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The FBI ran a child porn site to catch predators, and now the accused are crying foul

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When Daryl Glenn Pawlak logged into a large child pornography website and downloaded images using his work computer, he was charged with receipt and possession of child pornography.

The operator of the website that was exploiting children, however, was not arrested.

That’s because it was the FBI. And federal prosecutors are defending the agency’s decision to secretly hijack and peddle child porn for two weeks as part of a sting operation.

During that time, tens of thousands of images of child pornography were uploaded to the site.

“Not only was the government the largest distributor of child pornography … it was also the largest exploiter of children,” Pawlak’s attorney said in a court filing. “This conduct is the essence of outrageousness, and a serious need for deterrence exists.”

The case has ignited debate among legal scholars and defense attorneys about internet privacy and the FBI’s decision to keep such a website up and running while more children were harmed.

Dozens of defense attorneys have filed motions to suppress evidence from the controversial child pornography sting, called Operation Pacifier. In some cases, federal judges have granted those motions. But most attempts to get charges thrown out have failed, legal experts say, even though some judges have ruled that the government violated the law and acted inappropriately.

Joining legal challenges nationwide, Pawlak’s attorneys are trying to get the charges dismissed, arguing that the government went too far by using a single warrant in Virginia to hack the computers of people all over the country, including his client.

The American Civil Liberties Union compared it to Operation Fast and Furious, a failed sting operation run by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives beginning in 2009 that resulted in 2,000 firearms winding up in the hands of criminals.

In that case, ATF allowed people to illegally buy the guns to traffic to Mexico in the hopes of tracking them to Mexican drug cartel leaders. But that didn’t happen, and instead the agency lost track of the guns, including two that were found at the scene of the 2010 murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

The FBI declined to comment about Operation Pacifier. The U.S. attorney’s office in Dallas said in court filings that it acted within the law and that dismissing the case would give people like Pawlak a “free pass” for trolling the web for photos and videos of children being sexually abused.

“The FBI’s process here should be encouraged, not deterred,” a prosecutor in Dallas said in a court filing.

Defense attorneys say the matter will eventually be resolved in the appellate courts, if not the U.S. Supreme Court.

Historically, the government has taken down such websites immediately.

Douglas Anderson, chair of the University of North Texas’ philosophy and religion department, said the government was conducting a cost-benefit analysis, weighing damage to children against catching people who download child porn.

He said he was surprised children were used in such a calculation.

“It’s a moral conundrum for anyone who takes the view that we are committed to protecting them in all ways,” Anderson said. “They’re weighing it against these kids’ lives.”

World opinion says we have a basic duty to protect children, Anderson said.

“You’d have to have something pretty overwhelming to offset damaging more people,” he said. “It would have to be awfully extreme to allow even one child to be harmed.”

The trap is set

The FBI in early 2015 seized, controlled and monitored a child pornography website on the “dark web” called Playpen for about two weeks.

Playpen began operating around August 2014 on the Tor Network, a group of volunteer-operated servers that allows users to browse the internet anonymously using free software.

A username and password were required to view the images. A foreign law enforcement agency’s tip led the FBI to Playpen’s server, authorities said.

In February, the FBI obtained a search warrant from a federal judge in Virginia that allowed the agency to run Playpen for up to 30 days on a government-controlled server.

Agents hacked into the computers of people who logged into Playpen and accessed its content. Agents were not authorized to rummage through a computer’s files or search other content, court records said.

Pawlak, 39, created a Playpen account in September 2014 and accessed the website more than 300 times, prosecutors said. In less than a second, agents knew what computer the Burleson man was using. That led to the two child pornography charges against him.

FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. (Getty Images)FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. (Getty Images)

Pawlak was indicted on July 6 in Dallas and remains free on bond. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for later this month.

Several men were charged with similar offenses in federal court in Houston under the same FBI operation, including a former pediatrician at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

“The FBI took quick action to locate otherwise anonymous child predators and received the blessing of two federal judges to conduct the short-term, monitored operation that was authorized by a warrant,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamie L. Hoxie said in court records filed in Pawlak’s case.

During the operation, numerous users were identified, leading to child pornography charges against about 180 people nationwide, including those producing images, court records show. At least 49 children were rescued from abuse, authorities said.

Work computers used

Pawlak works at North Texas fracking sites that drill for natural gas for his job in the energy industry, according to court documents. Prosecutors say he used his work-issued laptop computers to view and download child pornography. He accessed the images from August 2014 to May 2015, according to the indictment.

Pawlak spoke to an FBI agent on the phone when agents searched his home in October 2015, court records show. He “made clear that his interests in children” and child pornography “go far beyond the FBI’s limited, monitored operation involving the Playpen website,” Hoxie said in a court filing.

Pawlak told agents he first viewed child pornography in 2012 when a work colleague sent it to his work email, records show.

“Thereafter, Pawlak’s interest in child pornography continued due to a perceived element of danger or excitement,” Hoxie said in a court filing. “He preferred to view child pornography depicting girls that were between 7 and 11 years old.”

The FBI found hundreds of child pornography images from his current and former work computers, records said. Pawlak is charged with receipt and possession of child pornography.

“Pawlak sought out child pornography, including images depicting young girls the same age as his own daughter being raped and sexually humiliated by grown men,” Hoxie wrote for the government.

Hoxie said that while the technology the FBI used was “somewhat novel,” it was within the bounds of the law.

“The FBI received the rare opportunity to make a dent in the otherwise impervious community of child predators using Tor to victimize children,” she wrote.

