Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

#ProtectTheTruth [Reframing Opposition to Energy Transfer Partners]

Monday, February 27th, 2017

#ProtectTheTruth by George Lakoff.

From the post:

Journalists are bravely standing up to Trump’s attacks on the free press, as they should. Yet one way in which they’re expressing their solidarity and resistance shows how little most journalists know about political framing and messaging.

Case in point: Trump has labeled journalists as “enemies.” So, journalists have responded by labeling themselves “#NotTheEnemy.” This hashtag is currently trending on Twitter, which is unfortunate. Adopting this slogan is a big mistake that helps Trump.

Anyone who has read my books or taken my classes at Berkeley will immediately understand why. For those new to political framing and messaging, I’ll explain briefly here.

Quick: Don’t think of an elephant!

Now, what do you see? The bulkiness, the grayness, the trunkiness of an elephant. You can’t block the picture – the frame – from being accessed by your unconscious mind. As a professor in the cognitive and brain sciences, this is the first lesson in framing I have given my students for decades. It’s also the title of my book on the science of framing political debates.

The key lesson: when we negate a frame, we evoke the frame.

I don’t know current characters known to both children and parents, but what if instead of:

#NoDAPL

we said:

#SaveSmokeyTheBear

would that be a better framing?

Or even better:

#SaveBambi

What are some more current memes to swell support to stop the ecocide promised by Energy Transfer Partners?

Congressmen Counsel Potential Leakers!

Friday, February 17th, 2017

Federal Employees Guide to Sharing Key Information with the Public.

From the webpage:

On February 16, 2017, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D | Los Angeles County) and Congressman Don Beyer (D | Virginia) released the following resource guide for federal employees who wish to break the Administration’s communications blackout on federal agencies. The guide explains how to safely and responsibly share information, and encourages employees to “Know Your Rights” and “Know Your Options.” In the “Know Your Rights” section, federal employees can learn about which federal laws apply to them. In the “Know Your Options” section, employees can learn about how to safely disseminate information to agency inspectors general and the press. The resource guide also includes links to an in-depth list of federal whistleblower statutes and information about agency inspectors general. The full press release can be found here.

Links to whistleblower resources, etc. follow.

Here’s a screen shot of the top of their guide:

The links for whistleblowers are great but rely upon the you take all the risk, media reaps all the glory model.

Better than no leaks at all but having news organization step up with cyberexpertise to safely extract data sounds like a better model.

Investigating A Cyberwar

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

Investigating A Cyberwar by Juliana Ruhfus.

From the post:

Editor’s Note: As the Syrian civil war has played out on the battlefields with gunshots and mortars, a parallel conflict has been fought online. The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), a pro-Assad government group of hackers, has wielded bytes and malware to obtain crucial information from opponents of the Assad regime. The extracted information has led to arrests and torture of dissidents. In this interview, GIJN’s Eunice Au talks to Al Jazeera’s Juliana Ruhfus about the methodology and challenges of her investigation into the SEA and the process of transforming the story into an online game.

How did the idea for a documentary on the SEA come about? Who was part of your investigative team and how long did it take?

I had the idea for the film when I came across a report called “Behind Syria’s Digital Frontline,” published by a company called FireEye, cybersecurity analysts who had come across a cache of 30,000 Skype conversations that pro-Assad hackers had stolen from anti-Assad fighters. The hack provided a unique insight into the strategic intelligence that had been obtained from the Skype conversations, including Google images plans that outlined the battle at Khirbet Ghazaleh and images of missiles which the rebels were trying to purchase.

The fascinating thing was, it also shed light on how the hack was carried out. Pro-Assad hackers had created female avatars who befriended fighters on the front line by telling them how much they admired them and eventually asked to exchange photos. These images were infected with malware which proved devastating once downloaded. Computers in the field are shared by many fighters, allowing the hackers to spy on a large number of targets at once.

When I read the report I had the Eureka moment that I wait for when I am looking for a new idea: I could visualize the “invisible” cyberwar story and, for the first time ever, I really understood the crucial role that social engineering plays in hacking, that is the hacker’s psychological skill to get someone to click on an infected link.

I then shot the film together with director Darius Bazargan. Ozgur Kizilatis and Alexander Niakaris both did camera work and Simon Thorne was the editor. We filmed in London, Turkey, and France, and all together the production took just under three months.
… (emphasis in original)

C-suite level material but quite good, if a bit heavy-handed in its support for rebel forces in Syria. I favor the foxes over the hounds as well but prefer a more balanced approach to the potential of cyberwarfare.

Cyberweapons have the potential to be great equalizers with conventional forces. Punishing the use or supplying of cyberweapons, as Juliana reports here, is more than a little short-sighted. True, the Assad regime may have the cyber advantage today, but what about tomorrow? Or other governments?

The Rise of the Weaponized AI Propaganda Machine

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

The Rise of the Weaponized AI Propaganda Machine by Berit Anderson and Brett Horvath.

From the post:

“This is a propaganda machine. It’s targeting people individually to recruit them to an idea. It’s a level of social engineering that I’ve never seen before. They’re capturing people and then keeping them on an emotional leash and never letting them go,” said professor Jonathan Albright.

Albright, an assistant professor and data scientist at Elon University, started digging into fake news sites after Donald Trump was elected president. Through extensive research and interviews with Albright and other key experts in the field, including Samuel Woolley, Head of Research at Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Project, and Martin Moore, Director of the Centre for the Study of Media, Communication and Power at Kings College, it became clear to Scout that this phenomenon was about much more than just a few fake news stories. It was a piece of a much bigger and darker puzzle — a Weaponized AI Propaganda Machine being used to manipulate our opinions and behavior to advance specific political agendas.

By leveraging automated emotional manipulation alongside swarms of bots, Facebook dark posts, A/B testing, and fake news networks, a company called Cambridge Analytica has activated an invisible machine that preys on the personalities of individual voters to create large shifts in public opinion. Many of these technologies have been used individually to some effect before, but together they make up a nearly impenetrable voter manipulation machine that is quickly becoming the new deciding factor in elections around the world.

Before you get too panicked, remember the techniques attributed to Cambridge Analytica were in use in the 1960 Kennedy presidential campaign. And have been in use since then by marketeers for every known variety of product, including politicians.

It’s hard to know if Anderson and Horvath are trying to drum up more business for Cambridge Analytica or if they are genuinely concerned for the political process.

Granting that Cambridge Analytica has more data than was available in the 1960’s but many people, not just Cambridge Analytica have labored on manipulation of public opinion since then.

If people were as easy to sway, politically speaking, as Anderson and Horvath posit, then why is there any political diversity at all? Shouldn’t we all be marching in lock step by now?

Oh, it’s a fun read so long as you don’t take it too seriously.

Besides, if a “weaponized AI propaganda machine” is that dangerous, isn’t the best defense a good offense?

I’m all for cranking up a “demonized AI propaganda machine” if you have the funding.

Yes?

Open Science: Too Much Talk, Too Little Action [Lessons For Political Opposition]

Monday, February 6th, 2017

Open Science: Too Much Talk, Too Little Action by Björn Brembs.

