Internet’s bad neighborhoods aren’t big – just home to the worst creeps!

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About 50% of all junk mail on the net emerges from just 20 internet service providers (ISPs)…

The survey of more than 42,000 ISPs tried to map the net’s “bad neighbourhoods” to help pinpoint sources of malicious mail…The survey by a researcher in Holland found that, in many cases, ISPs specialise in particular threats such as spam and phishing…

The large-scale study was carried out to help fine-tune computer security tools that scrutinise the net addresses of email and other messages to help them work out if they are junk or legitimate. Such tools could make better choices if they were armed with historical information about the types of traffic that emerge from particular networks…

Of the 42,201 ISPs studied about 50% of all junk mail, phishing attacks and other malicious messages came from just 20 networks, Giovane Cesar Moreira Moura found. Many of these networks were concentrated in India, Vietnam and Brazil. On the net’s most crime-ridden network – Spectranet in Nigeria – 62% of all the addresses controlled by that ISP were seen to be sending out spam.

Networks involved in malicious activity also tended to specialise in one particular sort of malicious message or attack, he discovered. For instance, the majority of phishing attacks came from ISPs based in the US. By contrast, spammers tend to favour Asian ISPs. Indian ISP BSNL topped the list of spam sources in the study…

The data gathered for the study is helping to create analysis tools that will do a better job of assessing whether traffic coming from sources never seen before is good or bad. In the same way that people avoid walking through parts of towns and cities known to be dangerous, security tools can start to filter traffic from ISPs known as historical sources of malicious messages.

Even if you’re gambling with friends, you cut the cards. If you’re playing with strangers, it helps to have ground rules founded in history. ISPs which consistently dispense criminal attacks lose the excuse of ignorance after a while.

Should the Republican Party be saved from obsolescence?

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Red Edge, is a digital-advocacy group for conservative causes, and their days are typically spent designing software applications for groups like the Heritage Foundation, the Republican Governors Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Lately, however, Bret Jacobson and Ian Spencer have taken up evangelizing — and the sermon, delivered day after day to fellow conservatives in the form of a 61-point presentation, is a pitiless we-told-you-so elucidation of the ways in which Democrats have overwhelmed Republicans with their technological superiority…

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Congressman back after 32-years – says corruption overwhelming

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NRA + the rest of the Old Right opposed him. He won by 9 points.

First elected to the House in 1974, Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., left after his third term ended in 1981–and now after a 32-year hiatus, Nolan is back. Much to his surprise, the biggest change he’s encountered was the work week, and he’s not happy about it…

“My first term, we worked 48 out of 52 weeks,” Nolan said on Friday’s edition of The Daily Rundown. “Most of those days were four and five day weeks. We were in committee virtually every morning, we were on the floor of the House throughout the afternoons and the evenings and we were working in the process of governing which is what we’re elected to do.”

He expressed his disappointment that Congress is only currently scheduled to work 34 out of 52 weeks and considers most of those days “not real.”

“We went into session Monday, for example, we don’t have any votes scheduled until 6:30 in the evening, we were also scheduled to work on Tuesday–which we did–and then we were scheduled to work on Wednesday and we took the day off,” Nolan said.

Nolan quickly agreed with the public’s sentiment “everybody’s campaigning and nobody’s governing,” saying Congress isn’t governing like they should especially with all the serious issues the country is facing. He told Todd that the time given for Congressional members to campaign and the money they use has become “toxic.”

“I mean, we’re told here two things,” he said. “One is the one with the most money gets the most votes and number two – you should be spending 30 hours a week in fundraising and call time–dialing for dollars.”

Though I would prefer it, we do not need a change to an elected parliamentary form of government to get rid of the overwhelming influence of money – and whose money it is – in our government. Simply limiting campaign time to the 60 days before an election, severely limiting the amount of money that can be spent during that time – and only that time – takes care of half the problem.

Add in the sort of regulations that governed lobbying 50 years ago and you remove the other half of the corruption equation. The problem facing both of these provisions is that it limits the profits from a congressional career. Not that it matters in the least to the actual governing of this nation.

What matters is having a Congress that isn’t for sale to the highest bidder.

Pregnant woman hogtied and handcuffed by California coppers during traffic stop gets $250,000

A pregnant woman who was pulled over for talking on her cellphone — and then hurled to the ground and hogtied by CHP officers on the shoulder of the busy Harbor Freeway — has been paid $250,000 in damages.

