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Conspiracy Theory

Endless Mayfly: Iran’s disinformation wing that attacked America, Israel, and Saudi Arabia online

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Endless Mayfly Irans disinformation wing that attacked America Israel and Saudi Arabia online

There are times when Iran seems to be one of the most sophisticated nations in the world when it comes to covert operations. They don’t have the level of techniques employed by espionage experts in the United States, Russia, or Israel, nor do they have the technical prowess of China or North Korea, but they have a level of deceptiveness that makes them formidable nonetheless.

But when it comes to disinformation campaigns, they’re ineptitude is almost comical, as Citizen Lab revealed early this morning. The media and technology watchdog and research group has built a reputation for uncovering some of the most complex disinformation schemes conducted across the internet. Their comprehensive uncovering of Endless Mayfly is another huge feather in their bountiful cap.

Here are the key findings from their report:

  • Endless Mayfly is an Iran-aligned network of inauthentic personas and social media accounts that spreads falsehoods and amplifies narratives critical of Saudi Arabia, the United States, and Israel.
  • Endless Mayfly publishes divisive content on websites that impersonate legitimate media outlets. Inauthentic personas are then used to amplify the content into social media conversations. In some cases, these personas also privately and publicly engage journalists, political dissidents, and activists.
  • Once Endless Mayfly content achieves social media traction, it is deleted and the links are redirected to the domain being impersonated. This technique creates an appearance of legitimacy, while obscuring the origin of the false narrative. We call this technique “ephemeral disinformation”.
  • Our investigation identifies cases where Endless Mayfly content led to incorrect media reporting and caused confusion among journalists, and accusations of intentional wrongdoing. Even in cases where stories were later debunked, confusion remained about the intentions and origins behind the stories.
  • Despite extensive exposure of Endless Mayfly’s activity by established news outlets and research organizations, the network is still active, albeit with some shifts in tactics.

It was initially believed the organization was a Russian proxy, but their techniques and subjects eventually pointed to a likelihood of Iran being involved. While Citizen Lab rightly proclaims a likelihood instead of certainty of Iranian involvement, the data seems to be so clearly linked to Iran that there are only two reasonable explanations: either it is someone trying awfully hard to appear to be linked to Iran, or it’s Iran.

I’m going with the latter.

Their favored technique seems to be establishing fake websites with names close enough to legitimate websites that they’re able to fool prolific social media users and eager journalists dying for a juicy story. Buzzfeed News fell victim to one such instance on a website that looked identical to The Guardian, but that used a URL with a Turkish symbol replacing the “i” in “Guardian.”

They weren’t the only ones fooled. This operation seems to be quite vast.

Endless Mayfly

But there were other obvious signs of falsehood that should have been noticed by the “useful idiots” propagating their disinformation. One article linked to from the report shows plenty of errors that a trained journalist should have noticed, and in this case, he did.

On November 5, 2018, Ali Al-Ahmed, a Washington-based expert in terrorism in the Gulf states and a vocal critic of Saudi Arabia, received a direct message on Twitter from “Mona A. Rahman” (@Mona_ARahman, now suspended).

After engaging in some polite conversation in Arabic with Al-Ahmed, “Mona” shared what appeared to be an article from the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center. The article contained a purported quote from former Mossad director Tamir Pardo, alleging that former Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman had been dismissed by Netanyahu for being a Russian agent. These allegations, if true, might reasonably be expected to strain relations between Russia and Israel.

The story sent to Al-Ahmed is so loaded with spelling and grammatical mistakes, it’s a wonder anyone could get fooled if this is indicative of the quality of Iran’s disinformation work.

Fake News Endless Mayfly

If we assume Iran is, indeed, behind all of this, what does that tell us? We know tensions have been rising between Iran and both the U.S. and Israel. We can assume if they’ve been working at this since at least early 2016, they’ve had an agenda that extended to long before President Trump was elected. They probably found it unlikely he would be. So their goals weren’t to influence the U.S. elections as much as they were intended to shift sentiment from the rest of the world towards the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.

The full report is a wonderful read. As research on such topics, this one is exhaustive and enlightening.

But it still doesn’t answer the question of what this all means for the geopolitical positioning of Iran. They clearly want something, but that something has very likely changed since inception. Their economy was starting to flourish when President Obama was in office. Under President Trump, their economy has begun a rapid fall, prompting alleged actions ranging from sabotaging oil tankers to preparing to strike U.S. targets. They are desperate, and having access to a disinformation organization may help them seed discontent with the United States as our military stance in the Persian Gulf becomes more aggressive.

