Terror fears after series of security breaches at nuclear power stations : The Herald

THE police force charged with guarding UK nuclear power plants has admitted to a substantial increase in the number of breaches of security last year.

There were 21 separate incidents involving stolen or lost smart phones and identity cards, up from 13 the previous year.

In one case a Blackberry was taken in a “domestic burglary”, and in another a SIM card was “accidently thrown in disposal chute at home address.” Emails containing sensitive information, including an armoury access code and personal data, were sent in breach of security protocols.

“Terrorists must be delighted with this catalogue of cock-ups,” said Dr Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland.

“It seems you just have to follow some nuclear police around for a while and they’ll drop their pass in a car park, leave a work phone on the train or accidentally send secret info through Google mail. It would be laughable if it wasn’t about the safety of some of the most dangerous sites in the UK.”

The revelations uncovered by the Sunday Herald have been condemned as well as prompting alarm from campaigners and politicians. They point out that there have recently been concerns about Chinese state companies stealing nuclear industry secrets.

One of the reasons why the Prime Minister Theresa May is thought to have delayed a decision last month on a long-planned £18 billion nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset is the 33 per cent stake by the China General Nuclear Power Company. The company has been charged with nuclear espionage by the US government.

The Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC) is responsible for policing 11 nuclear sites across the UK. They include three in Scotland – the former fast reactor establishment at Dounreay in Caithness and the nuclear power stations at Hunterston in North Ayrshire and Torness in East Lothian.

The CNC has an annual budget of £100 million and 1,100 armed police officers with access to eight different weapons systems. Its latest annual report, published online, disclosed the 21 security breaches in the year to this April, compared to 13 in 2014-15.

Five were categorised as “loss or theft of protectively marked electronic equipment, devices or paper documents from outside secured CNC premises”. A further six breaches were “unauthorised disclosure through insecure transmission of protectively marked documents”. Ten more were said to be “low-level”.

In response to questions from the Sunday Herald, the CNC released details of all the breaches late on Friday afternoon. Eight occurred at the police headquarters at Culham in Oxfordshire, including the Blackberry that was stolen and the SIM card that was thrown away.

In October 2015 a member of headquarters staff accidentally sent an “official sensitive” email to her personal account in breach of security policy. In April 2015 six people outwith a secure network were incorrectly given access to a sensitive document.

At Dounreay police officers lost their warrant cards, used for identification and arrests, in June 2015 and January 2016. A warrant card was also mislaid by police at Hunterston in December.

In May 2015 an armoury access code was internally emailed in breach of security policy at Dungeness in Kent. In October an unnamed contractor emailed police data including personal information to the wrong address outwith the secure network.

Dixon questioned whether the Scottish Government was informed of the breaches. “The proposed Hinkley Point reactors have made even Theresa May worried about allowing the Chinese access to our nuclear plants and their secrets,” he argued.

“We would need to rely even more heavily on the proper functioning of the nuclear police if we invite the world’s biggest nation’s industrial spies inside the fence.”

Dr David Lowry, a senior research fellow at the US Institute for Resource and Security Studies, also highlighted security concerns about Chinese involvement. “It sets alarm bells ringing that so many security failures could have happened at a time when there are plans to expand the UK nuclear industry,” he said.

Read More : The Herald.

UK Increases Spending to Protect NPPs From Terror Attacks : Sputnik.

The United Kingdom allocates additional funding to the protection of country’s nuclear power plants (NPP) from potential terror attacks, local media reported Sunday.
UK police © AP Photo/ Alastair Grant
Some 84% of UK Nationals Expect Terrorist Attacks in Country – Poll MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The armed police force protecting UK NPPs has seen an increase in funding, while other forces have faced significant reduce of spending, the Independent newspaper reported.
The newspaper added that governmental spending on protection of the nuclear facilities had almost tripled since 2005 reaching and had risen by 55 percent since 2010. According to the media outlet, almost three quarters of the allocated sums have been spent on staffing.

Deadly terrorist attacks across Europe, such as in Paris in November or in Brussels in March prompted EU authorities to step up security measures and enhance the exchange of information between bloc member countries.

