The Madrid government has arrested numerous local leaders, seized voting materials, usurped local police command, and undertaken a campaign of censorship in an effort to stop a referendum from happening (archived). On September 27th, 2015 the government of the nominally autonomous region of Catalonia announced its intent to pursue a peaceful secession from the Madrid government and become an independent republic. Towards this cause they scheduled a referendum on independence for October 1st of this year.
As is typical of other contemporary European secession movements, there is substantial resentment that the self declared supranational government in Madrid is burdening the Catalan nation with the woe demanded by the failing two headed EU Reich centered in Berlin and Brussels. Apparently the level of resentment has hit a point where Angela Merkel's puppets in Madrid are seeking to prevent a vote they are sure to lose for the sake of preserving "Our Democracy".
Fresh on the heels of an arresting alleged hacker Peter Levashov in Spain, the Department of Justice announced plans to disable a botnet – known as Kelihos – they claim was under his control and used to send spam emails and infect systems with ransomware. Acting assistant attorney-general Kenneth Blanco said the operation will "redirect Kelihos-infected computers to a substitute server", in order to block communications between infected devices and the botnet server, instead redirecting the compromised machines to the DOJ's own botnet servers. Levashov reportedly had been operating the botnet since 2010, and targeted computers running all variants of Microsoft Windows, the preferred target OS of botnet harvesters worldwide. The Department of Justice statement concluded by stating that "The US government will share samples of the malware with antivirus vendors in facilitate updates to their programs which will allow them to detect and remove Kelihos" while leaving government backdoors firmly in place.
Last December, Qntra was the first English language news site to report on the raids by Spanish police at the cybersquat known as Kasa de la Muntanya and while police raids and squats are typically of no import, this raid was notable for the squat's association with a Bitcoin wallet project known as the Dark Wallet. Vice's Motherboard has now posted an update which contains quotes which would be hilarious if not for the fact they were made by the Judge presiding over the matter. Continue reading