Investigative report by Greg Gordon finds important evidence not conclusively pursued by FBI
Greg Gordon, an investigative reporter, has spent 33 years uncovering waste, fraud, abuse and misconduct in Washington. Since joining McClatchyâ’s national staff in 2006, he has helped expose Wall Streetâ€™s role in the 2008 financial crisis, partisanship in the Justice Department and gaps in U.S. homeland security. In 2010, he and colleagues Kevin Hall and Chris Adams were honored as finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for their financial reporting, which included Gordonâ’s four-part series detailing Goldman Sachsâ’ selloff of tens of billions of dollars in securities backed by risky home mortgages while it secretly bet that a housing downturn would send the value of those securities plummeting.
DEFCON 18: Your ISP and the Government: Best Friends Forever 1/3
Speaker: Christopher Soghoian
Your Internet, phone and web application providers are all, for the most part, in bed with the government. They all routinely disclose their customers’ communications and other private data to law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Worse, firms like Google and Microsoft specifically log data in order to assist the government, while AT&T and Verizon are paid $1.8 million per year in order to provide real time access to customer communications records to the FBI. How many government requests does your ISP get for its customers’ communications each year? How many do they comply with? How many do they fight? How much do they charge for the surveillance assistance they provide? Who knows. Most companies have a strict policy of not discussing such topics.
You might assume that the law gives companies very little wiggle room – when they are required to provide data, they must do so. This is true. However, companies have a huge amount of flexibility in the way they design their networks, in the amount of data they retain by default, the emergency circumstances in which they share data without a court order, and the degree to which they fight unreasonable requests.
The differences in the privacy practices of the major players in the telecommunications and Internet applications market are significant: Some firms retain identifying data for years, while others retain no data at all; some voluntarily provide the government access to user data – Verizon even argued in court that it has a 1st amendment right to give the NSA access to calling records, while other companies refuse to voluntarily disclose data without a court order; some companies charge the government when it requests user data, while others disclose it for free. For an individual later investigated by the government, the data retention practices adopted by their phone company or email provider can significantly impact their freedom.
Unfortunately, although many companies claim to care about end-user privacy, and some even that they compete on their privacy features, none seem to be willing to compete on the extent to which they assist or resist the government in its surveillance activities. Because information about each firmís practices is not publicly known, consumers cannot vote with their dollars, and pick service providers that best protect their privacy.
This talk will pierce the veil of secrecy surrounding these practices. Based upon a combination of Freedom of Information Act requests, off the record conversations with industry lawyers, and investigative journalism, the practices of many of these firms will be revealed.
For presentations, whitepapers or audio version of the Defcon 18 presentations visit: http://defcon.org/html/links/dc-archives/dc-18-archive.html
With the Fukushima nuclear accident bringing up all kinds of talk about the risks of radioactive contamination in food and water, it can be hard to get the facts straight. Luckily, somebody is here to tell educate us about plutonium. His name is Pluto-kun, and he wants you to know that plutonium isn’t as scary as most people think. In fact, you can even safely drink water that has been contaminated with plutonium!
Here’s Pluto-kun’s 10-minute propaganda video, apparently created by a PR firm on behalf of the nuclear industry (sometime in the 1990’s, judging from the picture quality):
1. SEAWEED: eat nori, put wakame, kombu, and hijiki in your soups and stews. The iodine in kelp helps draw out the radiation and protect your thyroid from radioactive uptake.
2. MISO: good medicine full of live cultures, amino acids, minerals, and protein. I’d recommend making a big pot this week, having a bowl everyday and feeding it to all your friends- recipe follows.
3. MUSHROOMS: strengthen your immune system with some shitake mushrooms, sauteed or in soups.
4. Eat vegetables, especially DAIKON radishes and BURDOCK root- stick them in your soup too or make a shredded salad (recipe below). Daikon has been used for drawing out radiation, post nuclear fall out- it’s cooling and detoxifying.
5. BATHS in epsom salt and baking soda (1 lb of salt, with a bit of baking soda 2x week)
6. DRINK lots of WATER
7. IMMUNE support: do the things you know boost your immune system- sleep well, eat garlic and Vitamin C rich foods, and go easy on the sugar.
Investigate Building 7 : March 26 2011, West Hartford CT
The Case for a New Building 7 Investigation First of a a Three-part Presentation Introduced by Dr. William Pepper, International Human Rights Attorney
Foreknowledge of Building 7’s Collapse Dr. Graeme MacQueen
Even though World Trade Center Building 7 is said to have been the first steel-framed building in history to undergo total collapse due to fire, there were many people who knew the building was going to collapse long before it did. In this presentation, the evidence for this peculiar foreknowledge will be summarized and its significance discussed. The argument will be made that it is impossible to explain this foreknowledge on the basis of the collapse hypothesis offered by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The only hypothesis that explains this foreknowledge is the controlled demolition hypothesis.