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DARPA
DARPA
DARPA было основано в 1958 году и первоначально называлось ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency), затем к названию добавилось слово Defense — «оборона». ARPA спонсировала разработку сети ARPANET (которая переросла в Интернет), а также версии BSD (университета Беркли) системы UNI ...

DARPA было основано в 1958 году и первоначально называлось ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency), затем к названию добавилось слово Defense — «оборона». ARPA спонсировала разработку сети ARPANET (которая переросла в Интернет), а также версии BSD (университета Беркли) системы UNIX и стека протоколов TCP/IP. DARPA существует независимо от обычных военных научно-исследовательских учреждений и подчиняется непосредственно руководству Министерства обороны. Штат DARPA насчитывает около 240 сотрудников (из которых примерно 140 — технические специалисты); бюджет организации на 2016 год составляет 2,972 миллиарда долларов. Подробнее

Структуру агентства составляют 7 подразделений:

  1. Адаптивного управления (AEO) — исследования в области построения адаптивных платформ и архитектур, включая универсальные программные платформы, модульные аппаратные средства, многофункциональные информационные системы и средства разработки и проектирования;
  2. Оборонных исследований (DSO) — исследования в области фундаментальной физики, новых технологий и приборов на новых физических принципах, энергетики, новые материалы и биотехнологии, прикладной и вычислительной математики, медико-биологические средства защиты, биомедицинские технологии.
  3. Инноваций в информационных технологиях (I2O) — информационные системы мониторинга и управления, технологии высокопроизводительных вычислений, интеллектуальный анализ данных, системы распознавания образов, когнитивные системы машинного перевода;
  4. Микросистемных технологий (MTO) — технологии электроники, фотоники, микромеханических систем, перспективной архитектуры интегрированных микросхем и алгоритмов распределенного хранения данных;
  5. Стратегических технологий (STO) — системы связи, средства защиты информационных сетей, средства радиоэлектронной борьбы (РЭБ), устойчивость систем к кибератакам, системы обнаружения замаскированных целей на новых физических принципах, энергосбережение и альтернативные источники энергии;
  6. Тактических технологий (TTO) — современные высокоточные системы вооружения, лазерное оружие, беспилотные средства вооружений на базе воздушных, космических, наземных и морских платформ, перспективные космические системы мониторинга и управления.
  7. Биологических технологий (BTO) — исследования в области инженерной биологии, включая омиксные технологии, синтетическую биологию, метаболическую инженерию, генную терапию (включая искусственную хромосому человека), и прикладные аспекты нейронаук. Вики

http://www.darpa.mil/

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Выбор редакции
16 сентября, 09:45

Созданный по заказу DARPA сенсор может работать годами, почти не потребляя энергии

Группа исследователей из Северовосточного Университета разработала датчик, питаемый тем самым инфракрасным излучением которое он призван обнаруживать. Это устройство, разработанное в рамках программы DARPA «N-ZERO», не потребляет энергию пока не обнаружит инфракрасное излучение.

Выбор редакции
15 сентября, 10:05

Созданный по заказу DARPA сенсор может работать годами, почти не потребляя энергии

Исследователи из Северовосточного Университета разработали для американского исследовательского агентства DARPA принципиально новый сенсор. Устройство способно реагировать на инфракрасное излучение, и при этом не требует источника питания

12 сентября, 20:46

Универсальное оружие: в США анонсировали производство дронов, переносящих ракеты

Агентство перспективных исследовательских проектов министерства обороны США (DARPA) приступило к работе над небольшим беспилотным летательным аппаратом, увеличивающим дальность полета ракеты типа «воздух-воздух» AIM-120.

11 сентября, 17:56

All the Secret Weapons the U.S. Military Would Use to Crush Russia or China in a War

David Axe Security, New tech is coming.  The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency — DARPA, the Pentagon’s fringe-science organization — has begun work on a small drone that extend the range of an AIM-120 air-to-air missile. The “Flying Missile Rail” could help U.S. Air Force and Navy fighters match and even exceed the ever-increasing range of Russian- and Chinese-made missiles. The latest AIM-120 boasts a range of around 100 miles. China has been testing a very-long-range air-combat missile that apparently can fly as far as 200 miles. Perhaps just as importantly, program manager Jimmy Jones — and Air Force colonel — wants the robotic launcher to be cheap and easy to produce so that the military could quickly churn out hundreds of them just in time for some big shooting war. DARPA released its request for proposals for the Flying Missile Rail in early September 2017. The agency is proposing to spend $375,000 over the next year or so developing and testing a prototype. The Flying Missile Rail initiative is a response to the increasing cost and complexity of new warplanes. If the military can’t build a new manned fighter quickly and cheaply, maybe it can outfit existing fighters with robotic rails in order to make the fighters deadlier in combat. “A new advanced monolithic aircraft typically requires 10 to 25 years to design, develop and build,” Jones wrote in his notice to the aerospace industry. “New technology concepts are subject to requirements and other processes which can render them programmatically unrealizable before the technology becomes obsolete. An innovative approach is needed to ‘build on demand’ and to incrementally enhance existing capability.” To that end, DARPA wants to do two things — develop a design for the Flying Missile Rail, while also working out a process for producing copies of the rail at a rate of 500 units per month. By comparison, the Air Force and Navy together requested just 325 AIM-120s for 2018 — meaning a production rate of around 27 missile per month. Read full article

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04 сентября, 22:06

SPIDER: DARPA’s Program to Create a Web of Miniaturized Spy Satellites

By Nicholas West As if merely working on ways to create tiny satellites that can see every square inch of the the planet isn’t creepy...

