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Messages - Hefaistos

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1
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: January 18, 2018, 10:03:32 AM »

For example in Crimea, where Putin invited international extreme-left (Neo-Stalinists) and extreme-right (Neo-Nazis) political figures to 'observe' the illegal 'referendum' in Crimea. Look who he invited :

http://anton-shekhovtsov.blogspot.com/2014/03/pro-russian-extremists-observe.html

It is almost as if extreme left and right have joined hands in a full frontal attack on the voices of reason and rational thought.

Actually, you're not correct about Crimea. I have been to Crimea several times, have relatives there. You could hold that referendum anytime, with any observers you'ld like, and the result would be the same: The vast majority of Crimeans want to belong to Russia.
It's really simple. Crimea was part of Russia and the USSR for 100s of years. It's population is Russian, the language talked was always Russian.
That Crimea was reunited with Russia is just a correction of the historic mistake made by Khruschchev, when he on a whim and a vodka gave the region away in the 1950's.

2
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 16, 2018, 08:08:26 PM »
It’s probably covered up thread, but how long do folks here think before roving fleets of on demand autonomous vehicles reach critical mass so that owning ANY type of vehicle is no longer required for those of us that need to travel on roads?

I’d like to have an EV, but I’d also prefer to avoid the investment and instead hang on to my ICE car if autonomous vehicles are on the (reasonable) horizon.
I assume you mean on demand autonomous vehicles widely deployed across the country with rates far cheaper than current taxis, that make it a no-brainer to travel anywhere you need with a taxi.
IMHO you can buy an EV and get a good use out of it before this becomes a reality. First there's the technological hurdle still not overcome, then there is wide deployment, then there is the issue of that will take time to drop. I doubt the whole thing completes before 2025.

Also, we have some serious legal issues with self driving cars in terms of liability whenever accidents will happen with humans/human driven cars. Some cases will have to be processed through the court system, maybe to Supreme court until it's clear where responsibilites lie. Those things take time and until the legal issues are cleared I suppose it will be a hurdle on the use of self driving cars, esp. as robotaxis. 2025 seems reasonable.

3
The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: January 16, 2018, 03:27:01 PM »

All those great things in Norway like free education, free healthcare etc., aren't free at all, that's just leftist propagande. They are paid for by some of the world's highest taxes, as in the rest of Scandinavia. USA has a freedom of choice that you won't have in Norway (or many other European countries)


If you agree that living in a healthy, well educated country benefits all of the citizenry, shouldn't the costs then also be shared?
Terry

Agreed.
I just thought that the poster that Rob showed us is a rather poor piece of propaganda. Things are paid for. Yes, people in Scandinavia are 'socialists', it's their democratic choice, they like it that way.

4
The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: January 16, 2018, 03:21:38 PM »
Norway: In 2012 the total tax revenue was 42.2% of the gross domestic product (GDP). Many direct and indirect taxes exist. The most important taxes — in terms of revenue — are VAT, income tax in the petroleum sector, employers’ social security contributions and tax on "ordinary income" for persons.

In 2009, the total tax revenue was 41.0% of the gross domestic product (GDP). Of the OECD member countries Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Italy, France, Finland and Austria had a higher tax level than Norway in 2009. The tax level in Norway has fluctuated between 40 and 45% of GDP since the 1970s.

Sweden has around 43% tax/GDP
USA has around 25 % tax/GDP

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_in_Norway

5
Policy and solutions / Re: Schumpeterian Creative Destruction
« on: January 16, 2018, 01:24:44 PM »
We've got a choice:

1)  Moderate pain
2)  Extreme pain.

It's an inter-generational choice as well.
No pain for us.
Very little pain for our kids.
Extreme pain for grandkids and following generations.

Not so creative destruction of future generations.

6
The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: January 16, 2018, 01:21:54 PM »
Norway is a more or less socialist place. Our previous minister of industry (Björn Rosengren) once called it in public "the last soviet state". He got pretty scandalized for that, but in some ways he was right. USA has freedom.

Which 'freedom' in the USA are you referring too ?
Let's start with the first amendment : freedom of the press.
Here. the 2017 report by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is just out, and Norway takes 1st place the world :
https://rsf.org/en/ranking

The US holds spot 43, right after Burkina Faso.
All those great things in Norway like free education, free healthcare etc., aren't free at all, that's just leftist propagande. They are paid for by some of the world's highest taxes, as in the rest of Scandinavia. USA has a freedom of choice that you won't have in Norway (or many other European countries)

7
The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: January 15, 2018, 09:23:28 PM »


I wish this forum had a thumbs-up feature now.

Add to this list a fiscal surplus. Instead of national debt, Norway has a sovereign wealth fund.

Norway is a more or less socialist place. Our previous minister of industry (Björn Rosengren) once called it in public "the last soviet state". He got pretty scandalized for that, but in some ways he was right. USA has freedom.

8
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 15, 2018, 08:57:13 AM »
Wont be able to lease or finance an electric car?

A problem I see in the next decade period is that the rapidly falling cost of batteries will feed into a constantly falling cost of electric cars. Once the battery has fallen in cost so far that it becomes a small part of the overall cost that will no longer be an issue, but it will be in the now to 2030 time period.

The falling cost will of course destroy the resale value of ICE cars (causing major issues for car financing and leasing companies, as well as individuals who borrowed to buy a car), but will also lead to the rapid depreciation of previously-sold new electric cars. The result will be much greater levels of assumed deprecation, which will lead to higher lease payments and shorter loan maturities. It will also cause problems for car rental and other car fleet companies.

Again, as the cars get cheaper and stabilize in price (as the battery cost becomes less and less a share of the overall cost) this will not be an issue. But in the interim, up to maybe 2030, it may act to hold back a transition. The result may be a significant drop in car sales until the issue works itself out, causing big problems for car manufacturers (in addition to the destruction in the value of their current assets).


True, and all the more so as battery technology is not mature yet. We might see disruptive technological changes to battery tech, e.g. solid-state batteries. However, there might be remedies. The central issue here, it seems to me, is who will carry the risk? Why should the risk be put entirely on the consumer side? Car producers might just as well share the risk with consumers.

Once the battery car becomes evidently cheaper to buy and own than the ICE, consumers will anyway not want the ICE. They will go for the EV.

Consumers will want to be protected from quick deterioration of used car value. The one item causing problems with this, is the battery. Solution:
EV car producers offer a car where:
1. the battery is easy to swap
2. consumers lease the battery
3. there are clauses giving rights to consumers to cancel battery agreements, fixed repurchase values of batteries.

Don't worry, rboyd, the Big Money is right now moving into EV, and all that big $ and many clever people will find solutions that mitigate consumers' worries.

Also, these kind of technologically driven fast depreciations haven't scared consumers away from buying IT (smartphones, computers etc.) We still want to have the latest tech, the best tech, very well knowing it will quickly depreciate in value. True, a car is more costly, but it is also a cool gadget for many people.

9
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 15, 2018, 08:39:35 AM »
Incumbent ICE producers got the message, now Ford:

"Ford Motor Co (F.N) will significantly increase its planned investments in electric vehicles to $11 billion by 2022 and have 40 hybrid and fully electric vehicles in its model lineup, Chairman Bill Ford said on Sunday at the Detroit auto show.

