Puppet MastersS


Laptop

Whitewashing: Snowden leak examines gaming as a terrorist propaganda and training tool

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© ProPublica
The latest document dump from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is getting a lot of deserved attention for revelations that international security agencies are taking steps to monitor communications inside online games. But those leaked documents also include an in-depth report on the potential for games to be used as recruitment, training, and propaganda tools by extremist organizations.

Security contractor SAIC produced the 66-page report "Games: A look at emerging trends, users, threats and opportunities in influence activities" in early 2007, and the document gives a rare window into how the US intelligence community views interactive games as a potential tool to be used by foreign actors. While parts of the report seem pretty realistic about gaming's potential use as a propaganda and planning tool, other sections provide a more fantastical take on how video games can be used as potential weapons by America's enemies.

Comment: The aforementioned report is trying hard, but unsuccessfully, to give credence to the unlawful infiltration of online gaming by military intelligence, whose actual purpose seems to be spying, the collection of data from the private lives of American citizens and their recruitment as cannon fodder or informants. IF there is any group out there plotting against the US empire, they must have better communication means than hiding behind a fantasy-creature avatar and trying to get their message through the busy battlegrounds of online gaming.

So, with the above in mind, it makes one wonder what kind of a "leak" this was, since it agrees with the propaganda agenda of our times.

Read also: U.S. and UK military intelligence 'planted agents' into World of Warcraft, Second Life to spy on gamers


Chart Pie

Which companies dominate your state's politics?

Voters across America are heading to the polls today for state and local elections, and just like in federal elections, big business has been writing big checks to campaigns across the country. To follow the money in your state, see which industry topped the list of campaign contributions in the last election cycle:

corporate campaign contributions
© Bohdan Burmich/Noun Project

Arrow Down

Republicans blast Mary Burke for paying no state taxes in early 1990s

mary burke
Gubernatorial candidate lived outside Wisconsin during the time

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke has suggested that she is open to the possibility of raising taxes on the wealthy - at least by changing the deductions.

"I believe in people paying their fair share," Burke told The Capital Times.

But Republicans are asking if Burke has always paid her fair share. Specifically, Burke - now a Madison millionaire - paid no state income taxes for three full years during the 1990s and only a minimal amount in another year. She lived outside Wisconsin for most of that time.

Records show the one-time Trek Bicycle executive paid no taxes to the state in 1990 and 1992-'93. She paid $2,807 in 1991. Numerous stories and her Facebook page say she went to work for Trek, a Waterloo-based company founded by her father, as director of European operations in 1990.

By comparison, she has paid more than $100,000 in state income taxes in three of the past four years.

"It is deeply concerning that Millionaire Mary Burke didn't pay taxes at several points in her career, and she owes the people of Wisconsin a serious explanation - not excuses," said Joe Fadness, executive director of the state Republican Party.

Burke spokesman Joe Zepecki said there is no issue here. Burke plans to challenge Republican Gov. Scott Walker during his 2014 re-election bid.

Oscar

Edward Snowden voted Guardian person of the year 2013

snowden
© The Guardian/AFP/Getty ImagesIn May Edward Snowden flew to Hong Kong where he gave journalists the material which blew the lid on the extent of US digital spying
NSA whistleblower's victory, for exposing the scale of internet surveillance, follows that of Chelsea Manning last year

For the second year in a row, a young American whistleblower alarmed at the unfettered and at times cynical deployment of power by the world's foremost superpower has been voted the Guardian's person of the year.

Edward Snowden, who leaked an estimated 200,000 files that exposed the extensive and intrusive nature of phone and internet surveillance and intelligence gathering by the US and its western allies, was the overwhelming choice of more than 2,000 people who voted.

Comment: Food for thought: About that 'greatest whistleblower ever': Ellsberg, Snowden, and the Secret Team

NSA leaker Edward Snowden seems to be another false hero created by intelligence and media circles

Matrix: Who is Edward Snowden?


Sheriff

Best of the Web: U.S. gulag! Everything in American life has become a police matter

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© Truthout.org/Flickr
From the workplace to our private lives, American society is starting to resemble a police state.

If all you've got is a hammer, then everything starts to look like a nail. And if police and prosecutors are your only tool, sooner or later everything and everyone will be treated as criminal. This is increasingly the American way of life, a path that involves "solving" social problems (and even some non-problems) by throwing cops at them, with generally disastrous results. Wall-to-wall criminal law encroaches ever more on everyday life as police power is applied in ways that would have been unthinkable just a generation ago.

By now, the militarization of the police has advanced to the point where "the War on Crime" and "the War on Drugs" are no longer metaphors but bland understatements. There is the proliferation of heavily armed SWAT teams, even in small towns; the use of shock-and-awe tactics to bust small-time bookies; the no-knock raids to recover trace amounts of drugs that often result in the killing of family dogs, if not family members; and in communities where drug treatment programs once were key, the waging of a drug version of counterinsurgency war. (All of this is ably reported on journalist Radley Balko's blog and in his book, The Rise of the Warrior Cop.) But American over-policing involves far more than the widely reported up-armoring of your local precinct. It's also the way police power has entered the DNA of social policy, turning just about every sphere of American life into a police matter.

