Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

NSA Spying on Latin American Countries Included Targeting of Trade Secrets

By Noel Brinkerhoff | AllGov | July 11, 2013

The United States has been accused of spying on numerous countries in Latin America in an effort to collect intelligence on trade secrets and military capabilities.

Using information provided by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden, a Brazilian newspaper, O Globo, published a story that said the U.S. spy agency has gathered data on telephone calls and emails from Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela and others.

The account indicated that the NSA had collected military and security data on countries including Venezuela, while also carrying out surveillance operations to acquire trade secrets from within the oil industry in Venezuela and the energy sector in Mexico.

O Globo also published a story over the weekend saying Brazil was a major target of the NSA’s global spying on telecommunications, which involved the cooperation of American and Brazilian companies (which were not named).

It was additionally reported that the CIA and NSA jointly operated monitoring stations to gain foreign satellite data in 65 countries, including five in Latin America.

In response to the accusations, the U.S. ambassador to Brazil, Thomas Shannon, reportedly denied that Washington has been conducting surveillance operations on Brazilian communications.

News of the alleged spying upset many in Brazil and other Latin countries, which have a history of military governments—often supported by the United States—that spied on their own people.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who was jailed and tortured in the 1970s under the ruling junta, said her government would raise concerns with the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.

“Brazil’s position on this issue is very clear and very firm,” Rousseff told the media. “We do not agree at all with interference of this kind, not just in Brazil but in any other country.”

To Learn More:

U.S. Spy Spread Through Latin America (by Glenn Greenwald, and Kaz and Roberto Jose’ Casado; O Globo)

Capitals 4 Countries Also Housed the Office of the NSA and CIA (by Kaz and Roberto Jose’ Casado; O Globo)

U.S. and Britain Eavesdropped on World Leaders at 2009 Summits (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

US NSA Spied on Venezuela When President Chavez Died, Documents Reveal (alethonews.wordpress.com)

July 11, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception, Economics, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Press TV, iFilm airing on new frequency on Express AM44

Press TV – July 10, 2013

Iran’s entertainment and movie channel iFilm as well as the 24-hour English-language news channel Press TV are airing with new parameters on the Express AM44 satellite.

Viewers can watch Press TV and the English version of iFilm on the following frequency:

Satellite: Express AM44 at 11.0 W
Transponder: B5
Frequency: 11109
Polarization: Horizontal
Symbol Rate: 9479
FEC: ¾

The Arabic version of iFilm and the Spanish-language Hispan TV have also been uplinked with the same parameters on the Express AM44 at 11.0 W.

Press TV and other Iranian channels have come under an unprecedented wave of attacks by European governments and satellite companies since January 2012.

They have been taken off the air in several Western countries, including Britain, France, Germany and Spain.

European companies say they are abiding by anti-Iran sanctions. However, Michael Mann, the EU foreign policy chief’s spokesman, has told Press TV that sanctions do not apply to media.

The latest move against Iranian alternative channels came in June when Intelsat told Iran’s national broadcasting corporation, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), that it will no longer provide services to Iranian channels, including Press TV, as of July 1.

Intelsat made the move under the pretext of the US sanctions against the head of the IRIB, Ezzatollah Zarghami.

Press TV later learned that the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) — an agency of the US Treasury Department headed by an Ashkenazi Jew called Adam Szubin — was behind the pressure on Intelsat.

Media activists call the attacks on Iranian channels a campaign against free speech launched by the same European governments that preach freedom of expression.

July 11, 2013 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Obama gives himself control of all communication systems in America

RT | July 11, 2013

US President Barack Obama quietly signed his name to an Executive Order on Friday, allowing the White House to control all private communications in the country in the name of national security.

President Obama released his latest Executive Order on Friday, July 6, a 2,205-word statement offered as the “Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions.” And although the president chose not to commemorate the signing with much fanfare, the powers he provides to himself and the federal government under the latest order are among the most far-reaching yet of any of his executive decisions.

“The Federal Government must have the ability to communicate at all times and under all circumstances to carry out its most critical and time sensitive missions,” the president begins the order. “Survivable, resilient, enduring and effective communications, both domestic and international, are essential to enable the executive branch to communicate within itself and with: the legislative and judicial branches; State, local, territorial and tribal governments; private sector entities; and the public, allies and other nations.”

