Tag Archives: Rupert Murdoch

Brits employ hacking into social media accounts as tool of National Defense

Media mogul Glenn Beck talks about government spoofing of private social media on his radio show.

Media mogul Glenn Beck talks about government spoofing of private social media on his radio show.

How much do you trust your government to do the right thing with your privacy and your freedom of speech? British citizens are finding out now that the answer to that question should be, “not very much”! It seems that a super-secret British spy agency is publishing a menu of options they have to provide politicians to hack into the social media accounts of citizens in the name of national security.

 

I learned about this first listening to Glenn Beck and have found creditable confirmation on a number of other websites. You can see Glenn’s comments on this issue here. Glenn Greenwald has an article here with a full description of the British government’s Internet capabilities. I’ve included the list here verbatim:

• “Change outcome of online polls” (UNDERPASS)

• “Mass delivery of email messaging to support an Information Operations campaign” (BADGER) and “mass delivery of SMS messages to support an Information Operations campaign” (WARPARTH)

• “Disruption of video-based websites hosting extremist content through concerted target discovery and content removal.” (SILVERLORD)

• “Active skype capability. Provision of real time call records (SkypeOut and SkypetoSkype) and bidirectional instant messaging. Also contact lists.” (MINIATURE HERO)

• “Find private photographs of targets on Facebook” (SPRING BISHOP)

• “A tool that will permanently disable a target’s account on their computer” (ANGRY PIRATE)

• “Ability to artificially increase traffic to a website” (GATEWAY) and “ability to inflate page views on websites” (SLIPSTREAM)

• “Amplification of a given message, normally video, on popular multimedia websites (Youtube)” (GESTATOR)

• “Targeted Denial Of Service against Web Servers” (PREDATORS FACE) and “Distributed denial of service using P2P. Built by ICTR, deployed by JTRIG” (ROLLING THUNDER)

• “A suite of tools for monitoring target use of the UK auction site eBay (www.ebay.co.uk)” (ELATE)

• “Ability to spoof any email address and send email under that identity” (CHANGELING)

• “For connecting two target phone together in a call” (IMPERIAL BARGE)

Now it would be great fun if you were computer hacker employed by the British or American governments monitoring the Internet activity of groups like Al Qaeda or ISIS. After all, they love to post videos of their exploits against the West there, videos for example of them blowing up American Soldiers or lopping off the heads of Christians and Jews and plopping them on spikes! Wouldn’t it be great if instead of going to the intended video posted by the terrorists, you would instead be misdirected to a video of an old lady power walking or Afghani Muslims humping a goat before getting blown up by a JDAM laser guided missile? I think it would be hilarious, but that is not likely to happen given the current political climate.

Instead of the above scenario, imagine something a little more realistic. Say you are a conservative blogger who doesn’t like Barack Obama much. Perhaps you don’t like the way he plays golf as the world burns; he sides with Palestinian terrorists instead of a free and democratic Israel; he allows Russia to run amok in Ukraine while shooting down Malaysian airliners; he invites millions of undocumented immigrants to flood the border while selling guns and other weapons to the drug coyotes who are bringing them over; he’s destroyed the economy with Obamacare; allowed an innocent Marine to rot in a Mexican prison and allowed his IRS and Justice Departments to target people who don’t agree with him. Because you have a dream of an idealized America with freedom for all, you’ve taken it upon yourself to remark on the many arrogant missteps of your government in your $5 blog and now you’ve raised the attention of the NSA, whose boss is the very president who you’ve been criticizing all this time, and he doesn’t like it.

So now the NSA or its British equivalent if you happen to be a Brit, has a solution to shut you up. They can use government paid hackers they retain on staff to hack your computer and implant hours and hours of child porn, while the FBI or IRS fabricate a reason to get a search warrant for your house and computer. And bam, you’re sitting in front of a judge and a jury with your government provided defense attorney who is late for his golf game with the president defending yourself against a child porn rap while all the time maintaining your innocence. Scary huh? And your only defense to a skeptical jury is, “I don’t look at that crap! I have no idea how it got there!”

Nice huh! And it’s not out of the way too much to imagine is it. See, when it’s just you, who is going to believe that you don’t look at child porn, or that you’ve hatched a scheme to overthrow the government or that you are cheating on your wife or whatever. You’re just you. In the meanwhile the government has all the legal machinery available to them in the form of any number of alphabet soup type agencies with which to go after you: i.e. the IRS, the DOJ, the NSA, the FBI. You’re bad and you’re fellow citizens will see it and you’ll be thrown into jail. You’re a nut who needs to locked up. It’s a communist dictator’s dream.