From the post:

Starting this year, I will stop traveling to any speaking engagements on open science (or, more generally, infrastructure reform), as long as these events do not entail a clear goal for action. I have several reasons for this decision, most of them boil down to a cost/benefit estimate. The time spent traveling does not seem worth the hardly noticeable benefits any more.

I got involved in Open Science more than 10 years ago. Trying to document the point when it all started for me, I found posts about funding all over my blog, but the first blog posts on publishing were from 2005/2006, the announcement of me joining the editorial board of newly founded PLoS ONE late 2006 and my first post on the impact factor in 2007. That year also saw my first post on how our funding and publishing system may contribute to scientific misconduct.

In an interview on the occasion of PLoS ONE’s ten-year anniversary, PLoS mentioned that they thought the publishing landscape had changed a lot in these ten years. I replied that, looking back ten years, not a whole lot had actually changed:

  • Publishing is still dominated by the main publishers which keep increasing their profit margins, sucking the public teat dry
  • Most of our work is still behind paywalls
  • You won’t get a job unless you publish in high-ranking journals.
  • Higher ranking journals still publish less reliable science, contributing to potential replication issues
  • The increase in number of journals is still exponential
  • Libraries are still told by their faculty that subscriptions are important
  • The digital functionality of our literature is still laughable
  • There are no institutional solutions to sustainably archive and make accessible our narratives other than text, or our code or our data

The only difference in the last few years really lies in the fraction of available articles, but that remains a small minority, less than 30% total.

So the work that still needs to be done is exactly the same as it was at the time Stevan Harnad published his “Subversive Proposal” , 23 years ago: getting rid of paywalls. This goal won’t be reached until all institutions have stopped renewing their subscriptions. As I don’t know of a single institution without any subscriptions, that task remains just as big now as it was 23 years ago. Noticeable progress has only been on the margins and potentially in people’s heads. Indeed, now only few scholars haven’t heard of “Open Access”, yet, but apparently without grasping the issues, as my librarian colleagues keep reminding me that their faculty believe open access has already been achieved because they can access everything from the computer in their institute.

What needs to be said about our infrastructure has been said, both in person, and online, and in print, and on audio, and on video. Those competent individuals at our institutions who make infrastructure decisions hence know enough to be able to make their rational choices. Obviously, if after 23 years of talking about infrastructure reform, this is the state we’re in, our approach wasn’t very effective and my contribution is clearly completely negligible, if at all existent. There is absolutely no loss if I stop trying to tell people what they already should know. After all, the main content of my talks has barely changed in the last eight or so years. Only more recent evidence has been added and my conclusions have become more radical, i.e., trying to tackle the radix (Latin: root) of the problem, rather than palliatively care for some tangential symptoms.

The line:

What needs to be said about our infrastructure has been said, both in person, and online, and in print, and on audio, and on video.

is especially relevant in light of the 2016 presidential election and the fund raising efforts of organizations that form the “political opposition.”

You have seen the ads in email, on Facebook, Twitter, etc., all pleading for funding to oppose the current US President.

I agree the current US President should be opposed.

But the organizations seeking funding failed to stop his rise to power.

Whether their failure was due to organizational defects or poor strategies is really beside the point. They failed.

Why should I enable them to fail again?

One data point, the Women’s March on Washington was NOT organized by organizations with permanents staff and offices in Washington or elsewhere.

Is your contribution supporting staffs and offices of the self-righteous (the primary function of old line organizations) or investigation, research, reporting and support of boots on the ground?

Government excesses are not stopped by bewailing our losses but by making government agents bewail theirs.

The Power of Big Data and Psychographics [Fact Checking]

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

From the description:

In a 10 minute presentation at the 2016 Concordia Summit, Mr. Alexander Nix discusses the power of big data in global elections. Cambridge Analytica’s revolutionary approach to audience targeting, data modeling, and psychographic profiling has made them a leader in behavioral microtargeting for election processes around the world.

A highly entertaining but deceptive presentation on the state of the art for marketing political candidates.

Nix claims that most marketing companies base their advertising on demographics and geographics, sending the same message to all women, all African-Americans, etc.

Worse than a “straw man,” that’s simply false. If you know the work Selling Blue Elephants by Howard Moskowitz and Alex Gofman, then you know that marketers tweak their pitches to very small market slices.

But you don’t need to find a copy of Selling Blue Elephants or take my word for that. On your next visit to the grocery store see for yourself how many variations of a popular shampoo or spaghetti sauce are offered. Each one is calculated to attract a particular niche of the overall market.

Nix goes on to describe advertising in the 1960’s as “top down,” “hope messages resonant,” etc.

Not only is that another false claim, but the application described by Nix was pioneered for the 1960 presidential campaign.


Ithiel de Sola Pool, with others, developed the Simulmatics program for the computation of a great variety of factors thought to influence voting, for specific use in the 1960 presidential election. A multitude of influences can be introduced into the program, together with modifications of a strategic nature, and the results bear on both prediction and choice of strategy, much in the manner that elaborate market research influences business decision on manufacture and sale of a new product. The Simulmatics project assembled a basic matrix of voter types and “issue clusters” (480 of the former and 52 of the latter, making a total of 24,960 cells), consolidating as values the accumulated archives of polling on all kinds of questions. The records of the Roper Public Opinion Research Center at Williamstwon were used as source material. With no data later than 1958, the simulation achieved a correlation by states of .82 with the actual Kennedy vote.

(“The Mathematical Approach to Political Science” by Oliver Benson, in Contemporary Political Analysis, edited by James C. Charlesworth, The Free Press, 1967, at pp. 129-130)

I’ll grant that Nix has more data at his disposal and techniques have changed in the last fifty-seven (57) years, but there’s no legitimate reason to not credit prior researchers in the field.

PS: If you find a hard (or scanned) copy of The Simulmatics Project by Ithiel de Sola Pool, let me know.

Executive Orders (Bulk Data From Federal Register)

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

Executive Orders

From the webpage:

The President of the United States manages the operations of the Executive branch of Government through Executive orders. After the President signs an Executive order, the White House sends it to the Office of the Federal Register (OFR). The OFR numbers each order consecutively as part of a series, and publishes it in the daily Federal Register shortly after receipt.

Executive orders issued since 1994 are available as a single bulk download and as a bulk download by President, or you can browse by President and year from the list below. More details about our APIs and other developer tools can be found on our developer pages.

Don’t ignore the developer pages.

Whether friend or foe of the current regime in Washington, the FederalRegister.gov API enables access to all the regulatory material published in the Federal Register. Use it.

It should be especially useful in light of Presidential Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs, which provides in part:


Sec. 2. Regulatory Cap for Fiscal Year 2017. (a) Unless prohibited by law, whenever an executive department or agency (agency) publicly proposes for notice and comment or otherwise promulgates a new regulation, it shall identify at least two existing regulations to be repealed.

Disclaimer: Any resemblance to an executive order is purely coincidental:

Tracking DAPL Enablers – Barclays Bank PLC

Monday, January 30th, 2017

Continuing my list of co-conspirators financing in part the DAPL pipeline project. Number 3: Barclays Bank PLC.