President Obama adds that it is necessary for the government to be able to reach anyone in the country during situations it considers critical, writing, “Such communications must be possible under all circumstances to ensure national security, effectively manage emergencies and improve national resilience.” Later the president explains that such could be done by establishing a “joint industry-Government center that is capable of assisting in the initiation, coordination, restoration and reconstitution of NS/EP [national security and emergency preparedness] communications services or facilities under all conditions of emerging threats, crisis or emergency.”

“The views of all levels of government, the private and nonprofit sectors, and the public must inform the development of NS/EP communications policies, programs and capabilities,” he adds.

On the government’s official website for the National Communications Systems, the government explains that that “infrastructure includes wireline, wireless, satellite, cable, and broadcasting, and provides the transport networks that support the Internet and other key information systems,” suggesting that the president has indeed effectively just allowed himself to control the country’s Internet access.

In order to allow the White House to reach anyone within the US, the president has put forth a plan to establish a high-level committee calling from agents with the Department of Homeland Security, Pentagon, Federal Communications Commission and other government divisions to ensure that his new executive order can be implemented.

In explaining the order, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) writes that the president has authorized the DHS “the authority to seize private facilities when necessary, effectively shutting down or limiting civilian communications.”

In Section 5 of his order, President Obama outlines the specific department and agency responsibilities that will see through his demands. In a few paragraphs, President Obama explains that Executive Committee that will oversee his order must be supplied with “the technical support necessary to develop and maintain plans adequate to provide for the security and protection of NS/EP communications,” and that that same body will be in tasked with dispatching that communiqué “to the Federal Government and State, local, territorial and trial governments,” by means of “commercial, Government and privately owned communications resources.”

Later, the president announces that the Department of Homeland Security will be tasked with drafting a plan during the next 60 days to explain how the DHS will command the government’s Emergency Telecommunications Service, as well as other telecom conduits. In order to be able to spread the White House’s message across the country, President Obama also asks for the purchasing of equipment and services that will enable such.

July 11, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Israeli court sentences Palestinian MPs

Ma’an – 11/07/2013

JERUSALEM – An Israeli court on Thursday sentenced two Palestinian MPs to 30 months, a committee official said.

228273_345x230PLC deputy Mohammad Tawtah and former Jerusalem affairs’ minister Khalid Abu Arafa were sentenced to 30 months plus a one-year suspended sentence for conducting “Hamas activities,” said Amjad Abu Asab, the director of the Jerusalem prisoners’ families committee.

The judge ruled that the MPs must serve an additional six months if they enter Jerusalem, their hometown, Abu Asab told Ma’an.

The MPs have been in Israeli custody since Israeli police detained them in a raid on the Jerusalem headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross in January 2012.

The elected officials took refuge at the Red Cross building in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah in July 2010 along with lawmaker Ahmad Attoun after Israel revoked their residency permits.

July 11, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Students In Baltimore Taught To Ignore 9/11 Skeptics

By Keelan Balderson | Wide Shut | July 10, 2013

A new extra-curricular history program taught in Carroll County, Baltimore, USA, is warning students not to get sucked in to 9/11 conspiracy theorizing and that the official Government approved narrative is the only version with any “credence”.

The summer course offered to middle-schoolers aged around 11 years old is one of the first classes to go in depth with the subject with children, some of who were not alive when the tragedy took place.

“That is the first time I have talked about it in front of a group of more than five or six,” said teacher Mike Chrvala. In the past decade, discussing the day has gotten easier, he explained.

Carroll County holds free enrichment classes each year on subjects that include art, play-writing and science. Dick Thompson, the county’s coordinator of the summer courses, thought a class on 9/11 could provide important lessons for children born after the event. It is not taught in great depth during the school year – reports the Baltimore Sun newspaper.

Unsurprisingly the class strongly adheres to the official Government narrative, glossing over “conspiracy theories” as nonsense and praising the controversial Patriot Act and post 9/11 security measures.

Casey Jillson, 12, said the event isn’t just “a bad thing” but has resulted in some positive postscripts. “Our country learned to be more secure and safe,” she explained.

Chrvala hopes his students will “become little torchbearers to teach about 9/11,” though it seems they will only be regurgitating the contextless and biased story cherry-picked and spun together by the Bush Administration.

This isn’t the first or last school class that ignores the Bush Administration’s pre-planned invasion of Afghanistan, and the vast amount of data that shows that elements of the Government had foreknowledge of the attacks and “failed” to prevent the plot at key points, such as the granting of the alleged hijacker’s US Visas despite them failing to correctly fill out applications.

