Tag Archives | Secrets

Obama Administration Proposes Weakening Freedom Of Information Act

freedom of information actObama pushes for officials to gain the right to lie about the existence of documents or materials. Via the Denver Post:

The federal Freedom of Information Act was supposed to be a torch that journalists, advocates and ordinary people could use to cast a light on the operations of their government. It’s profoundly disappointing to see the Obama administration proposing changes to FOIA that would allow federal agencies to lie about the very existence of information being sought.

The worst among them is the proposed change that would allow the government to tell those requesting information under FOIA that the material does not exist when, in fact, it does. The change would apply to certain law enforcement or national security documents.

Currently, the government can issue what is called a Glomar response, which is when the government neither confirms nor denies the existence of the material.

That term was coined after a Los Angeles Times reporter in the mid-1970s attempted to obtain information about the CIA’s Glomar Explorer, a vessel built to raise a sunken Soviet submarine from the floor of the Pacific Ocean.

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Edward Snowden Reveals That Fake Internet Cafes Were Used To Monitor Emails At London G20 Summits

GCGQ

The Guardian has more revelations from top secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden, including, Britain’s GCHQ intelligence agency runs its own internet cafes in the vicinity of geopolitical conferences:

Foreign politicians and officials who took part in two G20 summit meetings in London in 2009 had their computers monitored and their phone calls intercepted on the instructions of their British government hosts. Some delegates were tricked into using internet cafes which had been set up by British intelligence agencies to read their email traffic.

The evidence is contained in documents – classified as top secret – which were uncovered by the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and seen by the Guardian.

The revelation comes as Britain prepares to host another summit on Monday – for the G8 nations, all of whom attended the 2009 meetings which were the object of the systematic spying. It is likely to lead to some tension among visiting delegates who will want the prime minister to explain whether they were targets in 2009 and whether the exercise is to be repeated this week.

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How To See Your NSA Or FBI File

your nsa or fbi file

Truth be told, it may be disappointing not to have an FBI file. Daily Kos writes:

Have you ever Tweeted a politically subversive message, attended a protest, or signed an oppositional petition? If so, you may have a dedicated file on you kept by the FBI and/or the NSA.

With a simple Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, any U.S. citizen can obtain one’s NSA or FBI file, if such a file exists.

getmyfbifile.com will, free of charge, generate the necessary forms for you already filled out. Of course, you can also do this directly through the NSA or FBI if you are worried about providing personal information to an independent site.

While an appropriate level of cynicism may be warranted concerning the transparency one should expect from such a request – should your file be substantial – it is the law that your complete file be provided to you. It is your right to know this information.

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Court Rules Google’s Relationship With The NSA Can Remain Secret

relationship with NSA

Be careful what you search? Via Forbes one week ago:

In the ruling Friday, the DC Circuit court decided that the National Security Agency doesn’t need to confirm or deny its relationship with Google in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, ruling that a FOIA exemption covers any documents whose exposure might hinder the NSA’s national security mission.

After Google revealed in early 2010 that it had been hacked by cyberspies seemingly based in China, the Washington Post reported that Google and the NSA had partnered to help bolster the company’s defenses against future attacks. NSA director Mike McConnell [stated] that a partnership with Google was “inevitable.”

The ruling comes as controversy has been growing around CISPA, a bill that passed the House last month that would allow private firms like Google to share a wide range of information with government agencies like the NSA for cybersecurity reasons.

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Vatican Library To Digitalize Its 82,000-Manuscript Collection For Online Viewing

vatican library

Soon anyone with an internet connection will be able to access millennia-old texts previously available only to 200 scholars in Rome. Are secrets waiting to be uncovered? The Toronto Star writes:

With 2.8 petabytes of storage from global data company EMC, the Vatican Library had to decide where to begin. In all, the collection will take 43 petabytes of storage.

“We start with the most delicate, the books that are in a critical situation for conservation,” said Luciano Ammenti, who is in charge of IT at the Vatican.

They include the Vatican’s 8,900 incunabula (books printed before 1501): the Sifra, a Hebrew manuscript written a millennia ago, a 4th century manuscript of the Greek Bible and the De Europa of Pope Pius II, printed around 1491.

“People often think the Vatican Library is a place where secrets are kept,” said scriptor graecus Timothy Janz. Once digitization opens the library to the world, “many things that remain to be discovered will be found.”