The 30-year-old woman was charged with resisting arrest and driving with a suspended license, but the charges were dropped after a judge was shown a video of the incident, captured on a camera mounted on the dashboard of a California Highway Patrol cruiser.

In their report, the officers said the incident had escalated because the woman had ignored their orders and appeared to raise her arms in an aggressive manner after hopping out of the van.

Based on the report, Gaglione was charged by the Los Angeles city attorney with misdemeanor evading and resisting arrest and driving on a suspended license.

After the charges were dismissed, Tamara Gaglione pleaded no contest to a simple infraction of using her cellphone while driving.

CHP officials declined to discuss the incident, saying only that both sides concluded that settling the lawsuit for $250,000 was in the best interest of everyone.

Gaglione said she discovered the existence of the dashboard video when the officers later drove her to the hospital, discussing it in play-by-play fashion.

Her attorney, Howard Price, said Hernandez failed to mark a box on the arrest report noting the existence of the dash cam video and a prosecutor initially told him none existed. But Price said his client persisted.

Initially, he said, Price got a video from a backup patrol car and was told the dash cam video could not be copied. He said he went to the CHP and videotaped the original recording himself.

For Gaglione, now the mother of a 9-month old son, the incident on the freeway changed her life, she said. She left Los Angeles, where she worked as nanny and ran a pet care business.

“I will always be scared of police officers because of these knuckleheads,” she said.

Dishonest cops. Dishonest prosecutor. Complicit in covering each other’s buns. One of the most typical examples of the kind of corruption that happens on a day-to-day basis in American society.

I holler a lot about the big guys who commit historic crimes – from Bush’s Wars to Rand Paul’s lies about healthcare, economics and civil rights – but, their corruption is established as acceptable by the least of bureaucrats and civil servants who lie and cheat on the job, every day.

And as usual, it’s the knuckleheads who make life difficult for the good guys and the good cops.

More Afghan police are dying from “green on green” killings than “green on blue”


Talk about being nervous at graduation time…

A wave of betrayal has left at least 17 Afghan policemen dead in the past 10 days — all killed in their sleep, at the hands of those close to them.

Early Thursday morning, an Afghan policeman unlocked the door of the check post where he was stationed in Oruzgan Province and let in his friends from the Taliban, who helped him attack his sleeping colleagues with knives and guns, eventually killing four and wounding eight.

Last Sunday, a local police commander in a remote northern province, Jawzjan, shot to death, in their beds, five men under his command and fled to join the Taliban.

And on Dec. 18, a teenager, apparently being kept for sexual purposes by an Afghan border police commander in southern Kandahar Province, drugged the commander and the other 10 policemen at the post to put them to sleep, and then shot them all; eight died…

In the crisis that has risen in the past year over insider killings, in which Afghan security forces turn on their allies, the toll has been even heavier for the Afghans themselves — at least 86 in a count by The New York Times this year, and the full toll is likely to be higher — than it has been for American and other NATO forces, which have lost at least 62 so far, the latest in Kabul on Monday.

Unlike most insider attacks against foreign forces, known as “green on blue” killings, most of the attacks between Afghans, “green on green,” have been clear cases of either infiltration by Taliban insurgents or turncoat attacks. As with the three recent attacks, they have fallen most heavily on police units, and they have followed a familiar pattern: the Taliban either infiltrate someone into a unit, or win over someone already in a unit, who then kills his comrades in their sleep. Frequently, the victims are first poisoned or drugged at dinner.

Yes, some of this is non-political. RTFA for the portion of these murders that can be put to retaliation against the corruption that is frequent in Afghan culture.

Protests over rape in India continue — Coppers turn violent! — UPDATED!

India police democracy
Democracy as practiced by police in India – click to enlarge

Protests over a recent gang rape quickly gained force over the weekend, tapping into longstanding fury against entrenched corruption and lopsided justice, and leading to clashes with the police.

Seven days of demonstrations peaked Sunday, as thousands of people joined women’s and students’ groups despite a hastily enacted ban on protesting in New Delhi. The crowds taunted the police and attacked the car of a member of Parliament. The police, in turn, fired tear gas and water cannons, beat protesters with bamboo sticks and arrested dozens.

What corrupt, entrenched politicians and their police flunkies call “even-handed”.

“Many students who were protesting peacefully were attacked,” said Jayati Ghosh, a professor of economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, who had joined the protest with her daughter. “These are patriotic and respectable citizens. You cannot respond to them in this ham-handed manner.”

Kulsoom Rashid, 27, rubbed her eyes and said she had been tear-gassed. “This is how they are responding,” she said, seething. “Hundreds of rapists are running scot-free, and the entire Delhi police is standing here to stop people like me?”

