russia hysteria bonus

US Openly Accuses Kremlin Of Using ‘Novichok’ To Poison Navalny As New Round Of Sanctions Introduced
South Front, Mar 2 2021

So now the US and the EU are introducing a new round of sanctions against Russia over the supposed poisoning of well-known agent of Western forces in Russia, Alexey Navalny. Fortunately, as in all other cases, Navalny appeared to be healthy enough to survive the attack with the super duper chemical weapon. Super deadly chemical weapon/poison ‘Novachok’ that the Kremlin likes to use all around the world (if we believe in MSM fairy tales) seems to be not very effective. Now, the overhyped ‘fighter against corruption and the bloody Putin regime’ is in jail over the corruption and fraud case as part of which he and his brother stole about $500k from two Russian firms, one of which was affiliated with French cosmetics giant Yves Rocher, between 2008 and 2012, and laundered part of the amount. Until recently, Navalny had a suspended sentence over this case, but regular violations of the terms of his suspended service, the Russian court ruled to change the suspended sentence with the real one. Therefore, the democracy is in danger and Western puppeteers behind the Navalny team are on the offensive in a fierce attempt to meddle in the Russian sovereign affairs and influence the court.

On Mar 2, the US and the EU imposed a new round of sanctions on Russia, targeting seven senior members of the Russian government and nine commercial entities inside Russia that are involved in biological and chemical research. The US also claimed that its special services concluded with “high confidence” that Russian officials were behind the alleged poisoning of Navalny in August as well as blamed the Kremlin for the alleged usage of ‘chemical weapons’ that apparently barely work, if we follow the mainstream variant of the story. On top of this, the US announced that Washington will respond in the coming weeks to “a number of destabilizing actions” by Russia, including the supposed Solar Winds hack and bounties on US soldiers in Afghanistan. Both these stories are a part of the Russian hysteria narrative, which was already used against the Trump administration in the MSM and neo-liberal smear campaign against the then-POTUS. While Solar Winds hack does at least exist (though the ‘Russian trace’ is still not confirmed by any evidence), the ‘Afghanistan bounties story’ was already debunked as a crude example of fake news. However, the truth has never been the priority of the globalist establishment.

US hits Russian officials & organizations with new blacklist sanctions over Navalny jailing & alleged ‘chemical weapons’ claims
RT.com, Mar 2 2021

The US has imposed sanctions on Russian officials and businesses as part of a growing row over the imprisonment of opposition figure Alexey Navalny, the Biden administration told reporters on Tuesday. Speaking to journalists during a conference call, a spokesperson said that the new measures had been introduced as part of a coordinated move with the EU. Brussels also announced a package of penalties on Tuesday against Russian officials it deemed responsible for Navalny’s arrest and for “human rights” abuses during the policing of subsequent protests. However, while Brussels published the names of four public servants who will now face restrictions, Washington has not yet publicized the list of those it will target. Likewise, American sanctions are reportedly expected against 14 separate organizations which will face export bans and other sanctions. While nine are Russian businesses, three are based in Germany and one is in Switzerland. The final entity is said to be a state research institute. Those affected are, Washington says, engaged in “the production of biological and chemical weapons,” as well as “activities that are contrary to US national security and foreign policy interests.” An unnamed official told reporters:

THe US is neither seeking to reset our relations with Russia, nor are we seeking to escalate. We believe that the US and our partners must be clear and impose costs when Russia’s behavior crosses boundaries that are respected by responsible nations, and we believe there should be guard rails on how these adversarial aspects of our relationship play out.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday that the Western measures are “illegitimate and unilateral, of the kind our American colleagues, and the EU members who follow their example, almost always resort to without any reason.”

Why privacy-busting, law-breaking GCHQ’s pledges to protect the public using artificial intelligence should raise an eyebrow
Kit Klarenberg, RT.com, Mar 2 2021

The UK’s signals intelligence agency isn’t known for its commitment to the rule of law, so claims its new Artificial Intelligence capabilities will be used to safeguard citizens, not spy on them, shouldn’t be taken at face value. On Feb 24, GCHQ issued a report called ‘Pioneering a New National Security,’ outlining how it intends to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to tackle child sex abuse, drugs, weapons and human trafficking, and online disinformation. MSM outlets widely reiterated the paper’s headline claims without criticism or balance. The BBC went so far as to suggest the release reflected GCHQ’s benevolent intentions and commitment to transparency. News organizations particularly focused on the agency’s pledge to use AI to prevent online grooming, track potential predators, identify sources of child pornography, and help law enforcement identify and infiltrate pedophile rings.