30 августа, 04:25

Why Google Made The NSA

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Authored by Nafeez Ahmed via Medium.com, Inside the secret network behind mass surveillance, endless war, and Skynet... INSURGE INTELLIGENCE, a new crowd-funded investigative journalism project, breaks the exclusive story of how the United States intelligence community funded, nurtured and incubated Google as part of a drive to dominate the world through control of information. Seed-funded by the NSA and CIA, Google was merely the first among a plethora of private sector start-ups co-opted by US intelligence to retain ‘information superiority.’     The origins of this ingenious strategy trace back to a secret Pentagon-sponsored group, that for the last two decades has functioned as a bridge between the US government and elites across the business, industry, finance, corporate, and media sectors. The group has allowed some of the most powerful special interests in corporate America to systematically circumvent democratic accountability and the rule of law to influence government policies, as well as public opinion in the US and around the world.   The results have been catastrophic: NSA mass surveillance, a permanent state of global war, and a new initiative to transform the US military into Skynet. This exclusive is being released for free in the public interest, and was enabled by crowdfunding. I’d like to thank my amazing community of patrons for their support, which gave me the opportunity to work on this in-depth investigation. Please support independent, investigative journalism for the global commons. *  *  * Read Part 1 here... *  *  * Mass surveillance is about control. It’s promulgators may well claim, and even believe, that it is about control for the greater good, a control that is needed to keep a cap on disorder, to be fully vigilant to the next threat. But in a context of rampant political corruption, widening economic inequalities, and escalating resource stress due to climate change and energy volatility, mass surveillance can become a tool of power to merely perpetuate itself, at the public’s expense. A major function of mass surveillance that is often overlooked is that of knowing the adversary to such an extent that they can be manipulated into defeat. The problem is that the adversary is not just terrorists. It’s you and me. To this day, the role of information warfare as propaganda has been in full swing, though systematically ignored by much of the media. Here, INSURGE INTELLIGENCE exposes how the Pentagon Highlands Forum’s co-optation of tech giants like Google to pursue mass surveillance, has played a key role in secret efforts to manipulate the media as part of an information war against the American government, the American people, and the rest of the world: to justify endless war, and ceaseless military expansionism. The war machine In September 2013, the website of the Montery Institute for International Studies’ Cyber Security Initiative (MIIS CySec) posted a final version of a paper on ‘cyber-deterrence’ by CIA consultant Jeffrey Cooper, vice president of the US defense contractor SAIC and a founding member of the Pentagon’s Highlands Forum. The paper was presented to then NSA director Gen. Keith Alexander at a Highlands Forum session titled ‘Cyber Commons, Engagement and Deterrence’ in 2010. Gen. Keith Alexander (middle), who served as director of the NSA and chief of the Central Security Service from 2005 to 2014, as well as commander of the US Cyber Command from 2010 to 2014, at the 2010 Highlands Forum session on cyber-deterrence MIIS CySec is formally partnered with the Pentagon’s Highlands Forum through an MoU signed between the provost and Forum president Richard O’Neill, while the initiative itself is funded by George C. Lee: the Goldman Sachs executive who led the billion dollar valuations of Facebook, Google, eBay, and other tech companies. Cooper’s eye-opening paper is no longer available at the MIIS site, but a final version of it is available via the logs of a public national security conference hosted by the American Bar Association. Currently, Cooper is chief innovation officer at SAIC/Leidos, which is among a consortium of defense technology firms including Booz Allen Hamilton and others contracted to develop NSA surveillance capabilities. The Highlands Forum briefing for the NSA chief was commissioned under contract by the undersecretary of defense for intelligence, and based on concepts developed at previous Forum meetings. It was presented to Gen. Alexander at a “closed session” of the Highlands Forum moderated by MIIS Cysec director, Dr. Itamara Lochard, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC. SAIC/Leidos’ Jeffrey Cooper (middle), a founding member of the Pentagon’s Highlands Forum, listening to Phil Venables (right), senior partner at Goldman Sachs, at the 2010 Forum session on cyber-deterrence at the CSIS Like Rumsfeld’s IO roadmap, Cooper’s NSA briefing described “digital information systems” as both a “great source of vulnerability” and “powerful tools and weapons” for “national security.” He advocated the need for US cyber intelligence to maximize “in-depth knowledge” of potential and actual adversaries, so they can identify “every potential leverage point” that can be exploited for deterrence or retaliation. “Networked deterrence” requires the US intelligence community to develop “deep understanding and specific knowledge about the particular networks involved and their patterns of linkages, including types and strengths of bonds,” as well as using cognitive and behavioural science to help predict patterns. His paper went on to essentially set out a theoretical architecture for modelling data obtained from surveillance and social media mining on potential “adversaries” and “counterparties.” A year after this briefing with the NSA chief, Michele Weslander Quaid?—?another Highlands Forum delegate?—?joined Google to become chief technology officer, leaving her senior role in the Pentagon advising the undersecretary of defense for intelligence. Two months earlier, the Defense Science Board (DSB) Task Force on Defense Intelligence published its report on Counterinsurgency (COIN), Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (IRS) Operations. Quaid was among the government intelligence experts who advised and briefed the Defense Science Board Task Force in preparing the report. Another expert who briefed the Task Force was Highlands Forum veteran Linton Wells. The DSB report itself had been commissioned by Bush appointee James Clapper, then undersecretary of defense for intelligence?—?who had also commissioned Cooper’s Highlands Forum briefing to Gen. Alexander. Clapper is now Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, in which capacity he lied under oath to Congress by claiming in March 2013 that the NSA does not collect any data at all on American citizens. Michele Quaid’s track record across the US military intelligence community was to transition agencies into using web tools and cloud technology. The imprint of her ideas are evident in key parts of the DSB Task Force report, which described its purpose as being to “influence investment decisions” at the Pentagon “by recommending appropriate intelligence capabilities to assess insurgencies, understand a population in their environment, and support COIN operations.” The report named 24 countries in South and Southeast Asia, North and West Africa, the Middle East and South America, which would pose “possible COIN challenges” for the US military in coming years. These included Pakistan, Mexico, Yemen, Nigeria, Guatemala, Gaza/West Bank, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, among other “autocratic regimes.” The report argued that “economic crises, climate change, demographic pressures, resource scarcity, or poor governance could cause these states (or others) to fail or become so weak that they become targets for aggressors/insurgents.” From there, the “global information infrastructure” and “social media” can rapidly “amplify the speed, intensity, and momentum of events” with regional implications. “Such areas could become sanctuaries from which to launch attacks on the US homeland, recruit personnel, and finance, train, and supply operations.” The imperative in this context is to increase the military’s capacity for “left of bang” operations?—?before the need for a major armed forces commitment?—?to avoid insurgencies, or pre-empt them while still in incipient phase. The report goes on to conclude that “the Internet and social media are critical sources of social network analysis data in societies that are not only literate, but also connected to the Internet.” This requires “monitoring the blogosphere and other social media across many different cultures and languages” to prepare for “population-centric operations.” The Pentagon must also increase its capacity for “behavioral modeling and simulation” to “better understand and anticipate the actions of a population” based on “foundation data on populations, human networks, geography, and other economic and social characteristics.” Such “population-centric operations” will also “increasingly” be needed in “nascent resource conflicts, whether based on water-crises, agricultural stress, environmental stress, or rents” from mineral resources. This must include monitoring “population demographics as an organic part of the natural resource framework.” Other areas for augmentation are “overhead video surveillance,” “high resolution terrain data,” “cloud computing capability,” “data fusion” for all forms of intelligence in a “consistent spatio-temporal framework for organizing and indexing the data,” developing “social science frameworks” that can “support spatio-temporal encoding and analysis,” “distributing multi-form biometric authentication technologies [“such as fingerprints, retina scans and DNA samples”] to the point of service of the most basic administrative processes” in order to “tie identity to all an individual’s transactions.” In addition, the academy must be brought in to help the Pentagon develop “anthropological, socio-cultural, historical, human geographical, educational, public health, and many other types of social and behavioral science data and information” to develop “a deep understanding of populations.” A few months after joining Google, Quaid represented the company in August 2011 at the Pentagon’s Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Customer and Industry Forum. The forum would provide “the Services, Combatant Commands, Agencies, coalition forces” the “opportunity to directly engage with industry on innovative technologies to enable and ensure capabilities in support of our Warfighters.” Participants in the event have been integral to efforts to create a “defense enterprise information environment,” defined as “an integrated platform which includes the network, computing, environment, services, information assurance, and NetOps capabilities,” enabling warfighters to “connect, identify themselves, discover and share information, and collaborate across the full spectrum of military operations.” Most of the forum panelists were DoD officials, except for just four industry panelists including Google’s Quaid. DISA officials have attended the Highlands Forum, too?—?such as Paul Friedrichs, a technical director and chief engineer of DISA’s Office of the Chief Information Assurance Executive. Knowledge is Power Given all this it is hardly surprising that in 2012, a few months after Highlands Forum co-chair Regina Dugan left DARPA to join Google as a senior executive, then NSA chief Gen. Keith Alexander was emailing Google’s founding executive Sergey Brin to discuss information sharing for national security. In those emails, obtained under Freedom of Information by investigative journalist Jason Leopold, Gen. Alexander described Google as a “key member of [the US military’s] Defense Industrial Base,” a position Michele Quaid was apparently consolidating. Brin’s jovial relationship with the former NSA chief now makes perfect sense given that Brin had been in contact with representatives of the CIA and NSA, who partly funded and oversaw his creation of the Google search engine, since the mid-1990s. In July 2014, Quaid spoke at a US Army panel on the creation of a “rapid acquisition cell” to advance the US Army’s “cyber capabilities” as part of the Force 2025 transformation initiative. She told Pentagon officials that “many of the Army’s 2025 technology goals can be realized with commercial technology available or in development today,” re-affirming that “industry is ready to partner with the Army in supporting the new paradigm.” Around the same time, most of the media was trumpeting the idea that Google was trying to distance itself from Pentagon funding, but in reality, Google has switched tactics to independently develop commercial technologies which would have military applications the Pentagon’s transformation goals. Yet Quaid is hardly the only point-person in Google’s relationship with the US military intelligence community. One year after Google bought the satellite mapping software Keyhole from CIA venture capital firm In-Q-Tel in 2004, In-Q-Tel’s director of technical assessment Rob Painter?—?who played a key role in In-Q-Tel’s Keyhole investment in the first place?—?moved to Google. At In-Q-Tel, Painter’s work focused on identifying, researching and evaluating “new start-up technology firms that were believed to offer tremendous value to the CIA, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and the Defense Intelligence Agency.” Indeed, the NGA had confirmed that its intelligence obtained via Keyhole was used by the NSA to support US operations in Iraq from 2003 onwards. A former US Army special operations intelligence officer, Painter’s new job at Google as of July 2005 was federal manager of what Keyhole was to become: Google Earth Enterprise. By 2007, Painter had become Google’s federal chief technologist. That year, Painter told the Washington Post that Google was “in the beginning stages” of selling advanced secret versions of its products to the US government. “Google has ramped up its sales force in the Washington area in the past year to adapt its technology products to the needs of the military, civilian agencies and the intelligence community,” the Post reported. The Pentagon was already using a version of Google Earth developed in partnership with Lockheed Martin to “display information for the military on the ground in Iraq,” including “mapping out displays of key regions of the country” and outlining “Sunni and Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad, as well as US and Iraqi military bases in the city. Neither Lockheed nor Google would say how the geospatial agency uses the data.” Google aimed to sell the government new “enhanced versions of Google Earth” and “search engines that can be used internally by agencies.” White House records leaked in 2010 showed that Google executives had held several meetings with senior US National Security Council officials. Alan Davidson, Google’s government affairs director, had at least three meetings with officials of the National Security Council in 2009, including White House senior director for Russian affairs Mike McFaul and Middle East advisor Daniel Shapiro. It also emerged from a Google patent application that the company had deliberately been collecting ‘payload’ data from private wifi networks that would enable the identification of “geolocations.” In the same year, we now know, Google had signed an agreement with the NSA giving the agency open-ended access to the personal information of its users, and its hardware and software, in the name of cyber security?—?agreements that Gen. Alexander was busy replicating with hundreds of telecoms CEOs around the country. Thus, it is not just Google that is a key contributor and foundation of the US military-industrial complex: it is the entire Internet, and the wide range of private sector companies?—?many nurtured and funded under the mantle of the US intelligence community (or powerful financiers embedded in that community)?—?which sustain the Internet and the telecoms infrastructure; it is also the myriad of start-ups selling cutting edge technologies to the CIA’s venture firm In-Q-Tel, where they can then be adapted and advanced for applications across the military intelligence community. Ultimately, the global surveillance apparatus and the classified tools used by agencies like the NSA to administer it, have been almost entirely made by external researchers and private contractors like Google, which operate outside the Pentagon. This structure, mirrored in the workings of the Pentagon’s Highlands Forum, allows the Pentagon to rapidly capitalize on technological innovations it would otherwise miss, while also keeping the private sector at arms length, at least ostensibly, to avoid uncomfortable questions about what such technology is actually being used for. But isn’t it obvious, really? The Pentagon is about war, whether overt or covert. By helping build the technological surveillance infrastructure of the NSA, firms like Google are complicit in what the military-industrial complex does best: kill for cash. As the nature of mass surveillance suggests, its target is not merely terrorists, but by extension, ‘terrorism suspects’ and ‘potential terrorists,’ the upshot being that entire populations?—?especially political activists?—?must be targeted by US intelligence surveillance to identify active and future threats, and to be vigilant against hypothetical populist insurgencies both at home and abroad. Predictive analytics and behavioural profiles play a pivotal role here. Mass surveillance and data-mining also now has a distinctive operational purpose in assisting with the lethal execution of special operations, selecting targets for the CIA’s drone strike kill lists via dubious algorithms, for instance, along with providing geospatial and other information for combatant commanders on land, air and sea, among many other functions. A single social media post on Twitter or Facebook is enough to trigger being placed on secret terrorism watch-lists solely due to a vaguely defined hunch or suspicion; and can potentially even land a suspect on a kill list. The push for indiscriminate, comprehensive mass surveillance by the military-industrial complex?—?encompassing the Pentagon, intelligence agencies, defense contractors, and supposedly friendly tech giants like Google and Facebook?—?is therefore not an end in itself, but an instrument of power, whose goal is self-perpetuation. But there is also a self-rationalizing justification for this goal: while being great for the military-industrial complex, it is also, supposedly, great for everyone else. The ‘long war’ No better illustration of the truly chauvinistic, narcissistic, and self-congratulatory ideology of power at the heart of the military-industrial complex is a book by long-time Highlands Forum delegate, Dr. Thomas Barnett, The Pentagon’s New Map. Barnett was assistant for strategic futures in the Pentagon’s Office of Force Transformation from 2001 to 2003, and had been recommended to Richard O’Neill by his boss Vice Admiral Arthur Cebrowski. Apart from becoming a New York Times bestseller, Barnett’s book had been read far and wide in the US military, by senior defense officials in Washington and combatant commanders operating on the ground in the Middle East. Barnett first attended the Pentagon Highlands Forum in 1998, then was invited to deliver a briefing about his work at the Forum on December 7th 2004, which was attended by senior Pentagon officials, energy experts, internet entrepreneurs, and journalists. Barnett received a glowing review in the Washington Post from his Highlands Forum buddy David Ignatius a week later, and an endorsement from another Forum friend, Thomas Friedman, both of which helped massively boost his credibility and readership. Barnett’s vision is neoconservative to the root. He sees the world as divided into essentially two realms: The Core, which consists of advanced countries playing by the rules of economic globalization (the US, Canada, UK, Europe and Japan) along with developing countries committed to getting there (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and some others); and the rest of the world, which is The Gap, a disparate wilderness of dangerous and lawless countries defined fundamentally by being “disconnected” from the wonders of globalization. This includes most of the Middle East and Africa, large swathes of South America, as well as much of Central Asia and Eastern Europe. It is the task of the United States to “shrink The Gap,” by spreading the cultural and economic “rule-set” of globalization that characterizes The Core, and by enforcing security worldwide to enable that “rule-set” to spread. These two functions of US power are captured by Barnett’s concepts of “Leviathan” and “System Administrator.” The former is about rule-setting to facilitate the spread of capitalist markets, regulated via military and civilian law. The latter is about projecting military force into The Gap in an open-ended global mission to enforce security and engage in nation-building. Not “rebuilding,” he is keen to emphasize, but building “new nations.” For Barnett, the Bush administration’s 2002 introduction of the Patriot Act at home, with its crushing of habeas corpus, and the National Security Strategy abroad, with its opening up of unilateral, pre-emptive war, represented the beginning of the necessary re-writing of rule-sets in The Core to embark on this noble mission. This is the only way for the US to achieve security, writes Barnett, because as long as The Gap exists, it will always be a source of lawless violence and disorder. One paragraph in particular sums up his vision: “America as global cop creates security. Security creates common rules. Rules attract foreign investment. Investment creates infrastructure. Infrastructure creates access to natural resources. Resources create economic growth. Growth creates stability. Stability creates markets. And once you’re a growing, stable part of the global market, you’re part of the Core. Mission accomplished.” Much of what Barnett predicted would need to happen to fulfill this vision, despite its neoconservative bent, is still being pursued under Obama. In the near future, Barnett had predicted, US military forces will be dispatched beyond Iraq and Afghanistan to places like Uzbekistan, Djibouti, Azerbaijan, Northwest Africa, Southern Africa and South America. Barnett’s Pentagon briefing was greeted with near universal enthusiasm. The Forum had even purchased copies of his book and had them distributed to all Forum delegates, and in May 2005, Barnett was invited back to participate in an entire Forum themed around his “SysAdmin” concept. The Highlands Forum has thus played a leading role in defining the Pentagon’s entire conceptualization of the ‘war on terror.’ Irving Wladawsky-Berger, a retired IMB vice president who co-chaired the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee from 1997 to 2001, described his experience of one 2007 Forum meeting in telling terms: “Then there is the War on Terror, which DoD has started to refer to as the Long War, a term that I first heard at the Forum. It seems very appropriate to describe the overall conflict in which we now find ourselves. This is a truly global conflict… the conflicts we are now in have much more of the feel of a battle of civilizations or cultures trying to destroy our very way of life and impose their own.” The problem is that outside this powerful Pentagon-hosted clique, not everyone else agrees. “I’m not convinced that Barnett’s cure would be any better than the disease,” wrote Dr. Karen Kwiatowski, a former senior Pentagon analyst in the Near East and South Asia section, who blew the whistle on how her department deliberately manufactured false information in the run-up to the Iraq War. “It would surely cost far more in American liberty, constitutional democracy and blood than it would be worth.” Yet the equation of “shrinking The Gap” with sustaining the national security of The Core leads to a slippery slope. It means that if the US is prevented from playing this leadership role as “global cop,” The Gap will widen, The Core will shrink, and the entire global order could unravel. By this logic, the US simply cannot afford government or public opinion to reject the legitimacy of its mission. If it did so, it would allow The Gap to grow out of control, undermining The Core, and potentially destroying it, along with The Core’s protector, America. Therefore, “shrinking The Gap” is not just a security imperative: it is such an existential priority, that it must be backed up with information war to demonstrate to the world the legitimacy of the entire project. Based on O’Neill’s principles of information warfare as articulated in his 1989 US Navy brief, the targets of information war are not just populations in The Gap, but domestic populations in The Core, and their governments: including the US government. That secret brief, which according to former senior US intelligence official John Alexander was read by the Pentagon’s top leadership, argued that information war must be targeted at: adversaries to convince them of their vulnerability; potential partners around the world so they accept “the cause as just”; and finally, civilian populations and the political leadership so they believe that “the cost” in blood and treasure is worth it. Barnett’s work was plugged by the Pentagon’s Highlands Forum because it fit the bill, in providing a compelling ‘feel good’ ideology for the US military-industrial complex. But neoconservative ideology, of course, hardly originated with Barnett, himself a relatively small player, even though his work was extremely influential throughout the Pentagon. The regressive thinking of senior officials involved in the Highlands Forum is visible from long before 9/11, which was ceased upon by actors linked to the Forum as a powerful enabling force that legitimized the increasingly aggressive direction of US foreign and intelligence policies. Yoda and the Soviets The ideology represented by the Highlands Forum can be gleaned from long before its establishment in 1994, at a time when Andrew ‘Yoda’ Marshall’s ONA was the primary locus of Pentagon activity on future planning. A widely-held myth promulgated by national security journalists over the years is that the ONA’s reputation as the Pentagon’s resident oracle machine was down to the uncanny analytical foresight of its director Marshall. Supposedly, he was among the few who made the prescient recognition that the Soviet threat had been overblown by the US intelligence community. He had, the story goes, been a lone, but relentless voice inside the Pentagon, calling on policymakers to re-evaluate their projections of the USSR’s military might. Except the story is not true. The ONA was not about sober threat analysis, but about paranoid threat projection justifying military expansionism. Foreign Policy’s Jeffrey Lewis points out that far from offering a voice of reason calling for a more balanced assessment of Soviet military capabilities, Marshall tried to downplay ONA findings that rejected the hype around an imminent Soviet threat. Having commissioned a study concluding that the US had overestimated Soviet aggressiveness, Marshall circulated it with a cover note declaring himself “unpersuaded” by its findings. Lewis charts how Marshall’s threat projection mind-set extended to commissioning absurd research supporting staple neocon narratives about the (non-existent) Saddam-al-Qaeda link, and even the notorious report by a RAND consultant calling for re-drawing the map of the Middle East, presented to the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board on the invitation of Richard Perle in 2002. Investigative journalist Jason Vest similarly found from Pentagon sources that during the Cold War, Marshall had long hyped the Soviet threat, and played a key role in giving the neoconservative pressure group, the Committee on the Present Danger, access to classified CIA intelligence data to re-write the National Intelligence Estimate on Soviet Military Intentions. This was a precursor to the manipulation of intelligence after 9/11 to justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Former ONA staffers confirmed that Marshall had been belligerent about an imminent Soviet threat “until the very end.” Ex-CIA sovietologist Melvin Goodman, for instance, recalled that Marshall was also instrumental in pushing for the Afghan mujahideen to be provided with Stinger missiles?—?a move which made the war even more brutal, encouraging the Russians to use scorched earth tactics. Enron, the Taliban and Iraq The post-Cold War period saw the Pentagon’s creation of the Highlands Forum in 1994 under the wing of former defense secretary William Perry?—?a former CIA director and early advocate of neocon ideas like preventive war. Surprisingly, the Forum’s dubious role as a government-industry bridge can be clearly discerned in relation to Enron’s flirtations with the US government. Just as the Forum had crafted the Pentagon’s intensifying policies on mass surveillance, it simultaneously fed directly into the strategic thinking that culminating in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. On November 7th 2000, George W. Bush ‘won’ the US presidential elections. Enron and its employees had given over $1 million to the Bush campaign in total. That included contributing $10,500 to Bush’s Florida recount committee, and a further $300,000 for the inaugural celebrations afterwards. Enron also provided corporate jets to shuttle Republican lawyers around Florida and Washington lobbying on behalf of Bush for the December recount. Federal election documents later showed that since 1989, Enron had made a total of $5.8 million in campaign donations, 73 percent to Republicans and 27 percent to Democrats?—?with as many as 15 senior Bush administration officials owning stock in Enron, including defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, senior advisor Karl Rove, and army secretary Thomas White. Yet just one day before that controversial election, Pentagon Highlands Forum founding president Richard O’Neill wrote to Enron CEO, Kenneth Lay, inviting him to give a presentation at the Forum on modernizing the Pentagon and the Army. The email from O’Neill to Lay was released as part of the Enron Corpus, the emails obtained by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, but has remained unknown until now. The email began “On behalf of Assistant Secretary of Defense (C3I) and DoD CIO Arthur Money,” and invited Lay “to participate in the Secretary of Defense’s Highlands Forum,” which O’Neill described as “a cross-disciplinary group of eminent scholars, researchers, CEO’s/CIO’s/CTO’s from industry, and leaders from the media, the arts and the professions, who have met over the past six years to examine areas of emerging interest to all of us.” He added that Forum sessions include “seniors from the White House, Defense, and other agencies of government (we limit government participation to about 25%).” Here, O’Neill reveals that the Pentagon Highlands Forum was, fundamentally, about exploring not just the goals of government, but the interests of participating industry leaders like Enron. The Pentagon, O’Neill went on, wanted Lay to feed into “the search for information/ transformation strategies for the Department of Defense (and government in general),” particularly “from a business perspective (transformation, productivity, competitive advantage).” He offered high praise of Enron as “a remarkable example of transformation in a highly rigid, regulated industry, that has created a new model and new markets.” O’Neill made clear that the Pentagon wanted Enron to play a pivotal role in the DoD’s future, not just in the creation of “an operational strategy which has information superiority,” but also in relation to the DoD’s “enormous global business enterprise which can benefit from many of the best practices and ideas from industry.” “ENRON is of great interest to us,” he reaffirmed. “What we learn from you may help the Department of Defense a great deal as it works to build a new strategy. I hope that you have time on your busy schedule to join us for as much of the Highlands Forum as you can attend and speak with the group.” That Highlands Forum meeting was attended by senior White House and US intelligence officials, including CIA deputy director Joan A. Dempsey, who had previously served as assistant defense secretary for intelligence, and in 2003 was appointed by Bush as executive director of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, in which capacity she praised extensive information sharing by the NSA and NGA after 9/11. She went on to become executive vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton, a major Pentagon contractor in Iraq and Afghanistan that, among other things, created the Coalition Provisional Authority’s database to track what we now know were highly corrupt reconstruction projects in Iraq. Enron’s relationship with the Pentagon had already been in full swing the previous year. Thomas White, then vice chair of Enron energy services, had used his extensive US military connections to secure a prototype deal at Fort Hamilton to privatize the power supply of army bases. Enron was the only bidder for the deal. The following year, after Enron’s CEO was invited to the Highlands Forum, White gave his first speech in June just “two weeks after he became secretary of the Army,” where he “vowed to speed up the awarding of such contracts,” along with further “rapid privatization” of the Army’s energy services. “Potentially, Enron could benefit from the speedup in awarding contracts, as could others seeking the business,” observed USA Today. That month, on the authority of defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld?—?who himself held significant shares in Enron?—?Bush’s Pentagon invited another Enron executive and one of Enron’s senior external financial advisors to attend a further secret Highlands Forum session. An email from Richard O’Neill dated June 22nd, obtained via the Enron Corpus, showed that Steven Kean, then executive vice president and chief of staff of Enron, was due to give another Highlands presentation on Monday 25th. “We are approaching the Secretary of Defense-sponsored Highlands Forum and very much looking forward to your participation,” wrote O’Neill, promising Kean that he would be “the centerpiece of discussion. Enron’s experience is quite important to us as we seriously consider transformative change in the Department of Defense.” Steven Kean is now president and COO (and incoming CEO) of Kinder Morgan, one of the largest energy companies in North America, and a major supporter of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project. Due to attend the same Highlands Forum session with Kean was Richard Foster, then a senior partner at the financial consultancy McKinsey. “I have given copies of Dick Foster’s new book, Creative Destruction, to the Deputy Secretary of Defense as well as the Assistant Secretary,” said O’Neill in his email, “and the Enron case that he outlines makes for important discussion. We intend to hand out copies to the participants at the Forum.” Foster’s firm, McKinsey, had provided strategic financial advice to Enron since the mid-1980s. Joe Skilling, who in February 2001 became Enron CEO while Kenneth Lay moved to chair, had been head of McKinsey’s energy consulting business before joining Enron in 1990. McKinsey and then partner Richard Foster were intimately involved in crafting the core Enron financial management strategies responsible for the company’s rapid, but fraudulent, growth. While McKinsey has always denied being aware of the dodgy accounting that led to Enron’s demise, internal company documents showed that Foster had attended an Enron finance committee meeting a month before the Highlands Forum session to discuss the “need for outside private partnerships to help drive the company’s explosive growth”?—?the very investment partnerships responsible for the collapse of Enron. McKinsey documents showed that the firm was “fully aware of Enron’s extensive use of off-balance-sheet funds.” As The Independent’s economics editor Ben Chu remarks, “McKinsey fully endorsed the dubious accounting methods,” which led to the inflation of Enron’s market valuation and “that caused the company to implode in 2001.” Indeed, Foster himself had personally attended six Enron board meetings from October 2000 to October 2001. That period roughly coincided with Enron’s growing influence on the Bush administration’s energy policies, and the Pentagon’s planning for Afghanistan and Iraq. But Foster was also a regular attendee at the Pentagon Highlands Forum?—?his LinkedIn profile describes him as member of the Forum since 2000, the year he ramped up engagement with Enron. He also delivered a presentation at the inaugural Island Forum in Singapore in 2002. Enron’s involvement in the Cheney Energy Task Force appears to have been linked to the Bush administration’s 2001 planning for both the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, motivated by control of oil. As noted by Prof. Richard Falk, a former board member of Human Rights Watch and ex-UN investigator, Enron’s Kenneth Lay “was the main confidential consultant relied upon by Vice President Dick Cheney during the highly secretive process of drafting a report outlining a national energy policy, widely regarded as a key element in the US approach to foreign policy generally and the Arab world in particular.” The intimate secret meetings between senior Enron executives and high-level US government officials via the Pentagon Highlands Forum, from November 2000 to June 2001, played a central role in establishing and cementing the increasingly symbiotic link between Enron and Pentagon planning. The Forum’s role was, as O’Neill has always said, to function as an ideas lab to explore the mutual interests of industry and government. Enron and Pentagon war planning In February 2001, when Enron executives including Kenneth Lay began participating concertedly in the Cheney Energy Task Force, a classified National Security Council document instructed NSC staffers to work with the task force in “melding” previously separate issues: “operational policies towards rogue states” and “actions regarding the capture of new and existing oil and gas fields.” According to Bush’s treasury secretary Paul O’Neill, as quoted by Ron Suskind in The Price of Loyalty (2004), cabinet officials discussed an invasion of Iraq in their first NSC meeting, and had even prepared a map for a post-war occupation marking the carve-up of Iraq’s oil fields. The message at that time from President Bush was that officials must “find a way to do this.” Cheney Energy Task Force documents obtained by Judicial Watch under Freedom of Information revealed that by March, with extensive industry input, the task force had prepared maps of Gulf state and especially Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, and refineries, along with a list titled ‘Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts.’ By April, a think-tank report commissioned by Cheney, overseen by former secretary of state James Baker, and put together by a committee of energy industry and national security experts, urged the US government “to conduct an immediate policy review toward Iraq including military, energy, economic and political/diplomatic assessments,” to deal with Iraq’s “destabilizing influence” on oil flows to global markets. The report included recommendations from Highlands Forum delegate and Enron chair, Kenneth Lay. But Cheney’s Energy Task Force was also busily pushing forward plans for Afghanistan involving Enron, that had been in motion under Clinton. Through the late 1990s, Enron was working with California-based US energy company Unocal to develop an oil and gas pipeline that would tap Caspian basin reserves, and carry oil and gas across Afghanistan, supplying Pakistan, India and potentially other markets. The endeavor had the official blessing of the Clinton administration, and later the Bush administration, which held several meetings with Taliban representatives to negotiate terms for the pipeline deal throughout 2001. The Taliban, whose conquest of Afghanistan had received covert assistance under Clinton, was to receive formal recognition as the legitimate government of Afghanistan in return for permitting the installation of the pipeline. Enron paid $400 million for a feasibility study for the pipeline, a large portion of which was siphoned off as bribes to Taliban leaders, and even hired CIA agents to help facilitate. Then in summer 2001, while Enron officials were liaising with senior Pentagon officials at the Highlands Forum, the White House’s National Security Council was running a cross-departmental ‘working group’ led by Rumsfeld and Cheney to help complete an ongoing Enron project in India, a $3 billion power plant in Dabhol. The plant was slated to receive its energy from the Trans-Afghan pipeline. The NSC’s ‘Dabhol Working Group,’ chaired by Bush’s national security adviser Condoleeza Rice, generated a range of tactics to enhance US government pressure on India to complete the Dabhol plant?—?pressure that continued all the way to early November. The Dabhol project, and the Trans-Afghan pipeline, was by far Enron’s most lucrative overseas deal. Throughout 2001, Enron officials, including Ken Lay, participated in Cheney’s Energy Task Force, along with representatives across the US energy industry. Starting from February, shortly after the Bush administration took office, Enron was involved in about half a dozen of these Energy Task Force meetings. After one of these secret meetings, a draft energy proposal was amended to include a new provision proposing to dramatically boost oil and natural gas production in India in a way that would apply only to Enron’s Dabhol power plant. In other words, ensuring the flow of cheap gas to India via the Trans-Afghan pipeline was now a matter of US ‘national security.’ A month or two after this, the Bush administration gave the Taliban $43 million, justified by its crackdown on opium production, despite US-imposed UN sanctions preventing aid to the group for not handing over Osama bin Laden. Then in June 2001, the same month that Enron’s executive vice president Steve Kean attended the Pentagon Highlands Forum, the company’s hopes for the Dabhol project were dashed when the Trans-Afghan pipeline failed to materialize, and as a consequence, construction on the Dabhol power plant was shut down. The failure of the $3 billion project contributed to Enron’s bankruptcy in December. That month, Enron officials met with Bush’s commerce secretary, Donald Evans, about the plant, and Cheney lobbied India’s main opposition party about the Dhabol project. Ken Lay had also reportedly contacted the Bush administration around this time to inform officials about the firm’s financial troubles. By August, desperate to pull off the deal, US officials threatened Taliban representatives with war if they refused to accept American terms: namely, to cease fighting and join in a federal alliance with the opposition Northern Alliance; and to give up demands for local consumption of the gas. On the 15th of that month, Enron lobbyist Pat Shortridge told then White House economic advisor Robert McNally that Enron was heading for a financial meltdown that could cripple the country’s energy markets. The Bush administration must have anticipated the Taliban’s rejection of the deal, because they had planned a war on Afghanistan from as early as July. According to then Pakistani foreign minister Niaz Naik, who had participated in the US-Taliban negotiations, US officials told him they planned to invade Afghanistan in mid-October 2001. No sooner had the war commenced, Bush’s ambassador to Pakistan, Wendy Chamberlain, called Pakistani’s oil minister Usman Aminuddin to discuss “the proposed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan gas pipeline project,” according to the Frontier Post, a Pakistani English-language broadsheet. They reportedly agreed that the “project opens up new avenues of multi-dimensional regional cooperation particularly in view of the recent geo-political developments in the region.” Two days before 9/11, Condoleeza Rice received the draft of a formal National Security Presidential Directive that Bush was expected to sign immediately. The directive contained a comprehensive plan to launch a global war on al-Qaeda, including an “imminent” invasion of Afghanistan to topple the Taliban. The directive was approved by the highest levels of the White House and officials of the National Security Council, including of course Rice and Rumsfeld. The same NSC officials were simultaneously running the Dhabol Working Group to secure the Indian power plant deal for Enron’s Trans-Afghan pipeline project. The next day, one day before 9/11, the Bush administration formally agreed on the plan to attack the Taliban. The Pentagon Highlands Forum’s background link with the interests involved in all this, show they were not unique to the Bush administration?—?which is why, as Obama was preparing to pull troops out of Afghanistan, he re-affirmed his government’s support for the Trans-Afghan pipeline project, and his desire for a US firm to construct it. The Pentagon’s propaganda fixer Throughout this period, information war played a central role in drumming up public support for war?—?and the Highlands Forum led the way. In December 2000, just under a year before 9/11 and shortly after George W. Bush’s election victory, key Forum members participated in an event at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace to explore “the impact of the information revolution, globalization, and the end of the Cold War on the US foreign policy making process.” Rather than proposing “incremental reforms,” the meeting was for participants to “build from scratch a new model that is optimized to the specific properties of the new global environment.” Among the issues flagged up in the meeting was the ‘Global Control Revolution’: the “distributed” nature of the information revolution was altering “key dynamics of world politics by challenging the primacy of states and inter-state relations.” This was “creating new challenges to national security, reducing the ability of leading states to control global policy debates, challenging the efficacy of national economic policies, etc.” In other words, how can the Pentagon find a way to exploit the information revolution to “control global policy debates,” particularly on “national economic policies”? The meeting was co-hosted by Jamie Metzl, who at the time served on Bill Clinton’s National Security Council, where he had just led the drafting of Clinton’s Presidential Decision Directive 68 on International Public Information (IPI), a new multiagency plan to coordinate US public information dissemination abroad. Metzl went on to coordinate IPI at the State Department. The preceding year, a senior Clinton official revealed to the Washington Times that Metz’s IPI was really aimed at “spinning the American public,” and had “emerged out of concern that the US public has refused to back President Clinton’s foreign policy.” The IPI would plant news stories favorable to US interests via TV, press, radio and other media based abroad, in hopes it would get picked up in American media. The pretext was that “news coverage is distorted at home and they need to fight it at all costs by using resources that are aimed at spinning the news.” Metzl ran the IPI’s overseas propaganda operations for Iraq and Kosovo. Other participants of the Carnegie meeting in December 2000, included two founding members of the Highlands Forum, Richard O’Neill and SAIC’s Jeff Cooper?—?along with Paul Wolfowitz, another Andrew Marshall acolyte who was about to join the incoming Bush administration as Rumsfelds’ deputy defense secretary. Also present was a figure who soon became particularly notorious in the propaganda around Afghanistan and Iraq War 2003: John W. Rendon, Jr., founding president of The Rendon Group (TRG) and another longtime Pentagon Highlands Forum member. John Rendon (right) at the Highlands Forum, accompanied by BBC anchor Nik Gowing (left) and Jeff Jonas, IBM Entity Analytics chief engineer (middle) TRG is a notorious communications firm that has been a US government contractor for decades. Rendon played a pivotal role in running the State Department’s propaganda campaigns in Iraq and Kosovo under Clinton and Metzl. That included receiving a Pentagon grant to run a news website, the Balkans Information Exchange, and a US Agency for International Development (USAID) contract to promote “privatization.” Rendon’s central role in helping the Bush administration hype up the non-existent threat of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to justify a US military invasion is now well-known. As James Bamford famously exposed in his seminal Rolling Stone investigation, Rendon played an instrumental role on behalf of the Bush administration in deploying “perception management” to “create the conditions for the removal of Hussein from power” under multi-million dollar CIA and Pentagon contracts. Among Rendon’s activities was the creation of Ahmed Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress (INC) on behalf of the CIA, a group of Iraqi exiles tasked with disseminating propaganda, including much of the false intelligence about WMD. That process had begun concertedly under the administration of George H W. Bush, then rumbled along under Clinton with little fanfare, before escalating after 9/11 under George W. Bush. Rendon thus played a large role in the manufacture of inaccurate and false news stories relating to Iraq under lucrative CIA and Pentagon contracts?—?and he did so in the period running up to the 2003 invasion as an advisor to Bush’s National Security Council: the same NSC, of course, that planned the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, achieved with input from Enron executives who were simultaneously engaging the Pentagon Highlands Forum. But that is the tip of iceberg. Declassified documents show that the Highlands Forum was intimately involved in the covert processes by which key officials engineered the road to war on Iraq, based on information warfare. A redacted 2007 report by the DoD’s Inspector General reveals that one of the contractors used extensively by the Pentagon Highlands Forum during and after the Iraq War was none other than The Rendon Group. TRG was contracted by the Pentagon to organize Forum sessions, determine subjects for discussion, as well as to convene and coordinate Forum meetings. The Inspector General investigation had been prompted by accusations raised in Congress about Rendon’s role in manipulating information to justify the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq. According to the Inspector General report: “… the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration/Chief Information Officer employed TRG to conduct forums that would appeal to a cross-disciplinary group of nationally regarded leaders. The forums were in small groups discussing information and technologies and their effects on science, organizational and business processes, international relations, economics, and national security. TRG also conducted a research program and interviews to formulate and develop topics for the Highlands Forum focus group. The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration would approve the subjects, and TRG would facilitate the meetings.” TRG, the Pentagon’s private propaganda arm, thus played a central role in literally running the Pentagon Highlands Forum process that brought together senior government officials with industry executives to generate DoD information warfare strategy. The Pentagon’s internal investigation absolved Rendon of any wrongdoing. But this is not surprising, given the conflict of interest at stake: the Inspector General at the time was Claude M. Kicklighter, a Bush nominee who had directly overseen the administration’s key military operations. In 2003, he was director of the Pentagon’s Iraq Transition Team, and the following year he was appointed to the State Department as special advisor on stabilization and security operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The surveillance-propaganda nexus Even more telling, Pentagon documents obtained by Bamford for his Rolling Stone story revealed that Rendon had been given access to the NSA’s top-secret surveillance data to carry out its work on behalf of the Pentagon. TRG, the DoD documents said, is authorized “to research and analyze information classified up to Top Secret/SCI/SI/TK/G/HCS.” ‘SCI’ means Sensitive Compartmented Information, data classified higher than Top Secret, while ‘SI’ designates Special Intelligence, that is, highly secret communications intercepted by the NSA. ‘TK’ refers to Talent/Keyhole, code names for imagery from reconnaissance aircraft and spy satellites, while ‘G’ stands for Gamma, encompassing communications intercepts from extremely sensitive sources, and ‘HCS’ means Humint Control System?—?information from a very sensitive human source. In Bamford’s words: “Taken together, the acronyms indicate that Rendon enjoys access to the most secret information from all three forms of intelligence collection: eavesdropping, imaging satellites and human spies.” So the Pentagon had: 1. contracted Rendon, a propaganda firm;   2. given Rendon access to the intelligence community’s most classified information including data from NSA surveillance;   3. tasked Rendon to facilitating the DoD’s development of information operations strategy by running the Highlands Forum process;   4. and further, tasked Rendon with overseeing the concrete execution of this strategy developed through the Highlands Forum process, in actual information operations around the world in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond. TRG chief executive John Rendon remains closely involved in the Pentagon Highlands Forum, and ongoing DoD information operations in the Muslim world. His November 2014 biography for the Harvard Kennedy School ‘Emerging Leaders’ course describes him as “a participant in forward-thinking organizations such as the Highlands Forum,” “one of the first thought-leaders to harness the power of emerging technologies in support of real time information management,” and an expert on “the impact of emerging information technologies on the way populations think and behave.” Rendon’s Harvard bio also credits him with designing and executing “strategic communications initiatives and information programs related to operations, Odyssey Dawn (Libya), Unified Protector (Libya), Global War on Terrorism (GWOT), Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), Allied Force and Joint Guardian (Kosovo), Desert Shield, Desert Storm (Kuwait), Desert Fox (Iraq) and Just Cause (Panama), among others.” Rendon’s work on perception management and information operations has also “assisted a number of US military interventions” elsewhere, as well as running US information operations in Argentina, Colombia, Haiti, and Zimbabwe?—?in fact, a total of 99 countries. As a former executive director and national political director of the Democratic Party, John Rendon remains a powerful figure in Washington under the Obama administration. Pentagon records show that TRG has received over $100 million from the DoD since 2000. In 2009, the US government cancelled a ‘strategic communications’ contract with TRG after revelations it was being used to weed out reporters who might write negative stories about the US military in Afghanistan, and to solely promote journalists supportive of US policy. Yet in 2010, the Obama administration re-contracted Rendon to supply services for “military deception” in Iraq. Since then, TRG has provided advice to the US Army’s Training and Doctrine Command, the Special Operations Command, and is still contracted to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the US Army’s Communications Electronic Command, as well as providing “communications support” to the Pentagon and US embassies on counter-narcotics operations. TRG also boasts on its website that it provides “Irregular Warfare Support,” including “operational and planning support” that “assists our government and military clients in developing new approaches to countering and eroding an adversary’s power, influence and will.” Much of this support has itself been fine-tuned over the last decade or more inside the Pentagon Highlands Forum. Irregular war and pseudo-terrorism The Pentagon Highlands Forum’s intimate link, via Rendon, to the propaganda operations pursued under Bush and Obama in support of the ‘Long War,’ demonstrate the integral role of mass surveillance in both irregular warfare and ‘strategic communications.’ One of the major proponents of both is Prof John Arquilla of the Naval Postgraduate School, the renowned US defense analyst credited with developing the concept of ‘netwar,’ who today openly advocates the need for mass surveillance and big data mining to support pre-emptive operations to thwart terrorist plots. It so happens that Arquilla is another “founding member” of the Pentagon’s Highlands Forum. Much of his work on the idea of ‘networked warfare,’ ‘networked deterrence,’ ‘information warfare,’ and ‘swarming,’ largely produced for RAND under Pentagon contract, was incubated by the Forum during its early years and thus became integral to Pentagon strategy. For instance, in Arquilla’s 1999 RAND study, The Emergence of Noopolitik: Toward an American Information Strategy, he and his co-author David Ronfeldt express their gratitude to Richard O’Neill “for his interest, support and guidance,” and to “members of the Highlands Forum” for their advance comments on the study. Most of his RAND work credits the Highlands Forum and O’Neill for their support. Prof. John Arquilla of the Naval Postgraduate School, and a founding member of the Pentagon Highlands Forum Arquilla’s work was cited in a 2006 National Academy of Sciences study on the future of network science commissioned by the US Army, which found based on his research that: “Advances in computer-based technologies and telecommunications are enabling social networks that facilitate group affiliations, including terrorist networks.” The study conflated risks from terror and activist groups: “The implications of this fact for criminal, terror, protest and insurgency networks has been explored by Arquilla and Ronfeldt (2001) and are a common topic of discussion by groups like the Highlands Forum, which perceive that the United States is highly vulnerable to the interruption of critical networks.” Arquilla went on to help develop information warfare strategies “for the military campaigns in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq,” according to military historian Benjamin Shearer in his biographical dictionary, Home Front Heroes (2007)?—?once again illustrating the direct role played by certain key Forum members in executing Pentagon information operations in war theatres. In his 2005 New Yorker investigation, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Seymour Hersh referred to a series of articles by Arquilla elaborating on a new strategy of “countering terror” with pseudo-terror. “It takes a network to fight a network,” said Arquilla, drawing on the thesis he had been promoting in the Pentagon through the Highlands Forum since its founding: “When conventional military operations and bombing failed to defeat the Mau Mau insurgency in Kenya in the 1950s, the British formed teams of friendly Kikuyu tribesmen who went about pretending to be terrorists. These ‘pseudo gangs’, as they were called, swiftly threw the Mau Mau on the defensive, either by befriending and then ambushing bands of fighters or by guiding bombers to the terrorists’ camps.” Arquilla went on to advocate that western intelligence services should use the British case as a model for creating new “pseudo gang” terrorist groups, as a way of undermining “real” terror networks: “What worked in Kenya a half-century ago has a wonderful chance of undermining trust and recruitment among today’s terror networks. Forming new pseudo gangs should not be difficult.” Essentially, Arquilla’s argument was that as only networks can fight networks, the only way to defeat enemies conducting irregular warfare is to use techniques of irregular warfare against them. Ultimately, the determining factor in victory is not conventional military defeat per se, but the extent to which the direction of the conflict can be calibrated to influence the population and rally their opposition to the adversary. Arquilla’s ‘pseudo-gang’ strategy was, Hersh reported, already being implemented by the Pentagon: “Under Rumsfeld’s new approach, I was told, US military operatives would be permitted to pose abroad as corrupt foreign businessmen seeking to buy contraband items that could be used in nuclear-weapons systems. In some cases, according to the Pentagon advisers, local citizens could be recruited and asked to join up with guerrillas or terrorists… The new rules will enable the Special Forces community to set up what it calls ‘action teams’ in the target countries overseas which can be used to find and eliminate terrorist organizations. ‘Do you remember the right-wing execution squads in El Salvador?’ the former high-level intelligence official asked me, referring to the military-led gangs that committed atrocities in the early nineteen-eighties. ‘We founded them and we financed them,’ he said. ‘The objective now is to recruit locals in any area we want. And we aren’t going to tell Congress about it.’ A former military officer, who has knowledge of the Pentagon’s commando capabilities, said, ‘We’re going to be riding with the bad boys.’” Official corroboration that this strategy is now operational came with the leak of a 2008 US Army special operations field manual. The US military, the manual said, can conduct irregular and unconventional warfare by using surrogate non-state groups such as “paramilitary forces, individuals, businesses, foreign political organizations, resistant or insurgent organizations, expatriates, transnational terrorism adversaries, disillusioned transnational terrorism members, black marketers, and other social or political ‘undesirables.’” Shockingly, the manual specifically acknowledged that US special operations can involve both counterterrorism and “Terrorism,” as well as: “Transnational criminal activities, including narco-trafficking, illicit arms-dealing, and illegal financial transactions.” The purpose of such covert operations is, essentially, population control?—?they are “specifically focused on leveraging some portion of the indigenous population to accept the status quo,” or to accept “whatever political outcome” is being imposed or negotiated. By this twisted logic, terrorism can in some cases be defined as a legitimate tool of US statecraft by which to influence populations into accepting a particular “political outcome”?—?all in the name fighting terrorism. Is this what the Pentagon was doing by coordinating the nearly $1 billion of funding from Gulf regimes to anti-Assad rebels, most of which according to the CIA’s own classified assessments ended up in the coffers of violent Islamist extremists linked to al-Qaeda, who went on to spawn the ‘Islamic State’? The rationale for the new strategy was first officially set out in an August 2002 briefing for the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board, which advocated the creation of a ‘Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group’ (P2OG) within the National Security Council. P2OG, the Board proposed, must conduct clandestine operations to infiltrate and “stimulate reactions” among terrorist networks to provoke them into action, and thus facilitate targeting them. The Defense Science Board is, like other Pentagon agencies, intimately related with the Highlands Forum, whose work feeds into the Board’s research, which in turn is regularly presented at the Forum. According to the US intelligence sources who spoke to Hersh, Rumsfeld had ensured that the new brand of black operations would be conducted entirely under Pentagon jurisdiction, firewalled off from the CIA and regional US military commanders, and executed by its own secret special operations command. That chain of command would include, apart from the defense secretary himself, two of his deputies including the undersecretary of defense for intelligence: the position overseeing the Highlands Forum. Strategic communications: war propaganda at home and abroad Within the Highlands Forum, the special operations techniques explored by Arquilla have been taken up by several others in directions focused increasingly on propaganda?—?among them, Dr. Lochard, as seen previously, and also Dr. Amy Zalman, who focuses particularly on the idea of the US military using ‘strategic narratives’ to influence public opinion and win wars. Like her colleague, Highlands Forum founding member Jeff Cooper, Zalman was schooled in the bowels of SAIC/Leidos. From 2007 to 2012, she was a senior SAIC strategist, before becoming Department of Defense Information Integration Chair at the US Army’s National War College, where she focused on how to fine-tune propaganda to elicit the precise responses desired from target groups, based on complete understanding of those groups. As of summer last year, she became CEO of the World Futures Society. Dr. Amy Zalman, an ex-SAIC strategist, is CEO of the World Futures Society, and a long-time Pentagon Highlands Forum delegate consulting for the US government on strategic communications in irregular warfare In 2005, the same year Hersh reported that the Pentagon strategy of “stimulating reactions” among terrorists by provoking them was underway, Zalman delivered a briefing to the Pentagon Highlands Forum titled, ‘In Support of a Narrative Theory Approach to US Strategic Communication.’ Since then, Zalman has been a long-time Highlands Forum delegate, and has presented her work on strategic communications to a range of US government agencies, NATO forums, as well as teaching courses in irregular warfare to soldiers at the US Joint Special Operations University. Her 2005 Highlands Forum briefing is not publicly available, but the thrust of Zalman’s input into the information component of Pentagon special operations strategies can be gleaned from some of her published work. In 2010, when she was still attached to SAIC, her NATO paper noted that a key component of irregular war is “winning some degree of emotional support from the population by influencing their subjective perceptions.” She advocated that the best way of achieving such influence goes far further than traditional propaganda and messaging techniques. Rather, analysts must “place themselves in the skins of the people under observation.” Zalman released another paper the same year via the IO Journal, published by the Information Operations Institute, which describes itself as a “special interest group” of the Associaton of Old Crows. The latter is a professional association for theorists and practitioners of electronic warfare and information operations, chaired by Kenneth Israel, vice president of Lockheed Martin, and vice chaired by David Himes, who retired last year from his position as senior advisor in electronic warfare at the US Air Force Research Laboratory. In this paper, titled ‘Narrative as an Influence Factor in Information Operations,’ Zalman laments that the US military has “found it difficult to create compelling narratives?—?or stories?—?either to express its strategic aims, or to communicate in discrete situations, such as civilian deaths.” By the end, she concludes that “the complex issue of civilian deaths” should be approached not just by “apologies and compensation”?—?which barely occurs anyway?—?but by propagating narratives that portray characters with whom the audience connects (in this case, ‘the audience’ being ‘populations in war zones’). This is to facilitate the audience resolving struggles in a “positive way,” defined, of course, by US military interests. Engaging emotionally in this way with “survivors of those dead” from US military action might “prove to be an empathetic form of influence.” Throughout, Zalman is incapable of questioning the legitimacy of US strategic aims, or acknowledging that the impact of those aims in the accumulation of civilian deaths, is precisely the problem that needs to change?—?as opposed to the way they are ideologically framed for populations subjected to military action. ‘Empathy,’ here, is merely an instrument by which to manipulate. In 2012, Zalman wrote an article for The Globalist seeking to demonstrate how the rigid delineation of ‘hard power’ and ‘soft power’ needed to be overcome, to recognize that the use of force requires the right symbolic and cultural effect to guarantee success: “As long as defense and economic diplomacy remain in a box labeled ‘hard power,’ we fail to see how much their success relies on their symbolic effects as well as their material ones. As long as diplomatic and cultural efforts are stored in a box marked ‘soft power,’ we fail to see the ways in which they can be used coercively or produce effects that are like those produced by violence.” Given SAIC’s deep involvement in the Pentagon Highlands Forum, and through it the development of information strategies on surveillance, irregular warfare, and propaganda, it is hardly surprising that SAIC was the other key private defense firm contracted to generate propaganda in the run up to Iraq War 2003, alongside TRG. “SAIC executives have been involved at every stage… of the war in Iraq,” reported Vanity Fair, ironically, in terms of deliberately disseminating false claims about WMD, and then investigating the ‘intelligence failure’ around false WMD claims. David Kay, for instance, who had been hired by the CIA in 2003 to hunt for Saddam’s WMD as head of the Iraq Survey Group, was until October 2002 a senior SAIC vice president hammering away “at the threat posed by Iraq” under Pentagon contract. When WMD failed to emerge, President Bush’s commission to investigate this US ‘intelligence failure’ included three SAIC executives, among them Highlands Forum founding member Jeffrey Cooper. The very year of Kay’s appointment to the Iraq Survey Group, Clinton’s defense secretary William Perry?—?the man under whose orders the Highlands Forum was set-up?—?joined the board of SAIC. The investigation by Cooper and all let the Bush administration off the hook for manufacturing propaganda to legitimize war?—?unsurprisingly, given Cooper’s integral role in the very Pentagon network that manufactured that propaganda. SAIC was also among the many contractors that profited handsomely from Iraqi reconstruction deals, and was re-contracted after the war to promote pro-US narratives abroad. In the same vein as Rendon’s work, the idea was that stories planted abroad would be picked up by US media for domestic consumption. Delegates at the Pentagon’s 46th Highlands Forum in December 2011, from right to left: John Seely Brown, chief scientist/director at Xerox PARC from 1990–2002 and an early board member of In-Q-Tel; Ann Pendleton-Jullian, co-author with Brown of a manuscript, Design Unbound; Antonio and Hanna Damasio, a neurologist and neurobiologist respectively who are part of a DARPA-funded project on propaganda But the Pentagon Highlands Forum’s promotion of advanced propaganda techniques is not exclusive to core, longstanding delegates like Rendon and Zalman. In 2011, the Forum hosted two DARPA-funded scientists, Antonio and Hanna Damasio, who are principal investigators in the ‘Neurobiology of Narrative Framing’ project at the University of Southern California. Evoking Zalman’s emphasis on the need for Pentagon psychological operations to deploy “empathetic influence,” the new DARPA-backed project aims to investigate how narratives often appeal “to strong, sacred values in order to evoke an emotional response,” but in different ways across different cultures. The most disturbing element of the research is its focus on trying to understand how to increase the Pentagon’s capacity to deploy narratives that influence listeners in a way that overrides conventional reasoning in the context of morally-questionable actions. The project description explains that the psychological reaction to narrated events is “influenced by how the narrator frames the events, appealing to different values, knowledge, and experiences of the listener.” Narrative framing that “targets the sacred values of the listener, including core personal, nationalistic, and/or religious values, is particularly effective at influencing the listener’s interpretation of narrated events,” because such “sacred values” are closely tied with “the psychology of identity, emotion, moral decision making, and social cognition.” By applying sacred framing to even mundane issues, such issues “can gain properties of sacred values and result in a strong aversion to using conventional reasoning to interpret them.” The two Damasios and their team are exploring what role “linguistic and neuropsychological mechanisms” play in determining “the effectiveness of narrative framing using sacred values in influencing a listener’s interpretation of events.” The research is based on extracting narratives from millions of American, Iranian and Chinese weblogs, and subjecting them to automated discourse analysis to compare them quantitatively across the three languages. The investigators then follow up using behavioral experiments with readers/listeners from different cultures to gauge their reaction different narratives “where each story makes an appeal to a sacred value to explain or justify a morally-questionable behavior of the author.” Finally, the scientists apply neurobiological fMRI scanning to correlate the reactions and personal characteristics of subjects with their brain responses. Why is the Pentagon funding research investigating how to exploit people’s “sacred values” to extinguish their capacity for logical reasoning, and enhance their emotional openness to “morally-questionable behavior”? The focus on English, Farsi and Chinese may also reveal that the Pentagon’s current concerns are overwhelmingly about developing information operations against two key adversaries, Iran and China, which fits into longstanding ambitions to project strategic influence in the Middle East, Central Asia and Southeast Asia. Equally, the emphasis on English language, specifically from American weblogs, further suggests the Pentagon is concerned about projecting propaganda to influence public opinion at home. Rosemary Wenchel (left) of the US Department of Homeland Security with Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter, a former musician and now US defense consultant who has worked for contractors like SAIC and Northrup Grumman. SAIC/Leidos executive Jeff Cooper is behind them Lest one presume that DARPA’s desire to mine millions of American weblogs as part of its ‘neurobiology of narrative framing’ research is a mere case of random selection, an additional co-chair of the Pentagon Highlands Forum in recent years is Rosemary Wenchel, former director of cyber capabilities and operations support at the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Since 2012, Wenchel has been deputy assistant secretary for strategy and policy in the Department of Homeland Security. As the Pentagon’s extensive funding of propaganda on Iraq and Afghanistan demonstrates, population influence and propaganda is critical not just in far-flung theatres abroad in strategic regions, but also at home, to quell the risk of domestic public opinion undermining the legitimacy of Pentagon policy. In the photo above, Wenchel is talking to Jeff Baxter, a long-time US defense and intelligence consultant. In September 2005, Baxter was part of a supposedly “independent” study group (chaired by NSA-contractor Booz Allen Hamilton) commissioned by the Department of Homeland Security, which recommended a greater role for US spy satellites in monitoring the domestic population. Meanwhile, Zalman and Rendon, while both remaining closely involved in the Pentagon Highlands Forum, continue to be courted by the US military for their expertise on information operations. In October 2014, both participated in a major Strategic Multi-Layer Assessment conference sponsored by the US Department of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, titled ‘A New Information Paradigm? From Genes to “Big Data” and Instagram to Persistent Surveillance… Implications for National Security.’ Other delegates represented senior US military officials, defense industry executives, intelligence community officials, Washington think-tanks, and academics. John Rendon, CEO of The Rendon Group, at a Highlands Forum session in 2010 Rendon and SAIC/Leidos, two firms that have been central to the very evolution of Pentagon information operations strategy through their pivotal involvement in the Highlands Forum, continue to be contracted for key operations under the Obama administration. A US General Services Administration document, for instance, shows that Rendon was granted a major 2010–2015 contract providing general media and communications support services across federal agencies. Similarly, SAIC/Leidos has a $400 million 2010–2015 contract with the US Army Research Laboratory for “Expeditionary Warfare; Irregular Warfare; Special Operations; Stabilization and Reconstruction Operations”?—?a contract which is “being prepared now for recomplete.” The empire strikes back Under Obama, the nexus of corporate, industry, and financial power represented by the interests that participate in the Pentagon Highlands Forum has consolidated itself to an unprecedented degree. Coincidentally, the very day Obama announced Hagel’s resignation, the DoD issued a media release highlighting how Robert O. Work, Hagel’s deputy defense secretary appointed by Obama in 2013, planned to take forward the Defense Innovation Initiative that Hagel had just announced a week earlier. The new initiative was focused on ensuring that the Pentagon would undergo a long-term transformation to keep up with leading edge disruptive technologies across information operations. Whatever the real reasons for Hagel’s ejection, this was a symbolic and tangible victory for Marshall and the Highlands Forum vision. Highlands Forum co-chair Andrew Marshall, head of the ONA, may indeed be retiring. But the post-Hagel Pentagon is now staffed with his followers. Robert Work, who now presides over the new DoD transformation scheme, is a loyal Marshall acolyte who had previously directed and analyzed war games for the Office of Net Assessment. Like Marshall, Wells, O’Neill and other Highlands Forum members, Work is also a robot fantasist who lead authored the study, Preparing for War in the Robotic Age, published early last year by the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Work is also pitched to determine the future of the ONA, assisted by his strategist Tom Ehrhard and DoD undersecretary for intelligence Michael G. Vickers, under whose authority the Highlands Forum currently runs. Ehrard, an advocate of “integrating disruptive technologies in DoD,” previously served as Marshall’s military assistant in the ONA, while Mike Vickers?—?who oversees surveillance agencies like the NSA?—?was also previously hired by Marshall to consult for the Pentagon. Vickers is also a leading proponent of irregular warfare. As assistant defense secretary for special operations and low intensity conflict under former defense secretary Robert Gates in both the Bush and Obama administrations, Vickers’s irregular warfare vision pushed for “distributed operations across the world,” including “in scores of countries with which the US is not at war,” as part of a program of “counter network warfare” using a “network to fight a network”?—?a strategy which of course has the Highlands Forum all over it. In his previous role under Gates, Vickers increased the budget for special operations including psychological operations, stealth transport, Predator drone deployment and “using high-tech surveillance and reconnaissance to track and target terrorists and insurgents.” To replace Hagel, Obama nominated Ashton Carter, former deputy defense secretary from 2009 to 2013, whose expertise in budgets and procurement according to the Wall Street Journal is “expected to boost some of the initiatives championed by the current Pentagon deputy, Robert Work, including an effort to develop new strategies and technologies to preserve the US advantage on the battlefield.” Back in 1999, after three years as Clinton’s assistant defense secretary, Carter co-authored a study with former defense secretary William J. Perry advocating a new form of ‘war by remote control’ facilitated by “digital technology and the constant flow of information.” One of Carter’s colleagues in the Pentagon during his tenure at that time was Highlands Forum co-chair Linton Wells; and it was Perry of course that as then-defense secretary appointed Richard O’Neill to set-up the Highlands Forum as the Pentagon’s IO think-tank back in 1994. Highlands Forum overlord Perry went on to join the board of SAIC, before eventually becoming chairman of another giant defense contractor, Global Technology Partners (GTP). And Ashton Carter was on GTP’s board under Perry, before being nominated to defense secretary by Obama. During Carter’s previous Pentagon stint under Obama, he worked closely with Work and current undersecretary of defense Frank Kendall. Defense industry sources rejoice that the new Pentagon team will “dramatically improve” chances to “push major reform projects” at the Pentagon “across the finish line.” Indeed, Carter’s priority as defense chief nominee is identifying and acquiring new commercial “disruptive technology” to enhance US military strategy?—?in other words, executing the DoD Skynet plan. The origins of the Pentagon’s new innovation initiative can thus be traced back to ideas that were widely circulated inside the Pentagon decades ago, but which failed to take root fully until now. Between 2006 and 2010, the same period in which such ideas were being developed by Highlands Forum experts like Lochard, Zalman and Rendon, among many others, the Office of Net Assessment provided a direct mechanism to channel these ideas into concrete strategy and policy development through the Quadrennial Defense Reviews, where Marshall’s input was primarily responsible for the expansion of the “black” world: “special operations,” “electronic warfare” and “information operations.” Andrew Marshall, now retired head of the DoD’s Office of Net Assessment and Highlands Forum co-chair, at a Forum session in 2008 Marshall’s pre-9/11 vision of a fully networked and automated military system found its fruition in the Pentagon’s Skynet study released by the National Defense University in September 2014, which was co-authored by Marshall’s colleague at the Highlands Forum, Linton Wells. Many of Wells’ recommendations are now to be executed via the new Defense Innovation Initiative by veterans and affiliates of the ONA and Highlands Forum. Given that Wells’ white paper highlighted the Pentagon’s keen interest in monopolizing AI research to monopolize autonomous networked robot warfare, it is not entirely surprising that the Forum’s sponsoring partners at SAIC/Leidos display a bizarre sensitivity about public use of the word ‘Skynet.’ On a Wikipedia entry titled ‘Skynet (fictional)’, people using SAIC computers deleted several paragraphs under the ‘Trivia’ section pointing out real-world ‘Skynets’, such as the British military satellite system, and various information technology projects. Hagel’s departure paved the way for Pentagon officials linked to the Highlands Forum to consolidate government influence. These officials are embedded in a longstanding shadow network of political, industry, media and corporate officials that sit invisibly behind the seat of government, yet literally write its foreign and domestic national security policies whether the administration is Democrat of Republican, by contributing ‘ideas’ and forging government-industry relationships. It is this sort of closed-door networking that has rendered the American vote pointless. Far from protecting the public interest or helping to combat terrorism, the comprehensive monitoring of electronic communications has been systematically abused to empower vested interests in the energy, defense, and IT industries. The state of permanent global warfare that has resulted from the Pentagon’s alliances with private contractors and unaccountable harnessing of information expertise, is not making anyone safer, but has spawned a new generation of terrorists in the form of the so-called ‘Islamic State’?—?itself a Frankenstein by-product of the putrid combination of Assad’s brutality and longstanding US covert operations in the region. This Frankenstein’s existence is now being cynically exploited by private contractors seeking to profit exponentially from expanding the national security apparatus, at a time when economic volatility has pressured governments to slash defense spending. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, from 2008 to 2013, the five largest US defense contractors lost 14 percent of their employees, as the winding down of US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan led to lack of business and squeezed revenues. The continuation of the ‘Long War’ triggered by ISIS has, for now, reversed their fortunes. Companies profiting from the new war include many connected to the Highlands Forum, such as Leidos, Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, and Boeing. War is, indeed, a racket. No more shadows Yet in the long-run, the information imperialists have already failed. This investigation is based entirely on open source techniques, made viable largely in the context of the same information revolution that enabled Google. The investigation has been funded entirely by members of the public, through crowd-funding. And the investigation has been published and distributed outside the circuits of traditional media, precisely to make the point that in this new digital age, centralized top-down concentrations of power cannot overcome the power of people, their love of truth and justice, and their desire to share. What are the lessons of this irony? Simple, really: The information revolution is inherently decentralized, and decentralizing. It cannot be controlled and co-opted by Big Brother. Efforts to do so will in the end invariably fail, in a way that is ultimately self-defeating. The latest mad-cap Pentagon initiative to dominate the world through control of information and information technologies, is not a sign of the all-powerful nature of the shadow network, but rather a symptom of its deluded desperation as it attempts to ward off the acceleration of its hegemonic decline. But the decline is well on its way. And this story, like so many before it, is one small sign that the opportunities to mobilize the information revolution for the benefit of all, despite the efforts of power to hide in the shadows, are stronger than ever.  

