Archive for January 2011
Date: January 28, 2011
Contact: Jenn Ettinger, 202-265-1490 x 35
WASHINGTON — A U.S. company appears to have sold Egypt technology to monitor Internet and mobile phone traffic that is possibly being used by the ruling regime to crack down on communications as protests erupt throughout the country. Boeing-owned, California-based company Narus sold Telecom Egypt, the state-run Internet service provider, “real-time traffic intelligence” equipment, more commonly known as Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) technology. DPI is content-filtering technology that allows network managers to inspect, track and target content from Internet users and mobile phones as it passes through routers on the Web.
The company is also known for creating “NarusInsight,” a supercomputer system allegedly used by the National Security Agency and other entities to perform mass surveillance and monitoring of public and corporate Internet communications in real time.
Narus Vice President of Marketing Steve Bannerman said to Wired in 2006: “Anything that comes through (an Internet protocol network), we can record. We can reconstruct all of their e-mails along with attachments, see what web pages they clicked on, we can reconstruct their [Voice Over Internet Protocol] calls.”
Free Press Campaign Director Timothy Karr made the following statement:
“What we are seeing in Egypt is a frightening example of how the power of technology can be abused. Commercial operators trafficking in Deep Packet Inspection technology to violate Internet users’ privacy is bad enough; in government hands, that same invasion of privacy can quickly lead to stark human rights violations.
“Companies that profit from sales of this technology need to be held to a higher standard. The same technology U.S. and European companies want to use to monitor and monetize their customers’ online activities is being used by regimes in Iran, China, Burma and others for far more suspicious, and possibly brutal, purposes.
“The harm to democracy and the power to control the Internet are so disturbing that the threshold for the global trafficking in DPI must be set very high. That’s why, before DPI becomes more widely used around the world and at home, Congress must establish legitimate standards for preventing the use of such control and surveillance technologies as means to violate human rights.”
For more information, read Karr’s story at the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/timothy-karr/one-us-corporations-role-_b_815281.html
with a Shelf Life of Only 36 Months for a Specific Disaster Scenario?
They sure seem convinced there will be a big disaster here soon. How much do you think 140 million MRE’s will cost?
Spotted by cryptogon January 23rd, 2011:
I’m sure that there are plenty of reasons why this isn’t weird, but I’ll just make a note of it in case Coincidence strikes.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) procures and stores pre-packaged commercial meals to support readiness capability for immediate distribution to disaster survivors routinely. The purpose of this Request for Information is to identify sources of supply for meals in support of disaster relief efforts based on a catastrophic disaster event within the New Madrid Fault System for a survivor population of 7M to be utilized for the sustainment of life during a 10-day period of operations. FEMA is considering the following specifications (14M meals per day):
- Serving Size – 12 ounce (entree not to exceed 480 calorie count);
- Maximum calories – 1200 and/or 1165 per meal;
- Protein parameters – 29g-37g kit;
- Trans Fat – 0;
- Saturated Fat – 13 grams (9 calories per gram);
- Total Fat – 47 grams (less than 10% calories);
- Maximum sodium – 800-930 mg;
Requested Menus to include snacks (i.e. fruit mix, candy, chocolate/peanut butter squeezers, drink mix, condiments, and utensils). All meals/kits must have 36 months of remaining shelf life upon delivery. Packaging should be environmentally friendly.
Now the government wants @ 1.3 Million gallons of fuel in addition to the 14M Blankets, Meals, and Body bags in adjacent states:
The Government has a presolicitation notice out for 24-thousand gallons of gasoline and 135,000 gallons of diesel in each state for NC, SC, GA, FL, AL, MS, TX, and LA. That’s 1.272 million gallons they’re looking for. Vendors will be required to maintain readiness capability and deliver within 24 hours notice and provide mobile refueling in the event of a disaster to and within a 300 mile radius of mobilization areas.
01/22/2011 by Juan Cole Informed Comment
People are blaming the abrupt departure of Keith Olbermann from MSNBC on that company’s merger with Comcast and Olbermann’s loss of the protection and patronage of Jeff Zucker, the former head of NBC programming. MSNBC says that the issue has nothing to do with Comcast.
It seems Olbermann is too extreme for US television. But Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, now they are mainstream. What universe could that proposition be true in? That of cranky old white billionaires. And television news is owned by them. Not by you.
