Posts Tagged ‘data mining’

The Bleak Science Bankrolled by the Pentagon

Social media, of course, played pivotal roles in such episodes, which perhaps explains why the Pentagon Minerva initiative has also funded researchers to develop advanced data-mining tools that can automatically categorize activist groups and rank them on a threat-scale to US interests. One such tool, called ‘LookingGlass’, can identify and locate individuals, and even rank their alleged propensity for violence or terrorism, just by automatically tracking and analysing their social media posts.


I want to stress: This is what is publicly known and admitted to by the NSA and numerous other entities (FBI, local police).

What remains covert, illegal, secret, buried, under the bullshit guise of “national security” etc. is surely much worse than this list:

No Warrant, No Problem: How the Government Can Get Your Digital Data


For some real insight, there are Russell Tice and Edward Snowden to contend with.


What I’ve been saying since the mid 90s:

NY Review of Books:

“For the moment, however, the crucial monetary driver is not what the Internet will be worth, it’s the spread between what it costs to buy personal information (not much) and how much can be made from it. When Wall Street puts a value on Facebook or Google and other masters of the online universe, it is not for the services they provide, but for the data they collect and its worth to advertisers, among others. For these Internet companies, the convenience of sending e-mail, or posting high school reunion pictures, or finding an out-of-the-way tamale stand near Reno is merely bait to lure users into offering up the intimacies of their lives, often without realizing how or where or that those intimacies travel.”

“…it was reported in Der Spiegel that “it is possible for the NSA to tap most sensitive data held on these smart phones, including contact lists, SMS traffic, notes and location information about where a user has been.”



The Internet was created by DARPA as a way for communications to survive a nuclear war.  When servers go down, packets are automatically rerouted to a different server, no matter how long the route takes, in order to finally reach the recipient.  This was by military necessity.  The packet transfer scheme tags the sender with IP address information, something that is hard to get around, and makes for tracking and surveillance to be that much easier.  Proxy servers and TOR encryption attempt to anonymize the traffic, but users are still at the mercy of those involved in those schemes.  If they are compromised, then the supposed encryption security is also compromised.

This film attempts to tackle the rest of the internet, the search engines and social networks that store and exploit personal data voluntarily given to it.  Here is where our lives are open books to the data miners from private corporations as well as intelligence services.  I’ve had a queasy sick feeling over these behemoths for a long time, seeing Facebook as the obvious repository of personal information.  Now that these organizations are in direct partnerships with the government, nothing there should be considered secure or private.  All connections, the “metadata” are fair game.  All utterances are recorded forever, and can land one in prison if they can be sold by a prosecutor as a threat or a matter of “national security.”  Police regularly go into Facebook accounts of suspects and gather up all their friends and acquaintances’ information.  This is standard practice, you should be aware.

As we descend into totalitarianism, here is where it all went wrong.  Here is where the corporate/government collusion has stripped your lives bare and left you at the mercy of the US STASI, as well as every other level of so-called “law” enforcement, although the laws that limit the activities of the government itself are never enforced by anybody..



Bush already found guilty in Malaysian court for war crimes, and he can’t travel to numerous countries now.  Obama is also being investigated for ongoing war crimes.

NYTIMES, Peter Ludlow  piece, which was recommended by Dr. Peter Dale Scott (Facebook):

Bank of America approached the Department of Justice over concerns about information that WikiLeaks had about it. The Department of Justice in turn referred Bank of America to the lobbying firm Hunton and Willliams, which in turn connected the bank with a group of information security firms collectively known as Team Themis.

Team Themis (a group that included HBGary and the private intelligence and security firms Palantir Technologies, Berico Technologies and Endgame Systems) was effectively brought in to find a way to undermine the credibility of WikiLeaks and the journalist Glenn Greenwald (who recently broke the story of Edward Snowden’s leak of the N.S.A.’s Prism program), because of Greenwald’s support for WikiLeaks. Specifically, the plan called for actions to “sabotage or discredit the opposing organization” including a plan to submit fake documents and then call out the error. As for Greenwald, it was argued that he would cave “if pushed” because he would “choose professional preservation over cause.” That evidently wasn’t the case.

Team Themis also developed a proposal for the Chamber of Commerce to undermine the credibility of one of its critics, a group called Chamber Watch. The proposal called for first creating a “false document, perhaps highlighting periodical financial information,” giving it to a progressive group opposing the Chamber, and then subsequently exposing the document as a fake to “prove that U.S. Chamber Watch cannot be trusted with information and/or tell the truth.”

(A photocopy of the proposal can be found here.)

