So the NYTimes norms genocide by Turkey again? After a rocket attack, townspeople say Turkey’s president should have started his offensive sooner against Kurdish militants.
Israeli Jewish settlers overnight spray-painted anti-Palestinian graffiti on walls and torched a Palestinian-owned vehicle after raiding East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Safafa.
Settlers reportedly spray-painted “death to the Arabs” and “price tag” graffiti in Hebrew before setting a vehicle on fire.
“Price tag” refers to an underground anti-Palestinian Israeli group that routinely attack Palestinians in the occupied territories and inside Israel.
The Israeli government still refuses to label it as a terrorist organization and considers it only as group of vandals.
Settler violence against Palestinians and their property is routine in the West Bank and is rarely prosecuted by Israeli authorities.
Settlers’ violence includes property and mosque arsons, stone-throwing, uprooting of crops and olive trees, attacks on vulnerable homes, among others.
Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law.
All settlements across the West Bank are illegal under international law, particularly article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which establishes that the occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.
good The decision by the International Trade Commission ends a trade case filed by Boeing, which said its Canadian rival Bombardier unfairly subsidized and dumped its planes in the United States.
all about clicks and money for Facebook
Abdulrahman Alcharbati had account disabled nine times after posting Isis videos, court told
Facebook disabled the account of a terror suspect nine times but repeatedly reactivated it, even as he continued posting violent Islamic State propaganda videos, a court has heard.
Abdulrahman Alcharbati, 31, is standing trial accused of sharing scores of links from his Facebook account that encouraged acts of terror. The engineer is also charged with possessing a bomb-making manual, called Easy Explosives Fourth Edition, on his mobile phone when he was arrested last year.
All agony; no ecstasy :>(
نبدأ دائما الكلام في التحذير من الوصول الى الحضيض. وصلنا الى النهاية. نهاية الطريق في قعر الجحيم. هل من الطبيعي ان نستمر في الكتابة او الحديث بينما نجلد الذات ؟ نحتاج لما يشجعنا ويرفع من معنوياتنا ويمنحنا بصيص الامل . ولكن هل من امل ؟ هل من مكان للتفاؤل وسط كل المجريات ؟
اسرائيل ترتفع الى اعلى المنازل : دعم عالمي واقليمي، يبدأ بأمريكا ويعلو صوته من مآذن السعودية. وحكم فلسطيني مفكك، مهتريء، لم يبق لنا حتى مكانا للكلام .
من اين ممكن البدء في حديث التشاؤم الواقعي ؟
عن القدس ورفع رايات الصهيونية العالمية على معالمها ؟ عن مجتمع تحول الى افراد ، يخشى المرء منهم على قوت يومه ، فيلوذ الى مأمن على ابواب الداخلية الاسرائيلية ، عله يصبح مواطنا ليستطيع ان يبقى في مدينته بلا تهديد؟
عن تطبيع تحول الى تطويع اختياري ، امام لقمة العيش واستغلال الموارد ، فيصبح فيها رامي ليفي منارة للاستثمار الفلسطيني في…
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Hackers from the Dutch intelligence service AIVD have provided the FBI with crucial information about Russian interference with the American elections. For years, AIVD had access to the infamous Russian hacker group Cozy Bear. That’s what de Volkskrant and Nieuwsuur have uncovered in their investigation.
It’s the summer of 2014. A hacker from the Dutch intelligence agency AIVD has penetrated the computer network of a university building next to the Red Square in Moscow, oblivious to the implications. One year later, from the AIVD headquarters in Zoetermeer, he and his colleagues witness Russian hackers launching an attack on the Democratic Party in the United States. The AIVD hackers had not infiltrated just any building; they were in the computer network of the infamous Russian hacker group Cozy Bear. And unbeknownst to the Russians, they could see everything.
That’s how the AIVD becomes witness to the Russian hackers harassing and penetrating the leaders of the Democratic Party, transferring thousands of emails and documents. It won’t be the last time they alert their American counterparts. And yet, it will be months before the United States realize what this warning means: that with these hacks the Russians have interfered with the American elections. And the AIVD hackers have seen it happening before their very eyes.
The Dutch access provides crucial evidence of the Russian involvement in the hacking of the Democratic Party, according to six American and Dutch sources who are familiar with the material, but wish to remain anonymous. It’s also grounds for the FBI to start an investigation into the influence of the Russian interference on the election race between the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and the Republican candidate Donald Trump.
After Trump’s election in May 2017, this investigation was taken over by special prosecutor Robert Mueller. While it also aims to uncover contacts between Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russian government, the prime objective is bringing to light the Russian interference with the elections. An attempt to undermine the democratic process, and an act that caused tensions between the two superpowers to rise to new heights, bringing about a string of diplomatic acts of revenge.
