Cryptocurrency Price Prediction, Comparison, Analysis

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Cryptocurrency Price Prediction, Comparison, Analysis

China Escalates Crackdown on Cryptocurrency Trading

China is escalating its clampdown on cryptocurrency trading, targeting online platforms and mobile apps that offer exchange-like services, according to people familiar with the matter.

While authorities banned cryptocurrency exchanges last year, theyve recently noted an uptick in activity on alternative venues. The government plans to block domestic access to homegrown and offshore platforms that enable centralized trading, the people said, without being more specific about how policy makers define such platforms.

Authorities will also target individuals and companies that provide market-making, settlement and clearing services for centralized trading, the people said, asking not to be named because the information is private. Small peer-to-peer transactions arent being targeted, they said.

Bitcoin fell 1.2 percent to $13,580.50 at 11:36 a.m. in London, according to Bloomberg composite pricing.

The Chinese governments rolling clampdown has roiled global markets for bitcoin and other digital tokens over the past few months. Regulators around the world are stepping up scrutiny of cryptocurrencies amid concerns over excessive speculation, money laundering and tax evasion.

Read more: A QuickTake Q&A on the Chinese clampdown

Up until early last year, China was the most active market for bitcoin trading on exchanges. Its still home to some of the biggest bitcoin miners, though theyve begun looking elsewhere as local authorities call for curbs on the industry.

Chinas central bank didnt immediately respond to a faxed request for comment.

For more on cryptocurrencies, check out the Decrypted podcast:

With assistance by Steven Yang

Read more:
China Escalates Crackdown on Cryptocurrency Trading

Chelsea Manning is the Mocking Jay in first campaign ad – Hot Air

Yesterday, Jazz wrote about Chelsea Mannings decision to enter the Senate race in Maryland as an unapologetic progressive. Chelsea also released a kickoff campaign ad yesterday which presents America as a dystopian place of fear and oppression.The clip uses lots of slow motionvideo of street battles inCharlottesville as if that wererepresentative ofthenation. A narrator (or is thatChelsea?) intones:

We live in trying times.

Times of Fear of suppression of hate.

We dont need moreor better leaders.

We need someone willing to fight.

We need to stop asking them to give us our rights.

They wont support us. They wont compromise.

We need to stop expecting that our systems will somehow fix themselves.

We need to actually take the reins of power from them.

We need to challenge them at every level.

We need to fix this. We dont need them anymore.

We can do better. Youre damn right #WeGotThis

This could be the trailer for any one of the dystopian,teen-lit movies which have been so popular in the past decade, i.e. Maze-Runner series. Given Mannings preferred gender perhaps the Divergent series is a better fit or better yet the Hunger Games. Without very much effort you can imagine Katniss Everdeen (actress Jennifer Lawrence) reciting this entire speech as she rallies the troops of districtwhateverto fight President Snow (actor Donald Sutherland) and his goons.Chelsea Manning is the girl on fire.

I guess we should all be thankful that at least Manning isnt referencing Harry Potter and Dumbledores Army. Beyond the atmospherics of this clip, what is it exactly that Manning is promoting here. Hes talking about taking power from them as he shows images of the White House and the Congress, but how would becoming an elected Senator in Marylandtake power away from these institutions exactly? Doesnt participating in the system as a candidate reinforce the system?

At the very end, Manning says We dont need them anymore. At this point, it really does sound like Manning is calling for an entirely new system of government, one that would replace the existing systems that wont fix themselves. What is this new system and what would it look like exactly?

The only person who would actually lose power if Manning won this race is incumbent Senator Ben Cardin, a Democrat and one of the more consistently progressive members of the Senate. The site Progressive Punch givesCardin an A rating and a lifetime 96.3% record of voting for the progressive position. Can Chelsea actually do better for Marylands progressives than that? This clip really doesnt explain how that would work.

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Chelsea Manning is the Mocking Jay in first campaign ad – Hot Air

Congress demanded NSA spying reform. Instead, they let you …

House majority leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (left), and Rep. Fred Upton (right), both of whom voted to pass the FISA reauthorization bill. (Image: file photo)

For the first time in five years, since the Edward Snowden disclosures that exposed the NSA’s mass surveillance powers and programs, lawmakers had an opportunity this month to rein in and reform the bulk of the government’s powers.

