Remember My Warnings About Closed Source Computer Security Products and Services?

June 1st, 2007

Read the Ugly Truth About Online Anonymity and then try to guess who’s an affiliate for Armorware, a proprietary computer security software suite?

This is Mike Ruppert’s Armorware page.

That’s right. That Mike Ruppert.

I stopped paying attention to Ruppert after his weird statements in the wake of the Gary Webb murder, which came after his association with Pinnacle Quest International. As Ruppert went on to self destruct, I didn’t know what the hell to make of the guy.

I recently started to wonder where he wound up and what he was doing, after all that drama with his office and going off half cocked to Venezuela. I found that link to Ruppert’s Armorware affiliate page on mikeruppert.blogspot.com. When I checked further, his association with Armorware is old news.

I looked over that Armorware thing and I find it absolutely shocking that Ruppert would be involved with selling such a product, especially since so many people in activist and dissident circles listen to him. Users of that software have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what it’s actually doing. It’s proprietary. Trust us.

Is this a simple case of total ignorance on Ruppert’s part? Or is there something else to it?

The software seems to be popular with computer amateurs who think that they’re conducting offshore banking transactions in a private manner.

Since the software requires VPN connections to Armorware servers in Canada, for U.S. users, all of these sessions will explicitly be targeted by NSA. That’s not tinfoil. Foreign communications surveillance is the stated purpose of the NSA. The fact that Armorware’s servers could be acting as a massive honeypot is a different matter entirely, but consider that, for a mere $485, a private Canadian company is going to protect you from the NSA? I couldn’t make it up, but Mike Ruppert is trying to sell you on that one.

On this Armorware page, Mike is quoted:

“Government officials, attorneys and high-ranking officials don’t want to be caught sharing information or sensitive documents, which is why journalists need to protect their sources,” says Ruppert. “It’s a matter of safety and is vital to civil liberties and freedom of the press.

My sources also have a concern for privacy because my writings are largely critical of the US government. They have a strong interest in communicating information securely in order to protect themselves and their families from harassment or retribution.”

At best, this thing shouldn’t be used because there’s no way to know what Armorware’s servers are doing with the data associated with your sessions. At worst, this thing could be some kind of intelligence agency cutout that is harvesting EVERYTHING that people are doing when they THINK that their sessions are secure.

How do we know? We don’t. It’s proprietary.

Just how bad COULD this be?

I’m not saying that their software is doing this, but how would I know that they’re not running keylogging routines that capture my passphrases and a few lines of code that transmits my keystrokes and private crypto keys to their servers? Since they are the man-in-the-middle on the “secure” sessions, they would be in a position to capture my encrypted email as well as my surfing history and everything that I do online. Recover my private keys, and, well, this is the worst nightmare scenario I’ve had to think about in a long time.

In other words, since I don’t know what their closed source binaries are doing, they could potentially be doing things that make decrypting what I think are totally private communications a simple, point-and-click matter.

How would I know that this isn’t the case? Because they tell me it’s a “sterile” and “secure” environment?!

Of course, skilled security analysts could conduct packet analysis on what exactly was passing between the client and Armorware’s servers. Even if that turned out to be clean and legit, how would we determine exactly what was happening on Armorware’s servers? The man in the middle has great powers. How well do you trust him?

Users of Armorware are trusting that thing with their lives. That is absolutely frightening.

Major red flag.

38 Responses to “Remember My Warnings About Closed Source Computer Security Products and Services?”

  1. Matt Savinar Says:

    Kev,

    Did you attempt to contact before posting this?

  2. Kevin Says:

    Contact who? I didn’t attempt to contact anyone before posting it.

  3. Matt Savinar Says:

    Your insinuating that Mike is in cahoots with some very nasty things here. Before you publish that sort of thing (about anybody) you have a duty to at least attempt to contact the person and get their side of it.

    If I came across this sort of information about one of your affliates I would contact you first before insiniuating that your’re in cahoots with the ACS as you have done here with Mike. How would it look if I didn’t contact you prior to publishing that sort of thing? It would look very “bush league” to say the least.

    As far as what happened to Mike, if you took a moment to go through the blog or FTW you would find the articles about his breakdown and that he’s recuperating with Jenna Orkin in NYC who manages the blog.

  4. Kevin Says:

    I never run any of my stories by anyone. When I see CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER I don’t run it past the people involved, especially when they should know better to begin with. I don’t care who they are.

  5. Matt Savinar Says:

    You specifically insinuate Mike is some how “in on it” and in cahoots with the ACS when you write this:

    “Is this a simple case of total ignorance on Ruppert’s part? Or is there something else to it?”

    Like I said, that is “bush league.”

    You really should at least attempt to contact Mike about this before accussing him like this. Aside from potential defamation issues (I’m sure you don’t care about those) it’s just not right to do what you did here w/o at least sending the man an email and waiting for 24 hours to hear back before publishing this sort of thing.

