[cryptome] Re: FW: Cold War Updated

  • From: "Douglas Rankine" <douglasrankine2001@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <cryptome@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 12 Mar 2015 00:45:52 -0000

Hi Andrew,

I am pleased that you find some of what I say, amusing...our exchange is most 
enlightening to me and my feelings are both mutual and reciprocal... J.


Trusting each other, with physical or intellectual property, and the sharing of 
information, how much information, what kind of information, is a complicated 
business, no doubt about that.  And our private thoughts will always be 
private, though we may manifest them in actions or thoughts expressed to 
others, for some kind of psychological or transactional, or political, 
economic, cultural or sociological analysis.  The analyser can never really 
analyse us to the point of being able to  predict our behaviour absolutely.  If 
only because he/she cannot predict their own behaviour, their own thinking, 
intentions, motives and actions...and of course, there are “events, dear 
boy,...events...” as Harold MacMillan once said in relation to the Suez crisis. 
  All we can do, is to predict trends in behaviour.  The shape of pears has the 
habit of changing, for no apparent reason... J.


These days, most of us in the Western world don’t leave our doors and windows 
open, (and I can remember as a boy, where in my village, we did), and most of 
us don’t tend to carry lots of money around with us, (well, we never had any, 
still don’t as a matter of fact)... J. We lock up our houses and cars at night, 
and hide or remove anything of value. Most of us don’t keep any money under the 
mattress, although there are some who do.  We tend not to go down streets alone 
late at night, especially as we get older, more frail, and more vulnerable.  We 
close our curtains to prevent intruders, unwanted nosey parkers, or the curious 
from peering in to survey what we are doing or what goodies we have.


These are common sense personal security precautions, of course...the sensible 
and knowledgeable parent, will take even more precautions with their children, 
and pass on their learning on the subject.  But such activities, such 
precautions, won’t stop the determined thief or the druggie, crazy for money 
from breaking in, or attacking us in the street, or highjacking our cars and 
other transport; or molesting our children.  It won’t prevent a corrupt, rotten 
and powerful state from abusing our lives, removing our liberty, or our 
livelihood, or taking away our wealth, our health and lives, for no apparent 
reason...or rhyme.   Education, no matter how educated, and punishment, no 
matter how harsh (apart from lifelong containment) will not prevent thievery, 
violence or molestation, such things are part of human  nature...in my view.  
Depending on our parents and peers, and the community from which we come and 
grow up in, we just and must learn to control our basic urges, instincts and 
impulses...and, we even practice a bit of altruism, which is a very difficult 
concept to justify in the theory of evolution.  See url: 

And url: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lev_Vygotsky


   Growing from child to adult and treating others with respect is a learned, 
social, behaviour, one sees its manifestations in the playground, but, 
nevertheless such action is a veneer of civilisation on our basic instincts.  
Overcoming  those basic instincts, we must do, if we are to survive, both as 
individuals, and as a species...in my humble opinion.  Though I don’t see the 
survival of our species as some kind of immortal or everlasting event.


And yet...through most of my existence, life threatening events have been very 
rare, and still are very rare, so rare, that I can count them on the fingers of 
my hands.  There are perceptions of crime and there is crime which happens in 
reality.  Of course, the most threatening event comes closer the longer one 
lives, and one finds it more and more difficult to keep it at the back of one’s 
mind... J.


Most of us don’t leave our keys lying around, though people still hide them 
under flower pots next to the front door... J.  We just try to keep the 
intruder and the thief at bay, keep temptation and the attraction of easy money 
out of the reach of those who want to do us harm, steal from us, use violence 
against us.  In a word, we keep a low profile, and we show good security...We 
show publically that we are not an easy lay.  That is the philosophy.  But it 
won’t prevent theft, it won’t prevent violence entirely; but good personal 
security, good safe practices, helps minimise ones vulnerability.  And yet, for 
most of us, we have happy and secure lives, we enjoy life to the full, life has 
its ups and downs of course, but if we didn’t have bad times, then how could we 
compare them with the good?


In the good old days, the bank manager protected our accounts and finances, 
from intrusion by strangers, or those not entitled,  or prevented the 
purloining of our money or information being made available to outsiders.  The 
banks guaranteed our savings and accounts from theft and fraud.  They took out 
insurance, lessons were learnt after the bank crises, the Wall Street 
crash...We went on to make even bigger ones... J.  And we had laws which 
protected people’s rights, so that the state, and no private corporation could 
get access without a warrant,  or through a court order, and discovery had to 
be on the basis of suspicion of a crime, or of some kind of civil fraud.