Three American intelligence services state with ‘high confidence’ that the Kremlin was behind the attack on the Democratic Party. That certainty, sources say, is derived from the AIVD hackers having had access to the office-like space in the center of Moscow for years. This is so exceptional that the directors of the foremost American intelligence services are all too happy to receive the Dutchmen. They provide technical evidence for the attack on the Democratic Party, and it becomes apparent that they know a lot more.
The prime objective is bringing to light the Russian interference with the elections
Specialists from the best intelligence services have been hunting them for years
It’s somewhat of a ‘fluke’ that the AIVD hackers were able to acquire such useful information in 2014. The team uses a CNA, which stands for Computer Network Attack. These hackers are permitted to perform offensive operations: to penetrate and attack hostile networks. It’s a relatively small team within a larger digital business unit of about 80-100 people. All cyberoperations converge here. Part of the unit is focused on intercepting or managing sources, while another team is dedicated to Computer Network Defence. In turn, this team is part of the Joint Sigint Cyber Unit, a collaborative unit of the AIVD and the Dutch Military Intelligence and Security Service MIVD, of about 300 people.
It’s unknown what exact information the hackers acquire about the Russians, but it is clear that it contains a clue as to the whereabouts of one of the most well-known hacker groups in the world: Cozy Bear, also referred to as APT29. Since 2010, this group has attacked governments, energy corporations and telecom companies around the world, including Dutch companies and ministries. Specialists from the best intelligence services, among them the British, the Israelis and the Americans, have been hunting Cozy Bear for years, as have analysts from major cybersecurity companies.
The Dutch hacker team spends weeks preparing itself. Then, in the summer of 2014, the attack takes place, most likely before the tragic crash of flight MH17. With some effort and patience, the team manages to penetrate the internal computer network. The AIVD can now trace the Russian hackers’ every step. But that’s not all.
The Cozy Bear hackers are in a space in a university building near the Red Square. The group’s composition varies, usually about ten people are active. The entrance is in a curved hallway. A security camera records who enters and who exits the room. The AIVD hackers manage to gain access to that camera. Not only can the intelligence service now see what the Russians are doing, they can also see who’s doing it. Pictures are taken of every visitor. In Zoetermeer, these pictures are analyzed and compared to known Russian spies. Again, they’ve acquired information that will later prove to be vital.
The AIVD hackers manage to gain access to a security camera
What follows is a rare battle between the attackers and its defenders
The Dutch access to the Russian hackers’ network soon pays off. In November, the Russians prepare for an attack on one of their prime targets: the American State Department. By now, they’ve obtained e-mail addresses and the login credentials of several civil servants. They manage to enter the non-classified part of the computer network.
The AIVD and her military counterpart MIVD inform the NSA-liaison at the American embassy in The Hague. He immediately alerts the different American intelligence services.
What follows is a rare battle between the attackers, who are attempting to further infiltrate the State Department, and its defenders, FBI and NSA teams – with clues and intelligence provided by the Dutch. This battle lasts 24 hours, according to American media.
The Russians are extremely aggressive but do not know they’re being spied on. Thanks to the Dutch spies, the NSA and FBI are able to counter the enemy with enormous speed. The Dutch intel is so crucial that the NSA opens a direct line with Zoetermeer, to get the information to the United States as soon as possible.
Back and forth
We could see how they were changing their methods
Richard Ledgett, NSA
Using so-called command and control servers, digital command centres, the Russians attempt to establish a connection to the malware in the Department, in order to request and transfer information. The Americans, having been told by the Dutch where the servers are, repeatedly and swiftly cut off access to these servers, followed each time by another attempt by the Russians. It goes back and forth like this for 24 hours. Afterwards, sources tell CNN that this was ‘the worst hack attack ever’ on the American government. The Department has to cut off access to the e-mail system for a whole weekend in order to upgrade the security.
Luckily, the NSA was able to find out the means and tactics of their attackers, deputy director of the NSA Richard Ledgett states at a discussion forum in Aspen in March 2017. ‘So we could see how they were changing their methods. That’s very useful information.’ On the authority of intelligence services, American media write that this was thanks to a ‘western ally’. Eventually, the Americans manage to dispel the Russians from the Department, but not before Russian attackers use their access to send an e-mail to a person in the White House.
Sources tell CNN that this was ‘the worst hack attack ever’ on the American government
He thinks he’s received an e-mail from the State Department – the e-mail address is similar – and clicks a link in the message. The link opens a website where the White House employee then enters his login credentials, now obtained by the Russians. And that is how the Russians infiltrate the White House.
