Daily Archives: July 20, 2021

Trump Inaugural Chair Barrack Charged With Being A Foreign Agent


Trump’s 2017 inaugural chairman, Tom Barrack, has been arrested and charged with being a foreign agent for the United Arab Emirates. We discuss what that could mean for the former president with Ashley Parker, Sam Stein, and Barbara McQuade.

Trump Inaugural Fund Chairman Arrested On Federal Charges

MSNBC – Jul 20, 2021

Former Trump 2017 Inaugural Chairman Thomas Barrack has been charged with obstruction of justice and making false statements to federal agents. Tom Winter and Ari Melber join Chris Jansing.

Dr. Gottlieb: Virus Now Is Largely An Epidemic Among The Unvaccinated

MSNBC– Jul 19, 2021

Former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb joins Morning Joe to discuss the rise in coronavirus infections and hospitalizations across the U.S., why he says the virus is now an epidemic among the unvaccinated and what he thinks about booster shots.

Billionaire Bezos blasts to space and back again on his own rocket

FRANCE 24 English– Jul 20, 2021

The wealthiest man on the planet Jeff Bezos lifted off on his own rocket and reached outer space on Tuesday, a key moment for a fledgling industry seeking to make the final frontier accessible to elite tourists.

Amnesty International: Julian Assange’s “Arbitrary” Detention Must End. Release Hi m Now

Democracy Now!
Jul 20, 2021

As WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange faces up to 175 years in prison if he is extradited to the U.S. under the Espionage Act for publishing classified documents exposing U.S. war crimes, Amnesty International Secretary General Agnès Callamard says his detention since 2010 “is arbitrary and that he should be released.” She adds that allegations made against him by the U.S. authorities “raise a large number of problems and red flags in relation to freedom of the press.”

Revealed: leak uncovers global abuse of cyber-surveillance weapon | Surveillance | The Guardian

Human rights activists, journalists and lawyers across the world have been targeted by authoritarian governments using hacking software sold by the Israeli surveillance company NSO Group, according to an investigation into a massive data leak.

The investigation by the Guardian and 16 other media organisations suggests widespread and continuing abuse of NSO’s hacking spyware, Pegasus, which the company insists is only intended for use against criminals and terrorists.

Pegasus is a malware that infects iPhones and Android devices to enable operators of the tool to extract messages, photos and emails, record calls and secretly activate microphones.

The leak contains a list of more than 50,000 phone numbers that, it is believed, have been identified as those of people of interest by clients of NSO since 2016.

Forbidden Stories, a Paris-based nonprofit media organisation, and Amnesty International initially had access to the leaked list and shared access with media partners as part of the Pegasus project, a reporting consortium.

The presence of a phone number in the data does not reveal whether a device was infected with Pegasus or subject to an attempted hack. However, the consortium believes the data is indicative of the potential targets NSO’s government clients identified in advance of possible surveillance attempts.

…(read more).

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Mexico Used Private Israeli Spyware Pegasus to Surveil President’s Family & a Murdered Journalist

Democracy Now!

Published on Jul 20, 2021

Mexico appears to have submitted more phone numbers for potential surveillance to the Israeli cybersurveillance company NSO Group than any other client country, according to an investigation of the company by an international collaboration of media outlets called The Pegasus Project. The Guardian found the mobile phone number of Mexican journalist Cecilio Pineda Birto was selected as a possible target for surveillance by a Mexican NSO Group client just weeks before Pineda’s assassination in Guerrero in 2017. Nina Lakhani, senior reporter at The Guardian, says Mexico was NSO Group’s first client and authorities there have a long record of “dire human rights abuses.” She notes Mexico’s use of Pegasus proves the technology is not only used to go after criminality. “The line between good and bad in Mexico is blurred,” Lakhani says.

Amnesty Int’l Calls for Moratorium on Private Spyware After Israeli NSO Group Pegasus Revelations.

Democracy Now!

Published on Jul 20, 2021

Calls are growing for stricter regulations on the use of surveillance technology after revelations that countries have used the powerful Pegasus spyware against politicians, journalists and activists around the world. The Pegasus software, sold by the Israeli cybersecurity company NSO Group, can secretly infect a mobile phone and harvest its information. While the company touts Pegasus as intended for criminals and terrorists, leaked data suggests the tool is widely abused by governments to go after political opponents and dissidents, according to reporting from The Pegasus Project, an international consortium of 17 media organizations. We feature a PBS “Frontline” report on the shocking findings that the Israeli government allowed NSO to continue to do business with Saudi Arabia even after the Saudi journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated in 2018 in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, and allegedly used Pegasus to surveil Khashoggi’s fiancée. “Contrary to what NSO is claiming, the spyware Pegasus is used to target people absolutely unrelated to criminal activities or terrorism,” says Agnès Callamard, secretary general of Amnesty International. She adds that The Pegasus Project has exposed that abuse of powerful surveillance technology “is systematic, and it is global.”

See related:

Fauci Blasts Rand Paul: ‘You Do Not Know What You’re Talking About’


Published on Jul 20, 2021

Dr. Anthony Fauci fires back at Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) during testimony in Congress as Delta variant cases spike.

England Scraps Most Covid Restrictions As Boris Johnson Self-Isolates

NBC News– Jul 19, 2021

Despite Monday being “Freedom Day” in England, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is self-isolating after exposure to Covid-19. The country lifted mask mandates and other Covid restrictions despite 120 scientists warning of the dangers of new variants in an open letter.