  However, our society wasn’t quite so utopian.  There has always been the 
secret service, the intelligence service; organisations with other names which 
operated underneath, below the political platform, the economic surface...and 
surreptitiously in our society.  They had special dispensation from the 
leadership to operate outside of the law of the land.  Access to the Monopoly 
card, in event of being caught red handed in acts against legality; the “Get 
out of Jail free” ticket.   Their functions were always the same, to keep the 
leadership of whatever society which existed at the time, family, tribe, race, 
feudal fiefdom, kingdom, or the ruling elite of the nation state, informed of 
who was doing what to whom, and how many of them there were, what their motives 
and intentions were, and how dangerous they were.  Often, they were not fit for 
purpose and in that supreme act of spies, betrayed their old masters and 
replaced them with a new one. Today, in advanced capitalist society, we call it 
social democracy.  The best democracy in my view, is where one ruling faction 
is replaced peacefully by another through regular, fair and just elections by 
the majority of those who are over 16 and entitled to vote.   Not a lot of them 
around... J.


The spies, the goons, the intelligence operatives conduct their work in secret, 
their loyalty is to the system, to the status quo, to the preservation of an 
imaginary yet real and substantive ruling elite; and they are highly paid, 
highly organised and highly trained to keep it so...though that didn’t prevent 
some of them from selling themselves to the highest bidder, or giving 
themselves away for a mess of potage, or selling themselves to some convenient 
state or mythical cause in the name of a shift of political loyalty, of truth, 
honesty and decency; or because of some new political or philosophical fashion 
they adopted in lieu of guilt or to justify and absolve themselves from the 
shame of their betrayals, of their basic humanness.


Whilst the rebel, the revolutionary, the extremist, the purest of the pure, the 
vicar, priest and representative of the church of whatever domination and the 
terrorists will also do the same, the difference is in the fact that the 
rewards aren’t so great and are generally more speculative and difficult to 
keep quiet and organise...unless of course, they manage by some luck or fateful 
opportunity to take over political and economic and social power, and finish up 
at the top of the pile...like Lenin...for a while...and they all use the same 
tactics, and strategies.   They remind me of the African water buffalo, where 
the bulls fight one another over a huge pile of excrement.  The winner of this 
epic struggle, gains the right to wallow at the top of the pile, where a mix of 
chemicals and hormones, turns on the sexual urges and drives of the females and 
allows him to conduct his nuptial duties for the continuation and preservation 
of the species, until he collapses, exhausted into that by now, steaming pile.  
One day...one day...another bull comes along, who is younger and stronger, and 
the old bull gets knocked off his titular edifice.


Have you ever noticed how politicians who have been in the game for a number of 
years, have the answer to every question which is put to them?   They are so 
right, so correct, that they become boring and predictable, and the people, 
instead of admiring and loving them, and listening to them, eventually tire of 
them and may even get out of their apathy and get rid of them...or at least 
switch over the channel... J.  The really long lasting leaders, the masters of 
Machiavellian methods, like Mao, or Hitler, or Franco of Spain, eventually get 
carried off by the Grim Reaper, only to be replaced by the next in line.


Law was invented to settle differences peacefully between individuals, 
groupings, power structures.  We came up with the Magna Carta, it is what makes 
us different from the animals, law writ down and followed justly makes us 
civilised.  Our forebears used brute force to try and bring the biggest feudal 
landlord to come to heel, by signing a piece of paper, the words and concepts 
with which he did not agree, only to rip it up in less than a week.  We created 
parliaments, invented rules of law, developed the common and statute law.  We 
are all equal under the eyes of the law...A written constitution guarantees us 
certain rights...another myth, but better law than no law, in my view.  We 
ignore the law, we ignore justice, we ignore morality and ethics, at our 
peril...but we are never far from the law of the jungle


The invention of the internet has  exacerbated these trends.  Information is 
shared in an instant.  Secret, classified information, can go viral in seconds. 
 It is difficult for 5 million people who  have signed some kind of Official 
Secrets Act to keep a secret.  Even Hilary Clinton is very poor at security and 
one of the Directors of the C.I.A., David Petraeus got caught out and was 
prosecuted.  No longer is the secret community so secret.  The ubiquity of the 
email system have changed all that. 