Instead, they balked — in both the House and Senate, unwilling to make even the most minor reforms that would restore Americans’ constitutional rights — for fear that the intelligence agencies might lose access to data that would one day prevent an act of terror.

The Senate passed the “ugly” FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act in a vote 65-34 on Thursday, reauthorizing the so-called “crown jewels” of the intelligence community’s powers, known as section 702, which was set to expire Friday.

Last week, the House voted 256-164 in favor of passing the bill with almost no changes to the original surveillance laws.

The bill will now pass to President Donald Trump, who will almost certainly sign it into law.

Section 702 allows the NSA to gather intelligence on foreigners overseas by collecting data from chokepoints where fiber optic cables owned by telecom giants enter the US. But that collection also incidentally sweeps up large amounts of data on countless Americans, who are constitutionally protected from warrantless surveillance.

Even though section 702 explicitly prohibits the targeting of Americans, the intelligence community can then search those messages without a warrant.

Research released last year showed that the NSA and the FBI, both of which have access to data collected under 702, had violated its powers hundreds of times by conducting unlawful searches and improperly targeting a person or account for surveillance.

Since then, over 40 privacy and transparency groups have called on Congress to reform the government’s section 702 powers. They argued that compelling the NSA to get a warrant before accessing Americans’ data would have no impact on foreign intelligence gathering efforts. Other legislative efforts would compel the government to reveal the approximate number of Americans surveilled under section 702, a promise made by both the Obama and Trump administrations that was later withdrawn.

That effort failed, after months of waiting and almost no meaningful debate in the Senate.

Privacy advocates decried the move.

Demand Progress, a privacy-focused non-profit, said the bill cedes “tremendous power to the executive branch to engage in mass and warrantless surveillance.” The bill allows so-called “backdoor searches” of Americans’ communications, and it expands the NSA’s powers by codifying the “about” collection, making it easier to restart. The NSA agency had to stop “about” collection after it was found to violate the law.

“The US should not be in the business of warrantless, dragnet surveillance of American citizens,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in a tweet last week. She voted to not pass the bill.

Human Rights Watch called the powers “direct threats” to both US democracy and human rights. The Open Technology Institute said in a statement that the bill “codifies and may even expand the government’s most concerning practices.” And, the American Civil Liberties Union, which last week called it a “dangerous” bill, said Thursday the reauthorized law “has been repeatedly abused by law enforcement to spy on the electronic communications of Americans and foreigners without a warrant,” in violation of the constitution.

Suffice to say, there was plenty of pushback from civil liberties groups, rights organizations, and privacy and national security lawyers and attorneys, who called for greater protections for Americans.

There were once lawmakers in the House and Senate who called the Snowden disclosures a turning point for the surveillance debate. Five years ago, Congress called for reform. Yet this week, many of the same lawmakers voted for a clean reauthorization of the laws they once criticized.

To name a few:

Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY, 5th) said in a bicameral letter in late-2013, months after several significant stories from the Snowden disclosures were first reported and had already sunk in:

“While there is no issue more important than protecting our people and our country from harm, recent revelations have made clear that U.S. surveillance programs have not been conducted with the appropriate degree of restraint and oversight,” he said.

In spite of that, Meeks voted in favor of the bill this week. (By contrast, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), who also signed the letter, did not vote for the bill.)

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA, 15th), who was at the time a member of the Homeland Security Committee, supported an amendment to limit the bulk collection of data by the NSA. He wrote:

“My vote for the bipartisan amendment does not mean I want to abandon our surveillance programs,” he said. “I recognize the important role they have in counterterrorism efforts. But, rather I believe we can limit the scope of our surveillance while still protecting our country. This might require more resources to create a revised program, but it is worthwhile for the sake of our national security and the protections granted in the Fourth Amendment.”

Yet, Swalwell voted to reauthorized the NSA’s surveillance this week.

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD, 2nd) represents the district of NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, and has received donations from the defense and intelligence agencies and industries. He was one of the most outspoken critics of Snowden, and said some of the NSA’s programs were “legal” and “constitutional. A year later, Ruppersberger had a “change of heart” and proposed legislative changes to rein in some of the NSA’s powers.

Yet, Ruppersberger voted to reauthorize the NSA’s surveillance this week.

