Items tagged with: secret
Where US tax dollars are going (maybe)
Interesting stuff, but I'm having trouble getting past the amateur video presentation, and would welcome your feedback.
Also, "Secret space programs? Deep underground and under ocean military bases?" Is this just #click-bait ?
#black-budget #deep-state #shadow-government #USA #secret #military-base #space-program
If you’ve been on Twitter today, you’ve probably seen one story making the rounds. So the Secret Service stuck Zhang's thumbdrive into their computer. https://t.co/0T6LAfOtEl…
Article word count: 498
HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19609239
Posted by MagicPropmaker (karma: 966)
Post stats: Points: 116 - Comments: 78 - 2019-04-08T21:29:42Z
#HackerNews #even #not #one #plug #randomly #secret #service #should #stick #strange #the #usb
If you’ve been on Twitter today, you’ve probably seen one story making the rounds.
The case follows a Chinese national, Yujing Zhang, who is accused of trying to sneak into President Trump’s private Florida resort Mar-a-Largo last month. She was caught by the Secret Service with four cellphones, a laptop, cash, an external hard drive, a signals detector to spot hidden cameras, and a thumb drive.
The arrest sparked new concerns about the president’s security amid concerns that foreign governments have tried to infiltrate the resort.
Allegations aside and notwithstanding, what sent alarm bells ringing was how the Secret Service handled the USB drive, which cannot be understated — it was not good.
From the Miami Herald:
Secret Service agent Samuel Ivanovich, who interviewed Zhang on the day of her arrest, testified at the hearing. He stated that when another agent put Zhang’s thumb-drive into his computer, it immediately began to install files, a “very out-of-the-ordinary” event that he had never seen happen before during this kind of analysis. The agent had to immediately stop the analysis to halt any further corruption of his computer, Ivanovich said. The analysis is ongoing but still inconclusive, he testified.
What’s the big deal, you might think? You might not think it, but USB keys are a surprisingly easy and effective way to install malware — or even destroy computers. In 2016, security researcher Elie Bursztein found dropping malware-laden USB sticks was an “effective” way of tricking someone into plugging it into their computer. As soon as the drive plugs in, it can install malware that can remotely surveil and control the affected device — and spread throughout a network. Some USB drives can even fry the innards of some computers.
A Secret Service spokesperson said the device was “standalone,” but wouldn’t be pressed on details. It remains unknown why the agent “immediately” pulled out the drive in a panic.
It didn’t take long for security folks to seize on the security snafu.
Jake Williams, founder of Rendition Infosec and former NSA hacker, criticized the agent’s actions “threatened his own computing system and possibly the rest of the Secret Service network.”
“It’s entirely possible that the sensitivities over determining whether Zhang was targeting Mar-a-Lago or the president — or whether she was a legitimate guest or member — may have contributed to the agent’s actions on the ground,” he said, “Never before has the Secret Service had to deal with this type of scenario and they’re probably still working out the playbook.”
Williams said the best way to forensically examine a suspect USB drive is by plugging the device into an isolated Linux-based computer that doesn’t automatically mount the drive to the operating system.
“We would then create a forensic image of the USB and extract any malware for analysis in the lab,” he said. “While there is still a very small risk that the malware targets Linux, that’s not the normal case.”
Donated devices are doxing your data, says new research
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I’m going to let you in to three TOP SECRET rules for getting hired. These are the hidden techniques used by TOP interviewers… Never Tell The Candidates The Rules Of Success I read an infuria…
Article word count: 844
HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19596128
Posted by edent (karma: 10044)
Post stats: Points: 161 - Comments: 89 - 2019-04-07T11:22:22Z
#HackerNews #for #getting #hired #rules #secret #the
Iʼm going to let you in to three TOP SECRET rules for getting hired. These are the hidden techniques used by TOP interviewers…
Never Tell The Candidates The Rules Of Success
I read an infuriating blog post recently: "If someone doesnʼt send a thank you email, donʼt hire them".
This is a great way to limit your talent pool. Personally, Iʼve been hiring for a dozen years, and Iʼve never received a thank-you email. So we can already show there is a cultural disparity here.
Did you tell the candidates that they needed to send a sycophantic email to succeed? If not, why not? Is it any different to telling them what the dress-code is? Or that they need to prepare a presentation for the interview?
Perhaps there are some things that you think everyone should just intuit? What biases and assumptions are you making about the people you want to hire?
If you have hidden rules for getting a job, youʼre deliberately ignoring candidates who donʼt share the same cultural background as you.
Make Up Justifications For Not Hiring People
These are all things Iʼve heard interviewers say about their "unique" and "quirky" interview techniques.
OMG! No! Letʼs ignore the rudeness (and potential poisoning of someone on company time). Hereʼs the problem with these "tests".
You havenʼt set the success criteria. Do you want the candidate to be deferential? To be confrontational? Do you want women to laugh it off, but men to silently seethe? Whatʼs the correct response.
Most often, the interviewer just wants a power trip. And because they didnʼt set the rules of the game in advance, they get to make arbitrary decisions. They hire the person they like best and then make up a post-hoc justification based on the candidatesʼ reactions.
Side bar - names
If you mispronounce a name, youʼre immediately telling the candidate that people with their cultural background are rarely hired, or spoken about, in this company.
Why would people want to work in such a homogeneous culture? Why would they want to work for someone who couldnʼt even be bothered to search the web for "How to pronounce Nguyen"?
Be Inconsistent In Your Questions
A few years ago I went for a job I thought I was well qualified for. I didnʼt get it, so I politely asked for feedback.
"The whole team thought you were great. You were probably the strongest candidate overall, but we were looking for someone with experience in XYZ."
I paused for a moment. They continued. "So we hired someone with 6 months experience, because we needed to hit the ground running."
"Actually," I countered, "I have two years experience in XYZ and have taught several training courses on it."
"Oh!" They said shocked, "You never mentioned that."
"Thatʼs because you didnʼt ask me any questions about it!"
Now, maybe thatʼs my fault for not guessing their secret desires (it isnʼt). Or perhaps I should have read the job spec more closely (it wasnʼt on there). Or maybe they could have asked the same questions to all candidates (they didnʼt).
Itʼs tempting to treat job interviews as casual conversations and have a meandering and natural chat.
Donʼt do that. A job interview is a structured process designed to let you consistently evaluate multiple candidates. If you are asking each candidate different questions, thatʼs not a fair test.
A job interview isnʼt a set of trick questions. Youʼre working collaboratively to see if you can work in the future - not trying to prove your intellectual dominance. It shouldnʼt be a test to see if theyʼve read the same interviewing books as you.
You arenʼt doing the candidate a favour by interviewing them. If you select for deference, donʼt be surprised if you only get obsequious underlings.
Thereʼs no point hiring on "cultural fit". If your culture isnʼt strong enough to handle a little change, or challenge, then it simply isnʼt sustainable.
What other people think
Itʼs not just me who finds these hidden rules annoying!
Ha - me too Angharad - generally answer to anything - including my alter ego Stan! — Siân Thomas (@drsiant) April 6, 2019 I hadn’t thought about it until now but I realise that when hiring we approach it with a mindset of “trying to find a great person to help us”, not “offering someone an opportunity”. — Uncle Bongo (@timhobbs) April 7, 2019 The good manners to not clog up peopleʼs inboxes with useless emails, perhaps — James Wood (@laMudri) April 7, 2019 My first act after the interview was the contact the head of design and say thanks but no thanks, and hereʼs why. He convinced me to come back, so I did. Same dude was there, same attitude, slightly toned down. I didnʼt give feedback this time, just a firm no. — 𝔹𝔼𝔼ℝ𝔼 🍇 (@render_ghost) April 6, 2019 Look, if they donʼt know to send thank you notes then they certainly wonʼt know when to use a fish knife or which wine to serve with foie gras. They might even accidentally make eye contact with one of their superiors. You mustnʼt hire them, darling. It simply isnʼt done! https://t.co/tzJHHnBRcw — Laura Klein (@lauraklein) April 7, 2019
Do you have any interview gotchas that you hate? Let me know in the comments!
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‘Secret’ #DMV office serving #California lawmakers would be closed under #GOP proposal
It’s all but impossible to find for those who don’t know what they’re looking for.
#Room-121 rests at the end of an #isolated #hallway across the street from the #Capitol, is locked at all times and has no signage whatsoever. The only indicator of its existence is a peephole outside the front door.
The #special #Department-of-Motor-Vehicles #office is closed to the #public, and if one #Republican gets his way, it will be #closed to the #lawmakers and Capitol staff members using it.
“There’s a #secret #DMV across from the state Capitol with streamlined service that’s only #available to #members of the #Legislature and a select group of #political #insiders,” said Republican #Assemblyman #KevinKiley of #GraniteBay. “This is supposed to be a #government of the #people, by the people and for the people, not an #oligarchy where a #gilded #political-class enjoys #privileges that aren’t available to the people that we represent.”
Google's «Project Maven» was protected from Freedom Of Information Act
Maven would use artificial intelligence to help pick out drone targets faster and more easily, and that Google backed out of its Maven contract amid staff outcry. (Maven is now linked to defense startup Anduril Industries.) Black’s email was obtained and partially published by The Intercept last year.
The Freedom of Information Act is a vital tool for journalism, watchdog groups, academics, and anyone else hoping to bring news to the public about what its government is doing in its name. But the government says Project Maven is immune.
