Volkswagen and the Quandary of Hidden Code

Counterpunch, October 1, 2015
The whole VW scandal just scratches the surface. Hidden code is control, it's power. It's a pillar of the NSA's mass surveillance apparatus.

China's Political Elite Take the Money and Run - Abroad

Truthout, September 13, 2015
The basic game plan for many Chinese oligarchs is to make as much money as possible and then get the hell out of Dodge before they become the next political bullseye.

Thoughts About Michael Hastings

Cryptome, August 12, 2015
The exact nature of the events surrounding the death of Michael Hastings may remain elusive. But it's definitely a reminder for journalists to leave a trail for others to follow as a contingency.

Key Escrow Encryption as a Red Herring

Counterpunch, July 29, 2015
A number of very serious people have gone into a frenzy as the two Michaels (Hayden and Chertoff) denounce key escrow encryption. But the focus on overt cryptographic back doors intentionally avoids the topic of covert back doors based on zero-day exploits, so that the tech industry can bolster it's public image.

The NSA's 9/11 Cover-Up

AlterNet, July 28, 2015
Here are some conspiracy facts for the 9/11 crowd. I can't believe this was just the result of garden variety negligence on behalf of the NSA. The attacks were allowed to happen.

Documents Published by WikiLeaks Reveal the NSA's Corporate Priorities

Truthout, July 18, 2015
"Top-secret intercepts prove that economic spying by the United States is pervasive, that not even allies are safe and that it's wielded to benefit powerful corporate interests."

Does Edward Snowden Really Trust Apple to Do the Right Thing?

AlterNet, June 16, 2015
Snowden has given what's essentially a public endorsement for Apple in a New York Times op-ed. This should give one pause. From here on out it will be interesting to see who pays Snowden for his speaking engagements. "Ed Snowden Fights the Man" claims the billboard (brought to you by the billionaires of Silicon Valley).

The Unbelievably Weird Reaction to Europe's Stagnant Jobs Market -- Virtual Workplace Therapy

AlterNet, May 30, 2015
On the surface this may seem like a novel way to deal with the anxiety and isolation of long-term unemployment. But there's more to this than meets the eye.

Will An Appeals Court Ruling Really Stop NSA Bulk Phone Data Collection?

Counterpunch, May 8, 2015
Don't crack open the champagne bottle just yet...

The USA Freedom Act of 2015 Doesn’t End Bulk Data Collection

AlterNet, May 4, 2015
Lawmakers claim that this bill "ends bulk collection." A brazen lie. They're gambling on public ignorance about Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 and Executive Order 12333.

The Lesson of Hacking Team's Malware

Counterpunch, April 23, 2015
Looking at who builds, operates, and profits from mass surveillance technology offers insight into the nature of the global panopticon.

EO 13694 as Performance Art

AlterNet, April 3, 2015
I wonder if Admiral Rogers plans on paying restitution? After all, the NSA is one of the Internet's most prolific "actors". No doubt Henry Kissinger would comment that sanctions are for lesser powers.

Cyber Armageddon Is a Myth

AlterNet, March 19, 2015
The Cult of Cyberwar can eat crow. Even the American IC admits that their dire predictions of doomsday are bunk.

The Intercept, Mass Surveillance, and The State

Counterpunch, March 13-15, 2015
The far right would prefer to blame everything on the government.

Cyber Arms Control Pipe Dreams

AlterNet, March 6, 2015
The New York Times advises that nations engage in treaties to limit the proliferation of cyber arms. Wishful thinking at best.

OPSEC For Activists, When Strong Encryption Isn't Enough

AlterNet, February 26, 2015
Security tools have been known to fail. That's why OPSEC is so important.

Latest Cyber Bank Robbery Demonstrates That Govt Prefers Crappy Tech Security for Its Own Benefit

AlterNet, February 18, 2015
Poor cyber security is official policy: companies are allowed to get away with selling substandard products and spies actively work to make hi-tech insecure. Hence a $300 million cyber heist should come as no surprise.

