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Leaked Documents Show U.S. Government Tracking Journalists Through a Secret Database

Leaked Documents Show U.S. Government Tracking Journalists Through a Secret Database

Welcome to Trumpworld.

The President has little appreciation for liberty or the dangers of a growing police state. And those working under him understand this and act accordingly.

He is as bad as most other presidents. The only difference being that there is a group of about 30% of the population, MAGA people, who don’t understand this and believe he is going to protect them from the expanding state.

From NBC News:

Customs and Border Protection has compiled a list of 59 mostly American reporters, attorneys and activists for border agents to stop for questioning when crossing the U.S-Mexican border at San Diego-area checkpoints, and agents have questioned or arrested at least 21 of them, according to documents obtained by NBC station KNSD-TV and interviews with people on the list. Several people on the list confirmed to NBC News that they had been pulled aside at the border after the date the list was compiled and were told they were being questioned as part of a “national security investigation.”… 

One lawyer from the list who was recently stopped at a San Diego-area crossing, Nicole Ramos, refugee director for Al Otro Lado, a law center for migrants in Tijuana, Mexico, learned from NBC News that CBP had compiled a dossier of information on her. The dossier included personal details such as her mother’s name, her social media pictures, the car she drives and her work and travel history. “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 said.

Technology: Distracting, Disturbing, Deceiving & Deluding Ourselves to Death

TECHNOLOGY: DISTRACTING, DISTURBING, DECEIVING & DELUDING OURSELVES TO DEATH

“What Huxley teaches is that in the age of advanced technology, spiritual devastation is more likely to come from an enemy with a smiling face than from one whose countenance exudes suspicion and hate. In the Huxleyan prophecy, Big Brother does not watch us, by his choice. We watch him, by ours. There is no need for wardens or gates or Ministries of Truth. 

When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; a culture-death is a clear possibility.” ― Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

Image result for huxley amusing ourselves to death

Something as mundane as using the restroom at work sometimes ends up triggering deeper thoughts about technology – its benefits, deficiencies and danger to our culture. I’ve been using the same restroom at work for the last twelve years. They remodeled the restroom a few years ago with the latest technology – automatic flushers, automatic soap dispensers, automatic spigots, and automatic towel dispenser. This technology is supposed to make things better, but from my perspective the technology just added complexity, glitches and unnecessary complications.

First off, these technological “improvements” did not eliminate any humans from the equation. The housekeepers responsible for the restrooms continued to be employed. Prior to the remodel they would fill a metal bin with individual paper towels and fill the soap dispenser with liquid soap. Now they have to insert a roll of paper towels in the electronic dispenser and a cartridge of soap in the electronic soap dispenser.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

A Brief History Of Fake News

A Brief History Of Fake News


The biggest weakness of liberal editors is that they need to reflect their world view.

When news broke out of Germany that an award-winning reporter for Der Spiegel had been exposed as a serial fabricator, my first inclination, before delving into the details, was to assume a certain way the story would unfold. It would involve a writer reporting from a leftist viewpoint in a highly literary, as opposed to fact-driven, manner.

Check and check. Claas Relotius, honored in 2014 as CNN’s “Journalist of the Year,” was especially adept at a stylized form of “reporting” that read like good fiction. His articles often featured lazy anti-American stereotypes that serve as easy comfort food for European leftists: vigilantes on the Mexican border, death penalty eyewitnesses. Relotius provided himself a lively palette from which to paint his biased fiction.

Relotius will go down in shame with other famous journalist hoaxers, yet the people who most enabled his betrayal of the reader will likely avoid similar ignominy. Which is head-scratching because if a criminal profiler were to come up with a pattern for these kinds of frauds, they would find one constant: editors who were hoodwinked because their fake reporters were writing exactly what they wanted to read.

Janet Cooke

The original black eye to the mainstream leftist journalism machine came in 1980 with the infamous Janet Cooke caper at The Washington Post. Cooke, a 26-year-old reporter, won the Pulitzer Prize for an article on an 8-year-old heroin addict named Jimmy. The article featured that same literary style of reporting that reads like a good book instead of an informative news article. And it fit perfectly into a liberal editor’s wheelhouse with its stirring, highly-personalized account of a minority social crisis in need of a solution, as written by a black woman.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Leaked Memo Touts UK-Funded Firm’s Ability To Create “Untraceable” News Sites For “Infowar Campaign”

The hacking collective known as “Anonymous” has published more explosive documents detailing a UK-based psyop to create a “large-scale information secret service” in Europe in order to combat “Russian propaganda”  which has been blamed for everything from Brexit to Trump winning the 2016 US election to this month’s anti-Macron “Yellow Vest” protests.