    Yes, yes I know you see “clear and present danger!!!” but let’s be honest here: the world would not have come crashing down if Kevin F. had waited 24 hours to publish something on his blog.

    Whether you like it or not, you are a journalist you have a duty to act like one.

  6. Kevin Says:

    Your arrogance is incredible. If I wanted editorial advice from you, I’d ask for it.

  7. Scrod Says:

    Is there evidence to suggest that Armorware (not to be confused with Under Armor) actually employs individuals with hidden intentions or ties to the intelligence community? Because right now I don’t see the difference between this service and any other (such as Relakks) that claims to provide privacy via ostensibly secure and anonymous points of access that just happen to reside in a foreign country.

    Is Armorware worse than Relakks because it requires a closed-source client-side binary? How about the VPN clients (PPTP or otherwise) from Cisco, Apple, and Microsoft? Do you honestly have any reason to trust those more than some other third-party closed source binary, especially when all three companies have received consulting from the NSA at one point or another?

    Because ultimately the substance of this post seems to be derived from nothing more than a straightforward common sense analysis of a service that’s unremarkable amidst the thousands of other atrocious security mistakes that occur everywhere.

  8. Kevin Says:

    @ Scrod

    Are prominent dissidents involved with the sale of proprietary computer security suites besides Armorware?

    Mike Ruppert is an Armorware affiliate and the company uses him to promote the product. That’s why I looked at this case in particular.

  9. Karl Whitney Says:

    //MOD Why are you commenting about worm poop on this post? Stay on topic. Thanks, Kevin

    Kevin, thank you for posting the link to Ruppert/Orkin’s blog. I found this great story about a Hungarian refugee Princeton dropout who’s started a company selling worm poop packaged in tossed-out soda bottles: TerraCycle

    My favorite part is his telling of the lawsuit tha Scott’s Miracle Gro has brought against his company. You have to see the chart at the bottom of this page: Sued By Scotts

    So funny. I love these guys and their worm poop.

  10. Scrod Says:

    It certainly stands out in that sense. I don’t know what to make of Ruppert’s apparent supreme trust in a product whose exact technical nature he would never be able to verify on his own.

    That Armorware would tout his endorsement in a PR piece seems to speak more of their inability to secure patronage from someone more well-known and/or technically qualified than of mysterious ties.

    Of course I always favor analytic approaches to security over faith-oriented perspectives (that those with a mindset like Ruppert’s tend to develop) centered around seemingly arbitrary individuals and organizations. (That whole human relationships/connections technique doesn’t apply to computers, sadly.)

  11. SW Says:

    Working in IT I can safely say that the only safe computer is one without wireless and not plugged into any kind of wired network. You could lock your machine in a safe too for physical security. Just how far do you want to go to secure your data and privacy?

    This is the real world we live in so I choose to be practical and plug my machine into the internet…;-)

  12. Karl Whitney Says:

    [Sorry about that. I found the worm story on Ruppert’s blog. I considered it the only thing of value I’ve ever gleaned from visiting one of Ruppert’s sites, so I thought I’d mention it. Also, I’m afraid my enthusiasm from following your farm blog spilled over, and I thought you might also appreciate the content of the story.]

    I will now return to the topic at hand: While I understand what Matt Savinar is suggesting, I tend to side with Kevin on this one. Anyone who’s followed Ruppert’s story arc has to cast a suspicious eye towards anything he promotes.

    Also, Matt, there are several problems with your argument. First, Ruppert has a nasty habit of nuking anyone who questions his sanctity with threats of legal action and a mean-spirited arrogance. Also, I’m pretty sure the guy’s gone nuts. As Kevin alluded to in his article, Ruppert wanted everyone to believe that Gary Webb shot himself in the head TWICE. As far as your “try to act like a journalist” argument, that’s a wide-ranging discussion. I would simply say that I view Kevin’s work as empirical commentary based on extensive research, and a familiarity with specific and observable intelligence, cointelpro, and social programming patterns.

    Matt, if you were concerned about Kevin jeopardizing his reputation and shattering his chances of becoming a Wall Street Journal editorial page writer, or, if you were worried about Mike Ruppert’s feelings being hurt, that’s very kind of you, but I think you may have missed the primary thrust of this article:

    “At worst, this thing could be some kind of intelligence agency cutout that is harvesting EVERYTHING that people are doing when they THINK that their sessions are secure.”

  13. Matt Savinar Says:

    Karl, Kevin,

    The armourware story is indeed very serious. But to insinuate that Mike Ruppert is in cahoots with the ACS is so BEYOND RIDICULOUS that it makes me question what is going on inside Kevin. I mean dude, get a grip here. Mike Ruppert in cahoots with intelligence agencies?

    If you want to call me “arrogant” for pointing out just how BEYOND RIDICULOUS your insinutations are, have at it. That doesn’t change the fact you made some BEYOND RIDICULOUS accusations.

