Actual Hacking: Every Reporter Needs To Understand Sharyl Attkisson’s Case Against The US Government

QuestionEverything2
Source: NoMoreFakeNews.com | JonRappoport.wordpress.com
Jon Rappoport
January 31, 2017

Sharyl Attkisson was a star investigative reporter for CBS News. After two decades at the network, she resigned on March 10, 2014.

Among the controversial stories she covered: the Fast and Furious gun-walking program, in which the government “purposely allowed licensed firearms dealers to sell weapons to illegal straw buyers, hoping to track the guns to Mexican drug cartel leaders and arrest them” (LA Times, 10/3/11); the Benghazi attacks and murders; the CDC fraud in grossly overestimating the number of Swine Flu cases in America.

Attkisson now hosts a weekly television news program, Full Measure, for the Sinclair Broadcast Group. She writes at sharylattkisson.com.

Attkisson is also engaged in a struggle with the federal government.

Attkisson writes: “I just filed my latest appeal to the FBI’s improper withholding of my FBI file. You may not know it, but every American citizen—even a lowly reporter—is entitled to see his FBI file, if one exists.”

I queried Attkisson about this yesterday, and she replied: “I find it unacceptable that the federal government, and specifically the nation’s top law enforcement agency (DOJ), would be party to improperly—and I believe unlawfully—withholding public and personal materials that we (not they) own.”

For some reason, Attkisson isn’t permitted to see her FBI file. Why? The answer may lie in the government’s role as a hacker. A hacker of Attkisson’s computers.

Attkisson writes at her website: “I have a separate federal lawsuit underway against the federal government over illegal surveillance of my work and home computers by intruders using software proprietary to a U.S. intelligence agency. The intrusions were detected and confirmed by three independent forensics exams in 2013.”

“So far, the government has not cooperated with my lawsuit. For example, without even filing the required motion, government officials failed to show up for a properly-noticed deposition in the case.”

Here, from a press release, are details about the hack of Attkisson’s computers:

“On December, 27, 2014, Investigative Journalist Sharyl Attkisson filed administrative claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act against the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Postal Service, and certain unnamed employees and/or agents of the federal government. Shortly thereafter, a lawsuit was filed in the District of Columbia alleging certain violations of Attkisson’s constitutional rights based on information implicating the federal government in illegal electronic monitoring and surveillance of her home and business computers and phones.”

“As outlined in the claims, three separate computer forensics exams revealed that intruders used sophisticated, remote capabilities to monitor Attkisson’s work. The intruders installed and periodically ‘refreshed’ software used to exfiltrate data, obtain Attkisson’s passwords to various personal and work accounts, access the CBS News computer system, and monitor Attkisson’s audio using a Skype account. Forensics also revealed evidence of U.S. government-related involvement in the surveillance.”

“Through a Freedom of Information Act request, Attkisson learned that the F.B.I. opened a case on her computer intrusions in 2013, listing her as the victim, but the agency failed to interview her in the investigation or even notify her that one had been opened. To date, U.S. government officials have failed to fully cooperate with Attkisson’s efforts to learn about the intrusions, and have failed to fully respond to numerous requests to help provide information necessary to learn the truth. As a consequence of the government’s choice to ignore Attkisson’s requests, Attkisson and her family have chosen the only available option left to them.”

Yesterday, I asked Attkisson: in your opinion, why were your computers hacked?

She wrote: “On the lawsuit over the hacking: The reason I had my computers analyzed in the first place is because government sources had approached me and told me I was likely being ‘surveilled’ due to the reporting I had been conducting, especially some of my CBS News stories that were published online. They specifically mentioned my Benghazi reporting, which I began in fall of 2012. The forensics analyses were able to determine multiple unauthorized remote intrusions of my computers using software (proprietary to a federal government agency) that occurred prior to my Benghazi reporting, however. One such intrusion, for example, occurred in February 2012 (we have the date, time and method of entry) and another in July 2012. Stories I covered during this time period included Green Energy Waste stories that the Obama administration worked very hard to stop from airing on CBS, as well as Fast and Furious reports, among others. Among other details, the forensics exams were able to determine that the intruders not only accessed the CBS system, and used Skype to surreptitiously listen in on conversations, but also examined several files and photos related to Fast and Furious.”

