14 June 2014

US pushing local police departments to keep quiet on cell-phone surveillance technology

Associated Press
US pushing local cops to stay mum on surveillance
View photo
This photo taken June 11, 2014 shows the Berkshire Manor Apartments in Tallahassee, Fla., one location where the "Stingray" surveillance device was used extensively by the Tallahassee Police Department. The Obama administration has been quietly advising local police not to disclose details about surveillance technology they are using to sweep up basic cellphone data from entire neighborhoods, The Associated Press has learned. (AP Photo/Phil Sears)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration has been quietly advising local police not to disclose details about surveillance technology they are using to sweep up basic cellphone data from entire neighborhoods, The Associated Press has learned.

Citing security reasons, the U.S. has intervened in routine state public records cases and criminal trials regarding use of the technology. This has resulted in police departments withholding materials or heavily censoring documents in rare instances when they disclose any about the purchase and use of such powerful surveillance equipment.

Federal involvement in local open records proceedings is unusual. It comes at a time when President Barack Obama has said he welcomes a debate on government surveillance and called for more transparency about spying in the wake of disclosures about classified federal surveillance programs.

One well-known type of this surveillance equipment is known as a Stingray, an innovative way for law enforcement to track cellphones used by suspects and gather evidence. The equipment tricks cellphones into identifying some of their owners' account information, like a unique subscriber number, and transmitting data to police as if it were a phone company's tower. That allows police to obtain cellphone information without having to ask for help from service providers, such as Verizon or AT&T, and can locate a phone without the user even making a call or sending a text message.

But without more details about how the technology works and under what circumstances it's used, it's unclear whether the technology might violate a person's constitutional rights or whether it's a good investment of taxpayer dollars.

Interviews, court records and public-records requests show the Obama administration is asking agencies to withhold common information about the equipment, such as how the technology is used and how to turn it on. That pushback has come in the form of FBI affidavits and consultation in local criminal cases.

"These extreme secrecy efforts are in relation to very controversial, local government surveillance practices using highly invasive technology," said Nathan Freed Wessler, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, which has fought for the release of these types of records. "If public participation means anything, people should have the facts about what the government is doing to them."

Harris Corp., a key manufacturer of this equipment, built a secrecy element into its authorization agreement with the Federal Communications Commission in 2011. That authorization has an unusual requirement: that local law enforcement "coordinate with the FBI the acquisition and use of the equipment." Companies like Harris need FCC authorization in order to sell wireless equipment that could interfere with radio frequencies.
A spokesman from Harris Corp. said the company will not discuss its products for the Defense Department and law enforcement agencies, although public filings showed government sales of communications systems such as the Stingray accounted for nearly one-third of its $5 billion in revenue. "As a government contractor, our solutions are regulated and their use is restricted," spokesman Jim Burke said.

Local police agencies have been denying access to records about this surveillance equipment under state public records laws. Agencies in San Diego, Chicago and Oakland County, Michigan, for instance, declined to tell the AP what devices they purchased, how much they cost and with whom they shared information. San Diego police released a heavily censored purchasing document. Oakland officials said police-secrecy exemptions and attorney-client privilege keep their hands tied. It was unclear whether the Obama administration interfered in the AP requests.

"It's troubling to think the FBI can just trump the state's open records law," said Ginger McCall, director of the open government project at the Electronic Privacy Information Center. McCall suspects the surveillance would not pass constitutional muster.

"The vast amount of information it sweeps in is totally irrelevant to the investigation," she said.

A court case challenging the public release of information from the Tucson Police Department includes an affidavit from an FBI special agent, Bradley Morrison, who said the disclosure would "result in the FBI's inability to protect the public from terrorism and other criminal activity because through public disclosures, this technology has been rendered essentially useless for future investigations."

Morrison said revealing any information about the technology would violate a federal homeland security law about information-sharing and arms-control laws — legal arguments that that outside lawyers and transparency experts said are specious and don't comport with court cases on the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.

The FBI did not answer questions about its role in states' open records proceedings.

But a former Justice Department official said the federal government should be making this argument in federal court, not a state level where different public records laws apply.

"The federal government appears to be attempting to assert a federal interest in the information being sought, but it's going about it the wrong way," said Dan Metcalfe, the former director of the Justice Department's office of information and privacy. Currently Metcalfe is the executive director of American University's law school Collaboration on Government Secrecy project.

A criminal case in Tallahassee cites the same homeland security laws in Morrison's affidavit, court records show, and prosecutors told the court they consulted with the FBI to keep portions of a transcript sealed. That transcript, released earlier this month, revealed that Stingrays "force" cellphones to register their location and identifying information with the police device and enables officers to track calls whenever the phone is on.

One law enforcement official familiar with the Tucson lawsuit, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak about internal discussions, said federal lawyers told Tucson police they couldn't hand over a PowerPoint presentation made by local officers about how to operate the Stingray device. Federal officials forwarded Morrison's affidavit for use in the Tucson police department's reply to the lawsuit, rather than requesting the case be moved to federal court.