#US #USA #FreeSpeech #FreedomOfSpeech #FirstAmendment #FOIAct #FOI #FreedomOfInformationAct #US #USA #Freedom #Google #DroneWar #DroneDevelopment #Secret #AgainstThePeople
Old Tom Bombadil. Possibly the least liked character in The Lord of the Rings. A childish figure so disliked by fans of the book that few object to his absence from all adaptations of the story. And…
HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19535628
Posted by chmaynard (karma: 5251)
Post stats: Points: 107 - Comments: 47 - 2019-03-31T14:05:36Z
#HackerNews #2011 #secret #terrible #the
Old Tom Bombadil. Possibly the least liked character in The Lord of the Rings. A childish figure so disliked by fans of the book that few object to his absence from all adaptations of the story. And yet, there is another way of looking at Bombadil, based only on what appears in the book itself, that paints a very different picture of this figure of fun.
What do we know about Tom Bombadil? He is fat and jolly and smiles all the time. He is friendly and gregarious and always ready to help travellers in distress.
Except that none of that can possibly be true.
Consider: By his own account (and by Elrond’s surprisingly sketchy knowledge) Bombadil has lived in the Old Forest since before the hobbits came to the Shire. Since before Elrond was born. Since the earliest days of the First Age.
And yet no hobbit has ever heard of him.
The guise in which Bombadil appears to Frodo and his companions is much like a hobbit writ large. He loves food and songs and nonsense rhymes and drink and company. Any hobbit who saw such a person would tell tales of him. Any hobbit who was rescued by Tom would sing songs about him and tell everyone else. Yet Merry – who knows all the history of Buckland and has ventured into the Old Forest many times – has never heard of Tom Bombadil. Frodo and Sam – avid readers of old Bilbo’s lore – have no idea that any such being exists, until he appears to them. All the hobbits of the Shire think of the Old Forest as a place of horror – not as the abode of a jolly fat man who is surprisingly generous with his food.
If Bombadil has indeed lived in the Old Forest all this time – in a house less than twenty miles from Buckland – then it stands to reason that he has never appeared to a single hobbit traveller before, and has certainly never rescued one from death. In the 1400 years since the Shire was settled.
What do we know about Tom Bombadil? He is not what he seems.
Elrond, the greatest lore-master of the Third Age, has never heard of Tom Bombadil. Elrond is only vaguely aware that there was once someone called Iarwain Ben-Adar (“Oldest and Fatherless”) who might be the same as Bombadil. And yet, the main road between Rivendell and the Grey Havens passes not 20 miles from Bombadil’s house, which stands beside the most ancient forest in Middle Earth. Has no elf ever wandered in the Old Forest or encountered Bombadil in all these thousands of years? Apparently not.
Gandalf seems to know more, but he keeps his knowledge to himself. At the Council of Elrond, when people suggest sending the Ring to Bombadil, Gandalf comes up with a surprisingly varied list of reasons why that should not be done. It is not clear that any of the reasons that he gives are the true one.
Now, in his conversation with Frodo, Bombadil implies (but avoids directly stating) that he had heard of their coming from Farmer Maggot and from Gildor’s elves (both of whom Frodo had recently described). But that also makes no sense. Maggot lives west of the Brandywine, remained there when Frodo left, and never even knew that Frodo would be leaving the Shire. And if Elrond knows nothing of Bombadil, how can he be a friend of Gildor’s?
What do we know about Tom Bombadil? He lies.
A question: what is the most dangerous place in Middle Earth? First place goes to the Mines of Moria, home of the Balrog, but what is the second most dangerous place? Tom Bombadil’s country. By comparison, Mordor is a safe and well-run land, where two lightly-armed hobbits can wander for days without meeting anything more dangerous than themselves. Yet the Old Forest and the Barrow Downs, all part of Tom’s country, are filled with perils that would tax anyone in the Fellowship except perhaps Gandalf.
Now, it is canonical in Tolkein that powerful magical beings imprint their nature on their homes. Lorien under Galadriel is a place of peace and light. Moria, after the Balrog awoke, was a place of terror to which lesser evil creatures were drawn. Likewise, when Sauron lived in Mirkwood, it became blighted with evil and a home to monsters.
And then, there’s Tom Bombadil’s Country.
The hobbits can sense the hatred within all the trees in the Old Forest. Every tree in that place is a malevolent huorn, hating humankind. Every single tree. And the barrows of the ancient kings that lie nearby are defiled and inhabited by Barrow-Wights. Bombadil has the power to control or banish all these creatures, but he does not do so. Instead, he provides a refuge for them against men and other powers. Evil things – and only evil things – flourish in his domain. “Tom Bombadil is the master” Goldberry says. And his subjects are black huorns and barrow wights.
What do we know about Tom Bombadil? He is not the benevolent figure that he pretends to be.
Tom appears to the Ringbearer in a friendly, happy guise, to question and test him and to give him and his companions swords that can kill the servants of another evil power. But his motives are his own.
Consider: it is said more than once that the willows are the most powerful and evil trees in the Forest. Yet, the rhyme that Bombadil teaches the hobbits to use in conjuring up Bombadil himself includes the line, “By the reed and willow.” The willows are a part of Bombadil’s power and a means of calling on him. They draw their strength from the cursed river Withywindle, the centre of all the evil in the Forest.
And the springs of the Withywindle are right next to Tom Bombadil’s house.
And then there is Goldberry, “the river-daughter”. She is presented as Bombadil’s wife, an improbably beautiful and regal being who charms and beguiles the hobbits. It is implied that she is a water spirit, and she sits combing her long, blonde hair after the manner of a mermaid. (And it is worth remembering that mermaids were originally seen as monsters, beautiful above the water, slimy and hideous below, luring sailors to drown and be eaten.) But I suggest the name means that in her true state, Goldberry is nourished by the River – that is, by the proverbially evil Withywindle.
In folklore and legend (as Tolkien would know well) there are many tales of creatures that can take on human form but whose human shape always contains a clue to their true nature. So what might Goldberry be? She is tall and slender - specifically she is “slender as a willow wand”. She wears a green dress, sits amidst bowls of river water and is surrounded by the curtain of her golden hair. I suggest that she is a Willow tree conjured into human form, a malevolent huorn like the Old Man Willow from whom the hobbits have just escaped. If she is not indeed the same tree.
So, if this is true, then why does Bombadil save and help the ringbearer and his companions? Because they can bring about the downfall of Sauron, the current Dark Lord of Middle Earth. When Sauron falls, the other rings will fail and the wizards and elves will leave Middle Earth and the only great power that is left will be Bombadil.
There is a boundary around Bombadil’s country that he cannot or will not pass, something that confines him to a narrow space. And in return, no wizard or elf comes into his country to see who rules it, or to disturb the evil creatures that gather under his protection.
When the hobbits return to the Shire after their journey to Mordor, Gandalf leaves them close to Bree and goes towards Bombadil’s country to have words with him. We do not know what they say. But Gandalf was sent to Middle Earth to contend against Sauron and now he must depart. He has been given no mission to confront Bombadil and he must soon leave Middle Earth to powerless men and hobbits, while Bombadil remains, waiting to fulfill his purpose.
Do I think that Tolkien planned things in this way? Not at all, but I find it an interesting speculation.
To speculate further and more wildly:
The spell that binds Bombadil to his narrow and cursed country was put in place centuries ago by the Valar to protect men and elves. It may last a few decades more, perhaps a few generations of hobbit lives. But when the last elf has gone from the havens and the last spells of rings and wizards unravel, then it will be gone. And Iarwain Ben-Adar, Oldest and Fatherless, who was ruler of the darkness in Middle Earth before Sauron was, before Morgoth set foot there, before the first rising of the sun, will come into his inheritance again. And one dark night the old trees will march westward into the Shire to feed their ancient hatred. And Bombadil will dance down amongst them, clad in his true shape at last, singing his incomprehensible rhymes as the trees mutter their curses and the black and terrible Barrow-Wights dance and gibber around him. And he will be smiling.
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3 reasons why a boring evening routine is essential to becoming a productive morning person. I’ve been accused on several occasions of being “one of those annoyingly productive morning people.” And…
Article word count: 1838
HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19409513
Posted by joeyespo (karma: 20777)
Post stats: Points: 110 - Comments: 136 - 2019-03-16T19:03:03Z
#HackerNews #annoyingly #becoming #early #morning #person #productive #secret #the
I’ve been accused on several occasions of being “one of those annoyingly productive morning people.” And while there are far more productive morning people out there, I am pretty productive and 90% of it happens in the early morning.
For example, on a typical weekday morning, by the time I see my first client of the day, usually around 9:00am, I have:
* Showered, shaved, gotten dressed, picked up a coffee and gotten to my office by 6:00am at the latest. * I then write for at least an hour, usually a draft of a new article or section of a new book. * Next, I meditate, typically for 15 or 20 minutes. * Following that, I spend about an hour doing research for future work or reading. * And I typically end my early morning work with about a half hour’s worth of marketing and/or promoting my work online.
I do this—or something close to it—every weekday morning, Monday through Friday, rain, shine, whatever.
Whenever I describe this to people, I usually get the following that’s-fine-for-you responses:
* Well, you’re probably just one of those super early birds who’s biologically wired to jump out of bed at 5:00am every morning. Except I’m not. If anything, my biological tendency is probably slightly in favor of being a night owl. I only started this routine a couple years ago. * Then you’re probably on speed or some kind of energizing Tibetan herbal tea. No drugs or goofy supplements other than my medium cup of Starbuck coffee every morning around 5:30am, plus a booster cup around midday. * If it’s not drugs or genetics, it has to be magic, right? Absolutely. As I’ll explain, it’s the magic of a good evening routine.
I’m convinced that the reason productive morning people are able to do what they do actually has very little to do with things like biological tendencies, mental discipline and will power, or even morning routines and habits. When you ask people who are productive early in the morning, they rarely describe how arduous and difficult it is and how they’ve slowly developed the grit and special collection of life hacks to push themselves through every tortuous early morning. Quite the contrary: most productive morning people usually say something (annoyingly) along the lines of, It’s easy or I actually enjoy it.
