Zebra 3 Report by Joe Anybody
Tuesday, 10 August 2010
technique that exploits the cell phone infrastructure to compromise cell user's privacy
Now Playing: Hack pinpoints cell user (and more)
New Hack Pinpoints Cell Phone User's Location, Personal And Business Relationships Researchers demonstrate a technique that exploits the cell phone infrastructure to compromise cell user's privacy
Apr 21, 2010 | 12:27 PM
ORIGINAL ARTICLE FOUND HERE:
By Kelly Jackson HigginsDarkReading
Turns out you don't even need a GPS to track a mobile phone user's whereabouts and glean her movements and interactions: Researchers have discovered a way to use information from the GSM mobile infrastructure to track down someone and even listen in on her voicemail messages and calls.
Don Bailey, security consultant with iSec Partners, and independent researcher Nick DePetrillo today at the SOURCE Boston conference demonstrated how they were able to use a combination of available GSM data plus their own handmade tools to glean someone's cell phone number, pinpoint where she was located physically, and determine what she was doing, as well as gather intelligence about her relationships -- business or otherwise.
"We create a dossier about someone's life over a period of time," Bailey says. "We're able to infer things about an individual's behavior and interactions with the company they work for [as well]," he says.
The researchers gathered information from the GSM network infrastructure itself: "We're using information we can gather from the GSM network to infer your location. And we've taken GSM geolocation a few steps forward, combined with some tools we developed," DePetrillo says. "This is new and novel and really, really scary."
The research has chilling implications for businesses, as well as the individuals themselves. Bailey and DePetrillo say they were able to glean the identity of a government contractor by sifting through caller IDs and phone numbers they traced to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, for example.
Bottom line is it demonstrates inherent weaknesses in the way mobile providers interoperate over the GSM infrastructure. "There is a soft underbelly in the cell phone network...it's an interoperability thing," Bailey says. "We are taking advantage of the way these companies are exposing interfaces to each other. That's where it becomes a serious problem."
Tyler Shields -- a senior researcher for Veracode who recently released proof-of-concept code for a spyware app for the BlackBerry that can track the victim's physical location via GPS and grab sensitive information -- says Bailey and DePetrillo's research is novel in that it attacks the GSM infrastructure itself.
"That's akin to attacking the Internet at the router level," Shields says. "This attacks at the infrastructure level versus the application level. If you can compromise the infrastructure's underlying building blocks, the rest of it will tumble. That's what makes their [research] so interesting."
The researchers used the GSM provider caller ID database, the Home Location Registry (HLR), and some voicemail-hacking techniques, along with their own tools. They reverse-engineered the mobile phone caller ID database by scanning blocks of cell phone numbers, creating a white pages of sorts of these numbers. "It comes back with the name of the organization that owns it," DePetrillo says. They also were able to determine the cell number's cell provider, even if that number had been ported to a new provider, he says.
They then leveraged the HLR, a central repository of information mobile phone subscribers, to locate cell phone towers and regional locations, among other information. "We [used] the mobile switching center number, which corresponds with all cell phone towers in a region and calls back to the switching center where data is routed," Bailey says.
The researchers were able to combine this data, as well as from social networks, to glean a victim's comings and goings. "We can make connections between the movements and 50 or so candidates and whittle it down to one or two," for example, he says.
They then sifted through voicemail or grabbed phone records of who the victim had been speaking with. "We can take those numbers and get you and the other phone to call each other" and conference in to listen in on the conversation to grab more intelligence, he says.
With a little caller ID spoofing, they can extract other information about the victim by hacking into voicemail, for instance. "We can call someone's phone with a spoofed caller ID. Then we can enter the voicemail box without a PIN," DePetrillo says. "That's not new, but combined with other techniques, it lets us get directly into their voicemail without ringing the phone."
The researchers -- who did not release the tools they created -- have alerted major GSM carriers in the U.S. about their findings. "They are very concerned," Bailey says. Some are looking at how to better mitigate these types of attacks, but it won't be easy.
How can a mobile phone user protect herself from this in the meantime? Short of shutting off her phone, not much, according to the researchers.
There are a few possible red flags that could indicate an attack, but it's mainly a silent one. "If you have a particular missed call, or something strange happens, like you got a phone call from yourself, or your [phone] is suddenly calling someone [itself], those could be telltale signs of an attack."
But most of these attacks would be transparent to the victim. There's only about a 10 to 15 percent chance he would see something awry, Bailey says, because the phone won't ring, for instance.
The researchers say some of their work actually scared them. "The Washington, D.C., area is pretty insecure," DePetrillo says. "I came up with a scenario where you can track very important individuals wherever they are...you don't have to track a government official under high security, just the people who travel with him [via their phones], a lot of whom are not under high security, such as congressional aides."
"So if want to find out where Steve Jobs, Brad Pitt, or Tiger Woods is hiding out, you could [potentially] do that with our techniques," he says.
Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly,
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 11:53 PM PDT
Digital Activism - Something To Consider
Now Playing: Information - or - Inspiration
Welcome to Gauravonomics Blog! Subscribe to my blog, follow me on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook and you'll never miss a post again!
At the recent e-STAS Symposium on Technologies for Social Action, it became evident to me that there are two dramatically different paradigms of digital activism: empowering with information and engaging with inspiration.
In the first paradigm of digital activism, you work with a disadvantaged group that suffers from limited access to even the most basic information and tools for self-expression. So, you use simple-to-use digital devices like Nokia mobile phones and Flip video cameras and simple-to-use digital technologies like text messages and online video to enable them to access basic information and share their own stories. Frontline SMS, Ushahidi, Freedom Fone and Video Volunteers are good examples of the ‘empowering with information’ paradigm of digital activism.
In the second paradigm of digital activism, you work with a group that is anything but disadvantaged. This group is at ease with using always on internet and mobile devices, both for instantaneous access to information and for self-expression and social interaction. Here, the digital activist isn’t trying to solve a crisis of capability, but a crisis of caring. Here, the aim is not to empower with information, but to engage with inspiration. Move On and iJanaagraha are examples of the ‘engaging with inspiration’ paradigm of digital activism.
