Posted on 12 September 2013.
NSA‘s repeated claims about having its surveillance apparatus under control have taken another hit after the agency has been legally forced to publish a huge batch of previously classified documents.
Among other things, one of the documents showed that the NSA "had improperly queried the bulk telephony metadata by using an automated ‘alert list’ process that resulted in the use of selectors that had not been individually reviewed and determined to meet he required reasonable articulable suspicion standard."
As it turns out, in those three years the agency ended up monitoring some 17,835 phone accounts, when only 1,935 of these had met that standard.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper dubbed this as "compliance incidents", which "stemmed in large part from the complexity of the technology employed in connection with the bulk telephony metadata collection program, interaction of that technology with other NSA systems, and a lack of a shared understanding among various NSA components about how certain aspects of the complex architecture supporting the program functioned. "
by William on 25th Apr 12
The CISPA bill and its content posted abridgedly, and why it affects the citizen more than had the SOPA bill.
As posted on curiosidadesofworld.blogspot.pt
In the spirit of newspapers of record, Urban Times shall publish the current version of the United States’ Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, a piece of legislation similar to the lines of SOPA and PIPA, though with a fundamental difference—whereas SOPA, ACTA, and PIPA dealt with the shutting down of websites “infringing” on copyright, CISPA manages to entice, as opposed to alienate, companies and corporations by encouraging cooperation between intelligence organizations of the United States and the private information held by said corporations, thereby putting all culpability and infringement not upon internet corporations and websites, but upon their users, citizens of the world. Internet corporations are encouraged to share private user information with the United States federal government, in exchange for immunity from prosecution though liability—information shared, not through a forced hand via subpoena or court warrant, but by arbitrary decisions based on the management of said private corporation.
This means that there shall be no great protests directly from Facebook, or Google, against this legislation, for they are supporters of the bill. The bill is up for debate tomorrow, Thursday, April 26th, 2012, and for vote by Friday. It is past the eleventh hour, and many have missed the previous 66 bell tolls warning that once Internet companies are benefited by legislation, they will not care about you, the user. They are corporations. They don’t care about you. A corporation, as much as a person as it may be according to certain laws, has no feelings. It is up to you, the user, to fight back, and knowledge is the first step to understanding your enemy.
There is an idiom that goes, “read between the lines”. Government legislation and law interpretation are truly, truly the times where this idiom is not just good advice to live by, but a necessary thought process for your happiness, well being, and more dramatically, survival, in the face of deliberately misleading rhetoric and ambiguous terminologies.
The bill has been formatted to facilitate its reading.
Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2012
‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—The Director of National Intelligence shall establish procedures to allow elements of the intelligence community to share cyber threat intelligence with private-sector entities and to encourage the sharing of such intelligence.
Boris Karpichkov worked as a KGB agent in the 1980s before fleeing to Britain as a place of safety. He talks about his career, why Russian spies are again targeting Britain – and why he’ll never stop looking over his shoulder
Boris Karpichkov, who worked for the KGB in Latvia during the Soviet era. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian
It is the perfect place to meet a man from the KGB. Boris Karpichkov – former KGB operative and double agent – suggests we meet under the shadow of Marble Arch in central London. I am late. But he is easy to spot: a gaunt, thin, pale figure with the slightly haunted look of someone who has spent their career in the twilight world of espionage.
Since fleeing to Britain in the late 1990s Karpichkov has preferred to keep a low profile – unlike another, better known Moscow agent who fled to London, one Alexander Litvinenko. Now, with the KGB’s most famous graduate, Vladimir Putin, about to get his old Kremlin job back, can Karpichkov shed light on the murky world of Russian spying?
Born in 1959 in Soviet Latvia, Karpichkov grew up in a patriotic communist family and became a mechanical engineer. The KGB approached him when he was working in a factory making parts for the aerospace industry. He enrolled at the KGB’s academy in Minsk in 1984, learning, among other things, how to shoot, and how to kill with his bare hands. He was assigned to the Riga branch of the KGB’s prestigious Second Directorate, specialising in counter-intelligence. He reached the rank of Major.
Tupolev Tu-95 in flight
Russian military intelligence is adjusting its work methods in response to the worsening international situation, Igor Sergun, the head of GRU – the country’s largest espionage agency – has told President Dmitry Medvedev.
“Changes in the world situation have required adjustments to be made to intelligence mechanisms and their implementation,” Sergun said on Thursday, as he presented his report to the head of state.
Currently, the main focus of Russian military intelligence is on “the so-called hot spots where terrorist and extremist groups are acting, regions with crisis situations, and also the sources and possible routes of illegal proliferation of nuclear materials and the components of weapons of mass destruction,” he said.
Sergun underlined that the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) is “practically the only special service in the world” which integrates all existing types and directions of intelligence into its structure.
