Investigative Report: How Mass Surveillance Works Inside China

(HRW) – Chinese authorities are using a mobile app to carry out illegal mass surveillance and arbitrary detention of Muslims in China’s western Xinjiang region. The Human Rights Watch report, “China’s Algorithms of Repression’: Reverse Engineering a Xinjiang Police Mass Surveillance App,” presents new evidence about the surveillance state in Xinjiang, where the government has subjected 13 million Turkic Muslims to heightened repression as part of its “Strike Hard Campaign against Violent Terrorism.

Between January 2018 and February 2019, Human Rights Watch was able to reverse engineer the mobile app that officials use to connect to the Integrated Joint Operations Platform (IJOP), the Xinjiang policing program that aggregates data about people and flags those deemed potentially threatening. By examining the design of the app, which at the time was publicly available, Human Rights Watch revealed specifically the kinds of behaviors and people this mass surveillance system targets.

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Our research shows, for the first time, that Xinjiang police are using illegally gathered information about people’s completely lawful behavior – and using it against them,” said Maya Wang, senior China researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The Chinese government is monitoring every aspect of people’s lives in Xinjiang, picking out those it mistrusts, and subjecting them to extra scrutiny.

Human Rights Watch published screenshots from the IJOP app, in the original Chinese and translated into English. The app’s source code also reveals that the police platform targets 36 types of people for data collection. Those include people who have stopped using smart phones, those who fail to “socialize with neighbors,” and those who “collected money or materials for mosques with enthusiasm.

The IJOP platform tracks everyone in Xinjiang. It monitors people’s movements by tracing their phones, vehicles, and ID cards. It keeps track of people’s use of electricity and gas stations. Human Rights Watch found that the system and some of the region’s checkpoints work together to form a series of invisible or virtual fences. People’s freedom of movement is restricted to varying degrees depending on the level of threat authorities perceive they pose, determined by factors programmed into the system.

A former Xinjiang resident told Human Rights Watch a week after he was released from arbitrary detention: “I was entering a mall, and an orange alarm went off.” The police came and took him to a police station. “I said to them, ‘I was in a detention center and you guys released me because I was innocent.’… The police told me, ‘Just don’t go to any public places.’… I said, ‘What do I do now? Just stay home?’ He said, ‘Yes, that’s better than this, right?

The authorities have programmed the IJOP so that it treats many ordinary and lawful activities as indicators of suspicious behavior. Some of the investigations involve checking people’s phones for any one of the 51 internet tools that are considered suspicious, including WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram, and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), Human Rights Watch found. The IJOP system also monitors people’s relationships, identifying as suspicious traveling with anyone on a police watch list, for example, or anyone related to someone who has recently obtained a new phone number.

Based on these broad and dubious criteria, the system generates lists of people to be evaluated by officials for detention. Official documents state individuals “who ought to be taken, should be taken,” suggesting the goal is to maximize detentions for people found to be “untrustworthy.” Those people are then interrogated without basic protections. They have no right to legal counsel, and some are tortured or otherwise mistreated, for which they have no effective redress.

The IJOP system was developed by China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC), a major state-owned military contractor in China. The IJOP app was developed by Hebei Far East Communication System Engineering Company (HBFEC), a company that, at the time of the app’s development, was fully owned by CETC.

Under the Strike Hard Campaign, Xinjiang authorities have also collected biometrics, including DNA samples, fingerprints, iris scans, and blood types of all residents in the region ages 12 to 65. The authorities require residents to give voice samples when they apply for passports. All of this data is being entered into centralized, searchable government databases. While Xinjiang’s systems are particularly intrusive, their basic designs are similar to those the police are planning and implementing throughout China.