We previously detailed the first trove of documents which were dumped online November 5th to the site Cyberguerilla, revealing the private UK organization with deep government ties, the Integrity Initiative, to be engaged in an aggressive campaign to organize “clusters” of journalists across the West engaged in “counter-propaganda” efforts on social media networks and in media. And now a new trove of leaked Integrity Initiative documents has been dumped online Friday.

“Combatting Russian Disinformation” – Screenshot from a bombshell newly leaked document published Friday and hosted on the Cyberguerilla site.
This week the Integrity Initiative and its founding parent organization, the Institute for Statecraft — which is known for its close relationship with the UK military and defense officials — is at the center of debate in the House of Commons over its anti-Corbyn and anti-Labour smears involving labeling party leader Jeremy Corbyn a “useful idiot” for Moscow, even while the company is a recipient of official Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) funding.
The early November online leaks of confidential Integrity Initiative documents were the first to reveal the UK government’s relationship to the private project devoted to “fighting Russian disinformation”. According to The Guardian:

FCO funding of the Integrity Initiative was revealed by a set of stolen documents posted online last month by hackers under the banner of the Anonymous hacktivist collective.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Trump and Big Media: Clash or Collusion?

Trump and Big Media: Clash or Collusion?

Now that the media is protesting the suspension of Jim Acosta’s credentials Sam Husseini asks why he and the other journalists didn’t intervene on his behalf when he was expelled from a news conference.


CNN’s Jim Acosta has had his White House press credentials suspended following a tense exchange with Trump on Wednesday. CNN, the White House Correspondents’ Association and others have denounced the move.

CNN says it’s “Facts First.” That’s about as believable as Trump’s claim of “America First.” Some see aggressive journalism here. I see media logrolling, and “frenemies” at play.

On a superficial level, I empathize with Acosta. At press conferences I try to ask tough questions. At State Department briefings, spokeswoman Heather Nauert has carefully avoided calling on me, especially after this exchange when she refused to say what State’s position was on torture and evaded criticizing Saudi Arabia and Israel.

I was suspended from the National Press Club for a time (the ethics committee eventually overturned it) after confronting a Saudi autocrat at the start of the Arab uprisings. And this summer I was forcibly ejected from the Trump-Putin news conference in Helsinki for nothing more than carrying a sign with the subject of my question — a tactic I hoped would increase my chances of getting called on.

Acosta seems eager for solidarity just now.

Husseini: Kicked out.

This is interesting in part because of how he and his network failed to extend that same solidarity to me that day in Helsinki. Among other things, after I was forced out of the room, while clutching my sign, “Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty,” Anderson Cooper asked Acosta what was going on.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Presstitutes Abandon Journalism For Political Activism

Presstitutes Abandon Journalism For Political Activism

When President Trump nominated Jeff Sessions as his Attorney General, the presstitutes were opposed to Sessions and declared him unfit for office. Now that he has been fired, the presstitutes are his champions.

There are reports that MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow has organized a protest march for today denouncing Trump for firing Sessions. https://news.grabien.com/story-msnbcs-maddow-organizing-street-marches-protest-sessions-fir

CNN’s Jake Tapper added his view of the firing as “that’s how gangsters act” and got John Dean from the Watergate era to delare that Sessions’ firing was “planned like a murder.” https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2018/11/07/saturday-night-massacre-sessions-john-dean-jake-tapper-newsroom-intv-bts-vpx.cnn

It is the same story elsewhere in the presstitute media.

The presstitutes are upset about Sessions being fired, because Sessions recused himself from the Russiagate investigation, thus permitting Mueller to go beyond his mandate. Mueller’s indictment of Manafort, for example, has nothing whatsoever to do with Russiagate. The Trump-hating presstitutes and Trump-hating Democrats still hope to make something of the investigation that has come up completely empty after two years, whereas a functioning attorney general will close down the investigation as having found nothing and wandered off into unrelated matters.

As Maddow illustrates, the presstitutes have become political activists who use their media positions not to report, but to campaign against Trump, whether it is Maddow over Sessions or CNN’s Jim Acosta over the caravan from Honduras. https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2018/11/07/white-house-suspends-jim-acostas-press-pass-after-combative-briefing/

Did Acosta show any concern for Hondurans when “America’s First Black President” overthrew the democratically elected government and installed Washington’s man?

