Stop Using Zoom, Second Warning

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

The first warning came last March.

March: As remote work surges amid the coronavirus pandemic, the FBI issued a public bulletin Monday warning Zoom and other video teleconferencing services may not be as private, or as secure, as users may assume.

Use of Zoom and similar services has exploded in recent weeks as companies, schools, governments, and individuals increasingly turn to its teleconferencing as ways to keep businesses and classrooms afloat while sheltering in pace or working from home. However, the shift also represents an opportunity for attackers, as white supremacists, hackers and other trolls barge into digital meetings, a phenomenon known as “Zoombombing.”

In Massachusetts, there have been several incidents, including an unintended participant joining a high school’s virtual classroom only to yell profanities and reveal personal information about the teacher, according to the FBI. Another unwelcome participant with swastika tattoos joined a separate Massachusetts school’s Zoom meeting, the FBI reports.

“The FBI has received multiple reports of conferences being disrupted by pornographic and/or hate images and threatening language,” the FBI cautioned. “As individuals continue the transition to online lessons and meetings, the FBI recommends exercising due diligence and caution in your cybersecurity efforts.”

It’s not just private businesses and children whose meetings could be Zoombombed. Privacy and security issues in conferencing software may also pose risks to national security, as world leaders convene Zoom meetings. In some cases, world leaders such as U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson have shared screenshots of their teleconferencing publicly only to reveal Zoom meeting IDs, raising concerns that sensitive information could be compromised. More here.

Stupidly, government officials at all levels are using Zoom including the Biden presidential team. How dangerous is that? Those officials are not reading the warnings or the news? Yeesh.

Zoom Biden Rally

For more proof, again this month…

Justice Department/December 2020: China-Based Executive at U.S. Telecommunications Company Charged with Disrupting Video Meetings

It is not only the U.S. that is sounding the warnings. The Telegraph reports warnings that “opportunistic criminals” (a formulation that’s practically redundant), can be expected to use bogus invitations to sessions in their social engineering efforts.

Connecticut Teen Arrested for Allegedly 'Zoom Bombing ...

A security executive with the video-tech giant Zoom worked with the Chinese government to terminate Americans’ accounts and disrupt video calls about the 1989 massacre of pro-democracy activists in Tiananmen Square, Justice Department prosecutors said Friday.

The case is a stunning blow for Zoom, one of the most popular new titans of American tech, which during the pandemic became one of the main ways people work, socialize and share ideas around the world. The California-based company is now worth more than $100 billion.

But the executive’s work with the Chinese government, as alleged by FBI agents in a criminal complaint unsealed Friday in a Brooklyn federal court, highlights the often-hidden threats of censorship on a forum promoted as a platform for free speech. It also raises questions about how Zoom is protecting users’ data from governments that seek to surveil and suppress people inside their borders and abroad.

Prosecutors said the China-based executive, Xinjiang Jin, worked as Zoom’s primary liaison with Chinese law enforcement and intelligence services, sharing user information and terminating video calls at the Chinese government’s request.

Jin monitored Zoom’s video system for discussions of political and religious topics deemed unacceptable by China’s ruling Communist Party, the complaint states, and he gave government officials the names, email addresses, and other sensitive information of users, even those outside China.

Jin worked also to end at least four video meetings in May and June, including video memorial calls with U.S.-based dissidents who’d survived the crackdown by Chinese military forces that killed thousands of students and protesters. The Chinese government works to censor any acknowledgment of the massacre, including on social media outside China.

A Zoom spokesperson said in a statement Friday that the company has cooperated with the case and launched its own internal investigation. Jin, the company said, shared “a limited amount of individual user data with Chinese authorities,” as well as data on no more than 10 users based outside China. Jin was fired for violating company policies, the statement said, and other employees have been placed on administrative leave until the investigation is complete.

In an updated statement on Zoom’s website, the company said it “fell short” by terminating the meetings instead of only blocking access to participants in China, to abide by Chinese law. The company said it has reinstated the victims’ accounts and will no longer allow requests from the Chinese government to affect users outside mainland China.

“As the DOJ makes clear, every American company, including Zoom and our industry peers, faces challenges when doing business in China,” the company said in its statement. “We will continue to act aggressively to anticipate and combat ever-evolving data security challenges.”

Jin could not be reached for comment. Though Jin lives in China and is not in U.S. custody, officials said he could be transferred to the United States to face prosecution if he travels to a country that has an extradition treaty with the U.S.

A spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in Washington did not respond to requests for comment.

Human-rights activists this summer said their Zoom accounts had been abruptly terminated shortly before or after they’d hosted video calls commemorating the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests, a bloody crackdown captured in the iconic photo of a man standing in front of a Chinese tank.

Zoom said in a statement then that the company “must comply with laws in the countries where we operate.” While the company said it regretted “that a few recent meetings with participants both inside and outside of China were negatively impacted,” the statement said it was not in the company’s power “to change the laws of governments opposed to free speech.”

Zhou Fengsuo, a student leader during the Tiananmen Square protests who had his paid Zoom account terminated this summer, told The Washington Post on Friday that he had worked with the FBI on the case and saw the charges as “tremendous news.”

“It’s so eye-opening to me how this U.S. company, having this connection, would report directly to” the Chinese Communist Party and “disrupt our meetings regularly on behalf of the CCP,” he said. “This executive was working for the government and police as an agent of persecution, and Zoom was paying this guy for doing that job.”

Prosecutors charged Jin, also known as Julien Jin, with conspiracy to commit interstate harassment and to transfer a means of identification. Jin, 39, had worked at the company since 2016, most recently as a “Security Technical Leader,” the complaint said.

Quoting from electronic messages between Jin and other Zoom employees, FBI agents outlined a months-long, high-pressure campaign by China’s “Internet Police” to view users’ video calls and suppress unwanted speech. In one April message, Jin said he had been summoned to a meeting with Chinese government officials who demanded that Zoom develop the capability to terminate any “illegal meeting” within one minute. In others, Jin sent meeting passwords and other sensitive internal data directly to Chinese law enforcement.

In the complaint, FBI agents said that Zoom employees in the U.S. had agreed to a Chinese government “rectification” plan that entailed migrating data on roughly 1 million users from the U.S. to China, thereby subjecting it to Chinese law. Zoom also agreed, the complaint states, to provide “special access” to Chinese law enforcement and national security authorities. In one message cited in the complaint, Jin wrote that the authorities had wanted him to share detailed lists of the company’s “daily monitoring” of “Hong Kong demonstrations, illegal religions” and other subjects.

To terminate the Tiananmen Square calls, the complaint alleges, Jin’s co-conspirators fabricated evidence that they were intended to discuss child abuse, racism, terrorism, and violence. Jin’s co-conspirators also entered some calls with fake accounts that used pornographic or terrorist-related profile images, and Jin pointed to those images as evidence to terminate the meetings and suspend the hosts’ accounts.

John Demers, the assistant attorney general for national security, said the firm had, like many others that do business in China, put itself in a difficult position by operating in an authoritarian country whose laws and practices often “run antithetical to our values.”

“The company was focused on complying with Chinese law and the expectations of Chinese law enforcement,” Demers said. “But what happened over time is those expectations increased. So it goes from, ‘Well, respond to our lawful requests,’ to ‘You must take action within a minute to shut down any action on your platforms’ – not just in China, but outside – that hits upon topics of sensitivity to the Chinese government.”

That pressure, he noted, spans many industries: He cited the controversy last year involving the National Basketball Association, in which the general manager of the Houston Rockets tweeted in support of Hong Kong protesters, leading to a backlash in China.

“The case is an illustration of the choices that companies are forced to make when they do business in China . . . [and] how the Chinese government will take advantage of the leverage they have over you to push their agenda,” he said. “You’ve got a consistent pattern of the Chinese government using economic leverage – the opportunity to access markets, foreign investments – in order to further political goals.”

John Scott-Railton, a researcher at the Citizen Lab in Toronto, said the filing showed how authoritarian governments have increasingly looked at major tech companies as top-priority intelligence targets ripe for infiltration and recruitment.

He pointed to another case last year against two former Twitter employees charged with spying on behalf of Saudi Arabia, including by sending the personal information of thousands of people, including Saudi critics and prominent dissidents.

The charges were announced on the same day that the Trump administration added four Chinese companies to the Commerce Department entity list for enabling human rights abuses within China by providing DNA-testing materials or high-technology surveillance equipment to the Chinese government. They were among 59 Chinese companies Commerce add to its export control entity list, including companies that have been accused of stealing trade secrets and using U.S. exports to support the Chinese military.

Zoom has faced questions before about how it guards against the potential misuse of video data by the Chinese government, which censors major news and social media websites beneath what’s known as a “Great Firewall.”

