Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The role of Canadians in the weaponization of social media by psychopaths!

Good Day Readers:

There has been much speculation over how French authorities and the global anti-terrorist effort could have been caught so off guard by the recent Paris bombings. Was there no online electronic chatter or digital trail? How were those responsible for planning and coordinating such a large scale operation able to stay off the internet or at least go undetected.

The following is by far the best explanation CyberSmokeBlog has yet found. Notice the Canadian connection.

Clare L. Pieuk
Frightening ISIS encryption methods have surprising Canadian connection

By Sandy Garossino in Opinion | November 23rd 2015
A grave intelligence failure marked multiple catastrophic terrorist attacks in recent weeks in Egypt, Beirut and Paris. Brussels is in lockdown, braced for a Paris-style attack, while a firestorm of controversy blazes over social media's encrypted instant messaging apps. And a Canadian technology company is caught in the crossfire.

Whether those responsible for the ISIS attacks actually used communication by untrackable encrypted instant messaging remains unclear. We know that at least some in Paris didn't. Data on adiscarded cell-phone found in a trash-bin outside the Bataclan led authorities directly to the safe-house where attack leader Abdelhamid Abaaoud met his doom.

Oddly, supporters of blanket encryption apps consider this evidence in their favour, when it actually points to the opposite conclusion. Had the attackers encrypted all their communications, per standard ISIS instructions, Abaaoud and his co-conspirators would still be at large instead of chilling at the morgue.

ISIS won't make that mistake again.

Encryption robs investigators of indispensable wiretap powers

Encryption technology is now so powerful that it can't be unlocked even by the host under court order, and is freely available on a number of smartphone apps that all the kids use. Messenger platforms such as WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Telegram sprouted up following the well-worn Facebook path of making their owners rich by designing hook-up apps.

The thing is, these apps also inadvertently immunize malicious users like ISIS and child predators from lawful investigation. Authorities have now been robbed of indispensable wiretap powers that they've possessed since the invention of the telephone.

That's not a good thing, because we have nothing to replace it. There's simply no investigative substitute for the ability to intercept extremist communications in real-time as attacks are planned. Increasingly, authorities are seeing subjects "go dark," meaning they've accessed encryption messaging software and their communications can no longer be tracked.

What authorities seek is that encrypted messaging apps code in a "key" that allows police (operating under warrant) to intercept communications and track militant extremists and terrorists in a manner similar to tapping a phone.

If we don't master this, we'll turn police into 19th century London bobbies, while ISIS roams the Internet virtually at will.

Kik: the Canadian connection

Terrorists also love Kik, Canada's sparkling billion-dollar messaging baby incubated at the University of Waterloo that boasts over 240 million users worldwide. The FBI has identified Kik as among the Internet's top jihadi social media recruiting and fundraising tools, although no evidence ties it to recent attacks.

In one now depressingly familiar example, three American teenagers, two brothers and a sister aged 16 to 19, were recently caught by the FBI at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago attempting to travel to Syria via Turkey, after being radicalized and groomed on Twitter and Kik.

Pictured below, another recruit coming to join ISIS in Syria through Turkey seeks border crossing advice, providing his Kik handle for direct, encrypted messages.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Why the Canadian Judicial Council has a serious credibility issue!

Good Day Readers:

The other day the CJC released its findings into the alleged misconduct of Quebec federally appointed Judge Michel Girouard who while a lawyer stands accused of buying cocaine from a video store owner and convicted drug dealer.

But first the players.
This shinny face belongs to Independent Counsel Marie Cossette from Montreal BigLaw Lavery Lawyers. Lots of experience with public inquiries most notably the now concluded Charbonneau Commission that investigated corruption in La Belle Province. Mon Dieu there's corruption there?

 Judge Michel "Don't Call Me Mr." Girouard (Soon to be ex?) with a penchant for renting videos.

The Honourable Richard J. F. Chartier Chief Justice of Manitoba's Court of Appeal and only member of the panel who wrote a dissenting decision CyberSmokeBlog found to be beyond comprehensible in its naivete. But more about that later.. "J. F." gave every possible benefit of the doubt and far beyond to "Mr. Giouard." At one point in the proceedings he even sternly corrected "Shinny Face" Cossette for referring to Justice Girouard as "Mr. Girouard."


