PT Shamrock's Mid August 2014 Newsletter

PT Shamrock's Mid August 2014 Newsletter

(reformatted 8-18-14)

"What is now proved was once only imagined."
- William Blake

In this issue:

* Welcome To Freedumbville USSA!
* Bend Over!
* Food for thought
* Google Is Tracking You Across the Internet
* The District of Criminals
* Net neutrality becomes a key battleground in encryption fight
* Police State
* Red Hot Product!
* Easier Ways to Protect Email From Unwanted Prying Eyes
* Advisory
* How to create an anonymous email account
* Shamrock's Missive
* Letters To The Editor
* Quote of the month!
* PT Shamrock's Exclusive Member's Site!

*** Welcome To Freedumbville USSA!

Government Has Created Massive Spy Apparatus: 6 Chilling Examples

Post-9/11 surveillance is out of control.
- Alex Kane

Civil liberties advocates filed a lawsuit last week challenging the
U.S. government's national database of "suspicious activities,"
one of a handful of ways the U.S. tracks its citizenry in the
aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The surveillance in question is called the Suspicious Activity
Reporting database, which is run by the Federal Bureau of
Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security. It has grown
exponentially under the Bush and Obama administrations, and today
there are over 20,000 "suspicious activity" reports. In practice,
this means that many innocuous activities-like taking photographs in
public or buying a large number of computers-are filed as suspicious,
leading law enforcement to track people down and question them. The
American Civil Liberties Union has criticized the database for
opening "the door to racial profiling and other improper police
behavior."

Filed by the ACLU and Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law
Caucus, the plaintiffs of the lawsuit are varied. One is James
Prigoff, who was stopped by security guards after photographing
a public work of art. The security guards reported his activity
to a law enforcement agency, who then put him in the Suspicious
Activity Reporting database. He was eventually questioned by a
Joint Terrorism Task Force agent. Another is an Egyptian-American
named Khaled Ibrahim who in 2011 tried to buy computers in bulk
from Best Buy. Ibrahim was reported to the police and now his name
is in the database.

The lawsuit states that it is far too easy for innocent people
to be swept up in the database, and that the dissemination of
information across the federal government runs counter to Justice
Department standards.

The Suspicious Activity Reporting database is only one of the
tools and data collections the U.S. government has amassed since
9/11. Muslims have borne the brunt of the surveillance, but many
Americans of all stripes have been swept up in the terrorism
hysteria. Here's 5 other ways the U.S. government is spying on you.

1. Phone metadata.By now, Edward Snowden has become a household
name, and that's largely because of his major first disclosure:
the National Security Agency's mass collection of phone metadata. On
June 6, 2013, Glenn Greenwald, then of the Guardian, reported that
documents given to him by whistleblower Snowden revealed that the
NSA was collecting all phone records of Verizon users.

Verizon handed over this data because of a Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Court order. Soon after this first disclosure, news
outlets reported that other phone companies did the same, meaning
that the metadata of millions of Americans was collected by the
U.S. While collecting metadata does not mean the collection of the
content of phone calls, metadata does tell a lot. As The Guardian
explained, metadata includes the "date and time you called somebody
or the location from which you last accessed your email."

2. Internet data. NSA surveillance also sweeps up Internet data,
keeping with the agency's mission to "collect it all," as one
NSA official put it to the Washington Post. They collect Internet
metadata and other forms of communications through a variety of
programs.

One is PRISM, in which the NSA collects the communications of
users of a variety of online services like Facebook, Google and
Yahoo. Separately, from 2001-2010, the NSA collected e-mail metadata
in bulk and stored it. While that program has ceased to exist,
The Guardian has reported that "some collection of Americans'
online records continues today."

And in early July, the Washington Postreported that the vast majority
of Internet communications the NSA collects is from ordinary people,
including Americans.

3. NSA spying on individuals. The NSA's collection of Internet and
phone data is indiscriminate. It sweeps up the data of millions of
people in what it claims is a search for clues to disrupt terrorist
attacks.

But the NSA can also directly target individual Americans for
surveillance--and it has, as a report in The Intercept by Glenn
Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain revealed in July. The Intercept
reported that five Muslim-American leaders, including civil
rights activists and lawyers, were directly monitored by the
NSA. It's unclear what court authority the NSA was operating
under. Government officials have reportedly said at least one of
the five Muslim-Americans was spied on without a warrant.

4. Blanket law enforcement spying on Muslims. The NSA is not alone
in targeting individuals who are seemingly spied on only because
they are Muslim. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and New York
Police Department also engage in spying on whole Muslim communities.

In 2012, the ACLU revealed that the San Francisco FBI was using
a community "outreach" program to collect and store data on
Muslims. FBI agents traveled to mosques to ostensibly talk about
issues like hate crimes. But the agency also collected information on
Muslims' religious beliefs, travel, location of mosques and more. The
collected data was disseminated to other law enforcement agencies.

And since September 11, the NYPD has engaged in its own blanket spy
program targeting Muslims. The Intelligence Division's Demographics
Unit, which was shut down this year, sent plainclothes officers into
Muslim businesses and eavesdropped on conversations, putting those
in police files. These officers also "mapped" the Muslim community,
listing where all Muslim-owned businesses are.

The NYPD continues to use informants to spy on the Muslim
community. NYPD informants have infiltrated mosques, student groups
and more, collecting information on many innocent people.

5. GPS tracking. Recent years have seen law enforcement increasingly
turn to global positioning systems. The police use GPS tools like
trackers to record suspects' movements. Law enforcement can also
track a person by obtaining cell phone location data.

Before a recent court decision, the police were placing GPS trackers
without a warrant approved by a judge. In 2012, the Supreme Court
ruled that law enforcement installation of a tracking device
targeting a drug dealer was unconstitutional, but they left the
door open as to whether the police needed a warrant to use the GPS
device. But in October 2013, an appeals court ruled that the police
do need to obtain a warrant to place a GPS tracker on a suspect.
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*** Bend Over!

Meet the Online Tracking Device That is Virtually Impossible
to Block. A new kind of tracking tool, canvas fingerprinting,
is being used to follow visitors to thousands of top websites,
from WhiteHouse.gov to YouPorn.
- Julia Angwin

A new, extremely persistent type of online tracking is shadowing
visitors to thousands of top websites, from WhiteHouse.gov to
YouPorn.com.

First documented in a forthcoming paper by researchers at Princeton
University and KU Leuven University in Belgium, this type of
tracking, called canvas fingerprinting, works by instructing the
visitor's Web browser to draw a hidden image. Because each computer
draws the image slightly differently, the images can be used to
assign each user's device a number that uniquely identifies it.

Canvas Fingerprinting in Action
Watch your browser generate a unique fingerprint image. This is for
informational purposes only and no fingerprint information is sent
to ProPublica.

See your browser's fingerprint -


Click the button above and your computer and web browser will draw
a ProPublica-designed canvas fingerprint.

Like other tracking tools, canvas fingerprints are used to build
profiles of users based on the websites they visit - profiles
that shape which ads, news articles, or other types of content are
displayed to them.

But fingerprints are unusually hard to block: They can't be prevented
by using standard Web browser privacy settings or using anti-tracking
tools such as AdBlock Plus.

The researchers found canvas fingerprinting computer code, primarily
written by a company called AddThis, on 5 percent of the top 100,000
websites. Most of the code was on websites that use AddThis' social
media sharing tools. Other finger printers include the German digital
marketer Ligatus and the Canadian dating site Plentyoffish. (A list
of all the websites on which researchers found the code is here -
https://securehomes.esat.kuleuven.be/~gacar/sticky/index.html).

Rich Harris, chief executive of AddThis, said that the company began
testing canvas fingerprinting earlier this year as a possible way
to replace "cookies," the traditional way that users are tracked,
via text files installed on their computers.

"We're looking for a cookie alternative," Harris said in an
interview.

Harris said the company considered the privacy implications of canvas
fingerprinting before launching the test, but decided "this is well
within the rules and regulations and laws and policies that we have."

He added that the company has only used the data collected from
canvas fingerprints for internal research and development. The
company won't use the data for ad targeting or personalization if
users install the AddThis opt-out cookie on their computers, he said.

Arvind Narayanan, the computer science professor who led the
Princeton research team, countered that forcing users to take
AddThis at its word about how their data will be used, is "not the
best privacy assurance."

Device fingerprints rely on the fact that every computer is slightly
different: Each contains different fonts, different software,
different clock settings and other distinctive features. Computers
automatically broadcast some of their attributes when they connect
to another computer over the Internet.

Tracking companies have long sought to use those differences
to uniquely identify devices for online advertising purposes,
particularly as Web users are increasingly using ad-blocking software
and deleting cookies.

