A month ago, Glenn Greenwald announced that he was going to publish his biggest story yet: the names of those the NSA has been spying on.
Earlier today, Greenwald tweeted that he would finally publish the story tonight at midnight.
8 hours later, he tweeted:
After 3 months working on our story, USG [the United States government] today suddenly began making new last-minute claims which we intend to investigate before publishing
Many responded that it’s a trap, and that the government is dishonestly and illegally censoring Greewald.
At the same time, Cryptome announced that all of the Snowden documents will be released in July … supposedly in order to avert a war.
As the Daily Register notes:
All the remaining Snowden documents will be released next month, according to whistle-blowing site Cryptome, which said in a tweet that the release of the info by unnamed third parties would be necessary to head off an unnamed “war”.
Cryptome said it would “aid and abet” the release of “57K to 1.7M” new documents that had been “withheld for national security-public debate [sic]“.
“July is when war begins unless headed off by Snowden full release of crippling intel. After war begins not a chance of release,” Cryptome tweeted on its official feed. “Warmongerers are on a rampage. So, yes, citizens holding Snowden docs will do the right thing,” it said.
PayPal has restricted payments to and from ProtonMail, a Swiss-based email service offering full end-to-end encryption, “pending further review.” When pressed, PayPal questioned the legality of the anti-snooping service.
ProtonMail announced the payment freeze in a statement Tuesday, saying PayPal had made no attempt to contact them before shutting them out.
“When we pressed the PayPal representative on the phone for further details, he questioned whether ProtonMail is legal and if we have government approval to encrypt emails, the statement read.
“We are not sure which government PayPal is referring to, but even the 4th Amendment of the US constitution guarantees: ‘The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures….’ It seems PayPal is trying to come up with ANY excuse they can to prevent us from receiving funds,” ProtonMail said.
ProtonMail said credit card and Bitcoin contributions are still possible, and remain hopeful that bringing attention to the issue might help convince Paypal “to do the right thing.”
Developed by scientists both at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, CERN, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), ProtonMail came about as a direct result of the NSA Scandal and the closure of Lavabit in August.
ProtonMail’s servers are based in Geneva, Switzerland, meaning user data is outside the jurisdiction of both the US and the EU. Administrators of the service have no access to user data, messages are stored and transmitted in completely encrypted form and never leave “the ProtonMail environment,” and users are completely anonymous, as the creators say no metadata or other information is saved.
What’s more, the service offers “self-destructing messages,” whereby sent messages are deleted automatically from the recipient’s inbox after they expire.
This isn’t the first time PayPal has gotten in hot water with government transparency and personal privacy advocates.
In December 2010, the online payment service “permanently restricted” the account used in fund-raising efforts by WikiLeaks.
At the time, PayPal justified the move by saying that “our payment service cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity.”
The evidence that the U.S. was behind the toppling of the Ukrainian government early this year is so overwhelming at this point that the subject really isn’t up for debate, however initially it was unclear how the election of Petro Poroshenko fit in. The ecstatic response by Washington when he was declared the winner, and their unbending support in spite of his ongoing military assault against civilians in the east, made it clear that he was the chosen one, but the paper trail wasn’t immediately obvious.
As it turns out, the evidence that Poroshenko is in the pocket of the U.S. State Department has been available all this time, you just had to know where to find it. In a classified diplomatic cable from 2006 released by Wikileaks.org, U.S. officials refer to Poroshenko as “Our Ukraine (OU) insider Petro Poroshenko”. …
… In the official credits for the study conducted by Facebook you’ll find Jeffrey T. Hancock from Cornell University. If you go to the Minerva initiative website you’ll find that Jeffery Hancock received funding from the Department of Defense for a study called “Cornell: Modeling Discourse and Social Dynamics in Authoritarian Regimes”. If you go to the project site for that study you’ll find a visualization program that models the spread of beliefs and disease.
Cornell University is currently being funded for another DoD study right now called “Cornell: Tracking Critical-Mass Outbreaks in Social Contagions” (you’ll find the description for this project on the Minerva Initiative’s funding page).
The Department of Defense’s investment in the mechanics of psychological contagion and Facebook’s assistance, have some very serious implications, particularly when placed in context with other scandals which have broken in the past two years.
First of all we know that Facebook willingly participated (and presumably is still participating) in the NSA’s PRISM program by giving the agency unfettered access to user communications. We also know that the U.S. government has invested heavily in technology used to track and model the spread of opinions on social media.
The U.S. government hasn’t sought these capabilities for the sake of science. We know from the Cuban Twitter scandal, where the U.S. State Department where got caught red handed attempting to topple the Cuban government through social media, that these capabilities are already being used for offensive operations. Combine that with the fact that the U.S. Military got exposed in 2011 for developing ‘sock puppet’ software to create fake online identities and spread propaganda and an ominous picture snaps into focus.
The U.S. government is militarizing social media through a combination of technology and social sciences, and Facebook is helping them.