FCC Democrats Call For Help- Making a Stand for Net Neutrality.

Focus On Internet Freedom

A Democratic member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has called on us for help. We will answer the call. Now is the time for the millennial generation to rise.

Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel wrote in the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday that Americans must resist the agency’s plans to end net neutrality rules adopted under the Obama administration, calling the FCC’s plan “lousy”.

She urged Americans to make their voices heard before a Dec. 14 vote. Here is a link providing the information you need to contact your local reps to make your voices heard. It’s called BattleForTheNet.com. 5Calls.org is another good place you can go to help coordinate your voice with ours. That’s how we come together and make a big noise; which is to say, that is how we caucus.

“They have proposed to end net neutrality , and they are trying to force a vote on their plan on Dec. 14,” Rosenworcel writes. “It’s a lousy idea. And it deserves a heated response from the millions of Americans who work and create online every day.”

It’s been getting a heated response from Russian citizens, anyway.

Hundreds of thousands of comments in favour of this policy have come from Russian trolls. The FCC stymied the investigation into them. 

The Federal Communications Commission order will throw out almost all of the regulations set in place by the Obama administration.

FCC chair Ajit Pai said in a statement Tuesday that “the FCC would simply require internet service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that’s best for them and entrepreneurs and other small businesses can have the technical information they need to innovate.”

What all that slick talk means, is that they want the legal right to squeeze your ISP for information about you and about what you are doing.

The FCC’s two Democratic members blasted the proposal as being a greedy and invasive policy, but the GOP has a majority on the commission. Barring a last-minute change of heart by one of the three Republican commissioners, the order will likely be approved during the agency’s next open meeting on December 14.

Internet freedoms have been at risk since the day of the Internet’s creation. And authoritarian practices have slowly crept into American cyberspace from authoritarian states.

In opposition to our dearly-held liberal beliefs about Internet freedom and independence, Chinese President Xi Jinping has stressed the importance of what he calls “Internet Sovereignty”.

Vladimir Putin has taken this idea one step further by calling the Internet a “CIA project.

The free world once thought it would use economic and social ties to gradually liberalize authoritarian states. But the authoritarian states have abused this access and designed a web of economic interdependency through which to spread their corruption and repression at home and abroad. Instead of accepting our proffered hand up, they have used it to pull us down into the muck with them.

Even now, Russian hackers are trying to influence the fight over net neutrality, and according to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the federal government is not cooperating with investigations into the fraud. While Trump is in office, the apparatus of law will not be on our side.

Things have reached a point where our intelligence services are telling Israel and other trusted allies not to share information with Trump’s White House. It is safe to assume that applies to us as well.

It is, therefore, the recommendation of Millennial Democrats that we should all be ready to protect ourselves. We can’t risk losing our networks and our teammates every time Facebook or Twitter deletes one of our accounts. We cannot let them have all the power.

If things take much more of a turn for the worse, history indicates those of us who are stalwart members of the resistance are in for a very bad time.

For anyone who might be thinking that sounds drastic, keep in mind that public and private libraries around the United States have pledged to destroy user data on their computers, as well as backing up system data abroad.

The American Library Association has realized the danger. It made a statement on November 18 of last year that it would “work with President-elect Trump” and his transition team. Now the association has apologized, saying, “We understand that content from these press releases, including the 11/18/16 release that was posted in error, was interpreted as capitulating to and normalizing the incoming administration.” They realize now that is impossible.

At the Graduate Center at the City University of New York, librarians have begun purging interlibrary loan records. Guilt by association with controversial books has a very dark history. The McCarthy years are back. But this time they’re claiming that Russia is a buddy.

This is going to cost a tremendous amount of time and money for them. It’s the most serious decision they could make.

Clearly, they are taking this threat very seriously. There is every reason for us to take heed of their example.

The bottom line is this- If you’re against Trump, and you don’t intend to shut up about it, then it’s best to do everything in your power to keep them from knocking you offline and silencing you.

That is their goal, and they will cheat all they can to achieve it. Hundreds of unjust Facebook sentences suffered by loyal Democratic activists testify to that as this is written. Anonymity is your friend.