In Sarasota, Florida, the U.S. Marshals Service confiscated local records on the use of the surveillance equipment, removing the documents from the reach of Florida's expansive open-records law after the ACLU asked under Florida law to see the documents. The ACLU has asked a judge to intervene. The Marshals Service said it deputized the officer as a federal agent and therefore the records weren't accessible under Florida law.

Associated Press writer Brendan Farrington in Tallahassee, Florida, contributed to this report.
On Twitter, follow Gillum at https://twitter.com/jackgillum and Sullivan at https://twitter.com/esullivanap

http://thefreethoughtproject.com 12 Jun 2014

This article was removed in a facebook post.

Commonwealth Bank compensation bill may run to multi millions

Illustration: Simon Bosch Illustration: Simon Bosch

The Commonwealth Bank could be forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in additional compensation to customers who claim they were victims of misconduct including fraud and forgery in its financial planning business.

A powerful Senate inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank's financial planning scandal is set to hand down a report later this month.

Fairfax Media understands that it will call for a broadening of the compensation being offered to thousands of customers.

The chairman of the Senate inquiry, Senator Mark Bishop, told Fairfax Media he was not satisfied that adequate compensation had been paid to affected customers of the bank, some of whom lost their life savings due to inappropriate advice, fraud and forgery by financial planners working for the bank.

''If my fears [are correct] that a large number of client files have not been properly reviewed and full compensation made, then clearly we are talking hundreds of millions of dollars," he said, adding that up to $250 million might be needed. The bank has paid out $52 million to about 1100 customers.

CBA, Australia's biggest bank which boasts the largest number of customers, makes almost $1 billion a year from its wealth management business and financial planning operations. It is tipped to make a record $8.5 billion profit this financial year.

The Senate inquiry was triggered by a series of articles in Fairfax Media that highlighted a scandal in the bank's financial planning division and a regulator that was slow to act on a tip-off by a group of whistleblowers led by Jeff Morris.

The articles illustrated that the culture inside the financial planning division was one where managers covered up forgery and fraud and encouraged planners to put clients into high-risk products to meet their bonuses and the bonuses of the planners.

It comes as the federal government is set to water down financial reforms, which were introduced by the previous government to reduce the risks of another Storm Financial collapse by banning commissions. Storm so far ranks as the country's worst financial planning disaster.

Nationals senator John Williams, who is also on the Senate inquiry, told Fairfax Media the bank's Commonwealth Financial Planning division had an ''alarming'' number of planners who had been identified as being at ''critical'' risk of wrongdoing.

Senator Williams was referring to a letter written by the corporate regulator in 2008 to the bank, which identified serious flaws in the way the bank rated and reprimanded planners for misconduct or breaches.

The bank in 2008 rated 38 planners as a ''critical risk'', a rating applied to the most serious misconduct, including fraud and dishonest conduct or ''deliberate or reckless failure to address known needs and objectives''.

CBA confirmed in a statement on Friday that nine of those planners identified as ''critical risk'' were still with the bank.

It said the bank had ''reviewed compliance results and other relevant data for these advisers multiple times since the ASIC surveillance period'' and it had no concern with seven of the planners.

''The remaining two advisers are currently being reviewed for matters unrelated to their 2006 critical rating,'' the bank said.

The statement appears to contradict a submission from the bank to the Senate in November 2013, in which it said: ''CFP acknowledges that in the past a small number of its advisers, none of whom remain with CFP, provided inappropriate advice to some customers.''

However, a spokeswoman for the bank said on Friday that the submission referred to ''specific advisers'' within the financial planning division.

She said: ''We deeply regret that some of our planners provided poor advice in the past. Our first priority has been making this right for our customers. The remediation process was overviewed by an independent expert and agreed with ASIC. Our second priority has been transforming the business to ensure these types of issues do not re-occur.''

smh.com.au 14 Jun 2014

The Commonwealth Bank is involved in major fraud against its customers, an action that should be taken in a lawsuit.

13 June 2014

Cooling Temperature Trend Establishing Across Northeastern Australia

The Hon Greg Hunt MP,
Minister for the Environment.

Dear Minister Hunt,

I wrote to you on 4th March 2014 with concerns that the claims made by the Bureau of Meteorology that 2013 was Australia’s hottest year on record, are somewhat deceptive. In that letter I explained that the official temperature record has been truncated to begin in 1910 (thereby excluding the hot years of the Federation drought) and that the method used to calculate the annual average temperature for Australia is not transparent.

I’ve since come to understand that the annual average temperature for 2013, which the Bureau claimed was a record, is in fact a wholly contrived valued based on modeling of temperatures, rather than the averaging of actual recorded values. That is, careful scrutiny of the Bureau’s methodology shows that recorded temperatures at locations across Australia are submitted to a two-step homogenization process that can have the effect of changing the entire temperature trend at specific locations. A weighted mean of these ‘homogenized’ values is then used in the calculation of the Australian annual mean temperature. In turn, the ‘homogenized’ values are used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which gives advice back to the Australian government on global and Australian temperature trends.