Such alternative information is considered dangerous by Western Governments, with Obama’s information Tsar Cass Sunstein advocating “cognitive infiltration”, and the UK’s DEMOS think tank suggesting so called “critical thinking” be taught in schools so children can counter the “radicalizing” conspiracy theories.

Of course not every wild “space beam” theory has credence, but if true “critical thinking” is to form the basis of children’s education, Government theories should be put under just as much scrutiny as the alternatives.

July 11, 2013 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | , , | 1 Comment

Merkel justifies NSA eavesdropping surveillance

RT | July 11, 2013

Despite “justified questions” to the American intelligence community regarding eavesdropping on German networks, the US remains Berlin’s “most loyal ally”, announced Chancellor Angela Merkel in interview to Die Zeit weekly.

Merkel has made her first detailed comment into the unraveling diplomatic scandal with the America’s National Security Agency (NSA) global telecommunication eavesdropping, including those of its European allies, Germany foremost among them.

It emerged recently that Germany happens to be the most-snooped-on EU country by the American National Security Agency (NSA). The NSA’s real-time online surveillance PRISM program allows US intelligence agencies to intercept virtually any communications over the internet, phone calls and makes possible direct access to files stored on the servers of major internet companies.

Merkel declared that she herself has learnt about the US surveillance programs, such as the NSA’s PRISM spy program, “through the current reporting” in the media.

In early July spokesman Steffen Seibert announced on the behalf of Chancellor Merkel that “The monitoring of friends – this is unacceptable. It can’t be tolerated,” adding that Merkel had already delivered her concerns to the US.  “We are no longer in the Cold War,” Seibert added.

The German government subsequently summoned US Ambassador Philip Murphy to Berlin to explain the incendiary reports.

At the same time according to new revelations made by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden to Germany’s Spiegel magazine, the American NSA and Germany’s intelligence agencies are “in bed together.”

Seibert told Reuters this week that German’s Federal Intelligence Agency’s (BND) cooperation with the NSA “took place within strict legal and judicial guidelines and is controlled by the competent parliamentary committee.”

‘Intelligence is essential for democracies’

Merkel stressed that intelligence “has always been and will in future be essential for the security of citizens” of democratic countries. “A country without intelligence work would be too vulnerable,” Merkel said.

At the same time, she observed that there must be a “balance between maximum freedom and what the state needs to give its citizens the greatest possible security.”

Merkel emphasized that German-American special relationship should not be endangered by the incident.

“America has been, and is, our most loyal ally over all the decades,” Merkel said, but pointed out that Washington should clear up the situation with the US allegedly bugging the embassies of the European countries and the EU facilities, noting that “the Cold War is over.”

Stasi and NSA are not comparable

In acknowledgment of the Germany’s contemporary history, Merkel, who grew up in East Germany, refused to make any parallels between the methods of work of DDR’s secret police Stasi and America’s NSA.

“For me, there is absolutely no comparison between the Stasi and the work of intelligence agencies in democratic states,” she was quoted as saying. “They are two completely different things and such comparisons only lead to a trivialization of what the Stasi did to [East Germany’s] people,” said Merkel.

Rhetoric shift

In the face of the national elections in September, Angela Merkel has come under fierce criticism in connection with the NSA spying scandal for not protesting unequivocally enough, while various German politicians demanded to stop spying immediately.

Germany’s center-left opposition insists on questioning country’s officials with a view to find out what exactly they knew about the American surveillance of German communications before the eavesdropping scandal emerged.

Earlier Germany’s Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich and Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger both declined any knowledge of the eavesdropping performed by the American US in German networks.

In the interview to Die Zeit Chancellor Merkel revealed that reports from German intelligence agencies are being delivered to her chief of staff, Ronald Pofalla who coordinates their work from the chancellery.

The head of the center-left opposition Social Democratic Party (SPD) Sigmar Gabriel told Spiegel Online that “Ms. Merkel is now trying to shift political responsibility to her chief of staff.”

“That’s an old game: [pretending] not knowing anything at first, trying to play down the problem and then finally pointing the finger at a staff member. But it’s not going to work because it’s clear that the dimensions of this scandal are so great that no person other than the chancellor can ensure that basic rights are defended in Germany,” the SPD leader claimed.

