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Video Shows Moment El Chapo Escapes Mexico “Maximum Security” Prison Cell (+ Tunnel Footage)

In Archive, Drugs, El Chapo, Mexico on July 15, 2015 at 2:05 PM

07/15/2015

VICE:

As the government’s story goes, on Jan 19, 2001, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman snuck out of a maximum-security prison in Mexico the first time around by hiding in a laundry cart. It was a cartoonishly sounding escape for a drug cartel leader considered one of the most dangerous men in the world.

But what most likely happened, experts on the subject say, is that Guzman’s first major prison break occurred through the front, dressed as a police officer. It happened with the total backing of the prison itself, from the warden on down.

On Tuesday night, Mexico released video footage of the moment that Chapo made his second implausible escape. In it, a man dressed in sweatpants and a sweatshirt is seen pacing in a cell, then putting on shoes, then ducking below a waist-high barrier of the shower stall in his cell. The time stamp on the video reads 8:52. After that, the man is not seen again.

Although Guzman is well-know for his cartel’s use tunnels to traffic drugs across the US-Mexico border, questions and doubts about the tunnel escape have bubbled up since almost the moment the jailbreak became news.

Some people are still saying they don’t entirely believe the government’s story: “El Chapo” had workers build a secret tunnel more than 30 feet deep and rode a motorcycle on a one-mile track while smashing lightbulbs in his wake to blind any chasers.

The tunnel may have been under construction from the time that Chapo was jailed at Altiplano, but it would have been impossible not to notice the approximately 3.2 tons of dirt and rock required to dig out without being noticed, engineers who made the calculation told newspapers here.

Plus, the escape house sits between the Altiplano prison and a Mexican army base — both of which have security towers — and near a State of Mexico police academy. At the time, a constant additional security perimeter composed of federal police and soldiers should have also noticed Guzman fleeing.

Still others noted that Chapo is shown with his head shaved in an undated headshot the government released of him, while the closed-circuit footage shows  the man escaping with a full head of hair.

el-chapo-headshot

Three days since the jailbreak, authorities have admitted that Chapo and his allies probably bought off guards and prison officials at Altiplano. But Mexicans swapping rumors and theories on social media say they believe the corruption rooted in Guzman’s vast drug empire of influence must have reached higher levels in Mexico’s government.

In that sense, “El Chapo” — although he was captured again in February 2014, taken in handcuffs, and put behind bars — “was never in really in custody,” investigative reporter Anabel Hernandez declared on Radio Formula in Mexico on Tuesday.

Given how it really went down in 2001, others argue, the Guzman tunnel story could be all just a charade.

According to Hernandez’s book Narcoland, Guzman’s body inside a laundry cart would have triggered heat sensors at the security checkpoints inside the Puente Grande prison in Jalisco. He escaped through the gates dressed as a police agent, she writes, after gathering testimony and examining Guzman’s case file.

“This prison has sensors everywhere, and automatic doors. It wasn’t possible,” Hernandez told VICE in a 2013 interview.

This time, the public shouldn’t discount the possibility that Guzman escaped “through the front” and that “one person or more helped him,” journalist and author Jesus Lemus told VICE News.

Lemus is a reporter who served time in Puente Grande between 2008 and 2011 on false charges of criminal association, but got released after authorities realized they had the wrong suspect. During his time behind bars, Lemus interviewed prisoners and guards about Chapo’s first escape, years earlier.

“He escaped through the front door, he left disguised as a federal policeman. The prisoners that stayed behind identified him for his eyes and height, and also because he had paid them some favors,” Lemus told VICE News.

“El Chapo is a person that bought loyalties and who knows how to create them. I don’t believe that he escaped through a tunnel. It would be like disregarding his criminal capacity, and he likes to innovate,” the author said. “I’ve been in those prisons and they have at least two meters of reinforced concrete underneath.”

Authorities on Tuesday permitted news photographers to enter the house where the prison tunnel ended and film just above the opening to a deep shaft where authorities say Guzman used a motorcycle to ride the one mile from the Altiplano prison.

News cameras also filmed inside cell 20. Along with the release of the footage inside Guzman’s cell, Mexican authorities are attempting to silence any further uproar over Chapo’s escape.

Interior Minister Miguel Osorio Chong defended the government’s handling of the case so far on Monday night, saying that Mexico’s federal penitentiaries have equal security standards to those of the United States.

“The prison has perimeter barriers, pedestrian and vehicle checkpoints, internal and external security towers, in addition to 26 security filters,” Osorio Chong said. “For more than a year a half, there has been an additional surveillance operation by the federal police and the army at the exterior of this prison.”