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY, 25th) said the day after news of the NSA’s bulk phone records collection program was revealed, ensnaring Verizon and other phone giants, that she has “consistently opposed reauthorizations of the USA PATRIOT Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act precisely because they grant overly-broad powers that could infringe on our civil liberties.”

“We do not need to choose between security and civil liberties. I am eager to get to the bottom of this and finally enact new laws that protect Americans from the threat of terrorism while also safeguarding privacy rights,” she said in remarks on her website.

Yet, Slaughter voted to reauthorize the NSA’s surveillance this week.

Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) pulled no punches when he said in remarks that the NSA’s spying “got completely out of hand” and “disregarded the law.” He said in comments, months after the Snowden leaks first hit the papers, that some of the NSA’s programs “shouldn’t happen in America.”

“We’ve got to stop that,” he said.

Yet, Enzi still voted to reauthorize the NSA’s surveillance.

Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX, 22nd), a former Navy pilot, has long said on his website that he has concerns “about the legality of the government’s ability to collect bulk data on its own citizens without due process.” He voted for the Freedom Act, and later co-sponsored the End Warrantless Surveillance of Americans Act.

“This bill would prohibit warrantless searches of government databases for information that pertains to U.S. citizens,” he said. The bill didn’t make it past committee.

Yet, Olson voted to reauthorize the NSA’s surveillance this week.

Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL, 5th) said several months after the Snowden disclosures were released — with new stories still coming out daily — that it is “clear that substantial changes to the NSA’s surveillance programs are required to ensure the constitutional rights of the American people are protected.”

Yet, Quigley voted to reauthorize the NSA’s surveillance this week.

Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ, 6th) said that recommendations made a White House review of NSA powers at the time “fall short” of his expectations. In a statement on his website, he said: “While efforts to reform the collection of metadata and increased oversight on the government’s ability to retain, search, and disseminate private communications is a positive step, it is up to Congress to guarantee the Constitutional rights and civil liberties of Americans are protected from potential fraud and misuse.”

Yet, Schweikert voted to reauthorize the NSA’s surveillance this week.

And finally, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), a long-serving member of the Senate Intelligence Committee that gave her far more access to the government’s surveillance and intelligence programs than other lawmakers, has always expressed support for the intelligence community. She also expressed interest in reforming the NSA’s surveillance powers, even this week.

During Wednesday’s brief debate before a cloture vote was called, ending all debate on the bill, Feinstein said she would “like to see more reforms in this program, and perhaps that is something those of us on the Intelligence Committee can strive for.”

Yet, Feinstein still voted to reauthorize the NSA’s surveillance.

The FISA Act will sunset in six years.

Contact me securely

Zack Whittaker can be reached securely on Signal and WhatsApp at 646-7558849, and his PGP fingerprint for email is: 4D0E 92F2 E36A EC51 DAAE 5D97 CB8C 15FA EB6C EEA5.

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Congress demanded NSA spying reform. Instead, they let you …

Introduction to Cryptography: Simple Guide for Beginners …

Introduction to Cryptography

Cryptography, or the art and science of encrypting sensitive information, was once exclusive to the realms of government, academia, and the military. However, with recent technological advancements, cryptography has begun to permeate all facets of everyday life.

Everything from your smartphone to your banking relies heavily on cryptography to keep your information safe and your livelihood secure.

And unfortunately, due to the inherent complexities of cryptography, many people assume that this is a topic better left to black hat hackers, multi-billion dollar conglomerates, and the NSA.

But nothing could be further from the truth.

With the vast amounts of personal data circulating the Internet, it is more important now than ever before to learn how to successfully protect yourself from individuals with ill intentions.

In this article, I am going to present you with a simple beginners guide to cryptography.

My goal is to help you understand exactly what cryptography is, how its, how its used, and how you can apply it to improve your digital security and make yourself hacker-proof. Heres table of contents:

Since the dawn of human civilization, information has been one of our most treasured assets.

Our species ability (or inability) to keep secrets and hide information has eliminated political parties, shifted the tide of wars, and toppled entire governments.

Lets go back to the American Revolutionary War for a quick example of cryptography in practice.

Suppose that a valuable piece of information regarding the British Armys plan to attack an American encampment was intercepted by local militia.

