Does leak of NSA's full iPhone hacking validate critics' call to reign-in administration's over-reach and abuse?

Has Apple played any role in helping or allowing the NSA to obtain its backdoor access to the iPhone?
NSA spyware called DropOutJeep can access almost everything on the iPhone (Photo: CNet)

Can law enforcement handle a shadowy, constantly morphing enemy on the Internet - without further eroding privacy protections?

Forbes contributor, Erik Kain reports: NSA Intercepting Laptops Ordered Online, Installing Spyware
Spy agencies are, by design, bankrolled to spy on allies and enemies abroad. When it comes to domestic spying, however, we run into problems.

The latest report, this time via Der Spiegel and based on internal NSA documents, reveals that the NSA, in conjunction with the CIA and FBI, has begun intercepting laptops purchased online in order to install (quite literal) spyware and even hardware on the machines. The NSA terms this “interdiction.” Agents divert shipments to secret warehouses, carefully open the packages, install the software and/or hardware, and send them on their way.

The spy agency reportedly has backdoor access to numerous hardware and software systems from prominent tech companies such as Cisco, Dell, and Western Digital, among others. The NSA can even exploit Microsoft Windows error reports to find weak spots in compromised machines in order to install Trojans and other viruses.
Mikko Hypponen, Chief Research Officer of Finnish company, F-Secure, addresses "How much can Google and Facebook attribute to you personally? Who else gets to know it?"

NSA spyware gives agency full access to the iPhone -- report

by Lance Whitney in CNET 12/31

Leaked documents shared by Der Spiegel show that a piece of NSA spyware called DROPOUTJEEP can access pretty much everything on the iPhone.

The US National Security Agency can reportedly sniff out every last bit of data from your iPhone, according to leaked NSA documents published by German magazine Der Spiegel.

Known as DROPOUTJEEP, the spyware is said to be one of the tools employed by the NSA's ANT (Advanced or Access Network Technology) division to gain backdoor access to various electronic devices. On Sunday, leaked documents obtained by Der Spiegel showed how these tools have reportedly been used to infiltrate computers, hard drives, routers, and other devices from tech companies such as Cisco, Dell, Western Digital, Seagate, Maxtor, and Samsung.

Those same documents reveal how DROPOUTJEEP can infiltrate virtually all areas of the iPhone, including voice mail, contact lists, instant messages, and cell tower location. The tool's abilities are revealed in the following description from one of the apparently leaked NSA documents published by Der Spiegel.
Read full article by Lance Whitney in CNET

San Francisco Chronicle journalist, Seth Rosenfeld, spent years fighting to get information in government records (supposed to be available under the Freedom of Information Act or "FOIA") for the book "Subversives" he was writing. 

When the Society for Professional Journalists honored him this summer, Mr. Rosenfeld expressed dismay that President Obama's administration has not upheld his pledges to support the FOIA - "that the Justice Dept. and the FBI have, in fact, continued certain policies that are contrary to the FOIA and which undermine public accountability and transparency."

(At this end-of-year, you are encouraged to please sustain Democracy Broadcasting News' efforts to capture and provide you (and the public), original video perspectives that mainstream media omits.  Will you please donate (via the website) to continue and expand this work?  If so, thank you).


‘Palestinian group carried out Lockerbie bombing’- reports the Times of Israel

Gaddafi may have commissioned attack that killed 270 people 25 years ago, ex-Israeli security official tells Times of Israel, but Ahmed Jibril’s PFLP-GC carried it out, writes David Horovitz 
December 19, 2013

Police and investigators look at what remains of the flight deck of Pan Am 103 in a field in Lockerbie, Scotland, December 22, 1988. (photo credit: AP)
Twenty-five years after Pan Am Flight 103 was blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland, with the loss of all 259 passengers and crew and 11 people on the ground, a former senior member of the Israeli security establishment said he was certain the bombing was carried out by Ahmed Jibril’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command.

The Israeli source, who spoke to The Times of Israel on condition of anonymity, said Israel was “listening in” during the months prior to the December 21, 1988 bombing on preparations for what “we thought was a plan to target an Israeli plane” and that it was “clear that Jibril prepared the operation.”

The comments came ahead of Saturday’s 25th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack ever carried out on British territory, and the worst terror attack on American civilians with the exception of 9/11.

Read it all


No Christmas spirit in the West Bank: Israeli journalists banned from celebrations

No Christmas spirit in the West Bank: Israeli journalists banned from celebrations

By Khaled Abu Toameh in The Jerusalem Post

Palestinian journalists applaud the move as justification for "restrictions" imposed on Palestinian media by Israel.

The Palestinian Authority said on Tuesday that it expelled Israeli journalists who came to Bethlehem to cover Christmas celebrations.

The PA Ministry of Information said the decision was taken at the request of Palestinian journalists, who protested against the presence of their Israeli colleagues at Manger Square in the city.

The journalists who were kicked out of Bethlehem worked for Haaretz, i-24 News, Channel 1 and Arutz Sheva, the ministry said.