Ford Chief Executive Jim Hackett told investors in October the automaker would slash $14 billion in costs over the next five years and shift capital investment away from sedans and internal combustion engines to develop more trucks and electric and hybrid cars. "

“We’re all in on this and we’re taking our mainstream vehicles, our most iconic vehicles, and we’re electrifying them,” Ford told reporters. “If we want to be successful with electrification, we have to do it with vehicles that are already popular.”

Creative destruction of the ICE,  when they take their mainstream vehicles, the most iconic vehicles, and electrifying them.

Massive shift in investments!

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-autoshow-detroit-ford-motor/ford-plans-11-billion-investment-40-electrified-vehicles-by-2022-idUSKBN1F30YZ

10
Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: January 12, 2018, 07:15:36 PM »
A friend just started working at this new company, which is relevant:
http://www.northvolt.com/career
Northvolt is building the largest lithium-ion battery factory in Europe. We are now staffing our international project office in Stockholm and preparing upcoming recruitments for the establishment of the factory.

Basically a gigafactory competitor.

They say they are interested in selling to customers who want 250 MWh/year or more, in other words they aren't developing their own consumer products but just focusing on making batteries.
Interesting! I wonder what kind of competitive edge that factory might have. I know the CEO and founder was head of logistics at Tesla, until he decided to start up this factory. But I don't think they have any IP (intellectual property/patents), so wonder how they're thinking about that. Maybe they will license the IP from Nano One, the start-up Bob mentioned in a recent post? Hope to hear more about that, maybe your friend, numerobis, learnt something?

11
Policy and solutions / Re: UN Climate Agreement - Paris 2015 and beyond
« on: January 12, 2018, 01:19:40 PM »
Bob, thanks for that impressive graph!
I agree that we can be optimistic in the longer run about dramatic technology shifts that will phase out more CO2 intense legacy technology. However, I'm not at all optimistic about short- and medium-term developments, specifically driven by very strong growth in countries catching up with the affluent West. Again, new technology requires new infrastructure, this means a lot of growth, and a lot of CO2.
Also, considering that the overall cost of energy is dropping so fast, means that more energy will be used. People will buy more cars (EV), they will buy those AC systems, they will consume more. Combined with terrible population growth, what's there to stop this?
I know only one answer: natural catastrophies, that might trigger new policies also in developing countries. We see some of that starting in China and India.

12
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: January 11, 2018, 11:53:35 PM »
Deep state in action, Russia-gate is becoming FBI-gate, thanks to the official release of unguarded text messages between loose-lipped FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok and his garrulous girlfriend, FBI lawyer Lisa Page.

The FBI Hand Behind Russia-gate

"Thanks to the almost 10,000 text messages between Strzok and Page, only a small fraction of which were given to Congress four weeks ago, there is now real evidentiary meat on the bones of the suspicions that there indeed was a “deep-state coup” to “correct” the outcome of the 2016 election. We now know that the supposedly apolitical FBI officials had huge political axes to grind.
...
Besides forcing the removal of Strzok and Page, the text exposures also sounded the death knell for the career of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, in whose office some of the plotting took place and who has already announced his plans to retire soon.

But the main casualty is the FBI’s 18-month campaign to sabotage candidate-and-now-President Donald Trump by using the Obama administration’s Russia-gate intelligence “assessment,” electronic surveillance of dubious legality, and a salacious dossier that could never pass the smell test, while at the same time using equally dubious techniques to immunize Hillary Clinton and her closest advisers from crimes that include lying to the FBI and endangering secrets.

Ironically, the Strzok-Page texts provide something that the Russia-gate investigation has been sorely lacking: first-hand evidence of both corrupt intent and action. After months of breathless searching for “evidence” of Russian-Trump collusion designed to put Trump in the White House, what now exists is actual evidence that senior officials of the Obama administration colluded to keep Trump out of the White House – proof of what old-time gumshoes used to call “means, motive and opportunity.”"

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/01/11/the-fbi-hand-behind-russia-gate/

13
Policy and solutions / Re: UN Climate Agreement - Paris 2015 and beyond
« on: January 11, 2018, 10:58:27 PM »
But they are not CO2 neutral
As compared to what? Diesel cars and trucks? Coal fired electricity?

Give me a break!

Sure!
Discussion topic was the terrible figures of CO2 emission growth from countries developing out of poverty, not about these helpful technologies as such.
Focus point: a bunch of really poor countries in Africa and Asia with ongoing massive population growth, that are forecast to rapidly develop their economies in the coming decades, in a similar way that e.g. China has developed.

14
Policy and solutions / Re: UN Climate Agreement - Paris 2015 and beyond
« on: January 11, 2018, 10:02:38 PM »
it's hard to see anything that can stop these rising CO2 emissions

1.  Wind
2.  Solar
3.  EVs

There's no reason any longer for countries to develop on the back of coal or natural gas.

It's just a matter of a short number of years before all countries can start abandoning fossil fueled transportation.

Bob, those new technologies are wonderful, and very helpful. But they are not CO2 neutral. Specifically, EVs , which is in its infancy, need a lot of new infrastructure, new mines, new charging station networks, new electric power supply lines, power stations, battery factories etc.etc.
Also, the dynamics in poorer countries is that people are indeed poor, they can't afford the fancy new technologies. We have an S curve of adoption, and as regards EV's, I'd say we're talking about decades, not years until market dominance.

15
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: January 11, 2018, 08:12:44 PM »
Putin is admired by some 85% of Russians,

Yes...it is amazing what feeding Russians lies from Russia Today (and previously Tass) will do.

If everyone in the US were forced to watch FOX.....Donnie would be popular as well.  Fortunately..... we still have freedom of the press..... and some press outlets THAT REPORT FACTS RATHER THAN THE LIES OF FOX OR RUSSIA TODAY.

Russia Today is nothing more than an extension of Vladi.....just as FOX is nothing more than an extension and arm of Donnie.

FOX News:  "The Trump channel....where truth and journalism are dead."
Buddy, it's really not that simple, that Russians are just victims of propaganda. There are quite a few independent media, radio stations (Echo Moskva), several brilliant newspapers, blogs, even excellent specialized web sites like Medusa.ru that give independent coverage from abroad (Latvia) aimed at a Russian audience. Still, most Russians choose to consume state media because they want to. They want their Putin, they want to look at the pro-Putin propaganda.They want their strong-man Putin, they want Russia Great Again.

(Also, you got it completely wrong about RT.  RT is not aimed at Russians, there are practically no Russians looking at it, even though there is a Russian language version.)

16
Policy and solutions / Re: UN Climate Agreement - Paris 2015 and beyond
« on: January 11, 2018, 05:43:34 PM »
Those percentages at the bottom of the table are shocking
Not really. Those countries (esp. Portugal and Turkey) have been developing out of poverty, into affluence.
Expect to see the same pattern in India, in many south Sahel African countries, in SE Asia. Combined with extreme population growth, it's hard to see anything that can stop these rising CO2 emissions. And it won't be offset with declines in the OECD countries. I'd say, 2 degrees is already locked in, and I'd guess that 2.7 degrees won't happen is a 2 sigma event.

17
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: January 11, 2018, 05:26:32 PM »
...
Terry, you previously stated that you admire Putin.
Where does this bizarre opinion come from ?