29 августа, 03:35

How The CIA Made Google

Authored by Nafeez Ahmed via Medium.com, Inside the secret network behind mass surveillance, endless war, and Skynet... INSURGE INTELLIGENCE, a new crowd-funded investigative journalism project, breaks the exclusive story of how the United States intelligence community funded, nurtured and incubated Google as part of a drive to dominate the world through control of information. Seed-funded by the NSA and CIA, Google was merely the first among a plethora of private sector start-ups co-opted by US intelligence to retain ‘information superiority.’       The origins of this ingenious strategy trace back to a secret Pentagon-sponsored group, that for the last two decades has functioned as a bridge between the US government and elites across the business, industry, finance, corporate, and media sectors. The group has allowed some of the most powerful special interests in corporate America to systematically circumvent democratic accountability and the rule of law to influence government policies, as well as public opinion in the US and around the world. The results have been catastrophic: NSA mass surveillance, a permanent state of global war, and a new initiative to transform the US military into Skynet. This exclusive is being released for free in the public interest, and was enabled by crowdfunding. I’d like to thank my amazing community of patrons for their support, which gave me the opportunity to work on this in-depth investigation. Please support independent, investigative journalism for the global commons. *  *  * In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, western governments are moving fast to legitimize expanded powers of mass surveillance and controls on the internet, all in the name of fighting terrorism. US and European politicians have called to protect NSA-style snooping, and to advance the capacity to intrude on internet privacy by outlawing encryption. One idea is to establish a telecoms partnership that would unilaterally delete content deemed to “fuel hatred and violence” in situations considered “appropriate.” Heated discussions are going on at government and parliamentary level to explore cracking down on lawyer-client confidentiality. What any of this would have done to prevent the Charlie Hebdo attacks remains a mystery, especially given that we already know the terrorists were on the radar of French intelligence for up to a decade. There is little new in this story. The 9/11 atrocity was the first of many terrorist attacks, each succeeded by the dramatic extension of draconian state powers at the expense of civil liberties, backed up with the projection of military force in regions identified as hotspots harbouring terrorists. Yet there is little indication that this tried and tested formula has done anything to reduce the danger. If anything, we appear to be locked into a deepening cycle of violence with no clear end in sight. As our governments push to increase their powers, INSURGE INTELLIGENCE can now reveal the vast extent to which the US intelligence community is implicated in nurturing the web platforms we know today, for the precise purpose of utilizing the technology as a mechanism to fight global ‘information war’?—?a war to legitimize the power of the few over the rest of us. The lynchpin of this story is the corporation that in many ways defines the 21st century with its unobtrusive omnipresence: Google. Google styles itself as a friendly, funky, user-friendly tech firm that rose to prominence through a combination of skill, luck, and genuine innovation. This is true. But it is a mere fragment of the story. In reality, Google is a smokescreen behind which lurks the US military-industrial complex. The inside story of Google’s rise, revealed here for the first time, opens a can of worms that goes far beyond Google, unexpectedly shining a light on the existence of a parasitical network driving the evolution of the US national security apparatus, and profiting obscenely from its operation. The shadow network For the last two decades, US foreign and intelligence strategies have resulted in a global ‘war on terror’ consisting of prolonged military invasions in the Muslim world and comprehensive surveillance of civilian populations. These strategies have been incubated, if not dictated, by a secret network inside and beyond the Pentagon. Established under the Clinton administration, consolidated under Bush, and firmly entrenched under Obama, this bipartisan network of mostly neoconservative ideologues sealed its dominion inside the US Department of Defense (DoD) by the dawn of 2015, through the operation of an obscure corporate entity outside the Pentagon, but run by the Pentagon. In 1999, the CIA created its own venture capital investment firm, In-Q-Tel, to fund promising start-ups that might create technologies useful for intelligence agencies. But the inspiration for In-Q-Tel came earlier, when the Pentagon set up its own private sector outfit. Known as the ‘Highlands Forum,’ this private network has operated as a bridge between the Pentagon and powerful American elites outside the military since the mid-1990s. Despite changes in civilian administrations, the network around the Highlands Forum has become increasingly successful in dominating US defense policy. Giant defense contractors like Booz Allen Hamilton and Science Applications International Corporation are sometimes referred to as the ‘shadow intelligence community’ due to the revolving doors between them and government, and their capacity to simultaneously influence and profit from defense policy. But while these contractors compete for power and money, they also collaborate where it counts. The Highlands Forum has for 20 years provided an off the record space for some of the most prominent members of the shadow intelligence community to convene with senior US government officials, alongside other leaders in relevant industries. I first stumbled upon the existence of this network in November 2014, when I reported for VICE’s Motherboard that US defense secretary Chuck Hagel’s newly announced ‘Defense Innovation Initiative’ was really about building Skynet?—?or something like it, essentially to dominate an emerging era of automated robotic warfare. That story was based on a little-known Pentagon-funded ‘white paper’ published two months earlier by the National Defense University (NDU) in Washington DC, a leading US military-run institution that, among other things, generates research to develop US defense policy at the highest levels. The white paper clarified the thinking behind the new initiative, and the revolutionary scientific and technological developments it hoped to capitalize on. The Highlands Forum The co-author of that NDU white paper is Linton Wells, a 51-year veteran US defense official who served in the Bush administration as the Pentagon’s chief information officer, overseeing the National Security Agency (NSA) and other spy agencies. He still holds active top-secret security clearances, and according to a report by Government Executive magazine in 2006 he chaired the ‘Highlands Forum’, founded by the Pentagon in 1994. Linton Wells II (right) former Pentagon chief information officer and assistant secretary of defense for networks, at a recent Pentagon Highlands Forum session. Rosemary Wenchel, a senior official in the US Department of Homeland Security, is sitting next to him New Scientist magazine (paywall) has compared the Highlands Forum to elite meetings like “Davos, Ditchley and Aspen,” describing it as “far less well known, yet… arguably just as influential a talking shop.” Regular Forum meetings bring together “innovative people to consider interactions between policy and technology. Its biggest successes have been in the development of high-tech network-based warfare.” Given Wells’ role in such a Forum, perhaps it was not surprising that his defense transformation white paper was able to have such a profound impact on actual Pentagon policy. But if that was the case, why had no one noticed? Despite being sponsored by the Pentagon, I could find no official page on the DoD website about the Forum. Active and former US military and intelligence sources had never heard of it, and neither did national security journalists. I was baffled. The Pentagon’s intellectual capital venture firm In the prologue to his 2007 book, A Crowd of One: The Future of Individual Identity, John Clippinger, an MIT scientist of the Media Lab Human Dynamics Group, described how he participated in a “Highlands Forum” gathering, an “invitation-only meeting funded by the Department of Defense and chaired by the assistant for networks and information integration.” This was a senior DoD post overseeing operations and policies for the Pentagon’s most powerful spy agencies including the NSA, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), among others. Starting from 2003, the position was transitioned into what is now the undersecretary of defense for intelligence. The Highlands Forum, Clippinger wrote, was founded by a retired US Navy captain named Dick O’Neill. Delegates include senior US military officials across numerous agencies and divisions?—?“captains, rear admirals, generals, colonels, majors and commanders” as well as “members of the DoD leadership.” What at first appeared to be the Forum’s main website describes Highlands as “an informal cross-disciplinary network sponsored by Federal Government,” focusing on “information, science and technology.” Explanation is sparse, beyond a single ‘Department of Defense’ logo. But Highlands also has another website describing itself as an “intellectual capital venture firm” with “extensive experience assisting corporations, organizations, and government leaders.” The firm provides a “wide range of services, including: strategic planning, scenario creation and gaming for expanding global markets,” as well as “working with clients to build strategies for execution.” ‘The Highlands Group Inc.,’ the website says, organizes a whole range of Forums on these issue. For instance, in addition to the Highlands Forum, since 9/11 the Group runs the ‘Island Forum,’ an international event held in association with Singapore’s Ministry of Defense, which O’Neill oversees as “lead consultant.” The Singapore Ministry of Defense website describes the Island Forum as “patterned after the Highlands Forum organized for the US Department of Defense.” Documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden confirmed that Singapore played a key role in permitting the US and Australia to tap undersea cables to spy on Asian powers like Indonesia and Malaysia. The Highlands Group website also reveals that Highlands is partnered with one of the most powerful defense contractors in the United States. Highlands is “supported by a network of companies and independent researchers,” including “our Highlands Forum partners for the past ten years at SAIC; and the vast Highlands network of participants in the Highlands Forum.” SAIC stands for the US defense firm, Science Applications International Corporation, which changed its name to Leidos in 2013, operating SAIC as a subsidiary. SAIC/Leidos is among the top 10 largest defense contractors in the US, and works closely with the US intelligence community, especially the NSA. According to investigative journalist Tim Shorrock, the first to disclose the vast extent of the privatization of US intelligence with his seminal book Spies for Hire, SAIC has a “symbiotic relationship with the NSA: the agency is the company’s largest single customer and SAIC is the NSA’s largest contractor.” Richard ‘Dick’ Patrick O’Neill, founding president of the Pentagon’s Highlands Forum The full name of Captain “Dick” O’Neill, the founding president of the Highlands Forum, is Richard Patrick O’Neill, who after his work in the Navy joined the DoD. He served his last post as deputy for strategy and policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Defense for Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence, before setting up Highlands. The Club of Yoda But Clippinger also referred to another mysterious individual revered by Forum attendees: “He sat at the back of the room, expressionless behind thick, black-rimmed glasses. I never heard him utter a word… Andrew (Andy) Marshall is an icon within DoD. Some call him Yoda, indicative of his mythical inscrutable status… He had served many administrations and was widely regarded as above partisan politics. He was a supporter of the Highlands Forum and a regular fixture from its beginning.” Since 1973, Marshall has headed up one of the Pentagon’s most powerful agencies, the Office of Net Assessment (ONA), the US defense secretary’s internal ‘think tank’ which conducts highly classified research on future planning for defense policy across the US military and intelligence community. The ONA has played a key role in major Pentagon strategy initiatives, including Maritime Strategy, the Strategic Defense Initiative, the Competitive Strategies Initiative, and the Revolution in Military Affairs. Andrew ‘Yoda’ Marshall, head of the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment (ONA) and co-chair of the Highlands Forum, at an early Highlands event in 1996 at the Santa Fe Institute. Marshall is retiring as of January 2015 In a rare 2002 profile in Wired, reporter Douglas McGray described Andrew Marshall, now 93 years old, as “the DoD’s most elusive” but “one of its most influential” officials. McGray added that “Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz”?—?widely considered the hawks of the neoconservative movement in American politics?—?were among Marshall’s “star protégés.” Speaking at a low-key Harvard University seminar a few months after 9/11, Highlands Forum founding president Richard O’Neill said that Marshall was much more than a “regular fixture” at the Forum. “Andy Marshall is our co-chair, so indirectly everything that we do goes back into Andy’s system,” he told the audience. “Directly, people who are in the Forum meetings may be going back to give briefings to Andy on a variety of topics and to synthesize things.” He also said that the Forum had a third co-chair: the director of the Defense Advanced Research and Projects Agency (DARPA), which at that time was a Rumsfeld appointee, Anthony J. Tether. Before joining DARPA, Tether was vice president of SAIC’s Advanced Technology Sector. Anthony J. Tether, director of DARPA and co-chair of the Pentagon’s Highlands Forum from June 2001 to February 2009 The Highlands Forum’s influence on US defense policy has thus operated through three main channels: its sponsorship by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (around the middle of last decade this was transitioned specifically to the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, which is in charge of the main surveillance agencies); its direct link to Andrew ‘Yoda’ Marshall’s ONA; and its direct link to DARPA. A slide from Richard O’Neill’s presentation at Harvard University in 2001   According to Clippinger in A Crowd of One, “what happens at informal gatherings such as the Highlands Forum could, over time and through unforeseen curious paths of influence, have enormous impact, not just within the DoD but throughout the world.” He wrote that the Forum’s ideas have “moved from being heretical to mainstream. Ideas that were anathema in 1999 had been adopted as policy just three years later.” Although the Forum does not produce “consensus recommendations,” its impact is deeper than a traditional government advisory committee. “The ideas that emerge from meetings are available for use by decision-makers as well as by people from the think tanks,” according to O’Neill: “We’ll include people from Booz, SAIC, RAND, or others at our meetings… We welcome that kind of cooperation, because, truthfully, they have the gravitas. They are there for the long haul and are able to influence government policies with real scholarly work… We produce ideas and interaction and networks for these people to take and use as they need them.” My repeated requests to O’Neill for information on his work at the Highlands Forum were ignored. The Department of Defense also did not respond to multiple requests for information and comment on the Forum. Information warfare The Highlands Forum has served as a two-way ‘influence bridge’: on the one hand, for the shadow network of private contractors to influence the formulation of information operations policy across US military intelligence; and on the other, for the Pentagon to influence what is going on in the private sector. There is no clearer evidence of this than the truly instrumental role of the Forum in incubating the idea of mass surveillance as a mechanism to dominate information on a global scale. In 1989, Richard O’Neill, then a US Navy cryptologist, wrote a paper for the US Naval War College, ‘Toward a methodology for perception management.’ In his book, Future Wars, Col. John Alexander, then a senior officer in the US Army’s Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM), records that O’Neill’s paper for the first time outlined a strategy for “perception management” as part of information warfare (IW). O’Neill’s proposed strategy identified three categories of targets for IW: adversaries, so they believe they are vulnerable; potential partners, “so they perceive the cause [of war] as just”; and finally, civilian populations and the political leadership so they “perceive the cost as worth the effort.” A secret briefing based on O’Neill’s work “made its way to the top leadership” at DoD. “They acknowledged that O’Neill was right and told him to bury it. Except the DoD didn’t bury it. Around 1994, the Highlands Group was founded by O’Neill as an official Pentagon project at the appointment of Bill Clinton’s then defense secretary William Perry?—?who went on to join SAIC’s board of directors after retiring from government in 2003. In O’Neill’s own words, the group would function as the Pentagon’s ‘ideas lab’. According to Government Executive, military and information technology experts gathered at the first Forum meeting “to consider the impacts of IT and globalization on the United States and on warfare. How would the Internet and other emerging technologies change the world?” The meeting helped plant the idea of “network-centric warfare” in the minds of “the nation’s top military thinkers.” Excluding the public Official Pentagon records confirm that the Highlands Forum’s primary goal was to support DoD policies on O’Neill’s specialism: information warfare. According to the Pentagon’s 1997 Annual Report to the President and the Congress under a section titled ‘Information Operations,’ (IO) the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) had authorized the “establishment of the Highlands Group of key DoD, industry, and academic IO experts” to coordinate IO across federal military intelligence agencies. The following year’s DoD annual report reiterated the Forum’s centrality to information operations: “To examine IO issues, DoD sponsors the Highlands Forum, which brings together government, industry, and academic professionals from various fields.” Notice that in 1998, the Highlands ‘Group’ became a ‘Forum.’ According to O’Neill, this was to avoid subjecting Highlands Forums meetings to “bureaucratic restrictions.” What he was alluding to was the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), which regulates the way the US government can formally solicit the advice of special interests. Known as the ‘open government’ law, FACA requires that US government officials cannot hold closed-door or secret consultations with people outside government to develop policy. All such consultations should take place via federal advisory committees that permit public scrutiny. FACA requires that meetings be held in public, announced via the Federal Register, that advisory groups are registered with an office at the General Services Administration, among other requirements intended to maintain accountability to the public interest. But Government Executive reported that “O’Neill and others believed” such regulatory issues “would quell the free flow of ideas and no-holds-barred discussions they sought.” Pentagon lawyers had warned that the word ‘group’ might necessitate certain obligations and advised running the whole thing privately: “So O’Neill renamed it the Highlands Forum and moved into the private sector to manage it as a consultant to the Pentagon.” The Pentagon Highlands Forum thus runs under the mantle of O’Neill’s ‘intellectual capital venture firm,’ ‘Highlands Group Inc.’ In 1995, a year after William Perry appointed O’Neill to head up the Highlands Forum, SAIC?—?the Forum’s “partner” organization?—?launched a new Center for Information Strategy and Policy under the direction of “Jeffrey Cooper, a member of the Highlands Group who advises senior Defense Department officials on information warfare issues.” The Center had precisely the same objective as the Forum, to function as “a clearinghouse to bring together the best and brightest minds in information warfare by sponsoring a continuing series of seminars, papers and symposia which explore the implications of information warfare in depth.” The aim was to “enable leaders and policymakers from government, industry, and academia to address key issues surrounding information warfare to ensure that the United States retains its edge over any and all potential enemies.” Despite FACA regulations, federal advisory committees are already heavily influenced, if not captured, by corporate power. So in bypassing FACA, the Pentagon overrode even the loose restrictions of FACA, by permanently excluding any possibility of public engagement. O’Neill’s claim that there are no reports or recommendations is disingenuous. By his own admission, the secret Pentagon consultations with industry that have taken place through the Highlands Forum since 1994 have been accompanied by regular presentations of academic and policy papers, recordings and notes of meetings, and other forms of documentation that are locked behind a login only accessible by Forum delegates. This violates the spirit, if not the letter, of FACA?—?in a way that is patently intended to circumvent democratic accountability and the rule of law. The Highlands Forum doesn’t need to produce consensus recommendations. Its purpose is to provide the Pentagon a shadow social networking mechanism to cement lasting relationships with corporate power, and to identify new talent, that can be used to fine-tune information warfare strategies in absolute secrecy. Total participants in the DoD’s Highlands Forum number over a thousand, although sessions largely consist of small closed workshop style gatherings of maximum 25–30 people, bringing together experts and officials depending on the subject. Delegates have included senior personnel from SAIC and Booz Allen Hamilton, RAND Corp., Cisco, Human Genome Sciences, eBay, PayPal, IBM, Google, Microsoft, AT&T, the BBC, Disney, General Electric, Enron, among innumerable others; Democrat and Republican members of Congress and the Senate; senior executives from the US energy industry such as Daniel Yergin of IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates; and key people involved in both sides of presidential campaigns. Other participants have included senior media professionals: David Ignatius, associate editor of the Washington Post and at the time the executive editor of the International Herald Tribune; Thomas Friedman, long-time New York Times columnist; Arnaud de Borchgrave, an editor at Washington Times and United Press International; Steven Levy, a former Newsweek editor, senior writer for Wired and now chief tech editor at Medium; Lawrence Wright, staff writer at the New Yorker; Noah Shachtmann, executive editor at the Daily Beast; Rebecca McKinnon, co-founder of Global Voices Online; Nik Gowing of the BBC; and John Markoff of the New York Times. Due to its current sponsorship by the OSD’s undersecretary of defense for intelligence, the Forum has inside access to the chiefs of the main US surveillance and reconnaissance agencies, as well as the directors and their assistants at DoD research agencies, from DARPA, to the ONA. This also means that the Forum is deeply plugged into the Pentagon’s policy research task forces. Google: seeded by the Pentagon In 1994?—?the same year the Highlands Forum was founded under the stewardship of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the ONA, and DARPA?—?two young PhD students at Stanford University, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, made their breakthrough on the first automated web crawling and page ranking application. That application remains the core component of what eventually became Google’s search service. Brin and Page had performed their work with funding from the Digital Library Initiative (DLI), a multi-agency programme of the National Science Foundation (NSF), NASA and DARPA. But that’s just one side of the story. Throughout the development of the search engine, Sergey Brin reported regularly and directly to two people who were not Stanford faculty at all: Dr. Bhavani Thuraisingham and Dr. Rick Steinheiser. Both were representatives of a sensitive US intelligence community research programme on information security and data-mining. Thuraisingham is currently the Louis A. Beecherl distinguished professor and executive director of the Cyber Security Research Institute at the University of Texas, Dallas, and a sought-after expert on data-mining, data management and information security issues. But in the 1990s, she worked for the MITRE Corp., a leading US defense contractor, where she managed the Massive Digital Data Systems initiative, a project sponsored by the NSA, CIA, and the Director of Central Intelligence, to foster innovative research in information technology. “We funded Stanford University through the computer scientist Jeffrey Ullman, who had several promising graduate students working on many exciting areas,” Prof. Thuraisingham told me. “One of them was Sergey Brin, the founder of Google. The intelligence community’s MDDS program essentially provided Brin seed-funding, which was supplemented by many other sources, including the private sector.” This sort of funding is certainly not unusual, and Sergey Brin’s being able to receive it by being a graduate student at Stanford appears to have been incidental. The Pentagon was all over computer science research at this time. But it illustrates how deeply entrenched the culture of Silicon Valley is in the values of the US intelligence community. In an extraordinary document hosted by the website of the University of Texas, Thuraisingham recounts that from 1993 to 1999, “the Intelligence Community [IC] started a program called Massive Digital Data Systems (MDDS) that I was managing for the Intelligence Community when I was at the MITRE Corporation.” The program funded 15 research efforts at various universities, including Stanford. Its goal was developing “data management technologies to manage several terabytes to petabytes of data,” including for “query processing, transaction management, metadata management, storage management, and data integration.” At the time, Thuraisingham was chief scientist for data and information management at MITRE, where she led team research and development efforts for the NSA, CIA, US Air Force Research Laboratory, as well as the US Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) and Communications and Electronic Command (CECOM). She went on to teach courses for US government officials and defense contractors on data-mining in counter-terrorism. In her University of Texas article, she attaches the copy of an abstract of the US intelligence community’s MDDS program that had been presented to the “Annual Intelligence Community Symposium” in 1995. The abstract reveals that the primary sponsors of the MDDS programme were three agencies: the NSA, the CIA’s Office of Research & Development, and the intelligence community’s Community Management Staff (CMS) which operates under the Director of Central Intelligence. Administrators of the program, which provided funding of around 3–4 million dollars per year for 3–4 years, were identified as Hal Curran (NSA), Robert Kluttz (CMS), Dr. Claudia Pierce (NSA), Dr. Rick Steinheiser (ORD?—?standing for the CIA’s Office of Research and Devepment), and Dr. Thuraisingham herself. Thuraisingham goes on in her article to reiterate that this joint CIA-NSA program partly funded Sergey Brin to develop the core of Google, through a grant to Stanford managed by Brin’s supervisor Prof. Jeffrey D. Ullman: “In fact, the Google founder Mr. Sergey Brin was partly funded by this program while he was a PhD student at Stanford. He together with his advisor Prof. Jeffrey Ullman and my colleague at MITRE, Dr. Chris Clifton [Mitre’s chief scientist in IT], developed the Query Flocks System which produced solutions for mining large amounts of data stored in databases. I remember visiting Stanford with Dr. Rick Steinheiser from the Intelligence Community and Mr. Brin would rush in on roller blades, give his presentation and rush out. In fact the last time we met in September 1998, Mr. Brin demonstrated to us his search engine which became Google soon after.” Brin and Page officially incorporated Google as a company in September 1998, the very month they last reported to Thuraisingham and Steinheiser. ‘Query Flocks’ was also part of Google’s patented ‘PageRank’ search system, which Brin developed at Stanford under the CIA-NSA-MDDS programme, as well as with funding from the NSF, IBM and Hitachi. That year, MITRE’s Dr. Chris Clifton, who worked under Thuraisingham to develop the ‘Query Flocks’ system, co-authored a paper with Brin’s superviser, Prof. Ullman, and the CIA’s Rick Steinheiser. Titled ‘Knowledge Discovery in Text,’ the paper was presented at an academic conference. “The MDDS funding that supported Brin was significant as far as seed-funding goes, but it was probably outweighed by the other funding streams,” said Thuraisingham. “The duration of Brin’s funding was around two years or so. In that period, I and my colleagues from the MDDS would visit Stanford to see Brin and monitor his progress every three months or so. We didn’t supervise exactly, but we did want to check progress, point out potential problems and suggest ideas. In those briefings, Brin did present to us on the query flocks research, and also demonstrated to us versions of the Google search engine.” Brin thus reported to Thuraisingham and Steinheiser regularly about his work developing Google. == UPDATE 2.05PM GMT [2nd Feb 2015]:   Since publication of this article, Prof. Thuraisingham has amended her article referenced above. The amended version includes a new modified statement, followed by a copy of the original version of her account of the MDDS. In this amended version, Thuraisingham rejects the idea that CIA funded Google, and says instead:   “In fact Prof. Jeffrey Ullman (at Stanford) and my colleague at MITRE Dr. Chris Clifton together with some others developed the Query Flocks System, as part of MDDS, which produced solutions for mining large amounts of data stored in databases. Also, Mr. Sergey Brin, the cofounder of Google, was part of Prof. Ullman’s research group at that time. I remember visiting Stanford with Dr. Rick Steinheiser from the Intelligence Community periodically and Mr. Brin would rush in on roller blades, give his presentation and rush out. During our last visit to Stanford in September 1998, Mr. Brin demonstrated to us his search engine which I believe became Google soon after…   There are also several inaccuracies in Dr. Ahmed’s article (dated January 22, 2015). For example, the MDDS program was not a ‘sensitive’ program as stated by Dr. Ahmed; it was an Unclassified program that funded universities in the US. Furthermore, Sergey Brin never reported to me or to Dr. Rick Steinheiser; he only gave presentations to us during our visits to the Department of Computer Science at Stanford during the 1990s. Also, MDDS never funded Google; it funded Stanford University.”   Here, there is no substantive factual difference in Thuraisingham’s accounts, other than to assert that her statement associating Sergey Brin with the development of ‘query flocks’ is mistaken. Notably, this acknowledgement is derived not from her own knowledge, but from this very article quoting a comment from a Google spokesperson.   However, the bizarre attempt to disassociate Google from the MDDS program misses the mark. Firstly, the MDDS never funded Google, because during the development of the core components of the Google search engine, there was no company incorporated with that name. The grant was instead provided to Stanford University through Prof. Ullman, through whom some MDDS funding was used to support Brin who was co-developing Google at the time. Secondly, Thuraisingham then adds that Brin never “reported” to her or the CIA’s Steinheiser, but admits he “gave presentations to us during our visits to the Department of Computer Science at Stanford during the 1990s.” It is unclear, though, what the distinction is here between reporting, and delivering a detailed presentation?—?either way, Thuraisingham confirms that she and the CIA had taken a keen interest in Brin’s development of Google. Thirdly, Thuraisingham describes the MDDS program as “unclassified,” but this does not contradict its “sensitive” nature. As someone who has worked for decades as an intelligence contractor and advisor, Thuraisingham is surely aware that there are many ways of categorizing intelligence, including ‘sensitive but unclassified.’ A number of former US intelligence officials I spoke to said that the almost total lack of public information on the CIA and NSA’s MDDS initiative suggests that although the progam was not classified, it is likely instead that its contents was considered sensitive, which would explain efforts to minimise transparency about the program and the way it fed back into developing tools for the US intelligence community. Fourthly, and finally, it is important to point out that the MDDS abstract which Thuraisingham includes in her University of Texas document states clearly not only that the Director of Central Intelligence’s CMS, CIA and NSA were the overseers of the MDDS initiative, but that the intended customers of the project were “DoD, IC, and other government organizations”: the Pentagon, the US intelligence community, and other relevant US government agencies.   In other words, the provision of MDDS funding to Brin through Ullman, under the oversight of Thuraisingham and Steinheiser, was fundamentally because they recognized the potential utility of Brin’s work developing Google to the Pentagon, intelligence community, and the federal government at large. == The MDDS programme is actually referenced in several papers co-authored by Brin and Page while at Stanford, specifically highlighting its role in financially sponsoring Brin in the development of Google. In their 1998 paper published in the Bulletin of the IEEE Computer Society Technical Committeee on Data Engineering, they describe the automation of methods to extract information from the web via “Dual Iterative Pattern Relation Extraction,” the development of “a global ranking of Web pages called PageRank,” and the use of PageRank “to develop a novel search engine called Google.” Through an opening footnote, Sergey Brin confirms he was “Partially supported by the Community Management Staff’s Massive Digital Data Systems Program, NSF grant IRI-96–31952”?—?confirming that Brin’s work developing Google was indeed partly-funded by the CIA-NSA-MDDS program. This NSF grant identified alongside the MDDS, whose project report lists Brin among the students supported (without mentioning the MDDS), was different to the NSF grant to Larry Page that included funding from DARPA and NASA. The project report, authored by Brin’s supervisor Prof. Ullman, goes on to say under the section ‘Indications of Success’ that “there are some new stories of startups based on NSF-supported research.” Under ‘Project Impact,’ the report remarks: “Finally, the google project has also gone commercial as Google.com.” Thuraisingham’s account, including her new amended version, therefore demonstrates that the CIA-NSA-MDDS program was not only partly funding Brin throughout his work with Larry Page developing Google, but that senior US intelligence representatives including a CIA official oversaw the evolution of Google in this pre-launch phase, all the way until the company was ready to be officially founded. Google, then, had been enabled with a “significant” amount of seed-funding and oversight from the Pentagon: namely, the CIA, NSA, and DARPA. The DoD could not be reached for comment. When I asked Prof. Ullman to confirm whether or not Brin was partly funded under the intelligence community’s MDDS program, and whether Ullman was aware that Brin was regularly briefing the CIA’s Rick Steinheiser on his progress in developing the Google search engine, Ullman’s responses were evasive: “May I know whom you represent and why you are interested in these issues? Who are your ‘sources’?” He also denied that Brin played a significant role in developing the ‘query flocks’ system, although it is clear from Brin’s papers that he did draw on that work in co-developing the PageRank system with Page. When I asked Ullman whether he was denying the US intelligence community’s role in supporting Brin during the development of Google, he said: “I am not going to dignify this nonsense with a denial. If you won’t explain what your theory is, and what point you are trying to make, I am not going to help you in the slightest.” The MDDS abstract published online at the University of Texas confirms that the rationale for the CIA-NSA project was to “provide seed money to develop data management technologies which are of high-risk and high-pay-off,” including techniques for “querying, browsing, and filtering; transaction processing; accesses methods and indexing; metadata management and data modelling; and integrating heterogeneous databases; as well as developing appropriate architectures.” The ultimate vision of the program was to “provide for the seamless access and fusion of massive amounts of data, information and knowledge in a heterogeneous, real-time environment” for use by the Pentagon, intelligence community and potentially across government. These revelations corroborate the claims of Robert Steele, former senior CIA officer and a founding civilian deputy director of the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity, whom I interviewed for The Guardian last year on open source intelligence. Citing sources at the CIA, Steele had said in 2006 that Steinheiser, an old colleague of his, was the CIA’s main liaison at Google and had arranged early funding for the pioneering IT firm. At the time, Wired founder John Batelle managed to get this official denial from a Google spokesperson in response to Steele’s assertions: “The statements related to Google are completely untrue.” This time round, despite multiple requests and conversations, a Google spokesperson declined to comment. UPDATE: As of 5.41PM GMT [22nd Jan 2015], Google’s director of corporate communication got in touch and asked me to include the following statement:   “Sergey Brin was not part of the Query Flocks Program at Stanford, nor were any of his projects funded by US Intelligence bodies.”   This is what I wrote back:   My response to that statement would be as follows: Brin himself in his own paper acknowledges funding from the Community Management Staff of the Massive Digital Data Systems (MDDS) initiative, which was supplied through the NSF. The MDDS was an intelligence community program set up by the CIA and NSA. I also have it on record, as noted in the piece, from Prof. Thuraisingham of University of Texas that she managed the MDDS program on behalf of the US intelligence community, and that her and the CIA’s Rick Steinheiser met Brin every three months or so for two years to be briefed on his progress developing Google and PageRank. Whether Brin worked on query flocks or not is neither here nor there. In that context, you might want to consider the following questions: 1) Does Google deny that Brin’s work was part-funded by the MDDS via an NSF grant?   2) Does Google deny that Brin reported regularly to Thuraisingham and Steinheiser from around 1996 to 1998 until September that year when he presented the Google search engine to them? Total Information Awareness A call for papers for the MDDS was sent out via email list on November 3rd 1993 from senior US intelligence official David Charvonia, director of the research and development coordination office of the intelligence community’s CMS. The reaction from Tatu Ylonen (celebrated inventor of the widely used secure shell [SSH] data protection protocol) to his colleagues on the email list is telling: “Crypto relevance? Makes you think whether you should protect your data.” The email also confirms that defense contractor and Highlands Forum partner, SAIC, was managing the MDDS submission process, with abstracts to be sent to Jackie Booth of the CIA’s Office of Research and Development via a SAIC email address. By 1997, Thuraisingham reveals, shortly before Google became incorporated and while she was still overseeing the development of its search engine software at Stanford, her thoughts turned to the national security applications of the MDDS program. In the acknowledgements to her book, Web Data Mining and Applications in Business Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism (2003), Thuraisingham writes that she and “Dr. Rick Steinheiser of the CIA, began discussions with Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency on applying data-mining for counter-terrorism,” an idea that resulted directly from the MDDS program which partly funded Google. “These discussions eventually developed into the current EELD (Evidence Extraction and Link Detection) program at DARPA.” So the very same senior CIA official and CIA-NSA contractor involved in providing the seed-funding for Google were simultaneously contemplating the role of data-mining for counter-terrorism purposes, and were developing ideas for tools actually advanced by DARPA. Today, as illustrated by her recent oped in the New York Times, Thuraisingham remains a staunch advocate of data-mining for counter-terrorism purposes, but also insists that these methods must be developed by government in cooperation with civil liberties lawyers and privacy advocates to ensure that robust procedures are in place to prevent potential abuse. She points out, damningly, that with the quantity of information being collected, there is a high risk of false positives. In 1993, when the MDDS program was launched and managed by MITRE Corp. on behalf of the US intelligence community, University of Virginia computer scientist Dr. Anita K. Jones?—?a MITRE trustee?—?landed the job of DARPA director and head of research and engineering across the Pentagon. She had been on the board of MITRE since 1988. From 1987 to 1993, Jones simultaneously served on SAIC’s board of directors. As the new head of DARPA from 1993 to 1997, she also co-chaired the Pentagon’s Highlands Forum during the period of Google’s pre-launch development at Stanford under the MDSS. Thus, when Thuraisingham and Steinheiser were talking to DARPA about the counter-terrorism applications of MDDS research, Jones was DARPA director and Highlands Forum co-chair. That year, Jones left DARPA to return to her post at the University of Virgina. The following year, she joined the board of the National Science Foundation, which of course had also just funded Brin and Page, and also returned to the board of SAIC. When she left DoD, Senator Chuck Robb paid Jones the following tribute : “She brought the technology and operational military communities together to design detailed plans to sustain US dominance on the battlefield into the next century.” Dr. Anita Jones, head of DARPA from 1993–1997, and co-chair of the Pentagon Highlands Forum from 1995–1997, during which officials in charge of the CIA-NSA-MDSS program were funding Google, and in communication with DARPA about data-mining for counterterrorism On the board of the National Science Foundation from 1992 to 1998 (including a stint as chairman from 1996) was Richard N. Zare. This was the period in which the NSF sponsored Sergey Brin and Larry Page in association with DARPA. In June 1994, Prof. Zare, a chemist at Stanford, participated with Prof. Jeffrey Ullman (who supervised Sergey Brin’s research), on a panel sponsored by Stanford and the National Research Council discussing the need for scientists to show how their work “ties to national needs.” The panel brought together scientists and policymakers, including “Washington insiders.” DARPA’s EELD program, inspired by the work of Thuraisingham and Steinheiser under Jones’ watch, was rapidly adapted and integrated with a suite of tools to conduct comprehensive surveillance under the Bush administration. According to DARPA official Ted Senator, who led the EELD program for the agency’s short-lived Information Awareness Office, EELD was among a range of “promising techniques” being prepared for integration “into the prototype TIA system.” TIA stood for Total Information Awareness, and was the main global electronic eavesdropping and data-mining program deployed by the Bush administration after 9/11. TIA had been set up by Iran-Contra conspirator Admiral John Poindexter, who was appointed in 2002 by Bush to lead DARPA’s new Information Awareness Office. The Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) was another contractor among 26 companies (also including SAIC) that received million dollar contracts from DARPA (the specific quantities remained classified) under Poindexter, to push forward the TIA surveillance program in 2002 onwards. The research included “behaviour-based profiling,” “automated detection, identification and tracking” of terrorist activity, among other data-analyzing projects. At this time, PARC’s director and chief scientist was John Seely Brown. Both Brown and Poindexter were Pentagon Highlands Forum participants?—?Brown on a regular basis until recently. TIA was purportedly shut down in 2003 due to public opposition after the program was exposed in the media, but the following year Poindexter participated in a Pentagon Highlands Group session in Singapore, alongside defense and security officials from around the world. Meanwhile, Ted Senator continued to manage the EELD program among other data-mining and analysis projects at DARPA until 2006, when he left to become a vice president at SAIC. He is now a SAIC/Leidos technical fellow. Google, DARPA and the money trail Long before the appearance of Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Stanford University’s computer science department had a close working relationship with US military intelligence. A letter dated November 5th 1984 from the office of renowned artificial intelligence (AI) expert, Prof Edward Feigenbaum, addressed to Rick Steinheiser, gives the latter directions to Stanford’s Heuristic Programming Project, addressing Steinheiser as a member of the “AI Steering Committee.” A list of attendees at a contractor conference around that time, sponsored by the Pentagon’s Office of Naval Research (ONR), includes Steinheiser as a delegate under the designation “OPNAV Op-115”?—?which refers to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations’ program on operational readiness, which played a major role in advancing digital systems for the military. From the 1970s, Prof. Feigenbaum and his colleagues had been running Stanford’s Heuristic Programming Project under contract with DARPA, continuing through to the 1990s. Feigenbaum alone had received around over $7 million in this period for his work from DARPA, along with other funding from the NSF, NASA, and ONR. Brin’s supervisor at Stanford, Prof. Jeffrey Ullman, was in 1996 part of a joint funding project of DARPA’s Intelligent Integration of Information program. That year, Ullman co-chaired DARPA-sponsored meetings on data exchange between multiple systems. In September 1998, the same month that Sergey Brin briefed US intelligence representatives Steinheiser and Thuraisingham, tech entrepreneurs Andreas Bechtolsheim and David Cheriton invested $100,000 each in Google. Both investors were connected to DARPA. As a Stanford PhD student in electrical engineering in the 1980s, Bechtolsheim’s pioneering SUN workstation project had been funded by DARPA and the Stanford computer science department?—?this research was the foundation of Bechtolsheim’s establishment of Sun Microsystems, which he co-founded with William Joy. As for Bechtolsheim’s co-investor in Google, David Cheriton, the latter is a long-time Stanford computer science professor who has an even more entrenched relationship with DARPA. His bio at the University of Alberta, which in November 2014 awarded him an honorary science doctorate, says that Cheriton’s “research has received the support of the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for over 20 years.” In the meantime, Bechtolsheim left Sun Microsystems in 1995, co-founding Granite Systems with his fellow Google investor Cheriton as a partner. They sold Granite to Cisco Systems in 1996, retaining significant ownership of Granite, and becoming senior Cisco executives. An email obtained from the Enron Corpus (a database of 600,000 emails acquired by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and later released to the public) from Richard O’Neill, inviting Enron executives to participate in the Highlands Forum, shows that Cisco and Granite executives are intimately connected to the Pentagon. The email reveals that in May 2000, Bechtolsheim’s partner and Sun Microsystems co-founder, William Joy?—?who was then chief scientist and corporate executive officer there?—?had attended the Forum to discuss nanotechnology and molecular computing. In 1999, Joy had also co-chaired the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee, overseeing a report acknowledging that DARPA had: “… revised its priorities in the 90’s so that all information technology funding was judged in terms of its benefit to the warfighter.” Throughout the 1990s, then, DARPA’s funding to Stanford, including Google, was explicitly about developing technologies that could augment the Pentagon’s military intelligence operations in war theatres. The Joy report recommended more federal government funding from the Pentagon, NASA, and other agencies to the IT sector. Greg Papadopoulos, another of Bechtolsheim’s colleagues as then Sun Microsystems chief technology officer, also attended a Pentagon Highlands’ Forum meeting in September 2000. In November, the Pentagon Highlands Forum hosted Sue Bostrom, who was vice president for the internet at Cisco, sitting on the company’s board alongside Google co-investors Bechtolsheim and Cheriton. The Forum also hosted Lawrence Zuriff, then a managing partner of Granite, which Bechtolsheim and Cheriton had sold to Cisco. Zuriff had previously been an SAIC contractor from 1993 to 1994, working with the Pentagon on national security issues, specifically for Marshall’s Office of Net Assessment. In 1994, both the SAIC and the ONA were, of course, involved in co-establishing the Pentagon Highlands Forum. Among Zuriff’s output during his SAIC tenure was a paper titled ‘Understanding Information War’, delivered at a SAIC-sponsored US Army Roundtable on the Revolution in Military Affairs. After Google’s incorporation, the company received $25 million in equity funding in 1999 led by Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. According to Homeland Security Today, “A number of Sequoia-bankrolled start-ups have contracted with the Department of Defense, especially after 9/11 when Sequoia’s Mark Kvamme met with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to discuss the application of emerging technologies to warfighting and intelligence collection.” Similarly, Kleiner Perkins had developed “a close relationship” with In-Q-Tel, the CIA venture capitalist firm that funds start-ups “to advance ‘priority’ technologies of value” to the intelligence community. John Doerr, who led the Kleiner Perkins investment in Google obtaining a board position, was a major early investor in Becholshtein’s Sun Microsystems at its launch. He and his wife Anne are the main funders behind Rice University’s Center for Engineering Leadership (RCEL), which in 2009 received $16 million from DARPA for its platform-aware-compilation-environment (PACE) ubiquitous computing R&D program. Doerr also has a close relationship with the Obama administration, which he advised shortly after it took power to ramp up Pentagon funding to the tech industry. In 2013, at the Fortune Brainstorm TECH conference, Doerr applauded “how the DoD’s DARPA funded GPS, CAD, most of the major computer science departments, and of course, the Internet.” From inception, in other words, Google was incubated, nurtured and financed by interests that were directly affiliated or closely aligned with the US military intelligence community: many of whom were embedded in the Pentagon Highlands Forum. Google captures the Pentagon In 2003, Google began customizing its search engine under special contract with the CIA for its Intelink Management Office, “overseeing top-secret, secret and sensitive but unclassified intranets for CIA and other IC agencies,” according to Homeland Security Today. That year, CIA funding was also being “quietly” funneled through the National Science Foundation to projects that might help create “new capabilities to combat terrorism through advanced technology.” The following year, Google bought the firm Keyhole, which had originally been funded by In-Q-Tel. Using Keyhole, Google began developing the advanced satellite mapping software behind Google Earth. Former DARPA director and Highlands Forum co-chair Anita Jones had been on the board of In-Q-Tel at this time, and remains so today. Then in November 2005, In-Q-Tel issued notices to sell $2.2 million of Google stocks. Google’s relationship with US intelligence was further brought to light when an IT contractor told a closed Washington DC conference of intelligence professionals on a not-for-attribution basis that at least one US intelligence agency was working to “leverage Google’s [user] data monitoring” capability as part of an effort to acquire data of “national security intelligence interest.” A photo on Flickr dated March 2007 reveals that Google research director and AI expert Peter Norvig attended a Pentagon Highlands Forum meeting that year in Carmel, California. Norvig’s intimate connection to the Forum as of that year is also corroborated by his role in guest editing the 2007 Forum reading list. The photo below shows Norvig in conversation with Lewis Shepherd, who at that time was senior technology officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency, responsible for investigating, approving, and architecting “all new hardware/software systems and acquisitions for the Global Defense Intelligence IT Enterprise,” including “big data technologies.” Shepherd now works at Microsoft. Norvig was a computer research scientist at Stanford University in 1991 before joining Bechtolsheim’s Sun Microsystems as senior scientist until 1994, and going on to head up NASA’s computer science division. Lewis Shepherd (left), then a senior technology officer at the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency, talking to Peter Norvig (right), renowned expert in artificial intelligence expert and director of research at Google. This photo is from a Highlands Forum meeting in 2007. Norvig shows up on O’Neill’s Google Plus profile as one of his close connections. Scoping the rest of O’Neill’s Google Plus connections illustrates that he is directly connected not just to a wide range of Google executives, but also to some of the biggest names in the US tech community. Those connections include Michele Weslander Quaid, an ex-CIA contractor and former senior Pentagon intelligence official who is now Google’s chief technology officer where she is developing programs to “best fit government agencies’ needs”; Elizabeth Churchill, Google director of user experience; James Kuffner, a humanoid robotics expert who now heads up Google’s robotics division and who introduced the term ‘cloud robotics’; Mark Drapeau, director of innovation engagement for Microsoft’s public sector business; Lili Cheng, general manager of Microsoft’s Future Social Experiences (FUSE) Labs; Jon Udell, Microsoft ‘evangelist’; Cory Ondrejka, vice president of engineering at Facebook; to name just a few. In 2010, Google signed a multi-billion dollar no-bid contract with the NSA’s sister agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). The contract was to use Google Earth for visualization services for the NGA. Google had developed the software behind Google Earth by purchasing Keyhole from the CIA venture firm In-Q-Tel. Then a year after, in 2011, another of O’Neill’s Google Plus connections, Michele Quaid?—?who had served in executive positions at the NGA, National Reconnaissance Office and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence?—?left her government role to become Google ‘innovation evangelist’ and the point-person for seeking government contracts. Quaid’s last role before her move to Google was as a senior representative of the Director of National Intelligence to the Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Task Force, and a senior advisor to the undersecretary of defense for intelligence’s director of Joint and Coalition Warfighter Support (J&CWS). Both roles involved information operations at their core. Before her Google move, in other words, Quaid worked closely with the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, to which the Pentagon’s Highlands Forum is subordinate. Quaid has herself attended the Forum, though precisely when and how often I could not confirm. In March 2012, then DARPA director Regina Dugan?—?who in that capacity was also co-chair of the Pentagon Highlands Forum?—?followed her colleague Quaid into Google to lead the company’s new Advanced Technology and Projects Group. During her Pentagon tenure, Dugan led on strategic cyber security and social media, among other initiatives. She was responsible for focusing “an increasing portion” of DARPA’s work “on the investigation of offensive capabilities to address military-specific needs,” securing $500 million of government funding for DARPA cyber research from 2012 to 2017. Regina Dugan, former head of DARPA and Highlands Forum co-chair, now a senior Google executive?—?trying her best to look the part By November 2014, Google’s chief AI and robotics expert James Kuffner was a delegate alongside O’Neill at the Highlands Island Forum 2014 in Singapore, to explore ‘Advancement in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence: Implications for Society, Security and Conflict.’ The event included 26 delegates from Austria, Israel, Japan, Singapore, Sweden, Britain and the US, from both industry and government. Kuffner’s association with the Pentagon, however, began much earlier. In 1997, Kuffner was a researcher during his Stanford PhD for a Pentagon-funded project on networked autonomous mobile robots, sponsored by DARPA and the US Navy. Rumsfeld and persistent surveillance In sum, many of Google’s most senior executives are affiliated with the Pentagon Highlands Forum, which throughout the period of Google’s growth over the last decade, has surfaced repeatedly as a connecting and convening force. The US intelligence community’s incubation of Google from inception occurred through a combination of direct sponsorship and informal networks of financial influence, themselves closely aligned with Pentagon interests. The Highlands Forum itself has used the informal relationship building of such private networks to bring together defense and industry sectors, enabling the fusion of corporate and military interests in expanding the covert surveillance apparatus in the name of national security. The power wielded by the shadow network represented in the Forum can, however, be gauged most clearly from its impact during the Bush administration, when it played a direct role in literally writing the strategies and doctrines behind US efforts to achieve ‘information superiority.’ In December 2001, O’Neill confirmed that strategic discussions at the Highlands Forum were feeding directly into Andrew Marshall’s DoD-wide strategic review ordered by President Bush and Donald Rumsfeld to upgrade the military, including the Quadrennial Defense Review?—?and that some of the earliest Forum meetings “resulted in the writing of a group of DoD policies, strategies, and doctrine for the services on information warfare.” That process of “writing” the Pentagon’s information warfare policies “was done in conjunction with people who understood the environment differently?—?not only US citizens, but also foreign citizens, and people who were developing corporate IT.” The Pentagon’s post-9/11 information warfare doctrines were, then, written not just by national security officials from the US and abroad: but also by powerful corporate entities in the defense and technology sectors. In April that year, Gen. James McCarthy had completed his defense transformation review ordered by Rumsfeld. His report repeatedly highlighted mass surveillance as integral to DoD transformation. As for Marshall, his follow-up report for Rumsfeld was going to develop a blueprint determining the Pentagon’s future in the ‘information age.’ O’Neill also affirmed that to develop information warfare doctrine, the Forum had held extensive discussions on electronic surveillance and “what constitutes an act of war in an information environment.” Papers feeding into US defense policy written through the late 1990s by RAND consultants John Arquilla and David Rondfeldt, both longstanding Highlands Forum members, were produced “as a result of those meetings,” exploring policy dilemmas on how far to take the goal of ‘Information Superiority.’ “One of the things that was shocking to the American public was that we weren’t pilfering Milosevic’s accounts electronically when we in fact could,” commented O’Neill. Although the R&D process around the Pentagon transformation strategy remains classified, a hint at the DoD discussions going on in this period can be gleaned from a 2005 US Army School of Advanced Military Studies research monograph in the DoD journal, Military Review, authored by an active Army intelligence officer. “The idea of Persistent Surveillance as a transformational capability has circulated within the national Intelligence Community (IC) and the Department of Defense (DoD) for at least three years,” the paper said, referencing the Rumsfeld-commissioned transformation study. The Army paper went on to review a range of high-level official military documents, including one from the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, showing that “Persistent Surveillance” was a fundamental theme of the information-centric vision for defense policy across the Pentagon. We now know that just two months before O’Neill’s address at Harvard in 2001, under the TIA program, President Bush had secretly authorized the NSA’s domestic surveillance of Americans without court-approved warrants, in what appears to have been an illegal modification of the ThinThread data-mining project?—?as later exposed by NSA whistleblowers William Binney and Thomas Drake. The surveillance-startup nexus From here on, Highlands Forum partner SAIC played a key role in the NSA roll out from inception. Shortly after 9/11, Brian Sharkey, chief technology officer of SAIC’s ELS3 Sector (focusing on IT systems for emergency responders), teamed up with John Poindexter to propose the TIA surveillance program. SAIC’s Sharkey had previously been deputy director of the Information Systems Office at DARPA through the 1990s. Meanwhile, around the same time, SAIC vice president for corporate development, Samuel Visner, became head of the NSA’s signals-intelligence programs. SAIC was then among a consortium receiving a $280 million contract to develop one of the NSA’s secret eavesdropping systems. By 2003, Visner returned to SAIC to become director of strategic planning and business development of the firm’s intelligence group. That year, the NSA consolidated its TIA programme of warrantless electronic surveillance, to keep “track of individuals” and understand “how they fit into models” through risk profiles of American citizens and foreigners. TIA was doing this by integrating databases on finance, travel, medical, educational and other records into a “virtual, centralized grand database.” This was also the year that the Bush administration drew up its notorious Information Operations Roadmap. Describing the internet as a “vulnerable weapons system,” Rumsfeld’s IO roadmap had advocated that Pentagon strategy “should be based on the premise that the Department [of Defense] will ‘fight the net’ as it would an enemy weapons system.” The US should seek “maximum control” of the “full spectrum of globally emerging communications systems, sensors, and weapons systems,” advocated the document. The following year, John Poindexter, who had proposed and run the TIA surveillance program via his post at DARPA, was in Singapore participating in the Highlands 2004 Island Forum. Other delegates included then Highlands Forum co-chair and Pentagon CIO Linton Wells; president of notorious Pentagon information warfare contractor, John Rendon; Karl Lowe, director of the Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) Joint Advanced Warfighting Division; Air Vice Marshall Stephen Dalton, capability manager for information superiority at the UK Ministry of Defense; Lt. Gen. Johan Kihl, Swedish army Supreme Commander HQ’s chief of staff; among others. As of 2006, SAIC had been awarded a multi-million dollar NSA contract to develop a big data-mining project called ExecuteLocus, despite the colossal $1 billion failure of its preceding contract, known as ‘Trailblazer.’ Core components of TIA were being “quietly continued” under “new code names,” according to Foreign Policy’s Shane Harris, but had been concealed “behind the veil of the classified intelligence budget.” The new surveillance program had by then been fully transitioned from DARPA’s jurisdiction to the NSA. This was also the year of yet another Singapore Island Forum led by Richard O’Neill on behalf of the Pentagon, which included senior defense and industry officials from the US, UK, Australia, France, India and Israel. Participants also included senior technologists from Microsoft, IBM, as well as Gilman Louie, partner at technology investment firm Alsop Louie Partners. Gilman Louie is a former CEO of In-Q-Tel?—?the CIA firm investing especially in start-ups developing data mining technology. In-Q-Tel was founded in 1999 by the CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology, under which the Office of Research and Development (ORD)?—?which was part of the Google-funding MDSS program?—?had operated. The idea was to essentially replace the functions once performed by the ORD, by mobilizing the private sector to develop information technology solutions for the entire intelligence community. Louie had led In-Q-Tel from 1999 until January 2006?—?including when Google bought Keyhole, the In-Q-Tel-funded satellite mapping software. Among his colleagues on In-Q-Tel’s board in this period were former DARPA director and Highlands Forum co-chair Anita Jones (who is still there), as well as founding board member William Perry: the man who had appointed O’Neill to set-up the Highlands Forum in the first place. Joining Perry as a founding In-Q-Tel board member was John Seely Brown, then chief scientist at Xerox Corp and director of its Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) from 1990 to 2002, who is also a long-time senior Highlands Forum member since inception. In addition to the CIA, In-Q-Tel has also been backed by the FBI, NGA, and Defense Intelligence Agency, among other agencies. More than 60 percent of In-Q-Tel’s investments under Louie’s watch were “in companies that specialize in automatically collecting, sifting through and understanding oceans of information,” according to Medill School of Journalism’s News21, which also noted that Louie himself had acknowledged it was not clear “whether privacy and civil liberties will be protected” by government’s use of these technologies “for national security.” The transcript of Richard O’Neill’s late 2001 seminar at Harvard shows that the Pentagon Highlands Forum had first engaged Gilman Louie long before the Island Forum, in fact, shortly after 9/11 to explore “what’s going on with In-Q-Tel.” That Forum session focused on how to “take advantage of the speed of the commercial market that wasn’t present inside the science and technology community of Washington” and to understand “the implications for the DoD in terms of the strategic review, the QDR, Hill action, and the stakeholders.” Participants of the meeting included “senior military people,” combatant commanders, “several of the senior flag officers,” some “defense industry people” and various US representatives including Republican Congressman William Mac Thornberry and Democrat Senator Joseph Lieberman. Both Thornberry and Lieberman are staunch supporters of NSA surveillance, and have consistently acted to rally support for pro-war, pro-surveillance legislation. O’Neill’s comments indicate that the Forum’s role is not just to enable corporate contractors to write Pentagon policy, but to rally political support for government policies adopted through the Forum’s informal brand of shadow networking. Repeatedly, O’Neill told his Harvard audience that his job as Forum president was to scope case studies from real companies across the private sector, like eBay and Human Genome Sciences, to figure out the basis of US ‘Information Superiority’?—?“how to dominate” the information market?—?and leverage this for “what the president and the secretary of defense wanted to do with regard to transformation of the DoD and the strategic review.” By 2007, a year after the Island Forum meeting that included Gilman Louie, Facebook received its second round of $12.7 million worth of funding from Accel Partners. Accel was headed up by James Breyer, former chair of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) where Louie also served on the board while still CEO of In-Q-Tel. Both Louie and Breyer had previously served together on the board of BBN Technologies?—?which had recruited ex-DARPA chief and In-Q-Tel trustee Anita Jones. Facebook’s 2008 round of funding was led by Greylock Venture Capital, which invested $27.5 million. The firm’s senior partners include Howard Cox, another former NVCA chair who also sits on the board of In-Q-Tel. Apart from Breyer and Zuckerberg, Facebook’s only other board member is Peter Thiel, co-founder of defense contractor Palantir which provides all sorts of data-mining and visualization technologies to US government, military and intelligence agencies, including the NSA and FBI, and which itself was nurtured to financial viability by Highlands Forum members. Palantir co-founders Thiel and Alex Karp met with John Poindexter in 2004, according to Wired, the same year Poindexter had attended the Highlands Island Forum in Singapore. They met at the home of Richard Perle, another Andrew Marshall acolyte. Poindexter helped Palantir open doors, and to assemble “a legion of advocates from the most influential strata of government.” Thiel had also met with Gilman Louie of In-Q-Tel, securing the backing of the CIA in this early phase. And so we come full circle. Data-mining programs like ExecuteLocus and projects linked to it, which were developed throughout this period, apparently laid the groundwork for the new NSA programmes eventually disclosed by Edward Snowden. By 2008, as Facebook received its next funding round from Greylock Venture Capital, documents and whistleblower testimony confirmed that the NSA was effectively resurrecting the TIA project with a focus on Internet data-mining via comprehensive monitoring of e-mail, text messages, and Web browsing. We also now know thanks to Snowden that the NSA’s XKeyscore ‘Digital Network Intelligence’ exploitation system was designed to allow analysts to search not just Internet databases like emails, online chats and browsing history, but also telephone services, mobile phone audio, financial transactions and global air transport communications?—?essentially the entire global telecommunications grid. Highlands Forum partner SAIC played a key role, among other contractors, in producing and administering the NSA’s XKeyscore, and was recently implicated in NSA hacking of the privacy network Tor. The Pentagon Highlands Forum was therefore intimately involved in all this as a convening network—but also quite directly. Confirming his pivotal role in the expansion of the US-led global surveillance apparatus, then Forum co-chair, Pentagon CIO Linton Wells, told FedTech magazine in 2009 that he had overseen the NSA’s roll out of “an impressive long-term architecture last summer that will provide increasingly sophisticated security until 2015 or so.” The Goldman Sachs connection When I asked Wells about the Forum’s role in influencing US mass surveillance, he responded only to say he would prefer not to comment and that he no longer leads the group. As Wells is no longer in government, this is to be expected?—?but he is still connected to Highlands. As of September 2014, after delivering his influential white paper on Pentagon transformation, he joined the Monterey Institute for International Studies (MIIS) Cyber Security Initiative (CySec) as a distinguished senior fellow. Sadly, this was not a form of trying to keep busy in retirement. Wells’ move underscored that the Pentagon’s conception of information warfare is not just about surveillance, but about the exploitation of surveillance to influence both government and public opinion. The MIIS CySec initiative is now formally partnered with the Pentagon Highlands Forum through a Memorandum of Understanding signed with MIIS provost Dr Amy Sands, who sits on the Secretary of State’s International Security Advisory Board. The MIIS CySec website states that the MoU signed with Richard O’Neill: “… paves the way for future joint MIIS CySec-Highlands Group sessions that will explore the impact of technology on security, peace and information engagement. For nearly 20 years the Highlands Group has engaged private sector and government leaders, including the Director of National Intelligence, DARPA, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Office of the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Singaporean Minister of Defence, in creative conversations to frame policy and technology research areas.” Who is the financial benefactor of the new Pentagon Highlands-partnered MIIS CySec initiative? According to the MIIS CySec site, the initiative was launched “through a generous donation of seed funding from George Lee.” George C. Lee is a senior partner at Goldman Sachs, where he is chief information officer of the investment banking division, and chairman of the Global Technology, Media and Telecom (TMT) Group. But here’s the kicker. In 2011, it was Lee who engineered Facebook’s $50 billion valuation, and previously handled deals for other Highlands-connected tech giants like Google, Microsoft and eBay. Lee’s then boss, Stephen Friedman, a former CEO and chairman of Goldman Sachs, and later senior partner on the firm’s executive board, was a also founding board member of In-Q-Tel alongside Highlands Forum overlord William Perry and Forum member John Seely Brown. In 2001, Bush appointed Stephen Friedman to the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, and then to chair that board from 2005 to 2009. Friedman previously served alongside Paul Wolfowitz and others on the 1995–6 presidential commission of inquiry into US intelligence capabilities, and in 1996 on the Jeremiah Panel that produced a report to the Director of the National Reconnaisance Office (NRO)?—?one of the surveillance agencies plugged into the Highlands Forum. Friedman was on the Jeremiah Panel with Martin Faga, then senior vice president and general manager of MITRE Corp’s Center for Integrated Intelligence Systems?—?where Thuraisingham, who managed the CIA-NSA-MDDS program that inspired DARPA counter-terrorist data-mining, was also a lead engineer. In the footnotes to a chapter for the book, Cyberspace and National Security (Georgetown University Press), SAIC/Leidos executive Jeff Cooper reveals that another Goldman Sachs senior partner Philip J. Venables?—?who as chief information risk officer leads the firm’s programs on information security?—?delivered a Highlands Forum presentation in 2008 at what was called an ‘Enrichment Session on Deterrence.’ Cooper’s chapter draws on Venables’ presentation at Highlands “with permission.” In 2010, Venables participated with his then boss Friedman at an Aspen Institute meeting on the world economy. For the last few years, Venables has also sat on various NSA cybersecurity award review boards. In sum, the investment firm responsible for creating the billion dollar fortunes of the tech sensations of the 21st century, from Google to Facebook, is intimately linked to the US military intelligence community; with Venables, Lee and Friedman either directly connected to the Pentagon Highlands Forum, or to senior members of the Forum. Fighting terror with terror The convergence of these powerful financial and military interests around the Highlands Forum, through George Lee’s sponsorship of the Forum’s new partner, the MIIS Cysec initiative, is revealing in itself. MIIS Cysec’s director, Dr, Itamara Lochard, has long been embedded in Highlands. She regularly “presents current research on non-state groups, governance, technology and conflict to the US Office of the Secretary of Defense Highlands Forum,” according to her Tufts University bio. She also, “regularly advises US combatant commanders” and specializes in studying the use of information technology by “violent and non-violent sub-state groups.” Dr Itamara Lochard is a senior Highlands Forum member and Pentagon information operations expert. She directs the MIIS CyberSec initiative that now supports the Pentagon Highlands Forum with funding from Goldman Sachs partner George Lee, who led the valuations of Facebook and Google. Dr Lochard maintains a comprehensive database of 1,700 non-state groups including “insurgents, militias, terrorists, complex criminal organizations, organized gangs, malicious cyber actors and strategic non-violent actors,” to analyze their “organizational patterns, areas of cooperation, strategies and tactics.” Notice, here, the mention of “strategic non-violent actors”?—?which perhaps covers NGOs and other groups or organizations engaged in social political activity or campaigning, judging by the focus of other DoD research programs. As of 2008, Lochard has been an adjunct professor at the US Joint Special Operations University where she teaches a top secret advanced course in ‘Irregular Warfare’ that she designed for senior US special forces officers. She has previously taught courses on ‘Internal War’ for senior “political-military officers” of various Gulf regimes. Her views thus disclose much about what the Highlands Forum has been advocating all these years. In 2004, Lochard was co-author of a study for the US Air Force’s Institute for National Security Studies on US strategy toward ‘non-state armed groups.’ The study on the one hand argued that non-state armed groups should be urgently recognized as a ‘tier one security priority,’ and on the other that the proliferation of armed groups “provide strategic opportunities that can be exploited to help achieve policy goals. There have and will be instances where the United States may find collaborating with armed group is in its strategic interests.” But “sophisticated tools” must be developed to differentiate between different groups and understand their dynamics, to determine which groups should be countered, and which could be exploited for US interests. “Armed group profiles can likewise be employed to identify ways in which the United States may assist certain armed groups whose success will be advantageous to US foreign policy objectives.” In 2008, Wikileaks published a leaked restricted US Army Special Operations field manual, which demonstrated that the sort of thinking advocated by the likes of Highlands expert Lochard had been explicitly adopted by US special forces. Lochard’s work thus demonstrates that the Highlands Forum sat at the intersection of advanced Pentagon strategy on surveillance, covert operations and irregular warfare: mobilizing mass surveillance to develop detailed information on violent and non-violent groups perceived as potentially threatening to US interests, or offering opportunities for exploitation, thus feeding directly into US covert operations. That, ultimately, is why the CIA, the NSA, the Pentagon, spawned Google. So they could run their secret dirty wars with even greater efficiency than ever before. READ PART TWO

