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Thread: 'Perfect Citizen' Program Places 'Sensors' Throughout Web

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    Default 'Perfect Citizen' Program Places 'Sensors' Throughout Web

    'PERFECT CITIZEN' PROGRAM PLACES 'SENSORS' THROUGHOUT WEB




    U.S. Plans Cyber Shield for Utilities, Companies

    JULY 8, 2010
    WALL ST JOURNAL
    By SIOBHAN GORMAN

    The federal government is launching an expansive program dubbed "Perfect Citizen" to detect cyber assaults on private companies and government agencies running such critical infrastructure as the electricity grid and nuclear-power plants, according to people familiar with the program.

    The surveillance by the National Security Agency, the government's chief eavesdropping agency, would rely on a set of sensors deployed in computer networks for critical infrastructure that would be triggered by unusual activity suggesting an impending cyber attack, though it wouldn't persistently monitor the whole system, these people said.

    Defense contractor Raytheon Corp. recently won a classified contract for the initial phase of the surveillance effort valued at up to $100 million, said a person familiar with the project.

    An NSA spokeswoman said the agency had no information to provide on the program. A Raytheon spokesman declined to comment.

    Some industry and government officials familiar with the program see Perfect Citizen as an intrusion by the NSA into domestic affairs, while others say it is an important program to combat an emerging security threat that only the NSA is equipped to provide.

    "The overall purpose of the [program] is our Government...feel[s] that they need to insure the Public Sector is doing all they can to secure Infrastructure critical to our National Security," said one internal Raytheon email, the text of which was seen by The Wall Street Journal. "Perfect Citizen is Big Brother."

    Raytheon declined to comment on this email.

    A U.S. military official called the program long overdue and said any intrusion into privacy is no greater than what the public already endures from traffic cameras. It's a logical extension of the work federal agencies have done in the past to protect physical attacks on critical infrastructure that could sabotage the government or key parts of the country, the official said.

    U.S. intelligence officials have grown increasingly alarmed about what they believe to be Chinese and Russian surveillance of computer systems that control the electric grid and other U.S. infrastructure. Officials are unable to describe the full scope of the problem, however, because they have had limited ability to pull together all the private data.

    Perfect Citizen will look at large, typically older computer control systems that were often designed without Internet connectivity or security in mind. Many of those systems—which run everything from subway systems to air-traffic control networks—have since been linked to the Internet, making them more efficient but also exposing them to cyber attack.

    The goal is to close the "big, glaring holes" in the U.S.'s understanding of the nature of the cyber threat against its infrastructure, said one industry specialist familiar with the program. "We don't have a dedicated way to understand the problem."

    The information gathered by Perfect Citizen could also have applications beyond the critical infrastructure sector, officials said, serving as a data bank that would also help companies and agencies who call upon NSA for help with investigations of cyber attacks, as Google did when it sustained a major attack late last year.

    The U.S. government has for more than a decade claimed a national-security interest in privately owned critical infrastructure that, if attacked, could cause significant damage to the government or the economy. Initially, it established relationships with utility companies so it could, for instance, request that a power company seal a manhole that provides access to a key power line for a government agency.

    With the growth in concern about cyber attacks, these relationships began to extend into the electronic arena, and the only U.S. agency equipped to manage electronic assessments of critical-infrastructure vulnerabilities is the NSA, government and industry officials said.

    The NSA years ago began a small-scale effort to address this problem code-named April Strawberry, the military official said. The program researched vulnerabilities in computer networks running critical infrastructure and sought ways to close security holes.

    That led to initial work on Perfect Citizen, which was a piecemeal effort to forge relationships with some companies, particularly energy companies, whose infrastructure is widely used across the country.

    The classified program is now being expanded with funding from the multibillion-dollar Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative, which started at the end of the Bush administration and has been continued by the Obama administration, officials said. With that infusion of money, the NSA is now seeking to map out intrusions into critical infrastructure across the country.

    Because the program is still in the early stages, much remains to be worked out, such as which computer control systems will be monitored and how the data will be collected. NSA would likely start with the systems that have the most important security implications if attacked, such as electric, nuclear, and air-traffic-control systems, they said.

    Intelligence officials have met with utilities' CEOs and those discussions convinced them of the gravity of the threat against U.S. infrastructure, an industry specialist said, but the CEOs concluded they needed better threat information and guidance on what to do in the event of a major cyber attack.

    Some companies may agree to have the NSA put its own sensors on and others may ask for direction on what sensors to buy and come to an agreement about what data they will then share with the government, industry and government officials said.


    While the government can't force companies to work with it, it can provide incentives to urge them to cooperate, particularly if the government already buys services from that company, officials said.

    Raytheon, which has built up a large cyber-security practice through acquisitions in recent years, is expected to subcontract out some of the work to smaller specialty companies, according to a person familiar with the project.

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    Default Re: 'Perfect Citizen' Program Places 'Sensors' Throughout Web

    A U.S. military official called the program long overdue and said any intrusion into privacy is no greater than what the public already endures from traffic cameras. It's a logical extension of the work federal agencies have done in the past to protect physical attacks on critical infrastructure that could sabotage the government or key parts of the country, the official said.
    Frog in the pot....