I can't/won't talk for Terry, but the following observations might explain one aspect of this:
Putin is admired by some 85% of Russians, - he has had this uniquely high (among politicians) approval ratio for several years now. He is a strong, good president for his people, - so they believe. Yes, there are many things you can criticize Putin for, but you have to understand that Russia has its own history and specific culture, and Russians like the nationalistic and traditionalistic agenda that is Russia's policy.
Putin makes Russia Great Again, and that's what Russians want.

18
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: January 06, 2018, 09:27:15 AM »
Bezos actually let this russian propaganda through !

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/12/28/theres-still-little-evidence-that-russias-2016-social-media-efforts-did-much-of-anything/

sidd


An eye opener from an unexpected source.


Thanks
Terry

Concluding words: "...the public evidence doesn’t support the idea that the Russians executed a savvy electoral strategy on social media to ensure Trump’s victory."
Also noticed that author refrained from blaming the Kremlin/Putin, he only talks about "Russians", not venturing into the issue who actually ordered and paid for these campaigns.

19
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: January 03, 2018, 01:13:33 PM »
Rob, why hasn't US intelligence so far been able to produce any sort of credible evidence? We have been given a highly politicized report, and are asked to believe claims that it was the Russians/the Kremlin that did these hacks. Skilful IT analysts are continuing to find anomalies in the official story, anomalies that point not to Russia, but to other, deceitful actors, in the US.
These analysts use open source and social media investigation to investigate this really important subject. I think these are laudable efforts, much like what Bellingcat (that you mentioned in positive terms on this forum) is undertaking in other areas. Why are you against investigative, open source efforts when it comes to Russiagate?

Yes, it's correct that "Cozy Bear", a.k.a. APT 29, are alleged to have made some spear-fishing of the DNC server in 2015, but it apparently didn't lead anywhere in terms of leaks, downloads etc.

Those are two different stories you're referring to Rob, and the DNC hack from 2016 is the one that has gotten a lot of attention since it produced all those secret documents.


20
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: January 03, 2018, 07:31:03 AM »
The plot thickens around the DNC hack. Was it all made up by cyber-security firm CrowdStrike, who created a fake perpetrator/hacker, made that fake created hacker easy to detect and point to, and then faked “discovering” the fake hacker and hacking?

"Over the course of the last year, the ‘Russian hacking’ narrative has steadily deteriorated into accusations of nebulous Russian “collusion,” before morphing into claims of nefarious ‘Russian trolling.’ During this time, establishment interests have overtly attempted to use accusations of Russian interference to deflect from the DNC email’s revelation that the Democratic Party was caught red-handed in the destruction of the American democratic process.
...
A recent report by Adam Carter, published with Disobedient Media, fueled controversy surrounding Crowdstrike’s veracity in connection to the DNC servers. Carter’s astute report suggested the possibility that the company had planted malware on DNC servers. He wrote: ” The fact that two out of three of the Fancy Bear malware samples identified were compiled on dates within the apparent five day period CrowdStrike were apparently at the DNC seems incredibly unlikely to have occurred by mere chance. That all three malware samples were compiled within ten days either side of their visit – makes it clear just how questionable the Fancy Bear malware discoveries were.”

Carter’s analysis lends additional credence to the interpretation that Crowdstrike had acted in an attempt to fabricate evidence of Russian hacking. Carter has previously pointed out the many instances of inconsistencies surrounding Crowdstrike, stating his belief that higher-ups at Crowdstrike may have gone so far as to participate in the creation of the Guccifer 2.0 persona.
...
...under Eric Schmidt’s leadership, Alphabet financed the cyber-security firm Crowdstrike with over $100 million through the Alphabet subsidiary, CapitalG. That Google’s parent company would finance the same entity whose allegations form the singular basis for claims that Russians hacked the DNC is particularly troubling given Schmidt’s intense involvement in Clinton’s campaign.
...
... the Russian hacking narrative as characterized by Crowdstrike and often attributed to Guccifer2.0 acting as a ‘Russian hacker’ was deeply flawed if not an outright fabrication. During 2017, many have concluded that Crowdstrike, who had access to DNC servers, may have copied the data later published by the Guccifer 2.0 persona as part of efforts to preemptively discredit Wikileaks’ publication of the DNC emails."

https://disobedientmedia.com/2018/01/a-year-in-review-democracy-betrayed-by-democrats-not-russia/

Technical details investigated by Adam Carter:
https://disobedientmedia.com/2017/12/fancy-frauds-bogus-bears-malware-mimicry/

21
Windows breaking from cold? I think not.
Nope, my house is well over a hundred years old. All the windows are still there as far as I can see, dispite at least -25°C. That was a while back though...

We actually had two windows break last winter, when it was -23 C. It's a newly built house with three-glass panes (Aluminium windows in wood frames), and one pf the glass panes cracked, leaving us with only two panes.
New windows from a Polish factory, no warranty, no insurance, but really cheap :)

22
Consequences / Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« on: January 02, 2018, 11:23:17 AM »
It always struck me that AC should be the appliance most practically and easily sold with dedicated plug-n-play solar panels. You generally need AC most when the sun is shining, and if you can cool the temp of your home or apt enough in the afternoon, they will likely keep fairly cool through the night. I assume AC can be manufactured to take direct current right from the panel, right?

Dehumidifiers would likely also get people most of the way to the comfort they seek, at a much lower electric demand.

But yeah, the 'human feedback' you point out here is one of many that are likely to bite us. The US, of course, has long been at the forefront of AC adoption, and could point the way toward various alternatives.

Sure, it's no big deal, technically speaking. But it will add to cost, so poor Indians won't buy the AC with solar panels. In the quoted article, it's evident that Indians are extremely cost conscious as they arise from poverty. An AC that costs $500 is beyond reach for most people, and if you add solar panels to the unit it will be an option only for the richer hipsters.
De-humidifiers also suck a lot of energy, b.t.w. A bit less than an AC, but not that big difference, afaik.

23
Consequences / Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« on: January 01, 2018, 11:30:07 PM »
Sweden doesn't need to import wood, right? ...

There aren't enough pellets or biomass produced in Sweden for all those heating stations that are being converted to run on those fuels, e.g. in our city most of it will be imported from the US/Canada, and some from Russia.

24
Consequences / Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« on: January 01, 2018, 10:14:45 PM »
This is not primarily about population, but as India is one of the real fast growers in terms of population, I thought it might fit in this thread.
It's about consumption preferences as poor people get a higher average income. One of the most needed and preferred consumption good is the air conditioner. Across South Asia, whose tropical zones include some of the world’s largest cities, extreme heat waves are becoming more common and deadly, making air conditioners lifesaving pieces of technology.

 "As temperatures and incomes rise, the air conditioner is now what Nikit Abhyankar, a researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory calls “a threshold good — the moment you cross into that middle-class income level, you go and buy one.”

"By 2030, Abhyankar projects, the explosion in air conditioning alone will raise India’s electricity demands by 150 gigawatts, the equivalent of adding three economies the size of California to its power grid.

Most of that electricity will come from coal, pumping out more of the carbon emissions that are blamed for worsening pollution, respiratory diseases, millions of premature deaths and hotter air temperatures — which will only push people to buy more air conditioners.