Usually people associate the ‘empowering with information’ paradigm of digital activism with emerging Asia and Africa and the ‘engaging with inspiration’ paradigm of digital activism with affluent North America and Europe.
At e-STAS, it became evident to me that these two worlds coexist in India. First, Osama Manzar talked about empowering 1.2 billion Indians by giving them access to information and a voice to tell their own stories firsthand. In the next session, I talked about inspiring 50 million young, urban, educated, connected Indians to use their already influential voices as engaged citizens, not only as consumers.
At e-STAS, it also became evident to me that activists who look at the world through the ‘empowering with information’ lens often limit themselves to using digital technologies to create and share content, while activists who look at the world through the ‘engaging with inspiration’ lens use content as the starting point to leverage the conversation, collaboration, community and collective intelligence layers of digital (social) technologies. So, the video of the 21 year old widow in rural Africa becomes the starting point of a campaign to end war, or a community that helps her collect enough money to buy a cow.
The point here is not that one paradigm is more important than the other; the point is that both paradigms co-exist, in more contexts than we think they do.
So, if you are an activist, think about whether you operate from the ‘empowering with information’ or ‘engaging with inspiration’ paradigm and ask yourself how your cause can benefit from both.
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 11:22 PM PDT
Leonard Peltier by Jim Page
Now Playing: A song for Leonard Peltier
Topic: NATIVE AMERICANS
Written by Jim Page: http://www.jimpage.net/leonardpeltier.htm
In the late winter of 1977 John Trudell came to the University Of Washington to speak about Leonard Peltier. I had never heard about Leonard, but John was AIM chairman and I had been doing some stuff around the American Indian Movement, playing at rallies and so on, and thought I would check it out. Somebody I knew was probably involved, I thought, as I headed out to the campus in the early evening. Sure enough, Steve Robideau was there and I asked him if I could play a few songs. No problem, but you’ll have to ask John, and I did and it was fine with him too. Trudell was a wiry, quick looking man a few years older than me. He had that look on his face that told you he was up to something. He seemed pretty smart.
I played and John spoke, and I was impressed. Afterwards I told him, “I like how you talk,” and he said, “I like how you sing. Would you be interested in coming out to the Midwest to see what the people are doing?” “I sure would,” I said, and I handed him my phone number on a piece of paper. It was before business cards…
A few months later I got a phone call from John Trudell. He apologized for taking so long to get back to me and said that they had booked me a flight out on Northwest Airlines for the following week, would I be able to make it. I recognized a familiar sense of time and said of course. A few days later I got a one-way ticket to Minneapolis-Saint Paul.
It was early May with a scattered Seattle overcast sky as I headed out to the airport. I hadn’t flown much and all I had for my guitar was soft case that went over my shoulder. I just walked on board with it. The stewardess told me that they would put it in the closet at the rear of the plane where it would be safe. I said okay and took my seat. My neighbor was a man who trained attack dogs. He looked like an attack dog. He was on his way to testify in a case where a dog had mauled an innocent party. His job was to determine the cause. When he talked about the different kinds of wounds and the directions of the teeth marks his mouth made a wise-crack grin, and I knew that since there was only so much room in those lunatic asylums, I would have to just put up with it and hope for the best. Many of his dogs were working for police departments…
Circling over the Twin Cities airport I saw why they called it the Land Of A Thousand Lakes. The ground below looked like someone had broken a mirror and scattered the pieces all over the place. Some of the lakes looked no bigger than parking lots, and there were hundreds of them. My attack dog friend and I touched down with all that metal around us, skidding like it does, and coming to a stop outside the terminal. Because my guitar was in the rear of the plane I had to wait until everyone else got off before I could go back and get it. Consequently I was the last passenger off the airplane.
As I walked down the ramp I saw two men in suits waiting at the bottom. One of them had a camera. He took two pictures and they both walked off. Hmm, I thought, welcome to Minnesota. A few seconds later a very pretty native woman approached me and introduced herself. She was Tina Trudell, John’s wife. John, she said, was due in momentarily on another flight. He showed up carrying a small duffle bag and we walked out into the Minnesota heat, 98 degrees and 98 percent humidity. We headed into the city. They had organized for me to stay at a house in Minneapolis where some really interesting people lived. They had a printing press in the basement and ran a little operation called “Haymarket Press.” Once I was settled John and Tina went on their way but I would see them again soon, they said.
I always liked to be self supporting, so once I learned how to move around in the heat I made my way out to the university with my guitar. I figured out what would be the best place to start and what the class change times were and got to work. There was no technique really, just open your mouth and start talking real loud, rhyming and rhythming into some sort of scene where you could gather a crowd and do your thing. It took a few days to get a decent audience but pretty soon I was doing just fine. And pretty soon I began to notice those two men in suits who always seemed to be hanging around under the trees watching me work. They never put any money in the hat and they didn’t really look like professors. My escorts, I figured. How thoughtful.
Right away John began telling me stories about Pine Ridge and Leonard Peltier. About the mineral deposits and the 1855 Fort Laramie treaty, RESMURS, the GOONS and the FBI. He would take me out to where he lived, in the Little Earth Housing Project. Everybody there knew about Leonard and some of them had been involved in the events of those days. The stories began to pile up until one day I said, “maybe there’s a song in this.” John looked at me and smiled, as if to say, “it took you long enough.”
I began writing verses but there were holes in my understanding. I didn’t want to make anything up, I wanted to make a ballad that would tell the story the way it happened. I knew that objectivity was a myth, that every story teller took a side, and had I decided on my stand. Now I had to get all the parts right. Every few days I would meet up with Trudell again and read to him what I had written and ask him about certain things. He would answer and I would go off to write some more.
One evening there was a thunder storm coming in. They get great strong storms out there and you can see them coming for hundreds of miles. I was walking slowly through the campus thinking and writing lines. It began raining pretty hard and I went onto the covered foot bridge that crosses the Mississippi River where it cuts through the university. One end of it lead out into an open courtyard by the library and I stood there in the dark while it rained, working on my song and looking at the page of my pocket notebook. The rain stopped, but I was hot on a line so I kept looking at the page, my eyes adjusted to dim light. I was getting close. Suddenly – you know what it looks like when they use an arc welder? That bright flame that your not supposed to look at because it’ll hurt your eyes? Well, that’s what the page did. And that’s when the bridge blew up.
