Should this be the story of the year?

The Pegasus project. Revealed: leak uncovers global abuse of cyber-surveillance weapon

Edward Snowden:

Stop what you’re doing and read this. This leak is going to be the story of the year: (LINK:

Within the realm of human insanity and inhumanity towards their fellow humans, perhaps.

Although from a historical perspective, it ain’t nothing compared to the impact this developing story carries with it:

Climate crisis: 50 photos of extreme weather around the world – in pictures

As temperatures rise and pollution increases, wildfires, floods and extreme winds have battered many parts of the world in the last six months
Compiled by Joe Plimmer

Sunday, July 18, 2021 19.07 EDT -

So what’s your point? A link doesn’t defend why you think it’s the biggest story of the year -

when there is so much other serious existential stuff going down.

Especially when we stop to realize, this is just the start of what uninhibited Anthropogenic Global Warming has wrought.

Where else was computer technology and greed going to take us? We saw this coming decades ago, why be surprised?

What makes hacking and secret surveillance the biggest story of the year?

What about this?


US. Takes Down Israeli Spy Software Company

A number of international papers report today on the Israeli hacking company NSO which sells snooping software to various regimes. The software is then used to hijack the phones of regime enemies, political competition or obnoxious journalists. All of that was already well known but the story has new legs as several hundreds of people who were spied on can now be named.

How that came to pass is of interest:

The phones appeared on a list of more than 50,000 numbers that are concentrated in countries known to engage in surveillance of their citizens and also known to have been clients of the Israeli firm, NSO Group, a worldwide leader in the growing and largely unregulated private spyware industry, the investigation found.

The list does not identify who put the numbers on it, or why, and it is unknown how many of the phones were targeted or surveilled. But forensic analysis of the 37 smartphones shows that many display a tight correlation between time stamps associated with a number on the list and the initiation of surveillance, in some cases as brief as a few seconds.

Forbidden Stories, a Paris-based journalism nonprofit, and Amnesty International, a human rights group, had access to the list and shared it with the news organizations, which did further research and analysis. Amnesty’s Security Lab did the forensic analyses on the smartphones.

The numbers on the list are unattributed, but reporters were able to identify more than 1,000 people spanning more than 50 countries through research and interviews on four continents.

Who might have made such a list and who would give it to Amnesty and Forbidden Stories?

NSO is one of the Israeli companies that is used to monetize the work of the Israel’s military intelligence unit 8200. ‘Former’ members of 8200 move to NSO to produce spy tools which are then sold to foreign governments. The license price is $7 to 8 million per 50 phones to be snooped at. It is a shady but lucrative business for the company and for the state of Israel.

NSO denies the allegations that its software is used for harmful proposes with a lot of bullshittery:

The report by Forbidden Stories is full of wrong assumptions and uncorroborated theories that raise serious doubts about the reliability and interests of the sources. It seems like the “unidentified sources” have supplied information that has no factual basis and are far from reality.

After checking their claims, we firmly deny the false allegations made in their report. Their sources have supplied them with information which has no factual basis, as evident by the lack of supporting documentation for many of their claims. In fact, these allegations are so outrageous and far from reality, that NSO is considering a defamation lawsuit.

The reports make, for example, the claim that the Indian government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has used the NSO software to spy on the leader of the opposition party Rahul Gandhi.

How could NSO deny that allegation? It can’t.

Further down in the NSO’s statement the company contradicts itself on the issues:

As NSO has previously stated, our technology was not associated in any way with the heinous murder of Jamal Khashoggi. We can confirm that our technology was not used to listen, monitor, track, or collect information regarding him or his family members mentioned in the inquiry. We previously investigated this claim, which again, is being made without validation.

We would like to emphasize that NSO sells it technologies solely to law enforcement and intelligence agencies of vetted governments for the sole purpose of saving lives through preventing crime and terror acts. NSO does not operate the system and has no visibility to the data.

How can NSO deny that the Saudi government, one its known customers, used its software for spying on the then murdered Jamal Khashoggi when it ‘does not operate the system’ and ‘has no visibility to the data’?

You can’t claim both a. assure knowledge and b. to have no way to have gained it.

