How To Defeat The Globalist System.

In my last two articles, ‘How Globalists Predict Your Behavior’ and ‘How To Predict The Behavior Of Globalists’, I explained the base fundamentals behind a concept with which most people are unfamiliar. They are so unfamiliar with it, in fact, that I didn’t bother to name it. In this article I hope to explain it, but I highly recommend people read the previous articles in this series before moving forward.

What I outlined, essentially, was a beginners course on 4th Generation Warfare. This methodology is difficult to summarize, but here I will list what I believe are some of its core tenets.

Fourth Gen warfare is based on a primary lesson within Sun Tzu’s The Art Of War. Sun Tzu argues in the classical military tome that the greatest strategists win wars by NOT fighting, or at least, by not fighting their opponents openly and directly. That is to say, they win by convincing their opponents that fighting back is futile and that surrender is preferable, or, they convince their opponents to destroy themselves through internal conflict and psychological sabotage. Sun Tzu felt this method was far superior to engaging in direct combat in a real world battle space.

While this might sound bizarre to some, it is becoming more and more apparent (in my view) that 4th Gen warfare is now the go-to weapon for globalists. Defeating the system established by the globalists, a system prevalent for decades, is an impossible task unless 4th Gen warfare is understood.

A classic example of a tried and true form of 4th Gen attack is to initiate a civil war within a target population, and in most cases, control the leadership on both sides of that conflict. Another method is to conjure an enemy, an outside threat which may be legitimate or entirely fabricated, and use that enemy to push a target population to unify under a particular banner that benefits the globalist cabal in the long run. Fourth Gen requires patience above all else.

In fact, I would say 4th Gen is the weaponization of patience.

A 4th Gen attack is not carried out over days, or months, but years. To find a comparable experience is difficult, but I would suggest people who have the tenacity set out to learn how military snipers operate. Can you train for years mastering long distance marksmanship, crawl for hours from an insertion point to an observation point, then sit in a hole in the ground (if you are lucky enough to have a hole in the ground) for days waiting to take just one shot, perhaps the only important shot you will ever take in combat, at a vital target, and do it with certainty that you will not miss?

The amount of planning, intense precision and foresight that goes into a sniper operation is much like the kind of effort and calm needed to complete a 4th Gen psy-ops mission. This kind of warfare is dominated by the “think tanks”, and anyone hoping to counter such tactics look into the history of one particular think tank — RAND Corporation, and their premier psy-ops tool — rational choice theory.

Whenever I hear someone argue that a conspiracy of globalists could not exist because “such plans would be too elaborate and require too much power to carry out in real life,” I have to laugh and bring up RAND, which has had almost limitless funding from globalist foundations like the Ford Foundation and was built specifically to develop not only next gen weapons, but 4th Gen psychological warfare schemes. RAND’s influence is everywhere, from politics, to the social sciences, to military applications and even in Hollywood. After studying their efforts for many years now I can say that these people are indeed smart. Some of them may not be aware of the greater consequences as they war game ideas for dominating the public, and some of them are undoubtedly morally bankrupt, but they are still smart, and should not be underestimated.

Another reference point I would suggest to researchers would be a document called From Psyop To Mindwar: The Psychology Of Victory written by Michael Aquino and Paul Vallely for the Pentagon. In it, they make it clear that the methods of 4th Generation warfare are not limited to foreign enemies. In fact, they are recommended for use by governments against their own populations. Again, the thrust of the methodology was to manipulate a target population into subduing itself, so that force was not necessary. Aquino and Vallely note that this would be a better outcome for everyone involved, because it would help to avoid the bloodshed of insurgency and counterinsurgency.

I am skeptical that these people care at all about bloodshed or collateral damage, but I do think they would very much like the process of totalitarian centralization to be less tedious. The elites hope to streamline tyranny by convincing the public that globalization must be embraced for “the greater good of the greater number.” But, in order to accomplish this vast change in society and the collective unconscious, they need crisis and calamity. They see themselves as creators, but for them, creation is about destruction. In other words, the old world must be destroyed so that they can use the leftover building blocks to make something new.

If we do not embrace their solution of global centralization rising from the ashes, they believe they have a response for that problem too. Read my article ‘When Elites Wage War On America, This Is How They Will Do It’; more specifically, the section on Max Boot from the Council On Foreign Relations. Boot is the CFR’s resident “insurgency expert,” and while I question his ability to apply academic models to real word conflicts as if theory is akin to practice in war, it is enough to know the mindset of these elitists.