This means these people are either lying (and secretly biologically hardwired extreme early birds or hopped up on stimulants), or there’s something else going on. Something equally powerful but, I suspect, much more ordinary and mundane. So much so that we don’t even consider it because it’s so… boring.
As the subtitle of this piece suggests, I believe that the secret to being a productive morning person actually has very little to do with the morning and everything to do with an evening routine that makes it relatively easy to get up early and be productive.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at what this evening routine might look like. Specifically, I’m going to walk through the 3 reasons why a relatively boring evening routine is the secret to being energized, creative, and productive in the mornings.
The 10 Best Books for Genuine Self Improvement Icon Nick Wignall
The 10 Best Books for Genuine
Reason #1: The Relaxation-Sleep Connection
Poor sleep is arguably the biggest obstacle to getting up early and then being productive. If you didn’t get adequate sleep, or the quality of your sleep was poor, you’re going to be excessively sleepy and groggy in the morning (and perhaps all day). And I don’t care how disciplined you are, if you’re exhausted every morning you’re not going to successfully establish a habit of productive mornings. You must get adequate sleep. And adequate sleep starts the day before.
Just like a car going 90 mph on the freeway can’t safely exit the freeway without slowing down first, people can’t successfully fall asleep without relaxing first. In a way, relaxation is the mental equivalent of downshifting from the high gear of work/daytime life, to the low gear/park of sleep. And the more time you have to downshift, the smoother your transition will be. To mix my metaphors: a boring evening routine is relaxing, and relaxation is the doorway to good sleep.
So, how do we create a more relaxing evening routine? To be honest, I don’t think coming up with relaxing ways to spend your time is the problem. Most of us know what’s personally relaxing for us and have a pretty good idea of how we could incorporate those things into our evening routines. The harder question, I think, is whether we’re willing to accept the tradeoffs that would go along with it. Specifically, most people have trouble building a consistent and relaxing evening routine because they don’t want to miss out on all the fun, exciting things that could happen in the evenings.
In other words, the primary obstacle to a consistently relaxing evening routine is FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). And while there’s nothing wrong with an exciting, spontaneous, and wild night life, it’s important to acknowledge that for most of us it’s probably incompatible with a productive early morning routine.
Reason #2: Friction Removal
While being sleep deprived is the first and biggest obstacle to getting up and being productive early, there are many other potential obstacles or sources of friction in the morning that make it difficult to just get up and go. And in many ways these little bits of friction are problematic because they’re often small and seemingly inconsequential. So small we ignore them.
A classic example is deciding what clothes to wear. It seems silly, but having to take time to decide on, find, put on, decide against, then find and put on some other arrangement of clothing is a time-consuming and mentally draining process.
The same could be said for an assortment of little things we do in the morning, all of which create morning friction and make it hard to quickly get up and start working productively:
* Making and preparing breakfast. * Making, preparing, and packing a lunch. * Deciding on and packing up workout clothes. * Tracking down and packing up work-related accessories like laptops, tablets, folders, documents, ID badges, etc. * And on and on the list goes…
Instead of expending the mental and physical energy to do all these little things early in the morning—when most of us, even if we got good sleep, are still a little groggy—why not do them the evening before? Getting up early and going straight to work would be significantly easier if your clothes were laid out already, you had a breakfast and lunch waiting for you in the fridge, and your briefcase or work bag was already packed full of everything you needed, waiting by the door.
One surprising reason that most of us would acknowledge that this is a good idea but never seem to actually implement it more than sporadically is that we don’t have a good system for reminding us of and walking us through the process in the evening. The term system sounds complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. A simple checklist of evening to-dos written on a little index card that sits on your bathroom counter so you always see it before bed can be amazingly effective.
Not convinced? Read this: The Checklist Manifesto.
Reason #3: Making a Plan
While getting good sleep and removing morning friction are important components to establishing a consistent and effective habit of morning productivity, a hugely important factor is having a clear plan for doing work that matters.
When you talk to those annoyingly productive morning people, one strong pattern that emerges is that the kind of work they’re doing early in the morning is work they deeply care about and are generally excited to do.
I imagine, for example, that there are very few productive early morning widget packagers. Conversely, people who are productive in the morning tend to be productive on a certain type of work. Namely, work that is creative, challenging, and in some way personally meaningful.
Now, it would take more than a couple paragraphs to elaborate on the process of finding meaningful work. For now I think it’s enough to say that it’s important to ask yourself, Why do I want to get up insanely early and be productive every day? It seems to me that most productive early morning people have a compelling answer to that question which acts as a very powerful force that pulls them out of bed early and into hard work.
But let’s assume for now that you do have a good reason for getting up early and being productive. As important and perhaps necessary as that is, I still don’t think it’s sufficient to get us up and going every morning, day in and day out. To push us over the edge, there’s one missing ingredient that should, I think, be added the evening before: A plan. More specifically, a very clear one.
The last reason why having a relatively boring evening routine is essential to getting up early and being productive is that it allows room to make a plan for what you will work on and how you will do it. And even the simplest plan or outline for work, makes it significantly easier to just get started, which in turn makes it a lot easier to get things done.
I recommend staying very, very simple. Take 5 minutes after dinner but before you sit down to watch Netflix (or whatever your relaxing and mildly boring evening routine involves) and jot down the one thing you would like to accomplish most with your early morning. Here are some examples:
* Write introduction and first section of article on evening routines. * Find and summarize 3 articles on the effects of sleep on decision making. * Finish reading Section 2 of The Checklist Manifesto. * Send 5 emails to prospective customers. * Meditate for 30 minutes.
Just like Reason #2 was all about removing friction from getting up and on your way to work, Reason #3 is all about reducing friction between getting to work and actually getting started on the right work. If you find yourself routinely distracted and unsure about how to get started, this little practice of deciding on one important task the evening before will be a life saver.
I would also recommend reading Cal Newport’s Deep Work. It’s all about how to set yourself up to successfully work well on the work that matters most.
By creating space for an intentional and relaxing evening routine, we can massively cut down on the amount of friction that comes between our intention to wake up early and be productive and the reality of hitting snooze and then feeling guilty about it for the rest of the day. But the broader lesson here, I think, is to build a habit of thinking about achieving goals in terms of identifying and removing obstacles rather than the more primitive push harder mentality. This is a key ingredient in learning to work smarter at personal development goals.
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#government #Trump #wrongdoing #intelligence #spying #USA #Mexico #Border #migrant #caravan #asylum
via Meep@ #gibberfish #diaspora
The documents detail an intelligence-gathering effort by the United States and Mexican authorities, targeting more than 50 people including journalists, an attorney, and immigration advocates.
Article word count: 2602
HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19325302
Posted by jseliger (karma: 47553)
Post stats: Points: 141 - Comments: 25 - 2019-03-07T03:23:30Z
#HackerNews #database #documents #journalists #leaked #secret #show #the #through #tracking
This story has been updated with a new statement from Customs and Border Protection and a response from the ACLU.
Documents obtained by NBC 7 Investigates show the U.S. government created a secret database of activists, journalists, and social media influencers tied to the migrant caravan and in some cases, placed alerts on their passports.
At the end of 2018, roughly 5,000 immigrants from Central America made their way north through Mexico to the United States southern border. The story made international headlines.
As the migrant caravan reached the San Ysidro Port of Entry in south San Diego County, so did journalists, attorneys, and advocates who were there to work and witness the events unfolding.
But in the months that followed, journalists who covered the caravan, as well as those who offered assistance to caravan members, said they felt they had become targets of intense inspections and scrutiny by border officials.
One photojournalist said she was pulled into secondary inspections three times and asked questions about who she saw and photographed in Tijuana shelters. Another photojournalist said she spent 13 hours detained by Mexican authorities when she tried to cross the border into Mexico City. Eventually, she was denied entry into Mexico and sent back to the U.S.
These American photojournalists and attorneys said they suspected the U.S. government was monitoring them closely but until now, they couldn’t prove it.
Now, documents leaked to NBC 7 Investigates show their fears weren’t baseless. In fact, their own government had listed their names in a secret database of targets, where agents collected information on them. Some had alerts placed on their passports, keeping at least three photojournalists and an attorney from entering Mexico to work.
The documents were provided to NBC 7 by a Homeland Security source on the condition of anonymity, given the sensitive nature of what they were divulging.
The source said the documents or screenshots show a SharePoint application that was used by agents from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the U.S. Border Patrol, Homeland Security Investigations and some agents from the San Diego sector of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).
The intelligence gathering efforts were done under the umbrella of “Operation Secure Line,” the operation designated to monitor the migrant caravan, according to the source.
The documents list people who officials think should be targeted for screening at the border.
The individuals listed include ten journalists, seven of whom are U.S. citizens, a U.S. attorney, and 47 people from the U.S. and other countries, labeled as organizers, instigators or their roles “unknown.” The target list includes advocates from organizations like Border Angels and Pueblo Sin Fronteras.
To view the documents, click here or the link below.
PHOTOS: Leaked Documents Show Government Tracking Journalists, Immigration AdvocatesPHOTOS: Leaked Documents Show Government Tracking Journalists, Immigration Advocates
NBC 7 Investigates is blurring the names and photos of individuals who haven’t given us permission to publish their information.
The documents are titled “San Diego Sector Foreign Operations Branch: Migrant Caravan FY-2019, Suspected Organizers, Coordinators, Instigators and Media” and are dated January 9, 2019.
Emblazoned on it are the American and Mexican flags, with a banner that reads: "ILU-OASSIS-OMEGA." An official at the Department of Homeland Security said the seal indicates that the documents are a product of the International Liaison Unit (ILU), which coordinates intelligence between Mexico and the United States.
This seal is emblazoned in the leaked documents to NBC 7 Investigates.