Three prison officials including the warden have been fired. At least 53 others have been questioned in connection to the Chapo jailbreak, including prison employees, inmates, and two of Guzman’s lawyers.

Osorio Chong said any government employees who are proven to have aided Chapo’s escape were “disloyal” and committed “betrayal” against the security forces that captured Guzman in Mazatlan last year, “risking their lives.”

But Mexico got a warning. United States anti-drug agents reportedly told Mexican officials that they had gathered murmurs of Chapo seeking an escape from Altiplano as soon as one month after his arrest. Drug Enforcement Administration agents in Los Angeles and Houston said a prison break was probably in the works, an AP report said. Osorio Chong denied the Mexican government had any such knowledge.

“My colleagues at the DEA received a report in which various plans for an escape were detailed, but that was months ago, and we thought that they were doing something about it,” an ex-DEA agent, Gilberto Gonzalez, told VICE News in an interview this week. “But now we see they didn’t.”

“It’s very disappointing for my colleagues who participated in his arrest, because they feel they risked their lives for nothing,” Gonzalez added.

Jose Luis Montenegro, author of a recent book on Chapo’s sons called “Narcojuniors,” pointed out that attorneys have filed appeals to prevent any extradition of Chapo to the US from going forward. While on the inside, Guzman and other inmates complained of prison conditions to the national human rights commission, sparking an investigation that turned up nothing.

All of this may have worked to stall for time so that Chapo’s tunnel could be built — for actual use or not, Montenegro told VICE News.

“This looks more like complicity than a government omission,” he said. “Just like in 2001, you co-opt the authorities, through bribes and threats, and then use your own people, like now.”

Montenegro monitors social-media accounts linked to several of Chapo’s sons and associates. Those accounts are not unverified. They’ve also remained largely silent since Chapo escaped.

The author said geo-localization and links between the accounts themselves give him confidence it was Ivan Archivaldo Guzman Salazar, one of three sons from Chapo’s first marriage, who tweeted on July 6: “Everything comes to those who know how to wait.”

Five days later, his father broke free from prison.

Leaked Video Shows Making of Islamic State “Execution” in Studio — via CyberBerkut Hack of Sen. McCain Staffer

In Archive, CIA, Islamic State, Jihadi John, Military, Politics, Terrorism on July 12, 2015 at 2:56 PM

islamic-state-studio

07/11/2015

CyberBerkut (Google Translation):

We CyberBerkut received at the disposal of the file whose value can not be overstated!

Dear Senator McCain! We recommend you next time in foreign travel, and especially on the territory of Ukraine, not to take confidential documents.

On one of the devices of your colleagues, we found a lot of interesting things. Something we decided to put: this video should become the property of the international community!

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The 3 ½ minute silent video appears to show infamous Islamic State executioner Jihadi John (aka Mohammed Emwazi) in front of a giant green screen, standing beside a kneeling hostage wearing an orange jumpsuit and a green screen hood. They are inside a lit studio with a production crew and can be seen rehearsing an “execution”. The desert scene of the set, complete with wind machine, are similar to that shown in the beheading videos of James Foley, Steven Sotloff, David Haines, and Alan Henning.

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Here is an example someone put together showing the similarities between the leaked studio video and the Foley beheading video. This is not implying the person in the leaked video is Foley, it may be anyone. Though they are not identical, it gives a good comparison:

islamic-state-studio-foley-comparison

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British forensic experts concluded that the James Foley video was likely staged using “camera trickery and slick post-production techniques.”

Terrorism research expert Veryan Khan said the video of Japanese hostages Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa looks like it was completed in an indoor studio with a false backdrop, pointing to the light source on the men that appears to be coming from two different directions — as opposed to one bright sun.

Hollywood horror film director Mary Lambert said of the Islamic State video showing the killing of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians on a Libyan beach, that “in the opening shot all the figures might be animated. They never had more than six men on the beach … The close-ups of jihadists on the beach are most likely green screen … The sea turning red is obviously FX.”

Journalist Thomas Wictor has claimed that the Islamic State video showing Jordanian pilot Mu’ath al-Kaseasbeh burned alive was actually fake, pointing to evidence of CGI flames and video glitches.

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LeakSource cannot confirm the video’s authenticity. If it’s a hoax, it’s a pretty elaborate and expensive one. Is it legit? If so, was it done by an Islamic State production crew (unlikely with a female PA on set) , or someone else (ie. intelligence agency). And why was it found on a device of Senator John McCain’s staffer?