Emily Fuller gives these contacts for Barclays:

Barclays

Chairman John McFarlane
john.mcfarlane@barclays.com
CEO Jes Staley

Corporate Office:
Barclays Bank PLC
1 Churchill Place
London E14 5HP, United Kingdom
44-20-7116-1000

U.S. Office:
Barclays
745 7th Avenue
New York, NY 10019
212-526-7000

Press Office:
212-526-7000
CorporateCommunicationsAmericas@barclays.com

Starting with Bloomberg’s Company Overview of Barclays Bank PLC, I think we can generate a few more contact points:

Mr. James E. Staley, Chief Executive Officer, Director, Chief Executive Officer of Barclays Plc and Director of Barclays Plc

Mr. Tushar Morzaria, Group Finance Director and Executive Director

Mr. Jonathan Moulds, Group Chief Operating Officer

Ms. Maria D. C. D. N. C. Ramos C.A.I.B, B.Com (Hons), M.Sc., Chief Executive of Barclays Africa

Mr. Ashok V. Vaswani, Chief Executive Officer of Personal and Corporate Banking

I don’t have enough time left today to extract the people and photos from the Our People section of the Barclays site.

I will fix that tomorrow and that will bump the Barclays list into the dozens.

Just an observation for now, but this is the third entity financing Energy Transfer Equity that has no mention of it on its website.

Is it the case that Energy Transfer Equity is too small to register on their corporate dashboards?

If that is the case, then pestering banks directly maybe fun but pestering their customers, who are even more unaware of their banks commercial lending activities, maybe more effective.

Thoughts?

Defeating New York Surveillance (with knitting)

Monday, January 30th, 2017

In Proposal to Reduce Privacy in New York City I pointed out pending plans to add surveillance cameras at seven tunnels and bridges in and out of the city.

I was describing the need to defeat the cameras for personal identity and my wife, a librarian and knitter, said what I was looking for a balaclava. She also said knitting sites, such as Ravelry are full of patterns, etc.

Imagine the chagrin of surveillance camera operators when they encounter:

balaclava-reg-460

Just add sun glasses and you’re set! Total identity concealment!

Don’t get too creative, as a balaclava like this one:

balaclava3-460

is distinctive enough to be recognized a second time and/or found in your apartment or car.

Lastly, there are some people who don’t “get” the idea of a balaclava being for concealment, such as Andrew Salomone, who has preserved his identity with:

balaclava-id-460

Andrew does beautiful work but I’m not inviting him to any op-sec meetings. 😉

Support your local librarians and/or knitters!

Geometry of Redistricting: Summer School (Apply Febuary 15 – March 31, 2017)

Monday, January 30th, 2017

Geometry of Redistricting: Summer School

From the webpage:

A 5-day summer school will be offered at Tufts University from August 7-11, 2017, with the principal purpose of training mathematicians to be expert witnesses for court cases on redistricting and gerrymandering.

Topics covered in the summer school will include:

  • the legal history of the Voting Rights Act and its subsequent renewals, extensions, and clarifications;
  • an explanation of “traditional districting principles,” especially compactness;
  • a course in metric geometry and mathematical ideas for perimeter-free compactness;
  • basic rudiments of GIS and the technical side of how shapefiles work;
  • training on being an expert witness;
  • ideas for incorporating voting and civil rights into mathematics teaching.

Some of the sessions in the summer school will be open to the public, and others will be limited to official participants. Partial funding for participants’ expenses will be available. The summer school is aimed at, but not limited to, people with doctoral training in mathematics. Preference will be given to those who can stay for the full week.

An application form will be posted on this website, and applications will be accepted from February 15 – March 31. Please contact gerrymandr@gmail.com to be added to the mailing list.

If you don’t have doctoral training in mathematics, consider the resources at: Gerrymandering and the shape of fairness, which self-describes as:

This site is devoted to the Metric Geometry and Gerrymandering Group run by Moon Duchin on understanding apportionment, districting, and gerrymandering as problems at the intersection of law, civil rights, and mathematics (particularly metric geometry).

Do you need a reminder the mid-term congressional elections in 2018 aren’t far away?

Enjoy!

Tracking DAPL Enablers – Bank of America Rogues Gallery

Sunday, January 29th, 2017

Continuing my list of co-conspirators financing in part the DAPL pipeline project. Number 2: Bank of America.

I was inspired to find more contacts by Emily Fuller’s How to Contact the 17 Banks Funding the Dakota Access Pipeline, which listed for Bank of America:

Bank of America

President, CEO, and Chairman Brian Moynihan

brian.t.moynihan@bankofamerica.com

Executive Relations, Office of the CEO:
Matthew Task
813-805-4873

Corporate Office:
100 N Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28255

(emphasis in original)

Bank of American maintains a rogues gallery of people to contact about its business and lending practices. Complete with photos should you happen to recognize one of them while shopping or in a crosswalk.

From Governance:

Biography Photo Brian Moynihan, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Bank of America Corporation
Biography Photo Jack O. Bovender, Jr., Lead Independent Director, Bank of America Corporation; Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, HCA, Inc.
Biography Photo Sharon L. Allen Former Chairman, Deloitte LLP
Biography Photo Susan S. Bies Former Member, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Biography Photo Frank P. Bramble, Sr. Former Executive Officer, MBNA Corporation
Biography Photo Pierre J. P. de Weck Former Chairman and Global Head of Private Wealth Management, Deutsche Bank AG
Biography Photo Arnold W. Donald President and Chief Executive Officer, Carnival Corporation & plc
Biography Photo Linda P. Hudson Chairman and CEO, The Cardea Group, and former President and CEO, BAE Systems Inc.
Biography Photo Monica C. Lozano Former Chairman, US Hispanic Media Inc.
Biography Photo Thomas J. May Chairman, Eversource Energy
Biography Photo Lionel L. Nowell, III Former Senior Vice President and Treasurer of PepsiCo, Inc.
Biography Photo Michael D. White Former Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of DIRECTV
Biography Photo Thomas D. Woods Former Vice Chairman and SEVP, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
Biography Photo R. David Yost Former Chief Executive Officer, AmerisourceBergen Corporation

In addition, the governance page notes:

Persons seeking to communicate with the Board of Directors, any director, non-management members of the Board as a group or any committee of the Board should send a letter to the Corporate Secretary at Bank of America Corporation, 214 N. Tryon St., NC1-027-20-05, Charlotte, NC 28255. The letter should indicate to whom the communication is intended. The Corporate Secretary or the secretary of the designated committee may sort or summarize the communications as appropriate. Communications that are commercial solicitations, customer complaints, incoherent or obscene will not be communicated to the Board or any director or committee of the Board.