Iran has been acting like a wild animal cornered by superior forces ever since President Trump started pulling back the layers of protection given to them by President Obama. What will they do next? Their desperation is showing.

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Conspiracy Theory

9/11 families praise Attorney General’s transparency regarding Saudi Role in 9/11 attacks

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911 families praise Attorney Generals transparency regarding Saudi Role in 911 attacks

“This is a good result,” said Terry Strada, National Chair of the 9/11 Families and Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism

Washington, D.C. – The 9/11 Families & Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism, whose members are suing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its role in the September 11 Attacks, released the following statement after Attorney General Bill Barr refused to invoke “state secrets” to shield key evidence relating to the Saudi role. In particular, the Attorney General agreed to allow the court to see the name of the senior official who tasked two Saudi employees to give aid and support to the first-arriving hijackers.

“This is a good result,” said Terry Strada, National Chair of the 9/11 Families & Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism. “The families are dedicated to getting to the truth, and we shouldn’t have to beg for this sort of basic information, or be kept in the dark, about the Saudi role in the attacks.”

“The Saudis are running out of rope,” said Don Migliori and Sean Carter, attorneys for the plaintiffs in the 9/11 litigation. “It was always clear that this information was not a ‘state secret’ and we’re pleased that the Attorney General agreed. We look forward to more disclosures in the weeks and months ahead.”

Don Migliori is a partner at Motley Rice LLC, and Sean Carter is a partner with Cozen O’Connor. They are co-chairs of the Plaintiff’s Executive Committee in the multi-district litigation against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia pending in federal district court in New York.

BACKGROUND:

Since 2003, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has faced a civil lawsuit in the Southern District of New York (03 MDL 1570) alleging that the Kingdom aided and abetted and provided material support for the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

After many years of legal wrangling regarding the scope of the law of sovereign immunity, Congress intervened decisively in September 2016 and passed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA). JASTA made clear that foreign sovereigns cannot evade accountability in U.S. courts when they aid and abet or provide material support to international terrorism on U.S. soil, such as the September 11 Attacks. JASTA’s passage was endorsed by then-candidate Donald Trump’s campaign multiple times, with surrogates Reince Priebus and Rudy Giuliani, and Trump himself, favoring JASTA and the right of the 9/11 families to pursue their civil lawsuit against the Saudis.

In March of 2018, Judge George Daniels of the Southern District of New York rejected yet another attempt by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to dismiss the case. Judge Daniels then ordered discovery into the Saudi role in aiding and abetting the hijackers, including on matters relating to the activities of Saudi government officials Omar Ahmed al-Bayoumi and Fahad al-Thumairy. Attorneys for the 9/11 families and related parties have been collecting information from the Saudis, the U.S government, and other parties throughout the world. Much of that information remains under seal, but it is extensive and probative to the case.

One of the issues relating to Thumairy and Bayoumi was a heavily redacted 2012 FBI Summary Report, which indicated that the FBI was investigating both them and an unnamed third party who “tasked” them to help the hijackers upon arrival. The 9/11 plaintiffs have demanded that the name of that third individual be released, but it appears that some elements in the U.S. government though that the name should be shielded from the families as a “state secret.” The Attorney General had the personal obligation to determine whether the identity of the unnamed “tasking” official should be treated in that fashion.

The public policy of the United States favors full disclosure of all details relating to the Saudi support for al Qaeda and the 9/11 hijackers. Congress made this clear by passing JASTA has continued to emphasize the need for full disclosure.

For example, on September 26, 2018, the U.S. Senate once again spoke to the importance of full disclosure, unanimously passing S. Res. 610 calling on the Department of Justice to declassify necessary information because “the survivors, the families of the victims, and the people of the United States deserve answers about the events and circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks upon the United States.” That effort was led by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and John Cornyn (R-TX).

Further, on March 8, 2019, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray to urge him to give the highest attention to the 9/11 families’ request for information, emphasizing, that “Congress has made clear its view that American interests would best be served by a full and fair inquiry into these matters.” (See March 8, 2019 letter from Senators John Cornyn, Charles Schumer, Chuck Grassley, Richard Blumenthal, and Kirsten Gillibrand to FBI Director Christopher Wray.) The Senators made clear that the “FBI should not withhold relevant information from the [9/11] victims or their families in these cases for any reason.”