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Steve Watson/PrisonPlanet (05/25/2010) & Mikael Thalen/Infowars (09/03/2014):

A 2010 Washington Post article authored by former Army Intelligence Officer Jeff Stein features a detailed account of how the CIA admittedly filmed a fake Bin Laden video during the run up to the 2003 Iraq war.

The article, which includes comments from multiple sources within the CIA’s Iraq Operations Group, explains how the agency had planned to “flood Iraq with the videos” depicting several controversial scenarios.

“The agency actually did make a video purporting to show Osama bin Laden and his cronies sitting around a campfire swigging bottles of liquor and savoring their conquests with boys, one of the former CIA officers recalled, chuckling at the memory,” the article states. “The actors were drawn from ‘some of us darker-skinned employees.’”

Other CIA officials admitted to planning several fake videos featuring former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, one of which would depict the leader engaged in sexual acts with a teenage boy.

“It would look like it was taken by a hidden camera,” said one of the former officials. “Very grainy, like it was a secret videotaping of a sex session.”

Another idea was to interrupt Iraqi television programming with a fake special news bulletin. An actor playing Hussein would announce that he was stepping down in favor of his (much-reviled) son Uday.

“I’m sure you will throw your support behind His Excellency Uday,” the fake Hussein would intone.

According to one official, the video ideas were eventually scrapped due to the CIA officers, who spent their careers in Latin America and East Asia, not understanding “the cultural nuances of the region.”

The former officials told Stein that the project was taken over by the military after it ground to a halt:

The reality, the former officials said, was that the agency really didn’t have enough money and expertise to carry out the projects.

“The military took them over,” said one. “They had assets in psy-war down at Ft. Bragg,” at the army’s special warfare center.

This latest revelation bolsters evidence that the intelligence agencies, and perhaps more significantly, the military have been engaged in creating fake Bin Laden videos in the past.

As we have exhaustively documented, Intelcenter, the U.S. monitoring group that routinely releases Bin Laden video and audio, much of which have been proven to be either rehashed old footage or outright fakes, is an offshoot of IDEFENSE, a web security company that monitors intelligence from the middle east.

IDEFENSE is heavily populated by long serving ex military intelligence officials, such as senior military psy-op intelligence officer Jim Melnick, who served 16 years in the US army and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in psychological operations. Melnick has also worked directly for former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Intelcenter notoriously released the “laughing hijackers” tape and claimed it was an Al-Qaeda video, despite the fact that the footage was obtained by a “security agency” at a 2000 Bin Laden speech.

IntelCenter was also caught adding its logo to a tape at the same time as Al-Qaeda’s so-called media arm As-Sahab added its logo, proving the two organizations were one and the same.

Could the CIA group of “dark skinned actors” have been behind the infamous December 2001 “Fat nosed” Bin Laden video, that was magically found in a house in Jalalabad after anti-Taliban forces moved in?

The tape featured a fat Osama laughing and joking about how he’d carried out 9/11. The video was also mistranslated in order to manipulate viewer opinion and featured “Bin Laden” praising two of the hijackers, only he got their names wrong. This Osama also used the wrong hand to write with and wore gold rings, a practice totally in opposition to the Muslim faith.

Despite the fact that the man in the video looks nothing like Bin Laden, the CIA stood by it and declared it to be the official “9/11 confession video”.

The latest revelations also shed light on another past Bin Laden release – a tape in which he ludicrously declared himself in league with Saddam Hussein in the weeks before the invasion of Iraq.

The notion that the CIA project was taken over and drastically improved by the Pentagon at some point after 2003 jives with the improvement in quality of Bin Laden videos in later years. Most notably the video that was released immediately ahead of the 2004 election, and it’s digitally manipulated duplicate from 2007, in which Bin Laden appeared to have a dyed beard.

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John McCain’s last visit to Ukraine was June 19th, 2015. If this is when the hack occurred is unclear. He was also accompanied by Senators Tom Cotton and John Barrasso. They were welcomed by U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, and met with senior Ukrainian officials, including President Petro Poroshenko, after visiting troops and volunteers working on the front line. Since McCain is referenced by CyberBerkut, it is most likely that one of his staffers was hacked and not the other senators. Someone needs to FOIA which staffers accompanied McCain on his trip and if any have lost their jobs unceremoniously.

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*LeakSource has requested a comment directly from CyberBerkut to confirm the hack and provide more information. This post will be updated with their response when it becomes available along with any other details as they emerge.