Outrageous conduct?

Steven Jumes, Pawlak’s attorney, wrote in a Dec. 28 motion to dismiss the indictment that the FBI hosted an estimated 22,000 images, videos and links of child pornography that more than 100,000 people accessed.

“The government has taken leaps and bounds over the line of acceptable investigative techniques when it exploited and re-victimized thousands of children without taking any precautions to minimize the harm to them,” Jumes said in the motion. “Congress has long recognized that each viewing of child pornography re-victimizes the child.”

The harm to victims is lifelong, he said, because it’s impossible to completely eradicate all copies of the images.

“The line of what constitutes ‘going too far’ has been so offensively disregarded that such outrageous conduct can only be said to violate due process,” Jumes wrote.

Jumes also said in the motion that dismissing the case against his client “admittedly puts the court in the position of rewarding an indicted wrongdoer.”

But he said he’s asking for a dismissal not to reward Pawlak but to “uphold the integrity of law enforcement action.”

Earle Cabell federal courthouse in downtown Dallas, where a legal challenge to a child...Earle Cabell federal courthouse in downtown Dallas, where a legal challenge to a child pornography case will be heard.

The government denies its conduct was outrageous.

“The reality the FBI faced was that taking down the Playpen site, without catching its thousands of users, would not stop the child-pornography problem,” Hoxie wrote in a court filing.

But a federal judge in the state of Washington ruled in November in an Operation Pacifier case that the government’s conduct was exactly that.

U.S. District Judge Robert J. Bryan wrote that the government improved the child porn website’s “technical functionality” and that it “re-victimized hundreds of children” by keeping the website online.

“The government used the child victims as bait to apprehend viewers of child pornography without informing the victims and without the victims’ permission — or that of their families,” Bryan wrote in his ruling.

However, the judge declined to dismiss the charges in the case, saying the government acted in good faith and did not violate search and seizure standards.

‘Abuse of power’

Colin Fieman, a federal public defender in Tacoma, Wash., has coordinated with defense attorneys across the nation on Operation Pacifier cases. He said the difficulty is in showing that the defendant was permanently harmed by the government misconduct.

“Hopefully, someone in Washington cares about it from an ethical standpoint and maybe something good will come of it,” Fieman said.

Fieman said the FBI took no steps to block the more shocking parts of the website, like instructions on how to abuse children.

The criminal cases are still relatively new, he said, and will be resolved in the appellate courts.

“There is still a long way to go,” Fieman said.

Andrew Crocker, staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco nonprofit group dealing with civil liberties in the digital world, said the government abused its power in these cases.

“They got a single warrant to hack into the computers of anyone visiting this website without any limitation,” he said.

Warrants have to say exactly who will be searched and where, he said. But this case gave the government authorization for “vast hacking operations.” Prosecutors should use a more targeted approach, seeking warrants on specific users, he said. Crocker called it unprecedented for a single warrant to give rise to this many prosecutions.

“It was as if they said, ‘We can search anywhere,'” Crocker said. “The breadth of this operation is what we are objecting to … hacking into a computer is very invasive. The government needs to meet a high standard.”

Steven JumesSteven Jumes

Jumes told The Dallas Morning News that the Pawlak case is a significant for all Americans because it challenges the government’s authority to hack into and search computers.

“The repercussions of what happens in the Operation Pacifier cases will shape the future of privacy expectations and the limits on government action for years to come,” he said.

Others question how authorities could otherwise have caught as many child predators who gather on hidden websites to victimize children.

“We had a window of opportunity to get into one of the darkest places on Earth, and not a lot of other options except to not do it,” Ron Hosko, a former senior FBI official told USA Today last year. “There was no other way we could identify as many players.”

More coverage on child pornography prosecutions

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City of Dallas employee busted after co-workers say he was viewing child porn on his phone

Hutchins man accused of tricking 14-year-old girl into sending sexually explicit photos


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Child porn on government devices: A hidden security threat

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Daniel Payne, director of the Pentagon’s Defense Security Service, admitted this spring to encountering “unbelievable” amounts of child pornography on government computers.

The comment came during an event in Virginia where military and intelligence officials gathered to address threats posed by federal workers. Mr. Payne, who spent much of his career in senior CIA and intelligence community roles before taking the Pentagon post, wanted to stress the value of monitoring employees’ systems to ensure they remained fit to handle top-secret information.

But the revelation raised many more troubling questions. Who was downloading the sexually explicit and criminal material? How much of it was on intelligence agency networks? And why didn’t the federal government deploy more robust technologies to keep child pornography from spreading on its networks?

While the notion of government employees and contractors with high levels of security clearance looking at child pornography was disturbing on its own, internal records retrieved through the Freedom of Information Act revealed the problem is not limited to military and intelligence agencies.

In the past three years, agencies ranging from the Postal Service to the Federal Highway Administration substantiated about 40 allegations that employees or contractors opened child pornography or provocative images of minors using government resources. The number of confirmed cases may be higher now since many federal organizations, such as the National Security Agency (NSA), did not respond to requests for records about similar investigations.

At a time when the US government is struggling to contain the problem of insider threats – employees who, for instance, steal national secrets or unwittingly damage US security by infecting federal computers systems with malicious software – pornographic images of children on government computers present a profound national security risk that if left unresolved could endanger American lives at home and abroad.

In interviews with more than a dozen federal officials and cybersecurity experts, they all acknowledge that government employees who download child pornography are more susceptible to coercion by foreign spies and criminal hackers. 

