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October 31, 2013 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | 1 Comment

Satellite sea level data has been “adjusted” upward by 34% over past 9 years alone

THE HOCKEY SCHTICK |October 30, 2013

There are many documented examples of sea level data from satellite altimeters being “adjusted” upward many years after publication, often repeatedly on the same data, and in defiance of the laws of probability, always in an upward direction. Seven documented examples can be found in the links in this post. A recent comment in a sea level article on the Yale Environment 360 site documents another example of sea level data being adjusted upward by 34% [by 1 mm/yr, equivalent to an additional 4 inches per century] over the 9 years since it was collected and published on the University of Colorado website.

Data published on U of Colorado website in 2004 shown in blue. Same data after 9 years of adjustments published on same website today shown in red. The slope of the same 1992-2004 data has somehow increased by 34% over the past 9 years. 

H/T: Based upon the comment by Steve Case in this article:

Here’s an interesting presentation by Dr. R. Steve Nerem, who is well quoted in the article:

“Why has an acceleration of sea level rise not been observed during the altimeter era?” R. Steven Nerem (University of Colorado)

One has to wonder what all the excitement is about if for the last twenty years there has been no acceleration of the rate. Couple that with the fact that it’s rather easy to determine that there’s been a good deal of inflating the rate of sea level rise by those same CU Sea Level Research Group scientists.

Simply put the URL of their home page ( into the Internet WayBack Machine ( and see for yourself.

This archived time line:

( differs from the current one: ( in a rather interesting fashion. Changes have been made to the data resulting in an increase in the rate of reported sea level rise by nearly a millimeter per year.

Also see my comments on the same article:

Sea levels have been rising naturally for the past 20,000 years and at much, much faster rates in the past (up to 40 times faster than today).

Sea levels are currently rising 4 to 8 inches per century, and there is no acceleration, which means there is no evidence of a human influence on sea levels:

References finding no acceleration:

JM Gregory et al Journal of Climate 2012, M Beenstock et al 2013, NOAA 2005-2012 Sea Level Budget, Dean & Houston 2011 & 2013, Scafetta 2013, Holgate 2007, Boretti 2012, Morner 2004, Jevrejeva et al., 2006 & 2008, Wöppelmann et al., 2009

“no long-term acceleration of sea level has been identified using 20th-century data alone.”

“It is likely that GMSL (Global Mean Sea Level) rose between 1920 and 1950 at a rate comparable to that observed between 1993 and 2010”

… the authors find that sea level rise is a localized rather than global phenomenon, with 61 percent of tide gauge records demonstrating no change in sea levels, 4 percent showing a decrease, and a minority of 35 percent showing a rise. This implies relative sea level change is primarily related to subsidence or post-glacial rebound (land height changes) rather than melting ice or steric sea level changes (thermal expansion from warming).

October 31, 2013 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

A Third of All U.S. Clinical Drug Trial Results Remain Unpublished after 5 Years

By Noel Brinkerhoff | AllGov | October 31, 2013

Nearly 30% of all large clinical trials in the United States have gone unpublished five years after their completion, often because those running them—pharmaceutical companies—don’t want their results known.

This failure to share information represents an ethical violation on the part of companies and organizations that are obligated to tell trial participants about testing results, scientists wrote in the British Medical Journal.

These experts say approximately 250,000 people took part in the 29% of trials that haven’t been published. Considering only those trials funded by the pharmaceutical industry, the number rose to 32%.

This “violates an ethical obligation that investigators have towards study participants,” Christopher Jones of Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, New Jersey, who worked on the study, told The Guardian.

Jones and his colleagues said changes must be made “to ensure timely public dissemination of trial data.”

Pharmaceutical manufactures are currently required to register all trials and report their results with the government through the database It is a global register and the largest such database in the world. But the study demonstrates that many companies are ignoring this requirement.

Síle Lane, director of campaigns at the U.K.-based AllTrials Campaign, told The Guardian that database postings are critical to science and, consequently, to patients. “There’s no excuse for not publishing results but a huge public health benefit to having a complete picture of what was found in trials conducted on treatments currently available to patients,” she said. “[For example,] trials from around the world are used to make UK prescribing decisions. So information from those trials is vital for UK regulators and researchers.”