It didn’t exactly blow up but it seemed like it. A great lightning bolt had struck the metal where I was standing and I thought it was all over. It started raining buckets and lightning was striking everywhere, but I didn’t care. I ran across the open courtyard and into the library, down the stares and into the lowest part of the basement I could get to. I could hear the muffled thunderings from outside, rattling the walls of my imagination. I stayed until closing.
I got a strange gig at an ice cream parlor in Minneapolis where they paid you with dinner, which was omelets and, of course, ice cream. And all the coffee you could drink. Other than that it was strictly pass the hat. All that coffee and sugar made for a noisy crowd but I was eating just what they ate, so I could stay on their wave length. After my second time there I decided to walk home. It was several miles but the night was hot and I had a lot on my mind. There were the distant flashes of a far off thunder storm and I slowly wandered my way thinking about things. Thinking about Leonard and all that had gone down, about the strange men in suits that seemed to be showing up everywhere, and about how so many people try to keep the unpleasant things away from them. How you can make people nervous and uncomfortable by telling the wrong story, but these stories have to be told anyway. I started thinking,
you can’t make it go away
it’s gainin’ on you every day
it’s only natural anyway
and you can’t make it go away
I thought about the shiny office buildings downtown where the FBI was. And I remembered the well dressed office lady I had met at an AIM rally earlier who confided in me that she thought it was criminal how Indians were treated. You can’t judge people by looking at them. But there were those others, too. People who would stop at nothing to keep doors closed and windows barred. And I wrote,
you can laugh us off with a wave of your hand
you can look down upon us from where you stand
invent statistics to insult and degrade
you can make us illegal you can lock in the stockade
but you can’t make us go away…
And I thought about how inevitable victory really is, and how all the distractions in the world won’t keep the change from happening. And I wrote,
I can show you a dog you can call it a cat
you can do anything you want like that
you can hammer your head in a solid brick wall
and still maintain that it isn’t there at all
but you can’t make it go away…
I found a good place to take out my guitar and work up a tune. By the time I got home I had it memorized.
A few days later John picked me up early to head out to Stillwater, Minnesota. It’s a prison town. Prison is the only real industry there and everything else seems to revolve around it. Native people inside the institution were being denied freedom of religion and we were going to hold a rally outside the gates in protest. We were in an old car, worse for the wear but still running, and we rolled into town about 10 AM. I saw that all along the main street every telephone poll was flying an enormous American flag, real big like the ones outside the MacDonald’s. And this was May, nowhere near the 4th of July. What gives?
Then it hit me: when I was a kid I used to love the vampire stories, Dracula and his buddies. There’s truth in myth but I only figured that out later. The thing is, if you want to keep the vampires away, the “bad people,” you wore a crucifix and hung garlic around you doors and windows. And here we were rolling into town in this old car, the bad people. And there was the garlic, all those flags supposed to keep us away. But it wasn’t going to work. There was a pretty good crowd outside the gates that day. They played the drum and sang the honor songs. John spoke. And I sang, “you can’t make it go away.” Everything made sense and we headed back to Minneapolis.
Now the song was finished and I called it “Song For Leonard Peltier.” It was six minutes long and had a strange kind of symphonic melody. John said he liked it and so did I. I was invited to the Treaty Conference at Standing Rock, North Dakota. I didn’t have a tent or a sleeping bag so I decided to sleep in the back of the car. I was excited to get to sing my new song for these people but my luck was going to turn against me. There was a strange virus going around and I caught it. All of a sudden I completely lost my voice. All I could do was whisper. I remember whispering the song several times around the campfire, being as loud as I could, but there was no way I could be heard by any more than three people at a time. I was there for three days and spent most of it mute. But the song was done and that was the main thing.
I left the Twin Cities after a while and headed for England to play the Cambridge Folk Festival. I took Standing Rock with me. And the Little Earth Housing Project, John and Tina. And Leonard Peltier. I was traveling by myself but I wasn’t alone. Things went well and I was getting a lot of work over there.
Then I got a communication from a Swedish record company called Nacksving. They wanted to do a single of my Peltier song. Nilak Butler and Steve Robideau, two native Peltier people who I new from sate side, had gone to Europe looking to build support for the case. They had been directed to Sweden and the record company. I recorded it right away with another song, “The Time Is Now” as the B side, and sent off the tape. It was released to raise money and awareness, in Europe and the US. Leonard Peltier was international now and people were traveling around, sometimes showing up in the weirdest places.
I was playing at a youth center in Switzerland. It was a converted oil storage tank, a great big round thing. Then stage was huge. A bed was suspended from the ceiling on one side of it, and all the time I was singing a strange girl was rolling around on the mattress kicking her legs in the air, singing a song all of her own. On the dance floor down below a young man was roller skating. I was just struggling along until the gig was over when suddenly a voice came out from the other side of the room, “sing the song for Leonard!” Bill Wahpepah, Cordell Tule, and Philip Deer were in Europe doing networking and had come out to see me play. And of all the gigs to drop in on this was the one. The jokes followed me for years, how they had caught me singing on stage with strange half naked women rolling around on mattresses.
Nilak Butler and Steve Robideau showed up in Sweden one time when I was doing a TV show with Bjorn Afzelius. Also on the show was what we called the “fascist fashion show.” Hard looking mechanical acting women wearing clear plastic dresses and combat boots, marching and saluting to Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.” Even the producers thought it was too weird and cancelled their performance. We never did find out what it was all about, but the jokes followed from that one too.
I have sung that song in twelve countries and it is known, at least a little, in all of them. It used to be that I would have to do long introductions before I sang it but that’s changed. People seem to know what it’s about now. And that’s progress. I can’t tell you the whole story of Leonard Peltier and the events of those days out in Pine Ridge, there isn’t enough space here. But I will say that Leonard’s case is perhaps the clearest example of American injustice that we have before us. There is very little room for conjecture as so much is known. You can see the lies and manipulation, you can follow the power lines. You can see it all so clear. International corporations, police repression, violence. The wages of globalization are all right there to be seen.
