Cyber Sanctions of Obama Will Not Deter Digital Crime

The cybercrooks should be afraid by now because President Obama is going to come to you. This is the statement of the US president after declaring a national state of emergency because of cybercrime. It will start April 2015 and promised that he will use his office’s authorities to track down as well as punish malicious hackers who threaten the country. This includes any crimes undertaken over the Internet even domains that will pose threats to national security and the interest of the citizens. However, many say that his plan is doomed to fail.

The order of President Obama is meant to provide the government with power to punish both people and organizations who will attack the country’s infrastructure using the Internet. The foreign hackers’ perennial bogeymen that steal the intellectual property of the Americans are in the crosshairs. In the EO accompanying the declaration, the president gave authority to the US Secretary of the Treasury to impose sanction to entities or individuals who engage in cyber-enabled activities which are malicious in nature. Any group or person proven who helps a cybercriminal no matter how small his part is like providing technical support will have his assets in the country frozen.

domains with PR

However, there is a very glaring problem about the plan, unless the entities or individuals the authorities charge are incompetent, it is practically impossible to sanction the parties involved. This is according to Jeffrey Carr, a cybersecurity analyst. Yes, the forensic scientists have the capability to trace the computers where malicious connections originated. But the problem is that it will be very difficult to identify the people controlling the computer. Any genius and clever attacker will never leave footprints of their tracks and it only takes an exceptionally stupid to launch a cybercrime right on his basement. Carr further said that going after them will be a failed policy and it will not work. The authorities must strengthen their defenses and concentrate more on how to protect the data.

The focus of the country should be on the creation of incentives for companies or individuals who store their data more safely, both personal and with their customers. The government should focus to provide a stick and a carrot for US companies so that they will be able to better protect their most valued intellectual property. Incentives are needed so that companies will allot more funds on encryption and penalties for those that do not.

The analyst says that the plan is beyond ineffective; the president’s order is actually doing real harm because he is legitimizing the government’s action against online activity that it disagrees.

Jody Kriss’ Mob Tactics

Jody Kriss has been nothing but controversial in the world of commercial real estate. This comes primarily from his connections to the Russian Mob. And he has been sued for it. One of the well-documented cases would be that of Salvatore Lauria, a mob informant, author, and fellow real estate developer. He filed a summons in the Supreme Court of New York against Kriss. They had worked together in the mid-2000’s for the Bayrock Group, a real estate development firm who at the time was handling projects including the Trump SoHo and Midtown Miami.

The lawsuit filed by Lauria was packed with a 30-page summons accusing Jody Kriss of extortion, mob tactics, and endangering Lauria’s life in the ongoing Kriss versus Bayrock lawsuits. This campaign, Kriss versus Bayrock, was started as a dispute for compensation, quickly dissolving into a complex legal battle.

Kriss and Bayrock Group

Jody Kriss began working for the Bayrock Group in 2000. He left the company in 2007 after having a falling out with co-workers over a multimillion dollar construction real with the FL Group out of Iceland (their partners in Midtown Miami development). According to the lawsuit filed by Lauria, Jody Kriss was unhappy with the commission he received on the deal. A suit filed by Kriss in 2009 states that he was owed income disbursements from the deal as a member of the company.

Kriss’ lawsuit was dismissed in the Delaware courts, as the Judge explained it should be taken to New York, as it was a New York state matter. The following year he filed suit in New York. Attached to his primary complaint were copies of sealed government documents detailing criminal pasts of some of his coworkers, including Lauria. The documents has been sealed by a Manhattan judge.

Lauria’s Dealings

According to various legal documents and published reports, Salvatore Lauria was convicted of stealing investors money in 1998 from his brokerage firm, White Rock Partners. He and his cohorts inflated stock prices, and the difference between their price and the actual price was laundered and deposited into an offshore bank account, paid back to stock brokers and others involved in the scam.

A Brooklyn judge sealed the conviction when Lauria became a government informant against the Mob. After a few years he was sentenced, but did no jail time as a result of his information. In the transcript from his sentencing, Lauria’s lawyer stated that he had made recitation with most of his victims, but that the sealing of the information was vital to his safety.

Jody Kriss and Extortion

Jody Kriss denies that he is trying to directly extort money from defendants using this sealed information. However, Kriss’ lawyers, Frederick Oberlander and Richard Lerner, will be facing contempt of court charges as a result of the stolen documents being used without court permission.

Obama’s Campaign for Changes in Student Loans

President Obama took administrative action earlier this month that aims to help federal student guarantor loans borrowers direct the process of repayment and tighten the rules for companies that help in school debt.