Drug makers are sometimes motivated to not publish clinical trial information in order to hide details of side effects or outright failures of new treatments. They also try to avoid disclosing data that might help their competition.

Richard Stephens, a cancer patient who has been in five trials, told The Guardian that it’s important for testing to be made public.

“I would ask every researcher and every research funder out there to do all they can to make their results available. Patients become participants to add to knowledge and to eliminate uncertainties. Hiding results, no matter what the reason, isn’t in that spirit at all. In fact it is a betrayal of our trust,” Stephens said.

To Learn More:

Scientists Alarmed Over Ethics of Drug Trials Remaining Unpublished Up to Five Years After They’re Finished (by Sarah Boseley, The Guardian)

Non-Publication of Large Randomized Clinical Trials: Cross Sectional Analysis (by Christopher W. Jones, Lara Handler, Karen E. Crowell, Lukas G. Keil, Mark A. Weaver, Timothy F Platts-Mills; British Medical Journal)

Big Drug Firms Mobilize Patient Groups to Lobby against Publication of Secret Drug Testing Data (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Drug Companies Still Outsourcing Dangerous Trials to Poor Nations (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)

October 31, 2013 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Timeless or most popular | , , | Comments Off on A Third of All U.S. Clinical Drug Trial Results Remain Unpublished after 5 Years

NSA, ‘Five Eyes’ use Australian embassies to gather intel on Asia

RT | October 31, 2013

US intelligence agencies are using Australian embassies throughout Asia to intercept data and gather information across the continent, according to the latest report based on documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Data collection facilities operate out of the embassies in Jakarta, Bangkok, Hanoi, Bejing, and Dili, according to Fairfax media. There are also units in the Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, the most populated city in Malaysia, and Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea.

More intelligence collection occurs at US embassies and consulates, as well as at the diplomatic outposts of other ‘Five Eye’ nations, particularly Britain and Canada. The Defence Signals Directorate, which falls under the Australian Defence Agency, conducts the surveillance missions, and most Australian diplomatic officers are completely unaware of such activity, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The ‘Five Eyes’ is an alliance for intelligence cooperation that includes the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The document released by Der Spiegel, codenamed ‘STATEROOM,’ indicates the outfits “are small in size and in number of personnel staffing them… They are covert, and their true mission is not known by the majority of the diplomatic staff at the facility where they are assigned.”

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs refused comment on the story, saying it is against government policy to speak on intelligence activity.

The NSA document viewed by Der Spiegel also proves that the intelligence missions are hidden: “For example antennas are sometimes hidden in false architectural features or roof maintenance sheds.”

The Jakarta unit, in particular, is a hotbed of information. “The huge growth of mobile phone networks has been a great boon and Jakarta’s political elite are a loquacious bunch; even when they think their own intelligence services are listening they just keep talking,” a source said.

The disclosure comes as US President Barack Obama is reportedly considering suspending all surveillance efforts against American allies. He is facing growing pressure from the international community after reports questioned whether the NSA monitored the personal cell phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Another leak this week revealed that the US swept up more than 60 million phone calls from Spain in one month alone.

European leaders, once reluctant to demonize the surveillance, now openly wonder if the surveillance was ever employed to stop terrorism, as US leaders have maintained all along. German leaders have suggested renegotiating a deal known as the SWIFT pact, which allows the US to track the flow of what it suspects are terrorist finances.

“It really isn’t enough to be outraged,” German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schanarrenberger told rbb-Inforadio this week. “This would be a signal that something can happen and make clear to the Americans that the [EU’s] policy is changing.”

Yet intelligence officers speaking to Fairfax Media now say that it is good to stop terrorism and international crime, “but the main focus is political, diplomatic and economic intelligence.”

October 31, 2013 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on NSA, ‘Five Eyes’ use Australian embassies to gather intel on Asia

UK $26bn nuclear plant contingent on gas price rise by 127% in decade

RT | October 31, 2013

Britain’s first nuclear plant in 20 years is a bet energy prices will rise. Experts say the new Hinkley Point facility will be “the most expensive power station in the world” and if the bet fails, the deal will prove “economically insane”.