The Chinese government should immediately shut down the IJOP platform and delete all the data that it has collected from individuals in Xinjiang, Human Rights Watch said. Concerned foreign governments should impose targeted sanctions, such as under the US Global Magnitsky Act, including visa bans and asset freezes, against the Xinjiang Party Secretary, Chen Quanguo, and other senior officials linked to abuses in the Strike Hard Campaign. They should also impose appropriate export control mechanisms to prevent the Chinese government from obtaining technologies used to violate basic rights. United Nations member countries should push for an international fact-finding mission to assess the situation in Xinjiang and report to the UN Human Rights Council.

Full 78 Page Research Presentation:

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This article was originally published by Human Rights Watch on May 2nd 2019. It was republished, with permission, using a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 US License, in accordance with the Terms & Conditions of Human Rights Watch | Formatting edits, Teets, Videos and pdf added/embedded by Rogue Media Labs

US Department of Homeland Security Issues Cyber Security Directive Creating New Rules, Procedures & Responses Governing Future Cyber Attacks Targeting US Federal Infrastructure

Yesterday, April 29th 2019, the US Department of Homeland Security released the contents of a new Federal Directive entitled the “Vulnerability Remediation Requirements for Internet Accessible SystemsA binding operational directive is a compulsory direction to federal, executive branch, departments and agencies for purposes of safeguarding federal information and information systems.In it, the DHS warns all Federal agencies that they have 72 hours to diagnose the problem, and 15-30 days to patch or secure any vulnerabilities exposed in their systems/servers resulting from a cyber attack. The directive is meant to expedite cyber solutions of the future, by drastically consolidating the timeline in which it takes experts to respond and implement cyber solutions.

Most noteably contained in yesterday release was a mandate that all US Federal agencies due more to sure up their DNS systems and records, following a massive cyber security breach during the US Government shutdown of January 2019. You can read more about yesterdays release and these events via the resources provided below.

Learn More – January 2019 DNS Hijacking Campaign:

Web Version – DHS Directive fod-19-02:

Download Copy of Directive:

Browse Directive:

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Study: US Economic War on Venezuela Has Already Cost 40,000 People Their Lives

Earlier today, April 29th 2019, the Center for Economic Development, a Washington D.C. based international think tank, released the results of 2 year long study into the results of the US’s current trade War with Venezuela. Combining factors such as poverty, disease, power outages, direct/indirect military involvement and decreased medical imports, researchers estimate that at least 40,000 Venezuelans have lost their lives since President Obama first handed down economic sanctions against the country in 2015 – with the majority of all causalities occurring between the years of 2017 – 2018.

On top of this, the Center for Economic Development concludes that “American sanctions are deliberately aiming to wreck Venezuela’s economy and thereby lead to regime change.” Adding that “We find that these sanctions have inflicted, and increasingly inflict, very serious harm to human life and health, and that these sanctions would fit the definition of collective punishment of the civilian population as described in both the Geneva and Hague international conventions, to which the US is a signatory. They are also illegal under international law and treaties which the US has signed.” As such, the group is calling on the United States to cease these sanctions immediately, while asking the international community to do more to step up to the table – before it’s too late.

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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein Resigns

This article will be short and sweet – straight to the point. It just never ceases to amaze me, today I’ve come across dozens of articles about Rod Rosenstein’s resignation – yet next to no one has actually published a copy of his resignation letter. Sure they talk all talk about it or include it in their headlines, but then they all just seem to spin off on some tangent about his brief history as Attorney General and try to guess why he arrived at this decision today. It’s nothing more than opinion pieces being passed off as legitimate journalism, and I just don’t understand it. For those of you whom still like to read the news, here’s an official copy of Rod Rosenstein resignation letter as it was handed to Donald Trump today – you’re welcome.

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Senator Scott Demands Meeting w/ FBI Following Release of Mueller Report

Over the course of my 4 year career, for whatever reason, one of the topics I’ve covered most heavily are the US elections hacking/tampering campaigns of 2016 – and US voter hacks in general. In fact, this topic was the first article I ever covered here for Rogue Media Labs, following a voter registration leak of 35 million records less than a month before the November elections of 2018. Perhaps this is why I happen to find a recent letter from Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) particularly interesting. In it, Scott is essentially demanding that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation make public any/all records they have in regards to voter fraud and/or election interference in the state of Florida, after information contained in the Mueller Report was redacted.

