North American News


Battle intensifies between Trump’s CIA, WikiLeaks

15th april 2017

The battle between the CIA and WikiLeaks is intensifying.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo used his first major public remarks on Thursday to skewer WikiLeaks as a “non-state hostile intelligence service” willing to work with Russia and other foreign actors to promote their interests.

He blasted Julian Assange as a “fraud” interested in his own fame, seeking to undermine efforts by the WikiLeaks founder to be viewed as a legitimate ally of civil libertarians.

“It is time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is, a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia,” Pompeo said.“Assange is a narcissist who has created nothing of value,” the former Republican congressman charged. “He relies on the dirty work of others to make himself famous. He is a fraud—a coward hiding behind a screen.”

WikiLeaks was quick to respond, sending out a series of messages on Twitter claiming that Pompeo vowed to “silence” the organization over its purported disclosures of CIA hacking tools and using his remarks to promote an op-ed written by Assange in the Washington Post.

In the op-ed, Assange wrote that WikiLeaks had the same mission as news outlets such as the Post and The New York Times.

The organization also mocked Pompeo by sending out a since-deleted tweet he wrote last July, when the former Kansas lawmaker cited stolen Democratic National Committee emails released by WikiLeaks as proof that the presidential nomination had been “fixed” for Hillary Clinton.

Pompeo’s speech was a wide departure from President Trump’s praise of WikiLeaks on the campaign trail. Trump and his administration have taken a much more hostile approach to WikiLeaks since taking office.

U.S. national security experts welcomed Pompeo’s comments as a signal that the new director was taking a hard line on an organization that has leaked information damaging to American interests.

“I think what [Pompeo] did was putting him on notice, which I think is exactly the right thing to do,” James Carafano, a national security expert at the conservative Heritage Foundation, said. “I think he’s throwing down the gauntlet.”

But the speech was not warmly embraced by all. Journalist Glenn Greenwald, who published documents leaked by Edward Snowden, slammed Pompeo for his remarks, accusing him of “explicitly” threatening free speech and press freedoms.

“WikiLeaks now has few friends in Washington,” Greenwald wrote in The Intercept. “But the level of affection for WikiLeaks should have no bearing on how one responds to these press freedom threats from Donald Trump’s CIA Director. Criminalizing the publication of classified documents is wrong in itself, and has the obvious potential to spread far beyond their initial target.”

WikiLeaks for weeks has needled the CIA by releasing troves of leaked documents allegedly revealing the agency’s hacking programs.

The releases, called “Vault 7,” contain documents describing hacking techniques used by the CIA, such as tools to breach mobile devices and hack into smart televisions, as well as other internal communications.

Hours after Pompeo’s speech, WikiLeaks leaked yet another trove of documents that claimed to reveal information about a top-secret CIA hacking program called Hive.

Experts have largely described the contents of the periodic document releases as unsurprising, and evidence that the CIA is doing its job. Nevertheless, they have renewed the debate around privacy and intelligence community spying and also raised questions about the source of the leaks.

“Obviously, this hurts when other people know where you have been, what you have been thinking,” said former CIA Director Michael Hayden, who said that the documents show no abuse of the agency’s powers.

“There is the danger that even though these things might reflect appropriate activities that Americans don’t object to, the fact that you can’t keep the tools secret, the fact that you can’t keep the data you collect from other prying eyes, that creates a real big, strong argument for, ‘then I don’t want you doing it in the first place,’” Hayden said.

Some note that the leaks underscore the persisting problem of insider threats, which has been a major cause for concern since the leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and former soldier Chelsea Manning.

Pompeo acknowledged Thursday that the agency needs to strengthen its own systems to prevent leaks.

Adam Klein, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, said that a major concern about WikiLeaks is that the organization provides an “outlet” for insider threats and encourages them.

“Insider threats are our intelligence agencies’ biggest security threat,” Klein told The Hill.

WikiLeaks has appeared to target CIA interns as potential sources of information. “CIA advertises internships. Whistleblowing opportunity?” the organized wrote on Twitter in mid-March.

“To the extent that there’s any news here, it’s that we have not gotten a handle on insider threats,” Klein said of the latest releases, noting that Congress should be concerned about the CIA leaks.

