your pocket into an all-powerful tracking device that can be turned on or off, remotely, unbeknownst to you, the pocket’s owner.   

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“An Excuse to Get to be Racist”: “White Fragility” Author Issues Warning on the Dangers of The Comedy, by Jonathan Turley

The more America becomes a bad joke, the less its people laugh. From Jonathan Turley at jonathanturley.com:

Mark Twain once said that “A sense of humor is the one thing no one will admit to not having.” Twain observation came to mind this week when Robin DiAngelo warned that “Comedy is . . . an excuse to get to be racist.” It appears that DiAngelo is moving from “White Fragility” to white comedy. The remarks of the author of the book “White Fragility” were carried on the Wisconsin-based non-profit Mythinformed. DiAngelo singled out “Family Guy” and “The Simpsons” as racist entertainment. For free speech advocates, the comments are concerning given the crackdown in other countries on comedians.

DiAngelo explained how comedy is a dangerous gateway for racism:

“Comedy is, I think, an excuse to get to be racist, right? I think TV shows like ‘Family Guy’ and ‘South Park’ and maybe a little bit ‘The Simpsons’ allowed White people to be racist self-consciously. Like, ‘I know I’m being racist and therefore it doesn’t count and it’s OK.’ I don’t think it’s benign to do it in a joking way. And there is a concept in comedy called punching up, not down. So if you want to punch up, there are very different power dynamics and it doesn’t hurt in the same way. It doesn’t invoke a deep, deep centuries-long history of oppression when you poke fun at say, White people. But it’s very, very different when you poke fun at people of color.”

Thus, comedians would be allowed to “puke fun at say White People,” but not people of color.

Notably, years ago, it was the Bush family condemning shows like The Simpson and Family Guy. The media widely panned them for the criticism and reminded them that this was just a comedy show.

Such suggestions have become effective commands in other countries. We have previously discussed the alarming rollback on free speech rights in the West, particularly in Europe (here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here). We have seen comedians targeted with such court orders under this expanding and worrisome trend. ( here and here and here).  Scotland and other countries are adopting even broader rules that could eviscerate comedic entertainment.

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Authoritarians Drunk on Power: It Is Time to Recalibrate the Government, by John Whitehead and Nisha Whitehead

Nobody does a better job of documenting the government’s depredations than John Whitehead and Nisha Whitehead, which makes it surprising that they think there’s any possibility that the government can be recalibrated. It needs to be given its walking papers, dramatically shrunk, and replaced with people who understand the concepts of individual rights and the proper role of government as a guardian of those rights in a free society. From Whitehead and Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“The executive power in our government is not the only, perhaps not even the principal, object of my solicitude. The tyranny of the legislature is really the danger most to be feared, and will continue to be so for many years to come. The tyranny of the executive power will come in its turn, but at a more distant period.”― Thomas Jefferson, Democracy in America

It is time to recalibrate the government.

For years now, we have suffered the injustices, cruelties, corruption and abuse of an entrenched government bureaucracy that has no regard for the Constitution or the rights of the citizenry.

By “government,” I’m not referring to the highly partisan, two-party bureaucracy of the Republicans and Democrats. Rather, I’m referring to “government” with a capital “G,” the entrenched Deep State that is unaffected by elections, unaltered by populist movements, and has set itself beyond the reach of the law.

We are overdue for a systemic check on the government’s overreaches and power grabs.

We have lingered too long in this strange twilight zone where ego trumps justice, propaganda perverts truth, and imperial presidents—empowered to indulge their authoritarian tendencies by legalistic courts, corrupt legislatures and a disinterested, distracted populace—rule by fiat rather than by the rule of law.

This COVID-19 pandemic has provided the government with the perfect excuse to lay claim to a long laundry list of terrifying lockdown powers (at both the federal and state level) that override the Constitution: the ability to suspend the Constitution, indefinitely detain American citizens, bypass the courts, quarantine whole communities or segments of the population, override the First Amendment by outlawing religious gatherings and assemblies of more than a few people, shut down entire industries and manipulate the economy, muzzle dissidents, reshape financial markets, create a digital currency (and thus further restrict the use of cash), determine who should live or die, and impose health mandates on large segments of the population.

These kinds of crises tend to bring out the authoritarian tendencies in government.

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The Price of Conscience — Hale Sentenced to 45 Months, by Chris Hedges

As Orwell said, truth is dangerous in the empire of lies, especially to the truth teller. From Chris Hedges at consortiumnews.com:

Drone warfare whistleblower Daniel Hale was sentenced to 45 months in prison on Tuesday for telling the American people the truth.

Daniel Hale, a former intelligence analyst in the drone program for the Air Force who as a private contractor in 2013 leaked some 17 classified documents about drone strikes to the press, was sentenced Tuesday to 45 months in prison.

The documents, published by The Intercept on October 15, 2015, exposed that between January 2012 and February 2013, U.S. special operations airstrikes killed more than 200 people. Of those, only 35 were the intended targets. For one five-month period of the operation, according to the documents, nearly 90 percent of the people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets. The civilian dead, usually innocent bystanders, were routinely classified as “enemies killed in action.”

The Justice Department coerced Hale, who was deployed to Afghanistan in 2012, on March 31 to plead guilty to one count of violating the Espionage Act, a law passed in 1917 designed to prosecute those who passed on state secrets to a hostile power, not those who expose to the public government lies and crimes. Hale admitted as part of the plea deal to “retention and transmission of national security information” and leaking 11 classified documents to a journalist. If he had refused the plea deal, he could have spent 50 years in prison.

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