Whether Comcast is the villain of the piece directly, things like the Comcast merger with MSNBC are responsible for there being very few voices on American television (and despite the proliferation of channels) like Olbermann’s. And for there being relatively little news on the “news” programs. Time Warner, General Electric and Comcast (partners in NBC), Viacom, Disney, and Rupert Murdoch’s Newscorp own almost all television news. In other words, six big corporations determine what you will hear about the world if you get your news from television. There are fewer and fewer t.v. news outlets that do not belong to one of these six, a process called media consolidation.
For reasons of profit-seeking, when Disney acquired ABC, it looted the company’s news divisions. Profits are not to be had in hard news, but rather in tabloid news. It used to be that human interest stories would be ‘dessert,’ but they have become the main meal.
Ironically,former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw was one of Olbermann’s biggest critics, afraid that the latter’s flamboyant and polarizing style would tarnish the reputation of regular NBC newsmen for objectivity.
What Brokaw seems not to have noticed is that NBC and MSNBC did, like most television news, a miserable job of covering the Iraq issue in 2002-2003–mainly buying White House propaganda. The powerful bias toward the point of view of the rich and powerful and well-connected in Washington demonstrated by all the major tv news outlets in 2002-2003 makes Olbermann look like a staid centrist.
But the FCC has passed it.
We’ll miss Keith. But it isn’t about him. It is about the ever-narrowing character of public comment in the US, about the few having most of everything. It is about media consolidation.
Who Owns The Media? The 6 Monolithic Corporations That Control Almost Everything We Watch, Hear And Read
By Niall Stanage: “The smugness, the narcissism, the never-ending parade of yes-man guests: Goodnight and good riddance!”
“Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.” – Frantz Fanon
“Killing One Person Is MURDER–Killing 100,000 Is FOREIGN POLICY.” – Anonymous
January 20, 2011″BlackCommentator” — The United States of America is, in reality, a one-party corporatist state whose very existence is, more than ever, perpetuated by a conscious deliberate denial of reality, even in the face of the obvious.
This nation’s internal and external political, economic, and military policies have nothing whatever to do with “democracy,” “justice,” or “human rights;” and everything to do with exploitation, hegemony, deceit, and control of the many–by the few. No amount of rationalization can change or ameliorate this fact.
Everyday Black, White, Brown, Red, and Yellow people in this actual one-party U.S. corporatist state are the de facto cannon fodder of the corporate / military Democratic and Republican Party foxes and wolves respectively. Moreover, it is utterly absurd and delusionary to expect “hope” to bring about much-needed systemic “change.” The time is here for the people of this nation to dispense with myths, face reality, and change it.
Corporations are in constant covert (and often unabashed overt) control of the White House, the congress, and the judiciary, even as this nation’s infrastructure deteriorates and living standards plummet–along with decent living wages and opportunities for everyday people. The two Rs–Rhetoric and Repression–are what the masses of everyday people are the daily recipients. Meanwhile, the corporate elite of corporations including Honeywell, General Electic, Lockheed, Boeing, and so very many more– rake in billions upon billions of dollars in blood money as they develop and perfect ever more sinister and devastatingly hideous devices and killing machines–to the scourge of humankind and the entire planet. There is no war (declared or undeclared) that the corporate / military elite do not support–for whether any war itself is won or lost–this avaricious corporate / military elite wins. They smugly and arrogantly wrap themselves in apparent political expediency under the cover of grotesquely distorted patriotism–sanctimoniously financially enriching themselves–while bathing in the precious irreplaceable blood of everyday people of this nation and that of people around the globe. This is the corporate trough from which the politicians of this nation drink and to which they are beholden.
With over 800 U.S. military bases / installations throughout this planet–the amoral symbiotic relationship between corporations and politicans in this nation (including the judiciary and ever-compliant corporate-stream “news” media) reeks with the stench of hypocrisy, injustice, subterfuge, and death. As the present robotic, black-faced, corporate / military, nominal head of the U.S. empire shamelessly wages military wars abroad while facilitating repression against political dissenters and against any possibility of having informed, honest, and real dialouge at home; the hypocrisy of ‘America’s’ so called democracy is self evident whether or not people choose to see the obvious.