Watch this guy trek across Russia's frozen Lake Baikal

Gregory Kaczor had a lifelong dream to skate across Lake Baikul, and he made this lovely documentary of his travels. It's cool how he uses chunks of ice to secure the tent, and the clarity of the ice and water below is something to behold. Read the rest

News report claims Dutch spies hacked Russian cyberwar operation and pwned their CCTVs, then recorded video of Russian government hackers attacking the DNC

Dutch left-leaning daily de Volkskrant has published a remarkable -- but thinly sourced -- report claiming that a Dutch spy agency called the General Intelligence and Security Service of the Netherlands (AIVD) hacked into the network of a notorious Russian spy group called "Cozy Bear" or APT29, thought to be an arm of the Russian spy apparatus, and obtained direct evidence of Russian state involvement in the hacking of the DNC during the 2016 US election campaign. Read the rest

Russia: Nearly nude Putin dips in icy pool to celebrate Orthodox Epiphany in manly-man tradition

Putin does the best manly-man propaganda of all global bad guys. It's a long-established internet truth.

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FBI launches investigation of NRA over pro-Trump Russia money

McClatchy DC reports that the FBI is investigating whether a Kremlin-tied Russian banker illegally funded money to the National Rifle Association to help Trump win the presidency.

FBI counterintelligence investigators have focused on the activities of Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA, the sources said. It is illegal to use foreign money to influence federal elections.

AKs for everyone!

Last year, WaPo wrote about the gun-toting end of American conservatism palling around with Putin. Read the rest

Facebook harmed America and is ‘living, breathing crime scene’ over 2016 U.S. election, insiders say

“Making you angry, making you afraid, is really good for Facebook's business. It is not good for America.”

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Watch Russian dancers float across the stage doing a traditional Beryozka dance

The Beryozka dance is a dance developed in the Soviet Union in the 20th century. It's now reached the status of beloved tradition because of the way the women's costumes and small dance steps make them appear to glide across the stage. Read the rest

Scotland is still a financial secrecy exporter, laundering billions for Russia's crime-bosses and oligarchs

If you're an oligarch in the former Soviet Union, chances are you owe your billions to corruption and even overt criminal activity, and your ability to hang onto that money is entirely contingent on the sufferance of the even-more-corrupt strongmen at the top, like Vladimir Putin -- one wrong move and you may find yourself stripped of your assets (or even assassinated in broad daylight). Read the rest

Russian Orthodox Patriarch announces church-government inquiry to prove that the Tsar was killed in 1917 as part of a Jewish ritual

Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church says he's working with Vladimir Putin to convene a Church-based inquiry into whether the execution of the royal family by revolutionaries in 1917 was actually a Jewish ritual killing; this appears to be an actual thing the Russian state is about to do, with many details confirmed in a public statement by Moscow's General Prosecutor. Read the rest

Putin says he'll run again for president of Russia

"I will put forward my candidacy for the post of president of the Russian federation," announced Russian president Vladimir Putin, who has been in power since 2000. Spoiler alert: he's going to win.

Image: Jedimentat44/Flickr Read the rest

Flynn flipped like a pancake, is singing like a canary, and it's 'very, very, very bad' for Trump

When Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI about contact with a Russian ambassador, it brought Robert Mueller's investigation right into Trump’s innermost circle.

We don't know what's next in the election meddling probe, but the vice grip on Flynn is tight. Trump can't be comfortable, either. Nor, one imagines, is Jared Kushner, one of the 'senior officials' indicated in the legal filing released today.

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Trump pressured GOP leaders to kill Senate Russia inquiry

President Donald Trump “repeatedly urged senior Senate Republicans, including the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, to end the panel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election” earlier this year, according to a New York Times report citing “a half dozen lawmakers and aides.”

