Moyers steps up on Cheney and Spying


Bill Moyers: Cheney Has Been Fighting

to Spy On You For Over 30 Years


By Nicole Belle
Posted on October 29, 2007, Printed on October 30, 2007

This post, written by Nicole Belle, originally appeared on Crooks and Liars

BILL MOYERS: Remember “The Lives of Others” – the movie that won this year’s Academy Award for best foreign language film….a story of life under East Germany’s secret police. The critic Roger Ebert said: “The movie is relevant today, as our government ignores habeas corpus, practices secret torture, and asks for the right to wiretap and eavesdrop on its citizens. Such tactics, he said, did not save East Germany; they destroyed it, by making it a country its most loyal citizens could no longer believe in.” You want to say it couldn’t happen here but we’ve been close before. During the cold war with the Soviet Union and then the hot war in Vietnam, a secret government mushroomed in this country. …(transcript)

In 1975 the Select Senate Committee headed by Sen Frank Church (D-ID) began looking into allegations first reported by Seymour Hersh in the NYT and found that the CIA, NSA, FBI and other federal agencies had been involved in everything from plots to assassinate foreign leaders, illegal storage of poisons and biological warfare agents including anthrax, warrantless opening of mail and wiretapping and other intel-gathering on US citizens, and misuse of the IRS , just to name a few of the abuses by the Executive Branch they discovered.

One of the ways Congress responded to try and restore checks and balances was by passing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978, which established a secret court to oversee all domestic wiretapping activity. Bill Moyers looks at the undoing of Congress’ checks and balances put in place following the Church Committee hearings and the unprecedented expansion of Executive authority in the wake of 9/11. You can watch the entire episode online here.

Nicole Belle is a regular blogger for Crooks and Liars.

© 2007 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at:

GOT COMCAST ? Good luck to ya!

backBack | Print Nowprint | Brought to you by FREE PRESS, on the web at

Comcast Traffic Monitoring a Slap in the Face to Net Neutrality

From Wired, October 23, 2007
By Scott Gilbertson

As we’ve mentioned before, Comcast does, despite what the company says, limit BitTorrent traffic. The Associated Press recently ran some tests and discovered that, yes, Comcast does throttle BitTorrent traffic. So how can Comcast say it doesn’t throttle traffic when in fact it does? The answer is in semantics.

Comcast has previous told Wired News that “we do not block access to any applications,” it does however admit that it uses traffic shaping tools to “manage our network to provide a quality experience for all Comcast subscribers.” In other words, Comcast doesn’t block BitTorrent applications, but it does block BitTorrent traffic.

Now it would seem that the fun doesn’t end there for Comcast subscribers. The EFF reports that Comcast also limits Gnutella traffic and Kevin Kanarski claims that Lotus Notes traffic is similarly choked.

In all three cases Comcast’s limiting technique is quite insidious and would be difficult for the average user to notice. Comcast’s network monitoring tools (most likely Sandvine) sits between your connection and the outside world and sends reset packets to both both ends, disrupting your connection. From the the end user point of view it will merely look like your connection is slow. Very, very slow.

This is more or less the two-tiered internet that net neutrality proponents have long warned about. As the EFF writes:

If this type of conduct is allowed to continue, many innovators will have to get active assistance from an ISP in order to have their protocols allowed through the ISP’s web of spoofing and forgery. Technologies like BitTorrent and Joost, which are used to distribute licensed movies and are in direct competition with Comcast’s cable TV services, will be at Comcast’s mercy.

Until U.S. lawmakers wake up and realize that the two-tiered internet is already here, there are a few things you can do to outwit such traffic shaping policies. TorrentFreak has some suggestions on what you can do to avoid the Comcast roadblocks.

If you don’t agree with Comcast’s policies, you can always switch to an ISP that doesn’t use traffic shaping tools. However, in some markets Comcast is your only option, so for those of you stuck with Comcastic connections, here’s what you can do:

* Force protocol header encryption. See our Wiki entry for more details, but keep in mind that just enabling encryption isn’t enough, you’ll have to force it.

* Run BitTorrent over an encrypted tunnels like SSH or VPN. SSH is going to very practical in the long run, VPN is a better bet. We’ve got instructions that can be adapted to this scenario in the Wiki.

* Lower your download rate. Comcast’s traffic shaping won’t let you seed torrents unless you’re downloading them as well. Once the torrent completes, your upload will be choked off. If you’re using private trackers that force you to maintain a high ratio, make sure you’ve uploaded the whole file before you finish downloading it.

Our personal favorite idea, though we don’t recommend you actually do it, is to follow in the footsteps of Mona “The Hammer” Shaw, who, fed up with what she calls “a bunch of sub-moronic imbeciles” grabbed a hammer and paid a visit to her local Comcast office for a little keyboard smashing satisfaction. Unfortunately, like Mrs. Shaw, this will probably land you in jail and, from what we understand, internet access in prison is monitored slightly more than Comcast’s network.

This article is from Wired. If you found it informative and valuable, we strongly encourage you to visit their Web site and register an account, if necessary, to view all their articles on the Web. Support quality journalism.

This article is copyrighted material, the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

_uacct = “UA-435334-1”; urchinTracker(); //