GRU successfully fulfills its tasks thanks to the professionalism of secret service agents “combined with the usage of the most up-to-date achievements of information, telecommunication and space technologies and innovations,” explained Sergun.
Major General Sergun added that the agency has the technical capabilities to act in almost all possible fields. “This helps to obtain important information concerning the situation in military conflict areas and regions that interest military intelligence,” he added, as cited by Itar-Tass.
January 11, 2012 | 1400 GMT
The institutionalization of a new Iraqi intelligence apparatus after the fall of Saddam Hussein has been a tumultuous process. The country’s underlying geopolitical imperatives have changed little since it was first created after World War I, so the roots of these services can be found in those of previous regimes. However, the fall of Hussein’s regime in 2003 and the subsequent complete rebuilding of the Iraqi state have led to a period of uncertainty in the country’s intelligence community as several ethno-sectarian factions vie for control over it. Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki appears to be consolidating his power, but his position is by no means stable. As political battles continue, so too will fighting within these services.
Since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003, Iraq has been setting the foundations for its new state, including the institutionalization of a new set of security and intelligence services. Over the past eight years, Iraq has been following the mold of most nascent intelligence communities, slowly taking into account its geopolitical situation — as well as bureaucratic, institutional and personal battles — to create operational, analytical and decision-making protocols that will remain relatively constant even as the country’s political leadership changes.
Since the beginnings of modern-day Iraq after World War I, its geopolitical imperatives have changed little, and the roots of these modern intelligence services can thus be found in those of previous governments.
Iraq’s First Intelligence Services
Iraq’s first intelligence agency, the General Security Service (GSS), was created in 1921 in what was then the British Mandate of Mesopotamia. Created with a domestic focus after the British crushed an armed insurrection in 1920, the GSS helped the British rule Iraq through a minority government composed of the Sunni elite. It was foremost responsible for detecting, monitoring and disrupting dissent from political, ethnic or religious groups. It also became responsible for investigating political corruption and major economic crimes. The GSS remained Iraq’s largest intelligence agency until 2003, and though it lost significance to competing organizations established by Hussein, it kept these same responsibilities and handled the most investigations even after the establishment of superseding organizations.
CIA arrests were perhaps Iranians working as informants for Western intelligence services. Iranian officials this week announced the arrests of a dozen spies.
By Howard LaFranchi, Staff writer / November 25, 2011
Masked members of the Iranian Basij militia parade on Friday.
Raheb Homavandi/Reuters Washington
A smoldering covert war pitting the United States against Iran took a new turn this week as Iranian officials announced the arrests of a dozen “CIA spies” they said were targeting the country’s nuclear program.
Iranian officials, including the country’s intelligence minister, did not release the identities or nationalities of the alleged spies, but intelligence analysts say they are probably Iranians working as informants for Western intelligence services.
“The main mission of this act of espionage was related to Iran’s progress in the fields of nuclear technology and also military and security activities,” said Parviz Sorouri, a member of Iran’s powerful parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy, according to the official IRNA news agency. “The US and Zionist regime’s espionage apparatuses were trying to damage Iran both from inside and outside with a heavy blow, using regional intelligence services.”
The potential “CIA arrests” followed reports earlier in the week of other arrests in Iran. There were also reports that Hezbollah, the Iran-affiliated Shiite militia in Lebanon, has arrested alleged CIA informants.
The latest Iranian allegations could not be verified, and the Central Intelligence Agency declined to comment, as it does as a rule on “operational activities.” But the charges were the latest installment in a growing list of covert operations – or accusations claiming such operations. That list includes the killing of Iranian nuclear scientists, explosions at Iranian factories and military installations, cyberattacks targeting Iran’s nuclear facilities, and – on the other side – the alleged Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington.
An affable gentleman, “Mahmoud” ushered this observer into the Benghazi People’s Court (Mahkamat al-Sha’b) and showed me the freshly painted courtroom where on December 19, 2006, the current NTC leader and long term CIA favorite, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, twice upheld death sentences by firing squad against a Palestinian doctor, Ashraf al-Hujuj, and five Bulgarian nurses Kristiyana Valtcheva, Nasya Nenova, Valentina Siropulo, Valya Chervenyashka, and Snezhana Dimitrova.
The death sentences were requested by the Libyan prosecutor in his opening statement four months earlier, in the final appeal in the fake HIV show trial case # 607/2003 held at the criminal court in Benghazi.
The appellate judge in the case was none other than the current head of the NATO-installed Libyan National Transition Council (NTC) Mustafa Abdul Jalil, whose formal legal education consisted of sitting in on some Sharia law classes. Following his appellate decision in the case, and for other services rendered to the former regime, Jalil was rewarded with the post of Minister of Justice. He served loyally in that position until American associates encouraged the intensely ambitious Minister to resign on February 24, 2011, the day he joined the Benghazi based uprising, as “leader.”