Since this is 1776 and therefore pre-iPhone, General Washington couldnt just shoot a quick text to the commanding officers at the encampment in question.

He would have to send a messenger who would either transport some form of written correspondence, or keep the message locked away in their head.

And heres where the Founding Fathers would have hit a snag.

The aforementioned messenger must now travel through miles and miles of enemy territory risking capture and death in order to relay the message.

And If he was intercepted? It spelled bad news for team USA.

The British captors could have simply killed the messenger on sight, putting an end to the communication.

They could have persuaded him to share the contents of the message, which would then render the information useless.

Or, if the messenger was a friend of Benedict Arnolds, they could have simply bribed the messenger to spread false information, resulting in the deaths of thousands of American militia.

However, with the careful application of cryptography, Washington could have applied an encryption method known as a cipher (more on this in a second) to keep the contents of the message safe from enemy hands.

Assuming that he entrusted the cipher to only his most loyal officers, this tactic would ensure that even if the message was intercepted, the messenger would have no knowledge of its contents. The data would therefore be indecipherable and useless to the enemy.

Now lets look at a more modern example, banking.

Every day, sensitive financial records are transmitted between banks, payment processors, and their customers. And whether you realize it or not, all of these records have to be stored at some point in a large database.

Without cryptography, this would be a problem, a very big problem.

If any of these records were stored or transmitted without encryption, it would be open season for hackers and your bank account would quickly dwindle down to $0.

However, the banks know this and have gone through an extensive process to apply advanced encryption methods to keep your information out of the hands of hackers and food on your table.

So now that you have a 30,000-foot view of cryptography and how it has been used, lets talk about some of the more technical details surrounding this topic.

*Note: For the purposes of this article, I will refer to messages in an easily readable format as plaintext and encrypted or unreadable messages as ciphertext. Please note that the words encryption and cryptography will also be used interchangeably*

Cryptography, at its most fundamental level, requires two steps: encryption and decryption. The encryption process uses a cipher in order to encrypt plaintext and turn it into ciphertext. Decryption, on the other hand, applies that same cipher to turn the ciphertext back into plaintext.

Heres an example of how this works.

Lets say that you wanted to encrypt a the simple message, Hello.

So our plaintext (message) is Hello.

We can now apply one of the simplest forms of encryption known as Caesars Cipher (also known as a shift cipher) to the message.

With this cipher, we simply shift each letter a set number of spaces up or down the alphabet.

So for example, the image below shows a shift of 3 letters.

Meaning that:

By applying this cipher, our plaintext Hello turns into the ciphertext Khoor

To the untrained eye Khoor looks nothing like Hello. However, with knowledge of Caesars cipher, even the most novice cryptographer could quickly decrypt the message and uncover its contents.

Before we continue, I want to touch on a more advanced topic known as polymorphism.

While the intricacies of this topic stretch far beyond the realm of this guide, its increasing prevalence mandates that I include a brief explanation.

Polymorphism is basically a cipher that changes itself with each use. Meaning that each time it is used, it produces a different set of results. So, if you encrypted the exact same set of data twice, each new encryption would be different from the previous one.

Lets go back to our original example with the plaintext Hello. While the first encryption would result in Khoor, with the application of a polymorphic cipher, the second encryption could result in something like Gdkkn (where each letter is shifted down a rung of the alphabet)

Polymorphism is most commonly used in cipher algorithms to encrypt computers, software, and cloud-based information.

I want to preface the rest of this article with a warning.

Throughout the rest of this article, I will be explaining exactly how cryptography works and how it is applied today. In doing so, I will have to employ a significant amount of technical jargon that may feel tedious at times.

But bear with me and pay attention. Understanding how all of the pieces fit together will ensure that you are able to maximize your personal security and keep your information out of the wrong hands.

So before I go full blast, explaining symmetric and asymmetric cryptography, AES, and MD5, I want to explain, in Laymans terms, why this matters and why you should care.

For starters, lets discuss the only real alternative to cryptography, obfuscation. Obfuscation is defined as The act of making something unclear, obscure, or unintelligible. It means that, in order to transmit a secure message, you must hold back some of the information required to understand the message.

Which, by default, means it would only take one person with knowledge of the original message to divulge the missing pieces to the public.

With cryptography, a specific key and numerous calculations are required. Even if someone knew the encryption method used, they wouldnt be able to decrypt the message without the corresponding key, making your information much more secure.

