Snowden Documents Reveal British Spy Agency Hacked Belgian Telecom


New documents leaked by NSA leaker Edward Snowden reveal that the British spy agency GCHQ — and not the NSA — was behind a cyberattack against Belgian telecommunications company Belgacom. The telecom counts the European Commission and the European Parliament among its customers.

The documents reveal “Operation Socialist,” a malware campaign spanning over several years to infect the computers of Belgacom employees who had access to important parts of the company’s infrastructure, as reported by the German magazine Der Spiegel, thanks to new top secret documents leaked from the GCHQ.

The attack was labeled by Belgian authorities as an act of “state-sponsored espionage,” a serious allegation considering that both Belgium and the United Kingdom are allies and members of the European Union.

On Monday, Belgian authorities had started discussing a possible attack against Belgacom, the country’s former state monopoly company (now still partially owned by the government of Belgium), as reported by Reuters.

“The inquiry has shown that the hacking was only possible by an intruder with significant financial and logistic means,” federal prosecutors said. “This fact, combined with the technical complexity of the hacking and the scale on which it occurred, points towards international state-sponsored cyber espionage.”

This led De Standaard, one of the major Belgian newspapers, to point the finger towards the NSA.

A GCHQ spokesperson told UK newspaper The Independent that the agency has a “longstanding practice” of not commenting on leaks, but also added that “All GCHQ’s work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework which ensures that its activities are authorized, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight.”

Belgacom has announced that they have eradicated the virus from their networks and the matter is now in the hands of federal prosecutors.

Image: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Read more:

Bad Luck Brian

Bad Luck Brian

Read more:

7 Movies Starring SNL Cast Members You Can Watch On Netflix

Now you have plans to Netflix all weekend. BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (BF_STATIC.bf_test_mode) localStorage.setItem(‘posted_date’, 1410028833); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { document.getElementById(“update_posted_time_3438902”).innerHTML = “posted on ” + UI.dateFormat.get_formatted_date(1410028833); });

1. Kristen Wiig — Girl Most Likely

7 Movies Starring SNL Cast Members You Can Watch On Netflix

View this image ›

Lionsgate / Via

In this indie movie, Kristen moves away from her comic roots to explore deeper emotions. Though her character wrestles with serious subjects like meeting her father, Kristen intersperses plenty of humor to keep the film from being too dark.

2. Andy Samberg — Hot Rod

7 Movies Starring SNL Cast Members You Can Watch On Netflix

View this image ›

Paramount Pictures / Via

Andy Samberg tends to stick to portraying immature characters and this movie is no exception. His obsession with trying to jump his motorcycle over 15 buses creates a rich field for physical humor and his infatuation with impressing a girl is charmingly funny. (This movie gets bonus points for also including SNL superstar Bill Hader.)

3. Bill Hader — Adventureland

7 Movies Starring SNL Cast Members You Can Watch On Netflix

View this image › / Via

Speaking of Bill Hader, he and Kristen Wiig both star in Adventureland, the story of a dysfunctional family unit formed by the employees of a dilapidated amusement park. While Hader and Wiig play ancillary roles, they produce hilarious dialogue and characterizations.

4. Fred Armisen — Portlandia

7 Movies Starring SNL Cast Members You Can Watch On Netflix

View this image ›

IFC / Via

Technically not a movie, but while this TV show may be more mainstream than some of the movies on this list, the subject matter on Portlandia is anything but. This satirical hipster show puts a humorous spin on the stereotypical Portland native, with many of its hilarious lines delivered in a perfect deadpan.

5. Kenan Thompson — Good Burger

7 Movies Starring SNL Cast Members You Can Watch On Netflix

View this image ›

Paramount Pictures / Via

Younger fans of SNL may not realize this, but Thompson really became famous through some of his earlier work with Kel Mitchell. In this 1997 Nickelodeon movie, Thompson and Mitchel play two not-so-bright high school students working at a fast food restaurant.