Obama instructed the US Department of Education to develop a website that enables borrowers a simple way of accommodating complaints about lenders, payment collection agencies, and schools and universities.

The government will also develop a centralized method for borrowers to have access to information about their loans and pay them, regardless of whether the contractor is servicing their loans. The presidential memorandum signed by Obama earlier this month will implement consumer protections that will require the contractors to clearly inform students of the repayment options available and when their loans will be transferred from one servicer to another.

Obama told an audience at Georgia Tech in Atlanta wherein he identified the bill of rights of the students, “Higher education has never been more important, but it has never been more expensive. Every student should be able to access the resources to pay for college.”

guarantor loans
President Obama speaks to students during a visit to Georgia Tech

The steps will, therefore, aid the borrowers to understand better the lenders they borrowed money from and the options they have that will reduce their payments and preventing from any defaults, according to the administration.

The deputy director of the Domestic Policy Council, James Jvaal, said during a conference with the reporters, “The idea is to get ahead of students who are encountering challenges and make sure they have access to the information they need to help them manage their payments.”

In addition, the administration will create recommendations for changes on the regulation and legislation of student loan borrowers that will include potential changes to the treatment of such loans in the event of a bankruptcy.

Note that under the United States’ law, the obligations on a student loan can rarely be discharged with bankruptcy; therefore, it makes these loans more burdensome compared to credit card and mortgage debt.

“The administration would take a hard look at whether legislation is necessary,” says Obama.

The changes will put more pressure on private companies that are tapped by the US government to collect from borrowers that are defaulting on their loans. According to critics, the firms are insisting on stiff payments even though the borrower is a candidate for deferment programs and they are not doing enough to make things clear with students on why they are receiving bills and what are their repayment options.

Last month, the US Department of Education cut ties with 5 firms that cited misleading information to the borrowers. Among these firms is the Pioneer Credit Recovery, which is a unit of Navient Corp. in Wilmington, Delaware, which was separated last year from Sallie Mae Corporation (the largest finance company in US education).

Navient gained $65 million in revenues from the US Department of Education collections in 2014. According to a news report from Bloomberg News in 2012, thee firms collect about $1 billion annually in commissions from their student loan contracts.

According to several officials, they will utilize the data from the complaint system, which is set to operate in July 2016, in order to assess the management of contractors and colleges and universities. The administration is actually commencing a pilot program that directly sees repayment from students that default on their loans.

The federal government has more than 85% of the outstanding student loan debts.

The White House has made college student loans a primary focus of the economic agenda of the president. In fact, in Obama’s State of the Union address last January, he proposed offering free tuition to certain students in community colleges.

A Name with Different Identities: Who is Jody Kriss?

Who is Jody Kriss really? He has been a building contractor, a magnate of the real estate industry and a city developer of New York. Whoever this man is, until now, he is not known from the jobs he worked for, instead, he is known for quite a number of lawsuits. Some of the lawsuits include an attempt of resurrecting the Russian Mob to the minds of paranoid people. Many years ago, the Russian businessmen had been forcefully ousted in the market because of the Mob. Today, a lot of people would think that the times had already changed but sometimes, it is still happening.

In a simple manner, Jody Kriss is one serious litigator. He has this extensive desire to bring everything to court and this is driven by a more personal reason than paranoia. A decade ago, he was Bayrock Group’s name and face in the real estate industry, and took control of the company as CFO. He gained the position as a result of a strong recommendation made by his father, the legal advisor of the company. In just a couple of years after, Bayrock Group finally decided they do not need the amateur-level services he rendered. As a result, he demanded a compensation worth $4.5 million, way higher than the offer of the company which was only $500,000. His demand was not approved and both the father and son lost the money offered.

Jody Kriss
Jody Kriss

Obviously, the situation was not on their side, so they pulled all records and financial documents, wiped all the emails from the servers and hired someone to steal the hard drive containing the company’s information that includes classified documents about fellow employees. In addition, Jody Kriss sued the Bayrock Group to attract the attention of the press in the US, telling them that the company is run by the members of the Russian Mob. However, he was questioned by many people on how he and his father were unaware of this and he said, they did not have ample time to figure out the whole structure of the mafia.

His act of suing the Bayrock Group did not do any good to him but further damage. Later, he was sued by the New York court for using mafia tactics in order to get his share of the income of the real estate transactions. This is not the only case he is facing; he also has lawsuits against his former lawyers, partners, insurance companies, tenants, journalists, Donald Trump including his family and many others.

