New details have been revealed through recently unsealed Cook County court documents, showing how federal investigators in 2020 gained access to encrypted Telegram messages to uncover “a cross-country network of people sexually exploiting children.”
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents based in Arizona launched “Operation Swipe Left” in 2020 to investigate claims of kidnapping, livestreaming child abuse, and production and distribution of child sexual abuse materials (CSAM). That investigation led to criminal charges filed against at least 17 people. The majority of defendants were living in Arizona, but others charged were residents of Illinois, Wisconsin, Washington, DC, California, and South Africa. Ten children were rescued, including four children actively suffering abuse at the time of the rescue. The youngest victim identified was 6 months old, and the oldest was 17 years old.
Telegram became a preferred tool for defendants in this investigation, many of whom believed that police could never access their encrypted messages. At least one federal prosecutor told a judge that authorities never would have gained access; however, one of the defendants, Adam Hageman, “fully cooperated” with investigators and granted access through his account to offending Telegram groups.
Searching Google for downloads of popular software has always come with risks, but over the past few months, it has been downright dangerous, according to researchers and a pseudorandom collection of queries.
“Threat researchers are used to seeing a moderate flow of malvertising via Google Ads,” volunteers at Spamhaus wrote on Thursday. “However, over the past few days, researchers have witnessed a massive spike affecting numerous famous brands, with multiple malware being utilized. This is not ‘the norm.’”
One of many new threats: MalVirt
The surge is coming from numerous malware families, including AuroraStealer, IcedID, Meta Stealer, RedLine Stealer, Vidar, Formbook, and XLoader. In the past, these families typically relied on phishing and malicious spam that attached Microsoft Word documents with booby-trapped macros. Over the past month, Google Ads has become the go-to place for criminals to spread their malicious wares that are disguised as legitimate downloads by impersonating brands such as Adobe Reader, Gimp, Microsoft Teams, OBS, Slack, Tor, and Thunderbird.
On the same day that Spamhaus published its report, researchers from security firm Sentinel One documented an advanced Google malvertising campaign pushing multiple malicious loaders implemented in .NET. Sentinel One has dubbed these loaders MalVirt. At the moment, the MalVirt loaders are being used to distribute malware most commonly known as XLoader, available for both Windows and macOS. XLoader is a successor to malware also known as Formbook. Threat actors use XLoader to steal contacts' data and other sensitive information from infected devices.
We got a peak into the way this propaganda machine works on Friday when iHeart, the written news side of iHeart Radio, covered the recent physical assault of a young girl on a school bus.
According to WPLG, the incident occurred in South Florida on Wednesday when, after a short argument, a group of boys from Coconut Palm K-8 Academy in Homestead began physically assaulting a small 9-year-old girl. At least one of the boys appears to be at least a few years older than the girl.
In this particular incident, the perpetrators happened to be black while the victim happened to be white.
A video of the assault proceeded to go viral on social media, with many political commentators suggesting it to be representative of a top-down growing acceptance of anti-white racism thanks to the rhetoric being pushed out by the establishment media, Democrats and pro-CRT public school systems.
Moreover, pundits made the point that, had the races been reversed, this story likely would have been front-page news for weeks on end.
End Wokeness, a popular conservative Twitter account, revealed via screenshots that iHeart’s original featured image for the story showed a stock photo of a small white boy about to punch a small white girl.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu needs to get used to it. One after another, leaders in Europe and the United States are hopping off the fence and expressing their concern about the new government’s plan to weaken the judicial system. Figures who had recoiled from what they viewed as problematic interference in Israeli domestic affairs now state openly their fear of the loss of fundamental democratic principles if the plan is realized. French President Emmanuel Macron is the latest, for now, to weigh in.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke out against the plan last week in a public and polite way at the end of his meeting with Netanyahu. The president of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, preceded him when she hosted President Isaac Herzog in late January. She said that she had spoken with him “about the constitutional developments in Israel” and asserted that “the European Union and Israel are bound by strong friendships based on shared values, including democracy and the rule of law. They cannot be taken for granted.” It can be assumed that the topic will remain on the agenda. Netanyahu is likely to hear similar criticism during every visit in the near future to the White House or major European capitals.
- A magnitude 7.5 earthquake follows devastating 7.8 earthquake in southeast Turkey, also causing damage in northern Syria.
- At least 1,014 deaths were reported in Turkey, while 783 people died in Syria.
- The US Geological Survey said the earthquake was centred about 33km (20 miles) from Gaziantep, a major city and provincial capital. It was about 18km (11 miles) deep, with a 7.5 quake hitting in the same region hours later amid several aftershocks.
- Dozens of countries have pledge to aid in search and rescue operations.
On July 29th, 2013, former CIA Director R. James Woolsey, led a panel discussion on the imminent threat of a nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP) to the U.S. electric grid and other critical infrastructures that sustain modern civilization.
Electromagnetic pulses (EMPs), such as solar (also known as coronal mass ejections, or CMEs), nuclear (as a result of a high-altitude explosion) or non-nuclear (caused by weapons that generate a strong electromagnetic field without using a nuclear explosion), can have similarly significant effects.