What’s more, the forums where pornographers trade in sexual images of children are rife with malicious software, giving criminal hackers or intelligence operatives working with America’s adversaries myriad ways to infiltrate US government computer networks to potentially steal state secrets.

“These people misusing their computers, their government property, in addition to being odious and really stupid, does create an additional risk because they are subject to blackmail and the like,” says Larry Clinton, president of the Internet Security Alliance, a tech industry group. “And we have a major problem with the insider threats of cybersecurity, including people who are compromised for various reasons.”

Indeed, foreign attackers often initiate cyberespionage campaigns by breaking through the point of least resistance on a network – such as careless employees. For instance, the alleged Russian hackers who infiltrated US political parties ahead of the presidential election exploited human security weaknesses to tamper with the election, baiting political operatives to click bogus security alerts that offered cyber spies entree to email accounts.

Criminal hackers commonly use ads and other images on porn sites to deliver malicious software designed to steal passwords, infect computers, and encrypt documents on victims’ computers. A May 2015 study by the cybersecurity firm Blue Coat Systems found that pornography, in general, continues to be one of the most popular methods that hackers use to hide malicious software. The spring of that year, security researchers discovered that hackers installed programs designed to infect users’ computers in highly popular porn sites that accounted for more than 250,000 million monthly visits.

And it’s not just criminal hackers that are delivering malware through sites where people trade in pornographic images. Last month, tech reporter Joseph Cox reported in Motherboard that the FBI took advantage of a “nonpublicly known vulnerability” to unmask users of a child pornography site called Playpen, which is accessible only through the anonymizing web browser Tor. 

The case illustrates how government agencies can track people on supposedly hidden forums that trade in illicit images. “A lot of these types of sites are accessible through Tor browsers,” said Steve Bongardt, a former profiler with the FBI’s cyber behavioral analysis program. “They are not absolutely anonymous,” he added, pointing to the Playpen investigation.

So while those who traffic in child pornography face a federal 30-year maximum prison sentence for a first-time offense, those who are government employees – especially the ones stashing images on government computers – bring even higher national security risks. 

“The risk of a foreign intelligence service using a federal employee’s child pornography habit, particularly online, in the last two decades, and trying to coerce that individual into recruitment is well known, and an accurate high threat,” said Mr. Bongardt, who now works as a private insider threat and computer forensics analyst as president of consulting firm the Gyges Group.  

“If a foreign government takes a hard look at recruiting someone, they have the ability to find out a lot about their online behavior and in the context of that, there have been cases, where they then use that behavior to leverage a recruitment against that individual,” he said, speaking about deviant personnel in general, not child pornography users specifically.

Inspector general officials within the Tennessee Valley Authority, a government-owned utility, and NASA, as well as other agencies, said flat out that they feel digital child pornography could jeopardize government networks. 

“Yes, because the systems that those images are kept on are notorious for malware and other illegal activities that could infect agency computers, thereby putting agency information at risk,” says Stefanie Hoglund, spokeswoman for the Tennessee Valley Authority Inspector General.

Additionally, says Renee N. Juhans, inspector general executive officer for NASA, employees who have visited child porn sites or downloaded explicit content are far less likely to report problems with their work computers, leaving them far more exposed to criminal hackers and spy operatives.

The threats inside

Shaken by recent internal security lapses in general, the Obama administration is in the midst of overhauling screening procedures for national security employees and contractors. Information leaks by ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden and the fatal shooting of 12 people in the Washington Navy Yard by a contractor shaped the reforms, along with a massive hack of background check records at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that was discovered in 2015. More recently, the NSA began investigating perhaps the biggest ever leak of top-secret documents allegedly at the hands of agency contractor Harold Thomas Martin who was arrested this summer.

The new personnel vetting approach will include automatic checks of social media, criminal records, and other data sources. The aim is to continuously evaluate a person’s behavior for signs the individual may constitute a security threat. A new information hub to help flag potential threats will share data from “user activity monitoring” of employees’ computer activities, according to a May 19 Privacy Act notice. Network surveillance may record keystrokes, screenshots, and content transmitted via email, chat, and data import or export.

According to OPM, some measures are currently in place to spot child pornography users within the federal workforce. “Background investigations do rely on the cooperation of individuals and the accessibility of records,” an OPM spokeswoman said in an emailed statement. “Background investigations have processes designed to obtain information about adverse conduct such as this through reviews of records, interviews and searches of relevant data sources.”

The Obama administration doesn’t keep official numbers related to employees who access child pornography on federal government computers. The government’s basic firewall does not have the capability to recognize child porn, according to the Homeland Security Department (DHS). That system, called EINSTEIN, helps detect and thwart known cyberassaults, while another antimalware program called Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation, comprising an array of sensors and services, flags network risks. The two DHS-led efforts “do not investigate the behavior of individual employees,” a Homeland Security official said.

Last week, a White House commission released cybersecurity recommendations for the incoming Trump administration and called post-Snowden efforts to address the insider threat problem “at best uneven and far too slow.” The panel, whose members included former NSA Director Keith Alexander, said the next administration should make adequate funding available and direct a deputy assistant to the president to oversee that problem.

An annual defense policy package that Congress could pass as early as this week orders the Pentagon by Sept. 30, 2019, to finish crafting a tool that collects and stores “user activity monitoring” records plus other personnel data on federal workers. The bill also authorizes $5 million for developing insider threat systems. 