This spring, Scott-Railton and another researcher found the company had routed American users’ data through Chinese servers, potentially opening it to Chinese-government data requests. The company later said it had “mistakenly” sent American video calls to Chinese data centers amid a flood of calls.

Zoom employs more than 2,500 people around the world, including, as of last year, more than 500 in China who develop the software installed in computers around the world.

The company’s billionaire chief executive, Eric Yuan, was born in China but moved to Silicon Valley in the late ’90s, where he worked for the video start-up WebEx before founding Zoom in 2011.

The Federal Trade Commission last month reached a settlement with Zoom, in which the company resolved allegations that it had misled users about their data privacy and encryption measures by agreeing to new security rules.

Questions over business dealings in China have become more commonplace as a new wave of Chinese tech start-ups has gained international popularity and acclaim. TikTok, the wildly popular short-video app owned by the Beijing-based tech company ByteDance, drew suspicions of censorship from users last year because searches on the site related to topics suppressed by the Chinese government, such as the Tiananmen Square massacre or the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests, showed few or no videos.

Internal guidelines for the site also mimicked Chinese-government censorship policies, and former employees for the company told The Post last year that key content-moderation decisions for international users were made in China. TikTok has said it has worked in recent months to distance its U.S. operations from the company’s Chinese headquarters.

Wang Dan, a Chinese dissident whose Zoom call on Tiananmen Square was also disrupted this spring, said the case showed how China could threaten free expression for people in the West.

“Interfering with the freedom of speech of those who have settled and lived in the United States in exile is . . . a serious attack to American sovereignty,” he told The Post on Friday. “The American people should also pay more attention to the [Chinese Communist Party’s] threat of American democracy.”


Pelosi Refusing to Advance China Task Force Legislation Items

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code


On September 25, 2015, during CCP General Secretary Xi’s state visit to the United States, President Obama and Xi gave remarks to the press in the White House Rose Garden. The two leaders announced that they had agreed “neither the U.S. nor the Chinese government will conduct or knowingly support cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property, including trade secrets or other confidential business information for commercial advantage.” Xi also pledged that “China does not intend to pursue militarization” of the South China Sea. Neither of these promises to the American people was made in good faith. Today, “China is using cyber-enabled theft as part of a global campaign to ‘rob, replicate, and replace’ non-Chinese companies in the global marketplace,” according to Assistant Attorney General John Demers. Meanwhile, the PRC’s military outposts in the South China Sea have been proven “capable of supporting military operations and include advanced weapon systems,” according to the Pentagon.

October 01, 2020 Congressional Record

COUNTERING THREAT OF CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Joyce) for 5 minutes. Mr. JOYCE of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, after months of hard work and collaboration, the China Task Force has released our final report, which includes more than 400 solutions to counter the growing threat of the Chinese Communist Party.

This report is the framework for combating the aggressive Chinese Communist regime. After meeting with more than 130 experts, we developed realistic and achievable solutions that take a comprehensive approach to strengthening America’s national security and holding the Chinese Government accountable. We realized that out of our 400 recommendations, 180 are legislative solutions, of which 64 percent are bipartisan and one-third have already passed either the House or the Senate.

Mr. Speaker, these are commonsense solutions that we can vote on today to strengthen our strategic position for tomorrow. As the only physician serving on the China Task Force, it was my privilege to delve into opportunities to strengthen our supply chains and ensure that Americans are never again beholden to the Chinese Government for key medicines or healthcare supplies.

On the Health and Technology Subcommittee, I led efforts to strengthen [[Page H5110]] the supply chains for medicines, semiconductors, and other vital materials. Congress has passed several provisions aimed at advancing research and the manufacturing of critical medical supplies here in the United States. We also created new reporting requirements to help us better understand international supply chains and counter vulnerabilities in the system.

To bolster our technology supply chain, I cosponsored H.R. 7178, the CHIPS Act, to increase domestic production of advanced semiconductors, which will help Americans to develop next-generation telecom technology, fully automated systems, and, importantly, new weapons systems. I also introduced the ORE Act, H.R. 7812, to incentivize the domestic production of rare earth materials, which is key to breaking the Chinese monopoly on critical supply chains. America cannot allow China to win the race to next-generation technology. We want innovative breakthroughs to happen here in this country, and the China Task Force is making progress through the legislative process. As a leader on the competitiveness committee, I focused on issues ranging from combating Chinese Communist-sponsored theft of intellectual property to exposing the influence of the Chinese in U.S. research institutions and countering the importation of illicit fentanyl.