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28 августа, 10:30

DARPA создаст модульные компьютеры на основе «чиплетов»

Мы уже рассказывали вам о так называемых «чиплетах» — тонких кремниевых пластинках, в каком-то роде переосмысляющих концепцию традиционных микросхем. Разработанные инженерами Palo Alto Research Center (подразделение компании Xerox) чиплеты можно десятками и сотнями наносить при помощи специальных принтеров на плоскую поверхность. Судя по всему, американское военное агентство DARPA всерьёз заинтересовалось данной технологией. Новый проект предполагает […]

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13 августа, 12:00

DARPA работает над улучшением человеческих чувств с помощью компьютеров

Министерство обороны США продолжает свою работу над нейрокомпьютерными интерфейсами и через свое Управление перспективных исследовательских проектов (DARPA) подписало контракты с пятью научно-исследовательскими группами и одной частной компанией. Разработка подобных технологий ведется уже довольно давно, однако реальный потенциал этой технологии начал раскрываться совсем недавно. Основная цель подобных интерфейсов заключается в создании базы для разработки более эффективных […]

10 августа, 06:55

Krieger Asks: Is Google A Search Engine Or 'Deep State' Organ?

Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog, Today’s post should be read as Part 3 of my ongoing series about the now infamous Google memo, and what it tells us about where our society is headed if a minority of extremely wealthy and powerful technocratic billionaires are permitted to fully socially engineer our culture to fit their ideological vision using coercion, force and manipulation. For some context, read Part 1 and Part 2. I struggled with the title of this piece, because ever since the 2016 election, usage of the term “deep state” has become overly associated with Trump cheerleaders. I’m not referring to people who voted for Trump, whom I can both understand and respect, I’m talking about the Trump cultists. Like most people who mindlessly and enthusiastically attach themselves to political figures, they tend to be either morons or opportunists. Nevertheless, just because the term has been somewhat tainted doesn’t mean I deny the existence of a “deep state” or “shadow government.” The existence of networks of unelected powerful people who formulate and push policy behind the scenes and then get captured members of Congress to vote on it is pretty much undeniable. I don’t believe that the “deep state” is a monolithic entity by any means, but what seems to unite these various people and institutions is an almost religious belief in U.S. imperial dominance, as well as the idea that this empire should be largely governed by an unaccountable oligarchy of billionaires and assorted technocrats. We see the results of this worldview all around us with endless wars, an unconstitutional domestic surveillance state and the destruction of the middle class. These are the fruits of deep state ideology, and a clear reason why it should be dismantled and replaced by genuine governance by the people before they lead the U.S. to total disaster. From my own personal research and observations, Google has become very much a willing part of this deep state, with Eric Schmidt being the primary driving force that has propelled the company into its contemporary role not just as a search engine monopoly, but also as a powerful and undemocratic tech arm of the shadow government. One of the best things about all the recent attention on the Google memo, is that it has placed this corporate behemoth and its very clear ideological leanings squarely in the public eye. This gives us the space to shine light on some other aspects of Google, which I believe most people would find quite concerning if made aware of. To that end, in 2014, Wikileaks published an extremely powerful excerpt from Julian Assange’s book, When Google Met Wikileaks. The post was titled, Google Is Not What It Seems, and it is an incredible repository of information and insight. If you never read it, I suggest you take the time. Below I share some choice excerpts to get you up to speed with what Google is really up to. Let’s start with the intro to the piece, which sets the stage… Eric Schmidt is an influential figure, even among the parade of powerful characters with whom I have had to cross paths since I founded WikiLeaks. In mid-May 2011 I was under house arrest in rural Norfolk, about three hours’ drive northeast of London. The crackdown against our work was in full swing and every wasted moment seemed like an eternity. It was hard to get my attention. But when my colleague Joseph Farrell told me the executive chairman of Google wanted to make an appointment with me, I was listening.   In some ways the higher echelons of Google seemed more distant and obscure to me than the halls of Washington. We had been locking horns with senior US officials for years by that point. The mystique had worn off. But the power centers growing up in Silicon Valley were still opaque and I was suddenly conscious of an opportunity to understand and influence what was becoming the most influential company on earth. Schmidt had taken over as CEO of Google in 2001 and built it into an empire.   I was intrigued that the mountain would come to Muhammad. But it was not until well after Schmidt and his companions had been and gone that I came to understand who had really visited me.   The stated reason for the visit was a book. Schmidt was penning a treatise with Jared Cohen, the director of Google Ideas, an outfit that describes itself as Google’s in-house “think/do tank.” I knew little else about Cohen at the time. In fact, Cohen had moved to Google from the US State Department in 2010. He had been a fast-talking “Generation Y” ideas man at State under two US administrations, a courtier from the world of policy think tanks and institutes, poached in his early twenties. He became a senior advisor for Secretaries of State Rice and Clinton. At State, on the Policy Planning Staff, Cohen was soon christened “Condi’s party-starter,” channeling buzzwords from Silicon Valley into US policy circles and producing delightful rhetorical concoctions such as “Public Diplomacy 2.0.”2 On his Council on Foreign Relations adjunct staff page he listed his expertise as “terrorism; radicalization; impact of connection technologies on 21st century statecraft; Iran.”3. Now I’m going to skip ahead in the piece to the moment where Assange describes his attempt to make contact with the U.S. State Department in 2011 regarding cables Wikileaks was releasing. It was at this point that I realized Eric Schmidt might not have been an emissary of Google alone. Whether officially or not, he had been keeping some company that placed him very close to Washington, DC, including a well-documented relationship with President Obama. Not only had Hillary Clinton’s people known that Eric Schmidt’s partner had visited me, but they had also elected to use her as a back channel. While WikiLeaks had been deeply involved in publishing the inner archive of the US State Department, the US State Department had, in effect, snuck into the WikiLeaks command center and hit me up for a free lunch. Two years later, in the wake of his early 2013 visits to China, North Korea, and Burma, it would come to be appreciated that the chairman of Google might be conducting, in one way or another, “back-channel diplomacy” for Washington. But at the time it was a novel thought.   I put it aside until February 2012, when WikiLeaks—along with over thirty of our international media partners—began publishing the Global Intelligence Files: the internal email spool from the Texas-based private intelligence firm Stratfor. One of our stronger investigative partners—the Beirut-based newspaper Al Akhbar—scoured the emails for intelligence on Jared Cohen.The people at Stratfor, who liked to think of themselves as a sort of corporate CIA, were acutely conscious of other ventures that they perceived as making inroads into their sector. Google had turned up on their radar. In a series of colorful emails they discussed a pattern of activity conducted by Cohen under the Google Ideas aegis, suggesting what the “do” in “think/do tank” actually means.   Cohen’s directorate appeared to cross over from public relations and “corporate responsibility” work into active corporate intervention in foreign affairs at a level that is normally reserved for states. Jared Cohen could be wryly named Google’s “director of regime change.” According to the emails, he was trying to plant his fingerprints on some of the major historical events in the contemporary Middle East. He could be placed in Egypt during the revolution, meeting with Wael Ghonim, the Google employee whose arrest and imprisonment hours later would make him a PR-friendly symbol of the uprising in the Western press. Meetings had been planned in Palestine and Turkey, both of which—claimed Stratfor emails—were killed by the senior Google leadership as too risky. Only a few months before he met with me, Cohen was planning a trip to the edge of Iran in Azerbaijan to “engage the Iranian communities closer to the border,” as part of Google Ideas’ project on “repressive societies.” In internal emails Stratfor’s vice president for intelligence, Fred Burton (himself a former State Department security official), wrote:   Google is getting WH [White House] and State Dept support and air cover. In reality they are doing things the CIA cannot do . . . [Cohen] is going to get himself kidnapped or killed. Might be the best thing to happen to expose Google’s covert role in foaming up-risings, to be blunt. The US Gov’t can then disavow knowledge and Google is left holding the shit-bag.   In further internal communication, Burton said his sources on Cohen’s activities were Marty Lev—Google’s director of security and safety—and Eric Schmidt himself. Looking for something more concrete, I began to search in WikiLeaks’ archive for information on Cohen. State Department cables released as part of Cablegate reveal that Cohen had been in Afghanistan in 2009, trying to convince the four major Afghan mobile phone companies to move their antennas onto US military bases. In Lebanon he quietly worked to establish an intellectual and clerical rival to Hezbollah, the “Higher Shia League.” And in London he offered Bollywood movie executives funds to insert anti-extremist content into their films, and promised to connect them to related networks in Hollywood.   Three days after he visited me at Ellingham Hall, Jared Cohen flew to Ireland to direct the “Save Summit,” an event cosponsored by Google Ideas and the Council on Foreign Relations. Gathering former inner-city gang members, right-wing militants, violent nationalists, and “religious extremists” from all over the world together in one place, the event aimed to workshop technological solutions to the problem of “violent extremism.” What could go wrong?   Cohen’s world seems to be one event like this after another: endless soirees for the cross-fertilization of influence between elites and their vassals, under the pious rubric of “civil society.” The received wisdom in advanced capitalist societies is that there still exists an organic “civil society sector” in which institutions form autonomously and come together to manifest the interests and will of citizens. The fable has it that the boundaries of this sector are respected by actors from government and the “private sector,” leaving a safe space for NGOs and nonprofits to advocate for things like human rights, free speech, and accountable government.   This sounds like a great idea. But if it was ever true, it has not been for decades. Since at least the 1970s, authentic actors like unions and churches have folded under a sustained assault by free-market statism, transforming “civil society” into a buyer’s market for political factions and corporate interests looking to exert influence at arm’s length. The last forty years has seen a huge proliferation of think tanks and political NGOs whose purpose, beneath all the verbiage, is to execute political agendas by proxy.   It is not just obvious neocon front groups like Foreign Policy Initiative. It also includes fatuous Western NGOs like Freedom House, where naïve but well-meaning career nonprofit workers are twisted in knots by political funding streams, denouncing non-Western human rights violations while keeping local abuses firmly in their blind spots. The civil society conference circuit—which flies developing-world activists across the globe hundreds of times a year to bless the unholy union between “government and private stakeholders” at geopoliticized events like the “Stockholm Internet Forum”—simply could not exist if it were not blasted with millions of dollars in political funding annually.   In 2011, the Alliance of Youth Movements rebranded as “Movements.org.” In 2012 Movements.org became a division of “Advancing Human Rights,” a new NGO set up by Robert L. Bernstein after he resigned from Human Rights Watch (which he had originally founded) because he felt it should not cover Israeli and US human rights abuses. Advancing Human Rights aims to right Human Rights Watch’s wrong by focusing exclusively on “dictatorships.” Cohen stated that the merger of his Movements.org outfit with Advancing Human Rights was “irresistible,” pointing to the latter’s “phenomenal network of cyberactivists in the Middle East and North Africa.” He then joined the Advancing Human Rights board, which also includes Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in occupied Afghanistan. In its present guise, Movements.org continues to receive funding from Gen Next, as well as from Google, MSNBC, and PR giant Edelman, which represents General Electric, Boeing, and Shell, among others.   Google Ideas is bigger, but it follows the same game plan. Glance down the speaker lists of its annual invite-only get-togethers, such as “Crisis in a Connected World” in October 2013. Social network theorists and activists give the event a veneer of authenticity, but in truth it boasts a toxic piñata of attendees: US officials, telecom magnates, security consultants, finance capitalists, and foreign-policy tech vultures like Alec Ross (Cohen’s twin at the State Department). At the hard core are the arms contractors and career military: active US Cyber Command chieftains, and even the admiral responsible for all US military operations in Latin America from 2006 to 2009. Tying up the package are Jared Cohen and the chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt. Now here’s a little background on Schmidt. Eric Schmidt was born in Washington, DC, where his father had worked as a professor and economist for the Nixon Treasury. He attended high school in Arlington, Virginia, before graduating with a degree in engineering from Princeton. In 1979 Schmidt headed out West to Berkeley, where he received his PhD before joining Stanford/Berkley spin-off Sun Microsystems in 1983. By the time he left Sun, sixteen years later, he had become part of its executive leadership.   Sun had significant contracts with the US government, but it was not until he was in Utah as CEO of Novell that records show Schmidt strategically engaging Washington’s overt political class. Federal campaign finance records show that on January 6, 1999, Schmidt donated two lots of $1,000 to the Republican senator for Utah, Orrin Hatch. On the same day Schmidt’s wife, Wendy, is also listed giving two lots of $1,000 to Senator Hatch. By the start of 2001 over a dozen other politicians and PACs, including Al Gore, George W. Bush, Dianne Feinstein, and Hillary Clinton, were on the Schmidts’ payroll, in one case for $100,000. By 2013, Eric Schmidt—who had become publicly over-associated with the Obama White House—was more politic. Eight Republicans and eight Democrats were directly funded, as were two PACs. That April, $32,300 went to the National Republican Senatorial Committee. A month later the same amount, $32,300, headed off to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Why Schmidt was donating exactly the same amount of money to both parties is a $64,600 question.   It was also in 1999 that Schmidt joined the board of a Washington, DC–based group: the New America Foundation, a merger of well-connected centrist forces (in DC terms). The foundation and its 100 staff serves as an influence mill, using its network of approved national security, foreign policy, and technology pundits to place hundreds of articles and op-eds per year. By 2008 Schmidt had become chairman of its board of directors. As of 2013 the New America Foundation’s principal funders (each contributing over $1 million) are listed as Eric and Wendy Schmidt, the US State Department, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Secondary funders include Google, USAID, and Radio Free Asia.   Schmidt’s involvement in the New America Foundation places him firmly in the Washington establishment nexus. The foundation’s other board members, seven of whom also list themselves as members of the Council on Foreign Relations, include Francis Fukuyama, one of the intellectual fathers of the neoconservative movement; Rita Hauser, who served on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board under both Bush and Obama; Jonathan Soros, the son of George Soros; Walter Russell Mead, a US security strategist and editor of the American Interest; Helene Gayle, who sits on the boards of Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, the Rockefeller Foundation, the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Policy Unit, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the White House Fellows program, and Bono’s ONE Campaign; and Daniel Yergin, oil geostrategist, former chair of the US Department of Energy’s Task Force on Strategic Energy Research, and author of The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power.   The chief executive of the foundation, appointed in 2013, is Jared Cohen’s former boss at the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, Anne-Marie Slaughter, a Princeton law and international relations wonk with an eye for revolving doors. She is everywhere at the time of writing, issuing calls for Obama to respond to the Ukraine crisis not only by deploying covert US forces into the country but also by dropping bombs on Syria—on the basis that this will send a message to Russia and China.41 Along with Schmidt, she is a 2013 attendee of the Bilderberg conference and sits on the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board.   There was nothing politically hapless about Eric Schmidt. I had been too eager to see a politically unambitious Silicon Valley engineer, a relic of the good old days of computer science graduate culture on the West Coast. But that is not the sort of person who attends the Bilderberg conference four years running, who pays regular visits to the White House, or who delivers “fireside chats” at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Schmidt’s emergence as Google’s “foreign minister”—making pomp and ceremony state visits across geopolitical fault lines—had not come out of nowhere; it had been presaged by years of assimilation within US establishment networks of reputation and influence.    On a personal level, Schmidt and Cohen are perfectly likable people. But Google’s chairman is a classic “head of industry” player, with all of the ideological baggage that comes with that role. Schmidt fits exactly where he is: the point where the centrist, liberal, and imperialist tendencies meet in American political life. By all appearances, Google’s bosses genuinely believe in the civilizing power of enlightened multinational corporations, and they see this mission as continuous with the shaping of the world according to the better judgment of the “benevolent superpower.” They will tell you that open-mindedness is a virtue, but all perspectives that challenge the exceptionalist drive at the heart of American foreign policy will remain invisible to them. This is the impenetrable banality of “don’t be evil.” They believe that they are doing good. And that is a problem.   Even when Google airs its corporate ambivalence publicly, it does little to dislodge these items of faith. The company’s reputation is seemingly unassailable. Google’s colorful, playful logo is imprinted on human retinas just under six billion times each day, 2.1 trillion times a year—an opportunity for respondent conditioning enjoyed by no other company in history. Caught red-handed last year making petabytes of personal data available to the US intelligence community through the PRISM program, Google nevertheless continues to coast on the goodwill generated by its “don’t be evil” doublespeak. A few symbolic open letters to the White House later and it seems all is forgiven. Even anti-surveillance campaigners cannot help themselves, at once condemning government spying but trying to alter Google’s invasive surveillance practices using appeasement strategies.   Nobody wants to acknowledge that Google has grown big and bad. But it has. Schmidt’s tenure as CEO saw Google integrate with the shadiest of US power structures as it expanded into a geographically invasive megacorporation. But Google has always been comfortable with this proximity. Long before company founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin hired Schmidt in 2001, their initial research upon which Google was based had been partly funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). And even as Schmidt’s Google developed an image as the overly friendly giant of global tech, it was building a close relationship with the intelligence community.   In 2003 the US National Security Agency (NSA) had already started systematically violating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) under its director General Michael Hayden. These were the days of the “Total Information Awareness” program. Before PRISM was ever dreamed of, under orders from the Bush White House the NSA was already aiming to “collect it all, sniff it all, know it all, process it all, exploit it all.” During the same period, Google—whose publicly declared corporate mission is to collect and “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”—was accepting NSA money to the tune of $2 million to provide the agency with search tools for its rapidly accreting hoard of stolen knowledge.   In 2004, after taking over Keyhole, a mapping tech startup cofunded by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and the CIA, Google developed the technology into Google Maps, an enterprise version of which it has since shopped to the Pentagon and associated federal and state agencies on multimillion-dollar contracts.54 In 2008, Google helped launch an NGA spy satellite, the GeoEye-1, into space. Google shares the photographs from the satellite with the US military and intelligence communities. In 2010, NGA awarded Google a $27 million contract for “geospatial visualization services.”   Around the same time, Google was becoming involved in a program known as the “Enduring Security Framework” (ESF), which entailed the sharing of information between Silicon Valley tech companies and Pentagon-affiliated agencies “at network speed.” Emails obtained in 2014 under Freedom of Information requests show Schmidt and his fellow Googler Sergey Brin corresponding on first-name terms with NSA chief General Keith Alexander about ESF. Reportage on the emails focused on the familiarity in the correspondence: “General Keith . . . so great to see you . . . !” Schmidt wrote. But most reports overlooked a crucial detail. “Your insights as a key member of the Defense Industrial Base,” Alexander wrote to Brin, “are valuable to ensure ESF’s efforts have measurable impact.”   In 2012, Google arrived on the list of top-spending Washington, DC, lobbyists—a list typically stalked exclusively by the US Chamber of Commerce, military contractors, and the petrocarbon leviathans. Google entered the rankings above military aerospace giant Lockheed Martin, with a total of $18.2 million spent in 2012 to Lockheed’s $15.3 million. Boeing, the military contractor that absorbed McDonnell Douglas in 1997, also came below Google, at $15.6 million spent, as did Northrop Grumman at $17.5 million.   If anything has changed since those words were written, it is that Silicon Valley has grown restless with that passive role, aspiring instead to adorn the “hidden fist” like a velvet glove. Writing in 2013, Schmidt and Cohen stated,    What Lockheed Martin was to the twentieth century, technology and cyber-security companies will be to the twenty-first.   This was one of many bold assertions made by Schmidt and Cohen in their book, which was eventually published in April 2013. Gone was the working title, “The Empire of the Mind”, replaced with “The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business”. By the time it came out, I had formally sought and received political asylum from the government of Ecuador, and taken refuge in its embassy in London. At that point I had already spent nearly a year in the embassy under police surveillance, blocked from safe passage out of the UK. Online I noticed the press hum excitedly about Schmidt and Cohen’s book, giddily ignoring the explicit digital imperialism of the title and the conspicuous string of pre-publication endorsements from famous warmongers like Tony Blair, Henry Kissinger, Bill Hayden and Madeleine Albright on the back.   Billed as a visionary forecast of global technological change, the book failed to deliver—failed even to imagine a future, good or bad, substantially different to the present. The book was a simplistic fusion of Fukuyama “end of history” ideology—out of vogue since the 1990s—and faster mobile phones. It was padded out with DC shibboleths, State Department orthodoxies, and fawning grabs from Henry Kissinger. The scholarship was poor—even degenerate. It did not seem to fit the profile of Schmidt, that sharp, quiet man in my living room. But reading on I began to see that the book was not a serious attempt at future history. It was a love song from Google to official Washington. Google, a burgeoning digital superstate, was offering to be Washington’s geopolitical visionary.   One way of looking at it is that it’s just business. For an American internet services monopoly to ensure global market dominance it cannot simply keep doing what it is doing, and let politics take care of itself. American strategic and economic hegemony becomes a vital pillar of its market dominance. What’s a megacorp to do? If it wants to straddle the world, it must become part of the original “don’t be evil” empire.   Whether it is being just a company or “more than just a company,” Google’s geopolitical aspirations are firmly enmeshed within the foreign-policy agenda of the world’s largest superpower. As Google’s search and internet service monopoly grows, and as it enlarges its industrial surveillance cone to cover the majority of the world’s population, rapidly dominating the mobile phone market and racing to extend internet access in the global south, Google is steadily becoming the internet for many people. Its influence on the choices and behavior of the totality of individual human beings translates to real power to influence the course of history.  If the future of the internet is to be Google, that should be of serious concern to people all over the world—in Latin America, East and Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, the former Soviet Union, and even in Europe—for whom the internet embodies the promise of an alternative to US cultural, economic, and strategic hegemony. I first became really interested in this side of Google back in 2013, when I read the entire transcript of the Schmidt interview of Assange. For more on the topic, see the post I published at the time: Highlights from the Incredible 2011 Interview of Wikileaks’ Julian Assange by Google’s Eric Schmidt. Finally, I think the perfect way to end this piece is with the following tweet: Google motto 2004: Don't be evilGoogle motto 2010: Evil is tricky to defineGoogle motto 2013: We make military robots — Brent Butt (@BrentButt) December 16, 2013