“I think it’s good news, frankly, that the CIA us thinking creatively about collecting information from foreign intelligence targets in the digital age,” Klein said.

The CIA has not confirmed the authenticity of any of the documents released, which Pompeo mentioned briefly on Thursday.

“As a policy, we at CIA do not comment on the accuracy of purported intelligence documents posted online,” Pompeo said. “In keeping with that policy, I will not specifically comment on the authenticity or provenance of recent disclosures.”

“But the false narratives that increasingly define our public discourse cannot be ignored,” he said.

 

source: http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/328918-battle-intensifies-between-trumps-cia-wikileaks

Trump administration won’t release White House visitor logs

15th April 2017

The Trump administration will not voluntarily disclose logs of visitors to the White House complex, it announced Friday, breaking with the practice started under former President Obama.

The White House cited “the grave national security risks and privacy concerns” of people who visit the White House, according to Time. Officials said that keeping the visitor logs private is necessary to protect President Trump’s ability to seek advice from people “with some discretion.”

A limited number of records of visitors to White House departments, such as the Office of Management and Budget, will be accessible through Freedom of Information Act requests. But most will not, including those that apply to the president and his senior staff.

The announcement is likely to anger ethics and good-government watchdogs, who argue the public has the right to know who is visiting the White House.Three of those organizations sued the administration in federal court this week, demanding the logs be released.

“We hoped that the Trump administration would follow the precedent of the Obama administration and continue to release visitor logs, but unfortunately they have not,” Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said in a statement.

Under the Trump administration’s policy, the records will be kept secret until five years after the president leaves office.

Since Trump took office Jan. 20, a section of the White House website where the visitor logs were posted under Obama has been left blank.

“This page is being updated. It will post records of White House visitors on an ongoing basis, once they become available,” the webpage reads.

The Obama administration’s decision to disclose visitor logs came in response to a series of lawsuits that began under former President George W. Bush. Records were posted online on a monthly basis for people who visited 90 to 120 days prior.
But exceptions were carved out for “purely personal guests of the first and second families” and “records related to a small group of particularly sensitive meetings.”
That often sparked criticism that the Obama White House was being less than forthcoming about who was visiting. For example, the first family hosted a “private” concert in 2015 headlined by Prince and Stevie Wonder that was attended by 500 people, including influential business figures and campaign supporters.
Those guests were not included in the publicly released visitor records.
As a private citizen in 2012, Trump criticized Obama for trying to hide public records.
“Why is @BarackObama spending millions to try and hide his records? He is the least transparent President–ever–and he ran on transparency,” he tweeted.

 

 

source:http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/328857-trump-administration-wont-release-white-house-visitor-logs

Trump’s Victory Brought Back Childhood ‘Trauma’

14th April 2017

Pop star Katy Perry — one of Hillary Clinton’s top celebrity endorsers during the 2016 presidential campaign — says Donald Trump’s victory brought back painful childhood trauma.

“I was really disheartened for a while; it just brought up a lot of trauma for me,” the 32-year-old “Chained to the Rhythm” singer said in a cover story interview for this month’s Vogue magazine. “Misogyny and sexism were in my childhood: I have an issue with suppressive males and not being seen as equal.”

“I felt like a little kid again being faced with a scary, controlling guy,” Perry added. “I wouldn’t really stand for it in my work life, because I have had so much of that in my personal life.”

Months after the election, Perry has established herself as a vocal member of the anti-Trump “Resistance” movement. A month after Trump’s inauguration, Perry performed at the 2017 Brit Awards alongside giant skeletons meant to skewer Trump and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May. Just ten days prior, Perry performed at the 2017 Grammy Awards while wearing an armband that read “PERSIST,” along with a Planned Parenthood button.

The singer’s “purposeful” pop has introduced what the singer hopes will be a new era of political activism, a time that has coincided with an “awakening” of young people she says are now more politically engaged than ever before.

“It’s an awakening that was necessary because I think we were in a false utopia, we can’t ever get that stagnant again,” Perry explained. “I am so grateful that young people know the names of senators. I think teenage girls are going to save the world! That age group just seems to be holding people accountable. They have a really strong voice — and a loud one.”