    Look, I don't like cameras being every God Damned Where now.
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    Default Re: 'Perfect Citizen' Program Places 'Sensors' Throughout Web

    Weeee, we're all good little citizens now.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Default Re: 'Perfect Citizen' Program Places 'Sensors' Throughout Web

    lol

    I've always been a good citizen. I believe Good Citizens question authority and try to keep the government honest.
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    Default Re: 'Perfect Citizen' Program Places 'Sensors' Throughout Web

    I've always been a good citizen. Now the government will simply watch my every move making sure i'm a good citizen. I mean, isn't this what I pay my taxes for? I want the government sticking it's nose in everywhere, after all, if I'm a good citizen and don't commit any crimes, I have nothing to hide.

    Oh, that's right. You criminalize everything. Ayn Rand wrote:

    There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted—and you create a nation of law-breakers
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Default Re: 'Perfect Citizen' Program Places 'Sensors' Throughout Web

    We don't that many web cams in the US, yet, Peterle. UK is well known for their ability to snoop into private lives.

    We don't want that here in the US.
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    Default Re: 'Perfect Citizen' Program Places 'Sensors' Throughout Web

    The secret code in U.S. Cyber Command's logo

    by Smilodon » July 7th, 2010, 4:48 pm
    9ec4c12949a4f31474f299058ce2b22a



    The newly formed U.S. Cyber Command is supposed to centralize and focus the military's ability to wage war over the Internet, but so far it's basically famous for brainteasers. The command's fancy logo contains a super-secret code in its inner gold ring: 9ec4c12949a4f31474f299058ce2b22a. Though some people noticed the code late last month, Wired's Threat Level blog picked it up Wednesday morning and announced a contest, with a free T-shirt (or a ticket to the International Spy Museum) going to the first reader to crack the code.

    Trouble is, no one knows for sure yet precisely what the 32-character code means. Or at least no one at Cyber Command appears to know. Lt. Cmdr. Steve Curry, a spokesman, says "it's definitely the mission statement" of Cyber Command. "What part of the mission statement: That's what I'm waiting to find out on from the people who designed it."

    Indeed, the heraldry notes accompanying the logo — i.e., explanations of what the symbols mean — say it contains a "computer code that ties the command back to the early days of computer networking; USCYBERCOM's mission statement is encrypted within this code." Curry suspects that the designers used a cryptographic algorithm called an MD5 hash to transform the mission statement into the string of characters, but he doesn't know whether they took choice bits or the whole statement, which reads:

    USCYBERCOM plans, coordinates, integrates, synchronizes, and conducts activities to: direct the operations and defense of specified Department of Defense information networks and; prepare to, and when directed, conduct full-spectrum military cyberspace operations in order to enable actions in all domains, ensure US/Allied freedom of action in cyberspace and deny the same to our adversaries.

    We tried encrypting that entire statement using an MD5 hash generator, and we didn't get a match to the logo code. So it looks like just a portion of the statement has been encoded. Eventually someone will figure out which portion, and win a T-shirt from Wired — at which point the CIA will laugh at the whole episode, because it still has Kryptos, an encrypted sculpture commissioned on the grounds of its Langley headquarters.

    The code displayed on Kryptos hasn't been fully solved in 20 years and contains one of the world's most elusive cryptographic puzzles.

    Nice try, Cyber Command!

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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    Default Re: 'Perfect Citizen' Program Places 'Sensors' Throughout Web

    As Freedom Sunsets into Perpetual Night

    03:29 by Administrator. Filed under: Whatever

    by John Galt

    July 8, 2010

    The dramatic headline on the Drudge Report tonight might seem logical and innocent to the uninitiated:

    'PERFECT CITIZEN' PROGRAM PLACES 'SENSORS' THROUGHOUT WEB


    The truth behind the headline though is that our nation has been bleeding its freedoms away one bureaucratic paper cut at a time. The idea is that the NSA wishes to use the logical approach of government mandated monitoring of the flow of data to “protect” critical utility infrastructure and corporations from external attack. Unfortunately, the mentality of those in charge of the operation is best reflected in this quote from an “unnamed” military official from the Wall Street Journal report:
    A U.S. military official called the program long overdue and said any intrusion into privacy is no greater than what the public already endures from traffic cameras.
    Really unnamed U.S. military official? I don’t hold my credit card number up to traffic cameras. My spending habits and purchases, bills and personal pictures are not visible to the traffic camera. My personal emails are not visible to the traffic camera. My communications with my family are not visible on the traffic camera. If I wish to engage in lawful dissent the traffic camera does not pass judgment or use it as a perverted form of evidence against me in a trial. Apparently the attitude is that the real threat to America is not the cleansing sunlight of freedom, the ultimate disinfectant to prevent the disease of totalitarianism, but instead the free thoughts and actions of the United States citizen. This thought from above should disturb every patriotic American and chill them to the bone.

    The story continues though, with further ideas being thrown against the wall, which will ultimately open Pandora’s Box and lead to the monitoring of not just “critical infrastructure” but the individuals who think they are living their lives as normal Americans, unaware that they are already being monitored but now able to put the friendly name of ‘Perfect Citizen’ as the software program which sponges up their activities on the internet and probably lift it off of their hard drives if you “trip” one of their sensors. This portion of the story is most disconcerting:

    Some companies may agree to have the NSA put its own sensors on and others may ask for direction on what sensors to buy and come to an agreement about what data they will then share with the government, industry and government officials said.


    While the government can’t force companies to work with it, it can provide incentives to urge them to cooperate, particularly if the government already buys services from that company, officials said.
    So who is going to be the determining agency (or agencies) that decide what data is of a critical nature and what is not? When do incentives become threats, such as if you do not install this software and work with us, we’ll seize your company and arrest the officers of the corporation?