For each person, the documents show their photo, often from their passport but in some cases from their social media accounts, along with their personal information. That information includes the person’s date of birth, their “country of commencement,” and their alleged role tied to the migrant caravan. The information also includes whether officials placed an alert on the person’s passport.
Some individuals have a colored “X” over their photo, indicating whether they were arrested, interviewed, or had their visa or SENTRI pass revoked by officials.
In addition to flagging the individuals for secondary screenings, the Homeland Security source told NBC 7 that the agents also created dossiers on each person listed.
“We are a criminal investigation agency, we’re not an intelligence agency,” the Homeland Security source told NBC 7 Investigates. “We can’t create dossiers on people and they’re creating dossiers. This is an abuse of the Border Search Authority.”
One dossier, shared with NBC 7, was on Nicole Ramos, the Refugee Director and attorney for Al Otro Lado, a law center for migrants and refugees in Tijuana, Mexico. The dossier included personal details on Ramos, including specific details about the car she drives, her mother’s name, and her work and travel history.
After sharing the documents with Ramos, she said Al Otro Lado is seeking more information on why she and other attorneys at the law center have been targeted by border officials.
“The document appears to prove what we have assumed for some time, which is that we are on a law enforcement list designed to retaliate against human rights defenders who work with asylum seekers and who are critical of CBP practices that violate the rights of asylum seekers,” Ramos told NBC 7 by email.
In addition to the dossier on Ramos, a list of other dossier files created was shared with NBC 7. Two of the dossier files were labeled with the names of journalists but no further details were available. Those journalists were also listed as targets for secondary screenings.
Customs and Border Protection has the authority to pull anyone into secondary screenings, but the documents show the agency is increasingly targeting journalists, attorneys, and immigration advocates. Former counterterrorism officials say the agency should not be targeting individuals based on their profession.
NBC 7 Investigates sent the information to all border and law enforcement agencies the source listed, asking whether the information was valid and if these tactics were legal.
A Customs and Border Protection spokesperson did not answer NBC 7’s list of questions or confirm the validity of the documents shared.
By email, the spokesperson said, “Criminal events, such as the breach of the border wall in San Diego, involving assaults on law enforcement and a risk to public safety, are routinely monitored and investigated by authorities.”
To read CBP’s full statement, click here.
“It is protocol following these incidents to collect evidence that might be needed for future legal actions and to determine if the event was orchestrated,” the statement read. “CBP and our law enforcement partners evaluate these incidents, follow all leads garnered from information collected, conduct interviews and investigations, in preparation for, and often to prevent future incidents that could cause further harm to the public, our agents, and our economy.”
UPDATE - 4:20 p.m.
Minutes after our story published and five days after a Customs and Border Protection spokesperson gave us the agencyʼs statement above, CBP told our colleagues at NBC News that the names in the database are all people who were present during violence that broke out at the border in November. The agency also said journalists are being tracked so that the agency can learn more about what started that violence. CBP never clarified that point directly to NBC 7 Investigates.
UPDATE - 8:20 p.m.
Staff attorney Esha Bhandari with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, called the governmentʼs targeting of journalists and migrants "outrageous."
“This is an outrageous violation of the First Amendment. The government cannot use the pretext of the border to target activists critical of its policies, lawyers providing legal representation, or journalists simply doing their jobs. We are exploring all options in response,” Bhandari said.
Senior staff attorney Mitra Ebadolahi with the ACLU of San Diego’s Border Litigation Project, called NBC 7ʼs report the latest example of abuse of power by the CBP.
“For years, the U.S. government has used the pretext of ‘border securityʼ to trample on Americans’ constitutional rights. This most recent example is just the latest in a steady stream of CBP abuse of authority, and once again underscores the dire need for meaningful agency oversight and accountability," Ebadolahi said.
Journalists Targeted for Border Inspections
NBC 7 Investigates spoke with seven of the journalists listed on the database as targets for secondary screenings, including freelance photojournalist Ariana Drehsler.
“Iʼm interested in covering social and political issues,” Drehsler said, adding that she covered the migrant caravan in Tijuana for Buzzfeed News and United Press International.
“I think thereʼs a lot of misconceptions, maybe from both sides, about who are these people that are trying to seek asylum,” Drehsler said. “So I think as a photojournalist, it is my responsibility to cover that to the best of my abilities.”
Drehsler estimated she had crossed the border from San Ysidro dozens of times covering the caravan.
Las Playas de Tijuana on December 9, 2018. At night the beach is lit up with lights from the U.S. side to help US Customs and Border Patrol find people trying to cross illegally. Photo by Ariana Drehsler/UPI
Photo credit: UPI
“I was very transparent about what I was doing,” Drehsler said. “Sometimes you would see me carrying a camera and if I was asked by an agent what was I doing, I would tell them I was photographing the [migrant]shelters.”
But on December 30, 2018, when Drehsler was crossing back into the United States, she was pulled into secondary inspection and questioned by border agents.
“Two people in plainclothes came down and took me to another room,” Drehsler said. “They questioned me in a small room, asking me questions about the shelter, what was I seeing there, who was I working for.”
“They said that I was on the ground and they’re not, which I thought was really interesting.”
After about an hour, Drehsler said she was allowed to leave but agents warned her that an alert had been placed on her passport and that she would be pulled into a secondary screening again if she crossed the border. The agents told her to plan accordingly, given the screenings could last an hour or more. When she asked why this alert was placed on her passport, agents told her they had no idea.
Drehsler said she was pulled into secondary screenings two more times while crossing the border. Each time she said she was questioned by the same agents in plainclothes. The second time was on Jan. 2, 2019, and the third time was on Jan. 4, 2019.
On the third occasion, Drehsler said she was told to leave her gear, including her camera and cell phone, on a table outside of the interview room. When she returned, she said it didn’t appear to her that the gear had been looked through. Agents asked Drehsler if she could show them the photos she had taken but she said she declined.
Some of the questions agents asked Drehsler on the third screening struck her as odd.
“They asked about the new caravan and if word had gotten out about how difficult it is to seek asylum in the U.S.,” Drehsler said. “Then before I left, the female agent asked if I rented or owned my home.”
Drehsler told NBC 7 the personal details listed for her in the leaked screenshots are accurate. She confirmed the photo officials used came from her passport. The screenshots include a green “X” over Drehsler’s photograph, indicating she had been interviewed by agents.
Sharing the documents with Drehsler, she told NBC 7 she was “blown away.”
“I have so many questions; I have more questions than answers,” she said. “Personally, I donʼt understand what [agents]are hoping to find.”
Other journalists and attorneys have previously told news outlets like NPR and The Intercept that they too faced the same kind of increased scrutiny surrounding their work involving the migrant caravan.
Evidence of increased scrutiny of journalists at the border was detailed in an October 2018 report prepared by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ.)
The report identified 37 journalists who said they found the secondary screenings by border officials “invasive,” and said 20 cases involved border agents “conducting warrantless searches of [the journalists’] electronic devices.”
The journalists featured in the leaked documents said they were separated from their electronic devices and gear but had no evidence that agents had gone through their items.
Kitra Cahana is another freelance photojournalist and U.S. citizen listed as a target in the documents. By phone from Honduras, Cahana told NBC 7 she also faced increased scrutiny and was eventually denied entry into Mexico for no apparent reason.
Kitra Cahana is an award-winning freelance documentary photographer, videographer, a photo/video artist.
Photo credit: Kitra Cahana
Cahanaʼs work has been featured in National Geographic magazine, The New York Times and the CBC out of Canada. One night in late December, she said Mexican authorities photographed her passport while she and other journalists were working near the border.
Then, on Jan. 17, 2019, while traveling from Canada to Mexico City, Cahana said she had a connecting flight in Detroit, Michigan. Cahana said in Montreal, her passport was flagged while going through U.S. Customs pre-clearance. Cahana said she was pulled into a secondary screening where border agents asked her a list of questions about her work.
“They were interested in whether I had an assignment when I was going down to cover the caravan,” Cahana said. “And they wanted to know how I was funding my work.”
Cahana said she was asked to explain how freelance photojournalism works, which she found strange. Afterward, her passport was flagged again in Detroit but eventually, she was allowed to board her flight and fly to Mexico City.
But when she arrived in Mexico, her passport was flagged again. Cahana said she brought this to a Mexican official and was taken into a back room with another group of detained individuals.
There, Cahana said her phone was taken away and she couldn’t leave the room. When she needed to use the restroom, an agent escorted her.
“I wasnʼt allowed to be in communication with anyone, I wasn’t allowed to contact my embassy,” Cahana said. “It was very confusing because my Spanish is quite limited and no one there really spoke English.”
Cahana said the whole ordeal lasted 13 hours and in the end, she was denied entry into Mexico. She had to wait until a plane arrived that could take her back to Detroit, where her flight originated.
Since then, Cahana said she tried one more time to cross the border into Mexico.
“I was trying to cross into Mexico through Guatemala to continue my work covering the caravan and then I was denied again,” Cahana said.
NBC 7 Investigates confirmed two more journalists were denied entry into Mexico after covering the caravan in January. Both of them are listed in the SharePoint files leaked to NBC 7.
In the documents shared with NBC 7, Cahana confirmed her personal details were accurate and that the photo used is from her passport. Cahana said she’s been in contact with the Committee to Protect Journalists and the ACLU as far as the alert placed on her passport, preventing her access to Mexico.
Cahana said the increased scrutiny by border officials could have a chilling effect on freelance journalists covering the border.
“In the current state of journalism, itʼs really freelancers who are bringing so much news to the public,” Cahana said. “And the uncertainty of having an alert placed on your passport and not knowing where and when thatʼs going to prevent you from doing your work is really problematic.”