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/europe/20160828/1044706884/uk-terror-attacks.html

All the Ways Your Wi-Fi Router Can Spy on You : The Atlantic.

City dwellers spend nearly every moment of every day awash in Wi-Fi signals. Homes, streets, businesses, and office buildings are constantly blasting wireless signals every which way for the benefit of nearby phones, tablets, laptops, wearables, and other connected paraphernalia.

When those devices connect to a router, they send requests for information—a weather forecast, the latest sports scores, a news article—and, in turn, receive that data, all over the air. As it communicates with the devices, the router is also gathering information about how its signals are traveling through the air, and whether they’re being disrupted by obstacles or interference. With that data, the router can make small adjustments to communicate more reliably with the devices it’s connected to.

But it can also be used to monitor humans—and in surprisingly detailed ways.

As people move through a space with a Wi-Fi signal, their bodies affect it, absorbing some waves and reflecting others in various directions. By analyzing the exact ways that a Wi-Fi signal is altered when a human moves through it, researchers can “see” what someone writes with their finger in the air, identify a particular person by the way that they walk, and even read a person’s lips with startling accuracy—in some cases even if a router isn’t in the same room as the person performing the actions.

Several recent experiments have focused on using Wi-Fi signals to identify people, either based on their body shape or the specific way they tend to move. Earlier this month, a group of computer-science researchers at Northwestern Polytechnical University in China posted a paper to an online archive of scientific research, detailing a system that can accurately identify humans as they walk through a door nine times out of ten.

The system must first be trained: It has to learn individuals’ body shapes so that it can identify them later. After memorizing body shapes, the system, which the researchers named FreeSense, watches for people walking across its line of sight. If it’s told that the next passerby will be one of two people, the system can correctly identify which it is 95 percent of the time. If it’s choosing between six people, it identifies the right one 89 percent of the time.

The researchers proposed using their technology in a smart-home setting: If the router senses one person’s entry into a room, it could communicate with other connected devices—lights, appliances, window shades—to customize the room to that person’s preferences.

FreeSense mirrored another Wi-Fi-based identification system that a group of researchers from Australia and the UK presented at a conference earlier this year. Their system, Wi-Fi ID, focused on gait as a way to identify people from among a small group. It achieved 93 percent accuracy when choosing among two people, and 77 percent when choosing from among six. Eventually, the researchers wrote, the system could become accurate enough that it could sound an alarm if an unrecognized intruder entered.

Something in the way? No problem. A pair of MIT researchers wrote in 2013 that they could use a router to detect the number of humans in a room and identify some basic arm gestures, even through a wall. They could tell how many people were in a room from behind a solid wooden door, a 6-inch hollow wall supported by steel beams, or an 8-inch concrete wall—and detect messages drawn in the air from a distance of five meters (but still in another room) with 100 percent accuracy.

(Using more precise sensors, the same MIT researchers went on to develop systems that can distinguish between different people standing behind walls, and remotely  monitor breathing and heart rates with 99 percent accuracy. President Obama got a glimpse of the latter technology during last year’s White House Demo Day in the form of Emerald, a device geared towards elderly people that can detect physical activity and falls throughout an entire home. The device even tries to predict falls before they happen by monitoring a person’s movement patterns.)

Beyond human identification and general gesture recognition, Wi-Fi signals can be used to discern even the slightest of movements with extreme precision.

A system called “WiKey” presented at a conference last year could tell what keys a user was pressing on a keyboard by monitoring minute finger movements. Once trained, WiKey could recognize a sentence as it was typed with 93.5 percent accuracy—all using nothing but a commercially available router and some custom code created by the researchers.

And a group of researchers led by a Berkeley Ph.D. student presented technology at a 2014 conference that could “hear” what people were saying by analyzing the distortions and reflections in Wi-Fi signals created by their moving mouths. The system could determine which words from a list of lip-readable vocabulary were being said with 91 percent accuracy when one person was speaking, and 74 percent accuracy when three people were speaking at the same time.

