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Did Israel Reject Al Jazeera Request For 10 Extra Minutes?

Did Israel Reject Al Jazeera Request For 10 Extra Minutes?

Did Israel reject a request for 10 extra minutes to vacate the Al Jazeera building in Gaza, before bombing it?

Find out what’s this viral claim all about, and what the FACTS really are!

 

Claim : Israel Rejected Al Jazeera Request For 10 More Minutes!

A video showing a man pleading with Israeli authorities for 10 more minutes before a building is demolished, is being circulated, together with this message :

Director of Al Jazeera Palestine was begging for extra 10 minutes to Israel Army officer. But he refused to give any extra time and destroyed the Al Jazeera Building in Palestine in minutes.

They asked them to evacuate the building first and then used GPS Coordinate guided Bombs to destroy the Al Jazeera Palestine Head office building. The punishment is for broadcasting Fake news about Israel.

 

Did Israel Reject Al Jazeera Request For 10 Extra Minutes? Not Quite…

Irrespective of our views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we must agree that they should be based on facts.

We investigated this video and claim, and here are the FACTS :

Fact #1 : That Is Not The Director Of Al Jazeera Palestine

The man in the video is not the director of Al Jazeera Palestine.

He is Jawad Mahdi – the owner of the al-Jalaa building that was destroyed by an Israeli airstrike on 15 May 2021.

Fact #2 : There Is No Al Jazeera Palestine, Or Al Jazeera Building

There is no organisation known as Al Jazeera Palestine, or a building called Al Jazeera Building.

The building in the video is the al-Jalaa, a 12-storey office tower which hosted the bureau offices of the Associated Press and Al Jazeera in Gaza.

Fact #3 : Israel Gave Them One Hour To Vacate

The IDF gave al-Jalaa occupants an hour to vacate the building. They would normally drop “roof knocker” bombs as a final warning before destroying the building.

However, it is impossible for anyone to vacate such a large building in such a short time frame, with anything more than some belongings.

Fact #4 : Israel Rejected The Request For 10 Extra Minutes

Jawad Mahdi was seen in the video asking an Israeli intelligence officer for an additional 10 minutes, so that four journalists can go in to retrieve their belongings.

The Israeli intelligence officer rejected his request, and the video shows the building collapsing after being bombed.

Fact #5 : Israel Claimed Hamas Secretly Used The Building

IDF and the Israeli government claimed that Hamas secretly used the building for “military intelligence purposes” and a unit operating out of the building had been “conducting sabotage operations against the IDF”.

However, they did not offer any evidence, or explain why it was justifiable to demolish a 12-storey office building that was “secretly” being used by Hamas.

It was also not explained why it was not possible to give journalist the extra 10 minutes to retrieve their belongings, when they had no issue giving the other occupants (and the secret Hamas operatives inside) an hour to evacuate the building.

 

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Fact Check : Palestinian Home Occupied By Brooklyn Couple?

Did a couple from Brooklyn occupy a home that used to be owned by an elderly Palestinian couple?

Take a look at the photo that Michael Moore made viral, and find out what the FACTS really are!

 

Claim : This Palestinian Home Was Occupied By Brooklyn Couple!

This photo was shared several times during the recent conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, but it only went viral after Michael Moore posted it on his Facebook wall.

His Facebook post did not specifically address the couple, so it looked like he only used the photo because it fitted his narrative.

If someone took/stole your home right now, and moved you out because a theocracy ordered it — or what if this same theocracy bulldozed your home and tossed you out into a field and told you and your children to GTF outta here — what would YOUR response be?

What would you have the moral right to do about it? And to be perfectly clear, I don’t care if it was a Christian Fascist German soldier in 1941 forcibly removing you from your home, or an American bank in 2008 forcibly removing you and kicking you to the curb while taking your home — it’s gut-check time, folks (and yes, I mean you too, fellow pacifists):

What would you have the moral and human right and DUTY to do about it, to respond to it, to stop it? And would the rest of the world just stand by and let you suffer as it so often does?