Just this week, Perry posted a picture of Clinton sporting a pair of pumps, called The Hillary, that the singer says were inspired by the former secretary of state.

 

The $139 pumps, now for sale on Perry’s website, include a clear heel embedded with golden moon and stars meant to inspire those who wear them to “step in and reach for the stars.”

 

 

 

source: http://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2017/04/13/katy-perry-trumps-victory-brought-up-a-lot-of-trauma/

Hackers post code in Trump protest: ‘Don’t forget about your base’

9th April 2017

An individual or group known for leaking complete computer code for apparently authentic, stolen NSA hacking tools released a new batch of computer code Saturday.

The leaker, dubbed “TheShadowBrokers,” claimed that the newest leak was a “form of protest” against President Trump not continuing the isolationist brand of populism that he campaigned on. Earlier leaks from the group were typically political in nature.

TheShadowBrokers claimed to be releasing samples from the NSA source code to draw attention to its auction. The latest leaks accompany a post titled “Don’t Forget About Your Base.”

In the group’s trademark broken English, the post reads, “TheShadowBrokers voted for you. TheShadowBrokers supports you. TheShadowBrokers is losing faith in you. Mr. Trump helping theshadowbrokers, helping you. Is appearing you are abandoning ‘your base’, ‘the movement’, and the peoples who getting you elected.”

The post goes on to cite “good evidence” of Trump shunning his base, pointing to the GOP’s death on healthcare reform last month, removing White House chief strategist Steve Bannon from the National Security Council principals committee and appointing Cabinet members from Goldman Sachs and the “Military Industrial Intelligence Complex.”

TheShadowBrokers debuted in August, leaking a large package of source code it claimed was from the toolkit of the Equation Group, a vaunted hacking operation long believed to be affiliated with the NSA. Between then and January, the group dumped two more packages of source code.

Though always in the context of advertising the sale of their wares, the Brokers have mentioned politics in prior posts, including a racist sketch about the Clinton campaign. In the group’s last message to the public in January, it claimed any prior mention of politics was meant for publicity.

Past releases by TheShadowBrokers appears to be authentic. The Intercept, the publication headed by the fount of Edward Snowden leaks, Glenn Greenwald, published that a tracking ID code that appeared in the Brokers’ files matched a previously unreleased code in the Snowden files.

Earlier files from the group, while years old, contained working computer code to exploit many previously unknown security flaws in popular cybersecurity hardware from Cisco and other manufacturers.

Those flaws sent cybersecurity companies into a frantic race to repair their products before hackers took advantage. Researchers ultimately did find malware in the wild, which used these product vulnerabilities.

It is unclear how TheShadowBrokers obtained the files.

 

source;http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/327971-shadowbrokers-post-new-nsa-cyberweapons-in-pro-conservative-protest-of

BuzzFeed Sues the FBI Over Andrew Breitbart Records Request

8th April 2017

BuzzFeed wants some answers from the FBI about deceased conservative media figure Andrew Breitbart — and it’s willing to sue to find out.

BuzzFeed and journalist Jason Leopold have filed a complaint against the FBI, claiming that the bureau hasn’t done everything it can to answer their request for information on Breitbart.

The complaint, filed Friday in federal court in California, says that Leopold filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FBI for “all records related to Andrew Breitbart” on Aug. 7, 2012, a few months after Breitbart died at age 43.

According to the suit, the FBI responded to the request on Sept. 4, but said that the bureau only searched it “main file records,” claiming that no records were located.

That was an inadequate effort, as far as the suit is contained.

The complaint says that Leopold appealed the FBI’s response but was denied by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Information in 2013.

“In its appeal decision, OIP claimed that the FBI is not required to perform cross-reference searches unless the requester provides ‘information sufficient to enable the FBI to determine with certainty that any cross-references it locates are identifiable to the subject of [the] request,’ including, for example, the dates and locations of contacts between the subject of the request and the FBI, the subject’s social security number, or other such information,” the suit reads.

However, BuzzFeed and Leopold contend in the complaint, “Nothing in the FOIA statute requires a requester to provide this information before a cross-reference search must be conducted.”