Too often, American companies are being coerced to surrender intellectual property to the Chinese Government in order to gain entry into the Chinese marketplace. In extreme cases, we hear of outright theft by Chinese hackers and agents. The China Task Force has produced recommendations that direct the Federal Government to ramp up investigations of individuals acting as pawns of the Chinese Communist Party and enforce antitheft laws.

Our Nation has also seen wholesale efforts of the Chinese Government to steal research and gain influence at United States universities. In my own backyard, the FBI arrested a former Penn State researcher suspected of espionage. The task force has compiled provisions to increase transparency and accountability in the higher education system, and I introduced legislation to close loopholes and force the disclosure of all foreign money in our research systems. Finally, we must stop illicit fentanyl from reaching our communities and killing our neighbors.

The China Task Force has produced recommendations to stop the importation of these devastating analogues from China. In the House, I cosponsored legislation to hold foreign nations, including China, accountable if they fail to cooperate with U.S. narcotics control efforts and prosecute the production of fentanyl in their countries. I thank Senator Toomey for championing this provision in the Senate.

By implementing these solutions, we can make America safer, stronger, and better equipped to lead in the 21st century. The China Task Force final report is a framework. It is our playbook to make a difference. While our work on this report has finished, our commitment to this cause must and will continue. Phase two starts today.

The 141-page report is found here.


A Battle Against Lies

By: Cliff Kincaid

The Christian existentialist philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, wrote about the corruption in the Danish State Church, declaring that everyone knew privately that the system was rotten and corrupt but they would not say so publicly. “Just as one says that death has marked a man, so we recognize the symptoms which demand to be attacked. It is a battle against lies,” he said.

The problem we face today is corruption in government, the media, and the church that runs so deep that it is uncomfortable for some to even talk about it publicly.

In his landmark 1975 book, The Corrupt Society, Robert Payne wrote, “There are many weapons that can be used to prevent the corruption of societies. The most powerful of these weapons are vigilance and knowledge. Hence the importance of the press, radio, and television to break through all imposed restrictions to discover how the government works, how it arrives at its decisions, how it manages its defenses, how it deals with traitors, especially the traitors in its midst.”

The tragedy is that, since Payne’s book was published, the press has become as corrupt as the government. I actually noticed this trend when I went to college and studied a textbook, Interpretative Reporting, by Curtis MacDougall, a communist fellow-traveler who admired Castro and hated anti-communist Senator Joe McCarthy. That’s one reason why I went to work out of college monitoring the media for Accuracy in Media.

My friend and former colleague at Accuracy in Media, Roger Aronoff, discussed the corruption in the media in a recent edition of my show America’s Survival TV.

Payne dedicated his book to Richard Nixon, a joke because Payne found Nixon and his administration to be corrupt. It was also a joke because Victor Lasky’s book, It Didn’t Start With Watergate, proved that Democrats were as corrupt, even more so than Republicans.

As we look deeper, we discover that Nixon was singled out for destruction because of his role in helping to expose Soviet spy Alger Hiss in the State Department, and a communist network inside the U.S. government. Ironically, Nixon had persuaded anti-communist Senator Joe McCarthy to avoid investigating communist penetration of one key agency — the CIA. McCarthy would go into Bethesda Naval Hospital with a sore knee and leave in a body bag, allegedly dead of hepatitis, before he could ever launch that inquiry. McCarthy’s strange death was examined in the J.C. Hawkins book, Betrayal At Bethesda.

Many liberals, even to this day, think Hiss was innocent or that the evidence against him is still in dispute. They also despise McCarthy for his investigations of communists in government. Liberal disgust for McCarthy has been adopted by such Never-Trump notables as Jonah Goldberg. Author J.C. Hawkins discussed Goldberg’s strange views during a recent episode of America’s Survival TV.

Goldberg is one of those “responsible conservatives,” in this case someone who achieved prominence because of his mother’s role in the Monica Lewinsky/Bill Clinton scandal, who warns against investigations of what is truly happening behind-the-scenes politically.

Trump’s Attorney General Bill Barr is another so-called “responsible conservative” who refused to do what is necessary to expose the Deep State, of which he is clearly a member. His service to the CIA continues.