When do we all just put a stop to this, to grind the gears of the machine to a complete halt and replace the plutocracy (we’re not a democracy), the theocracy (you’re not a democracy), and any racial, religious or corporate supremacy with TRUE democracy, FULL human rights, and love?

 

Fact Check : Palestinian Home Occupied By Brooklyn Couple?

This is a rather iconic photo – a Palestinian couple looking at what used to be their ancestral home, now occupied by an Israeli couple. That was probably why Michael Moore chose it.

We decided to investigate the photo, and here was what we found…

Fact #1 : The Photo Was Taken In Israel

This photo was taken in the village of Ijzim, about 30 minutes south of Haifa in Israel.

Just to be clear, Ijzim is not in the West Bank. Nor is it in the Gaza Strip.

Fact #2 : Ijzim Was Depopulated In 1948

Israel captured Ijzim during the 1948 War, and the majority of the villagers fled or were expelled during the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe).

The Israelis quickly demolished the Arab houses to make way for permanent Jewish settlements.

Photo credit : Fred Csasznik – Front cover of The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem by Benny Morris, Cambridge University Press 1989.

Fact #3 : The Photo Was Taken In 2020

Despite what people may say, this photo was not taken recently. It was taken and published a year ago – in May 2020.

The last time the elderly Palestinian couple was in Ijzim was 72 years ago.

Fact #4 : The House Was Not The Original Home

The house in the picture was not the original home of the elderly Palestinian couple.

The original home, which belonged to the Palestinian man’s father, was demolished, and a new home built on the land.

Fact #5 : It Was Part Of An Al-Jazeera Project

In May 2020, Najwan Simri of Al Jazeera took an elderly Palestinian couple to visit their original homes and to meet their current Israeli residents.

Here is the Al Jazeera video clip, as well as an English translation.

Some towns and cities inside the Green Line will become the hope of those in the diaspora. But they will also become a station of refuge for others.

Here lives a family uprooted from a nearby village. We had an appointment with Hajjeh Im Samir to accompany her there. Her [ailing] husband insisted on coming with us because he said the air of Ijzim is the best cure.

Despite its beauty, the road there seems desolate as if it gets you to the place but doesn’t take you there. Eagerly, Im Samir organizes our tour for us and tells us the names of the [Palestinian] owners of the houses.

Our first stop is God’s house. Its stones have been preserved as they were. Alone, the colors of its locked doors change each time the dryness of the seasons intensifies.

Here, Abu Samir does not stay in the car because this stop [station] is the location for which he has most longed in order to banish the other stations of his life. “This was our house, my father’s house. After the ‘48 wars, the Jews occupied it.”

After a few minutes, the residents of the house come out to [the gate]. They ask us what we want. We say, this is the owner of the house; how do you feel living in a house built on the wreckage of his house? [The answer] Frankly, I don’t feel anything. I am very happy. Living here is very enjoyable.

How strange is the distance between the owner of the house and he who is occupying it. How strange is the irony between he who has to stand inside the gate and he who must stand outside the gate. How strong Abu Samir is! For other uprooted people have refused to accompany us [on our tour]. One of them told us that he cannot bear to glimpse through the window of his father’s house a foreigner living there.

And that [glimpse] could possibly be of a strange symbol, like [what is glimpsed through the window] of a stolen [Palestinian] school converted into a temple with an emblem [the flag of Israel] that is not as old as the memory of the stones of the school.

And so, an extreme picture! It is said that the passage of time helps in forgetting, but, in the Palestinian case, it seems that the equation of time is different and that the years are merely a number. Rather, the longer the banishment of the Palestinians is, the more they remember.

– This is Najwan Simri, reporting from the depopulated village of Ijzim for Al Jazeera.

Fact #6 : No Evidence The Couple Was From Brooklyn

The most direct source was Al Jazeera, and even they did not identify the Israeli couple, much less confirmed that they were from Brooklyn, New York City.

