Archive for April, 2012


April 30, 2012

Washington Times on April 27, 2012, reported that intellectual-property theft by China has emerged in recent years as a significant threat to American businesses, American jobs and the American economy. Companies both in the United States and abroad can spend countless years and money on research and development to innovate and improve, only to have their work stolen with just a few strokes of a keyboard. For excerpts from the commentary of David Dewhurst see below:

In 2010, American businessman Jordan Fishman was awarded a $26 million judgment in a Virginia federal court jury trial against Shandong Linglong Tyre Co., a Chinese tire company found liable for copyright and trademark infringement, civil conspiracy and conversion for stealing Mr. Fishman’s blueprints and counterfeiting his company’s design in the production of mining tires.

Knowing that the blueprints were stolen, Shandong Linglong officials consciously made the decision to move forward with production, lining their pockets with ill-gotten gains. Before stealing Mr. Fishman’s work, Shandong Linglong had never once produced a mining tire.

Rather than pay damages, the Chinese company is using its significant financial resources to tie up the case in appellate court, killing American jobs at Mr. Fishman’s company and pushing Mr. Fishman toward the brink of bankruptcy.

Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly was correct in her assessment of China’s antagonistic relationship with American intellectual-property laws when she said, “China uses our myopia about free trade to cheat us coming and going, steal our patents and manufacturing secrets, and violate the rules of the World Trade Organization to which they agreed when they joined. Communist China’s strategy is to spend and spy and steal to become the No. 1 superpower in the 21st century.”

Military and intelligence officials, such as former National Security Agency Director Mike McConnell, former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and former Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III reached the same conclusion in a chilling Op-Ed in the WallStreetJournal, stating, “Evidence indicates that China intends to help build its economy by intellectual-property theft rather than by innovation and investment in research and development.”

Is China a friend or a foe to the United States in the 21st century? The answer is that China is a challenge. Our nation cannot continue to stand by idly
while China blatantly refuses to play by the rules. If China refuses to address the problem, America must be willing to act.

In addition, the American intelligence community must tear down the barriers between agencies and improve not only their interagency communication, but also their communication with the business and research communities threatened by corporate espionage.

David Dewhurst is lieutenant governor of Texas and a candidate for U.S. Senate. He served in the U.S. Air Force and CIA before founding Falcon Seaboard, an energy and investment company.


April 29, 2012

Fox News on April 28, 2012, reported that a Chinese dissident who exposed forced abortions and other atrocities in his home country has escaped house arrest in his province and is under the protection of U.S. officials, a Christian human rights group said. Excerpts below:.

The announcement about blind dissident Chen Guangcheng by the Texas- based ChinaAid group comes just days before Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is scheduled to visit Beijing.

The 40-year-old Chen exposed forced abortions and sterilizations in Chinese villages that are part of the country’s one-child policy.

He fled April 22 from his guarded home in Shandong province in eastern China. Activists said local supporters took Chen away by car, then delivered him to others who brought him to Beijing.

Chen had been held in his home since his release from prison in September 2010.

However, ChinaAid President Bob Fu told Fox News that he has confirmed reports that Chen is under diplomatic protection in Beijing and that officials are involved in “high-level negotiations about the next step.”

“The Obama administration must stand firmly with (Chen) or risk losing credibility as a defender of freedom and the rule of law,” Fu added.“ If there is a reason why Chinese dissidents revere the U.S., it is for a moment like this.”

Chen’s case comes as the U.S. is looking for help from China on many worldwide issues, such as trying to restrain North Korea and Iran on their nuclear ambitions, and push Syria to observe a cease-fire in the fighting in that country.

Chen recorded a video as a direct address to Premier Wen Jiabao, condemning the treatment of him and his family and accusing local Communist Party officials by name.

China’s media have been silent on the case, and most words related to Chen and his village have been blocked online.