6. Dana Carvey and Mike Myers — Wayne’s World

7 Movies Starring SNL Cast Members You Can Watch On Netflix

View this image ›

Paramount Pictures / Via

This movie may be old, but the fact that it’s a spin-off of a killer SNL skit proves that it is sure to provide some good laughs. The no-budget cable access program in the movie is ripe for comic opportunity.

7. Will Ferrell — Casa de Mi Padre

7 Movies Starring SNL Cast Members You Can Watch On Netflix

View this image ›

Pantelion Films / Via

You can’t go wrong with a Will Ferrell movie, and this little-known film certainly doesn’t disappoint. Ferrell plays a Spanish speaking cowboy and, as you can imagine, is brilliantly funny.

Read more:

Or a kosher pig

Or a kosher pig

Read more:

Free Diver From Brooklyn Dies After Attempting To Break Record

Nicholas Mevoli, a 32-year-old from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, hoped to break a new record in free diving by reaching 236 feet with one breath and without fins. He set his sights on diving at the 2013 Vertical Blue Competition in Dean’s Blue Hole, considered the world’s deepest ocean blue hole.

Although a relative newcomer to the sport, Mevoli had already won many competitions and held the U.S. record for free diving without the aid of weights and while wearing a monofin. There are three categories in free diving, and going without weights or fins is considered the most difficult.

Sunday, in the Bahamas, surrounded by other athletes and observers, Mevoli pierced the water and swam down into the ocean on what would be the last dive of his life.

On his way to the bottom, at 223 feet, he hesitated and almost went back, but instead kept swimming deeper until he reached the 236 foot mark. Mevoli turned around and arrived at the surface, after a dive of 3 minutes, 38 seconds, the New York Times reported.

He took off his googles and attempted to mouth “I am OK” — standard practice to complete the dive — but he wasn’t. Within 30 seconds, he fell unconscious.

Five safety divers were on the scene and lifted him onto a platform, where a doctor attempted to revive him. There was still a pulse — at times —for almost 15 minutes, but something was clearly wrong with his lung, and when they turned Mevoli onto his side blood began pouring out of his mouth.

After his pulse stopped, Mevoli’s wetsuit was cut off and divers continued to attempt to revive him for 90 minutes, with CPR and adrenaline shots, but nothing proved successful.

The Switzerland-based international association of free divers, known as AIDA, released a statement Sunday, which said “Nick appears to have suffered from a depth-related injury to his lungs.”

Nicholas Mevoli on the right in a picture from 2012.

Mevoli was a Florida native who had moved to New York and worked behind the scenes in the television industry, but he traveled for competitions extensively in the past year.

He arrived at the 10-day Vertical Blue Competition, which brought together 56 divers from 21 countries, confident, but his attempt to break another national record on Friday in Free Immersion, where divers use a rope to pull themselves down and go back to the surface without fins, ended when he had to be assisted to the surface.

Mevoli is the first athlete to die in an international free-diving competition in the past two decades, but the popular sport is known to be dangerous and it is still common for deaths to occur. Outside Magazine reported statistics are not well established, “but one estimate of worldwide freediving-related fatalities revealed a nearly threefold increase, from 21 deaths in 2005 to 60 in 2008.”

Read more:

Jon Voight and Rudy Giuliani get out vote for Romney in Pa.


The Dems sent philandering Bill Clinton and birth control entitlement warrior princess Sandra Fluke to rescue Pennsylvania for Barack Obama. The GOP sent national security hawk/former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani and outspoken Hollywood conservative Jon Voight. We have more than an inkling about which duo has more appeal among the decisive “bitter clinger” vote, don’t you?

Jon Voight’s here, too. He’s quoting ‘Camelot’ to cheers from the volunteers.…

— Aubrey Whelan (@aubreyjwhelan) November 5, 2012

Actor Jon Voight: “There is no Democratic Party folks. It is the propoganda party.” In Bethlehem,Pa.

