2017 Without A Safety Net: A Year Ahead Of The Game
Throughout 2017 I’ve been writing about Russia, the far-right, how it’s all interwoven. How that hydra attacked the West.
Since I started, with a trip to Sweden to investigate Trump's comments, the story has developed to form an alarming picture of hybrid warfare, disinformation, and the destabilisation of world order and peace.
"while it’s refreshing to see the security services publicly catch up, in turn spurring the mainstream media to do the same, I feel it is most important for everyone to know my work being crowdfunded at Byline isn’t just about writing news articles. Your money goes much, much further."
I’ve spent a lot of that time being dismissed, trolled, or called mad so, to those who supported, funded, and put faith in me during 2017, thank you. Look at what we did!
Yesterday (1st December 2017) it was reported by the Guardian that Conservative leadership contender Jacob Rees-Mogg had met with former Trump adviser and disinformation actor Steve Bannon.
Cambridge Analytica and Russia continue to be an area of interest for me, and this latest article is only days old, though the story of Brexit and Russia goes back years, and disinformation by the Kemlin runs straight to the heart of Parliament.
The Rees-Mogg news came on the same day disgraced General Michael Flynn pled guilty in the United States - with accounts of his co-operation against Trump with the Mueller investigation surfacing.
This was also day MI6 joined the Prime Minister and others in declaring Russia an active threat and, late last night, reports started to emerge that the National Cybercrime Security Centre (NCSC) had declared Russian Kaspersky software a risk to UK security.
"The UK intelligence services and mainstream media outlets are seven months late to the Kaspersky warning and the rest of the party."
The UK intelligence services and mainstream media outlets are seven months late to the Kaspersky warning and the rest of the party.
Aside from the extensive collection of articles
I’ve written here at Byline, I had even documented the link to Michael Flynn and Kaspersky in
this full, uncorrected statement on the Russia threat sent to authorities on the 19th of May 2017. And, of course, Russian Ambassador Kislyak became news once again due to Flynn.
As another example on Kaspersky and how my work here has been more on top of cybersecurity than the NCSC, this article was written on the 15th of May, before the statement was sent.
This second article, in which I raised concerns over false attribution by Kaspersky of the Wannacry attack on critical infrastructure to North Korea, followed three days later on the 18th, a day ahead of the full statement.
A further article, in June, called into question the BAE
attribution of Wannacry to North Korea on behalf of NCSC/GCHQ, again
specifically raising the alarm about Kaspersky.
I also raised concerns about Kaspersky, Cambridge Analytica, BAE, and GCHQ itself in this article from October.
And finally, in this Early October article - having additionally covered NotPetya - I raised this concern about Russia masking its cyberattacks as North Korean - and correctly predicted a number of falsely attributed cyberattacks would follow.
So, what I’m saying is: Working with Byline Media, not only have I been seven months ahead of UK security services on Russia, but almost every word written in Alternative War has been proven accurate so far.
And people seem to like the book too.
However, while it’s refreshing to see the security services publicly catch up, in turn spurring the mainstream media to do the same, I feel it is most important for everyone to know my work being crowdfunded at Byline isn’t just about writing news articles.
Your money goes much, much further.
Having started with the already published statement on Russia, dated 19th May, I’ve been working tirelessly with two hats: Raising public awareness through Byline and behind the scenes to try and engage our UK agencies and officials.
"I haven’t been playing at this and I’ve carried the very real risks."
I haven’t been playing at this and I’ve carried the very real risks.
Here are key extracts from my email correspondence with GCHQ/NCSC raising concerns with them about Russia cyber attacks, critical infrastructure attacks, and Kaspersky, sent on the 16th of June 2017, after a discussion on the phone as part of my front-facing Byline work.
And here’s an extract from my email correspondence with a senior level contact in the NCA, sent on the 4th of August 2017, to which Alternative War was attached as a PDF - to highlight all of the extensive Russia issues known at the time the book went to print.
Last month, I additionally sent written evidence to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee in the House of Commons, covering Russia, hybrid warfare, fake news and disinformation, and social media.
That statement will hopefully be published as part of the inquiry led by MP Damian Collins - though it will not appear elsewhere until afterwards, due to privilege rules.
"If you want to support the continuance of all of this, or get involved for the first time, you are the only safety net I have - both in terms of the funding and in terms of the watchful eyes this work requires."
Now, while everyone catches up on the news Byline Media and I have been all over for months, it’s time to not only focus on next year’s news, but on how we continue to change things for the better.
If you want to support the continuance of all of this, or get involved for the first time, you are the only safety net I have - both in terms of the funding and in terms of the watchful eyes this work requires.
This can only be done with your help and you can fund my ongoing work by clicking "support" and pledging what you feel it's worth.
I'd like to tackle 2018 with at least a safety line.
With my very best seasons greeting and warmest new year wishes: Thank you.
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