In May 2012, researchers at the University of California, San Diego,
noticed that a Web programming feature called "canvas" could allow
for a new type of fingerprint - by pulling in different attributes
than a typical device fingerprint.

In June, the Tor Project added a feature to its privacy-protecting
Web browser to notify users when a website attempts to use the canvas
feature and sends a blank canvas image. But other Web browsers did
not add notifications for canvas fingerprinting.

A year later, Russian programmer Valentin Vasilyev noticed the study
and added a canvas feature to freely available fingerprint code
that he had posted on the Internet. The code was immediately popular.

But Vasilyev said that the company he was working for at the time
decided against using the fingerprint technology. "We collected
several million fingerprints but we decided against using them
because accuracy was 90 percent," he said, "and many of our customers
were on mobile and the fingerprinting doesn't work well on mobile."

Vasilyev added that he wasn't worried about the privacy concerns
of fingerprinting. "The fingerprint itself is a number which in no
way is related to a personality," he said.

AddThis improved upon Vasilyev's code by adding new tests and using
the canvas to draw a pangram "Cwm fjordbank glyphs vext quiz" - a
sentence that uses every letter of the alphabet at least once. This
allows the company to capture slight variations in how each letter
is displayed.

AddThis said it rolled out the feature to a small portion of
the 13 million websites on which its technology appears, but is
considering ending its test soon. "It's not uniquely identifying
enough," Harris said.

AddThis did not notify the websites on which the code was placed
because "we conduct R&D projects in live environments to get the
best results from testing," according to a spokeswoman.

She added that the company does not use any of the data it collects -
whether from canvas fingerprints or traditional cookie-based tracking
- from government websites including WhiteHouse.gov for ad targeting
or personalization.

The company offered no such assurances about data it
routinely collects from visitors to other sites, such as
YouPorn.com. YouPorn.com did not respond to inquiries from ProPublica
about whether it was aware of AddThis' test of canvas fingerprinting
on its website.
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Food for thought

The Secret Government Rulebook for Labeling You a Terrorist
- Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Devereaux, The Intercept

The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion
of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process
that requires neither "concrete facts" nor "irrefutable evidence"
to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to
a key government document obtained by The Intercept.

The "March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance," a 166-page document issued
last year by the National Counterterrorism Center, spells out
the government's secret rules for putting individuals on its main
terrorist database, as well as the no fly list and the selectee
list, which triggers enhanced screening at airports and border
crossings. The new guidelines allow individuals to be designated
as representatives of terror organizations without any evidence
they are actually connected to such organizations, and it gives
a single White House official the unilateral authority to place
"entire categories" of people the government is tracking onto the
no fly and selectee lists. It broadens the authority of government
officials to "nominate" people to the watchlists based on what is
vaguely described as "fragmentary information." It also allows for
dead people to be watchlisted.

Over the years, the Obama and Bush Administrations have
fiercely resisted disclosing the criteria for placing names on
the databases-though the guidelines are officially labeled as
unclassified. In May, Attorney General Eric Holder even invoked
the state secrets privilege to prevent watchlisting guidelines
from being disclosed in litigation launched by an American who was
on the no fly list. In an affidavit, Holder called them a "clear
roadmap" to the government's terrorist-tracking apparatus, adding:
"The Watchlisting Guidance, although unclassified, contains national
security information that, if disclosed could cause significant
harm to national security."

The rulebook, which The Intercept is publishing in full, was
developed behind closed doors by representatives of the nation's
intelligence, military, and law-enforcement establishment, including
the Pentagon, CIA, NSA, and FBI. Emblazoned with the crests of
19 agencies, it offers the most complete and revealing look into
the secret history of the government's terror list policies to
date. It reveals a confounding and convoluted system filled with
exceptions to its own rules, and it relies on the elastic concept of
"reasonable suspicion" as a standard for determining whether someone
is a possible threat. Because the government tracks "suspected
terrorists" as well as "known terrorists," individuals can be
watchlisted if they are suspected of being a suspected terrorist,
or if they are suspected of associating with people who are suspected
of terrorism activity.

"Instead of a watchlist limited to actual, known terrorists, the
government has built a vast system based on the unproven and flawed
premise that it can predict if a person will commit a terrorist act
in the future," says Hina Shamsi, the head of the ACLU's National
Security Project. "On that dangerous theory, the government is
secretly blacklisting people as suspected terrorists and giving
them the impossible task of proving themselves innocent of a threat
they haven't carried out." Shamsi, who reviewed the document, added,
"These criteria should never have been kept secret."

The document's definition of "terrorist" activity includes actions
that fall far short of bombing or hijacking. In addition to expected
crimes, such as assassination or hostage-taking, the guidelines also
define destruction of government property and damaging computers
used by financial institutions as activities meriting placement on
a list. They also define as terrorism any act that is "dangerous"
to property and intended to influence government policy through
intimidation.

This combination-a broad definition of what constitutes terrorism and
a low threshold for designating someone a terrorist-opens the way
to ensnaring innocent people in secret government dragnets. It can
also be counterproductive. When resources are devoted to tracking
people who are not genuine risks to national security, the actual
threats get fewer resources-and might go unnoticed.

"If reasonable suspicion is the only standard you need to label
somebody, then it's a slippery slope we're sliding down here,
because then you can label anybody anything," says David Gomez, a
former senior FBI special agent with experience running high-profile
terrorism investigations. "Because you appear on a telephone list of
somebody doesn't make you a terrorist. That's the kind of information
that gets put in there."

The fallout is personal too. There are severe consequences for people
unfairly labeled a terrorist by the U.S. government, which shares
its watchlist data with local law enforcement, foreign governments,
and "private entities." Once the U.S. government secretly labels you
a terrorist or terrorist suspect, other institutions tend to treat
you as one. It can become difficult to get a job (or simply to stay
out of jail). It can become burdensome-or impossible-to travel. And
routine encounters with law enforcement can turn into ordeals.

In 2012 Tim Healy, the former director of the FBI's Terrorist
Screening Center, described to CBS News how watchlists are used
by police officers. "So if you are speeding, you get pulled over,
they'll query that name," he said. "And if they are encountering
a known or suspected terrorist, it will pop up and say call the
Terrorist Screening CenterĂ¢€¦. So now the officer on the street
knows he may be dealing with a known or suspected terrorist." Of
course, the problem is that the "known or suspected terrorist"
might just be an ordinary citizen who should not be treated as a
menace to public safety.

Until 2001, the government did not prioritize building a watchlist
system. On 9/11, the government's list of people barred from
flying included just 16 names. Today, the no fly list has swelled
to tens of thousands of "known or suspected terrorists" (the
guidelines refer to them as KSTs). The selectee list subjects
people to extra scrutiny and questioning at airports and border
crossings. The government has created several other databases,
too. The largest is the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment
(TIDE), which gathers terrorism information from sensitive military
and intelligence sources around the world. Because it contains
classified information that cannot be widely distributed, there
is yet another list, the Terrorist Screening Database, or TSDB,
which has been stripped of TIDE's classified data so that it can be
shared. When government officials refer to "the watchlist," they
are typically referring to the TSDB. (TIDE is the responsibility
of the National Counterterrorism Center; the TSDB is managed by
the Terrorist Screening Center at the FBI.)

In a statement, a spokesman for the National Counterterrorism Center
told The Intercept that "the watchlisting system is an important part
of our layered defense to protect the United States against future
terrorist attacks" and that "watchlisting continues to mature to
meet an evolving, diffuse threat." He added that U.S. citizens are
afforded extra protections to guard against improper listing, and
that no one can be placed on a list solely for activities protected
by the First Amendment. A representative of the Terrorist Screening
Center did not respond to a request for comment.

The system has been criticized for years. In 2004, Sen. Ted
Kennedy complained that he was barred from boarding flights on
five separate occasions because his name resembled the alias of a
suspected terrorist. Two years later, CBS News obtained a copy of
the no fly list and reported that it included Bolivian president
Evo Morales and Lebanese parliament head Nabih Berri. One of the
watchlists snared Mikey Hicks, a Cub Scout who got his first of
many airport pat-downs at age two. In 2007, the Justice Department's
inspector general issued a scathing report identifying "significant
weaknesses" in the system. And in 2009, after a Nigerian terrorist
was able to board a passenger flight to Detroit and nearly detonated
a bomb sewn into his underwear despite his name having been placed
on the TIDE list, President Obama admitted that there had been a
"systemic failure."