    Does the risk of a contagious disease give the CDC or United States Military
    Medical Command a right to your personal data from your doctors based on the new centralized data collection system ordered in the Health Care bill passed by the Obama administration? Does the IRS have the right to all personal AND financial data now via this system if you are determined to be a security risk because you fall behind in paying your taxes or buy more widgets from eBay or bullets from Cheaper Than Dirt.com than the national average? What oversight will we see to protect your freedoms and rights under the 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution, or does that damned piece of paper even matter now?

    The risks of what this type of program entails where “sensors” are implanted throughout the web when you have a regime hell bent on instituting FCC oversight over broadcast outlets and the internet are positively horrific. Imagine that Cass Sunstein, the Regulatory Czar who answers to no authority but the President, determines that a political opposition group or broadcaster should be deemed a national security threat. What is to prevent the ‘Perfect Citizen’ from being used for data mining purposes to intimidate and threaten the group forcing them to change their opinions or causing members to flee under the iron boot on their throats?

    This is a very dangerous precedent being proposed and despite the rhetoric we are about to hear, this is no traffic camera at a busy intersection; this is an attempt to create and maintain order by completing the process of an end run around the Constitution to usurp the rights of the people in the name of security. Instead of quoting our Founding Fathers and their rather poignant thoughts on this subject, I thought I would quote an unidentified child which seems quite pertinent to the discussion:
    We are the voice of the new generation. We are the voice of the new people. The destructive ways of the past are gone. We will replace them with our vision of the future. The Party will lead us to the new age. There have been those who have tried to stop the new age. They are the corrupt reminder of the past. They have tried to confuse us with the idea that the old America was a good country. We know that lie. History teaches us that lie. We are grateful to our brothers who saved the world from destruction, and we can now join them in a world of socialist brotherhood. Everyone will go to school, everyone will have a job, everyone will be equal. No one will exploit or be exploited, and all those who oppose this wonderful vision will be crushed.
    The child that said these words was part of the fictional ABC television mini-series Amerika in the late 1980′s. Only the word “Soviet” was removed from this sentence which was before the word “brothers” and should give one pause as the ideals of that tyranny have become relevant again today.

    Re-read the sentence and think about the numerous chants, programs, oaths, and songs sung in praise of this President and the ideals of the radical left becoming reality in our nation now. Then consider the powerful infrastructure being aligned against your freedoms while you attempt to survive the economic and political disaster our nation is mired in.

    The one sentence from the article from an internal Raytheon email which validates my fears says it all:
    “Perfect Citizen is Big Brother.”
    May God let us see a sunrise again in our lifetime as freedom sunsets into the darkness of perpetual night.


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    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept
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    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    like overripe fruit into our hands."



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    Default Re: 'Perfect Citizen' Program Places 'Sensors' Throughout Web

    So Captain Zero has his All seeing Eye on everything and has a "kill switch" to shut the internet down if the serfs get agitated.

    Weeee, what a wonderful world we live in.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Default Re: 'Perfect Citizen' Program Places 'Sensors' Throughout Web

    The point is NOT whether or not we have something hide.

    It honestly isn't ANYONE'S business where I walk, where I go, where I drive, what I buy, what I sell, who I visit or who visits me.

    It has NOTHING to do with if I have something to hide. I don't. Obviously I don't. In fact many times I have been called down for posting my name, and information on the internet.

    Some of you might remember a few years back when the military told me I had to remove my personal web pages from Anomalies, and remove my biography, remove my own survival web page.

    I asked "Why".

    "We are trying to protect you and your family"

    I asked, "From whom?"

    They gave me some run around about my clearance, and such. It comes down to this, yes I could be a target. I'm the worst KIND of target.

    I walk around with a weapon, I have NO intention of "selling out my country" like so many politicians are doing now, I BELIEVE in America. I believe in FREEDOM and I BELIEVE I can PROTECT MY OWN ASS.

    I take personal responsibility in myself and seeing to the safety of my family. I told them that unless they could show me directive, then to pound sand.

    To this day, they leave me alone.

    And they can still pound sand.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: 'Perfect Citizen' Program Places 'Sensors' Throughout Web

    The last picture is of an uninterruptible power supply(UPS).

    As far a s control, we are all subject to the power of government, the issues is how far do we let others dictate our behavior?
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Default Re: 'Perfect Citizen' Program Places 'Sensors' Throughout Web

    I don't think we should be allowing anyone to dictate our behavior. Period.

    If you, of course, can't act civilized and not riot, rob, rape, murder... then to hell with you, but living my day to day life, just leave me the hell alone. ALL alone.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: 'Perfect Citizen' Program Places 'Sensors' Throughout Web

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Donaldson View Post
    I don't think we should be allowing anyone to dictate our behavior. Period.

    If you, of course, can't act civilized and not riot, rob, rape, murder... then to hell with you, but living my day to day life, just leave me the hell alone. ALL alone.
    The point is, civilized is codified.

    You are behaving as dictated now. Civilized behavior has been dictated to you your whole life. You don't do 100mph on your local street, you don't spit on the sidewalk, etc. Social norms are behaviors that you agree to. On a deserted island they wouldn't apply.

    There are more of these types of things.

