Welcome to Sott.net
Sat, 22 Jan 2022
The World for People who Think

Puppet Masters
Map

Top Secret

Ireland expels Russian diplomat

Image

Republic of Ireland Passport
The Republic of Ireland is expelling a Russian diplomat after an investigation found the identities of six Irish citizens had been used for providing fake passports for Russian spies.

The Russian intelligence services faked the Irish passports for Russian spies working in the United States, said an Irish foreign ministry statement, adding that Moscow's action was "completely unacceptable."

In response, Ireland asked the Russian diplomat to "leave this jurisdiction" without specifying a date, the ministry said, according to the state-funded BBC.

In July 2010, the US deported 10 Russian agents after uncovering a spy network in the country, accused of infiltrating policymaking systems and reporting back to Moscow.

The case was part of the biggest US-Russia spy swap since the Cold War.

Eye 1

Choking the Internet: How much longer will your favorite sites be on line?

Internet censorship. It did not happen overnight but slowly came to America's shores from testing grounds in China and the Middle East.

Progressive and investigative journalist web site administrators are beginning to talk to each other about it, e-mail users are beginning to understand why their e-mail is being disrupted by it, major search engines appear to be complying with it, and the low to equal signal-to-noise ratio of legitimate e-mail and spam appears to be perpetuated by it.

In this case, “it,” is what privacy and computer experts have long warned about: massive censorship of the web on a nationwide and global scale.

Comment: This is another of those areas where we have been warning our readers for years. We have had the same experiences of mysterious shifts in ranking of our pages, one reason we are working to get as much as possible into book form so that readers can have the material after the internet goes down and the lights go out.


Camera

Gibbs: Some Things "Have To Be Done Away From TV Cameras"

Reporter Question: "Finally, we have not had a chance to ask President Obama any questions since this crisis began. There have been at least a couple of occasions that could have been open to the press that weren't. Can you explain why we haven't been able to talk to him?"


Light Saber

Yemen's president says he won't seek re-election or hand power to son

Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh will not seek re-election once his current term ends in 2013, he said Wednesday, after more than three decades in office.

He won't install his son to replace him, he said. He also has asked his political opponents "to re-engage in dialogue in hopes of reaching a sustainable and reconcilable political agreement," the Yemeni government said.


Saleh made the announcement as unprecedented protests sweep across North Africa and the Middle East. The demonstrations have forced Tunisia's president from office, and they prompted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to say Tuesday he would not run for re-election this year.

King Abdullah of Jordan, meanwhile, has sacked his government and appointed a new prime minister in the face of protests there.

In Yemen, Saleh had called an emergency parliamentary meeting ahead of a "day of rage" protests scheduled for Thursday.

Radar

America in the Middle East?

Given that policy makers in Washington D.C. say they want to see democracy alive and well in the Arab world, why, really, are they so alarmed by what is happening?

Image
© unk
Riot police force protestors back across the Kasr Al Nile Bridge as they attempt to get into Tahrir Square on January 28, 2011 in downtown Cairo.
If more and more Arabs breach the wall of fear that has prevented them for decades from demanding their rights, expressing their rage at the corruption and repression of their governments and at regime impotence in the face of Israel's arrogance of power, there's one question above all others America's policy makers will have to ask themselves. Who do we need most if America's own real interests are to be best protected - the Arabs or Israel? And that, of course, begs the mother and father of all questions for them: Is Israel our most valuable ally in the region or our biggest liability?

Eisenhower was the first and last president to contain Zionism's territorial ambitions. Kennedy might have been the second if he had been allowed to live. But from Johnson to Obama, and whether they really believed it or not (I think most if not all of them didn't), every American president has paid extravagant lip-service to the idea that Israel is the U.S.'s most valuable ally in the Middle East.

Nuke

Propaganda!! 'Al-Qaida on brink of using nuclear bomb'

Image
Al-Qaida is on the verge of producing radioactive weapons after sourcing nuclear material and recruiting rogue scientists to build "dirty" bombs, according to leaked diplomatic documents.

A leading atomic regulator has privately warned that the world stands on the brink of a "nuclear 9/11".

Security briefings suggest that jihadi groups are also close to producing "workable and efficient" biological and chemical weapons that could kill thousands if unleashed in attacks on the West.

Thousands of classified American cables obtained by the WikiLeaks website and passed to The Daily Telegraph detail the international struggle to stop the spread of weapons-grade nuclear, chemical and biological material around the globe.

Gear

WikiLeaks suspect is deteriorating mentally, physically, friend says


Binoculars

Looters included undercover Egyptian police, hospitals tell Human Rights Watch

Image
© Reuters


Cairo - Human Rights Watch confirmed several cases of undercover police loyal to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's regime committing acts of violence and looting in an attempt to stoke fear of instability as demonstrations grew stronger Tuesday against the autocratic leader.

Peter Bouckaert, the emergency director at Human Rights Watch, said hospitals confirmed that they received several wounded looters shot by the army carrying police identification cards. They also found several cases of looters and vandals in Cairo and Alexandria with police identification cards. He added that it was "unexplainable" that thousands of prisoners escaped from prisons over the weekend.

"Mubarak's mantra to his own people was that he was the guarantor of the nation's stability. It would make sense that he would want to send the message that without him, there is no safety," Bouckaert said.

Network

A Hole in the Internet

Even before their communications blackout, Egypt really was a small part of the Internet in absolute terms, just a few thousand routable networks out of nearly 400,000 making up the global IPv4 address space.

To illustrate the point, we put together these images, which use a Hilbert curve representation of the Internet. The world's routed networks are in translucent grey, the unrouted networks are in black, and Egypt's networks are in orange. Look closely and you can see Egypt's Internet presence embedded in Africa and Europe's address space.

inetmap
© Renesys

Network

Gates: Killing the internet is easy

Image
When the revolution comes, someone's always ready to tell you how Facebook and Twitter are powering history.

The problem is that while they're still standing, governments can snuff out Facebook and Twitter whenever they like. All they need do is flip the "off" switch on the servers, routers, and wireless equipment used by local service providers.

Just ask Bill Gates.

When US TV anchor Katie Couric asked the Microsoft co-founder and chairman if he was surprised that Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak could take the unprecedented step of killing the entire Egyptian internet, Gates responded with an emphatic: "no".

Sometimes, he knows what he's talking about.

"It's not that hard to shut the Internet down if you have military power where you can tell people that's what's going to happen," Gates said. "Whenever you do something extraordinary like that you're sort of showing people you're afraid of the truth getting out, so it's a very difficult tactic, but certainly it can be shut off."

Web traffic analysis firm Renesys tracking the black out encapsulated the enormity of the situation here:
Every Egyptian provider, every business, bank, Internet cafe, website, school, embassy, and government office that relied on the big four Egyptian ISPs for their Internet connectivity is now cut off from the rest of the world. Link Egypt, Vodafone/Raya, Telecom Egypt, Etisalat Misr, and all their customers and partners are, for the moment, off the air.