Jody Kriss
Bayrock Group project in New York

So, who is Jody Kriss really? Is he the man on the top of New York City’s real estate development industry, or the man who should be behind bars for stealing corporate information, manipulating the system of the courts, tampering evidences and extorting billions from the citizens? Plain and simple, every person he is in contact with is likely at risk.

On Global Investments and Politics

More often than not, we invest in businesses, such as credit repair companies, in nations based on their political and financial climate. And we usually base our analysis from what we hear from the news.

According to the author of “Fusion Economics: How Pragmatism Is Changing the World”, Laurence Brahm, “Don’t listen to CNN or Fox News. When you hear the major media networks introduce a nation’s political situation, think in counterintuitive way. Try to find out what’s really happening on the ground. It may surprise you and offer a great investment opportunity.”

credit repair companies

Brahm is an expert in international politics and investments. In fact, he cut the first deals for various multinational corporations, such as Bayer and Kodak, to enter China. And he definitely isn’t alone in his thinking.

Michael Driscoll, a visiting professor and senior executive at Adelphi University’s Robert Willumstad School of Business in Garden City, New York, said, “A challenging situation like Greece’s or Russia’s shouldn’t preclude an investor from deciding to invest. They have to be aware of the risks. But keep in mind that high risk often translates to high reward if the investment plans out.”

There are several principles and pointers that you should consider before investing in foreign countries according to their political climate.

Diversity tempers risk.

This is the perspective of the Master of Science in Finance program coordinator and professor for the Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Finance programs at New England College of Business in Boston, Mr. Ned Gandevani. He said, “To reduce exposure, investors should allocate a small portion of their funds to international markets. More important, they should diversify by investing in international mutual funds and exchange-traded funds.”

View corruption with extreme caution.

According to Edinaldo Tebaldi, an assistant economics professor at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island, “Widespread corruption among government officials may not affect the returns to investment in the short term. But it reduces overall efficiency, increases transaction costs and has the potential to be the catalyst of severe political and economic crises.”

Know the character of the nation.

American investors usually make a mistake of expecting western values from other countries. “Japan is a case in point. Japan is hamstrung by certain cultural legacies. These include a largely homogenous society that doesn’t appear to welcome immigration or full participation of women in the workforce. Unless these characteristics change, the labor force won’t be able to support economic growth to the extent that would otherwise be possible,” says the director of asset allocation strategy for People’s United Wealth Management in Bridgeport Connecticut, Albert Brenner.

A rule of thumb is the rule of law.

Some countries do not even know anything about the rule of law. In fact, this holds true in terms of rights to property. According to Don Shelly, a finance professor at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business in Dallas, “Nationalization of foreign company assets has occurred more often, and most recently in Russia and Venezuela. Governments can impose fines, force divestitures, and pass legislation that favors domestic producers and punishes foreign ones.”

Senator Hatch Gave Loreta Lynch A Chance To Answer The Allegations

After months of being criticized by specific conservative interest groups, questioning her capacity and commitment for being nominated as Attorney General, On February 17, 2015, Lorreta Lynch broke her silence by publicly responding to a question raised by Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, House Judiciary Committee’s Republican member.

According to Senator Hatch’s spokesperson, since Ms. Lynch was not given the chance to respond to many allegations when the criticisms were raised a few months ago, the Senator would want to give her the chance to answer the numerous questions against her, whether she complied with the federal laws which ensure compensation has been provided to the victims of the crime.

In 2013, Paul Cassell, a law professor urged the review of Ms. Lynch’s office on how they handled a certain case that involves Felix Sater, addressed to the House of Judiciary Committee. This case pertains to the case in 1998, where Mr. Sater agreed to help the government with their national security issues and ultimately sentenced to pay $25,000 to the Court which has been justified on various grounds. Seemingly, this is in gratitude for the service he will provide to the country. Until today, the court has sealed his records for national security issues and other reasons that relate to his cooperation with the government.

Felix Sater

Ms. Lynch responded to Senator Hatch through a letter, she stated that the assistance of Sater was very critical to the national security because he provided sensitive and valuable information during the time of his cooperation to the government that began in December 1998. Now, it has been over a decade that he has been working with the prosecutors of Ms. Lynch’s office as well as other agencies such as the Attorney’s Office of the US in the Southern District in New York, law enforcement agents of the FBI and even with several law enforcement agencies. He has provided crucial information to the national security, at the same time, convicted more than 20 individuals including the people responsible for the massive financial fraud. It did not end here; Felix Sater is responsible for the conviction of La Cosa Nostra’s members. Ms. Lynch said that for these reasons, Felix Sater’s case was sealed by the court.