“As FBI and OIP are certainly aware, Andrew Breitbart was a well-known public figure and is easily identifiable by the FBI in conducting a cross-reference search,” the suit reads. “As the FBI and OIP are also aware, cross-reference searches frequently turn up records not located in main file searches.”

Alleging violation of the Freedom of Information Act, the suit is asking the court to order the FBI to “conduct a reasonable search for records, including a cross-reference search, and to produce all non-exempt requested records.”

 

 

source: http://www.thewrap.com/buzzfeed-sues-the-fbi-over-andrew-breitbart-records-request/

MTV Movie Awards Scraps Gender-Specific Categories

8th April 2017

Audiences watching this year’s MTV Movie & TV Awards will not see some familiar categories.

The Viacom-owned network announced Friday that its flagship awards show would eliminate gender-specific categories for the first time. In lieu of categories like “Best Actress” and “Best Actor,” this year’s ceremony will honor “Best Actor in a Movie” and “Best Actor in a Show,” the Associated Press reports.

The move from MTV follows similar decisions among entertainment award shows to honor stars with non-gendered awards.

This month, Billions star Asia Kate Dillon, who identifies as gender non-binary, submitted for Emmy consideration under Best Supporting Actor, because the Television Academy allows anyone to submit under either Actor or Actress categories, according to Variety.

“The Television Academy celebrates inclusiveness, and as we discussed with Asia, there is no gender requirement for the various performer categories,” the Television Academy told Variety. “Asia is free to choose the category they wish to enter.”

In 2011, the Recording Academy, which sponsors the Grammy Awards, scrapped more than 30 nominating categories, including best Native American album and best spoken-word children’s record.

This year’s Grammys featured its first-ever male and transgender “trophy girls” tasked with presenting music’s top honors onstage.

MTV’s ceremony will also rename its Best Fight category to Best Fight the System, the AP reports, as a nod to social activism.

 

 

 

source:http://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2017/04/07/mtv-movie-awards-dumps-gender-specific-categories/

Shia LaBeouf’s latest movie Man Down has sold just one ticket on its opening weekend in the UK

shia la

5th april 2017

IS this the worst opening weekend for a movie in history?

Shia LaBeouf’s new movie Man Down, grossed just $11.51 on its opening weekend in the UK, the price of a single ticket, according to media reports.

“Poor Shia,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Box Office tracking company ComScore told Variety.

“That opening could be in the Guinness World Records or something.”

The film was panned on Rotten Tomatoes, receiving just a 15 per cent rating.

It is a far cry from LaBeouf’s days as one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars during his time with the Transformers franchise.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen grossed more than $531 million in the US alone, including $144 million upon opening

Shia’s amazing green-screen rant

Score filed a report on the gross of Man Down, in which LaBeouf plays a US soldier who has come home from war in Afghanistan only to be forced to search for his missing wife and son.

According to Variety the movie played in just one theatre: Reel Cinema in Burnley in the England’s northwest.

It was also released simultaneously on demand.

According to The Guardian it will be released on DVD and Blu-ray in May.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter LaBeouf described the film as “therapy”.

He said one of the biggest drawing cards of the film was the chance to team up again with director Dito Montiel. The pair formerly worked together on the 2006 film A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints.

“This script landed on his lap at just the right time, and he came to my house when I was at a really low place and offered it to me like therapy, like, ‘Here’s a healing process where we can jump into together and get well,’” LaBeouf told the publication.

“It wasn’t like, ‘Hey, jump on this job,’ or ‘Jump into this movie.’ It felt like we were going to grow up.”

“This is definitely the most difficult thing I’ve ever worked on, emotionally, with anyone, which is why I had to do it with him.

“I needed a friend — otherwise, you can’t get this vulnerable.”

Man Down also stars Australian actor Jai Courtney. Picture: LionsgateSource:Supplied

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints movie grossed $600,000 in the US.

Man Down also stars Gary Oldman, Kate Mara and Charlie Shotwell.

After his roles in blockbusters including Transformers and Indian Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, La Beouf has shifted his focus to independent films with mixed success.

The news comes during a troubled time for La Beouf that included a bizarre anti-Donald Trump protest last month.