Despite my extensive searching, I could find no source of this claim. None of the earlier posts using this picture – in May to June 2020 – mentioned that the Israeli couple were from Brooklyn.

Therefore, it is highly likely that their Brooklyn origin was completely bogus.

 

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Health Advocates Against Pfizer mRNA Vaccine : A Fact Check

According to health advocates backed by PPIM, PATRIOT, AHM Group and GNI, we need to stop using the Pfizer vaccine right away!

Let’s take a look at their claims, and find out what the FACTS really are!

 

Health Advocates Against Pfizer mRNA Vaccine : A Fact Check

Writers calling themselves Health Advocates penned a letter that appears to be gaining traction on WhatsApp, after being posted on two websites.

Let’s go through the various claims on the Pfizer vaccine, and see what the facts really are!

PFIZER is probably the worst serial corporate criminal in the world, considering the several published news reports on Pfizer’s involvement in fraud, bribery, corruption and illegal tests on children.

Can we trust such a corrupt company on the safety of their experimental mRNA chemical vaccine when their own top management have refused to take it so far?

We will not comment on legal claims, which are the purview of the courts.

But it is categorically false that Pfizer’s top management refused to take their mRNA vaccine so far.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla received his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in mid February 2021, and his second shot on 10 March 2021.

Yet, we are the only hot-weather developing country in the world to have ordered this very temperature sensitive chemical vaccine.

Seriously? Never heard of the country called Singapore, just south of Johor Bahru? Yes, Singapore is still considered as a developing country (according to WTO).

How about Israel, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the UAE and even Saudi Arabia in the Middle East?

The ultra-low temperature storage requirement is troublesome all over the world. It requires special ultra-low temperature freezers like these.

But if you have them, it really doesn’t matter if you are in the tropics or the North Pole.

Total order so far of 32 million doses (for half the population) of highly risky (as stated by the US Govt NIH website), ineffective (in preventing COVID-19 infection and transmission as it has been proven now) & possibly very harmful chemical vaccine.

The US NIH did NOT call the Pfizer vaccine as “highly risky” or “ineffective” or “possibly very harmful”.

In his 9 March 2021 post on the Pfizer vaccine, NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins noted that the real world study showed that “the vaccine works remarkably well” and offered “essentially the same very high level of protection that was seen in the data gathered in the earlier U.S. clinical trial“.

Why does the US Govt National Institutes of Health (NIH), after stating that synthetic mRNA is gene therapy, said that this approach can have “very serious health risks such as toxicity, inflammation, and cancer”?

The US National Institutes of Health did NOT label the mRNA vaccine as “gene therapy”.

It would not be possible to modify our genes using mRNA technology because mRNA cannot enter the cell nucleus, and therefore cannot modify our DNA.

In his 16 March 2021 post on the CRISPR-based anti-viral therapy for HIV and COVID-19, NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins wrote about a team that used mRNA technology to create a bacterial enzyme called Cas13a that is capable of “cutting up” the viral RNA, stopping the infection.

In that article, he also pointed out that “Because mRNA doesn’t enter the cell’s nucleus, it doesn’t interact with DNA and raise potential concerns about causing unwanted genetic changes.

Our procurement for vaccines should not be political but based on merit, especially safety. But we should be mindful about the principles of justice, ethics and human rights.

Indeed, it should be based on merit and safety. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was the first out with its Phase 3 trial results.

Based on its excellent safety and efficacy results, it was the first COVID-19 vaccine to receive an Emergency Utilisation Authority from the US FDA.

Our procurement must also not go against our policies to oppose Zionism (we do not recognize the state of Israel) and the oppression of the Palestinian people in Israel and the illegally occupied Palestinian territories.

Didn’t you just say that vaccine procurement should not be political?

Even so, how is buying the Pfizer vaccine related to Zionism, or the oppression of the Palestinian people?