The only solution to this problem in my view is for everyone to get a gun and a blog and start writing. They can’t get us all, and when they go after one of us, they go after all of us. The IRS may have destroyed all of those emails and hard drives, and the DOJ won’t press any charges against the Lois Lerner types,  but then the confidence in government will never be the same as long as the average citizen is an enemy of the state just for exercising his freedom of speech. Eventually the American Spring will happen and the end of progressive government will come to an end. The faster, the better. Our founders gave us a great, accountable, limited form of government. Progressives continue to try to take that away. They say the Constitution is too limiting, it’s a list of negative rights, whatever that means. We’ve got to send a message to our government that we reject being spied on and monitored, or free speech rights being curtailed and if they keep it up, we the people are going to throw them out of office and into jail.

In Great Britain, news organizations like News of the World, owned by billionaire media tycoon Rupert Murdoch went down in flames when it was discovered that reporters were listening illegally to phone conversations in order to get the scoop on dirt in the lives of celebrities so they could print their stories first in their latest editions. You can find information about that scandal here. People went to jail for that and News of the World was forced to shutter their doors. If’ it’s illegal for journalists to threaten the privacy of citizens, then why is OK for the government to do it. It’s not, and western governments need to know it’s not OK.

Who do they think they are anyway?

Now comes the conspiracy theories! Imagine if the News of the World scandal was a made up scenario by the government to punish conservative media. It cost Murdoch and friends serious loss of reputation, money and people went to jail over it. How do you prove your government sabotaged your media organization? What if Sen. Weiner’s Twitter account was actually hacked in order to shut him up for who knows what reason? See, there is a slippery slope developing here.

By the way, if you suspect you will eventually be caught doing something illegal on the Internet, maybe you’re running an illegal scam, or you’re in charge of an online gambling ring, or the aforementioned child porn racket, just hire a conservative blogger to create a cover story for you. And save copies of everything. You may have a plausible alibi when you’re case comes to trial!

When the government and thieves alike have the power to hack into your accounts through the Internet or listen to your phone calls, no one is safe from people with nefarious intent.  If someone doesn’t like you, and has these tools at their disposal, they can destroy you, your reputation, your life.

I suspect the private sector will be coming with a solution for this. Phones will have anti-listening or jamming software on them so that no one can listen in, Internet capable computers will have anti-spoofing software included, and there will be online reputation protection services cropping up dedicated to defending you in case you’re computer is hacked.

The bottom line is there is a lot of awful things happening on the Internet. Lots of great things too. The fact is that in a free society, information needs to be freely transmitted, the good with the bad. That is the marketplace of free ideas. When that capability is shuttered, bad things happen. It is better to tolerate the bad, then let the good be silenced.

In a free society, when the truth is given an equal footing, the truth always wins. That is the concept of the Free Marketplace of Ideas.

 Crossposted from the American Millennium Online

 

Murdoch’s News Corp to Split in two

Rupert Murdoch splits News Corp

Rupert Murdoch

“News Corp” was founded by Rupert Murdoch more than 30 years ago and today it has been confirmed that the business will be split into two separately listed companies.

“News Corporation confirmed today that it is considering a restructuring to separate its business into two distinct publicly traded companies,” News Corp said in a statement.

The move is to split News Corps publishing division from the more lucrative television and film business.

News Corp’s U.S. print assets include venerable publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, the New York Post and Financial News and community publications like The Brooklyn Paper and The Coming Leader. Murdoch’s empire also includes 20+ magazines and inserts like Modern Boating, Truckin’ Life, and the Entertainment and Travel section of Vogue. The company also has assets in the U.K. and Australia.

