Bulgaria’s National Security Agency (State Agency for National Security, DANS) declined for the record to provide a concrete answer to the question whether there has been a probe against Bivol journalists. However, this refusal contains enough information to deduct that such probe has been indeed carried out. Bivol has in its possession pages from a case for operative surveillance (DON) where it is claimed that former Bulgarian Finance Minister Simeon Djankov and influential Jewish structures in the United States are behind Bivol and are involved in the “Buddha” file leak. It was published by Bivol in early February 2013 (see here, here and here – in Bulgarian) and contains evidence of the criminal past of second-term Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, who was tracked in the late 1990s by the Central Services for Combatting Organized Crime (CSBOP) for being part of the underground circles and simultaneously recruited as police informant. DANS’ probe against Bivol had started immediately after the publication, snooping on and presenting in the form of a chart the contacts of journalists from the site under the codename “BUDDHAli LTD” (wordplay as budali in the Bulgarian language means fools – editor’s note).
On July 2013, DANS officially announced on their website that operation “BUDDHAli” never existed.
Immediately after that, on July 19, 2013, we sent to DANS a letter (Ref. No. RD-1213) asking for information whether there were any investigations and operations against the site Bivol, its journalists, employees and/or owners. We assumed that the codename “BUDDHAli” could simply not have been officially announced and for this reason we asked for general information.
After two years of silence and after logging a complaint with the Parliamentary Committee for Control of Special Surveillance Devices (SRS), the Agency finally answered. According to DANS “positive or negative answers to questions about the existence of probes constitute classified information”. In addition, part of the requested information could be classified as “personal data”.
The mention of “personal data” is clear enough indication of the existence of a probe because if there wasn’t, there would be no personal data as well. Moreover, with its statement from July 17 on the absence of a probe codenamed “BUDDHAli”, DANS contradict their own interpretation.
Just in case, Bivol requested from the State Commission for Security of Information (SCSI) an interpretative definition whether the absence of something can be categorized as classified information. According to experts from SCSI, “information as a set of data, subjects, events, phenomena, etc.” is classifiable “only according to its own content“. Obviously, the absence of such content – data and knowledge about the subjects i.e. the journalists should not be classifiable.
What is written in the “non-existent” probe?
It is a chaotic mix of data from tracking, information from public records, rumors and incredible nonsense, which were subsequently given as “talking points” to media servile to Borisov. This “masterpiece” deserves to be published in its entirety, but we will abstain in order to not affect third parties who have no relation to our work.
The narrative of the unknown to us DANS analyst who “unraveled” the relationship of Bivol with WikiLeaks and Bivol’s use of a system, similar to the one of WikiLeaks, for uploading confidential documents – Balkanleaks (where we received the Buddha file – see here) – is shockingly ignorant.
“The information itself is sent through the following platforms:
PrivacyBox.de; Web site https://privacybox.de/ruleaks.msg, the page for the hidden server Tor: http: //c4wcxidkfhvmzhw6.onion/ruleaks.msg, as well as the invisible web page http://privacybox.i2p/ruleaks.msg
Prior to this, we also had evidence of DANS experiencing difficulties in learning and applying new technologies (see here and here), but, obviously, the situation is serious. The agent who wrote the above lines clearly confuses Wikileaks with Ruleaks, which is quite a different platform and is in Russian. This also shows his or her limitations regarding knowledge of foreign languages, while his or her knowledge of the functioning of systems for concealing (moreover efficiently) IP addresses, becomes apparent from the following reasoning:
“All these (platforms for anonymous uploads of documents – editor’s note) record the sender, which means that traces remain and it is known what IP address was used to send the information. It can be anywhere in the world, but it is known.”
Of course, neither Wikileaks, nor Balkanleaks have such registration, but even if there was such, the concealing of the IP address is made earlier, through a special communication protocol and encryption. But these are trivialities for the genius who wrote the above lines. They rejected with the stroke of a pen all achievements of modern confidential communication and concluded that “Bivol know very well where the contents of the “Buddha” file came from”. Where did they come from? The agent-analyst continues to search. And naturally, comes to the idea of the involvement of the
Global Jewish Conspiracy
and its Bulgarian “mole” – the suspicious because of her Jewish name Alberta Alkalay, wife of Assen Yordanov and manager of Bivol Ltd., who “secured Atanas Tchobanov’s connection with Wikileaks through contacts with influential Jewish structures in the United States, Great Britain and France” .
“There is almost no precedent in the EU, a relatively marginal site, such as Bivol to represent Assange and his writings,” ponders the agent, who does not even know that Assange publishes documents/secret writings of others, provided by whistleblowers.
But the Jewish conspiracy is not sufficient. In the classical mindset of the cops from the political communist police – State Security (DS) – there must be an insider “enemy”. The designated one is then-Finance Minister
Because of his wife Caroline, who is also Jewish. According to operative information, she traveled to the Black Sea city of Burgas and Alberta Alkalay personally accompanied her in this rare visit to the region.