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04 августа, 16:23

Перспективные военные технологии в США

В США после объявления Третьей стратегии возмещения были пересмотрены многие военно-технологические программы. С целью оптимизации бюджета был сделан упор на разработку совершенно новых типов оружия, которые раньше не использовались, а некоторые являлись достоянием фантастики. Среди них такие, как рельсотрон и лазер.   Глава Военно-морского командования сказал в феврале 2015-го, что с нетерпением ждет следующего года, когда в море будет демонстрироваться электромагнитная рельсовая пушка. Выступая 5 февраля перед аудиторией на выставке вооружения «Naval Future Force Science & Technology Expo», которая проводилась под эгидой Управления военно-морских исследований и Американского общества инженеров ВМС, вице-адмирал Уильям Хиларидес назвал главной проблемой интеграцию нового электрического энергоемкого оружия на кораблях военно-морского флота: оружие, по его словам, должно быть такими, чтобы его можно было установить на ракетный эсминец.   Военно-морской флот провел испытания рельсотрона в 2016 году на высокоскоростном судне с грузоподъемностью в 600 тонн. Но по замыслу Хиаридеса эсминцу для такого оружия понадобится емкость всего 20 тонн.   У ВМС США есть уже и лазерная пушка с незамысловатым названием «Лазерная система вооружений» (Laser Weapon System − LaWS), которая представляет собой 30-киловаттное орудие, установленное на борту большого десантного корабля USS Понс.   LaWS может работать на нескольких параметрах питания. На низком уровне он может «ослепить» (термин военно-морских сил), расстроив работу вражеской электроники.   Включенный на полную мощность он может уничтожить беспилотный самолет или пробить отверстие в корабле.    Лазеры планируется использовать не только на море. 30-киловаттнная электрическая волоконно-лазерная оружейная система, разработанная Lockheed Martin, недавно успешно прошла полевые испытания, в ходе которых за считанные секунды был прожжен двигатель пикапа. Система ATHENA использует технику, называемую комбинацией спектрального луча, которая сводит множество волоконно-лазерных модулей в единый, мощный луч высокого качества, обеспечивая большую эффективность и летальность, чем несколько отдельных лазеров по 10 киловатт, используемых в эквивалентных системах.   В целом волоконно-оптические лазеры являются революционными технологиями направленной энергии, и данный тест представляет собой очередной шаг в обеспечении легких и надежных лазерных систем оружия для военных самолетов, вертолетов, кораблей и грузовых автомобилей.    История развития этого оружия в США проходила следующим образом.   В 1962 году журнал «Популярная механика» сообщил, что «волшебные кристаллы, называемые лазерами, могут стать основой для реальной научно-фантастического оружия, - лучом смерти»!   В этом же году газета «Washington Post» написала, что «ничто недавно так не волновано физиков, инженеров, промышленников и военных стратегов, как потенциал этих необычных лучей света, называемых лазерами». В 1962 году на лазеры в США уже было потрачено 50 млн долл. Предполагалось, что лазер может стать самым большим прорывом в области оружия после атомной бомбы.    В 1972 году «Post» сообщила обустройстве с лазерной основой «глаз Поппера», которое может ослепить пилотов в воздухе, фактически уничтожив часть их сетчатки глаза.   «Это странное оружие было придумало в начале шестидесятых годов в качестве средства уничтожения глаз вражеских солдат и офицеров с расстояния более мили, - сообщила «Post», редакция которой получила копию секретных исследований. - Гигантские импульсные лазеры были опробованы на глазах кролика и обезьяны, доведя их до точки кипения, вызывая кровотечение и фактический взрыв глазного яблока».   Разработка оружия, получившего название C-CLAW (combat laser assault weapon - боевой штурмовой лазер), продолжилась в 80-е годы минувшего столетия.    В 1980 году президент Рейган запустил программу Стратегической оборонной инициативы, согласно которой планировалось сбивать вражеские ракеты из космоса. Система включала бы наряду с разными футуристическими смертоносными устройствами рентгеновские лазеры и пучки субатомных частиц. Однако для такого оружия требовалось непомерно много электропитания, поэтому инициатива заглохла.   В 1995 году были обновлены Женевские конвенции по запрету использования ослепляющего лазерного оружия на международном уровне. Но во время вторжения в Ирак в 2003 году военные развернули «маломощные» лазеры, чтобы «предупреждать или временно выводить из строя отдельных лиц». Морским пехотинцам было дано разрешение на применение зеленого лазера, луч которого может временно ухудшить зрение человека, если направить его с расстояния около тысячи метров.   Средства передвижения будущего тоже являются приоритетом футуристических проектов. Например, спецназ США имеет большой интерес к беззвучным мотоциклам в качестве осторожного и быстрого транспортного средства, - причем не только такого, какой мы видели в фильме 1986 года «Подразделение Дельта» с Чаком Норрисом в главной роли, где он показывает различные трюки. Спецназ работает с концепцией электрического мотоцикла Zero MMX уже несколько лет, но недавно закрыл этот проект из-за проблем с зарядом батареи, так как она выдерживала всего два часа активного режима. Однако и для этой модели нашлось применение − это транспортное средство стало применяться полицией Лос-Анжелеса.    DARPA же выдало грант компании Logos Technologies на разработку гибридного мотоцикла, который может работать на нескольких видах топлива, а также поддерживать электродвигатель на расстоянии около 50 миль. Первый грант был небольшим: 150 тыс. долл. Но когда компания продвинулась в разработке, новый транш составил 1 млн долл. Прототип мотоцикла называется Silent Hawk; он основан на модели электрического гоночного мотоцикла фирмы Alta Motors. Гибридный двигатель является уникальной разработкой Logos Technologies, который делался для секретного проекта беспилотника.   Несмотря на различие в подходах к военным действиям, имеют место очевидные тенденции и запросы в отношении систем вооружений и сопутствующих технологий. Американское издание «Национальная оборона» предлагает десять наиболее затребованных направлений.   1. Полностью автономные боевые системы. 2. Новые инструменты для работы с большими базами данных. 3. Применение голограмм для тренингов и учений. 4. Супероснащенные солдаты. 5. Сверхзвуковые ракеты и космические корабли. 6. Дроны, конструируемые «по требованию». 7. Непобедимая техника типа "Гидры". 8. Неистощимые источники энергии. 9. Надежные средства связи, устойчивые к помехам. 10. Революционные низкозатратные военные корабли системы "Стэлс".   Этот список можно расширить. Так, в США делают ставку еще и на 3D-печать, боевые лазеры, рельсотрон, биотехнологии.   3D-печать первоначально являлась технологией для создания прототипов и шаблонов, таких как станки или топографические модели, но последние достижения, в том числе возможность производить более качественные продукты, используя различные материалы, открывают совершенно новые рубежи в быстрой разработке и производстве. «Технология 3D-печати имеет потенциал, с помощью которого можно уменьшить количество времени и денег, которые идут на производство новых самолетов. Все военные подрядчики, которые выпускают военные самолеты США, в настоящее время используют 3D- печать на скромном уровне, но значительное расширение этих усилий может способствовать переходу от производства частей к целым системам».   Соответственно, не только государства, но и различные группировки могут полагаться на 3D-принтеры для печати таких изделий, как детали или беспилотные летательные аппараты. Страны могут использовать 3D-принтеры или связанные с ними услуги в обход международных санкций.   Помимо того, что 3D-печать окажет существенное влияние на процессы производства и общества в целом в течение ближайших десятилетий (согласно докладу, сделанному Маккинси в 2013 году, 3D-печать может запустить экономические последствия от 230 до 550 млрд долл. в год к 2025 году), 3D-принтеры могут быть использованы для печати неметаллического оружия и компонентов оружия, которые очень сложно отследить.     Теперь рассмотрим некоторые перспективные разработки по видам вооруженных сил.   У солдат Армии США вскоре могут появиться солнечные панели на касках для зарядки батареи, питания экранов и другого оборудования, применяемого во время боя.   Команда Армии «Natick» работает над самолетом воздушной разведки размером с ладонь, который передает видео в реальном времени то, что происходит в соседней комнате или в коридоре. Такие устройства предназначены для работы в условиях низкой освещенности, в помещении или на открытом пространстве. Исследователи также изучают методы, которыми можно превратить солдат в генераторы путем сбора кинетической энергии с движений с помощью приборов, которые будут закреплены поверх униформы. Наконец, уже разработан новый усовершенствованный песочный планшет, на котором можно изображать рельеф местности. Этот гаджет даст возможность прямо в полевых условиях «лепить» местность в соответствии с задачами и адаптироваться к окружающим условиям.   В начале 2015 года Армия США начала заниматься разработкой открытой архитектуры, что позволит объединить пилотируемые и беспилотные платформы. Чтобы солдаты смогли легко управлять беспилотными активами, армия будет опираться на «агентов» с искусственным интеллектом. Эти «помощники», встроенные в беспилотные летательные аппараты и наземные транспортные средства, будут способны осуществлять смешанную инициативу, справляться с задачами соответствующего уровня, и контроль на основе поведения. Кроме того они будут проводить динамическое планирование и перепланирование, обрабатывать данные по координации, сотрудничеству и командным действиям, чтобы уменьшить нагрузку на операторов.   ВВС США имеет Научно-консультативный совет (НКС), независимый федеральный комитет, состоящий из 50 ученых и исследователей, которые каждый год исследуют ряд тем по запросу ВВС.   Вернер Дам, бывший главный научный сотрудник ВВС, который является председателем НКС, в одном из интервью сообщил, что исследования в 2015 году сосредоточены на вопросах кванта, беспилотных аппаратах и киберпространстве. Первая тема включает в себя квантовые системы и рассмотрение вопроса о том, как они могут быть использованы в ВВС. Это не только вопрос вычислений, − он еще открывает возможности быстрого шифрования и расшифровки данных, улучшения электро-оптических и инфракрасных датчиков, точности хронометража, которые могли бы дать измерения до фемтосекунд.   Второе исследование посвящено кибер-уязвимостям во встраиваемых системах на воздушных и космических платформах. В первую очередь речь идет о внутренних компьютерах для управления полетом или радаров, которые не подключены к Интернету, но все еще могут быть уязвимы через кибер-атаки по цепочке поставок или радиочастотные сигналы.   Третье исследование сосредоточено на беспилотных системах и на рассмотрении вопроса о том, как они могут быть улучшены, чтобы выжить в  условиях противоборства.    Перед НКС также поставлена задача: сбалансировать бюджетное сокращение на технологическое развитие, чтобы не отставать от конкурентов (таких как Китай).   В соответствии с предлагаемым бюджетом на 2016 год ВВС запросили 1,2 млрд долл. для ударного бомбардировщика дальней авиации. Планируется, что к середине 2020-х годов будет готово от 80 до 100 единиц с расчетной стоимостью одного самолета 550 млн долл. (хотя фактическая стоимость, скорее всего, будет гораздо выше).   LRS-B рассматривается как преемник бомбардировщика B-2 Stealth. Летом 2014 года ВВС объявили конкурс на разработку и строительство самолета. Northrop Grumman, разработчик B-2, в партнерстве с Boeing и Lockheed Martin теперь надеются создать новую машину.   Наряду с дозаправщиками F-35 и KC-46, LRS-B является одним из трех главных приоритетов ВВС для дальнейших исследований и приобретения.    По мнению Чака Хайгеля, данный дальний бомбардировщик является абсолютно необходимым в качестве сдерживающего фактора в ближайшие 25 лет.   В целом разработка LRS-B, наряду с F-35 и КС-46, нацелена на внедрение в ВВС США подхода «семейства систем», когда каждый агрегат может легко дополнить другие во время операций.   Хотя детали программы LRS-B не разглашаются, ожидается, что новый самолет будет иметь систему «Стелс» и способен нести ядерный заряд. Не исключено, что он станет первым беспилотным бомбардировщиком.    Гари Филлипс, старший советник по разведке Командования по тренингу и доктрине Армии США в одном из недавних интервью рассказал о трех основных тенденциях, которые будут связаны с будущими конфликтами. Кибер. «Я не думаю, что мы понимаем, насколько мы зависимы от кибертехнологий, - сказал Филлипс, отметив во время выступления, что у каждого присутствующего в данной аудитории есть смартфон. - Означает ли это, что мы не можем использовать Интернет? Нет... но это не значит, что мы не должны осознанно что-то делать».   Радиоэлектронная борьба. Как отмечают высшие должностные лица Минобороны, необходимость для США состоит в том, чтобы вернуться к вопросу радиоэлектронной борьбы, которой пренебрегали на протяжении многих лет, другие же страны уделяли ей внимание. Многие страны до сих пор не реализуют всего электромагнитного спектра, столь важного для боя.   Каскадные технологии. То, что считается мусором в одной стране, является сокровищем для другой, сказал Филлипс, указывая, что старые танки считаются неэффективными в США, но используется военными в других странах, где нет продвинутого оснащения. «Когда одна страна приобретает новую технологию, их старые технологии идут каскадом вниз», - сказал Филлипс. Далее он вспомнил, как один офицер рассказал ему про ужасный танк T-55, добавив, что он может выглядеть ужасно, если это не единственный танк на поле боя. Однако если против него выходят со стрелковым оружием, то T-55 будет неплохим выбором.   Дэвид Джонсон из корпорации RAND полагает, что в будущем основные угрозы будут связаны с тремя силами: 1) негосударственные и нерегулярные войска; 2) спонсируемые государством гибриды; 3) враги-государства. В ответ на это США пытаются достичь таких боевых возможностей, которые отвечали бы будущим вызовам. Среди них - мобильная проекция огневой мощи, а также разработка систем, которые могли бы искать и уничтожать ракетные комплексы дальней дистанции.    Еще одной проблемой для США являются преодоление технологического разрыва и адекватное распределение ресурсов. Американские эксперты отмечают, что старая модель «технологий двойного назначения», когда можно было выбрасывать на коммерческий рынок какие-то военные новшества, адаптированные к гражданским нуждам, уже не работает. Для решения этой задачи Министерство обороны придется научиться реагировать на систематической основе в новой среде. Полковник Хинот, являющийся также военным экспертом Совета по международным делам, пишет: «…становится все более очевидным, что мы должны брать на себя технологические инновации от неожиданных источников и неожиданными способами... Мы будем нуждаться в помощи Конгресса, чтобы обеспечить большую гибкость в приобретении и сотрудничестве с дружественными организациями по всему миру. Нам также понадобится помощь коммерческого сектора, чтобы увеличить наше понимание того, что возможно в быстро меняющемся мире. Прежде всего, мы будем нуждаться в помощи от наших молодых людей в министерстве - моряков, летчиков, морских пехотинцев и гражданских лиц – тех, кто хорошо подходит для преодоления разрыва между коммерческим и военным мирами. Так как эти молодые люди приходят к нам изо всех уголков нашего общества, они приносят истинные возможности "двойного назначения" - думать, подключаться, применять и внедрять инновации, что позволит нам оставаться сильными в постоянно меняющемся мире».   

30 июня, 18:26

Пентагон планирует разработать инструменты для борьбы с вирусами в Сети

Министерство обороны США намерено разработать инструменты для отслеживания и нейтрализации компьютерных вирусов в режиме реального времени.

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30 июня, 15:44

Против космического мусора: робот-уборщик с лапками геккона наведёт на орбите порядок

У космического мусора вскоре появится достойный противник: американские специалисты заканчивают разработку "робогеккона", который избавит орбиту от обломков космических кораблей. Супероружие нового уборщика – сухой клей. Но это далеко не все секреты учёных.

30 июня, 14:20

В США планируют разработать инструменты для отслеживания и нейтрализации вирусов

Управление перспективных исследовательских проектов Минобороны США (DARPA) опубликовало контракт на разработку инструментов для отслеживания и нейтрализации компьютерных вирусов. Читать далее

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24 июня, 07:30

Морфинг и самовосстанавливающиеся материалы

«Нетрадиционные материалы» - это одно из важнейших направлении развития технологий в военной и авиационно-космической отраслях. Материалам необходимо делать больше, чем просто служить опорной структурой - они должны быть «умными» материалами. Умные материалы представляют собой особый класс материалов, которые имеют способность работать в качестве исполнительного механизма и в качестве сенсора, обеспечивая необходимые механические деформации, связанные с изменениями температуры, электрического тока или магнитного поля. Поскольку композиционные материалы состоят из более чем одного материала и благодаря современному технологическому прогрессу сегодня возможно включение других материалов (или структур) в процесс обеспечения интегрированной функциональности

21 июня, 15:05

Армии будущего и трансформация военных технологий. Тренды и прогнозы экспертов

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Разработки робототехники и беспилотников, гиперзвукового и лазерного оружия, все более жестокая борьба в киберпространстве, использование биотехнологий в военных целях — армии будущего должны быть ко всему этому готовы. Технологии набирают силу и могут привести к самым быстрым и масштабным трансформациям в военном деле, которые мы когда-либо видели в человеческой истории. Поговорим о главных тенденциях и прогнозах экспертов.Гиперзвуковое оружие Гиперзвук — скорость более 5 Махов (6000 км/ч) — позволяет ракетам в кратчайший срок ударить практически по любой точке Земли. Если такая ракета может при этом маневрировать и имеет стелс-характеристики, то страна с такими ракетами может диктовать свою волю всем остальным. Пока у всех остальных нет таких ракет. Сейчас над гиперзвуковым оружием точно трудятся ученые и инженеры России, США, Китая. Рассматривается, например, вариант выведения ракеты в космос и разгон ее там до сверхзвуковых скоростей, после чего она вновь устремляется к земле. Мы сейчас переживаем, по сути, революцию в военном деле. Если традиционное оружие было основано на кинетическом, химическом и тепловом факторах воздействия на противника, то сейчас появляется оружие совершенно нового типа. Плюс — новые скорости — гиперзвук, освоение которого является сложнейшей многоплановой задачей.

19 июня, 12:10

Экзоскелеты используют для демонтажа АЭС

Власти японской префектуры Фукуи, на территории которой расположено сразу несколько атомных электростанций, чей демонтаж состоится в ближайшие годы, намерены обеспечить работников, участвующих в разборе АЭС, роботизированными экзоскелетами.

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19 июня, 11:49

Как Google делает первую в мире умную одежду

Через пару месяцев в продажу поступит первая умная куртка от Google и Levi’s. Новая джинсовка обещает перевернуть наши представления об одежде: в нее буквально будут вплетены технологии. Она научится понимать ваши жесты и помогать в повседневной жизни, как сейчас это делают smart-часы и телефоны. За проект Jacquard отвечает выходец из России Иван Пупырев, а ткань для умной одежды шьют на стареньком японском заводике с 80-летним директором, который общается с заказчиками по факсу. Бандеролька собрала все известные подробности о новом продукте и Wearable Technology от Google ➙ Читать дальше →

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14 июня, 17:35

DARPA увеличит эффективность процессоров в 1000 раз

Рост потребности в увеличении вычислительной мощности заставляет производителей придумывать все новые типы и способы вычислений. И все же развитие технологий не всегда идет нога в ногу с аппаратной частью. Исправить это упущение взялись ученые из DARPA в рамках проекта по Управлению перспективными исследовательскими программами. Их проект, на который выделено 80 миллионов долларов США, рассчитан на […]