SONG FOR LEONARD PELTIER
Loan me a minute, let me borrow your ear
and I'll sing you a song about Leonard Peltier.
He's gone so long in a federal jail,
the innocent victim of a tangled tail.
In South Dakota where the fear has grown,
where the presidents watch from a mountain of stone,
and they say all people are free to roam,
there ain't no freedom in the Indian home.
How many have gone before
and tell me how many more
must be lost to the Indian wars
The company spoke to the high command,
"We need the deeds to the Indian land,
to dig for oil and uranium ore.
Maybe have to start a little Indian war."
The orders came from way on high,
and it was a job for the FBI.
"It won't be hard, all we'll have to do
is cause a little trouble and follow it through."
In Oglalla where the spirit did dwell
it was a time they remember well.
There were women and children gathered there
when the wind blew a warning through the whispering air.
And Leonard Peltier was one of those
who came to the call when the time arose
and dangerous strangers were prowlin' around
bringin' trouble to the reservation ground.
And that was when the agents made their play
in a gunshot battle on a deadly day,
and three men died in the hollow sand,
two FBI and an Indian man.
Joe Stuntz was a man that died that day,
but the eyes of the law didn't see it that way.
All they cared about was their own kind.
Gonna get somebody for a capitol crime.
The charge was set for homicide,
but Leonard got away to the Canada side,
where he lived for a while in the northern town
till they came up and got him and the brought him back down.
The judge and the jury, they both agreed,
two times murder in the first degree.
They pounded the gavel and they rang on the bell,
two times life in a federal cell.
Citations came from Washington,
congratulations on a job well done.
Two agents gone is a mighty price,
but if you want somethin' bad you gotta sacrifice.
Now Leonard Peltier is a captured man
with both legs taken so he cannot stand.
One more swallowed by the master plan,
to get their hands on the Indian lands.
And so it's been since days of old
when Custer died for a mountain of gold.
But times have changed and passed him by.
He's been replaced by the FBI.
Oh, it's all so easy to weep and moan
for a warfare fought so far from home.
You can preach of peace from a righteous stand
but there ain't no peace on the Indian land.
When Joe Stuntz was lowered down
the winds did blow with a mighty sound,
and the answer came in the driving rain,
"this man will not have died in vain"
For the hollow power of the lock and key
ain't nothin' to the power of the raging sea,
or the lightning strikes in the angry skies
that puts the power into people's eyes.
Oh, the weather is building to a mighty storm,
and the words in the wind that come to warn
are once more spoken to your ear,
only this time the name is Leonard Peltier.
If you want to know more here’s a few resources:
First Nations - Issues of Consequence: http://dickshovel.com/
The International Office of the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee: http://www.freepeltier.org/
“Spirit Of Crazy Horse” by Peter Matthiesen
“Cointelpro Papers” by Ward Churchill and Jim Vanderwall
Also check this website: http://www.thepeoplespaths.net/lpeltier.html
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 11:40 AM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, 10 August 2010 11:43 AM PDT
Monday, 9 August 2010
Check out Joe Anybodys "Latin American Solidarity Blog"
Now Playing: This is where I am posting Latin America Solidarity articles that I find
Topic: VENEZUELA SOLIDARITY
Joe Anybody's Latin America Solidarity Blog
I am posting good informative, articles, comments, pictures, and information about Venezuela, Colombia, Honduras, and other South America countries in Solidarity with the peoples continued struggle for peace and justice, and human and civil rights. In an attempt to provide information for educational purposes I repost these important news clips, as a balance to counteract the US media who work with capitalist and imperialist that are in turn trying to undermine the Latin America social revolution.
In love and in solidarity for truth I urge you to all read this blog regularly.
|Solidarity = Love|
Joe Anybody's <*new*>
Latin America Solidarity Blog
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 2:43 PM PDT
BP hiding oil problem - sinking oil to the bottom is not cleaning
Now Playing: Out of sight - Oil is not being cleaned up - Its being hidden
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
(Even when it’s not out of sight)
Story by Dahr Jamail
Photography by Erika Blumenfeld
Photo by Erika Blumenfeld © 2010
Since BP announced that CEO Tony Hayward would receive a multi-million dollar golden parachute and be replaced by Bob Dudley, we have witnessed an incredibly broad, and powerful, propaganda campaign. A campaign that peaked this week with the US government, clearly acting in BP’s best interests, itself announcing, via outlets willing to allow themselves to be used to transfer the propaganda, like the New York Times, this message: “The government is expected to announce on Wednesday that three-quarters of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon leak has already evaporated, dispersed, been captured or otherwise eliminated — and that much of the rest is so diluted that it does not seem to pose much additional risk of harm.”
The Times was accommodating enough to lead the story with a nice photo of a fishing boat motoring across clean water with several birds in the foreground.
This message was disseminated far and wide, via other mainstream media outlets like the AP and Reuters, effectively announcing to the masses that despite the Gulf of Mexico suffering the largest marine oil disaster in US history, most of the oil was simply “gone.”
Thus, it’s only what is on the surface that counts. If you can’t see it, there is not a problem.
This kind of government cover-up is nothing new, of course.
“It is well known that after the Chernobyl accident, the Soviet government immediately did everything possible to conceal the fact of the accident and its consequences for the population and the environment: it issued “top secret” instructions to classify all data on the accident, especially as regards the health of the affected population,” journalist Alla Yaroshinskaya has written.
In 1990 Yaroshinskaya came across documents about the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe that revealed a massive state cover-up operation, coupled with a calculated policy of disinformation where the then Soviet Union’s state and party leadership knowingly played down the extent of the contamination and offered a sanitized version to the public, both in and out of Russia. To date, studies continue to show ongoing human and environmental damage from that disaster.
When the disaster at Chernobyl occurred, it was only after radiation levels triggered alarms at the Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant in Sweden that the Soviet Union admitted an accident had even occurred. Even then, government authorities immediately began to attempt to conceal the scale of the disaster.