"Mr." Girouard, "Mr." Girouard, "Mr." Girouard. Jezus that felt good!

Panel Member Federal Court of Canada Chief Judge Paul Crampton.
Finally, panel member Ronald LeBlanc.
Appointed a New Brunswick Provincial Judge in 2002. Prior to that he was Crown prosecutor. Has practiced law for over 35-years.

These are the folks who have spent millions of public dollars (God knows how many?) investigating Mr.(sorry Justice) Girouard. After reading the Judicial Council's report the title of Justice sticks in CyberSmokeBlog's craw.

But this may be far from over. Michel Girouard's expensive taxpayer financed two person legal team could conceivably decide to ask the Supreme Court of Canada for a judicial review of the case and you know what that means  .....eh? More serious
The very troubling decision of Richard Chartier

If you click below there you will find the 52 page report submitted by the panel dated November 18, 2015.


CyberSmokeBlog directs you to Chapter VIII (Chief Justice Chartier's dissenting opinion on the analysis of Justice Giroud's testimony) at page 46 - it's truly remarkable for the wrong reasons.

CyberSmokeBlog's Analysis
Here's a sampling of why CSB found Richard Chartier's decision so incredible in light of the information presented to the panel investigating Justice Girouard's "alleged misconduct." 

[248] at page 46: "..... that the object which Mr Lamontagne slipped to Me Girouard was cocaine. According to these two witnesses, they exchanged a note regarding either movie rentals or Mr Lamontagne’s tax matter ....."

CyberSmokeBlog: Oh really? Now readers, does this look like a run-of-the-mill everyday transaction between Michel Girouard and now convicted drug trafficker Yvon Lamontagne over movie rentals or a tax matter? Everything above board and by the book? Don't think so. They sure have a strange way of conducting business!

[248] at page 46: "..... Of course, there was the video recording. Unfortunately this recording had no sound track. The Absence of a sound track greatly hampered their expat recollection of the exchange ....."

CyberSmokeBlog: Huh?
Mark Twain: "What? your actions are speaking so loudly I can't hear you!"

[249] at page 47: "..... in my opinion, such inaccuracies, when considered separately or as a whole, do not give rise to any concrete doubt about the credibility of Justice Girouard's testimony ....."

CyberSmokeBlog: Giving the accused such overwhelming benefit of the doubt would result in few convictions in courts of law.

[250 at page 47]: "..... In his letter of January 2013 to the Executive Director of the Council (i.e. Norman Sabourin), Justice Girouard wrote that he purchased movies directly from Mr. Lamontagne because he did not want adult movies to appear on his customer file ....."

CyberSmokeBlog: Wonder if Richard Chartrand is aware of the Douglas Inquiry? Presumably, federally appointed Judges and Judges need to watch porno too.

[252 at page 47]: "..... Justice Girouard gave two reasons why he slipped money under the desk pad: the first so that it would not be obvious he was giving money to a trafficker; and second, that he was acting out of habit ....."

CyberSmokeBlog: Surely to God this should have raised a huge, huge red flag for Chief Justice Chartier. Is this the usual way a lawyer and client transact? What's wrong with this picture?

[254 at page 48]: "..... Justice Girouard stated that the note contained two pieces of information: the amount to settle the tax matter and the name of the lender ....."

CyberSmokeBlog: Believe in the tooth fairy ..... eh?

[257 at page 48]: "..... Justice Girouard testified that Mr. Doray's summary (Raymond Doray appointed by the Council to make further confidential inquiries) which was provided to his (Michel Girouard's) counsel (Gerald Tremblay), indicated that Mr. Lamontagne had written on the note, among other things, a message saying (translation) "I'm (Yvon Lamontagne) under surveillance, I'm (Yvon Lamontagne) being bugged." Justice Girouard stated before the Committee that Mr. Doray must have misunderstood him, and that he told him (Mr. Doray) instead, it was Mr. Lamontagne's behaviour which lead him (Michel Girouard) to believe that the latter (Yvon Lamontagne) was under surveillance ....."