Many researchers presented their Wi-Fi sensing technology as a way to preserve privacy while still capturing important data. Instead of using cameras to monitor a space—recording and preserving everything that happens in detail—a router-based system could detect movements or actions without intruding too much, they said.

I asked the lead researcher behind WiKey, Kamran Ali, whether his technology could be used to secretly steal sensitive data. Ali said the system only works in controlled environments, and with rigorous training. “So, it is not a big privacy concern for now, no worries there,” wrote Ali, a Ph.D. student at Michigan State University, in an email.

But as Wi-Fi “vision” evolves, it may become more adaptable and need less training. And if a hacker is able to gain access to a router and install a WiKey-like software package—or trick a user into connecting to a malicious router—he or she can try to eavesdrop on what’s being typed nearby without the user ever knowing.

Since all of these ideas piggyback on one of the most ubiquitous wireless signals, they’re ripe for wide distribution once they’re refined, without the need for any new or expensive equipment. Routers could soon keep kids and older adults safe, log daily activities, or make a smart home run more smoothly—but, if invaded by a malicious hacker, they could also be turned into incredibly sophisticated hubs for monitoring and surveillance.

Link : The Atlantic.

DHS Prepares For Nuke Attack With Massive Order For Radiation Detectors: ‘To Ensure Nuclear Devices Aren’t Secretly Being Transported In Public Areas’ : The Daily Coin.

Earlier this year we reported that Texas game wardens on the southern border have been issued radiation detectors due to concerns that a nuclear or radiological device could be smuggled into the United States through the porous Mexican border.

It appears that the Department of Homeland Security is also taking the potential for a nuclear-based weapon of mass destruction seriously. According to a new report from NextGov the government has ordered some $20 million worth of wearable intelligent nuclear detection (WIND) units in an effort to boost domestic security:

Last year, DHS made a broad agency announcement soliciting proposals for so-called Wearable Intelligent Nuclear Detection, or WIND, technology. Employees would wear the products to ensure nuclear devices weren’t secretly being transported in areas like marine vessels, metro systems, or other public areas, according to DHS.

DHS was specifically searching for “advanced technology demonstrations,” which are for “mature prototype capable of providing reliable performance measurements in a challenging and realistic, albeit simulated, operational environment,” the BAA said.

DHS’ Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, whose mission is to protect the U.S. from nuclear devices, was specifically searching for a modular wearable system that could sense, localize and identify nuclear particles, including gamma rays and neutrons.

The move signals a real and emerging threat and one that the Obama administration highlighted in March in which they warned of the four ways a large-scale nuclear attack on U.S. soil could happen. Whatever the method, the end result would be devastating:

The most devastating but improbable scenario involves a group stealing a fully functional bomb from a nuclear-armed country. Most nuclear experts point to Pakistan as the likeliest source, though that would require cooperation with someone on the inside of Pakistan’s military.

Easier to pull off would be for IS or another group to obtain fissile material like highly enriched uranium, then turn it into a crude nuclear device delivered by truck or ship.

A third possibility is that extremists could bomb an existing nuclear facility, such as the Belgian waste plant, spreading highly radioactive material over a wide area.

The most likely scenario that security experts fear is that a group could get ahold of radioactive material, such as cesium or cobalt, for a dirty bomb that could be carried in a suitcase. Those materials are widely used in industrial, academic and hospital settings, with no consistent security standards across the globe. Last year, an Associated Press investigation revealed multiple attempts by black market smugglers to sell radioactive material to Middle East extremists.

We know for a fact that individuals from the middle east have been using the Southern corridor to enter the United States illegally. We also know that some of those individuals have ties to terrorist organizations.

With DHS actively looking for ways to detect nuclear radiation it appears that an attack on the United States is now a serious possibility.

Of course, no threat has been announced to the public and chances are that should one exist the American people won’t know until it’s too late. 

Preparing for such an event is critical, because in the fallout (literally) there will be no assistance from emergency responders for days or weeks. That means law and order will break down, medical services will be non-existent and basic necessities will become unavailable.