More specifically, according to the results of the Mueller Report, approximately 120 different election officials throughout Florida were found to have had their personal email addresses hacked by foreign threat actors – though the report never did specify whom exactly or what counties around Florida they represented. Consequentially, this is also what Senator Scott would like to find out – in order to predict which areas of his state may be most susceptible to voter fraud and/or tampering next year, ahead of the 2020 elections.

For those of you whom might be unaware, Florida is quite literally the United States most “transient” state, with the highest population of active residents residing outside of that state – at least depending on the time of year. Generally speaking, Florida is also considered the have the US’s single largest and most undecided/unpredictable voter bases – making it the US’s largest “Swing State” election after election. Because of this, and for literally all of the same reasons, it theoretically makes Florida voting systems and records the single easiest to fake or tamper with at the same time. For the time being, it appears as though the FBI has agreed to meet with Senator Scott to address these issues, though an exact time and date have not been set.

Download Copy of Letter: https://www. files/2019-04/190419-FBI-GRU-Florida.pdf

Browse Letter:

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Wikileaks Publishes Letter from US Justice Department Outlining Potentiality of Future Charges Under US Espionage Act

Earlier today, April 26th 2019, for the first time, Wikileaks published a letter sent to Daniel Domscheit-Berg, a Wikileaks spokesperson, from the US Department of Justice, outlining the US’s possible intent to charge Julian Assange under the US Espionage Act in the future. Dated March 7th 2019, the letter is significant for a number of reasons. First and foremost because it’s the first look any of us have gotten into the case the US Government will be attempting to make against Julian Assange and second, because it shows the true extent to which journalists can be persecuted for their alleged “crimes” – at least here in the United States of America, that is.

As specified in the letter, the US Department of Justice may one day soon attempt to charge Assange with “unauthorized receipt and dissemination of classified information,” for which there are theoretical charges of either death or life in prison. However, international law prohibits the UK’s extradition of Assange if he faces the death penalty, which is why US prosecutors are adamant he would only face life in prison. However, as the letter even specifies, Assange may merely be charged with these crimes at some point in the future if he’s unwilling to cooperate with US authorities. This is because, at least for the time being, Asange hasn’t been charged with them – yet. For this very reason, essentially, letter can also be thought of as nothing more than a scare tactic of sorts – which is why Assange’s legal team was unafraid to release the letter to the public here today.

Translated Copy of Letter:

United States Department of Justice
United States Attorney’s Office
Eastern Judicial District of Virginia

Dana J. Boente
United States Attorney’s Office
2100 Jamieson Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 299-3700
(703) 299-3980 (Fax)

March 7th, 2018

Subject: Daniel Domscheit-Berg

Dear attorney to Mr. Domscheit-Berg:

At the request of the United States, the German authorities have requested that your client be voluntarily questioned. This letter sets forth the terms under which your client would be heard about possible violations of United States federal criminal law regarding the unauthorized receipt and dissemination of classified information.

First, your client will answer all questions fully and truthfully and will provide all information, documents and records held or controlled by your client or to which your client has access and which are related to the subject of the interrogation.

Second, except as noted below, if the United States prosecutes your client, no statements or other information provided by you or your client during the course of the interrogation will be admissible in the government’s taking of evidence in court (case-in-chief) or in the imposition of penalties.

Third, the United States is permitted to reuse and pursue any investigative notices, statements or information that your client recommends or provides. Such derivative information may be used against your client at any time in the course of any criminal or civil proceedings. For example, if your client provides the information necessary to gain access to his electronic devices, this Agreement does not prohibit the disclosure of information obtained through a lawful search warrant on such devices.

Fourth, the United States may use such statements and information in cross-examination and rebuttal if your client appears as a witness at any stage of a civil or criminal proceeding and makes statements that differ from the statements or information provided by your client during the interrogation. In addition, the United States may use such statements and information to disprove further evidence offered or received or factual evaluations presented by or on behalf of your client that differ from the statements or information provided by your client during the interrogation.