We should remember that Nixon had won the 1960 election against John F. Kennedy but had that election stolen from him. He was persuaded to avoid contesting the election in the name of national stability. Subsequently, he was elected president in 1968 and re-elected in 1972.

The accepted history is that Watergate was a White House dirty tricks operation designed to gather dirt on Democratic Party officials by breaking into their offices in the Watergate hotel. In fact, the evidence shows it was a CIA operation, something suspected by “Deep Throat,” the major source for the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who turned out to be the FBI’s number two, Mark Felt. The CIA was investigating a high-class prostitution ring that was used by the Democrats and coordinated from their Watergate offices to “entertain” Democrat VIPs. Woodward and Bernstein failed to pursue that line of inquiry.

All of this is now on the public record thanks to John O’Connor’s book, Postgate. I recently interviewed him on America’s Survival TV. What the CIA was doing was later copied by one Jeffrey Epstein, an individual with intelligence connections whose death remains as mysterious as the politicians he videotaped and blackmailed. It was another scandal that Bill Barr failed to uncover.

Again, as we see possible parallels between the fates of Nixon and Trump, Postgate author John O’Conner and others are being featured in the film, “Plot Against the President,” about how the intelligence community targeted Trump in much the same way they brought down Nixon.

Interestingly, Washington Post Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein’s parents were members of the Communist Party. His father had been questioned about a possible relationship with Louise Bransten, a member of a Soviet espionage network.

For his part, Post executive editor Ben Bradlee’s wife was the Post’s longtime religion reporter and Washington insider, elite party planner Sally Quinn, who admitted in her book Finding Magic to her belief in the occult, including casting spells on her enemies, reading Tarot cards, and using Ouija Boards. It seems like she was into something akin to the “spirit cooking” dinners mentioned in the Hillary Clinton emails.

Years, earlier, Jean Houston of the Foundation for Mind Research would try to help Mrs. Clinton, then First Lady,  “communicate” with Eleanor Roosevelt during a mystical “channeling” session.  Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward wrote about these sessions in a book on the 1996 presidential election but he didn’t seem to find anything unusually strange or bizarre about such practices.

Nixon’s resignation was so destabilizing that it led to the communist takeover of Vietnam, with 58,000 Americans having died in vain, and the communist genocide in neighboring Cambodia, costing 2 million lives.

Bringing all of this up to date, we learn that House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi once praised Dr. Carlton Goodlett as a civil rights activist. A communist associate of the Peoples Temple cult leader Jim Jones, whose more than 900 followers committed “revolutionary suicide” in Guyana in 1978, Goodlett was a Lenin Peace Prize winner and a central figure in the Democratic Party in San Francisco. Incredibly, there is a street in San Francisco, Dr. Carlton B Goodlett Place, named after this communist, where City Hall is located.

FBI documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request reveal the Soviet communist connections of Carlton Goodlett and his political influence in San Francisco.

The clever change in communist strategy has been to blame the Russians while the Chinese Communists, their partners in crime, take the lead as the “fundamental transformation” of the United States and the world proceeds. Hence, one of the leading progressives, Rep. Jamie Raskin, appearing several years ago at a Trump impeachment rally, blamed the Russians for supporting Trump while his own father, Marcus Raskin, was very close to the Russians when they were officially members of the Soviet Union.

In this way, through lies and skillful deception, Bolshevik Bernie Sanders becomes a respectable “democratic socialist,” someone worthy of being brought into the Biden/Harris camp. For his part, Rep. Raskin is a prominent member of the group “Secular Democrats” that is asking that some conservative “white nationalist” Christians be investigated by a Biden/Harris Administration as potential terrorists by the FBI.  Journalist Leo Hohmann broke this story and discussed it with me on ASI TV.

Don’t look for any guidance from the Vatican and Pope Francis, for they are staging a New Age Nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square that looks like an illustration from the book, God Drives a Flying Saucer.

Equally bizarre, as my family was visiting Rome last February, we took a tour of the Colosseum only to discover a statue of Moloch, the pagan deity of child sacrifice, being displayed. The Colosseum is viewed by many Christians as a sacred site because early Christians were martyred there.

For my part, the yard signs and banners, “Mary was Pro-Life,” and “Unborn Lives Matter,” still remain for visitors to my home. It’s a small thing to do. But these signs send an appropriate message at this time and may just “trigger” somebody into waking up from the lies.

*Cliff Kincaid is president of America’s Survival, Inc. for updates, use the contact form at www.usasurvval.org