    I’ve seen similar accusations tossed around the dissident blogosphere but it’s usually from people who also believe in things like magically refilling abiotic oil wells and other non-sense.

    Have a look through the archives at FTW and contemplate just how off-the-charts ridiculous Kevin’s insinuations about Mike are.

    As far as the “arc of his story”, it’s pretty obvious what happened. Mike was never exactly the most emotionally stable person in the world. He had previous problems with alcohol and was well-known for not having the most highly-developed interpersonal skillset, shall we say.

    On the one hand this is what allowwed him to produce the body of work he produced as you have to be a bit nuts to investigate the stuff he investigated and even nuttier to actually publish it. But sans a family strucuture and personal wellness program to keep him sane and grounded it was only a matter of time before he came unraveled.

    Kevin writes “I wondered what happened to him” like he just disappeared into the night or something once he got people to give up their info to AW. Dude, surf around his blog or FTW’s archives. He had a mental brakedown and is now living with Jenna Orkin in NYC. The whole thing was well documented on FTW and the blog.

    As far as the primary thrust of this article: it’s a damn shame Kevin had to soil an otherwise very important piece with these beyond ridiculous (and very mean spirited to boot) accusations against Mike.

    Of course maybe Kevin is with the ACS and is trying to discredit Mike’s work by tossing out these accusations!!! (I’m joking here to point out how BEYOND RIDICULOUS this is.)

    That’s all I say.

  14. West Says:

    Its not an insinuation against mr. ruppert, at all. Its a critique of the product. If, upon reflection, Mr. Ruppert would like to comment on that, he could.

    For example: he could state “i’m not a doctor, but i’m playing one for this endorsement spot”, noting that he is endorsing an IT product without *actual* understanding of its foibles.

    The facts about the product’s problems (the similar problems of the many products like it) arent really fixable. However, Mr. Ruppert could add some caveats to his endorsement, if he wishes to be taken seriously. The reputation problem is Rupperts, not Kevins.

    And to SW: now you’re getting the point! Choose to use the internet ‘normally’ (like this right here), and you can be SURE that the matrix has you. Period.

    West

  15. DrFix Says:

    I’d say that any “product” that has anything with a fixed address out on the NET is questionable.

  16. Kevin Says:

    @ Matt,

    Here’s what’s beyond ridiculous: I bring up the fact that a well known dissident is promoting and profiting from software that even you agree could have VERY SERIOUS problems, and you’re questioning my motivation.

    You’re making an idiot out of yourself by spewing baseless and hysterical attacks against me.

    I take absolutely no pleasure in having to ask these questions (ignorance or other on Ruppert’s part?). If you do a site search on Cryptogon, you’ll see where I have referenced his work in the past.

    I started to question Ruppert’s judgment when I learned about his association with Pinnacle Quest International. His statements about Gary Webb’s death were a personal red flag for me. I was content to pull my link to his site and just let it go. This Armorware thing, however, could put other people in danger.

  17. Zippy Says:

    Didn’t Ruppert tell us from Venezuela that he was never coming back to the USA? Now you’re telling us that he’s in NY City! Why would you go to a country that obviously has more spooks than Iran, Russia or any other country? What am I to make of that, if he’s supposed to be so credible with 9/11 and peak oil and how the world works? Is this just supposed to be a lapse due to a mental break? One minute he’s touting himself as the “World’s Formost Authority” and the next he’s gone bonkers. I don’t buy the mental breakdown story, but I don’t know what to make of this public, intercontinental drama either. The man’s behavior clearly indicates a credibility issue. How can we know that his office in Oregon had a break in? Ruppert tells us, so we have to accept his story. Trust is based on long train of consistency trailing behind someone. I just don’t see that here.

  18. Matt Savinar Says:

    //MOD Matt, I’ve had enough of your broken record, religious pronouncements. Don’t bother posting any more of that crap. It won’t show up. I feel bad that you’ve mad an idiot out of yourself in public like this, but I won’t allow continued, baseless attacks against me. If you want to continue down that path, do it on your own site. Thanks, Keivn

    Kev,

    Questioning Mike’s judgement is fine and warranted. But implying “there is more to it” as though there is even a remote chance he is in conspiracy with the police state? That is beyond ridiculous I stand by that. If that makes me an ass, fine.

    I’ve seen other bloggers make the same ridiculous accusation against Mike (“Ruppert’s with the police state!”) but they were generally people I consider dumbasses so it never bothered me like it did when I read them here.

    @ “Zippy:

    I figured somebody would bring up peak oil here. I know what’s coming next, I’ve seen it about a dozen times already over the last couple years in the conspiracy blogoshpere It goes like this:

    Mike Ruppert -> advocate of Peak Oil

    Mike Ruppert -> questionable actions (move to VZ, emotional stability, etc.) along with accusations of being in conspiracy with the police state

    Peak Oil -> a conspiracy by the police state

    Whatever.