Prepper or not, it is important that you examine what may happen during the period immediately following an EMP event and understand its dangers so you can have a plan in place on how to protect yourself and your family from the aftermath. (h/t to PreppersWill.com).
An EMP event would destroy the electronics and digital circuitry in the areas of impact – denying electric power to homes, businesses and the military. Business, financial, health and transportation systems are all dependent on electricity, as pointed out by Dr. William Graham, chair of the EMP Commission.
Entire cities would be without electricity for weeks or even months. This means no lights, no heaters, fans or air conditioners, no freezers or refrigerators for food and no televisions, radios and other electronic devices. (Related: 10 things that will still work after an electromagnetic pulse attack.)
The more time passes without electricity, the more stores (corner shops, convenience stores, food marts, mom-and-pop stores, supermarkets and pharmacies) will close their doors for business.
Per Fox News, “‘In the Brandon Lee case, I was able to convince the DA in Wilmington, North Carolina not to indict,’ Brosnahan added. ‘And I think part of it was that these are supposed to be blanks; when they’re not, it’s scarce. And he thought, I think it was a sad, sad case, which of course it is.’”
The pontiff repeated his January 25 assertion that 'the criminalization of homosexuality is a problem that cannot be ignored.'
As violence continues rising in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, the New York Times is flailing around as it struggles to frame the news. First, Isabel Kershner wrote an astoundingly biased report the other day about Israel’s demolitions of Palestinian homes. But then, today, Patrick Kingsley and Raja Abdulrahim’s front-pager on growing Jewish “settler” violence against Palestinians in the occupied territory, although flawed, did include some truths that the paper has barely reported until now.
First, Kershner. Her article on house demolitions is cunning. As the world’s attention is drawn to what will likely be a Third Intifada, she (and her editors) realized they couldn’t ignore Israel’s long-standing policy of immediately destroying the family homes of Palestinians who carry out deadly attacks. Israel demolishes the homes without offering any evidence that the family was complicit in the attack, and with no due process. She had to report something, but she effectively used “both-sides-ism” to tone down her article. First she reported Israel’s justification for the policy, and then she noted that “critics say” it is “illegal and ineffective.” The uninformed reader is left to wonder; who is right ?
You have to wait until paragraph 21 to stumble across the truth:
. . . the Fourth Geneva Convention states unequivocally that no protected person — in this case meaning residents of an occupied territory — may be punished for offenses they have not personally committed and that collective penalties are prohibited, as are reprisals against their property.
She then quoted William Schabas, an international legal expert, who said, “There is no debate about this internationally.” Schabus went on to call the demolitions a war crime.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is continuing his mission of keeping ‘wokeness’ out of education. In recent, DeSantis has completely defunded all Florida public universities DEI and CRT budgets. The governor is now making waves by challenging universities to eliminate the same equity topics in the classroom.
DeSantis initially rejected the College Board Advanced Placement African American Studies due to incorporating Critical Race Theory and Black Lives Matter in the curriculum. The College Board made an announcement this week that they have stripped much of the radical subject matter to become more educational. The board also added a new topic “Black Conservatism” as an idea for research projects.
William Jacobson from Legal Insurrection, joined Tony to discuss DeSantis leadership and the current state of CRT within education.
It hasn’t even been three weeks since the World Economic Forum in Davos wrapped up.
Legal Insurrection readers will recall it ended with former secretary of state John Kerry inadvertently admitting that the issue of climate change is all about money while the elites pushed insect-based diets on the rest of the global population in the name of protecting the climate from man-made global warning.
A polar vortex is recently peaked across the North East.
The bitter cold will be caused by a southward plunge of a piece, or lobe, of the polar vortex – a persistent area of low pressure located in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, the FOX Forecast Center said. The polar vortex is surrounded by a band of strong jet stream winds that circulates around the North Pole, which typically keeps the arctic air contained near the polar regions.
The worst of the cold across the Northeast is ongoing as temperatures sit below zero across all of New England and Upstate New York.
Record low temperatures for February 4 may fall in cities like Boston, Worcester, Providence, and Bridgeport, Connecticut. Single digits are being felt across New York City, Long Island, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The temperatures are so cold, it will give the term “Blue State” new meanings.
The Daily Caller reports:
Schools To Host Black Lives Matter At School Week Which Teaches Kids About ‘Trans Affirmation,’ ‘Restorative Justice’
Schools across the country are celebrating national “Black Lives Matter at School” week which teaches students about “restorative justice,” “globalism” and to be “trans-affirming,” according to the curriculum.
National “Black Lives Matter at School” week, which takes place from Feb. 6 to 10, focuses K-12 curriculums on 13 guiding principles including “restorative justice,” trans-affirmation and “diversity and globalism,” according to the curriculum. Through lesson plans, suggested reading, documentaries and activities, students learn about “structural racism” and how to be activists for the movement.