Hacking Team Hacked: 400GB Data Dump of Internal Documents/Emails/Source Code from Notorious Spyware Dealer

In Archive, Hacking, Hacking Team, Malware, Surveillance, WikiLeaks on July 7, 2015 at 9:07 AM

hacked-team

07/05-09/2015

The controversial Italian surveillance company Hacking Team, which sells spyware to governments all around the world, including agencies in Ethiopia, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, as well as the US Drug Enforcement Administration, has been seriously hacked.

Hackers have made 400GB of client files, contracts, financial documents, and internal emails, some as recent as 2015, publicly available for download.

What’s more, the unknown hackers announced their feat through Hacking Team’s own Twitter account.

hacked-team

Torrent Links:
https://mega.nz/#!Xx1lhChT!rbB-LQQyRypxd5bcQnqu-IMZN20ygW_lWfdHdqpKH3E
http://infotomb.com/eyyxo.torrent
Mirror:
https://ht.transparencytoolkit.org/
Source Codes:
https://github.com/hackedteam?tab=repositories

Last year, a hacker who only went by the name “PhineasFisher” hacked the controversial surveillance tech company Gamma International, a British-German surveillance company that sells the spyware software FinFisher. He then went on to leak more than 40GB of internal data from the company, which has been long criticized for selling to repressive governments.

hacking-team-finfisher-hack

That same hacker has now claimed responsibility for the breach of Hacking Team, that sells a similar product called Remote Control System Galileo.

Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai/Motherboard:

On Sunday night, I reached out to the hacker while he was in control of Hacking Team’s Twitter account via a direct message to @hackingteam. Initially, PhineasFisher responded with sarcasm, saying he was willing to chat because “we got such good publicity from your last story!” referring to a recent story I wrote about the company’s CEO claiming to be able to crack the dark web.

Afterwards, however, he also claimed that he was PhineasFisher. To prove it, he told me he would use the parody account he used last year to promote the FinFisher hack to claim responsibility.

“I am the same person behind that hack,” he told me before coming out publicly.

The hacker, however, declined to answer to any further questions.

The leak of 400GB of internal files contains “everything,” according to a person close to the company, who only spoke on condition of anonymity. The files contain internal emails between employees; a list of customers, including some, such as the FBI, that were previously unknown; and allegedly even the source code of Hacking Team’s software, its crown jewels.

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HIGHLIGHTS:

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Download Spreadsheet


Download Spreadsheet

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Download Spreadsheet

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Screenshot shows an email dated 2014 from Hacking Team’s founder and CEO David Vincenzetti to another employee. In the email, titled “Yet another Citizen Lab attack,” Vincenzetti links to a report from the online digital rights research center Citizen Lab, at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs, which has exposed numerous cases of abuse from Hacking Team’s clients.

hacking-team-citizen-lab

Hacking Team has never revealed a list of its clients, and has always and repeatedly denied selling to sketchy governments, arguing that it has an internal procedure to address human rights concerns about prospective customers.

The email about Citizen Lab is filed in a folder called “Anti HT activists.”

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via Thomas Fox-Brewster/Forbes:

In-depth notes on the level of exploitation across a number of Android devices, from the likes of Samsung, HTC and Huawei. It appears the exploits weren’t always successful in accessing voice or texts on phones.

Hacking Team operations manager Daniele Milan’s email from January indicated some imminent features in Hacking Team’s tools included “physical infection of BitLocker protected disks”, thereby bypassing the much-used Microsoft disk encryption technology, as well as “extraction of information from pictures posted on Facebook and Twitter”. It will also soon be able to “capture of documents edited using Google Docs or Office 365”, the roadmap suggested.

Another email from Milan, dated 15 May, indicated the security-focused messaging application Wickr was on the target list too, thanks to a request from the US government. “I had a call this morning with an agent from Homeland Security Investigations [a body within the Department of Homeland Security], and he told me he got some requests to intercept suspects using this application, Wickr… we may want to keep an eye on it and eventually evaluate to add support.”

via Dan Goodin/ArsTechnica:

Another document boasts of Hacking Team’s ability to bypass certificate pinning and the HTTP strict transport security mechanisms that are designed to make HTTPS website encryption more reliable and secure. “Our solution is the only way to intercept TOR traffic at the moment,” the undated PowerPoint presentation went on to say.

Elsewhere, the document stated: “HTTPS Everywhere enforces https and could send rogue certificates to the EFF SSL Observatory.” HTTPS Everywhere is a browser extension developed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation that ensures end users use HTTPS when connecting to a preset list of websites. The statement appears to be a warning that any fraudulent certificates Galileo relies on could become public if used against HTTPS Everywhere users when they have selected an option to send anonymous copies of HTTPS certificates to EFF’s SSL Observatory database.