In late April, after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank into the depths and the Macondo well began gushing oil, BP and the complicit Coast Guard announced no oil was being released.The Gulf Restoration Network flew out to the scene and saw massive amounts of oil and sounded the alarm, which forced BP and the US government to admit there was, indeed, oil. Such has the trend of BP/US Government lying, countered by (sometimes) forced accountability, then to more lying, been set.
These most recent, and most blatant of the BP/US Government propaganda gems are easily undermined by countless facts. Reality and truth always, given time, find a way to surface…just like BP’s dispersed oil.
Two captains of so-called “vessels of opportunity” helping with the cleanup recently told Times-Picayune reporter Bob Marshall that they saw more oil at South Pass on Tuesday than they have during the entire crisis.
“I don’t know where everyone else is looking, but if they think there’s no more oil out there, they should take a ride with me,” charter captain Mike Frenette said.
Another captain, Don Sutton, saw floating tar balls for 15 miles from South Pass to Southwest Pass. “And that wasn’t all we saw. There were patches of oil in that chocolate mousse stuff, slicks and patches of grass with oil on them,’” he said.
Yesterday I spoke with Clint Guidry, a Louisiana fisherman who is on the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Shrimp Association and the Shrimp Harvester Representative on the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force created by Executive Order of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
“Right now, there is more oil in Barataria Bay than there has been since this whole thing started on April 20,” Guidry told me.
BP oil is now turning up under the shells of post-larval blue crabs all across the northern Gulf of Mexico. Nearly all the crab larvae collected to date by researchers, from Grand Isle, Louisiana all the way over to Pensacola, Florida, have oil under their shells. Further analysis is showing that the crabs likely also contain BP’s Corexit dispersant.
On August 5th it was reported that a pair of fishermen in Mississippi “made an alarming discovery that has many wondering what’s happening below the surface” of the Gulf of Mexico. They found several full-sized crabs filled with oil.
In Hancock County, Mississippi, Brian Adam, the EMA director, reported, “We’re still seeing tar balls everyday, and I’m not talking just a few tar balls. We’re seeing a good amount everyday on the beaches.”
According to Adam, a rock jetty near Waveland became covered in one thousand pounds of tar balls in only three days time. Keith Ladner, owner of Gulf Shores Sea Products and a longtime supplier of seafood, said this of some full-sized crabs he found near the mouth of Bay St. Louis: “You could tell it was real slick and dark in color so I grabbed it, and opened the back of the crab, and you could see in the ‘dead man’ or the lungs of the crabs…you could see the black.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report from Wednesday claims that 33 percent of BP’s oil in the Gulf has been either burned, skimmed, dispersed, or directly recovered by cleanup operations. NOAA goes on to claim that another 25 percent has evaporated into the atmosphere or dissolved in the water, and another 16 percent has been naturally dispersed. Of the remaining 26 percent, NOAA claims that amount is either washed ashore, been collected from beaches, is buried along the coasts, or is still on or just below the surface.
University of South Florida chemical oceanographer David Hollander says these estimates are “ludicrous.” Of the NOAA report, Hollander says, “It’s almost comical.”
Other scientists also immediately expressed their doubts of the validity of the NOAA report, while toxicologists expect to be busy tracking the effects of BP’s toxic dispersants “for years.”
Giant plumes of BP’s sub-surface dispersed oil are floating around the Gulf of Mexico, as confirmed recently by researchers from the University of South Florida.
It was also recently revealed that the worst dead zone in 25 years has been recorded in Gulf of Mexico waters. Of course it’s likely a given that this is due to BP’s liberal use of dispersants.
“To judge from most media coverage, the beaches are open, the fishing restrictions being lifted and the Gulf resorts open for business in a healthy, safe environment,” environmental activist Jerry Cope wrote recently, “We, along with Pierre LeBlanc, spent the last few weeks along the Gulf coast from Louisiana to Florida, and the reality is distinctly different. The coastal communities of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida have been inundated by the oil and toxic dispersant Corexit 9500, and the entire region is contaminated. The once pristine white beaches that have been subject to intense cleaning operations now contain the oil/dispersant contamination to an unknown depth. The economic impacts potentially exceed even the devastation of a major hurricane like Katrina, the adverse impacts on health and welfare of human populations are increasing every minute of every day and the long-term effects are potentially life threatening.”
“In May, Mother Nature Network blogger Karl Burkart received a tip from an anonymous fisherman-turned-BP contractor in the form of a distressed text message, describing a near-apocalyptic sight near the location of the sunken Deepwater Horizon — fish, dolphins, rays, squid, whales, and thousands of birds – “as far as the eye can see,” dead and dying. According to his statement, which was later confirmed by another report from an individual working in the Gulf, whale carcasses were being shipped to a highly guarded location where they were processed for disposal.”
“Local fisherman in Alabama report sighting tremendous numbers of dolphins, sharks, and fish moving in towards shore as the initial waves of oil and dispersant approached in June. Many third- and fourth-generation fishermen declared emphatically that they had never seen or heard of any similar event in the past. Scores of animals were fleeing the leading edge of toxic dispersant mixed with oil. Those not either caught in the toxic mixture and killed out at sea, or fortunate enough to be out in safe water beyond the Source, died as the water closed in, and they were left no safe harbor. The numbers of birds, fish, turtles, and mammals killed by the use of Corexit will never be known as the evidence strongly suggests that BP worked with the Coast Guard, the Department of Homeland Security, the FAA, private security contractors, and local law enforcement, all of which cooperated to conceal the operations disposing of the animals from the media and the public.”
Cope added, “The Gulf of Mexico from the Source into the shore is a giant kill zone.”
Earlier this week, marine biologist, toxicologist and Exxon Valdez survivor Dr. Riki Ott took a flight over southern Louisiana. Here’s some of what she wrote about it:
“Bay Jimmy on the northeast side of Barataria Bay was full of oil. So was Bay Baptiste, Lake Grande Ecaille, and Billet Bay. Sitting next to me was Mike Roberts, a shrimper with Louisiana Bayoukeepers, who has grown up in this area. His voice crackled over the headset as I strained to hold the window. “I’ve fished in all these waters - everywhere you can see. It’s all oiled. This is the worst I’ve seen. This is a heart-break…”
“We followed thick streamers of black oil and ribbons of rainbow sheen from Bay Baptiste and Bay Jimmy south across Barataria Bay through Four Bayou Pass and into the Gulf of Mexico. The ocean’s smooth surface glinted like molten lead in the late afternoon sun. Oil. As far as we could see: Oil.”