To understand why cryptography really matters you need look no further than something we all know and love, the Internet.

By design, the Internet was created to relay messages from one person to another, in a similar manner to the postal service. The Internet delivers packets from the sender to the recipient, and without the various forms of cryptography that we will discuss in a moment, anything that you sent would be visible to the general populace.

Those private messages you meant to send to your spouse? The whole world could see them. Your banking information?

Anybody with a router could intercept your funds and redirect them to their own account. Your work emails discussing sensitive company secrets? You might as well package those up and ship them to your competitors.

Luckily, we do have cryptographic algorithms that actively protect almost all of our personal data.

However, this does not mean that you are completely secure.

You need to look no further than recent attacks on companies like AdultFriendFinder and Anthem Inc. to realize that large corporations do not always implement the necessary systems required to protect your information.

Your personal security is your responsibility, no one elses.

And the sooner that you can develop a strong understanding of the systems in place, the sooner you will be able to make informed decisions about how you can protect your data.

So with that out of the way, lets get to the good stuff.

There are four primary types of cryptography in use today, each with its own unique advantages and disadvantages.

They are called hashing, symmetric cryptography, asymmetric cryptography, and key exchange algorithms.

Hashing is a type of cryptography that changes a message into an unreadable string of text for the purpose of verifying the messages contents, not hiding the message itself.

This type of cryptography is most commonly used to protect the transmission of software and large files where the publisher of the files or software offers them for download. The reason for this is that, while it is easy to calculate the hash, it is extremely difficult to find an initial input that will provide an exact match for the desired value.

For example, when you download Windows 10, you download the software which then runs the downloaded file through the same hashing algorithm. It then compares the resulting hash with the one provided by the publisher. If they both match, then the download is completed.

However, if there is even the slightest variation in the downloaded file (either through the corruption of the file or intentional intervention from a third party) it will drastically change the resulting hash, potentially nullifying the download.

Currently, the most common hashing algorithms are MD5 and SHA-1, however due to these algorithms multiple weaknesses, most new applications are transitioning to the SHA-256algorithm instead of its weaker predecessors.

Symmetric Cryptography, likely the most traditional form of cryptography, is also the system with which you are probably most familiar.

This type of cryptography uses a single key to encrypt a message and then decrypt that message upon delivery.

Since symmetric cryptography requires that you have a secure channel for delivering the crypto key to the recipient, this type of cryptography is all but useless for transmitting data (after all, if you have a secure way to deliver the key, why not deliver the message in the same manner?).

As such, its primary application is the protection of resting data (e.g. Hard Drives and data bases)

In the Revolutionary War example that I mentioned earlier, Washingtons method for transmitting information between his officers would have relied on a symmetric cryptography system. He and all of his officers would have had to meet in a secure location, share the agreed upon key, and then encrypt and decrypt correspondence using that same key.

Most modern symmetric cryptography relies on a system known as AES or Advanced Encryption Standards.

While the traditional DES models were the industry norm for many years, DES was publicly attacked and broken in 1999 causing the National Institute of Standards and Technology to host a selection process for a stronger and more updated model.

After an arduous 5-year competition between 15 different ciphers, including MARS from IBM, RC6 from RSA Security, Serpent, Twofish, and Rijndael, the NIST selected Rijndael as the winning cipher.

It was then standardized across the country, earning the name AES or Advanced Encryption Standards. This cipher is still widely used today and is even implemented by the NSA for the purposes of guarding top secret information.

Asymmetric cryptography (as the name suggests) uses two different keys for encryption and decryption, as opposed to the single key used in symmetric cryptography.

The first key is a public key used to encrypt a message, and the second is a private key which is used to decrypt them. The great part about this system is that only the private key can be used to decrypt encrypted messages sent from a public key.

While this type of cryptography is a bit more complicated, you are likely familiar with a number of its practical applications.

It is used when transmitting email files, remotely connecting to servers, and even digitally signing PDF files. Oh, and if you look in your browser and you notice a URL beginning with https://, thats a prime example of asymmetric cryptography keeping your information safe.

Although this particular type of cryptography isnt particularly applicable for individuals outside of the cyber-security realm, I wanted to briefly mention to ensure you have a full understanding of the different cryptographic algorithms.