Want to know if youʼre on the target list? Have you faced increased scrutiny while covering a story at the border? NBC 7 Investigates wants to hear from you. Contact us at NBC7Investigates@nbcuni.com
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2/24/06 From The Lord, Our God and Savior
The Word of The Lord Spoken to Timothy
For All Those Who Have Ears to Hear
Harken to My #Word, O #house of #Jacob, #listen to My #voice, all you captives of #Israel, and let all in the isles receive #understanding, for the #mouth of The Living God has spoken. Indeed let every #tribe, #tongue, #people and #nation #hear the Word of The Lord. From those who dwell in the desolate lands, to all those who abide in the fenced #cities, to all those who spread forth across the #land, even unto the ends of the #earth, hear the #voice of The Living God...
For thus says The Lord: Come out and #humble yourselves, O peoples of the earth! #Repent of your #evil deeds, turn aside from all this iniquity and return to Me! For you have forsaken Me! Days without end you deny My name and #shake your #fists at #Heaven, as you reject The #Salvation of God; behold, you #spit upon The Name and desecrate My Word, without ceasing! Therefore harken to My voice, says The Lord, for I am come! And behold, #judgment shall blaze before Me and great #desolation after!...
Woe to all who forget God and parade their whoredoms openly in the streets! You shall by no means #escape the Day of #Wrath when it comes! For I shall #deal with you swiftly, even recompense in #full, according to the example!
Woe to every #high #mountain! Woe to every uplifted #hill! Woe to all high places, to everything high and lofty! WOE TO ALL WHO SEEK TO EXALT THEMSELVES ABOVE THE MOST HIGH!
Woe to the #giants of this #world and to the #mighty #oppressor! Woe to all who #step on the #fingers of the #poor and steal from the #needy! Woe to all who #conspire together in #secret, to do My people harm!
And woe, even three times woe, to all who harm the little ones and those not yet #born from the #womb! WOE TO ALL WHO #MURDER THE #INNOCENT, AND TO ALL WHO #STAND IN #AGREEMENT! A double #portion of wrath is reserved for you!
For I tell you the #truth, not one #spring of #water #flows in #purity, not one piece of #bread is offered freely or without leaven. All is #corrupt, #dead men's #bones in a wasteland of iniquity and sin. Every table is covered with flies, a feast of abominations is always before their #eyes, leaving them void and desolate. For none harken, nor does one truly give heed, for all #cry aloud, saying, “#Cast these #shackles from us! Let us alone, for we go our own way! Our #knowledge transcends Heaven, our #egos reign!” Thus they have made their #covenant with death, and with the #grave they are in #agreement.
Therefore take up a #lamentation on the
Desolate heights, for The Lord has rejected
And forsaken the #generation of His wrath!...
Yea, cry out to The Lord in #sincerity and in truth,
With deep #remorse over all you have done,
And I may yet have #mercy upon you.
Cry out to The Lord your God, for there is no other, #fall down at the #feet of your Savior, for there is but One, and #confess, saying, “We have done an evil thing, we have committed great iniquity throughout the #land! We are desolate, #starving and in #bitter #thirst! Heal us, O Lord! For we have eaten up all the bread, broken every #staff, and defecated in the #pools of #living #water from which we were to #drink! Surely we are #wretched, #miserable, #poor, #blind, #deaf and #naked!... #Save us, O Lord!”
Therefore thus says The Lord God, to those #near and to those who remain afar off: #Beloved ones, I have #saved you already, having sent The #Lamb of God slain from the #foundation of the #world. He was come into the world, and you would not receive Him... #Blessed are those who have received Him; #Grace covers them. Behold, He is coming again, and He have I poured out on every #nation, yet you are offended in Him... Blessed are the #thirsty who have #drunk deeply from His #cup; they are filled with His #glory. Behold, He shall call out, He shall surely #gather, yet you will neither see nor hear Him... Blessed are those who have #eyes to #see and #ears to #hear, for they shall surely be gone from this place.
Yet now the #time has come for this generation to #drink from another cup; behold, they shall #taste of it to the fullest! For it is the chalice of My reckoning, and it shall consume them! Thus as I punished My #enemies in all times #past, so also shall I #stretch out My #hand against this most wicked generation. For I am The Lord, and I do not #change.
Even so, blessed are all those who #call on the #name
Of The Lord in that day, for as it is written:
It shall come to #pass that whoever calls
On the name of The Lord shall be saved...
For in Mount #Zion and in #Jerusalem,
There shall be #deliverance among the
#Remnant whom The Lord shall call.
↑ Also read: "I AM COME"
↑ 2 Peter 2:6, Jude 1:7
#prophecy #prophet #Jesus #Yeshua #Christ #Messiah #God #church #bible #scripture #christian #christianity #JesusChrist #HolySpirit #Savior #Saviour #Lord
Their crimes ranged from shoplifting to embezzlement to murder. Some of them molested kids and downloaded child pornography. Others beat their wives, girlfriends or children. The revelations are al…
Article word count: 1642
HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19257434
Posted by rrauenza (karma: 2301)
Post stats: Points: 134 - Comments: 62 - 2019-02-26T19:19:50Z
#HackerNews #but #california #cant #cops #criminal #have #keeps #list #says #secret #you
Their crimes ranged from shoplifting to embezzlement to murder. Some of them molested kids and downloaded child pornography. Others beat their wives, girlfriends or children.
The one thing they had in common: a badge.
Thousands of California law enforcement officers have been convicted of a crime in the past decade, according to records released by a public agency that sets standards for officers in the Golden State.
The revelations are alarming, but the state’s top cop says Californians don’t have a right to see them. In fact, Attorney General Xavier Becerra warned two Berkeley-based reporters that simply possessing this never-before-publicly-released list of convicted cops is a violation of the law.
The California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training — known as POST — provided the information last month in response to routine Public Records Act requests from reporters for the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley and its production arm, Investigative Studios.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra responds to questions from the Bay Area News Group’s Opinion and Editorial Board during an interview at the San Jose Mercury News office on Monday, April 16, 2018. Becerra is seeking re-election to the Attorney General’s office. (Michael Malone/Bay Area News Group)
But when Becerra’s office learned about the disclosure, it threatened the reporters with legal action unless they destroyed the records, insisting they are confidential under state law and were released inadvertently. The two journalism organizations have rejected Becerra’s demands.
“It’s disheartening and ominous that the highest law enforcement officer in the state is threatening legal action over something the First Amendment makes clear can’t give rise to criminal action against a reporter,” said David Snyder, executive director of the First Amendment Coalition, a San Rafael-based nonprofit that advocates for free speech and open records.
The documents provide a rare glimpse at the volume of officer misconduct at a time of heightened interest over police accountability. The list includes cops who trafficked drugs, cops who stole money from their departments and even one who robbed a bank wearing a fake beard. Some sexually assaulted suspects. Others took bribes, filed false reports and committed perjury. A large number drove under the influence of drugs and alcohol — sometimes killing people on the road.
The Berkeley journalists chose not to publish the entire list until they could spend more time reporting to avoid misidentifying people among the nearly 12,000 names in the documents, said John Temple, director of the Investigative Reporting Program.
Still, the details are stunning in a state where officials have fought for years to keep virtually any record of police misconduct a secret. And they come amid a larger battle playing out in courtrooms throughout the state over California’s new police transparency law, Senate Bill 1421. Law enforcement groups have sued to limit the impact of that law, claiming it shouldn’t expose police disciplinary records created before the law took effect on Jan. 1.
Becerra himself has rejected public records requests from his own agency, and he is now being sued by a prominent First Amendment group for failing to comply. Many other agencies in California have followed the attorney general’s lead.
“Once you disclose a document that’s confidential and private, you can’t take it back,” Becerra told reporters earlier this month. ”You don’t get a second chance to get it right, you got to get it right the first time.”
While that law has garnered the most attention and a public fight over police disciplinary records, it was another law that took effect Jan. 1 that led to the disclosure of the convictions of thousands of law enforcement officers and applicants.
The secret list
Tucked into a public safety omnibus bill last year was a provision allowing the state’s Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training to keep information in its records showing when a current or former law enforcement officer is convicted of a felony or other crime that would disqualify them from being a cop.
Police departments often check POST’s records as part of the routine background check process when hiring new officers. But until the law changed, POST only labeled someone as being disqualified from serving in law enforcement when the person was convicted and had exhausted all appeals — which could take years and was difficult to track. The new law allows them to disqualify someone after a conviction, according to a POST spokesman.
So at the start of this year, Becerra’s office provided POST for the first time a list of what the agency says are convictions of current and former law enforcement officers and people who at one time had tried to become a cop.
POST provided 10 years’ worth of convictions — nearly 12,000 names in all — to the Berkeley-based investigative reporting organizations in early January in response to a public records request. Three weeks later the AG’s office sent a letter saying the records were “inadvertently” released and were considered confidential.
Attorney General Becerra’s office did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Nic Marais, an attorney with Keker, Van Nest & Peters representing Investigative Studios, said the state’s assertions that the documents had been released “inadvertently” was hard to believe given that POST spent four weeks weighing the reporters’ request. In a letter to the AG, Marais wrote that because the documents appear to be a summary of public records, the disclosure exemptions cited by POST and Attorney General Becerra’s Office do not apply. Finally, he wrote that state law exempts reporters from prosecution for receiving records.
Snyder, of the First Amendment Coalition, argued the underlying records are in the public interest.
“Police officers are vested by the public with extraordinary power,” he said. “In order to monitor the use of that power, the public needs to know when they are over the line.”
But attorney Mike Rains, who represents police officers, questions why they should be singled out by such a list.
“To the extent the public wants that to be public record, I can understand that,” said Rains, who is leading a legal fight to block the release of officer disciplinary records under the new law.
“Why don’t we make that known for everybody?” Rains said of convictions, pointing out there’s no broad disclosure for lawyers, doctors, teachers and other trusted professionals.