A problem with this approach is that it can deliver an impression of climate change which accords wholly with expectations. But, it is reality that Australians should be planning for, so it would be better if the Bureau used real data, rather than modeled output when reporting temperature trends. Indeed to quote Aldous Huxley, ‘Facts don’t cease to exist because they are ignored.’

At the invitation of the Sydney Institute, I will be giving a talk on 25th June 2014, that shows the detail of how this methodology is applied, using the locations of Bourke in western NSW and Amberley in Queensland as case studies. I encourage attendance from the Bureau to scrutinize my presentation for accuracy. Indeed, all Australians should have a clear understanding of the nature of the data used in the calculation of important and highly publicized temperature statistics. All Australians should also have access to a realistic assessment of current temperature trends.

Very recently it was brought to my attention that Graham Williamson wrote to Rob Vertessy, Director of Meteorology at the Bureau, also querying the claimed increase in temperatures. Mr Williamson, in his letter of 27th May 2014, specifically asked why the Bureau of Meteorology did not acknowledge the 15-year hiatus in global warming as detailed in the recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, Chapter 10, AR5). In reply to Mr Williamson, Neil Plummer from the Bureau has suggested that the IPCC is simply referring to a slow down in the rate of global warming, rather than a pause as such. Given the IPCC reports are based on temperature trends derived from ‘homogenized’ data, rather than real observational records, I am concerned that they may also not be giving a true picture of recent climate change. To reiterate, even the IPCC is using modeled output rather than real data.

As part of ongoing research into natural rainfall patterns in Queensland, Professor John Abbot and I have been studying the temperature record for northeastern Australia, as temperature is a key input variable in our neural network models (e.g. Abbot and Marohasy 2014). Considering the data from the late 1800s until 1960, a cooling trend is evident, followed by warming between 1960 and 2001. In contrast, the last 12 years show quite dramatic cooling, Table 1. All three periods have occurred while greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide, have been increasing in concentration in the atmosphere.
Our analysis of the maximum temperature trend for the years 2002 to 2013 is based, not on the modeled temperature values used to generate official temperature statistics, but on the unadjusted observed temperatures also available from the Bureau of Meteorology website. The thirty-one sites across Queensland were chosen on the basis that there is a continual temperature record for the period 2002 to 2013 at each of the locations. We choose 2002 as the start date, as the data suggests a change in trend at about this year from warming to cooling. This is consistent with published studies by astrophysicists and physicists (e.g. Nicola Scafetta 2010, Abdussamatov 2012, and Lu 2013) and closely follows the timing of the last solar maximum (eg. NASA update 02/05/2014, http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/predict.shtml). While Table 1 is limited to Queensland, preliminary assessment of data from NSW, Victoria and the Northern Territory also suggests the onset of a cooling trend.

This information is in stark contrast to the information in the State of the Climate Report 2014 recently published by the Bureau and also CSIRO. The report states that “warming over Australia has been consistent” and temperatures are “projected to continue to increase, with more hot days and fewer extremely cool days.”

In order to reconcile the information in Table 1, with the claims in the State of the Climate Report 2014, it is important to realize that, like the calculation of the annual mean temperature for Australia, data present in the report is based wholly on modeled output. That is observed temperature values have been first passed through a two-step homogenization process involving the application of complex mathematical algorithms.
It is important to make a distinction between output from a computer model and real data. In his book Science and Public Policy: The virtuous corruption of virtual environmental science Aynsley Kellow, Professor and Head of the School of Government at the University of Tasmania, shows through many examples, including from climate science, how a reliance on computer models over the last 30 years as well as the infusion of values, has produced a preference for virtual over observational data. But the Australian public and Australian industry deserve much better from the Bureau.

As an Australian scientist with a keen interest in public policy and temperature records, I ask you as the Minister ultimately responsible for the activities of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, to consider how you might reconcile increasing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide with a falling temperature trend, and what needs to be done if we are to adequately prepare as a nation for the possible onset of a period of sustained cooling.

Yours sincerely
Dr Jennifer Marohasy
Adjunct Research Fellow
Central Queensland University

Letter from Jennifer Marohasy to Minister Greg Hunt, 4th March 2014

John Abbot and Jennifer Marohasy, 2014. Input Selection and optimization for monthly rainfall forecasting in Queensland, Australia, using artificial neural networks, Atmospheric Research, Volume 138, Pages 166-178.
Nicola Scafetta, 2010. Empirical evidence for a celestial origin of the climate oscillations and its implications, Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Volume 72, Pages 951-970.