India is in the midst of one of the biggest urban transitions in history, with more than 400 million people projected to migrate to cities by 2050. "

This is one of the reasons why this thread is headlined 'Population:  Public Enemy No. 1'. Not that earth's population grows rapidly, or that we are too many people, but that it grows in the poorest countries, where the masses have consumption preferences that are very detrimental to our climate. India, Africa (south of Sahara), etc.

http://www.latimes.com/world/asia/la-fg-india-air-conditioners-2017-story.html

25
Consequences / Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« on: December 31, 2017, 07:07:56 PM »
I live in a mid-sized town in Sweden (Uppsala) where practically all hot water for heating purposes is centrally produced in a heating station. Currently it runs on oil and waste, but it's being converted to run on biomass, i.e. wood. This is a pet project for environmentally conscious politicians.
Interestingly, Kevin Anderson, who is a visiting professor in Uppsala for one year, hasn't been positive at all about this project. Seemingly for a good reason, according to an article in the Guardian about critical scientists:

"Policies aimed at limiting climate change by boosting the burning of biomass contain critical flaws that could actually damage attempts to avert dangerous levels of global warming in the future.
...
giant power stations, ...are increasingly abandoning gas or coal as power sources and are instead turning to the burning of wood, usually in the form of pellets imported from other countries such as the United States and Canada.
...
The result of promoting a system of biomass electricity from dedicated tree harvesting will in all realistic scenarios mean there will be substantially more carbon in the air for decades, regardless of the type of forest and no matter how sustainably they are managed...

...carbon emissions will rise by 6% or possibly more if wood is allowed to continue to provide more and more of Europe’s energy output"

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/31/biomass-burning-misguided-say-climate-experts

26
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: December 30, 2017, 10:11:15 PM »
I think that this two-day old story deserves to be mentioned again, as if it bares fruit, it could put a lot of Republicans in jail:

Title: "Mueller Probing Whether Trump Digital Team Aided Russian Disinformation Campaign"

http://amp.nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/12/mueller-probing-whether-trump-team-aided-russian-trolls.html

Extract: "Mueller’s team is trying to determine if members of the Trump campaign and Republican National Committee, who worked together on the digital arm of Trump’s campaign, provided assistance to Russian trolls attempting to influence voters. It’s the latest scare for Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, who managed the digital campaign and has already come under scrutiny by the special counsel for his foreign contacts."

Thanks, ASLR.

Another quote: "Experts don’t think the trolls behind Russian Facebook accounts could have determined who to target on their own, but the question is whether the help they got came from Trump’s orbit. The leading suspects at this point are Kushner and Brad Parscale, the head of Cambridge Analytica, " 

Might be possible to follow a money trail here, from the alt-right to the Russian trolls. As before, I doubt the Kremlin was involved in this. Time might tell.

27
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: December 30, 2017, 05:47:20 PM »

Shall we get back on topic?  A Russian hacker in detention says he was instructed to hack into the DNC servers by Putin's FSB, and says he can prove it:

Jailed Russian says he hacked DNC on Kremlin’s orders and can prove it
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article191857354.html

Comments?

The quality of that info should be doubted, pretty strange that a prisoner who sits in a high security prison is allowed to give TV interviews, and have access to internet, as pointed out in this article:
https://meduza.io/en/feature/2017/12/12/new-information-about-russian-officials-orchestrating-the-dnc-hack-could-be-designed-to-pin-the-cyber-attack-on-the-u-s-government

Maybe this story is like a Russian doll? Who knows who is hidden inside?

28
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: December 25, 2017, 05:40:54 PM »
.Will be a tough call to nail Russia as a perpetrator of war crime, although I personally believe they are guilty.

Please follow the evidence rather than making assumptions :
We know that the Russian BUK came with a crew.
We know that they positioned the BUK so that it could connect with a BUK command vehicle in Russia.

So there is no reason to assume that the "separatists" were ever in control of this vehicle.

If there is such evidence as you claim, it should be presented to the war crimes tribunal in Haag.

29
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: December 24, 2017, 12:14:45 PM »
Rob,

this is OT, also there is a separate thread on Ukraine.
Just want to say that the border is porous, and there is no real difference between people of either side of the border: they are all Russians, they were all part of the same society, they were brothers during USSR.
I doubt that Russian military was directly involved with their enrolled staff, also there was no need of it. The BUK apparently used was rather old, it's Soviet military technology, same systems are used by Ukraine, so would be no problem to find rebels in the separatist area, or Russian volunteers/mercenaries to operate it. Will be a tough call to nail Russia as a perpetrator of war crime, although I personally believe they are guilty.

30
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: December 23, 2017, 08:13:16 AM »
Terry, you failed the test.
Reason is that you ignored all the evidence we have on who shot down MH17.
You just went with your own preconceived opinion, and reasoned from there.

Now I'm curious about Hefaistos' response.

I know something about IT business in Russia, on MH17 I have only a very weak opinion.
I think it was the Russians who supplied the BUK, and that it was operated by separatists. They thought they were shooting at some military plane, so made a mistake.

31
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: December 23, 2017, 08:08:24 AM »
I fear that facts don't matter at this point.

We have many facts on RussiaGate (I summarized some of them above), as opposed to the WMD argument, which was purely based on arguments of authority.

Why don't start with the facts I stated and see where that leads you, rather than starting from your pre-conceived opinion and working backward ?

Yes, it is a fact that some FB and Twitter accounts were run by 'Russians' and the so called troll factory in St.Petersburg. We just don't know who ordered them and run them, because no one has yet been able to say anything concrete about that. Mass media immediately jumped to the conclusion that this was a 'Kremlin' campaign, because mass media is politicized, and anything 'Russia' is deducted to be 'Kremlin', but Rob, where is the evidence for that?
There are various alternative hypotheses here, it has been reported that the troll factory had contacts with Cambridge Analytica (=alt right) so could have been an alt-right thing.
In any case, we should be really careful to deduct that if a private Russian company does some bad , then that was ordered by the Kremlin. Russian IT is a free market, after all, so we really need evidence here, e.g. a money trail.

32
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: December 23, 2017, 12:00:10 AM »
There is a profound lack of evidence for the 'Russian part' of Russiagate, i.e. the alleged Russian manipulations of the US presidential election. The allegations of, and MSM hysteria around Russian hacking of the US voting system was recently debunked, but little reported in mass media:

"Russian hackers never attacked a single US state voting system during the 2016 presidential election, Department of Homeland Security National Programs Security Chief Christopher Krebs told the US House of Representatives.
"The majority of the activity was simple scanning. Scanning happens all the time across the web… I would not describe that as an attack," Krebs told a joint hearing of the House Oversight Subcommittees on Wednesday. "Not a single of the 21 states were actually attacked… When you characterize these things as attacks that is overstating… If that context was not provided I apologize."

As reported in The Nation, in a critical article that ends thus: "The tragedy of Russiagate is that its enthusiasts have constructed a “self-sustaining fantasyland” of their own. A fantasyland is no place from which to confront Trump’s reality."
https://www.thenation.com/article/more-media-malpractice-in-russiagate/

33
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: December 22, 2017, 03:32:47 PM »
... Especially since there is no evidence AT ALL (including meta data and all that) that this was a leak, rather than a Russian hack, as our security agencies (CIA, FBI and NSA) and private investigators are reporting.
...

