War. War never changes. (Except when it does)

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Thad
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Re: War. War never changes. (Except when it does)

Postby Thad » Sat Dec 27, 2014 12:32 pm

I think I can safely say that at this point I don't believe North Korea is responsible for the attack. The evidence the FBI has given is far too circumstantial, and the attackers never even mentioned The Interview until the media started speculating on whether it was North Korean retaliation for the movie. (The FBI claims it has more evidence that it hasn't disclosed. I'm sure it does. I'm not sure that it says what the FBI claims it does.)

Which isn't to say that I have a working idea of who IS responsible for the attack, or if it's even multiple parties as the Reddit summary Grath posted suggests. Inside job is a plausible theory, but just because people are claiming credit and saying that's what it was doesn't mean it's true.

There are some good summaries of the debate at Wired, NPR, and the NYT. The Times article, in particular, is interesting to me for this bit on translation errors:

On Wednesday, one alternate theory emerged. Computational linguists at Taia Global, a cybersecurity consultancy, performed a linguistic analysis of the hackers’ online messages — which were all written in imperfect English — and concluded that based on translation errors and phrasing, the attackers are more likely to be Russian speakers than Korean speakers.

Such linguistic analysis is hardly foolproof. But the practice, known as stylometry, has been used to contest the authors behind some of history’s most disputed documents, from Shakespearean sonnets to the Federalist Papers.

Shlomo Argamon, Taia’s Global’s chief scientist, said in an interview Wednesday that the research was not a quantitative, computer analysis. Mr. Argamon said he and a team of linguists had mined hackers’ messages for phrases that are not normally used in English and found 20 in total. Korean, Mandarin, Russian and German linguists then conducted literal word-for-word translations of those phrases in each language. Of the 20, 15 appeared to be literal Russian translations, nine were Korean and none matched Mandarin or German phrases.

Mr. Argamon’s team performed a second test of cases where hackers used incorrect English grammar. They asked the same linguists if five of those constructions were valid in their own language. Three of the constructions were consistent with Russian; only one was a valid Korean construction.

“Korea is still a possibility, but it’s much less likely than Russia,” Mr. Argamon said of his findings.

Even so, Taia Global’s sample size is small. Similar computerized attempts to identify authorship, such as JStylo, a computerized software tool, requires 6,500 words of available writing samples per suspect to make an accurate finding. In this case, hackers left less than 2,000 words between their emails and online posts.


So it's all pretty inconclusive. I wouldn't be surprised if someone DID turn up stronger evidence of a North Korean connection, but I'm leaning away from that right now.

(And again, admins, if we could get a Sony Pictures Breach splitmerge from the four different threads this conversation has gone in, I'd appreciate it. When you get the chance.)

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Re: War. War never changes. (Except when it does)

Postby Mongrel » Sat Jan 31, 2015 1:55 pm

The Charlie Hebdo stuff is still all over the place here, so I'll just leave this here. There's a new story broken by BFMTV in France. The original article is in French, and the only readily-translated version available so far is up on Electronic Intifada, which I will decline to link for obvious reasons.

I wouldn't link it at all yet, but the source is a French news site and the translation below is a faithful copy of the French text, except for the two last lines, which are added. To be fair I don't know if BFMTV is like, France's equivalent of the NYP or something, but I looked at their main site and they seem like a normal news service at first glance.

French police question 8-year-old on suspicion of “defending terrorism”
Submitted by Ali Abunimah on Wed, 01/28/2015 - 23:26
sefen_guez_guez.jpg

France is in a state of “collective hysteria,” says Sefen Guez Guez, the lawyer for a second grader questioned by police in France. (via BFMTV)

Just when it seemed that the crackdown on free speech in France could not get worse, French police today questioned a second grader on suspicion of “defending terrorism.”

BFMTV says that administrators at a primary school in Nice reported the child to police on 21 January after the boy allegedly said that he “felt he was on the side of the terrorists.”

“A police station is absolutely no place for an eight-year-old child,” the boy’s lawyer Sefen Guez Guez told BFMTV. He said that the incident showed that France was going through a state of “collective hysteria.”

Guez Guez said that on 8 January, the day after two French gunmen attacked the offices of the magazine Charlie Hebdo, the boy, whose name has been reported as Ahmed, was in class when he was asked if he was “Charlie.”

“He answered, ‘I am on the side of the terrorists, because I am against the caricatures of the prophet,’” the lawyer said.