The long list of News Corp’s broadcasting assets include*:

  • 20th Century Fox Television
  • 20th Television
  • Foxtel
  • Fox Broadcasting Company
  • Fox International Channels
  • Fox International Channels Italy
  • Fox International Channels Portugal
  • Fox International Channels Philippines
  • Fox Channels Benelux
  • Fox Sports Australia
  • Fox Telecolombia
  • Fox Television Stations
  • Fox Television Studios
  • Imedi Media Holding
  • Latvijas Neatkarīgā Televīzija
  • MyNetworkTV
  • STAR TV
  • TV5 Rīga

As is the list of cable outlets:

  • Big Ten Network (49%)
  • Fox Business Network
  • Fox College Sports
  • Fox Movie Channel
  • Fox News Channel
  • Fox Soccer Channel
  • Fox Sports Enterprises
  • Fox Sports en Español
  • Foxtel (25%) –
  • Fox Sports Net
  • FUEL TV
  • FX Networks
  • Fox Reality Channel
  • National Geographic Channel (US) (67%)
    • National Geographic Channel (International) (50%)
  • Speed Channel
  • SportSouth
  • LAPTV (Latin America — co-owned with Paramount Pictures/Viacom, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/MGM Holdings and Universal Studios/NBC Universal)
  • Telecine (Brazil — co-owned with Globosat Canais, Paramount Pictures, MGM, Universal Studios and DreamWorks)
Rupert Murdoch has built a news and entertainment empire over the last three decades and appears now to be experiencing the same shift in consumer attitudes that other media companies are seeing – more people are turning to digital and television than the printed word.

* – according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_assets_owned_by_News_Corporation

SOPA/PIPA: “Fairness Doctrine” Tyranny Coming In The Back Door

SOPA/PIPA is another case of government control over what We the People will be allowed to see or hear on the internet. The “Fairness Doctrine” was thwarted by We the People through the outrage expressed to our elected members of Congress, ironically over the internet for the most part, so they have seemingly decided to come in the back door and “protect” us from unscrupulous vendors. That is great to a point but who is going to protect us from the government? Barack Obama and many members of both political parties consider We the People too stupid to know what is in our best interests.

Instead of going after the ISP’s and search engine companies like Google, why don’t they try a novel approach, something that has never been done in modern history? Why not enforce the laws on the books against fraud? I guess that is much too difficult of a concept for politicians to grasp.

This reminds me of gun violence. How do we solve the problem of violent crimes committed with guns? Someone with my apparent lack of intelligence would suggest we imprison the criminals with very long sentences, or just execute them when the crime calls for such punishment. What is the answer the government comes up with? Well, let’s just take guns away from those not committing crimes so we don’t have to be concerned with them killing the criminals. And when government bureaucrats violate the existing gun laws we can promote them and then use those violations as an excuse to continue on our merry gun ban crusade.

These bills aren’t about protecting We the People or legitimate businesses from criminal activity. That can be done by enforcing existing law. This is about controlling what we see, what we hear, and how citizens communicate with one another. The “Arab Spring” came about as a result of dissidents communicating over the internet through social network sites, instant messaging, and texting. The powers-that-be in our government have seen what can happen when people communicate freely and share information. Open lines of communication are a danger to despots and every dictatorship in the world controls the internet access of their subjects.

I remember Obama giving a speech at a college in which he stated that “information is dangerous”. I have always been taught that information and knowledge are invaluable tools to make our lives better. It seems that Obama and most of the members of Congress weren’t taught the same lessons in their younger years. If they manage to get this legislation through they will be able to control everything that crosses our computers.

As the “Fairness Doctrine” sought to control us and make sure we were exposed to Marxist doctrine, this legislation will be used to prevent We the People from having free access to each other and to the information we need to make decisions beneficial to our lives. We will no longer be able to thwart tyrannical legislation, or regulations dictated by bureaucrats, because we will not know about them unless the government deems them safe for public consumption.

I am not surprised to find out that the biggest proponents of this legislation are the major television networks, and include Rupert Murdoch, owner of FOX News. Why would the owner of a “conservative” news network want to prohibit the free flow of information? Shouldn’t FOX News and its owner be in favor of freedom of the press? I guess the reality that they are losing millions of viewers because they don’t tell the truth, don’t tell the whole story on issues, and ignore any story that doesn’t fit their template has alarmed them to the point that it needs to be acted upon.

Internet news sites such as Conservative Daily News, The Drudge Report, The Post & E-mail, and social network sites pass information much faster, more efficiently, and more completely than any or all of the major media networks. With the advent of internet news the major media companies can no longer slant the news to suit their Marxist ideology, nor can the ignore news that is not to their liking or doesn’t fit their agenda.