Sorry we have to come back to this, but the metadata you probably refer to (Guccifer 2.0) was manipulated:

"The Forensicator" has thoroughly analyzed the metadata:
https://theforensicator.wordpress.com/guccifer-2-ngp-van-metadata-analysis/
https://theforensicator.wordpress.com/cf-files-metadata-analysis/

Adam Carter sums it up:
"3rd Party Assessments - Assumptions & Conjecture vs Evidence & Facts
There is a difference between independently verifiable evidence and the activity somebody claims to have engaged in or that can be fabricated in an effort to misdirect and masquerade as someone they're not. - None of Guccifer2.0's claims of hacking were independently verifiable and several were debunked by ThreatConnect. - There is nothing demonstrating Guccifer2.0 was really a hacker.
The "evidence" that he's Russian, should be understood in the following context:
He CHOSE to name his computer account after the founder of the Soviet Secret Police.
He CHOSE to create/open and then save documents so the Russian name was written to metadata.
He CHOSE to use a Russian VPN service to cloak his IP address.
He CHOSE to use public web-based email services that would forward his cloaked IP.
He CHOSE to use the above to contact various media outlets on the same day."

http://g-2.space/#4
http://g-2.space/#6

34
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: December 04, 2017, 09:23:49 PM »
For the record, i join neven and others in stating that the evidence posted thus far does not convince me that the Russian government intervened to influence the presidential election in the USA in 2016.

You and some others here may not be convinced that Russia interfered in the election--but both the ICA and the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee are, and, like it or not, their opinion on the matter is vastly more pertinent than is yours or mine.

However--unfortunately for Trump and his many sycophants, that's not even what this whole "Russiagate" thing is about, is it? See, the facet of the investigation that so many routinely refuse to even acknowledge in their rush to protect Putin (and obsessively slam Clinton along the way) is that Mueller isn't looking into whether Russia intervened.

No.

Mueller is looking into a) how deeply the Trump campaign or family worked with Russia to throw the, and, increasingly b), just how much obstruction is going on at the highest levels of the White House to prevent the investigation from getting to the truth.

To--again--summarize the facts:

1) Did Russia interfere in the 2016 election? Yes, at least in the opinion of the majority of people in a position to know.

2) Will anything happen to Russia for their meddling? Probably not, especially with their current Useful I diot sitting at the Resolute Desk.

3) Did TrumpCo collude with Russia to help defeat Clinton? Likely, but also likely to be difficult to prove.

4) Will anything happen to TrumpCo for the crime of "collusion"? Probably not; as stated above, it may be difficult to prove.

5) Has TrumpCo attempted to obstruct the investigation at a hundred different turns? Absolutely. They continue to do so.

6) Will anything happen to TrumpCo for the crimes of obstruction of justice, conspiracy against the United States, acting as unregistered foreign agents, making false and misleading statements, failing to file required reports, lying under oath, and so on, and so on? If there were justice, yes. But there are so many power-crazed, morally-bankrupt fools on the right that will just shrug and say, "Well, whattaya gonna do?", and then do absolutely nothing. And, sadly, there a large number of folks ostensibly on the left who, still seething about Bernie's primary loss and/or infatuated with Putin, will console themselves by saying that eight years of Trump and his crimes is just the price Democrats are gonna have to pay for not nominating Sanders.

Jim, while I agree with most of your reasoning, I just want to mention again that 'Russia-gate' has a somewhat different meaning outside the US.

Post by Joe Lauria today, which focuses on how the Russia-gate hysteria has spread beyond a strategy for neutralizing Donald Trump or even removing him from office, into an excuse for stifling U.S. dissent.

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/12/04/how-russia-gate-rationalizes-censorship/

35
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: December 02, 2017, 10:06:27 AM »
For the record, i join neven and others in stating that the evidence posted thus far does not convince me that the Russian government intervened to influence the presidential election in the USA in 2016.

That would be you, Neven and Hefaistos. Possibly also Terry, although he did not claim so yet.

What baffles me about you guys is how you cannot accept the huge amount of evidence that points at Russian interference in the 2016 elections, and the absence of a real alternative.

Take the DNC hack for example.

CrowdStrike very clearly determined that there were not one, but even TWO intrusions of Russian malware on the DNC network, quite clearly pointing at FSB origin :

http://time.com/4600177/election-hack-russia-hillary-clinton-donald-trump/

CrowdStrike’s co-founder, Dmitri Alperovitch, uncovered evidence that two groups of Russian hackers he had named Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear, had been behind the DNC hack. Cozy Bear used a tool called SeaDaddy that allowed it to stealthily exfiltrate information from a victim’s computer. The tool was almost identical to another exfiltration tool previously identified by Symantec as belonging to the group of Russian hackers known to have operated at the behest of Russia’s FSB, a main successor agency to the KGB.

How do you respond to that with a plausible alternative explanation ?

What if you actually read some of the material I mentioned above!?

It's all there, you just need to study it:

The DNC hack with a thorough analysis of CrowdStrike, Guccifer etc.
http://g-2.space/#1

Or the total debunking of the Grizzly steppe report by the WordFence team:
https://www.wordfence.com/blog/2016/12/russia-malware-ip-hack/

You can't trust the mass media like the article you refer to in Time (!). They are basically spreading the groupthink based on the propaganda invented by your intelligence agencies in the US (the ICA report as well as Grizzly steppe are excellent examples of that).

You need to go for deep, technical analysis as in the two links above.

The "plausible alternative explanation" is the null hypothesis that someone else did it. There simply is no valid evidence it was Russia/the Kremlin.

36
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: December 02, 2017, 06:47:41 AM »
Russian, under Putin's direction, interfered with the 2016 election. Period. Believe it, or deny it; that doesn't change the fact. That's neither hearsay nor conjecture nor wishful thinking; it's just reality.

But that's not what the Russiagate investigation is about.

Many here--and in other internet fora I visit--continually try to obfuscate that fact, but it's not working. That's simply because Mueller isn't looking at whether Russians did anything; he doesn't really care, and that's not his mission even if he did. No, Mueller is looking into how deeply TrumpCo broke the law in working with the Russians. He and his team continue to strip back the coats of lies and deception, with each subsequent layer revealing deeper and more profound connections, some of which we hear about, and most of which we don't. That's the nature of investigations.

As I've said before, nothing will happen to Putin; Trump and the rank and file of the GOP are pleased as punch with Putin for helping their side, country be damned, so it's likely he'll still have his ass kissed by those he helped put in power. And I seriously doubt anything will happen to Trump; so long as the donor class gets the massive upward distribution of wealth they bought and paid for, Trump will remain a free man. Of course, Dems retaking Congress in 2018 could certainly change things, though a) with voter suppression, the loss of Net Neutrality, attacks on the press, gerrymandering, Citizens United, and so on, there's absolutely no certainty that will happen even though the majority of the electorate leans left; and b) with the aged, milquetoast bunch running the DNC--Perez, Schumer, Pelosi, etc.--there's every possibility that if the Dems do retake Washington, their very first act will be to toady up to that same donor class by announcing they intend to take no action against Trump and his cohorts for the good of the nation. Or something...

But even having said all that: we need to know the truth.

Neven already commented the first paragraph of your post.

