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My Note –

How do 70 computers get up and walk out of a highly secured environment? I couldn’t do it – somebody would notice, if I were the one walking out of Los Alamos with a computer under each arm. How is that possible?



February 13, 2009 11:02 AM PST
Nearly 70 computers missing from Los Alamos nuclear lab
by Elinor Mills

U.S. officials are investigating the disappearance of 67 computers from the Los Alamos nuclear weapons lab in New Mexico, according to a nonprofit group that exposes government misconduct.

Of the missing computers, 13 were lost or stolen in the past year, including 3 taken from a scientist’s home last month. A BlackBerry belonging to another worker was lost in a “sensitive foreign country,” according to an internal Los Alamos Lab e-mail posted online by the Project On Government Oversight.

The group also posted a letter from the Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration rebuking the Los Alamos lab for treating the situation as a property management issue and not as a cybersecurity risk.

The “magnitude of exposure and risk to the laboratory is at best unclear as little data on these losses has been collected or pursued given their treatment as property management issues,” the DOE memo says.

[ . . . ]



May 21, 2009 7:55 PM PDT
Mystery virus strikes FBI, U.S. Marshals
by Steven Musil

The FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service were forced to shut down parts of their computer networks after a mystery virus struck the law-enforcement agencies Thursday, according to an Associated Press report.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Marshals Service confirmed that it had disconnected from Justice Department computers as a precaution after being hit with the virus, while an FBI spokesperson would only say that it was experiencing similar issues, according to the report.

“We too are evaluating a network issue on our external, unclassified network that’s affecting several government agencies,” FBI spokesman Mike Kortan told the AP.




Coca Cola to invest US$2 bln in China over 3 years

Updated 8:50:37 AM

May 22, 2009 (China Knowledge) – Coca Cola Co Ltd, the U.S.-based soft drink giant, plans to invest US$2 billion in China in the next three years, which is more than the total investment Coca Cola poured into China in the past 30 years, sources reported.Andres Kiger, director integrated marketing at Coca Cola China, said the investment will be used …More


European Commission – News Portal – (and, oh by the way – the building caught fire Monday – but this doesn’t mention it. – my note)


Berlaymont’s burning
Posted By: Bruno Waterfield in Brussels at May 18, 2009 at 18:16:00 [General]
Posted in: Foreign Correspondents
European Commission

It was an unusually lively Monday in the European Commission’s Berlaymont HQ today.
Every day at midday we troop in for a press briefing.

Today it was no news as usual (apart from Polish anger over a video clip – read here) but as we left the briefing room, at 12.40, there was a smell of burning.

Following a coffee, we noticed that the smoke was building up and security staff could be seen roaming through the haze looking for a fire.

We were kicked out at 1pm, no alarm had been sounded. I and a Reuters colleague were just off in search of the smoke’s source.

By 1.15pm smoke could be seen pouring from the roof.

Apparently the fire, said to be in a print and copying area near the press area, had spread, carried by heat, up a ventilation shaft to a cable room on the commission’s roof.





Home > Policies > EU governance > Commission
Berlaymont fire hits Commission business

By Simon Taylor
20.05.2009 / 05:20 CET
The Commission in bid to have the Berlaymont partly up and running after the weekend.

Technicians will be working over the Ascension holiday weekend to repair the European Commission’s headquarters building, the Berlaymont, which was damaged by a fire on Monday (18 May). The building was still without lighting and ventilation yesterday (19 May) because of damage to electrical equipment.

The 55-metre high, 14-floor Berlaymont, which contains the offices of the 27 European commissioners, the Commission secretary-general and around 2,000 staff, was evacuated on Monday lunchtime because of the fire, whose cause is still unknown.

[ . . . ]

Hutchins said that the building complied with Belgian law on alarms and sprinklers. There were sprinklers in the garage but not in the main part of the building, he said, adding that it would be “more damaging to the building” to have automatic sprinklers.

Brinson, whose organisation campaigns for greater use of sprinklers, said that sprinklers used far less water than firefighters with their hoses and that in the UK and Germany a building like the Berlaymont would have to have automatic sprinklers, although it was not required under Belgian law. He said that if the fire had indeed started in the printshop, “it would have stayed there” if automatic sprinklers had been installed.

[ . . . ]




China to send another trade team to Europe soon: premier

May 22, 2009 (China Knowledge) – Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on Wednesday in Prague that China will send another buying delegation to Europe soon, the China Daily reported.

At a press conference following the 11th summit between China and the E.U. held in Prague on May 20, the Chinese premier said China hopes the E.U. will ease restrictions on exports of hi-tech products to China, which could be a strong new area of growth in bilateral trade.