Boot’s work focuses on a particular model of quarantining insurgencies from the non-combative population, based on the methods the British used against communist guerrillas in Malaysia. In fact, Max seems to revel in the British efforts to catalog Malaysian citizens and relocate them into large cities that amounted to concentration camps. This made recruitment difficult for the insurgents and stopped them from hiding among civilian centers. It also focused food production into highly managed areas and gave the British leverage over the population. With this separation, it was much easier for the authorities to “educate” the locals on the threats of the insurgency and gain their support.

So, the question is, if this array of tactics is going to be aimed at liberty proponents and free peoples within the U.S. in particular, with an increasing potential for things to become far worse in the near term, how do we fight back?

Firstly, I need to point out a disturbing trend within the liberty movement, which is the propensity for activists to show far more interest talking about the problem than talking about solutions. Over the years I have noticed a consistent lower readership on articles having to do with specific solutions and strategies; not just my own articles, but many other analysts as well. It is much more popular to write on the reality of looming crisis rather than to write about what individuals can do to blunt the edge of the event. I would not be surprised if this article receives only half of the readership my other articles receive.

The first step in fighting back in a 4th Gen war is to acknowledge that there is no easy way out. There is no way to change the corrupt system from within. There is no way to use politics and government to our advantage. Despite all the hopes activists have, Trump is not going to save you, or America. The Republican controlled House and Senate is not going to save us. There is nothing they could do even if they wanted to.

I will write in more detail on this in my next article, but actions such as shutting down the Fed alone are half measures that will actually exacerbate a crisis in the short term, rather than defuse one. A debt jubilee (another commonly mentioned false solution) is meaningless when the value of your world reserve currency on the global market is still destroyed in the process and your treasury bonds are no longer desirable.  Pushing corporations to create a few thousand manufacturing jobs here and there is a drop in the bucket when considering the 95 million people no longer counted in the U.S. labor force on top of the millions still officially considered unemployed. There is no stopping the ongoing economic collapse from running its course.  We will be required to take our medicine eventually, and this will happen sooner rather than later.

Here is what can be done, though, to mitigate the damage and fight back against the establishment…

Separation From The System

People are always looking for grand and cinematic solutions to fighting the globalists, but the real solutions are far less romantic. Defeating the “new world order” requires individuals to take smaller actions in their day-to-day lives. Becoming more self sufficient, the ability to provide one’s own necessities, the ability to defend one’s self and family, the move away from grid dependence, homeschooling your children, a healthy skepticism of web tied technologies and the “internet of things,” etc.

This does not mean you have to go build a cabin in the woods and start typing up a manifesto, but it does mean that you will have to sacrifice certain modern comforts and amenities and manage your life in a way that might feel strange at first. To put it simply, it means you will have to learn to start doing most things for yourself and perhaps learn to live with less “things” and less mainstream stimulation.

I know many people that have undertaken this effort while still living what you might call “normal lives.” The bottom line is, if you are dependent on the system, you will never be able to fight the system.

Separation From Invasive Technologies

Remove active surveillance from your life. Stop carrying a cell phone around with you everywhere you go, or at least pull the battery until you need it. Cover or remove computer cameras. Deactivate microphones when not in use. Refuse to purchase appliances with built-in web connectivity. Refuse to participate in smart grid programs. Remove GPS modules from your vehicles. Stop posting photos constantly to Facebook and sharing your entire life on social media. Give the enemy less information to work with.

Build Real Community

Stop trying to build hollow friendships with people on the other side of the country through a cold medium like the internet and start building relationships with the people that live right in your own neighborhood or town. The one thing the elites fear more than anything else is people organizing groups that are outside of their influence. The more community groups there are, big and small, the more effort, money and resources are required to keep tabs on them all. With localized groups populated by members that know each other and have lived in one place for a long time, infiltration is a strenuous prospect and co-option is nearly impossible.

Establish Alternative Communications

Make sure your group or community has at least one ham radio expert. Resistance to tyranny requires independent communications. Without this ability you will have no access to information in the event of a crisis and thus, you will have nothing. Ham radio can be used to spread information across the country and can even reach out to other parts of the world. In the event of a breakdown in civility, ham can be used to send digital mail and files, and these files can be encrypted.

The founding fathers had the midnight ride, we have ham radio.

Refuse To Participate In Resource Management

In the event of a greater collapse, resource management will be the name of the game. For the elites to gain a stranglehold on a population, they need to isolate the insurgency (freedom loving people) from the regular (subdued) citizenry, and then they need to confiscate as many resources as possible to supply “loyalists” while starving out undesirables.