Obama hoped that his response to the "underwear bomber" would be a
turning point. In 2010, he gave increased powers and responsibilities
to the agencies that nominate individuals to the lists, placing
pressure on them to add names. His administration also issued a set
of new guidelines for the watchlists. Problems persisted, however. In
2012, the U.S. Government Accountability Office published a report
that bluntly noted there was no agency responsible for figuring
out "whether watchlist-related screening or vetting is achieving
intended results." The guidelines were revised and expanded in
2013-and a source within the intelligence community subsequently
provided a copy to The Intercept.

"Concrete facts are not necessary"

The five chapters and 11 appendices of the "Watchlisting Guidance"
are filled with acronyms, legal citations, and numbered paragraphs;
it reads like an arcane textbook with a vocabulary all its
own. Different types of data on suspected terrorists are referred to
as "derogatory information," "substantive derogatory information,"
"extreme derogatory information" and "particularized derogatory
information." The names of suspected terrorists are passed along a
bureaucratic ecosystem of "originators," "nominators," "aggregators,"
"screeners," and "encountering agencies." And "upgrade," usually a
happy word for travellers, is repurposed to mean that an individual
has been placed on a more restrictive list.

The heart of the document revolves around the rules for placing
individuals on a watchlist. "All executive departments and agencies,"
the document says, are responsible for collecting and sharing
information on terrorist suspects with the National Counterterrorism
Center. It sets a low standard-"reasonable suspicion"-for placing
names on the watchlists, and offers a multitude of vague, confusing,
or contradictory instructions for gauging it. In the chapter on
"Minimum Substantive Derogatory Criteria"-even the title is hard
to digest-the key sentence on reasonable suspicion offers little
clarity:

"To meet the REASONABLE SUSPICION standard, the NOMINATOR, based
on the totality of the circumstances, must rely upon articulable
intelligence or information which, taken together with rational
inferences from those facts, reasonably warrants a determination
that an individual is known or suspected to be or has been knowingly
engaged in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of,
or related to TERRORISM and/or TERRORIST ACTIVITIES."
The rulebook makes no effort to define an essential phrase in the
passage-"articulable intelligence or information." After stressing
that hunches are not reasonable suspicion and that "there must
be an objective factual basis" for labeling someone a terrorist,
it goes on to state that no actual facts are required:

"In determining whether a REASONABLE SUSPICION exists, due weight
should be given to the specific reasonable inferences that a
NOMINATOR is entitled to draw from the facts in light of his/her
experience and not on unfounded suspicions or hunches. Although
irrefutable evidence or concrete facts are not necessary, to be
reasonable, suspicion should be as clear and as fully developed as
circumstances permit."
While the guidelines nominally prohibit nominations based on
unreliable information, they explicitly regard "uncorroborated"
Facebook or Twitter posts as sufficient grounds for putting an
individual on one of the watchlists. "Single source information,"
the guidelines state, "including but not limited to 'walk-in,'
'write-in,' or postings on social media sites, however, should
not automatically be discounted Ă¢€¦ the NOMINATING AGENCY should
evaluate the credibility of the source, as well as the nature and
specificity of the information, and nominate even if that source
is uncorroborated."

There are a number of loopholes for putting people onto the
watchlists even if reasonable suspicion cannot be met.

One is clearly defined: The immediate family of suspected
terrorists-their spouses, children, parents, or siblings-may be
watchlisted without any suspicion that they themselves are engaged in
terrorist activity. But another loophole is quite broad-"associates"
who have a defined relationship with a suspected terrorist, but whose
involvement in terrorist activity is not known. A third loophole
is broader still-individuals with "a possible nexus" to terrorism,
but for whom there is not enough "derogatory information" to meet
the reasonable suspicion standard.

Americans and foreigners can be nominated for the watchlists
if they are associated with a terrorist group, even if that
group has not been designated as a terrorist organization by the
U.S. government. They can also be treated as "representatives"
of a terrorist group even if they have "neither membership in nor
association with the organization." The guidelines do helpfully note
that certain associations, such as providing janitorial services
or delivering packages, are not grounds for being watchlisted.

The nomination system appears to lack meaningful checks and
balances. Although government officials have repeatedly said there
is a rigorous process for making sure no one is unfairly placed in
the databases, the guidelines acknowledge that all nominations of
"known terrorists" are considered justified unless the National
Counterterrorism Center has evidence to the contrary. In a recent
court filing, the government disclosed that there were 468,749 KST
nominations in 2013, of which only 4,915 were rejected-a rate of
about one percent. The rulebook appears to invert the legal principle
of due process, defining nominations as "presumptively valid."

Profiling categories of people

While the nomination process appears methodical on paper, in
practice there is a shortcut around the entire system. Known as a
"threat-based expedited upgrade," it gives a single White House
official the unilateral authority to elevate entire "categories of
people" whose names appear in the larger databases onto the no fly
or selectee lists. This can occur, the guidelines state, when there
is a "particular threat stream" indicating that a certain type of
individual may commit a terrorist act.

This extraordinary power for "categorical watchlisting"-otherwise
known as profiling-is vested in the assistant to the president for
homeland security and counterterrorism, a position formerly held by
CIA Director John Brennan that does not require Senate confirmation.

The rulebook does not indicate what "categories of people" have been
subjected to threat-based upgrades. It is not clear, for example,
whether a category might be as broad as military-age males from
Yemen. The guidelines do make clear that American citizens and
green card holders are subject to such upgrades, though government
officials are required to review their status in an "expedited"
procedure. Upgrades can remain in effect for 72 hours before being
reviewed by a small committee of senior officials. If approved,
they can remain in place for 30 days before a renewal is required,
and can continue "until the threat no longer exists."

"In a set of watchlisting criteria riddled with exceptions that
swallow rules, this exception is perhaps the most expansive and
certainly one of the most troubling," Shamsi, the ACLU attorney,
says. "It's reminiscent of the Bush administration's heavily
criticized color-coded threat alerts, except that here, bureaucrats
can exercise virtually standard-less authority in secret with
specific negative consequences for entire categories of people."

The National Counterterrorism Center declined to provide any details
on the upgrade authority, including how often it has been exercised
and for what categories of people.

Pocket litter and scuba gear

The guidelines provide the clearest explanation yet of what is
happening when Americans and foreigners are pulled aside at airports
and border crossings by government agents. The fifth chapter, titled
"Encounter Management and Analysis," details the type of information
that is targeted for collection during "encounters" with people on
the watchlists, as well as the different organizations that should
collect the data. The Department of Homeland Security is described
as having the largest number of encounters, but other authorities,
ranging from the State Department and Coast Guard to foreign
governments and "certain private entities," are also involved
in assembling "encounter packages" when watchlisted individuals
cross their paths. The encounters can be face-to-face meetings or
electronic interactions-for instance, when a watchlisted individual
applies for a visa.

In addition to data like fingerprints, travel itineraries,
identification documents and gun licenses, the rules encourage
screeners to acquire health insurance information, drug
prescriptions, "any cards with an electronic strip on it (hotel
cards, grocery cards, gift cards, frequent flyer cards)," cellphones,
email addresses, binoculars, peroxide, bank account numbers,
pay stubs, academic transcripts, parking and speeding tickets,
and want ads. The digital information singled out for collection
includes social media accounts, cell phone lists, speed dial numbers,
laptop images, thumb drives, iPods, Kindles, and cameras. All of
the information is then uploaded to the TIDE database.

Screeners are also instructed to collect data on any "pocket litter,"
scuba gear, EZ Passes, library cards, and the titles of any books,
along with information about their condition-"e.g., new, dog-eared,
annotated, unopened." Business cards and conference materials
are also targeted, as well as "anything with an account number"
and information about any gold or jewelry worn by the watchlisted
individual. Even "animal information"-details about pets from
veterinarians or tracking chips-is requested. The rulebook also
encourages the collection of biometric or biographical data about
the travel partners of watchlisted individuals.

The list of government entities that collect this data includes
the U.S. Agency for International Development, which is neither an
intelligence nor law-enforcement agency. As the rulebook notes, USAID
funds foreign aid programs that promote environmentalism, health
care, and education. USAID, which presents itself as committed
to fighting global poverty, nonetheless appears to serve as a
conduit for sensitive intelligence about foreigners. According
to the guidelines, "When USAID receives an application seeking
financial assistance, prior to granting, these applications are
subject to vetting by USAID intelligence analysts at the TSC." The
guidelines do not disclose the volume of names provided by USAID,
the type of information it provides, or the number and duties of the
"USAID intelligence analysts."

A USAID spokesman told The Intercept that "in certain high risk
countries, such as Afghanistan, USAID has determined that vetting
potential partner organizations with the terrorist watchlist is
warranted to protect U.S. taxpayer dollars and to minimize the risk
of inadvertent funding of terrorism." He stated that since 2007,
the agency has checked "the names and other personal identifying
information of key individuals of contractors and grantees, and
sub-recipients."