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Renowned cryptographer Bruce Schneier: “The Hacking Team CEO, David Vincenzetti, doesn’t like me:”

In another [e-mail], the Hacking Team CEO on 15 May claimed renowned cryptographer Bruce Schneier was “exploiting the Big Brother is Watching You FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) phenomenon in order to sell his books, write quite self-promoting essays, give interviews, do consulting etc. and earn his hefty money.”

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Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai/Motherboard:

After suffering a massive hack, the controversial surveillance tech company Hacking Team is scrambling to limit the damage as well as trying to figure out exactly how the attackers hacked their systems.

But the hack hasn’t just ruined the day for Hacking Team’s employees. The company has told all its customers to shut down all operations and suspend all use of the company’s spyware, Motherboard has learned.

“They’re in full on emergency mode,” a source who has inside knowledge of Hacking Team’s operations told Motherboard.

Hacking Team notified all its customers on Monday morning with a “blast email,” requesting them to shut down all deployments of its Remote Control System software, also known as Galileo, according to multiple sources. The company also doesn’t have access to its email system as of Monday afternoon, a source said.

A source told Motherboard that the hackers appears to have gotten “everything,” likely more than what the hacker has posted online, perhaps more than one terabyte of data.

It’s unclear how the hackers got their hands on the stash, but judging from the leaked files, they broke into the computers of Hacking Team’s two systems administrators, Christian Pozzi and Mauro Romeo, who had access to all the company’s files, according to the source.

In a series of tweets on Monday morning, which have been since deleted, Pozzi said that Hacking Team was working closely with the police, and warned everyone who was downloading the files and commenting on them.

“Be warned that the torrent file the attackers claim is clean has a virus,” he wrote. “Stop seeding and spreading false info.”

The future of the company, at this point, it’s uncertain.

Employees fear this might be the beginning of the end, according to sources. One current employee, for example, started working on his resume, a source told Motherboard.

It’s also unclear how customers will react to this, but a source said that it’s likely that customers from countries such as the US will pull the plug on their contracts.

Hacking Team asked its customers to shut down operations, but according to one of the leaked files, as part of Hacking Team’s “crisis procedure,” it could have killed their operations remotely.

The company, in fact, has “a backdoor” into every customer’s software, giving it ability to suspend it or shut it down—something that even customers aren’t told about.

To make matters worse, every copy of Hacking Team’s Galileo software is watermarked, according to the source, which means Hacking Team, and now everyone with access to this data dump, can find out who operates it and who they’re targeting with it.

Hacking Team did not answer to repeated requests for comment, both to its US spokesperson Eric Rabe as well as directly to its office in Milan, Italy.

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When asked about the identity of the person or group who carried out the attack, Rabe indicated that he believed the attack was the work of a nation state or a criminal gang, and not the work of an activist as many have speculated:

“Doing our own forensics here, we think this was a very sophisticated attack, and certainly not the work of an amateur. The press seems to take the view that this was some sort of human rights activist but I think that is far from certain and it could easily have been criminal activity or some government activity,” adding that “this is almost certainly an international crime”.

When it was pointed out that if a government or criminal group was behind the attack then posting all the information online seems a strange move, Rabe said: “I am not sure why anybody would do that, but part of the effort here was to disrupt our operations as much as possible so I think that would be a motive for many different people.”

When asked if this could be the work of one of Hacking Team’s competitors such as UK-based Gamma International or Israeli NSO Group, Rabe said: “I think that is unlikely” though he admitted that just like everyone else he was speculating.

While some media reports have suggested the company is working with the Italian police to investigate the attack, Rabe says that all he will say is that the company is “working with law enforcement” reiterating that this was an international attack.

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*This post will be continuously updated as there is much more new information emerging. Post anything you find in the comments below and I will add them to the article. LAST UPDATE: 07/13/2015 @ 8PM EST

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Related Links:

WikiLeaks SpyFiles on HackingTeam

To Protect and Infect: The Militarization of the Internet – Claudio Guarnieri, Morgan Marquis-Boire, Jacob Appelbaum @ 30c3

Secret Manuals Show the Spyware Sold to Despots and Cops Worldwide

Leaked Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) Documents; Largest “Trade Deal” in History – WikiLeaks

In Archive, Economy, Politics, TiSA, WikiLeaks on July 5, 2015 at 11:35 AM

tisa-secret

DOWNLOAD ALL TRADE IN SERVICES AGREEMENT (TISA) DOCUMENTS PUBLISHED BY WIKILEAKS HERE
UPDATED 07/02/2015 (44 PDFs & 1 PNG/RAR/16MB)
CONTENTS:

wikileaks-tisa-06-19-2014wikileaks-tisa-06-03-2015wikileaks-tisa-07-01-2015wikileaks-tisa-07-02-2015

WikiLeaks Press Releases:

06/19/2014

Today, WikiLeaks released the secret draft text for the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) Financial Services Annex, which covers 50 countries and 68.2%1 of world trade in services. The US and the EU are the main proponents of the agreement, and the authors of most joint changes, which also covers cross-border data flow. In a significant anti-transparency manoeuvre by the parties, the draft has been classified to keep it secret not just during the negotiations but for five years after the TiSA enters into force.