Habibullo I. Abdussamatov, 2012. Bicentennial decrease of the total solar irradiance leads to unbalanced thermal budget of the Earth and the Little Ice Age, Applied Physics Research, Volume 4. DOI: 10.5539/apr.v4n1p178

Qing-Bu Lu, 2013. Cosmic-ray driven reaction and greenhouse effect of halogenated molecules: culprits for atmospheric ozone depletion and global climate change, International Journal of Modern Physics B, Volume 27, DOI: 10.1142/S0217979213500732

Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO 2014, State of the Climate 2014 http://www.bom.gov.au/state-of-the-climate/documents/state-of-the-climate-2014_low-res.pdf?ref=button

jennifermarohasy.com 11 Jun 2014

Woman ‘raped in police station’

A police dog stands near the tree last month where two teenage girls were found hanging a
A police dog stands near the tree last month where two teenage girls were found hanging after they were gang-raped in Katra village in Uttar Pradesh state. Source: AP
AN Indian woman yesterday said she was gang-raped by four officers at a police station, the latest in a string of shocking sex attacks in the troubled state of Uttar Pradesh. 

The woman said she had gone to the station overnight on Monday, local time, in the state’s Hamirpur district to seek her husband’s release when she was attacked.

“At 11:30pm when there was no one in the room, the sub-­inspector took me to his room and raped me inside the police station,” the woman told CNN-IBN.

The woman filed a complaint with a senior officer over the ­attack, which allegedly occurred when she refused to pay a bribe to secure the release of her ­husband.

“The procedure will be followed — the victim has filed a complaint and the guilty will be arrested soon,” said Virendra Kumar Shekhar, a police official from Hamirpur.

Sub-inspector Balbir Singh said a criminal case had been lodged against four officers from the station.

The case is the latest in a string of horrific rapes and murders in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, where Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is under growing political pressure over his handling of law and order.

Late last month, two girls, aged 12 and 14, were gang-raped and lynched in their village. They were attacked after going into a field to relieve themselves at night because they did not have a toilet at home.

Their families refused to cut the bodies down from the tree for hours in protest, saying police had failed to take action against the attackers because the girls were from a low caste.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged all politicians to work together to protect women, in his first comments on the issue since the hanging of the girls sparked public outrage.

Mr Modi warned politicians against “politicising rape”, saying they were “playing with the dignity of women” in his first speech to parliament since sweeping to power at last month’s national elections.

India brought in tougher laws last year against sexual offenders after the fatal gang-rape of a student in New Delhi in December 2012, but they have failed to stem the tide of violence against women.

Also this week, a 45-year-old woman was found hanging from a tree in Uttar Pradesh. Her family said she had been raped and murdered.

A police officer said they were questioning five men over the incident, which occurred several kilometres from her home in Bahraich district.

“They (her husband and son) have alleged that the woman, before being strung up from the tree, was raped and murdered by these men,” said district superintendent Happy Guptan.

theaustralian.com.au 13 Jun 2014

This story appeared in a facebook post with a more graphic illustration of the two women hanging, which will not be posted in this article.

The people police involved in the rape are nothing less than savages.

This is far from an isolated incident, where many cases do not go reported locally and certainly not on an international scale.

What is worse is that this is a kind of mindset embedded in the 'culture' of the nation.

Under the humanitarian / refugee banner this trash is imported into Australia, which at some later point in time the mentality rears its ugly head and crimes are committed against Australian women.

There is very little action from Australian authorities in terms jailing for life or even deporting the criminals back to India, as the mighty 'dollar' speaks louder, where there are trade agreements for Australia to import cheap Indian labour, to desecrate the Australian worker from earning a decent wage to support the family.

The importation of 'slave' labour into Melbourne, Australia sits at approximately 1000 people per week.

The privacy of ordinary Australians is under serious threat

ntelligence representatives offered to share the confidential data of law-abiding Australians with international partners. In this Orwellian climate, who will guard the guardians?
Server room at data center
Canadian eavesdroppers drew the line at sharing bulk metadata. Australian ones didn't. Photograph: Getty
The latest Snowden document, revealed by Guardian Australia today, increases concern that the Defence Signals Directorate (DSD) is operating outside its legal mandate. The minutes of a policy meeting in Britain in 2008, with their US, Canadian, UK and New Zealand counterparts, reveal DSD representatives claiming that they were entitled to share the confidential data of Australians with these partners, and were even considering disclosing them to “non-intelligence agencies” without first obtaining a warrant.

This would be a breach of sections 8 and 12 of the Intelligence Services Act 2001. Snowden’s evidence that that DSD ignored this law (or was ignorant of its correct interpretation) raises the prospect that law-abiding Australians have had their personal data wrongfully collected and transmitted to bodies which may use it to damage them.

The Intelligence Services Act sets strict limits on any DSD (now ASD) activity “likely to have a direct effect on an Australian person or produce intelligence on an Australian person”. In such cases, ministerial authorisation is required (section 8) and before giving it, the minister must be satisfied that the Australian is “a person of interest” – ie involved in terrorism or espionage or serious crime. This is a vital safeguard and any unauthorised or unnecessary surveillance of an Australian is in breach of the Act (section 12).

The Snowden leak, however, suggests that in some circumstances DSD believes it can circumvent this safeguard and even offer up the fruit of its warrantless interceptions to foreign agencies.