But back to the real issue:

Who has the capacity to make a list of 50,000 phone numbers that include at least 1,000 who were spied on with NSO’s software?

Who can ‘leak’ such a list to some NGO and make sure that lots of ‘western’ media jump onto it?
Who has an interest in shutting NSO down or to at least make its business more difficult?
The competition I’d say. And the only real one in that field is the National Security Agency of the United States.

The U.S. often uses ‘intelligence’ as a kind of diplomatic currency that keeps other countries dependent on it. If the Saudis have to ask the U.S. for snooping on someone it is much easier to have influence over them. NSO is disturbing that business. There is also the problem that the first class spying software NSO is selling to somewhat shady customers might well fall into the hands of some big U.S. adversary.

The ‘leak’ to Amnesty and Forbidden Stories is thus an instrument to keep some monopolistic control over client regimes and over spying technology. (The Panama Papers were a similar kind of U.S. sponsored ‘leak’, only in the financial field.)

Edward Snowden, who once was committed NSA supporter but leaked NSA documents because he wanted it to stick to the law, is supporting this campaign:

Edward Snowden @Snowden - 16:28 UTC · Jul 18, 2021
Stop what you’re doing and read this. This leak is going to be the story of the year:

Edward Snowden @Snowden - 15:23 UTC · Jul 19, 2021
There are certain industries, certain sectors, from which there is no protection. We don’t allow a commercial market in nuclear weapons. If you want to protect yourself you have to change the game, and the way we do that is by ending this trade.

Guardian: Edward Snowden calls for spyware trade ban amid Pegasus revelations
Snowden seems to say that NSO, which sells it software only to governments, should stop doing so but that the NSA should continue the use of such spying instrument:

Speaking in an interview with the Guardian, Snowden said the consortium’s findings illustrated how commercial malware had made it possible for repressive regimes to place vastly more people under the most invasive types of surveillance.
Snowden’s opinion on this is kind of strange:

chinahand @chinahand - 17:28 UTC · Jul 19, 2021
fascinating how Mr “US state surveillance is the greatest threat to humanity” gets worked up about the fact that a bit of state surveillance is apparently outsourced to a private contractor by mid and low tier state actors.

Edward Snowden @Snowden - 17:06 UTC · Jul 19, 2021
Read about the Biden, Trump, and Obama officials who accepted blood money from the NSO group to bury any efforts at accountability – even after their involvement in the death and detention of journalists and rights defenders around the world!
WaPo: How Washington power brokers gained from NSO’s spyware ambitions

The uproar in the the media created by the NSO revelation is already having the desired effect:

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has shut down infrastructure and accounts linked to Israeli surveillance vendor NSO Group, Amazon said in a statement.

The move comes as a group of media outlets and activist organizations published new research into NSO’s malware and phone numbers potentially selected for targeting by NSO’s government clients.

“When we learned of this activity, we acted quickly to shut down the relevant infrastructure and accounts,” an AWS spokesperson told Motherboard in an email.

AWs has for years known about NSO’s activities. NSO has been using CloudFront, a content delivering network owned by Amazon:

CloudFront infrastructure was used in deployments of NSO’s malware against targets, including on the phone of a French human rights lawyer, according to Amnesty’s report. The move to CloudFront also protects NSO somewhat from researchers or other third parties trying to unearth the company’s infrastructure.

“The use of cloud services protects NSO Group from some Internet scanning techniques,” Amnesty’s report added.

That protection is no longer valid. NSO will have quite some problems to replace such a convenient service.

Israel will whine about it but it seems to me that the U.S. has decided to shut NSO down.

For you and me that will only marginally lower the risk of being spied on.

Posted by b on July 19, 2021 at 17:53 UTC

Well, okay, it sucks. Would love being a part of turning that one around too. But how?

You know I graduated in '73 as bright eyed as anyone. I grew up in a household that paid attention to the news and learning, so it was second nature. Meaning I’ve been paying attention to news, political, scientific - I’ve watched how we got here. So many bad moves, removing the assault weapons bans, losing on the birth “control” challenge, allowing the rich to endlessly merge into these mega-corporation nation owning private party entities - masters of the universe, even worse than the monarchies, and their enterprising ruthless sociopathic captains of industry, that walked us into the first world wars.

