North Korea goes completely offline: Report

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 5.31.17 PM

Everett Rosenfeld

North Korea is having major Internet problems, just days after President Barack Obama promised a proportional response to the devastating hacks against Sony.

The country, which the FBI accused last week of the cyberattack, is suffering a total Internet outage that experts at DYN Research said is out of the ordinary, as first reported by North Korea Tech. According to the research firm, North Korea’s Internet connectivity grew steadily worse beginning Sunday night, and then went completely offline Monday morning.

“I haven’t seen such a steady beat of routing instability and outages in KP before,” Doug Madory, director of Internet analysis at DYN Research, told North Korea Tech. “Usually there are isolated blips, not continuous connectivity problems. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are absorbing some sort of attack presently.”

Read MoreObama: Sony made a mistake by pulling ‘The Interview’
In an interview with Re/code, Madory said that even typically strong connections are experiencing disruptions. (CNBC’s parent NBC Universal is an investor in Re/code’s parent Revere Digital.)

“They’re pretty stable networks normally,” he told Re/code. “In the last 24 hours or so, the networks in North Korea are under some kind of duress, but I can’t tell you exactly what’s causing it.”
He added that there is no way to know if the outages are the result of an attack, or are just from maintenance or a power outage. Still, “given the timing,” a cyberattack is worth considering, he told Re/code.

Read MoreSouth Korea investigates data leak at nuclear power plants

In a Friday media conference, Obama promised a response “at a place and time and manner that we choose,” and he declined to rule out military force or economic penalties.

When asked for comment, a White House National Security Council representative told CNBC, “We don’t have any new announcements on North Korea today.”

“We aren’t going to discuss publicly operational details about the possible response options or comment on those kind of reports in anyway except to say that as we implement our responses, some will be seen, some may not be seen,” Marie Harf, a deputy spokeswoman at the State Department, said during a media briefing.
Read More The Sony hack and Kim Jong Un’s cyberallies
Speaking with The Wall Street Journal, Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince suggested that North Korea’s loss of Internet connectivity may not necessarily be the result of U.S. action. In fact, he told the Journal, the country could have shut off its own Internet to assert control over its population or guard against cyberattacks. China—which provides Internet to the embattled nation—also could have taken North Korea offline in response to American pressure, he said.

Regardless of the reason behind the outage, some said it could present an opportunity:


Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 5.05.41 PM

Time to support the families of the officers and show them respect

By – Associated Press – Monday, December 22, 2014
NEW YORK (AP) — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says protests and political debate over police tactics should be halted until the funerals are held for two officer shot and killed inside their patrol car.

De Blasio said Monday in a speech that it was time to support the families of the officers and show them respect. He says Saturday’s ambush killing was an attack on “all police.”

The two were shot and killed by 28-year-old Ismaaiyl (IHSH’-mayl) Brinsley on Saturday afternoon. Brinsley ran into a subway station and killed himself on the platform.

De Blasio says that New Yorkers should thank and console police officers on the street.

Read more:
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter


Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 4.59.25 PM

Feds using Medicare reimbursements to force doctors to ask about guns, according to medical professional


The federal government is pressuring more and more medical doctors to ask their patients if they own firearms, according to a healthcare professional.

The feds are using Medicare reimbursements along with the new electronic medical record format standardized by the government to coerce doctors to ask patients about their guns and other personal questions, reported Dr. Mark Kestner, who writes for The Murfreesboro Post.

“In essence, the feds are using their control of Medicare reimbursement to manipulate how your physician handles your personal health information,” he wrote. “As part of that process, the doctors are required to seek the answers to a certain number of personal questions from all their patients, including asking about gun ownership.”

The new electronic format allows the information to be made “available to government entities,” Dr. Kestner added.

“The federal Medicare program is structured in such a way that physicians had little choice but to comply with the program,” he continued. “On the one hand, if physicians complied with the program fully by last year they were rewarded with a financial incentive of several thousand dollars.”

“However, if they delayed or failed to agree to provide the data they will be penalized by a certain percentage of Medicare payments going forward.”

“Medicare reimbursement is already quite restricted and often doesn’t cover the actual costs for the services covered,” Dr. Kestner emphasized.

While some doctors are already asking patients about their firearms, it now appears the feds are ramping up this inquisition amid the recent appointment of the new Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy, who called gun ownership “a public health issue.”

“[I’m] tired of politicians playing politics with guns, putting lives at risk because they’re scared of [the] NRA,” he tweeted out in 2012. “Guns are a health care issue.”

About a year before President Obama nominated Dr. Murthy for Surgeon General, the White House released the president’s gun control agenda which reminded the public that Obamacare allowed doctors to ask patients about their firearms.

“Some have incorrectly claimed that language in the Affordable Care Act prohibits doctors from asking their patients about guns and gun safety,” the press release stated. “Medical groups also continue to fight against state laws attempting to ban doctors from asking these questions.”

“The Administration will issue guidance clarifying that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit or otherwise regulate communication between doctors and patients, including about firearms.”