As regards the rest of your post, I agree, but would like to add, that this is a US-centric point of view, this is Russiagate in the US.
However, that part of Russiagate isn't as relevant for us Europeans, and the rest of the world. We have our Russiagate, and it's more about the IT/hacking/meddling part which we have been discussing above. As Neven said, this part of Russiagate has had dire consequences, but with very weak/conflicting evidence to support the policies: "But in the meantime sanctions against Russia have been intensified, which means hardship for the Russian people, economic losses for European countries trading with Russia, and more power for Putin. At the same time there's a crackdown on foreign media sources in the US, which can easily lead to a slippery slope. Another slippery slope being companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter determining what is fake news. ... Trump is a bad man, and Russia is a morally flexible state ... but no one can afford a new Cold War."
Our politicians and media seem overly intent to deepen the conflict and the negative mindset in relation to Russia, instead of reaching out and try to develop mutual understanding and cooperation. There is always a choice, and it's a minimal requirement that we build our policies on valid evidence of, e.g., alleged Russian hacking/meddling.

37
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: December 01, 2017, 01:30:41 PM »
Rubbles Hefaistos:

Why did 9 people in Donnie's administration lie about meeting with and communicating with Russians?

Do you get a Christmas bonus bonus from VEB Bank....the financial arm of the Kremlin?  The bank who's CEO met with Jarred Kushner?  Another meeting with Russians that went unreported by Jarred?

You've been exposed by others....you may want to pack up and try another website where you'll have better luck.  Maybe they will buy into the null hypothesis.  Boy...you are REALLY reaching for spaghetti or anything to stick to the wall aren't you. 😂

Hear, hear!
Maybe it's you who have been exposed. I try to be polite and objective and not resort to ad hominem attacks when I have no arguments in the actual debate.

38
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: December 01, 2017, 08:59:14 AM »
I'm not going to repeat all the evidence that points at Russian/Kremlin interference in the elections. Enough of it was pointed out upward in this thread.

With any form of denial, it is more interesting to focus on the alternative.
This is what you came up with :

My feeling is, that there is no valid evidence.  I think someone else, pretending to be Russian , and possibly with an agenda to inflame tensions between the U.S. and Russia, did this.

Someone "pretending to be Russian". Yeah, that will do it.

To me this argument sounds like what we are very used to in the climate change debate.
It's not caused by humans, it is caused by "natural variability" which just happens to behave as if it was caused by humans.

I'm sorry to see that you're not serious about discussing the topic. You really are a believer, and you don't worry about evidence. OK, understood.
Honestly, I think it's below the belt of you to bring in the climate change deniers into the Russiagate IT/hacking issue.  Basically you have nothing to say in the argument per se, but you can't avoid the temptation to stab me in the back with an inadequate argument, can you?

My alternative is not the speculative thought that you quote from the end of my reply to Steve's post, that thought is only implied from the null hypothesis, as stated there: The burden of proof lies with those attempting to demonstrate a Russian plot to affect the election, which means they need to find evidence that distinguishes the Russian hacking attempt from the null scenario. In the absence of such evidence, we must assume the null hypothesis: someone else did it.



39
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: November 30, 2017, 06:00:40 PM »
The Kremlin also bought trolls and smear ads covertly to skew the election, interfered with voter registration records selectively, and probably released "opposition research" to WikiLeaks.  Might have funded the RNC, covertly and illegally.  That's all criminal.

Steve

Someone bought trolls and smear ads covertly to skew the election.
Most probably not the Kremlin.

40
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: November 30, 2017, 05:57:26 PM »

So, again, is there any valid evidence that Russia/the Kremlin did this?
If there is, why haven't the three intelligence agencies behind ICA (NSA, CIA and FBI) provided any of it?
Surely, those omni-potent agencies must have some technical evidence to support their claims? Or are they just playing political games?
My feeling is, that there is no valid evidence.  I think someone else, pretending to be Russian , and possibly with an agenda to inflame tensions between the U.S. and Russia, did this.  There is no evidence for who it could be, although there are some suggestions mentioned in the links provided.

The question then is: Why is it a matter of faith for you that Russia is the perpetrator? You seem to want Russia to be guilty, and I wonder why?

Publicly released intelligence assessments CANNOT cite specific evidence gathered by covert means--such facts are classified.  Releasing classified information is a felony.

So yes, the assessment is indeed evidence, just unsatisfying for those skeptical of published intelligence reports.  I really doubt that career civil servants would skew their analysis -- unless pressured by the White House to do so.  That definitely happened with Saddam's "weapons of mass destruction," which served White House interests.  In this case, their findings are the OPPOSITE of what the White House wants.  This makes the Assessment far more credible.

Corroboration of at least the plausibility of Russian orchestration of such efforts can be seen by the huge number of contacts between the Trump campaign and prominent Russian officials, including the Ambassador from Russia -- all of which were concealed and lied about by Trump campaign figures, including the current Attorney General.

The intelligence assessment is completely consistent with publicly-available information.

Another poor report by US intelligence is the so called Grizzly Steppe report.
A team of IT people at Wordfence , the guys working with IT security/firewalls at Wordpress, dug into the claims in the report. They managed to crack the psw of the hackers, and what did they find?
1. Most attacks came from IP numbers in the US
2. Malicious software was programmed in Ukraine
3. Nothing whatsoever points to Russia

"The IP addresses that DHS provided may have been used for an attack by a state actor like Russia. But they don’t appear to provide any association with Russia. They are probably used by a wide range of other malicious actors, especially the 15% of IP addresses that are Tor exit nodes.
The malware sample is old, widely used and appears to be Ukrainian. It has no apparent relationship with Russian intelligence and it would be an indicator of compromise for any website."
https://www.wordfence.com/blog/2016/12/russia-malware-ip-hack/
https://www.us-cert.gov/security-publications/GRIZZLY-STEPPE-Russian-Malicious-Cyber-Activity

Question is: Why should we believe claims in intelligence reports when the little evidence they provide, doesn't support their claims?
Why should we believe intelligence reports that are in essence political propaganda? (the ICA report)

Yes, "the assessment is indeed evidence" - for believers.

My position is that the burden of proof lies with those attempting to demonstrate a Russian plot to affect the election, which means they need to find evidence that distinguishes the Russian hacking attempt from the null scenario. In the absence of such evidence, we must assume the null hypothesis: that it was more likely any of the many non-Russian, non-governmental actors capable of such an attack,  until further evidence is presented.
If the scant evidence provided is shown by independent analysts only to strengthen the null hypothesis, the intelligence agencies would better try to strengthen their hypothesis if they want to support their credibility.

41
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: November 30, 2017, 02:15:37 PM »
It's important to always remember that the "Russiagate" investigation isn't looking into whether Putin & Comrades interfered with the 2016 US election; that's already been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Nothing has been proven, see my previous post with a reply to Rob.

No, the investigation is into whether how closely TrumpCo worked with a hostile foreign entity to circumvent our democratic processes in order to see him elected. So, much as some might wish away the whole thing with repeated howls of, "But the US has meddled in other nation's elections!", that's practically irrelevant. Yes, the US has indeed stuck its fingers in elections held in other countries--but that in no way, shape, or form justifies or excuses the anti-American behavior and actions of Trump, Kushner, Bannon, Flynn, Junior, Manafort, Page, Stone, or others.
Agreed.

42
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: November 30, 2017, 02:09:24 PM »
The technical evidence conflicts the theory that the DNC hack was done by the Kremlin/GRU, as has been shown by, e.g.:
http://g-2.space/
https://nef4rhc.wordpress.com/
The latter report has been received by the offices of Special Council Mueller, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, as well as House and Senate Intelligence Committees, and the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Jeez, Hefaistos. You are really determined.
That "latter report" is from nef4rhc.wordpress.com.
Now I read that report and it is one huge pile of crap.