Despite the failures in financial regulation evident during the 2007-2008 Global Financial Crisis and calls for improvement of relevant regulatory structures2, proponents of TiSA aim to further deregulate global financial services markets. The draft Financial Services Annex sets rules which would assist the expansion of financial multi-nationals – mainly headquartered in New York, London, Paris and Frankfurt – into other nations by preventing regulatory barriers. The leaked draft also shows that the US is particularly keen on boosting cross-border data flow, which would allow uninhibited exchange of personal and financial data.

TiSA negotiations are currently taking place outside of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) framework. However, the Agreement is being crafted to be compatible with GATS so that a critical mass of participants will be able to pressure remaining WTO members to sign on in the future. Conspicuously absent from the 50 countries covered by the negotiations are the BRICS countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China. The exclusive nature of TiSA will weaken their position in future services negotiations.

The draft text comes from the April 2014 negotiation round – the sixth round since the first held in April 2013. The next round of negotiations will take place on 23-27 June in Geneva, Switzerland.

Current WTO parties negotiating TISA are: Australia, Canada, Chile, Chinese Taipei (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, South Korea, Switzerland, Turkey, the United States, and the European Union, which includes its 28 member states Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

China and Uruguay have expressed interest in joining the negotiations but so far are not included.

[1] Swiss National Center for Competence in Research: A Plurilateral Agenda for Services?: Assessing the Case for a Trade in Services Agreement, Working Paper No. 2013/29, May 2013, p. 10.

[2] For example, in June 2012 Ecuador tabled a discussion on re-thinking regulation and GATS rules; in September 2009 the Commission of Experts on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System, convened by the President of the United Nations and chaired by Joseph Stiglitz, released its final report, stating that “All trade agreements need to be reviewed to ensure that they are consistent with the need for an inclusive and comprehensive international regulatory framework which is conducive to crisis prevention and management, counter-cyclical and prudential safeguards, development, and inclusive finance.”

Read the Secret Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) – Financial Services Annex

Read the Analysis Article – Secret Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) – Financial Services Annex

Recommended reading:

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06/03/2015

WikiLeaks releases today 17 secret documents from the ongoing TiSA (Trade In Services Agreement) negotiations which cover the United States, the European Union and 23 other countries including Turkey, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Pakistan, Taiwan & Israel — which together comprise two-thirds of global GDP. “Services” now account for nearly 80 per cent of the US and EU economies and even in developing countries like Pakistan account for 53 per cent of the economy. While the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has become well known in recent months in the United States, the TiSA is the larger component of the strategic TPP-TISA-TTIP ‘T-treaty trinity’. All parts of the trinity notably exclude the ‘BRICS’ countries of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The release coincides with TiSA meetings at the ministerial level at the OECD in Paris today (3–5 June). The ‘T-treaty trinity’ of TPP-TISA-TTIP is also under consideration for collective ‘Fast-Track’ authority in Congress this month. (UPDATE 06/29/2015 Obama Signs Bill Giving Himself Fast-Track Powers for Trade Deals)

The TiSA release today follows the WikiLeaks publication of the secret draft financial services annex of the TISA negotiations on 19 June 2014 showing the aim to further deregulate the financial sector, despite widespread consensus that lack of oversight and regulation was the main cause of the last global financial crisis of 2008. Today’s release confirms the ongoing determination to deregulate. Furthermore, standstill clauses will tie the hands of future governments to implement changes in response to changing environment.

Today’s release is the largest on secret TiSA documents and covers numerous previously undisclosed areas. It contains drafts and annexes on issues such as air traffic, maritime, professional services, e-commerce, delivery services, transparency, domestic regulation, as well as several document on the positions of negotiating parties. WikiLeaks has also published detailed expert analysis of the topics covered in today’s release.

Browse the TiSA documents published by WikiLeaks here.

