Sunday, 18 February 2018


Why police forces need to be honest regarding mass mobile phone surveillance

Police forces across the UK are covering up their use of sophisticated mass surveillance devices, known as IMSI-catchers. The tools on offer vary – from in-the-field technology that can hack mobile phones, to facial recognition and predictive policing capabilities. This technological revolution is granting police unprecedented access to people’s lives. Investigations by The Bristol Cable have revealed that at least nine police forces in the UK have secretly purchased mobile phone surveillance devices, known as IMSI-catchers. These indiscriminate surveillance tools allow police to track mobile phone locations and identities in real time, to intercept text messages and calls across a large radius. According to some manufacturers’ catalogues, IMSI-catchers can hack up to 1,500 handsets per minute across five networks within 8km2 of their deployment.
At least 197 parliamentary constituencies are policed by the nine constabularies known to possess IMSI-catchers. This information only came to light after police procurement data and documents were analysed by The Bristol Cable. The investigation showed that constabularies had spent hundreds of thousands of pounds (over £1m by the Metropolitan Police alone) on IMSI-catchers, and that they were using an acronym – CCDC (covert communications data capture) – to disguise their purchases. To date, the Home Office and individual police forces have pursued a policy of neither confirming nor denying the possession or use of IMSI-catchers. Public authorities and ministers have consistently refused to declare whether police or other agencies possess or operate the technology, despite mounting evidence that its use is becoming widespread.
Police stonewall on mobile phone surveillance
Constabularies have denied freedom of information (FoI) requests, but they have gone further to stifle public debate. Police and crime commissioners have a legal duty to publish spending reports monthly for their respective forces, but in the months following the initial investigation, 30 police forces temporarily stopped publishing monthly spending data giving details of the contracts they award, and have since revised what information is published. In the case of Avon and Somerset Constabulary, the police and crime commissioner openly stated that the spending data had been taken down from its website and redacted in the interests of “national security” in response to the investigation. This stonewalling suggests that neither journalistic inquiry nor freedom of information requests by concerned citizens will, on their own, open the door to transparency. Consequently, The Bristol Cable took the decision to turn its investigation into a national campaign to press for change.
The campaign seeks clarity to some fundamental questions:
· In what circumstances are IMSI-catchers used?
· Which authorities operate them?
· How are innocent people safeguarded from this intrusive surveillance technology?
A 2016 investigation by technologist Richard Tynan found evidence of the use of IMSI-catchers in London, including at a large, public, anti-austerity demonstration and outside the Houses of Parliament. The charity Liberty has expressed concern that IMSI-catchers could be being used to target protestors, particular communities and places of worship.
Government silent on mobile phone monitoring
The indiscriminate, dragnet nature of IMSI-catcher technology, which intercepts the data of all mobile phones within an area of several kilometres, is unlikely to be proportionate or justifiable in law. It is therefore concerning that Parliament has not been consulted on the use of IMSI-catchers and that relevant statistical data or governing policies have not been published.
parliamentary briefing by The Bristol Cable – with guest contributions from Angela Patrick, barrister at Doughty Street Chambers, and Silkie Carlo, then advocacy officer at Liberty (now at Big Brother Watch) – lays out the uncertain legal basis for the use of IMSI-catchers and the need for urgent transparency. Thangam Debonnaire, MP for Bristol West, has submitted written questions to the Home Office seeking clarity on which forces own and operate IMSI-catchers and what guidance governs their use. The response was vague and shed nothing new. Nick Hurd MP referenced the Police Act 1997 and the Intelligence Services Act 1994 as the relevant governing legislation, and the investigatory powers commissioner as tasked with oversight. However, Hurd failed to confirm the technology’s mere existence, or to specify which forces owned or operated it.
With crime growing increasingly sophisticated, police are turning to innovative technology. But can the police and security services legitimately stay silent about their capabilities by claiming transparency will harm operations? Internationally, IMSI-catchers have already been dubbed “law enforcement’s worst-kept secret”. In recent years, there have been a string of damning revelations about illegal or controversial police surveillance powers, with police spying infringing the civil liberties of journalists, parliamentarians and campaigners.
Definition of serious crime is too broad
These cases have also raised concerns over how IMSI-catchers could be misused. And yet, the issue here is less of police misconduct. Rather, the primary issue is one of a turbulent political climate changing the legislative definitions of extremism and serious crimes, which surveillance capabilities only enhance. Take the Investigatory Powers Act (IPA), also known as the snoopers’ charter. It limits surveillance by police and government agencies to “serious” crimes. However, Angela Patrick writes in the parliamentary briefing that these crimes are “broadly defined to include offences carrying a sentence of over three years’ imprisonment, or any violent crime or crimes done for unspecified ‘substantial’ financial gain or where conduct is by a large number of persons in pursuit of a common purpose”.
Patrick highlights that group conduct is covered, meaning that police and agencies might seek to rely on these powers for the investigation of public order offences arising from protest activities. Meanwhile, any investigation of violent crime or financial crime for “substantial gain” will also open the door to the IPA. This threshold is less stringent than it might first appear, placing only limited restraint on state surveillance.” With the goalposts of justice in flux, one cannot be confident that institutionalised checks and balances will protect civil liberties. As Cardinal Richelieu, the 16th century French clergyman, incisively wrote: “If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged.”

"The US-Israel Honeymoon May Not Last" And Much More from "Breaking Israel News"!!

The US-Israel Honeymoon May Not Last

By Daniel Pipes
After a decent interval, Abbas inexorably will mumble apologies, lavish praise on Trump, fire up the Palestinians’ horde of proxies, 'talk peace' with Israel, and worm his way into the administration’s good graces. When that happens, the current U.S.-Israel honeymoon will likely crash and burn, replaced by the usual bickering, where Washington wants Israelis to 'take chances for peace' and 'make painful concessions,' and they resist those pressures.

Israel Responds With Multiple Strike Targets in Gaza After Hamas Rockets Hit An Israeli Home!!

Rocket Hits Israeli Home; Jewish Leaders Find Friends in Emirates; CLICK for Latest News!
World Israel News
Israel Strikes Multiple Targets in Gaza; Rocket Hits Israeli Home
4 IDF Soldiers Wounded by Explosive Device at Gaza Border


Israel's Netanyahu attacks 'dangerous Iranian tiger'
Israel's prime minister has launched a stinging attack on Iran, telling a security conference in Munich it is the "greatest threat to our world". Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would "not allow Iran's regime to put a noose of terror around our neck". Mr Netanyahu drew a parallel between the 1938 Munich Agreement, seen as a failed attempt to appease Nazi Germany, and the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. He said the deal had only "unleashed a dangerous Iranian tiger".

Mr Netanyahu accused Iran's foreign minister and representative in Munich, Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is due to address delegates later on Sunday, of being the "smooth-talking mouthpiece of Iran's regime... [who] lies with eloquence". He said Iran was falsely denying that it sent a drone into Israeli territory last week which was shot down by Israeli forces. Holding up a remnant of what he said was the destroyed drone, he addressed Mr Zarif directly: "Do you recognise it? You should, it's yours. Don't test us." BBC correspondent Jonathan Marcus, at the conference, says this theatricality was vintage Benjamin Netanyahu, from a prime minister embattled at home with potential corruption charges looming over his head.
Why the recent spike in tensions?
The immediate trigger is last week's confrontation - the first known direct engagement between the Israeli and Iranian militaries. Israel launched raids against Iranian targets in Syria after saying it had intercepted an Iranian drone crossing the Syria-Israel border.
During the offensive, an Israeli F-16 fighter jet was shot down by Syrian air defences, its pilots ejecting in northern Israel. It was believed to be the first time Israel had lost a jet in combat since 2006. After the attack, Mr Netanyahu said Iran had "brazenly violated Israel's sovereignty" and vowed that Israel would defend itself.
What about in the longer term?
The rivalry between Iran and Israel has been exacerbated in recent years by the regional instability - from the toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, which removed a counterweight to Iranian regional power, to the ongoing proxy war being fought between many different powers in Syria. Israel is a vocal opponent of the 2015 deal struck between Iran and six world powers which lifted crippling sanctions in exchange for curbs on Iran's nuclear programme.
Mr Netanyahu will be followed on to the stage in Munich by Iran's Foreign Minister Zarif and it is a moot point who will be the more welcome guest, says the BBC's Jonathan Marcus. While there is strong support in Europe for the nuclear deal with Iran, there is a growing sense in several capitals that more must be done to curb Iran's destabilising regional role. It has emerged as one of the great victors from the chaos in Syria.
How will the speech be seen from Israel?
The Israeli prime minister was speaking with the huge shadow of potential corruption charges hanging over his head. He is likely to direct his Munich appearance as much at his domestic audience as to the wider international community, our correspondent says, insisting that he remains the essential leader for Israel at a time of growing regional competition.