Post-It Note

Nearly 100 Lawmakers Descend on Mount Vernon to Talk Convention of States to Amend Constitution of U.S.

Legislators
© UnknownClose to 100 legislators from 32 states met in Mount Vernon, VA., Saturday to discuss the possibility of adding amendments to the U.S. Constitution through a convention of the states. Such a convention, as outlined in article five of the Constitution, would allow state legislatures to vote on amendments to add.
Close to 100 legislators from 32 states met in Mount Vernon, Va., Saturday to discuss the possibility of adding amendments to the U.S. Constitution through a convention of the states.

Such a convention, as outlined in article five of the Constitution, would allow state legislatures to vote on amendments to add.
Opened & closed with prayer...#MountVernonAssembly pic.twitter.com/WRg9EZscF3

- KevinJones (@kevinicolejones) December 7, 2013
The proposed resolution at the #MountVernonAssembly #ArticleV pic.twitter.com/8YGlnupPiO

- Brett Hildabrand (@Brett4ks) December 7, 2013
No constitutional amendment has been added this way, but some say the Constitution specifically allows for states to use the convention as a means to push back against the federal government.

Two-thirds of the state legislatures, or 34, must approve an application for a convention to occur, according to the Constitution's article five. State legislatures would then send delegates to the convention, each state getting one vote on proposed amendments. For an amendment to pass and become a part of the Constitution, it would have to be approved by three-fourths, or 38, of the state legislatures.

Bad Guys

SOTT Focus: Pyramids and the coming economic collapse

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Many have used a pyramid to describe the power structure that the bulk of humanity is subject to - in even the smallest details of our lives. I would like to use it here to address the impending economic collapse, with an eye to explaining what might be going on behind the curtain - what is being hidden and why.

The vertical axis of the pyramid is often described as power, wealth, knowledge, etc. The shape of the pyramid describes the population distribution as measured by the vertical axis. The great bulk of humanity (us) inhabits the lower levels near the base, and the Controllers/Powers That Be/Elites inhabit the lofty levels near the peak.

Control of events at the macro level is administered from the top down by inducing divisions through particular areas in the pyramid. These divisions are made through the use of lies that are designed to achieve particular ends such as war, population reduction, strengthened control, wealth redistribution, etc, right down to plain misery and suffering of the masses.

Coffee

Chris Hedges: The credibility of the ruling power elite is being shredded

What do Edward Snowden, the former Yugoslavia, Alexander Berkman and the logistical and legislative mess known as Obamacare have to do with one another? Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges connects these figures and concepts in conversation with The Real News Network's Paul Jay about how "organic" and "invisible" revolutions take hold as the credibility and solidity of powerful institutions and ideas start to erode.

Watch Hedges and Jay lay it out in the video clip below


Control Panel

Twitter, Facebook and more demand sweeping changes to U.S. surveillance laws

Corporate collage
© The GuardianAOL, Twitter, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Apple and LinkedIn say: 'The balance in many countries has tipped too far in favour of the state and away from the rights of the individual'.
The world's leading technology companies have united to demand sweeping changes to U.S. surveillance laws, urging an international ban on bulk collection of data to help preserve the public's "trust in the internet".

In their most concerted response yet to disclosures by the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Twitter and AOL have published an open letter to Barack Obama and Congress on Monday, throwing their weight behind radical reforms already proposed by Washington politicians.

"The balance in many countries has tipped too far in favour of the state and away from the rights of the individual - rights that are enshrined in our constitution," urges the letter signed by the eight US-based internet giants. "This undermines the freedoms we all cherish. It's time for change."

Several of the companies claim the revelations have shaken public faith in the internet and blamed spy agencies for the resulting threat to their business interests. "People won't use technology they don't trust," said Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel. "Governments have put this trust at risk, and governments need to help restore it."

The chief executive of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, said: "Recent revelations about government surveillance activities have shaken the trust of our users, and it is time for the United States government to act to restore the confidence of citizens around the world."

MIB

Yet another 'Top Secret' document 'leaked by Edward Snowden' shows that Canada set up spy posts for NSA

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The actual logo of the NSA's space branch
CSEC conducted espionage activities for U.S. in 20 countries, according to top-secret briefing note

A top secret document retrieved by American whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals Canada has set up covert spying posts around the world and conducted espionage against trading partners at the request of the U.S. National Security Agency.

The leaked NSA document being reported exclusively by CBC News reveals Canada is involved with the huge American intelligence agency in clandestine surveillance activities in "approximately 20 high-priority countries."

Much of the document contains hyper-sensitive operational details which CBC News has chosen not to make public.

Sections of the document with the highest classification make it clear in some instances why American spymasters are particularly keen about enlisting their Canadian counterparts, the Communications Security Establishment Canada.


Comment: Yes, the NSA has spy posts in Canada... and in Australia, and in the UK, and in Germany, and in China, and in Antarctica, and outer space... it's all one system and it's all got one target: you.

For those of you just waking up to this 'news', welcome to Prison Earth.
Somebody's listening: How the NSA, GCHQ, Germany and China have spent decades working together to spy on the whole world

New Statesman, 12 August 1988