I believe a successful rebellion would require rural communities to maintain complete control over their resources and refuse to allow government to dictate how these resources are dispersed. Ultimately, in order to break an establishment stranglehold over the population through Max Boot’s method of “friendly” concentration camps, the tactic would have to be reversed. Resources may need to be cut off to these places entirely. This would remove the leverage governments would have in terms of necessities, leaving no reason for anyone to want to stay in these sorts of green zones again.

Vigilante Justice

I am not condoning OR criticizing this kind of development, but I am pointing out that it is inevitable. If top globalists continue to engage in the use of economics as a nuclear option against the public, along with their many other crimes, then individuals with the right skill-sets will likely seek them out with the intention of ventilating them. I think the danger of lone-wolf vigilantes acting without group contact and without warning is terrifying to the globalists.

They are used to being able to co-opt enemy groups or exploit informants to infiltrate and relay information. With a lone wolf, there is no trail to follow and individuals are decidedly harder to predict in their behavior and plans than groups are. I would not be surprised to see prominent globalists living in the U.S. suddenly leave the country en masse just as social unrest becomes heightened.  And, I would not be surprised to see some globalists killed anyway by fed up citizens who suddenly snap and take matters into their own hands.

Our Window Of Time Is Short

Keep in mind that the millennial generation is about 10 years away from becoming the dominant cultural force in this country, and those precious snowflakes are like another species. The majority of them long for collectivism, and they work diligently to stifle dissent in colleges and public schools. The great danger is that in ten to fifteen years many of the people within conservative movements might be too old to effectively fight back, and while we deal with economic disaster it will be millennials steeped in cultural Marxism that are elevated as part of the globalist solution.

Whatever we end up doing, I believe we have about 10 years before hitting the point of no return (with ample crisis and struggle from now until then). After this, we will either have the globalists in prison or in the ground, or, we will have a massive economic reset and a new world order. The choice is up to us, even though some people don’t want to accept it.

A New Era of Mass Surveillance is Emerging Across Europe.

The world was a different place when, in October 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) struck down the “Safe Harbour” data-sharing agreement that allowed the transfer of European citizens’ data to the US. The Court’s decision concluded that the indiscriminate nature of the surveillance programs carried out by U.S. intelligence agencies, exposed two years earlier by NSA-contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden, had made it impossible to ensure that the personal data of E.U. citizens would be adequately protected when shared with American companies. The ruling thus served to further solidify the long-standing conventional wisdom that Continental Europe is better at protecting privacy than America.

However, Europe’s ability to continue to take this moral high ground is rapidly declining. In recent months, and in the wake of a series of terrorist attacks across Europe, Germany, France and the United Kingdom — Europe’s biggest superpowers — have passed laws granting their surveillance agencies virtually unfettered power to conduct bulk interception of communications across Europe and beyond, with limited to no effective oversight or procedural safeguards from abuse.

The same political leaders and legislators that once rebuked the NSA on the ethics of its mass surveillance practices, seem to now be taking a page out of the NSA’s playbook. This post surveys these three national legal frameworks, highlighting their troubling similarities, with the aim of showing how legislators from these countries are treading a dangerous line of surveillance expansion and overreach, paving the way for more European countries to follow in their footsteps. Indeed, European countries are increasingly chiming in to an ever-growing chorus of supporters for wholesale global surveillance in the name of perceived security. This rhetoric finds especially fertile ground in modern-day Europe, which has been engulfed by populist messaging surrounding the refugee crisis, immigration and heightened security threats. However, rushed and vague mass surveillance laws, while they might increase public approval ratings in the short term, are not a true panacea to the fundamental flaws in European intelligence cooperation that were exposed by the recent attacks.  

Moreover, such laws may not only fail to solve the problems they seek to address, but rather they could help foster new problems. As Marc Trévidic, the former chief terrorism investigator for the French judicial system, said about the French legislation:

“If an intelligence law is not well-conceived and rational, it could easily become a formidable weapon of repression. An intelligence law should not only protect citizens against terrorism, but also against the State. We in France are doing neither. There is a total absence of control in this law.”

This is even more worrying in the context of foreign mass surveillance where the victims of potential overreach are non-citizens with even fewer statutory protections and avenues for redress.

To understand how these new laws endanger privacy protections across Europe, it’s important to examine the legislation carefully, including, the new powers granted, the oversight mechanisms available, and the protections put in place for privileged communications, for example, conversations between an attorney and a client or communications subject to diplomatic inviolability.