“The Government is taking a massive bet that fossil fuel prices will be extremely high in the future,” the Telegraph quotes Peter Atherton and Mulu Sun, who analysed the finances of British energy companies for stockbroker Liberum Capital.

The deal to construct two nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point in southwest England – the world’s first nuclear deal since Fukushima disaster – was agreed by the UK, Electrcite de France SA (EDF) and China. To have a guaranteed return on the estimated $26 billion investment, the plant owners need the cost of fossil fuel such as oil and gas to rise dramatically.

The Liberum analysts estimate the minimum energy price would need to stand above £121 per megawatt hour within ten years, which means the wholesale price of gas would have to go up by about 127 percent over that period. Wholesale prices were about £60 last year, according to the energy watchdog Ofgem.

This is the equivalent to an oil price of well above $200 a barrel, compared with about $110 this week, the Telegraph reports.

“We are frankly staggered that the Government thinks it is appropriate to take such a bet and underwrite the economics of this power station. We are flabbergasted that it has committed future generations of consumers to the costs that will flow from this deal,” the Liberum Capital analysts say.

The $26 billion (£16 billion) price tag of the two reactors would be enough to build gas-fired power stations with output eight times higher, Liberum calculated.

“For the cost of £16bn for the 3,200MW to be built at Hinkley, the UK could build 27,000MW of new gas-fired power stations, solving the ‘energy crunch’ for a generation.”

October 31, 2013 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Nuclear Power, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | Comments Off on UK $26bn nuclear plant contingent on gas price rise by 127% in decade

Members of Congress Avoid First-Ever Testimony by Pakistani Drone War Victims

By Noel Brinkerhoff | AllGov | October 31, 2013

For the first time since the United States began using drones to attack foreign enemies, members of Congress had the chance this week to hear directly from civilian survivors of such attacks at a special hearing.

But only five lawmakers bothered to show up.

The five representatives—all Democrats—were: Alan Grayson of Florida, John Conyers of Michigan, Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, Rush Holt of New Jersey, and Rick Nolan of Minnesota.

They heard from a Pakistani schoolteacher, Rafiq ur Rehman, and his two children, who traveled to Washington, DC, to describe the U.S. drone strike in North Waziristan on October 24, 2012, that killed Rafiq’s mother, midwife Momina Bibi, and injured his two offspring.

Using a translator, the survivors talked about their experience, and how it changed their lives.

“I no longer love blue skies. In fact, I now prefer grey skies. Drones don’t fly when sky is grey,” Zubair ur Rehman, 13, said, adding that his leg was injured by shrapnel during the strike.

At one point in the testimony, the translator broke down in tears while relaying the family’s ordeal.

Grayson invited the guests to appear before Congress, telling The Guardian that the hearing was intended “simply to get people to start to think through the implications of killing hundreds of people ordered by the president, or worse, unelected and unidentifiable bureaucrats within the Department of Defense without any declaration of war.”

“Nobody has ever told me why my mother was targeted that day,” Rafiq wrote in an open letter to President Barack Obama prior to the testimony. “The media reported that the attack was on a car, but there is no road alongside my mother’s house. Several reported the attack was on a house. But the missiles hit a nearby field, not a house. All reported that five militants were killed. Only one person was killed–a 65-year-old grandmother of nine.”

“But the United States and its citizens probably do not know this,” he continued. “No one ever asked us who was killed or injured that day. Not the United States or my own government. Nobody has come to investigate nor has anyone been held accountable. Quite simply, nobody seems to care.

“Bombs create only hatred in the hearts of people. And that hatred and anger breeds more terrorism.”

The family’s effort to travel to the U.S. to testify made news prior to the hearing when the State Department refused to grant a visa to their lawyer, Shahzad Akbar, who has been an outspoken critic of the U.S. drone war in Pakistan.

With their attorney prevented from entering the U.S., the family was joined by Jennifer Gibson of Reprieve, a British human rights organization.