Fifth, your client will be subject to prosecution for such violations, including, but not limited to, false testimony and obstruction of justice, if your client intentionally provides the government with false, misleading, or statements and information designed to obstruct justice. Any prosecution could be based on statements or information provided by your client during the interrogation, and the statements and information provided by your client during the interrogation could be used against your client.

Sixth, your client and the government agree that there will be no compromise negotiations or discussion of pleas at the interrogation session. However, should the hearing later be construed as a case of compromise or discussion of pleas, your client will wilfully and voluntarily waive any rights he may have under Federal Rules of Evidence 408 and 410 and Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(f) that would not otherwise permit the use against your client of statements made during such negotiations or discussions.

Seventh, neither you nor your client will disclose the existence or manner of this Agreement to anyone other than your client’s family, without prior consultation of the U.S. Attorney’s Office or a court of competent jurisdiction.

Finally, the offer (proffer) to your client will be made in accordance with the agreements set forth herein. There are no promises, agreements or understandings between the parties other than those set forth in this Agreement and no amendments to this Agreement shall be effective unless signed in writing by the parties with the same formalities as in this Agreement.

If your client wishes to be heard under the conditions set out above, you and your client sign this letter as indicated below and return the original to me.

Yours sincerely

Tracy Doherty-McCormick
Acting United States Attorney

Kellen S. Dwyer
Assistant United States Attorney

Download Original Copy of Letter:

English Translation of Letter:

Copy of Original Letter:

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Trump Revokes US Signature from Global Arms Trade Treaty, Which Bans The Sale of Arms/Munitions Into Known Conflict Areas

Less than 2 weeks after vetoing a resolution from US Congress that would ban the sale of weapons and munitions to Saudi Arabia, Donald Trump announced that he would be ending the United States membership as a signatory to the the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty of 2014. According to the UN, the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) was first established with the intent of reducing “human suffering caused by illegal and irresponsible arms transfers” by enforcing “common standards for the international trade of conventional weapons” and thus reducing “illicit arms trade” around the world. To date, the treaty has signatories in 130 countries worldwide – 129 after the removal of the US’s signature today.

Though disappointing, the move should come as no surprise. Under Commander In Chief Donald Trump US led bombing have increased worldwide, the DoD’s budget has increased at a rate greater than the combined defense budget of Russia every year annually since Donald Trump assumed office and the President has only continued to increase arm sales/transfers to countries actively engaged in armed conflict since 2016, including tp countries such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Nations Emirates – whom have each been sold billions of dollars worth of military equipment individually under Donald Trump.

Donald Trump did his best to spin his decision today as an attempt to protect American’s Second Amendment rights domestically here in the United States, even though the intent of the treaty itself has absolutely nothing to do with that – instead focusing on the movement of arms into known areas conflict or War around the world. Nonetheless, you can see Trumps full speech justifying his decision today via the video provided below.

Trumps Speech, Removing US Signature from ATT:

Full Treaty Text:

Browse Treaty:

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UN Investigation: USA Is Now Responsible for More Civilian Deaths Inside Afghanistan Annually Than Taliban

Yesterday, April 24th 2019, the United Nations mission in Afghanistan released their first quarter report of 2019. Officially entitled “The Quarterly Report of Civilians In Armed Conflict,” unfortunately, the 6 page report uncovers many troubling statistics in regards to the countries ongoing conflict. For example, in 2019 Afghanistan is already on pace to have the highest number of civilian casualties than any year in history – after setting new all time records for civilian casualties 2 of the last 3 years beforehand. In addition to this, under Commander In Chief Donald Trump, the United Nations has discovered that US and US backed forces inside Afghanistan are now responsible for more civilian casualties annually than any other party or group involved in the conflict – including the Taliban.