The families will continue to press their case in order to uncover the truth regarding the Saudi role in the 9/11 attacks. Today’s disclosure is helpful to that cause, but much more work must be done.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Conspiracy Theory

‘Science’ is advancing us towards eating bugs to fight climate change. Seriously.

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Science is advancing us towards eating bugs to fight climate change Seriously

It’s the type of headline I dread reading because invariably it fails to deliver on its click-bait premise. I never thought I would be writing such a headline myself, but that’s exactly what’s happening. I could have gone with the more provocative headlines which is also mostly true: “Science is advancing us towards cannibalism to fight climate change. Even though their is evidence that this is an accurate assessment, I opted for the less controversial invocation of edible insects so as not to turn people off from clicking.

They want us to eat bugs. Some want us to eat recently deceased humans as well, but not quite as many. Not yet, at least.

We’ve all heard the stories about Democrats pushing for regulations and even bans on certain food products that allegedly drive climate change. It’s all over the news now as the hypocrites drink from straws and eat hot dogs at the Iowa State Fair, only to turn around a week later and condemn people for doing what they did.

Meanwhile, their cronies in the “sciences” are pushing the radical climate change agenda for them and have gone so far as to attempt to normalize the consumption of insects as a valid protein source. Bugs are high in protein. Their scrumptious to warthogs. When are humans going to take the hint?

This video from Truthstream Media is a rant that’s worth watching. In it, they detail how the insane religion of Earth worship, also known as climate change activism, is applying science to make us insectivores. Locust burgers are around the corner.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Conspiracy Theory

Feds order release of gun scope app user data. All of it.

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Feds order release of gun scope app user data All of it

News

In an unprecedented move, the Department of Justice has ordered Apple and Google to release all user data for an app that controls a high-end rifle scope. Obsidian 4, an app that controls a scope produced by American Technologies Network Corp, is the target of the data release. And the feds want everything – names, addresses, phone numbers, IP locations – of 10,000+ Android users and an unknown number of iOS users who have downloaded the application.

Exclusive: Feds Order Apple And Google To Hand Over Names Of 10,000+ Users Of A Gun Scope App

According to a court order filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on 5 September, investigators want information on users of Obsidian 4, a tool used to control rifle scopes made by night vision specialist American Technologies Network Corp. The app allows gun owners to get a live stream, take video and calibrate their gun scope from an Android or iPhone device. According to the Google Play page for Obsidian 4, it has more than 10,000 downloads. Apple doesn’t provide download numbers, so it’s unclear how many iPhone owners have been swept up in this latest government data grab.

If Apple and Google decide to hand over the information, it could include data on thousands of innocent people who have nothing to do with the crimes being investigated, privacy activists warned. Edin Omanovic, lead on Privacy International’s State Surveillance programme, said the order would set a dangerous precedent and scoop up “huge amounts of innocent people’s personal data.”

“Such orders need to be based on suspicion and be particularized – this is neither,” Omanovic added.

Federal investigators will use the data they collect to locate smuggling rings of these scopes, which are illegal to ship abroad without proper licensing. According to the court filing, illegal shipments to other countries have been rampant and the DoJ hopes using app data to track use of the scopes will help them locate the sources of the smuggling rings.

But all data is being collected, including law-abiding American citizens. All users will be tracked.

Opinion

This is a tremendous breach of trust by the U.S. government which goes well beyond privacy. There is already plenty of controversy surrounding our 2nd Amendment rights as gun owners, and to have the government tracking law-abiding citizens for the sake of a smuggling investigation is ludicrous.

They are not seeking information on app usage in other countries. They didn’t set criteria that would make users potentially involved in the smuggling ring. They ordered all app users’ data, a very dangerous move that if it becomes a trend could mean the tracking of essentially all mobile devices and their users in America.

This is a clear step towards Big Brother because the scale of the request is overly broad. It’s completely unnecessary, but here we are. The government’s ability to track Americans is at its highest level in history and it’s only getting worse every day. One does not have to be a conspiracy theorist or succumb to anti-government paranoia to realize this is overreach on the highest scale that can lead to much worse offenses against our privacy in the very near future.

Quote

“There’s a more profound issue here with the government able to vacuum up a vast amount of data on people they have no reason to suspect have committed any crime. They don’t have any probable cause to investigate but they’re getting access to data on them.” – Privacy Lawyer Tor Ekeland

Final Thoughts

There’s a very fine line between the government using technology to track bad guys and using it to track everyone. This action in unambiguously a step to collect mass user data on gun owners, law-abiding or not.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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