Scope of the problem

It’s unclear if federal investigators uncovered malware on computers or thumb drives they searched in the dozens of cases where they uncovered child porn. The probes focused on employee wrongdoing, not cybersecurity. Agency inspector general offices referred most allegations they could corroborate to the Justice Department for potential prosecution.

This year alone, for instance, the Postal Service has completed nine investigations into alleged access of child pornography on government computers, according to inspector general records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. Between 2014 and 2016, the USPS inspector general closed 34 investigations into that category of misconduct. At the same time, the Postal Service has more than a century of experience identifying people who traffic in the illicit market, because offenders used to distribute child pornography via snail mail.

“If anyone is probably reporting and very sensitive to it, it’s going to be them,” said Bongardt, the former FBI agent. “They are very good about trying to police their own, with regards to it.”

Postal Service investigators substantiated 79 percent of the 34 cases, said Bruce Marsh, USPS inspector general director of government relations. “A few of the substantiated allegations involved employees found to have involvement with child exploitation/pornography but not on postal systems,” he said.

One well-known case of a government employee charged in connection to child pornography is that of Federal Highway Administration staffer Eric Worrell. According to a March 2016 Inspector General report from the Transportation Department, Mr. Worrell’s alleged transgressions came to light when a personal thumb drive of his containing child pornography was found in a hallway in a Sacramento, Calif., federal building. 

The department’s investigation “identified hundreds of images of child erotica and child pornography” on Worrell’s government-issued computer, according to the report. “He was taken into custody and the federal computer that he used there at the office was seized as part of the investigation to determine whether any of that material was on a government computer,” Federal Highway Administration spokesman Doug Hecox said. Worrell left the agency in March 2015.  The US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California announced this March that US District Judge Troy L. Nunley sentenced Worrell to five years in prison, followed by 20 years of supervised release. 

At least a handful of people who once had clearance to log into military and intelligence networks allegedly viewed child pornography or child erotica at various times during or before 2009 – and as recently as 2014, according to one spy agency. The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) cut off four individuals’ access to the spy satellite agency’s systems and information, or denied them access if the individual was undergoing a security investigation, after probing their activities, agency officials said. The NRO referred the cases to Justice.

A 2014 NRO investigation reported that a software engineer contractor “made admissions of ‘cracking’ secure wireless networks and viewing child pornography on the internet.” The subject had been granted access to sensitive NRO networks on June 25, 2012 and denied access in November 2013. The wireless network the contractor claimed to have hacked was not an agency network, an NRO official said. 

A separate 2014 probe claimed another person associated with the agency admittedly “viewed, downloaded and saved child pornography” about 30 times within two months in 2009. That individual had access to NRO classified information between 2009 and 2013 but there’s no evidence that person used NRO computer systems to access child pornography, the agency said. The material involved in that case consisted of pornographic images of 15 to 17 year old females.

“Substantiated cases of child pornography result in termination of employment at the NRO and the revocation of access to classified information,” agency spokeswoman Loretta DeSio said. 

At NASA, a search of an employee’s department-issued flash drive revealed 122 images of two prepubescent girls, about 8 to 12 years old. The pictures showed the girls “provocatively posed in bikinis, short skirts, shorts, and/or high heels,” according to a November 2015 inspector general report. Also, a bag holding the employee’s work-issued Dell laptop stowed a personal hard drive allegedly containing “thousands of images of young girls in provocative poses in addition to two images which appear to be child pornography,” the report states. “All available evidence was presented to prosecutors,” NASA spokeswoman Karen Northon said in an Aug. 9 email, adding, “the subject is no longer a federal employee.”

Limits to tracking child porn

Another reason the federal government does not track the number of child pornography users among its ranks is because the FBI says “a child pornography offender’s place of employment is not relevant to their sexual interest in children,” says Matthew Bertron, an agency spokesman. 

“Child pornography offenders typically use multiple devices and media to engage in the possession, distribution and/or production of child pornography; so it is not surprising if such activity also occurred with government provided devices/networks and while at work. In fact, it underscores this need-driven behavior and how their desire to access this illegal material outweighs the risk of getting caught at work or while using a work device,” said Mr. Bertron. “The FBI is focused on eliminating child pornography and arresting any offender no matter where they are or who they work for.”  

But many experts say the offender’s employer does matter when attackers are attempting to target high-level government officials. If you are cyber spy, “a lot of times you don’t care about the third level admin who’s bored and is looking at whatever they are looking at — but you are using that as a pathway to get to the person the admin works for who may be really important and have important information on his or her system,” said Mr. Clinton of the Internet Security Alliance.

Network monitoring systems and background checks are supposed to catch unauthorized internet viewing, but due to inadequate personnel investigations, policy issues, and funding constraints, not every department has the ability to prevent IT abuse, security experts say. Some but not all agencies use programs for filtering specific web content on employee devices.  

“Government, as well known at this stage, has often not invested adequately to protect their own systems,” said Clinton. “Historically, the agencies have not adequately received funding for cybersecurity writ large.” In fiscal 2014 and again in fiscal 2015, agencies collectively spent about $13 billion on data protection, according to White House reports on compliance with federal information security legislation. For fiscal 2017, Obama has requested $19 billion from Congress for cybersecurity, a 35 percent boost over the sum lawmakers approved for fiscal 2016.