Full Investigation – UN’s 2019 First Quarter Report from Afghanistan:

While I invite you to read the report in its entirety, it is important to draw attention as to why the United Nations tied the Taliban in with this years report. For those of you whom might be unaware, this is because, as December of 2018, the ruling Government of Afghanistan has formerly invited Taliban leaders to the negotiating table to begin drafting a new Constitution for the country – an agreement which would also serve as a de facto peace agreement between the two Waring factions. This simultaneously comes as both the Taliban and ruling Government of Afghanistan, first put in place by the United States, are now both calling for an end to US presence/involvement in the country – 18 years after the War first began. You can learn more about these developments via the resources provided below.

Learn More – Afghan Government Invites Taliban To Negotiating Table:

Browse UN Report:

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Russia Officially Passes Internet Isolation Bill, Policies/Construction To Begin by November 2019

This past Monday Russia’s Federation Council officially approved the passage of a new law designed to create a new national backup to the World Wide Web inside Russia’s borders. Code-named “Runet” and domestically named the “Internet Isolation Law,” the operation is designed to create a new set of national infrastructure allowing for Russia to stay connected to the internet in the event of a global shutdown or deliberate cut off from it – such as Russia has been threatened with throughout the very recent past.

For those of you whom might be unfamiliar, the law was first introduced in December 2018 and has quickly made its way through Parliament. From here, all that remains for the law to go into effect is a signature from Putin – which he is fully expected to do. As was reported by Russia Today on April 22nd 2019, the law is officially “expected to take effect in November” with an estimated budget size “of some $460 million” – construction said to begin shortly thereafter, estimated to run until at least 2022.

Learn More – Russia Aims To Create Backup To The World-Wide-Web, Create Its Own National Internet Infrastructure:

As was also reported by Russia Today a week before that, on April 16th 2019, Rusnet will establish “the creation of a national DNS system that stores all domain names and corresponding IP addresses, and would provide cryptographic data protection.” Additionally, it would “also restrict the transfer of data shared between Russian internet users to servers outside of the country.“It is also important to distinguish that the project aims to ensure the internet’s continuous operation inside Russia throughout the future, not to build a sovereign national internet like China has.

Moreover, despite its controversy, Russian lawmakers actually argue that the new law/project is not much different than a 2012 Executive Order signed by then President Obama, allowing the US Government to seize all electronic communications in the event of a national security emergency if need be. In many ways, Russia claims to have drafted this law after first being inspired to do so by Obama’s directive.

Learn More – Obama Executive Order “Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions”:

View Copy of Russia’s New Law:

Browse Legislation:

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European Parliament Approves Vote To Create International Biometric Database To Secure EU Border Countries

Last week European Parliament approved the establishment of an international biometric database referred to as the Common Identity Repository (CIN), a means to better help international authorities in securing EU borders. According to the systems parameters, the database will include identity records, including names, dates of birth, passport numbers, and other personally identifiable information, in conjunction with biometric information such as fingerprints and facial scans of both EU and non-EU citizens – estimated to encompass roughly 350 million individuals at the start.

More specifically, according to EU officials, “the systems covered by the new rules would include the Schengen Information System, Eurodac, the Visa Information System (VIS) and three new systems: the European Criminal Records System for Third Country Nationals (ECRIS-TCN), the Entry/Exit System (EES) and the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS).” Explaining that the move comes in response to an effort to consolidate multiple databases into one browse-able place, serving to consolidate information – thus speeding up and making the jobs of border security officials much easier/proficient – whilst also simultaneously modernizing civilian records  into the 21st century.

With that said however, the vote is not without controversy. In May 2018, in anticipation of this very move, an organization known as State Watch published an investigative report into the pitfalls, short-comings and privacy violations such a database presents – see pdf accompanying this article below. Additionally, the FBI has also come under heavy scrutiny for similar databases in the US, ultimately forced to go to court after it was revealed the agency had been secretly stockpiling the biometrics records of US citizens without alerting them to this – a clear violation of the US Privacy Act in 2016.  While a federal judge did finally rule in their favor in 2017, it was later revealed that the FBI’s biometric database was hacked by the CIA, which was later hacked by Russia, meaning that all US biometric data once owned by the US Government is now out in the wild. For obvious reasons, these are all situations/lessons the EU should look to learn from as they move forward with this new initiative in the future.