Death and the watchlist

The government has been widely criticized for making it impossible
for people to know why they have been placed on a watchlist, and
for making it nearly impossible to get off. The guidelines bluntly
state that "the general policy of the U.S. Government is to neither
confirm nor deny an individual's watchlist status." But the courts
have taken exception to the official silence and footdragging: In
June, a federal judge described the government's secretive removal
process as unconstitutional and "wholly ineffective."

The difficulty of getting off the list is highlighted by a
passage in the guidelines stating that an individual can be kept
on the watchlist, or even placed onto the watchlist, despite being
acquitted of a terrorism-related crime. The rulebook justifies this
by noting that conviction in U.S. courts requires evidence beyond a
reasonable doubt, whereas watchlisting requires only a reasonable
suspicion. Once suspicion is raised, even a jury's verdict cannot
erase it.

Not even death provides a guarantee of getting off the list. The
guidelines say the names of dead people will stay on the list if
there is reason to believe the deceased's identity may be used by a
suspected terrorist-which the National Counterterrorism Center calls
a "demonstrated terrorist tactic." In fact, for the same reason,
the rules permit the deceased spouses of suspected terrorists to
be placed onto the list after they have died.

For the living, the process of getting off the watchlist is simple
yet opaque. A complaint can be filed through the Department of
Homeland Security Traveler Redress Inquiry Program, which launches
an internal review that is not subject to oversight by any court or
entity outside the counterterrorism community. The review can result
in removal from a watchlist or an adjustment of watchlist status,
but the individual will not be told if he or she prevails. The
guidelines highlight one of the reasons why it has been difficult to
get off the list-if multiple agencies have contributed information
on a watchlisted individual, all of them must agree to removing
him or her.

If a U.S. citizen is placed on the no fly list while abroad and is
turned away from a flight bound for the U.S., the guidelines say
they should be referred to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate,
which is prohibited from informing them why they were blocked from
flying. According to the rules, these individuals can be granted a
"One-Time Waiver" to fly, though they will not be told that they
are traveling on a waiver. Back in the United States, they will be
unable to board another flight.

The document states that nominating agencies are "under a continuing
obligation" to provide exculpatory information when it emerges. It
adds that the agencies are expected to conduct annual reviews of
watchlisted American citizens and green card holders. It is unclear
whether foreigners-or the dead-are reviewed at the same pace. As
the rulebook notes, "watchlisting is not an exact science."
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*** Google Is Tracking You Across the Internet
- Dan Gillmor, Guardian UK

Behind our screens, tech companies are racing to extract a price for
what we read and watch on the web: our personal information very
now and then, when I try to read an online article, I see nothing
but a blank space where the article should appear. Because I run
software to block third-party tracking cookies, the publication
blocks my access to the article. When I give such sites - and there
are a number of them - full permissions on my browser, the articles
become visible.

My inability to read one article isn't just annoying - it's part of a
global effort to end internet users' "free lunch" of content. Behind
our screens, there is a technological race to extract a price for
what we read and watch on the web: our personal information and
browsing habits. And as Silicon Valley and the advertising industry
continue to merge, the incentives to collect and use that information
will only grow.

In my case, I use blocking software to prevent third-party
advertising networks - firms most people don't even realize are
watching - from installing "cookies" to monitor my activity elsewhere
on the web. Those cookies "watch" as you surf in order to, their
designers insist, put more relevant ads in your face.

The result of all these cookies - which are essentially the entire
"business model of the web" (or great swaths of it) - is legal
surveillance. Most people don't know the extent of the tracking,
or that they've consented to it all.

But when people do know, they quite often want to be free of all this
tracking - especially in the wake of the NSA revelations, including
the news that government spies piggyback on these corporate cookies
to watch people. So the advertising industry just keeps developing
new ways to prevent people from preventing them from watching.

One way they are doing this is to replace cookies, which worked
fairly well for a long time when people accepted their browsers'
default configuration, which until fairly recently has been to
allow most cookies. For instance, some sites began using so-called
"super-cookies" (based on Adobe's Flash software) that were
designed to be hard-to-dislodge, but countermeasures did eventually
emerge. Google, which runs one of the world's largest web advertising
networks, is reportedly looking into a way to create an anonymous
ID to follow you everywhere on the web.

And this week, ProPublica's Julia Angwin reported on the
existence of a web "canvas fingerprinting" system that is
almost impossible for the average consumer to block - and the
researchers cited by ProPublica ended up dicovering it on sites
ranging from WhiteHouse.gov to YouPorn. (Here's a list of sites
where researches found the code running, which includes a number
of media organizations that ought to know better).

After ProPublica published its expose, YouPorn said it was removing
the tracker, and claimed to be "completely unaware" of what the
fingerprints were doing. I'll be pleasantly surprised if the White
House does likewise, given its record on spying.

The bulk of canvas fingerprinting deployments about which we know
came from AddThis, a social media sharing tool used on a huge number
of websites. Rich Harris, the company's CEO, assured ProPublica
that nothing nefarious was going on, and that you and I could opt
out of the tracking by - this is not a joke - allowing AddThis
to install a cookie to tell the company to ignore the data it was
getting from you.

Look, I have absolutely no objection to seeing advertising on a
website, or having that site install its own cookie to keep track
of when I've been there - if it's a one-to-one relationship. What
I don't appreciate is having several (or even a dozen or more)
third-party cookies automatically installed on my computer,
controlled by advertising networks I don't know anything about,
and aggregating and reporting data to faceless companies about what
I'm doing, everywhere I go on the internet.

I don't even mind having websites reject my page views when I
reject their various requests to put their software on my hard
drive. Sometimes, I will even manually turn on some third-party
widget (like a comment system), and I'm happy to spend that
extra second clicking on a box to do so. I'm also willing to pay
subscription fees if I can dismiss tracking as part of the bargain -
a deal I'm almost never offered.

More and more people are getting tired of what's being done to them
and their computers, often without a hint of disclosure. But it's
increasingly obvious that the ad/tech industry will never do the
right thing just because consumers are uncomfortable or even angry
with their practices.

So what's an angry - or worried - internet user to do? Check out
tools like Privacy Badger, Ghostery, AddBlock Plus, BetterPrivacy
and Disconnect, which offer a variety of approaches to restore some
privacy to your web browsing, even if you aren't a particularly
advanced computer programmer. Support the work the people who want
to protect privacy, including volunteers and employees of advocacy
groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

And pressure lawmakers to insist on a zone of privacy when it comes
to the internet. It might not happen immediately, but it will never
happen if we let the tech company lobbyists be the most prominent
voices our legislators hear.
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*** The District of Criminals

Microsoft ordered to turn over customer data stored in the cloud

Federal court says warrant for info stored in Ireland is not an
extra-territorial application of U.S law; decision has privacy
implications
- Jaikumar Vijayan, Computerworld

In a decision that could have broad privacy implications, a
federal court in New York Thursday ordered Microsoft to comply
with a U.S. government demand for a customer's emails stored on a
company server in Dublin, Ireland. The decision upholds an earlier
magistrate court decision.

In an oral ruling, District Court Judge Loretta Preska rejected
Microsoft's argument that a U.S search warrant does not extend
beyond the country's borders.

"The production of that information is not an intrusion on the
foreign sovereign," Courthouse News reported Judge Preska as
saying. "It is incidental at best," Preska noted, adding that the
magistrate court order was not an extra territorial application of
U.S. law.

The judge however stayed the ruling to give Microsoft time to appeal.

In a statement, Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith said Thursday's
ruling would not be the final say in the matter. "The only issue
that was certain this morning was that the District Court's decision
would not represent the final step in this process," he said. "We
will appeal promptly and continue to advocate that people's email
deserves strong privacy protection in the U.S. and around the world."

Microsoft's closely watched dispute with the government stems from
a search warrant in December for one of its customer's emails. The
government claimed it needed the information in connection with a
narcotics investigation.

Microsoft refused to comply, arguing that the government cannot force
U.S. tech companies to hand over customer data stored exclusively in
overseas data centers. The company, like several others, including
Verizon and Apple, argued that a customer's email stored in the
cloud has the same constitutional protections as paper mail.

After a magistrate court quashed the company's opposition in April,
Microsoft appealed, leading to Thursday decision.

In a blog post earlier this week, Smith said the case has broad
ramifications for U.S consumers as well as businesses. "If the
U.S. government prevails in reaching into other countries' data
centers, other governments are sure to follow."

Already the British government has passed a law asserting its right
to ask British tech companies to produce emails, regardless of
where in the world it is stored. "This would include emails stored
in the U.S. by Americans who have never been to the U.K," Smith said.