A self-taught lawyer blinded by fever in infancy, Chen served four years in prison for revealing the abortions and sterilizations in his and surrounding villages. Since his release, local officials confined him to his home, beating him up on several occasions.


April 28, 2012

Fox News on April 27, 2012, reported that the U.S. military has deployed several F-22s, the nation’s most advanced fighter jets, to an allied base less than 200 miles from Iran. Excerpts below:

The Air Force strongly denies this deployment is meant as a show of force against Iran or that it is in some way related to a potential strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Rather, it says this is all part of a routine deployment and “security cooperation with regional partners.”

The Air Force won’t say how many jets were sent or exactly where they are stationed, but privately, U.S. officials have told Fox News the jets are in hangars at the United Arab Emirates’ Al Dafra Air Base, a fact first reported by Aviation Week.

The next round for Iran nuclear negotiations, which many consider to be the country’s last diplomatic opportunity, takes place on May 23 in Baghdad.

“The United States Air Force has deployed F-22s to Southwest Asia. Such deployments strengthen military-to-military relationships, promote sovereign and regional security, improve combined tactical air operations, and enhance interoperability of forces, equipment and procedures,” Lt.Col. John Dorrian, Air Force public affairs, said in a written statement.


April 27, 2012

Fox News on April 26, 2012, reported that a new asteroid mining venture backed by Silicon Valley titans and filmmaker James Cameron is hiring. Excerpts can be found below:

Planetary Resources, Inc., announced on April 24 at a news conference in Seattle that it wants to mine near-Earth asteroids for water and precious metals like gold and platinum within the next 10 years if all goes as planned. And the brand-new company is looking for a helping hand.

“You will get your hands dirty. If you prefer your hands clean, go somewhere else.”

“Bottom line — we build spaceships and explore asteroids. If you need any other motivation to apply, don’t bother,” a web site states.

“They aren’t hiring asteroid miners.They’re hiring aerospace engineers to design a low-Earth orbit micro-satellite space telescope to look for asteroids.”

Some reasons why this job will change your life:, according to Planetary Resources:

1. We are finding a new way to explore space beyond Earth orbit.
2. You will get your hands dirty. If you prefer your hands clean, go somewhere else.
3. We have a grill. We are not afraid to use it.
4. Bottom line – we build spaceships and explore asteroids. If you need any other motivation to apply, don’t bother.

More information can be gleaned from the site, where prospective applicants must fill out a litany of short-answer questions.

Several scientists not involved with the project said they were simultaneously thrilled and wary, calling the plan daring, difficult — and very pricey. They don’t see how it could be cost-effective, even with platinum and gold worth nearly $1,600 an ounce. An upcoming NASA mission to return just 2 ounces (60 grams) of an asteroid to Earth will cost about $1 billion.

But the entrepreneurs behind Planetary Resources have a track record of profiting off space ventures. Diamandis and co-founder Eric Anderson pioneered the idea of selling rides into space to tourists, and Diamandis’ company offers “weightless” airplane flights.

Investors and advisers to the new company include Google CEO Larry Page and Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and Cameron, the man behind the blockbusters “Titanic” and “Avatar.”

“The pursuit of resources drove the discovery of America and opened the West,” Schmidt said in a statement on the site. “The same drivers still hold true for opening the space frontier.”

For those serious about a career in space mining, Planetary Resources said it has “immediate needs” in the following areas: 1) guidance, navigation, and control; 2) flight and ground software; and 3) optical and laser systems.”


April 26, 2012

Washington Times on April 25, 2012, reported that Iran is recruiting a hacker army to target the U.S. power grid, water systems and other vital infrastructure for cyber-attack in a future confrontation with the United States, security specialists will warn Congress on April 26. Excerpts below:

“Elements of the [Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps] have openly sought to pull hackers into the fold” of a religiously motivated cyber-army, according to Frank J. Cilluffo, director of the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University.

Lawmakers from two House Homeland Security subcommittees will hold a joint hearing on the 26th about the cyber threat posed by Iran – as tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program continue at a high level and as a possible Israeli strike against it looms.

