Tag Archives: Federal government of the United States

The Stuxnet – Visualized

A video blogger named Hungry Beast is behind this fascinating visualisation of the dangerous computer virusStuxnet – know to be the first cyber weapon ever to be constructed by mankind. You’ll hopefully understand why I’m focusing on what’s going on online at the moment…

Pandora’s box has been opened; on the new battlefield the aggressors are anonymous, the shots are fired without starting wars and the foot soldiers can pull their triggers without leaving their desks.

In June last year, a computer virus called Stuxnet was discovered lurking in the data banks of power plants, traffic control systems and factories around the world. Hungry Beast introduce the video:

Pandora’s box has been opened; on the new battlefield the aggressors are anonymous, the shots are fired without starting wars and the foot soldiers can pull their triggers without leaving their desks.

Last week the United States government announced they would retaliate to a cyber-attack with conventional force. The threat is real, and the age in which a computer bug could cost lives has begun.

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Filed under International Econnomic Politics, Technology

US Government Seize 18 More Websites

The U.S. government seized 18 more internet domains Monday, bringing to at least 119 the number of seizures following the June commencement of the so-called “Operation in Our Sites” anti-piracy program.

“These counterfeits represent a triple threat by delivering shoddy, and sometimes dangerous, goods into commerce, by funding organized criminal activities and by denying Americans good-paying jobs.”

John Morton

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement seizure, in honor of Valentine’s Day, targeted sites hawking big-name brands like Prada and Tiffany & Co.

Customs agents had bought counterfeit bracelets, earrings, handbags, necklaces, rings, sunglasses, wallets and watches with “brand names” from Burberry to Nike and Timberland, the government says.

“These counterfeits represent a triple threat by delivering shoddy, and sometimes dangerous, goods into commerce, by funding organized criminal activities and by denying Americans good-paying jobs. HSI and our partners at the IPR Center will continue to work together to keep counterfeit products off our streets,” ICE Director John Morton says in a statement, according to wired.com.

The seizures are based on the same law the government invokes to seize brick-and-mortar drug houses, for example.

When it comes to internet domain seizures, the US government has jurisdiction over top-level domains such as .com, .org and .net.

The latest seizures, which were done without advance warning to the sites, came nearly two weeks after the government seized 10 domains connected to pirating professional sports video streams.

Preet Bharara, the Manhattan US attorney, blamed such sports broadcasting piracy for “raising prices for tickets and pay-per-view events.”

Meanwhile, in November, the federal government targeted 82 websites, many bartering in counterfeited goods like scarves and golfing gear.

In June, when the seizure program was announced, the government took down nine sites that distributed pirated motion pictures.

Well, this is just getting more interesting by the day…

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Filed under International Econnomic Politics, Laws and Regulations, Technology

The Economic Recovery Myth

Former OMB director David Stockman points out that the US government sector for the first time in history is shrinking: “The reason is that governments are broke… we are going to have to cut back government employment,” he says.

“I don’t think the market discounts anything anymore.”

David Stockman


“If you take core government plus the middle class economy (65 million jobs), that’s the breadwinning economy, if we take some numbers – how many jobs in the “core economy” in November – zero; how many jobs since last December: net zero; how many jobs since the bottom of the recession in June 2009: still a million behind from when the recession ended.”

As to whether the economy can grow without employment growth: “I can’t imagine how it can because employment growth generates income growth which is the basis for spending and saving ultimately and we are not getting income growth out of the middle class.”

According to Stockman the job growth has come almost exclusively from the part-time economy, saying:  “There is 35 million jobs in that sector, with an average wage of $20,000 a year: that is not a breadwinning job, you can’t support a family on that, you can’t save on that. Those jobs will not generate income that will become self-feeding into spending.”

And about the fact that the stock markets keeps on rising in spite of everything, Stockman says:

“I can’t explain the market… I don’t know what it is pricing today, I don’t think the market discounts anything anymore, it is purely a daytraders’ market that is trading off the FED, trading off the headlines. One day it is manic, the next day it is depressive, and we can’t draw any conclusions.”

From CNBC:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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(h/t: Zero Hedge)

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Filed under International Econnomic Politics, National Economic Politics