Geopolitics, for a change


A major scuffle has erupted along the India-China border as Chinese troops entered the Indian state of Sikkim and destroyed two Indian bunkers. Chinese troops also engaged in a fight with Indian troops, who are guarding the border at the location.

https://sputniknews.com/asia/201706261054985626-china-india-troops-territory/


A Project Leader at the Dutch National Cyber Security Center, who goes by the name Yasmina Haifi, was suspended from her job at the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice after tweeting that the terrorist group ISIS, led by Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, “does not exist,” and that it is “a Zionist plot to stain the image of Islam.”

https://archive.is/yjzQs


Either the blockade of Qatar by Saudi Arabia and its allies (recall the Saudi ultimatum expires on July 3) and the whole Qatar “crisis” is the most staged and produced diplomatic stunt since last summer’s Turkish “coup”, or for some unknown reason, the worse the diplomatic relations between Qatar and Saudi Arabia get, the more they cooperate in the only industry that matters for Saudi Arabia.

According to a Bloomberg report, even as Saudi Arabia leads three other Arab nations in accusing Qatar of links to terror groups and being too close to Iran, one thing has become increasingly clear in the oil market: tensions have yet to reach a point where the world’s biggest crude exporter is disrupting its tiny neighbor’s shipments. Specifically, despite the sudden feud, Qatar has maintained longstanding practice of loading crude onto tankers with Saudi Arabia and U.A.E. tracking of tankers compiled by Bloomberg shows.

The number of tankers that are filling with Qatari crude along with that of Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates has actually increased since tensions escalated on June 5, according to Bloomberg calculations. The three countries’ joint loadings of crude remain largely unaffected since the dispute that broke out June 5. Since then, 17 tankers have loaded crude in Qatar and either Saudi Arabia or the U.A.E., or both. There were 16 over an equal period before June 5.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-30/bizarre-tanker-cooperation-prompts-questions-if-qatar-saudi-feud-staged

Czech Lawmakers have passed legislation in the lower parliament that would see the right to bear firearms enshrined in the country’s constitution in a move directed against tighter regulations from the European Union.

The legislation was passed with 139 deputies agreeing to the amendment to the constitution with only nine deputies voting against. The amendment will now be considered by the Czech Senate where it will require a supermajority of three-fifths of the members in order to pass into law, Die Presse reports.

Similar to the U.S. second amendment to the Constitution, which gives Americans the right to keep and bear arms, the Czech legislation reads: “Citizens of the Czech Republic have the right to acquire, retain and bear arms and ammunition.”

The amendment also notes that the right is there to ensure the safety of the country, similar to the provision of a “well-regulated militia” in the American amendment.

http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/the-2nd-amendment-comes-to-europe-czech-republic-expected-to-enshrine-right-to-bear-arms-in-constitution_06292017

Polish cops don’t like antifa:

http://investmentwatchblog.com/antifa-protests-in-poland-yes-you-read-that-right-antifa-tries-to-protest-in-poland-it-goes-about-how-youd-expect/

International Jews are sending Muslims to visit Poland.

Polish people have tensions with Muslims, and maybe Jews in Poland are stirring the tensions too:

>A school trip to Poland took a turn to the worse for some students of the Berlin Theodor-Heuss-Community school. The muslimic youths were massively insulted, threatened or attacked multiple times. The polish police refused to help.
>The (((Remember club))) [TL Note: no joke, this is really the name], which since 2 years engages with the persecution and murder of european jews, traveled to Poland for the past weeks. There the nearly twenty students visited the Treblinka and Majdanek extermination camps, and also visited Warsaw, Lublin and Lodz for some days, the “Deutschlandfunk” and other media outlets, as well as the polish newspaper “Fakt24” reported.
>The fact that the club consists mostly of muslims, seemed to be a problem for most Poles. According to the reports especially the females, who were easily recognized as muslims thanks to their headscarfs, became targets of unfiltered hate.
“I was spat on by a man on the streets, just like that, and then the man ran away and the police didn’t do anything to help”, said one of the female students to the “Deutschlandfunk”. Even as the residents accompanied them to a police station, the policemen showed no interest in the case. Even worse: The policemen laughed at them. Later the policemen excused their behaviour with poor english language skills, it is said.
>It didn’t stay at one incident. A lublin (((synagogue))), of all things, refused the students to enter. The justification: the youths posed a “security risk”.
>One female student was thrown out of a shopping mall in Warsaw, because she was talking in persian on the phone. The security personnel explained to her, that other visitors of the mall felt disturbed by that.
>In Lodz a muslim teen was insulted and doused with water by passers-by. Additionally, the foreign looking students were threatened, to have food thrown in their faces.
“It was really shocking, because we never expected something like that, especially not from a member of the EU”, a student said. In germany they were at times confronted with racist behaviour, too. But compared to what they experienced in Poland, it was “nothing”.
>The group considered canceling the trip. But it was the muslim students, who refused to do so.
>The NS-memorial (((Haus der Wannseekonferenz))), which supports the (((Remember club))), wants now to take approriate steps. They will meet with the polish partners and evaluate the incidents, the director Hans-Christian Jasch said to the “DLF”. Additionally, he wants to write to the polish ambassador in Berlin. He is especially agitated by the ignorance of the polish police. “Such a behaviour towards youths cannot be tolerated, we will strongly oppose that.”