Indeed, the letter of Ms. Lynch confirmed many things such as her actions towards the case of Mr. Sater, the extra cooperation he rendered and most especially, his unparalleled assistance with regards to the national security.

Finally, she emphasized that each court including the US Supreme Court have rejected all impropriety claims with respect to the case of Mr. Felix Sater.

Romney and Obama Focus on Battleground States for their Final 24 Hours Campaign

Image: http://www.euronews.com

The candidates will spend the final 24 hours of this long presidential race bouncing around the country, rallying supporters at 14 scheduled events across nine battleground states.

President Obama is set to hit urban centers in Wisconsin, Ohio and Iowa, with Bruce Springsteen tagging along as his opening act. Jay-Z is scheduled to join the campaign at a mid-afternoon gathering in the Buckeye State.

Like the president, Mitt Romney will make one last play for Ohio, arriving in Columbus four hours after Obama leaves for Iowa. It will be the Republican’s third stop in a day that sees him track north from Florida — where the wait to register an early vote this weekend lasted as long as six hours — to Virginia, ending the night with one last rally in New Hampshire.

If the Romney ticket doesn’t win enough votes to unseat President Obama on Tuesday night, it won’t be because Paul Ryan was a lazy campaigner. The vice presidential candidate will make five stops Monday, in five different states, covering four time zones. He closes out the election season back home, with a late night rally in Milwaukee, Wis.

While the candidates push their supporters to the polls and smile for the cameras in what they expect to be packed arenas, parks, and airplane hangars – at least seven of the events will be hosted at airports – there have been some rumblings from Republicans, GOP strategist Karl Rove among them, that Romney’s campaign might have been dealt an insurmountable blow by Superstorm Sandy.

“The hurricane is what broke Romney’s [post-debate] momentum,” former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said on CNN Sunday morning. “Any day that the news media is not talking about jobs and the economy, taxes and spending, deficit and debt, ‘Obamacare’ and energy, is a good day for Barack Obama.”

The Romney campaign, though, insists it is traveling steadily along a well-charted course to victory on Tuesday.

“I don’t look at what happened with the storm and how it affected so many people through a political lens,” Romney adviser Kevin Madden said Sunday. “We are focused on what we can do to make sure that the enthusiasm that we have seen in states that it’s part of helping our get out the vote efforts in all these key battlegrounds and then just focusing on the message. So I wouldn’t entertain the same notion that those folks did.”

And in Cleveland Sunday, Romney made one last argument for dismissing President Obama from office after a single term.

“He promised to do so very much, but, frankly, he fell so very short,” Romney said. “He promised to be a post-partisan president, but he’s been most partisan; he’s been divisive, blaming, attacking, dividing. And by the way, it’s not only Republicans that he refused to listen to; he also refused to listen to independent voices.”

They’ve also been asked to deliver one last round of attacks on the Republican challenger.

According to the memo, “Gov. Romney has been using his talents as a salesman to dress up the same policies that failed our country and crashed our economy, and offers them up as change.”

Source: ABC

Romney’s Campaign Furiously to Restore the Lead He once Held

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TAMPA , Fla. – The outcome to the south, in the largest swing state, now seems very much in doubt, even as the lion’s share of attention in the presidential campaign goes to the battleground of Ohio and the storm-battered states of the Mid-Atlantic.

After the first debate, Mitt Romney moved into a lead here, and since then with its 29 electoral votes sat solidly in their column as insisted by their aides. However, President Obama’s fortunes improving here with several polls results and as of Thursday morning, Democrats perform well in the early voting by leading about 59,000 out of more than 3 million absentee and in person early votes. It is a must that precious hours should be devoted by Romney to defend his position in the state.
Romney campaigned in Florida after Saturday, must returned on Wednesday for rallies in Tampa, Miami and Jacksonville due to the polls now showing in dead heat as such expecting to back over the weekend, when Obama also is scheduled to campaign here.
While victory for Obama  is a prize but of Romney it is a necessity. The win of Romney in Ohio and other Midwestern states can become a moot without a win in this state.
In these closing days of the campaign, the presidential race has tightened and the battle helps illustrate how the major swing states test Obama’s ability to hold a different part of the coalition that elected him four years ago.
To the white, working class voters in Ohio , the outcome turns on which man can they most appeal. With his bail out of the auto Industry and warnings about Romney’s background in the private equity business, Obama has wooed them with constant reminders. It will be tested how much loyalty the president still has among college-educated suburbanites, particularly women in the state of Virginia and Colorado .
They both fight for the final sliver of undecided single women on the airwaves, with dueling ads on abortion and contraception about Romney’s policies.

Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald Poll shows Mitt Romney Beating President Obama 45-51 percent in Florida

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. By enstarz.com

Mitt Romney has maintained a solid lead over President Barack Obama in the latest Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald poll of likely voters who favor the Republican by six percentage points.

Romney’s strengths: independent voters and more crossover support from Democrats relative to the Republicans who back Obama, according to the survey conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research.

Romney’s crossover appeal is fueled by strong support in rural North Florida, a conservative bastion where a relatively high percentage of Democrats often vote Republican in presidential election years.

“I’m pretty convinced Romney’s going to win Florida,” said Mason-Dixon pollster Brad Coker, who conducted the 800-likely voter survey from Tuesday through Thursday.

Romney is winning handily among men, marginally losing with women voters and has outsized support among non-Hispanic whites. He’s essentially winning on the issues as well: the economy, Medicare, foreign policy and looking out for the middle-class.

Coker noted the poll results are essentially unchanged from last month, when Romney led by a point more after he crushed Obama in their first debate.

The October poll and this one, which have error margins of 3.5 percent, were conducted for The Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald as well as the Tampa Bay Times, Bay News 9 and Central Florida News 13.

Although the latest survey shows Romney comfortably ahead 51-45 percent in Florida, the Republican can’t rest easy. Other polls show a tighter race, although they use a different method of polling than that of Mason-Dixon, a Florida-based firm.

Obama draws only 5 percent Republican support, but Romney draws 16 percent of the likely Democratic vote in the poll.

And Romney beats Obama with independents — the tie-breaker voters — by a six-point margin. That’s not necessarily a comfortable lead for Romney, who was ahead by 13 points last month among independents.

Romney jumped to an overall lead last month after the first presidential debate, in which Obama’s performance was so poor that even he joked about how bad he was.

Hispanic voters moved a total of seven points in Obama’s favor in a month, but he’s not carrying their vote with the double digits he probably needs because of his poor standing among non-Hispanic whites.

Romney is trusted more than Obama on handling the economy and leading the nation by the same amount: 53-44 percent.

By a 50-48 percent split, Romney’s trusted more to look out for the middle-class and he has another inside-the-error-margin lead over Obama of 49-47 percent when it comes to handling foreign policy.

Asked who would be worse for Medicare, 52 percent said Obama and 44 percent said Romney.

Obama’s campaign has dismissed the results of likely voter polls, such as this one, pointing to statistics that indicate they’re turning out so-called “sporadic” and new voters. In essence, they argue that likely voter polls miss their voters who, by definition, are unlikely.

But Coker said the poll was conducted with a registered voter list and “we’re not missing anybody based on our method.”

Also, the Romney campaign notes that most non-partisan polls show the Republican ahead in Florida and doing better among independents.

Source: The Miami Herald

Hurricane Sandy may Affect Romney’s Late Push to Claim 10 electoral votes

Mitt Romney. By thedailybeast.com

Frankenstorm has upended Mitt Romney’s late push to claim the Badger State ’s 10 electoral votes, though Hurricane Sandy may be a safe distance from Wisconsin.

Team Romney apparently decide to stop politicking with flooding, power outages, and even deaths on the horizon and the Republican presidential nominee was compelled Monday evening to ax an event in suburban Milwaukee, a GOP stronghold.
Wisconsin seems to have reverted to its old left-oft-center self when it comes to national politics, but Romney visit may not have made all that much difference, as just a few months removed from the conservative movement’s resounding victory over organized labor in the bitter Scott Walker recall fight.
President Obama still ahead not only polls show by far less than his 14-point margin from 4 years ago, but a liberal Democratic congresswoman Tommy Baldwin representing the college town of Madison was assumed to have an uphill battle on her hands and drawn even in the polls in her bid to take out popular former republican governor Tommy Thomson in the US Senate race.
After public-sector unions failed to recall Gov. Scott Walker, the Republicans predictions of a new era of conservative hegemony now seem more than a little premature in a state that lasted backed a Republican presidential candidate in 1984.
The possibility of a Romney upset as the Wisconsin political insiders and longtime observers of the state’s election is considering, however George W. Bush came up a thousand votes short here both in 2000 and 2004 although winning in the neighbor of Ohio . A possibility of a last minute sprint by Romney fearing the Electoral College math just isn’t adding up in some of the swing states he originally intending to win such as Ohio , Iowa , and Virginia .
Former governor Jim Doyle says, “Given the makeup of the electorate, if Romney can’t win Ohio , it’s even more unlikely that he could win Wisconsin .”