“In addition to two separate forensics exams that I had conducted, CBS hired a forensics company that confirmed the remote intrusions. The analyst informed CBS, among other things, ‘I have definitive evidence that shows commands were run from Sharyl’s user account that she did not personally authorize during the timeframe of concern’ and ‘This history has been deliberately removed from Sharyl’s hard drive’ by a third party.”

—Read Attkisson’s next paragraph carefully. It’s explosive. It indicates Dept. of Justice (DOJ) lying and cover-up:

“A fourth forensics exam conducted by DOJ Inspector General of a different computer (only my personal computer that I asked them to examine in hopes they would recognize the government software, CBS would not give them the CBS computers in question) also confirmed the suspicious activities and that a third party deliberately removed files from my personal computers to cover their tracks. However, this information was omitted from a summary the DOJ IG released, which instead made it incorrectly sound as though intrusions had been ruled out. (The DOJ IG will not lawfully respond to FOIA requests for the documentation showing the investigators confirming the suspicious activities. I know the documents exist because the investigators let me review them during the investigation and briefed me on their findings.)”

“The 2012 intrusion dates I mentioned were NOT the sum total of intrusions—they were two dates we know of during which software was planted in my computers. The software was then used on an ongoing basis to access files, watch my keystrokes, etc.”

CBS agrees that Attkisson’s computers were hacked. Here is an excerpt from an August 7, 2013, article posted at the CBS news site:

“CBS News announced Friday that correspondent Sharyl Attkisson’s computer was hacked by ‘an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions,’ confirming Attkisson’s previous revelation of the hacking.”

“CBS News spokeswoman Sonya McNair said that a cybersecurity firm hired by CBS News ‘has determined through forensic analysis’ that ‘Attkisson’s computer was accessed by an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions in late 2012’.”

“Evidence suggests this party performed all access remotely using Attkisson’s accounts. While no malicious code was found, forensic analysis revealed an intruder had executed commands that appeared to involve search and exfiltration of data. This party also used sophisticated methods to remove all possible indications of unauthorized activity, and alter system times to cause further confusion. CBS News is taking steps to identify the responsible party and their method of access.”

“Several months ago, Attkisson had reported suspected intrusions of her computers, including her CBS News work computer, prompting CBS News to hire a firm to look into the hacking.”

My comment: As indicated at the beginning of this article, Attkisson is unable to see her FBI file. The FBI won’t show it to her. This is a breach of law. They won’t show it to her because it would reveal the FBI and DOJ stance on her investigative work at CBS. They didn’t like her work. They considered it a threat. They considered it an exposure of truths they wanted kept under wraps, relating to Fast and Furious, Benghazi, Green Energy Waste, etc.

That FBI file would lend further strength to Attkisson’s claim that the Dept. of Justice has been lying about what they found when they investigated the hacking of her computers.

For example: They found that some of their own people (FBI/DOJ) and/or people at other government agencies had done the hacking.

Major media consider this story “dead until further notice.” But independent journalists all over the world shouldn’t. They should cover it aggressively and keep the pot boiling, and make sure the public understands what is at stake: the right to report actual news, free from government interference and intimidation.

And the right to call government on the carpet, in court, under oath, to account for their crimes.

Read More At: JonRappoport.wordpress.com
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Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.

More Conspiracy: Why Modern Mainstream Journalism Is Seen As Questionable

conspiracytheory
Source: TheDailyBell.com
August 26, 2016

A Short Checklist for Conspiracy Theorists … Unlike Wall Street, conspiracy theories are a perfect market, with supply and demand in perpetual equilibrium. This election year has seen soaring demand. –Bloomberg

Bloomberg has just posted an editorial debunking conspiracy theories, and the reason for it seems to involve people’s suspicion that Hillary Clinton has significant health problems.