Tech problems and human solutions

One of the agencies equipped with web-tracking tools is the Federal Trade Commission, where officials made a point of noting that the agency’s security system immediately alerted officials when software detected potentially illegal images. The FTC’s web filter, developed by Blue Coat, indicated a male employee attempted to open two websites that the filter categorized as containing “child pornography,” according to a May 2015 inspector general report. The FTC IG was notified that same day. Later, separate monitoring software installed on the employee’s machine determined he accessed or at least tried to access several images “of young, post-pubescent nude Asian girls posing in lascivious positions,” the report states. 

The Commerce Department also has been using “protective filtering tools” to detect – and block – downloads of unlawful pornography by employees, department officials said in an emailed statement, adding that “all requests are logged, analyzed and reported” to the inspector general.

One of several allegations that Commerce probed involved an employee in the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Southeast Regional Office who attempted to download images an agency firewall tagged “as being of a child pornographic nature,” an October 2014 investigation states.

To outwit monitoring systems, federal employees who traffic in child pornography have resorted to encrypting their communications to avoid detection, according to experts. And while government managers have the authority to shut down encrypted channels on agency networks – doing so could have adverse effects and also lead to malware infections on government networks.

“What if someone wants to do online banking? And almost every type of website that you go to now has some type of HTTPS,” an increasingly popular setting that prevents hackers from intercepting what you submit on a site, said Bongardt, the ex-FBI profiler.

Some organizations could end up embracing decryption tools with the sophistication to only peer into dangerous content and leave private correspondence alone. These systems search emails for strings of letters or words such as “intellectual property,” “classified,” or “confidential,” to prevent leaks and other abuses, without reading and saving personal messages, he said. “We’ve got to have the ability to really look at that and make sure we know all the data that’s going on and traversing our networks and that’s really important,” he said. 

In addition to a technical solution, Bongardt said, there’s also an important human element to catching and trying to eliminate child pornography from federal workers’ computers. “We don’t want everybody being paranoid about looking at their neighbor,” he said. “But if they happened to see, looking over John’s shoulder, something on their box that looks like child pornography, we have to train our people and give them the ability to report that.”


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«У нашей страны много союзников»: Путин назвал основных друзей России | Капитал страны

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«У нашей страны много союзников»: Путин назвал основных друзей России

Президент Российской Федерации Владимир Путин во время выступления на военном форуме «Армия-2022», который стартовал сегодня, 15 августа, назвал основных друзей нашей страны.

«Мы высоко ценим то, что у нашей страны много союзников на разных континентах», – уточнил глава государства (цитата по URA.RU).

По словам Владимира Путина, ключевыми партнерами Российской Федерации являются государства Африки, Азии и Латинской Америки. Президент подчеркнул, что Москва очень дорожит дружескими отношениями с этими государствами, поскольку они не прогибаются перед так называемым «гегемоном».

Напомним, что после того, как Россия начала военную специальную операцию по демилитаризации и денацификации Украины, многие западные страны ввели жесткие санкции против РФ. При этом Владимир Путин отмечал, что западные ограничительные меры не смогли «изолировать» Москву и вытеснить наше государство из мировой арены. Кроме того, у России есть друзья даже в НАТО, например, дружественными к нам являются такие страны, как Турция и Венгрия.

Спасибо, что читаете «Капитал страны»! Получайте первыми самые важные новости в нашем Telegram-канале или Вступайте в группу в «ВКонтакте» или в «Одноклассниках»

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Проект «20 идей»: как решить проблему недостатка донорских органов

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Проект «20 идей»: как решить проблему недостатка донорских органов

С каждым годом в России растет число людей, нуждающихся в пересадке органов. И это несмотря на то, что количество операций и медучреждений их практикующих также увеличивается. Согласно данным Минздрава РФ, в 2019 году было проведено более 2400 трансплантаций, но в листе ожидания по состоянию на 2020 год находилось более 9500 человек. К сожалению, многие граждане не доживают до момента, когда до них дойдет очередь. Что делать? К дискуссии подключился автор проекта «20 идей по развитию России» Дмитрий Давыдов, опубликовавший 20 предложений по модернизации страны. Он убежден, что его идеи помогут нашей стране стать одной из самых благополучных в мире и значительно улучшат жизнь ее граждан.

«В качестве одного из шагов к увеличению числа успешных трансплантаций я предлагаю расширить круг лиц, которые могут выступать в качестве живых доноров, — пишет автор проекта на сайте 20idei.ru. — Самым распространенным видом живого донорства является пересадка почки, когда в результате операции донор и реципиент (получатель органа) могут жить нормальной жизнью с одной функционирующей почкой. По такому же принципу практикуется также и пересадка доли печени. Как известно, в России живым донором может стать лишь человек, находящийся в генетической связи (т. е. состоящий в кровном родстве) с реципиентом. Данное ограничение существенно сужает круг людей, готовых пожертвовать своим органом ради спасения жизни близкого человека. В некоторых Европейских странах (например, Нидерланды, Швеция, Испания) действует возможность стать донором для друзей и супругов. В США также существует возможность добровольно пожертвовать почку в трансплантационный центр, который сам определяет ее наиболее нуждающемуся».

В тех странах, где разрешена трансплантация от неродственного донора, работает так называемый этический комитет, который проверяет, что донор ни в коем случае не продает свой орган, а отдает его бескорыстно, сугубо из гуманных побуждений, чтобы спасти жизнь своего близкого человека. Благодаря строгим законам и многоуровневой системе работы учреждений трансплантологии, России удалось декриминализировать эту сферу.