For the “analyst”, this reported rumor is more than enough to explain “the odd synchrony between the publications on the site and the subsequent activities of Deputy Prime Minister Djankov”.
Our article “Motivated by Sense of Duty” (in Bulgarian) from May 8, 2012, in which Bivol investigates insider trading in the foreign debt currency exchange deal of Finance Minister Milen Velchev, is given as an example of the above. It is noted that just a day later, on May 9, 2012, “Simeon Djankov fiercely attacked Velchev on the same issue from the parliamentary tribune”.
Also, some analysts interpreted the attacks on the site against Agriculture Minister Miroslav Naydenov (in terms of construction on dunes, forests, felling, logging, etc.) as a reflection of Djankov’s animosity toward him. Perhaps, this refers to the series of investigations in the affair “Dunes Gate” which Bivol disclosed in late 2012 and early 2013.
None of us from Bivol have ever seen Simeon Djankov and his wife Caroline in person. We have communicated with Djankov only through official channels such as requests under the Access to Public Information Act (APIA) to the Ministry of Finance. And once indirectly, on the Bulgarian public radio (BNR), when he accused Bivol of manipulations due to our forecasts that Bulgaria will need to apply for a new multi-billion loan very soon. Well, it turned out that the manipulation came from Prime Minister Borisov, because ultimately it was proven that Bivol was right back then – two years before anyone suspected the future financial penury of the State. Here is our article from January 16, 2012 “Government Is Seeking Loan for 4.5 Billion Euro” (in Bulgarian) and the subsequent “To Apply for a Loan or Not to Apply” (in Bulgarian) about our clash with Djankov then. Readers can make their own conclusions about who has been right then.
There is no Jewish conspiracy either. As strange as it might sound to the Chekists from DANS, not all Jews around the world know each other and are plotting against Boyko Borisov.
But the fact is that once DANS served their “pathetic” report to the Prime Minister, Djankov was suddenly fired on February 18, 2013. A too visible and intrusive snooping on journalists and employees of Bivol started and a comprehensive institutional attack against us was launched. Several days later, however, Borisov – “Buddha” – resigned and that stopped the planned investigations.
But while the services were prodded to collect and analyze data about the site, they were able to present in a chart the misinformation of a deep conspiracy being behind our apparent marginality. Primitive infographics titled “BUDDHAli Ltd” (see the chart below) are applied to the epistolary reasoning. In it, the leading element is political as it explores the direct and indirect links of journalists and owners of Bivol to political parties. The public figures in the chart include two little known politicians from the right-wing “Blue Coalition”, journalist Ivan Bedrov, sociologist Tsvetozar Tomov, Antoineta Tsoneva (who for some reason is designated as a “journalist”) and blogger Asen Genov. The latter two are known as distinguished members of the future “protest network”. We deleted from the chart the names of persons who are not public figures or did not give consent for disclosure.
This absurd masterpiece is based on public information and some form of surveillance, most likely during the Open Summer Seminar on Information Security for journalists, held by Bivol in the summer of 2011. It was attended by the journalist from Forbes, Andy Greenberg, who is also of Jewish origin, but failed to earn a place of honor in the conspiracy scheme for unknown reasons.
Now is the time to apologize to all those affected, caught in the crosshairs of the conspiracy masterminds from DANS because of their contacts with us. We also extend sincere apologies to readers who after this text could have become concerned about our national security and, in particular, felt the lack of it. Part of our job is to disclose such bad news.
Currently, we have the bad feeling that Bivol is again the target of active snooping actions and defamatory media campaigns by subordinates of #WHO and are not excluding the possibility that we are again the subject of investigations by Agency, which, instead of dealing with national security and public interests, is directly working for the economic and corporate benefit of the same popular subjects. Apparently is sees them as State interests as these same subjects have appropriated the State.
Some of those the individuals included in the chart wished to comment for Bivol. We publish their opinions without editorial changes:
Asen Genov: Obviously, the analytical potential of the State Agency for National Security is not much different than the one of publications in media that are close and friendly to or controlled by Peevski. Their analytical abilities are limited to references to publicly available and easily accessible facts. Such charts, as this one, obviously prepared by someone’s incompetent mind, only show the absolute powerlessness of the Agency to address the real problems related to our country’s security, for example, threats from the former Soviet Union and the post-Soviet environment or international trafficking and smuggling channels with Bulgarian participation. The involvement of such individuals (I am not alluding to myself, but to all other public figures) only confirms that the Agency is another instrument for political blackmail.
Ivan Bedrov: The appearance of my name in this mockery of a chart concerned me quite a lot. Because it speaks volumes about the competence of those whose salaries we are paying so that they protect our national security. I know the other people in the chart because I know a lot of people – this is my job. There was a period when no media wanted to work with me officially and then lawmaker Kircho Dimitrov, whom I did not know until this moment, offered to list me as one of his assistants so that I could get a pass to the Parliament. Needless to add we have not exchanged even a single penny in neither direction. Ridiculous story.
This post is also available in: Bulgarian