Today battling terrorism is impossible “without the possibility of telecommunications monitoring,” Merkel told the weekly. “The work of intelligence agencies in democratic states was always vital to the safety of citizens and will remain so in the future.”

In the meantime, Friedrich is meeting US Attorney General Eric Holder and White House counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco in Washington on Friday for talks dedicated to the NSA scandal.  Though Merkel’s government is not likely to pedal the spying issue, Berlin surely expects explanation from Washington in regards of the ‘Snowdengate’ “for all the more-than-justified questions”, Merkel was quoted as telling Die Zeit.

July 11, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Luxembourg PM resigns over spying scandal

RT | July 11, 2013

Luxembourg’s long-serving Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker officially announced he would resign following a spying scandal involving illegal phone-taps and other illicit activities.

The announcement comes as Juncker’s junior coalition partner called for the dissolution of the house and early parliamentary elections.

Juncker’s departure follows allegations the country’s security services abused their power under his watch, including illegally bugging politicians, purchasing cars for private use, and taking payments and favors in return for access to local officials from 2003 to 2009.

A report commissioned by Luxembourg’s parliament into the matter determined that Juncker failed to rein in the agency despite it being under his auspices. The July 5 document further said that the outgoing PM was “politically responsible” for failing to inform the parliamentary committee of control or justice authorities about the Luxembourg State Intelligence Service’s (SREL) alleged illegalities.

The report was commissioned after a Luxembourg weekly newspaper published a secretly-taped conversation from 2008 between Juncker and the head of SREL at the time, Marco Mille.

On tape, Mille revealed that his staff had secretly recorded a conversation involving Luxembourg’s Grand Duke – the monarchial head of state – and that the sovereign was in regular contact with Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service.

The ensuing parliamentary inquiry revealed extensive illicit activity: the existence of 13,000 secret files on people and businesses, illegal wire-taps on business leaders, and a counter-terror operation which was in actually a front to help a Russian oligarch pay US$10 million to a Spanish spy, and even a shadowy private dealership in luxury cars, AFP reports.

In June, the PM survived Luxembourg’s first no confidence vote in 150 years after the opposition Liberals and Greens accused Finance Minister Luc Frieden of pressuring the state prosecutor to stop legal proceedings against a group implicated in a series of 1980s bombings.

However, the specter of a fresh no confidence vote once again hung over Juncker, who became prime minister in 1995 and is the European Union’s longest-serving head of government, following the report.

The PM delivered a defiant speech to lawmakers on Wednesday in which he attempted to refute allegations that he has used the SREL to bolster both him and his Christian Social People’s Party.

Juncker initially refused to step down, claiming the PM should not be expected to resign over the alleged wrongdoing of a few intelligence agents.

“The intelligence service was not my top priority,” Juncker told parliament. “Moreover, I hope Luxembourg will never have a prime minister who sees SREL as [his or her] priority.”

However, Junker’s junior partner, Luxembourg Socialist Workers’ Party (LSAP) President Alex Bodry, called on the PM to take” full political responsibility” for the scandal.

“We invite the prime minister to take full political responsibility in this context and ask the government to intervene with the head of state to clear the path for new elections,” Bodry said.

Juncker, who said it would be impossible to take personal responsibility for the allegations leveled at him, ultimately resigned to avoid a vote of no confidence.

“I will convene the government tomorrow morning at 10am (08:00 GMT) and will go to the Palace to suggest snap elections to the Grand Duke,” he told parliament on Wednesday.

As head of state, only the Grand Duke can officially dissolve parliament.

In line with Junker’s recommendation, the government will continue its work until early elections are held on October 20. It remains unclear whether the outgoing PM intends to run.

Political responsibility as last resort

Luxembourg, a tiny state nestled between Belgium, France and Germany, is viewed as a major European financial hub, where some 40 percent of the country’s 500,000 residents are foreigners working in banks and other European institutions.

Juncker’s departure over intelligence service malfeasance was a major wave in one of Europe’s most politically-stable states.

As the outgoing PM admitted the intelligence service scandal left him “no other choice than to hand in the government’s resignation,” other European leaders are increasingly being scrutinized for the alleged role in sweeping surveillance activities.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, who oversees the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), has recently come under fire for the agency’s Tempora surveillance program, as well as its collusion with US National Security Agency’s (NSA) sweeping spying programs.

Last week the European Union began investigating whether Britain had broken EU law following reports it had tapped international phone traffic and shared vast amounts of personal data with the US, an EU source told Reuters.