They even gain access to the email servers containing the sent and received emails of president Barack Obama, but fail to penetrate the servers that control the message traffic from his personal BlackBerry, which holds state secrets, sources tell The New York Times. They do, however, manage to access e-mail traffic with embassies and diplomats, agendas, notes on policy and legislation. And again, it’s the Dutch intelligence agencies who alert the Americans about this.
Access to Cozy Bear turns out to be a goldmine for the Dutch hackers. For years, it supplies them with valuable intelligence about targets, methods and the interests of the highest ranking officials of the Russian security service. From the pictures taken of visitors, the AIVD deduces that the hacker group is led by Russia’s external intelligence agency SVR.
There’s a reason the AIVD writes in its annual report about 2014 that many Russian government officials, including president Putin, use secret services to obtain information. Recently, the head of the AIVD, Rob Bertholee, said on the Dutch TV program CollegeTour that there is ‘no question’ that the Kremlin is behind the Russian hacking activities.
There is ‘no question’ that the Kremlin is behind the Russian hacking activities
Rob Bertholee, head of the AIVD
We’d never expected that the Russians would do this
The Americans were taken completely by surprise by the Russian aggression, says Chris Painter in Washington. For years, Painter was responsible for America’s cyber policy. He resigned last August. ‘We’d never expected that the Russians would do this, attacking our vital infrastructure and undermining our democracy.’
The American intelligence services were unprepared for that, he says. That is one of the reasons the Dutch access is so appreciated. The Americans even sent ‘cake’ and ‘flowers’ to Zoetermeer, sources tell. And not just that. Intelligence is a commodity: it can be traded. In 2016, the heads of the AIVD and MIVD, Rob Bertholee and Pieter Bindt, personally discuss the access to the Russian hacker group with James Clapper, then the highest ranking official of the American intelligence services, and Michael Rogers, head of the NSA.
In return, the Dutch are given knowledge, technology and intelligence. According to one American source, in late 2015, the NSA hackers manage to penetrate the mobile devices of several high ranking Russian intelligence officers. They learn that right before a hacking attack, the Russians search the internet for any news about the oncoming attack. According to the Americans, this indirectly proves that the Russian government is involved in the hacks. Another source says it’s ‘highly likely’ that in return for the intelligence, the Dutch were given access to this specific American information. Whether any intelligence about MH17 was exchanged, is unknown.
There’s a long aftermath to the Russian attacks, particularly the attack on the Democratic Party. Moreover, the FBI investigation into the Russian interference adds a political dimension. After her defeat in November 2016, Clinton will say that the controversy about her leaked emails are what cost her the presidency. President elect Donald Trump categorically refuses to explicitly acknowledge the Russian interference. It would tarnish the gleam of his electoral victory. He has also frequently praised Russia, and president Putin in particular. This is one of the reasons the American intelligence services eagerly leak information: to prove that the Russians did in fact interfere with the elections. And that is why intelligence services have told American media about the amazing access of a ‘western ally’.
This has led to anger in Zoetermeer and The Hague. Some Dutchmen even feel betrayed. It’s absolutely not done to reveal the methods of a friendly intelligence service, especially if you’re benefiting from their intelligence. But no matter how vehemently the heads of the AIVD and MIVD express their displeasure, they don’t feel understood by the Americans. It’s made the AIVD and MIVD a lot more cautious when it comes to sharing intelligence. They’ve become increasingly suspicious since Trump was elected president.
It’s absolutely not done to reveal the methods of a friendly intelligence service
The AIVD hackers are no longer in Cozy Bear’s computer network. The Dutch espionage lasted between 1 and 2,5 years. Hacker groups frequently change their methods and even a different firewall can cut off access. The AIVD declined to respond to de Volkskrant’s findings.
Translated by: Lisa Negrijn
In praise of the mundane, unquantifiable, impractical activities that feed creative work and fill life with meaning.
Most people are products of their time. Only the rare few are its creators. Ursula K. Le Guin (October 21, 1929–January 22, 2018) was one.
A fierce thinker and largehearted, beautiful writer who considered writing an act of falling in love, Le Guin left behind a vast, varied body of work and wisdom, stretching from her illuminations of the artist’s task and storytelling as an instrument of freedom to her advocacy for public libraries to her feminist translation of the Tao Te Ching and her classic unsexing of gender.
In her final years, Le Guin examined what makes life worth living in a splendid piece full of her wakeful, winkful wisdom, titled “In Your Spare Time” and included as the opening essay in No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters (public library) — the final nonfiction collection published in her lifetime, which also gave us Le Guin on the uses and misuses of anger.
Two decades after her nuanced meditation on growing older, Le Guin revisits the subject from another angle, perhaps the most perspectival angle there is — the question of how we measure the light of a life as it nears its sunset. Like any great writer who finds her prompts in the most improbable of places, Le Guin springboards into the existential while answering a questionnaire mailed to the Harvard class of 1951 — alumni who, if living, would all be in their eighties. (What is it about eighty being such a catalyst for existential reflection? Henry Miller modeled it, Donald Hall followed, and Oliver Sacks set the gold standard.)