The free flow of information is critical to any free society. Once a government controls what information citizens have access to tyranny is right around the corner. Iran, China, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela are all dictatorships that keep their citizens enslaved and in darkness by keeping them from the knowledge of how the rest of the world operates. After the uprisings in 2009 Iran clamped down on social network media to prevent dissidents from organizing more protests and other dictatorships have long been bastions of tyranny by preventing any citizen contact with the outside world, or each other.

Obama and his minions have seen what happens to dictators who allow the free flow of information to their subjects. Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Muammar Kadafi in Libya are prime examples of what happens when dictators allow their subjects to communicate without restrictions. I am curious to see what the future brings to these countries when the Muslim Brotherhood takes over and installs the tyranny of Sharia law on their people. Those who took to the streets for freedom may find themselves under the thumb of rulers just as brutal as those they overthrew in the “Arab Spring” uprisings.

Iran is a good example of an uprising that came about because of internet access and how the government acted to prevent it from happening again. Outside contact has been as restricted by Mahmoud Ahmadinijad and the mullahs as it can be and severe punishment awaits anyone caught communicating without government sanction. The very rulers who turned their backs on freedom seeking Iranians in 2009 now seek to impose the very same restrictions on their subjects, namely We the American People.

This legislation, as usual, is not a partisan attempt at subjugation. This legislation is supported by many members of Congress in both political parties, and who I suspect have no idea what is in the bills. Since they don’t have time to read anything they vote on it is incumbent on We the People to find out what is in the legislation and spread the word of warning through internet news and social network sites.

We must stand up once again to protect the freedoms bought with the blood of generations of patriots from the Revolutionary War to today. If we do not have the courage to stand for freedom, the blood of hundreds of thousands of patriots since 1776 will have been wasted and future generations will be sentenced to a life tyranny, suffering, and poverty. To this cause I pledge “my life, my fortune, and my sacred honor”; to the cause of freedom for future generations. Every American owes their utmost opposition to this legislation in honor of those who have gone before us and for the freedom of those who will follow us.

I submit this in the name of the Most Holy Trinity, in faith, with the responsibility given to me by Almighty God to honor His work and not let it die from neglect.

Bob Russell
Claremore, Oklahoma
January 19, 2012

Steve Jobs Spent Final Birthday With Rupert Murdoch

 

Many people thought of Steve Jobs as a Liberal, and I can’t say that I’d blame them.  Al Gore is on his board of directors, he had offered to help Barack Obama create a campaign ad, and he was into all sorts of “hippie” stuff in his free time.  He even professed a love for the New York Times.  So imagine my surprise when I found out he was good friends with Rupert Murdoch.  How good of friends?  He joked that he would hide the knives in his house to protect Murdoch from his (admittedly) Liberal wife.  Upon learning this, I was fascinated.

Walter Isaacson’s biography of Jobs details the relationships that the gifted C.E.O. had with many titans of American business; from Silicon Valley to even the publishing world, Jobs was connected.  Steve was convinced that his iPad could do for news papers what the iPod had done for music, and as such, he had set about trying to convince publishers to create content for the iPad.  In particular, he was very worried about the New York Times.  He felt that they were declining, and that it was “important to the country” for them to figure out how to be successful in the 21st century.  He went so far as to make helping the New York Times “his personal project, whether they wanted it or not”.  Amazingly, the Times didn’t appreciate Jobs’s help, but do you know who did?  Rupert Murdoch.

Murdoch was open to the idea of making a newspaper that caters to the “USA Today crowd” that is only available on Apple’s iPad.  Many critics have panned the newspaper (called “The Daily”), but in working on that venture, Steve and Rupert formed a friendship that many would not have expected.

Admittedly, Jobs was not a fan of Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity, but he felt like their shows didn’t represent the Rupert Murdoch that he knew, and as such he ended up developing an admiration for the owner of Fox News.  Steve found a kindred spirit in Rupert.  They both believed each other to be men who had created and grown large companies that had managed to retain their “culture”.  They lamented how companies like Sony had stumbled and failed in that regard.  They also shared a desire to change the school text book industry.  They saw that the future was in digitizing text books, and with Apple’s iPad, Jobs had a keen interest in seeing that happen.

I found this chapter in Steve’s biography to be very interesting, and if you read the book, I strongly suggest that you don’t skip past it.  One of my favorite lines is when Jobs discusses inviting Murdoch to spend his final birthday with him.  He tells of how he had to “make sure that Laurene (his wife) didn’t veto the plan”…

“It was my birthday, so she had to let me have Rupert over.”   -Steve Jobs