United Kingdom

On Nov. 29, the UK adopted the Investigatory Powers Act (IPA), nicknamed by privacy experts as the “Snoopers Charter,” because it authorizes the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) to engage in bulk interception, acquisition, and equipment interference of ‘overseas-related’ communications and communications systems, comprising of communications “sent or received by individuals who are outside the British Islands.”

Powers Authorized: Bulk interception warrants authorize the interception of “overseas-related communications” throughout the course of their transmission by means of a telecommunications system, and the obtaining of secondary data from those communications. Bulk acquisition warrants require a telecommunications operator to disclose specified communications data (metadata) that it already possesses, or to obtain communications data that it does not yet possess in order to later disclose it. Lastly, bulk equipment interference warrants authorize the acquisition of “communications and equipment data directly from computer equipment overseas.” It is important to clarify that bulk warrants are not traditional warrants, in the sense that they grant the agency requesting them the authority to conduct a large number of operations under a single warrant. It is in this context, that all three types of bulk warrants authorize U.K. intelligence services the power to engage in mass collection of foreign metadata, mass interception of communications, and mass hacking of computer networks and systems worldwide.

Oversight Mechanisms: The issuing process is identical for each type of bulk warrant. First, the head of an intelligence service, or any official designated by her, must submit a request to the Secretary of State. The Secretary may then issue a bulk warrant, subject to a necessity and proportionality analysis. The decision to issue a warrant is then reviewed by a Judicial Commissioner, before it is granted. This is known, in U.K. jargon as the “double lock” mechanism (described by proponents of the legislation as a dual executive-judicial pre-authorization process for its foreign bulk warrants). Bulk warrants cease to have effect at the end of 6 months, subject to a renewal process by the Secretary of State under the same conditions for the issuance of the warrants. Renewals may continue unabatedly in the same manner.

When issuing a bulk interception warrant, the Secretary of State must furthermore consult the operator in question, and consider a number of other matters that could have an effect on the operator, such as the benefits of the warrant, the likely number of people affected, its technical feasibility and its immediate costs. Notably, there are no notification or reporting requirements for bulk warrants, nor does the Act specify the remedies available to those residing overseas should the powers provided be abused. Additionally, telecommunications providers who knowingly fail to comply with the warrants are guilty of an offense and may be fined, with the relevant individuals imprisoned. Yet those same telecommunications providers have limited ability to challenge bulk warrants since they are prohibited from revealing they have received one.

Privileged Communications: The bulk warrants allow for the collection of privileged communications, including those by foreign public officials in European institutions, foreign parliamentarians, lawyers, and journalists, with no restrictions. With regards to the examination of those materials, different levels of protection apply to different privileged data. For items subject to legal privilege, examination of the materials is constrained by requirements of “exceptional and compelling circumstances.” For confidential journalistic materials, the requirement is only that the IP Commissioner be informed as soon as is reasonably practicable. For other privileged materials, as related to privileged people outside the U.K., there are no safeguards on examination.

GCHQ’s mass surveillance programs are under review by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in three different pending cases. In one, led in cooperation with Privacy International, the agency’s Tempora program to tap underwater fibre optic telecommunication lines, as well as its intelligence sharing with the NSA under the Five Eyes Arrangement, are being challenged for their compatibility with European human rights standards. 

Germany

On Oct. 21, Germany adopted the Communications Intelligence Gathering Act. The act authorizes the Federal Intelligence Service (BND) to gather and process communications of foreign nationals abroad. Some of the world’s largest internet exchange points (IXPs) are situated in Germany, thus making the country a central hub for significant portions of the world’s internet traffic. While the Act authorizes for interceptions against foreigners to be conducted only from within Germany’s territory, a legislative move which might seem limiting, in actuality in light of Germany’s unique geographical position, it authorizes the BND to tap these exchange points in a broader effort to maximize global surveillance. In fact, the operator of one of these commercial IXPs, De-Cix, has recently brought a case before the Leipzig administrative court, challenging BND’s demands to allow the mass monitoring of international communications flowing through its hub.

Powers Authorized: Data may only be gathered from telecommunications networks that have previously been designated in a directive issued by the Federal Chancellery. The first power granted to the BND is the power to conduct “Tests of Relevance.” Under these powers, the BND is entitled to gather and analyze information, including personal data, to the extent that this is necessary to determine “relevant keywords” (akin to “selectors” in NSA terms) or “relevant telecommunications networks.” These tests shall be directed by the head of the BND with no oversight by the executive or judiciary. Personal data gathered in the course of these tests may only be used for the purposes listed above, or if there are factual indications that it can be used to “avert a serious threat to the life, limb, or freedom of a person or the security of the Federal Republic of Germany.” Once stored, such data must be deleted no later than two weeks (if collected for the purpose of identifying relevant keywords) or four weeks (if collected for the purpose of identifying relevant telecommunications networks).