Around the 50s, 60s, 70s we were shocked into realizing what we were actually really and truly doing to our Earth, read, our life supporting biosphere. Making too many people, who expected too much consumption as a birth right, pouring too much GHGs into the atmosphere, poisoning fresh water and oceans. I watched ‘Too Much Is Never Enough’ becoming the American battle cry. Putting profits before people time and time again. Rather spend 10 fold to subjugate, than 1 fold to alleviate real problems. The circle of terrorism, and what nations did with that. Etc., etc., etc. Been awful.

Okay Tex, I agree with you, something should be done, but what? Your move, how do we fix this? I’ve been writing because I keep looking for someone(s) who can help fix this shit, I want to sign up to help, my writing speaks for itself*, tell me how are we going to fix it? How much time do we have?

{Folks can ignore, or ridicule my writing, but dare anyone to offer a serious good-faith critique.}

I’ve learned to think most are holding simply holding on to what they have and no one has the stomach to change anything. Worst, the huge majority of the people seem to really believe our economy is just going to keep on chugging along more or less the way it has since WWII. I mean not even this past half year has registered. Ever hear of the Frog in the pot of water story? It’s taking place in front of us.

Back to the title of this thread:

Should this be the story of the year?
No, who cares? Those with a lot to lose? Let them worry about it. What happens to all that when the massive computer server can't be cooled because _(extreme event of choice)_has cut off electricity or cooling or both?

For the whatever% of the rest of us, everyone has already figured out everything about us. If we engage in banking and internet and shopping, they got us tracked like I wouldn’t want to know. Nothing new about us being surveilled. (… So you better be good for goodness sake, :wink: a little ditty from a long time ago.}

What about the temperature when you step outside, or other extreme weather events? Think there’s a story there? What about the fact that above 100° trees and plants really like burning, every little stupid flame has a chance to catch a gust of strong wind and spread its spark over distances and into other plants that are roasted and ready to burst into flame. That’s for real. Check out all the biggest fires, they are temperature related. Those hotter temperature are the story of the century, but we better bury it because it’s like they say in the movies, “… can’t handle the truth”

So, Tex, where do we go from here?




Why don’t you answer the question in the climate change thread?

Well you asked: “Should this be the story of the year?”

I’ve explained why I don’t think Snowden came up with the “story of the year”.

I countered with my suggestion that AGW was probably a bigger “story of the year”.

Sure having our computers vulnerable to malware is a problem, but again, in the big scheme of things, I’m convinced we have bigger problems out there.





2nd try

Why don’t you answer the question in the climate change thread

<i>What?? (he cries plaintively) </i>

About how I would fix today’s global warming situation? Hmmm, thought I did …

I don’t know how to fix it.

Now I’m thinking more about people and how we are going to deal with inevitable consequences.

I’m down to trying to figure out why it went so horribly wrong, and the deeper I look at history and people, the more it all seems so inevitable. {The drunken driver owns the road, don’t you know}.

Knowing about evolution over deep time and what past atmospheric GHG deviations have done to Earth’s biosphere, leads me to believe we messed around too long, nothing we can do now will change much for the short term future. We won’t even be able to keep up with damage control before too long.

Through understanding the historical perspective, I gain a little handle for hanging on to good, while watching this creeping nightmare humanity created for itself get ever closer. There was a time we could have bought ourselves decades, all that was needed was an acceptance that less was better - and we need to take better care of this home planet Earth of ours. Humans found that impossible. Don’t come to me for solutions.

That’s why I do my share of belly button gazing, it a sort of coping mechanism, :

My homemade philosophical underpinnings.

(7.01) An Alternative Philosophical Perspective - “Earth Centrism”

(7.02) Appreciating the Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape divide

(7.03) Being an element in Earth’s Pageant of Evolution

(7.04) It’s not a “Body-Mind problem” it’s an “Ego-God problem.”

coming one of these days, “Religion, easy as apple pie.”



“About how I would fix today’s global warming situation? Hmmm, thought I did …”

Nope. Read the question

Actually, come to think of it, I myself think:

(7.01) An Alternative Philosophical Perspective – “Earth Centrism”

(7.02) Appreciating the Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape divide

(7.03) Being an element in Earth’s Pageant of Evolution

(7.04) It’s not a “Body-Mind problem” it’s an “Ego-God problem.”

Is the Story of the Year, sleeper though it may be. ?

djtexas 347476

“About how I would fix today’s global warming situation? Hmmm, thought I did …”

Nope. Read the question

Now you really have me confused.

I looked at: Climate Change - Started by: Neil Rodrigues and it only goes up to #347469 with W4u on page 17,

Different thread? We have a bunch going, but it’s late, this old man needs to get to bed. How about making it a link?

Well maybe not so fast.  I just review page 16.  Tex, what are you talking about?

#347399 - @djtexas
You on the streets like XR are , occupying public private space, enacting civil disobedience behaviour, pressuring with direct action your local member –  all to advance a hemp agriculture climate response?


#347406 - @djtexas

Where the rubber hits the road – how are you going about making this change? What are you doing? Give me something


#347415 - @djtexas
Give me something.

Joined a political party?

Joined a climate change activist group?

Writing letters to your local member?

Publishing material to educate the public?

And so on…


#347441 - @djtexas

The question was put to you – what needs to be done to address climate change and avoid it’s worse effects and you have not been able to answer.

It’s one thing lecturing to others about the science of climate change but in doing so you come across as a typical figure waving useless boffin when you can’t discuss solutions

That’s the point


#347447 - @djtexas

You are scooting around the question. Your thoughts.  What needs to be done to avoid the worse effects of climate change?


#347457 - @djtexas

You roll out the boffin response again.

You can’t come up with any policy or any direct action individuals should take to force govt into implementing these policies and making the change.

I’ve tried sincerely responding to each of those. I appreciate it might not be the answers you wanted to hear, but it was my best shot and representing my perspective and could have been a basis for an interesting exchange.

You on the other hand, haven’t actually engaged with much, if anything, of what I’ve written. You’ve merely thumbed your nose and said, that’s not good enough.

Tex, the notion that you are Gas Lighting comes to mind. Why the game, why not a little straight forward conversation?

Why isn’t what I’ve written enough? What do you want to hear?


In particular 347457 in the climate chat

@djtexas roll out the boffin response again.
It's time for you to think about what you want to discuss. You're not making any sense. What part of I have no solution to force the government implement anything don't you understand. Heck, I couldn't even help stop that malicious sociopath trump from getting elected.

What more do you want? Try to be simple and kind and explain, spell it out. Works so much better than riddles and inside jokes.

Good night, Cc


You cant think of one policy the govt should implement regarding climate change.

You are as useful as that spec of dust on the floor

You cant think of one policy the govt should implement regarding climate change.
I just gave you one. The government can implement a "Plant Hemp" policy tomorrow. That would give us the rest of the year to plant tens of thousands of acres and next year have an aggregate Hemp forest that would equal the rainforests of the Amazon. Why do you resist that long term solution that can be implemented in weeks?
You are as useful as that spec of dust on the floor
And how many trees have you planted? Don't make any accusations unless you have a clue as to what you're talking about.

Ad hominem is the tool of an ignorant mind …


#347483. @djtexas


You cant think of one policy the govt should implement regarding climate change.

You are as useful as that spec of dust on the floor

Funny you should say that. Well for what it’s worth this speck of dust wanted to be more, read all about it.

Plus I already explained, what good is any one policy, when you have the Republican clowns ready to back stab every effort and then drown it in a bath tub?

Oh and what’s with all your seething hostility?

Why not explain what policy you believe is worth pursuing - I already offered to sign up - but all you did is self-entertainment with your riddles.

Oh and your ad homs are a bad look for someone trying to establish their words as something worth paying attention.


I wonder if you’ll do any better with W4u’s question?



You’re wasting my time. Our conversation is over.

You’ve merely thumbed your nose and said, that’s not good enough. -- cc to dj
He might as well be a robot.