Hanni Fakhoury, staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier
Foundation (EFF), which filed an amicus brief in support of
Microsoft, said the decision was not unexpected.

"We suspected it would be hard to convince the district court
to overrule the magistrate and that the Second Circuit [Court of
Appeals] would ultimately have to decide the issue," Fakhoury said.

"I hope the Second Circuit looks closely at the magistrate's
reasoning and realizes that its decision radically rewrote the
Stored Communications Act when it interpreted "warrant" to not
capture all of the limitations inherent in a warrant, including
extraterritoriality," he said.

The dispute comes at a time when U.S. cloud service providers are
fighting to reassure overseas clients that their data is safe from
government access.

Edward Snowden's revelations about the National Security Agency's
data surveillance activities have stoked widespread fears overseas
about the safety of corporate data in the hands of U.S. cloud
service providers. Some have predicted that the concerns could
cost U.S technology companies tens of billions of dollars in lost
business over the next few years.
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*** Net neutrality becomes a key battleground in encryption fight

Both carriers and government now have an interest in how users keep
their online lives private
- Stephen Lawson

Plans to favor some Internet packets over others threaten consumers'
hard-won right to use encryption, a digital privacy advocate says.

Activists and tech companies fended off efforts in the U.S. in
the 1990s to ban Internet encryption or give the government ways
around it, but an even bigger battle over cryptography is brewing
now, according to Sascha Meinrath, director of X-Lab, a digital
civil-rights think tank launched earlier this year. One of the
most contested issues in that battle will be net neutrality,
Meinrath said.

The new fight will be even more fierce than the last one, because
Internet service providers now see dollars and cents in the details
of packets traversing their networks. They want to charge content
providers for priority delivery of their packets across the network,
something that a controversial Federal Communications Commission
proposal could allow under certain conditions. Friday is the filing
deadline for the first round of public comments on that plan.

Encrypted traffic can't be given special treatment because it can't
be identified, Meinrath said. That could eliminate a major revenue
source for ISPs, giving them a strong reason to oppose the use of
encrypted services and potentially an indirect way to degrade their
performance, he said. Meinrath laid out parts of this argument
in a recent essay in the June issue of Critical Studies in Media
Communication, called "Crypto War II" and written with tech policy
activist Sean Vitka.

The U.S. government once sought to keep the country's cryptographic
technology to itself or to hold onto the keys to all encrypted
data. Opponents won out and opened the door to encrypted services
people use every day, such as shopping and email. But the
ability to use encryption is under fire both from government and
potentially from ISPs' new business models, the essay said. The
looming cryptography debate will also involve several other hot
topics, including government surveillance spreading from networks
into individual devices and the privacy of data generated by the
"Internet of Things," the authors wrote.

Net neutrality could be important to the use of encryption in
at least two ways, according to Meinrath. For one thing, if
broadband capacity is scarce on a busy service-provider network,
and some traffic gets paid priority, then other traffic could
suffer. Encrypted traffic is likely to get the short end of that
deal. For example, a streaming video service that was encrypted and
couldn't be prioritized might stall or have longer buffer times if
it had to share a crowded pipe with favored video streams.

In addition, ISPs might start to block encrypted traffic in order
to maintain their business model. For example, if carriers can
discriminate among applications, they can make some exempt from
a user's data consumption cap. AT&T has already announced plans
for such a service, called Sponsored Data, on its cellular data
network. Among other things, this could allow content providers to
cover the cost of delivering their data to consumers, making their
content more attractive.

That concept may get more complicated if encryption comes into play,
Meinrath said. For example, in some developing countries, Facebook
and mobile operators together are offering cheap mobile data deals
that only cover Facebook. There are encrypted services that can
tunnel through Facebook to give users access to other service, but
carriers will want to know if anyone is circumventing the exclusive
Facebook deal.

"The problem is that providers are going to say, 'We need to be
able to know that you're not doing that, therefore we need to be
able to ensure that you are not encrypting,'" he said.

All this doesn't necessarily spell doom for your favorite banking,
health insurance or video chat sites. The implications are deeper
and longer term, Meinrath said.

"The problem is usually not the big 50 or big 100 services," he
said. "They always carve out for themselves an exemption." But
if a new competitor comes along that does the same thing better,
it may be a different story.

"If you want to create the new Skype, or the new Facebook, or
the new Google, you will have a hell of a time getting the same
treatment as the incumbents," Meinrath said.

Because of the way network discrimination could affect encrypted
services, guaranteeing net neutrality will be critical to ensuring
consumers' right to privacy online, the authors wrote. They also
call for regulators to keep control of communications in the hands
of users and in their own devices at the edge of networks, giving
consumers the power to encrypt their communications from end to end.
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*** Police State

Police fake 911 calls to gain illegal entry into private homes
- J. D. Heyes

A very dubious new police tactic has been revealed, in which an
officer used phony information in order to gain "consent" to search
private properties without first obtaining a warrant, as required
by the Fourth Amendment.

Officers in Durham, North Carolina, have found out they can
create a legal pretext for a search after lying about calls to
911 emergency services that never really took place. Apparently,
the tactic is legal, if you can believe that, and fairly common,
according to one officer's sworn statements.

As noted by WTVD:

A Durham police officer admitted under oath that he lied in order
to gain entry to a home and to serve an outstanding warrant.

During a court hearing last May, court officials say he told a
District Court judge that it was a common practice within Durham's
police department.

He said he knocked on a resident's door, claiming police had received
a 9-1-1 hang up call. But, it never happened.

Not department policy

According to the local news report, the tactic was being used
often enough that the Durham police chief was forced to issue a
department-wide memo immediately calling for it to cease:

It has recently been brought to my attention that some officers have
informed citizens that there has been a 911 hang-up call from their
residence in order to obtain consent to enter for the actual purpose
of looking for wanted persons on outstanding warrants. Effective
immediately no officer will inform a citizen that there has been
any call to the emergency communications center, including a hang-up
call, when there in fact has been no such call.

- Jose L. Lopez, Sr., Chief of Police

In a subsequent interview with the local ABC affiliate, Lopez denied
that the practice was commonplace.

"This has never occurred," said Lopez. "We want to find out
what... led him [the officer] to believe that this is something he
should do."

We will investigate

The police chief added that his department was immediately launching
an investigation and, if the officer's claims prove to be true,
such actions would be a clear violation of department policy and,
of course, the Constitution.

Lopez did not rule out a form of discipline for officers who
were found to be in violation of the department's policy. And he
emphasized that his staff is only aware of the single reported
incident.

But Durham City Manager Tom Bonfield is pledging tougher action
and a more vigorous look into the allegation.

"If confirmed that this tactic was used, the city manager agrees
that it is entirely unacceptable," Bonfield said through a city
spokesperson. "This tactic is not a policy, nor an acceptable
practice of the department for any reason."
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insurance companies as well as hedge funds.

In addition, many banks have even closed bank accounts belonging to
US citizens. This is mainly because the banks face heavy penalties
if they don't comply with these mandates. Therefore, in many cases,
the banks decide it's easier to just completely ignore American
clients and their needs.

Even if American citizens have been able to open new bank accounts
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*** Easier Ways to Protect Email From Unwanted Prying Eyes
- Molly Wood

Machine Learning

It's time to face reality: Pursuing digital security should be as
much of a no-brainer as locking your door before you leave the house.

Identity theft, corporate security breaches and an increased
interest in personal privacy are forcing some changes. Many of
us are choosing stronger passwords and changing them more often,
locking down social media accounts and being more conscious of how
we communicate. If you haven't taken these steps, you should.

But one of our favorite forms of electronic communication - email -
remains one of the hardest to secure. Security experts say email is a
lot more like a postcard than a letter inside an envelope, and almost
anyone can read it while the note is in transit. The government
can probably read your email, as can hackers and your employer.

What's the solution? Make your email more like a letter inside
an envelope. The best way to do this is with a process known as
encryption, which scrambles a message into unreadable code that
needs a key to be unlocked, providing a layer of protection if
someone intercepts your email.

The downside to encryption tools is that they are usually difficult
to install and use. In addition, they require the person on the
other end to be using the same tools. Thanks to a renewed focus
on privacy and security, however, new tools are arriving regularly
that should make it easier to encrypt email.

One promising new encryption tool is Virtru, a feature that can
be added to Chrome and Firefox browsers or installed on the Mail
program on the Mac and for Outlook on Windows. One of Virtru's big
selling points is that it works with web-mail services like Gmail,
Yahoo and Hotmail. There are also apps for iOS and Android.

Another big benefit of Virtru is that recipients don't have to
be using the service or any other encryption program to see your
email. They receive an email that contains a link to your encrypted
message. Once they click a button to verify their email address, they
can read the unencrypted message in a separate web page and reply.

Continue reading the main story Their responses won't be encrypted
unless they also use Virtru, but your original email won't be
included in the response, so it remains hidden from prying eyes.

While Virtru is not a completely seamless experience, it is a walk
in the park compared with some of the other options, which require
signification coordination with the recipient of your messages.

To install the browser plug-in, click the Get Virtru button on the
company's website and it will detect what browser you're using. Click
to download and the extension will install itself, all quickly and
easily. You don't even have to restart your browser. (The company
says support for Internet Explorer and Safari is coming soon.)

The next time you compose a new email, you'll see a blue bar at the
top of your email window with a little toggle button that lets you
turn Virtru encryption on or off and access other options. Then,
type your email normally and hit send.

Emails and attachments are encrypted on your computer or mobile
device and decrypted on the other side - so-called end-to-end
encryption, which means they can't be read in transit and they
can't be decrypted without a key if they are intercepted.

I particularly like that you can determine which emails you want
to encrypt, case by case; and I like that it encrypts any type of
attachment as well as normal email messages.

The service also adds control over your emails after you send them:
you can disable forwarding, for example, and even set messages to
expire after a certain period of time. You can also revoke access
to an encrypted message so your recipient won't be able to decrypt
it in the future if the relationship goes sour.

The methods aren't foolproof; someone can obviously still take a
screenshot of an email once it's decrypted, or copy and paste the
contents into a different file. And if your recipient writes back
without encrypting the response, at least part of the conversation
is not secure.

Another drawback comes on mobile. You must use Virtru's app to
compose and send secure messages on your mobile device, since it
doesn't work on other mail apps on the phone.

And there is one other aspect about Virtru that might make some
people leery of the service: One of the company's founders, Will
Ackerly, was a security engineer for the National Security Agency,
the government agency that is said to intercept many forms of
digital communications.

Virtru promotes his background as a benefit. And John Ackerly,
Mr. Ackerly's brother, a co-founder and the company's chief
executive, says the company has taken pains to prove it is not tied
to the N.S.A. Much of Virtru's code is open-source and has been
published for peer review, giving the public a chance to look for
potential vulnerabilities or back doors.

Any Virtru product code that hasn't been published online is
available for anyone who requests it, John Ackerly said. That doesn't
affect the strength of its encryption; it's more like showing you
the inner workings of a lock on a door. You can make sure the lock
is strong, but it doesn't mean you can copy the key.

In addition, the company is encouraging other companies or even
individuals to set up servers that will store the encryption keys
Virtru uses to decrypt emails. That would prevent all the keys from
being stored in one place, adding another layer of security. When
it comes to security, such distributed systems are generally safer.

Although Virtru is relatively easy to use, it is not nearly the
only option - especially if you just want to send a single encrypted
message, perhaps one that contains financial information.

If you're looking for one-off encryption, try a site like
InfoEncrypt, which says it encrypts messages in the browser without
storing any information.

With InfoEncrypt, you type a message, create a password and then
encrypt it. Then, you copy the encrypted message and paste it
into an email and send it to someone. This is a little onerous,
though. In order for the recipient to open the message, the sender
must also pass along the password, presumably through something
other than email.

Another one-off option is SafeMess, which works much like
InfoEncrypt. But SafeMess lets you set an expiration time for your
messages, ranging from three minutes to 90 days.

Expect more simplified encryption tools soon. Google, for example,
is letting developers test end-to-end encryption tools for Chrome and
hopes to release them broadly in the near future. And a hacker, Nadim
Kobeissi, is showing off a prototype tool, miniLock, at a hacker
conference this weekend. The tool is a free, open-source browser
plug-in that will let users easily encrypt just about anything.

But for now, at least, a crucial part of email security might
be recognizing that email shouldn't be used for your most secure
communications. It's a hard thing to get used to, since we've used
email for so much for so long. Security experts say it is easier
to encrypt more temporary communications, like text messages (using
a service like TextSecure) than far-flung and varied email systems.

And whenever you think about secure communications, it's good to
remember the safest method of all: talking face-to-face.

Shamrock's comment: Need help in downloading and setting up encrypted
email? Then just email our leprechaun for free instructions on how
to download, setup and use PGP, Pretty Good Privacy, an excellent
email encryption program. Just email and place "PGP" in your subject
heading and we'll email you a comprehensive guide in PDF format.
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*** Advisory

Puerto Rico: Tropical Tax Haven for America's Super-Rich
- Katherine Burton

It's 2 a.m. at the La Factoria bar in Puerto Rico's Old San Juan, a
hipster joint with a sagging couch, tile floors, and Christmas lights
that wouldn't be out of place in Brooklyn's Williamsburg. While Get
Lucky plays, tipsy couples slink out the doors onto the colonial
city's cobblestone streets and into this warm April night. At
the bar, a 28-year-old hedge fund trader-the type of person who
posts his SAT results on his LinkedIn page-is ranting about the tax
code. He's obsessed with it, complaining that the U.S. is the only
major country taxing citizens on their worldwide income, no matter
where they reside. That's why he moved here.

Struggling to emerge from an almost decade long economic slump,
the Puerto Rican government signed a law in early 2012 that creates
a tax haven for U.S. citizens. If they live on the island for at
least 183 days a year, they pay minimal or no taxes, and unlike
with a move to Singapore or Bermuda, Americans don't have to turn in
their passports. (Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens but cannot vote in
federal elections.) About 200 traders, private equity moguls, and
entrepreneurs have already moved or committed to moving, according
to Puerto Rico's Department of Economic Development and Commerce,
and billionaire John Paulson is spearheading a drive to entice
others to join them.

Puerto Rico's low-tax welcome mat comes as some of the wealthiest
Americans grow more anxious about tax increases and rhetoric
directed at the rich. Tax bills have risen after a 10-year break
under President George W. Bush that disproportionately favored
the rich. The 2008 global financial crisis and the recession that
followed also unleashed movements such as Occupy Wall Street that
focused attention on growing inequality and the responsibility of
large financial institutions in helping to create the mess.

In October 2011 protesters marched by the homes of Manhattan's
billionaires, including Paulson's. A little more than a year
later, President Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney in an election that
highlighted the latter's wealth and private equity background. "I'm
worried about the shifting mentality among the electorate, people
blaming problems on the rich, on business, and on capitalism,"
says Peter Schiff, a onetime candidate for the U.S. Senate from
Connecticut and a former economic adviser to libertarian presidential
hopeful Ron Paul. "I'm afraid that the tax rates that are already
high will get higher in the years ahead," maybe up to 60 percent
or 70 percent, he added.

Paulson says the island will become "the Singapore of the Caribbean."

Schiff, who runs Westport (Conn.)-based brokerage Euro Pacific
Capital, relocated his $900 million asset management arm from
Newport Beach, Calif., to San Juan in 2013. He plans to move to
the island within the next several years. (For now, a son from a
first marriage is keeping him in Connecticut.)

Under Puerto Rico's new rules, an individual who moves to the
island pays no local or federal capital gains tax (capital gains
are charged based on your tax home rather than where you earn them)
and no local taxes on dividend or interest income for 20 years. Even
someone working for a mainland company who is a resident of the
island would be exempt from paying U.S. federal taxes on his
salary. Moving to the island won't kill all taxes: U.S. citizens
still have to pay federal taxes on dividend or interest income
from stateside companies. But the savings can be extraordinary,
especially if considering the compounding effects, says Alex Daley,
chief technology investment strategist at Casey Research, a firm
that publishes reports for investors. Late last year, Daley moved
from Stowe, Vt., to Palmas del Mar, about 45 minutes from San
Juan. Say you put $100,000 in a 5 percent certificate of deposit
that compounds annually and reinvest the proceeds every year. If
you lived in Puerto Rico, you'd earn $165,000 in interest over two
decades, Daley calculates. If you lived in California, your state
and federal taxes could reduce that to as little as $64,000.

Paulson, who made $15 billion for himself and his investors betting
against U.S. mortgages during the financial crisis, helped start
the wave of transplants last year, when he considered moving to
the island. Paulson cited excessive media attention as his reason
for staying put in the States. The press reports had an unintended
consequence, though: Word quickly spread to other wealthy individuals
that Puerto Rico wanted them.

Like the tax refugee at La Factoria, who asked that I not divulge
his identity because his boss wouldn't want to see his name in
print, almost all say the incentive to move to a bankrupt Caribbean
island plagued by violent crime is simple: Pay Uncle Sam less. Robb
Rill is managing director of private equity firm Strategic Group
PR. Rill, 43, relocated with his wife to Puerto Rico from Florida
in February 2013 and started the 20/22 Act Society-named for the
tax laws designed to encourage people and businesses to set up shop
here-to help educate fellow expatriates and serve as a networking
group. "I'm talking to people every day who are moving here, and
their No.?1 motivation is taxes," he says.