What the conviction list reveals
Many of the indiscretions in the new documents released last month to the Berkeley investigative reporting organizations have never been revealed publicly until now. Some of the officers were fired from the force only after an arrest. Others remain on the job despite a criminal conviction.
About 3,500 names on the list appear to match the names of police officers in state personnel databases, and about 2,250 of those have been on the force within the last five years. But without more information, the exact breakdown of which individuals were in law enforcement as opposed to applicants to become an officer is still unclear.
Phil Caporale, a spokesman for POST, said his agency is using the list to check if active officers have committed crimes that should prevent them from working in law enforcement.
Get breaking news and alerts with our free mobile app. Get it from the Apple app store or the Google Play store.
“There’s that potential. That’s what we’re trying to eliminate … to make sure no one out there is a peace officer today who shouldn’t be,” Caporale said.
The agency also is on the lookout for former cops with convictions who try to get back into law enforcement, he said. “We want to make sure those folks don’t slip through the cracks.”
Greg Jeong is on the list. He was an Emeryville police officer for a few months but failed his field training program. So he went to work as a dispatcher for the department. In August 2017, Jeong claimed to be a cop in order to buy a gun and three high capacity magazines in San Jose, according to court records. He was ultimately convicted of impersonating a police officer. Jeong declined to comment for this story.
Hayward police officer Joshua Cannon also is on the list. In October 2010, Cannon was arrested for driving drunk in Alameda County with blood alcohol nearly twice the legal limit. A CHP officer clocked him going 92 mph, and when the officer tried to pull him over, Cannon quickly pulled off the highway and down a sidestreet, court records show.
Cannon eventually stopped and told the CHP officer that he was a cop and carrying an off-duty weapon. According to the CHP officer, Cannon “started asking me for a ‘break,’” the report said. “He also asked me that if I was in his situation what would I do.”
Cannon was convicted of misdemeanor driving under the influence — and remains on the force. He declined to comment for this story, citing department rules against talking to the media.
The list also included a new revelation about a San Francisco police sergeant who had been the subject of numerous media reports for use-of-force complaints and shootings.
View this document on Scribd
In 2014, Sgt. John Haggett was accused of helping a girlfriend dig up dirt on tenants. Internal Affairs started investigating after one of them claimed Haggett’s girlfriend made a disturbing threat: “My boyfriend is a police officer and will take care of you.”
Haggett, who is now retired, pleaded guilty in 2015 to a misdemeanor for accessing the confidential information. He did not respond to an interview request.
The San Francisco Police Department did not respond to a request for comment.
Robert Lewis can be reached at email@example.com and Jason Paladino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Jeremy Rue contributed research for this story. The Investigative Reporting Program is a professional newsroom and teaching institute at UC Berkeley. Investigative Studios is a nonprofit production company formally affiliated with the university.
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On Tuesday, a Google spokesperson told Business Insider it had made an "error."
Article word count: 344
HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19205457
Posted by temp1928384 (karma: 115)
Post stats: Points: 117 - Comments: 37 - 2019-02-20T04:11:31Z
#HackerNews #built-in #google #listed #meant #mic #nests #not #says #secret #specs #was
In early February, Google announced that its home security and alarm system Nest Secure would be getting an update — users could now enable its virtual assistant technology, Google Assistant.
The problem: Nest users didnʼt know a microphone even existed on their security device to begin with.
The existence of a microphone on the Nest Guard (which is the alarm, keypad, and motion sensor component in the Nest Secure offering) was never disclosed in any of the product material for the device.
On Tuesday, a Google spokesperson told Business Insider the company had made an "error."
"The on-device microphone was never intended to be a secret and should have been listed in the tech specs. That was an error on our part," the spokesperson said.
Nest Guard Nest
Google says that "the microphone has never been on and is only activated when users specifically enable the option."
Read more: Google is reabsorbing Nest, the smart home company it bought for $3.2 billion in 2014
It also said the microphone was originally included in the Nest Guard for the possibility of adding new security features down the line, like the ability to detect broken glass.
Still, even if Google included the microphone in its Nest Guard device for future updates — like its Assistant integration — the news comes as consumers have grown increasingly wary of major tech companies and their commitment to consumer privacy.
For Google, the revelation is particularly problematic and brings to mind previous privacy controversies, such as the 2010 incident in which the company admitted that its fleet of Street View cars "accidentally" collected personal data transmitted over consumersʼ unsecured WiFi networks, including emails.
Google bought Nest — which was initially known for its smart thermostat device — back in 2014 for $3.2 billion. It became a standalone company in 2015 when Google reorganized as Alphabet, but in February 2018, it was brought back into Google under the leadership of head hardware exec Rick Osterloh.
Today, Nest offers a variety of IoT products including smoke detectors, video doorbells, and security cameras.
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“Finance is not merely about making money.
It’s about achieving our deep goals and protecting the fruits of our labor.
It’s about stewardship and, therefore, about achieving the good society. ”
Robert J. Shiller
but how he defines “good society” – he ain’t sayn’.
they probably do this – because – they not only want to print digital dollars (that might collapse in value, by eroding oil standard or the next FED-bailout (states can’t take it anymore) after the collapse of the shadow-banking market)).
if the concept of a “good society” is based on inequality, injustice and exploitation – it is probably “a secret concept” – If yes – all secret concepts are evil.
- J.P. Morgan launches JPM Coin. The JPM Coin was built on Quorum, an enterprise iteration of the Ethereum blockchain, and enables the instantaneous transfer of payments between institutional accounts.
- Still waiting for a way to explain blockchain to your friends? We kicked off an 8-part explainer series this week. In this series, Joseph Lubin — Co-Founder of Ethereum and Founder of ConsenSys — discusses key concepts in blockchain technology. Watch the first video now!
- Get funding for your Ethereum project. ConsenSys Grants is now accepting applications. Grants will be awarded in 2019 to projects that are building the foundational infrastructure, tools and components required to improve the developer and user experience of Ethereum. Apply today!
- Interested in lending crypto you own to earn passive income? Trustless Atomic Loans (TAL) is a new ConsenSys project that is bringing decentralized debt across blockchains through the use of atomic swap technology. Sign up for early access today at atomicloans.io!
- Rhombus brought the real world to the blockchain at ETHDenver. Their oracle service now supports currency pairs and asset pricing and they will be adding more oracles as developers request them. Learn more about connecting your smart contracts to real world data at rhombus.network.
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Originally posted at: https://altcoopsys.org/2019/02/18/robert-j-shiller-about-the-good-society-j-p-morgan-launches-etherum-based-jpm-coin/
:star: A collection of awesome lists, manuals, blogs, hacks, one-liners, cli/web tools and more. - trimstray/the-book-of-secret-knowledge
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For the government and #vaccine-industry’s own pro-vaccine expert to have this #scientific opinion stood to change everything about the #vaccine-autism debate — if people were to find out.
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What’s worse, he says the #DOJ went on to misrepresent his opinion in federal vaccine court to continue to…
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Two weeks after leaving her position as an intelligence analyst for the U.S. Nat...
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Posted by betolink (karma: 2016)
Post stats: Points: 121 - Comments: 59 - 2019-01-31T20:00:32Z
\#HackerNews #hacking #mercenaries #secret #team #the #uaes
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two weeks after leaving her position as an intelligence analyst for the U.S. National Security Agency in 2014, Lori Stroud was in the Middle East working as a hacker for an Arab monarchy.
She had joined Project Raven, a clandestine team that included more than a dozen former U.S. intelligence operatives recruited to help the United Arab Emirates engage in surveillance of other governments, militants and human rights activists critical of the monarchy.
Stroud and her team, working from a converted mansion in Abu Dhabi known internally as “the Villa,” would use methods learnt from a decade in the U.S intelligence community to help the UAE hack into the phones and computers of its enemies.
Stroud had been recruited by a Maryland cybersecurity contractor to help the Emiratis launch hacking operations, and for three years, she thrived in the job. But in 2016, the Emiratis moved Project Raven to a UAE cybersecurity firm named DarkMatter. Before long, Stroud and other Americans involved in the effort say they saw the mission cross a red line: targeting fellow Americans for surveillance.
“I am working for a foreign intelligence agency who is targeting U.S. persons,” she told Reuters. “I am officially the bad kind of spy.”
The story of Project Raven reveals how former U.S. government hackers have employed state-of-the-art cyber-espionage tools on behalf of a foreign intelligence service that spies on human rights activists, journalists and political rivals.
Interviews with nine former Raven operatives, along with a review of thousands of pages of project documents and emails, show that surveillance techniques taught by the NSA were central to the UAE’s efforts to monitor opponents. The sources interviewed by Reuters were not Emirati citizens.
The operatives utilized an arsenal of cyber tools, including a cutting-edge espionage platform known as Karma, in which Raven operatives say they hacked into the iPhones of hundreds of activists, political leaders and suspected terrorists. Details of the Karma hack were described in a separate Reuters article today.
An NSA spokesman declined to comment on Raven. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment. A spokeswoman for UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined to comment. The UAE’s Embassy in Washington and a spokesman for its National Media Council did not respond to requests for comment.
The UAE has said it faces a real threat from violent extremist groups and that it is cooperating with the United States on counterterrorism efforts. Former Raven operatives say the project helped NESA break up an ISIS network within the Emirates. When an ISIS-inspired militant stabbed to death a teacher in Abu Dhabi in 2014, the operatives say, Raven spearheaded the UAE effort to assess if other attacks were imminent.
Various reports have highlighted the ongoing cyber arms race in the Middle East, as the Emirates and other nations attempt to sweep up hacking weapons and personnel faster than their rivals. The Reuters investigation is the first to reveal the existence of Project Raven, providing a rare inside account of state hacking operations usually shrouded in secrecy and denials.