The meeting of the five national electronic spying representatives was called in 2008 to consider whether and how to share the remarkably intimate intelligence that can be gathered from “metadata” – the log of electronic signals sent and received by individuals. “Metadata absolutely tells you everything about somebody’s life” says the NSA’s general counsel. It told, for example, that General Petraeus was having an affair with his biographer, so he could not, in puritan America, remain head of the CIA. There are doubtless quite a few Australians whom metadata tales might dob in (think Bob Hawke and Blanche d’Alpuget) without any suggestion that they have been involved in crime. It is this prospect that makes it important to ensure that DSD operates scrupulously within the law.

The minutes of the policy convention show DSD representatives insouciant about sharing metadata on Australians – so long as it had been hoovered up “unintentionally” they were happy to store and to disclose it without obtaining a warrant. This is a misinterpretation of section 8. If it has been collected unintentionally it must be destroyed. Significantly, the Canadian eavesdroppers drew the line at sharing this “bulk metadata” precisely because of Canada’s privacy laws.

There are other disquieting details in the minutes of this spooks’ convention. The parties all agreed that as a result of electronic spying breakthroughs they appear to be now collecting “medical, legal and religious, or restricted business information, which may be regarded as an intrusion of privacy (my italics)”. But there is no “may” about it – obtaining details of personal medical history counts as an invasion of privacy under every human rights treaty, whilst theft of professionally privileged legal advice is contrary to the common law. These minutes are further evidence we are slipping into an Orwellian world where the state can scoop up any electronic communication, and in which DSD thinks it can lawfully tittle-tattle on Australians to foreign agencies and is even considering disclosure to “non-intelligence agencies” – police, professional associations, employers and perhaps even to newspapers.

Snowden’s earlier revelations, in Guardian Australia and the ABC, that DSD had in 2009 targeted the mobile phones of top Indonesians, including the president’s wife, raise the question of whether it had exceeded its powers to gather information of relevance to national security, as distinct from gossip and intimate personal data. His latest revelations are more serious, raising the question of whether DSD has, since 2008, been exceeding its powers in relation to disclosing data collected on Australian citizens who are not suspected of crime. It calls for an answer to the Quis Custodiet question: who guards the guardians?

In Australia there is a parliamentary committee on intelligence and security. But it can only review matters referred by a minister or by the houses of parliament – it cannot act on its own initiative to ensure that DSD is operating within the law. There is however an inspector general of intelligence and security, a position established by special legislation in 1986 who may of her own initiative “inquire into any matter that relates to the compliance by (DSD) with the laws of the Commonwealth … or the propriety of particular activities of the agency… or a practice of that agency that is or may be inconsistent with or contrary to any human right”.

The guardian who must now guard the DSD is the current inspector general Dr Vivienne Thom, a legal academic. So far she has remained silent on the Snowden revelations and as far as the public is aware, she has not investigated the organisation for privacy invasion or excess of power in respect of those allegations. If she hasn't, she must do so urgently and immediately, or her office will not live up to its statutory duty. The answer to the Quis Custodiet question, in Australia, will be Nemo – nobody.

• Geoffrey Robertson QC is the author of Dreaming too Loud – Reflections on a Race Apart, published this month by Random House

theguardian.com 2 Dec 2013

All part of the agenda of the rulers which no one can realistically stop.

12 June 2014

Australia the Prison Island - Violation of laws

For those who are in the delusional state or are blinded by the corporate media lies, or government propaganda agents that promote Australia as 'free country' or 'lucky country' or even a democracy, the real truth is a bit more harsh.

An understanding of the legal system is of paramount importance in order to ascertain one's so called 'freedom'.

A list has been compiled of the laws that are being violated in Australia by the 'authorities'.

These are as follows:

  • Common law  
  • Due process of law 1354
  • Due process of law 1368  
  • bill of rights 1688
  • magna carta 1215
  • magna carta 1216 
  • magna carta 1217 
  • magna carta 1225
  • magna carta 1297
  • petition of right 1627
  • habeas corpus act 1640 
  • Criminal & Civil Justice Act 1351 
  • Free Access to Courts Act 1400 
  • Imperial Acts Application Act 1984 
  • an act to constitute the commonwealth of Australia section 80 
  • an act to constitute the commonwealth of Australia section 109
  • an act to constitute the commonwealth of Australia section 117 
  • an act to constitute the commonwealth of Australia section 118
  • an act to constitute the commonwealth of Australia Clause 5
  • DECLARATION OF HELSINKI, Nuremberg Code Sixth revision section 1 UN-VOLUNTURY CONSENT 
  • Trade Practices Amendment (Australian Consumer Law) Act (No. 2) 2010 section 21 (1) UCONSCIOUBLE CONDUCT. 
  • Trade Practices Amendment (Australian Consumer Law) Act (No. 2) 2010 section 34 MISLEADING CONDUCT AS TO THE NATURE ETC. OF SERVICES 
  • Trade Practices Amendment (Australian Consumer Law) Act (No. 2) 2010 section 50 HARASSMENT AND COERCION 
  • Trade Practices Amendment (Australian Consumer Law) Act (No. 2) 2010 section 151 FALSE OR MISLEADING And; REPRESENTATION ABOUT GOODS OR SERVICES
  • Trade Practices Amendment (Australian Consumer Law) Act (No. 2) 2010 section 45. ENGAGING IN A PYRMID SCHEME 
  • INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS PART 1 ARTICLE 1 All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. 
  • INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS PART 2 ARTICLE 1 Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to respect and to ensure to all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in the present Covenant, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status,
  • WORK HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT 2011 - SECT 108, New South Wales Consolidated Acts ENFORCED by Section 118 of An Act to constitute the Commonwealth of Australia. Prohibition of coercion or inducement,
  • Commonwealth Consolidated Acts -CRIMES ACT 1914 - SECT 28 Interfering with political liberty,
  • Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct : Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, e International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, United Nations Convention against Corruption, Rule of Law. is being violated
  • Harare Declaration
  • Haugue Convention
  • Geneva Proctocol 1925
  • the Yamashita protocols - also called the Medina Standard
  • Papal Bull issued by Pope Francis on june the 11th 2013
  • The charter of the commonwealth 2013
  • Your Unalienable rights
  • Your Inalienable rights
the biggest one of them all...
 Author: Conscious Entity

The $1 trillion F-35 tries to be all things, but succeeds at few

The $1 trillion F-35 tries to be all things, but succeeds at few, say critics. But is Australia’s new weapon now too big to fail?

Take a look at the F-35 fighter jet. Courtesy Lockheed Martin

AUSTRALIA has committed its biggest defence outlay ever on an unfinished combat jet critics insist can’t fight, can’t run and can’t hide. Is the F-35 a flop? 

Angst has been boiling about the F-35 Lightning II (otherwise known as the Joint Strike Fighter) since its inception. Now, five years overdue and six years away from its revised delivery date, that angst has exploded into furore.

The United States, and by virtual default all its key allies, have pinned their hopes on this single project.
In the US it’s been priced at over $1 trillion. Australia is spending around $15 billion.

Advocates insist its is the most advanced killing machine in history — a flying supercomputer pumping an unprecedented level of information into a $500,000 helmet that allows pilots to “see” through the floor of their own aircraft.

Whatever the case, the F-35 was supposed to be an affordable alternative to the far more capable F22 Raptor interceptor fighter.

Now, it’s so expensive — in fact it’s the most costly defence project in history at $1 trillion — it is being seen as “far too big to fail”.

While builder Lockheed Martin may yet succeed in rolling the aircraft off the production line, there are grave doubts in the aircraft’s ability to do the jobs demanded of it.

Critics point to what they call a fundamental flaw in its design: As a cost-savings exercise, it’s supposed to be all things to all people.

For the US Navy, it’s supposed to be an F14 Tomcat interceptor and F/A18 Hornet strike fighter combined.
For the US air force, it’s supposed to do the jobs of the F-16 strike fighter and A10 ground-attack aircraft.
For the US Marines, it’s supposed to be a replacement for their iconic “Jump Jet” Harriers.

The result, critics say, is a cascading series of compromises that has produced an aircraft inadequate to meet any of its functions.

Here’s a look at the causes of the controversy.


It’s supposed to clear the skies to keep valuable assets and troops safe.

It’s supposed to sneak past enemy air defences with ease, and deliver its (limited) ordinance with pinpoint accuracy.

It’s supposed to go in rough and dirty to support embattled ground troops — anywhere, anytime.

But defence industry critics are now loudly shouting it isn’t up to any of these tasks. Not mean enough. Not stealthy enough. Especially when put up against its new Russian and Chinese competitors.

It’s underarmed with just two air-to-air missiles and two large bombs, they say.

Advocates insist it can carry an enormous array of modern weapons — and that its speed and manoeuvrability handicaps are negated by its extreme stealth characteristics. You cannot shoot what you cannot see, they argue.

Detractors argue that strapping bombs under the F-35 wings is like putting up a huge neon “shoot me” sign in modern battlefield radar environments. And given that the F-35 is inherently slower and less manoeuvrable than its opponents, it can only carry more than its hidden, but highly limited, internal load at its own risk.

It’s a point the F-35’s competitors have highlighted, using test combat results to try to convince Australia to buy their Russian-based technology instead.

Imposing presence ... Prime Minister Tony Abbott with a mock-up of the F-35 Lightning II Advocates present the aircraft’s incredibly enhanced battlefield electronics as their trump card. But these Top Secret systems that sound as though they are straight out of a science fiction movie are yet to become fully operational.

Imposing presence ... Prime Minister Tony Abbott with a mock-up of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter at RAAF base Fairbairn, in Canberra. 