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Former Guatemalan Dictator Convicted Of Genocide

guatemalan dictator

The military dictatorship led by Montt slaughtered thousands upon thousands of villagers in an effort to exterminate Guatemala’s indigenous ethnic Mayan population, which it regarded as sympathetic to leftist rebels. No word on whether the CIA and Ronald Reagan will be tried posthumously as accessories. Reuters reports:

Former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt was found guilty on Friday of genocide and crimes against humanity and sentenced to 80 years in prison. It was the first time a former head of state had been found guilty of genocide in his or her own country.

Montt, now 86, took power after a coup in 1982 and implemented a scorched-earth policy in which troops massacred thousands of indigenous villagers thought to be helping leftist rebels.

Prosecutors say Montt turned a blind eye as soldiers used rape, torture and arson to try to rid Guatemala of leftist rebels during his 1982-1983 rule, the most violent period of a 1960-1996 civil war in which as many as 250,000 people died.

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Remote Viewing Pioneer Russell Targ Describes The Origins Of ESP Powers

Russell Targ describes his jaw-dropping psychic missions for the CIA and the origins of extrasensory remote viewing, which he claims is "a natural psychic ability we all have…it was described originally by the Buddhists two thousands years ago, but modern physics has finally caught on":
Russell Targ is a physicist who was a pioneer in the development of the laser and laser applications, and was co-founder of the Stanford Research Institute’s (SRI) investigation into psychic abilities in the 1970s and 1980s. His work with SRI in what was a new area, called remote viewing, has been widely published. In 1976, Targ retired from Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space Co. as a senior staff scientist. This talk was on April 14, 2013, at the Vortex Immersion Dome, in Los Angeles. Conceived under a TEDx license, it ultimately was presented under the auspice of Suzanne Taylor's Mighty Companions non-profit foundation.
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Former U.S. Senator Claims White House Is Covering Up UFO Evidence

evidence of ufosDecide for yourself whether the advocacy at the UFO conference by Gravel, who declared personal bankruptcy a few years ago, could have been influenced by the previously noted payment of $20,000 he received for his appearance. Yahoo! News reports:

Former Sen. Mike Gravel (D-Alaska) says the White House has helped keep the truth about the “extraterrestrial influence that is investigating our planet” from the public: “It goes right to the White House…it just goes down the chain of command, everyone stands toe.”

Gravel is one of six former congressional representatives who were paid by the UFO advocacy group Paradigm Research to participate in a Congressional-style Citizen Hearing on Disclosure in Washington this week, where witness after witness presented first-hand accounts of UFO sightings and extraterrestrial visits.

Gravel says the strongest accounts of alien encounters are from former military officers, such as retired Air Force Capt. Robert Salas, who testified that UFOs temporarily disabled nuclear weapons on his watch.

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Robot Discovers Unknown Passageways Below The Aztec Temple of Quetzalcoatl

quetzalcoatl

The hidden chambers could contain the corpses of the ancient civilization’s rulers, about whom very little is known. Via the Daily Mail:

A tiny robot has made a momentous archaeological discovery deep under the famous Temple of Quetzalcoatl, it was announced on Monday. The robot has spent months exploring the tunnels under the celebrated temple, which lies about 37 miles north of Mexico City. The temple is best known for the towering Pyramids of the Moon and the Sun.

Experts expected to find just one ancient chamber at the end of a stretch of 2,000-year-old unexplored tunnel at the Teotihuacan site. Instead, the remote-controlled vehicle has beamed back images of three mysterious caverns.

The complex of pyramids, plazas, temples and avenues was once the center of a city of more than 100,000 inhabitants and may have been the largest and most influential city in pre-Hispanic North America at the time. But nearly 2,500 years after the city was founded, very little is known about the identity of its rulers.

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Former KGB Officer Describes The Soviet Union’s Secret UFO Studies

soviet ufoThe earthly or extraterrestrial origin of the UFOs was never determined, but some military officials  believed they knew how to summon them, Russia Beyond the Headlines writes:

The Soviet Union took UFOs seriously. The KGB and the Soviet Defense Ministry had dedicated units collecting and analysing information about paranormal activity. Military experts even claimed to know how to “summon” UFOs and make contact with them.

The source for this is a retired FSB major general and researcher, Vasily Yeremenko. Yeremenko was in charge of the KGB division overseeing the air force and aircraft manufacturing. This division was entrusted with the task of collecting all reports of UFO sightings.

[In the 1970s], as Yeremenko told RBTH, there had been an accumulation of reports on numerous paranormal incidents. Missile Troops units were even instructed on how to behave in the event that they spotted a UFO: the main thing was not to act in a way that could create an opportunity for a retaliatory aggression.

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