    Once these constructs are agreed to as a framework, then we get into optional things. If I chose to go to the store 12 times a day, that's my business. At some point, expect some nanny state douchbag to figure out how to control your movements ostensibly to combat "the Global XXXXX crisis" when in reality it's always about control. 12 visits will turn into once a week maximums. This is where government needs to go away and leave us alone. It won't though as the impulse to control others is very strong in some people and they just can't help but ram their @#$% up your @#$ and put their hand in your wallet while they're doing it.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Default Re: 'Perfect Citizen' Program Places 'Sensors' Throughout Web

    Quote Originally Posted by Malsua View Post
    The point is, civilized is codified.
    "Codified". No. I live life as I would like to see others be able to live. I treat others as I would like to be treated. Some might call that the "Golden Rule" - I call it Common Sense.

    You are behaving as dictated now. Civilized behavior has been dictated to you your whole life. You don't do 100mph on your local street, you don't spit on the sidewalk, etc. Social norms are behaviors that you agree to. On a deserted island they wouldn't apply.
    No, actually not. Again, those things are against common sense. Placing others in danger for your own behavior goes against common sense.

    Sure, you will say "Common sense isn't common", but honestly consider that for a minute. People DO use commonsense all the time. Regulations are created for one reason only - because others sometimes do not use common sense.

    But think about it, just because there are gangs, we don't JOIN them do we? We don't go out and try to rob others just because some other thugs might be doing it!

    We don't race down the neighborhood at 100 mph simply because we CAN. We might go five MPH over the speed limit (which IS breaking the LAW) but we do it because, you know those speed limit signs are there to keep us from doing 60 when we should be doing 40 (and the sign says 35)!

    Social Norms are COMMON SENSE. Period.

    There are more of these types of things.

    Once these constructs are agreed to as a framework, then we get into optional things. If I chose to go to the store 12 times a day, that's my business. At some point, expect some nanny state douchbag to figure out how to control your movements ostensibly to combat "the Global XXXXX crisis" when in reality it's always about control. 12 visits will turn into once a week maximums. This is where government needs to go away and leave us alone. It won't though as the impulse to control others is very strong in some people and they just can't help but ram their @#$% up your @#$ and put their hand in your wallet while they're doing it.
    Ah HA... so, Mal you DO think like me. LOL

    Nanny State Douche Bags. I love it. Yes, they are. Where is the common sense THERE?

    Obviously, Common Sense belongs to those of us who use it. It doesn't belong to those who are Nanny-Staters. It doesn't belong to those who want to control others.

    No... the Government needs to go away, period. Not just go away mad, just go the hell away.

    We don't NEED that much government.

    The Federal Government is there to help protect this country, and very little else. That includes military, intelligence collection, counter-intelligence, and guarding our borders.

    Most of these things have been gutted and monies placed into Social Programs.

    Screw that. If people can't get along and get a job, tough shit. If gangs start roaming the neighborhood, then it's up to the normal citizens to put them down. Cops, for all the contrary belief out there ARE JUST NORMAL CITIZENS charged with helping to be the face of the local citizenry and to quell those sorts of things, to stop criminals.

    They aren't TRAFFIC COPS. They should be preventing crimes and solving them. Nothing more.

    The military and the government isn't there to SNOOP on us. They are there merely to prevent an invasion.

    If they can't DO THAT JOB they should be fired.

    The civilian population that runs the military is no exception. Fire them all.

    Every congressman and woman should be fired.

    ASAP.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: 'Perfect Citizen' Program Places 'Sensors' Throughout Web

    You know, Peterle, I just moved a thread over from a private section of the board about Socialism. You should join it.

    You have a much different view of the world than I do. While I have visited 48 countries now, I will never change my view of life, liberty or socialism.

    I do not sit and humble myself in front of anyone, except perhaps a judge - which I have never had to stand in front of (except when I took a cop to court, and won).

    The point is, ignoring what the government is doing and how they are doing it is PRECISELY the problem that the entire world faces today. I would love to see your own country have the same sort of Constitution we have in the US. You however perhaps see it as a bad thing.

    That's because you have never lived under it.

    Now, I'm beginning to have to live under a system that Europe has been under for years and I DO NOT LIKE IT and WILL NOT TOLERATE IT.

    That's the difference in you and I.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: 'Perfect Citizen' Program Places 'Sensors' Throughout Web

    What ever happened to our ‘right to privacy’ ???

    By Dr. Laurie RothThursday, July 8, 2010

    The ‘control’ wagons continue to circle and many in the U.S. masses are distracted by the empathy words, crises responses, and manipulated national security and environmental needs.

    We see several deceitful and manipulated techniques, designed to direct what we do and know what we do.

    First of all we see the radical and progressive agenda as revealed in the push of ‘smart grid.’
    Smart Grid

    What is smart grid?

    It is a broad term that involves control of our electrical power, including gas and water usage. The Department of Energy has been charged with developing this whole system, naturally due to the aging power system we have. This whole scheme of Government and environmental intrusion would involve sensors stuffed on in home products, at central locations, inter relating with each other. Our use of power and energy, whether in our private homes or businesses would be evaluated, controlled, regulated, taxed, and possibly turned off if the powers on high thought we had exceeded a limit and needed to pay much more.

    The Smart Grid, as revealed by Pat Wood of augustreview.com masterfully shreds our 4th amendment rights and will attempt to lead our daily lifestyle choices around by the nose.

    Health ID Card


    Another control scheme, hiding behind health of course is the forced national Health ID card coming with the Obama care plan. It says plainly, right in the body of the bill, that we will all be issued a national health identification card. It talks about this on page 62 and says that the operating rules, effective not later than January 1, 2013 will use a machine readable identification card. So much for privacy with your health.