Australia has committed to buying more than 70 of the controversial aircraft. Source: News Corp Australia
Look at me ... current-generation Sukhoi SU-35 fighters are being marketed as a proven al
Look at me ... current-generation Sukhoi SU-35 fighters are being marketed as a proven alternative to the F-35. Indonesia is proving to be increasingly interested. Source: AFP

It may not be sexy, but commonality is the key word: It’s in all the F-35 advertising. It is supposed to do everything from dogfighting to dropping bombs, carrier landings to vertical landings.

Problem is, each has some pretty specific — and strict — requirements. Commonality is not always compatible with capability.

But, commonality sounds good to budget-minded politicians.

It sounds so good Australia is now reassessing its recent purchase of two helicopter-carrying assault ships. Originally designed to operate the AV8 Harrier aircraft for the Spanish navy, the Royal Australian Navy bought a downgraded version optimised for helicopter use only.

The Abbott Government is now considering including 12 of the short takeoff, vertical-landing versions of the JSF, designated the F-35B, among its 72 aircraft order. This would involve a major — and costly — rebuild of the two ships, back up to the original Spanish specifications.

It is this attempt to incorporate the famous Harrier “Jump Jet” capability into the F-35B that has caused many of the aircraft’s problems.

The air force model (F35A) and naval version (F35C) of the fighter have paid a huge price to keep the US Marines happy. Aerodynamically and structurally, compromises had to be made in order to fit such a complex vertical lift mechanism.

“Commonality” decrees that even those versions not carrying the heavy, fuel-hungry and unbalancing engine pointing downwards behind the pilot still have to have the huge hole to accommodate it.

The air force cops a double-whammy: They also don’t need the strong — but heavy — structural reinforcements that a fighter needs to be captured by an aircraft carrier’s arrester hooks, or be catapulted off the deck.

The end result?

All F35s are slower, less manoeuvrable and with less range and lighter payload than machines built to purpose.

The next generation Russian T-50 PAK-FA and the Chinese J20 have proven startlingly sophisticated.

It’s a performance gap reportedly emphasised in simulated combat tests between the F-35 and Russia’s already-in-service Su-35: The Russians repeatedly won. Defence officials have emphatically denied the relevance of this test comparison.

So, are the Marines happy with their super-Harrier that has hobbled the other services so much?
Hopefully. They now have a theoretically capable stealth aircraft that can fly off small flight decks and shattered airfields and sneak behind enemy lines. But Marines are all about slugging it out mano-et-mano in “hot” combat zones, not this “quietly-quietly” stealth business. Would they be bringing a mask to a knife-fight?

Jack of all trades, master of none? ... a prototype F-35 Lightning II fighter jet at Egli
Jack of all trades, master of none? ... a prototype F-35 Lightning II fighter jet at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The US military on 22 February 2013 grounded all flights by its F-35 jets after a crack was found in the engine of one of the planes. Source: AP

Delivering the dream machine that is all things to all people is proving more difficult than anticipated.
“It is the biggest challenge in the history of military innovation, with a price-tag to match,” one of the projects greatest advocates, Forbes, concedes.

The upshot: Last year the Pentagon Inspector General identified 719 specific problems with the aircraft — ranging from minor through to mission-critical.

Fixing them costs hard cash. Even then, the F-35 fundamental design can only be “fixed” so far.

The F-35 program was initially supposed to be a bargain: A multi-role combat aircraft for everybody at the low, low development price of $US233 billion.

Now, that development price has tipped $US400 billion — and is still rising.

The cost of an individual aircraft was originally touted as being $US75 million. That’s now floating beneath $US150 million each.

Giant challenge ... Russia’s next-generation T-50 stealth fighter poses a serious challenge to the supremacy of the United States Air Force. Source: Supplied

Giant challenge ... Russia’s next-generation T-50 stealth fighter poses a serious challen Advocates argue this figure is no more in inflation-adjusted terms than the F-16 fighter of the 1970s.

And they point out that the estimated total project cost has fallen from a feared $US1.5 trillion in 2012 to $US1.1 trillion in 2013, and now $US857 billion

Initially promised to be delivered within 10 years, the program’s delivery date is now slipping past 20 years.
Early production aircraft — which are being rolled off the assembly lines before testing is complete — will need more than $US8 billion more in updates and fixes to enable them to fire missiles, navigate and identify the enemy.

New boy on the block ... China has made a huge leap into the realm of stealth aircraft wi
New boy on the block ... China has made a huge leap into the realm of stealth aircraft with its J-20 prototypes. Source: Supplied

After all is said and done, the stealthy — secret — jet may not be so secret after all. A US-Iranian citizen was arrested earlier this year attempting to smuggle thousands of Top Secret blueprints, specifications and technical documents relating to the program out of the country.

The F-35 is also high among the list US Federal agencies are investigating as being compromised by Chinese hackers.

Then there is its ability to do the job.

Problems with its abilities to sneak about unobserved are a closely guarded secret, though there are reports of issues including flaking radar-absorbent paints.

