Weekly Axis Of Easy #213
Last Week’s Quote was “When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.” Was Thomas Sowell, nobody got it.
This Week’s Quote: “The state calls its own violence law, but that of the individual, crime.” … by???
THE RULES: No searching up the answer, must be posted to the blog – the place to post the answer is at the bottom of the post, in the comments section.
The Prize: First person to post the correct answer gets their next domain or hosting renewal is on us.
In this issue:
- Canadian military ran psyops against on population during pandemic
- Ongoing DDoS attack against Canadian VoIP Provider
- Autodiscover bug in Microsoft Outlook reveals passwords en masse
- Elizabeth Warren demands Amazon censor best-selling books
- John Stossel sues Facebook over “fact-check”
- Ex-CRTC commish Tim Denton on Canada’s looming Online Harms bill
- House passes amendment to defund gain-of-function research at Wuhan Lab
- Sussman indictment reveals DNS twist in Russiagate investigation
- .CA CIRA Board news: AGM success and Board elections in progress now
- China bans Bitcoin and why it can’t happen here
Canadian military ran psyops against on population during pandemic
A newly published Canadian Forces document reveals that the Canadian military took it upon themselves to run propaganda campaigns on the civilian population during the pandemic.
“The federal government never asked for the so-called information operations campaign, nor did cabinet authorize the initiative developed during the COVID-19 pandemic by the Canadian Joint Operations Command, then headed by Lt.-Gen. Mike Rouleau.”
The Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC) ran the program on Canada’s own population without authorization from the government. It involved a campaign of “shaping” or “exploiting” information, (otherwise known as “psyops”) in order to “head off civil disobedience” during the pandemic.
CJOC also carried intelligence gathering operations against Black Lives Matter, to the chagrin of BLM leadership, who are wondering why they were singled out for specific targeting.
The coverage from the Ottawa Citizen further details how several officers questioned the legality of carrying out this campaign without oversight or approval, and that internal counsel was brought in to figure out ways to do exactly that anyway.
“Gosselin’s investigation discovered the plan wasn’t simply the idea of “passionate” military propaganda specialists, but support for the use of such information operations was “clearly a mindset that permeated the thinking at many levels of CJOC.” Those in the command saw the pandemic as a “unique opportunity” to test out such techniques on Canadians.”
Ongoing DDoS attack against Canadian VoIP Provider
The Quebec-based VoIP provider voip.ms has been on the receiving end of a DDoS attack for over a week now. It seems to be across multiple vectors. We’ve experienced some impact here because we run our main phone lines through these guys, although we switched to our backup lines last week sometime.
If you’re trying to get ahold of us for live support, the +1.855.321.EASY (3279) is mostly working, but prone to intermittent problems, but +1.647-799-2016 is working. As always, you can hit us up via email@example.com as well.
Autodiscover bug in Microsoft Outlook reveals passwords en masse
A series of bugs in the way Microsoft Outlook tries to execute auto discover, a mechanism where users can have their mailer settings configured automatically, has been gamed in a way where it revealed over 100,000 passwords.
When you set up a new email account, you are supposed to enter things like POP server, IMAP server, mailout server, and ports which can be different for each element and can be tough to remember. Enter auto discover, which does a series of DNS lookups at a preconfigured hostname which then delivers the proper settings to the client.
If that lookup fails, then the mechanism is designed to iteratively drop segments of the hostname and retry, until it gets to a server that answers coherently. What this security researcher found, was that depending on where or how some Outlook servers were (mis)configured, the mechanism would eventually try to lookup just the domain autodiscover.com, or autodiscover.NN where .NN would be the ccTLD in which the server was operating.
He then found that in many countries, nobody had actually registered autodiscover.NN yet, and he was able to do so and stand up a server on them. And because this all happens on http instead of https, it wasn’t long before he started receiving all kinds of requests from misconfigured Outlook servers with end users login credentials in plaintext.
Elizabeth Warren demands Amazon censor best-selling books
This was an item from the week prior but I omitted it by accident. US Senator Elizabeth Warren has written a letter to Amazon demanding that they cease selling best-selling titles that challenge official narratives around coronavirus.