Once relevant telecommunications networks and keywords are identified, the BND may begin to gather the content of communications relying on them. A recent judgment of the German Constitutional Court found that this list of keywords and search parameters, which the BND used to track millions of surveillance targets worldwide, and which were allegedly shared with the NSA, would not be disclosed to the German Parliament’s Special Parliamentary Fact-Finding Commission established following the Snowden revelations. The Court’s ruling was based on the conclusion that the confidentiality of the selectors list outweighed the public’s right to know and the parliament’s duty of oversight.

Oversight Mechanisms: In accordance with the law the directives of the Federal Chancellery shall be issued in writing, upon application by the head of the BND, or his or her representative, and shall stipulate the reason and duration of the measure and the telecommunications networks affected. The directives shall be limited to a maximum nine months, but may be prolonged for a further nine months by the Federal Chancellery. The German law establishes a three-member administrative committee, titled the “Independent Panel,” comprised of two judges and one federal public prosecutor at the Federal Court of Justice. The Panel reviews and may revoke the surveillance directives issued by the Federal Chancellery.

Privileged Communications: The law allows for the collection and analysis of privileged communications, including those by foreign parliamentarians, lawyers, and journalists, with no restrictions. Some general limitations are put in place, in the context of communications of EU institutions, or the public authorities and citizens of its Member States. Nonetheless, none of these limitations  significantly hinders the ability of the BND to employ surveillance measures when it deems them necessary. For example, the use of keywords that may lead to the targeted gathering of communications of European heads of State and other public officials may be authorized if those are necessary to prevent the “circulation of weapons of war” or to gather data about matters in third countries “that are of particular relevance for the security of Federal Republic of Germany.”

France

Two weeks after the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, during which 130 people were killed, France adopted the International Electronic Communications Law. The law officially recognizes the powers of the French Directorate General for External Security (DGSE) to intercept, collect, and monitor communications “sent or received abroad.” This encompasses all those communications which are associated with “subscription numbers or identifiers” that are not traceable to the national territory of France. France has long been suspected of being involved in global electronic communications surveillance, codenamed by the media as “Franchelon,” a take on Echelon, a mass surveillance program launched in the late 1960s by the NSA in cooperation with its Five Eyes’ partner organizations.

Powers Authorized: The Prime Minister may authorize the bulk interception of foreign communications at the request of the Minister of Defense, the Minister of the Interior, or the Minister of Finance, or anyone whom they designate. Such foreign communications can be stored for up to 12 months, and metadata for up to 6 years. Moreover, encrypted information can be stored for up to 8 years and in cases of “strict necessity” may be stored for even longer periods.

Oversight Mechanisms: The National Commission for the Control of Security Interceptions (whose French acronym is CNCIS) was restructured under the new law and is now composed of nine members including two judges, two members of the State Council, four representatives of Parliament, and an expert in electronic communications appointed on proposal of the Communications and Postal Authority. The CNCIS is merely informed of all authorizations made by the Prime Minister under the Act, and there is no requirement to consult it prior to authorization. While the CNCIS may launch investigations at its own initiative or following the complaint of any individual, no statutory guidance is provided on the elements it should take into consideration in its reviews nor on the powers it has following a finding that an interception authorization was improper.

Privileged Communications: The law allows for the collection and analysis of privileged communications, including those of foreign public officials in European institutions and other intergovernmental organizations, foreign parliamentarians, lawyers, and journalists, with no restrictions.

There are currently 13 different complaints pending before the ECtHR surrounding the new law, challenging both the expansive domestic snooping powers it authorizes and the above-discussed foreign surveillance capacities.

Dangerous Precedent Setting for the Continent and Beyond

All three laws share a number of disturbing similarities. First, the laws allow for mass foreign surveillance on broad and ambiguous grounds. As the Human Rights Committee has already found in relation to the French legislation, for a law to meet the principles of legality, necessity, and proportionality, it must state “specific and legitimate objectives” and list “exact circumstances in which such interferences may be authorized and the categories of persons likely to be placed under surveillance.” Similarly, the ECtHR noted in Kennedy that while the standard of foreseeability “does not require States to set out exhaustively by name the specific offences which may give rise to interception,” it does oblige them to provide “sufficient detail” of the nature of the offenses in question (para. 159). Surveillance laws therefore must be adequately precise in their terms to give citizens an indication of the circumstances that might give rise to a surveillance measure. Grounds such as the “prevention of serious crime,” the “prevention of terrorism,” or the “prevention of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction” are specific enough to meet the above requirements.