In addition, the group proposed creating a “fake insider persona” to infiltrate Chamber Watch. They would “create two fake insider personas, using one as leverage to discredit the other while confirming the legitimacy of the second.”
Psyops need not be conducted by nation states; they can be undertaken by anyone with the capabilities and the incentive to conduct them.

The hack also revealed evidence that Team Themis was developing a “persona management” system — a program, developed at the specific request of the United States Air Force, that allowed one user to control multiple online identities (“sock puppets”) for commenting in social media spaces, thus giving the appearance of grass roots support.


The Yes Men also get a mention in private intelligence contractor STRATFOR’s hacked emails.

The Yes Men impersonate DOW CHEMICAL spokesmen
and apologize for Bhopal mass killing on the BBC

Stratfor also had a broad-ranging public relations campaign. The e-mails revealed numerous media companies on its payroll. While one motivation for the partnerships was presumably to have sources of intelligence, Stratfor worked hard to have soap boxes from which to project its interests.


Because He Loves You











Smart meters spying on your activities–it’s quite feasible and a new security hole that should be addressed. If you power down before leaving the house, the energy company will know this. They will be able to tell or sell this data to whomever they want. They will be camped out inside your home wiring at all times 24/7.

The other side is that Americans are big fat, reckless energy hogs wasting power at astounding rates that leaves most of the world gawking with incredulity. This is a grey area, and I guess if you’re running a grow house of an unpopular variety, you may want to invest in some solar panels. You may also want to leave the devices on when you run out somewhere to avoid break ins.




This post is not about the Hollywoodized version of government abuse, Enemy of the State.  There, the problem is limited to a handful of insiders who abuse their power.  Sorry.  Reality is much, much worse:

“God Bless America. Now they have EVERY major HVT in CONUS, the UK, Canada, Vegas, Los Angeles, NYC as clients.”
-Fred Burton of STRATFOR, via WIKILEAKS

Who are “they” and is God really appreciative?

“They” go by the handle ABRAXAS CORPORATION, and you can bet that I’m on their radar now simply for typing this and visiting their website.

“Abraxas has one focus – Risk Mitigation technology for the National Security community”

What about the rest of us?  What is our risk in empowering unaccountable privatized surveillance corporations connected to the “National Security community”–  who are not accountable to the public — or to oversight by anybody?

Abraxas, the god, has some creepy origination mumbo jumbo that might freak out some.  But Abraxas, the corporation, is what we should be concerned with here.  Ex-CIA and military surveillance experts have used that wonderful entrepreneurial spirit to track and surveil you, all at government expense.  They track, analyze, collate data about faces and license plate numbers at the “HVT” high value targets, according to them, which could essentially be… anywhere.  “High value” is in the eye of the beholder, after all, and  any landmark, building or park will suffice.

RT (Russia Today) has the story.  And the program is called “TrapWire.”

“The beauty of it is that we can protect an infinite number of facilities just as efficiently as we can one and we push information out to local law authorities automatically.”
-Richard “Hollis” Helms, founder of Abraxas Corp.



A malicious new hacking group called “AntiLeaks” is right now attacking WikiLieaks in an attempt to shut down this story.  Wonder who they trace back to?

For the insiders and “law enforcement” (sic?) out there on the net, you can actually visit the “TrapWire” website.  Here is the current version of that home page:

“TrapWire is a unique, predictive software system designed to detect patterns indicative of terrorist attacks or criminal operations. Utilizing a proprietary, rules-based engine, TrapWire detects, analyzes and alerts on suspicious events as they are collected over periods of time and across multiple locations. Through the systematic capture of these pre-attack indicators, terrorist or criminal surveillance and pre-attack planning operations can be identified — and appropriate law enforcement counter measures employed ahead of the attack. As such, our clients are provided with the ability to prevent the terrorist or criminal event, rather than simply mitigate damage or loss of life.

The TrapWire system includes a variety of features and components that are configured and delivered based on the specific needs of the customer organization and its end users. There are currently three different TrapWire systems available for public and private sector clients:
TW-CI (TrapWire Critical Infrastructure) focuses on the identification of pre-operational surveillance activities occurring around specific sites within the TrapWire Network
TW-CM (TrapWire Community Member) supports the online reporting of suspicious behavior by community members, such as the iWatch programs in Los Angeles and Washington DC, and See Something Say Something in Las Vegas and New York
TW-LE (TrapWire Law Enforcement) provides the ability to gather, analyze and disseminate information about surveillance and logistical activities occurring across an entire geographic region, including information gathered via TW CI and TW CM deployments”