They don't even link to the reports that they are contesting, for one.
And for the alternative they are suggesting ("The purported July 05 2016 “hack” by Guccifer 2.0 of DNC was a purposeful “leak.”), that is BS on so many accounts. First, there is no evidence that the 'hack' was done July 5, second, there is no evidence it was done by internet entity "Guccifer 2.0", and third, there is no evidence that it was a "leak".

All we know is that the files were copied on July 5 (and that only IF the computer on which they were copied was set to real time).

And who is nef4rhc.wordpress.com anyway ? And when exactly did they post this pile of crap ?

To repeat : at this point I'm curious to know WHY you so desperately want to deny Kremlin involvement when the available evidence points exactly at that ?

My interest in this: There seems to be no 'Russia' in the 'Russiagate'. No valid evidence has been provided. The ICA report from January -17 is basically a political statement, built on no valid technical evidence whatsoever.  They do provide 'evidence' in the form of Guccifer 2.0, who later has been revealed to be a hoax, see the thorough technical discussion at http://g-2.space/#1

You say that those reports I linked to are "a pile of crap"  and "BS". What about some serious discussion?

nef4rhc.wordpress.com  is a report written by one of the IT veterans, Skip Folden. This is what he says about the ICA report: "The ICA comes across as a series of assertions, free of relevant substance. It also fails to include key disclosures. In addition, it relies upon alleged Russian historical ‘nature,’ what this or that person said once, etc. Further, It failed to follow ODNI mandated assessment procedures, and did not include full participation of any of the named agencies."
You say you read his report. Seems you didn't read to the end, where he provides the links you didn't find in the text, as well as his name, which you also didn't see.

VIPS did their forensics and concluded: "It thus appears that the purported “hack” of the DNC by Guccifer 2.0 (the self-proclaimed WikiLeaks source) was not a hack by Russia or anyone else, but was rather a copy of DNC data onto an external storage device."
https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/24/intel-vets-challenge-russia-hack-evidence/

Their findings are still debated, as compiled by The Nation:
https://www.thenation.com/article/a-leak-or-a-hack-a-forum-on-the-vips-memo/

For a full timeline see:
http://g-2.space/#1

So, again, is there any valid evidence that Russia/the Kremlin did this?
If there is, why haven't the three intelligence agencies behind ICA (NSA, CIA and FBI) provided any of it?
Surely, those omni-potent agencies must have some technical evidence to support their claims? Or are they just playing political games?
My feeling is, that there is no valid evidence.  I think someone else, pretending to be Russian , and possibly with an agenda to inflame tensions between the U.S. and Russia, did this.  There is no evidence for who it could be, although there are some suggestions mentioned in the links provided.

The question then is: Why is it a matter of faith for you that Russia is the perpetrator? You seem to want Russia to be guilty, and I wonder why?

43
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: November 30, 2017, 07:56:03 AM »
As to your questions, no, I wouldn't be surprised by any of those claims, except for the first one.

Of course you are allowed to have your own opinion, but your insistence that Russia (the Kremlin specifically) would not be meddling in the elections in NATO countries (including the US 2016 elections) is quite surprising.

I think it was sidd who pointed out (up this thread) that Russia was involved in intervention in foreign election in 36 cases between 1946 and 2000. Why not this time ?

Also, there are reports that Russia was meddling in the elections of 27 countries since 2004. Here for example :
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/09/07/alleged-russian-political-meddling-documented-27-countries-since-2004/619056001/

And also, there is plenty evidence that the Kremlin was directly meddling in the US 2016 elections :

Take the DNC hack for example. CrowdStrike determined that that was a Fancy Bear job. Fancy Bear is quite clearly sponsored by the Russian government. The GRU specifically.

According to SecureWorks, the Podesta email hack started with a 'phishing' email also by Fancy Bear .

I could go on (and I did previously in this thread), but I don't want to repeat myself. At this point I'm curious to know WHY you so desperately want to deny Kremlin involvement when the available evidence points exactly at that ?

The technical evidence conflicts the theory that the DNC hack was done by the Kremlin/GRU, as has been shown by, e.g.:
http://g-2.space/
https://nef4rhc.wordpress.com/
The latter report has been received by the offices of Special Council Mueller, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, as well as House and Senate Intelligence Committees, and the Senate Judiciary Committee.

44
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: November 28, 2017, 09:16:15 PM »
I'm a researcher in social sciences (PhD in economics at a Swedish University)...

How does a Phd in economics from Sweden end up working for an Internet company in St.Petersburg ? Are you native Russian ?
1. It happens.
2. No, I'm a Swede, family dating back to the 13th century.

45
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: November 28, 2017, 08:41:34 PM »
"If Russia was indeed involved in other countries elections I would be surprised..."

Really.  You would be suprised by Russia intruding in elections of NATO countries?  Would also be suprised if Russia is actively spying on other countries as well?

Would you be suprised if the Russian government targets and murders journalists?  Would you be surprised if Putin tries to muzzle free speech in Russia?

Would you be suprised if short little Vladi is trying to expand its territorial footprint?

You must have been very suprised over the last 10 years...

Again....are you paid in rubbles or krona?

Sorry Buddy, I'm unpaid! I'm asking my questions for free, can you imagine?! And even replying to your rather impolite posting...
You know, I'm just curious. I don't like it when mass media spreads unfounded allegations, when I feel manipulated to believe a stupid story by the unified intelligence agencies in the US (the ICA report from January-17), when journalists don't even try to be critical to some really fundamental issues with this Russiagate thing. We're still lacking even one single piece of evidence that the Russian government ('The Kremlin') is involved in any of these 'Russiagate' activities.
The market for internet services is a free market in Russia. Anyone can go there and set up a company, hire programmers, run internet services. Serve clients abroad. I know about these things, not only because I have been living for 8 years in Russia, but also from building a small internet business in St.Petersburg, serving international clients. I talk fluent Russian, I hired programmers myself, etc.
That Russian private internet media companies were involved in trolling social media in the West doesn't prove a yota about the Kremlin being involved. On the contrary, I'd say it's pretty unlikely that the Kremlin would even consider running an open scheme like that. They also don't have much of a motive for extensive schemes intended to stoke social discontent in various Western countries.
Who has the greater motive here? I'd say, the alt-right oligarchs. Some of them from the US, like Mercer, some of them from other countries. Some of them might be Ukrainian, some might be Russian. I'd say, start digging for links from these powerful people to the troll farms, try to follow the money trail. I'm pretty sure the money trail goes to the West, to alt-right oligarchs, to Cambridge Analytica/Mercer, - and not to Moscow. Maybe/hopefully, Mueller will dig smth up.

As to your questions, no, I wouldn't be surprised by any of those claims, except for the first one.

46
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: November 27, 2017, 05:28:51 PM »
Hefaistos, since you previously posted that "I know from personal experience as running an internet business in St.Petersburg", are you still posting from an internet business in St.Petersburg ?

I'm not involved in it any more, I'm just happen to know a bit about how internet businesses operate in Russia. Been living in Russia for some eight years, from 1992 in different periods. Also, I'm a researcher in social sciences (PhD in economics at a Swedish University) so have a tendency to be critical about sources and quality of information. There are several things in the Russiagate tale that puzzle me from a rather down-to-earth perspective on Russian life, ethics and culture.
If Russia was indeed involved running schemes against elections in other countries, I would first of all be rather surprised, and secondly I'd never defend such behavior.