 

 

source: http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/movies/shia-labeoufs-latest-movie-man-down-has-sold-just-one-ticket-on-its-opening-weekend-in-the-uk/news-story/b076b8ee8788b6296a653283e0a94ee5

Al Gore: Global Warming a ‘Principal’ Cause of the Syrian Civil War, Brexit

dude what is

28th March 2017

Thursday in London at Advertising Week Europe 2017 during an interview with Empire Editor-in-Chief Terri White, former Vice-President Al Gore said climate change was a “principal” cause of the Syrian Civil War and Brexit.

Gore said, “I was just in the Persian Gulf region and the scientists for the lat couple of years, one of the lines of investigation they have been pursuing has led them to the conclusion that significant areas of the Middle East and North Africa are in danger of becoming uninhabitable. And, just a taste of this, to link it to some of the events that the UK and the European Union are going through and I know that’s another source of stress because we are now on the eve next week of the Brexit process – but think for a moment about what happened in Syria. You know we look at the gates of hell opening, they long since have opened, but before the gates of hell opened in Syria, what happened was a climate-related extreme drought.”

“The scientists have published these peer review studies for several years now showing exactly why it’s related to the climate crisis. From 2006 to 2010, 60 percent of the farms in Syria were destroyed and had to be abandoned and 80 per cent of the livestock were killed. The drought in the eastern Mediterranean is the worst ever on record – the records only go back 900 years, but it’s historic. And 1.5 million climate refugees were driven into the cities in Syria, where they collided with refugees from the Iraq War. And Wikileaks revealed the internal conversations in the Syrian government where they were saying to one another ‘we can’t handle this, there’s going to be a social explosion’. There are other causes of the Syrian civil war, but this was the principal one. And those in the region recognize that. And it has unleashed, with other factors an incredible flow of refugees into Europe which is creating political instability in Europe and which contributed in some ways to the desire of some in the UK to say ‘Whoa we’re not sure we want to be a part of that anymore.’ And you can go through the list of countries around the worlds where stability and political success of governance is really challenged. Some countries have a hard time even in the best of seasons but the additional stress this climate crisis is causing really poses the threat of some political disruption and chaos of a kind the world would find extremely difficult to deal with.”

 

 

source:http://www.breitbart.com/video/2017/03/23/al-gore-global-warming-principal-cause-syrian-civil-war-brexit/

WikiLeaks Drops the Mother Lode With ‘Vault 7’

wikileaks

8th March 2017

WikiLeaks on Tuesday dumped a trove of documents and files hacked from the Central Intelligence Agency — the largerst ever published from within the U.S. spy agency.
The 8,761 documents code named “VAult 7” contain amazing things, such as the “weaponized exploits against a wide range of U.S. and European company products, include Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows and even Samsung TVs, which are turned into covert microphones.”
“The CIA had created, in effect, its ‘own NSA’ with even less accountability and without publicly answering the question as to whether such a massive budgetary spend on duplicating the capacities of a rival agency could be justified,” WikiLeaks said in its release.
The documents show that “a specialized unit in the CIA’s Mobile Development Branch produces malware to infest, control and exfiltrate data from iPhones and other Apple products running iOS, such as iPads.”
The CIA also runs “a very substantial effort to infect and control Microsoft Windows users with its malware.”
The documents also show that “in addition to its operations in Langley, Virginia, the CIA also uses the U.S. consulate in Frankfurt as a covert base for its hackers covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
“CIA hackers operating out of the Frankfurt consulate ( ‘Center for Cyber Intelligence Europe’ or CCIE) are given diplomatic (‘black’) passports and State Department cover. The instructions for incoming CIA hackers make Germany’s counter-intelligence efforts appear inconsequential: ‘Breeze through German Customs because you have your cover-for-action story down pat, and all they did was stamp your passport.’ “
“There is an extreme proliferation risk in the development of cyber ‘weapons’. Comparisons can be drawn between the uncontrolled proliferation of such ‘weapons’, which results from the inability to contain them combined with their high market value, and the global arms trade. But the significance of ‘Year Zero’ goes well beyond the choice between cyberwar and cyberpeace. The disclosure is also exceptional from a political, legal and forensic perspective,” said WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange.

 

 

source:http://www.dailywire.com/news/14173/wikileaks-drops-mother-lode-vault-7-joseph-curl?