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla is a prominent Greek Jew and there is nothing wrong in being a Jew.

On Jan 15, 2021, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, announced that it would award an honorary doctorate to Albert Bourla. No problem with that.

But instead of rejecting the offer, Albert Bourla immediately responded that “I am moved by the news and honored to receive a degree from such an important and historical institution as the Technion. In my youth, I considered studying at Technion; this is an emotional closure for me”.

Wow, such passionate support for Technion.

So you have no problem with Albert Bourla being a Jew or receiving an honorary doctorate, but you have a problem with the fact he didn’t reject the honorary doctorate that you just said you had no problem with?

Wow.. such logic. Such impeccable logic.

How can the government justify such a huge order (largest order for our country so far, for any vaccine) for such a risky experimental vaccine from such a corrupt corporation (Pfizer)?

The same reasons why Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the UAE and even Saudi Arabia had no issue purchasing the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

  1. The Pfizer COMIRNATY vaccine has been proven to be very safe and efficacious.
  2. They were able to handle its ultra-low temperature storage issues.
  3. Pfizer is a public-listed American company, not an Israeli company.

Incidentally, Pfizer is merely the US manufacturing partner for BioNTech – the German company that actually created the vaccine. In China, BioNTech is working  with Fosun Pharma to make the vaccine.

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and the mRNA technology it’s based on were actually created by Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci – Germans of Turkish descent!

 

To Health Advocates Against Pfizer Vaccine : Put People’s Lives First

I agree with you completely that vaccine procurement should not be political, but based on merit and safety.

Scientifically, the Pfizer-BioNTech COMIRNATY vaccine has been proven to be both safe and effective. Period.

LET US PUT PEOPLE’S LIVES FIRST. We need to vaccinate everyone as quickly as possible – the COVID-19 pandemic has already killed more than 3 million people globally!

 

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Vaccinated People More Vulnerable To South African Variant?

Is it true that people who were vaccinated are MORE vulnerable to the South African variant of COVID-19 than unvaccinated people?

Find out what’s going on in the latest Israeli study, and what the FACTS really are!

 

Claim : Vaccinated People More Vulnerable To South African Variant!

This is the shocking claim, purportedly by a Singaporean doctor, and spurred by a ChannelNewsAsia article, that is going viral on WhatsApp :

Those who received 2 doses of the ‘vaccine’, have MUCH HIGHER chance of being INFECTED with COVID19 than those NOT vaccinated!

From a S’porean doctor:

“Oh dear! I have received 2 doses of Pfizer antiCovid vaccine

One straightforward & logical conclusion could then be that the vaccine I was injected with predisposes my body to be ravaged by the South African variant of the virus compared to bodies who are not vaccinated

Article:-

“But among patients who had received two doses of the vaccine, the variant’s prevalence rate was eight times higher than those unvaccinated – 5.4 per cent versus 0.7 per cent..

“We found a disproportionately higher rate of the South African variant among people vaccinated with a second dose, compared to the unvaccinated group..””

 

No! Vaccinated People Are NOT More Vulnerable To South African Variant!

Like 95% of viral messages on COVID-19 – this is yet another piece of FAKE NEWS based on some facts.

Let’s examine each claim and find out what the facts really are!

Fact #1 : CNA Article Is Genuine, But…

The Channel News Asia article is genuine, and so are the quotes.

However, it appears they used the original Reuters almost ad verbatim, but “spiced up” the title – removing “but vaccine highly effective“.

They also replaced “the vaccine remains highly effective” with “the research has not been peer reviewed“.

Why would CNA do that? Why, CNA?

We should also point out that the proper naming for the South African variant is B.1.351, not B1351 as printed in the CNA article.

Fact #2 : Pfizer Vaccine Cannot Make You More Vulnerable

It is unlikely that the comment was written by any doctor, because no doctor would call the Pfizer vaccine an “antiCovid vaccine”.