CyberSmokeBlog: It matters not. Both parties in this transaction to say the least were behaving in a highly, highly suspicious manner. This is not the usual way lawyers and clients transact. A benefit of the doubt that is not warranted.

[260 at page 49]: ".....Finally, my colleagues find it difficult to believe that Justice Girouard read the first draft of the summary dated May 6, 2013, but that he did not read the August 13, 2013 version. I must admit that I also find it hard to believe this part of his testimony. In my view, Justice Girouard’s explanation on this issue was weak and ambiguous. However, it is plausible that Justice Girouard, as a result of being exhausted and discouraged after finding out that the conduct review process would go forward [168], did not immediately read Me Doray’s summary of their meeting. [261] The fact that Justice Girouard did not read the note: The final suspicious element raised

CyberSmokeBlog: If you found it difficult to believe Michel Girouard did not read the revised version of Mr. Doray's summary and his explanation to be weak and ambiguous then why did you yet again give him the benefit of the doubt?

[261 at page 49]: In my view, a negative inference should not be drawn from the fact that the two men do not recall what they talked about five (5) years ago.

CyberSmokeBlog: Even with a highly, highly suspicious video to refresh their memories?

[262 at page 49]: "I wish to make it very clear that what I saw on the video recording of September 17 seems shady to me. Even Justice Girouard acknowledged it in his testimony: what is shown on the video looks [translation) “suspicious.” ..... "I cannot conclude that his explanations are false. The fact remains that the independent counsel was unable to provide the Committee with clear and conclusive evidence regarding the object that was exchanged and, therefore, the true nature of the transaction that was recorded on video. Although it is true that there are some inaccuracies in Justice Girouard’s testimony, it is important to make a distinction between a version of the facts that is disbelieved and one that is deliberately fabricated. As the Court of Appeal of Quebec stated in Bureautique Nouvelle-Beauce inc. versus. Compagnie d’assurance Guardian du Canada (translation) […] what is untrue is not necessarily deceitful.”

CyberSmokeBlog: Case law notwithstanding, many would call "the transaction" both untrue and deceitful.


CSB could go on and on and on ..... but you can read the full report for yourselves. It's time now for you who will pay for this investigation to indicate what you saw. A normal transaction between a lawyer and his client or something much, much more sinister? Should Michel Girouard be allowed to remain on the bench?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

How to stay off the grid!

Good Day Readers:

Like many upon hearing of the recent Paris attacks they appeared to have caught the world's counter terrorist intelligence community completely by surprise, CyberSmokeBlog also wondered how could this have happened? Surely, such a co-ordinated, simultaneous,multi-site operation involving several individuals must have involved considerable planning and communication. Why didn't anyone pick up "electronic chatter? It didn't take much research to explain why.

Here are some techniques for staying off the grid.

Clare L. Pieuk
How to stay off the government's grid

1. Live for free. Earn so little as to be exempt from paying taxes (and consider freeganism to survive). Squat for somewhere to live. Alternatively, Live in the Wilderness or Survive in the Woods. Make sure you are paid in cash, or cryptocurrency like bitcoin.

To be continued .....

Monday, November 16, 2015

No Keystone XL Pipeline ..... eh?

"She'll be coming round the mountain when she comes ... Toot! Toot! ....."
Canadian oil trains to US to reach "staggering" levels

By Mychaylo Prystupa in News, Energy | November 12th 2015

Lac Megantic oil train explosion in Quebec. (Canadian Press photo)

Some call them bomb trains. Oil trains — loaded with explosive Canadian and Bakken fuels — are expected to roll into U.S. communities in “staggering" numbers, says a new study released Thursday by a Seattle sustainability think tank.

Sightline Institute says oil shipped by rail into Washington and Oregon states alone will reach one million barrels per day by the year 2018, quadrupling current levels. The cancelation last week of TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL pipeline, to boost Canadian oil exports, is only expected to worsen this trend, the report states.