Viviane Reding, the vice-president of the European Commission and EU commissioner for justice, wrote to Hague asking him to clarify the “scope of the [Tempora surveillance] program, its proportionality and the extent of judicial oversight that applies.”

In Germany, where the US a reportedly combs through half a billion German phone calls, emails and text messages on a daily basis, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden recently accused the country’s political leadership of ‘being in bed’ with the NSA.

On Wednesday Chancellor Angela Merkel defended Germany’s cooperation with US intelligence, dismissing charges its methods resembled those deployed in the former German Democratic Republic.

“For decades, intelligence services have been working together under certain conditions that are tightly regulated in our country, and this serves our security,” Merkel told the German weekly Die Zeit.

“For me, there is no comparison at all between the state security [Stasi] of the GDR and the work of intelligence services in democratic states,” she continued.

“These are completely different things and such comparisons only lead to a trivialization of what the state security did to people in East Germany,” she said.

With elections slated for September 22, the center-left opposition has pounced on the issue, claiming Merkel, whose office coordinates and oversees Germany’s intelligence services, must have known more about NSA operations.

July 11, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Key Israel lobby senator calls for US military strikes on Syria

Press TV – July 11, 2013

A prominent U.S. senator has called on the administration of President Barack Obama to attack Syrian “airfields, airplanes and massed artillery.”

The influential chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Carl Levin (D-Mich.) who has returned from a fact-finding trip to the Middle East, also expressed support for arming the militant groups fighting against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

“Increased military pressure on Assad is the only way to achieve a negotiated settlement in Syria, which in turn is needed to restore stability to a region that certainly doesn’t need any more instability,” Levin said Wednesday during a speech at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Levin conceded that the U.S. public opposes an increased involvement in the Syrian conflict and that there is “no consensus” on the issue on Capitol Hill.

Senator Levin and Senator Angus King (I-Maine) spent five days in Jordan and Turkey, talking to government officials as well as U.S. diplomatic and military personnel about the conflict in Syria.

The two senators also met with militant leaders including Salim Idriss, the leader of the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA), and visited refugee camps along the Syrian border.

In a joint statement on Tuesday, Levin and King said the U.S. and its allies should arm and train the militants and consider “options for limited, targeted strikes at airplanes, helicopters, missiles, tanks and artillery.”

However they said they were not calling for American troops on the ground in Syria.

The senators noted that “doing nothing may be the worst option of all,” potentially destabilizing U.S. allies in the region, including Turkey and Jordan, and threatening Israeli interests.

In a letter last month, Sen. Levin, Sen. John McCain, a Republican from Arizona and Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey called on President Obama to take “more decisive military actions” against Syria.

A recent opinion poll conducted by the Pew Research Center shows that the majority of Americans, 70 percent, are against U.S. involvement in Syria’s unrest.

July 11, 2013 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , | 3 Comments

UK has a CCTV for every 11 people

Press TV – July 10, 2013

Britain has a CCTV camera for every 11 people, a security industry report disclosed, as privacy campaigners criticized the growth of the “surveillance state”.

Britain has a CCTV camera for every 11 people including 750,000 in “sensitive locations” such as schools and hospitals, British Security Industry Authority (BSIA) says.

The BSIA said there are up to 5.9 million closed-circuit cameras across Britain dramatically raising the previous estimates that put the number of cameras somewhere between 1.5 million and four million.

“Because there is no single reliable source of data no number can ever be held as truly accurate however the middle of our range suggests that there are around five million cameras,” Simon Adcock, of the BSIA, said.

The revelations drew angry criticism from privacy campaigners Big Brother Watch who described the CCTV culture as a sign of an ailing democracy in Britain.

“This report is another stark reminder of how out of control our surveillance culture has become,” Big Brother Watch director Nick Pickles said.

“With potentially more than five million CCTV cameras across country, including more than 300,000 cameras in schools, we are being monitored in a way that few people would recognize as a part of a healthy democratic society,” he added.

Pickles also compared the situation to the dystopia represented in George Orwell’s 1984 novel.

“This report should be a wakeup call that in modern Britain there are people in positions of responsibility who seem to think ‘1984’ was an instruction manual,” he said.

The novel pictures a society where every single private move of the citizens in the then future Britain of 1984 is monitored by the eye of the state.

July 11, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | Leave a comment