That no alarm was raised about this particular commitment is understandable. After all, apart from pedophiles themselves, who wouldn’t welcome child sex abuse being battled via every available means? However, GCHQ’s history doesn’t make it an obvious candidate to lead child-protection efforts. For instance, in Jun 2020 journalist Matt Kennard exposed how the agency has gained illicit access to at least 22k primary and secondary school children in dozens of UK schools, some of them as young as four, via its CyberFirst program, often without their parents’ knowledge or consent. The ostensible purpose of CyberFirst is to help pupils “experience new ways of learning in an innovative cyber environment,” and to identify young IT talents early, so they can be pointed in the direction of “opportunities within the cyber-security and computing industry.” This suggests children enrolled in the program are spied on, assessed by GCHQ’s talent-spotters both on- and off-site, and the most promising kids targeted for recruitment. Kennard found the agency’s officers were directly operating in at least one school, running a “code club” for students. It’s clear CyberFirst serves to propagandize children too, extolling the agency’s virtues. A slide from a lesson plan for 11 to 12-year-olds states:

GCHQ has been at the heart of the nation’s security for 100 years. It has saved countless lives, given Britain an edge, and solved or harnessed some of the world’s hardest technology challenges.

Unsurprisingly, no mention can be found in the presentation of the European Court of Human Rights ruling in 2018, that GCHQ’s mass surveillance programs are unlawful and violate citizens’ rights to privacy and freedom of expression. That damning judgment isn’t the only reason to view GCHQ’s promise to use AI to combat “disinformation” with intense suspicion, if not outright trepidation. In the section on the policy, the paper alleges that “a growing number of states are using AI-enabled tools and techniques to pursue political ends.” As a result, the agency proposes to deploy tools for “machine-assisted fact checking through validation against trusted sources,” disrupting “troll farms,” and identifying and neutralizing sources of particular malicious content. GCHQ asserts:

AI analysis can be used to target individual user profiles with tailored information to enable personalised political targeting. It can also be used to inject fake personas into debate through the use of AI chatbots. AI has also been known to be deployed to manipulate information availability through interference with content curation algorithms.

Scary sounding stuff, although academic Samuel Woolley, who has conducted extensive analysis of alleged “computation propaganda campaigns,” begs to differ. He found the “vast majority” of automated accounts identified to date don’t harness AI in any way, and are in fact “very simple,” generating mere “spam and noise,” and repetitively posting specific articles.

There are many legitimate reasons to find the rise of AI disquieting, although for the time being at least, such fears remain rooted in theory rather than reality. A team of Stanford researchers who track the technology’s development concluded that despite “truly amazing strides, computers still can’t exhibit the common sense or the general intelligence of even a five-year-old.” Fittingly, Deeptext, an AI tool launched by Facebook to identify hate speech on its platform, amply underlines AI’s current impotence. In 2017, the social media giant made much of Deeptext’s efficacy, claiming it helped in the removal of over 60k posts a week, although it also acknowledged a sizable number of human moderators are still required to vet the tool’s work, and determine whether content it has highlighted is “hateful” or not.

It seems likely AI would be similarly if not even more useless at rooting out disinformation, contrary to the claims of GCHQ’s paper. However, that particular passage’s reference to “validation against trusted sources” is illuminating. In other words, content and viewpoints targeted for suppression will fall outside the mainstream spectrum of ‘acceptable’ facts and opinion. GCHQ seems to have already engaged in such efforts. In Dec 2020, along with the Cabinet Office Rapid Response Unit and British Army psyops unit 77th Brigade, the agency was enlisted in an operation to battle “online propaganda” relating to coronavirus. In an eerie coincidence, the operation’s official launch followed mere days after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a significant easing of lockdown restrictions over Christmas, a reckless folly widely condemned by the scientific community and UK citizens alike, many of whom took to social media to voice their outrage.

There are troubling indications 77th Brigade maintains a vast army of real, fake and automated social media accounts to disseminate pro-government messages and discredit any and all critics of Whitehall. GCHQ could certainly help support such efforts in a variety of ways. For instance, manipulating “information availability through interference with content curation algorithms.” If so, GCHQ may have conducted operations targeted at British citizens, and broken the law in the process. Government spokespeople deny the Brigade conducts domestic operations, and its clandestine capabilities are “not being and have never been targeted against British citizens,” but a public statement issued by the UK Army Secretariat in Jun 2020 suggests the reverse may be true. The Secretariat stated:

As a UK Government unit, they have two primary audiences, government departments and British citizens, as well as anyone else seeking reliable information online.

GCHQ working hand-in-glove with the aforementioned Rapid Response Unit is notable, too, given its founder-and-chief, Alexander Aiken, who serves in 77th Brigade, in Jul 2018 authored a since-deleted article for the government’s website acknowledging “alternative news sources” were one of the unit’s key targets. As such, GCHQ’s Artificial Intelligence push may stem from a need to justify its own desire to exploit “AI-enabled tools and techniques to pursue political ends.” Security services framing their quests to possess malign capabilities as a “response” to similar developments elsewhere is an old chestnut. The Jan 2015 launch of 77th Brigade was officially stated to be a counter to the alleged online propaganda efforts of Russia, and of Islamic State. In Apr 2020, elite UK defense ‘think tank’ RUSI issued a report alleging the country was under significant threat from foreign-borne campaigns involving ‘DeepFake’ technology, among other AI innovations, and urging Whitehall to begin investing heavily in the field. The research was funded, and commissioned, by none other than GCHQ. When one follows the money, this has all the makings of a self-fulfilling prophecy that anyone concerned about online privacy in Britain should be deeply concerned by.

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