Bank of America Executive:

From executive biographies:

Dean Athanasia Dean Athanasia, President of Preferred and Small Business Banking and Co-head of Consumer Banking, Bank of America
Cathy Bessant Catherine P. Bessant, Chief Operations and Technology Officer, Bank of America
Sheri Bronstein Sheri B. Bronstein, Global Human Resources Executive, Bank of America
Paul Donofrio Paul Donofrio, Chief Financial Officer, Bank of America
Anne Finucane Anne M. Finucane, Vice Chairman, Bank of America
Geoffrey Greener Geoffrey S. Greener, Chief Risk Officer, Bank of America
Christine Katziff Christine P. Katziff, Corporate General Auditor, Bank of America
Terry Laughlin Terry Laughlin, Vice Chairman and Head of Global Wealth and Investment Management, Bank of America
David Leitch David G. Leitch, Global General Counsel, Bank of America
Gary Lynch Gary G. Lynch, Vice Chairman, Bank of America
Tom Montag Thomas K. Montag, Chief Operating Officer, Bank of America
Thong Nguyen Thong M. Nguyen, President of Retail Banking and Co-head of Consumer Banking, Bank of America
Andrea Smith Andrea B. Smith, Chief Administrative Officer, Bank of America
Bruce Thompson Bruce R. Thompson, Vice Chairman, Bank of America

Searching the Bank of America website, I could find no mention of DAPL or Energy Transfer Equity, etc.

I have a dawning suspicion that the information wasn’t being hidden but that such crimes are so commonplace as to be unremarkable in the Bank of American worldview. More on that in a separate post.

Tracking DAPL Enablers – ABN Amro Capital USA LLC.

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

The Energy Trasfer Equity SEC 8-K filing lists the following co-conspirators who are financing, in part, the DAPL pipeline project:

  • ABN Amro Capital USA LLC.
  • Bank of America, N.A.
  • Barclays Bank PLC
  • The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.
  • BNP Paribas
  • Citibank, N.A.
  • Compass Bank
  • Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank
  • Credit Suisse AG, Cayman Islands Branch
  • Deutsche Bank AG New York Branch
  • DNB Bank ASA, Grand Cayman Branch
  • Goldman Sachs Bank USA
  • HSBC Bank USA, National Association
  • ING Capital LLC
  • Intesa Sanpaolo S.P.A., New York Branch
  • JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.
  • Mizuho Bank, Ltd.
  • Morgan Stanley Senior Funding, Inc.
  • Natixis, New York Branch
  • PNC Bank, National Association
  • Royal Bank of Canada
  • The Royal Bank of Scotland PLC
  • Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
  • SunTrust Bank
  • UBS AG, Stamford Branch
  • Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

How to Contact the 17 Banks Funding the Dakota Access Pipeline by Emily Fuller provides valuable contact information but much more can be had.

Starting from the top with ABN Amro Capital USA LLC., Bloomberg says (as of 28 January 2017):

ABN Amro Capital USA LLC offers commercial banking services. The company was incorporated in 2009 and is based in New York, New York. ABN Amro Capital USA LLC operates as a subsidiary of ABN AMRO Group N.V.

100 Park Avenue
Floor 17
New York, NY 10017
United States

Founded in 2009

Phone: 212-649-5100
Fax: 917-284-6697

Key Executives For ABN Amro Capital USA LLC

ABN Amro Capital USA LLC does not have any Key Executives recorded.

Turning to ABN AMRO Group N.V., Bloomberg reports in part:

ABN AMRO Group N.V.

January 28, 2017 1:42 PM ETBanks
Company Overview of ABN AMRO Group N.V.
Snapshot

Company Overview

ABN AMRO Group N.V. provides banking products and services for retail, private, and corporate banking customers in the Netherlands and internationally. […] ABN AMRO Group N.V. was incorporated in 2009 and is headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Gustav Mahlerlaan 10
Amsterdam, 1082 PP
Netherlands

Founded in 2009
21,809 Employees

Phone: 31 09 000 024
www.abnamro.com

People:

Key Executives For ABN AMRO Group N.V.

Mr. Kees C. van Dijkhuizen
Chairman of the Managing Board and Chief Executive Officer
(…)

Mr. Johan van Hall
Vice Chairman of the Managing Board and Chief Operating Officer
(…)

Mr. Wietze Reehoorn
Chief Risk Officer and Member of the Managing Board
(…)

Ms. Caroline E. Princen
Executive Officer
(…)

Mr. Chris F. H. H. Vogelzang
Member of the Managing Board
(…)

In addition to the identity of the chief officers of this miscreant, we now know of some 21,089 (as of 2015) employees who may be more environmentally conscious than their masters. Enabling poisoning of water along a 1,172-mile-long pipeline is no small thing.

The ABN AMRO Annual Report 2015 lists the managing board as:

  • Gerrit Zalm (chair)
  • Johan van Hall (vice-chair)
  • Kees van Dijkhuizen
  • Caroline Princen
  • Wietze Reehoorn
  • Chris Vogelzang
  • Joop Wijn

(at page 119)

Member of the supervisory board as:

  • Rik van Slingelandt (chair)
  • Hans de Haan
  • Bert Meerstadt
  • Annemieke Roobeek
  • Rik van Slingelandt
  • Steven ten Have
  • Olga Zoutendijk

(at page 281)

A presentation from May of 2016 reports the election of the following to the supervisory board:

A.C. Dorland

Ms F.J. Leeflang

J.S.T. Tiemstra

A presentation from August of 2016 reports Olga Zoutendijk is Chairman of the Supervisory Board and the appointment of: Mr. Jurgen Stegmann to the supervisory board.

The present composition of either board isn’t entirely clear from records on the company website but current member or no, the individuals listed no doubt have useful information/insight to share about the company.

For general contact purposes, the company website offers:

If you have questions about ABN AMRO Group’s financials, business activities, capital, funding, credit ratings or related issues, please contact our Investor Relations team.

E-mail investorrelations@nl.abnamro.com

Phone: +31 20 628 22 82

Dies Donker

Head of Investor Relations

+31 (0)20 383 05 17

Ruud Jaegers

Deputy Head of Investor Relations

+31 (0)20 383 58 36

Niels Farragher

Investor Relations

+31 (0)20 343 49 82

Anton Groenevelt

Investor Relations

+31 (0)20 628 25 86

Annedien Heilbron

Investor Relations

+31 (0)20 383 72 44

Jan-Willem Stokhuyzen

Investor Relations Analyst

+31 (0)20 343 94 88

Geeta Ramkhelawan

Secretary

+31 (0)20 383 32 35

Suggestions improving upon this starting point:

First, the company website claims a presence in Asia, Australia, Europe, North American and South American so you should have little difficulty finding one or more of those 21,089 employees (as of 2015) who can impact ABN Amro’s participation in this environmental outrage.

Second, I have kept copies of the various corporate documents should the links to resumes fall prey to link rot or other mishaps. Those may be useful in identifying specific individuals.

Third, this surface examination of ABN Amro and those of the other listed enablers to follow, are a prelude to exploring the recursive question: Who owns the enablers?

Contacting Bank Owners – Funding DAPL

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

Yesterday I posted a useful list of banks funding DAPL, Contacting the 17 Banks Funding the Dakota Access Pipeline, created by Emily Fuller.

Emily points out some banks are dodging public comment on their investments.

Banks are toadies for their owners and if you can persuade their owners, the banks will dance another tune.

Discovering the owners of banks, human owners, isn’t a straight forward task.