    Like I said, Kev’s analysis of the product is an important story aside from the accusations against mike. I’ve said my peace in regards to that issue.

  19. p Says:

    If Ruppert himself actually uses that software, his own personal information is already compromised.

    It’s hard enough to evaluate security with open-source software. It’s literally impossible with proprietary software. Using proprietary encryption technology is WORSE than using no protection at all because a) you have a false sense of security b) you literally have no idea where your data is going c) if you use NO encryption, at least your data won’t have a conspicuous entropy profile.

    I also gotta say, if he can get suckered on this front into endorsing malignant ideas, he can probably be suckered on other fronts.

    Learn crypto, folks. It’s a fundamental human right, it is both speech and non-violent weapon.

  20. bookman Says:

    Can’t we all just get along??!

    thats all i’ve got.

    -bkmn

  21. fallout11 Says:

    Ruppert’s ties to Armorware are old, guys and gals. He first started advertised their product on his website years ago (at least since mid 2004). And yes, he made fundamental mistakes, had a breakdown, and basically dropped off the face of the earth, just as Matt said.

    I don’t construe Kevin’s tone to say that Mike R was “in” with intelligence agencies, he merely criticized the product for being closed source. So what, so is most of the software running on either on your own terminal, on the server you use to connect with, or even the websites one visits, be it your bank or Ebay. Hell, WordPress might be in league with the CIA. If you’re connected, you are connected, period, and the Matrix has you.
    Confucius once wisely said that if you look long and hard enough for something, you will eventually find it (implying obsession overcoming all else).

    Mike R. may not have known squat about Armorware, other than they offered a product that sounded reasonable to him, and hence he ‘recommended’ it. As a longtime reader of his site, that is how I took it. I’ve done the same. That neither means it is the best thing since sliced bread, or the spawn of satan. Caveat Emptor.

  22. PV Says:

    Note the bittersweet irony of Matt accusing someone of bush league journalism and defamation in public without applying his own professed 24 hour email rule.

  23. bob m Says:

    personally, i just like to think of this time like a suspect in a known criminal investigation. i know the information is being collected regardless of the sources used. i know the direction this is likely to take is not good. so while i still have a patio i’ll have a coffee in the sun, and wait until the knock at the door. if it all works out, there will be a number of other people to collect before getting to me.
    as an aside, mike ruppert can’t be seen in any different light than, say, some ‘b’ class hollywood actor hawking an alcoholic health beverage in japan based on wasp feces. everybody wants to pay the rent, and eventually we all will do things just for that. we won’t like it, and may be embarrassed/disgusted about it later, but we’ll still do it.
    happy trails folks.

  24. bkmn Says:

    Flamewars 2007…

    I think the 3rd parties here (bob m & fallout11, esp.) have it right.

  25. Kevin Says:

    @fallout11

    How can an open source project like WordPress be in league with the CIA? Do all the developers just agree to ignore the “cia” code?

    HAHA Man, there is some stupid shit posted in these comments sometimes.

  26. p Says:

    Kevin: ok, to a degree you’re right, but consider the case of JAP:
    http://www.securityfocus.com/news/6779

    Despite good intentions (I believe), the creators had a court order against them to insert a backdoor in their anonymizing software.

    They did things like CLEARLY point it out in the source for those who cared enough to look, and the flaw was discovered soon, but open-source projects are still vulnerable to such things. There are also attacks that for instance get the devs’ compiler to insert a backdoor.

    Now, this backdoor was discovered ONLY because the project was open-source. OS projects can be compromised, but it is harder to do so, and the breach has the chance to be discovered. The big point here is that in closed-source security software, the users would have no such opportunity.

  27. Kevin Says:

    @ p

    Sure, anyone can try to insert anything in open source projects. And the leaders of the project may become agents of the state. Sure.

    And look what the result was.

    The nonsense was outed because the code was public.

    Anyone can look at it as say, “WTF is this?” And they did.

  28. Zippy Says:

    Matt: I never said that Ruppert was wrong about peak oil. I said that he shows great inconsistencies. He claims, in spite of all the evidence, that the U.S. will not attack Iran. What? Has he somehow ignored that planetary collapse is well underway? Of course, the Washington Consensus knows the situation better than us, hell, they’ve got our money to do their research. How can he possibly try to afirm that Gary Webb was able to shoot himself twice in the face, that it happens from time to time when the coroner is supposed to have declared it was from three feet away? Did Webb have arms that dragged on the ground? Military experts, of whom Ruppert is clearly not, have stated that the longer those ships remain in the Gulf, the closer the U.S. military is to attacking Iran. Ruppert claims it won’t happen. How can he make such an outrageous statement? Jesus, all the experts are telling us that we’re past peak and on the downhill side since November 2005. Of course, they’re going to attack Iran. Those fat cats in Washington want to continue “our way of life” to quote Cheney. They are leading us to WWIII or WWIV with China and/or Russia. You choose the number.