Clear Proof Obama's Surveillance Oversight Board Is a Pathetic Sideshow

AlterNet, February 9, 2015
Don't expect the political class to tear down Big Brother, lawmakers are largely beholden to deep sources of private wealth that benefit from the global panopticon.

Refuting David Cameron's Privacy Talking Points

Cryptome, January 17, 2015
MI5 chief Andrew Parker and Prime Minister David Cameron have appealed for greater authority with regard to mass surveillance. These requests are drawn from the same playbook that was employed in the United States after 9/11. The political operatives of the 1 percent never let a disaster go to waste.

Critics of the Govt's Official Story on Sony Hack Smeared

AlterNet, January 17, 2015
After all of the lies it's our civic duty to question what officials like FBI Director Comey tell us.

Is There a 'Triple Government' at Work?

WhoWhatWhy, January 4, 2015
Another more focused synopsis of Glennon's Double Government meme. The intel agencies obey the executive, and the executive in turn caters primarily to corporate factions. I argue that there are actually three layers interacting...

Blaming Government Surveillance on the Government

Alternet, December 17, 2014
Just taking orders, sir! Rebukes Michael Glennon's concept of Double Government.

Sony Pictures Presents: The Propaganda Model

Below Gotham, December 19, 2014
Questions whether North Korea is actually responsible for the attacks on Sony. Cross-posted at Cryptome and Counterpunch.

Forgetting the Lesson of Cypherpunk History

TruthOut, December 6, 2014
Another formal response to Glenn Greenwald.

Forbes Writer Smears Snowden, Misses the Boat

Truthout, November 21, 2014
Staff writer John Tamny in his review of Citizenfour called Ed Snowden a "paranoid crank." Then again, what would you expect from an outlet that celebrates corporate leaders? Here I explain why he's mistaken.

Silicon Valley Sells the Illusion of Security

Below Gotham Labs, November 21, 2014
A formal response to Glenn Greenwald. More hints of Omidyar. Cross-posted at Cryptome, Counterpunch, and Dissident Voice.

Et tu, Poitras?

Below Gotham Labs, November 13, 2014
A response to an interview with Poitras. Hints of Omidyar? Cross-posted at Cryptome, Counterpunch, and Dissident Voice.

Darknet Sweep Casts Doubt on Tor

Below Gotham Labs, November 8, 2014
An international effort takes down hundreds of Tor hidden services, raising some important questions. Cross-posted at Cryptome, Counterpunch, and Dissident Voice.

The FBI Can Bypass Encryption

Below Gotham Labs, October 31, 2014
The FBI's move to amend U.S. legal code for search and seizure is a red flag. Cross-posted at Cryptome, Counterpunch, and Dissident Voice

Surveillance Reform Theater

Below Gotham Labs, October 20, 2014
James Comey's push for key escrow is a tell. Cross-posted at Cryptome, Counterpunch, and Dissident Voice

Global Subversion Begets a Question for Ed Snowden

Below Gotham Labs, October 12, 2014
Are covert programs compatible with democracy? Cross-posted at Cryptome, Counterpunch, Truthout, and Dissident Voice

When Deep States Collide: Turkey's Hesitancy Exposes Its Agenda

Counterpunch, September 29, 2014
Why is Turkey dragging its feet while Obama dives head first into military engagement? There's a lot more to it than just fear of arming Kurdish separatists. Look closely and you'll see that the two deep states are signaling to each other.

Are Google and Apple On Your Side?

Below Gotham Labs, September 21, 2014
Device-level encryption will not protect you from NSA warrants. Cross-posted at Cryptome, Dissident Voice, and Counterpunch.

Yahoo's Innocent Victim Narrative

Below Gotham Labs, September 12, 2014
Corporate Executives Couldn't Care Less About Civil Liberties. Cross-posted at Dissident Voice and Counterpunch.

The Holes in NATO's Cyber Defense Pledge

Below Gotham Labs, September 4, 2014
The Times imposes a 150-word ceiling on letters. This is a much longer equivalent essay cross-posted at Dissident Voice and Counterpunch.

Tracing Cyberattacks

New York Times, September 4, 2014
A response to news of NATO ratifying a joint defense pledge against cyber attacks.

Why The Deep State Always Wins

Below Gotham Labs, August 29, 2014
It's the zero-sum game of perpetual war married to the failed state model for neocolonialism.

Questioning Edward Snowden’s Cure-All

Counterpunch, August 15-17, 2014
Posted in the wake of Ed Snowden's interview with James Bamford. This picture is too much...

Cornering the Zero-Day Market

Below Gotham Labs, August 7, 2014
My response to Dan Geer's suggestion, at Black Hat USA 2014, that the United States government should own the market for zero-day bugs.

The CIA Does Las Vegas

Counterpunch, Weekend Edition August 1-3, 2014
After all of the lies and subterfuge is it constructive to give voice to the talking points of intelligence officials? What does this say about the venues that provide them with a platform?

The Media Ignores the CIA In Ukraine

Counterpunch, July 30, 2014
The corporate media is failing to recognize U.S. intervention while depicting Russia as the sole instigator of conflict.

A Response to Tor’s Founding Director

Dissident Voice, July 22, 2014
In response to comments made by Shava Nerad.

Would You Trust Tor with Your Life?

Dissident Voice, July 16, 2014
Internet users are being given a false sense of security. People are depicting Tor as the digital equivalent a reinforced concrete barrier when in practice it can often be little more than a speed bump against trained spies.

Microsoft’s Gestures of Transparency

Counterpunch, July 03, 2014
Micro$oft has opened what the company is referring to as "Transparency Centers" so that a select group of governments can inspect its source code. This is a propaganda stunt and herein I explain why.

Ed Snowden, Philip Agee, and Executive Authority

Counterpunch, June 25, 2014
An essay that explores the links between events taking place now and those which transpired during the Cold War.

A Question for Glenn Greenwald

Counterpunch, June 19, 2014
This query, and my subsequent commentary, is posed in response to a presentation that Glenn Greenwald gave at the Nourse Theater in San Francisco on June 18, 2014, 7-8pm.

Google's Shareholder Theater: Never Mind the Corporate Spying

Counterpunch, June 10, 2014
Mass subversion trumps strong encryption, never mind the corporate panopitcon...

Chinese Cyber Espionage: The #1 Threat to U.S. Economic Security?

Below Gotham Labs, June 2, 2014
This is the presentation that DEFCON didn't want you to see: Mike Rogers on parade with a litany of hyperbolic misstatements. The transcript for this presentation is here.

The NSA's Corporate Collaborators: Willing Accomplices

Counterpunch, Weekend Edition, May 9-11, 2014
For the big multinationals too much money is at stake to let something like civil liberties get in the way.

OPINION: Washington World's Top Aggressor in Cyber Espionage

RIA Novosti, April 25, 2014
Commentary on U.S. clandestine programs that I offered to Nikita Alentyev.

How Coverage of the NSA Scandals Ignores the (Obedient) CIA

Counterpunch, Weekend Edition, April 4-6, 2014
An essay that examines the CIA's role in global mass interception and the underlying forces that drive the agency.

Deep State Infographic

Below Gotham, February 27, 2014
With homage to Peter Dale Scott, political observers in Turkey, and a recent essay posted at Bill Moyers, I've created a diagram that depicts where power lies in modern American politics. As John Dewey concluded, it resides in the private sector. The Deep State is the political membrane, the structural layer, through which elite decisions are imposed.

Behold a Pale Farce

Cyberwar, Threat Inflation, and the Malware-Industrial Complex

To Purchase a Copy: send a shipping address and a U.S. Postal Money Order for $15 per copy ($11 for the book itself + $4 for standard 3-10 day shipping) to Bill Blunden at P.O. Box 22093, San Francisco, CA, 94122. NOTE: We cannot accept check or credit card orders. Also, no orders outside the United States will be processed.

Copies remaining: 95

280 pages, Trine Day, April 2014, ISBN-13: 978-1937584801

Behold a cavalcade of legislators, government officials, and think tank fellows. They claim that the United States waivers perilously at the brink of catastrophe, that foreign powers are poised to cripple the U.S. power grid and decimate the banking system. They warn that if we fail to implement the measures which they endorse, we risk a Cyber Armageddon.

Yet this End Times narrative is a farce, and a pale one at that. These doomsday scenarios serve only to benefit the military-industrial complex. Cyberwar propaganda is an instance of threat inflation. Much like during the run-up to the disastrous global War on Terror. The message of cyberwar elicits a crisis mentality. The end result is an anxious public that's susceptible to ill-conceived, but highly profitable, solutions.

Once more, while the apparatchiks sound the alarm about external threats, there are genuine threats emanating from within. America's Deep State is busy executing campaigns of espionage and sabotage in foreign networks. U.S. intelligence agencies are embroiled in covert operations at home and abroad which have been instrumental in the emergence of a sprawling underground industry that develops weaponized malware and Orwellian mass interception tools. Proponents explain that these developments are necessary to ensure our 'national security.' The reality is that this decidedly offensive approach is seriously undermining our collective security.

In these pages you'll see who is stirring the cyberwar pot, the real threats that we're being distracted from, and the often unacknowledged root causes of our growing cyber insecurity.

Author Note: The original publisher of this book got cold feet and backed off. The chief editor in particular voiced deep concern about "push back," coverage of former DNI Mike McConnell, and the onset of the 2012 Presidential election. Kris Millegan at TrineDay has proven that he's not so easily bullied.

The book's front material (Title page, Dedication, Opening Quote, Table of Contents, Prologue and Preface) can be viewed here.

Book Review: George Smith has written a detailed and illuminating retrospective on the folly of the cyberwar narrative which mentions this book.

TransEvolution Infographic

Below Gotham, January 16, 2014
Technology empowers, but it can also enslave. In TransEvolution author Daniel Estulin focuses on the latter, a sort of Ray Kurzweil meets Karl Marx affair. The moneyed elite wish to "end history" as Emmanuel Goldstein described in 1984 using scientific innovation to amplify their control. In an effort to organize my thoughts while I processed the book I've created an infographic that hits most of the major ideas.

General Alexander at Black Hat USA, The Deep State's Talking Points

Counterpunch, Weekend Edition, August 2-4, 2013
A formal response to Keith Alexander's keynote speech at Black Hat USA 2013.

Stuxnet Unbound

Counterpunch, Weekend Edition, June 8-10, 2012
Commentary on state-sponsored malware and American foreign policy.

The Rootkit Arsenal, 2nd Edition

800 pages, Jones & Bartlett, February 2012, ISBN-13: 9781449626365

The Lost Chapter

Below Gotham Labs, December 2011
This is content originally intended for the 2nd edition of the Rootkit Arsenal.

Cyberwar: Hyperbole and Reality - Slides

Below Gotham Labs, October 2010
These are materials that I'll present at SFSU's National Cybersecurity Awareness Event. It's an updated rendition of my Lockdown 2010 slide deck.

Manufacturing Consent and Cyberwar - White Paper

Manufacturing Consent and Cyberwar - Slides

Below Gotham Labs, July 2010
These are materials that I presented at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Lockdown 2010 Event.

An Uninvited Guest (Who Won't Go Home) - White Paper

An Uninvited Guest (Who Won't Go Home) - Slides

Below Gotham Labs, February 2010
These are materials that I presented at Black Hat DC 2010.

Anti-Forensics: The Rootkit Connection (Paper)

Anti-Forensics: The Rootkit Connection (Slides)

Below Gotham Labs, July 2009
These are materials that I presented at Black Hat USA 2009.

The Rootkit Primer

Below Gotham Labs, April 2009
These are slides from a presentation that I gave at Sonoma State University.