To Learn More:

State Department Blocks Lawyer of U.S. Drone Strike Survivors from Testifying Before Congress (by Noel Brinkerhoff and Danny Biederman, AllGov)

October 31, 2013 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, Video, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli refused US offer to solve oil zone dispute with Lebanon

MEMO | October 31, 2013

Israel’s online economic magazine Globes is reporting that Israel has refused an American offer to solve the dispute with Lebanon over the maritime borders in the Mediterranean.

According to the magazine, the continuing dispute over the borders could undermine the development of Lebanese area Block Nine, where excavation work for oil and gas is currently being carried out.

Block Nine is located to the north of the Israeli oil field Alon, which is thought to contain large amounts of natural gas.

In 2010, Lebanon filed a complaint with the UN against Israel’s incursion in the Lebanese area of the sea, which is called EEZ.

The area is about 850km2 and is disputed between Lebanon and Israel.

While the US offered to mediate to solve the dispute, Israel refused and responded directly to the UN in regards to the Lebanese complaint.

According to Globes, Lebanon’s recent bids for oil excavation in the area include its claim of ownership, calling the area the “southern Lebanese borders”.

October 31, 2013 Posted by | Economics | , , | Comments Off on Israeli refused US offer to solve oil zone dispute with Lebanon

Israel defines release of Palestinian prisoners as commitment to peace

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | October 31, 2013

At the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Israeli ambassador Eviatar Manor stated that the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails defines the Jewish state’s attitude towards peace. “Their release, I believe, illustrates Israel’s determination to reach an agreement with our Palestinian neighbours that will, once and for all, end the conflict.” As usual, Israel’s discourse contains various illusions, including references to ‘conflict’, which implies no hegemonic disparity between both parties.

Reference to Palestinians as ‘neighbours’ and human rights violation as ‘conflict’ portrays the manipulative use of language to distort the reality of a colonisation project which has prevailed for decades. There is no conflict between Palestinians and Israel, which renders the concept of negotiations a convenient farce for the belligerent occupation and its allies – a project of alienation which is easily converted into fodder for consumers of corporate media. In discourse which would reflect the ongoing situation, Israel should be depicted as the epitome of colonialism – an illegal state which has plundered land, people and resources to sustain fabrications of nationhood and the right to land. In place of negotiations, the international community should be clamouring for Israel to be held accountable and face the ramifications of accountability, including the dismantling of illegalities which would allow Palestinians to reclaim and assert their rights over land and nationhood.

Israel’s participation in the UNHRC’s Universal Periodic Review comes after vehement rejection of the council’s alleged bias against the occupying power. The indefinite boycott of the session was discussed in May by deputy foreign minister Ze’ev Elkin, who agreed to diplomatic discussions while “ensuring that fair play and international standards are applied towards Israel”. A Jerusalem Post opinion article about the UNHRC expounds upon the alleged bias against Israel, stating that “The majority of its 47 members are from the third World, which not only guarantees massive anti-Israel bias but makes mockery of human rights”. What it fails to mention is that Third World countries have experienced the ramifications of colonialism and exploitation, camouflaged within the West as implementation of forced democracy through various forms of intervention sanctioned by governments who are never held accountable for their crimes against humanity.

While the debate focused on Israel’s appalling treatment of Palestinians, including that of Bedouins in the Negev, Israel attempted to manipulate the discourse away from the wider framework by concentrating on the prisoner release and portraying the decision as a commitment towards peace, despite the state’s preoccupation with security concerns which, according to Manor, ‘strain the delicate balance between effective steps necessary to overcome the various threats to a state’s security and the protection of human rights”.

The release of Palestinian prisoners has been transformed into nothing more than a bargaining over land compensated with lives which Israel deems expendable. While their freedom is undoubtedly cherished by Palestinians, official rhetoric from Israeli and Palestinian representation has created an additional realm where negotiations are equivalent to prisoner release. Abbas recently declared that the Israeli concept of life in prison has deteriorated, yet nothing is uttered regarding the continuous usurpation of Palestinian land. While Netanyahu triumphantly approves further illegal settlement construction as ‘compensation’ for releasing Palestinian prisoners, Abbas remains committed to relinquishing Palestine in return for freedom which can be easily revoked within Israel’s system of administrative detention.