There are a number of important ways how we can keep ourselves safe and independent, and we’re going to make some specific recommendations.

First and foremost, we will be developing a cursory familiarity with the two most basic ways to stay anonymous online. These are known as the virtual private network, or VPN, and the Onion(Tor) Browser.

A Virtual Private Network, or VPN for short, is a secure network connection through which you can safely connect your device to public networks, or create a secure channel for remote access control between computers.

TorProject.org gives the definition of the Tor Browser project as being “free software and an open network that helps you defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security.”

The best solution is to use VPN and Tor in conjunction.

Just log on through your VPN, and then do your stuff through Tor. It isn’t perfect, but it’s a whole lot better than nothing. As for chat, we have a first class(and free) encrypted chat program available to us in the app known as  Telegram.

We also recommend that you gain at least a cursory familiarity with open-source Linux distributions such as Ubuntu. It’s free, its programs are free, and 99% of malware programs are written to target Microsoft system files.

For protection against malware we recommend(other than switching to Linux altogether) Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2017, which has consistently outperformed its competitors year after year.

Remember NOT to use Kaspersky’s antivirus, or anything Russian, under any circumstances.

The New York Times reported that Israel hacked Kaspersky and caught Russia using it to search for NSA exploits and other U.S. government classified programs. That’s how they got a copy of the Stuxnet virus.

The FBI has been warning us that we’re in huge danger of having our next elections hacked again, but too many Americans are still far from focused. We have our work cut out for us raising awareness.

Any dirt the Russians get their hands on will be accessible to Trump, which is bad news for his adversaries. The 200 protestors arrested on Trump’s Inauguration Day this year are facing sixty years in prison apiece for minor acts of vandalism last year. The message sent by that reads loud and clear. Things have busted loose all over God’s creation. You don’t want them poring over your records.

The cause of freedom and the threat of tyranny are locked in an ongoing, existential struggle. To the ones who would set up shop as tyrants, the Internet and the free flow of information it engenders is viewed as both a threat and an opportunity. There will always be many internal and external forces, seeking to challenge our security in the information realm.

Going forward, the goal is no less lofty than ensuring we will not be silenced.

The German poet Heinrich Heine, a man deeply reviled by the Nazis, warned us shortly before the Holocaust, “Where books are burned, in the end people are also burned.” We should keep in mind going forward, that if they wanted to do a book burning these days, they wouldn’t even need fire. They could just delete them.

To delete our work is to delete our thoughts and our voices as well.

We will not sit by and be quietly deleted.

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Democracy Must Defend- Russia Has Hacked Our Power Grids.

The cyber-war with the Russians may be about to enter a terrifying new phase. A series of highly sophisticated system penetrations at electric companies and nuclear plants this year has been discovered and traced back to a Russian hacking group.

Alternately called “Dragonfly” and “Energetic Bear”, this group has been involved in about 100 such breaches since the start of the year, half of them in the U.S., according to a new report from the system security firm Symantec.

This finding is worrisome in the extreme. Dragonfly is one of very few hacking groups with specific expertise in the power-grid systems that turn off and on circuit breakers.

A separate Russia-linked hacking operation has twice demonstrated the Kremlin’s ability and willingness to use that kind of expertise to cause electrical blackouts—once in December 2015, and a second time a year later, both in Ukraine.

Symantec believes the U.S. breaches may be moving into similar terrain. Simply stated, this means they can shut our power off and attack us, anytime they want.

“The original Dragonfly campaigns now appear to have been a more exploratory phase where the attackers were simply trying to gain access to the networks of targeted organizations,” the Symantec report concludes. Now, “the attackers may be entering into a new phase, with recent campaigns potentially providing them with access to operational systems, access that could be used for more disruptive purposes in future.”

Meanwhile, Russia has been holding a set of “strategic command exercises” called the Zapad war games that are looking an awful lot like a preparation for war this week, due to run until September 20. Moscow says almost 13,000 Russian and Belorussian service personnel are taking part.