Indeed, Larry King, a CNN host for 25 years said that CNN stopped doing news in order to do in Trump. https://thehill.com/homenews/media/415669-larry-king-hits-cnn-stopped-doing-news-to-focus-on-trump

NPR plays the same game. It is Trump, Trump, Trump every day.

All MSM Pundits Are Whores For Power Like Hannity; He’s Just Honest About It

All MSM Pundits Are Whores For Power Like Hannity; He’s Just Honest About It

I just watched a CNN segment featuring Republican and Democratic panelists reacting with shock and astonishment over the news that Sean Hannity appeared on stage in support of President Trump during a campaign rally. That’s right, Sean Hannity is politically biased. I’ll wait for you to catch your breath.

“It was completely inappropriate,” sputtered panelist Tara Setmeyer about the rally. “They’re living in another world over there. It was like a college homecoming. They’re talking about, you know, owning the libs, and how the faces of the left-wing media, what we’re going to look like on Wednesday morning.”

We. On a panel discussing how shocking and appalling it is for media figures to openly involve themselves in partisan political agendas, a CNN staff political commentator said “we” when referring to the “left-wing media” Trump and his sycophants like Hannity attack. Leaving aside the impressive feat of social engineering which has allowed a warmongering, Wall Street-coddling corporate propaganda firm like CNN to refer to itself as “left-wing”, it is worth noting that Setmeyer said this, and that she said it because the staff of both Fox and CNN are acutely aware of their respective partisan biases.

Setmeyer is acknowledging that the bias is there, but essentially just arguing that it’s wrong to cross the line into blatantly acknowledging it. In effect, she is making the argument that it’s better for mass media firms to tacitly lie to their audiences by pretending to some extent that they are unbiased and impartial.

Mixed in with all the chatter about the US midterms is a cloud of outrage from the media class over Hannity’s supposed transgression.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Killing Journalists Is Wrong When the Saudis Do It — and When the United States Does It, Too

Killing Journalists Is Wrong When the Saudis Do It — and When the United States Does It, Too

Fatima Ayyoub (top R), 4, daughter of Jordanian Al Jazeera correspondent Tareq Ayyoub, is seen next to pictures of her father with Naeem Ayoub (L), father of Tareq Ayyoub, during a protest outside the Al Jazeera office in Amman Novmber 24, 2005. Ayyoub was a victim of a missile attack that hit the Al Jazeera bureau in Baghdad on April 8, 2003. Britain has warned media organisations they are breaking the law if they publish details of a leaked document said to show U.S. President George W. Bush wanted to bomb Arabic television station Al Jazeera. REUTERS/Majed Jaber - RP2DSFHMGFADTareq Ayoub’s daughter, Fatima, 4, and father, Naeem Ayoub, during a protest outside the Al Jazeera office in Amman on Nov. 24, 2005.

Photo: Majed Jaber/Reuters

WHAT LESSON SHOULD be learned from the brutal murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi and the ongoing geopolitical fallout from his death? That governments cannot be allowed to kill journalists with impunity, correct? Everyone from the secretary general of the United Nations to hawkish Republican senators have lined up to make this point and to express their concern and anger.

But is this a lesson that only applies to Middle Eastern dictatorships? Or to Western democracies, too? The United States, perhaps? The reason I ask is that we all now know the name of Arab journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but very few of us know the name of Arab journalist Tareq Ayoub.

The difference between them? An unelected crown prince in the Gulf is blamed for killing Khashoggi, while an elected president of the United States has been blamed for killing Ayoub.

We rightly demand justice in the case of Khashoggi, so why not in the case of Ayoub?

On the morning of April 8, 2003, less than three weeks after U.S. President George W. Bush ordered the illegal invasion of Iraq, Al Jazeera reporter Tareq Ayoub was on the rooftop of his network’s Baghdad bureau. The 35-year-old Palestinian from Jordan and his Iraqi cameraperson, Zoheir Nadhim, were reporting live on a pitched battle between U.S. and Iraqi forces for control of the capital. It was just three days after Ayoub had arrived in the country.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Lynching Journalists

Lynching Journalists

Washington Post Global Opinions correspondent, Jamal Khashoggi, who is Saudi, entered his country’s consulate in Istanbul Tuesday of last week and hasn’t been seen since. Worse, Turkish officials say that Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate, his body dismembered, and then sneaked out of the building—lynched, you might say, and then disappeared, instead of hanged from a tree. The journalist had written articles critical of his country’s young leader, Mohammad bin Salman, the 33-year-old crown prince, who considers himself something of a liberal or at least as a reformer. How ironic that this barbarian act happened in Turkey, where in recent years more journalists have disappeared than in any other country (245 as of earlier this year, though, far as we know, none have been murdered).