The Rootkit Arsenal

916 pages, Wordware Publishing, April 2009, ISBN-10: 1598220616

"One of the first things I noticed while flipping through this hefty book is the sheer number of topics covered. Perhaps this is a necessity. As the author puts it, rootkits lie 'at the intersection of several related disciplines: computer security, forensics, reverse-engineering, system internals, and device drivers.' Upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that great pains have been taken to cover each subject in sufficient depth and to present ideas in a manner that's both articulate and well organized" -- Nicola Hahn, Slashdot Review

For more information (overview and table of contents) see this page

Cube Farm

176 pages, Apress, August 2004, ISBN-10: 1590594037

Bill Blunden recounts his three years in Minnesota, performing research and development for Lawson Software. Riddled with intrigue, duplicity and collusion, this story offers a trench-level view of a company in the throes of internal rivalry and suffering from a string of failed projects.

"Cube Farm should be required reading for young people considering careers as computer programmers." -- Philip Greenspun, MIT Computer Science Researcher

Offshoring IT: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

152 pages, Apress, July 2004, ISBN-10: 1590593960

In addition to presenting the pro-globalization stance of Corporate America, this book gives voice to dissenting opinions that have largely been ignored by the media. The author offers an enlightening, detailed analysis of the offshore outsourcing phenomenon, and exposes the underlying core values of America's economic and political system. Ultimately, the trend of knowledge jobs heading overseas is a dangerous one. The United States is setting themselves up for long-term pain when we don't have the skills to lead the world's economy any more. It doesn't matter how much a multinational company saves with cheap labor if the US job market is made up of low wage jobs that can't buy anything but the essentials.

"Offshoring IT is compelling and technologically well-informed. It's well-researched, and heavily annotated with tons of third-party references and government data." -- Bruce Hadley,

Software Exorcism

376 pages, Apress, September 2003, ISBN-10: 1590592344

Takes an unflinching, no bullsh*t look at behavioral problems in the software engineering industry, shedding much-needed light on the social forces that make it difficult for programmers to do their job. Do you have a co-worker who perpetually writes bad code that you are forced to clean up? This is your book. While there are plenty of books on the market that cover debugging and short-term workarounds for bad code, Reverend Bill Blunden takes a revolutionary step beyond them by bringing our attention to the underlying illnesses that plague the software industry as a whole.

"I think the following quote from the introduction sums up the tone of the book nicely: 'Rather than shield your eyes from the sordid realities of the software industry, I am going to dust off my old 8mm films and let you take a good look at the uncensored truth for yourself. You may want to keep a paper bag handy in case you get sick.'" -- Mark Burroughs, Slashdot Review

Message Passing Server Internals

368 pages, McGraw-Hill Professional, May 2003, ISBN-10: 0071416382

With short, step-by-step tutorials, this book moves smoothly from explaining basic theory to designing and implementing high-level subsystems. Background material is presented in a way that will appeal to novice engineers, but the sophisticated approach will make advanced developers feel right at home. The companion CD contains source code for original implementation, in addition to system management utilities.

Memory Management: Algorithms and Implementations

360 pages, Wordware Publishing, October 2002, ISBN-10: 1556223471

Presents several concrete implementations of garbage collection and explicit memory management algorithms. Every implementation is complemented by an in-depth presentation of theory, followed by benchmark tests, a complete listing of C/C++ source code, and a discussion of each implementation's trade-offs.

Virtual Machine Design and Implementation

668 pages, Wordware Publishing, February 2002, ISBN-10: 1556229038

The book begins with a discussion of the theoretical underpinnings of the author's HEC virtual machine and its fundamental design goals, and continues with a section on the implementation of the virtual machine and its debugger. The final section focuses on the HEC assembler, including its interface to the native operating system, interrupts, the assembly language, and how to implement object-oriented constructs. There is also an extended discussion of porting the HEC virtual machine to other platforms. To assist in accomplishing this goal, the author offers a critical path analysis of the development process so that readers can build both their own virtual machine.