Margaret Pena Juvelier, who grew up in New York City, the daughter of
Puerto Rican immigrants, moved to San Juan in 2012 to open Sotheby's
(BID) real estate office. Driving around, she shows me a few of
San Juan's top apartments. We cross a small bridge to a six-block
neighborhood surrounded by water.

"This is Waco," Juvelier says, pointing out the window.

"Sorry?" I ask, thinking of the Branch Davidians.

"WeCo-West Condado," Juvelier says, pointing out the window and
explaining that she and her daughter, also a Sotheby's broker,
have decided to give some of the neighborhoods catchy names, such
as New York's SoHo and Tribeca.

"I'm worried about the shifting mentality among the electorate,
people blaming problems on the rich"

By New York standards, prices are cheap: A 3,800-square-foot
penthouse with water views from every room is listed for $1.99
million; and a four-bedroom duplex with two terraces in the city's
financial district is listed for $900,000. Yet the housing isn't
enough to lure potential converts. The real challenge, she says,
is convincing people they can replicate their life. Will they have
well-traveled, well-educated friends? Are there decent schools for
their kids? Are there charities that wives can join? Is crime an
issue? She takes her clients to dinner at outdoor cafes to show
them it's safe at night, and she organizes luncheons to introduce
newcomers to native Puerto Ricans.

In late April, Puerto Rican officials helped set up a conference
in San Juan to educate potential residents about the new laws and
tell the world that Puerto Rico is a fine place to live-at least if
you've got dough. The conference was the brainchild of Paulson-who,
the territory's government says, plans to invest about $1 billion in
real estate this year and next-and Alberto Baca Bagua, secretary
of economic development and commerce. Two hundred people showed up
for panels, tours, and information sessions with private schools,
real estate brokers, and a tax expert.

The message from every speaker was the same: Puerto Rico isn't
just about low taxes. It has white-sand beaches and temperatures
in the 80s year-round. There's an art museum with a world-renowned
pre-Raphaelite collection. It has luxury apartment buildings,
over-the-top resorts such as Dorado Beach, and a handful of private
international schools that send their graduates to Ivy League
colleges. It has restaurants with award-winning chefs. It's a
four-hour flight to New York. And the island operates under U.S. law.

Paulson is betting that millionaires will come in droves. In his
presentation, in which he forecast that Puerto Rico would become "the
Singapore of the Caribbean," he said he plans to develop residential
and office properties to go beyond the current high-end offerings.

The government gives a tax break for businesses that move to
Puerto Rico and provide services outside the country, perfect for
a hedge fund with clients in New York and London. These firms pay
only a 4 percent corporate tax, compared with 35 percent on the
mainland. About 270 companies have applied for this incentive,
according to officials.

Governor Alejandro Garca Padilla, elected in November 2012 by a
margin of 11,000 votes (he likes to joke that he should have asked
for a recount), is promoting the laws in the hope they will help spur
an economy that's barely seen any growth since 2007. The statistics
are grim. The territory of 3.7 million people has $73 billion of debt
and a median income of $19,429, about half that of Mississippi,
the poorest state in the union. Unemployment is 13.8 percent,
compared with 6.3 percent stateside; and income inequality, as
measured by the Gini index, is higher than in any of the 50 states.

Puerto Ricans were given U.S. citizenship in 1917, meaning they can
easily leave the island for better jobs stateside. And they have. A
net 280,000 engineers, doctors, and other citizens emigrated
from 2005 to 2012, according to the Puerto Rico Institute of
Statistics. The government is hoping the campaign to lure the rich
from the mainland will bring more jobs to the island and raise the
GDP. "Our plan is not just about keeping government spending in line,
but it is about generating wealth in Puerto Rico-jobs, investment,
and trade," Garca-a Padilla said at the April conference. The
government estimates that the two tax laws could create 90,000 jobs
and add $7 billion to the economy by 2016.

One hedge fund manager, who requested I not use his name, gave
a less-than-rosy view as he drove around the narrow streets of
Santurce in San Juan. He'd moved from New York a few months ago,
and although he likes living in San Juan, he calls it a bombed-out
version of Miami.

In many respects, he says, Puerto Rico is the worst of the mainland
and the Caribbean. There are more Walmarts (WMT) and Walgreens (WAG)
per square mile than in any other place in the U.S., according to
the Puerto Rico Center for Investigative Journalism, and it has the
inefficiencies of most Caribbean islands, including power outages
and quirky laws. Married couples must buy property together unless
they have a prenuptial agreement. He complains that it takes 20
minutes to get a Quiznos sandwich. Service is often on "island time."

The hedge fund manager brings me to Santaella restaurant, where
we join a table of 10 or so newcomers eating the island's comida
criolla and drinking cocktails and beer. No one wants to speak on
the record. They aren't much different from any group of young
traders-cracking jokes and checking out women at the bar-except
for their obsession for minimizing taxes.

One considered giving up his citizenship to move to Singapore, where
the government has also lured hedge funds with low taxes. Another
trader, who hasn't been in town long enough to acquire a decent tan,
says that from a tax perspective he was embarrassed to have lived
in New York City, where the marginal rate for affluent New Yorkers
can exceed 50 percent on ordinary income.

Most of the new arrivals downplay Puerto Rico's fiscal problems,
which include runaway pension obligations and an underground economy
that leads to low tax collection rates. They're also convinced their
20-year contracts with the government guaranteeing the tax benefits
are sacrosanct. They will survive the inevitable Internal Revenue
Service audits, they say, as long as they follow the residency rules.

But there may also be financial drawbacks to moving to the
island. Brad Alford, who runs Atlanta-based Alpha Capital Management,
which farms out more than $200 million to alternative mutual funds,
was all set to invest $10 million with portfolio manager Randy
Swan until he learned that Swan was moving to Puerto Rico to cut
his tax bill. "I told Swan's sales guy that was a deal killer,"
Alford says. "It's morally wrong and un-American not to pay your
fair share of taxes." (Swan says taxes were only one of the reasons
he moved and that he's received no complaints from any current or
potential clients.)

Not every emigre from the states is motivated solely by tax
savings. One of the wealthiest recent arrivals is Toby Neugebauer,
co-founder of Quantum Energy Partners, a Houston private equity
firm that oversees more than $7 billion. He's opening a family
office and recently bought a house at Dorado Beach, where he lives
with his wife and two teenage sons. The Ritz-Carlton resort there
boasts rooms that start at $800 a night and a plantation house
where Amelia Earhart stayed that goes for $30,000 a day.

Neugebauer, who arrived in March, cited the chance for his sons to
learn Spanish and attend a top school-plus better-priced investment
opportunities-as his main incentives. "I wouldn't have moved for
the taxes, but it is an interesting proposition," he says.

John Helmers, a hedge fund manager who spent time at Citadel and
Tudor Investment, says he would never have moved from Greenville,
S.C., to San Juan with his wife, Glenn, and three of his five
children, if they hadn't all been on board. "When my wife said this
could be a cool adventure for the family, that was the go switch,"
he says. Helmers is setting up Long Focus Capital Partners, a macro
fund that also trades individual stocks. "Before I spent 30 percent
of my time thinking about taxes, and now I don't have to do that,"
he says.

Yet Helmers, a fit 49-year-old with close-cropped hair and a slight
Southern drawl, is now spending time thinking about Puerto Rico's
poor. He's interested in following the lead of his former boss, Paul
Tudor Jones, who created the Robin Hood Foundation to fight poverty
in New York City. Helmers's wife is involved with the Foundation for
Puerto Rico, an organization focused on economic development. "You
don't have the same support network here as you have in the greater
New York area," Helmers says. "There's an opportunity to make a real
difference." Yet not all the new residents have the same reflex to
give back, he says. "It's our job to get the opportunists over to
our side."

The biggest question is whether Puerto Rico's plan will improve
its economy. "This place is in dire straits," says Rill of
Strategic Group PR. He calls the tax laws a glimmer of hope for the
island. "We're buying cars and getting office space and contributing
to the economy." He spent about $1 million, on top of his house
purchase, on office space, a car, and legal and accounting services,
he says.

"It's a slightly disturbing way to pursue economic development," says
Kim Rueben, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute in Washington, who
has spent 10 years studying policy and spending by state and local
governments. "There can be a multiplier effect, but you are dealing
with one of the lowest-income populations in the U.S. on a per
capita basis. How much does it really help to import billionaires?"