Поэтому автор проекта предлагает следующие изменения, которые можно внедрить без рисков для возникновения потенциальных негативных факторов, таких как психологическое давление и принуждение, а также передача органов за вознаграждение:

Разрешить донорство между гражданами, состоящими в законном браке не менее одного года;

Разрешить донорство между гражданами, не состоящими в законном браке, но имеющими общего ребенка;

Разрешить донорство между родителями и их приемными детьми.

«Такой шаг позволит расширить круг потенциальных доноров и при этом сохранить принцип передачи органа по родственным связям, но не ограничиваться только генетическим родством», — считает автор проекта.

Еще одно предложение для улучшения ситуации с донорством — это международное сотрудничество в плане взаимной передачи трупных органов. В России, как и во многих европейских странах, разрешена трансплантация трупных органов по принципу презумпции согласия: это означает, что изъятие подходящих к трансплантации органов и тканей после диагностирования смерти мозга разрешено по умолчанию, если умерший или его родственники при жизни не зарегистрировали свое несогласие. Успешным примером международной кооперации является фонд Eurotransplant. Это некоммерческая организация, действующая как посредник исключительно в интересах пациентов, нуждающихся в трансплантации органов. В союз Eurotransplant входят восемь стран: Австрия, Бельгия, Хорватия, Германия, Венгрия, Люксембург, Нидерланды и Словения. Принцип работы такого фонда можно понять на примере. В Австрии появился трупный орган, не подошедший ни одному реципиенту в собственной стране. Через базу данных организации выясняется, что орган подходит реципиенту из Словении. Далее орган транспортируется самолетом в специальном контейнере в Словению, где и проходит трансплантация. Компьютерная программа Eurotransplant может мгновенно составить «список соответствия» для каждого доступного органа. Этот список совпадений создается на основе заранее определенных правил, которые учитывают такие факторы, как совместимость по медицинским показателям, проведенное в списке ожидания время и относительная срочность. В 2020 году 21,4 процента от всех трансплантируемых трупных органов на территориях стран — участниц Eurotransplant были проведены через границу государства. Scandiatransplant — еще одна аналогичная европейская некоммерческая организация по обмену органами, в нее входят шесть стран: Дания, Финляндия, Исландия, Норвегия, Швеция и Эстония.

«Россия может выступить инициатором создания подобной международной организации, предложив странам, с которыми у России уже есть связи в области здравоохранения, стать участниками. Учитывая относительно высокое качество российской медицины на Евразийском пространстве и возможности в сфере информационных технологий, я уверен, что поддержка такой инициативе на международной арене обязательно найдется, — пишет автор проекта на сайте 20idei.ru. — Финансирование деятельности такого международного фонда может осуществляться за счет страховых компаний и государств-участников в соответствии с количеством регистрируемых в листе ожидания пациентов. Выгода для России очевидна. Во-первых, разработка новейшей системы обмена трупными органами по аналогии с Eurotransplant позволит облегчить и ускорить взаимодействие в этом вопросе между медицинскими учреждениями в разных субъектах Федерации в масштабах одной страны. Во-вторых, участие в международной организации ощутимо увеличит количество пересадок органов за счет расширения географии поиска. Таким образом, появится значительно больше шансов на своевременную трансплантацию, от которой сейчас зависят жизни тысяч граждан».

Идея была направлена органам российской власти, получены ответы. Вот что пишет зампредседателя Комитета Совета Федераций по социальной политики Т. А. Кусайко:

«Сообщаю, что Ваше обращение, поступившее в Совет Федерации Федерального Собрания Российской Федерации, в котором затронуты вопросы изменения действующего законодательства по расширению круга потенциальных доноров, рассмотрено в Комитете Совета Федерации по социальной политике. На протяжении многих лет эффективно действует созданный при Комитете Экспертный совет по здравоохранению, в состав которого входят специалисты в различных областях здравоохранения, включая и трансплантологию. Ваши предложения Комитет принял к сведению и учтет в своей работе».

А вот ответ замдиректора Департамента организации медицинской помощи и санаторно-курортного дела Минздрава РФ Д. И. Батурина:

«Департамент рассмотрел Ваше обращение и сообщает, что информация, направленная Вами, принята к сведению».

Ответа по существу предложений автора проекта, к сожалению, пока нет. А он необходим.

Андрей Звонков, врач-терапевт неотложной помощи, автор книги «Пока едет скорая», предложения полностью поддерживает:

— Список потенциальных доноров обязательно нужно расширять. Для тысяч людей это вопрос жизни и смерти, — считает Андрей Леонидович. — Если я могу поделиться, скажем, почкой с человеком, который мне близок и дорог, если я могу спасти ему жизнь, если моя почка ему подходит, то почему бы мне не помочь? России, на мой взгляд, необходима гигантская база доноров — как и в других развитых странах. Больше того: люди, состоящие в этой базе, должны иметь существенные льготы. Ведь сегодня, например, человек, решивший сдать свой орган, должен за свой счет сдавать все необходимые анализы. Это нонсенс! В создании базы доноров необходимо и сотрудничество с другими странами: чем больше будет сеть, тем лучше.

Кандидат социологических наук, преподаватель МГУ Виталий Караев, добавляет:

— Сострадание, желание помочь ближнему — в природе русского человека. В течение всей истории мы постоянно кого-то спасаем. А уж спасти близкого — жену, мужа, приемного ребенка — это для нашего человека в порядке вещей. Я думаю, что общество, российский социум, к расширению круга потенциальных доноров вполне готов. Другой вопрос, что государство таких доноров должно обязательно поддержать: они должны быть социально защищены и иметь всю необходимую врачебную помощь.