— skraus (@skraus) November 5, 2012

Jon Voight at a campaign stop in Wilkes Barre for @tomsmithforpa#NEPA…

— J Robertson (@JFR_JR) November 5, 2012

Townhall’s interview with actor Jon Voight on why he’s supporting Romney/Ryan. Nice man. Solid historical perspective:…

— Ron Jolly (@ProudExDemocrat) November 4, 2012

Haters gonna hate:

The only voter fraud I support is somehow changing Jon Voight’s vote to a straight Dem ticket.

— Brian P. Hickey (@BrianPHickey) November 5, 2012

Read more:

Back In My Day

Back In My Day

Read more:

Professional grade: metal scaffolding blinds are burly and beaver-proof.

AS A DIRECTOR of public safety for a state commercial construction

association, Herb Ward of Brandon, Miss., used a commonsense approach to

create a waterfowl blind. Ease of building, safety in operation and

durability of construction were paramount considerations for his

creation, which he made out of construction scaffolding.

His exceptional blind more than fulfilled all of his requirements

and led to his winning first place in the 2010 Wildfowl Boats &

Blinds Contest.

One of his job responsibilities is construction education in areas

such as scaffolding, fall protection and rigging, Ward said. But his

favorite is scaffolding, which he learned to combine with his favorite

sport: duck hunting.

Like any duck hunter worth his salt, Ward has built several blinds

from cut brush, reeds or treated lumber. But a truly good blind requires

more effortand planning.

“It’s one thing to design and build a blind in a shop or

garage,” he said. “It’s quite another to build it in the

field. Carrying tools, nails, bolts, paint and camo into the marsh under

any conditions is a task. My solution to the problem is scaffolding. By

design, scaffolding can be assembled quickly and usually without


Scaffolding allows the hunter to design, erect and customize a duck

blind in a shop or back yard with easy access to a power supply, tools

and materials. Once the blind is complete, it is easily dismantled,

loaded up and taken to the field. Anyone, even those with minimal

mechanical abilities, can assemble a blind quickly and with little

effort. A second advantage over wood construction is that a scaffold

blind can last for years with little maintenance.



Ward’s first scaffold blind was small, simple and completely

assembled in the field in one hour. The blind accommodated four hunters

and a retriever, with a dog ramp and boat storage underneath. While he

still uses it successfully, the blind is primitive in comparison to the

blind he built for use during the 2009-’10 season. He completed the

project over five months, working on it in his spare time.

Because buying all the items necessary in new condition would be

prohibitively expensive, Ward visited local scaffold suppliers for used

or slightly damaged scaffolding and components that were no longer in

condition for renting to contractors. He also stopped by construction

companies that used scaffolding. Much of the scaffolding for his blind

was donated free of charge when Ward explained its purpose.

Ward ground or sanded rusted areas and primed them, paying special

attention to areas that would be underwater. He then assembled the blind

from the ground up in this order:

1 To begin construction, weld or bolt aluminum plate footings to

six screw jacks. Each screw jack has a wing nut for height adjustment.

Position all six wing nuts near the bottom of the shaft to allow maximum

height adjustment. Temporarily tie the screw jacks to each walk-through

scaffold end frame until placing the frames in their final locations.

Make the ties long enough so that if the frames are installed in water,

the ties are cut to free the wing nuts.

2 Attach four cross braces. Attach the guardrails to the same

connection points as the cross braces. The guardrails help square and

align the scaffold frames.

3 Attach metal scaffold platforms (decking) to the top of the lower

end frames. Be sure to engage the latch or locking device on each deck

to prevent uplift.


Attach the lower section of the scaffold access ladder to the end

frame and bolt securely in place. Attach the ladder to the end of the

blind least likely to be seen by ducks.

5 To assemble the second level, install the three mason (step-type)

frames. Bolt or lock (using scaffold pins) the mason frames to the lower

walk through frames. Upper-level swing gates are installed to the mason


6 Attch the four cross braces. Attach the guardrails to the same

connection points as the cross braces. The guardrails help square and

align the scaffold frames.

7 Install two plywood insert deck sections on the mason frames for

sitting and shooting benches.


8 To widen the upper deck, install the side frames to the front

side of the scaffolding, then attach and lock the two deck panels.