    I predict if this UN American and unaffordable health plan is not unfounded and trashed, all kinds of lifestyle information will be linked with health issues and tracked with regulations, taxation and draconian rules. Gun usage and mental health background will be linked to health care and costs. Accounts and payments will be tracked by the IRS who has been assigned to run this inspiring program. Imagine your accounts being seized if your health payment was behind or being disputed. Could this kind of intrusion, and no doubt linking everything to health and additional expense, be the final dictatorial control over the people? There is more.

    So, we hide the handcuffs and intrusions behind, the environmental needs and health care needs so far. Naturally, we must also hide behind the hackers and business security issues. Now our Government has plans for a Cyber Shield for utilities and companies. Due to all the hackers and danger to critical infrastructure, a new plan is a foot called the “Perfect Citizen” program. I think most of us already know that the Internet is glorious for communication and business but also a horror show for criminals and hackers. However, now, with this program, they are talking about multi billions of dollars developing and placing sensors to try and stop Cyber security breaches. The goal as presented is to close the glaring holes with the cyber threat to our infrastructure.

    A recent Wall street Journal article by Siobhan Gorman talks about this aggressive push and the possibility of using all this information from intrusive sensors placed all over, other interesting ways. Won’t that help stop the bad guys and criminals…..or will it just create more crime against our privacy rights and constitution?

    Gee, with the President’s new Internet ‘kill switch’ powers for alleged emergencies that he, of course, will define, one wonders if the ‘Perfect Citizen’ program will be used to compliment this intrusion as well.

    We must stand for all our 4th amendment rights and not allow our Government and federal structures to hide behind environment, health, security, emergencies and needs to steal and shred our constitutional rights and freedoms. Stand against the insanity! Stand for our freedom.

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    Default Re: 'Perfect Citizen' Program Places 'Sensors' Throughout Web

    On Demand Episodes 125460

    Original Air Date: July 09, 2010
    The Death of America

    The Death of America, as presented by The Voice of Galt. I'll cover the news and economic circus this week, but a new issue has arisen which insures our nation is about to cease as we now it in our lifetime.

    Download show

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    Default Re: 'Perfect Citizen' Program Places 'Sensors' Throughout Web

    Perfecting Citizens the Stasi Way

    Are You a "Perfect Citizen"? NSA Will Deploy
    Snooping Sensors on Private Networks

    by Tom Burghardt



    I
    n a sign that illegal surveillance programs launched by the Bush administration are accelerating under President Obama, The Wall Street Journal revealed last week that a National Security Agency (NSA) program, PERFECT CITIZEN, is under development.

    With a cover story that this is merely a "research" effort meant to "detect cyber assaults on private companies and government agencies running such critical infrastructure as the electricity grid and nuclear-power plants," it is also clear that the next phase in pervasive government spying is underway.

    With "cybersecurity" morphing into a new "public-private" iteration of the "War On Terror," WSJ reporter Siobhan Gorman disclosed that giant defense contractor Raytheon "recently won a classified contract for the initial phase of the surveillance effort valued at up to $100 million."

    This wouldn't be the first time that Raytheon had positioned itself, and profited from, a media-driven panic. As investigative journalist Tim Shorrock documented for CorpWatch, "as the primary spying unit of defense industry giant Raytheon," the firm's Intelligence and Information Services division (Raytheon IIS) is the premier provider of command and control systems "capable of transforming data into actionable intelligence."

    For complete article reference links and features, please see original at Antifascist Calling... here.]

    Rather than addressing an impending social catastrophe, Western governments, which serve the interests of the economic elites, have installed a "Big Brother" police state with a mandate to confront and repress all forms of opposition and social dissent.


    - Michel Chossudovsky and Andrew Gavin Marshall, Preface,

    The Global Economic Crisis:

    The Great Depression of the XXI Century,

    Montreal: Global Research, 2010, p. xx.

    According to Shorrock, the unit's "most important clients ... are the NSA, NGA, and NRO, for which it provides signals and imaging processing, as well as information security software and tools;" in other words, agencies that are at the heart of America's electronic warfare complex.

    The program, Gorman writes, "would rely on a set of sensors deployed in computer networks for critical infrastructure that would be triggered by unusual activity suggesting an impending cyber attack." While Journalsources claim the program "wouldn't persistently monitor the whole system," a leaked Raytheon email paints a different picture, in line with other NSA intrusions into domestic affairs.

    "The overall purpose of the [program] is our Government...feel[s] that they need to insure the Public Sector is doing all they can to secure Infrastructure critical to our National Security," the whistleblower writes. "Perfect Citizen is Big Brother."

    These revelations have triggered concerns that projects like PERFECT CITIZEN, and others that remain classified, signal a new round of secret state surveillance and privacy-killing programs under the catch-all euphemism "cybersecurity."

    The Journal reports that information captured by PERFECT CITIZEN "could also have applications beyond the critical infrastructure sector, officials said, serving as a data bank that would also help companies and agencies who call upon NSA for help with investigations of cyber attacks, as Google did when it sustained a major attack late last year."

    In other words, the program will have major implications "beyond the critical infrastructure sector" and could adversely affect the privacy rights of all Americans. In fact, it wouldn't be much of a stretch to hypothesize that PERFECT CITIZEN may very well be related to other "intrusion detection programs" such as Einstein 3's deep-packet inspection capabilities that can read, and catalogue, the content of email messages flowing across private telecommunications networks.

    One unnamed military source told the Journal, "you've got to instrument the network to know what's going on, so you have situational awareness to take action."

    However, as the UK publication The Register noted, "many of the networks that the NSA would wish to place Perfect Citizen equipment on are privately owned, however, and some could also potentially carry information offering scope for 'mission creep' outside an infrastructure-security context."

    The Register's Lewis Page, a former Royal Navy Commander and frequent critic of the surveillance state, writes that "full access to power company systems might allow the NSA to work out whether anyone was at home at a given address. Transport and telecoms information would also make for a potential bonanza for intrusive monitoring."

    When queried whether the program would be yet another snooping tool deployed against the public, NSA spokesperson Judith Emmel told The Register Friday: "PERFECT CITIZEN is purely a vulnerabilities-assessment and capabilities-development contract."

    According to NSA, "This is a research and engineering effort. There is no monitoring activity involved, and no sensors are employed in this endeavor. Specifically, it does not involve the monitoring of communications or the placement of sensors on utility company systems."

    When specifically asked by Page if NSA is "seeking to spy on US citizens by means of examining their power or phone usage, tracking them through transport systems etc, the NSA would simply never think of such a thing."

    "Any suggestions that there are illegal or invasive domestic activities associated with this contracted effort are simply not true. We strictly adhere to both the spirit and the letter of US laws and regulations," insisted Emmel.

    Which raises an inevitable question: what would lead a Raytheon insider to compare the project to "Big Brother"? This is strong language from an employee of one of America's largest defense firms, a company in the No. 4 slot on Washington Technology's 2010 Top 100 list of prime federal contractors with some $6.7 billion in total revenue, 88% of which are derived from defense contracts.

    At this point we don't know, and Siobhan Gorman hasn't told us since the Journal, as of this writing, hasn't seen fit to enlighten the public with the full text, if one exists, as to why someone obviously familiar with the program would put their job at risk if PERFECT CITIZEN were simply a "vulnerabilities-assessment and capabilities-development contract" and not something far more sinister.

    The Pentagon Rules. Any Questions?

    The Journal reported that the project began as "a small-scale effort" under the code name APRIL STRAWBERRY. Over time, the classified program was "expanded with funding from the multibillion-dollar Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative, which started at the end of the Bush administration and has been continued by the Obama administration," Gorman wrote. Now, with billions of dollars available "the NSA is now seeking to map out intrusions into critical infrastructure across the country."

    As Antifascist Calling reported earlier this year (see: "Obama's National Cybersecurity Initiative Puts NSA in the Driver's Seat"), although the administration has released portions of the Bush regime's National Security Presidential Directive 54 (NSPD-54) in a sanitized version called the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI), the full scope of the program remains shrouded in secrecy.

    Indeed, most of NSPD-54 and CNCI have never been released to the public. This led the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) to write in a 2008 report that "virtually everything about the initiative is classified, and most of the information that is not classified is categorized as 'For Official Use Only'."

    Due to the opacity of the highly-secretive program and stonewalling by the administration, the SASC joined their colleagues on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and called for the initiative to be scaled-back "because policy and legal reviews are not complete, and because the technology is not mature."

    Hardly beacons of transparency themselves when it comes to overseeing depredations wrought by the secret state, nevertheless SASC questioned the wisdom of a program that "preclude public education, awareness and debate about the policy and legal issues, real or imagined, that the initiative poses in the areas of privacy and civil liberties. ... The Committee strongly urges the [Bush] Administration to reconsider the necessity and wisdom of the blanket, indiscriminate classification levels established for the initiative."

    In fact, as the investigative journalism web site ProPublica reported last summer, the White House "has erased all mention of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board from its Web site. The removal, which was done with no public notice, has underlined questions about the Obama administration's commitment to the board." As of this writing, it remains an empty shell.

    Despite repeated efforts by civil liberties and privacy groups, the Obama administration has been no more forthcoming than the previous regime in answering these critical concerns, particularly when the "policy and legal issues" are cloaked in secrecy under a cover of "national security."

    Instead, CNCI's "Initiative #12. Define the Federal role for extending cybersecurity into critical infrastructure domains," offer little more than linguistic sedatives meant to lull the public as to how and through what means the administration plans to build "on the existing and ongoing partnership between the Federal Government and the public and private sector owners and operators of Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources (CIKR)."

    While the administration claims that the "Department of Homeland Security and its private-sector partners have developed a plan of shared action with an aggressive series of milestones and activities," as we now know the civilian, though securocratic-minded Homeland Security bureaucracy is being supplanted by the Pentagon's National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command as the invisible hands guiding the nation's "cybersecurity" policies.

    As I reported last month (see: "Through the Wormhole: The Secret State's Mad Scheme to Control the Internet"), corporate greed and venality aren't the only motives behind hyped-up "cyber threats." Armed with multibillion dollar budgets, most of which are concealed from public view under a black cone of top secret classifications, agencies such as NSA are positioning themselves as gatekeepers over America's electronic communications infrastructure.

    The Media's Role

    With corporate media serving as "message force multipliers" for the flood of alarmist reports emanating from industry-sponsored think tanks such as the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), or lobby shops like the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) and the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA), it is becoming clear that consensus has been reached amongst Washington power brokers, one that will have a deleterious effect on the free speech and privacy rights of all Americans.

    Floated perhaps as a means to test the waters for restricting internet access, The New York Times reported July 4 that "the Internet affords anonymity to its users--a boon to privacy and freedom of speech. But that very anonymity is also behind the explosion of cybercrime that has swept across the Web."

    Reporter John Markoff, a conduit for "cyberwar" scaremongering, informs us that "Howard Schmidt, the nation's cyberczar, offered the Obama administration's proposal to make the Web a safer place--a 'voluntary trusted identity' system that would be the high-tech equivalent of a physical key, a fingerprint and a photo ID card, all rolled into one."