A key exchange algorithm, like Diffie-Hellman, is used to safely exchange encryption keys with an unknown party.

Unlike other forms of encryption, you are not sharing information during the key exchange. The end goal is to create an encryption key with another party that can later be used with the aforementioned forms of cryptography.

Heres an example from the Diffie-Hellman wiki to explain exactly how this works.

Lets say we have two people, Alice and Bob, who agree upon a random starting color. The color is public information and doesnt need to be kept secret (but it does need to be different each time). Then Alice and Bob each selects a secret color that they do not share with anyone.

Now, Alice and Bob mix the secret color with the starting color, resulting in their new mixtures. They then publicly exchange their mixed colors. Once the exchange is made, they now add their own private color into the mixture they received from their partner, and the resulting in an identical shared mixture.

So now that you understand a little bit more about the different types of cryptography, many of you are probably wondering how it is applied in the modern world.

There are four primary ways that cryptography is implemented in information security. These four applications are called cryptographic functions.

When we use the right cryptographic system, we can establish the identity of a remote user or system quite easily. The go-to example of this is the SSL certificate of a web server which provides proof to the user that they are connected to the right server.

The identity in question is not the user, but rather the cryptographic key of that user. Meaning that the more secure the key, the more certain the identity of the user and vice versa.

Heres an example.

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Introduction to Cryptography: Simple Guide for Beginners …

Edward Snowden calls for public release of FISA abuses memo …

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden said the bill to reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act would never have passed through both chambers of Congress if a memo Republicans claim has revelations about U.S. government surveillance abuses was released prior to the vote.

As such, Snowden called on President Trump to veto the legislation giving six more years of life to the key counterterrorism surveillance tool.

“Officials confirm there’s a secret report showing abuses of spy law Congress voted to reauthorize this week. If this memo had been known prior to the vote, FISA reauth [sic] would have failed,” Snowden tweeted early Friday. “These abuses must be made public, and @realDonaldTrump should send the bill back with a veto.”

If Trump does not veto the bill and sent it back to Congress for “reform,” Snowden said, “this is nothing but politics.”

Trump, however, announced on Twitter Friday afternoon that he signed the bill.

Following the successful House vote, the Senate just barely advanced legislation on Tuesday to reauthorize Section 702 of FISA despite demands from Republicans and Democrats for more privacy protections for U.S. citizens a cause espoused by Snowden.

Last week, before the FISA reauthorization bill’s passage in Congress, Trump claimed in a tweet the Obama administration used the controversial surveillance tool to justify the “unmasking” of members of his campaign who were caught up in the surveillance of foreign nationals. However, Trump backed off his critique of the surveillance law in a tweet later that morning, one that reflected his administration’s support for the reauthorization of the measure.

The FISA memo was released internally to House members only on Thursday. Since it’s release a number of Republican lawmakers have rallied for its release to the general public, in some cases using a “ReleaseTheMemo” hashtag on social media. The effort has gone viral on social media, and appears to has gotten a sizable boost from Twitter accounts linked to Russian influence efforts.

Snowden was asked if he was “planting his flag” for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, who last month was cleared by the ethics panel on allegations that he mishandled classified information by giving it to the Trump White House while accusing the Obama administration of “unmasking” the identities associates of Trump.

“Of course not,” Snowden replied, adding, “but when the chairman of House Intel (HPSCI) claims there’s documented evidence of serious surveillance abuses, it matters. If true, the citizens must see the proof. If false, it establishes HPSCI lies and has no credibility.”

“Either outcome benefits the public,” Snowden added.

Snowden was granted asylum in Russia back in 2013 after he leaked secret information from the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs and has been there ever since.

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Edward Snowden calls for public release of FISA abuses memo …

The secretive world of Julian Assange in London, and 6 other …

In this occasional series, The Washington Post brings you up to speed on some of the biggest stories of the week. This week:A German hackerreveals rare insights into WikiLeaks.

The biggest story:The secretive world of Julian Assange in London

For most of the past six years, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been confined to the Ecuadoran Embassy in London, fearing he will be extradited to the United States if he leaves and prosecuted under the Espionage Act. Ecuador recently granted Assange citizenship, but British officials say he is still subject to arrest if he leaves the embassy.