On the other hand, all three laws also include more ambiguous and open ended categories such as the catch-all “national security” ground in the UK law, or the over-encompassing “foreign affairs” grounds in both the German law (“intelligence that is important for foreign and security policy”) and the French law (foreign surveillance necessary to defend and promote “France’s major interests in foreign policy, the implementation of the European and international commitments of France, and the prevention of all forms of foreign interference”).

In this regard, specific attention should be given to the question of whether advancing  economic interests constitutes a legitimate objective for foreign surveillance. While the German law expressly prohibits economic espionage, the French legislation expressly permits it (“economic, industrial, and scientific interests”) and the U.K. legislation leaves an opening for it (“economic well-being”; “safeguarding prosperity”). According to Wikileaks, Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Manager John Podesta, in a policy brief on U.S.-German Surveillance relations concluded that “If Germany were to propose to the US a bilateral engagement to prohibit industrial espionage as the starting point for multi-lateral agreements or standards, the response from Washington would likely be positive.”

This position is in line with the approach laid down in the U.S.-China “common understanding” against cyber economic espionage adopted in 2015, as well as PPD-28 which authorizes “the collection of foreign private commercial information or trade secrets” only to the extent it is necessary to protect the national security of the United States or its partners and allies. Any collection done for the sole purpose of promoting the competitive advantage of the U.S. business sector is expressly prohibited by the Directive. Setting aside the looming future of PPD-28 or any understanding between the U.S. and China under a Trump administration, this stark divergence between the German and French laws signals that the fight against the legitimacy of foreign “economic espionage” has far from been won.

Second, the laws all share a lack of adequate oversight and safeguards from abuse. The U.K. government, for example, has taken pride in solidifying the ‘double lock’ mechanism. However, the law limits the scope of review by the Judicial Commissioners, which means that judges will not be given full authority to assess the merits of proposed surveillance measures. Moreover, in the case of bulk warrants the authorization requests can be formulated in such broad and vague ways that making judicial assessments on the merits of the application becomes essentially impossible. The German Independent Panel, which reviews the surveillance directives, also offers only limited oversight. Not only could this process be circumvented in situations where the Federal Chancellery believes the objective of the measure might be “frustrated or significantly impeded,” but moreover, as was already determined by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy, the Panel lacks “sufficient staff or resources to oversee mass surveillance operations.” Even more egregious, the French law does not establish any mandatory pre-authorization or consultation process and only allows for post factum investigations by an administrative committee, conducted on its own initiative and lacking statutory bite.

Deprived of local structured oversight, the laws in essence shift the onus of control from domestic parliaments, commissioners, and courts to European regional bodies, further broadening the gap between the positions taken by the judges in Luxembourg and Strasbourg and those offered at the national level.

The judgment of the CJEU in the Watson case, announced late December, exemplifies this trend. The Court found that “general and indiscriminate” retention of metadata, under a recently expired U.K. legislation called the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (DRIPA), violated EU directives and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. DRIPA has since been replaced by the IPA which only expanded on its data retention regime, and is thus likely to be subjected to judicial scrutiny. The case was heard by 15 CJEU judges, who addressed directly the government’s claims on the importance of bulk powers in the age of global terrorism. The judges noted that:

“while the effectiveness of the fight against serious crime, in particular organised crime and terrorism, may depend to a great extent on the use of modern investigation techniques, such an objective of general interest, however fundamental it may be, cannot in itself justify that national legislation providing for the general and indiscriminate retention of all traffic and location data should be considered to be necessary for the purposes of that fight” (para. 103).

This ruling offers a push back against mass collection and interception of communications, such as that promoted in the three laws, and widens the chasm between policies in the EU and EC levels and the laws and regulations of their member States.

This is of particular concern, when taken in light of the fact that all three laws explicitly allow for spying on EU institutions. Moreover, the laws set limited to no protections on the collection and analysis of privileged communications including those of foreign public officials, parliamentarians, journalists, lawyers, and doctors both inside and outside the borders of Europe. In the case of Kopp, which concerned the tapping of the phone lines of a lawyer and his law firm by the Swiss Government, the ECtHR expressly noted the need for establishing distinct and clear protections and safeguards by law for the interception of such privileged communications (paras. 71-75).