Tables adapted from MorningStar provide a starting place, show the ownership of Wells Fargo (#1 on Emily’s list) by institutions and funds, as:

Institutions

Name Shares Held % Total
Shares Held
Berkshire Hathaway Inc 479,704,270 9.55
Vanguard Group Inc 293,529,151 5.84
BlackRock Fund Advisors 159,579,472 3.18
State Street Corp 144,304,075 2.87
Fidelity Management and Research Company 114,390,616 2.28
Wellington Management Company LLP 105,287,458 2.10
Columbia Insurance Company 74,533,819 1.46
Capital World Investors 87,714,669 1.75
J.P. Morgan Investment Management Inc 71,187,640 1.42
National Fire & Marine Insurance Co 55,776,330 1.10
Dodge & Cox 67,255,750 1.34
Northern Trust Investments N A 60,080,126 1.20
State Street Global Advisors (Aus) Ltd 50,252,360 1.00
State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins Co 55,039,014 1.10
MFS Investment Management KK 49,919,843 0.99
Geode Capital Management, LLC 39,689,832 0.79
Government Pension Fund of Norway – Global 38,048,678 0.72
Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC 37,011,768 0.74
T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. 31,739,499 0.63
TIAA-CREF Investment Management LLC 27,710,384 0.55

Funds

Name Shares Held % Total
Shares Held
Vanguard Total Stock Mkt Idx 95,774,705 1.91
Vanguard 500 Index Inv 66,073,771 1.32
SPDR® S&P 500 ETF 50,880,290 1.01
Vanguard Institutional Index I 49,389,580 0.98
Fidelity® Contrafund® 48,971,538 0.98
Dodge & Cox Stock 43,253,341 0.86
Financial Select Sector SPDR® ETF 34,990,492 0.69
Vanguard Wellington™ Inv 34,242,007 0.68
VA CollegeAmerica WA Mutual 529B 26,217,100 0.52
MFS Value A 25,832,081 0.51
Fidelity Spartan® 500 Index Inv 25,067,450 0.50
VA CollegeAmerica Amercn Bal 529E 23,103,000 0.46
VA CollegeAmerica Inc Fund of Amer 529E 21,980,915 0.44
Vanguard Value Index Inv 21,264,834 0.42
Franklin Income A 20,000,000 0.40
CREF Stock R1 20,598,209 0.41
Vanguard Windsor™ II Inv 20,343,696 0.40
iShares Russell 1000 Value 14,316,510 0.28
Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF 13,351,361 0.27
Parnassus Core Equity Investor 13,218,831 0.26

If these ownership tables look like, appear to be, the sort of relationship information that can be captured by a graph, topic map, etc., you are right in one!

Moreover, the ownership information of other funding banks, such as SunTrust Banks Inc., shows a number of institutions and funds in common.

Meaning that if we pierce the corporate veil and get the names of people, as officers, board of directors, shareholders, etc. those will be valid for one or more of the other funding banks for DAPL as well.

A graph of human owners for a bank, will intersect and overlay other ownership graphs for other banks, enabling activists to focus on persuading the most influential human owners.

Discussion of identifiers for the owners you see listed in this post coming tomorrow!

PS: Consider this a continuation of: Refining The Dakota Access Pipeline Target List. I got distracted by a number of things. Sorry!

Contacting the 17 Banks Funding the Dakota Access Pipeline [Leaking Anyone?]

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

How to Contact the 17 Banks Funding the Dakota Access Pipeline by Emily Fuller.

A great article on contacting the banks funding the Dakota Access Pipeline, last updated November 30, 2016, which has this note:

The following bank information has been updated periodically, most recently Nov. 30, 2016. Some banks have disconnected phones and disabled email addresses since the start of the campaign. Contact us with adjustments.
(emphasis in original)

Isn’t that interesting? Banks apparently don’t appreciate public input into their decision making processes.

Management and shareholder lists are naturals for leaking from those 17 banks.

Yes?

Where would you advertise to alert potential leakers such lists are of interest?

Trump Inauguration Police Tactics/Blockades – 10:30 AM EST

Friday, January 20th, 2017

Unicorn Riot is live streaming protests, including checkpoint blockades, from Washington, D.C.

An interesting variation on the police formation I detailed in Defeating Police Formations – Parallel Distributed Protesting, the police are breaching the blockade single file to create a path for people who want to attend the inauguration.

An odd reverse of the “surge and arrest” tactic to “surge and enable passage.”

The inauguration is still two hours out.

Join Unicorn Riot, Democracy Now! or one of the other live streams covering protests.

Personally I have no interest in the “official” ceremonies and will be skipping those.

PS: A tweet as of 35 minutes ago reports (unconfirmed) that 6 of 12 inauguration entrances have been completely shut down and traffic at others slowed to a “trickle.”

Permitted Trump Protesters Will Be Ignored

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

I wish my headline was some of the “fake news” Democrats complain about but Alexandra Rosemann proves the truth of that headline in:

Ignoring anti-Trumpers: Why we can expect media blackout of protests against Trump’s inauguration.

Not ignored by just anybody, ignored by the media.

On Jan. 20 — 16 years ago — thousands of protesters lined the inauguration parade route of the incoming Republican president. “Not my president,” they chanted. But despite the enormity of the rally, it was largely ignored. Instead, pundits marveled over how George W. Bush “filled out the suit” and confirmed authority.

“The inauguration of George W. Bush was certainly a spectacle on Inauguration Day,” marvels Robin Andersen, the director of Peace and Justice studies at Fordham University, in the 2001 short documentary “Not My President: Voices From the Counter Coup.”

It’s nearly impossible not to anticipate the eerie parallels between George W. Bush’s inauguration and that of Donald Trump.

“Forty percent of the public still believed that Bush had not been legitimately elected, yet there’s almost no discussion of these electoral problems or the constitutional crisis,” Andersen explains in the film. “Instead, Bush undergoes a kind of transformation where he fills out the suit and becomes a leader. Forgotten are any of the questions about his ability, his experience or his mangling of the English language. His transformation is almost magical,” she adds.

Andersen estimated the inauguration protests, which occurred throughout the country, garnered approximately 10 minutes of total coverage on all the major networks.

“When we did see images of protesters, there was no explanation as to why. We were asked to be passive spectators in this ritual of legitimation when the real democratic issues that should have been being discussed were ignored,” Andersen says in the film, reflecting on the “real democracy” in the streets of Washington, D.C.

Your choice. Ten minutes of coverage out of over 24 hours of permitted protesting, or the media covering a 24 hour blockade of the DC Beltway.

fox5dc-map-460

Which one do you think draws more attention to your issues?

A new president will be inaugurated on January 20, 2017, but its your choice whether its him, his wife and a few cronies in attendance or hundreds of thousands.

See protests for more ideas on that possibility.