Friday, 16 February 2018

America's Nikki Haley Tells UN: Iran’s Attack on Israel is ‘Wake-up Call’ to the World!!

World Israel News
Haley Tells UN: Iran’s Attack on Israel is ‘Wake-up Call’ to the World

Why Silicon Valley Billionaires Are Now Prepping For The Coming Apocalypse In New Zealand!!

New post on Now The End Begins

Why Silicon Valley Billionaires Are Now Prepping For The Coming Apocalypse In New Zealand

by Geoffrey Grider


If you’re interested in the end of the world, you’re interested in New Zealand. If you’re interested in how our current cultural anxieties – climate catastrophe, decline of transatlantic political orders, resurgent nuclear terror – manifest themselves in apocalyptic visions, you’re interested in the place occupied by this distant archipelago of apparent peace and stability against the roiling unease of the day.

"But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." 2 Peter 3:10 (KJV)
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story fascinates me. From a Christian perspective we know what's going to happen. But the unsaved lost people in this world, while they use terms like 'being saved", 'salvation' and others, they really have no idea what's coming. Even a baby Christian understands that, for those who will go through the time of Jacob's trouble after the Rapture of the Church, there will be no safe hiding place in New Zealand or any other country in the world. With the exception of the Jews who flee to the Red Rock City of Selah, Petra, that is. Flock to New Zealand all you like and build the biggest underground bunkers your billions will buy you, but here is what God has to say about that...
"And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" Revelation 6:15-17 (KJV)
If you’re interested in the end of the world, you would have been interested, soon after Donald Trump’s election as US president, to read a New York Times headline stating that Peter Thiel, the billionaire venture capitalist who co-founded PayPal and was an early investor in Facebook, considered New Zealand to be “the Future”. Because if you are in any serious way concerned about the future, you’re also concerned about Thiel, a canary in capitalism’s coal mine who also happens to have profited lavishly from his stake in the mining concern itself.
Thiel is in one sense a caricature of outsized villainy: he was the only major Silicon Valley figure to put his weight behind the Trump presidential campaign; he vengefully bankrupted a website because he didn’t like how they wrote about him; he is known for his public musings about the incompatibility of freedom and democracy, and for expressing interest – as though enthusiastically pursuing the clunkiest possible metaphor for capitalism at its most vampiric – in a therapy involving transfusions of blood from young people as a potential means of reversing the ageing process. But in another, deeper sense, he is pure symbol: less a person than a shell company for a diversified portfolio of anxieties about the future, a human emblem of the moral vortex at the centre of the market.

It was in 2011 that Thiel declared he’d found “no other country that aligns more with my view of the future than New Zealand”.

