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Mon, 24 Jan 2022
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Facebook May Even Be Tracking Users Who've Canceled Their Accounts!

© Minyanville
"Listen, and understand. Facebook is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are commodified and sold."
-- Kyle Reese, in a deleted scene from The Social Network.
It's no secret that Facebook's privacy policies are wholly lax and subject to wiggle room. Names, contact information, browsing habits, and private purchases have been logged and shared -- even when users have logged out of their accounts. But a new report from the Hamburg Data Protection agency -- a privacy watchdog group within Germany -- has uncovered a new level of privacy-invading depravity that Facebook has sunk to.

The social network is allegedly tracking users even after they've canceled their accounts!

For up to two years!!!


Citizen Spy Recruitment Program Launches in U.S. Hotels

Homeland Security has been working closely with hotels on many levels as private partners in the war on terror, as part of the expanding If You See Something, Say Something program. Manuals such as the 84-page, Protective Measures Guide for the U.S. Lodging Industry (pdf) have been sent out to teach owners and staff how to properly spot potential terrorists. Typical suspicious behavior includes paying with cash and "insisting on privacy" among a plethora of other dangers.

As if wasn't bad enough that hotel guests are secretly being assessed by untrained intelligence assets of Homeland Security, now guests are to be subjected to psy-op recruitment techniques via their TV sets in major hotels such as "Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton, Holiday Inn and other hotels in the USA," according to an article published in the travel section of USA TODAY.

It is only a 15-second public service announcement, but follows similar PSA programming that aims to create fearful masses willing to call authorities over the flimsiest of suspicious activities, such as the innocuous example below.

Cell Phone

Suitcase Sized Device can Remotely Disable Phones, Intercept Communications, Record Unique IDs and Track You in Real Time

© Datong UK
A screenshot of Datong's official website.

Governments around the world are increasingly taking control of civilian communications - especially cellular telephone networks - usually for nefarious purposes.

We have seen just this occur in the Middle East on multiple occasions during the so-called Arab Spring and now these control systems are being implemented in full force in the West as well.

This is not just dangerous because having government creep into the private lives of citizens usually turns out poorly but because this type of technology enables horrific atrocities.

One type of system is produced by Datong in the United Kingdom which has already been purchased by the largest police force in all of Britain, the London Metropolitan Police.

The London Police paid $230,000 for so called "ICT hardware" in 2008 and 2009 which creates a fake cellular phone network in order to not only intercept the communications and unique identification numbers from phones, but also to remotely turn off telephones.

This incredibly dangerous technology that seems like something out of a spy thriller is highly portable and is about the size of a suitcase.

This means that at a protest in which a brutal government crackdown is about to occur, all that the police would need to do is turn on their suitcase device and suddenly no one is able to record the incident on their phone or call for help.


Wikileaks' Julian Assange loses extradition appeal

© Reuters
There may be some files related to the role of Mossad in killing a Lebanese military leader in Damascus by sniper bullets, says Julian Assange
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has failed in his appeal against extradition from the UK to Sweden over allegations of rape and sexual assault.

Two judges at the High Court in London decided that a previous ruling in favour of extradition must be upheld.

Swedish authorities want him to answer accusations of raping one woman and sexually molesting and coercing another in Stockholm last year.

Mr Assange's lawyers say they will appeal at the Supreme Court.

They have 14 days to bring the case to the highest court in the land, on the grounds that it raises issues of general public importance.

However, Mr Assange's legal team will first need to seek permission from the High Court to launch the appeal.

Comment: The Media, needing a distraction as the world wakes up to the situation in and about Libya - it's Assange to the rescue.


Israeli torture traders exhibit in Paris

electroshock shield
© Unknown
Hand held body shield inflicts 50,000 Volts on anyone who comes in contact with it.
An Israeli company selling instruments of torture and repression has been given refuge at a Paris arms fair, six years after it was expelled from a similar event in London.

Electroshock shields were one of the items offered by TAR Ideal Concepts at the Milipol exhibition in the French capital earlier this month, a source who attended this bazaar informed me. Those shields are explicitly designed to inflict pain on people who come into contact with them.

TAR's participation went unnoticed by the mainstream media. That was in contrast to the 2005 UK Defense System and Equipment International (DSEI) exhibition. On that occasion, the Israeli firm was instructed to pack up its stand because its brochures solicited orders for stun guns, batons and leg cuffs. TAR founder Tomer Avnon complained at the time that it was hypocritical to single out his firm. "Don't forget we were among booths offering everything from sniper rifles to silencers, cluster bombs and all sorts of nasty stuff," he told The Jerusalem Post.

Bad Guys

US: Did You Hear the One About the Bank(st)ers?

Citigroup is lucky that Muammar el-Qaddafi was killed when he was. The Libyan leader's death diverted attention from a lethal article involving Citigroup that deserved more attention because it helps to explain why many average Americans have expressed support for the Occupy Wall Street movement. The news was that Citigroup had to pay a $285 million fine to settle a case in which, with one hand, Citibank sold a package of toxic mortgage-backed securities to unsuspecting customers - securities that it knew were likely to go bust - and, with the other hand, shorted the same securities - that is, bet millions of dollars that they would go bust.

It doesn't get any more immoral than this. As the Securities and Exchange Commission civil complaint noted, in 2007, Citigroup exercised "significant influence" over choosing $500 million of the $1 billion worth of assets in the deal, and the global bank deliberately chose collateralized debt obligations, or C.D.O.'s, built from mortgage loans almost sure to fail. According to The Wall Street Journal, the S.E.C. complaint quoted one unnamed C.D.O. trader outside Citigroup as describing the portfolio as resembling something your dog leaves on your neighbor's lawn. "The deal became largely worthless within months of its creation," The Journal added. "As a result, about 15 hedge funds, investment managers and other firms that invested in the deal lost hundreds of millions of dollars, while Citigroup made $160 million in fees and trading profits."