During the summit, China and the E.U. inked agreements on technology, small-and-medium sized enterprises and the establishment of a clean energy center in China.

In February of this year, a Chinese purchase delegation signed deals worth over US$13 billion with Germany, Switzerland, Spain and the U.K., showing China’s strong position against trade protectionism amid the global financial crisis.

In 2008, bilateral trade between China and the E.U., China’s largest trading partner, totaled US$425.6 billion, up 19% over the previous year. China accumulated a trade surplus of US$160 billion in 2008, according to an earlier report from China Knowledge.

Send feedback or comments to: news@chinaknowledge.com

For more news, financial weekly reports, business guides to China and other premium information, subscribe to China Knowledge today

To access our page on Bloomberg, type CKFI (GO)




May 18, 2009 Anderson Kia Car Dealership
(Boulder, CO)
Police have chained up 10 recycling bins outside Boulder’s now-defunct Anderson Kia car dealership after learning that the bins were stuffed with personal information from the dealership’s former customers. Green recycling bins were piled full with folders, each headed with an individual’s name. All of the folders contained Social Security numbers, driver’s license information, photos, phone numbers and financial information for Kia customers. Unknown
May 11, 2009 Multiple financial institutions
(New York City, NY)
A band of brazen thieves ripped off hundreds of New Yorkers by rigging ATMs to steal account and password information from bank customers. The first – a skimmer – went over the slot where customers insert their ATM cards. The skimmer reads, and stores, the personal information kept in the magnetic strip on the back of the bank card. The second gizmo was a tiny camera hidden in the lighted signs over the ATM. The pinhole camera lens pointed directly onto the ATM keypad and filmed victims typing in their supposedly secret PIN codes. The thieves would then create their own phony ATM cards and use their victim’s PIN to dip into accounts.
May 12, 2009 Johns Hopkins
(Baltimore, MD)
An investigation suggests a former employee who worked in patient registration may have been linked to a scheme to create fake drivers’ licenses in Virginia. The employee had access to information such as name, address, telephone number, mother and fathers names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers, but not to any health or medical information. 10,000


My Note –

If you go to the site above ( link is also below this note), the information you will find starts in 2005 and includes through May 18, 2009. It was easier for me to start at the bottom of the page with the more current information and go up the page, although I couldn’t help fiddling with reading much of it as I was scrolling to the bottom.

It is really amazing that this many computers, hard drives and laptops could get up and leave places without being an immediately noticeable event. It is also really amazing that secure information is getting up out of computers and being made available through some of the stupidest handling of information, records, identification / personal facts, social security numbers, passwords, bank account numbers as well as other critically sensitive intellectual property, research information, science, engineering and only God knows what else.

You would just have to see this list to believe it – from official federal and state paperwork spread across the streets and back alleys to data given to secondary government contractors who didn’t keep it secure to the auto dealership whose papers all went into the public trash with people’s credit card numbers and bank account numbers, social security numbers and everything else.

And, this list is probably missing the many, many recent bankrupt businesses with customer databases and paperwork which could have also been handled in the same way. Unbelievable.



CIA shutters overseas secret shops of horror


10 April, 2009, 21:13

Following 9/11, the United States set up a covert prison system in Eastern Europe where suspected terrorists were exposed to brutal torture. It took a new US president to put them out of business.

The Central Intelligence Agency announced Thursday that it would close the secret prisons, thus ending one of the darkest chapters of the Bush administration, which believed that such extraordinary actions were legal in light of the perceived threat of further acts of terrorism against the US.

Although the CIA has never revealed the locations of the mysterious “black-site” prisons, or the countries suspected of hosting them (Poland and Romania rank high on the list of suspected hosts), anonymous tips, aviation records and investigative journalism brought these secret detention facilities to public awareness in late 2005.

Read more

In an article in The Washington Post, quoting anonymous intelligence sources, the reason for keeping detainees in overseas facilities was to avoid legal restraints at home.

“It is illegal for the government to hold prisoners in such isolation in secret prisons in the United States, which is why the CIA placed them overseas,” the paper reported.

Yet, while attempting to escape the US court system, the article acknowledged that “the CIA’s internment practices also would be considered illegal under the laws of several host countries.”




[And This – ]

US pilot wants UN to help sue George Bush


22 May, 2009, 06:16

Former Boeing pilot sent a message to Russia’s UN Ambassador through a newspaper in order to secure his help in suing ex-US President George W. Bush.

An American citizen, Anthony Caither, passed his letter to Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin through the office of Russia’s Nezavisimaya Gazeta (Independent Daily). The Russian diplomat is being asked to facilitate bringing to trial the ex-president of the US, George W. Bush, and certain top American officials on the charge of crimes against humanity.