Since the murders of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists and the lethal attack by a third French gunman on a Jewish supermarket, French government officials and media have adopted the slogan “Je Suis Charlie” – I am Charlie – to indicate social conformity and support for official policies, all under the guise of supporting free speech.

The Collective Against Islamophobia in France, which has taken up Ahmed’s case, provided these additional details: “On 8 January, Ahmed, a second grader, was called on by his teacher who asked him if he was Charlie. Being of Muslim religion and aged only eight, he opposed Charlie Hebdo because of the caricatures of the prophet, and responded naively that he was on the side of the terrorists. Angered, the teacher sent him to the principal, who was in the class next door, and who asked him three times in front of the whole class, ‘Are you Charlie?’”

The child’s parents were called in and “played an educational role, explaining to him what terrorism really was and why one should be on the side of the Charlie Hebdo victims,” Guez Guez said.
Principal calls police

Instead of leaving the matter there, on 21 January, the school principal lodged two complaints with police, one against the child for “defending terrorism,” and another against the child’s father for trespassing.

According to the lawyer, the child had been deeply upset and isolated after what happened, so his father accompanied him to the school playground on three occasions after 8 January, before being told he was not allowed to do so.

Fabienne Lewandowski, a spokesperson for the Alpes-Maritimes regional police, confirmed to BFMTV that they received the complaints. Lewandowski revealed that the school principal claimed that the child had said “French people should be killed,” “I am on the side of the terrorists” and “the journalists deserved to die.” The child then allegedly refused to take part in a government-decreed minute of silence.

“During our interview, the child indicated that he had said some of these words, but did not really understand what they meant,” the police spokesperson said. “The purpose of this interview was to understand exactly what had happened, and what could have led him to say this.”

“We can regret that this took the form of an official police interview,” Lewandowski said, “but under the circumstances, we could have gone even further.”

According to the police spokesperson, the father “showed regret for his son’s words.”

The Collective Against Islamophobia in France said that his interview by police “was an additional trauma that illustrates the collective hysteria that has ensued since the beginning of January.”

Prosecutors in Nice have yet to decide how to proceed in the case.
Victim of bullying?

Ahmed has said that he was a victim of bullying by the school principal, according to his lawyer, BFMTV reported. On one occasion, the child was playing in a sandbox. According to the child’s account relayed by the lawyer, the principal told the boy, “stop digging in the sand, you won’t find a machine-gun in there.”

On another occasion, Ahmed, who is diabetic, alleges the principal deprived him of his insulin, saying, “Since you want us all to die, you will taste death.” The principal has denied the accusation.

Guez Guez said that Ahmed’s parents planned to lodge a complaint about the school’s behavior.

According to Le Figaro, the French education ministry confirmed that the school principal had also made a report about Ahmed to child protective services.
Government crackdown

While Ahmed’s case may seem extreme, the complaint against him is enabled by an atmosphere of intolerance and authoritarianism fostered by the French government.

Since the attacks in Paris, the government has launched an unprecedented crackdown, condemned by Amnesty International as well as French civil rights groups, in which it has jailed dozens of people for things they have said, under the vague charge of “defending terrorism.”

Previously, as The Electronic Intifada reported, one of those arrested was a sixteen-year-old high schooler, for allegedly posting a caricature mocking Charlie Hebdo.

Yesterday, French President François Hollande used an International Holocaust Memorial Day speech to confirm that his government plans to tighten its control over what people are allowed to say online and stiffen penalties for illegal speech.
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Brentai
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Re: War. War never changes. (Except when it does)

Postby Brentai » Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:13 pm

The purpose of this interview was to understand exactly what had happened, and what could have led him to say this.


Mission accomplished, then.

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Re: War. War never changes. (Except when it does)

Postby Friday » Sat Jan 31, 2015 3:41 pm

Yesterday, French President François Hollande used an International Holocaust Memorial Day speech to confirm that his government plans to tighten its control over what people are allowed to say online and stiffen penalties for illegal speech.


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Re: War. War never changes. (Except when it does)

Postby Mongrel » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:43 pm

Interesting NYT article on battlefield hacking in the Syrian War.

This may be what tactical IT looks like in war now. Not sure how this upscales, or what countermeasures richer powers can take, but it's clear that this sort of intelligence-gathering is available to virtually anyone now.
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Re: War. War never changes. (Except when it does)

Postby Mongrel » Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:09 pm

So Yemen's Shia rebels have taken over. At first glance it seems like they're planning an Iranian-style regime?
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Re: War. War never changes. (Except when it does)

Postby TedBelmont » Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:05 am

Since we don't really have a thread for Islamophobia:

Three muslims killed, execution style, in what is pretty clearly a hate crime.