Finally, while the German law does establish some general provisions on interstate sharing of intelligence, both the U.K. and the French laws leave such intelligence cooperation arrangements intentionally outside of the scope of primary regulation. As Privacy International argued before the ECtHR in a pending case, minimum safeguards are required when a government accesses information intercepted by a foreign government or when it shares such information with foreign agencies. Failure to set statutory parameters for such arrangements, let alone disclose them to oversight bodies and the general public, further exacerbates the possibility for abuse.   

Conclusion

Across Europe, from Poland to Austria, from Italy to Sweden, parliaments have been adopting expansive domestic and foreign surveillance legislation in recent months and years. This wave of legislation, pushed by populist agendas and public outrage in the wake of recent terrorist attacks on European soil, is a flagrant disregard to decades of jurisprudence by the ECtHR and more recent jurisprudence by CJEU, and it puts in danger privacy protections across the continent. The leaders of Germany, France and the UK are setting a dangerous precedent which echoes within the European Community and far beyond it: Mass surveillance by governments has become the new normal.

To show how much has changed, it’s worth remembering the speech German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave to the German Parliament, just three years ago, in January 2014, when she warned Western governments against promoting surveillance policies that collect everything that is “technically possible.” She noted that these foreign mass surveillance programs not only “sow distrust,” but send the wrong signal to “billions of people living in undemocratic States.” The end result, she concluded, “is not more security but less.”

Privacy International (PI) is a London-based charity which advocates for strong national, regional, and international laws that protect privacy and investigates and litigates to ensure that surveillance is consistent with the rule of law. We wish to thank Tilly Berkhout, a former intern with PI, for her assistance in the research towards this post.

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Here’s How Goldman Sachs Became the Overlord of the Trump Administration.

During his political campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly railed against Wall Street with a specific focus on Goldman Sachs. In the final days of his campaign, Trump released an advertisement (see video below) that featured his opponent, Hillary Clinton, shaking hands with Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein. As the image flickers on the screen, Trump does a voice over, stating: “”It’s a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth, and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.” As the ad ends, Trump bares his soul: “I’m doing this for the people and for the movement and we will take back this country for you and we will make America great again.”

How did a candidate who repeatedly demonized Goldman Sachs as the poster child for a corrupt establishment that owned Washington end up with Goldman Sachs’ progeny filling every post that even tangentially has the odor of money or global finance? One answer is family ties; another may be something darker.

Trump’s non-stop nominations and appointments of Goldman Sachs alumni have left his supporters stunned. Trump nominated Steven Mnuchin, a 17-year veteran of Goldman Sachs to be his Treasury Secretary. Stephen Bannon, another former Goldman Sachs banker, was named by Trump as his Chief Strategist in the White House. The sitting President of Goldman Sachs, Gary Cohn, has been named by Trump as Director of the National Economic Council, which, according to its website, coordinates “policy-making for domestic and international economic issues.”  Last week, in a move that stunned even Wall Street, Trump nominated a Goldman Sachs outside lawyer, Jay Clayton of Sullivan & Cromwell, to serve as Wall Street’s top cop as Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Adding to the slap in the face to Trump’s working class supporters, Clayton’s wife currently works as a Vice President at Goldman Sachs.

But the Goldman Sachs’ ties don’t stop there. 

When Alexander Blankfein, the oldest son of Goldman Sachs’ CEO Lloyd Blankfein was married in 2013, Joshua Kushner attended the wedding. Joshua had been Alexander’s roommate at Harvard according to the New York Times. Joshua is the brother-in-law to a woman who will play a major role in the Trump administration – Ivanka Trump, daughter of the President-elect and wife of Joshua’s brother, Jared.

According to Politico, Goldman Sachs partner, Dina Powell, President of the Goldman Sachs Foundation, is Ivanka’s “top adviser on policy and staffing.”

Then there is Erin Walsh who had worked at Goldman Sachs since 2010 as an Executive Director and head of its Office of Corporate Engagement for Asia Pacific. Walsh also previously worked in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. Walsh is now part of Trump’s transition landing team for the State Department and is engaged in prepping the just retired CEO of ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson, for his Senate confirmation hearing this week to become the Secretary of the Department of State, according to Politico.

A recent Executive Director of Goldman Sachs preparing the recent titular head of Big Oil to pass muster to run the State Department is the Orwellian version of draining the swamp — and Trump’s pre-election campaign language is proving to have been very Orwellian, as in reverse-speak.

And there is yet another former Goldman Sachs banker, Anthony Scaramucci, who sits on Trump’s transition team.