9 Attach the three guardrail posts to the top of the side arms and

lock or bolt them into place.

10 Attach the guardrails and mid-rails to the guardrail post.

11 Begin attaching wall and end panels to the scaffolding with

self-tapping sccrews. Wall and end panels can be attached to the

scaffold frames, cross braces and guardrails before taking the blind to

the field to save field-assembly time.

12 Install the roof. Ward’s roof pivots rearward for early

morning shooting. A dog ramp of scaffold framing and decking can also be

installed if desired.

13 Brush the blind using natural vegetation.

If the construction steps seem simple, it’s because the

process is easy to follow. A hunter can study a scaffolding catalog or

visit a construction site and quickly understand how scaffolding is put


Adding wood or metal siding for the top, sides and benches is done

with power and hand tools. Once in the field, the blind can be attached

to concrete footers with concrete anchor screws.

“For so many years, I constructed blinds out of wood, only to

return the next season to have to make major repairs,” Ward said.

“The only wood on my scaffold blinds is the insert on the bench

seats and the wood panels on the swing gates. These blinds should still

be standing after I’m gone. Even the beavers cannot chew through

the metal scaffolding.”



Qty item:

3 Open end (walk–through) frames, gravity lock


3 Step type (mason) frames, gravity lock preferred

8 Galvanized diagonal (cross) braces

18 20-inch side brackets with tub ends, to mount to guard

rail post

3 Hole end guardrail posts

9 Fastening (lock) pins or bolts for locking end frames

and guard rail posts

8 7-fbot aluminum walk boards

2 7-foot aluminum walk boards with plywood decks for bench


2 6-foot sections of tubular climbing ladder with 3

support brackets

2 Universal Spring closing end frame gates

6 24-inch aluminum leveling jacks

6 18- to 24-inch circular steel plates for leveling jacks

(welded to jacks for footings)

2 10-foot by 16-inch sections of aluminum conduit to frame

drop-down shooting panels

4 Conduit hangers as pivots for drop-down shooting panels

– Steel or wood siding to enclose walls

2 Gallons contact cement, brush and 3-inch roller

– Camo burlap for exterior camouflage

– Camo spray paint

1 Box 1-inch min. self-tapping roofing screws to attach

wall panels to scaffolding

1 Custom welded steel top

– (Optional) Propane heaters and cooking stove

HuffPo’s Sam Stein says O-care about ‘more than just enrollment numbers’

Sam Stein, the Huffington Post’s political editor and White House correspondent, made the following observation about Obamacare:

What is the definition of “success” of Obamacare? Whatever the administration says it is:

Stein wrote that Obamacare is about so much more than just enrollment numbers, and these people agreed:

Also, Obamacare is about so much more than enrollment numbers, such as the voter outreach opportunities it provides.

Read more:

Fashion At The MTV Movie Awards

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Emma Watson

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Kristen Stewart

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Emma Stone

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Elizabeth Banks

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Charlize Theron

JOE KLAMAR / Getty Images

Andrew Garfield

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Paris and Nicky Hilton

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Janelle Monae

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Leighton Meester

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Mark Wahlberg and son

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Jessica Biel

Jason Merritt / Getty Images


Jason Merritt / Getty Images

The Workaholics guys

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Julia Jones

Christopher Polk / Getty Images

The Black Keys

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Kat Graham

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Channing Tatum

Christopher Polk / Getty Images

Brooke Hogan

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Christina Ricci

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Chris Hemsworth

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Julianne Hough

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Lauren Mcknight

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Dan Savage and Terry Miller

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Shailene Woodley

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Ezra Miller

Christopher Polk / Getty Images

Ellie Kemper

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Josh Hutcherson

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Mila Kunis

Christopher Polk / Getty Images

Wiz Khalifa and Amber Rose

Christopher Polk / Getty Images

Jean-Claude Van Damme and guest

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Kate Beckinsale

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Vanilla Ice

Christopher Polk / Getty Images

Oh, and I guess they also invited this kid.

Read more: