These links are NSFW.
Nubile Cuties: June 27, 2015 – Beautiful and smooth cuties.
More Nubile Cuties: June 27, 2015 – More beautiful and smooth cuties.
Here are links to some interesting news articles that I came across today. They are about the actions (and true nature) of “national security agencies” of supposedly democratic western countries.
The spy unit responsible for some of the United Kingdom’s most controversial tactics of surveillance, online propaganda and deceit focuses extensively on traditional law enforcement and domestic activities — even though officials typically justify its activities by emphasizing foreign intelligence and counter-terrorism operations. Documents published today by The Intercept demonstrate how the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG), a unit of the signals intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), is involved in efforts against political groups it considers “extremist,” Islamist activity in schools, the drug trade, online fraud, and financial scams. Though its existence was secret until last year, JTRIG quickly developed a distinctive profile in the public understanding, after documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the unit had engaged in “dirty tricks” like deploying sexual “honey traps” designed to discredit targets, launching denial-of-service attacks to shut down internet chat rooms, pushing veiled propaganda onto social networks, and generally warping discourse online.
While some of the unit’s activities are focused on the claimed areas, JTRIG also appears to be intimately involved in traditional law enforcement areas and UK-specific activity, as previously unpublished documents demonstrate. An August, 2009 JTRIG memo entitled “Operational Highlights” boasts of “GCHQ’s first serious crime effects operation” to shut down internet forums and to remove websites identifying police informants and members of a witness protection program. Another was “used to facilitate and execute online fraud.” The document also describes GCHQ advice provided “to assist the UK negotiating team on climate change.” Particularly revealing is a fascinating 42-page document from 2011 detailing JTRIG’s activities. It provides the most comprehensive and sweeping insight to date into the scope of this unit’s extreme methods. Entitled “Behavioral Science Support for JTRIG’s Effects and Online Humint [Human Intelligence] Operations,” it describes the types of targets on which the unit focuses, the psychological and behavioral research it commissions and exploits, and its future organizational aspirations. It is authored by a psychologist, Mandeep K. Dhami.
The National Security Agency and its British counterpart, Government Communications Headquarters, have worked to subvert anti-virus and other security software in order to track users and infiltrate networks, according to documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The spy agencies have reverse engineered software products, sometimes under questionable legal authority, and monitored web and email traffic in order to discreetly thwart anti-virus software and obtain intelligence from companies about security software and users of such software. One security software maker repeatedly singled out in the documents is Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab, which has a holding registered in the U.K., claims more than 270,000 corporate clients, and says it protects more than 400 million people with its products. British spies aimed to thwart Kaspersky software in part through a technique known as software reverse engineering, or SRE, according to a top-secret warrant renewal request. The NSA has also studied Kaspersky Lab’s software for weaknesses, obtaining sensitive customer information by monitoring communications between the software and Kaspersky servers, according to a draft top-secret report. The U.S. spy agency also appears to have examined emails inbound to security software companies flagging new viruses and vulnerabilities.
Another way the NSA targets foreign anti-virus companies appears to be to monitor their email traffic for reports of new vulnerabilities and malware. A 2010 presentation on “Project CAMBERDADA” shows the content of an email flagging a malware file, which was sent to various anti-virus companies by François Picard of the Montréal-based consulting and web hosting company NewRoma. The presentation of the email suggests that the NSA is reading such messages to discover new flaws in anti-virus software. Picard, contacted by The Intercept, was unaware his email had fallen into the hands of the NSA. He said that he regularly sends out notification of new viruses and malware to anti-virus companies, and that he likely sent the email in question to at least two dozen such outfits. He also said he never sends such notifications to government agencies. “It is strange the NSA would show an email like mine in a presentation,” he added. The NSA presentation goes on to state that its signals intelligence yields about 10 new “potentially malicious files per day for malware triage.” This is a tiny fraction of the hostile software that is processed. Kaspersky says it detects 325,000 new malicious files every day, and an internal GCHQ document indicates that its own system “collect[s] around 100,000,000 malware events per day.”