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Origin story of the Mimikatz password cracker is a parable about security, disclosure, cyberwar, and crime

Five years ago, Benjamin Delpy was working for an unspecified French government agency and teaching himself to program in C, and had discovered a vital flaw in the way that Windows protected its users' passwords. Read the rest

Russia-linked political Facebook ads and Twitter accounts released by House Intel Committee

House Democrats just released a trove of data, metadata, Facebook ads, and Twitter accounts run out of the Kremlin’s troll farm. A team of reporters at Daily Beast reports on how ads were created by people working for the Russian government's cyberwar arm, and literally paid for in rubles with no questions asked by Facebook.

Yep, even of those Dank Bernie Memes you shared were Russian.

Russian ads like the ones shown here came from...

...dozens of inflammatory Facebook and Twitter ads from Kremlin-backed fake social media accounts, including several The Daily Beast has already identified, with names like “Being Patriotic,” “Secured Borders,” and “United Muslims of America.” They were released on Wednesday, along with accompanying metadata showing their Russian provenance, not by the companies themselves, but by Democrats on the House intelligence community investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Taken together, the ads and the metadata provide a deeper picture than previously known of one aspect of Russia’s so-called “active measures” disinformation campaign. Hundreds of millions of Americans – nearly 150 million, Facebook acknowledged on Wednesday – didn’t realize online political material they were seeing and sharing came from a foreign adversary. But the Russians, capitalizing on social-media targeting tools made possible by accumulated data from billions of users, knew a tremendous amount about their unsuspecting American audience.

“Russia exploited real vulnerabilities that exist across online platforms and we must identify, expose, and defend ourselves against similar covert influence operations in the future,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said during a hearing on Wednesday with executives from Facebook, Twitter and Google.

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Will the real George Papadopoulos please stand up?

George Papadopoulos is a fairly common Greek name in these United States. Seems the outraged folks on twitter riled a Michagonian George Papadopoulos.

Via NPR:

"For the nth time, I am NOT Trump's foreign policy adviser!" CPA George Papadopoulos said on Twitter on Monday. "I have NO association with the Trump camp! NONE!"

The response to that tweet that was liked the most — and which hints at the tone of Papadopoulos' Twitter stream — reads, "That's what we'd expect you to say."

It was just one interaction on a day in which Papadopoulos tried to tame a tweetstorm. His name shot to sudden prominence after news emerged on Monday that the Trump aide Papadopoulos had met with people murkily identified as "the Professor" and "Putin's niece" in London. That Papadopoulos was working as a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign and was hoping to form ties with Russia and collect "dirt" on Trump's Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Papadopoulos the CPA, who lives and works in Novi, Mich., quickly moved to dispel any confusion.

"Greece is six hours ahead," he said in an email. "I had just finished eating the lunch my mother cooked for me and decided to quickly check online to see how Monday was shaping up. Well, the deluge of tweets, media requests, emails and messages has not stopped."

As of Tuesday morning, Papadopoulos' tweet about not having ties to Trump had been liked 31,000 times.

P.S. the couple who adopted young Webster Long were Katherine Calder-Young Papadopolis and her adoring husband George Papadopolis. Read the rest

Facebook: 126 million Americans may have seen Russian pro-Trump propaganda

Facebook is reported to soon reveal it exposed an estimated 126 million Americans, many of whom voted, to what was effectively Russian state propaganda (served from Russian webservers in Russia) during the runup to the U.S. 2016 presidential election. All of that content favored Trump, who is now President of the United States.

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Kaspersky's explanation for possessing secret NSA cyberweapons is a doozy

Kaspersky -- a respected Russia-based security company -- has been under a cloud since they were accused of stealing NSA cyberweapons on behalf of the Russian government. But the company has a perfectly innocent -- if complicated and at times bizarre explanation for how it came to be in possession of the NSA's crown jewels. Read the rest

Watch protestor throw Russian flags at Trump!

A protestor named Ryan Clayton tossed Russian flags at Trump today as the president was walking to a Capitol Hill lunch. The president appeared to respond with a thumbs up.

"Trump is treason!" Clayton yelled. "Why are you talking about tax cuts when you should be talking about treason?"

(ABC News)

Read the rest

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