Read more:

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07/01/2015

Today, 1500 CEST Wednesday, 1 July 2015, WikiLeaks releases a modern journalistic holy grail: the secret Core Text for the largest ‘trade deal’ in history, the TiSA (Trade In Services Agreement), whose 52 nations together comprise two-thirds of global GDP. The negotiating parties are the United States, the 28 members of the European Union and 23 other countries, including Turkey, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Pakistan, Taiwan and Israel.

Today’s publication happens the week before the next TiSA negotiating round that begins on Monday, 6 July. WikiLeaks is also today publishing the full agenda for next week’s negotiations, which shows that discussions will focus on Financial Services, Telecommunications and the Movement of Natural Persons.

WikiLeaks is also publishing a previously unpublished Annex text – the secret TiSA Annex on Government Procurement. The draft Annex aims to reduce procurement regulation to ensure that TiSA governments will not favour local services over services supplied by foreign multinationals.

WikiLeaks is also publishing the new negotiating texts for three highly controversial TiSA annexes: the annexes on the Movement of Natural Persons, the Domestic Regulation Annex and the Transparency Annex. All three texts include negotiating positions of each of the participant countries in the TiSA negotiations, and illustrate developments from previous versions of the TiSA annexes, also published by WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks has also released 36 pages of our own expert analysis.

While the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Pact (TTIP) have become well known in recent months, the TiSA is the largest component of the United States’ strategic neoliberal ‘trade’ treaty triumvirate. Together, the three treaties form not only a new legal order shaped for transnational corporations, but a new economic “grand enclosure”, which excludes China and all other BRICS countries.

According to statements made in April by US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, parts of the triumvirate are “as important” to the US engagement with Asia as “another aircraft carrier”. All three treaties have been subject to stringent criticism for the lack of transparency and public consultation in their negotiation processes. TiSA drafts are classified for a period of five years after the completion of the treaty.

According to NSA interceptions of French treasurer Jean-Francois Boittin published by WikiLeaks on Tuesday “Washington is negotiating with every nation that borders China… so as to ‘confront Beijing’.”

The TiSA Core Text shows how this negotiation aims at going beyond the GATS agreement, substantially further restricting what governments can do in services. There are far more extensive criteria for commercial firms, including foreign ones, to force governments to protect their corporate interests. Changes to scheduling bring more services than GATS under two main rules regarding commercial businesses working in foreign jurisdictions: non-discrimination in favour of local companies and market access abilities to not limit the size and shape of foreign companies in the market.

The text also shows TiSA expanding the GATS agreement to include new “disciplines” such as those on domestic regulation, transparency and eCommerce. TiSA is also of great worry to developing countries, a number of whom will be bound by this agreement, as it does not give any of the GATS provisions for them, but instead gives greater protections for foreign growth into the countries, with protections for national services far lesser than GATS’.

Today’s publication of the TiSA Core Text adds to WikiLeaks’ prior publications of numerous secret TiSA annexes. The text reveals the ideological and legal underpinnings of the TiSA, and provides the overarching context for each of the TiSA annexes.

According to World Bank figures, “services” comprise 75% of the EU economy and 80% of the US economy. For a typical developing country like Pakistan, services comprise 53% of its economy. The TiSA covers the majority of the global economy.

Julian Assange

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07/02/2015

Today, Wednesday July 2, 2015 at 1500 CEST, WikiLeaks continues publishing documents from the secret ongoing TiSA (Trade in Services Agremeent) negotiations, with four Chapters in key areas ahead of the next negotiating round on Monday: Electronic Commerce, Telecommunications Services, Financial Services and Maritime Transport Services. All four texts include the confidential negotiating positions for each of the TiSA participating countries. Today WikiLeaks is also publishing detailed analyses on each of these Chapters, totalling 26 pages, explaining how they have changed since previous rounds, also published by WikiLeaks.

The Annexes show a concerted attempt to place restrictions on the ability of participating governments to regulate services sectors, even where regulations are necessary to protect the privacy of domestic populations, the natural environment or the integrity of public services. Today’s TiSA documents follow WikiLeaks publication yesterday of five TiSA negotiating texts including the Core Text, and brings WikiLeaks’ overall total of published secret TiSA texts to 28.