Almost simultaneously with the incident in Istanbul, a 30-year-old Bulgarian journalist, Viktoria Marinova, was brutally raped and killed in Ruse, in the northeast of the country, where she was employed as a TV commentator. She had been a political investigator. Nor was she the only European journalist murdered during the past year. Daphne Caruana Galizia, similarly reporting on political issues (corruption in the government), was killed in Malta by a car bomb. And Jan Kuciak, a Slovakian journalist also working on government corruption, was shot and killed along with his fiancée.

Killing journalists has become a growth industry. In April, Jason Rezaian (another Global Opinions writer for the Washington Post, who was held captive in Iran for 544 days) described the deaths of journalists in Nicaragua, India, Brazil and Mexico during the past year. He cites President Rodrigo Duterte, of the Philippines, as saying, “Just because you’re a journalist you are not exempted from assassination, if you’re a son-of-a-bitch.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Government Can Spy On Journalists in the U.S. Using Invasive Foreign Intelligence Process

THE U.S. GOVERNMENT can monitor journalists under a foreign intelligence law that allows invasive spying and operates outside the traditional court system, according to newly released documents.

Targeting members of the press under the law, known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, requires approval from the Justice Department’s highest-ranking officials, the documents show.

In two 2015 memos for the FBI, the attorney general spells out “procedures for processing Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act applications targeting known media entities or known members of the media.” The guidelines say the attorney general, the deputy attorney general, or their delegate must sign off before the bureau can bring an application to the secretive panel of judges who approves monitoring under the 1978 act, which governs intelligence-related wiretapping and other surveillance carried out domestically and against U.S. persons abroad.

The high level of supervision points to the controversy around targeting members of the media at all. Prior to the release of these documents, little was known about the use of FISA court orders against journalists. Previous attention had been focused on the use of National Security Letters against members of the press; the letters are administrative orders with which the FBI can obtain certain phone and financial records without a judge’s oversight. FISA court orders can authorize much more invasive searches and collection, including the content of communications, and do so through hearings conducted in secret and outside the sort of adversarial judicial process that allows journalists and other targets of regular criminal warrants to eventually challenge their validity.

“This is a huge surprise,” said Victoria Baranetsky, general counsel with the Center for Investigative Reporting, previously of Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press. “It makes me wonder, what other rules are out there, and how have these rules been applied? The next step is figuring out how this has been used.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Controversy around Skin in the Game

The Controversy around Skin in the Game

Skin in the Game is another addition to the Incerto, now volume 5; I avoided duplication by referring to where in the Incerto some points were developed such as via negativa or monoculture of forecasters or expert problems. You simply don’t repeat in chapter 23 what was said in chapter 5, but can make reference to it.

Now it so happens that I am in the BS busting category, which includes journalists (especially journalists). And the book is designed to be hated by BS operators who can be book reviewers. I instructed publishers to send the book to only doers, not people who make a verbagiastic living.

Let me say it again. I am intolerant of BS; I suffers no fools except when the BS is harmless.

The Judgment of Cambyses

So far three journalists have, while uninvited, attempted to do a (sort of) hack job: John Gapper (FT), Zoe Williams (Guardian), and Phil Coggan (Economist; yes I am outing him, SITG). The problem however is that they agree with the general message of the book (who doesn’t ?) except in what concerns them, so the best way is to perform some assassination on side points: 1) find what appears to be a “flaw”, 2) use the technique of Sam Harris, i.e. make the author look like a hateful spiteful person who hates everybody simply because he doesn’t like bullshitters. The problem of course is that it is hard to claim I am against all experts, not just the .1% faux experts so they disguize the claim as a he is a “hates everybody” type of fellow.

Also note that the book isn’t about SITG but the weird consequences (modern slavery, looks of surgeons, rationality of survival, religious practices, commercial ethics, Lindy effects, and, mostly, risk taking). You will also notice that given the homework done by journos, the “flaws” happen to be in the beginning, never at the end.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Turkey Has The Most Jailed Journalists Worldwide

Turkey Has The Most Jailed Journalists Worldwide

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a record 262 journalists are being held in prisons around the world.