“When we landed after our 2-hour flight, our pilot told us that she sometimes has to wipe an oily reddish film off the leading edges of her plane’s wings after flying over the Gulf. Hurricane Creekkeeper John Wathem documented similar oily films on planes he chartered for Gulf over-flights. Bonnie doesn’t wear gloves when she wipes her plane. She showed me her hands — red rash, blisters, and peeling palms.
If peeling palms are an indication of the oil-solvent stew, the reddish film on Bonnie’s plane and others means that the stew is not only in the Gulf, it is in the rain clouds above the Gulf. And in the middle of hurricane season, this means the oil-solvent mix could rain down anywhere across the Gulf.”
Dean Blanchard, one of the most important seafood purchasers in Louisiana, recently attended a Town Hall Meeting with a BP representative in Grand Isle, Louisiana.
In the meeting, Blanchard stands up and addresses the BP representative at length.
“Ya’ll didn’t give me enough money to pay my bills. I can show you. For the electric bill and everything. What I’ve collected from BP, so far since this started, is less than what I paid out in bills. And I’ve cut my things down to rock bottom. But how do you expect a man to live on less than 10 percent of what I was projected to make? I don’t believe there’s anybody in this country who could pay their bills with just 10 percent of their check. We borrowed money preparing for shrimping season and this happened at the worst possible time.”
Blanchard added, “I ain’t got no job, and no money, and Mr. Hayward gets $18 million and a new job. That’s hard to take. Let me tell you. Very, very hard to take.”
I should point out that from my first days Louisiana, I’ve been hearing from fishermen working on BP’s clean-up operations that BP is using night flights to drop dispersant on oiled bays. I’ve seen video taken by fishermen of a white-foamy substance in the marsh the morning after these flights took place.
Blanchard went on to say that he felt that BP did not want to clean up the oil, that it was more cost effective for them to leave it in the water than to clean it up, and then mocked the preposterous government claim that most of the oil is gone because you cannot see it from the air.
The BP rep, Jason, clearly nervous, later responds by saying, “We are doing over-flights, our task forces are looking for oil each day. We have a communications room where they are able to call in sightings of oil, from the boats, from the task forces. There is…I understand the anger and I understand the frustration. A couple of things that Dean said I have to take exception to. We do want to clean up this oil. I can understand frustration. I can understand seeing certain people getting certain amounts of money and some of the things that people see. But someone is going to have to explain to me why BP would not want to clean up this oil.”
Blanchard had clearly heard enough of BP’s propaganda. To the representatives’ request to have someone explain to him why BP would not want to clean up the oil, Blanchard angrily obliged:
“Because it’s more cost effective for ya’ll to come at night and sink the son-of-a-bitch! When the oil’s coming around, they call ya’ll, they tell ya’ll where the oil’s at, and the first thing ya’ll do is tell them to go the other way, ya’ll send the planes, and ya’ll fucking sink it! [Spray dispersants from the air] That’s what ya’ll are doing, come on man!” He sits back down angrily. “Let’s quit playing over here and tell the truth. Ya’ll are sinking the oil, Jason! You know ya’ll are sinking it. You know what ya’ll are doing. Ya’ll are sending all the boats, you’re putting them all in a group at night, we all hear the planes, and the next morning there’s nothing but white bubbles! What do you think, we’re stupid? We’re not stupid! Ya’ll are putting the oil on the bottom of my fishing grounds! Ya’ll not only messing me up now, ya’ll are messing me up for the rest of my life! I ain’t gonna live long enough to buy anymore shrimp!”
The lives of Gulf coast fishermen and residents are being destroyed. Scientists, environmentalists, and toxicologists are describing the Gulf of Mexico as a growing dead zone, a kill zone, and an energy sacrifice zone. As you read this, oil is everywhere around southeastern Louisiana, and continually washing ashore in Alabama and Mississippi.
Meanwhile, Doug Suttles, BP’s chief operating officer, announced Friday that the company may not give up on its claims on the Macondo well. “There’s lots of oil and gas here,” he said, “We’re going to have to think about what to do with that at some point.”
Of this, Louisiana’s St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro said it’s no secret that BP wants to drill again. In fact, he said, it has been part of his conversations with BP since the oil crisis began.
Let us be clear about who, and what, we are dealing with here.
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 3:53 AM PDT
Wednesday, 4 August 2010
Saturday, 31 July 2010
Activist in Iran write on money (bank notes) to spread messages
Now Playing: Iranian banknotes uprising
Topic: ANYBODY * ANYDAY
Anti-government activists are not allowed to express themselves in Iranian media, so theses activists have taken their expressions to another high circulation mass-medium, banknotes. The Central Bank of Iran has tried to take these banknotes out of circulation, but there are just too many of them, and gave up. For the activists’ people it’s a way of saying “We are here, and the green movement is going on”.
Following are examples of such banknotes, mostly written in green ink:
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 7:40 PM PDT
Friday, 30 July 2010
Grandmothers For Peace (Arizona Chapter)
Now Playing: Joe Anybody in Solidarity with Grandmothers for Peace, a non-profit organization
Grandmothers for Peace
Grandmothers for Peace, a non-profit organization, was formed in May of 1982 at the height of the Cold War. In 1981, I became aware of 150 nuclear weapons at Mather Air Force Base — just 15 minutes from my home in Sacramento, California. Those weapons, aimed at the Soviet Union, and similar weapons in the USSR aimed at the US, made me realize that if things did not change, my precious grandchildren could be part of the last generation on earth. That thought catapulted me “out of my kitchen” to join others at the gates of Mather in protest of the nuclear arms race. My granddaughter made me a sign that read “Grandmother for Peace” which I held at weekly protests. That sign attracted a great deal of attention from the public and the media.