Дмитрий Давыдов считает, что государству необходимо обратить внимание на его предложения, касающиеся донорства органов, и учесть их при разработке и принятии соответствующих законов. Автор проекта надеется, что это предложение получит поддержку, как и другие его идеи.


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Ex-CIA analyst says fallout over raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resembles the lead-up to the Capitol attack and predicts another ‘catastrophic event’

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A former intelligence official who served in both the FBI and the CIA said the fallout from the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago raid resembled the events preceding the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol — and predicted there could be another “catastrophic event.”

Phil Mudd, now a CNN counterterrorism analyst, worked for the CIA as an analyst specializing in South Asia and the Middle East. He later served as the first deputy director of the FBI’s National Security Branch.

Mudd appeared on CNN on Sunday to discuss the aftermath of the FBI’s search of former President Donald Trump’s residence. Federal officials said violent threats to law enforcement spiked after the raid. Some Republican lawmakers, including Trump, have railed against the FBI and baselessly suggested the agency might target regular citizens next.

“When I followed extremists overseas, I never anticipated we would see this in America. We are,” Mudd said in an interview with CNN’s Jim Acosta, adding that today’s domestic extremists were similar to the ones he monitored.

“They require leadership to tell them that what they’re thinking is OK,” he said. “And they require validation from that leadership to suggest to them that violence is OK.”

Mudd pointed to Trump’s recent comments referring to the FBI’s investigation into him as a hoax and suggesting without evidence that the FBI may’ve planted materials at Mar-a-Lago.

“The same thing that happened before January 6 is happening today,” he continued, apparently referring to the rhetoric and false claims Trump made about the 2020 election before the insurrection.

He also pointed out the armed Trump supporters who protested in front of an FBI office in Phoenix on Saturday.

“People with AR-15s and camo are going to say, ‘I’m going to do something about it,'” he said. “That’s dangerous. I think we’re going to see another catastrophic event.”

There has already been violence linked to the backlash against the FBI. On Thursday, an armed man wearing body armor attacked an FBI office in Cincinnati. Authorities said he was fatally shot at the scene after an hours-long standoff with the police. The man was also believed to have been at the Capitol on January 6, a law-enforcement official told The Associated Press.

The FBI recovered boxes of documents, including 11 sets of classified material, from Mar-a-Lago during the search, according to records unsealed Friday. The investigation, per the records, is focused on whether Trump broke three laws related to the handling of government documents, including the Espionage Act.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing and said he declassified all the documents before leaving office, though he hasn’t publicly provided documentation of that. Presidential documents, classified or not, are public property and by law are managed by the National Archives.


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https://www.israelhayom.com/opinions/russias-fifth-column/

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Trump’s extraordinary week closes with unanswered questions

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Former President Trump’s eventful week included the FBI’s search of his Mar-a-Lago residence and pleading the Fifth 400 times in a New York civil suit. “What kind of legal jeopardy does the former president face? Could he be in violation of the espionage act?” Andrea Mitchell asks on Meet the Press.


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Close Putin ally and Kremlin insider in secret bid to end bloody Ukraine war

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Exclusive:

Senior officials and members of President Vladimir Putin’s elite are said to be “panicking” and want to negotiate in a bid to end the bloody war in Ukraine, experts claim

Russia ‘are starting to fail in many areas’ says Ben Wallace

A highly placed Kremlin official has secretly approached the West to help end the Ukraine invasion, it was claimed last night.

The secret member of Vladimir Putin ’s elite is said to have revealed the Kremlin is in panic and desperate for the bloody war to end.

Astonishing claims about the move were made in a report circulated to Western intelligence agencies.

It is believed senior officers and officials close to Putin are alarmed by biting Western sanctions and the failing economy caused by war.

Some Kremlin figures are also concerned about the increasingly alarming risks being taken such as fighting at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine.

The approach is likely to have been made to CIA contacts or Western diplomats, behind Putin’s back.

The mood in the Kremlin is said to be ‘panic’ as continuing sanctions invoke fear for Russia’s future
(
REUTERS)

The Daily Mirror understands the leaked “situation report” is being taken seriously by intelligence agencies.

The document says: “A representative of Putin’s inner-circle sent a signal to the West about the desire to negotiate. The mood of the Kremlin elite is panic.”

The amazing claims goes on to label the unnamed Kremlin insider as “one of the pillars of the regime”.

One senior official has allegedly approached the West in a bid to start negotiations
(
AFP via Getty Images)

The insider would be in extreme danger, along with their family, if they were named and Putin has already had several purges, firing military commanders and senior spies.

Some have even disappeared or fallen mysteriously ill.

Last night, a senior Ukrainian diplomatic source told the Daily Mirror:
“If someone close to Putin has made overtures already it would not come as a surprise.

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine appears to be unravelling
(
AFP via Getty Images)

Ukraine has fought back hard to protect its people from the Russian invasion
(
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

“It is often the case as happened in the closing stages of the Second World War that officials on a side concerned about their future make approaches to ensure it.

“Many of the Kremlin ‘elite’ are familiar with life in the West, have had children at Western universities and lived elsewhere.

“They know there is a good life to be had away from Putin’s grasp but so far they have not done anything about it as they are too terrified of what will happen to them.”


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Putin humiliated as Russia detains own spy chief heading to the front line

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Igor Girkin, also known as Igor Strelkov, fought in Ukraine’s Donetsk region in 2014 but decided to sign up after the invasion when he became frustrated with the war’s slow progress.