October 31, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Israel defines release of Palestinian prisoners as commitment to peace

Activists to continue fight against UK drone secrecy

Press TV – October 31, 2013

Campaigners have vowed to continue fighting for greater transparency over the use of deadly British drones overseas despite losing an appeal calling for the UK involvement to be disclosed.

Anti-drone campaigners said they would pursue an end to the “culture of secrecy” surrounding London’s drone attacks in Afghanistan.

This came after the Information Tribunal agreed the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) refusal to reveal information on the deployment of remote- controlled unmanned warfare in the Asian country.

The appeal body said that the MoD can withhold basic details about its drone strikes in Afghanistan.

“The MOD referred to the disclosure of the requested information as involving ‘risk to life and limb’, the Commissioner used the phrase ‘life and death,’” the ruling stated.

However, strategy director of legal charity Reprieve Cori Crider described the ruling as “disappointing”, saying “the US-UK drone wars must be brought out of the shadows.”

“We know that the UK is closely involved in supporting the CIA in carrying out these illegal strikes, yet they are still refusing to come clean,” Crider said.

Recently, it was revealed that the UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF) assassination drones, used in missions over Afghanistan, are controlled from British soil for the first time.

The MoD confirmed that its new aircraft, known as XIII Squadron, started flying missions over Afghanistan earlier in April from RAF Waddington base in Lincolnshire.

According to media reports, Britain has spent more than £2 billion over the last five years, developing its unethical assassination drones.

The deployment of assassination drones by the US and its allies has led to deaths of at least hundreds of innocent civilians, including many women and children, in the Middle East.

October 31, 2013 Posted by | Deception, War Crimes | , , , , , | Comments Off on Activists to continue fight against UK drone secrecy

Disarmament watchdog says Syrian chemical weapons equipment destroyed

Al-Akhbar | October 31, 2013

All of Syria’s declared chemical arms production equipment has been destroyed ahead of a Friday deadline, a source at the world’s chemical weapons watchdog said.

“Syria has completed rendering inoperable its chemical weapons production and assembly installations,” the source at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said, asking to remain anonymous ahead of an official announcement later Thursday.

Inspectors had until Friday to visit all of Syria’s chemical sites and destroy all production and filling equipment in accordance with a timeline laid down by the Hague-based OPCW and backed by a UN Security Council resolution passed last month.

The resolution was agreed by the US and Russia to avert military strikes on Syria after deadly chemical weapons attacks outside Damascus in August, which the West blamed on President Bashar al-Assad. The Syrian government has categorically rejected such accusations.

A first monthly report of the inspectors, covering their work on the ground since October 1, has been sent to the UN Security Council by UN chief Ban Ki-moon.

The OPCW’s Executive Council will use the Syrian declaration to decide by November 15 on “destruction milestones” for Syria’s arsenal.

Syria has also sent in a declaration of its chemical weapons activities and facilities, meeting its obligations as a new state party to the Chemical Weapons Convention.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

October 31, 2013 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Comments Off on Disarmament watchdog says Syrian chemical weapons equipment destroyed

NSA secretly accessed Yahoo, Google data centers to collect information

RT | October 30, 2013

Despite having front-door access to communications transmitted across the biggest Internet companies on Earth, the National Security Agency has been secretly tapping into the two largest online entities in the world, new leaked documents reveal.

Those documents, supplied by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and obtained by the Washington Post, suggest that the US intelligence agency and its British counterpart have compromised data passed through the computers of Google and Yahoo, the two biggest companies in the world with regards to overall Internet traffic, and in turn allowed those country’s governments and likely their allies access to hundreds of millions of user accounts from individuals around the world.

“From undisclosed interception points, the NSA and GCHQ are copying entire data flows across fiber-optic cables that carry information between the data centers of the Silicon Valley giants,” the Post’s Barton Gellman and Ashkan Soltani reported on Wednesday.