In April of 1982 I was arrested (the first of many times) for an act of non-violent civil disobedience. The media was captivated by the image of a grandmother risking jail in an effort to save the planet from nuclear annihilation! During my 5 days in jail, I realized that grandmothers have a very powerful and important role to play in the struggle to eliminate nuclear weapons from the face of the earth. I decided to form a group called “Grandmothers for Peace.” In May, eleven women gathered in my living room to declare ourselves “Grandmothers for Peace” — we had $11.00 in our treasury at the end of the meeting!
In the beginning we felt our most important role would be to support other local peace organizations in their work, and to maintain a weekly vigil at Mather. Very soon it became clear that we also had a unique voice of our own and that our group had universal appeal. News of our activities spread rapidly by word of mouth and news reports. Soon we had members & supporters across the nation and around the globe. We added a Men's Auxiliary, and by 1990 we officially added “International” to our name reflecting our international scope.
Our work has expanded to include the dangers of nuclear power plants; radioactive waste; sub-critical and computerized nuclear testing (now that underground testing has been banned); the nuclearization and weaponization of space; global militarism that continues to drain desperately needed resources from programs that enhance life; and other peace and justice issues that effect the human family. In spite of some progress, nuclear weapons continue to threaten the fate of our planet. The abolition of nuclear weapons remains a top priority.
Those of us with the time and the energy have become activists — marching; protesting; visiting our elected officials; giving speeches to motivate others to action; publishing international newsletters and other materials; and even committing acts of civil disobedience when all else fails. “Stay at home” members help keep our work alive by writing & calling elected officials, circulating petitions, keeping us in their prayers, guiding their grandchildren in the ways of non-violence, and helping to raise funds for our Peace & Justice Scholarship Awards, plus other specific humanitarian efforts we adopt.
GFP has helped a multitude of good causes around the globe, e.g., The Jabalya Maternity Clinic in Gaza; Hospital San Carlos, serving the poor Mayan Indians in Chiapas, Mexico; The City of Hope and Reconciliation in Matagalpa, Nicaragua; Women's Centers in refugee camps in the former Yugoslavia; and poor and ailing widows in Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan, the former Russian nuclear test site.
In most cultures around the world, grandmothers are revered as the “keepers of the peace.” We are inspired and motivated by that fact, but realize that in today's dangerous world we can no longer keep or promote peace by sitting in our rocking chairs!
We remain an all-volunteer organization and prefer to maintain an informal structure that encourages others to start, with very little effort, Chapters in their communities.
The world is a safer place “in grandma's arms,” but one need not be a grandmother to participate in our work. Join us!
Barbara Wiedner, Founder (1928-2001)
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 2:07 AM PDT
Monday, 26 July 2010
Mumia Abu-Jamal writes about - Lynne Stewart, the activist lawyer, - 10 years in prison.
Now Playing: Lynne Stewart, the activist lawyer, was recently sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Topic: FAILURE by the GOVERNMENT
[col. writ. 7/18/10] (c) '10 Mumia Abu-Jamal
Lynne Stewart, the activist lawyer, was recently sentenced to 10 years in prison.
This outstanding lawyer, a 70 year old grandmother, who is facing the serious threat of breast cancer, was originally sentenced to 2 years and 4 months, but the federal appeals court apparently felt that wasn't enough.
The same appeals courts that traditionally reverses the convictions of cops who torture or kill Black citizens, and who traditionally rely on the judgments of the trial courts, reversed Stewart's sentence as not tough enough.
So much for judicial tradition.
For Lynne's tradition wasn't that of the tony, tie and tails law firms of downtown Manhattan. She didn't represent the rich, the powerful, the well-heeled.
She represented the poor, the oppressed, the destitute and the dispossessed; the Black, the Latino, the Arab, the damned; those whom Frantz Fanon famously called 'the wretched of the earth.'
A juxtaposition: Many, many lawyers on the Office of Legal Counsel, in the White House, the CIA, and the Defense Dept. violated criminal laws, the military legal code, the Geneva Conventions, and the Convention Against Torture (CAT) [not to mention the U.S. Constitution!] to aid and abet violations of law -- for years.
Guess how many of them faced trial? Guess how many of them will in future?
How many of them will ever face prison?
None, None -- and none.
For their crimes were on behalf of the powerful; the state; hence their immunity.
Or consider what is know in international law as the 'supreme crime': wars of aggression.
Iraq will be a basket case for generations, thanks to American arrogance and greed.
Will anybody be brought to book for this crime, that shattered a nation, that sent millions into exile, and killed perhaps a million men, women and children?
Don't hold your breath.
There are still black sites, secret prisons, where tortures happen daily. There is still extraordinary renditions - clear violations of the Convention Against Torture (CAT)
But politicians are doing it - not to 'protect' the nation -- but to secure elections. Torture for votes.
And a 70 year old grandmother, a lawyer, is sent to prison for 10 years - for violating a prison rule that is an unconstitutional relic of the so-called war on terror.
This is what an empire in decline looks like.
--(c) '10 maj
The Power of Truth is Final -- Free Mumia!
Audio of most of Mumia's essays are at: http://www.prisonradio.org
Mumia's got a podcast! Mumia Abu-Jamal's Radio Essays - Subscribe at the website or on iTunes and get Mumia's radio commentaries online.
Mumia Abu-Jamal's new book -- JAILHOUSE LAWYERS: PRISONERS DEFENDING PRISONERS V. THE USA, featuring an introduction by Angela Y. Davis -- has been released! It is available from City Lights Books: http://www.citylights.com/book/?GCOI=87286100448090
Please make a contribution to help free Mumia. Donations to the grassroots work will go to both INTERNATIONAL CONCERNED FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF MUMIA ABU-JAMAL and the FREE MUMIA ABU-JAMAL COALITION (NYC).
Please mail donations/ checks to:
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PO BOX 16, NEW YORK,
(CHECKS FOR BOTH ORGANIZATIONS PAYABLE TO: FMAJC/IFCO)
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Send our brotha some LOVE and LIGHT at:
175 Progress Drive
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WE WHO BELIEVE IN FREEDOM CAN *NOT* REST!!
"FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS NOW!"
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P.O. Box 17420
Portland, Oregon 97217
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 6:52 PM PDT
You can legally openly film the Police - in spite of what they will tell you!
Now Playing: ABC news article about filming the police - (and you do have the right)
Growing Number of Prosecutions for Videotaping the Police
Prosecutions Draw Attention to Influence of Witness Videos
By RAY SANCHEZ
July 19, 2010—
That Anthony Graber broke the law in early March is indisputable. He raced his Honda motorcycle down Interstate 95 in Maryland at 80 mph, popping a wheelie, roaring past cars and swerving across traffic lanes.
But it wasn't his daredevil stunt that has the 25-year-old staff sergeant for the Maryland Air National Guard facing the possibility of 16 years in prison. For that, he was issued a speeding ticket. It was the video that Graber posted on YouTube one week later -- taken with his helmet camera -- of a plainclothes state trooper cutting him off and drawing a gun during the traffic stop near Baltimore.
In early April, state police officers raided Graber's parents' home in Abingdon, Md. They confiscated his camera, computers and external hard drives. Graber was indicted for allegedly violating state wiretap laws by recording the trooper without his consent.
Arrests such as Graber's are becoming more common along with the proliferation of portable video cameras and cell-phone recorders. Videos of alleged police misconduct have become hot items on the Internet. YouTube still features Graber's encounter along with numerous other witness videos. "The message is clearly, 'Don't criticize the police,'" said David Rocah, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland who is part of Graber's defense team. "With these charges, anyone who would even think to record the police is now justifiably in fear that they will also be criminally charged."
Carlos Miller, a Miami journalist who runs the blog "Photography Is Not a Crime," said he has documented about 10 arrests since he started keeping track in 2007. Miller himself has been arrested twice for photographing the police. He won one case on appeal, he said, while the other was thrown out after the officer twice failed to appear in court.
"They're just regular citizens with a cell-phone camera who happen to come upon a situation," Miller said. "If cops are doing their jobs, they shouldn't worry."
The ACLU of Florida filed a First Amendment lawsuit last month on behalf of a model who was arrested February 2009 in Boynton Beach. Fla. Her crime: videotaping an encounter between police officers and her teenage son at a movie theater. Prosecutors refused to file charges against Sharron Tasha Ford and her son.
Videotaping as a Tool for Citizens
"The police have cameras in their cars. I watch cops on TV," Ford said. "I'm very hurt by what happened. A lot of people are being abused by police in the same way."
Ford's lawyer, James Green, called videotaping "probably the most effective way to protect citizens against police officers who exaggerate or lie."
"Judges and juries want to believe law enforcement," he said. "They want to believe police officers and unless you have credible evidence to contradict police officers, it's often very difficult to get judges or juries to believe the word of a citizen over a police officer."
In Palm Beach County, Fla., Greenacres resident Peter Ballance, 63, who has Asperger's syndrome and has to record conversations to help his memory, settled a civil lawsuit for $100,000 last year. In August 2005, police officers tackled and arrested Ballance for refusing to turn off his tape recorder.
"You know what," said the officer, according to court documents, "I still don't want that recording device on."
"Well, it's on," Ballance replied.
"It is a third-degree felony," the cop said. "If you want to push it, you can go to jail for it."
"Well, I'm pushing it now," Ballance said.
Ballance snapped pictures of the officers. One of the cops delivered a blindside tackle. Ballance had to be treated for injuries and cardiac symptoms at a hospital on the way to the county jail. At the hospital, officers refused to let Ballance use his recorders to communicate with doctors, court papers said.
In Portsmouth, N.H., earlier this month, Adam Whitman, 20, and his brother were charged with wiretapping, a felony in the state for videotaping police on the Fourth of July when they were called to a party and ended up arresting 20 people, many for underage drinking.
A police spokesman told ABCNews.com that the wiretapping charges were being dropped.
Witness Videos on the Rise
Across the country, arrests such as these highlight the growing role of witness video in law enforcement. A dozen states require all parties to consent before a recording is made if there is a "reasonable expectation of privacy." Virginia and New York require one-party consent. Only in Massachusetts and Illinois is it illegal for people to make an audio recording of people without their consent.
"The argument is, 'Well, can a police officer beside the highway have a private conversation with somebody that they pull over?'" said Joseph Cassilly, the Harford County prosecutor handling Graber's case.
Cassilly added, "Suppose a police officer pulled you over and he wanted to have a talk with you. 'Sir, I smell alcohol on your breath. Can you talk to me about how much you've had to drink? Would you want somebody else to stop by and record that and put it on the Internet?"
Rocah of the ACLU disagreed. "It's not that recording any conversation is illegal without consent. It's that recording a private conversation is illegal without consent," he said. "So then the question is, 'Are the words of a police officer spoken on duty, in uniform, in public a 'private conversation.' And every court that has ever considered that question has said that they are not."
Rocah said actual wiretapping prosecutions, though rare, are happening more frequently. But intimidation with the threat of arrest for taping the police is much more common.
"Prosecution is only the most extreme end of a continuum of police and official intimidation and there's a lot of intimidation that goes on and has been going on short of prosecution," he said. "It's far more frequent for an officer to just say, 'You can't record or give me your camera or give me your cell phone and if you don't I'm going to arrest you. Very few people want to test the veracity of that threat and so comply. It's much more difficult to document, much more prevalent and equally improper."
New Video, Old Debate
In many jurisdictions, the police themselves record encounters with the public with dashboard cameras in their cars.
"Police and governmental recording of citizens is becoming more pervasive and to say that government can record you but you can't record, it speaks volumes about the mentality of people in government," Rocah said. "It's supposed to be the other way around: They work for us; we don't work for them."
Graber's YouTube video, meanwhile, has helped renew the old debate about whether government has a right to keep residents from recording the police. There is even an "I support Anthony Graber and his right to freedom of expression" Facebook page with close to 600 friends.
"Suffice it to say that our client is terrified at the prospect of these criminal charges," Rocah said.
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 5:06 PM PDT
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