There’s the supercomputer: ALIS. The “artificial intelligence” of 24 million lines of code has reportedly proven to be something of a tyrant — refusing to accept everything from spare parts to weapons without “her” specific approval.

Even its core stealth characteristics have already been downgraded. This year the US Navy reduced its order for the new stealth fighter and instead sought to buy more electronic warfare aircraft to “jam” hostile radars.

This may follow reports that new radars being fitted to Chinese and Russian warships and defence installations have been tailored specifically to spot the supposedly stealthy fighter.

This follows a 2006 downgrade in the F-35’s projected stealth rating from “very low observable” to “low observable”.

What this all means for export buyers who will get a downgraded version of the F-35 is no doubt Top Secret, but hopefully not “observable”.

Controversially, Australia was promised by its US ambassador back in 2000 that it would get “the stealthiest aeroplane that anybody outside the United States can acquire”.

But will that be enough given that the aircraft is so inferior to its opponents without its optimal stealth abilities?
The US ambassador again:

“Having said that, the aeroplane will not be exactly the same aeroplane as the United States will have. But it will be a stealth fighter; it will have stealth capabilities; and it will be at the highest level that anyone in the world has outside the United States.”

In case of emergency ... Prime Minister Tony Abbott inside the cockpit of an F-35 mock-up
In case of emergency ... Prime Minister Tony Abbott inside the cockpit of an F-35 mock-up. There are mounting calls around the world for various governments to abandon the behind schedule, over-budget and allegedly underperforming F-35. Source: News Corp Australia

Lockheed Martin has been lobbying hard to keep its flawed program alive for years. A 2013 report reveals it has spent $US159 million on lobbying US politicians alone since 2000. The true figure would be much higher when the governments and officials of a host of nations — including Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada — are taken into account.

And not all press has been against the project: Business news groups such as Forbes have been persistently reporting that all has been progressing positively in Lockheed Martin’s labs.

So will Australia get value for money?


Australia initially expressed interest in buying 100 examples of this multirole fighter to replace its ageing F/A-18 and F-111 fleet. As prices rose, the number being purchased fell.

The total buy order now stands at a little over 70 F-35s.

But advocates continue to call baloney on critics fears.

They point out that the F-35 program has been delivering test-flight results ahead of its (revised) schedule for the past four years and that production is “ramping up”. 

Dr Mark Thomson, analyst at the government-funded Australian Strategic Policy Institute, told news.com.au that Australia’s choice of fighters from the international market was limited.

“The alternative to the F35, is a previous generation aircraft designed 15 or 20 years before the F35,” he said. “If Australia wants an up-to-date aircraft that would see it through the next two decades, it was the only choice, but yes, it does cost a lot of money.”

Dr Thomson said there was some people critical of the aircraft’s performance but this was up to the United States to resolve.

“One way or another they are going to have to make this aircraft work,” he said, adding a rebuke to critics second-guessing the F-35 program on limited information.

“It’s an incredible assertion that somehow they got it catastrophically wrong.”

Despite the cacophony of criticism, new nations such as South Korea, Canada and Israel keep lining up in the queue to purchase their own examples.

Is the F-35 flawed beyond redemption?

It can’t be.

All of the Western world’s eggs are in one basket.

If it fails, it will cost the United States the military and technological superiority it has proudly asserted ever since the victory over Germany and Japan in 1945.

*Additional reporting by Charis Chang
Twilight, or a new dawn? ... An F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant und
Twilight, or a new dawn? ... An F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant undertakes night flying tests. The troubled fighter has a huge number of hurdles to pass yet before entering active service. Source: Supplied

news.com.au  11 June 2014

Australian politicians buying a White Elephant from a war mongering nation with tax paying servant's monies.

It can even be suggested that the politicians that made the decision to purchase the 'fighter's are (deliberately?) putting Australians at risk, given the fact that it is well known in military circles that the fighter is a flop.

Another money for mates deal?

How can Australia, being subservient to 'Big Brother' buy a better alternative Russia's Sukhoi SU-35?

A real accolade in Australia's history. 

11 June 2014

Domain Name Group Fraud

Scams, fraud and ponzi schemes come in all shapes and forms which can be delivered via many ways including email or (postal service) mail.

A scam that has been going on for quite a few years consists of a company writing out a piece of paper that looks like an invoice, to the unsuspecting victim, that leads them to believe that their domain name is up for registration. 

The unsuspecting customer’s real domain name may contain .com.au, whereas the fraudulent invoice is for .net.au. 

This invoice contains an account number that the unsuspecting victim has allegedly opened with that company in order to pay for the domain name that they (allegedly) have purchased which the customer may associate as being up for renewal.

The actions of that company are purely fraudulent, and illegal as they are obtaining financial gain by deception.

In this instance the company committing fraud is:

Domain Name Group Pty Ltd (ACN: 135 462 305)
Level 1, 530 Little Collins St.
Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: 1300 255 144
Fax: 03 9011 6104

Another company involved in fraud where the so called 'authorities' are slow to act in the interest of the consumer.