British spies have received government permission to intensively study software programs for ways to infiltrate and take control of computers. The GCHQ spy agency was vulnerable to legal action for the hacking efforts, known as “reverse engineering,” since such activity could have violated copyright law. But GCHQ sought and obtained a legally questionable warrant from the Foreign Secretary in an attempt to immunize itself from legal liability. GCHQ’s reverse engineering targeted a wide range of popular software products for compromise, including online bulletin board systems, commercial encryption software and anti-virus programs. Reverse engineering “is essential in order to be able to exploit such software and prevent detection of our activities,” the electronic spy agency said in a warrant renewal application. But GCHQ’s hacking and evasion goals appear to have led it onto dubious legal ground and, at times, into outright non-compliance with its own procedures for staying within the bounds of the law. A top-secret document states that a GCHQ team lapsed in following the agency’s authorization protocol for some continuous period of time. Meanwhile, GCHQ obtained a warrant for reverse engineering under a section of British intelligence law that does not explicitly authorize — and had apparently never been used to authorize — the sort of copyright infringement GCHQ believed was necessary to conduct such activity.
One document describing the warrant, a 2008 warrant renewal application, identifies numerous commercially available products in which GCHQ identified vulnerabilities through reverse engineering. These include widely used encryption software such as Exlade’s CrypticDisk and Acer’s eDataSecurity. Exlade’s products are used by “thousands of companies and government agencies,” including tech giants IBM, Intel, GE, HP and Seagate, according to the company’s website. Also successfully targeted were popular web forum services vBulletin and Invision Power Board. VBulletin says its users include Sony Pictures, NASA, Electronic Arts and Zynga. Invision Power Services, the maker of Invision Power Board, said around the time of the warrant renewal application that its users included Yahoo, AMD and Sony. GCHQ also targeted CPanel, software used by large hosting companies like GoDaddy for configuring servers, and PostfixAdmin, used to manage Postfix, popular email server software.
What do you think? Comments?
Just in time for Father’s Day this year (June 21, 2015). While you may, or may not, like the song- it is hard to deny its accuracy.
Here are links to some interesting news articles that I came across today. They are about some of the less obvious, but very important details, behind the currently hot Rachel Dolezal story.
The two siblings, born just two years apart, were raised in tiny Troy, Mont., by Larry and Ruthanne Dolezal, ex-hippies who turned to religion for life’s answers. Their zealot father spoke in tongues and made them wait to eat dinner every night while he read a chapter of the Bible, the memoir said. The family of evangelists had no TV and little contact with the outside world. Joshua Dolezal wrote in a memoir that he and her sister Rachel Dolezal were raised in a cult-like Christian home where her father spoke in tongues and the kids were banned from watching TV and reading books. Joshua Dolezal wrote in a memoir that he and her sister Rachel Dolezal were raised in a cult-like Christian home where her father spoke in tongues and the kids were banned from watching TV and reading books. Larry Dolezal delivered both his children at home, and put on the birth certificates that Jesus Christ was the witness, Joshua Dolezal wrote.
The criminal case that Rachel Dolezal said led her parents to spitefully reveal that the former president of the Spokane, Washington, NAACP is biologically white involves charges that her older brother sexually abused their adopted black sister — allegations her parents told BuzzFeed News were fabricated. As first reported by the New York Daily News, Joshua Dolezal, 39, is facing four counts of sexually assaulting a child in Colorado after being arrested in March 2014. He was released on a $15,000 bond after his arrest and works as an associate professor of English at Central College in Pella, Iowa. According to a Colorado affidavit and arrest warrant reviewed by BuzzFeed News, the alleged abuse occurred in the Dolezal home between 2001 and 2002. The documents state that the alleged victim was age 6 or 7 when the abuse was allegedly carried out by Joshua, who court documents said was 19 years older than the alleged victim. The documents obscure the identity and gender of the victim, but Rachel Dolezal previously told the Spokesman-Review of a “Colorado lawsuit filed by her sister against their brother.”
Rachel and Josh’s parents, Ruthanne and Larry Dolezal, confirmed to BuzzFeed News on Tuesday that their adopted daughter Esther had made the criminal complaints, but said the allegations were “absolutely untrue.” BuzzFeed News has contacted both Esther and Joshua Dolezal for comment. Dolezal would follow [redacted] into bathroom and would make [redacted] undress and would touch [redacted] and [redacted] area on [redacted] skin. This happened over 20 times,” according to an affidavit prepared by Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office Detective Al Billinger. According to the affidavit, the alleged victim told police Joshua Dolezal repeatedly made her touch his penis and perform oral sex on him. He allegedly threatened his victim with harm if she spoke out. The affidavit also says the victim told her adoptive mother, who did not believe her “lies.” However, the alleged victim was eventually placed in “a home for abused children,” according to the affidavit. The affidavit also claimed “that Joshua Dolezal had victimized [redacted] older sister” — a possible reference to Rachel.
What do you think? Comments?