Andy Mller-Maguhn is one of Assanges few connections to the outside world. In several lengthy interviews, The Washington Post’sEllen Nakashima, Souad Mekhennet and Greg Jaffe were able to gain new insights into Assange’s life in London and the secretive world of WikiLeaks.

Read their exclusive story from Berlin and London.

Sixother important stories

1. The pope’s apology tour

In 2011, after decades of complaints, Chilean priest Fernando Karadima was found guilty of abusing dozens of minors. He was dismissed and sentenced to a life of penance and prayer. But Karadima’s victims say the churchwas too slow to investigate and dismiss the priest. Much of that ire is directed at Pope Francis, who was in Chile this week on something of an apology tour, as Amanda Erickson writes.

During his visit to Chile on Jan. 16, Pope Francis said he felt “pain and shame at the irreparable damage caused to children” who were sexually abused by priests. (Reuters)

2. A nuclear North Korea is bringing back Cold War paranoia

Japanese public broadcaster NHK mistakenly sent an alert on Tuesday warning that North Korea had fired a missile, just days after a similar mistake caused panic in Hawaii. Unlike in the Hawaii case, however, this error took only five minutes to correct, writes Anna Fifield.

The panic it sowed was immeasurable, reviving the terror sparked by similar false alerts during the Cold War. It also reinforced the reality of the present day: Given the state of tensions with North Korea and the rogue regime’s demonstrated weapons capabilities, the prospect of ballistic missiles raining down on Hawaii can’t be shrugged away, according to Ishaan Tharoor.

That threat has been especially pronounced after the inauguration of President Trump, whohas responded to North Korean provocations by referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as rocket man, short and fat and madman.

And those are not the only remarks that have stunned experts.

3.Trump lauded delivery of F-52s to Norway. The planes only exist in Call of Duty.

President Trump appeared to misspeak on Jan. 10, when he said the U.S. is selling Norway F-52 fighter jets. F-52s only exist in a video game but the F-35 is very real. Here’s what you need to know. (Patrick Martin/The Washington Post)

President Trump also caused a stir with his announcement this week that the United States had delivered F-52 fighter jets to Norway. F-52 jets areonly available to fly if youre a gamer at the controls of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.

Alex Horton has the full story.

4.Comrade, meet Cupid: Chinas Communist Party plays matchmaker to millennials

Thanks to the one-child policy and a preference for sons, China has a surplus of men. The number of unmarried men between ages 35 and 59 will reach 15 million in 2020, according to one Chineseestimate. Concerned that the gender imbalance could create instability, the ruling party first tried toshame single womeninto marriage, calling themleftover and comparing them toyellowed pearls.

Nowit has settled on a more robust market intervention: mass matchmaking, writes Emily Rauhala inHangzhou.

5.Beijing wins the battle for blue skies but the poor are paying a price

Government regulation in Chinais not only impacting singles searching for potential husbands or wives, but also the air they breathe. One year ago, Chinas capital city was in the grip of suffocating and potentially fatal smog that made life a misery and breathing downright dangerous. But this month, the air in Beijing has been clear.

Tens of thousands of polluting factories were forced to clean up their operations or were simply closed, while millions of households were hurriedly shifted off coal-fired heating and onto natural gas, writesSimon Denyer.

6.Orange is the new blue: Why India wants to color-code its passports

One of the bigrepercussionsof Brexit will likely be a change of British passport colors from burgundy to blue.

In India, orange is the new blue, at least for some. The country’s foreign ministry has issued new rules saying that citizens who require emigration checks will now carry orange passports, while those who dont will carry blue ones.

The new orange passports are supposed to protect vulnerablelaborers from exploitation abroad, but critics argue that the orange and blue color coding could lead to discrimination against poor and illiterate workers and effectively render millions of Indians second-class citizens, writes Vidhi Doshi in New Delhi.

You can find The Washington Posts international coverage on ourwebsite,and onFacebook,Twitter,InstagramandSnapchat.

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The secretive world of Julian Assange in London, and 6 other …

Sen. Chelsea Manning? To even think about rewarding this …

Chelsea Manning who was sentenced to 35 years in prison after being convicted on charges of espionage, theft and fraud in 2013 has filed to run for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate in Maryland, announcing her run in a video this week. Let that sink in for a moment.