In any case, the “logical conclusion” that the Pfizer vaccine would predispose those vaccinated to be “ravaged by the South African variant” is nonsensical.

COVID-19 vaccines are basically training bootcamps for your immune system. They mimic the SARS-CoV-2 virus, so your immune system can learn to identify and defeat it, before you get infected by the real virus.

At the very most, the vaccine is ineffective against a new variant, because it is so different that the “training” provided by the vaccine does not help.

However, it is impossible for any COVID-19 vaccine to actually make you more vulnerable to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Photo Credit :Reuters

Fact #3 : Vaccinated People Are NOT More Vulnerable To South African Variant

The person who created this fake news shared that the “prevalence rate was eight times higher than those unvaccinated – 5.4 per cent versus 0.7 per cent“.

Shocking, right? But the truth is that is a misunderstanding of what the study found.

The study, which you can read here, is called “Evidence for increased breakthrough rates of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern in BNT162b2 mRNA vaccinated individual“.

Everyone in the study was already infected with COVID-19. The purpose of the study was to identify COVID-19 variants that could potentially “breakthrough” the Pfizer vaccine.

  1. They looked for 396 people who were infected after partial or full vaccination
    a) Full effectiveness : 1 week or more after 2nd dose
    b) Partial effectiveness : 2 weeks or more after 1st dose, or less than 1 week after 2nd dose
  2. They paired them with 396 people who were infected, but not vaccinated (as controls).
  3. They sequenced their viral genomes to determine the COVID-19 strains that infected them.
    a) the vast majority of cases had the UK B.1.1.7 variant
    b) only 1% of all cases had the South African B.1.351 variant

If the vaccine was equally effective on both variants, their prevalence would remain roughly the same whether the person was vaccinated or not.

But in the full effectiveness cohort, you can see that the B.1.351 variant has a markedly higher prevalence – 5.4% versus 0.7% in the control (unvaccinated).

That basically means that the Pfizer BNT162b2 vaccine is more effective against the UK B.1.1.7 variant, than it is against the South African B.1.351 variant.

You can “confirm” that by looking at the partial effectiveness cohort, where the prevalence of the B.1.351 variant was similar to that of the control.

What that means is when you are not fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine, you are vulnerable to both the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants.

But after you are fully vaccinated, you gain more protection against B.1.1.7, vis-à-vis the B.1.351 variant.

In short, the South African B.1.351 variant has a greater ability to “breakthrough” the Pfizer vaccine than the B.1.1.7 vaccine after you gain full protection.

Recommended : COVID-19 Vaccine Breakthrough : What You Need To Know!

 

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Why Thousands Of Vaccinated Israelis Got COVID-19 Anyway

Did thousands of Israelis get infected with COVID-19 after receiving the Pfizer vaccine?

Find out what’s going on, and what the facts really are!

 

OMG : Thousands Of Israelis Got COVID-19 After Receiving Pfizer Vaccine!

After the 23 post-vaccination deaths in Norway, the media is now flogging the story that thousands of Israelis got infected with COVID-19 even after they received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Global Times from China, and RT from Russia have been particularly strident in their headlines :

GTCN : Recipients testing positive in Israel sparks concern over Pfizer vaccine efficacy

RT : Thousands of Israelis test POSITIVE for Covid-19 despite receiving Pfizer/BioNTech jab

While their actual report were tempered with facts and expert opinion, most people who share their news did not appear to have read them.

Instead, they were sharing the HEADLINES as evidence that the Pfizer BNT162b2 vaccine does not work.

 

Why Thousands Of Vaccinated Israelis Got COVID-19 Anyway

Let us share with you WHY it was no surprise that thousands of Israelis to get COVID-19, even after they received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Fact #1 : There Was No Concern About Pfizer Vaccine Efficacy

There wasn’t actually any concern about the Pfizer BNT162b2 vaccine’s efficacy, when administered as it was meant to be.