Having food, water, self defense armaments will be essential to survival. But in a CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiologicla, Nuclear) event, an evacuation plan will be just as critical.

And if you are evacuating in a CBRN situation, advanced CBRN-rated breathing equipment will be a life saver.

As Tess Pennington notes in her book The Prepper’s Blueprint, you need to be ready to move the moment a serious threat presents itself or you risk being stuck in the midst of thousands of others who are trying to escape the danger:

If you are told to evacuate keep the following points in mind… If you are driving, keep the car windows and vents closed, and use recirculating air.

Due to the fear of panic and gridlock that will ensure from mass evacuations, most governments will delay mandatory evacuations until the last minute. This will only cause mass confusion and chaos at gas stations, grocery stores and on the streets. The best way to prevent this is to stay ahead of the crowd and prepare ahead of time. 

There is a real possibility that one morning we’ll wake up to a massive terror attack on the United States.

Will you be ready for it?

Link : The Daily Coin.

‘A Very Disturbing Series Of Events’ – Are The Russians Running To Their Bunkers? : The Daily Coin.

Back on August 24th, Susan Duclos reported on ANP that the Czech Republic had recently warned their citizens to ‘prepare for the worst’joining a growing list of government’s including GermanyChina and the US recently issuing cryptic warnings to their citizens. As this recent story from the Organic Prepper’s Daisy Luther tells us, we seem to be witnessing a very disturbing series of events as governments around the world are preparing for war.

While we’ve always felt it smart to stock up on food and water, preparing for that ‘rainy day’, to hear government’s come out urging their citizens to do so as well should be the final wakeup call for the still-sleeping masses yet many complain onwards about their lack of ‘safe spaces’. What do govt’s around the world know that the American people don’t know?

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An interesting series of recent stories give us a huge hint. Back on July 2nd, a story in Finland Today called “Join NATO And Russia Brings Troops To The Finnish Borders, Says Putin” was followed recently by a story called “Finland Joins Hands With The US Over Russian Threats” and another: “WW3 Alert: NATO Stands Up To Putin, Russia Becomes Dangerous.

As we learn in this new story directly from the Ministry Of Defence Of The Russian Federation, a decision made by the Supreme Commander-In-Chief of Russia of unannounced inspections of the Southern, Western and Central Military Districts, the Northern Fleet, Aerospace Forces Main Command, and Airborne Troops Command had begun. We hear more about these ‘SNAP’ Russian drills that have put its troops at full combat readiness in the 1st video below.

We also learned more about these drills in this Daily Star story in which we’re told that Vladimir Putin could be on the verge of declaring full-scale war with these massive military operations taking place everywhere and the President of Ukraine warning that he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of a full-scale Russian invasion.

Another new story recently brought to our attention comes to us from Roger Stone over at News With Views within which we’re told a fascinating story that Stone says may be the biggest scandal in 50 years of US history and should have been what Republicans impeached Bill Clinton over; Clinton long ago sold out America’s national security to our enemies. Telling us in this story how Clinton helped to fund Russia’s ‘doomsday bunkers’ at Yamantau Mountain, we also recently read from an unconfirmed source that the Russian’s may be heading to these bunkers right now. If that report is correct, and we pray it’s not, we’re warned that this means war is very close. Much more on that below.

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A story from March of 2015 told us that back in the 1990’s during Bill Clinton’s administration, Russia constructed a massive underground shelter in anticipation of nuclear war that was approx. 400 square miles in size. Roughly as big as the entire area inside of the Washington DC beltway, the command center of this complex at the Yamantau Mountain, eerily translated as ‘evil mountain’, was rumored to be 3000′ directly straight down from the summit of the gigantic quartz rock mountain, one of several similar sites across the Russian nation.

We were also told in that story that Russian television had previously reported that 5,000 emergency bomb shelters were allegedly built in the city of Moscow alone by the end of 2012 – and that the Russian government hasn’t stopped preparing for nuclear war. Meanwhile, ‘the US government has essentially done nothing to prepare our citizens for an attack‘. We also learn that Mount Yamantau is part of Russia’s ‘dead hand system‘. Even if all of Russia’s leadership was to be killed in an attack by NATO or the US, ‘dead hand’ would trigger a ‘doomsday’ counterstrike using Russia’s nuclear ICBM’s to completely destroy the West.