He was travelling on a fake passport to the battle near Kherson when he was arrested.

It is believed that Mr Girkin was attempting to travel in disguise after he was pictured clean shaved without his signature moustache.

His Russian nationalist supporter Alexander Zhuchkovsky said that Mr Girkin had been detained by Russian forces in Crimea, reported The Telegraph.

He said: “Strelkov is a man with vast military experience.

“It is a great political crime that such a person cannot get to the front.”

Vladimir Putin with soldierA Russian spy chief has been detained in Crimea (Image: GETTY)

Igor GirkinIgor Girkin with a clean shaven face (Image: The Telegraph)

After leading rebels in Donetsk in 2014 Mr Girkin gained a cult following among Russian nationalists, styling himself as a member of the Russian Imperial army.

He has been accused by Kyiv of shooting dead prisoners, having been known for imposing martial law in the past.

The Kremlin spurned Mr Girkin in Donetsk after rebel fighters shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 on July 7 2014, killing 298 people.

READ MORE: Russian retreat leaves 20,000 soldiers stranded

Igor Girkin passportIgor Girkin was reportedly travelling on a fake passport (Image: The Telegraph)

A large number of those killed on the flight were Dutch nationals and in 2019 the Netherlands charged Mr Girkin with murder.

The arrest warrant was ignored by Moscow.

Since the invasion of Ukraine in February, Mr Girkin established himself as a military analyst on Telegram.

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President Volodymyr ZelenskyUkrainian officials have accused Mr Girkin of shooting dead prisoners (Image: Getty)

While he is supportive of Putin’s invasion, he has criticised the Kremlin for not fully “committing” to military action.

He told his Telegram followers regarding his decision to join the front line: “Sooner or later I will certainly be at the front (this war, as I warned in advance, will be long and difficult).

“But not right now.”


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FBI and DHS warn of increased threats to law enforcement and government officials after Mar-a-Lago search

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By Nicole Sganga

August 14, 2022 / 12:56 PM / CBS News

Federal authorities are warning of an increase in threats to law enforcement officials following the FBI’s search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. 

The threats, which are “occurring primarily online and across multiple platforms, including social media sites, web forums, video sharing platforms, and image boards,” were identified by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the days following the FBI’s authorized seizure of 11 sets of classified documents from the former president’s home, including four sets that were classified “top secret,” according to the unsealed search warrant.

“The FBI and DHS would like to ensure that law enforcement, court, and government personnel are aware of the range of threats and criminal and violent incidents,” the memo read. 

The internal intelligence memo was shared with state, local, tribal and territorial law enforcement officials nationwide late Friday night. 

According to the bulletin, “the FBI and DHS have observed an increase in violent threats posted on social media against federal officials and facilities, including a threat to place a so-called dirty bomb in front of FBI Headquarters and issuing general calls for ‘civil war’ and ‘armed rebellion.'”

That includes threats that are “specific in identifying proposed targets, tactics, or weaponry,” the bulletin noted. 

“Since 8 August 2022, the FBI and DHS have identified multiple articulated threats and calls for the targeted killing of judicial, law enforcement, and government officials associated with the Palm Beach search, including the federal judge who approved the Palm Beach search warrant,” the bulletin continued. “The FBI and DHS have also observed the personal identifying information of possible targets of violence, such as home addresses and identification of family members, disseminated online as additional targets.”

The assessment noted that three days after the search, “Ricky Shiffer, Jr., wearing a technical vest and armed with an AR-style rifle and a nail gun, attempted to forcibly enter the FBI’s Cincinnati Field Office,” and it described the standoff with FBI and law enforcement officers that ultimately resulted in Shiffer’s death.

Hours before Shiffer’s standoff, he had appeared to post on former President Donald Trump’s social media platform Truth Social that he wanted to kill federal agents. 

The post, which has since been removed by the site’s moderators, appeared shortly after the FBI searched the former president’s Mar-a-Lago residence last Monday.

“When they come for you, kill them,” the suspect wrote. “Be an American, not a steer.”

The posts represent just a fraction of the violent extremist content flooding far-right message boards and social media platforms in the wake of the FBI’s search of the Mar-a-Lago resort. Phrases including “civil war” and “lock and load” trended across Telegram channels, Gab, Reddit and TheDonald, a popular forum among Trump supporters.

“As a result of recent activities, we assess that potential targets of DVE violence moving forward could include law enforcement, judicial officials, individuals implicated in conspiracy theories and perceived ideological opponents who challenge their worldview,” the joint bulletin continues. 

It warns that events could “escalate the threat environment” further, including “possible future law enforcement or legal actions against individuals associated with the Palm Beach search, statements by public officials which incite violence, high profile successful DVE attacks that inspire copycats, or the emergence of additional conspiracy theories.”

The bulletin also states that the threats seen so far since the search point to the possibility that domestic violent extremists could see the 2022 midterm elections in November as “an additional flashpoint around which to escalate threats against perceived ideological opponents, including federal law enforcement personnel.”

ABC News was the first to report on the intelligence bulletin. DHS has declined to comment. 

In a statement, an FBI spokesperson said the agency is “always concerned about violence and threats of violence to law enforcement, including the men and women of the FBI.” 

“We work closely with our law enforcement partners to assess and respond to such threats, which are reprehensible and dangerous,” the statement continued. “As always, we would like to remind members of the public that if they observe anything suspicious to report it to law enforcement immediately.”

Jeff Pegues and Jake Rosen contributed to this report. 


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