Empirical Analysis Of Social Media

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

How the Chinese Government Fabricates Social Media Posts for Strategic Distraction, not Engaged Argument by Gary King, Jennifer Pan, and Margaret E. Roberts. American Political Science Review, 2017. (Supplementary Appendix)

Abstract:

The Chinese government has long been suspected of hiring as many as 2,000,000 people to surreptitiously insert huge numbers of pseudonymous and other deceptive writings into the stream of real social media posts, as if they were the genuine opinions of ordinary people. Many academics, and most journalists and activists, claim that these so-called “50c party” posts vociferously argue for the government’s side in political and policy debates. As we show, this is also true of the vast majority of posts openly accused on social media of being 50c. Yet, almost no systematic empirical evidence exists for this claim, or, more importantly, for the Chinese regime’s strategic objective in pursuing this activity. In the first large scale empirical analysis of this operation, we show how to identify the secretive authors of these posts, the posts written by them, and their content. We estimate that the government fabricates and posts about 448 million social media comments a year. In contrast to prior claims, we show that the Chinese regime’s strategy is to avoid arguing with skeptics of the party and the government, and to not even discuss controversial issues. We infer that the goal of this massive secretive operation is instead to regularly distract the public and change the subject, as most of the these posts involve cheerleading for China, the revolutionary history of the Communist Party, or other symbols of the regime. We discuss how these results fit with what is known about the Chinese censorship program, and suggest how they may change our broader theoretical understanding of “common knowledge” and information control in authoritarian regimes.

I differ from the authors on some of their conclusions but this is an excellent example of empirical as opposed to wishful analysis of social media.

Wishful analysis of social media includes the farcical claims that social media is an effective recruitment tool for terrorists. Too often claimed to dignify with a citation but never with empirical evidence, only an author’s repetition of the common “wisdom.”

In contrast, King et al. are careful to say what their analysis does and does not support, finding in a number of cases, the evidence contradicts commonly held thinking about the role of the Chinese government in social media.

One example I found telling was the lack of evidence that anyone is paid for pro-government social media comments.

In the authors’ words:


We also found no evidence that 50c party members were actually paid fifty cents or any other piecemeal amount. Indeed, no evidence exists that the authors of 50c posts are even paid extra for this work. We cannot be sure of current practices in the absence of evidence but, given that they already hold government and Chinese Communist Party (CCP) jobs, we would guess this activity is a requirement of their existing job or at least rewarded in performance reviews.
… (at pages 10-11)

Here I differ from the author’s “guess”

…this activity is a requirement of their existing job or at least rewarded in performance reviews.

Kudos to the authors for labeling this a “guess,” although one expects the mainstream press and members of Congress to take it as written in stone.

However, the authors presume positive posts about the government of China can only result from direct orders or pressure from superiors.

That’s a major weakness in this paper and similar analysis of social media postings.

The simpler explanation of pro-government posts is a poster is reporting the world as they see it. (Think Occam’s Razor.)

As for sharing them with the so-called “propaganda office,” perhaps they are attempting to curry favor. The small number of posters makes it difficult to credit their motives (unknown) and behavior (partially known) as representative for the estimated 2 million posters.

Moreover, out of a population that nears 1.4 billion, the existence of 2 million individuals with a positive view of the government isn’t difficult to credit.

This is an excellent paper that will repay a close reading several times over.

Take it also as a warning about ideologically based assumptions that can mar or even invalidate otherwise excellent empirical work.

PS:

Additional reading:

From the Gary King’s webpage on the article:

This paper follows up on our articles in Science, “Reverse-Engineering Censorship In China: Randomized Experimentation And Participant Observation”, and the American Political Science Review, “How Censorship In China Allows Government Criticism But Silences Collective Expression”.

Do You Have Big Brass Ones*? FOIA The President

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Join our project to FOIA the Trump administration by Michael Morisy.

From the post:

Since June 2015, MuckRock users have been filing FOIA requests regarding a possible Trump presidency. In fact, so far there’s been over 160 public Trump-related requests filed through the site, all of which you can browse here.

We’ve also put together a number of guides and articles on the upcoming administration, ranging from what you can and can’t file regarding Trump to deep dives into what’s already out there:

We’ve launched a new project page for users to showcase their requests, find new documents regarding the Trump administration, or get inspiration for their own requests, and we’ve created a special Slack channel for you to join in and strategize on future requests, or help share big league FOIA stories that shed light on the President Elect’s team.

We’ve had a few users join us there already and they’ve helped file some really fun requests, so we’re excited about what else the transparency community can come up with.

An effort worthy of both your time and support!

One answered, remember that availability isn’t the same thing as meaningful access.

OCR, indexing, entity extraction, in short any skill you have is important in this effort.

* No longer a gender specific reference as you well know.

PS: I’ve signed up and need suggestions on what to ask for? Suggestions?

The CIA’s Secret History Is Now Online [Indexing, Mapping, NLP Anyone?]

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

The CIA’s Secret History Is Now Online by Jason Leopold.

From the post:

Decades ago, the CIA declassified a 26-page secret document cryptically titled “clarifying statement to Fidel Castro concerning assassination.”

It was a step toward greater transparency for one of the most secretive of all federal agencies. But to find out what the document actually said, you had to trek to the National Archives in College Park, Maryland, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and hope that one of only four computers designated by the CIA to access its archives would be available.

But today the CIA posted the Castro record on its website along with more than 12 million pages of the agency’s other declassified documents that have eluded the public, journalists, and historians for nearly two decades. You can view the documents here.

The title of the Castro document, as it turns out, was far more interesting than the contents. It includes a partial transcript of a 1977 transcript between Barbara Walters and Fidel Castro in which she asked the late Cuban dictator whether he had “proof” of the CIA’s last attempt to assassinate him. The transcript was sent to Adm. Stansfield Turner, the CIA director at the time, by a public affairs official at the agency with a note highlighting all references to CIA.

But that’s just one of the millions documents, which date from the 1940s to 1990s, are wide-ranging, covering everything from Nazi war crimes to mind-control experiments to the role the CIA played in overthrowing governments in Chile and Iran. There are also secret documents about a telepathy and precognition program known as Star Gate, files the CIA kept on certain media publications, such as Mother Jones, photographs, more than 100,000 pages of internal intelligence bulletins, policy papers, and memos written by former CIA directors.

Michael Best, @NatSecGeek has pointed out the “CIA de-OCRed at least some of the CREST files before they uploaded them.”

Spy agency class petty. Grant public access but force the restoration of text search.

The restoration of text search work is underway so next steps will be indexing, NLP, mapping, etc.

A great set of documents to get ready for future official and unofficial leaks of CIA documents.

Enjoy!

PS: Curious if any of the search engine vendors will use CREST as demonstration data? Non-trivial size, interesting search issues, etc.

Ask at the next search conference.

Resistance Manual / Indivisible

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Resistance Manual

An essential reference for the volatile politics of the Trump presidency.

Indivisible

Four former congressional staffers banded together to write: “A practical guide to resisting the Trump Agenda.”

Both are shaped by confidence in current political and social mechanisms, to say nothing of a faith in non-violence.

Education is seen as the key to curing bigotry/prejudice and moving towards a more just society.

You will not find links to:

Steal this Book or the Anarchist Cookbook, 2000 edition for example.

There are numerous examples cited as “successful” non-violent protests. The elimination of de jure segregation in the American South. (Resource includes oral histories of the time.)