The Raven story also provides new insight into the role former American cyberspies play in foreign hacking operations. Within the U.S. intelligence community, leaving to work as an operative for another country is seen by some as a betrayal. “There’s a moral obligation if you’re a former intelligence officer from becoming effectively a mercenary for a foreign government,” said Bob Anderson, who served as executive assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation until 2015.
While this activity raises ethical dilemmas, U.S. national security lawyers say the laws guiding what American intelligence contractors can do abroad are murky. Though it’s illegal to share classified information, there is no specific law that bars contractors from sharing more general spycraft knowhow, such as how to bait a target with a virus-laden email.
The rules, however, are clear on hacking U.S. networks or stealing the communications of Americans. “It would be very illegal,” said Rhea Siers, former NSA deputy assistant director for policy.
The hacking of Americans was a tightly held secret even within Raven, with those operations led by Emiratis instead. Stroud’s account of the targeting of Americans was confirmed by four other former operatives and in emails reviewed by Reuters.
The FBI is now investigating whether Raven’s American staff leaked classified U.S. surveillance techniques and if they illegally targeted American computer networks, according to former Raven employees interviewed by federal law enforcement agents. Stroud said she is cooperating with that investigation. No charges have been filed and it is possible none will emerge from the inquiry. An FBI spokeswoman declined to comment.
PURPLE BRIEFING, BLACK BRIEFING
Stroud is the only former Raven operative willing to be named in this story; eight others who described their experiences would do so only on condition of anonymity. She spent a decade at the NSA, first as a military service member from 2003 to 2009 and later as a contractor in the agency for the giant technology consultant Booz Allen Hamilton from 2009 to 2014. Her speciality was hunting for vulnerabilities in the computer systems of foreign governments, such as China, and analysing what data should be stolen.
In 2013, her world changed. While stationed at NSA Hawaii, Stroud says, she made the fateful recommendation to bring a Dell technician already working in the building onto her team. That contractor was Edward Snowden.
“He’s former CIA, he’s local, he’s already cleared,” Stroud, 37, recalled. “He’s perfect!” Booz and the NSA would later approve Snowden’s transfer, providing him with even greater access to classified material.
Two months after joining Stroud’s group, Snowden fled the United States and passed on thousands of pages of top secret program files to journalists, detailing the agency’s massive data collection programs. In the maelstrom that followed, Stroud said her Booz team was vilified for unwittingly enabling the largest security breach in agency history.
“Our brand was ruined,” she said of her team.
In the wake of the scandal, Marc Baier, a former colleague at NSA Hawaii, offered her the chance to work for a contractor in Abu Dhabi called CyberPoint. In May 2014, Stroud jumped at the opportunity and left Booz Allen.
CyberPoint, a small cybersecurity contractor headquartered in Baltimore, was founded by an entrepreneur named Karl Gumtow in 2009. Its clients have included the U.S. Department of Defense, and its UAE business has gained media attention.
In an interview, Gumtow said his company was not involved in any improper actions.
Stroud had already made the switch from government employee to Booz Allen contractor, essentially performing the same NSA job at higher pay. Taking a job with CyberPoint would fulfil a lifelong dream of deploying to the Middle East and doing so at a lucrative salary. Many analysts, like Stroud, were paid more than $200,000 a year, and some managers received salaries and compensation above $400,000.
She understood her new job would involve a counterterrorism mission in cooperation with the Emiratis, a close U.S. ally in the fight against ISIS, but little else. Baier and other Raven managers assured her the project was approved by the NSA, she said. With Baier’s impressive resume, including time in an elite NSA hacking unit known as Tailored Access Operations, the pledge was convincing. Baier did not respond to multiple phone calls, text messages, emails, and messages on social media.
In the highly secretive, compartmentalized world of intelligence contracting, it isn’t unusual for recruiters to keep the mission and client from potential hires until they sign non-disclosure documents and go through a briefing process.
When Stroud was brought into the Villa for the first time, in May 2014, Raven management gave her two separate briefings, back-to-back.
In the first, known internally as the “Purple briefing,” she said she was told Raven would pursue a purely defensive mission, protecting the government of the UAE from hackers and other threats. Right after the briefing ended, she said she was told she had just received a cover story.
She then received the “Black briefing,” a copy of which was reviewed by Reuters. Raven is “the offensive, operational division of NESA and will never be acknowledged to the general public,” the Black memo says. The NESA, or National Electronic Security Authority, was the UAE’s version of the NSA.
Stroud would be part of Raven’s analysis and target-development shop, tasked with helping the government profile its enemies online, hack them and collect data. Those targets were provided by the client, NESA, now called the Signals Intelligence Agency.
The language and secrecy of the briefings closely mirrored her experience at the NSA, Stroud said, giving her a level of comfort.
The information scooped up by Raven was feeding a security apparatus that has drawn international criticism. The Emirates, a wealthy federation of seven Arab sheikhdoms with a population of 9 million, is an ally of neighbour Saudi Arabia and rival of Iran.
Like those two regional powers, the UAE has been accused of suppressing free speech, detaining dissidents and other abuses by groups such as Human Rights Watch. The UAE says it is working closely with Washington to fight extremism “beyond the battlefield” and is promoting efforts to counter the “root causes” of radical violence.
Raven’s targets eventually would include militants in Yemen, foreign adversaries such as Iran, Qatar and Turkey, and individuals who criticized the monarchy, said Stroud and eight other former Raven operatives. Their accounts were confirmed by hundreds of Raven program documents reviewed by Reuters.
Under orders from the UAE government, former operatives said, Raven would monitor social media and target people who security forces felt had insulted the government.
“Some days it was hard to swallow, like [when you target] a 16-year-old kid on Twitter,” she said. “But it’s an intelligence mission, you are an intelligence operative. I never made it personal.”
The Americans identified vulnerabilities in selected targets, developed or procured software to carry out the intrusions and assisted in monitoring them, former Raven employees said. But an Emirati operative would usually press the button on an attack. This arrangement was intended to give the Americans “plausible deniability” about the nature of the work, said former Raven members.
TARGETING ‘GYRO’ AND ‘EGRET’
Stroud discovered that the program took aim not just at terrorists and foreign government agencies, but also dissidents and human rights activists. The Emiratis categorized them as national security targets.
Following the Arab Spring protests and the ousting of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, Emirati security forces viewed human rights advocates as a major threat to “national stability,” records and interviews show.
One of the program’s key targets in 2012 was Rori Donaghy, according to former Raven operatives and program documents. Donaghy, then 25, was a British journalist and activist who authored articles critical of the country’s human rights record. In 2012, he wrote an opinion piece for the Guardian criticizing the UAE government’s activist crackdown and warning that, if it continued, “those in power face an uncertain future.”
Before 2012, the former operatives said, the nascent UAE intelligence-gathering operation largely relied on Emirati agents breaking into the homes of targets while they were away and physically placing spyware on computers. But as the Americans built up Raven, the remote hacking of Donaghy offered the contractors a tantalizing win they could present to the client.
Because of sensitivity over human rights violations and press freedom in the West, the operation against a journalist-activist was a gamble. “The potential risk to the UAE Government and diplomatic relations with Western powers is great if the operation can be traced back to UAE,” 2012 program documents said.
To get close to Donaghy, a Raven operative should attempt to “ingratiate himself to the target by espousing similar beliefs,” the cyber-mercenaries wrote. Donaghy would be “unable to resist an overture of this nature,” they believed.
Posing as a single human rights activist, Raven operatives emailed Donaghy asking for his help to “bring hope to those who are long suffering,” the email message said.
The operative convinced Donaghy to download software he claimed would make messages “difficult to trace.” In reality, the malware allowed the Emiratis to continuously monitor Donaghy’s email account and Internet browsing. The surveillance against Donaghy, who was given the code name Gyro, continued under Stroud and remained a top priority for the Emirates for years, Stroud said.
Donaghy eventually became aware that his email had been hacked. In 2015, after receiving another suspicious email, he contacted a security researcher at Citizen Lab, a Canadian human rights and digital privacy group, who discovered hackers had been attempting for years to breach his computer.
Reached by phone in London, Donaghy, now a graduate student pursuing Arab studies, expressed surprise he was considered a top national security target for five years. Donaghy confirmed he was targeted using the techniques described in the documents.
“I’m glad my partner is sitting here as I talk on the phone because she wouldn’t believe it,” he said. Told the hackers were American mercenaries working for the UAE, Donaghy, a British citizen, expressed surprise and disgust. “It feels like a betrayal of the alliance we have,” he said.
Stroud said her background as an intelligence operative made her comfortable with human rights targets as long as they weren’t Americans. “We’re working on behalf of this country’s government, and they have specific intelligence objectives which differ from the U.S., and understandably so,” Stroud said. “You live with it.”
Prominent Emirati activist Ahmed Mansoor, given the code name Egret, was another target, former Raven operatives say. For years, Mansoor publicly criticized the country’s war in Yemen, treatment of migrant workers and detention of political opponents.
In September 2013, Raven presented senior NESA officials with material taken from Mansoor’s computer, boasting of the successful collection of evidence against him. It contained screenshots of emails in which Mansoor discussed an upcoming demonstration in front of the UAE’s Federal Supreme Court with family members of imprisoned dissidents.
Lori Stroud is pictured in her home at an unknown location in the U.S., September 27, 2018. Picture taken September 27, 2018. REUTERS/Joel Schectman
Raven told UAE security forces Mansoor had photographed a prisoner he visited in jail, against prison policy, “and then attempted to destroy the evidence on his computer,” said a Powerpoint presentation reviewed by Reuters.
Citizen Lab published research in 2016 showing that Mansoor and Donaghy were targeted by hackers — with researchers speculating that the UAE government was the most likely culprit. Concrete evidence of who was responsible, details on the use of American operatives, and first-hand accounts from the hacking team are reported here for the first time.