Usually articles like this appear when certain elite dominant social themes are under attack. For instance: President Barack Obama was exposed in the alternative media for apparently not being born in the US. As a result, there was an increased mainstream attack on “conspiracy theorists.”

It was at this time, as we recall, that the labels “truther” and “birther” became increasingly popular. But as the attacks on Obama diminished, so did the use of these labels.

Now, it would seem, conspiracy-bashing may be elevated again.

More:

Like most conspiracy theories, [the attacks on Hillary’s health are] a mix of fantasy, improbability and willful stupidity. And, like others, it will no doubt prove tenacious.

If Clinton is elected president, some will swear the woman in the Oval Office is in fact an expertly rouged cadaver.

Countering conspiracy theories is hard, since facts trade at a discount among the conspiracy minded. But for those tempted to jump to conspiracy-tinged conclusions, perhaps a checklist would be a useful precaution ..

The article then goes on to list four such “theories”:

Ask why. Then ask why again.  Once is not enough: This theory suggests that the White House instructed the Internal Revenue Service to harass local Tea Party groups before Obama’s second term.  The rebuttal is that Obama has plenty of enemies. Why should he turn to the IRS alone to attack his critics?

When you say “rich and powerful,” which “rich and powerful” do you mean?  This is a broad theory that suggests rich and powerful people manipulate US society for personal gain en masse. The rebuttal is that there are many wealthy people in the US and not all of them seek the same things. The theory therefore fails on its face.  

Exactly how complicated is this anyway?  This is one of the older conspiracy theories suggesting that global warming must be true because so many people believe in it. The rebuttal, obviously, is that it is impossible to create a conspiracy involving so many people.

What’s Occam say about this? The “Occam’s razor” theory suggests simple analyses are better – and conspiracy theories often seem simple and powerful, even though they are not. The rebuttal is that the world is more complex than conspiracy theorists acknowledge.

The trouble with this editorial is twofold.

First, documents showing that  the CIA itself was instrumental in coming up with the conspiracy meme have been well reported. The CIA developed it in order to debunk accusations undermining the current US power structure and the preferred, elite narrative.

Second, basic elements of a certain kind of modern conspiracy theory are evidently true, confirmed both by historical evolution and factual evidence.

Back in February 2015, ZeroHedge posted an article about the CIA’s involvement in generating the “conspiracy theory” label (here):

In 1967, the CIA Created the Label “Conspiracy Theorists” … to Attack Anyone Who Challenges the “Official” Narrative … Democracy and free market capitalism were founded on conspiracy theories.

The Magna Carta, the Constitution and Declaration of Independence and other  founding Western documents were based on conspiracy theories. Greek democracy and free market capitalism were also based on conspiracy theories.

But those were the bad old days …Things have now changed.  The CIA Coined the Term Conspiracy Theorist In 1967 That all changed in the 1960s.

Specifically, in April 1967, the CIA wrote a dispatch which coined the term “conspiracy theories” … and recommended methods for discrediting such theories.

The dispatch was marked “psych” –  short for “psychological operations” or disinformation –  and “CS” for the CIA’s “Clandestine Services” unit.

The dispatch was produced in responses to a Freedom of Information Act request by the New York Times in 1976.  It states in part (bullet points, ours):

  • This trend of opinion is a matter of concern to the U.S. government, including our organization. ***   The aim of this dispatch is to provide material countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists, so as to inhibit the circulation of such claims in other countries. Background information is supplied in a classified section and in a number of unclassified attachments.  Action. We do not recommend that discussion of the [conspiracy] question be initiated where it is not already taking place.
  • Where discussion is active addresses are requested: To discuss the publicity problem with and friendly elite contacts (especially politicians and editors) , pointing out that the [official investigation of the relevant event] made as thorough an investigation as humanly possible, that the charges of the critics are without serious foundation, and that further speculative discussion only plays into the hands of the opposition. Employ propaganda assets to and refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose.