The former soldier known as Bradley Manning before coming out as transgender was released from a military prison after President Obama commuted her sentence late last year in the final days of his term.

Like me, you were probably shocked to find out that a felony conviction let alone one for betraying your country does not disqualify you from serving in the Senate. And while Mannings chances of defeating popular Sen. Ben Cardin in the Democratic primary this year are extraordinarily slim, the very fact that this reprehensible backstabber can even perpetrate this farce is shameful.

To refresh your memory, Manning leaked around 750,000 classified and sensitive documents to WikiLeaks, which placed them on the internet. Authorities said this was the largest leak of classified documents in American history. Even thinking about rewarding this criminal with a Senate seat is beyond absurd.

All Manning would have to do is swear another meaningless oath and promise to obey it this time to once again gain access to our national security secrets, which she could leak again if she wished. That should fill you with confidence.

The sheer volume of documents ensured there was no way Manning could have reviewed them in any meaningful way. Manning basically provided randomly chosen pieces of our national secrets to all of our enemies. Operations were compromised and partners in Iraq and Afghanistan were identified and put at risk.

Manning claimed to have acted to expose U.S. war crimes. But even after exhaustive examination of all of the information she released, not a single war crime was identified. So in the end this was a selfish act by a childish individual who put her own petty grievances above the safety and security of the entire country and endangered the lives of honorably serving members of the U.S. military.

Now we have the spectacle of Chelsea Manning for Senate. While getting elected would be the longest of long shots, lets think about the unlikely event that Manning beats the odds and actually becomes a senator.

Should that come to pass, the worlds greatest deliberative body, as the Senate likes to call itself, would seat a felon who purposely violated the oath of enlistment in the U.S. Army and betrayed America and fellow soldiers.

Whats important to note is that senators are not required to obtain a security clearance to gain access to classified government material. Former Army Pvt. Manning could never regain a security clearance after being convicted of espionage. But Sen. Manning would automatically be allowed to examine classified material by virtue of having been elected by the public to an office requiring this access.

Hey, what could possibly go wrong?

All Manning would have to do is swear another meaningless oath and promise to obey it this time to once again gain access to our national security secrets, which she could leak again if she wished. That should fill you with confidence.

It could even come to pass that this person who put our intelligence agencies and American lives at risk could serve on a committee providing oversight on the same agencies whose information she sent flying into the digital breeze. Just having to think through all of this is making my head ache and my stomach churn.

It will be very interesting to see how much support this #Resistance heroine, who has been very noisy in opposition to President Trump, can gain from the left. It is one thing to cheer on a somewhat comical protestor whose emoji addiction on Twitter leans heavily on rainbows and unicorns. Its quite another to actually support an alumnus of the federal prison at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas for a job requiring the trust of the public.

Regardless of the outcome, we now have been forced to at least contemplate this senseless possibility. That is a sad commentary on the state of our political system, and we are all lowered by it.

Jim Hanson is President of Security Studies Group and served in US Army Special Forces.

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Sen. Chelsea Manning? To even think about rewarding this …

Linda Sarsour endorses Chelsea Manning for U.S. Senate …

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Shes with [Insert your preferred pronoun here]!

The traitor formerly known as Bradley Manning announced their candidacy for United States Senate in Maryland Monday and the former Army private has already lined up a key endorsement of sorts, none other than anti-Israel activist and pink-hat-wearing-angry-woman-march organizer Linda Sarsour:

Manning served a little over seven years (including time served during investigation and trial) of a 35-year sentence in Leavenworth for espionage and theft of over 700,000 military includingbattlefield videos and diplomatic cables from classified computer accounts. (This was back when the The Swamp took classified diplomatic documents seriously and didnt reward the breach of these state secrets with a nomination for president.)

During the trial Manning came out as a transgender individual and proclaimed himself to be Chelsea. In his final days as president, Barack Obama commuted Mannings remaining sentence.

Recently, Manning has used Twitter to deliver wildly popular left-wing sentiments like F*** the police and Taxation is sharing.

So, in short, the transgender thief, spy, traitor who hates the police and wants more and higher taxation just got endorsed by a virulent anti_Israel terror sympathizer.

No wonder shes running as a Democrat.

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Linda Sarsour endorses Chelsea Manning for U.S. Senate …