Dr. Gili Regev-Yochay, director of the Infectious Disease Epidemiology Unit at the Sheba Medical Center outside Tel Aviv, said that, “the vaccine works wonderfully“.

A serological study by his hospital showed that 98% of vaccinated hospital workers developed a high level of antibodies after receiving their second dose of the vaccine.

A week after receiving the second dose, their antibodies jumped 6X to 20X higher than after their first shot.

Fact #2 : 99.44% Of Those Infected Received Only 1 Dose

While the headlines scream that over 12,400 Israelis were infected with COVID-19 after being vaccinated, the truth is 99.44% of them only received a single dose.

Fact #3 : Only 69 People Who Received Second Dose Were Infected

The Israelis tested 189,000 people after they were vaccinated, but did not mention how many received their second dose.

Only 69 who received their second dose developed COVID-19, and notably they were tested in the fourth week, which means they only just received their second dose.

Fact #4 : The Numbers Actually Show Immunity Building Up

If you tabulate the numbers provided by the Israelis, they actually show how immunity against COVID-19 builds up over time.

They show that immunity from the vaccine is low in the first two weeks, but builds up substantially in the third and fourth week.

After Vaccination Single Dose Two Doses
Week 1 5,348 cases
Week 2 5,585 cases
Week 3 1,410 cases
Week 4 84 cases 69 cases
TOTAL 12,358 cases
99.44%
69 cases
0.56%

Fact #5 : It Takes Time To Build Immunity

The mRNA vaccine doesn’t work immediately. It takes time for your body to react to the proteins it creates, and build up some immunity.

As the table above shows, it takes about two weeks after the first dose before you get some protection. This matches Pfizer’s warning that their vaccine will only offer some protection 12 days after the first dose.

It is therefore not surprising if some people continue to get infected after receiving their first dose.

That is why you MUST continue to take precautions like wear a face mask, keep a distance from strangers, and maintain good hand hygiene, even after you get vaccinated.

Fact #6 : Two Doses Are Required For 95% Protection

The Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 vaccine requires TWO (2) doses to achieve its 95% efficacy.

  • first dose : 52% efficacy (after at least 12 days)
  • second dose : 95% efficacy (after about a week)

No one should be surprised that people remain vulnerable after receiving their first dose of the vaccine.

Recommended : Pfizer + Moderna mRNA Vaccines : How Do They Work?

Fact #7 : Pfizer Never Said Single Dose Would Deliver 89% Efficacy

You may have seen claims that according to Pfizer, a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine will deliver 89% efficacy between Day 15 and Day 21.

Neither Pfizer nor BioNTech ever made such a claim.

That was actually a controversial estimate by the UK Vaccine Committee (JCVI), which decided to calculate the efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine differently – ignoring the number of infections in the first 2 weeks.

Fact #8 : US FDA + Pfizer Insist On Two Doses

Pfizer has consistently insisted that their BNT162b2 vaccine be administered as a two-dose regimen.

On 4 January 2021, the US FDA even issued a statement that there is not enough data to support administering a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

It would therefore be highly irresponsible for any health authority to only administer a single dose, without sufficient data showing that it would be efficacious.

Fact #9 : Israeli Results Show 93.4% Effectiveness

While some of the media suggest doubt over the Pfizer vaccine’s efficacy, the Israeli results actually show that it is as effective as the Phase 3 trial results show.

The Israelis vaccinated two million of their citizens, and tested 189,000 of them – a mix of people with one dose, and two doses.

It was from that 189,000 cases that they detected 12,427 people with COVID-19. That makes the Pfizer vaccine about 93.4% effective, even though many of those tested did not receive their second dose!

 

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Spotify Expands To Vietnam, South Africa, Romania and Israel!

Heads up, music lovers! Spotify expands to four new countries! Yes, they just announced that Spotify is now available in four new countries – Vietnam, South Africa, Romania, and Israel. This brings the number of countries supported by Spotify to 37. Take a look at their official press release below.