Mansoor was convicted in a secret trial in 2017 of damaging the country’s unity and sentenced to 10 years in jail. He is now held in solitary confinement, his health declining, a person familiar with the matter said.
Mansoor’s wife, Nadia, has lived in social isolation in Abu Dhabi. Neighbours are avoiding her out of fear security forces are watching.
They are correct. By June 2017 Raven had tapped into her mobile device and given her the code name Purple Egret, program documents reviewed by Reuters show.
To do so, Raven utilized a powerful new hacking tool called Karma, which allowed operatives to break into the iPhones of users around the world.
Karma allowed Raven to obtain emails, location, text messages and photographs from iPhones simply by uploading lists of numbers into a preconfigured system, five former project employees said. Reuters had no contact with Mansoor’s wife.
Karma was particularly potent because it did not require a target to click on any link to download malicious software. The operatives understood the hacking tool to rely on an undisclosed vulnerability in Apple’s iMessage text messaging software.
In 2016 and 2017, it would be used against hundreds of targets across the Middle East and Europe, including governments of Qatar, Yemen, Iran and Turkey, documents show. Raven used Karma to hack an iPhone used by the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, as well as the phones of close associates and his brother. The embassy of Qatar in Washington did not respond to requests for comment.
WHAT WASHINGTON KNEW
Former Raven operatives believed they were on the right side of the law because, they said, supervisors told them the mission was blessed by the U.S. government.
Although the NSA wasn’t involved in day-to-day operations, the agency approved of and was regularly briefed on Raven’s activities, they said Baier told them.
CyberPoint founder Gumtow said his company was not involved in hacking operations.
“We were not doing offensive operations. Period,” Gumtow said in a phone interview. “If someone was doing something rogue, then that’s painful for me to think they would do that under our banner.”
Instead, he said, the company trained Emiratis to defend themselves through a program with the country’s Ministry of Interior.
A review of internal Raven documents shows Gumtow’s description of the program as advising the Interior Ministry on cyber defence matches an “unclassified cover story” Raven operatives were instructed to give when asked about the project. Raven employees were told to say they worked for the Information Technology and Interoperability Office, the program document said.
Providing sensitive defence technologies or services to a foreign government generally requires special licenses from the U.S. State and Commerce Departments. Both agencies declined to comment on whether they issued such licenses to CyberPoint for its operations in the UAE. They added that human rights considerations figure into any such approvals.
But a 2014 State Department agreement with CyberPoint showed Washington understood the contractors were helping launch cyber surveillance operations for the UAE. The approval document explains CyberPoint’s contract is to work alongside NESA in the “protection of UAE sovereignty” through “collection of information from communications systems inside and outside the UAE” and “surveillance analysis.”
One section of the State Department approval states CyberPoint must receive specific approval from the NSA before giving any presentations pertaining to “computer network exploitation or attack.” Reuters identified dozens of such presentations Raven gave to NESA describing attacks against Donaghy, Mansoor and others. It’s unclear whether the NSA approved Raven’s operations against specific targets.
The agreement clearly forbade CyberPoint employees from targeting American citizens or companies. As part of the agreement, CyberPoint promised that its own staff and even Emirati personnel supporting the program “will not be used to Exploit U.S. Persons, (i.e. U.S. citizens, permanent resident aliens, or U.S. companies.)” Sharing classified U.S. information, controlled military technology, or the intelligence collection methods of U.S. agencies was also prohibited.
Gumtow declined to discuss the specifics of the agreement. “To the best of my ability and to the best of my knowledge, we did everything as requested when it came to U.S. rules and regulations,” he said. “And we provided a mechanism for people to come to me if they thought that something that was done was wrong.”
An NSA spokesman declined to comment on Project Raven.
A State Department spokesman declined to comment on the agreement but said such licenses do not authorize people to engage in human rights abuses.
By late 2015, some Raven operatives said their missions became more audacious.
For instance, instead of being asked to hack into individual users of an Islamist Internet forum, as before, the American contractors were called on to create computer viruses that would infect every person visiting a flagged site. Such wholesale collection efforts risked sweeping in the communications of American citizens, stepping over a line the operators knew well from their NSA days.
U.S. law generally forbids the NSA, CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies from monitoring U.S. citizens.
Working together with managers, Stroud helped create a policy for what to do when Raven swept up personal data belonging to Americans. The former NSA employees were instructed to mark that material for deletion. Other Raven operatives would also be notified so the American victims could be removed from future collection.
As time went on, Stroud noticed American data flagged for removal show up again and again in Raven’s NESA-controlled data stores.
Still, she found the work exhilarating. “It was incredible because there weren’t these limitations like there was at the NSA. There wasn’t that bullshit red tape,” she said. “I feel like we did a lot of good work on counterterrorism.”
DARKMATTER AND DEPARTURES
When Raven was created in 2009, Abu Dhabi had little cyber expertise. The original idea was for Americans to develop and run the program for five to 10 years until Emirati intelligence officers were skilled enough to take over, documents show. By 2013, the American contingent at Raven numbered between a dozen and 20 members at any time, accounting for the majority of the staff.
In late 2015, the power dynamic at the Villa shifted as the UAE grew more uncomfortable with a core national security program being controlled by foreigners, former staff said. Emirati defence officials told Gumtow they wanted Project Raven to be run through a domestic company, named DarkMatter.
Raven’s American creators were given two options: Join DarkMatter or go home.
At least eight operatives left Raven during this transition period. Some said they left after feeling unsettled about the vague explanations Raven managers provided when pressed on potential surveillance against other Americans.
DarkMatter was founded in 2014 by Faisal Al Bannai, who also created Axiom, one of the largest sellers of mobile devices in the region. DarkMatter markets itself as an innovative developer of defensive cyber technology. A 2016 Intercept article reported the company assisted UAE’s security forces in surveillance efforts and was attempting to recruit foreign cyber experts.
The Emirati company of more than 650 employees publicly acknowledges its close business relationship to the UAE government, but denies involvement in state-backed hacking efforts.
Project Raven’s true purpose was kept secret from most executives at DarkMatter, former operatives said.
DarkMatter did not respond to requests for comment. Al Bannai and the company’s current chief executive, Karim Sabbagh, did not respond to interview requests. A spokeswoman for the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined to comment.
Under DarkMatter, Project Raven continued to operate in Abu Dhabi from the Villa, but pressure escalated for the program to become more aggressive.
Before long, senior NESA officers were given more control over daily functions, former Raven operatives said, often leaving American managers out of the loop. By mid-2016, the Emirates had begun making an increasing number of sections of Raven hidden from the Americans still managing day-to-day operations. Soon, an “Emirate-eyes only” designation appeared for some hacking targets.
By 2016, FBI agents began approaching DarkMatter employees reentering the United States to ask about Project Raven, three former operatives said.
The FBI wanted to know: Had they been asked to spy on Americans? Did classified information on U.S. intelligence collection techniques and technologies end up in the hands of the Emiratis?
Two agents approached Stroud in 2016 at Virginia’s Dulles airport as she was returning to the UAE after a trip home. Stroud, afraid she might be under surveillance by the UAE herself, said she brushed off the FBI investigators. “I’m not telling you guys jack,” she recounted.
Stroud had been promoted and given even more access to internal Raven databases the previous year. A lead analyst, her job was to probe the accounts of potential Raven targets and learn what vulnerabilities could be used to penetrate their email or messaging systems.
Targets were listed in various categories, by country. Yemeni targets were in the “brown category,” for example. Iran was grey.
One morning in spring 2017, after she finished her own list of targets, Stroud said she began working on a backlog of other assignments intended for a NESA officer. She noticed that a passport page of an American was in the system. When Stroud emailed supervisors to complain, she was told the data had been collected by mistake and would be deleted, according to an email reviewed by Reuters.
Concerned, Stroud began searching a targeting request list usually limited to Raven’s Emirati staff, which she was still able to access because of her role as lead analyst. She saw that security forces had sought surveillance against two other Americans.
When she questioned the apparent targeting of Americans, she received a rebuke from an Emirati colleague for accessing the targeting list, the emails show. The target requests she viewed were to be processed by “certain people. You are not one of them,” the Emirati officer wrote.
Days later, Stroud said she came upon three more American names on the hidden targeting queue.
Those names were in a category she hadn’t seen before: the “white category” — for Americans. This time, she said, the occupations were listed: journalist.
“I was sick to my stomach,” she said. “It kind of hit me at that macro level realizing there was a whole category for U.S. persons on this program.”
Once more, she said she turned to manager Baier. He attempted to downplay the concern and asked her to drop the issue, she said. But he also indicated that any targeting of Americans was supposed to be done by Raven’s Emirate staff, said Stroud and two other people familiar with the discussion.
Stroud’s account of the incidents was confirmed by four other former employees and emails reviewed by Reuters.
Slideshow (13 Images)
When Stroud kept raising questions, she said, she was put on leave by superiors, her phones and passport were taken, and she was escorted from the building. Stroud said it all happened so quickly she was unable to recall the names of the three U.S. journalists or other Americans she came across in the files. “I felt like one of those national security targets,” she said. “I’m stuck in the country, I’m being surveilled, I can’t leave.”
After two months, Stroud was allowed to return to America. Soon after, she fished out the business card of the FBI agents who had confronted her at the airport.
“I don’t think Americans should be doing this to other Americans,” she told Reuters. “I’m a spy, I get that. I’m an intelligence officer, but I’m not a bad one.”
By Christopher Bing and Joel Schectman in Washington. Editing by Ronnie Greene, Jonathan Weber and Michael Williams
Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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Video series 4, Part 1, covers the most important information for anyone on this planet because I will fully explain what causes the ice ages and why they happen immediately after a geomagnetic reversal (Pole shift, polar reversal). The last time this happened was about 12,000 years ago and it is estimated that only about 30 fertile females survived and all of us are related to one of them.