As Statista’s Niall McCarthy notes, nearly three-quarters of them are being held on anti-state charges while at least 21 have been charged with “false news”.

The worst three jailers are responsible for 51 percent of the total…

Infographic: Turkey Has The Most Jailed Journalists Worldwide | Statista

You will find more statistics at Statista

Turkey is the top jailer of journalists for the second consecutive year with 73 languishing behind bars. The Turkish press experienced a crackdown in early 2016 and this gained pace after July’s failed coup attempt.

The CPJ identified 41 jailed journalists in second-placed China while Egypt rounds off the top-three with 20.

Has Trump Made It Easier to Spy on Journalists? Lawsuit Demands Answers.

National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director William Evanina (2ndR), US Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R) and bodyguards stand at the Department of Justice during an announcement about leaking of classified information on August 4, 2017 in Washington, DC.US Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday condemned the 'staggering number' of leaks emanating from President Donald Trump's administration, as he vowed a crackdown on people revealing classified or sensitive national security information. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

PRESS FREEDOM GROUPS filed suit today to force the government to disclose more about how and when it obtains journalists’ communications, amid reports that the Department of Justice under Attorney General Jeff Sessions is pursuing a record number of leak investigations.

The question the groups hope to answer is whether the Trump administration — openly hostile toward news media — has jettisoned or modified rules that limit the government’s ability to spy on journalists while they do their jobs.

Those rules were made more stringent by former President Barack Obama’s attorney general Eric Holder in 2014, after outcry when it was revealed that the administration had secretly obtained call records from the Associated Press and surveilled a Fox News reporter, naming him a co-conspirator in a national security leak case. Holder pledged that his department would go after journalists’ records in criminal cases only as a “last resort.”

Carrie DeCell, a staff attorney with Knight First Amendment Institute, which is bringing the suit along with the Freedom of the Press Foundation, said that “we have seen the DOJ media guidelines that Obama released, but we understand that Sessions is reconsidering those guidelines, and the way the government uses subpoenas against journalists.”

In August, Sessions announced that his department was reviewing the guidelines as part of a crackdown on leaks but did not specify what changes might be made. Sessions also told Congress this month that he has 27 investigations open into leaks of classified information to reporters – compared to just three last year. (Not all leaks are illegal, and many of the disclosures that Trump has publicly complained about would likely not be considered criminal.)

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Is the Mexican Government Spying on Journalists?

Is the Mexican Government Spying on Journalists?

On the season finale of ‘CYBERWAR,’ Ben Makuch investigates why government spyware is cropping up on Mexican reporters’ smartphones.

On Tuesday, VICELAND is airing the season finale of CYBERWAR, sending Ben Makuch to Mexico to investigate the government’s potentially fraught use of hacking tools. Mexican authorities purchased spyware for their fight against drug cartels—but now a spate of watchdog journalists covering government corruption have detected the invasive software on their smartphones.

Why Is Google Hiring 1,000 Journalists To Flood Newsrooms Around America?

Why Is Google Hiring 1,000 Journalists To Flood Newsrooms Around America?

So what do you do when you fail to elect your chosen candidate and your former political allies and mainstream media turn against youby painting you not as the ‘progressive’, open-minded, friendly tech company that you used to be but as an evil, racist, Russian-colluding corporate villain intent upon destroying all that is sacred in the world?  Well, you just buy the media, of course.

As Poynter notes today, after a series of public relations debacles in recent weeks, from the firing of James Damore to news last week that Google’s algos served up some fairly disturbing keywords to potential advertising buyers (e.g. “Why Do Black People Ruin Neighborhoods“), Google is ramping up its media presence with the announcement that the Google News Lab will be working with Report For America (RFA) to hire 1,000 journalists all around the country. 

Many local newsrooms have been cut to the bone so often that there’s hardly any bone left. But starting early next year, some may get the chance to rebuild, at least by one.

On Monday, a new project was announced at the Google News Lab Summit that aims to place 1,000 journalists in local newsrooms in the next five years. Report For America takes ideas from several existing organizations, including the Peace Corps, Americorps, Teach for America and public media.

Unlike foreign or domestic service programs or public media, however, RFA gets no government funding. But they are calling RFA a national service project. That might make some journalists uncomfortable  – the idea of service and patriotism. But at its most fundamental, local journalism is about protecting democracy, said co-founder Charles Sennott, founder and CEO of the GroundTruth Project.

“I think journalism needs that kind of passion for public service to bring it back and to really address some of the ailments of the heart of journalism,” he said.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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