47
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: November 27, 2017, 08:45:17 AM »

You can't make this stuff up, folks.

We only need to answer the question: Who paid for these 'Russian' accounts? Who ordered these activities?
There is a good rule: 'Follow the money'
Is there a money trail?
Does it lead to Cambridge Analytica, to Mercer or some other alt-right people cooperating/with the troll farms? 

48
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: November 26, 2017, 12:37:33 PM »
Regarding the other side of the Atlantic, Louise Mensch has a new post. Often enough she is months ahead and proven right.

"...The referendum on remaining part of the EU received so much illegal foreign money and influence from Russia, these sources say, that UK intelligence is minded to recommend to Theresa May’s government that the Brexit vote be redone, as it is not thought that the vote was ‘free and fair’. This term is often used in Great Britain to describe a legitimate election process.

[...]
Steve Bannon and Robert Mercer were crucial links in Putin’s twin assaults on the UK and US electoral systems; they were heavily involved with UKIP, Cambridge Analytica, Brexit and then the Trump campaign.
(my emph.)

Interesting! Especially her claim in the last sentence that it was Russia that ordered services from Cambridge Analytica (my italics).
My hypothesis is that it was the other way around, that CA/Mercer/Bannon  initiated these scheme to cooperate with the troll factory in Russia, and that it was the alt-right in the US+UK that was running these schemes. They were using internet resources, programmers and posters in Russia for reasons such as low cost of labour, skilled IT people, and to deflect interest to the "scapegoat für alles".
The question remains, where is the evidence to support this claim by Louise Mensch ?

Naturally, you have to check the sender: Her reputation as a blogger is not good, this is what Wikipedia writes: "A number of critics consider the blog posts to be conspiracy theories."

Supposedly, she is just spreading anti-Russian propaganda in this, as you say, "important" post.
Since Mensch's allegations are dramatic, we have to ask again: where is the evidence that Russians are running schemes in the UK and the US through Cambdrige Analytica?

There is an article in Vox about her, and others making up conspiracy theories about Russia, that says "Louise Mensch, a former right-wing British parliamentarian and romance novelist, spreads the newest, punchiest, and often most unfounded Russia gossip".
There you go with your Russia-phobia, made up by a right-wing romance novelist :)
https://www.vox.com/world/2017/5/19/15561842/trump-russia-louise-mensch

49
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: November 17, 2017, 02:58:41 PM »
That's what I call groupthink, and a lack of hard facts. The article in NYT is just terrible from that point of view: Always the same mistake, to conclude that it's 'Russia' or 'the Kremlin' or even 'Putin' when there was a Russian IP nr, or a Facebook or Twitter account registered in Russia.

In Putin's Russia, it is not unreasonable to assume that it is controlled by the Kremlin, or at least pro-Putin. Try to criticize Putin while in Russia, and see how that goes. Or ask Boris Nemtsov. Oh. never mind.
 
I ask again : What more evidence do you need that Russia interfered in the US 2016 elections ?
Or are you only convinced if the content came straight from Putin's laptop ?

No-one seems to know who ordered these services from, eg., the Internet Research Agency (IRA). IRA belongs to a large media group called FAN. It's a private entity, it has all the licenses needed to provide various kinds of media services. It is NOT a state owned company, it has NO relation to Putin/Kremlin. It operates in a basically free market.

I remember FAN from my research of the war in Ukraine back in 2014, since they were publishing aggressive anti-Ukraine propaganda. Disgusting propaganda even. I won't get into details, since that is outside of this thread's subject.

Concord Consulting is owned by (and this will please Neven) a Russian oligarch called Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Yevgeny Prigozhin is a good friend (and dubbed "chef") to President Vladimir Putin.

So there is the whole line of influence.
Concord (Prigozhin) gets lucrative contracts (like providing catered food for public schools and the Russian military) and in return Prigozhin spreads pro-Putin propaganda via Nevskiye Novosti and FAN.

There is no evidence (for your hypothesis that) the US 'alt-right' has control over FAN.

First of all, I didn't say that some actors in the alt-right camp has "control" over FAN. I said, that they seem to be working together. You can think of it as a joint project. According to several articles in The Guardian, there are contacts/links between Cambridge Analytica and FAN/IRA. Of course, we don't know the exact nature of what is done, or who is doing what.
The media market in Russia is rather unregulated and people are free to set up businesses as they like. I  know from personal experience as running an internet business in St.Petersburg for several years, employing programmers etc.
Tell me now, if some part of Prigozhin's Concorde conglomerate is a catering provider for public entities, or even for Putin when he is in town, does that mean that Prigozhin has influence over the Kremlin's foreign policy?
Does that, in your world, constitute 'evidence'?
I'd say, one hypothesis is as good as the other. Only that a big part of 'Russiagate' (trolling of social media) is built on this very weak assumption.
Even if, as you claim, they are 'friends', it's a pretty long shot to say that Prigozhin is part of forming Russian foreign policy.

50
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: November 16, 2017, 04:11:04 PM »
Lack of evidence ?
Let's recap :

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/30/technology/facebook-google-russia.html

Facebook :

Russian agents intending to sow discord among American citizens disseminated inflammatory posts that reached 126 million users on Facebook, published more than 131,000 messages on Twitter and uploaded over 1,000 videos to Google’s YouTube service, according to copies of prepared remarks from the companies

Twitter :

Twitter, in its prepared remarks, said it had discovered more than 2,700 accounts on its service that were linked to the Internet Research Agency between September 2016 and November 2016. Those accounts, which Twitter has suspended, posted roughly 131,000 tweets over that period.

Outside of the activity of the Internet Research Agency, Twitter identified more than 36,000 automated accounts that posted 1.4 million election-related tweets linked to Russia over that three-month period. The tweets received approximately 288 million views, according to the company’s remarks.

And 170 instagram accounts linked to Russian propaganda.

And then we have the many hacks :
http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/26/us/2016-presidential-campaign-hacking-fast-facts/index.html

I count at least half a dozen hacks that have been attributed to Russian agents (like "Cozy Bear" and "Fancy Bear").

How much more evidence do you need to accept that Russia meddled in the US elections ?

That's what I call groupthink, and a lack of hard facts. The article in NYT is just terrible from that point of view: Always the same mistake, to conclude that it's 'Russia' or 'the Kremlin' or even 'Putin' when there was a Russian IP nr, or a Facebook or Twitter account registered in Russia.
Again, can you provide us with one single piece of hard fact evidence that the Russian state/Kremlin was behind these activities?
No-one seems to know who ordered these services from, eg., the Internet Research Agency (IRA). IRA belongs to a large media group called FAN. It's a private entity, it has all the licenses needed to provide various kinds of media services. It is NOT a state owned company, it has NO relation to Putin/Kremlin. It operates in a basically free market.
My hypothesis is that the IRA is involved in an alt-right network. They cooperate with Cambridge Analytica, owned by Mercer, and not too long ago Bannon was the CEO of CA. Nigel Farage is another key person. I think it's far more likely that it's that kind of alt-right network operating here, than that the Kremlin is involved.
The Guardian has had a series of articles on the matter, by a digging journalist, the latest one spells out some of these links:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/28/trump-assange-bannon-farage-bound-together-in-unholy-alliance
So, I ask again, does anyone know of some real evidence that it's 'Russia'/Russian government/kremlin behind all this?

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