Citigroup, which is under new and better management now, settled the case without admitting or denying any wrongdoing. James Stewart, a business columnist for The Times, noted that Citigroup's flimflam made "Goldman Sachs mortgage traders look like Boy Scouts. In settling its fraud charges for $550 million last year, Goldman was accused by the S.E.C. of being the middleman in a similar deal, allowing the hedge fund manager John Paulson to help choose the mortgages and then bet against them without disclosing this to the other parties. Citigroup dispensed with a Paulson figure altogether, grabbing those lucrative roles for itself." (Last Thursday, the U.S. District Court judge overseeing the case demanded that the S.E.C. explain how such serious securities fraud could end with the defendant neither admitting nor denying wrongdoing.)


Children Eating Hay as Food Prices Rocket - Aid Agency

© Reuters / Todd Korol
An ear of wheat is seen on the Canadian prairies near Lethbridge, Alberta, September 7, 2011.

London - Soaring food costs are forcing some children to eat hay and leaves because their parents cannot afford to put food on the table, according to Save the Children.

The aid agency said its research showed that recent price hikes had put 400,000 children at risk.

It called for world leaders meeting at the G20 summit in Cannes this week to keep their funding promises for agriculture in order to ensure children are protected from rising food costs.

Barely a fifth of the $22 billion pledged in 2009 to help the world's poorest farmers over a three-year period has been disbursed, according to the latest available figures.

Eleven of the 13 countries behind this promise - made at the G8 summit in Italy - will be among those meeting in the French city of Cannes from Nov. 3-4.

But the aid agency said it feared the euro zone crisis could squeeze the global food crisis off the G20's agenda.

Bad Guys

New Libyan "PM" is Big-Oil Goon

Abdurrahim el-Keib
© Land Destroyer
Associated Press recently reported that Libya's rebel militants have named a new "prime minister" this week. AP depicts the latest unelected Western proxy, as a progressive academic who has spent decades in the United States teaching at Alabama University and leading the local Muslim community. Mentioned briefly as a "former employer," however, is the Petroleum Institute, based in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and sponsored by British Petroleum (BP), Shell, France's Total, the Japan Oil Development Company, and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. El-Keib is listed as a "Professor and Chairman" in his Petroleum Institute profile which also describes extensive research conducted by him sponsored by various US government agencies and departments over the years.

And so begins the farce that is Western "democracy." One corporate-fascist puppet, Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, steps down, another, Abdurrahim el-Keib, takes his place. In reality, it is NATO-states and their corporate sponsors that now determine Libya's fate.

In essence, el-Keib, like his predecessor Jalil, is Libyan in name only and has been working for Western corporations, governments, and institutions for decades. Like Jalil, or Egypt's Mohammed ElBaradei, el-Keib is yet another agent of Western interests masquerading as an indigenous leader in a foreign land. That his rise to power was paved by thousands of NATO strike sorties in a 7 month military operation spearheaded by the United States and at the cost of tens of thousands of Libyan civilians makes his ascension to power in Libya ever more a desecration of Libya's sovereignty.


Rick Perry uses fake Occupy Toronto quote in speech to discredit protesters

Rick Perry
© Mary Ann Chastain/Reuters
Republican presidential candidate Texas Governor Rick Perry gestures as he speaks during a visit to plastics manufacturer ISO Poly Films in Gray Court, South Carolina October 25, 2011.
Rick Perry's fumbling, stumbling campaign to win the Republican presidential nomination can add another gaffe to its growing roster: the Texas governor is the latest conservative to ridicule a fake quote in a satirical Globe and Mail piece in an effort to discredit the Occupy Wall Street protesters.

At an appearance in New Hampshire last week, Mr. Perry, struggling to regain momentum in the race, made reference to the quote, which he said was sent to him by his son.

"This was in Toronto," he told the crowd before paraphrasing the fabricated quote in an Oct. 21 Globe and Mail essay by freelancer Mark Schatzker. The piece was clearly labelled satire.

Mr. Perry summarized the quote as: "I guess greed just makes you work hard."

The actual fake quote in Mr. Schatzker's piece was attributed to "Jeremy, 38," from the Occupy Toronto protests: "It's weird protesting on Bay Street. You get there at 9 a.m. and the rich bankers who you want to hurl insults at and change their world view have been at work for two hours already. And then when it's time to go, they're still there. I guess that's why they call them the one per cent. I mean, who wants to work those kinds of hours? That's the power of greed."

Star of David

Israel forcing Palestinians out of East Jerusalem

Israeli flag
© Reuters
Israel is forcing Palestinians out of East Jerusalem as part of a deliberate policy that might constitute a war crime, a prominent Israeli non-governmental organisation said on today.

The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) has presented the United Nations with its findings and demanded an inquiry, saying Israel targeted Palestinians by demolishing homes, revoking residency and eroding quality of life.

"We are witnessing a process of ethnic displacement," said Michael Sfard, a lawyer who helped draw up a 73-page report into the issue. "Israel is manifestly and seriously violating international law ... and the motivation is demographic."

There was no immediate comment from Israeli authorities on the report other than a statement from the mayor's office which said that while East Jerusalem had suffered from a lack of investment in the past that had now changed.

"Jerusalem, under the leadership of Mayor Nir Barkat, has invested an unprecedented amount of resources and efforts to improve the quality of life of Muslim residents of Jerusalem after decades of neglect by previous administrations," it said.