The document providing evidence of such was among the trove of files supplied by Mr. Snowden and is dated January 9, 2013, making it among the most recent top-secret files attributed to the 30-year-old whistleblower.

Both Google and Yahoo responded to the report, with the former’s response being the most forceful.

Google’s chief legal officer, David Drummond, said the company was “outraged” by the allegations.

“We have long been concerned about the possibility of this kind of snooping, which is why we have continued to extend encryption across more and more Google services and links, especially the links in the slide,” said Drummond, implying the web giant had been caught by surprise by the revelations..

“We do not provide any government, including the US government, with access to our systems. We are outraged at the lengths to which the government seems to have gone to intercept data from our private fiber networks, and it underscores the need for urgent reform.”

Yahoo likewise implied it was not actively cooperating with the NSA in granting the agency access to its data infrastructure.

“We have strict controls in place to protect the security of our data centers, and we have not given access to our data centers to the NSA or to any other government agency,” the company said via statement.

Gen. Keith Alexander, the head of the NSA, told reporters Wednesday afternoon, “I don’t know what the report is,” according to Politico, and said his agency is “not authorized” to tap into Silicon Valley companies. When asked if the NSA tapped into the data centers, Alexander said, “Not to my knowledge.”

Earlier this year, separate documentation supplied by Mr. Snowden disclosed evidence of PRISM, an NSA-operated program that the intelligence company conducted to target the users of Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, PalTalk, YouTube, Skype, AOL and Apple services. When that program was disclosed by the Guardian newspaper in June, reporters there said it allowed the NSA to “collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats” while having direct access to the companies’ servers, at times with the “assistance of communication providers in the US.”

According to the latest leak, the NSA and Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters are conducting similar operations targeting the users of at least two of these companies, although this time under utmost secrecy.

“The infiltration is especially striking because the NSA, under a separate program known as PRISM, has front-door access to Google and Yahoo user accounts through a court-approved process,” the Post noted.

And while top-brass in the US intelligence community defended PRISM and said it did not target American Internet users, the newest program — codenamed MUSCULAR — sweeps up data pertaining to the accounts of many Americans, the Post acknowledged.

The MUSCULAR program, according to Wednesday’s leak, involves a process in which the NSA and GCHQ intercept communications overseas, where lax restrictions and oversight allow the agencies access to intelligence with ease.

“NSA documents about the effort refer directly to ‘full take,’ ‘bulk access’ and ‘high volume’ operations on Yahoo and Google networks,” the Post reported. “Such large-scale collection of Internet content would be illegal in the United States, but the operations take place overseas, where the NSA is allowed to presume that anyone using a foreign data link is a foreigner.”

To do as much, the NSA and GCHQ rely on capturing information being sent between company data centers around the globe, intercepting those bits and bytes in transit by tapping in as information is moved from the “Public Internet” to the private “clouds” operated by the likes of Google and Yahoo. Those cloud systems involve the linking of international data centers, each processing and containing huge troves of user information for potentially millions of customers. Intelligence officers who can sneak through the cracks when information is decrypted — or never encrypted in the first place — can then see the information sent in real time as take “a retrospective look at target activity,” according to documents seen by the Post.

“Because digital communications and cloud storage do not usually adhere to national boundaries, MUSCULAR and a previously disclosed NSA operation to collect Internet address books have amassed content and metadata on a previously unknown scale from US citizens and residents” Barton and Soltani reported.

“Data are an essentially global commodity, and the backup processes of companies often mean that data is replicated many places across the world,” The Post’s Andrea Peterson added in a separate report. “So just because you sent an e-mail in the US, doesn’t mean it will always stay within the nation’s borders for its entire life in the cloud.”

As data goes into those facilities outside of the US, the NSA and GCHQ have more tactics to deploy in order to obtain private communications. Additionally, Yahoo has not nor do they now have any plans to deploy encryption technology to secure communications, suggesting the data of their millions of users was passed in-the-clear through international data centers, ripe to be intercepted by the intelligence community.