The validity of conspiracy theory begins with central banking. It is easy enough to track the history of central banking and then to conclude that modern central banking gave a few people in London’s City the power to manipulate unfathomable assets to realize a specific agenda.

The goal – global governance – is simple enough to discover as well. It has been written about endlessly in various forms, often with good, footnoted support and historical evidence.

Conclusion: There is documented support regarding “conspiracy theory,” but this editorial leaves them out.  It’s one more example of why the accuracy of modern mainstream media is increasingly questioned and criticized.

Read More At: TheDailyBell.com

Leaked Documents Show How Feds Can Spy On Journalists ‘In Total Secrecy’

journalists
Source: UndergroundReporter.org | CommonDreams.org
Deidre Fulton
July 1, 2016

Newly leaked documents published by The Intercept expose just how easy it is for the FBI to spy on journalists using so-called National Security Letters (NSLs).

The classified rules, which had previously been released only in heavily redacted form, “show that the FBI imposes few constraints on itself when it bypasses the requirement to go to court and obtain subpoenas or search warrants before accessing journalists’ information,” The Intercept‘s Cora Currier wrote on Thursday.

According to the reporting, an attempt to access journalists’ call data with an NSL must be approved by the typical chain-of-command as well as the FBI’s general counsel and the executive assistant director of the agency’s National Security Branch.

“Generally speaking, there are a variety of FBI officials, including the agents in charge of field offices, who can sign off that an NSL is ‘relevant’ to a national security investigation,” Currier explained.

Trevor Timm of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, an advocacy group which had petitioned for the release of these documents, calls Thursday’s revelations “quite disturbing, since the Justice Department spent two years trying to convince the public that it updated its ‘Media Guidelines’ to create a very high and restrictive bar for when and how they could spy on journalists using regular subpoenas and court orders. These leaked rules prove that the FBI and [Department of Justice or DOJ] can completely circumvent the Media Guidelines and just use an NSL in total secrecy.”

The Intercept added: “There is an extra step under the rules if the NSL targets a journalist in order ‘to identify confidential news media sources.’ In that case, the general counsel and the executive assistant director must first consult with the assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s National Security Division.”

Of this low additional hurdle, Timm scoffs: “That’s it! They don’t have to even go through the motions for following any of the several rules laid out in the DOJ [M]edia [G]uidelines: like get the Attorney General to sign off, exhaust all other means of investigation, alerting and negotiating with the affected media organization, making sure what is being sought is essential to the investigation, etc.”

Furthermore, the rules stipulate that if “the NSL is trying to identify a leaker by targeting the records of the potential source, and not the journalist, the Justice Department doesn’t need to be involved.”

And then there’s the matter of transparency, Timm writes, comparing the information gleaned through the leak with what was previously made available by the DOJ:

The other major question here is: why are these rules secret in the first place? The information that has been redacted here by the Justice Department—and which they are fighting to keep secret in court—is incredibly mundane. The fact that the FBI has to get another person in the bureaucracy to sign off on a particular investigation should not be a state secret, nor would it remotely harm any ongoing investigation, nor would “tip off” any alleged criminals to how to evade surveillance.

In an effort to make the rules more transparent, the Freedom of the Press Foundation in 2015 filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit demanding the DOJ release the secret rules targeting journalists. Last month, a coalition of 37 news organizations—including the Associated Press, NPR, and Buzzfeed—filed a legal brief supporting that demand.

Just last week, the U.S. Senate failed to pass a bill that would have dramatically expanded the FBI’s authority to use NSLs to obtain Electronic Communication Transaction Records (ECTR) such as email time stamps, senders, and recipients, as well as browsing metadata such as history and location—all without a warrant.

However, digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation warned at the time, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “switched his vote to ‘No’ at the last minute so that he may be able to bring up the amendment during future debate.”


This article (Leaked Documents Show How Feds Can Spy on Journalists ‘In Total Secrecy’) by Deirdre Fulton originally appeared on CommonDreams.org and is licensed Creative Commons. Image credit: Pixabay

Read More At: UndergroudnReporter.org