Authorities did not specify a motive in the slayings.


:mystery:

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Re: War. War never changes. (Except when it does)

Postby beatbandito » Wed Feb 11, 2015 7:02 pm

They're insisting it was over a parking space.
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Re: War. War never changes. (Except when it does)

Postby Mongrel » Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:13 am

Atlantic: Longread feature in ISIS/ISIL

tl;dr, People are likening ISIS/L to Al Qaeda and other recent Jihadist movements too much and thereby giving ISIS/L too much credit for having underlying modern, secular goals. In fact it appears highly probable that ISIS/L is in fact a cult of the apocalypse and is much closer to what a small country of 8 million people would look like as run by David Koresh or Jim Jones than to any sort of actual functioning military force in the modern sense.

There's an old phrase about the dangers of faking crazy for too long that I can't quite recall at the moment, but which is now circling the our orbit of my consciousness.

EDIT: Ha, I know a guy from Footescray... based on what he's mentioned about his neighbourhood, I don't think it'll surprise him that one of the biggest nutcases on the planet lives there.
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Re: War. War never changes. (Except when it does)

Postby Mothra » Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:51 am

That Atlantic article is really worth the read.

Long as hell, but yeah, very worth it.

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Re: War. War never changes. (Except when it does)

Postby TedBelmont » Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:54 am

THIS POST REMOVED FOR INSUFFICIENT CONTEXT

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Re: War. War never changes. (Except when it does)

Postby Mongrel » Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:47 pm

Remember the Ukraine? Well, that's still slowly smouldering. If you do, you might recall I mocked Putin for being a fool who has not learned that in the twenty-first century, territorial empire is a net drain, not some kind of prize.

Well, it turns out that Putin and the Russians have figured this out. Because now, the reason the conflict is still going on is that no one wants the Donbas region; whoever keeps it is actually the loser.
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Re: War. War never changes. (Except when it does)

Postby François » Wed Aug 12, 2015 10:12 pm

Hopefully, if nothing else these events will serve as a lesson to anyone who might think of doing something similar in the future, because there doesn't seem to be a lot anyone, in the right or in the wrong, is going to gain from them. The whole thing almost feels like the sort of situation Hideo Kojima would make up in order to illustrate the absurdity and futility of sending men to die for politics. Don't tell me you can't hear David Hayter in your head going "What do you mean, no one wants this place? Why did the Pentagon even send me here?"

in before renaming the region to dombas

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Re: War. War never changes. (Except when it does)

Postby Mongrel » Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:37 pm

So have we mentioned that Russia is now putting actual tanks and troops into Syria?
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Re: War. War never changes. (Except when it does)

Postby Mothra » Fri Sep 18, 2015 1:56 pm

Wait, what?

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Re: War. War never changes. (Except when it does)

Postby Mongrel » Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:01 pm

Guardian: Russian tanks, troops, artillery to support Assad.

Russia (and Iran) support Assad. Western nations support the Rebels.

Both sides absolutely hate IS so they will probably start by sort of halfway cooperating to fight IS, however long that might take. After that though... IT BEGINS (well maybe they will wind up partitioning Syria, but blah blah blah...).
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Re: War. War never changes. (Except when it does)

Postby Grath » Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:05 pm

Mongrel wrote:Guardian: Russian tanks, troops, artillery to support Assad.

Russia (and Iran) support Assad. Western nations support the Rebels.

Both sides absolutely hate IS so they will probably start by sort of halfway cooperating to fight IS, however long that might take. After that though... IT BEGINS (well maybe they will wind up partitioning Syria, but blah blah blah...).
Mongrel wrote:So have we mentioned that Russia is now putting actual tanks and troops into Syria?

East Syria and West Syria, with New Berlin as the center line and the New Berlin Wall dividing the two halves?

Besides, we're too busy talking about how insane Donald Trump is to care about Syria.

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Re: War. War never changes. (Except when it does)

Postby Mothra » Fri Sep 18, 2015 3:08 pm

Fuckin' Russians, man.

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Re: War. War never changes. (Except when it does)

Postby Mongrel » Fri Oct 09, 2015 2:03 am

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Re: War. War never changes. (Except when it does)

Postby TA » Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:44 pm

That's an impressive fuckup. There's all of Iraq between those two.
のほも is such a good word?? the concept is kind of hard to fully get across in translation, but basically it means a feeling of pure, deep, platonic affection, and i think thats beautiful

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