    Last summer, I attended the Solfest in Hopland. New Society Publishers had a table of their books and carried a copy of Barrie Zwicker’s book “Towers of Deception.” He has a special chapter dedicated to gatekeepers of the Left titled “The Shame of Noam Chomsky and the Gatekeepers of the Left.” I’d read this book several months before and went though my “shock and awe” moment. Now I can say that, after checking out either the distortions or omissions of Goodman and Chomsky since that reading, they are not who them claim to be. Anyhow, a guy was there selling the latest peak oil chart. I mentioned to him that Goodman and Chomsky were gatekeepers, and that he could read about it in Zwicker’s new book. He flatly refused to check it out and dismissed me as a nutcase. At Survival Acres blog, he clearly describes that kind of behavior as a “consensus trance.” http://survivalacres.com/wordpress/?p=657 This trance can emerge anywhere. We have to guard against it if we are to be able to see reality with any consistency.

    Look, we are heading into the greatest global crisis since the die off of the dinosaurs eons ago. The state has been lying to us forever. We can’t have sacred cows anymore than sacred people. Ruppert is not immune to criticism. We have Alex Jones who tells us that 9/11 was an inside job, then tells us that peak oil is an oil company hoax and says, “I’ve got the documents to prove it.” I’ve check his documents. While I’m not a lawyer, it’s not hard to see that his “evidence” is worse than a joke. He also tells us that global warming is a fraud. Well, who would both of these arguments benefit? The oil companies. Then there’s Webster Tarpley. He’s a darling of the 9/11 movement. What does he say about peak oil? You can see his open lies here in this YouTube video http://youtube.com/watch?v=B8TDhpYBu0o He, too, says that climate change is a fraud and touts the BBC documentary that tries to give the “other side.” Tarpley is an old man like me. Jones has children. Does he hate them so much that he’s willing to sacrifice them like Abraham and Isaac?

    Think about this quote:

    “If you give a man the correct information for seven years, he may believe the incorrect information on the first day of the eighth year when it is necessary, from your point of view, that he should do so. Your first job is to build the credibility and the authenticity of your propaganda, and persuade the enemy to trust you although you are his enemy.” ~ A Psychological Warfare Casebook – Operations Research Office – Johns Hopkins University (1958)

    Once again, we are living in a time of great personal and planetary danger. Because the state has unlimited resources, everyone is suspect. Think of the French resistance. Would they just let in a person because of a declaration of solidarity or wrote a book? Hell no. That was a real instance where wrong decisions meant life and death. Aren’t we in that same situation only on a grander scale? Everyone must be tested. Everyone must prove themselves in our electronic world. We can’t see them face to face and read their body language. Who are our neighbors? We don’t even know them. We can only read symbols on a computer screen and try to determine if that is the “TRUTH.” Whatever that is. No, Ruppert is not immune to challenges. If it is true that he uses the equivalent of“SLAP” suits to quiet critics, doesn’t that show that he’s fighting his critics rather than resting on his evidence? Does David Ray Griffin sue his critics over 9/11? Think about it.

  29. Eileen Says:

    Zippy – I like your post.

  30. Zippy Says:

    //MOD Commenter is trying to change the subject of this thread / poison the well with bullshit no-plane WTC theories. Comment deleted. -Kevin

  31. Zippy Says:

    //MOD Commenter is trying to change the subject of this thread / poison the well with bullshit no-plane WTC theories. Comment deleted. -Kevin

  32. Mike Ruppert Says:

    //MOD CORRECTION

    Jenna Orkin submitted the following message that corrects information presented in Mike Ruppert’s response:

    June 7th, 2007 at 3:01 pm

    Hi –

    We’ve been informed by Catherine Austin Fitts that she’s no longer associated with PQI. Therefore could you please remove the sentence in Mike’s comment that refers to her?

    Many thanks and apologies for the inconvenience.

    Jenna Orkin

    -Kevin

    END MOD//

    The comment below was written by Mike Ruppert and initially sent to Matt Savinar for submission to Cryptogon. However, since we haven’t heard from Matt, I’m submitting it instead as Mike’s proxy, in order to protect the privacy of his email address.

    I can verify having seen the letter Mike refers to in which he resigned from PQI. That letter’s not being included now only because Mike’s comment is already so long.

    Jenna Orkin
    *************************************************
    This is Mike Ruppert. Matt can verfiy that this message came directly
    from me. I am sticking my periscope up this once to put a few folks on
    notice that I am still very much alive and in full possession of my
    faculties. Unlike the previous nine years, however, I will not
    re-engage in any dialogue after offering these comments and responses.
    After 28 years of dedicated activism I am retired from that field of
    battle. The price was too great; the returns too little. However, I am
    not through making contributions on the two real and dangerous issues
    that confront all of us: Peak Oil and Global Warming.