The analysis comes amid opposition to oil trains from cities and towns in these states. On Thursday, the City of Portland passed a resolution opposing oil by rail expansion, and directed city staff to investigate the health, safety and climate impacts.

The controversial issue has been gaining steam since 2012, when the region's first crude oil rail terminal was installed to load oil tankers.

"If there were an oil train explosion ... we’d all be vaporized"

“If there were an oil train explosion here or near my house — we’d all be vaporized,” said Annie Christensen, a resident near Rainier, Oregon, population 1,800, in a YouTube video last year. “I live a third of a mile from these tracks.”

“The tracks run literally right through the center of Rainier. In order to back out of your parking place, you have to back up over the tracks,” she says in the video.

After the video was posted, Christensen told National Observer this week that the state has begun upgrading the rails, and realigning the town's car parking for safety. But, she said, far more needs to be done. America’s bridges, roads and communities are not ready for the Canadian oil train surge.

"You don't have to be an environmentalist to not want to be incinerated,” she wrote in an e-mail Thursday.

"There is significant anger and frustration regarding the danger of the oil trains and the lack of real action from those in positions to help us be safe."

There are now seven oil-by-rail terminals in the region, moving 250,000 barrels of oil per day. A total of 14 facilities are in the works.

“The capacity that the industry is trying to build right now is staggering,” said Sightline’s policy director, Eric de Place, on Thursday from Seattle.

"People are largely unaware of it, except when the trains derail and explode. Then they become painfully aware."

Canadian oil still growing, despite Keystone XL rejection

And while environmentalists across North America celebrated President Obama’s nixing of the giant Keystone XL pipeline last Friday, Canadian oil production itself is still growing — even with very low oil prices.

“Even without the [Keystone XL] pipeline, Canadian crude has always found its way down to the U.S. — and this is by rail,” said U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) economist Lejla Villar on Wednesday from Washington, D.C.

The U.S. government forecasts Canadian oil production will expand by 60,000 barrels per day this year, and an additional 90,000 barrels per day in 2016.

Oil train protest in Grays Haror near Seattle in October 2015. (Photo by Natalie Jamerson, Washington Environmental Council)

Rail will be now be the "sole driver" of new growth in Alberta's oil sands exports, says the Sightline study.

“The Kinder Morgan [pipeline] expansion in B.C. would be a 590,000 barrels per day increase. But we’re talking about almost double that much in rail capacity for oil trains — it’s a lot.”

The greenhouse gas from the oil train surge in the Pacific Northwest is equal to the pollution of adding nine to 22 million cars, says the Sightline report.

Canada's oil lobby group says oil by train is a reality as the industry struggles to get the approval of giant pipelines.

"Low world oil prices are causing a slower pace of oil development throughout North America. Even with this slower pace, additional transportation capacity will be required over time,” wrote Matthew O'Connor of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers in Calgary.

"The industry has several pipelines (new and expansions of existing) currently in the regulator process ... Rail is one component of that transportation network and currently makes up about five per cent of that total capacity,” he added.

One of the industry's next anticipated projects is Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion between Alberta and B.C.'s coast. However, the $5.4-billion project is facing uncertain delays with a new government in Ottawa pledging to overhaul Canada's environmental review of pipelines.

As of August, Canada provided 45 per cent of all crude oil imports to the United States, almost three times as much as all Persian Gulf countries combined, says the U.S. EIA.

An environmentalist report on oil trains also released this month — co-produced by Waterkeeper Alliance, Riverkeeper and ForestEthics — used 250 citizen investigators to survey bridges used by oil trains in 15 U.S. states. They photographed bridges cracking and in an apparent bad state of repair, though they admitted they were not engineers.

The report also chronicled a growing list of U.S. oil train accidents, where derailments have spilled oil into rivers and other watersheds.

Map of proposed and existing oil-by-train infrastructure. (Source: Sightline Institute)

Unplugged, disconnected and off the grid?

Good Day Readers:

What's hard to fathom about last Friday's Paris terrorist attack is how it seemed to catch authorities by complete surprise. An operation involving up to 8-terrorists operating simultaneously at multiple locations must have involved significant planning and co-ordation. Did international anti-terrorist organizations not pick up any "chatter?" Are you to believe those responsible did not use their smart phones and stayed completely off the grid? Add to this a report German authorities are investigating claims that an Algerian man warned fellow migrants last week of an imminent attack in Paris and the mystery deepens.

What does this say about the state of international anti-terrorist intelligence gathering?

Clare L. Pieuk
Belgian jihadi Abdelhamid Abaaoud identified as mastermind of Paris attacks

Associated Press
Monday, November 16, 2015
This undated image talen from a militant website on Monday, November 16, 2015 showing Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a French official says Abdelhamid Abaaoud is the suspected mastermind of the Paris attacks was also linked to the thwarted train and church attacks. (militant video via AP)

BRUSSELS — Once a happy-go-lucky student at one of Brussels' most prestigious high schools, Saint-Pierre d'Uccle, Abdelhamid Abaaoud morphed into Belgium's most notorious jihadi, a zealot so devoted to the cause of holy war that he recruited his 13-year-old brother to join him in Syria.

The child of Moroccan immigrants who grew up in the Belgian capital's scruffy and multiethnic Molenbeek-Saint-Jean neighborhood, the fugitive, in his late 20s, was identified by French authorities on Monday as the presumed mastermind of the attacks last Friday in Paris that killed 129 people and injured hundreds.

What's more, one French official told The Associated Press, Abaaoud is believed to have links to earlier terror attacks that were thwarted: one against a Paris-bound high-speed train that was foiled by three young Americans in August, and the other against a church in the French capital's suburbs.

"All my life, I have seen the blood of Muslims flow," Abaaoud said in a video made public in 2014. "I pray that Allah will break the backs of those who oppose him, his soldiers and his admirers, and that he will exterminate them."

Belgian authorities suspect him of also helping organize and finance a terror cell in the eastern city of Verviers that was broken up in an armed police raid on Jan. 15, in which two of his presumed accomplices were killed.

The following month, Abaaoud was quoted by the Islamic State group's English-language magazine, Dabiq, as saying that he had secretly returned to Belgium to lead the terror cell and then escaped to Syria in the aftermath of the raid despite having his picture broadcast across the news.

"I was even stopped by an officer who contemplated me so as to compare me to the picture, but he let me go, as he did not see the resemblance!" Abaaoud boasted.

There was no official comment from the Belgian federal prosecutor's office about Abaaoud's reported role in the Paris attacks, but Belgian police over the weekend announced the arrest of three suspects in Molenbeek, his old neighborhood, and were carrying out numerous searches there Monday.

The hardscrabble area in the west of Brussels has long been considered a focal point of Islamic radicalism and recruitment of foreign fighters to go to Iraq and Syria.

Abaaoud's image became even grimmer after independent journalists Etienne Huver and Guillaume Lhotellier, visiting the Turkish-Syrian frontier, obtained photos and video last year of Abaaoud's exploits across Syria. The material included footage of him and his friends loading a pickup truck and a makeshift trailer with a mound of bloodied corpses.

Before driving off, a grinning Abaaoud tells the camera: "Before we towed jet skis, motorcycles, quad bikes, big trailers filled with gifts for vacation in Morocco. Now, thank God, following God's path, we're towing apostates, infidels who are fighting us."

Huver told The Associated Press Monday the video was too fragmentary to say much about Abaaoud's character, but that he detected some signs the Belgian was moving into a leadership role.

"On the one hand I'm surprised," Huver said of Abaaoud's prominence. "On the other hand, I saw that there were beginnings of something . You can see that he's giving orders. You can feel a charismatic guy who's going up in the world ... You can see a combatant who's ready to climb the ranks."

Satter reported from Paris. Lori Hinnant in Paris contributed.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Bee power!

Taxes what taxes?

The car-hailing phenom is viewed by many as the model for the 21st century corporation. You should see how state-of-the-art it is when it comes to minimizing its tax bill.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Can you feel the heat yet?

Camp au Cauldron