“Over the past three years, the Iranian regime has invested heavily in both defensive and offensive capabilities in cyberspace,” states testimony from Ilan Berman, vice president of the hawkish American Foreign Policy Council, in his remarks for the hearing.

Estimates of the skill level of Iran’s hacker army vary, but Mr. Cilluffo points out that a veritable “arms bazaar of cyberweapons” is accessible through the Internet hacker underworld.

“Adversaries do not need capabilities, just intent and cash,” he states.

In 2009, Iran’s nuclear program was attacked by a cyberweapon called Stuxnet. Although there is no definitive evidence of Stuxnet’s origins, Iran has blamed the United States and Israel and has been girding for a conflict in cyberspace ever since.

“For the Iranian regime the conclusion [drawn from Stuxnet] is clear: War with the West, at least on the cyberfront, has [already] been joined, and the Iranian regime is mobilizing,” states Mr. Berman.

In a statement released Wednesday night, Rep. Dan Lungren, California Republican and chairman of the cybersecurity, infrastructure protection, and security technologies subcommittee said that “if recent reports are accurate that Tehran is investing $1 billion to expand their cyberwarfare capabilities, Iran will be a growing cyber threat to our U.S. homeland.”

“Tensions between the West and Iran are increasing over Iran’s illicit nuclear program, making the potential for an Iranian cyber-attack against the homeland a real possibility,” said Rep. Patrick Meehan, Pennsylvania Republican and chairman of the counterterrorism and intelligence subcommittee, the other panel at the hearing on the 26th.

As negotiators prepare for the next round of talks, the tightening screw of international sanctions and the looming threat of an Israeli military strike against Iran’s nuclear sites have provoked threats from leading figures in the Revolutionary Guards.

“There is little, if any, reason to think that Iran would hesitate to engage proxies to conduct cyberstrikes against perceived adversaries.”

Those proxies could make it hard to prove that Iran was behind the attacks.

Mr. Berman’s testimony notes that an extremist newspaper affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards last year warned the United States to “worry about ‘an unknown player somewhere in the world’ attacking a section of [U.S.] critical infrastructure.”

“In the event of a conflict in the Persian Gulf,” attacks like that on Twitter “could provide Iran an avenue for psychological operations directed against the U.S. public,” states Mr. Cilluffo.

Such operations would aim at sowing fear and confusion by attacking systems Americans use in their daily lives.

In a Persian Gulf military standoff, Iran also might combine computer-network attacks against U.S. military information and communications systems with more conventional jamming techniques “to degrade U.S. and allied radar systems, complicating both offensive and defensive operations,” Mr. Cilluffo adds.

Some parts of the federal government, such as U.S. Strategic Command and the State Department’s Nonproliferation Bureau, have begun to pay attention to the Iranian threat of a cyber-attack, but no one in the administration is “tasked with comprehensively addressing the Iranian cyberwarfare threat,” Mr. Berman warns.

“The U.S. government, in other words, has not yet even begun to get ready for cyberwar with Iran,” he concludes.


April 25, 2012

Tidskriften Axess publicerade den 19 september 2011 en artikel om KGB-spioneri vid Umeå universitet. Delar av artikeln återges nedan:

I “Thule, Kungliga skytteanska samfundets årsbok”, 2011, kan man läsa en mycket intressant artikel av Lennart Stenflo, professor emeritus i teoretisk plasmafysik vid Umeå universitet. Där beskrivs en forskarkarriär som till betydande delar har utspelats i det forna Sovjetunionen – från 1960-talet och framåt. Stenflo ger en rad ögonblicksbilder av hur det var att bedriva forskning under en paranoid regim med allt vad det innebar av plötsliga husarrester och mysiskt försvunna kolleger.