“Black Lives Matter (BLM), as a political movement and an organization, has been proven to be a corrupted trojan horse that hijacks public education and injects hate and division into our young students,” Wenyuan Wu, executive director of Californians for Equal Rights Foundation, a group that focused on combating racial discrimination, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The College Fix reports:
U. Minnesota anti-racism center says white supremacy to blame for Tyre Nichols killing
The University of Minnesota’s Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity, or CARHE, put out a statement late last week claiming the culprit in Tyre Nichols’ death was … white supremacy.
Nichols, a black man, was beaten by several black police officers in Memphis, Tennessee on January 7. He died three days later.
“The [CARHE] team […] mourns for Tyre and feels fresh grief for victims of anti-Black police violence in our own home,” the statement reads. “The violent death of Tyre and each of the men pictured [below] are not isolated events. They are patterns that repeat over and over and over because of pervasive structural racism.”
“Due to structural racism, law enforcement inflicts disproportionate brutality against Black people in Minnesota and across the United States,” the statement continues. “The killings, terror, and oppression are a direct result of anti-Black racist attitudes, policies, procedures, and leadership that pervade our institutions.”
Just when you thought the FTX travesty couldn't get any more bizarre, the now bankrupt company is trying to claw back political donations and other spending that took place at the direction of former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.
A press release made its way out mid-day Sunday that FTX's debtors and the company had sent "confidential messages to political figures, political action funds, and other recipients of contributions or other payments that were made by or at the direction of the FTX Debtors, Samuel Bankman-Fried or other officers or principals of the FTX Debtors" requesting the funds back.
"These recipients are requested to return such funds to the FTX Debtors by February 28, 2023," the release states.
The media sure loved it all.
Clicks, conspiracies, coverups.
And presumably some Americans felt safer knowing a nation that landed a rover on the dark side of the moon and tested encrypted satellite communications using quantum entanglement technology, is no longer floating a helium balloon overhead.
It reminded us that what we fear need not make much sense.
The real risks, of course, are most often off the radar.
One such risk is that the nation with the world’s most important economy and mightiest military is becoming increasingly difficult to responsibly govern.
China’s helium balloon illustrated this disturbing fact for all those tuned in to its faint signal.
But the much larger object floating overhead is the Federal Reserve’s unfathomably bloated balance sheet, which is both impossible to photograph and even more difficult to explain to the nation’s distracted citizenry.
The “official narrative” surrounding the Ukrainian Conflict has flipped in recent weeks from prematurely celebrating Kiev’s supposedly “inevitable” victory to nowadays seriously warning about its likely loss.
It was therefore expected in hindsight that other dimensions of the information warfare campaign waged by the US-led West’s Golden Billion against Russia would also change. As proof of precisely that, the New York Times (NYT) just admitted that the West’s anti-Russian sanctions are a failure.
In Ana Swanson’s article about how “Russia Sidesteps Western Punishments, With Help From Friends”, she cites Western experts who concluded that “Russia’s imports may have already recovered to prewar levels, or will soon do so, depending on their models.” Even more compelling, she references the IMF’s latest assessment from Monday, which “now expected the Russian economy to grow 0.3 percent this year, a sharp improvement from its previous estimate of a 2.3 percent contraction.”
Neither the NYT, the Western experts that Swanson cites, nor the IMF can credibly be accused of being “Russian-friendly”, let alone so-called “Russian propagandists” or even “Russian agents”, which thus confirms the observation that this dimension of the Golden Billion’s infowar has also decisively shifted. The fact of the matter is that the West’s anti-Russian sanctions failed to catalyze the collapse of that targeted multipolar Great Power’s economy, which continues to remain impressively resilient.
The timing at which this narrative changed is also important because it extends credence to the more widely known new narrative that’s nowadays seriously warning about Kiev’s likely loss in NATO’s proxy war on Russia. After all, if the sanctions achieved the goal that they were supposed to and which the US-led West’s Mainstream Media (MSM) hitherto lied that they supposedly had, then it naturally follows that Kiev would “inevitably” win exactly as they claimed would happen up until mid-January.
Scott Adams is the creator of the famous cartoon strip, Dilbert. It is a strip whose brilliance derives from close observation and understanding of human behavior. Some time ago, Scott turned those skills to commenting insightfully and with notable intellectual humility on the politics and culture of our country.
Like many other commentators, and based on his own analysis of evidence available to him, he opted to take the Covid “vaccine.”
Recently, however, he posted a video on the topic that has been circulating on social media. It was a mea culpa in which he declared, “The unvaccinated were the winners,” and, to his great credit, “I want to find out how so many of [my viewers] got the right answer about the “vaccine” and I didn’t.”
“Winners” was perhaps a little tongue-in-cheek: he seemingly means that the “unvaccinated” do not have to worry about the long-term consequences of having the “vaccine” in their bodies since enough data concerning the lack of safety of the “vaccines” have now appeared to demonstrate that, on the balance of risks, the choice not to be “vaccinated” has been vindicated for individuals without comorbidities.
What follows is a personal response to Scott, which explains how consideration of the information that was available at the time led one person – me – to decline the “vaccine.” It is not meant to imply that all who accepted the “vaccine” made the wrong decision or, indeed, that everyone who declined it did so for good reasons.