    "The system" Markoff writes, "might use a smart identity card, or a digital credential linked to a specific computer, and would authenticate users at a range of online services."

    Schmidt has described the Obama administration's approach (note the warm and fuzzy phrase hiding the steel fist) as a "voluntary ecosystem" in which "individuals and organizations can complete online transactions with confidence, trusting the identities of each other and the identities of the infrastructure that the transaction runs on."

    Markoff's reporting would be humorous if we didn't already know that secret state agencies themselves have already compromised the Secure Socket Layer certification process (SSL, the tiny lock that appears during supposedly "secure" online transactions), as computer security and privacy researchers Christopher Soghoian and Sid Stamm revealed in their paper, Certified Lies: Detecting and Defeating Government Interception Attacks Against SSL.

    In March, Soghoian and Stamm introduced the public to "a new attack, the compelled certificate creation attack, in which government agencies compel a certificate authority to issue false SSL certificates that are then used by intelligence agencies to covertly intercept and hijack individuals' secure Web-based communications." They provided "alarming evidence" that suggests "that this attack is in active use," and that a niche security firm, Packet Forensics, is already marketing "extremely small, covert surveillance devices for networks" to government agencies.

    Not everyone is thrilled by Schmidt's call to create this allegedly "voluntary" system. Lauren Weinstein, the editor of Privacy Journal, told the Times that "such a scheme is a pre-emptive push toward what would eventually be a mandated Internet 'driver's license' mentality."

    The stampede for increased state controls are accelerating. Stewart Baker, the NSA's chief counsel under Bush, told the Times that the "privacy standards the administration wants to adopt will make the system both unwieldy and less effective and not good for security." Baker and his ilk argue that all internet users "should be forced to register and identify themselves, in the same way that drivers must be licensed to drive on public roads."

    Considering that police have increasingly turned to license plate readers that are fast becoming "a fixture in local police arsenals," as the Center for Investigative Reporting revealed last month, and that such devices have been deployed for political surveillance here in the heimat and abroad, as both The Guardian and Seattle Weekly disclosed in reports documenting outrageous secret state spying, a licensing scheme for internet users is an ominous analogy indeed!

    The Grim Road Ahead

    A confidence game only works when "marks," in this case American citizens, allow themselves to be defrauded by a person or group who have gained their trust.

    And when trust cannot be won through reason, fear tends to take over as a powerful motivator. This is amply on display when it comes to Washington's ginned-up "cybersecurity" panic.

    According to this reading, fraudulent internet schemes, identity theft, even espionage by state- and non-state actors (say corporate spies who benefit from NSA's ECHELON program) have been transformed into a "war," one which Bush's former Director of National Intelligence, Mike McConnell, currently an executive vice president with the spooky Booz Allen Hamilton firm, claims the U.S. is "losing."

    But as security technology expert Bruce Schneier wrote last week, "There's a power struggle going on in the U.S. government right now.

    "It's about who is in charge of cyber security, and how much control the government will exert over civilian networks. And by beating the drums of war, the military is coming out on top."

    Schneier avers that "the entire national debate on cyberwar is plagued with exaggerations and hyperbole." Googling "cyberwar," as well as "'cyber Pearl Harbor,' 'cyber Katrina,' and even 'cyber Armageddon'--gives some idea how pervasive these memes are. Prefix 'cyber' to something scary, and you end up with something really scary."

    Hackers, criminals and sociopaths have been around since the birth of the "information superhighway." Schneier writes, "we surely need to improve our cybersecurity. But words have meaning, and metaphors matter. There's a power struggle going on for control of our nation's cybersecurity strategy, and the NSA and DoD are winning. If we frame the debate in terms of war, if we accept the military's expansive cyberspace definition of 'war,' we feed our fears."

    This is precisely the intent of our political masters. And if the purpose of "cyberwar" hype is to breed fear, mistrust and helplessness in the face of relentless attacks by shadowy actors only a mouse click away then, as Schneier sagely warns: "We reinforce the notion that we're helpless--what person or organization can defend itself in a war?--and others need to protect us. We invite the military to take over security, and to ignore the limits on power that often get jettisoned during wartime."

    Destroy trust, increase fear: create the "Perfect Citizen."






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    “You Americans are so gullible.
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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    Default Re: 'Perfect Citizen' Program Places 'Sensors' Throughout Web

    Are You Ready For The Government To Watch Everything You Do Online?



    SodaHead News 1 day ago


    Coining a phrase that George Orwell might have written in "1984," the government has unleashed a cyber "Perfect Citizen" program.

    According to the Wall Street Jounal, the program, which will cost more than $100 million in its initial phase, will detect cyber assaults on private companies and government agencies running such critical infrastructure as the electricity grid and nuclear-power plants. The surveillance, overseen by the National Security Agency, would use a set of sensors deployed in computer networks for infrastructure that would be triggered by unusual activity suggesting an impending cyber attack, the WSJ said.

    "The overall purpose of the [program] is our Government...feel[s] that they need to insure the Public Sector is doing all they can to secure Infrastructure critical to our National Security," said an internal email read by The Wall Street Journal. "Perfect Citizen is Big Brother."

    A U.S. military official told the WSJ that the program long overdue and said any intrusion into privacy is no greater than what the public already endures from traffic cameras.



    Should the government be building online programs that can watch everything you do?

    More: http://www.frequency.com/topic/cybersecurity/1687?...