NATO officials, however, have said they believe the exercises involve more troops than Moscow has disclosed. Complaints have been made about the lack of transparency regarding the exercise. It has long been feared that Russia has been planning to use virtual assaults on Western power-grids in order to pave the way for a sudden physical assault.

The world has been experiencing virtual assaults from Russia since April 27, 2007, the day known to history as the Estonian 9/11. They called it Web War One. The problem started over an old war soldier statue, like the Robert E. Lee statue that has caused so much trouble in Charlottesville. We have got to be careful when it comes to those old statues.

In the ten years that have followed, we have seen Russian attempts to disrupt and destabilize the affairs of other countries become more and more of a problem, culminating in their hacking of the United States 2016 presidential election. We have got to place a high priority on finding more effective forms of defense. 

In other parts of the world, most notably in Europe, they have been dealing with this problem a long time, and they have developed a number of systems we might look to as models.

The Czech Republic set up a team on Jan. 1. 2017.

The German Interior Ministry has proposed the creation of a “Center of Defense Against Disinformation.”

The Ukrainian organization StopFake.org has accomplished amazing results, tracking down and reverse-engineering Russian propaganda pieces. These have provided us key glimpses into how the Russian disinformation machine operates and what types of methods it uses. Incidents such as Brexit have ensured there will be no shortage of cases to study.

Russia has proven its ability to extend tentacles and roots with terrible speed, and it has done so all over the world in the wake of the massive disruption that has been Donald Trump. Its cyber-warfare apparatus is the digital upgrading of its Dezinformatsiya, or disinformation office, which was formed in 1923. Russia has been experimenting with campaigns of state-sanctioned lying for nearly a hundred years. This is a good thing to keep an eye on.

From the way Russia defines cyberwarfare, to its employment for strategic use, Russia has developed a big edge over its western counterparts. As James Wirtz, Dean of the Naval Postgraduate School in California, has noted, “Russia, more than any other nascent actor on the cyber stage, seems to have devised a way to integrate cyber warfare into a grand strategy capable of achieving political objectives.”

CIA chief Mike Pompeo recently said “It’s tough. You now have not only nation states trying to steal our stuff, but non-state, hostile intelligence services, well-funded. Folks like WikiLeaks, out there trying to steal American secrets, for the sole purpose of undermining the United States and her democracy.”

For all the trouble that Russia manages to cause, and for all its miles and hundreds of millions of citizens, it has an economy about as large as that of Italy. The state of California alone has an economy that is far more robust then Russia’s. In order to make Russia great again, Putin has to find a way to fix that. Redistribution of world wealth underneath his control is what he’s after.

The Russian cyber-warfare apparatus allows him an inexpensive and shockingly effective way to cripple, entangle, and do literal physical harm to the infrastructure of anything that opposes his will. 

To understand why these attacks on the rest of us are being committed by Russia, it helps to understand two factors. First, Russia’s domineering and abusive relationship with its former satellite stakes, most notably Ukraine, its largest neighbor to the west. Second, its need to develop a way to compete with NATO in a manner that doesn’t cripple its economy with excessive military expense. 

Nuclear deterrence is becoming obsolete, as mutually assured destruction is unpalatable even to the Russians, and new ways are being found to fight. The most ancient struggles for power and dominance are being played out in our very newest world. Cyberspace has become a very dangerous place, but it’s a place we all spend a lot of time in. Therein lies the crux of the problem. 

Donald Trump thinks that by not using email, he can protect himself from the dangers of a digital world. But no matter what he would like to think, the solution won’t be found by returning to the golden age of post-It notes and Rolodexes. The computer isn’t going away any more than the firearm.

It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that going toward the future, U.S. policy should include the immediate and thorough modernizationof the U.S. Cyber Command. After last year, we should take the offensive. An overt, popular, and well- financed American cyber- force would overtake the efforts of the Russians within months.

As soon as our highest office has been vacated by the impeachment of Donald Trump, a man that Putin has been cultivating for five years and is the property of, it will be a top priority to attain world preeminence in this area as well.

America created the Internet, and that makes its governance our responsibility. We consider this a sacred duty, and we will not shirk in its upholding.