By late afternoon Sunday, political parties had joined the crowd, increasing the number of confrontations with the authorities…

After several recent, highly publicized rape cases, India has been struggling to come to grips with the scale of the vastly underreported problem. Even when rapes are reported, suspects are rarely found and arrested.

In the most recent case, a 23-year-old medical student who boarded what she thought was a public bus on Dec. 16 was brutally raped and beaten nearly to death by a group of men. Six suspects are in jail.

The rapid reaction has done little to stem public anger. On Sunday, protesters jostled with the police, calling them “cowardly,” “corrupt” and “inept,” as they tried to push through the cordon…

“These people have lost patience with a government that has no sense of justice, no sense of accountability and is totally corrupt at the top,” said Prem Shankar Jha, a former editor of the Hindustan Times.

You can witness the reality of what is called democracy in many countries by how police are allowed to treat peaceful demonstrations. Regular readers will know I hold no brief for anarchists and other loonies. They deserve what they get when they try to burn down London or Seattle. But, I was able to follow the course of these demonstrations quite closely over the weekend – via al Jazeera and CCTV9.

The Indian police were merciless in their attacks on peaceful demonstrators, ordinary people, mostly young people, marching because they are fed-up with institutional corruption and injustice. It reminded me of nothing more than early days in our own civil rights movement, North and South.

UPDATE: She has died in hospital in Singapore.

Eric Holder announces UBS fines, criminal charges for fraud in global LIBOR scandal


Eric Holder at today’s press conference [link in the article]

UBS AG will pay about $1.5 billion and two former traders face prison as the bank settled charges with U.S. and U.K. authorities for manipulating interest rates in a global conspiracy to boost profits and bonuses.

Tom Alexander, William Hayes and Roger Darin were charged with conspiracy in a criminal complaint unsealed today, the U.S. Justice Department said. Hayes also was charged with wire fraud and a price-fixing violation for manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate at another bank, the department said…

The charges are the first brought by U.S. officials against individuals alleged to have manipulated Libor and comparable benchmarks in Europe and Japan.

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s $700 million fine is the largest in the agency’s history, David Meister, the commission’s head of enforcement, said at the news conference. The total penalties of $1.5 billion represent about one-third of the bank’s 2011 net income.

The U.S. government said the two men were part of a conspiracy to commit wire fraud from September 2006 to 2009. Hayes, 33, served as a senior yen swaps trader at UBS in Tokyo, while Darin, 41, worked as a short-term interest rates trader at UBS in Singapore, Tokyo and Zurich, the U.S. said.

Prosecutors allege that Hayes and Darin “conspired with others known and unknown within UBS to cause the bank to make false and misleading yen Libor submissions to the British Bankers’ Association…”

At least 45 bank employees, including some managers, knew of the “pervasive” practice and a further 70 people were included in open chats and messages where attempts to manipulate Libor and Euribor were discussed, the FSA said…

The bank said it expects to report a fourth-quarter loss of between 2 billion francs and 2.5 billion francs, primarily as a result of litigation provisions and regulatory matters.

These crooks really believed the old adage, “Never steal anything small!” Problem for them is that an administration cam along that considered the corruption attendant upon the economic meltdown that became the Great Recession to be something that could be prosecuted.

Eric Holder’s DOJ – led by US Attorneys like Preet Bharara – have been prosecuting inside traders and their corrupt associates right and left. Setting records for convictions for economic crimes unseen in decades. The CFTC did the grunt work – and didn’t have a problem turning the case over to a department with a rep for prosecuting the big boys of banking.

Class Wars of 2012 — it ain’t over, yet!

On Election Day, The Boston Globe reported, Logan International Airport in Boston was running short of parking spaces. Not for cars — for private jets. Big donors were flooding into the city to attend Mitt Romney’s victory party.

They were, it turned out, misinformed about political reality. But the disappointed plutocrats weren’t wrong about who was on their side. This was very much an election pitting the interests of the very rich against those of the middle class and the poor.

And the Obama campaign won largely by disregarding the warnings of squeamish “centrists” and embracing that reality, stressing the class-war aspect of the confrontation. This ensured not only that President Obama won by huge margins among lower-income voters, but that those voters turned out in large numbers, sealing his victory.