It looks like this crusade against the former administration of the US is gaining momentum.

Read more

In his letter, Caither says he contacted the Russian diplomat because Churkin currently presides as head of the UN Security Council.

According to Caither, he has already filed a lawsuit in the International Criminal Court (ICC) against former president Bush, the ex-United States Attorney General, Alberto R. Gonzales, and Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Robert S. Mueller.

On March 12, 2009 the ICC ruled that it has no jurisdiction over American citizens because the US never recognized its authority. That is why Caither’s revised and amended lawsuit is now addressed to the UN Security Council. Cither says this is actually not the first time he tried his luck in the UN, but now he lays his hope with the Russian chairman.

Well, whatever Caither may seem to be, there is a public campaign in the US that is trying to bring to trial the former American administration and this is an incontestable fact.

First of all, this has to do with the questionable methods the Bush administration chose to prosecute terror suspects, which included torture.

So far, the Bush supporters have managed to control the situation. The Supreme Court of the United States has not decided to support terror suspects who spent months and years under arrest in high-security prisons. Deportation after confinement, without filing accusation, has become common practice.

Up to now, none of the high-ranking official from the Bush administration has been brought before the courts on a charge of human rights violation or authorizing the use of practice of sensory deprivation interrogation techniques.

In the meantime, the Pentagon has officially confirmed that over 400 officials received disciplinary punishment or have been jailed for abusing prisoners.

Human rights activists in the US are becoming particularly active when it comes to focusing on the legal advisers from the US Department of Justice who laid a foundation for the admission of sensory deprivation interrogation techniques and have threatened to strip them of their ability to practice law.

Whether these high-ranking officials are going to be brought to court is a purely political question. President Barack Obama mentioned that the answer to this issue will come from United States Attorney General Eric H. Holder who, in turn, promised to review the evidence and comply with the law.

Anyways, the debates around the torture of terror suspects are becoming more and more painful for the new American administration. Obama’s decision on publishing photos showing the torturing of POWs was called off. But wouldn’t the promise made to the CIA agents that used torture, “according to instruction”, which compounded the offence be called off as well?

The recent accusations against the CIA made by Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, suggests that everything is possible. Probably the witch-hunting season has opened.

Still, the Bush legacy is something that is not that easy to sort out and the example of Guantanamo Bay’s special prison may serve as a good example. Strange as it may seem, Obama probably has to keep operating the prison– with all the detainees – simply because nobody knows where to put them once the prison is closed, as the US Senate is sharply opposed to letting the detained terrorists onto American soil.


Russia-EU summit: longer distance, closer ties

21 May, 2009, 15:18

Russia and Europe are taking a closer look at their cooperation and security at their summit beginning Thursday in the Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk, more than 8,000 kilometers from Moscow.

The choice of Khabarovsk as the venue for the upcoming summit is not random. In 2008, President Dmitry Medvedev offered to hold summits not only in European Russia, but also in the Urals, in Siberia, and in the Far East for the Europeans “to get a closer understanding of Russia and its diversity.”

The EU delegation will be led by Czech President Vaclav Klaus, the current EU president.

The development of joint approaches to the global financial and economic crisis is one of the top issues on the two-day summit agenda. Also, it is planned to work on the international legal basis of world energy cooperation, taking into account President Medvedev’s initiatives in that sphere, put forward at the G20 summit on April 20, 2009.

[ . . . ]

The sides will also focus on the prospects for visa-free trips between Russia and the EU. Work is currently in progress to simplify visa procedures, and to expand the list of people who can travel to EU states without visas.

The European Union is a major trade partner for Russia. EU countries account for 52.3 per cent of Russian trade. Russia exports mainly energy resources (68.2 per cent of exports), chemical and agricultural products, and it imports machines and equipment, foodstuffs, and textiles. As the major supplier of energy resources to the EU, Russia tops the list of suppliers of natural gas and is second on the list of suppliers of oil and oil products. Gas supplies to Europe make up 67 per cent of Russia’s total gas exports.




EU ready to discuss new energy accords with Russia


22 May, 2009, 09:39

The EU leadership said at the Russia-EU summit in Khabarovsk, that it was prepared to discuss Russian proposals to draft new legal agreements regulating international energy cooperation.

[ . . . ]

“This will provide us with opportunities to make the best use of the ideas recently put forward by President Medvedev on the new international energy rules. As it has been already said, we consider some of these ideas very useful and they should be discussed in the framework of the revision process”.


Watch the media conference of EU leaders and the Russian President