Warren singled out Dr. Joseph Mercola, who enjoys a place in “The Dirty Dozen of COVID Misinformation” and Alex Berenson, the former New York Times reporter unceremoniously dubbed “The pandemic’s wrongest man.”
I guess allowing people to buy and read what they want and forming their own conclusions is off-limits, and I guess the reason why books like these are such best sellers is because official appointees and policy makers have done such a stellar job handling the pandemic that their pronouncements cannot fathomably be viewed as anything other than objective Truth.
The letter: https://docs.reclaimthenet.org/2021.9.7-Letter-to-Amazon-on-COVID-Misinformation.pdf
John Stossel sues Facebook over “fact-check”
Speaking of objective truth, the entire “Fact check” indu$try seems to be hitting some headwinds lately, either because things previously dismissed as “false” have developed an annoying tendency to either not be false or at the very least, too nuanced to be objectively deemed untrue. We’ve been covering a lot of this over the weeks and months.
Media pundit Jon Stossel has now sued Facebook over their “fact check” of one of his reports. The incident goes back to the California forest fires of 2020 which right-thinking people ascribe to climate change. However there are some closer to the situation who ascribe more importance to a history of forestry mismanagement on the part of the State of California. Jon Stossel ran a report:
“Government Fueled Fires,” where he took on “sensational media reporting about a so-called ‘climate apocalypse,’ and explored a scientific hypothesis … that while climate change undoubtedly contributes to forest fires, it was not the primary cause of the 2020 California fires.”
Stossel targeted forest management.
After posting the video, he says Facebook placed a label near his video that stated, “Missing Context. Independent fact-checkers say this information could mislead people.” Further information told readers: “Claim — ‘forest fires are caused by poor management. Not by climate change.’ Verdict: misleading.”
Stossel’s lawsuit alleges that the label reduced his viewership and caused irreparable harm to his standing and reputation.
Speaking anecdotally a long-time associate who comes from a multi-generational family forestry business concurs that decades of mismanagement has exacerbated the forest fire situation there.
Tim Denton on Canada’s looming Online Harms bill
In last week’s edition we touched on the latest attempt by the Canadian federal government to introduce legislation to create severe content monitoring and blocking controls over all things internet. I mentioned how the Internet Society Canada Chapter (ISCC) was preparing a response to the public consultation portion of the online harms framework. This week, our former Chairman Tim Denton added his introduction to the ISCC response.
“People think that fascism appears as gangs of thugs in black uniforms beating people up. I suspect that it first appears by thought and word, before it manifests as physical violence.
If you define the word “fascism” in its Italian sense, it means “nothing outside the State, everything for the State, and nothing against the State”, then obviously the role of the private sector – and you – is subordinated to statist purposes. I invite you to read the submission of the Internet Society Canada Chapter to the Department of Heritage in this light.”
Strong words from a former CRTC commissioner. The ISCC position paper itself runs close to 20 pages and was authored primarily by Phil Palmer.
What’s the common theme? Former regulators of Canada’s telecom oversight body saying incoming regulations are retrograde and unworkable. If anybody would know, they would.
The ISCC paper: https://internetsociety.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/ISCC-Response-Online-Harms-Final-21-9-21-1.pdf
US Congress passes amendment to defund gain-of-function research at Wuhan Lab
And while we (are all supposed to) know that myriad fact-checkers settled the lab leak theory as the origin of the pandemic ages ago, circumstantial evidence continues to mount that makes one think the likes of Anthony Fauci and especially EcoHealth’s Peter Daszak “doth protest too much” when they dismiss it as a possibility.
Last week a pair of documents emerged from a group calling itself DRASTIC that apparently describe an EcoHealth proposal to DARPA for funding gain-of-function research using airborne chimeric cells among bat populations, that DARPA rejected. DARPA denies ever receiving said proposal. Newsweek, reporting on it made no claims on the veracity or legitimacy of DRASTIC.