http://www.focus.de/politik/deutschland/horror-klassenfahrt-rassismus-in-polen-berliner-schueler-werden-massiv-beleidigt-und-diskriminiert_id_7288552.html
https://archive.is/bK1Al


President Donald Trump will next week make an official visit to Poland. Whilst many in the Polish government (and the citizens) welcome this visit, the leaders of the European Union are getting worried that it may cause or encourage defiance towards the Brussels Bureaucrats.

One EU diplomat is quoted as saying: “One cannot but feel a bit suspicious if it isn’t an attempt to break up European unity,” and this diplomat may, in fact, be quite right.

Poland (along with Hungary and the Czech Republic) has been under sustained economic attack over their refusal to fulfill EU migrant quotas. The EU is looking to sue the nations for up to 250,000 Euros for each of the migrants that they turn away (this equals a stunning 40 Billion Euros in total).

The main reason for President Trump’s visit is to start work on building up energy trade between the two countries (and other Balkan states) through the Three Seas Summit which seeks to create trade in natural gas from the US. But EU leaders are fearful that energy independence could lead to other kinds of independence.

http://investmentwatchblog.com/eu-globalists-are-getting-scared-that-trumps-polish-visit-will-create-trouble-for-them/


Swedish cops have their meatballs in a twist:

National Police Commissioner: “HELP US, HELP US!
A leaked report concludes that the number of lawless areas (commonly referred to as, “no-go zones”) in Sweden now totals 61. That is up from 55 in just one year’s time. This increase includes, not only the total number, but also the geographical size of these areas.
Sweden’s National Police Commissioner, Dan Eliasson, spoke on national television and pleaded for assistance: “Help us, help us!” he said while warning that Swedish police forces no longer can uphold the law and therefore must ask all good powers in the country to support them.

http:// archive.is/RJmb7


Limeys want to cuck your computer:

Five Eyes Unlimited: What A Global Anti-Encryption Regime Could Look Like

JUNE 29, 2017

This week, the political heads of the intelligence services of Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States (the “Five Eyes” alliance) met in Ottawa.  The Australian delegation entered the meeting saying publicly that they intended to “thwart the encryption of terrorist messaging.” The final communiqué states more diplomatically that “Ministers and Attorneys General […] noted that encryption can severely undermine public safety efforts by impeding lawful access to the content of communications during investigations into serious crimes, including terrorism. To address these issues, we committed to develop our engagement with communications and technology companies to explore shared solutions.”

What might their plan be? Is this yet another attempt to ban encryption? A combined effort to compel ISPs and Internet companies to weaken their secure products? At least one leader of a Five Eyes nation has been talking recently about increasing international engagement with technology companies — with a list of laws in her back pocket that are already capable of subverting encryption, and the entire basis of user trust in the Internet.

Exporting Britain’s Surveillance Regime

Before she was elevated to the role of Prime Minister by the fallout from Brexit, Theresa May was the author of the UK’s Investigatory Powers bill, which spelled out the UK’s plans for mass surveillance in a post-Snowden world.

At the unveiling of the bill in 2015, May’s officials performed the traditional dance: they stated that they would be looking at controls on encryption, and then stating definitively that their new proposals included “no backdoors”.

Sure enough, the word “encryption” does not appear in the Investigatory Powers Act (IPA). That’s because it is written so broadly it doesn’t need to.

We’ve covered the IPA before at EFF, but it’s worth re-emphasizing some of the powers it grants the British government.

  • Any “communications service provider” can be served with a secret warrant, signed by the Home Secretary. Communications service provider is interpreted extremely broadly to include ISPs, social media platforms, mail services and other messaging services.
  • That warrant can describe a set of people or organizations that the government wants to spy upon.
  • It can require tech companies to insert malware onto their users’ computers, re-engineer their own technology, or use their networks to interfere with any other system.
  • The warrant explicitly allows those companies to violate any other laws in complying with the warrant.
  • Beyond particular warrants, private tech companies operating in the United Kingdom also have to respond to “technical capability notices” which will require them to “To provide and maintain the capability to disclose, where practicable, the content of communications or secondary data in an intelligible form,” as well as permit targeted and mass surveillance and government hacking.
  • Tech companies also have to the provide the UK government with new product designs in advance, so that the government can have time to require new “technical capabilities” before they are available to customers.