    I will soon be starting another book.

    Let me address the points of this thread as I saw them in order.

    ARMORWARE — The open/closed source debate is a Red Herring. Apples
    and Oranges are mixed here. Spyware was my first initial concern,
    (i.e. the vulnerability of files stored on my personal hard drive to
    compromise via backdoors in any number of programs or operating
    systems. When I met the folks from Armorware (at a PQI event — see
    below) I took a lot of time to see what was an utterly elegant
    solution to the problem of preventing spyware or malware from entering
    my hard drive. It required no technical expertise.

    Armorware, designed by a Russian emigre computer scientist living in
    Toronto whom I have met, operated, SOLELY from a CD-ROM which “on
    boot” became the ONLY operating system the Internet ever saw or
    interfaced with. The hard drive was never accessed or even turned on
    in the sense that we think of. All web surfing and emailing (including
    1024 bit encryption) was done from the CD ROM drive so it was NOT
    possible for anything to access or compromise the hard drive from THE
    OUTSIDE. No technical knowledge of any kind is required to understand
    the significance of this.

    No one could track my web surfing either.

    Sure, the creators of Armorware understood that they were a
    third-party intermediary with their servers. That’s why they offer
    such amazing guarantees. I knew them personally and in 2004 I
    travelled to Toronto to meet with all the significant members of the
    company and test drive the product. They were and remain my trusted
    friends. My input was asked (non-technical of course) about
    funtionality and uses and I offered my suggestions, some of which were
    incorporated. All of the Armor Technlogy family were kindred spirits,
    concerned about civil liberties and privacy protection in age of
    massive government spying and data theft..

    The most intelligent comment in this thread was from the person who
    said that the only perfect solution for internet security was to lock
    your computer up in a safe and never gone on line at all.

    But what I saw remains, a quantum leap in protecting one’s personal
    computer from unwanted surreptitious intrusions. But Armoware offered
    other distinct advantages. One could pack up the CD and go anywhere in
    the world to almost any cyber cafe and reboot in a secure mode without
    disclosing one’s location. A USB stick compatible with the OS provided
    tons of space to store encrypted documents and passwords so that one
    could literally go almost anywhere and have much better odds of
    privacy. This is, in the end, all about odds and probabilities.

    Although I have been out of touch with them for a while I understand
    that the whole package is now contained in one USB stick (Operating
    System and files) that makes it even easier to use. Armor
    Technologies, http://www.armorware.com/, is in negotiations with some
    large corporations for large contracts to safely transmit secure data
    so obviously someone thinks it has value.

    Now I realize that the last statement will be used against me. If
    large corporatins like it then it must be proof that it’s comrpomised
    or the enemy. No, they want to use it in-house. They want to protect
    their data.

    As to allegations that I did all that for money I remind everyone the
    in its eight years FTW never accepted any paid advertising of an kind.
    I wouldn’t ever let us be compromised editorially. Armorware is the
    only product I ever endorsed, excluding gold. I became an Armoware
    affiliate (as described on their web page) and enjoyed the benefits of
    that. There ain’t nothing wrong with folks. It’s called paying the
    rent and good business.

    PQI — I severed all contact with PQI in November of 2005 because it
    had deteriorated rapidly from the stimulating and cutting-edge
    educational program it was when I first started working with them. I
    have attached a copy of my November, 2005 email with this message to
    Matt Savinar and he may post it or not as he sees fit. But he will be
    able to confirm that he has seen it. Armoware severed all relations
    with PQI about ten months later. As far as I know, Catherine Austin
    Fitts is still affiliated with PQI.

    ME SUING PEOPLE — Only once have I ever sued anyone. It was a former
    employee who I had connected to a government operation to sabotage my
    company from within (an operation which continued after we moved to
    Ashland). I won that suit in court after proving the sabotage. I have
    threatened to sue people who have employed libelous and dishonest
    smear tactics. That’s why we have laws to prevent such things and why
    such conduct is illegal. But to argue that I defend my work by relying
    on threats of a lawsuit is ridiculous. All of my work and FTW’s work
    has always been fully documented. That’s why I wrote a six-hundred
    page book with a thousand footnotes which is now in the Harvard
    Business School library.

    GARY WEBB — Well, here’s where the flames come out. (Everone wanted a
    little fireworks right?). Gary left a long trail indicating his
    intention to commit suicide starting about ten days before his death.
    (Actually, even longer.) Let’s deal with the two shots first since
    that’s the place where amateuers and dilettantes get so hooked and
    become such unjustified and unqualified experts. There’s a couple of
    pieces of real bad disinformation in this thread. Gary was not shot
    “in the face”. After his death I went to Sacramento and interviewed
    his entire family except for his mother. This included his brother,
    his ex-wife and his three children. They were all open and frank with
    me, knowing that I had been close to him.