The important thing to understand now is that while the election is over, the class war isn’t. The same people who bet big on Mr. Romney, and lost, are now trying to win by stealth — in the name of fiscal responsibility — the ground they failed to gain in an open election…

…Democrats seem to have neutralized the traditional G.O.P. advantage on social issues, so that the election really was a referendum on economic policy. And what voters said, clearly, was no to tax cuts for the rich, no to benefit cuts for the middle class and the poor. So what’s a top-down class warrior to do?

The answer, as I have already suggested, is to rely on stealth — to smuggle in plutocrat-friendly policies under the pretense that they’re just sensible responses to the budget deficit.

Consider, as a prime example, the push to raise the retirement age, the age of eligibility for Medicare, or both. This is only reasonable, we’re told — after all, life expectancy has risen, so shouldn’t we all retire later? In reality, however, it would be a hugely regressive policy change, imposing severe burdens on lower- and middle-income Americans while barely affecting the wealthy. Why? First of all, the increase in life expectancy is concentrated among the affluent; why should janitors have to retire later because lawyers are living longer? Second, both Social Security and Medicare are much more important, relative to income, to less-affluent Americans, so delaying their availability would be a far more severe hit to ordinary families than to the top 1 percent.

The point is that the class war is still on, this time with an added dose of deception…So keep your eyes open as the fiscal game of chicken continues. It’s an uncomfortable but real truth that we are not all in this together; America’s top-down class warriors lost big in the election, but now they’re trying to use the pretense of concern about the deficit to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Let’s not let them pull it off.

Paul Krugman’s role as class-conscious economist truly offends the 1%. It drives their flunkeys even crazier. Intelligentsia dedicated to turning blanket apologies for class greed into quasi-legitimate think tank agitprop – especially resent Krugman’s clarity and willingness to tell the truth about political economics.

They must fear their begging bowls will receive naught but porridge instead of prawn sandwiches.

UK’s £280 million in aid to India will be scrapped

The International Development Secretary will tell MPs that from today no new aid programmes and contracts will be agreed for financial assistance to India, which is rapidly emerging as one of the world’s most powerful economies.

Existing schemes that have already been agreed will continue until the last of them concludes in 2015, when all UK financial aid to the country will cease…

Officials said Miss Greening was told that the Indian government valued Britain’s “technical assistance” far more than money…

Miss Greening said: “After reviewing the programme and holding discussions with the Government of India this week, we agreed that now is the time to move to a relationship focussing on skills-sharing rather than aid.

“Having visited India I have seen first hand the tremendous progress being made. India is successfully developing and our own bilateral relationship has to keep up with 21st Century India.

The UK’s overall financial contribution to India since the Coalition took office is expected to total more than £1 billion.

After 2015, the contribution of Britain’s technical expertise to development programmes in India will cost an estimated one tenth of the current total aid budget to the country.

As existing grants are phased out, the government expects to save around £200 million over the next three years…

Any discussion – in the UK or India – on how the value of that increase in India’s wealth, power and commercial strength will trickle down to the ordinary people already overlooked by the aid programmes?

A parallel examination of India’s corruption shows no sign of diminishing any time soon.

Governor benefited from untraceable $1.5 million donation

At a campaign stop near Philadelphia early in his 2010 bid for governor, Republican Tom Corbett announced “we’ve got to raise money,” that it was the “number-one” priority. In an answer to his prayers, that same July day, a $1.5 million contribution arrived from — Wisconsin?

Officially, the donation was from the Wisconsin affiliate of a D.C.-based political organization called the Republican Governors Association.

The $1.5 million could not travel directly from the RGA to Corbett. Pennsylvania law bans candidates from accepting corporate money and the RGA accepts millions of dollars from some of the nation’s largest businesses.

Also, state law requires all non-individuals to establish PACs in Pennsylvania.

In a single day, the $1.5 million gift traveled from the D.C.-based parent organization to the RGA Wisconsin PAC, to the RGA Pennsylvania PAC and finally to Corbett’s campaign account.

By the time the donation reached Corbett, it was impossible to identify the original source of the cash or whether the donation was permissible under state law…

The RGA’s funding played a central role in Corbett’s victory. By Election Day he had received a total of $6 million from the RGA — 21 percent of his total fundraising, easily the top donor to the campaign, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics…

The RGA spending spree did not stop in Pennsylvania.

Our Supreme Court – and especially money-pimps like Scalia – think this is a perfectly legitimate exercise of free speech. I think they would have had a tough time convincing most folks interested in a constitutional democracy – even in the 18th Century.

Not that it matters to them or the people who supply money by the pallet-load.

RTFA for details on case after case of the scum managing the framework of our elections.