Copy – State Watch Investigation:

Download CIN Presentation:

Common Identity Repository (CIN) Slideshow Presentation :

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Donald Trump Files Lawsuit Against Chairmen of US House Oversight Committee – Elijah Cummings

Interestingly enough, a day after publishing two leaked internal documents from Deutche Bank regarding a suspected money laundering campaign, one of which directly implicates Donald Trump’s ambitions to build a new Trump Tower in Moscow along with the help of VTB Group, a sub-agency of the Russian Government, Donald Trump officially filed motion in a Washington DC Court room this morning to block US Democrats from successfully subpoenaing a copy of his tax records from 2015 and 2016 – the same months/years  Trump was originally campaigning for Presidential office. More specifically, the lawsuit names Elijah Cummings, Chairmen of the US House Oversight Committee for his attempts to subpoena Trumps tax records – something which Trump argues is a gross overreach of Government authority, jurisdiction and/or power.

While I will not get into the whole “charade” here, Trump maintains that the Democrats requests for his tax records have “no legitimate legislative purpose” and claims that the Democrats merely want them to use them as a “political weapon” headed into the 2020 election season. Meanwhile, the Democrats say the documents are necessary because they contain “years worth of confidential information” that can either tie Trump to the Russians or prove his innocence – hence why it is so important that they become a matter of public record, especially after the ambiguity of the Mueller Report. Rogue Media Labs has attached a full copy of the motion filed in court this morning below for your browsing pleasures – enjoy!

Download Copy of Trump’s Lawsuit v Elijah Cummings:

Browse Document:

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Second Leaked Memo Reveals Trumps Close Ties With State Owned Russian Banks & Money Launderers Throughout The Course of 2016 Election Season

This article is a follow up to an article I published a two days ago, April 19th 2019, describing a $600 million dollar loan granted to a sub-agency of the Russian Government known as VTB Group. Leaked to the public by Black Water Security Group and dated November 25th 2016, was a copy of an internal memo sent to all Deutsche Bank employees advising them to disregard any future developments surrounding the loan in question – specifically advising employees to ignore any future developments with the loan, even if they suspected fraudulent activity might be at play. As fate would have it, just a couple weeks after that memo was released, a Russian Banking institution known as Alfa Bank purchased $300 million dollars of that loan out from under Deutsche Bank. As was also pointed out at the time, Alfa Bank is long known to have partaken in extensive money laundering campaigns throughout the past.

Full Story – Leaked Memo Exposes Potential Money Laundering Scandal:

However, another leaked document from Deutsche Bank released by Black Water Security Group yesterday begins to tell another interesting story. Dated December 18th 2016, just days after half of VTB Group‘s $600 million dollar loan was sold to Alfa Bank, the memo advises all Deutsche Bank affiliates against doing any business with VTB Group in the future – especially given their close ties to known money launderers. Whats particularly interesting though is a reference to then President-elect Donald Trump, explaining how he had been actively seeking a loan with VTB Group and Deutsche Bank to begin building a new Trump tower in Moscow. Essentially, the memo, sent by the banks anti-crime division, warned all Deutsche Bank affiliates against staking any loan with Donald Trump – specifically due to his relationship with the Russian Government and known money launders operating through or with them.

It should be noted that the memo’s released by Black Water Security this week were meant to do more to expose Donald Trumps close ties to Russia, after it was believed the Mueller report did not do enough to prove so. While the leaks are far from a smoking gun, so to speak, they certainly do provide an interesting perspective on Donald Trump and whom he had been doing business whilst he was actively campaigning to become President – including members of the Russian mob, money launderers and state owned Russian banks.

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Browse 2 Page Document Release:

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