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    Default Re: 'Perfect Citizen' Program Places 'Sensors' Throughout Web

    W.House proposal would grant FBI access to Internet activity records without court order

    29 Jul 2010


    Lawyer Stewart Baker said the change would sometimes "mean giving a lot more information to the FBI." (Courtesy Of The Department Of Homeland Security)

    The Obama administration is seeking to make it easier for the FBI to compel companies to turn over records of an individual's Internet activity without a court order if agents deem the information relevant to a terrorism or intelligence investigation.

    The administration wants to add four words -- "electronic communication transactional records" -- to a list of items that the law says the FBI may demand without a judge's approval.

    Government lawyers say this category of information includes the addresses to which an Internet user sends e-mail; the times and dates e-mail was sent and received; and possibly a user's browser history. It does not include, the lawyers say, the "content" of e-mail or other Internet communication.

    But what officials portray as a technical clarification designed to remedy a legal ambiguity strikes industry lawyers and privacy advocates as an expansion of the power the government wields through so-called national security letters. These missives, which can be issued by an FBI field office on its own authority, require the recipient to provide the requested information and to keep the request secret. They are the mechanism the government would use to obtain the electronic records.

    Stewart A. Baker, a former senior Bush administration Homeland Security official, said the proposed change would broaden the bureau's authority. "It'll be faster and easier to get the data," said Baker, who practices national security and surveillance law. "And for some Internet providers, it'll mean giving a lot more information to the FBI in response to an NSL."

    Many Internet service providers have resisted the government's demands to turn over electronic records, arguing that surveillance law as written does not allow them to do so, industry lawyers say. One senior administration government official, who would discuss the proposed change only on condition of anonymity, countered that "most" Internet or e-mail providers do turn over such data.

    To critics, the move is another example of an administration retreating from campaign pledges to enhance civil liberties in relation to national security. The proposal is "incredibly bold, given the amount of electronic data the government is already getting," said Michelle Richardson, American Civil Liberties Union legislative counsel.

    The critics say its effect would be to greatly expand the amount and type of personal data the government can obtain without a court order.

    "You're bringing a big category of data -- records reflecting who someone is communicating with in the digital world, Web browsing history and potentially location information -- outside of judicial review," said Michael Sussmann, a Justice Department lawyer under President Bill Clinton who now represents Internet and other firms.

    Privacy concerns

    The use of the national security letters to obtain personal data on Americans has prompted concern. The Justice Department issued 192,500 national security letters from 2003 to 2006, according to a 2008 inspector general report, which did not indicate how many were demands for Internet records. A 2007 IG report found numerous possible violations of FBI regulations, including the issuance of NSLs without having an approved investigation to justify the request. In two cases, the report found, agents used NSLs to request content information "not permitted by the [surveillance] statute."

    One issue with both the proposal and the current law is that the phrase "electronic communication transactional records" is not defined anywhere in statute. "Our biggest concern is that an expanded NSL power might be used to obtain Internet search queries and Web histories detailing every Web site visited and every file downloaded," said Kevin Bankston, a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has sued AT&T for assisting the Bush administration's warrantless surveillance program.

    He said he does not object to the government obtaining access to electronic records, provided it has a judge's approval.

    Senior administration officials said the proposal was prompted by a desire to overcome concerns and resistance from Internet and other companies that the existing statute did not allow them to provide such data without a court-approved order. "The statute as written causes confusion and the potential for unnecessary litigation," Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd said. "This clarification will not allow the government to obtain or collect new categories of information, but it seeks to clarify what Congress intended when the statute was amended in 1993."

    The administration has asked Congress to amend the statute, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, in the fiscal year that begins in October.

    Administration officials noted that the act specifies in one clause that Internet and other companies have a duty to provide electronic communication transactional records to the FBI in response to a national security letter.

    But the next clause specifies only four categories of basic subscriber data that the FBI may seek: name, address, length of service and toll billing records. There is no reference to electronic communication transactional records.

    Same as phone records?

    The officials said the transactional information at issue, which does not include Internet search queries, is the functional equivalent of telephone toll billing records, which the FBI can obtain without court authorization. Learning the e-mail addresses to which an Internet user sends messages, they said, is no different than obtaining a list of numbers called by a telephone user.

    Obtaining such records with an NSL, as opposed to a court order, "allows us to intercede in plots earlier than we would if our hands were tied and we were unable to get this data in a way that was quick and efficient," the senior administration official said.

    But the value of such data is the reason a court should approve its disclosure, said Greg Nojeim, senior counsel at the Center for Democracy and Technology. "It's much more sensitive than the other information, like name, address and telephone number, that the FBI gets with national security letters," he said. "It shows associational information protected by the First Amendment and is much less public than things like where you live."

    A Nov. 5, 2008, opinion from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, whose opinions are binding on the executive branch, made clear that the four categories of basic subscriber information the FBI may obtain with an NSL were "exhaustive."

    This opinion, said Sussmann, the former Clinton administration lawyer, caused many companies to reevaluate the scope of what could be provided in response to an NSL. "The OLC opinion removed the ambiguity," he said. "Providers now are limited to the four corners of what the opinion says they can give out. Those who give more do so at their own risk."

    Marc Zwillinger, an attorney for Internet companies, said some providers are not giving the FBI more than the four categories specified. He added that with the rise of social networking, the government's move could open a significant amount of Internet activity to government surveillance without judicial authorization. "A Facebook friend request -- is that like a phone call or an e-mail? Is that something they would sweep in under an NSL? They certainly aren't getting that now."

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    ."
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