According to Roger Stone in his story at News With Views, the ‘Yamantau’ problem was largely created by Bill Clinton’s administration which gave over $1 billion dollars to Russia then, allegedly to help them dismantle their nuclear weapons. We’re also told this decision has backfired in the faces of the American people. From Stone:

Known as Yamantau Mountain (translates to ‘evil mountain’), the facility is being constructed to offer a safe place to retaliate in the event of an American nuclear attack. To me, this represents a direct conflict of interest. Clinton gives the Russians over one billion dollars to help them take down their nuclear weapons but instead they use that money to build a huge bunker where they can wage nuclear war on the U.S.

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The story from Bill Gertz over at the Washington Free Beacon from August 15th tells us that according to US intelligence officials, Russia was continuing their underground bunker construction with US officials detecting dozens of hardened bunkers for Russian military leaders. We’re told that US military leaders are quite fearful that Russia may be planning on going nuclear, and possibly soon, though we have great reason to believe part of this warning is simply the drumbeats of propaganda from those who are seeking war. The 2nd video below goes more into this story.:

Disclosure of the underground command bunkers comes as Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, commander of U.S. European Command, warned recently that Russia has adopted a nuclear use doctrine he called “alarming.” 

“It is clear that Russia is modernizing its strategic forces,” Scaparrotti told a conference sponsored by the U.S. Strategic Command. 

“Russian doctrine states that tactical nuclear weapons may be used in a conventional response scenario,” Scaparrotti said on July 27. “This is alarming and it underscores why our country’s nuclear forces and NATO’s continues to be a vital component of our deterrence.” 

Mark Schneider, a former Pentagon nuclear policy official, said Russia’s new national security strategy, which was made public in December, discusses increasing civil defenses against nuclear attack, an indication Moscow is preparing for nuclear war. 

“Russia is getting ready for a big war which they assume will go nuclear, with them launching the first attacks,” said Schneider, now with the National Institute for Public Policy, a Virginia-based think tank

“We are not serious about preparing for a big war, much less a nuclear war,” he added.

Read More : The Daily Coin.

No More Claimant Deaths DWP sanctions are hurting and killing people : DPAC.

The story of David Clapson is well known, but for those who do not, David was a man who died after being sanctioned for missing a DWP appointment. David was claiming JobSeeker Allowance after leaving his army career for looking after her mother. Left without money, David could not pay for the electricity which powered the fridge in which he kept the insulin. Because David was diabetic.  The reason for death was diabetic ketoacidosis, caused by a severe lack of insulin[i].  David died on the 20th of July 2013.

On the 29th of September 2015, (over 2 years after David’s death) a FOI request was sent to DWP asking whether the Department “if any new or updated guidance has been issued to Jobcentres by the DWP on sanctioning people with the medial condition diabetes”. To which DWP responded: “There is no guidance in existence which specifically covers sanctioning people with diabetes”. [ii]

Yesterday in the Salford online, an article was published about another diabetic JSA claimant, David , who was “illegally” and repeatedly sanctioned. By illegally, it has to be understood that there was no grounds to sanction David, but it was still sanctioned and left without money for 4 weeks. During this period, he was unable to control his diabetes, because he had no money for food.  This caused diabetic ulcers which became infected and he had to have a leg amputated. All his sanctions were eventually overturned, but it was too late[iii].

We know that DWP has issued guidance for staff to deal with ‘vulnerable’ people.  It is obvious this guidance is ineffective or that DWP staff don’t follow it. In any case, DWP is guilty. Guilty of David Clapson’s death, guilty of David being amputated, guilty of the misery inflicted on numerous other claimants whose names don’t make the headlines by their senseless, baseless, inhuman sanctions.