The claim was made as part of an application for citizenship; the application was swiftly granted, though it remained a secret for a further six years. In 2016, Sam Altman, one of Silicon Valley’s most influential entrepreneurs, revealed to the New Yorker that he had an arrangement with Thiel whereby in the eventuality of some kind of systemic collapse scenario – synthetic virus breakout, rampaging AI, resource war between nuclear-armed states, so forth – they both get on a private jet and fly to a property Thiel owns in New Zealand. (The plan from this point, you’d have to assume, was to sit out the collapse of civilisation before re-emerging to provide seed-funding for, say, the insect-based protein sludge market.)
In the immediate wake of that Altman revelation, Matt Nippert, a reporter for the New Zealand Herald, began looking into the question of how exactly Thiel had come into possession of this apocalypse retreat, a 477-acre former sheep station in the South Island – the larger, more sparsely populated of the country’s two major landmasses. Foreigners looking to purchase significant amounts of New Zealand land typically have to pass through a stringent government vetting process. In Thiel’s case, Nippert learned, no such process had been necessary, because he was already a citizen of New Zealand, despite having spent no more than 12 days in the country up to that point, and having not been seen in the place since. He didn’t even need to travel to New Zealand to have his citizenship conferred, it turned out: the deal was sealed in a private ceremony at a consulate handily located in Santa Monica.
When Nippert broke the story, there was a major public scandal over the question of whether a foreign billionaire should be able to effectively purchase citizenship. As part of his application, Thiel had agreed to invest in New Zealand tech startups, and had implied that he would use his new status as a naturalised Kiwi to promote the country’s business interests abroad. But the focus internationally was on why Thiel might have wanted to own a chunk of New Zealand roughly the size of lower Manhattan in the first place. And the overwhelming suspicion was that he was looking for a rampart to which he could retreat in the event of outright civilisational collapse.
Because this is the role that New Zealand now plays in our unfurling cultural fever dream: an island haven amid a rising tide of apocalyptic unease. According to the country’s Department of Internal Affairs, in the two days following the 2016 election the number of Americans who visited its website to enquire about the process of gaining New Zealand citizenship increased by a factor of 14 compared to the same days in the previous month. In particular, New Zealand has come to be seen as a bolthole of choice for Silicon Valley’s tech elite.
In the immediate aftermath of Trump’s election, the theme of American plutocrats preparing for the apocalypse was impossible to avoid. The week after the inauguration, the New Yorker ran another piece about the super-rich who were making preparations for a grand civilisational crackup; speaking of New Zealand as a “favored refuge in the event of a cataclysm”, billionaire LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, a former colleague of Thiel’s at PayPal, claimed that “saying you’re ‘buying a house in New Zealand’ is kind of a wink, wink, say no more”.

Everyone is always saying these days that it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism.

Everyone is always saying it, in my view, because it’s obviously true. The perception, paranoid or otherwise, that billionaires are preparing for a coming civilisational collapse seems a literal manifestation of this axiom. Those who are saved, in the end, will be those who can afford the premium of salvation. And New Zealand, the furthest place from anywhere, is in this narrative a kind of new Ararat: a place of shelter from the coming flood. source

Forget the “Terrorists,” What about Your Own Government, Mr. Sisi?

New post on Raymond Ibrahim

Forget the “Terrorists,” What about Your Own Government, Mr. Sisi?

by Raymond Ibrahim
Coptic Solidarity. It is one thing for Egyptian President Sisi not to be able to prevent surprise Islamic terror attacks against Egypt’s Christians, the Copts.  But what does one make of the fact that his own government also discriminates against and persecutes the Copts? Most recently, a court sentenced 19 Muslim defendants to a one-year […]
Raymond Ibrahim | February 15, 2018 at 2:10 am | Categories: Articles | URL:

TEMA: To Every Man An Answer 2/15/18

Thursday, 15 February 2018



Israel Is Fighting A Five-Front War

"One could call it a "low-intensity conflict" but the fact is no day passes by without news which supports the conclusion that the IDF is fighting an asymmetrical war against implacable foes on five fronts.


The Hamas-ISIS War

What do Muslim terrorists do when they are not killing "infidels" and non-Muslims? It is simple: They start killing each other.


You Might Be Considered a Domestic Terrorist If This New Bill Passes

When you hear the word "patriot" do you think of someone who stands for the national anthem, perhaps serves in the Armed Forces, and loves their country? Well, "patriot" may become a dirty word if the new Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2018 becomes a law.

Can Russian President Vladimir Putin remain neutral should another Iranian provocation lead to an additional, perhaps stronger Israeli response?


Russia's Syrian Conundrum

Can Russian President Vladimir Putin remain neutral should another Iranian provocation lead to an additional, perhaps stronger Israeli response?


Gaza Needs To Look In The Mirror

At every point in the last century, the Palestinians have chosen war instead of peace. They prioritized a war whose goal remains Israel's destruction over building a state that could live in peace alongside that of the Jews.


LGTB Affirming Churches Add Rainbow Glitter To Ash Wednesday

Catholic LGTB supporters and numerous left leaning protestant churches throughout the United States and Canada intend to show their support for inclusion of the LGTB community by wearing "glitter ash" on their foreheads to mark Ash Wednesday.