“Google and Yahoo generally connect their data centers over privately owned or leased fiber-optic cables, which do not share traffic with other Internet users and companies, to enable the tasted connections and keep information secure,” Gellman added in a separate article authored alongside the Post’s Todd Linderman. “Until recently, these internal data networks were not encrypted. Google announced in September, however, that it is moving quickly to encrypt those connections. Yahoo’s data center links are not encrypted.”

“It’s an arms race,” Eric Grosse, Google’s vice president for security engineering, told the Post last month. “We see these government agencies as among the most skilled players in this game.”

After hearing ot the MUSCULAR program by the Post, Google said in a statement that they were “troubled by allegations of the government intercepting traffic between our data centers, and we are not aware of this activity.”

“We have long been concerned about the possibility of this kind of snooping, which is why we continue to extend encryption across more and more Google services and links,” the company said.

“We have strict controls in place to protect the security of our data centers, and we have not given access to our data centers to the NSA or to any other government agency,” insisted Yahoo.

Only hours before the latest Snowden leak was made public, NSA Director Keith Alexander told a Congressional panel that the illegal, unconstitutional revelations helped terrorist intent on killing Americans. Answering a question from Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota) about the effect of the leaks on national security, Alexander and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper both said the disclosure have and will continue to cause major damage to the US.

At that same hearing, Alexander admitted that the NSA “compels” telecommunication companies to provide the government with user intelligence.

“Nothing that has been released has shown that we’re trying to do something illegal or unprofessional,” Alexander added.

October 30, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on NSA secretly accessed Yahoo, Google data centers to collect information

End Game For Corporate School Reform: Privatized Holding Tanks, Remote Ed, Military Charter Schools

By Bruce A. Dixon | Black Agenda Report | October 30, 2013

Doug Henwood, a radical economist and founder of Left Business Observer, says it as succinctly as anyone when he sums up the goal of bipartisan corporate education reform imposed on poorer neighborhoods as “ … low cost privatized holding tanks leading to McDonalds jobs for the lucky, or to prison for the not so lucky …” along with classes delivered by computers rather than unionized teachers. But as useful as this summation is, it leaves out one element worth noting. You can’t run a global empire without a military class, any more than you can run a prison without prison guards.

So in Chicago, widely touted as a laboratory of educational innovation, mostly because its current mayor, President Obama’s former chief of staff holds dictatorial power over its public schools, one of the showpieces of education reform has been the handing over of entire high schools and even middle schools to the army, the navy and the marine corps.

Before the era of corporate reform there was at least one achievement of genuine small d democratic education reform pushed through by the administration of Chicago mayor Harold Washington in the 1980s. Since then parents in every public school have been allowed to elect parent councils, with reps from among rank and file teachers, which have veto power over title one funds and principal’s contracts, which are limited to two years. The “innovative” answer of downtown bureaucrats, corporate elites and subsequent mayors to parents taking a hand in running the schools has been to simply close Chicago public schools and replace them with charters over which parents have no say.

This year, Chicago closed more public schools than any other school district in a single year in the nation’s history. None were charter schools. This week Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced he was moving the middle school which had earlier been given to the marine corps into the facility of a fully functioning neighborhood school, Ames Middle School.

The fact that Ames parents and community members had testified, had met with officials and overwhelmingly rejected the closing of their school meant less than nothing, and may even have contributed to the replacement of their school by a military academy. What mayor, and what alderman really wants organized parents running their own neighborhood institutions? It’s bad for business if you’re a privatizer, or a politician who takes cues and campaign contributions from privatizers. And ultimately habits of local democracy are bad for empire.

What Chicago, and corporate education reformers and privatizers and their contractors nationwide want, as Henwood observes, are low-cost holding tanks to funnel the well-behaved into low-wage precarious labor for the lucky and jail for the unlucky. They want distance education and computerized instruction because these are cheaper than human, potentially unionized teachers. And to Henwood’s list we should add, they want a sprinkling of military charter schools. After all, you can’t run an empire without soldiers, or a prison without guards.

October 30, 2013 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on End Game For Corporate School Reform: Privatized Holding Tanks, Remote Ed, Military Charter Schools