Since 2010, according to Federal Election Commission records, Gary Cohn, the President of Goldman Sachs and Trump’s designee as Director of the National Economic Council, has given $148,800 to political candidates running for Federal office. No contributions were made to Donald Trump. Despite that, Cohn will sit atop a powerful body and have the President’s ear on both domestic and international economic issues. According to multiple media reports, Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, is a close friend of Cohn’s and set up the first meeting with Trump.

During the primary campaign, when it emerged that Trump’s opponent Ted Cruz had received a loan from Goldman Sachs, Trump said that Cruz was “owned” by Goldman Sachs. Now the Dow Jones company, MarketWatch, has reported that Trump’s debt is held by more than 150 Wall Street firms. The New York Times has reported that Goldman Sachs Mortgage Company holds a loan on an office tower at 1290 Avenue of the Americas, a building that is 30 percent owned by Donald Trump.

Some of the Trump debt held by Wall Street firms, according to media reports, includes Donald Trump’s personal guarantee in the event of a default. The true owners of other Trump debt are shielded behind secretive Limited Liability Corporations. These serious conflicts of interests together with the unprecedented infusion of Goldman Sachs honchos into his administration, have the potential to set a new low in Washington politics – an outcome that America can ill afford as it struggles to rise above the greatest economic collapse since the Great Depression just eight years ago.

The Senate is set to hold confirmation hearings on nine of Trump’s nominees this week. Call your Senator today and demand that he or she asks the questions that will get to the bottom of these Byzantine conflicts.

By: Pam Martens and Russ Martens

United States Re-Packaged Al Qaeda As ‘Khorasan Group’ To Sell Attack.

United States officials misled the public about a Syrian terrorist group, the Khorasan Group, in the run up to air strikes in the country in 2014. The group was not new, as officials suggested, but essentially a group of reinforcements for the country’s Al Qaeda affiliate.

In September 2014, just prior to a United States military strike in Syria, the mainstream media began reporting on the Khorasan Group.

Even close observers of the U.S. War on Terror were unaware such a group existed, let alone that it was so powerful as to “pose a more direct and imminent threat to the United States” than ISIS, as was attributed to anonymous U.S. government national security officials speaking to the Associated Press

The rest of the mainstream media echoed the AP in their reporting, and, suddenly, the homeland was facing a new existential threat. But, after the US strikes in Syria against the Khorasan Group, national security officials began offering a “more nuanced picture” on the threat that verged on being outright defensive.

Both FBI Director James Comey and Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby admitted their intelligence in Syria was weak, but stood by the claim that the group existed. Comey said, “What I could see concerned me very much that they were working toward an attack.” Kirby gave a better safe than sorry rationale for the attack: “We hit them. And I don’t think we need to throw up a dossier here to prove that these are bad dudes.”

Journalists began calling bullshit and wondering if the group even existed, let alone posed such an imminent and serious threat to the United States.

A recent interview conducted by Shadowproof brought back up some old questions about U.S. military operations in Syria and the Khorasan Group.  In our interview with veteran war reporter and terrorism expert Elijah Magnier, we asked if such a group existed and if they mattered. Magnier responded (around 42:15):

Shadowproof: Do you remember when Obama launched this bombing he talked about something called The Khorasan Group? […] Many experts were scratching their heads. […] Did you know who that group was? Are they still active?

Elijah Magnier: The Khorasan Group is, basically, the group that came from Khorasan. This is where Ayman al-Zawahiri is believed to be based and they form the old core of Al Qaeda who joined the emir of Jabhat al-Nusra—or Al Qaeda in Syria—following the request of Ayman al-Zawahiri himself, who asked all of Al Qaeda to join Julani, to support him and to support Al Qaeda in Syria.

So the core group of Al Qaeda, many elements of the core group, form what is called the Khorasan Group and this is what the United States was targeting. Yes, they were targeting genuine targets there and they were targeting elements that have a long list of activity against the West, against the United States and Europe and that were involved in different kinds of relationships with at the time with Bin Laden, Zawahiri, and in Yemen, and in other parts of the Middle East. So yes, they exist.

These details were completely left out of the explanation during the run up to the 2014 U.S. strikes in Syria. Rather than being a new separate, menacing group, the Khorasan Group were essentially seasoned reinforcements for the Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, known as Jabhat al-Nusra (recently rebranded as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham).

Now, in 2017, the U.S. has changed course and is arming groups in alliance with the Al Qaeda affiliate. And, again, the U.S. mainstream press is mindlessly repeating government talking points. The only constant is bad journalism.

Source: shadowproof