Palestinian journalists praised the PA police for ordering the Israelis out of the city.

Read the rest of Mr. abu Toameh's article in The Jerusalem Post

Christian journalist, Cheryl Hancock, reports on Christian issues in Israel and the Palestinian territories.  In this exclusive interview with Democracy Broadcasating, she claims that the Palestinian Authority persecutes and tolerates persecution of its Christians (and sympathetic Muslim) citizens under P.A. rule.  She alleges that Palestinian regimes are more tyrannical than some other Arab regimes. 


Did Bush bury Saudi act-of-war- its gov't financing 9/11 hijackers? Is Obama leveraging incriminating pages to restrain Saudi action against Iran?

Al-Jazeera America Channel examined the matter on-air with Jamie Reno, Int'l Business Times and Craig Unger, author "House of Bush, House of Saud" and contributor to Vanity Fair.  Former Chairman of the Senate-Select Intelligence Committee, Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL), who served during Pres. Bush's term, told HuffPost Live that the 28-classified pages referred to who did finance the hijackers- and that circumstantials point to Saudi Arabia.  

Video courtesy MoxNews

Inside the Saudi 9/11 coverup by Paul Sperry - Opinion - N.Y. Post 12/15/13

After the 9/11 attacks, the public was told al-Qaeda acted alone, with no state sponsors.

But the White House never let it see an entire section of Congress’ investigative report on 9/11 dealing with “specific sources of foreign support” for the 19 hijackers, 15 of whom were Saudi nationals.

It was kept secret and remains so today.

President Bush inexplicably censored 28 full pages of the 800-page report. Text isn’t just blacked-out here and there in this critical-yet-missing middle section. The pages are completely blank, except for dotted lines where an estimated 7,200 words once stood. A pair of lawmakers who recently read the redacted portion say they are “absolutely shocked” at the level of foreign state involvement in the attacks.

Reps. Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) can’t reveal the nation identified by it without violating federal law. So they’ve proposed Congress pass a resolution asking President Obama to declassify the entire 2002 report, “Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.”

Some information already has leaked from the classified section, which is based on both CIA and FBI documents, and it points back to Saudi Arabia, a presumed ally.

The Saudis deny any role in 9/11, but the CIA in one memo reportedly found “incontrovertible evidence” that Saudi government officials — not just wealthy Saudi hardliners, but high-level diplomats and intelligence officers employed by the kingdom — helped the hijackers both financially and logistically. The intelligence files cited in the report directly implicate the Saudi embassy in Washington and consulate in Los Angeles in the attacks, making 9/11 not just an act of terrorism, but an act of war.  


British court finds accused Lee Rigby murderes, Islamists, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, guilty - but could MI5 have pre-empted this (and other) murders?

Islamist fanatics Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale found guilty of murdering Lee Rigby.  The Telegraph

Michael Adebolajo, 29, and Michael Adebowale, 22, were convicted of killing the 25-year-old after they ran him over and hacked him to death

MI5 could have prevented jihad beheading of Lee Rigby: Atlas Shrugs

"There were no controls on his movements or activities when he was returned from Kenya where he had been caught trying to join Islamic terror group."


Experts explain why Iran collapsed Kerry / Obama's touted no-nukes deal

"Iran Nuke deal quietly collapses" by Amir Taheri in The N.Y. Post  Dec 16, 2013

Less than a month after it was hailed as “a great diplomatic coup,” the so-called Geneva accord to halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions seems to have come unstuck.
The official narrative in Tehran is that Iran signed nothing. “There is no treaty and no pact,” says Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham, “only a statement of intent.” Originally, Iran’s official media had presented the accord as a treaty (qarardad) but it now refers to a “letter of agreement” (tavafoq nameh).

Translated into plain language, the new Iranian narrative is that talks about implementing an accord that is not legally binding have collapsed and that, in the words of the head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Agency, Ali-Akbar Salehi, there is no change in the rhythm and tempo of Iran’s nuclear project. “Our centrifuges are working full capacity,” Salehi said last Thursday.

America's former director of the CIA and NSA, Gen. Michael Hayden and ex-National Intelligence Director, Hon. John Negroponte deconstructed Obama and Kerry's touted Iran-disarmament deal with CNN's Candy Crowley in November.

Having claimed that he had halted Iran’s nuclear project, Secretary of State John Kerry might want to reconsider. He and his European colleagues, like many of their predecessors, may have fallen for the diplomatic version of the Three Card Monte played by the mullahs since they seized power in 1979.

The tactic of delay has several advantages for the mullahs.  First, hopes of a negotiated solution make it more difficult for anyone to advocate military action to thwart Tehran’s ambitions. As long as talks are going on, “all other options”, the cliché favored by President Obama, remain off the table.

Islamic-analyst Dr. Mordechai Kedar gave us his views in this exclusive interview

Endless talks also force Iran’s adversaries are forced to sacrifice policy to process. Under the Geneva deal, for example, the US and its European partners not only set the military option aside, but also undertake not to impose additional sanctions. Instead of hiring expensive lobbyists in Washington, the mullahs can use Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Kerry to lobby Congress on their behalf.