Så här skriver professor Stenflo bland annat:

“KGB hade samlat på sig ett stort arkiv som innehöll detaljerade uppgifter om mitt liv vid Umeå universitet, dit jag kommit 1971 som ung (trettioett år gammal) professor. Jag blev förvånad över att t o m uppgifter från min tonårstid fanns med. Uppenbarligen hade de en informationskälla i Umeå. Under 1970-talet var ju universitetet där mycket ‘rött’. När jag kom till Umeå för fyrtio år sedan kontrollerades studentkåren av olika kommunistiska fraktioner. På väggarna utanför studenternas och lärarnas matsal hängde stora porträtt av Lenin och Stalin. En del av lärarna inom främst de humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga ämnesområdena omfattade också de vänsterextrema åsikterna. Några av dessa lärare hade dessutom nära politiska förbindelser med Sovjetunionen. KGB har ju som bekant haft många kända svenska kontakter, men varifrån Umeå-informationen kom har jag inte lyckats få fram. Jag misstänker dock vissa personer som tidigare arbetat vid universitetet och som numera av taktiska skäl inte längre kallar sig kommunister. En av mina ryska gästforskare hade nämligen blivit mycket upprörd när han fick se ett bokbord med kommunistisk propagandalitteratur i en av universitetets lokaler. Incidenten kom tydligen till de sovjetiska myndigheternas kännedom. Han straffades därför omedelbart efter sin återkomst till Moskva. Detta kan naturligtvis ha varit en tilfällighet, men mina erfarenheter indikerar ett samband med diktaturregimens sympatisörer i Umeå. Denne gästforskare är en av mina närmaste vänner och därför ansträngde jag mig till det yttersta för att reda ut orsakerna. Vissa fakta som då framkom fick livsavgörande konsekvenser även för mig själv.”

Axess menar att det är viktigt att Säpos material om KGB- och Stasiagenter agenter släpps fritt i Sverige. Trycket för ett frisläppande har ökat sedan Stasis agenter nu beskrivits i en bok av professor Birgitta Almgren.


April 25, 2012

Washington Times on April 23, 2012, reported that North Korea had promised to reduce South Korea’s government “to ashes” in less than four minutes, in an unusually specific escalation of recent threats aimed at its southern rival. Excerpts below:

The statement by North Korea’s military, carried by state media, came amid rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula. Both Koreas recently unveiled new missiles, and the North tried unsuccessfully to launch a long-range rocket earlier this month.

South Korean intelligence officials say recent satellite images show the North has been digging a new tunnel in what appears to be preparation for a third atomic test.

North Korea’s military said it would begin “special actions” soon against the South’s government and media companies that would “reduce all the ratlike groups and the bases for provocations to ashes in three or four minutes.”


April 24, 2012

Fox News on April 23, 2012, published an AP report that Iran has disconnected its oil ministry and its main crude export terminal from the Internet to avoid being attacked by computer malware. Excerpts below:

An export terminal in Kharg Island and other oil facilities came under attack from malware and hackers but continued their work as usual.
Some 80 percent of Iran’s daily 2.2 million barrels of crude export goes through the Kharg facility, located off its southern coast.

This round of cyberattack began on April 22.

Earlier this year, head of Iran’s civil defense agency Gholam Reza Jalali said the energy sector of the country has been a main target of cyberattacks over the past two years.

The Stuxnet virus was reported to have disrupted controls of some nuclear centrifuges.

Iran is at odds with Israel and the West over its controversial nuclear program.

Iran has reported other cyberattacks since, including an infection in April 2011 dubbed “Stars” and a spy virus about which little is known but its name, “Doku.”


April 23, 2012

Wall Street Journal on April 22, 2012, reported on a diplomatic spat between Japan and South Korea over what to call the sea that divides them is set to make waves at an otherwise staid meeting of maritime technocrats this week at a seaside auditorium 6,000 miles away in Monaco. Excerpts below:

At issue is whether the world’s hydrographers—makers of official nautical maps—continue to call the body of water in question the “Sea of Japan,” as Tokyo would like, or also label it the “East Sea,” as Seoul prefers.