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Related Links:

Leaked Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Documents; WikiLeaks Raising $100,000 Reward for Missing Chapters

EU/US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Draft Leaked

Jihad vs Jihad: Islamic State & Syrian Rebel Group Army of Islam Release Videos Executing Each Other’s Fighters

In Archive, Army of Islam, Islamic State, Syria, Terrorism on July 1, 2015 at 6:29 AM

is-06-25-2015

06/25/2015

Islamic State in Syria has released a video showing the brutal beheading 12 men accused of fighting for the terrorist group’s Al Qaeda and Army of Islam (Jaysh al-Islam) rivals. The video – titled ‘Repent Before We Apprehend You’, was released by the lesser known Damascus branch of IS. Filmed close to Syrian capital and regime stronghold Damascus, the footage shows the terrified men being interviewed and paraded in front of the camera before their execution. After ‘confessing’ to the crime of opposing Islamic State and failing to declare allegiance to the terrorist group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the men are led out into a desert clearing where they are forced to their knees and each man executed by a different masked member of the IS.

Hollywood-style graphics begin the clip and show the 12 victims hunched over as they are dragged through a remote stretch of desert to the site where they will be murdered. The men walk uncomfortably due to the way their arms are bound, each forced to wear bright orange jumpsuits, and led by heavily armed men wearing full battle fatigues but with their faces exposed. The victims are then handed over to executioners, who cover their faces.

The footage momentarily rewinds and fades into a montage of Al Qaeda and Army of Islam fighters battling Islamic State, a reminder that the three jihadi groups remain fierce rivals despite having a common enemy in Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

Over the next few segments, the 12 prisoners are interviewed about the so-called crimes and are forced to confess that they wish they had joined Islamic State before it was too late. The overall theme of the video is along the same lines, and sends a clear signal to other rebel groups fighting in Syria that they must declare allegiance to IS ‘before being overcome’.

While speaking directly into the camera, the men appear clean-shaven – a rarity for jihadis and something likely to have been intended to humiliate the men before they are killed. Seconds later the clip cuts back to the victims wearing orange jumpsuits being led to their deaths.

After being marched to the execution site, the armed jihadis take a step back and another group – all of them masked and a wearing different style of combat gear – step forward to carry out the beheadings.

One fighter whose face is slightly more exposed than the others speaks in Arabic and issues another warning that other jihadi groups must accept Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as their leader or otherwise face certain death.

Over the following three minutes, the video follows the same format as other Islamic State murder videos released over the past year. Once the lead executioner finishes speaking, the militants begin to execute the victims, pushing their fingers into the men’s eyes while cutting their throats with small knives. The men wince in agony before dying, at which point the camera cuts to the altogether too familiar site of the victims’ heads being placed on their backs as a final act of humiliation.

ji-07-01-2015

07/01/2015

A terrorist group battling Islamic State in Syria has turned the tables on its enemies by capturing and slaughtering 18 IS soldiers on camera. Dressed in orange jumpsuits – attire usually worn by Islamic State’s victims – Army of Islam (Jaysh al-Islam) soldiers lead the shackled jihadis to their deaths. Islamic State’s captured soldiers are forced to kneel as a commander announces: ‘Allah did not make a disease without appointing a remedy to it.’ The jihadis – dressed entirely in black – are then given something to drink before each of their faces are clearly shown in the 19 minute-long video. They are then shot in the back of the head at point blank range with shotguns.

Before the Islamic State fighters are killed, an Army of Islam militant says: ‘The most serious calamity for our jihad today is a group of people who grow at a time of division among Muslims. This group claimed to be the mother state and made Takfir [accused of apostasy] on other Muslims, shed their blood and looted their properties and dignities. They worsened… the ordeal of Muslims by corrupting their religion and livelihood and killing the jihadi leaders who did their best to help our stricken nation. They wreaked havoc on our people in liberated areas and cut the supply route of jihadis. They left… Tehran intact and instead they attacked our mosques. This is the penalty for what they have committed. We also call on their fellows to repent.’

Also in the video, Army of Islam claims that through investigation and confessions, they have allegedly uncovered collaboration between senior Islamic State commanders and high-ranking officers of Syrian intelligence in Damascus, regarding destroying rebel factions in Eastern Ghouta and the government ceding the area to IS to establish an emirate there. Bear in mind that this is coming from Islamic State prisoners under duress, and from Army of Islam, who’s goal is to overthrow Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. So this information, though newsworthy, should be met with skepticism.

Led by Zahran Alloush, Army of Islam reportedly commands as many as 25,000 fighters. It was created in 2011 when Saudi Arabia allegedly engineered the merger of over 50 rebel factions after growing alarmed at the rise of al-Qaeda and Islamic State in Syria. Saudi Arabia has reportedly sent millions of dollars to arm and train their fighters, who operate in the war-ravaged Syrian city of Damascus, in their ongoing battle against President Bashar al-Assad. In April this year, the group released a striking video showing off 1,700 troops, a fleet of armoured tanks and special forces soldiers in an impressive military parade.

h/t DailyMail (1) (2)

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