13 июня, 04:01

EXPOSED: The real creator of Bitcoin is likely the NSA as One World Currency

(GLOBALINTELHUB.COM) 6/12/17 — Bitcoin has surged to all time highs, urging us to compose this article on a hot trending topic that we’ve wanted to compose for a long time.  Our parent company, Elite E Services, is primarily a FX development company – so we get asked about Bitcoin quite a bit.  Life is a deteriorating asset so let’s get right down to it.  Who created Bitcoin, and why?  Before we get started just a quick note to all those that haven’t read Splitting Pennies – which is a great primer for those interested in Bitcoin and where it will go next. The creator of Bitcoin is officially a name, “Satoshi Nakamoto” – very few people believe that it was a single male from Japan.  For more detailed analysis about who is Satoshi Nakamoto see this article and the official Wikipedia entry.  In the early days of Bitcoin development this name is associated with original key-creation and communications on message boards, and then the project was officially handed over to others at which point this Satoshi character never appeared again (Although from time to time someone will come forward saying they are the real Satoshi Nakamoto, and then have their posts deleted). Bitcoin could very well be the ‘one world currency’ that conspiracy theorists have been talking about for some time.  It’s a kill five birds with one stone solution – not only is Bitcoin an ideal one world currency, it allows law enforcement a perfect record of all transactions on the network.  It states very clearly on bitcoin.org (the official site) in big letters “Bitcoin is not anonymous” : Some effort is required to protect your privacy with Bitcoin. All Bitcoin transactions are stored publicly and permanently on the network, which means anyone can see the balance and transactions of any Bitcoin address. However, the identity of the user behind an address remains unknown until information is revealed during a purchase or in other circumstances. This is one reason why Bitcoin addresses should only be used once. Always remember that it is your responsibility to adopt good practices in order to protect your privacy. Read more about protecting your privacy. Another advantage of Bitcoin is the problem of Quantitative Easing – the Fed (and thus, nearly all central banks in the world) have painted themselves in a corner, metaphorically speaking.  QE ‘solved’ the credit crisis, but QE itself does not have a solution.  Currently all currencies are in a race to zero – competing with who can print more money faster.  Central Bankers who are in systemic analysis, their economic advisors, know this.  They know that the Fiat money system is doomed, all what you can read online is true (just sensationalized) – it’s a debt based system based on nothing.  That system was created, originally in the early 1900’s and refined during Breton Woods followed by the Nixon shock (This is all explained well in Splitting Pennies).  In the early 1900’s – there was no internet!  It is a very archaic system that needs to be replaced, by something modern, electronic, based on encryption.  Bitcoin!  It’s a currency based on ‘bits’ – but most importantly, Bitcoin is not the ‘one world currency’ per se, but laying the framework for larger cryptocurrency projects.  In the case of central banks, who control the global monetary system, that would manifest in ‘Settlement Coin’ : Two resources available almost exclusively to central banks could soon be opened up to additional users as a result of a new digital currency project designed by a little-known startup and Swiss bank UBS.  One of those resources is the real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system used by central banks (it’s typically reserved for high-value transactions that need to be settled instantly), and the other is central bank-issued cash.  Using the Utility Settlement Coin (USC) unveiled today, the five-member consortium that has sprung up around the project aims to help central banks open-up access to these tools to more customers. If successful, USC has the potential to create entirely new business models built on instant settling and easy cash transfers.  In interview, Robert Sams, founder of London-based Clearmatics, said his firm initially worked with UBS to build the network, and that BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank, ICAP and Santander are only just the first of many future members. In case you didn’t read Splitting Pennies or don’t already know, the NSA/CIA often works for big corporate clients, just as it has become a cliche that the Iraq war was about big oil, the lesser known hand in global politics is the banking sector.  In other words, Bitcoin may have very well been ‘suggested’ or ‘sponsored’ by a banker, group of banks, or financial services firm.  But the NSA (as we surmise) was the company that got the job done.  And probably, if it was in fact ‘suggested’ or ‘sponsored’ by a private bank, they would have been waiting in the wings to develop their own Bitcoin related systems or as in the above “Settlement Coin.”  So the NSA made Bitcoin – so what? It isn’t really important who or why created Bitcoin as the how – and the how is open source, so experts have dug through the code bit by bit (pun intended).  If the who or why isn’t important – why did we write an article about it? The FX markets currently represent the exchange between ‘major’ and ‘minor’ currencies.  In the future, why not too they will include ‘cryptocurrencies’ – we’re already seeing the BTC/EUR pair popup on obscure brokers.  When BTC/USD and BTC/EUR are available at major FX banks and brokers, we can say – from a global FX perspective, that Bitcoin has ‘arrived.’  Many of us remember the days when the synthetic “Euro” currency was a new artificial creation that was being adopted, although the Euro project is thousands of degrees larger than the Bitcoin project.  But unlike the Euro, Bitcoin is being adopted at a near exponential rate by demand (Many merchants resisted the switch to Euros claiming it was eating into their profit margins and they were right!). And to answer the question as to why Elite E Services is not actively involved in Bitcoin  the answer is that previously, you can’t trade Bitcoin.  Now we’re starting to see obscure brokers offering BTC/EUR but the liquidity is sparse and spreads are wacky – that will all change.  When we can trade BTC/USD just like EUR/USD you can bet that EES and a host of other algorithmic FX traders will be all over it!  It will be an interesting trade for sure, especially with all the volatility, the cross ‘pairs’ – and new cryptocurrencies.  For the record, for brokers- there’s not much difference adding a new symbol (currency pair) in MT4 they just need liquidity, which has been difficult to find. So there’s really nothing revolutionary about Bitcoin, it’s just a logical use of technology in finance considering a plethora of problems faced by any central bank who creates currency.  And there are some interesting caveats to Bitcoin as compared to major currencies; Bitcoin is a closed system (there are finite Bitcoin) – this alone could make such currencies ‘anti-inflationary’ and at the least, hold their value (the value of the USD continues to deteriorate slowly over time as new M3 introduced into the system.)  But we need to pay Another thing that Bitcoin has done is set the stage for a cryptocurrency race; even Google is investing in Bitcoin alternatives: Google Ventures and China-based IDG Capital Partners are the second group of tech investors in two months to place a bet on OpenCoin, the company behind the currently-in-beta Ripple open-source payments protocol.  OpenCoin announced today that it had closed an additional round of funding — the amount wasn’t specified — with Google Ventures and IDG Capital Partners. (Hat tip to GigaOM for the news.)  Last month, OpenCoin wrapped up an earlier angel round of funding from another high-profile group of technology VCs: Andreessen Horowitz, FF Angel IV, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Vast Ventures and the Bitcoin Opportunity Fund. Here’s some interesting theories about who or whom is Satoshi: A corporate conglomerate    Some researchers proposed that the name ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ was derived from a combination of tech companies consisting of Samsung, Toshiba, Nakayama, and Motorola. The notion that the name was a pseudonym is clearly true and it is doubtful they reside in Japan given the numerous forum posts with a distinctly English dialect. Craig Steven Wright This Australian entrepreneur claims to be the Bitcoin creator and provided proof.  But soon after, his offices were raided by the tax authorities on ‘an unrelated matter’ Soon after these stories were published, authorities in Australia raided the home of Mr Wright. The Australian Taxation Office said the raid was linked to a long-running investigation into tax payments rather than Bitcoin.Questioned about this raid, Mr Wright said he was cooperating fully with the ATO.“We have lawyers negotiating with them over how much I have to pay,” he said. Other potential creators Nick Szabo, and many others, have been suggested as potential Satoshi – but all have denied it: The New Yorker published a piece pointing at two possible Satoshis, one of whom seemed particularly plausible: a cryptography graduate student from Trinity College, Dublin, who had gone on to work in currency-trading software for a bank and published a paper on peer-to-peer technology. The other was a Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute, Vili Lehdonvirta. Both made denials.Fast Company highlighted an encryption patent application filed by three researchers – Charles Bry, Neal King and Vladimir Oks­man – and a circumstantial link involving textual analysis of it and the Satoshi paper which found the phrase “…computationally impractical to reverse” in both. Again, it was flatly denied. THE WINNER: It was the NSA The NSA has the capability, the motive, and the operational capacity – they have teams of cryptographers, the biggest fastest supercomputers in the world, and they see the need.  Whether instructed by their friends at the Fed, in cooperation with their owners (i.e. Illuminati banking families), or as part of a DARPA project – is not clear and will never be known (unless a whistleblower comes forward).  In fact, the NSA employs some of the best mathematicians and cryptographers in the world.  Few know about their work because it’s a secret, and this isn’t the kind of job you leave to start your own cryptography company. But the real smoking Gun, aside from the huge amount of circumstantial evidence and lack of a credible alternative, is the 1996 paper authored by NSA “HOW TO MAKE A MINT: THE CRYPTOGRAPHY OF ANONYMOUS ELECTRONIC CASH” available here. This author agrees: The NSA was one of the first organizations to describe a Bitcoin-like system. About twelve years before Satoshi Nakamotopublished his legendary white paper to the Metzdowd.com cryptography mailing list, a group of NSA information security researchers published a paper entitled How to Make a Mint: the Cryptography of Anonymous Electronic Cash in two prominent places, the first being an MIT mailing list and the second being much more prominent, The American Law Review (Vol. 46, Issue 4 ). The paper outlines a system very much like Bitcoin in which secure financial transactions are possible through the use of a decentralized network the researchers refer informally to as a Bank. They list four things as indispensable in their proposed network: privacy, user identification (protection against impersonation), message integrity (protection against tampering/substitution of transaction information – that is, protection against double-spending), and nonrepudiation (protection against later denial of a transaction – a blockchain!). “We will assume throughout the remainder of this paper that some authentication infrastructure is in place, providing the four security features.” (Section 1.2) It is evident that SHA-256, the algorithm Satoshi used to secure Bitcoin, was not available because it came about in 2001. However, SHA-1 would have been available to them, having been published in 1993. Why would the NSA want to do this?  One simple reason: Control.   As we explain in Splitting Pennies – Understanding Forex – the primary means the US dominates the world is through economic policy, although backed by bombs.  And the critical support of the US Dollar is primarily, the military.  The connection between the military and the US Dollar system is intertwined inextricably.  There are thousands of great examples only one of them being how Iraq switched to the Euro right before the Army’s invasion.  In October 2000 Iraq insisted on dumping the US dollar – ‘the currency of the enemy’ – for the more multilateral euro.  The changeover was announced on almost exactly the same day that the euro reached its lowest ebb, buying just $0.82, and the G7 Finance Ministers were forced to bail out the currency. On Friday the euro had reached $1.08, up 30 per cent from that time. Almost all of Iraq’s oil exports under the United Nations oil-for-food programme have been paid in euros since 2001. Around 26 billion euros (£17.4bn) has been paid for 3.3 billion barrels of oil into an escrow account in New York.  The Iraqi account, held at BNP Paribas, has also been earning a higher rate of interest in euros than it would have in dollars. The point here is there are a lot of different types of control.  The NSA monitors and collects literally all electronic communications; internet, phone calls, everything.  They listen in even to encrypted voice calls with high powered microphones, devices like cellphones equipped with recording devices (See original “Clipper” chip).  It’s very difficult to communicate on planet Earth in private, without the NSA listening.  So it is only logical that they would also want complete control of the financial system, including records of all electronic transactions, which Bitcoin provides. Could there be an ‘additional’ security layer baked into the Blockchain that is undetectable, that allows the NSA to see more information about transactions, such as network location data?  It wouldn’t be so far fetched, considering their past work, such as Xerox copy machines that kept a record of all copies made (this is going back to the 70’s, now it’s common).  Of course security experts will point to the fact that this layer remains invisible, but if this does exist – of course it would be hidden. More to the point about the success of Bitcoin – its design is very solid, robust, manageable – this is not the work of a student.  Of course logically, the NSA employs individuals, and ultimately it is the work of mathematicians, programmers, and cryptographers – but if we deduce the most likely group capable, willing, and motivated to embark on such a project, the NSA is the most likely suspect.  Universities, on the other hand, didn’t product white papers like this from 1996. Another question is that if it was the NSA, why didn’t they go through more trouble concealing their identity?  I mean, the internet is rife with theories that it was in fact the NSA/CIA and “Satoshi Nakamoto” means in Japanese “Central Intelligence” – well there are a few answers for this, but to be congruent with our argument, it fits their profile. Where could this ‘hidden layer’ be?  Many think it could be in the public SHA-256, developed by NSA (which ironically, was the encryption algorithm of choice for Bitcoin – they could have chosen hundreds of others, which arguably are more secure): Claims that the NSA created Bitcoin have actually been flung around for years. People have questioned why it uses the SHA-256 hash function, which was designed by the NSA and published by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). The fact that the NSA is tied to SHA-256 leads some to assume it’s created a backdoor to the hash function that no one has ever identified, which allows it to spy on Bitcoin users. “If you assume that the NSA did something to SHA-256, which no outside researcher has detected, what you get is the ability, with credible and detectable action, they would be able to forge transactions. The really scary thing is somebody finds a way to find collisions in SHA-256 really fast without brute-forcing it or using lots of hardware and then they take control of the network,” cryptography researcher Matthew D. Green of Johns Hopkins University said in a previous interview. Then there’s the question of “Satoshi Nakamoto” – if it was in fact the NSA, why not just claim ownership of it?  Why all the cloak and dagger?  And most importantly, if Satoshi Nakamoto is a real person, and not a group that wants to remain secret – WHY NOT come forward and claim your nearly $3 Billion worth of Bitcoin (based on current prices). Did the NSA create Satoshi Nakamoto?  The CIA Project, a group dedicated to unearthing all of the government’s secret projects and making them public, hasreleased a video claiming Bitcoin is actually the brainchild of the US National Security Agency. The video entitled CIA Project Bitcoin: Is Bitcoin a CIA or NSA project? claims that there is a lot of compelling evidences that proves that the NSA is behind Bitcoin. One of the main pieces of evidence has to do with the name of the mysterious man, woman or group behind the creation of Bitcoin, “Satoshi Nakamoto”. According to the CIA Project, Satoshi Nakamoto means “Central Intelligence” in Japanese. Doing a quick web search, you’ll find out that Satoshi is usually a name given for baby boys which means “clear thinking, quick witted, wise,” while Nakamoto is a Japanese surname which means ‘central origin’ or ‘(one who lives) in the middle’ as people with this surname are found mostly in the Ryukyu islands which is strongly associated with the Ry?ky? Kingdom, a highly centralized kingdom that originated from the Okinawa Islands. So combining Nakamoto and Satoshi can be loosely interpreted as “Central Intelligence”. Is it so really hard to believe?  This is from an organization that until the Snowden leaks, secretly recorded nearly all internet traffic on the network level by splicing fiber optic cables.  They even have a deep-sea splicing mission that will cut undersea cables and install intercept devices.  Making Bitcoin wouldn’t even be a big priority at NSA. More from the Telegraph: Certainly, anonymity is one of the biggest myths about Bitcoin. In fact, there has never been a more easily traceable method of payment. Every single transaction is recorded and retained permanently in the public “blockchain”.  The idea that the NSA would create an anarchic, peer-to-peer crypto-currency in the hope that it would be adopted for nefarious industries and become easy to track would have been a lot more difficult to believe before the recent leaks by Edward Snowden and the revelation that billions of phone calls had been intercepted by the US security services. We are now in a world where we now know that the NSA was tracking the pornography habits of Islamic “radicalisers” in order to discredit them and making deals with some of the world’s largest internet firms to insert backdoors into their systems. And we’re not the only ones who believe this, in Russia they ‘know’ this to be true without sifting through all the evidence. A Russian lawmaker claims that Bitcoin is a CIA conspiracy [to finance terrorism]: Nonetheless, Svintsov’s remarks count as some of the more extreme to emanate from the discussion. Svintsov told Russian broadcast news agency REGNUM:“All these cryptocurrencies [were] created by US intelligence agencies just to finance terrorism and revolutions.”Svintsov reportedly went on to explain how cryptocurrencies have started to become a payment method for consumer spending, and cited reports that terrorist organisations are seeking to use the technology for illicit means. Let’s elaborate on what is ‘control’ as far as the NSA is concerned.  Bitcoin is like the prime mover.  All future cryptocurrencies, no matter how snazzy or functional – will never have the same original keys as Bitcoin.  It created a self-sustained, self-feeding bubble – and all that followed.  It enabled law enforcement to collect a host of criminals on a network called “Silk Road” and who knows what other operations that happened behind the scenes.  Because of pesky ‘domestic’ laws, the NSA doesn’t control the internet in foreign countries.  But by providing a ‘cool’ currency as a tool, they can collect information from around the globe and like Facebook, users provide this information voluntarily.  It’s the same strategy they use like putting the listening device in the chips at the manufacturing level, which saves them the trouble of wiretapping, electronic eavesdropping, and other risky methods that can fail or be blocked.  It’s impossible to stop a cellphone from listening to you, for example (well not 100%, but you have to physically rewire the device).  Bitcoin is the same strategy on a financial level – by using Bitcoin you’re giving up your private transactional information.  By itself, it would not identify you per se (as the blockchain is ‘anonymous’ but the transactions are there in the public register, so combined with other information, which the NSA has a LOT OF – they can triangulate their information more precisely. That’s one problem solved with Bitcoin – another being the economic problem of QE (although with a Bitcoin market cap of $44 Billion, that’s just another day at the Fed buying MBS) – and finally, it squashes the idea of sovereignty although in a very, very, very subtle way.  You see, a country IS a currency.  Until now, currency has always been tied to national sovereignty (although the Fed is private, USA only has one currency, the US Dollar, which is exclusively American).  Bitcoin is a super-national currency, or really – the world’s first one world currency. Of course, this is all great praise for the DOD which seems to have a 50 year plan – but after tens of trillions spent we’d hope that they’d be able to do something better than catching terrorists (which mostly are artificial terrorists). In the meantime, if you want to get a head start on the game before BTC/USD starts being offered by major brokers, checkout FC Trading Academy or get the book Splitting Pennies – Understanding Forex Share this:

28 мая 2016, 06:00

Маскосрач нешуточный!

Вот такое было начало:  "Макаронный монстр Илона Маска, или Закономерный итог авантюры" Вот такое продолжение: В защиту макаронного монстра Илона Маска замолвим слово

28 февраля 2016, 19:51

Мозги на прокачку

Многое из того, что здесь написано, уже показывали в теленовостях. В интересное время живём. Совсем скоро появятся сверхчеловеки, новый вид гомо сапиенс. Ну и настоящие зомбаки, конечно. А ваш мозг станет открытой книгой для правительства и преступников.Оригинал взят у lexpartizan в Мозги в пакетике.Мозги в пакетике.Несмотря на мой скептицизм по отношению к нейромозговым интерфейсам, направление стремительно развивается.И намерение DARPA создать новый интерфейс мозг-компьютер и даже читать мысли уже не выглядит фантастикой.Хотя современные неинвазивные датчики ЭКГ были и остаются всего-навсего попыткой судить о вычислениях по температуре процессора. Однако вживляемые электроды способны судить о активности отдельных нейронов. Что совсем уже другое дело и другая точность.Считывание информации с мозга.Например, сотрудник Ицхака Фрида — врач и нейрофизиолог Родриго Киан Кирога — демонстрировал испытуемым на экране своего ноутбука подборку широко известных зрительных образов, среди которых были как популярные личности, так и знаменитые сооружения, вроде оперного театра в Сиднее. При показе этих картинок в мозге наблюдалась электрическая активность отдельных нейронов, причем разные образы «включали» разные нервные клетки. Например, был установлен «нейрон Дженнифер Энистон», который «выстреливал» всякий раз, когда на экране возникал портрет этой актрисы романтического амплуа. Какое бы фото Энистон ни демонстрировали испытуемому, нейрон «ее имени» не подводил. Более того, он срабатывал и тогда, когда на экране появлялись кадры из известного сериала, в котором актриса снималась, пусть даже ее самой в кадре не было. А вот при виде девушек, лишь похожих на Дженнифер, нейрон молчал.Это означает, что по активности этого нейрона можно определить, когда пациент фапаетдумает нао Дженифер Энистон.А это уже чтение мыслей и никак иначе. Оно возможно. И достижимо.А совсем недавно учёные научились даже распознавать картинки, которые показывают пациенту. Нет, к сожалению, растровое изображение из мозга не вытянули, а всего лишь навсего смогли отличить одну картинку от сотни других, но и то хлеб.А тем временем, во время обычной операции на мозге пациенту наклеили плёнку из электродов, что позволило точнее управлять протезом.Наличие 128 крошечных электродов на пленке позволили ученым увидеть, какие именно части мозга пациента задействовались в работе, когда человека просили совершить сгибательные движения каждым пальцем руки, один за одним.Данная методика теоретически может позволить управлять роботами или военной техникой со скоростью мысли, без всяких интерфейсов, ручек, рычагов управления и тд. Чем и занята DARPA.Методы воздействия на мозг.Однако, мозг можно не только читать, но в него можно и писать.Например, древний эксперимент(ещё в 2007 году), проведенный в США, позволил ученым приблизиться к созданию нового типа протезов глаза, предназначенного для более широкого круга больных, чем активно разрабатываемые сейчас протезы сетчатки. Электроды, вживленные исследователями в таламус мозга обезьян, смогли воспроизвести воздействие света на зрительный анализатор. Сотрудники Медицинской школы Гарварда обучили подопытных обезьян следить за перемещениями световой точки на экране. Затем в латеральное коленчатое тело таламуса головного мозга животных вживляли один или два электрода, имитирующих сигнал, поступающий в таламус от светочувствительных рецепторов сетчатки.По данным ученых, при стимуляции зрительных центров электрическими импульсами зрачки обезьян перемещались точно так же, как если бы они продолжали следить за реальной световой точкой, хотя на самом деле никакой точки перед их глазами не было.На следующем этапе исследования ученые планируют аналогичным образом смоделировать движения сразу нескольких точек. Это позволило бы формировать в зрительных центрах образы вертикальных и горизонтальных линий.А ещё более древние эксперименты (2003 год) позволяли справляться с хронической болью. Электроды, внедрённые в мозг, помогают пациентам справиться с непрекращающейся болью.Современные исследования же утверждают, что можно не только лечить болезни, но и "прокачать параметры".Например, память.В США рассказали о промежуточных результатах эксперимента по вживлению электродов в мозг — представители Агентства передовых оборонных исследовательских проектов (DARPA) утверждают, что им удалось улучшить память участников опыта.Во время операции ученые имплантировали небольшие массивы электродов в области мозга, участвующие в формировании простых воспоминаний - событий, мест, объектов. Кроме того, электроды вживили в зоны мозга, участвующие в формировании пространственной памяти и навигации. В эксперименте участвовали несколько десятков человек, страдающих неврологическими расстройствами. В итоге исследователи смогли не только записать и интерпретировать сигналы, в виде которых хранятся воспоминания в мозге, но и улучшить возможность пациентов запоминать целые списки объектов, пишет Business insider.Память можно также улучшить и посредством магнитного воздействия.Учёные Северо-западного университета США, кажется, нашли способ увеличить производительность памяти у здоровых людей с помощью неинвазивной стимуляции определённых областей мозга электромагнитными импульсами. Данное исследование проливает свет на нейронные сети, которые хранят воспоминания, и может привести к созданию терапии для людей с дефицитом памяти.Транскраниальная магнитная стимуляция (ТМС) становится всё более популярным способом лечения психических расстройств, мигрени, депрессии. Учёные ещё не понимают, как это работает, но эффект очевиден.После прохождения добровольцами базового теста памяти, команда начала сессии стимуляций мозга: по 20 минут ежедневно. Во время эксперимента учёные показывали добровольцам пары из фотографий лиц людей и подписанных под ними слов, которые испытуемые должны были запомнить. Через несколько секунд учёные демонстрировали те же самые снимки без подписей и просили участников эксперимента вспомнить связанные с ними слова. Перед каждым сеансом исследователи прикрепляли к темени каждого добровольца коробочку, которая в половине случаев содержала магнитный стимулятор (в другой половине случаев она была муляжом, чтобы различать самовнушение и эффективность работы прибора). Устройство включали на 20 минут ежедневно, магнитные импульсы посылались к задней части черепа. Расположение прибора несколько отличалось у всех испытуемых, так как у каждого человека связи между теменной корой и гиппокампом уникальны. Через 5 дней участникам дали 24-часовой перерыв в стимуляции и снова провели тестирование памяти. Люди, получившие ТМС, улучшили свои показатели на 20-25%, а вот те, кого "стимулировали" муляжом, не продемонстрировали никакого улучшения.Сканирование мозга также показало увеличение количества связей между гиппокампом и теменной корой (на 17-48%). Причём чем больше эти два региона работали вместе, тем лучше люди выполняли тест.То есть, мы видим стимуляцию образования новых связей в мозгу.Электроды необязательны, обычно используют электростимуляцию, хотя электроды действуют более избирательно.Кстати, это была догадка, пока я писал статью. Чуть позже, в процессе написания поста, я нашёл подтверждение своей догадке.Британские учёные выяснили, что при неинвазивной электрической стимуляции одного отдела головного мозга могут пострадать функции другого. К примеру, таким образом можно улучшить память и способность к обучению, но умение мгновенно реагировать на обстоятельства заметно ухудшится. Изначально целью эксперимента было улучшить память и внимание у пациентов, а также помочь парализованным людям восстановить речь и моторные функции. В процессе работы учёные заметили, что некоторые отделы мозга добровольцев стали работать хуже. Ежедневно на протяжение пяти дней добровольцам показывали ряд цифр и фигур им соответствующих и спрашивали, какой из знаков соответствует большему числу. С этим заданием пациенты справлялись быстро. На шестой день их попросили определить, какая из фигур большего размера. Те, кто проявил лучшие показатели в тесте на память, справились с последним тестом хуже всех.Рой Коэн Кэдош (Roi Cohen Kadosh), нейробиолог из Оксфордского университета, говорит: "Это исследование напомнило нам о том, что у всего есть своя цена".Однако, электроды могут действовать изирательно и не задевать другие участки мозга, так что я всё же перечислю эти исследования.Обучаемость.Команда неврологов из университета Вандербильда, которую возглавили Роберт Рейнхарт (Robert Reinhart) и Джеффри Вудман (Geoffrey Woodman) создали настоящую "думательную шапочку". Учёные заметили, что транскраниальная стимуляция мозга постоянным током (когда воздействие осуществляется через кости черепа) позволяет избирательно манипулировать способностями человека к обучению, и что эти способности можно улучшать или ухудшать в зависимости от направления электрического тока, проходящего через голову испытуемого. При анодной стимуляции (от макушки к одной из щёк) у 75% испытуемых всплеск отрицательного напряжения медиальной лобной коры был в два раза выше, чем в первоначальном случае (до стимуляции). На поведении это также сказалось: по мере выполнения задания люди делали значительно меньше ошибок, чем после мнимой стимуляции. Катодная стимуляция (от щёк к макушке), в свою очередь, дала ровно противоположный эффект. Всплеск был крайне низок, а добровольцы делали массу ошибок и дольше обучались. Сами испытуемые ничего не замечали. Эффект от стимуляции длился, к сожалению, около 5 часов.Способности к математике.В 2007 году Рой Коэн Кадош (Roi Cohen Kadosh) и его команда из Оксфордского университета выяснили, какая область мозга виновата в появлении дискалькулии (нарушении способности к счёту) у 20% людей.В 2010 году учёные представили методику транскраниальной стимуляции постоянным током, которая помогла людям запоминать и анализировать различные символы и цифры. О своём исследовании специалисты написали в статье в журнале Current Biology.Позднее в другом исследовании та же команда показала, что стимуляция мозга улучшает работу одних отделов за счёт других.Сегодня Коэн Кадош и его коллеги представили аналогичную методику, которая поможет людям улучшить их математические навыки. Немаловажно, что эффект от процедуры довольно длительный.Для испытания технологии был проведён эксперимент с участием 25 добровольцев, чьи способности к математике были изначально одинаковыми, а средний возраст был порядка 20 лет. Первой группе (шесть мужчин и семь женщин) провели транскраниальную стимуляцию беспорядочным шумом (TRNS), поместив электроды на поверхность черепов людей. Электроды в течение 20 минут посылали флуктуирующий сигнал префронтальной коре головного мозга, стимулируя работу её нейронов.Вторая группа (шесть мужчин и шесть женщин) была контрольная. Участникам эксперимента также прикрепили к черепу электроды, но сигнал посылался на очень короткий срок (о чём они, естественно, не знали).Процедура проводилась каждый день на протяжении пяти дней. По окончании сеансов представители первой группы показали намного лучшие результаты тестирования, чем добровольцы из контрольной группы. Если в первый день разницы было почти не видно, то в последующие дни они производили вычисления вдвое быстрее и в пять раз лучше запоминали различные символы и таблицы.Через полгода после последней процедуры тестирование повторили. Добровольцы из первой группы по-прежнему справлялись с заданиями быстрее, но теперь уже на 28%.Личные качества.Упорство и желание добиться поставленных целей перед лицом невзгод − замечательная черта характера. Но, как оказалось, её можно быстро воспитать в себе искусственным путём: всего лишь стимулируя крошечный раздел головного мозга.Чувствительность кожи.Сенсорное восприятие можно "прокачать" с помощью ультразвука. В отличии от электростимуляции, этот способ более локален и, в отличии от электродов, неинвазивен(не нужно вскрывать черепушку).Интересно, что именно этот тест показал снижение чувствительности после воздействия ультразвуком, но последующие эксперименты продемонстрировали противоположные результаты. В ходе второго и третьего этапов испытания добровольцам провели ультразвуковую стимуляцию, после чего попросили различить, одной или двумя булавками касаются их руки, а также подсчитать, сколько микрофенов подуло на их кожу.Сложность теста состояла в том, что чем ближе головки булавок были друг к другу и чем быстрее двигались потоки воздуха по коже, тем сложнее было определить, сколько источников сенсорной стимуляции действуют на тело. Результаты эксперимента показали, что после ультразвукового воздействия добровольцы значительно лучше определяли количество булавок и микрофенов, чем представители контрольной группы. Тайлер отмечает, что когда они передвинули источник ультразвука всего на один сантиметр, то эффект пропал.Но есть ещё более тонкие способы работы с мозгом и конкретными нейронами.Ученые из Института стволовых клеток Гарвардского университета разработали технологию повторного перепрограммирования нейронов, превращения нейронов одного типа в нейроны других типов прямо в мозге живых животных. Теперь они сделали следующий шаг, продемонстрировав, что нейронные сети также могут быть подвержены реконфигурации путем разрыва существующих и установления новых синаптических связей между нейронами, прошедшими через процесс перепрограммирования.Проводя исследования, ученые повторно запрограммировали нейроны одного определенного типа на их превращение в нейроны другого типа. После превращения нейронов ученые особо внимательно следили за "запрещенными" нейронными связями, особыми связями, которые остались от нейронов старого типа, но которые никогда не устанавливаются между нейронами нового типа."Мы продемонстрировали, что не только нейроны могут достаточно быстро изменить свой тип от одного к другому прямо в мозге живого существа" - рассказывает Паола Арлотта, - "Соседние с изменившимися нейроны определили произошедшие с соседями изменения и начали приспосабливаться к этим изменениям. В результате структура нейронной сети претерпела кардинальные изменения, все "запрещенные" синаптические связи исчезли и вместо них сформировалась новая "схема", состоящая из связей, подходящих для взаимодействия с нейронами нового типа. Все это демонстрирует то, что синаптические связи не возникают беспорядочно".Все исследования по превращению нейронов и реконфигурации синаптических связей были проведены с использованием мозга очень молодых грызунов, мозга, который более пластичен, нежели мозг взрослого животного.Полученные в результате этих исследований знания позволят в будущем разработать стратегии изменения дефектных синаптических связей, которые являются источниками некоторых психических заболеваний, таких, как шизофрения и аутизм.Это уже программирование аппаратного обеспечения мозга, направленное на замещение физических повреждений.А группа исследователей из университета Альберты (University of Alberta), разработали технологию быстрого соединения нейронов друг с другом при помощи сверхкоротких импульсов лазерного света. Данная технологи дает исследователям возможность полного контроля процесса изготовления искусственных нейронных сетей, что открывает огромные перспективы в области нейробиологических исследований и в области медицины для устранения последствий некоторых неврологических заболеваний и травм нервных тканей. Очень маловероятно, что такой метод лазерной сварки может быть использован в ближайшем будущем для практического восстановления нервных связей. Слишком уж специфические условия требуются для успешного проведения этой процедуры.ЭлектродыОднако, вернёмся к нашим баранам электродам.Конечно, никто не собирается сверлить себе тыкву, чтобы повелевать айфоном. Поэтому разрабатываются более гуманные способы доставки электродов в мозг.Поэтому учёные решили доставлять электродную сетку с помощью кровеносных сосудов. Такой сеткой является является аналог медицинского стента. Электрод "stentrode", размером со спичку, который был разработан группой австралийских ученых, может быть просто введен в вену, входящую в состав кровеносной системы головного мозга.Он сделан из нитинола и когда доходит до нужного места - принимает свою запрограммированную форму и врастает в стенки вены.. Тонкие провода, которые остаются в вене и подходят к беспроводному передадатчику, имплатированному в грудной мышце, меня, честно говоря, крайне смущают. Полосы пропускания сигналов таким электродом достаточно для обеспечения съема электрических сигналов от 10 тысяч отдельных нейронов. В течении нескольких дней, пока электрод не врастёт в вену, датчик выдаёт крайне нестабильный и зашумленный сигнал, однако позже качество сигнала приближается к имплантированной электродной сетке. Отторжения нет. Овца с датчиком чувствует себя хорошо. В 2017 планируются испытания на парализованных добровольцах.Но есть способ поперспективнее, как мне кажется.Нанороботы.Это кажется фантастикой, но, похоже, это уже реальность. А ж не верится. Неужто началось?Группа исследователей-медиков из Международного университета Флориды в Майами разработала способ установления своего рода прямого "беспроводного соединения" с нейронами головного мозга при помощи специальных наночастиц, которые в количестве 20 миллиардов штук были введены в мозг подопытного животного.Магнитоэлектрические наночастицы (magnetoelectric nanoparticle, MEN), введенные в мозг подопытных грызунов, обладают рядом специальных свойств. Они достаточно малы для того, чтобы они могли приблизиться непосредственно к внешней оболочке нейронов на расстояние, позволяющее им реагировать на электрические сигналы нервных импульсов. Эти частицы могут быть активированы при помощи внешнего магнитного поля, производя свое собственное электрическое поле, воздействующее на расположенные рядом нейроны. И это электрическое поле наночастиц может объединять непосредственно с электрическим полем нейронных сетей, вмешиваясь в их функционирование."Когда MEN-частицы подвергаются воздействию низкочастотного магнитного поля, они производят свое собственное локальное электрическое поле, частота которого совпадает с частотой магнитного поля" - рассказывает Сахрат Хизроев (Sakhrat Khizroev), ведущий исследователь, - "Это электрическое поле объединяется с полем нейронной сети, позволяя вмешиваться извне в работу ее "электрической схемы".Используя такой подход, исследователи успешно реализовали технологию доставки лекарственных препаратов в строго определенные участки головного мозга.роме этого, MEN-частицы могут быть использованы для создания нового типа прямого интерфейса между мозгом и компьютером. Обратная связь в таком случае получается за счет измерений магнитных полей, создаваемых наночастицами в ответ на электрические сигналы, проходящие по нейронным сетям.А теперь представим маленьких нанороботов, которые имеют возможность двигаться(как спермобот по команде), умеют подключаться к нейронам, умеют получать химическую энергию из крови по необходимости и подключаться к ближайшим нейронам и путешествовать по организму с кровотоком.Как сделать нанороботов? С помощью электронного микроскопа, например. Ведь это нано3Dпринтер.Электронные микроскопы производят в Украине, в Сумах. Если ещё на металл не порезали. Кроме того, электронные микроскопы необходимы для электронной промышленности.В общем, "Сеть Нанотех", одна из самых моих любимых повестей, потихонечку действительно становиться реальностью.В чём опасность? Взлом мозга хакерами или правительством. Представляете, когда правительство сможет срать в мозги не через зомбоящик, а получать быдло, отключая критические участки мозга напрямую? Чтение мыслей, мыслепреступления и тд и тп.В чём прелесть? Ремонт мозга, прокачка параметров, виртуальная реальность и обмен ощущениями. Запись эмоций и многое другое. При этом для этого не нужна будет сегодняшняя техника. Вы сможете есть полезных насекомышей, а чувствовать рябчиков с ананасами. Полная виртуальная реальность не несёт больших расходов, потреблядство и нелепое растрачивание ограниченных ресурсов исчезает(вместе с капиталистической экономикой, ведь никому больше не нужны машины и прочий хлам), но появляется гедонизм(удовольствия ничего не стоят, а мы помним, что случилось с обезьяной, имевшей электрод в центре удовольствий), отказ от реальности и ленивое исчезновение.

26 февраля 2016, 17:21

Дмитрий Перетолчин. "Корпорация монстров Google и цифровая диктатура будущего"

Выступление писателя и историка Дмитрия Перетолчина на круглом столе в дискуссионном клубе партии "Родина". Для оказания поддержки каналу День-ТВ можно использовать следующие реквизиты: - Яндекс–кошелек: 4100 1269 5356 638 - Сбербанк : 6761 9600 0251 7281 44 - Мастер Кард : 5106 2160 1010 4416

14 февраля 2016, 06:05

Истребитель нового поколения создается под лазерное оружие

Американские корпорации приступают к первым работам по созданию истребителя следующего, шестого, поколения. Предполагается, что он должен заменить все прочие существующие американские истребители (кроме F-35) и сможет гарантированно уничтожать сверхманевренные российские боевые самолеты. Ставка сделана на лазерное оружие. Мировые СМИ уже неоднократно сообщали о многочисленных проблемах нового американского многоцелевого истребителя F-35. Главные из них – это недостаток маневренности в двух из трех вариантов самолета, а также недостаточно эффективное вооружение, которое по идее должно было обеспечить F-35 победу над потенциальным противником до начала маневренного боя с ним. Неспособность F-35 противостоять в «собачьей свалке» новейшим российским Су и МиГ, а также китайским истребителям, с них скопированным, стала причиной того, что Пентагон стал рассматривать возобновление производства модернизированных вариантов истребителей F-15 и F-16. Это дешевле, чем снова запускать конвейер, с которого сходили значительно более современные и дорогие самолеты F-22, предназначенные в основном для воздушного боя. Их выпуск был прекращен в 2011 году.

01 ноября 2015, 12:48

«Когалымавиа». Версия «Vanguard».