Here are links to three interesting news articles (one recent + two older) about the same basic issue, namely the results of unrestricted profit-seeking in medicine under the guise of professionalism. Note that american-style frauds are usually a mix of self-delusion, image control and finding compliant underlings.
Fata’s Michigan Hematology and Oncology Inc. (MHO) was the state’s largest private cancer practice in 2013, with clinics in seven cities, its own pharmacy and diagnostic center, and 1,700 patients, virtually all of them assigned to Fata, the tireless physician. Those who needed proof of Fata’s dedication could look to the doctor’s work ethic — he often labored past midnight — or to the Swan for Life Foundation, a charity Fata established to help cancer patients and their families. Today, MHO is gone and Fata is behind bars, awaiting sentencing for at least $34 million in fraudulent Medicare billings and a kickback scheme with a hospice. The criminal counts only hint at the human suffering behind the financial damages and raise questions about how Fata’s schemes could go undetected so long, despite his many contacts, doctors, and huge roster of patients.
Maunglay was stunned by what the hospital chart suggested. A cancer-free patient being given chemotherapy wasn’t negligence; it was an atrocity. “It’s oh my God, if he can do this to a person who has nothing. …” he said one recent Saturday afternoon. “For me, one case like this was enough. How could a doctor do this? My father died of cancer. For most of us” — he waved his arms — “cancer is personal.” As a cancer specialist, he had a special understanding of the horror he was witnessing, its cruelty. Fata’s choice of myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells in bone marrow, bespoke a certain shrewdness, because of the subjectivity of diagnosis. It was a clever niche for false doctoring. “You cannot fake lung cancer,” he says. “You cannot fake a tumor …” But with this disease, a malevolent doctor could plausibly use the treatment itself as a smokescreen to obscure future questions.
A Detroit-area cancer doctor accused of putting people through unnecessary treatments and then billing insurers for millions of dollars pleaded guilty to fraud Tuesday, admitting that he knew his patients often didn’t need chemotherapy. Dr Farid Fata pleaded guilty to 16 charges, including money laundering and conspiracy, without the benefit of a plea deal with prosecutors. US Attorney Barbara McQuade said she would not negotiate such a “shocking” case and will seek a sentence of life in prison. “We weren’t interested in bargaining anything away,” McQuade said. “His conduct was so egregious,” she told The Associated Press on the courthouse steps. “It wasn’t a matter of stealing money but torturing patients by lying to them about having cancer. … Chemotherapy is poison intended to kill cancer cells.”
His cancer clinic, Michigan Hematology Oncology, had seven offices and a related business that performed tests to look for cancer. The government says Fata submitted about $225m in claims to Medicare over six years, about half for chemotherapy and other cancer treatments. Medicare paid more than $91m, and private insurers were billed, too.
CTCA is not unique in turning away patients. A lot of doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers in the United States decline to treat people who can’t pay, or have inadequate insurance, among other reasons. What sets CTCA apart is that rejecting certain patients and, even more, culling some of its patients from its survival data lets the company tout in ads and post on its website patient outcomes that look dramatically better than they would if the company treated all comers. These are the rosy survival numbers that attract people like the Hilborns.
“They market hope,” Gail Robison, a staff nurse at the Zion hospital from 2003 to 2007, said of CTCA. The marketing typically features CTCA’s state-of-the-art care and holistic approach. Ads note that featured patients might not be representative: “You should not expect to experience these results.” The ads also challenge viewers to “compare our treatment results to national averages.” Doing so, on the company’s website, shows that CTCA’s reported survival outcomes regularly beat those averages. Experts in medical data who reviewed CTCA’s claims for Reuters say those claims are suspect because of what they called deviations from best practices in statistics – in particular, comparing its carefully selected patients to those nationwide. “It makes their data look better than it is,” said Robert Strawderman, professor and chairman of biostatistics at the University of Rochester. “So the comparisons used to suggest that CTCA has better survival rates are pretty meaningless.”
CTCA also excludes from its survival calculations thousands of patients it does treat but who did not receive “treatment at CTCA for the duration of their illness.” “‘The duration of their illness’ is a very big and very red flag,” said MD Anderson’s Berry. CTCA’s patients will “tend to be healthier” than those in the general population from which SEER draws its data, he said, adding: “Ability and willingness to travel is an independent factor” associated with longer survival. No federal or state law requires hospitals to report their cancer outcomes, let alone mandates how to do the calculations. But many healthcare providers voluntarily err on the side of inclusion.
What do you think? Comments?