“We expect a heated discussion” at the International Hydrographic Organization conference, says Kang Jeong-sik, deputy director general of South Korea’s foreign ministry.

The agenda is largely uncontroversial, covering issues such as adjusting nautical-chart standards for electronic display systems.

Officials from both Japan and South Korea admit that their disagreement, which dates to the early 1990s, is more about national pride than national security or economic interests. The name has no effect on control of the water, which is shared between the two countries, along with North Korea, China and Russia.

The IHO has called the water in question the Sea of Japan since the first edition in 1929. But South Korea, arguing that this is a legacy of Japan’s ill-fated imperialistic ambitions, has been pressing the IHO to include a second name: East Sea, which he says has been used by Koreans for more than 2,000 years.

Tokyo claims the sea has been known as Sea of Japan since the early 17th century, long before Japan colonized Korea in 1910.

The current edition, dating to 1953, contains such obsolete place names as Siam, Burma and Yezo (now known respectively as Thailand, Myanmar and Hokkaido, a Japanese island). It lacks oceanic names now commonly accepted, such as the Southern Ocean for the waters encircling Antarctica.

There are other naming disputes, including potentially explosive ones over the Persian Gulf, the South and East China Seas. But unlike in the Korea-Japan dispute, none of the countries involved has brought a case to the IHO in recent years.

To make their cases to the IHO, both countries have prepared official brochures—South Korea in eight languages, Japan in six—packed with old maps and historical documents. Each side describes the other’s argument neatly, in two words: South Korea says Japan’s is “totally untrue”; Japan says Korea’s is “wholly invalid.”

In 2002, the group’s secretariat proposed revising the map with a blank for the sea, to be filled in once the two nations reached agreement. Japan managed to kill the proposal before a vote.

At the previous meeting, in 2007, the secretariat vainly suggested dividing the water in two. At this week’s meeting, members will be asked for ideas on how to move forward.

Since the 2007 meeting, Korean activists have raised money to publish advertisements in international newspapers drawing attention to the naming issue.

“The Korean government has been very strategic but [the] Japanese government has no comprehensive policy,” he says. The choice of a name could affect more than words on a map, he argues: It could influence the outcome of a territorial dispute over an island—known as Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in Korea—and the resources around it.


April 22, 2012

Fox News on April 21, 2012, published a Space com report on an audacious new private space exploration company backed by billionaire investors and filmmaker-turned-explorer James Cameron that will unveil its master plan “to help ensure humanity’s prosperity” on Tuesday, April 24.

While details of the company, called Planetary Resources, Inc., and its mission are still under wraps, officials with the enterprise did state that “the company will overlay two critical sectors — space exploration and natural resources — to add trillions of dollars to the global GDP.”

The announcement of the company will be held in the museum’s Charles Simonyi Space Gallery, which is named after billionaire software developer Charles Simonyi, a Planetary Resources investor.

“This innovative start-up will create a new industry and a new definition of ‘natural resources,'” company officials said in the statement.

Planetary Resources was co-founded by two veteran commercial space pioneers: Peter Diamandis and Eric Anderson.

The company named “Titanic” filmmaker James Cameron and Google’s Larry Page and Eric Schmidt among its groupof investors and advisors. Others on board include Simonyi, Google board of directors founding member K. Ram Shriram and Ross Perot, Jr., who is chairman of Hillwood and the Perot Group.

Former NASA astronaut Tom Jones, a planetary scientist, will serve as an advisor for Planetary Resources. Former NASA Mars mission manager Chris Lewicki, who worked on the successful Phoenix lander, serves as the company’s president and chief engineer.

When Planetary Resources makes its big reveal next week, it will be the second billionaire-backed private space company to be announced within the last six months.

In December, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen unveiled his new company Stratolaunch Systems, which plans to build the world’s largest airplane and use it as an air-based launch pad to send people into orbit.