Arrested by the implications of one particular question in the survey — “In your spare time, what do you do?” — and by its menu of twenty-seven options, including golf, shopping, and bridge, Le Guin pauses over the seventh offering on the list: “Creative activities (paint, write, photograph, etc.).” She considers this disquieting valuation of creative work in a capitalist society where the practical is the primary currency of existential worth:
Here I stopped reading and sat and thought for quite a while.
The key words are spare time. What do they mean?
To a working person — supermarket checker, lawyer, highway crewman, housewife, cellist, computer repairer, teacher, waitress — spare time is the time not spent at your job or at otherwise keeping yourself alive, cooking, keeping clean, getting the car fixed, getting the kids to school. To people in the midst of life, spare time is free time, and valued as such.
But to people in their eighties? What do retired people have but “spare” time?
I am not exactly retired, because I never had a job to retire from. I still work, though not as hard as I did. I have always been and am proud to consider myself a working woman. But to the Questioners of Harvard my lifework has been a “creative activity,” a hobby, something you do to fill up spare time. Perhaps if they knew I’d made a living out of it they’d move it to a more respectable category, but I rather doubt it.
Virginia Woolf and her sister, the artist Vanessa Bell, illustrated by Nina Cosford for Virginia Woolf: An Illustrated Biography by Zena Alkayat.
A century and half after Kierkegaard extolled the creative value of unbusied hours and ninety years after Bertrand Russell made his exquisite case for why “fruitful monotony” is essential for happiness, Le Guin examines the meanings and misconstruings of “spare” time in modern life:
The question remains: When all the time you have is spare, is free, what do you make of it?
And what’s the difference, really, between that and the time you used to have when you were fifty, or thirty, or fifteen?
Kids used to have a whole lot of spare time, middle-class kids anyhow. Outside of school and if they weren’t into a sport, most of their time was spare, and they figured out more or less successfully what to do with it. I had whole spare summers when I was a teenager. Three spare months. No stated occupation whatsoever. Much of after-school was spare time too. I read, I wrote, I hung out with Jean and Shirley and Joyce, I moseyed around having thoughts and feelings, oh lord, deep thoughts, deep feelings… I hope some kids still have time like that. The ones I know seem to be on a treadmill of programming, rushing on without pause to the next event on their schedule, the soccer practice the playdate the whatever. I hope they find interstices and wriggle into them. Sometimes I notice that a teenager in the family group is present in body — smiling, polite, apparently attentive — but absent. I think, I hope she has found an interstice, made herself some spare time, wriggled into it, and is alone there, deep down there, thinking, feeling.
Illustration by Maurice Sendak from Open House for Butterflies by Ruth Krauss.
Two millennia after Seneca placed the heart of life in learning to live wide rather than long and a century after Hermann Hesse contemplated how busyness drains life of its little, enormous joys, Le Guin examines the vital difference between being busy with doing and being occupied with living:
The opposite of spare time is, I guess, occupied time. In my case I still don’t know what spare time is because all my time is occupied. It always has been and it is now. It’s occupied by living.
An increasing part of living, at my age, is mere bodily maintenance, which is tiresome. But I cannot find anywhere in my life a time, or a kind of time, that is unoccupied. I am free, but my time is not. My time is fully and vitally occupied with sleep, with daydreaming, with doing business and writing friends and family on email, with reading, with writing poetry, with writing prose, with thinking, with forgetting, with embroidering, with cooking and eating a meal and cleaning up the kitchen, with construing Virgil, with meeting friends, with talking with my husband, with going out to shop for groceries, with walking if I can walk and traveling if we are traveling, with sitting Vipassana sometimes, with watching a movie sometimes, with doing the Eight Precious Chinese exercises when I can, with lying down for an afternoon rest with a volume of Krazy Kat to read and my own slightly crazy cat occupying the region between my upper thighs and mid-calves, where he arranges himself and goes instantly and deeply to sleep. None of this is spare time. I can’t spare it. What is Harvard thinking of? I am going to be eighty-one next week. I have no time to spare.
No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters is a wonderful read in its totality, replete with Le Guin’s warm wisdom on art and life. Complement this particular portion with German philosopher Josef Pieper on why unoccupied time is the basis of culture, English psychoanalyst Adam Phillips on why a capacity for “fertile solitude” is the basis of contentment, and two hundred years of great thinkers on the creative purpose of boredom, then revisit what I continue to consider Le Guin’s greatest nonfiction masterpiece: her brilliant essay on “being a man.”
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