«Доктор Зло» уничтожил российский лайнер и заставил своих агентов в ИГИЛ взять ответственность на себя?Я подробно расследовал аварию в аэропорту Внуково, в которой погиб Кристоф де Маржери. Более подробного исследования никто не проводил. Кристофа убрали, чтобы он не смог дать признательные показания против корпорации «Vanguard».   Я провел еще  более подробное расследование катастрофы А320 во французских Альпах. Второй пилот не был ни сумасшедшим, ни маньяком, его изобразили таким, чтобы скрыть истинную причину гибели лайнера. American Connection. По –русски говоря – торчат уши американцев. Данные бортовых регистраторов, по моему мнению, были фальсифицированы. http://nvdaily.ru/info/44456.htmlСистемный признак попытки фальсифицировать причину той или иной нештатной ситуации, взрыва или аварии, - мгновенная реакция СМИ, чуть ли не в момент самого ЧП, сообщающих классическую версию о разгильдяйстве и коррупции, приведших к очередной резонансной катастрофе.Этому критерию  отвечает реакция российских официальных лиц и СМИ на крушение  самолета компании «Когалымавиа», ныне – «Metrojet». Сразу же после первых тревожных сообщений о падении в Египте российского лайнера были сообщения  о том, что пилот «Аэробуса» якобы после взлета сообщил о неполадках на борту:«Пилот самолета Airbus A321 авиакомпании "Когалымавиа", который выполнял рейс 9268 Шарм эш-Шейх - Санкт-Петербург, после взлета связался с диспетчером аэропорта и сообщил о технических неполадках».http://ria.ru/incidents/20151031/1311204703.html#ixzz3qDlxVkDV-  что лайнер вышел  в эфир  после кратковременной потери связи и продолжает полет (Телеведущий Сергей Брилев на телеканале       «Россия 1»)Египтяне  это опровергли. Пилот разбившегося в Египте российского самолета не обращался за помощью к авиадиспетчерам в аэропорту Шарм-эль-Шейха перед катастрофой. Об этом, как сообщает РИА Новости, заявил египетский министр гражданской авиации Египта Хусам Камаль. «Связь авиадиспетчеров с российским самолетом осуществлялась в нормальном режиме до момента катастрофы», — сказал он. По его словам, «российский пилот не просил о помощи, самолет исчез с радаров внезапно»Самолет вылетел из Шарм-эль-Шуйха вдоль линии моря строго по направлению на Нувейбу, над ней развернулся на северо-запад и продолжал полет строго параллельно границе с  Израилем до самого момента падения.По данным флайтрадара самолет быстро зашел на эшелон, затем последовала резкая потеря высоты ( с 33500 футов до 28375, то есть на 5135 футов), затем самолет исчез из флайтрадара.http://www.flightradar24.com/data/flights/7k9268/#7d986d3Лайнер был  эксплуатации  18 лет и 5 месяцев. До MetroJet этот самолет эксплуатировала турецкая авиакомпания Onur Air, а до нее национальная авиакомпания Ливанской республики - Middle East Airlines.Владельцы «Metrojet» - «авторитетные предприниматели», как пишут российские СМИ,  Хамит Багана, Амирбек Гагаев и Бувайсар Халидов.Ни солидный возраст самолета, ни авторитет его владельцев не имеют прямого отношения к катастрофе. Самолеты,  гражданские и военные,  летают до тридцать лет  и не падают. А предприниматель, кем бы он ни был, не враг своему бизнесу. Подчеркиваю – не имеют прямого отношения. А разбираться все равно нужно. Кстати, насчет быстрого подъема на эшелон. На авиафорумах обсуждают эту странность. Получается, что самолет резко дернул вверх  (я считаю, что по внешней команде), пилоты  уменьшили тягу двигателей (была просадка по высоте на 60 м) и попросили посадку ввиду нештатной работы систем управления полетом, и в этот  момент – это уже моя версия –  дистанционное вмешательство по технологии, разработанной в ДАРПА,  включило автопилот, который невозможно отключить из кабины, АП отключил связь с землей, вырубил энергетику и резко сбросил газ. Самолет  перешел в неуправляемый плоский штопор  и столкнулся с землей на скорости 120 километров в час, с горизонтальной составляющей – 150км/ ч.  Крупные обломки лежат в пределах геометрических размеров самолета, мелкие разбросаны  по радиусу до трех миль.Многим экспертам, обсуждающим в настоящее время эту  катастрофу, кажутся странными показания флайтрадара:«04:12:56 высота 30675 футов, а в 04:13:00 - 33500 футов. Набор 860 метров за 4 секунды??? На такой высоте это даже для истребителя очень много».http://waronline.org/fora/index.php?threads/Катастрофа-airbus-a-321-авиакомпании-Когалымавиа-над-Синаем-31-10-15.15828/page-9«Далее быстроразвивающаяся вертикальная раскачка (период около 12 секунд)с знакопеременными перегрузками до 9G. По самым скромным оценкам от +3,5 до -1,5 G.Как выдержал самолет? Врет флайтрадар? Врут приборы или ответчик? Или так и было?»http://www.forumavia.ru/forum/9/8/558846479219543256391446276598_15.shtml?topiccount=739Что означают эти перегрузки? Борьбу пилотов с автопилотом или сбои во встроенной в системы управления «закладке»  ДАРПА? Кстати, если вспомнить, то  при падении "Аэробуса"  в Альпах были точно такие же дергания и рывки, которые эксперты интерпретировали как попытки пилота выключить автопилот. А вот  еще более странный момент. Посмотрите видео с места падения. Что это за цилиндрические предметы на первых секундах ролика РТ. Не напоминают ли они снарядные гильзы?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbHuMRfXxJUКомпания "Эйрбас" уже объявила, что собирается расследовать эту катастрофу совместно с компанией "Thales". Эта информация ложится увесистой гирей на весы моей версии, так как "Thales" - международная промышленная группа, выпускающая информационные системы для авиакосмического, военного и морского применения. Thales занимает третье место в мире по производству бортовых РЛС и систем радиоэлектронной борьбы. Она производит значительную часть компонентов БРЭО для военной авиации. Ее дочка Thales e-Security — ведущий мировой поставщик решений по защите данных с опытом работы в области защиты  конфиденциальной  информации более 40 лет. Ее клиенты — компании, правительства и поставщики технологий с широким рядом задач — используют продукты и услуги Thales для улучшения безопасности приложений, в которых используется шифрование и цифровые подписи. ЕСли "Эйрбас" будет расследовать кататсрофу "Когалымавиа" не с ведущими двигателистами, а ведушей компанией по БРЭО, то значит причину гибели лайнера его производитель видит не в отказе двигателей, а в неполадках системы управления. Конечно, даже если эксперты "Эйрбаса" установят, что катастрофа самолета вызвана вмешательством извне, вслух об этом скзано не будет.Бортовые регистраторы обнаружены, но по поводу их целостности уже возникли разногласия:«Черные ящики» лайнера А321, разбившегося на Синайском полуострове в Египте, имеют небольшие повреждения. Об этом сообщил журналистам в воскресенье министр транспорта Максим Соколов.«Там небольшие технические повреждения. Но термического воздействия не было, как говорят представители египетской стороны», — сказал Соколов.Глава Минтранса добавил, что бортовые самописцы опечатаны и их еще не вскрывали».http://www.rbc.ru/society/01/11/2015/5635b7349a79477907e8530eПонятно, что Египту смерти подобна версия «теракт или  сбили ракетой ЗРК». Туризм рухнет, бюджет тоже. Кстати, зенитно-ракетные комплексы, способные достать лайнер, идущий на эшелоне, имеет в данном регионе только Израиль. Кстати, на территории Синая идут бои египетской армии с боевиками. То есть летать над этими местами не стоило бы.  Эр Франс, Люфтганза и Эмирейтс уже прекратили полеты над  Синаем. Это  подкрепляет версию внешнего «вмешательства» в полет лайнера, каким бы способом оно ни было реализовано.Подключенная к интерфейсу Вселенной (то есть хорошо информированная) Татьяна Волкова уже опубликовала свои соображения по поводу мотиваций возможных инициаторов катастрофы. Она приводит отрывок из письма своего читателя (читатель так читатель):1. Месть за слишком успешную и без потерь операцию в Сирии ( кстати, зверское убийство нашего контрактника, ушедшего в город в самоволку "за пиццей",- из того же ряда)2. Попытка поссорить с Египтом, "слишком увлекшегося" сотрудничеством с нами и радушно воспринимающего все предложения от России, подкинув обывателям "террористический след"3. Удар по египетской тур. индустрии, так как поток из России в Европу, Израиль и Турцию значительно снизился4. Намек Путину, что есть возможность "уронить" не только немецкие борта, а любой российский и, разом, почти всю российскую гражданскую авиацию, практически полностью перешедшую на парк "иномарок".5. Попытка не прямого давления, с целью склонить Россию к прекращению операции в Сирии и отказа от поддержки режима Асада.Наверняка есть еще какие то, не очевидные, далеко идущие цели, например:6. Снижение авиа перевозок, их удорожание в России (пятая колонна в Думе, уже требует новых, до 15 лет самолетов, которые придется купить у тех же Боинга и Аэрбаса, свою-то гражданскую авиапромышленность угробили!)7. Усиление искусственной изоляции РФ и увеличение изоляции ее регионов, что влечет усиление местечкового сепаратизма и потеря государственной управляемости, особенно на фоне закона о ТОРах.Сайт ПРАВОСУДИЯ.НЕТ:http://pravosudija.net/article/aviakatastrofa-pisma-chitateleyДогадайтесь в одного раза, кто может такие мероприятия организовать? Правильно – зловещий «Доктор Зло», которого мы с Татьяной Волковой идентифицируем с корпорацией «Vanguard». Россия в настоящее время находится в состоянии гибридной, то есть иррегулярной, войны с англо-американской цивилизацией. Новомодная стратегия стратегического блендинга(смешивания), основные положения которой изложил недавно в журнале «Armed Forces Journal» пентагоновский эксперт Джим Томас, допускает применение абсолютно всех методов борьбы и войны против страны-мишени. В том числе и криминально-диверсионные. Так что, ежели мы хотим летать и не падать, то нужно поголовно пересаживаться на лайнеры отечественного производства. Аппарат  Минобороны, кстати, используют только Илы, Аны и Яки. А «Боинги» и «Аэробусы» нужно очистить по-возможности от  дарповских закладок, а если это невозможно, то разъяснить пилотам и пассажирам, какому риску они  подвергаются, летая на западных лайнерах, таких комфортных и красивых. Не сомневаюсь, что в качестве  официальной  будет принята  версия технической неисправности, а компанию «Когалымавиа» прикроют, как это сделали авиакомпанией «Татарстан» после резонансной, но так и не расследованной толком катастрофы в Казани. В ее офисах уже идут изъятия  документации.Катастрофа в небе Египта  - это мессидж, как говорят наши  либералы. Что хотят его авторы, понятно. Лучшим ответом на эту гнусность будет масштабный успех военной операции российских вооруженных сил в Сирии.Владимир Прохватилов, Президент Фонда реальной политики (Realpolitik), эксперт Академии военных наук

21 сентября 2015, 23:02

Человек-ружье

Технологии контроля над сознанием превращают солдат в пешкиВ июне этого года Пентагон совместно с Инженерной школой Университета Тафтса создал Центр прикладного интеллекта и когнитивных наук (Центр ABCs). Он объединил экспертов в области неврологии, психологии, лингвистики, информационных технологий и робототехники с целью глубокого изучения того, как люди думают, реагируют, действуют в критических ситуациях. Особое внимание исследователи уделяют поведению военных в сложных и опасных условиях.В июне этого года Пентагон совместно с Инженерной школой Университета Тафтса создал Центр прикладного интеллекта и когнитивных наук (Центр ABCs). Он объединил экспертов в области неврологии, психологии, лингвистики, информационных технологий и робототехники с целью глубокого изучения того, как люди думают, реагируют, действуют в критических ситуациях. Особое внимание исследователи уделяют поведению военных в сложных и опасных условиях.Как следует из интервью одного из сотрудников Центра ABCs Тэда Бранье, основной целью работы его коллег является определение инновационных междисциплинарных подходов к мониторингу физиологических и мыслительных процессов военнослужащих, а также изучение влияния различных состояний на их поведение в оперативной обстановке и оптимизация этого поведения через мультимодальные интерфейсы и роботизированные платформы. «Эта цель, – говорит Бранье, – будет достигаться через фундаментальные и прикладные междисциплинарные исследования систем поддержки и наращивания, позволяющие расширить способности и потенциал бойцов во время динамичных мобильных операций».Таким образом, речь идет об управлении с помощью различных технологий действиями военных и расширении их способностей с выходом за грань показателей, типичных для нормального человека.Неврология в военных целяхСо стороны Пентагона деятельностью Центра ABCs назначена управлять доктор Кэролайн Махони, руководитель группы исследований развития и техники армии США. Она поясняет, что исследования разделены на четыре сферы. Первая сосредоточена на изучении принципов, которые обеспечивают взаимодействие человека и интеллектуальных поддерживающих систем, направленных на оптимизацию мышления и физических возможностей бойцов. Вторая исследует возможность управления такими человеческими состояниями, как напряжение, тревога, умственные перегрузки, стресс, страх, неуверенность и усталость. Третья сфера включает изучение выполнения бойцами умственных и физических задач в условиях реальной боевой обстановки с учетом соответствующих требований. И, наконец, четвертая сфокусирована на исследовании поведения бойцов в команде. По сути речь идет о перспективе объединения человека и машины в некий гибрид, об управлении человеческим поведением и формировании личности бойца, лишенного страха и других естественных чувств, не испытывающего усталости и боли.“ Одним из проектов Пентагона, поддерживаемых Бараком Обамой, является внедрение в мозг военнослужащих микрочипов, способных подавлять одни реакции и стимулировать другие ”В документах Пентагона такие исследования маркируются как имеющие значительное практическое и стратегическое значение.Руководство США и американские вооруженные силы на протяжении десятилетий одержимы идеей контроля и манипулирования человеческим сознанием.Эксперименты, которыми будет заниматься Центр ABCs, в Пентагоне курирует Агентство передовых оборонных исследовательских проектов (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency – DARPA), отвечающее за разработку новых технологий для использования в вооруженных силах.Эксплуатация в военных целях неврологии на основе робототехники, применение интерактивных систем, направленных на милитаризацию человеческого мозга, фактически являются попыткой создания нового оружия.Биомедицинские и биологические исследования, выполняемые DARPA, основаны на разработках в области контроля сознания, проведенных по проекту «МК-Ультра» (MK-Ultra). Одним из его направлений была так называемая Программа боевой перезагрузки бойца сухопутных сил, имевшая целью «электронную подготовку» американских солдат к войнам.Продолжая тематику этих исследований на новом технологическом уровне, DARPA работает над проектом «Солдат будущего». Цель – создание генетически модифицированных трансгуманоидов, способных совершать сверхчеловеческие поступки.Скрепы нацизмаОбраз сверхчеловека (нем. Übermensch) ввел в свое время философ Фридрих Ницше в произведении «Так говорил Заратустра». Сверхчеловек для Ницше – существо, которое по своему могуществу превзойдет современного homo sapiens в такой степени, в какой тот когда-то превзошел обезьяну. Ницше рассматривал этот процесс как один из этапов эволюции. К прототипам cверхчеловека философ относил, к примеру, Александра Македонского, Юлия Цезаря, Чезаре Борджиа и Наполеона – творцов, воля которых направляет вектор исторического развития.Фото: naviny.byРасовая интерпретация ницшеанской концепции была положена в основу нацистской идеологии. В Третьем рейхе под сверхчеловеком понимался идеал арийской расы. Нацисты считали, что bermensch представляет более высокий человеческий тип, который нужно создать искусственно, путем селекции. За научную сторону проекта отвечал рейхсфюрер СС Генрих Гиммлер. Цель – создание сверхрасы, безраздельно преданной делу рейха. Большая часть экспериментов по изменению поведения человека с помощью галлюциногенных препаратов и электрошока была проведена Джозефом Менгеле в концлагерях Освенцим и Дахау.После войны Министерство обороны США через Южную Америку и Ватикан тайно переправило на территорию Соединенных Штатов нацистских ученых и разведчиков, работавших на Третий рейх. Эта операция носила кодовое название «Скрепка». Среди них был Рейнхард Гелен – один из руководителей разведки на Восточном фронте, который специализировался на действиях против России. Итогом совместных усилий Гелена, американских правительственных структур и спецслужб стало тайное развертывание незаконной правительственной деятельности, включая секретные программы по контролю сознания. Первая из них – проект «Чаттер» (Chatter) – была начата американскими ВМС в конце 1947 года. Исследования продолжались до 1953-го и имели целью разработку препаратов для проведения допросов и вербовки агентов.Второй проект – «Блуберд» (Blubird) стартовал в 1950 году под эгидой директора ЦРУ Аллена Даллеса и был направлен на изменение поведения человека. К числу исследуемых тем относились расширение возможностей памяти и контроль индивидуума с помощью специальных техник допроса. В 1951 году Blubird переименовали в проект «Артишок» (Artichoke), который предусматривал агрессивное применение техник допроса, включая гипноз и наркотики.В 1953-м появился проект «МК-Ультра», главными исполнителями которого стали нацистские ученые. Капитан МакКарти, служивший в американских специальных силах и командовавший карательными отрядами во время войны во Вьетнаме, после ухода со службы рассказал, что MK-Ultra – аббревиатура, которая расшифровывается как Manufacturing Killers Utilizing Lethal Tradecraft Requiring Assassinations – производство киллеров, использующих летальные методы тайных операций.Продолжением «МК-Ультра» стал проект «Монарх» (Monarch). В этих двух программах объектами экспериментов по психологическому программированию стали военнослужащие и гражданские, преимущественно дети. Цель – создание раба с подконтрольным сознанием, который мог выполнить любое действие по приказу оператора (хозяина).Адвокат Джон ДеКэмп в книге о педофилии в высших эшелонах американской власти пишет о проекте «Монарх»: «Наркобизнес не самый низкий уровень спонсируемого правительством США зла… Самый низкий уровень ада занимают те, кто участвовал в проекте «Монарх». Здесь объектами исследований были молодые люди – жертвы экспериментов по контролю сознания, которые проводились ЦРУ и Пентагоном. Суть методологии заключается в выведении полчища детей, в ком разбита душа, кто должен шпионить, заниматься распутством, убивать и в конце совершать самоубийство. С использованием наркотиков, гипноза, пыток и электрошока выводились поколения жертв».Подопытные Буша и ЧейниПрограммирование осуществлялось в несколько этапов и проходило несколько уровней.Уровень альфа-программирования предусматривал общую подготовку личности к дальнейшим этапам.Бета-программирование уничтожало в личности все известные ей моральные принципы поведения и стимулировало примитивный сексуальный инстинкт, неограниченный никакими запретами.Дельта-программирование обеспечивало нацеливание личности на убийство. На этом этапе объекты воздействия лишали чувства страха и тренировали их сознание на систематическое выполнение заданий. Этот вид программирования предназначен для подготовки специальных агентов или бойцов элитных подразделений (например Delta Force) для действий при проведении тайных операций. При этом объекты воздействия лишаются страха и программируются на неуклонное выполнение задания.На этом же этапе в сознание жертвы могли закладываться инструкции по самоуничтожению и совершению самоубийства после выполнения задания.Тета-программирование направлено на контроль сознания с помощью электронных систем, включая импланты в мозг, современные компьютеры и сложные спутниковые системы слежения.Омега-программирование (другое название «Код Грин») ориентировано на саморазрушение и дает установку на суицид или самоповреждение. Программа обычно активируется, когда жертва/выживший начинает лечение или становится объектом допроса и большая часть памяти оказывается восстановленной.Другая форма системной защиты – обманное программирование, которое включает дезинформацию и указание ложного направления.Эксперименты на военной базе Presidio стали предметом журналистского расследования репортера Мей Брюэсселл. Результаты были преданы огласке на одной из радиопередач с ее участием. Во время расследования Мей неоднократно угрожали. Ее дочь была убита вследствие инспирированной автомобильной аварии. Перед завершением расследования Мей внезапно заболела скоротечной формой рака. В связи с тем что ЦРУ к тому времени разработало быстродействующий вирус рака, есть основания полагать, что смерть журналистки не была вызвана естественными причинами.В начале 2015 года The Guardian опубликовала статью о проводимых Министерством обороны США на базе «Гуантанамо» экспериментах над заключенными с использованием особых пыток. Пентагон насильно давал всем узникам «Гуантанамо» высокую дозу препарата, который используется как часть программы «MK-Ультра». Тюрьмы «Абу-Грейб» в Афганистане и «Гуантанамо» стали полигоном. В августе 2015 года бывший исполнительный директор ЦРУ Элвин Кронгард в своем интервью Би-би-си открыто признал, что Пентагон и ЦРУ практиковали пытки. На вопрос корреспондента о том, почему никто не понес ответственности за это, он ответил: «Порочный альянс Буша, Чейни и Рамсфелда должен предстать перед Гаагским трибуналом за то, что они сделали. Но, к сожалению, это произойдет только тогда, когда свиньи начнут летать».Армия некрофиловКакие выводы нужно сделать нам?Прежде всего необходимо осознать, что программирование возможно тогда, когда разрушена, забыта, намеренно выхолощена, извращена историческая традиция – религиозная, моральная, культурная.Поэтому нужно всячески заботиться о том, чтобы она всегда присутствовала в сознании и душе. Это стержень, на котором держатся личность, семья и народ, щит от любого программирования, ее повсеместное сохранение – превентивная мера, позволяющая противодействовать любым попыткам установления контроля над индивидуальным и массовым сознанием.Если же воздействие на сознание уже произошло, необходимо вырабатывать эффективные техники депрограммирования. Но и они должны строиться на постепенном и упорном возвращении духа и сознания к традиционным ценностям. Как только традиция вытеснит программу, через которую осуществляется программирование, можно считать, что человек (народ) выздоровел, освободился от рабовладельца-программиста.С помощью «MK-Ультра» США превращают людей в оружие. Но оно только стреляет, не воюет. В войне побеждает дух.Маниакальная идея создания сверхчеловека, внедренная в США, – это продолжение нацистского проекта Ubermensch. Эта идея Ницше основана на борьбе с христианством. У него Ubermensch связан со смертью Бога в душе. Но, как известно, престол в душе никогда не бывает пуст: там или Бог, или Его противоположность. При программировании по проекту «MK-Ультра» из души жертвы удаляют Бога как источник традиционных ценностей и оккультными ритуалами, наркотиками, насилием внедряют туда противоположный источник и порочные, преступные ценности. Как сказал один из героев Достоевского: «Если Бога нет – то все дозволено».Большая часть информации, касающаяся контроля сознания как военной технологии, скрыта завесой секретности. Но сам факт создания Центра ABCs и тематика его исследований свидетельствуют об истинном отношении «эталона демократии» к своей армии, которое открыто высказал Генри Киссинджер, назвав военных «глупыми и тупыми животными, которые используются как пешки во внешней политике».Психолог Эрих Фромм определяет противостояние Добра и Зла как борьбу между биофилией (любовью к жизни) и некрофилией. «Личность некрофила одержима желанием трансформировать органическое (живое) в неорганическое (неживое). Она относится к жизни механистически, так, как будто живые люди являются вещами. Некрофильская личность любит контроль, и в этом акте контроля она убивает жизнь».В основе стремления США к глобальному контролю над миром и желания Пентагона установить контроль над человеческим сознанием с помощью мертвой техники и мертвого начала лежит некрофилия. Эти же цели преследовали нацисты.Татьяна Грачева

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15 сентября 2015, 17:30

Имплантаты, вживленные в мозг для улучшения памяти

Когда в 80-х - начале 90-х движение киберпанков было в моде, всем казалось, что различные чипы в мозгах, имплантаты и прочая электроника, вшитая прямо в тело, это дело недалекого будущего. Как оказалось, люди все же не слишком хотят внедрять в свой организм искусственные предметы, и тема имплантатов на какое-то время сошла с первых полос научных журналов, но ненадолго, и недавно DARPA объявило о создании новых имплантатов, вживляемых в мозг для улучшения памяти.

03 сентября 2015, 21:44

Кто стоял за Гейтсом, Джобсом и Цукербергом

Во все времена главным двигателем технического прогресса была война и расходы на вооружение.Десятилетиями правительство США целенаправленно вкачивало деньги в Силиконовую долину. Хитрость состояла в том, что финансировали не чисто военные исследования, а гражданские проекты. Затем проекты, которые выживали, выдерживали конкуренцию, окупались, находили и военное применение. Долину создавали рука об руку государство, университеты и постепенно становившийся на ноги благодаря заказам правительства частный сектор.Начнем с миллиардера Билла Гейтса. Сына простой школьной учительницы Мэри Максвэлл Гейтс, как гласит легенда. На самом деле мама Гейтса была членом совета директоров солидных финансовых и телекоммуникационных компаний, в том числе президентом национального совета UnitedWayInternational. Там под ее руководством заседали два монстра компьютерного рынка — президенты IBM разных лет Джон Опель и Джон Эккерт. Так случайно вышло, что IBM поручило разработать операционную систему для первого персонального компьютера никому не известной компании «сына простой учительницы» Microsoft. Гейтс купил за $50 тысяч у программиста Патерсона систему QDOS, обозвал ее MS-DOS, продал лицензию IBM, сохранив авторское право за Microsoft. Так на свет появилась первая операционка Microsoft. Компьютеры РС, ставшие стандартом для всей мировой индустрии персональных компьютеров, оказались крепко привязаны к Microsoft. В 1996-м, имея за плечами контракты с IBM и операционные системы, Билл Гейтс вышел на биржу и стал в одночасье невероятно богатым. Для нашей темы крайне важен факт: IBМ с 60-х годов и поныне — головной производитель «сложного железа» для АНБ и других разведслужб.История с Google началась в самом центре Силиконовой долины — Стэнфордском университете. Там студенты Ларри Пейдж и Сергей Брин работали над Стэнфордским проектом цифровой библиотеки. Библиотеке требовался поисковик. Проект финансировался за счет Национального научного фонда (по статусу — Федеральное агентство США, тесно связан с разведсообществом и Пентагоном). Первые $100 тысяч на поисковик Google двум студентам поступили от Энди Бехтольштайма, подрядчика целого ряда проектов, финансируемых Агентством передовых военных технологий Пентагона DARPA.Первые серьезные деньги в Google вложил Sequoia Capital — один из самых успешных венчурных фондов в мире. Глава фонда, знаменитый Дон Валентино, был одним из руководителей в крупнейшем подрядчике Пентагона и разведывательного сообщества Fairchild Semiconductor.Facebook был социальной сетью «Лиги Плюща» — университетов, где учится американская элита. Марку требовались деньги на развитие бизнеса, раскрутку. Первые $500 тысяч дал Питер Тиль. Уже через четыре месяца Facebook собрал первый миллион пользователей и стал стремительно расти. До инвестиций в Цукерберга Тиль создал платежную систему PayPal, которую позиционировал как средство борьбы с национальными платежными системами, своего рода шаг к мировой валюте. Но сейчас Питер Тиль известен не PayPal и даже не Facebook. Он пять лет по крупицам собирал и финансировал команду лучших математиков, лингвистов, аналитиков, специалистов по системному анализу, доступу к данным и т. п. Теперь это любимое детище американского разведывательного сообщества — компания Palantir. Ее шеф Тиль — член Бильдербергского клуба (который считают тайным мировым правительством. — Ред.)Цукербергу требовались все новые деньги. Парой миллионов помог Билл Гейтс. Не хватающие для сверхбыстрого роста Facebook 13 миллионов удалось получить в компании Accel Partners. Инвестицию организовал Джеймс Брейер, бывший глава Национальной ассоциации венчурных капиталистов в сотрудничестве с Гилман Луи, исполнительным директором официального Фонда американского разведывательного сообщества In-Q-Tel. Так что по Силиконовой долине чужие и случайные не ходят.Все знают про знаменитый голосовой помощник SIRI, установленный сегодня в айфонах покойного "бунтаря" Стива Джобса. Его прообразом послужило программное обеспечение нового типа Calo. Происходит название от латинского слова Calonis — слуга офицера. Проект финансировался все тем же пентагоновским агентством DARPA. Можно еще примеры приводить по компьютерным гуру, но не хочу утомлять читателей.Высокотехнологичный бизнес, университеты, американское разведывательное сообщество — ребята с одного двора. Своего рода «военно-информационно-промышленный комплекс». Они занимаются одним делом — собирают, обрабатывают индивидуальные и корпоративные данные, т. е. сведения о каждом из нас. Одни — ради прибыли. Другие — ради национальной безопасности или того, что этим прикрывается.Есть хрестоматийная история. Отец, работающий в компьютерной компании, узнал о беременности дочери еще до того, как она сама ему призналась. Каждый из нас, в зависимости от желаний, потребностей, настроений и т. п., что-то ищет в интернете, заходит на разные порталы, оставляет сообщения. А в интернете — запомните! — никогда ничего не пропадает. Если обобщить заходы, сообщения, то можно понять, что происходит с человеком либо с организацией. А если ты знаешь, что происходит с кем-либо, то можешь предложить ему в нужный момент нужные товары, услуги и т. п. И он их обязательно приобретет. Это называется управление поведением. А теперь представьте, что вы продаете в Сети не товары и услуги, а те или иные политические убеждения, взгляды, точки зрения на мир и т. п. viaЭксперт по конкурентной разведке Елена Ларина

16 июня 2015, 00:00

От Бильдерберга к ГУЛАГбергу: глобальная элита строит электронный концлагерь

С 11 по 14 июня сего года в австрийских Альпах в местечке Тельфс в отеле InterAlpen прошло 63-е ежегодное заседание Бильдербергского клуба. Особенностью этого заседания было то, что оно состоялось сразу после встречи лидеров «семёрки» (7-8 июня) и V съезда лидеров мировых и традиционных религий в Астане (10-11 июня). На разных уровнях представительства и под разными углами зрения рассматривалась одна и та же ключевая проблема – разработка...

02 июня 2015, 20:29

Robot Cheetah

Spot is a four-legged robot designed for indoor and outdoor operation. It is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated. Spot has a sensor head that helps it navigate and negotiate rough terrain. Spot weighs about 160 lbs. ©

26 октября 2013, 07:10

DARPA хочет создать полностью автоматическую оборонную компьютерную сеть

http://vk.com/wall-30149322_10083Этот день должен был когда-то настать. И он настал. Агентство по перспективным оборонным научно-исследовательским разработкам США, или просто DARPA, объявило о начале конкурса Cyber Grand Challenge (CGC). Задачей конкурса является разработка полностью автоматизированной оборонной сети, целью которой будет самостоятельный поиск и уничтожение вирусов, угрожающих IT-безопасности страны. Ничего не напоминает? Это же предыстория «Судного дня»! DARPA предлагает 2 миллиона долларов любой команде разработчиков, которая сможет создать систему, способную к самостоятельному обучению и развитию, поиску угроз их уничтожения, производству защитных механизмов и применения их на практике. Уж механизмы по поиску и уничтожению у нас-то уже есть… но ближе к делу. «Серия конкурсов по разработке беспилотных автомобилей, проводимой DARPA, стала зарей революции подобных средств передвижения», — говорит менеджер проектов DARPA Майк Уолкер. «С новым испытанием Cyber Grand Challenge мы хотим разжечь такой же огонь в сфере информационной безопасности. Сегодняшние технологии в лучшем случае позволяют справиться с компьютерными угрозами в течение нескольких дней, так как людям требуется время для поиска и устранения дыр в системах защиты. С новой полностью автоматической системой безопасности время на решение подобных вопросов можно будет сократить с нескольких дней до одной секунды». «Природа и частота компьютерных вирусных атак привели нас к мнению о том, что в будущем для решения вопросов информационной безопасности людям должны помогать полностью автоматические системы», — говорит Ден Кауфман, директор офиса информационных инноваций и куратор Cyber Grand Challenge. Для привлечения большого количества желающих принять участие в этом конкурсе, DARPA решила сделать его открытым и всю информацию о состязании будет выкладывать на официальном сайте CGC. Финальная часть конкурса, в которую попадут участники прошедшие квалификационный раунд, возьмет свое место в первой половине 2016 года. Следует отметить, что награды за участие получат не только команда-победитель этого соревнования. Занявшая второе место команда получит приз в размере 1 миллиона долларов. За третье место полагается 750 тысяч долларов. Кроме того, для тех, кто заинтересуется в этом конкурсе есть два пути: либо просто принять участие в конкурсе, выиграть один из призов и на этом закончить, либо получить контракт на работу с DARPA, если идея вашей системы безопасности ее действительно заинтересует.