    His brother, ex-wife and eldest son all told me they when they saw his
    body in the morgue, pre-autopsy, they observed two entry wounds near
    the right temple (NOT THE FACE). I originally reported that the first
    wound had blown out Gary’s lower left jaw. His ex wife, Susan, later
    corrected me that the bullet had not exited the jaw but it was clear
    that the jaw had been shattered and pushed outwards. There was a
    massive edema, confirming that it was a pre-mortem wound.

    Now, draw a human head from the front. Put ears on so you know where
    the temples are. Draw a line from the right temple to the lower left
    jaw and tell me if any vital organs have been hit or if any arteries
    have been severed? No, they have not.

    The second wound was in a straight line from temple to temple across
    the midbrain and was the fatal shot.

    The autopsy report did not say that the shots were fired from three
    feet away, it stated that the shots were fired from WITHIN three feet
    away. That is a standard statement when gunpowder residue is found on
    the skin. I was told there was also stippling (Look it up). That
    indicates a much closer range (i.e. within inches). All of this was
    also reported in several newspapers. It is not the ME’s role to decide
    the distance of the shot from gunpowder residure but rather an
    explosives expert who can analyaze the powder and compare it to the
    barrell length of the gun and make of the ammunition used. (I was an
    LAPD detective, remember?) That had not been done when I was up there.

    The weapon used was Gary’s own.38 revolver and he was probably using
    weak target ammunition.

    Next go to the web and look up “hesitation wounds”. The occur with
    guns just as they do with suicide slashes. I have seen them when I was
    with LAPD. Gary screwed up the first shot and finished it with the
    second. This is what every member of his family who saw the body told
    me. The first shot was clearly NOT a fatal wound. While Alex Jones was
    publishing stories about Ninja-clad warriors sliding down drain pipes
    to Gary’s upper-floor balcony, I was in Sacramento photographing
    Gary’s single family, one-story home which had no balcony which is
    where he killed himself.

    (I get slammed for promoting one prouduct. How many paid advertisers
    are there on Alex Jones’ sites?)

    Now add to that the fact that in the ten days prior to his death Gary had:

    — changed the beneficiatries and upped the payouts on his insurance policies;
    — wriiten individual letters to each of his children, his ex-wife,
    his mother and his brother telling them goodbye, They all confirmed
    receiving such letters to me personally and in front of other
    journalists at the memorial service;
    — moved all of his most valued personal belongings to his mother’s
    garage and said goodbye.
    — sent an email to Al Giordano of Narconews saying that he was
    contemplating suicide. (I believe Al told me that he even called Gary
    on the phone and tried to disuade him)

    Gary was telegraphing his suicide to everybody. Even I had sensed it
    coming in my last communications with him. He couldn’t get hired
    anywhere and he had burned many bridges behind him. He was behind on
    is house payments.

    So anyone who believes that Gary was murdered, based on the evidence,
    gets an honorary tin foil hat — with a propeller and a satellite dish
    (Oh, geez, there I go showing my bad people skills again). The thing
    that makes me so f—–g agry is the pain this has caused Gary’s
    family every time it gets brought up again.

    IRAN — The US is not ging to attack Iran. Stan Goff and I have been
    right for three years on this and we are still going to be right three
    years from now. The US wants and needs rapprochement with Iran for
    several reasons:

    1. To be able to plug Caspian heavy-sour crude into the existing Iran
    pipeline system and bypass Russian strategic threats along the
    northern Caspian littorals and into the US-controlled Gulf.

    2. Both the US and Iran are more concerned about Russian threats.
    Russia sees the US weakening and is becoming bolder. That puts Iran in
    a squeeze too. In order for Russia to get to the Gulf it has to go
    through Iran. Right now the “sideshow hostility” between the US and
    Iran is good politically for both Bush’s and Ahmadinejad’s poll
    ratings, such as they are..

    3. Militatrily (especially logistically) the US cannot possibly take
    on major attacks against Iran.

    4. Iran and Venezuela are in a mutual defense pact wherein Venezuela
    will shut off oil deliveries to the US if Iran is attacked.

    5. China, Japan, Europe and Southeast Asia cannot survive without
    Iranian oil and Iran will close the Straits of Hormuz. These countries
    will go crazy if the US attacks.

    MY HEALTH AND THE BREAKDOWN — As some of you should observe by now my
    brain is working just fine, thank you. What happened to me was just as
    much a medical/physical illness as a stress-induced depression. I make
    no apologies or excuses for it. None are necesary. I returned to the
    US to save my life. I was going to die in Venezuela. I needed English
    speaking friends and culture around me as much as I needed air. I also
    needed medical treatment badly. Venezuela was a horrible experience
    but I will deal with that publicly on another occasion.

    I love all the speculation about the what’s whys and wherefores. It’s
    better than the gossip mags.