But, de facto segregation in schools is larger than it was in the 1960’s.

How do you figure that into the “success” of non-violent protests?

Read both Resistance Manual and Indivisible for what may be effective techniques.

But ask yourself, do non-violent protests comfort the victims of violence?

Or just the non-violent protesters?

The Political Librarian (volume 2, issue 2)

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

The Political Librarian

From the webpage:

The Political Librarian is dedicated to expanding the discussion of, promoting research on, and helping to re-envision locally focused advocacy, policy, and funding issues for libraries.

We want to bring in a variety of perspectives to the journal and do not limit our contributors to just those working in the field of library and information science. We seek submissions from researchers, practitioners, community members, or others dedicated to furthering the discussion, promoting research, and helping to re-envision tax policy and public policy on the extremely local level.

Grab the entire volume 2, issue 2 (December 2016) for reading while stopped on the DC Beltway, January 20, 2017.

Libraries need your help to survive and prosper during the rapidly approaching winter of ignorance.

Never Allow Your Self-Worth To Depend Upon A Narcissist

Monday, January 16th, 2017

The White House press corps has failed, again, in its relationship with President Trump.

The latest debacle is described in Defiant WH Press Corps “won’t go away” if ejected, says Major Garrett.

From the post:

There have been rumblings about kicking the press out of the White House almost since Donald Trump won the presidency, culminating with a report in Esquire last week that the Trump administration has in fact been giving the idea “serious consideration.”

“If they do so, we’ll still cover him. The White House press corps won’t go away,” CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett told CBSN’s Josh Elliott Monday. “You can shove us a block away, two blocks away, a mile away. We will be on top of this White House — as we’ve been on top of every White House.”

Mr. Trump and several on his communications team have had a stormy relationship with the press, both during his presidential campaign and during his transition.

“I would not be surprised if they moved us out. I really do think there is something about the Trump administration and those closest to him who want the symbolism of driving reporters out of the White House, moving the elites out farther away from this president,” Garrett said.

Does the self-worth of the White House press corps depend upon where they are located by a known narcissist?

If so, they are in for a long four years.

That is doubly true for Trump’s denigration of reporters and others.

A fundamental truth to remember for the next four years:

Trump’s comments about you, favorable or unfavorable, are smelly noise. They will dissipate, unless repeated over and over, as though it matters if a narcissist denies or affirms your existence.

It doesn’t.

Defeating Police Formations – Parallel Distributed Protesting

Monday, January 16th, 2017

If you haven’t read FEMA’s Field Force Operations PER-200, then you are unprepared for #DisruptJ20 or any other serious protest effort.

It’s a real snore in parts, but knowing police tactics will:

  1. Eliminate the element of surprise and fear of the unexpected
  2. Enable planning of protective clothing and other measures
  3. Enable planning of protests to eliminate police advantages
  4. Enable protesters to respond with their own formations

among other things.

On Common Police Formation

While reading Field Force Operations PER-200, I encountered several police formations you are likely to see at #DisruptJ20.

The crossbow arrest formation is found at pages 48-49 and illustrated with:

cross-bow-01-460

cross-bow-02-460

cross-bow-03-460

A number of counter tactics suggest themselves, depending upon your views on non-violence. Passive resistance by anyone who is arrested, thereby consuming more police personnel to secure their arrest. Passively prevented the retreat of the arrest team and its security circle. Breaching the skirmish line on either side of the column, just before the column surges forward, exposing the flank of the column.

Requirements for the crossbow arrest formation

What does the crossbow arrest formation require more than anything else?

You peeked! 😉

Yes, the police formations in Field Force Operations PER-200, including the crossbow arrest formation all require a crowd.

Don’t get me wrong, crowds can be a good thing and sometimes the only solution. Standing Rock is a great example of taking and holding a location against all odds.

But a great tactic for one protest and its goals, may be a poor tactic for another protest, depending upon goals, available tactics, resources, etc.

Consider the planned and permitted protests for #DisruptJ20.

All are subject to the police formation detailed by FEMA and the use of “less lethal” force by police forces.

How can #DisruptJ20 demonstrate the anger of the average citizen and at the same time defeat police formations?

Parallel Distributed Protesting

Instead of massing in a crowd, where police formations and “less lethal” force are options, what if protesters stopped, ran out of gas, had flat tires on the 64-mile DC Beltway.

I mention the length of the Beltway, 64 miles, because it is ten miles longer than marches from Montgomery to Selma, Alabama. You may remember one of those marches, it’s documented at The incident at the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

On March 7, 195, Representative John Lewis, Hosea Williams and other protesters marched across the Pettus bridge knowing that brutality and perhaps death awaited them.

Protesters who honor Lewis, Williams and other great civil rights leaders can engage in parallel distributed protesting on January 20, 2017.

Each car slowing, stopping, having a flat tire, is a distributed protest point. With distributed protest points occurring in parallel, the Beltway grinds to a halt. No one enters or leaves Washington, D.C. for a day.

Not the same as the footage from the Pettus Bridge, but shutting down the D.C. Beltway will be a news story for months and years to come.

fox5dc-map-460

Lewis, Williams and others were willing to march into the face violence and evil, are you willing to drive to the D.C. Beltway to stop, run out of gas or have a flat tire in their honor?

PS: Beltway blockaders should always be respectful of police officers. They probably don’t like what is happening any more than you do. Besides, their police cruisers are also blocking traffic so their presence is contributing to the gridlock as well.

Phishing As A Public Service – Leak Access, Not Data

Sunday, January 15th, 2017

The Intercept tweeted today:

intercept-460

Kudos to The Intercept for reaching out to (US) federal employees to encourage safe leaking.

On the other hand, have you thought about the allocation of risks for leaking?

Take Edward Snowden for example. If caught, Snowden is going to jail, NOT Glenn Greenwald or other reporters who used the Snowden leak.

The Intercept has a valid point when it says:


Without leaks, journalists would have never connected the Watergate scandal to President Nixon, or discovered that the Reagan White House illegally sold weapons to Iran. In the past 15 years alone, inside sources played a vital role in uncovering secret prisons, abuses at Abu Ghraib, atrocities in Afghanistan and Iraq, and mass surveillance by the NSA.

At least historically speaking. Back in the days when hard copy was the norm.

Hard copy isn’t the norm now and leaking guidelines need to catch up to the present day.

Someone could have leaked a portion of the Office of Personnel Management records but in a modern age, digital was far more powerful. (That was a straight hack but it illustrates the difference between sweaty smuggling of hard copy versus giving others the key to a vault.)

If instead of leaking documents/data, imagine following these instructions:

The best option is to use our SecureDrop server, which has the advantage of allowing us to send messages back to you, while allowing you to remain totally anonymous — even to us, if that is what you prefer.