All this debunked conspiracy aside, the US Congress passed an amendment to the 2022 National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) that bans, among other things, the DoD from funding gain-of-function research in China and “A requirement on the Department of Defense to report to Congress on whether U.S. athletes may have contracted COVID-19 at the World Military Games in Wuhan in October of 2019.” The latter is notable because a Chinese whistleblower Wei Jingsheng is accusing the government there of intentionally releasing COVID at those World Military Games in October 2019 and it appears that multiple participants came down with COVID-like symptoms after the event.
Sussman indictment reveals DNS twist in Russiagate investigation
This one hit closer to home than usual on a couple of fronts. I wasn’t paying much (any) attention to Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation into the origins of the Russiagate narrative. Last week he indicted former Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussman on charges that he lied to the FBI and “another federal investigative agency.” I still wasn’t paying attention.
It wasn’t until a friend asked if I could talk to one of the journalists following this story (and so happens to be writing a book about Russiagate) if I could get on a call with him to help him understand the DNS component of the original Russiagate story.
This goes back the Slate article released a week before the 2016 election called “Was a Trump Server Communicating with Russia?” which purportedly relied on DNS lookup data which alleged that a Trump server was “in communications with” another server in Russia belonging to a bank there called Alfabank.
I remember this story when it came out, and I remember multiple security people I was in communications with at the time called “b/s” on it. My own read of the story was that the server in question wasn’t even a Trump server, but belonged to a completely unrelated company running an email CRM for clients that included Trump hotels.
Fast forward to now, it turns out via Durham’s indictment that the DNS forensic data was fabricated, and that an industry DNS luminary knew the data was fabricated, knew it wouldn’t hold up to scrutiny by DNS experts, but who participated in an operation to see the data and the allegations published before the election to derail Trump’s campaign.
This DNS luminary guy is not the same as another renowned DNS expert quoted in the Slate piece. The one participating in the conspiracy is listed as “Tech Executive 1” in the indictment. If Twitter is right about who that is, it’s somebody I know and everybody in this space knows him and the company he works for. Said company unceremoniously memory-holed him off of their website last week.
Tech Executive 1 was purportedly offered a top cyber-security position within the administration once HRC was president, which, as we all know, never came to pass. Now it’s all coming home to roost and the chips are falling where they may.
The Indictment: https://www.justice.gov/sco/press-release/file/1433511/download?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery
CIRA Board news: AGM success and Board elections in progress now
Turning to matters of .CA namespace oversight, thanks to all who voted in the CIRA AGM last week. All of the ill considered member proposals (put forth by a single member) that we ruminated over last week were all voted down by a landslide. Reason prevails.
The current Board of Directors election is on now and voting runs until September 30th (this Thursday). Every CIRA member (and if you are a .CA registrant, you are or qualify to be one) can vote online to pick up to four candidates proposed by the Nominations Committee and one from the Members proposed slate. When I ran in 2001 it was on the members’ slate and that’s how I got on.
I won’t tell you who to vote for, but I will tell you who I voted for:
From the NomCom slate:
And from the NomCom slate: Don Bowman.
To vote, you should have received your voter ID and PIN in an email from firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Vote for your candidates!,” check your spam folder first, and if you can’t find it, email them at email email@example.com or call them at 1-877-913-5335 and they’ll get you straightened out.
Then head over to:
China bans Bitcoin and why it can’t happen here
The big announcement out of China was (yet another) Bitcoin ban but this time it seems like the real deal and the People’s Bank of China (PBoc) means business, with a total ban on all virtual currency trading. This follows on the heels of Bitcoin mining being shut down earlier in the year.
I wrote up a piece over on Bombthrower on how I don’t see a China-style Bitcoin ban ever flying in the liberal democracies of the world, and some comments to that prompted me to write up how I see crypto currencies being a counter-balance to the coming Central Bank Digital Currencies.
China’s move seems to follow a theme traced out over 500 years which I’m just reading about now in Viktor Shvets ’The Great Rupture‘. In it, Shvet relates how China, the Ottoman and Russian empires all screwed themselves within decades of each other in the 15th century by deciding to forgo trade and innovation, and that is the main reason Europe became the preeminent world power.
Shvets may have come to a counter-intuitive conclusion that freedom was a requisite in the past but may not be in the future, I still have to get to the second half of the book.