The mullahs have reaped other benefits from their three-card trick. The perception that the crisis is cooling down has already halted the Islamic Republic’s economic free fall. The national currency, the rial, lost 80 percent of its value over four years, but now appears to have stabilized.

Iranian-American Ben-Hur Sepehr explains the mindset of the Obama and the Islamists, who he says strive to kill Jews and Christians

The mullahs also use the prospect of normalization, especially with the United States, to divert attention from their increasingly repressive rule. While Iranians are bombarded with talk of President Hassan Rouhani’s “diplomatic miracle,” an average of 10 people are executed in Iran every day.

Here is how Khamenei’s daily mouthpiece put it Sunday: “If our centrifuges do not continue to turn, no other wheel shall turn for our dignity, independence, power and security.”

The message from Tehran to Washington is clear:  You talk, we act.

Read full "Iran Nuke deal quietly collapses" article by Amir Taheri in The N.Y. Post 


Bret Stephens: Americans will rue-the-day Obama allowed Iran to build a nuclear bomb in weeks

"In 1938, Chamberlain bought time to rearm. In 2013, Obama gives Iran time to go nuclear. To adapt Churchill : Never in the field of global diplomacy has so much been given away by so many for so little." -Bret Stephens "Worse than Munich" column in the Wall St. Journal
In addressing a Zionist banquet by StandWithUs in Los Angeles on Sunday, 8 December, Mr. Stephens augmented this theory, echoed by other experts. Listen to the speech audio here. Transcript for 2nd half of the speech appears here on JewTube.Info:

"Now, it will come as no surprise to anyone that I want to spend most of my time tonight talking about Iran, but I think that it is also fitting feel that I should begin by speaking about Nelson Mandela and the meaning of his legacy and its meaning for us as Americans- for us as Jews. 

"In the 1980s there was a sharp debate in this country about how the United States ought best to deal with the apartheid regime in South Africa. On one side there were those who argued, this was the Regan administration, that the best way to deal with the apartheid regime was through a process of 'engagement'- critical engagement but engagement. The argument that the administration made was that sanctions will only hurt ordinary people, above all ordinary black people in South Africa, and furthermore that South Africa for all its obvious moral failings, was none the less a critical strategic partner for the United States and so that the were interests beyond morality- that there were interest of "real politik" in maintaining an alliance of sorts with that regime. On the other side of the argument there was a bi-partisan coalition that ranged from Bob Dole to Lowell Weicker, to Ted Kennedy, who thought that the best approach to the apartheid regime was also the most moral one- that is, a punitive regime(n) of economic and diplomatic sanctions that would show South Africa's white rulers that they would not be allowed to profit from their rule and that the only road to redemption was to eliminate their repressive system and let the people, all of the people, rule.


Mandela's parliamentarian Kenneth Meshoe debunks hijacking of "apartheid" to mischaracterize Israel

MP Kenneth Meshoe denounces Muslim and leftist enemies of Israel exploiting the term "apartheid" against Israel as inaccurate. He says that applying these claims trivializes the word apartheid, and belittles the magnitude of the racism and suffering endured by South Africans of color during apartheid era. and diluting of its true meaning.

Israel and the Hijacking of Apartheid by Richard D. Heideman in The Algemeiner

Exactly ten years ago, on December 9, 2003, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution referring the question of the legal consequences of Israel’s construction of the security fence, calling it a wall, to the International Court of Justice. Israel’s opponents continually refer to it as a “separation barrier” for the specific purpose of evoking the image of separation between Israel and the Palestinians in a hijacking of “apartheid.”

The use of the ugly term apartheid in conjunction with wrongful accusations that Israel is a criminal racist state evidenced by the building of the security fence as a wall of separation, are unfair, untrue, and are maligning to the good name of Israel and the Jewish people.   . . .

In memory of President Mandela, rightly viewed as a champion for equality, it is both timely and fitting to issue a call for the world to cease the inappropriate, unfair and untrue use of the term apartheid when referring to Israel, the nation-state of the Jewish people. In that spirit, it should be remembered, acknowledged and appreciated that the Jewish people have historically stood against racism; have always stood for civil and individual rights; have always stood for the dignity and human rights of men, women and children from all religions, all races, all sexes, all national origins; and with a commitment to freedom, liberty and justice for all.

African Christian Democrat Party leader, MP Rev. Kenneth Meshoe, and wife Lydia, address, on TV, the passing of co-Parliamentarian, Nelson Mandela.  Meshoe has been an MP since the country achieved democracy in 1994.

* - Richard D. Heideman serves as Senior Counsel of the Washington, D.C., law firm Heideman Nudelman & Kalik, PC, representing victims of terrorism and international human rights violations. He is the author of The Hague Odyssey: Israel’s Struggle for Security on the Front Lines of Terrorism and Her Battle for Justice at the United Nations