  • Begin by bringing your personal computer to a Wi-Fi network that isn’t associated with you or your employer, like one at a coffee shop. Download the Tor Browser. (Tor allows you to go online while concealing your IP address from the websites you visit.)
  • You can access our SecureDrop server by going to http://y6xjgkgwj47us5ca.onion/ in the Tor Browser. This is a special kind of URL that only works in Tor. Do NOT type this URL into a non-Tor Browser. It won’t work — and it will leave a record.
  • If that is too complicated, or you don’t wish to engage in back-and-forth communication with us, a perfectly good alternative is to simply send mail to P.O. Box 65679, Washington, D.C., 20035, or to The Intercept, 114 Fifth Avenue, 18th Floor, New York, New York, 10011. Drop it in a mailbox (do not send it from home, work or a post office) with no return address.

And you send the following:

  1. Your email address
  2. Screen shots of legitimate emails you get on a regular basis
  3. What passwords are the most important

That’s it.

The receiver constructs a phishing email and sends it to your address.

Like John Podesta and numerous other public figures, you are taken in by this scam.

Evil doers use your present password for access and you have system recorded evidence that you were duped.

How does that allocation of risk look to you, as a potential leaker?

PS: Some, but not all, journalists will be quick to point out what I suggest is, drum roll, illegal. OK, and the question?

Those journalists are being very brave on behalf of leakers, knowing they will never share the fate of a leaker.

I make an exception for all the very brave journalists writing outside of the United States and a few other areas at great personal risk. But then they are unlikely to be concerned with the niceties of the law when dealing with a rogue government.

Update: Apologies but I forgot to include a link to the original post: Attention Federal Employees: If You See Something, Leak Something.

Thoughts on Blockading Metro Rail Stops

Sunday, January 15th, 2017

A recent news report mentioned the potential for blockades of DC Metro Rail stops.

Curbed Washington DC posted a list of those stops, but like many reporters, did not provide links to the stops.

🙁

Here’s their list:

metro-stops-460

Metro Stops with Hyperlinks

Here’s my version, in the same ticket color order:

Presented as the original, the list leaves the impression of more Metro stops than require blockading. Here is “apparent” count of Metro Stops is twelve (12).

Discovering Duplicate Metro Rail Stops

Rearrangement by Metro Rail stops reveals duplicates:

Deduped Metro Stops and Priority Map

If we remove the duplicate stops and sort by stop name, we find only eight (8) Metro Stops for blockading.

  1. Capital South Green Ticket Holders
  2. Eastern Market Green Ticket Holders
  3. Federal Center SW Orange Ticket Holders, Silver Ticket Holders
  4. Gallery Place-Chinatown Blue Ticket Holders, Red Ticket Holders
  5. Judiciary Square Blue Ticket Holders, Red Ticket Holders
  6. L’Enfant Plaza Orange Ticket Holders, Silver Ticket Holders
  7. NoMa-Gallaudet U Yellow Ticket Holders
  8. Union Station Yellow Ticket Holders

All of this is public information and with a little rearrangement, it becomes easier to focus resources on any potential blockading of those stops.

In terms of priorities, Curbed Washington DC posted a map of the gate locations and guest sections for ticket holders. I took a screen-shot of the center portion:

guest-sections-460

If your are interested in activities around the checkpoints, see the larger map.

So You Want To Blockade A Metro Stop

A map of Union Station reminded me that open street blockading isn’t likely to close a Metro Rail stop.

Why? Even with a large number of hardened protesters, the police can approach you from all sides, driving you in particular directions with “less lethal” weapons.

But the architecture of a Metro Rail stop offers an alternative strategy to open air resistance.

Don’t blockade outside a Metro Rail stop, blockade the stop by occupying stairwells, access points, etc.

Anyone opposing the blockade will seek to restore service and so be less likely to use persistent gases or other irritants in closed spaces.

The other advantage of escalators, stairways is that the police can only approach from in front or from behind you. Enabling you to defend the edges of your formation with layers of the most recalcitrant protesters.

I know you intend to peacefully and lawfully assemble only but be aware you may have those in your midst who damage and/or disable turnstiles. Either with some variety of fast acting adhesives or jamming them with thin metallic objects. Although illegal, those acts will also contribute to delaying the restoration of full service.

More thoughts on blockades reduce the number of people reaching Metro Rail stops tomorrow.

PS: It’s unfortunate the Metro doesn’t use tokens anymore. There are some interesting things that can happen with tokens.

Inaugural Ball Cancellation!

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

Your antipathy towards upcoming inaugural balls and work on possible blockades is having an impact!

The Arkansas Inaugural Ball has been cancelled do to “low demand.”

The listing of inauguration balls I pointed to yesterday has plenty of other places for blockades and other mischief.

Looking forward to the least attended inauguration in history, longest and largest traffic snarl in history and complete social disasters at the inauguration balls.

Flashing/Mooning For Inauguration Forecast

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

You can find updated weather forecast for January 20, 2017, updated from my speculations in Blockading Washington – #DisruptJ20 – Unusual Tactic – Nudity in Angela Friz’s Here’s the first of what will surely be many inauguration weather forecasts.

Angela isn’t reporting sun-bathing weather but warm enough that a heavy coat over your birthday suit may be sufficient.

Of course, you could always build a fire in a trash barrel, something we are likely to see a lot of during the Trump presidency.

I’m sure other protesters, in the buff or not will appreciate the extra warmth.

Missing The Beltway Blockade? Considering Blockading A Ball?

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

For one reason or another, you may not be able to participate in a Beltway Blockade January 20, 2017, see:

Don’t Panic!

You can still enjoy a non-permitted protest and contribute to the least attended inauguration in history!

2017 Presidential Inaugural Balls

The list is short on location information for many of the scheduled balls but the Commander in Chief’s Ball, Presidential Inaugural Ball, Mid-Atlantic Inauguration Ball, Midwest Inaugural Ball, Western Inaugural Ball, and the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball, are all being held at the: Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

Apologies but I haven’t looked up prior attendance records but just based on known scheduling, disruption in the area of Walter E. Washington Convention Center looks like it will pay the highest returns.

For the balls with location information and/or location information that I can discover, I will post a fuller list with Google Map links tomorrow.

Oh, for inside protesting, here are floor plans of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

Those are the official, posted floor plans.

Should that link go dark, let me know. I have a backup copy of them. 😉

Overcoming Congressional Provincialism

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

While doing hard core data collection on members of Congress, I kept encountering:

Regrettably, I am unable to reply to any email from individuals residing outside of my congressional district.

The problem, of course, is that you may have an opinion on national intelligence but your representative, for example, isn’t on the intelligence committee.

What if you could identify and reach across congressional boundaries?

More on that tomorrow, alone with news of the data set that has distracted me for several days!

ANSWER Secures More “Permitted” Protest Space

Monday, January 9th, 2017

inaugurate-banner-460

The ANSWER Coalition has:

…secured another permitted assembly area for an even larger gathering site on the parade route, the Navy Memorial (8th St. and Pennsylvania Ave. NW).

See: ANSWER Coalition for details and ways to support.

If your not interested in “permitted” protesting, it could be the case that attendees and protesters alike find it difficult if not impossible to attend the inauguration. See protests for an ongoing series of speculations in that direction.

PS: I remember the Constitution reading:

Congress shall make no law … abridging…the right of the people peaceably to assemble…

NOT:

Congress shall make no law … abridging…the right of the people to be permitted to assemble…

Do you?