Denver Dale, who runs private equity firm On-Point Capital in
Monterey, Calif., ponders the same question in April as he sips
a drink at a preconference cocktail party held at the Condado
Vanderbilt Hotel, one of Paulson's recent acquisitions. Dale,
a Goldman Sachs alum, says he and his wife, a gynecologist, are
seriously considering relocating, calling it a no-brainer as long
as he could ensure that his business would be eligible for the
island's tax breaks. He wasn't so sure whether it was a no-brainer
for Puerto Ricans. "We'll know in five years if you end up with a
couple of areas of haves amid a whole bunch of have-nots."
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*** How to create an anonymous email account
- Ian Paul, PCWorld

A reader recently asked me how they could use aliases in Outlook.com
to create an anonymous email account. My answer was simple: you
really can't.

Microsoft's implementation of aliases is not designed to hide your
identity. Instead, Outlook.com aliases are about creating throw
away addresses that you can give out to marketers and others to
avoid plugging up your inbox.

But the question remains, how do you create an anonymous email
account? Let's take a look.

Note: This tutorial is not meant for someone in an oppressive country
looking to hide themselves from government interlopers. This is
aimed at people who want anonymity, but the stakes if they're found
out aren't at risk of death or imprisonment.

Also keep in mind that no system is foolproof. But for most people,
the instructions below should be good enough.

It all starts with Tor

Before we get to creating an anonymous email account we have to
make sure our location and Internet Protocol address (IP) are also
anonymous. Not everyone may want to take this step. Let's say all
you want to do is use a pen name to submit letters to the editor
at a national newspaper. Depending on your situation, you may not
really care about hiding your location under this scenario. Not
masking your location means that a motivated person will probably
be able to find you.


The easiest way to hide your location is to download the Tor (The
Onion Router) Browser, which is based on Firefox. Tor reroutes you
through a series of servers, dubbed nodes, supplied by volunteers. By
the time you exit the server network onto the open Internet it is
very difficult to figure out where you came from.


The Tor Browser is just like any other browser. The only difference
is it takes a few extra seconds to start-up as the browser connects
to the Tor network.


You can download the Tor Browser directly from the Tor project's
website (https://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser.html.en)
and then install it. When you install the browser you end up with
a folder that contains the program, which is usually installed to
your desktop.


The Tor Browser isn't integrated into your system the way other
apps are. If you really want to go anonymous, I would recommend
moving the folder to a USB drive and running it off that.


Secret email hidemyass The Disposable Inbox from Hide My Ass can
help you stay anonymous online.


Now it's time to get communicating anonymously. One thing you don't
want to do is choose a mainstream service like Gmail, Outlook.com,
or Yahoo. These services require a mobile phone number and other
identifying information at sign-up, which defeats the entire purpose
of an anonymous email account.


hushmaillogo Two good options are Hushmail and the Disposable Inbox
from VPN provider Hide My Ass. Hushmail has had some issues with
privacy. Nevertheless, notable privacy-conscious types such as the
Electronic Frontier Foundation and Phil Zimmermann, the creator of
PGP encryption, recommend the service.


The solution from Hide My Ass isn't perfect either. At sign-up,
for example, the company asks for your real email address so they
can notify you when you have new messages. This is not a good idea
since having your official account connected to your anonymous
account defeats what we're trying to accomplish.


Hide My Ass does not require you to supply your real email so just
don't bother to put that in.


A nice feature of Hide My Ass's disposable inbox is that you can
set the email address to disappear after 24 hours or up to a year.


Once you've chosen your email provider the key is to use the Tor
Browser every time you connect with the service. One slip up
and you'll expose a real location you visit-be it your home or a
local cafe.


You should also ensure that any time you connect to your anonymous
email you are always doing so via HTTPS. This should happen by
default with the two providers mentioned above, but it's still
worth double checking.


Creating an anonymous email account takes a bit of work, but the Tor
Browser and these two anonymous email providers make it much easier.
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Shamrock's Missive:


National Security Has Nothing to Do With Security


I have to admit that as I watched the civilian carnage in Gaza;
catastrophically devolving Iraq; the nightmare of Syria; the
chaotic situation in Libya where, thanks to militia fighting,
the capital's international airport is now in ruins; the grim
events surrounding Ukraine, which seem to be leading to an eerie,
almost inconceivable revival of the Cold War ethos; not to speak
of the situation in Afghanistan, where bad only becomes worse in
the midst of an election from hell and the revival of the Taliban,
I have a similar eerie feeling: just one more thing might tip this
planet into... well, what?


With, thank goodness, Edward Snowden's revaluations about the
criminal and illegal spying activity of the US Terrocrats, it is
clear as the fork in a road that National Security Has Nothing to
Do With Security! Its all about controlling you and everything you
do!


Our leprechaun recommends that you invest 20 minutes of your time
and download our free PDF report, "What It Was Was Freedom!" by
best selling author and second passport expert, Dr. Charles Freeman


"Anyone who loves and values freedom should read "What It Was Was Freedom!"
- Dr. Walter Belford, expatriate guru


CLICK HERE - http://www.ptshamrock.com/whatitwas.html - to download
your FREE "What It Was Was Freedom!" report in PDF format.


Enjoy!


We look forward to hearing from you.


See you next issue


Shamrock


"The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion."
- Edmund Burke, 1784
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*** Letters to the Editor:


Keep them postcards and letters coming' folks, 'cause we done mailed
the rosebushes!


Dear Shamrock,


Great things are coming for this planet this year.


Stay tuned.


J.D.


Dear Shamrock,


For the PT CROWD Only....


Constitution of the United States [of America]/Title Name for the
CORPORATION is nothing more than a BUSINESS PLAN incorporating
OWNERSHIP of Incognito) INFORMANTS/ Third)Parties, false imaging
their IDENTITY through this alias: Constitution of the United States.


Now, if you listen carefully to Obama's Oath of Office, their MR
PRESIDENT swears an allegiance to the hidden) OWNERS of the UNITED
who OWN the Constitution...and since English is always spoken in
the mirror, all good slaves stand up & cheer thinking they have a
stake in a corporation they do not OWN.


The price for slave ignorance is simply too high...for all slaves
must commit objective crimes manufactured by hidden criminals of
leadership as their rights of passage for prosecution, penalties and
DEATH to reside within fiction corporate boundary limits in chattel
of a passport for their captured see) tin)sin)sheep (citizenship).


Hence, all good slaves have a lien against their lives to support
the LIFE SUPPORT of all feudal system corporate government; ACTORS;
= CREATION of CRIMINAL SERVICES for people to commit, Switching
OWNERSHIP of all criminal acts for the LIABILITY of the people
who CRAVE the non scarcity of Crimes by the voting addiction for
puppets they vote for they did not APPOINT.


Government ruler/actors have one objective only...MAKE CRIMES
PROFITABLE for the people = liquidates the Crimes of the Rulers by
the Acceptance of the people feeding parasitic) leeches back into
positive criminal)hacks.


H.M.
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Quote of the month!


"Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
- Sir Winston Churchill
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*** "PT Shamrock's Exclusive Member's Site!"


Each month we offer exclusive information, free privacy programs,
access to our newsletter archives and other insider information
for members only.


Our member's site is accessed by user name and password only. This
is available to our newsletter subscribers ONLY!


Each month the password will change and you will have to e-mail us
from your subscribers e-mail address to request the NEW password
in order to gain access.


As a subscriber to our newsletter you automatically qualify
for this exclusive service. Just send an e-mail to
 and place "Members" in the subject
heading. We will forward to you full details for signing up and
gaining access to our Members Site, reserved for you.


Enjoy.
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Dear Friend:


If you like our newsletter please tell your friends and associates
about us. They can subscribe *FREE* by sending an e-mail to:
.
Our pledge!
We never spam our subscribers, never rent or give our subscribers
list to anyone, and unlike other newsletters do not accept paid
advertisements; And of course, our PT Buzz Newsletter is absolutely
free, just packed full of interesting privacy news and information
with a tad of humor thrown in for good measure.


We're probably the oldest privacy newsletter on the Internet!


Thank you for your patronage and help in spreading the word.


Shamrock


"The right to privacy is a part of our basic freedoms. Privacy
is fundamental to close family ties, competitive free enterprise,
the ownership of property, and the exchange of ideas."


PT Shamrock - issue one; 1994
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Don't forget to check out our Special Offers at 


See you next issue!


"Mehr sein, als scheinen" (German Proverb)
Be more, seem less!


PT Shamrock
- - - - - - - - - - NOTICE - - - - - - - - - -
In and with good faith publishing distribution, this material is
distributed free without profit or payment for non-profit research
and for educational purposes only.
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