If you want to help David and others and bring a case against DWP, you can sign the petition here: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/social-security-magna-carta

If you have a bit of money to spare to fund the case, you can help with the crowdfunding here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/alec-mcfadden?utm_id=2&utm_term=wqzVMRZ5g

If you want to follow Salford Unemployed & Community Resource Centre, who are supporting David and other sanctioned claimants, on Twitter, they are here: @SalfordUCRC

[i] https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/09/david-clapson-benefit-sanctions-death-government-policies

 

[ii] https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/293660/response/713334/attach/3/FOI%204046.pdf

 

[iii] http://salfordonline.com/31135-outrage-disabled-man-salford-benefits-sanction-camapign.html

Link : DPAC.

 

The strange story of Labour’s Clause 4 : Socialist Worker.

For some, the difference between ‘Old’ and ‘New’ Labour lies in the party’s constitution. The truth is more complicated, says Nick Clark.

Labours first cabinet minister Arthur Henderson (centre) was horrified by the Russian Revolution

Labour’s first cabinet minister Arthur Henderson (centre) was horrified by the Russian Revolution (Pic: German Federal Archives)


The long since deleted Clause 4 of the Labour Party constitution has almost legendary status among a layer of Labour members.

Its pledge to secure “common ownership of the means of production” and “popular administration and control of each industry and service” epitomised Labour’s commitment to a form of parliamentary socialism.

To many, Tony Blair’s removal of it symbolised Labour’s fall. It was the moment the Party finally abandoned any pretence of socialism and became explicitly pro-capitalist.

Labour’s recent swing to the left is why Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith have both talked about re-introducing or revising the clause back into the constitution.

Yet Labour has always had an uneasy relationship with socialism. And the story of how the party first came to adopt Clause 4 in 1918 is a strange one.

Attempts by the left in Labour to write socialism into Labour’s constitution before 1918 had failed.

The party’s leadership feared that formally adopting socialism would cost Labour middle class and right wing votes.

Yet in 1918 Labour not only wrote socialism into its constitution, it championed a new programme that slammed “The individualist system of capitalist production”.

It tore into capitalism’s “reckless ‘profiteering’ and wage-slavery” and its “glorification of the unhampered struggle for the means of life”.

The shift was driven by the massive social crisis created by the First World War.

Revolt against the war fuelled the Russian Revolution in 1917. Arthur Henderson—then Labour leader and a cabinet member in the coalition government—was sent to persuade Russia’s new government to remain in the war.

Henderson’s visit to Russia horrified him. He saw workers who wanted “supreme control in the hands of the working people themselves.”

He decided the revolution could “only have results that will be a disaster.”

Yet workers in Britain were inspired by the revolution—and Britain saw its own rise in class struggle.

Rocketed

Union membership rocketed during the war. There had already been significant mass walkouts by the time 200,000 engineers struck in May 1917.

Revolt against war was also beginning to spread, and Henderson was terrified at the prospect of angry and “hardy” veterans returning home.

“If barricades are indeed likely to be erected in our streets they will be manned by men who have learned how to fight”, he wrote. So Henderson looked for a way to appeal to the widespread anger at the system while stopping it from developing any further into revolution. The answer was Clause 4 and the adoption of parliamentary socialism.

But Henderson and his pals were always clear that the point was to build Labour as an alternative to revolution and “rehabilitate parliament in the eyes of the people”. They never intended Labour’s socialism to be much more than a useful slogan.

Sydney Webb, who drafted Clause 4, wrote that “The best safeguard against ‘Bolshevism’ is a strong Labour Party in parliament, voicing the discontent”.

So for the first time Labour was able to adopt socialism without fear of damaging its electoral chances.

The irony was that it had been pushed by people such as Henderson who had previously argued strongly against it.

In later decades socialism once more became seen as an electoral liability—leading to the right’s assault on Clause 4 and its eventual abolition.

Socialist Worker stood with all those who wanted to defend it. The talk about reinstating it is a welcome sign that Labour has once more been pushed to the left.

But Labour’s commitment to socialism was never the result of the battle between left and right inside the party. It was a product of the class struggle taking place outside of Labour.

Link : Socialist Worker.

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