    You can expect to hear from me again sometime in the Fall when Donald
    Rumsfeld hopefully gets indicted over FTW’s Pat Tillman series.
    Everything that has broken came from our investigation of the Army
    records and Stan Goff’s brilliant work. Every handout that was given
    to Congress came from our series. We were publishing that series when
    our computers were smashed in Oregon and we had just proved that
    Rumfeld was guilty of multiple felonies when the burglary occurred.

    Remember Watergate and “The Plumbers”.

    What I am going to continue to do now is to take care of myself,
    something which I neglected to do for two decades.

    So y’all can go back to speculating now. Matt, my good friend, as they
    say, “non carborundum illegitimati”.

    Mike Ruppert

  33. Kevin Says:

    Thanks for responding, Mike.

    For anyone keeping track, here are a list of topics from my essay that Mike failed to address:

    Users of that software have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what it’s actually doing.

    Since the software requires VPN connections to Armorware servers in Canada, for U.S. users, all of these sessions will explicitly be targeted by NSA.

    …how would I know that they’re not running keylogging routines that capture my passphrases and a few lines of code that transmits my keystrokes and private crypto keys to their servers?

    Since they are the man-in-the-middle on the “secure” sessions, they would be in a position to capture my encrypted email as well as my surfing history and everything that I do online. Recover my private keys, and, well, this is the worst nightmare scenario I’ve had to think about in a long time.

    In other words, since I don’t know what their closed source binaries are doing, they could potentially be doing things that make decrypting what I think are totally private communications a simple, point-and-click matter.

    Of course, skilled security analysts could conduct packet analysis on what exactly was passing between the client and Armorware’s servers. Even if that turned out to be clean and legit, how would we determine exactly what was happening on Armorware’s servers?

    I don’t know why Mike Ruppert chose to bring Alex Jones into this, but if Alex Jones is personally endorsing or offering closed source computer security products or anonymity services, etc, I’d like to know about that.

    I’d like to know about any activist or dissident who was offering or endorsing these products or services.

  34. Kevin Says:

    Well, well. Look at this:

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/ar.....eature.htm

    New Prison Planet.tv Member Feature: Anonymous Surfing and E Mailing

    Prison Planet | June 13 2005

    We are offering our Prison Planet.tv members two exclusive new features which come completely free at no extra charge.

    Anonymous surfing and e mailing options are now available to our great members!

    Who else? Any other dissidents or activists selling or promoting honeypot products or services like this?

  35. Mike Ruppert and Jenna Orkin Says:

    Hi –

    We’ve been informed by Catherine Austin Fitts that she’s no longer associated with PQI. Therefore could you please remove the sentence in Mike’s comment that refers to her?

    Many thanks and apologies for the inconvenience.

    Jenna Orkin

  36. John M Says:

    Thanks Kevin for your informative article!

    I see what you are saying 100%, and it makes sense to me.

    I’m surprised by the defensive posture Matt Savinar took with you. Are you supposed to check with him (got to be kidding me) before you write something?

    God forbid you might insinuate Ruppert might not have all the facts. How outrageous! Seems to me if Armorware was that secure, he wouldn’t need Jenna Orkin to act as a proxy.

    Back to the point – bottom line is: no one but armorware knows what they do with their customers information. How can anyone really say where their interests lie outside of making money?

    The fact alone that Mr. Ruppert reccomends a closed source mystery system makes me very leery indeed.

    Thanks again for your insightful article. Hope more people read it so they can make educated decisions prior to making bad ones.

  37. ajv Says:

    holy shit…and I had just ordered Ruppert’s book…guess I won’t be picking it up…that was one incoherent, demented response, and I don’t pretend to have any real knowledge of the specfic issues.

  38. ETT Says:

    I hope you don’t mind me making a few comments on this blog.

    I’ve read thousands of articles and blogs on the various different conspiracy theories floating around in regards to 9/11, Peak Oil, Police State, NAU, Government Corruption etc… I’ve also read Greg Palast’s, and Mike Ruppert’s books.

    I want to give some support to Mike Ruppert and anyone else (including Kevin) who is making an effort to get “their truth” out. I see a lot of people accusing one another of being shills, and left gatekeepers; often based simply on differences of opinion.
    This is exactly what the real gatekeepers/shills want. If we eat our own, they can sit back and enjoy the show.

    There are so many facets to the whole story. This government along with their big business cronies, and other government allies, are up to so many nefarious acts, it’s hard to figure out how it all ties together; other than “greed is good”. I think “money is the root of all evil” in this scenario. Any and all ways for these bastards to accumulate more of it seems to be the ultimate prize. It may be as simple as that!

    There is more acts to this play. In the interim, I wish everyone could work together to expose the truth without all the infighting.

    Thank you Kevin, and Mike Ruppert for having the courage to stand up against the criminals that have highjacked the US.

    From a concerned friend in Canada.

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