These capabilities alone already go far beyond the Nineties’ dreams of a blanket ban on crypto. Under the IPA, the UK claims the theoretical ability to order a company like Apple or Facebook to remove secure communication features from their products—while being simultaneously prohibited from telling the public about it.

Companies could be prohibited from fixing existing vulnerabilities, or required to introduce new ones in forthcoming products. Even incidental users of communication tech could be commandeered to become spies in her Majesty’s Secret Service: those same powers also allow the UK to, say, instruct a chain of coffee shops to use its free WiFi service to deploy British malware on its customers. (And, yes, coffee shops are given by officials as a valid example of a “communications service provider.”)

Wouldn’t companies push back against such demands? Possibly: but it’s a much harder fight to win if it’s not just the UK making the demand, but an international coalition of governments putting pressure on them to obey the same powers. This, it seems is what May’s government wants next.

The Lowest Common Privacy Denominator

Since the IPA passed, May has repeatedly declared her intent to create a an international agreement on “regulating cyberspace”. The difficulty of enforcing many of the theoretical powers of the IPA makes this particularly pressing.

The IPA includes language that makes it clear that the UK expects foreign companies to comply with its secret warrants. Realistically, it’s far harder for UK law enforcement to get non-UK technology companies to act as their personal hacking teams. That’s one reason why May’s government has talked up the IPA as a “global gold standard” for surveillance, and one that they hope other countries will adopt.

In venues like the Five Eyes meeting, we can expect Britain to advocate for others to adopt IPA-like powers. In that, they will be certainly be joined by Australia, whose Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull recently complained in the Australian Parliament that so many tech companies “are based in the United States where a strong libertarian tradition resists Government access to private communications, as the FBI found when Apple would not help unlock the iPhone of the dead San Bernardino terrorist.” Turnbull, it seems, would be happy to adopt the compulsory compliance model of the United Kingdom (as would, he implied at the time of the Apple case, would President Trump).

In the meantime, the British authorities can encourage an intermediary step: other governments may be more likely to offer support for a IPA regime if Britain offers to share the results of its new powers with them.

Such information-sharing agreements are the raison d’être of the Five Eyes alliance, which began as a program to co-ordinate intelligence operations between the Anglo-American countries. That the debate over encryption is now taking place in a forum originally dedicated to intelligence matters is an indicator that the states still see extracting private communications as an intelligence matter.

But hacking and the subversion of tech companies isn’t just for spies anymore. The British Act explicitly granted these abilities to conduct “equipment interference” to more than just GCHQ and Britain’s other intelligence agencies. Hacking and secret warrants can now be used by, among others, the civilian police force, inland revenue and border controls. The secrecy and dirty tricks that used to be reserved for fighting agents of foreign powers is now available for use against a wide range of potential suspects.

With the Investigatory Powers Bill, the United Kingdom is now a country empowered with a blunt tools of surveillance that have no comparison in U.S. or any other countries’ law. But, along with its Five Eyes partners, it is also seen as a moderate, liberal democracy, able to be trusted with access and sharing of confidential data. Similarly, Australia is one of the few countries in the world (and the only one of the Five) to legally compel ISPs to log data on their users. Canada conducts the same meta-data surveillance projects as the United States; New Zealand contributes its mass surveillance data to the shared XKEYSCORE project.

While such data-sharing may be business as usual for the Cold War spies, the risk of such unchecked co-operation have been barely considered by the judicial and legislative branches.

In the world of law enforcement, the UK has for the last year conducted a sustained lobbying campaign in the United States Congress to grant its police forces fast-track access to American tech companies’ communications data. The UK would be permitted to seize the contents of Google, Facebook and other companies’ customers’ inboxes without a U.S. court warrant. In return, the U.S. would gain a reciprocal capability over data held in the U.K.

The danger is that, by forging broad agreements between these five countries, all will end up taking advantage of the lowest privacy standards of each. The United Kingdom will become the source of data obtained through the Investigatory Powers Bill; the United States will launder data taken from UPSTREAM and other programs through the United Kingdom’s legal system, and so on.

Secret “Five Eyes” is not the venue for deciding on the future of global surveillance. Intelligence agencies and their secret alliances are no model for oversight and control of the much broader surveillance now being conducted on billions of innocent users of the public Internet. The Investigatory Powers Bill is no “gold standard.” Britain’s radical new powers shouldn’t be exported via the Five Eyes, either through law, or through data-sharing agreements conducted without judicial or legislative oversight.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/06/five-eyes-unlimited

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