Assange, Wiki leaks, Chelsea Manning, and Snowden and the likes of Intercept 
have made a huge hole in the secret world of nations methods of dominance, 
particularly the US and Five Eyes.   The world’s security experts working in 
private industry and in corporations, suddenly woke up to the fact that 
internet security was only as strong as the weakest link in the chain, and the 
weakest link is the human being.    The strongest link, is also the human 
being, but the one who works for the state, as part of a team, who uses 
monetary power, hard resources and intellectual power and experience to find 
that weakest link and exploit it.  And the strongest link can also be the 
weakest link, such is the contrariness of security and politics.


However, there is another side, the struggle between the hacker and the 
corporate, the intermixing of the methods of the hacker with the state.  The 
exchange and learning from one another, the  interchange of experience, the 
jobs on offer, the swapping of roles; the defectors from all sides; how 
complicated it has all become.   Also, confusion techniques, the propaganda,  
the manipulation of the perception of reality, the twisting and manipulation of 
people and organisations, the twisting of truth, the telling of lies as if they 
are truths, makes it very difficult, to tell the difference between the “good “ 
guys and the “bad” guys.  Does anyone come to Equity with clean hands these 


So, will the Russian government benefit from the Snowden revelations?  Of 
course it will, the USSR had one of the best secret services in the world.  The 
leader of the KGB, is a guy called Putin, is the Prime Minister, completely 
outmanoeuvring all the other aspirants for the job, twice.  Just as a number of 
leaders of the USA have also come from the CIA or the intelligence services.   
George Washington and the secret six comes to mind...

see url: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culper_Ring

As well as later editions such as Bush the elder.


Like the rest of us, they, the Russians and the security experts now have more 
certainty about the size of the problem, the methods used.  They can compare 
their own knowledge and experiences and level of development.  All sorts of 
information will be gained. Will Snowden be able to resist the temptation of 
sharing his knowledge with the Russians?  I doubt it, the man is not an island. 
 In an information society what price information?   Whether Putin will talk 
about it, or whether Snowden will talk about it is up to them, and I dare say 
that there will be tactical and strategic considerations.  You can bet your 
life that Snowden’s every move and communication will be monitored.  All that 
metadata... J.  And anyway, much can be done on a nod and a wink.


Assange too, will have his communications monitored and recorded.  The security 
services of the world are spending a fortune in tuning in to his every move and 
word.   He is in just as difficult a position, perhaps more so, living in an 
enclosed space, with limited room for manoeuvre, a bed in the bathroom, even 
the walls will have ears and eyes. 


  Do you think he will have done a deal with the Ecuadorians, which says that 
in return for saying and doing nothing, they will give him political sanctity 
and citizenship, and spend all that money on him, and take all that stick from 
the US and UK governments, like cancellation of contracts?    Perhaps I am  
suffering too  much from conspiracy theory?   Is it a question of Ecuador using 
the information gained from Assange to screw the US, fuck them up on the worlds 
stage, so that Ecuador becomes top dog?  I didn’t say that!    What contacts do 
the Ecuadorian secret services have with Assange?




From: cryptome-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:cryptome-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On 
Behalf Of Andrew Hornback
Sent: 11 March 2015 20:54
To: cryptome@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [cryptome] Re: FW: Cold War Updated




On Wed, Mar 4, 2015 at 4:00 PM, Douglas Rankine 
<douglasrankine2001@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:




It seems to me that security software is a waste of time and money, an illusion.




Security software has it's uses... I think it's pretty useful in keeping your 
pockets from getting picked while walking down the dark alleys of the 'net.  
However, it's pretty much useless (unless used in a serious security strategy) 
against corporate or state sponsored intelligence.


To the commoner, what's more important - keeping a few quid in the bank to pay 
for a loaf of bread or keeping their personal information secure from the 
prying eyes of the state?  Sadly, while I feel that both are of equal 
importance, the "man on the street" is going to tell you that they'd rather 
have quid in the bank.  


It is like Snowden gaining political asylum in Russia, or Assange getting 
refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.  There must be some kind of 
exchange of information going on.  Government agents don’t give out state money 
out of the kindness of their hearts...


So, there's the thought that Ecuador is going to leverage what they get from 
Assange to become a global power?  Maybe history will tell me how wrong I am, 
but I find that somewhat amusing.


As far as Russia draining Snowden for more information - what could they make 
out of it?  What could he tell them that's going to be of use given the 
political situation between the US and Russia?  Somehow, I don't see Putin 
going on TV and threatening Obama with the release of 100,000 pages of 
documentation unless the US and NATO stays out of Ukraine or wherever.   Hidden 
information gives you leverage if applied properly...


--- A


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