 

Spotify Expands To Four New Markets

13th March 2018: We’re delighted to announce that Spotify launches today in Vietnam, South Africa, Romania, and Israel.

Offering an unrivalled mix of domestic and international music, discovery features and revolutionary personalised curation perfectly tuned to your taste, music fans across all countries can now enjoy instant access to Spotify’s free ad-supported and subscription services.

Cecilia Qvist, Global Head of Markets at Spotify, says: “We’re really excited to bring Spotify to these four markets, connecting their rich music cultures with millions of artists and users across the world.”

Spotify is the world’s largest music streaming subscription service with a community of over 159 million users, including over 71 million Spotify Premium subscribers, now across 65 markets worldwide.

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How Kaspersky Lab Plans To Counter Alleged Ties To Russian Intelligence

Alleged Ties To Russian Intelligence

Kaspersky Lab can’t seem to get rid of the stigma of being a Russian company. Even after Eugene Kaspersky publicly declared that Russian President Vladimir Putin is not his friend, and offered to show his source codes to the US government, he can’t shake off the perception that he’s helping the Russian government attack Western interests.

It did not help that Israeli government hackers provided the US National Security Agency (NSA) with evidence that Russian hackers used Kaspersky Lab software to scan for American classified programs. They also found NSA hacking tools in the Kaspersky Lab network, the same tools that the NSA later confirmed were in Russian intelligence hands.

That was what led to the US General Services Administration directive to remove Kaspersky Lab from its list of approved vendors, and the US Senate to call for a government-wide ban.

There is no evidence that Kaspersky Lab itself was complicit in helping Russian intelligence scan for American classified programs, or obtain the NSA hacking tools. It is entirely possible that the Russian intelligence hackers merely exploited the same flaws in Kaspersky Lab software that the Israelis used to gain access to their network and software.

However, all these controversies have greatly undermined Kaspersky Lab’s credibility and sales worldwide.

 

The Kaspersky Lab Global Transparency Initiative

The Kaspersky Lab Global Transparency Initiative attempts to prove and assure their customers (and potential customers) that there are no backdoors in their software. Under this initiative, Kaspersky Lab will make their source codes, including software updates and threat detection rules, available for independent review and evaluation.

Their Global Transparency Initiative will kick off with these actions :

  1. Kaspersky Lab will offer their source codes for an independent review by Q1 2018, with similar independent reviews of their software updates and threat detection rules to follow.
  2. An independent assessment of the Kaspersky Lab development lifecycle processes, and its software and supply chain risk mitigation strategies, will begin by Q1 2018.
  3. Additional controls to govern Kaspersky Lab data processing practices, with verification by an independent party, will be developed by Q1 2018.
  4. Three Transparency Centers will be established in Asia, Europe and the US to address security issues with Kaspersky Lab partners, customers and government stakeholders. They will also serve as a facility for “trusted partners to access reviews on the company’s code, software updates and threat detection rules“. The first Transparency Center will open by 2018, with the rest by 2020.
  5. Kaspersky Lab will increase their bug bounty awards up to $100,000 for the most severe vulnerabilities found under their Coordinated Vulnerability Disclosure program by the end of 2017.

Kaspersky Lab will later announce the next phase of the Global Transparency Initiative, after engaging with their stakeholders and the cybersecurity community.

 

What This Does Not Address

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The initial phase of the Kaspersky Lab Global Transparency Initiative will help verify, and assure their customers, that there are no backdoors in their software. However, it does not address a major concern for the US government – the fact that their data is routed through Russian Internet service providers that are subject to the Russian intelligence surveillance system called SORM (System of Operative-Investigative Measures).

Kaspersky Lab has said that customer data sent to their Russian servers are encrypted, and they do not decrypt it for the Russian government. But it would be impossible for them to prove it. Perhaps they will address this concern in the next phase of their Global Transparency Initiative.

Don’t forget to read our interview with Eugene Kaspersky on his alleged ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin.

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